Everyone knows how difficult it is to stick to your diet during summer and the holidays, but you should keep in mind that diet is critical for people with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), especially those who are on dialysis. More than likely you wish that you could just take a day off and really enjoy your family and friends without the burden of a restrictive diet. Although it is important to maintain your renal diet, there are choices you can make for the holidays so you will not feel like you are missing out on any festivities, it just takes a bit of planning.
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Try to plan your meals ahead. If you are planning on eating and drinking more than normal at a barbecue, then make sure that you eat smaller meals and drink less earlier in the day. This will allow you to have a little extra at the party and not feel poorly afterward. If possible, ask ahead of time which foods will be served at the party. That way, you can have a picture in mind of which foods you will plan on eating and which ones are not worth it. Make sure that you do not over eat or go too drastically off of your diet plan.
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Ask for help from friends and family to maintain your diet by not tempting you with any tasty recipes that you cannot enjoy. This is not to say that they cannot serve "Mama's Famous Baked Macaroni and Cheese," just ask them not to present a thick warm slice to you and ask, "Are you sure you would not like a slice (or second helping)?" Don’t be shy about letting your love ones know what types of foods you can and cannot eat. You can even offer to bring a dish or appetizer that you know better fits your diet. It is easy to get caught up in past indiscretions and think: “Oh well, there’s no way I can stay on my diet this month.” Thinking this way can lead to a whole month of eating foods that may harm your health. Instead, take one day at a time. If you eat too much on July 4th, remember to get back on track by eating less the next day and do not forget to take your prescribed phosphorus binders. Before you know it, you will have come through the remainder of July with a pretty good and safe eating record that you can be proud of.
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What is fantastic about planning is that it allows you to enjoy the 4th of July or any holiday, including some tasty dishes and drinks they have to offer. The trick is to monitor what you eat and plan ahead. Remember to season foods with herbs and spices in place of high sodium toppings. Also, there are delicious renal recipes listed at KidneyBuzz.com that you can cook and share with your family and friends. Whenever you are in doubt about how to alter your diet for the holidays always ask your dietitian about healthy meal choices, especially for large gatherings where you are not in control of the menu.
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Reference: "Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating for Patients on Dialysis | MagicKitchen.com Blog." MagicKitchencom Blog.