Hello, and welcome to Wellness Wednesday! Readers seem to like these kind of posts, so I thought maybe once, or twice a week I would do this type of topic.
First let me get this out of the way. Plant-Based is not Vegan. There is nothing wrong with eating a Vegan Diet, but it doesn’t work for me at this time. Plant-Based also does not mean that you eat no dairy at all, oil, fat, meat, etc. It simply means that at least one half to seventy five percent of your plate is plants. There are of course plant-based dairy products, I tend to really like Oat Milk, cheeses, and yogurts. I am also working towards Whole Food Plant Based, but again I am not quite there, at least not by blogger Nazi standards. People and their word issues. I also eat eggs on average once a week. I prefer organic cage free eggs.
Why have I chosen a plant-based way of eating? Well, if you actually read this blog then you know I have CKD, and my number one goal is to get back and maintain at least stage 2. One of the ways studies say you can improve kidney function is by losing weight. In the Fall of last year I started a low carb diet, not Keto, low carb. I stayed at or under 100 carbs per day. I was able to lose 15 pounds in a few months eating that way. However, it also meant I was consuming more protein, and fat than my body requires. This lead to my cholesterol going high, as well as my HDL, and LDL being backwards. Since going on a Statin is not something I wanted to do, they mess with kidney function, I decided to go very low fat to see if I could get it down. I did a one month very low fat, zero point food challenge and was able to get my cholesterol back to normal range. But, my HDL and LDL were still backwards. Most people with CKD will end up with some kind of Heart Disease. Obviously, that is also not a goal I wish to reach. So, for the last month, or so, I have been plant-based. I consume chicken, or fish only once or twice a week. If I decide I want milk, it is skim, and 4 ounces, and cheese is 1 ounce part skim or low fat. I may consume dairy once a week, or every other week. I also will add 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed to my smoothies, or certain foods to get Omega 3. But, I am concerned I might have an allergy to it, so I have to take note when I eat it so I can monitor for symptoms. When I eat a high meat based protein diet, I have issues with my gut. That is another reason to eat plant-based, to heal and restore my gut health.
Iron Deficient Anemia is a huge issue for people with CKD. For that reason I do take a B12 supplement on the days that I do not have any dairy, or meat. There is a very famous doctor that said it would take many years to deplete your B12 stores, but if you have CKD you know this either may not be entirely true, or don’t care to take the chance.
I am consuming a lot of potassium with this way of eating. But, I do not have issues with potassium. My labs are monitored every six months. I also realize plants have a lot more phosphorus than meat products, but again my phosphorus levels are fine. If you have any of these issues be sure and discuss with your doctor first before you make major changes to your diet. If you are a Diabetic be sure and stay within your Carb limits to keep your glucose under control. There are studies that are showing that higher fiber foods, even with higher carbs, may not spike blood sugar.
Ok, now that I got all that out of the way, what did I actually eat?
Breakfast: One banana and coffee. I do not generally eat breakfast, but I was particularly hungry today. I ate this before my treadmill workout. I do not count drinks in my daily calorie or nutrition count. Read why here.
Lunch: See the picture below. This is a ton of food! You can eat a lot of food on a plant-based diet, and trust me you won’t be hungry in an hour. I hardly ever snack, or even have cravings. On that plate is 2 red potatoes cooked in Instapot, 1 cup of shaved brussel sprouts, 1/2 of an onion, and 1/2 cup of canned pork and beans. I also sliced up a delicious tomato on the side. I cooked the onion and brussel sprouts in a pan on the stove with some vegetable broth. After they were soft but not mushy, I added the beans to the pan. I added about a tsp of brown sugar and squeezed in half a lemon. That is my favorite sauce type over top of baked potato or other veggies. The lemon and the brown sugar make a delicious salty and sweet sauce. I only really eat baked beans, pork and beans, or black beans. I buy them canned because they are convenient. Pork and beans are like 33 cents a can. I also add a tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over my potato when it is on the plate. Why? It has certain health benefits, and I take my Vitamin D supplement with this meal and I need to the fat to absorb the Vitamin D properly.
For breakfast and lunch the nutrition info is as follows:
Total Fat: 9 grams
Saturated Fat: 1.3 grams
Sodium: 450 mg
Total Carbs: 122 grams
Fiber: 19 grams
Net Carbs: 103 grams
Protein: 18 grams I generally eat right about 35 to 40 grams of protein per day.
Vitamin A: 30% of RDA
Vitamin C: 250% of RDA
Calcium: 20% of RDA
Iron: 26% of RDA
Potassium: 2,453 mg
Phosphorus: 267 mg
I obviously still have dinner to go. Dinner today is a little harder to break down the nutrients because we are having pasta salad. The way I make pasta salad is I cut up celery, onion, black olives, bell peppers, cucumber and any other veggies I may throw in. Then I cook the pasta, usually bowties, and throw it all together in the fridge. Then each person put as much Raspberry Vinaigrette and Italian dressing they want on their own serving. They can also add cheese if they wish. I don’t put cheese in mine. I probably will add tomatoes to mine. If I had frozen peas I would also add them, or fresh broccoli. This makes a huge amount of food and will most likely be for lunch as well tomorrow. I am going to say my serving of one cup will be about 450 calories, mostly from the pasta and however much Italian dressing I will add to mine.
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