Low Carb, Low Oxalate Blueberry Pancakes

Hello, and welcome to another Food on Friday topic. Following particular diets can be so tricky, and it often makes me wonder what can I eat anymore. But, thank goodness for the internet that allows us to find all kinds of helpful information to make Mindful decisions about food choices.

Do you love pancakes? Do you have CKD, and maybe would like to lose some weight and thought you would try a low carb diet, not Keto btw, but you also need to be mindful of Phosphorus and Oxalates in foods? Argh, good grief even!

A while back I did a post on lower carb banana pancakes. They aren’t as low in carbs, because bananas are pretty high in carbs, but still not bad. Blueberries, however, are very low in carbs and this morning I made the same recipe as above using blueberries. Mmm so delicious.

To make these pancakes all you need is 2 large eggs, and 1/4 cup of fresh blueberries. Smash with a fork, or use a blender, the blueberries up, put in the two eggs, whisk it all together and put in in a non stick pan. Cook just like a pancake, flipping when one side is brown. You can see what mine looked like below. I put on about a tsp of Maple Syrup, but you could use cinnamon as well.

If you are a Dialysis patient you could use egg whites instead of the whole egg to save the 200 mg of Phosphorus in 2 eggs. If you have normal Phosphorus and haven’t been told by your doctor to lower your intake, eat the whole egg, it is delicious. I don’t track my Potassium, but if you do be sure and calculate for your limits.

This one pancake has only 4.3 mg of carbs from the blueberries. Leave off the syrup and you won’t have to add those carbs in, or use sugar free syrup. 1/2 cup of blueberries, and in this recipe you are only using half of that, has only 2 mg of Oxalates. Pancake mix, from a box has 10 mg of Oxalates. These numbers are according to my Oxalate tracker app.

Strawberries are also low in carbs and oxalates, but watch out for raspberries. They are high in Oxalates.

Try them, let me know if you like them in the comments.

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Let’s Think About This

Hello, and welcome back to another #ThinkingonThursday topic. I have not done one of these in a while, because I have been thinking, lol. So, why do I write about these hot topic issues? There are several reasons.

  1. This is a Health blog and the things I choose to think about are related to Health.
  2. Writing on this blog helps me to clear my mind and get my thoughts out. This brings me stress relief and allows me to fall asleep easier at night.
  3. It is important,

Today, I am going to discuss the issue of whose fault it is that Covid has gotten so out of control. This is meant to make myself, and my readers think about this topic. It is not meant to turn into an argument or hate filled rage. That is part of the problem, actually. We live in such a reactive society that we can’t even have a civil discussion anymore. I can be just as passionate and loud as anyone else, but I also realize that is not always the best way to communicate.

So, who is to blame? China, Trump, Biden, The Media, Influencers, everyday citizens?

  1. China. There are lots of mumblings about China purposely putting Covid out to the world. While it is true most countries dabble in Biological Warfare, as does the USA by the way, there has been no actual proof that China intentionally released Covid onto the world.
  2. President Trump. I think it is quite easy to make the argument that President Trump totally botched the handling of this pandemic. He was more interested in money, and the economy, than actually understanding the concept of a Novel virus and what that means to a society with no immunity to it. Now, he did rush the vaccine, and it was done in breakneck speed. You could argue that is both good and bad. On one hand if enough people took the vaccine the virus would have no other viable host to live in. But, the speed of the vaccine has also left people hesitant to take something that was created that quickly. I don’t think that is President Trump’s fault, though. Experts who actually study human behavior should have seen this coming, in my opinion. I think you can’t overlook the fact that HHS and CDC also played a role here, because from an outsider perspective it appeared that they put their high income positions above the good of the people when they did not stand up to President Trump, at least not effectively. But, again I am only seeing how I perceive this when they could have easily had the thought process that they would be sidelined and have no access to give any information to the public.
  3. President Biden. He had the perfect opportunity to use the Department of Labor, through OSHA, to mandate Health guidelines for businesses to protect the labor force. In May he decided not to do that, and instead only made the requirements mandatory for Health Care businesses. This was a huge mistake. Now employers don’t actually have to protect their employees, or require their employees to protect other employees. This was a big fat blunder, and now he is seeing the consequences. People making minimum wage don’t want to return to work to possibly get sick and hospitalized, or worse dead. With no health insurance for most low wage workers the bills that could pile up from just one illness for one member of their family, never mind several, is staggering. Child care was an issue for many. So of course lets get every child back in school so mothers can return to the work force, but lets not protect those children, which OSHA guidelines would have required of schools which is a business. Now, in some states parents are fighting for the right to have their children not wear masks in schools. Did anyone ask these poor children if they would rather be protected instead of sick? I understand children don’t have the right to necessarily make their own medical decisions, but come on this premise is a bit absurd for this particular virus and topic.
  4. The Media. Just like everything else the media wants you to click on their articles, watch their shows, and read what they write. Why? To make money, or win a Pulitzer or whatever. They are not always interested in facts, and telling honest truths. They play on fear, politics, and again views.
  5. Influencers. Influencers are anyone with a large platform and a way to use it. They tend to care about their image, and money. They are not always dealing in facts, or truths either. They are giving opinions and getting people riled up, because honestly it brings them attention, and more money.
  6. General Citizens. That is most likely you and me. What responsibility do we own in this Pandemic of Covid? That is a loaded question, isn’t it? But, think about it. What role do you play? Do you follow the CDC guidelines that are meant to keep everyone safe, not just you? I am not necessarily just talking about the vaccine. But, let me just say a few things to consider. If you have gotten other flu vaccines, then why not this one? If you have been vaccinated against every childhood disease when you were a child, what is the deal with this vaccine? I am not a vaccine promoter, or vaccine skeptic, but it makes no sense to me why this one is such a big deal when you are probably protected from other diseases via vaccine. If you don’t even know what vaccines you got as a child look up Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, Hepatitis B, and Varicella. Let me know if you would like to go back and not get those vaccines. Are you an anti-masker? Why? Think about why, really why? Not because you listened to some TV pundit, or Influencer on Instagram, but a valid actual reason for not wanting to wear a mask. I understand there are some people who really can not tolerate a mask. In that case are you staying out of large groups of people, over 10? Are you staying 6 feet away from people in areas that are not well ventilated? Are you washing your hands all the time? Do you even care if you protect the vulnerable, or even people who just don’t want to get sick and possibly die? If no, then you are part of the problem! Plain and simple. If you are a Christian you know the statement, Am I My Brother’s Keeper? How did God respond to that question? Yes, you are your brother’s keeper. If you want to harm yourself fine, do so, but do not bring harm to others because you are reckless and selfish.

Before I end this I am going to just give one more thing to think about. There is a whole bunch of people claiming the vaccinated are the ones spreading this virus. Please do actual research on actual reliable sites like Pubmed, Cochran, Healthline, CDC, and FDA to get your information about how vaccines actually work, what they can and can not do, and how mutations to a virus actually prolong the pandemic. Please, please, please think for yourself. If you don’t understand something ask questions, don’t assume your perception is the same as actual facts.

Viruses happen, there is no blame for that. It is nature. But, a virus can not survive without a viable host, that is fact. You don’t have to be a viable host.

Leave me an actual, intelligent comment if you would like to think too.

Oxalates and Kidney Disease, CKD!

Hello, and welcome to another Wellness Wednesday topic. Today, I am continuing with my monthly theme of oxalates. The most common symptom of having too much Oxalates in your body is manifested as Kidney Stones. Kidney stones are extremely painful, and if you have ever had one you know this. But, you may not actually form a stone, and the oxalates may cause smaller crystals to form that never are large enough to cause a stone. But, these crystals can still cause harm to the kidneys, or progression of Kidney Disease if you already have CKD. Even small amounts of crystallization may decrease urinary output, cause retention, as well as other metabolic issues, and electrolyte balance. A lot of this stuff involves Biology and Chemistry, and is quite a complicated body process. But, using the NKF website, and other sources I have found, I hope to break it down for you in a simple, understandable way.

You can read my first post on this topic here. Each post explains something different, and addresses a different issue regarding Oxalates. In my second post I shared how to make a Low Oxalate Green Smoothie, especially if you are a huge smoothie drinker. Today, I am going to focus solely on the issue of Oxalates related to kidney function.

According to the NKF, there are ways to decrease your risk of Oxalate crystallization and stone formation including:

  1. Drink more fluids. See the video below to learn how to know if you are drinking enough liquids based on your urine color. There are some others I would like to point out such as cloudy urine, and bubbly urine. These can be signs that you are not drinking enough. I typically get a headache when I am dehydrated and it is a warning sign to me to drink more. When I am at work is most often when I will become dehydrated due to the nature of being a nurse and being busy. But, now I force myself to drink more at work. It is still not always enough, but I am working on it. If you are on fluid restrictions, again, ask your doctor what amount is right for you.
  2. Do not over eat protein. Before someone on the Carnivore or Keto Diet gets their undies in a bunch, please watch the two videos below on this topic. Too much protein can cause Kidney Stones which causes Kidney Damage, period! Do not take your protein requirements from an influencer, ask your doctor. I base my protein intake on a formula from a Urology website. My doctor is aware of how much protein I consume, and monitors my labs. I do think the amount he recommends at the end of his second video is probably too high, even if you don’t have Kidney Disease, but ask your doctor. Your doctor who is responsible for monitoring and analyzing your health.
  3. Eat less salt. I talk about this at nauseum. Too much salt leads to too much calcium in your urine which can lead to crystals forming, and or stones. I didn’t really understand why this was, but there is an actual explanation. Click here to read more. Salt is in all processed foods. Read labels and learn what amount of salt is healthy for you, but years ago when nurses actually had time to teach patients a 2 or 3 GM Sodium Diet was the norm. That is 2,000 to 3,000 mg of Sodium per day.
  4. How many of you take a Calcium supplement? Calcium supplements may actually increase your risk of stone formation in the kidneys, where as consuming dairy products actually can help. Dairy combines with Oxalates in the intestines keeping them from needing to be removed by the kidneys, and are rather excreted in the stool. Calcium from supplements do not do that. Be sure and click the NKF source at the top to read more about this. Talk to your doctor about getting a good source of Calcium in your diet.
  5. What about your Multivitamin? Does it have Vitamin C? I will be doing a whole post on Vitamin C, but the natural breakdown of Vitamin C is Oxalates. The food industry has added Vitamin C to just about everything. Now there could be a debate as to whether the body even absorbs that form of Vitamin C, or if it is all completely excreted in the kidneys without being used by the body at all. Talk to your doctor about whether you really need Vitamin C supplementation. Some people do. and your doctor will let you know. So many influencers suck down a million vitamins a day instead of just eating actual food.
  6. Eat foods not high in Oxalates. See my first post highlighted above.

Does this mean you can’t be plant-based, Vegetarian, or Vegan? Of course not! Like all eating lifestyles there are things to learn to keep you your healthiest. On the NKF page they have examples of what a low Oxalate Vegetarian plate would look like. I urge you to read it. You don’t want Oxalate Dumping either. Eating Oxalate rich foods with a good Calcium source will help the Oxalates be removed in the stool, not the kidneys.

My doctor has told me to avoid dairy products completely , or very little, which I have done for the past 4 years. I have done that, but whenever I try to go plant based I get weird symptoms to me that point to possible Oxalate buildup and when I avoid those high Oxalate foods my symptoms go away. Could be a coincidence, could be not.

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Don’t Go To Bed Angry!

Hello, and welcome to another Healthy Tip Tuesday! I think this issue is more particular to women than men. Women tend to ruminate and overthink things. Men just let it go, not all men, but I think in a general way this is probably true. So, my Healthy Tip for today is, don’t go to bed angry.

This is a Health blog, with help topics. Relationships, and emotions, are all part of Health. Being angry is normal, and even necessary. It is how you go about your anger that matters. Sleep is another Health issue and many people don’t get enough of it, except my teenager she gets plenty, lol. Going to bed angry is going to make you have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep. Your spouse, or partner, may be sleeping away and you are angry, and it probably is only making you angrier. A lack of sleep will effect you the next day, possibly making you grumpy, or snappy, at work or in other relationships such as with your children.

You might not even be angry at your spouse. Maybe it a coworker, neighbor, friend, or relative. The point is get it out in a constructive, mature, and healthy way. Yes, I just said that. An argument doesn’t have to be loud, toxic, rude, disrespectful, and violent. That is childish. One thing that annoys me more than anything is people who think everything is an argument, like arguments are all bad. People make them bad by infusing extremes into the argument. Just have an intelligent two sided conversation where each side gets to speak their grievance. Say your peace, let it off your chest. Do not expect, though, that just because you said your peace the result will be as you want. The point is to not carry your anger, or frustrations to bed with you, not to get everything your way.

I know for me this is particularly difficult. I am a ruminator, not necessarily angry, but I rethink things, and reassess. It is just in my nature. But, I have to stop myself, make a list of things to do or revisit, and then allow myself to rest my mind an go to sleep. I have a very active brain that has a hard time resting. But, I have to rest, and so do you. It is so important to good Health!


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low oxalate green smoothie!

Hello, Friday! Are you happy it’s Friday? Most people end their work week today, but I have changed to just weekends, so I am the opposite right now. There are so many hot button issues right now, related to Health: my body my choice, parental rights, masks, vaccines, climate change, lower drug prices, better health care. Don’t worry I will be discussing some of these in the coming weeks, but today I decided to keep it light.

If you read my post from the other day, then you know some of the foods I have been eating while trying to be meat free forever. I forgot to add a few: almonds, raspberries, sunflower seeds, and cocoa. I also talked about the weird symptoms I had been experiencing, and how they pretty much went away when I stopped eating these super high Oxalate foods.

I love smoothies! You may have even read some of my posts on smoothies, and received my free smoothie recipe when you signed up for my Mailchimp newsletter. See below to sign up. I drink a lot of smoothies during the warm months. Even though my smoothies are only about 200 calories, I use them as a meal replacement when I am on the go, or as a light lunch, or breakfast. I do not consume them as much in the colder months. How do I know these foods I have been eating in large amounts are high in Oxalates? I use an app called, Oxalate Food Counts. It will tell you the oxalate levels in various foods. For me, the goal is not to completely eliminate oxalates, but rather to choose lower oxalate foods. I am doing a bunch of research on Oxalates, CKD, and other organs. So, watch for future posts. It is a really interesting topic.

A typical smoothie for me will contain the following, and how to switch out for lower oxalate foods:

  1. Ice, no oxalates lol
  2. Some kind of other liquid source. For me it is usually some 100% juice, and French Vanilla Creamer. I will get into the Vitamin C issue in another post, but a lot of Health Gurus and Influencers push Almond Milk as the liquid source in a smoothie. 1 cup of Almond milk has about 18 mg of Oxalates. Cow’s milk has virtually no Oxalates. If you still would rather have a plant-based milk try Oat Milk which has 8 mg of Oxalates, or Evaporated Milk which I don’t think is plant-based but does have zero Oxalates.
  3. Protein Powder. I use Orgain which is a pea protein powder. 1 scoop of a pea protein powder has 3 mg of Oxalates per scoop. I use only 1/2 a scoop because I think it makes the smoothie gritty. If you use Whey protein it has 0mg per tbsp, Soy Protein powder 2mg per tbsp, and Brown Rice Protein Powder 5mg per scoop.
  4. I use bananas, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries. How do they match up? Banana 1 fruit 3 mg, I use 1/2. Blueberries 2 mg per 1/2 cup, Peaches 1/2 cup has 1 mg, Raspberries 1 cup has 48 mg, and Strawberries 1/2 cup has 2 mg. These are for the raw varieties. It may differ for frozen, canned, or dried fruits. But, if you watch some of the gurus and influencers they are pushing more exotic fruits. Let me share some oxalate levels for more exotic fruits, star fruit 1/2 cup 235 mg, cassava cooked 1/2 cup 34 mg, clementine 1 fruit 19 mg, dates 24 mg, elderberry 1 cup 105 mg, goji berries dried 1/2 cup 77 mg, Gooseberry varies but it is very high for all varieties, guava 1 fruit 67 mg, kiwi 1 fruit 16 mg, orange 1 fruit 29 mg, pineapple in canned or dried forms is high, pomegranate 1 medium is 99 mg, tangerine 10mg.
  5. I typically would also add spinach and carrots as well. I have CKD, but no issue with potassium, but I still limited spinach to about a 1/4 cup per smoothie. Carrots I would just throw in some baby carrots. Spinach has per 1 cup of raw spinach 656 mg of Oxalates, cooked is even more. So, for my 1/4 cup of spinach I was still consuming 164 mg of Oxalates. Carrots have 15 mg of Oxalates per 1/2 carrot. I forgot to mention celery. If I have celery I would often throw that in as well, for added fiber. Celery has 15 mg of Oxalates per 1/2 cup. If you want to make your smoothie green, try Kale instead of Spinach, which has only 2 mg of Oxalates per 1 cup. If you really want to get Vitamin A, but want to avoid carrots and sweet potatoes, throw in some Iceberg Lettuce. You won’t even know it is in there and it has only 0mg of Oxalates.

Most actual experts would say that a daily average of Oxalates should be about 150 mg per day. You can see by what I have written that you may be consuming way more Oxalates than the body can handle. You may even add other things, like Turmeric to your smoothie, which is also very high in Oxalates.

If you are Oxalate sensitive, which I think I am, your doctor may tell you to eat 50 mg or less of Oxalates. You can not avoid Oxalates all together, well some people do by going on the Carnivore Diet, but trust me you are going to be constipated, and probably mess up your intestinal biome. There is something called Oxalate Dumping as well, so please don’t just stop eating these foods if you have been eating them in very large amounts.

So, there you have it, ways you can make a low Oxalate smoothie. Check out the app if you are concerned about your intake, any unexplained symptoms you may be having, and speak to your doctor. It is probably best to ask your doctor for a referral to a Dietitian, as most doctors really don’t know much about nutrition.


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What are oxalates?

Happy Wellness Wednesday! Today, and at different times this month, I will be talking about Oxalates. If you have Kidney Disease, are at risk of getting Kidney Disease, are Vegan, Vegetarian, Plant-Based, etc. you may wish to read this month. Each day will be a different topic related to Oxalates.

So what exactly are Oxalates? Oxalates are found in most plants, some more than others. They break down in the body to Oxalic Acid. Plants use Oxalates as a way to protect themselves so they don’t get eaten, a toxin, or poison if you will. When consumed in large amounts Oxalates may build up in the body causing various illnesses. Watch the very short Youtube video below that explains what Oxalates are.

If you read here often, then you know that I am always tweaking my diet, for various reasons, but generally for overall health. I have been plant-based for a while, but I really want to try to eat more of a lifestyle with no meat products. I had pretty much attained that goal, but I started to notice some odd symptoms, or exaggeration of other things that I have had previously. These symptoms were worsening of my dry eyes and strange vision without explanation, Calcific Tendonitis in my shoulder joint, urinary retention, bladder pain, hesitant speech or a stutter, Arthritis type stiffness and pain in my finger joints, and the return of migraines that I have not had in years. I had read about Oxalates before, because I have CKD. I even thought I was limiting my Oxalate intake, but I did not know the extent of Oxalates in foods. But, one day when doing some research I read some more about Oxalates and guess what, a lot of my strange symptoms could have been from oxalate toxins!

What was I eating almost every day that is high in Oxalates on a plant-based leaning towards completely meat free diet?

  1. Black beans
  2. Whole wheat pasta and brown rice
  3. Whole grain breads
  4. Baked beans
  5. Peanuts, peanut butter, and some other nuts
  6. Spinach, carrots, potatoes, and a variety of other greens.
  7. Turmeric
  8. Paprika
  9. Sadly Everything but the Bagel Seasoning

And I am sure there were many others. I immediately cut back on these high Oxalate foods, and my symptoms improved very quickly. You have to do this slowly, and may want to get assistance from a Dietitian as it can cause Oxalate Dumping. More on that in another post.

What was I not eating? Dairy! More about that later, too.

Be sure and come back to read the other posts on this topic.

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