what i eat in a day, Plant-based August 4, 2021

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:

Calories: 626

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.

If you would like to work with a Health Coach to meet your dietary/health goals, send me a message using the contact form below. I am accepting new clients.

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Going Plant Based or Vegetarian with Kidney Disease

So, I was originally going to post one big post on meat protein vs plant protein, but there is so much good information out there that I decided to split them up into individual posts. This post will be about my personal experience so far.

I have written about Plant Based and Vegetarian lifestyles, before. But, while I had made a lot of changes, and tried various things I never went full on in. The main reason for that is I have an underlying fear of not getting enough Iron from plant sources, mainly because I do not digest or tolerate beans, or soy very well. I do not want to be anemic again like I was when I was first diagnosed. That was incredibly awful. That fear has plagued me for a couple of years. Fears are funny things. But, after taking some Nutrition courses, and reading a lot about Plant Based and Vegetarian lifestyles, and the benefits it has on the kidneys I decided to go all in. I have been Plant Based totally for 7 days now. I do eat eggs about twice a week, and have skim milk a few times a week. I will also have small amounts of cheese, ice cream on occasion and this morning I had two pieces of bacon. I assume I will eat Tuna a couple of times a month. No more chicken, pork or beef. Holidays I am sure I will have turkey if it is offered.

I feel great actually, and I do take a multivitamin a few times a week just to be safe with my Iron. The fear of being anemic is bigger than my desire to not want to take supplements. I have no inflammation, headaches, or joint pains since switching. I do get muscle soreness after exercising hard, but that is normal soreness. I have noticed I am not sleeping as well, but I assume that will correct itself after my body has adjusted. I sleep sound, just not as long as I would like. It could be totally due to it being lighter earlier, also.

Because I am also on a weight loss mission, that will be another post, plant based can have a lot of carbs, so it is a real balancing act.

Stay tuned to follow my journey. We are going on a family vacation in 10 days it will be interesting to see how I will make modifications while travelling. I don’t see me wanting to eat salad all the time, but we will see. I may have to just take some things in the car that can travel easily. We are driving and it will be a long three days to get where we are going. I will try to blog daily, or every few days at least.

Below you will find one of my new favorite exercise videos. I was going to do them all in one post too, but I find there are too many, lol. I get bored very easily. Remember if you have kidney disease you need to keep your heart rate zone within the light to moderate range. Under the video will be a contact form. Please use it to contact me for any reason. All comments are moderated. Please make comments post topic appropriate or they will not be allowed. I know everyone wants backlinks, but this gets quite old the strange comments I get.

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Iron Deficient Anemia and CKD

The 3rd type of Anemia, that people with CKD can experience, is called Iron Deficient Anemia.  You can read about the other two kinds in the archives, if  you want.  Now not just people with kidney disease get Iron Deficient Anemia, but it is common in people with kidney disease.  Why?

1-  Impaired absorption of dietary Iron.  Talk with your doctor, or dietitian, because unless contraindicated, it is my understanding that iron rich foods should be consumed with Vitamin C rich foods.  So, for example, have strawberries with your hamburger.

2-  If you are taking EPO, due to another kind of Anemia, you may have Iron Deficient Anemia as well.

3-  Chronic Inflammation can lead to Iron Deficient Anemia.  How do you know if you have Chronic Inflammation, common symptoms are GERD, muscle aches, not being able to sleep.

4-  Remember that when CKD progresses, or kidneys lose function, the chance of getting any Anemia goes up.  Make sure you see your Nephrologist as much as they request.  I see mine every 6 months.  I could probably switch to once a year, but I like to stay on top of it.  Anemia can sneak up on you, with vague symptoms like being tired a lot, pale skin, being cold.   These symptoms could mean a lot of other things too, but if you have kidney disease you should be monitored for Anemia.  Untreated Anemia can cause chest pain due to decreased oxygen to the heart, which of course can lead to a heart attack.

Love your kidneys and take care of yourself.  If you have health related goals that you would like to meet, message me for a free Health Coach meet and greet.  Use the contact form below.

I have been posting a lot about kidney disease, so for the next few weeks I am going to mix it up, and talk about Stress and how it effects the body, and how to manage it.

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Anemia in CKD Caused By Deficiency of Vitamin B12 and Folate

Two weeks ago I talked about the most common type of Anemia for people with CKD, and that was Anemia caused by a lack of the hormone EPO, which is created in the kidneys.  Today, we will discuss Anemia caused by Vitamin B deficiencies.  Remember someone with kidney disease can have both types of Anemia.  A standard CBC can help in deciding they type of Anemia.  People with CKD should have a CBC, at least yearly, if they are stable, and may need to be more frequently if not well controlled.  I personally choose to have mine done every 6 months.

Vitamin B12, and Vitamin B9 also called Folate, are extremely important in the production of Red Blood Cells. This particular type of Anemia causes large and ineffective Red Blood Cells.   Red Blood Cells carry Oxygen throughout the body.  If you don’t have good quality Red Blood Cells, or not enough, then Anemia can occur.  This type of Anemia is somewhat easier to treat, as changing the diet, or taking these 2 vitamins in supplement form can fix the issue.  I took a class last week about reading a standard CBC, and while I won’t go into the details because they are complicated, and somewhat hard to understand, this class said that if you take B12 then you should also take Folate.  The reason is because unless your practitioner knows how to correctly interpret the CBC they may actually not realize you actually need Folate instead of B12.  There is no harm in taking them together, but there can be harm to the body if misdiagnosed.  So, when  your doctor prescribes B12 discuss Folate also.  Most OTC Vitamins can easily supplement this type of Anemia, but you should always tell your doctor any, and all OTC medications you are taking, even Vitamins.  If you are overly tired, for no reason, that is the main symptom of Anemia that people complain of.    If you are like me and you don’t like to take medicine, if possible, supplementing your diet with foods rich in B Vitamins may help, see list below.  I actually was Anemic when first diagnosed.  I am unsure of the type though, but it did return to normal, and has stayed normal.  I do eat whole eggs.

Foods high in B12 and Folate:

Some of these foods I don’t eat, or eat in very limited amounts, due to other nutrient issues.  I guess I would have to take a supplement if I had this type of Anemia.


Organ meats, such as liver




Fortified Cereal


Fortified Nutritional Yeast



Milk and Dairy Products

Fortified Nondairy Milk

Eggs-  thank goodness for eggs





Leafy Greens


Citrus Fruits

Brussel Sprouts


Speak to your doctor, and ask about treating your Anemia.  If you would like further coaching on how to improve your Anemia, use the contact form below.


The Kidneys, EPO and Anemia

What exactly is EPO, and what does it have to do with kidneys?  EPO is short for Erythropoietin.  EPO is a hormone that is produced by the kidneys.  It helps the bone marrow to make new red blood cells.  When someone has kidney disease, such as CKD, then EPO production is most likely decreased.  5% of stage 3 CKD patients have decreased EPO production, and Anemia.  Where as 100% of stage 5 CKD patients have decreased EPO, and Anemia.  So, you can see as the kidney function worsens the risk of Anemia goes up.  When you have Anemia you are not getting enough Oxygen to all the cells of your body.  You can see why Anemia is such an important thing to treat.

Symptoms of Anemia:  weakness and fatigue, headaches, chest pain, difficulty breathing, pallor or paleness, inability to concentrate, and dizziness.  It is imperative if you have CKD, and you experience any of these symptoms you let your doctor know immediately.

If you have Anemia caused by kidney disease, there is a synthetic form of EPO that can be injected subcutaneously into the skin.  You may learn to do it yourself, but more likely a nurse, or Dialysis Tech may give it.  Synthetic EPO, like all medications has risks.  Be sure to discuss all the risks, and benefits with your doctor to make an educated, and informed decision.

There are other causes of Anemia, in CKD, as well.  I will discuss those in a later post.  Do you have CKD, what stage, and are you Anemic?  I am stage 3 and have not been Anemic since first diagnosed.  I monitor my symptoms and increase oral Iron if I start to feel symptomatic.  I discuss with my Nephro doctor any issues, or concerns I may have.  Use the contact form below to message me if you have health goals you would like to meet.



Foodie Friday: Iron and CKD

Today, kicks off a new series of topics covering Iron, Anemia and CKD.  If you have CKD, you probably have had, or maybe have right now, Iron deficiency otherwise known as Anemia.  I was Anemic when first diagnosed, and all I did was sleep.  Couldn’t help it, was just plain exhausted.  The last couple weeks  I have been more tired than usual, for no apparent reason.  That makes me think I may need to boost my Iron intake.  I have been following a 1200 calorie diet, and increasing exercise, during that same time period.  So, I have to stop that.  Losing weight is not more important than retaining kidney function.  Below is a nice video talking about Anemia, and how it pertains to the kidneys, and CKD.  Each Friday I will add to the topic, until I feel like I have covered as much as I can.