Portion distortion: The humble potato, plus gift idea #7 for people with CKD

Welcome back! I have not done a Portion Distortion post in a while. Follow me on Pinterest. So, I thought today I would focus on the humble potato. Potatoes are a powerhouse of nutrition. Now, I know you are going to say they are very high in potassium, so not good for CKD, and they are high in Carbs, so not good for Diabetes or losing weight. All of that is true. However, it comes down to portion control and knowing how many carbs a day you are allowed in your diet. If your doctor absolutely tells you no potatoes, then obviously no potatoes. 1 medium potato has 26 grams of Carbs. If you are allowed 150 grams of carbs per day, then you may be able to eat that one potato. Plus, if you have CKD you can soak your potatoes prior to cooking to reduce the potassium amount. If I am making mashed potatoes I soak mine for an hour, drain the water, and soak again with fresh water for another hour. Then drain the water again, add fresh water, and cook as usual. The key is to control the portion size. A serving of mashed potatoes is 1/2 cup. Avoid french fries, or other deep-fried potatoes, to avoid all of the fat. An air fryer is helpful. If you do decide to eat french fries eat only one small portion. Don’t add cheese, bacon, and sour cream if you are trying to make your potato a healthier option. Also, potato chips, while made from potatoes, are not the humble potato I am speaking of. There is a video below on the health benefits of potatoes, and you can read about the amazing potato here. Do you want to learn more about Mindfulness or my new 30 Day Coaching Plan? Then use the contact form at the end of the post to send me a message with whatever you are interested in.

If you read this blog then you know I have stage 3 CKD. I eat one potato a day, usually for lunch. I bake it, or steam it I guess, in my Instant Pot. I weigh it and calculate my carbs and record it. I do not have issues with potassium so eating potatoes is ok for me at this stage. However, if potassium was a problem, I would have to figure out how much potassium I would be allowed in a day, and then eat my potato and record it. I don’t see me giving up my daily potato habit. But, one potato has over 700 mg of Potassium, and some people with CKD are only allowed 4,000 mg of Potassium per day. You have to be careful with Potassium, too much, and too little can both be unhealthy for the body. If you have CKD and you love potatoes, talk to your doctor or dietitian about how much potassium you can have in a day and then stick to it.

Before I get to the fabulous gift idea for today I want to give an update on my low carb meals. I had a rough Friday and Saturday. While in Publix they had some of their deli sunflower bread. This stuff is to die for, and it is almost always sold out. Now, the smart thing to do would have been to eat two slices and freeze the rest. But, no I did not do that. I ate a lot of it, and I mean a lot. It was delicious and I didn’t feel guilty, but then I had to get back on track. Saturday, my daughter made homemade pizzas with flatbread I bought at Aldis. I was going to have some and then I decided not to consider all the Sunflower Bread I ate the day before. I aim for 70-100 total carbs per day. So, and this was delicious you guys, I made a low carb pizza bowl type thing. I pan-fried cabbage, onions, 8 slices of pepperoni with a little garlic until the cabbage was to my liking. Then I put some mozzarella cheese on, about an ounce and a half, and put it in a bowl. I will definitely make this again. Tonight, we are having chicken alfredo. I decided to have a small amount of the alfredo sauce, which I don’t care for because it is low in carbs. I will cook the pasta separately, and my family can just add the chicken and sauce to their pasta. Mine will be served with a sweet potato. I know that doesn’t make sense it is still carbs. Yes, but a sweet potato has way more nutrition than pasta and I will only have one serving. Tuesday morning we volunteer and I very rarely eat before we go. It is physical and I need energy stores. Tomorrow will be my next Dollar Tree food challenge. I am almost certain I will not be eating this one either, but my husband or daughter may. Come back tomorrow to check it out. My Herb for the month of December, Dill is going well. It is super delicious on potatoes, lol.

Ok, gift idea #7 for people with CKD is, a heating pad. People with CKD often suffer from pain from cramping, and for other reasons. Due to restrictions on OTC medications, it can be hard for them to get relief. Heat is a wonderful tool to relieve pain. I found two very cool heating pads on Amazon. One is a vest, that you wear for back, shoulder, and neck pain relief. That one looks really awesome. You will find it here. The other one is one that actually wraps around the body part that needs heat. You can find it here. As for me, I get thigh cramps, probably from exercise, and heat is wonderful to help relieve the cramps. Please always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use to prevent injury. If you are prone to blood clots be sure and ask your doctor if heat is safe for you to use.

I just wanted to make a quick note about Epsom Salts. A lot of bath salts actually contain Epsom Salts. Epsom Salts are very high in Magnesium and should not be used if you have CKD without asking your doctor.

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portion distortion: Ice Cream!

Happy Monday! Welcome back to a new Portion Distortion topic. This time it is ice cream. Portion Distortion topics are part of my Mindful Eating topics to raise awareness of the foods we eat. Everybody loves ice cream. Well, unless you are lactose intolerant then you might not love ice cream. Ice cream is not only a calorie dense food, but it is also very high in fat and typically has lots of added sugar. This does not bode well for anyone wanting to lose weight, eat heart smart, or has Diabetes. Reading labels and knowing what you are consuming is a great way to raise your awareness. This post may contain affiliate links.

Publix had Haagen Daaz ice cream buy one get one free for the small containers. According to the container 2/3 of a cup is a serving size. That serving size has 340 calories, 21 grams of fat of which 13 are saturated fat, 32 grams of carbs, 32 grams of sugars of which 24 grams are added sugars, 75 mg of sodium, and 6 grams of protein and no fiber. That is not even one cup of ice cream. My serving size was 1/4 of a cup so a 1/3 of their serving size. Plus I added some pureed berries- 1 strawberry and 7 blueberries- for a total of 145 calories for 1/4 cup, 2 ounces of ice cream. You can very easily see how ice cream can be a concerning food to eat. A couple of weeks ago I got a kiddy size hot fudge sunday and it was over 600 calories! Now, I am not saying never eat ice cream. I love ice cream here and there. Just be aware of what and how much you are really eating. The images show my serving of ice cream and berries. It was really quite delicious. I do not like yogurt, and I am not sure it is even healthier than ice cream, but I may try the berries with almond milk yogurt. I will have to look at it when I go to the store again.

Do you love ice cream? What is your favorite flavor and brand? Leave me a note in the comments. Come back tomorrow to learn about my next food challenge. Don’t forget to join the Rosemary Challenge for the whole month of November.

Would you like to learn more about Mindfulness, and how it can help you in your every day life? Message me for a free meet and greet and learn about my Health Coaching services. There is a contact form at the end of every post. It is easy to fill out and will come right to my email. I respect your privacy and never share your information. All communications are private and secure. All new customers receive one month of coaching for only 25 dollars. What can we accomplish in one month? Let me help you reach your health goals. Check out my updated Meals with Melissa, and Distance Reiki plans. I will be updating all plans in the coming months.

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Burger Fervor

OK, fervor may not be the correct word in this context, but it sounds cool, lol. August 27th is National Burger Day! Hamburgers are a huge part of the American food culture. But, apparently it is a global food item. The video below will show a quick and unique history of the Hamburger.

If you have CKD, Diabetes or any other chronic illness where a hamburger may not be something you should eat all the time, there are ways to still enjoy a burger without harming your health.

Here are some ways to make a burger healthier for different dietary needs:

1- Make a burger slider. Sliders are much smaller than a standard hamburger which can be anywhere from 6-12 ounces in size. I make my burgers in 2 to 3 ounce sizes. If you must eat a burger out, see if they offer a slider option, if not only eat half and take the rest home for another meal.

2- The bun is super important for a hamburger. I personally like whole grain sandwich thins, as my burger bun. Try to choose organic, non white bun options. If you are stage 4 or 5 CKD then you will want white flour buns. If you are Diabetic choose low carb options of buns, and low fat for Cardiac Disease. Try to get the lowest sodium per serving as you can. If you absolutely are low carb simply put your burger in a bowl with lettuce, pickles, cheese and some Thousand Island dressing, and you have a Big Mac in a bowl.

3- Use more mustard and less Catsup. Mustard is naturally salty tasting but has little to no sodium. Add fresh Basil leaves to give it a lovely peppery taste.

4- Choose a low sodium cheese such as Swiss for your burger. Go for organic. Not all Swiss cheese brands are low sodium. Baby Swiss is higher in sodium, but I like Sargento as it is one of the lowest sodium cheeses I can find.

5- If you absolutely want a full size burger, add black beans, corn half and half ground beef to your burger. Or use ground turkey and half black beans or corn.

6- Add lots of veggies to your burger such as tomato, lettuce, and onions. Don’t forget some pickles though they are generally higher in sodium.

7- Choose grass fed beef if you can, with the lowest fat percentage possible, and let your burger stand on a plate with a paper towel to absorb some of the fat after cooking. Then put it on your burger bun. Grilling meat over a high heat flame in some studies shows it causes a chemical reaction that can be cancerous. If you are concerned about opt to grill over a lower heat with less flame.

You can still enjoy food holidays. Just be Mindful how you choose your ingredients, and then prepare the food.

Health Buddy Melissa is a Holistic Health Coach, Mindfulness Practitioner, Nurse, Reiki Practitioner and more. If you would like to learn more about any of my Health Coaching plans, click here. Use the contact form at the end of this post to contact me for a free meet and greet, to establish your goals and see if you would like to use my services.

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