do you know what today is?

It’s Friday! Well yes, obviously. But, did you also know that is The Day of the Mushroom? A whole day to celebrate mushrooms!

Mushrooms are not something I love to eat. But, I am trying to learn to love them. It is more of a consistency issue for me as opposed to taste. I have seen where you can buy mushroom powder for smoothies. Maybe I will not mind that so much. Mushrooms are incredibly healthy and can be a protein replacement for Vegans and Vegetarians. Mushrooms contain all 9 of the essential amino acids needed by the body. Mushrooms are also low in fat, sodium, and calories. Of course how you prepare them can effect that. If you have Kidney Disease mushrooms are particularly high in Phosphorus and possibly Potassium. Sticking to proper portion sizes will be of importance. My family loves hamburgers and I think I want to try a Portabello mushroom burger the next time. Mushrooms can also be used for medicinal purposes. Below you will find a video about mushrooms, and a video with a delicious mushroom recipe for you to try. You can even grow your own mushrooms, or forage for them. Try to purchase whole food mushrooms, not highly processed mushroom food items.

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My Meatless week in review and pizza portion distortion

Today is the last day of my week. So, how did I do? I actually followed it without difficulty. I did cheat one day and had a tiny portion of pork. I couldn’t help it, it smelled so good. As far as my CKD goes, I became concerned after about day 3 when I started experiencing itching. This is a possibility that I was eating too much phosphorus which I had stated in the original post was my biggest concern with eating just plants and no meat. So, I researched some of the foods I had been eating. A lot of them I kind of had a general idea how much phosphorus was in them, but I was stunned to find out broccoli was very high in phosphorus and I was eating a lot of it. So, I adjusted my portion sizes and the itching ceased. As far as the g-bombs acronym goes, I discovered I am not going to eat mushrooms everyday, ever, lol. A couple of times a week I can handle. Beans, also are another food item I am not going to consume daily. I do not care for them and they cause me to be bloated and uncomfortable. However, luckily peas are a great replacement for beans and I love peas. I still wouldn’t eat them daily, though. So, what are the points I am trying to make? Diets are tricky and are not a one size fits all thing. Just making a blanket statement that everyone with CKD should follow any one type of diet without adequate education to alter the diet to fit the needs of that individual is just a nightmare. Now, as I originally stated plant based does not mean meat free. So, my experiment was a bit extreme. I also started feeling quite tired midway through the week, so I added a B12 supplement and bought some plant based protein powder as I was not getting no where enough protein mostly due to my dislike for beans, and mushrooms. I also gained 2 pounds this week which is definitely not a goal of mine.

In conclusion I will stick with my low meat protein consumption as I have been doing for 4 years, and will have at least 3 meatless days a week. I stick to 3 to 4 oz portion sizes of good quality meats. One more thing about phosphorus, and I mentioned this in another post on the topic. Phosphorus in plants is about 60% absorbed by the body, according to my research, but phosphorus from processed foods is 100% absorbed by the body. That means if you are following a high processed food diet you should stop and start weening yourself to non processed food items. These transitions take time and patience, but you should start now. Always discuss any diet and supplement changes you make. Advocate for yourself to work with someone to help you learn to follow a diet that is healthy for you. If you do choose to follow a completely meatless meal plan be sure and discuss with your doctor the need for phosphorus binders, Anemia risk as well as being sure you get enough protein to meet your body needs. Your labs and the stage of kidney disease you are at will determine all of those things.

I think I will try a potassium restriction diet in the coming weeks. I do not have issues with potassium but many people with CKD do and they have to restrict their potassium consumption. If they are advised to follow a plant based diet this could be possibly be difficult depending on their food preferences. I know for me following a potassium restricted diet would be complicated and difficult.

Now for my weekly Portion Distortion topic. Publix had Red Baron pizzas buy one get one free this week. My daughter and husband like these on the weekends I work because they are convenient. So, I bought two. On my way out the door I grabbed a piece to eat in the car. The box says 1/4 of the pizza is a serving size. We cut ours in 10 pieces so my piece was pretty small which was good. I have to say I don’t usually like frozen pizzas, but this one had good flavor, and the crust was delicious. However, I immediately noticed how salty it was and it has 760 mg of sodium per serving. Even though my piece was much smaller than a serving size it was very salty. After I got home I looked at the food label. This is something I should do before I eat a food. High in fat, carbs, little to no fiber makes this not a great food item for CKD. There is also quite a bit of Calcium in it which is a concern for some people with CKD. Then I read the ingredients list. You will see words with the letters PHOS in several ingredients. This means this is a highly processed food with possible large amounts of the type of phosphorus that is 100% absorbed by the body. Plus, there may be MSG and soy in there. These types of foods should be consumed in very small amounts. I posted the label below so you can see it for yourself.

I have been watching a lot of these 5 dollar food challenges for the Dollar Tree. I will not do one of the big ones as I am not going to expose my body to that type of food, but I do think this is a huge area of concern for people with chronic diseases. So, be sure to check back for those.

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