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Kidney Diet Tips

May 20, 2015

Outdoor Living: Tips for Barbeques and Picnics

By guest blogger DaVita dietitian Cheryl Hathaway

Happy Memorial Day!Family on vacation having barbecue

Break out the barbeque and pack the picnic coolers!  Warmer weather brings wonderful opportunities for outdoor living and great food. Whether you prefer a sizzling steak from the backyard grill or cool picnic sandwiches at the park, here are some tips to keep your outdoor celebrations fun and full of flavor.
Tips for Grilling:

  • Barbeque rubs are a simple and fast way to add flavor to grilled meats.  During grilling, the rub forms a savory crust that helps seal in the juices to keep meats moist and tasty.  Many commercial rubs are high in sodium.  However, you can easily combine salt-free spices that you have on hand at home to create a kidney-friendly rub customized to your taste preferences.
  • For those who like flavor with a little “zing”, try this recipe for “Zippy Barbeque Rub”:

Read more…

August 29, 2014

Easy Labor Day Snack Recipes

These days people are so busy and constantly connected. Here’s a reminder to take full advantage of a day of rest from usual work tasks this Labor Day. Kidney patients who work often have even more to do because they are juggling work with doctor appointments, clinic visits, ordering medications, checking health records, and other health-related tasks. Unplug and focus on doing what you love, visiting family and friends, or even sleeping in this coming Monday.

When you get ready for a snack, try one of these easy-to-make kidney-friendly recipes from DaVita.com. Share one with a friend who’s also taking advantage of a labor-free day.


Addictive PretzelsArtichoke Relish with Pita Chips
Artichoke Relish on Toasted Pita
Deviled Eggs
Easy Summer Fruit Dip





Resources from DaVita.com:

May 1, 2014

Renal Diet Recipes for Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

Fiesta RollUpsSoftTaco145Cinco de Mayo is celebrated throughout the US on May 5th. According to Wikipedia, “It originated with Mexican-American communities in the American West as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War,  Read more…

April 18, 2014

Recycling Easter eggs for a protein boost

Deviled Eggs by DaVitaHappy Easter! It’s a wonderful time to celebrate life with family and friends and share a meal and fun activities. No doubt many of us are boiling, coloring and decorating eggs in preparation for Sunday’s Easter egg hunt. But what do you do with  the leftover hard-boiled  eggs?  Here are some kidney diet tips for recycling this tasty, high quality protein source. Read more…

November 22, 2013

Preparing for a Kidney-friendly Thanksgiving

DaVita low potassium fruits-6978

DaVita vegetables-6984

This weekend many of us are pulling out favorite recipes, making our grocery list and planning for Thanksgiving Day celebration. For kidney patients, having foods that limit sodium, phosphorus and potassium (if restricted) is vital to staying on track and feeling good throughout the holiday season.

Take advantage of the kidney-friendly holiday recipes on DaVita.com. Start by downloading the DaVita Kidney Diet Delights holiday cookbook, a fabulous collection of holiday recipes.

Revisit our past Thanksgiving Kidney Diet Tips and look for new holiday tips coming early next week.

Happy Thanksgiving shopping!

DaVita Dietitian Sara

Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com


July 2, 2013

Favorite 4th of July Kidney-friendly Picnic Recipes

Fireworks, outdoor games and friendly gatherings are a great way to kick off the first holiday of the summer. Naturally, when people get together there’s bound to be food. It can be a challenge to stick to a kidney-friendly eating plan when attending 4th of July picnics and cookouts. To help with planning, here are a few picnic-favorite recipes—including muffins, salads, chicken and cookies—to bring along so you can enjoy the festivities and not pay for it by feeling bad later. Read more…

August 31, 2012

Labor Day Weekend: Tips for Kidney Patients to Stay on Track

Happy Labor Day!

Who doesn’t look forward to a 3-day weekend? (Perhaps that’s why we officially celebrate most of our holidays on Mondays.) For some people, however, a holiday weekend can be a challenge. Following your health plan is easier when you are on the regular, weekly routine. Getting out of the usual schedule can be stressful and derail your best intentions, especially with your kidney diet or diabetes diet.

Cookouts, picnics, travel and social activities are fun, but also add the challenge of sticking with your diet, exercise and medication routines.

Before you kick off the holiday weekend, read these 7 tips to help you stay on track with your kidney diet and health plan.

Use your planner  In business, successful people rely on their day planners and ‘To Do’ lists to stay on track. You can use the same tools and plan for diet success over the holiday weekend. Start by mapping out your activities, meals and medications. Knowing when and what you will be doing helps you focus on ways to stay on track with your diet.  Make a ‘To Do’ list and check it off as you do things like refill your pill holder, take a morning walk, make a grocery list and prep for a recipe or meal.

Create a menu With so many kidney-friendly recipes on DaVita.com, you have lots of great food choices for breakfast, brunch, picnics or backyard cookouts. Start planning your 3 day menu or select from a menu already created in Diet Helper. After you have a menu, a shopping list and trip to the grocery store is sure to motivate you to start preparing for your weekend meals. To get started, check out 5 ingredients or less recipes, Grill recipes, No Cook recipes, Picnic recipes or Potluck recipes from the DaVita kidney diet recipe collection.

Utilize leftovers Part of your holiday plan is to minimize time spent in the kitchen, so as you create your menu, add extra entree and vegetable portions to save as leftovers for a quick meal the next day. Turn leftover grilled chicken or fish into an entrée salad. Create a breakfast smoothie with leftover fruit salad. Top those leftover beef or turkey burgers with grilled veggies on a bun or as an open-face sandwich. Recreating a new meal with leftovers can inspire you and cut down on cooking time.

Write it down People who write down what they eat are more aware of the cumulative effect of food, and they are more likely to stick to an eating plan. Use a pad and pen or download one of the many apps for tracking your intake as you go.

Out of sight, out of mind Whether it’s taking your medications on time, remembering the best foods to choose at a social event, or tracking how much liquid you are consuming, you are more likely to remember if you have triggers like sticky notes, handouts posted on your refrigerator, alarms, or visual reminders.

Tune in Our bodies give us cues before problems get out of hand. Tune in by taking your blood pressure, monitoring your blood glucose or weighing yourself each day. Do an assessment on yourself . Are you short of breath or have swelling? Are you experiencing familiar or unfamiliar symptoms? Is your appetite good or do you feel stuffed from eating too much? Once you tune in and identify things that might be happening to your body, you can focus on a plan to get back on track.

Over/under Even the best made plans do not always go according to your intentions. Make adjustments to correct for overeating by having less the next day. If you veer from your plan by eating foods higher in sodium, potassium or phosphorus, or drinking too much fluid, decrease your intake the next day.

Remember to ‘begin with the end in mind’ as you plan for a fun 3-day holiday weekend, and stay on track with your diet and health plan. I hope you feel great when the short week starts Tuesday morning.

Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com


July 3, 2012

Kidney Diet Tips: Last Minute Dishes for 4th of July

Happy Independence Day! Tomorrow marks the 236th year of independence for the United States of America. In addition to taking a day off to spend with family and friends, we look forward to parades, fireworks, backyard BBQ’s or a day at the lake or beach.

Are you looking for some last minute recipe ideas? Here are my recommendations for DaVita.com recipes this July 4th. Kidney-friendly but tasty enough for all your guests!

For the Grill




For more ideas on picnics and summer eating read  Summertime Kidney Diet Picnic Ideas.

Have you discovered myDaVita.com yet? One of the features is My Recipes, where you can save your favorite recipes, add your own notes and create folders to store recipe collections.  It’s a great way to put you holiday recipes together in one place.


Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com




November 7, 2011

An Apple a Day and Other White Foods for a Healthy Kidney Diet

We’ve all heard nutritionists promote health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, often by comparing the benefits to produce colors. ‘Eat the rainbow’, ‘Taste a rainbow of fruits and vegetables’ are used to remind us about produce benefits. Even if you are on a kidney diet limiting your potassium, it’s still important to eat a variety and include allowed portions of lower potassium fruits and vegetables each day. Read more…

July 18, 2011

Staying on track with your kidney or dialysis diet: Match your mind set

Last time I blogged about the kidney diet reality and goals. This week is all about how your mind set helps you stay on track. 

There are different mind sets that help people stay on track with their kidney diet meal plan. For some of you, it is ‘all or nothing’. You do best with a list of foods to eat and a list of foods to avoid to manage protein, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and fluid.  Plain and simple, no gray areas and fewer decisions to make.

For others, you prefer ‘following the numbers’ and tracking what you eat. For example if your goal is 2000 mg potassium a day, you may learn to work in some high potassium foods, even though it  means limiting how much or how often, as long as your daily potassium total stays under 2000 mg. The Nutrition Log in DaVita Diet Helper is a great tracking tool for you to show you how much protein, potassium, sodium and phosphorus in the foods you eat.

Following preplanned menus is another way to stay on track if you prefer the ‘tell me exactly what to eat’ mindset. Knowing what to eat and not worrying about the numbers is much easier for some kidney patients. You will find the preplanned meals in DaVita Diet Helper useful because you don’t have to do any calculating to meet your diet goals. All the planning is done; you simply select the meals that are most appealing to you. After following these meals you learn which foods can be included and which ones are limited, making it easier to plan your own meals over time.

Another mind set is ‘what I don’t know can’t hurt me’. If you think this way, you may not be ready to accept or deal with the changes that will keep you healthier. By learning more about your chronic kidney disease or dialysis, focusing on foods that are good for kidney patients, and incorporating new recipes you like, you can progress to a better place and start making changes that will help you feel better and manage your kidney disease in a healthier way. For you, the Kidney-friendly Recipe section of DaVita.com is a good place to start. I also recommend a visit to the Diet and Nutrition section to find articles that will help your better understand your kidney diet.

Many of us are a combination of all the mindsets described, and what works may vary or change depending on your circumstances. There are many resources and tools to help kidney patients like you learn more and incorporate the kidney diet into  your life. If you feel alone, reach out to others dealing with diet issues by joining the DaVita discussion forums. The subforum ‘Diet/Nutrition’ is a place to post questions, read about  how people with kidney disease have figured out the diet, and receive help from the kidney community.

What’s your mindset that helps you stay on track?

Kidney diet resources from DaVita.com

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