When you’re making the best of being on dialysis, your food choices and healthy habits make a difference. But just thinking about how to handle the Thanksgiving meal, might stress you out even more than your kidneys already are. After all, it’s the most celebrated holiday in the United States that involves huge amounts of food. And you know you need to follow a carefully-controlled diet to protect your health. If you’re cooking for a guest required to follow a dialysis-friendly diet, you might be worried about making the right food, too.
Fortunately, cooking in the kitchen or dishing up a plate of food for Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be stressful, even if you’re on dialysis. If you’re uber-worried about what to eat, or what to prepare, try the dialysis-friendly recipes on Davita.com!
If you’ve got a handle on what foods to eat and what foods to avoid to manage your kidney disease, or you’re willing to cook up some foods with a dialysis-friendly diet in mind for the big meal, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Face the Facts about Fluids
Gobble too much, and you’re going to be thirsty. And that’s a problem when you’re on dialysis. Drinking too much can create problems when it’s time for your next treatment. Face the facts, that you’re likely to eat and drink a little more on Thanksgiving Day than usual, and plan ahead by eating and drinking less beginning the day before.
Try Small Spoonful Samples
One way to ruin a delicious-looking Thanksgiving meal is to sit around the table watching everyone else eat, while you try to find some merriment in eating another pile of vegetables. Forget about total deprivation, and recognize the fact that you need to limit sodium, potassium, and phosphorus in your diet. Instead, try small spoonful-sized samples of the so-called bad foods and savor every bite.
Go Easy on the Alcohol
Many people serve wine and other alcoholic drinks as part of the Thanksgiving meal. If you’re going to have a drink, stick with a small serving or shot. But don’t overdo it. You know too much alcohol can lead to other problems. Even drinking too much water when you’re on dialysis can be harmful to your health.
When your doctor or dietitian told you about the changes you needed to make to your diet when you started dialysis, you agreed. Why? Managing your food choices is one of the best ways to protect your health when you have kidney disease. That means you need to exercise self-control when it comes to eating, especially on Thanksgiving Day. When it’s time for dinner, have a plan for what you’ll eat, how much, and when you’ll take your last bite. When you’re done, put down your fork, clear your spot, and step away from the table.
Your Plan for Potatoes and Turkey
Dialysis patients generally have higher protein needs than others. That means you can dig into the roasted turkey and enjoy. As for the potatoes, ask the cook ahead of time to soak them in water to reduce potassium levels, or bring your own to add to the feast.
Whatever you do, enjoy the holiday and don’t get stressed out. After all, it is more about family and friends then food, in the larger scheme of things.