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. If you would like to learn more about my Health Coaching services, please use the contact form at the end of this post to message me for a free meet and greet appointment, via email.
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.