Wednesday, September 28, 2011

With a Grain of Salt

I talked to the transplant center today.  My BMI is still too high to be on the transplant list.  However, they are going to set me up with a nutritionist from the center who will work with me.  Once I'm the right BMI, I will go for testing, education, evaluations, etc.  The coordinator said that I will basically get the best check-up of my life.  They have to make sure I don't have anything else wrong with me before I can get on the list.  Why put a kidney in someone who is just going to die from something else?  She didn't say that, but that's the gist.

Over the weekend, Boyfriend and I had another eating adventure.  We both wanted to get out of the house and do something, but we didn't know what.  We had to run some errands, and we turned that into a longer trip.  We ended up eating out for both lunch and supper.  We used our phones to search restaurant nutritional information.  Of the three things I have to watch -- sodium (max of 1500 mg/day), phosphorus and potassium -- only sodium information is listed.  It turns out that sodium info is really all I need.  It eliminates so many possibilities that potassium and phosphorus end up as afterthoughts.  :)  Actually, I'm pretty familiar with what are high potassium and high phosphorus foods, so that part is getting to be sort of natural.  It's amazing how much sodium is in the food available to us in restaurants and in the grocery store.  However, I am finding things that work, and it's important to me to be able to go out to eat.

We had lunch at Sonny's BBQ.  Surprisingly, a lunch serving of their sliced pork only has a little over 200 mg of sodium (hold the sauce).  I had that, corn on the cob (0 sodium) and a house salad with dressing on the side.  I just stuck my fork in the dressing occasionally for a little flavor.  Most salad dressing is super high in sodium.  I either use just a little, or I use oil and vinegar if the place has it.

We had supper at IHOP.  Yes, IHOP.  They had a few choices, if I would eat fake eggs.  I can't stand them, so I ordered the plain omelette made from real eggs.  Their nutritional info said that it had 500 mg of sodium, so I asked the waitress if the cook could not salt the eggs.  The cook said that they don't salt the eggs.  The reason there is 500 mg of sodium in the omelette is that they put pancake batter in the egg mixture to make the omelette fluffy.  I had never heard of such!  I asked them if they could leave it out, and they could/did.  I added green peppers and onions and some Swiss cheese (90 mg per slice -- a little indulgence).  I'd rather be able to have some Swiss cheese on my omelette than to have pancake batter in my eggs!  Oh, and I got a side of fresh fruit instead of the side of pancakes that came with it, and I gave the high potassium fruit to Boyfriend.

So, with a little research, and perseverance, I've been able to enjoy going out to eat.  I'm not going to let my new way of eating stop me, and I'm not going to sabotage myself by making bad choices.  Yes, there are some restaurants to which I won't be able to return -- i.e., Olive Garden, TGIFridays, I'm sure many more I haven't researched yet.  That's okay.  I'll be better off for it.

I'm going to start compiling my research and will make it available here one day.  It's difficult to know what choices are best.  I have found that I cannot rely on my intuition to make smart choices at restaurants.  If that's what my fellow kidney friends are doing, then even with good intentions, we could be hurting ourselves.  I'll do what I can to help out.

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