kidney friendly eating

How to Make the Holidays Kidney-Friendly: Easy Tips for a Healthier Season

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun! However, for many people the holiday season can be stressful. Sometimes, people with kidney disease find it difficult to navigate food, social gatherings, and the expectations this season brings. To help, we compiled 3 easy tips to make the holidays more kidney friendly.

1. Limit your sodium or salt.

Most Americans eat too much sodium. Too much sodium is damaging to the kidneys.  Continue to be diligent in watching how much salt you eat, even during the holiday season. Cheese, stuffing, and gravy are commonly high in sodium. Make sure to enjoy these in moderation.

Tips:

  • Try a salt free seasoning blend.
  • Compare labels.
  • Look for “No Salt Added” or “Low Sodium” products.

2. Eat fruits and vegetables with every meal.

Fruits and vegetables provide us with nutrients that help our bodies function optimally. Filling up on a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables helps protect your kidneys, blood vessels, and heart. Make sure to find fruits and vegetables you enjoy, and if you haven’t found any yet, keep looking!

Tips:

  • Try different cooking methods (baking, steaming, roasting, sautéing).
  • Eat the rainbow of colors.
  • Balance high and low potassium fruits and vegetables.

3. Enjoy your meals!

When you choose your food, include dishes you enjoy. Remember, you can have anything you want, just not everything.  Just like one salad isn’t going to make you healthy, one cookie is not going to make you unhealthy.

Tips:

  • Practice mindfulness.
  • Include foods you like.
  • Balance your plate.

We hope these tips help you have a happy holiday season! If you want more holiday tips, join us for our free community class “Healthy Holiday Makeovers” on December 19th , 2024 at 2pm, sign up here. From all of us at PSKC, we wish you the very best holiday season!

 

Kidney-friendly recipes you must try this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, a time to come together and celebrate what we are all thankful for. Although this is often a wonderful time with family and friends, it can also be difficult to navigate if you have kidney disease and are following a restricted diet. We’re here to help! Bringing a dish (or two or three!) to a Thanksgiving gathering will ensure you have something to eat that suits you, putting your mind at ease and making it much easier to enjoy spending time with the ones you love.

In light of that, we’ve compiled some of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes, complete with easy-to-follow recipes. Delicious and low in sodium, these are very tasty, kidney-friendly additions to your holiday menu. Bon appétit!

1. Baked Apple Chips

With just three ingredients, these Baked Apple Chips are one of the simplest, tastiest hors d’oeuvres imaginable. Such a healthy, delicious treat to nibble on while the main meal cooks.

 

2. Roasted Cauliflower, Carrots & Onions

Roasted veggies are an absolute must at Thanksgiving and this simple recipe for Roasted Cauliflower, Carrots and Onions does not disappoint. You won’t believe the flavor you get from seasoning with herbs and spices instead of salt—amazing!

 

3. Sourdough Bread

Bread can be packed with sodium but it doesn’t have to be for flavor—this Low-Sodium Sourdough Bread proves it doesn’t need much to taste delicious! Find a friend with a sourdough starter and get this on your Thanksgiving menu.

 

4. Holiday Herb Stuffing

No Thanksgiving is complete without stuffing and this recipe for Holiday Herb Stuffing is definitely one to try. Plenty of herbs for seasoning and fruit and vegetables for added flavor and crunch—it’s a sure-fire hit.

 

5. Mustard Dill Salmon and Green Beans

The turkey is, of course, the main event but let’s not forget our pescatarians out there. Salmon is such a Pacific Northwest staple, it deserves a place on the Thanksgiving table. Try this recipe for Mustard Dill Salmon and Green Beans—an unbeatable combo.

 

6. Apple Cranberry Cobbler

Yes, pies are a must for Thanksgiving, but this Apple Cranberry Cobbler is such a tasty, autumn delight, it’s worth adding to your menu. Nice and light, it’s ideal for those who aren’t after a heavy pie crust.

 

Double check with your doctor that these recipes are OK for you, then reach out to us on InstagramFacebook and Twitter to let us know what you tried!

Five fall recipes for people with kidney disease

The weather has cooled, the days are shorter, and that familiar autumnal breeze has officially arrived. Fall is a wonderful time of year, perfect for getting outside in the fresh air to go for a walk and take in those beautiful fall colors. It’s also a great time to try your hand at some new recipes. Here are some of our favorite low-sodium, kidney-friendly recipes perfect for this time of year.

1. Southwest Grain Bowl

Healthy, packed with flavor, and easy to make, this Southwest Grain Bowl brings fresh ingredients together to create a tasty, low-sodium lunch or dinner option.

 

2. Roasted Cauliflower, Carrots & Onions

Oven roasting is one of our favorite ways to cook vegetables—it’s a great way to add flavor and texture. It’s also simple to do—simply chop veggies, place on the baking tray, season, and pop in the oven. Get the full recipe here.

 

3. Holiday Herb Stuffing

A wonderful option for Thanksgiving or anytime this fall, this recipe for herb stuffing is absolutely delicious. Flavored with herbs instead of salt, it’s kidney-friendly and very flavorful. A must try!

 

4. Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soupIs there anything better than homemade soup on a rainy, fall day? So many soups are packed with salt, and you just don’t need the salt to bring the flavor! This recipe for chicken noodle soup is low in sodium and very tasty, sure to warm you up on a cold autumn day.

 

5. Apple Cranberry Cobbler


If the smell of this cobbler doesn’t pull you in, tasting it sure will! See the full recipe to see how to make this delicious dessert, complete with a maple cream topping.

Time to get cooking! And once you’ve tried these, don’t stop there–we have many more low-sodium, kidney-friendly recipes for you to try.

Low-sodium, kidney-friendly Super Bowl snacks

The Super Bowl is almost here! Whether you’re attending a Super Bowl party, hosting one yourself, or planning to watch on your own, making sure you have low-sodium, kidney-friendly food on hand when you tune in is a must. We’ve all been to parties and events before where there is limited kidney-friendly food, and the only way to mediate that is to bring your own! Here are some of our favorite, low-sodium Super Bowl snacks for all to enjoy.

Thai Shrimp Kebabs

Thai shrimp kebabsShrimp and veggie kebabs – what could be better? These shrimp skewers are the perfect protein item, bringing just the right amount of spice.

Chili Lime Dip With Veggies

Chili Lime DipA dip is a great way to get those veggies in. This one’s a crowd pleaser, a zesty, ideal companion for carrots, celery, or other raw vegetables.

Chicken ‘n’ Grape Salad Sandwich

One thing’s for sure – the Super Bowl can be long! Having something substantial on the menu, like this delicious chicken sandwich, ensures you and your guests get some much-needed protein.

Fruit Salad with Honey, Mint and Lime

Just because it’s a Super Bowl, doesn’t mean every snack has to be savory. This fruit salad is sure to bring a sweet, fresh vibe to your party.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bars

Packed with protein, these peanut butter bars are so easy to make and will keep you going all game long!

What are your favorite low-sodium snacks? Let us know! Share your favorite snacks with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

March is National Kidney Month!

One of our free, virtual ‘Survive and Thrive’ classes about chronic kidney disease. Sign up for ​classes at www.pskc.net/classes.

March is National Kidney Month, a time to raise awareness of kidney disease. Learn more about chronic kidney disease — commonly called CKD — and just how vital your kidneys are in making your body function.

What kidneys do

Kidneys filter blood and remove waste. They also control blood pressure, produce red blood cells, balance electrolytes, and help you maintain healthy bones and a normal pH level.

One fifth of the blood pumped by your heart goes to the kidneys, where it is processed and filtered. Excess water, salt, minerals and waste are sent to the bladder as urine and ‘clean’ blood is returned to circulation. It takes just five minutes for all of your blood to be filtered by the kidney which means in 24 hours, your kidneys will filter all of your blood 288 times!

Watch the video below to learn more about these incredible organs.

About chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease happens when your kidneys lose function over time. Although chronic kidney disease is irreversible, it can be slowed. If your kidney function drops to a certain level, dialysis or a kidney transplant is necessary.

The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. Other causes of CKD include inherited diseases, inflammatory diseases and infections.

How to keep your kidneys healthy

1. Keep your salt intake to a minimum. Foods high in salt can put a strain on your kidneys. Try to keep your sodium intake to less than 2,000 milligrams per day. Avoid high-sodium restaurant meals and processed foods. Instead, make meals at home, with healthy ingredients.

2. Watch your blood pressure. Controlling your blood pressure is the single most important thing you can do to help prolong the life of your kidneys.

3. Stop smoking. Smoking substantially increases your risk for all kidney-related problems, including heart disease.

4. If you have diabetes, control your blood sugars. For more than 40 percent of people with kidney failure, diabetes is the cause. Work with your doctor to help control your blood sugar.

5. Exercise regularly. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight and controls your blood pressure. Walking, light weights, yoga, gardening — all of these are great ways to get exercise.

6. Avoid over-the-counter anti-inflammatories. If you have chronic kidney disease, avoid anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, Advil and Motrin. If you do not have chronic kidney disease, use these medications only as needed.

7. Have your kidneys checked on a regular basis. Kidney disease is often silent, showing no symptoms until you approach the need for dialysis or transplantation. Having your kidneys checked on a regular basis can help identify problems earlier.

Learn more ways to keep your kidneys healthy

Interested in learning more about kidney health? Consider taking one of our free classes! Our virtual classes include one-hour free webinars on kidney health eating, exercising and more. Visit www.pskc.net/classes to sign up for one of our upcoming sessions!

Fall into flavor! These kidney-friendly recipes are perfect this time of year

Fall has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest and we couldn’t be more excited. With the crisp, clean air and changing color of leaves, it’s time to dust off those autumnal meals. Tired of all your old favorites? Don’t despair – we recently added some scrumptious new recipes to the recipe section of our website, delicious, low-sodium recipes that suit most kidney diets. These recipes were developed by Chef Duane Sunwold who has chronic kidney disease and understands firsthand the importance of creating tasty food that follows the kidney diet. As always, check with your doctor to make sure these recipes are OK for you and if they are, enjoy their bright, tasty flavors!

 

Ranch Dip

Most store-bought ranch dressings and dips are packed with salt. This recipe for ranch blend cuts the salt but not the flavor and is ideal for mixing with Greek yogurt, sour cream or mayonnaise to create ranch dip. Slice up some veggies and you’re good to go!

 

Roasted Cauliflower, Carrots & Onions

Roast these vegetables in the oven or on the barbecue – they’re delicious either way! Roasting vegetables adds flavor without adding salt and is a great way to add texture to meals. Pro tip: when preparing this dish, chop extra vegetables up and pop them in the freezer to make future meal prep even easier. Check out the full roasted cauliflower, carrots and onions recipe and give it a try sometime soon.

 

Creamy Lemon Salmon Pasta


This citrusy pasta dish is light and bright and, with a vegetable and protein mixed in, has everything you need for a complete meal. Plus, it’s simple to make – just nine ingredients, most of them likely in your pantry already. Check out the full creamy lemon salmon pasta recipe today and give it a try.

 

What recipes do you like best this time of year? We’d love to hear them — share your ideas with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

New nutrition videos from renowned chef showcase ways to cook tasty food for the kidney diet

Nutrition plays a key role in keeping kidneys healthy. A healthy lifestyle along with a diet low in sodium and full of fresh, unprocessed foods can help you maintain kidney function. However, if your kidneys do fail, you’ll need to make changes to your diet. When kidneys fail, they can no longer process wastes as well and when waste builds up, it can make you sick and damage your heart other parts of your body. The good news is, what you eat has a huge impact on the amount of waste that builds up in your body. By changing your diet, you can lower the amount of waste and slow your kidney disease down. Renowned Chef Duane Sunwold did just that and he’s on a mission to show others how to as well. Check out three of Chef Duane’s cooking videos below to get tips on cooking for the kidney diet.

Power Up With Plant Protein

Protein is an important part of the kidney diet. Did you know you can get protein from plants? Plant-based protein is very healthy and your kidneys love it! Watch to learn more about plant-based protein and get tips for cooking with it from Chef Duane.

Eating On A Budget

Eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank. In this video, Chef Duane discusses food mapping, how to cook on a budget and ways to utilize food you typically find in your food pantry.

Flavor Boost Your Food

Low-sodium cooking does not equal low taste. By cutting the salt, you’ll keep your kidneys healthy. But how do you add flavor to your foods without adding salt? Chef Duane tells you how.

What recipes do you like best this time of year? We’d love to hear them — share your ideas with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Watch that salt! Five tips for keeping your sodium to a minimum

There is one primary change we can all make to help keep our kidneys healthy and that is to cut the salt! A diet high in salt makes it harder for kidneys to remove toxins and excess fluid and when those build up in your body, your blood pressure increases. High blood pressure is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease. To help manage your blood pressure, your daily goal should be to consume less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium — your doctor may recommend even less. The good news is, there are many ways to keep salt to a minimum in your diet – and you don’t have to sacrifice taste one bit.

Five tips for keeping salt out of your diet

  1. Cook at home from scratch. Restaurant meals are often laden with salt. One of the best ways to lower your salt intake is to cook at home using fresh, unprocessed ingredients.
  2. Drain canned goods. Canned goods can make cooking easier but to preserve those foods, salt is added. Drain and rinse beans and other canned foods to remove added salt.
  3. Throw out packaged seasonings. It’s easy to add seasoning packs to foods without even thinking. But more often than not, these spice packs are loaded with salt. Instead, mix up your own spices to season meat or vegetables. We’ll even help get you started – try our American Favorite Spice Blend on meat, fish or in soups.
  4. Read the label. Before you purchase any foods from the grocery store, take a look at the nutrition label. Compare nutrition labels of similar products to find the one lowest in sodium.
  5. Keep a journal. It’s hard to keep track of the sodium you’re eating. One way to help monitor the salt in your diet is to write it down. After every meal, jot down the sodium you just consumed. This will help you see how much sodium you eat each day, and identify meals that are high and low in sodium — making it easier to meal plan the next time you go to the store.

Whether you have chronic kidney disease or not, paying attention to what you eat can have an enormous impact on your health. Talk to your dietitian or doctor to make sure you are following a diet that’s right for you. Stick with it and let us know how it goes! Share your experiences with us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Low-salt, kidney-friendly holiday treats for all to enjoy


The holidays are upon us and that means lights, decorations and holiday gatherings to attend. For many people with kidney disease, get-togethers with food can be stressful – it’s hard to know if anything on the menu will be kidney-friendly. Well, worry no more – the newly updated recipe section of our website has many delicious, low-sodium recipes perfect for the holidays. So the next time you’re tasked with bringing a tasty treat to a party, try out one of the following:

 

No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bars

We love these protein bars – they’re delicious, packed with protein and so easy to make! No need to turn the oven on – there’s no baking required with these bars. Just remember to make them a bit in advance as they need a few hours to chill before being served. Here’s the full peanut butter chocolate protein bar recipe, a must try for all looking for a sweet-but-not-too-sweet treat this holiday season.

 

Lemon Loaf

This bright and citrusy dessert is perfect for a party. Not too heavy, it’s great to pair with tea or coffee at the end of the evening, or served in slices at a potluck. Just scrumptious! Check out the full lemon loaf recipe and give it a try sometime soon.

 

Cool Whip Ice Cream Sandwich

ice cream sandwich
Who says cold desserts have to be a summer thing? Not us! These delicate cool whip sandwiches are light enough while completely satisfying that post-dinner sweet tooth many of us have. If you’re bringing these to a party to share, simply pop the frozen cool whip dish back into the freezer when you arrive and make them to order post-meal. They’re sure to be a hit and they’re kidney-friendly. Check out the full cool whip ice cream sandwich recipe and give it a try.

 

What recipes do you like best this time of year? We’d love to hear them — share your ideas with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Tasty low-sodium, kidney-friendly recipes for fall

In many parts of the country, the weather is changing – the sunny days of summer are being replaced by brisk, crisp days of fall. Instead of barbecues and picnics, it’s time for slow cooker meals, soups and casseroles. If you have kidney disease and follow a low-sodium diet, rest assured – the newly revamped recipe section of our website has many tasty, kidney-friendly recipes perfect for fall and every season. Here are just a few of our fall favorites:

 

Overnight WafflesOvernight waffles

Crazy mornings, getting kids off to school, yourself off to work — or both? Take breakfast out of the equation and make those mornings just a little bit simpler. Most of this waffle recipe can be made the night before. Just add the eggs in the morning, pop the batter into your waffle maker and, once cooked, top with fresh berries. Absolutely delicious! Check out the full overnight waffle recipe and try these sometime soon.

 

Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup

Fall is all about soups and chicken noodle is an absolute staple. The best part? Soup just keeps getting better and better as days go on and flavors develop, so making a large batch of this over the weekend to have for lunch throughout the week is a win-win. You won’t need to think of a lunch meal each day, and you’ll have a hot meal packed with flavor to devour come lunchtime. If you’re working, simply heat this up in the morning and pour it into a thermos to take to work. Here’s the full chicken soup recipe, a must try for all looking for a kidney-friendly soup this fall.

 

Crock-Pot Pot Roast with Vegetables

We just love a good slow cooker meal and this one does not disappoint. Simply add ingredients to your Crock-Pot in the morning and, come evening, you’ll have a delicious, tender roast and vegetables for dinner. If you want to sear the roast before, or add potatoes, you can but even as is, this roast is flavorful, low in salt and kidney-friendly. Take a look at the full pot roast with vegetables recipe and give it a try.

 

Apple Cranberry Cobbler

cobbler

A slice of apple cobbler is the perfect dessert for fall. Having guests over? Make this the night before, then pop it in the oven to warm before you serve it. Add the maple cream (the recipe includes this tasty topping) and you’re sure to have friends asking you for the recipe. So what are you waiting for? Check out the full apple cranberry cobbler recipe, head to the store for ingredients, and make this tasty treat this fall.

 

What recipes do you like best this time of year? We’d love to hear them — share your ideas with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.