Hi there! It's Mathea Ford with Renal Diet HQ and today I wanted to go live and talk about the fun topic of how to stay kidney-friendly when you're dining out. If you join me please make a comment. Let me know your comments or questions and I'll be glad to answer them as I'm going along.
I wanted to talk about dining out because we're getting ready to get into the season where we have a lot of activities, we may have parties to go to, you may have dinners with people, you may be invited to and I want you to think a little bit ahead and plan ahead for those types of events. I know this time of the year I start going out to dinners more with people and I seem to need to be reminded of ways to do a little better. It can be a challenge, especially with kidney disease because you have the added need to follow some restrictions depending on your diet, depending on whether you need potassium phosphorus. All those types of restrictions.
I don't want it to be as much of a challenge. I know it's still going to be an individual basis to challenge, but I wanted to talk through some ideas that I have for ways to make it a little easier.
Number one: Foods tend to be saltier at restaurants. They add more salt or people when they bring dishes they use more salty products. They might use regular soy sauce they might use salted butter. They might add salt to foods just without thinking about it and you're probably a little sensitive to salt so you can taste it and know that “hey, this is a higher sodium food” but if you're in a restaurant you can ask them how the food is prepared so you might say “how is this food prepared? Is it pre-prepared or is it prepared locally in the restaurant?”
If it's made locally in the restaurant, they can use a little less sauce. They can not add salt to your meal while they're cooking and a lot of times they'll just do salt over the burgers or whatever just ask them not to add salt. You can ask them not to add salt to fries or side dishes.
Sometimes the information is on the website so sometimes you can look ahead. I know Panera is great for this. You can go to Panera. You can look at the nutrition and you can also go in and tell it to remove certain ingredients. And then that way when you go into the store you know the nutrition value for the food that you're taking in, for the food that you're asking for. You can tell them you know “No. I don't want bread on the side. I want an Apple. I don't want this” that type of thing and you've already prepared it. You already kinda know what's going to be on that and so you're ready. So, the foods on the website you can also look for some salt terms like sauces may say that it's soy sauce or fish sauce or you just need to ask like how much salt is added and if like I said if they can prepare it or fix it in the store, improve it a little bit.
Number two is kind of a combo. Drink water. If you drink soda or like clear sodas or clear diet sodas then you want to drink water in between. Start out with water maybe drink some water before you go to help you feel more full. To help you stay hydrated especially knowing you're going to have more salt and choose smaller plates.
I like to look at the appetizer dishes although they can be a little too salty. I mean it seems like they're mostly pre-prepared but appetizers, side dishes so you may want to start looking at like your meat as a side dish and sometimes even when you go out just eating side dishes instead of having the meat that may add to the protein that you don't need. Add those.
A lot of places also have lunch menus so they'll have like the lunch menu on the back and even if it's dinner time you can ask for those lunchtime portions, you can take part of it home so if the lunchtime portion if it's after hours a lot of times, they will just charge you an extra dollar for the lunch size portion. You have to decide what's the best choice but those lunch size portions are going to be smaller and the same rule goes where you ask them, you know “what is made with? How do you make it?” But you might look into salads, you might look into the appetizers, the side dishes, soup is almost always going to be really high in sodium so you probably wouldn't want to eat this soup at a restaurant but may look into if you want to do a full plate like a lot of times, my husband likes Fajitas but we'll split the Fajitas so we won't buy them two people but you get the Fajitas dish and you split it and then that way you're not eating the full portion of it. Those are things you can do to try to decrease the amount of calories that you're getting and the amount of salt and the amount of protein.
That kind of goes with number three: take some home and don't overeat. I like the idea of cutting it in half pushing some of it to the side and taking that part home and then eating what you have on your plate. If you truly feel and listen to how hungry you are after you've drink water after you've you know emotionally stepped aside and said “this is what I think I should have,” eat that if you're still hungry 10-15 minutes later go ahead and eat the rest but feel into how hungry you actually are versus the emotion and the “I need to be here and I deserve this” and all that.
You're not rewarding yourself by eating poorly and hurting your kidneys worse. So, it's time to put that first and so think about how hungry you are, eat slower so try to stop when you're full within your meals.
Number four: Check out the menu online before you go. Choosing what you're eating before you go is great. Like I said Panera has the menu online. A lot of companies if you look on Yelp or other websites they'll have their menu online. You can look and decide what you want to eat. You can go and look at pictures of what those foods look like to try to see what you want and ask your companions whoever you're going with if they don't mind not getting like the “free” chips or the free bread that comes early. That way you're not overeating. You're still eating what is going to be on your plate and you're going to get what you need from that and you're not going to overdo it and then also you know you talk to your friends. You enjoy your time out and you're not mindlessly just putting that food in your mouth. Those are just a couple ideas.
Then number five: Push your plate away. Eat what you think you're supposed to eat, push your plate away so it's not like right there you know and or also set your fork down between bites. So, when you're eating, you're done eating them out that you told yourself you were going eat push your plate away and then also while you're
eating put it back in your mouth put your fork down and chew it and then talk and that keeps you eating slower, helps you to enjoy the company which is probably the reason why you're out to eat and you're managing your diet better.
It's really important. I know a lot of times you don't want to leave food because you paid for it, so, I would recommend you like I said earlier put that into a dish or a plate to put to the side to take with you but your body, you need to take care of your body so that's where the eating smaller portions, eating smaller plates, cutting it in half, all those things because you don't want to leave food on the plate. You need to take it off of the plate and then you eat what you have allotted for yourself and then feel into if you are still really hungry.
A lot of times, if you listen you're not really hungry. You're just eating kind of because it's there and so that's why I'm putting it in the dish, putting it away, pushing the plate away helps you to manage that a little better.
Today, I wanted to just kind of go over that kidney-friendly eating out. Another thing you can do for parties is you can like I said drink water before you go or you can stay away from the table with food. So, get yourself a little plate and if you're going to eat something make better choices but even if there are no good choices take half of what you think you should have and so if you think want two cookies, just take one. Eat it. Enjoy it. Stay away from the table, feel into if you're hungry, drink some more water and let your body feel that fullness.
Sometimes we eat out of nervousness or “I deserve this or I'm tired,” planning that a little bit ahead of time. You deserve to feel good. You deserve to be healthier and you thinking that you deserve to eat sugary or high sodium foods. It's actually harmful to yourself and that's not what you deserve. You deserve to be in the best health possible. So, I want to encourage you to do those things for yourself and view it a little differently. View it as you're taking care of yourself.
I want to thank those of you who are listening today and I look forward to talk to you again soon. Thanks!