RDHQ Podcast 106: What I Learned From My Family Member Having Kidney Disease

Rdhq Podcast 106: What I Learned From My Family Member Having Kidney Disease

Hi everyone! Its Mathea Ford, Registered Dietitian and creator of the Love Your Kidneys. It was just a CKD Meal Planning course. Today, I wanted to talk about what I learned from my family member having kidney disease and if you've ever heard my story you know that that family member to my mom.

I want to talk through a little bit about what that experience was like of her having kidney disease and kind of how its shaped what I do today. How I eventually made kidney disease the work that I do every day?

I'm a registered and licensed Dietitian which just means that I went to school and attended college did an internship and passed a national registration exam all about how to have food and nutrition works in your body and how your body responds to food. I've been a Registered Dietitian for over 22 years and I passed my exam in '97 and so for the last nine years, I focus really solely on kidney disease and that is because of a few things that happened in my family and made me realize how big of a need this was.

It all started with my mom was diagnosed with stage 3 chronic kidney disease. I was working at a hospital as the food service kitchen manager. I loved writing menus, I loved making recipes, I loved somewhat doing the nutritional analysis although that's not my favorite. I liked testing recipes though. I made menus for all the diets, I knew how to cook on a large scale so I worked at the local Veterans Hospital. We had over 100 inpatients probably 300 and we would cook meals you know three times a day for them and so I knew a lot about how to make a recipe that would feed a lot of people.

I enjoy making food that is great and healthy and tastes good and you might think that hospital food tastes bad or you may have seen the hospital foods going to taste bad but I personally was impassioned to make the food as good as I could so I never accepted that it had to taste bad. It was always my best effort to make it taste good. That's where it all started. She got diagnosed and I knew very little specifically about kidney disease. As a dietitian you learned kind of a broad brush of a lot of things and then most of the time you become kind of specialized and I had specialized into the bulk food kitchen feeding and doing a lot of management if you've ever been in a management position you know that a lot of it is people time. I spent a lot of time doing that but once my mom had kidney disease I knew she needed my help.

I've told you before that I do work, my dad lives with us and my mom lives locally and I help them both as much as I can but one of the things that happened is I realized you know "hey! I didn't know that much about kidney disease" so I started to spend a lot of time researching and learning more about it and the restrictions on how to manage the disease and that's where I started to realize that there was something wrong. I used a lot of "Don't" list like don't eat all these foods on this list and I found it frustrating because instead of starting from that place of  "yes, I can have this or yes I can try this," I was always starting with no and many of the food portions of the recipes that we found that seemed to be good were too big so it was really a need to cut them down or have leftovers and my mom hated wasting food she lived by herself and she was really just cooking for herself and she hated wasting food and having either a bunch of leftovers are just not having the right proportion make for one person or two people.

I was stressed out because I didn't know at the time what dietary changes need to be made to help the most. I'm very much from the point of "what can I do that will make the biggest difference?" With you know what effort can I make that'll make the biggest difference. We both who my mom and me we're both frustrated and tired and exhausted and just overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information but lack of direction that we found that we were able to get you know you can...

Everybody's got a lot of a little bit of stuff in a little bit of direction but there was nothing that was clear that like this is what you need to do next and I'm sure you can relate to that. I'm sure you've experienced that yourself so I'm not telling you anything you don't know.

Most of the recommendations that we could find at the time nine years ago were to cut out all the fruits and vegetables with high amounts of potassium and to reduce salt intake while I still agree today with the recommendation to reduce salt intake, I don't agree with the recommendation to cut out all the good food. But when we did it, that left us very bland very gray meals to eat - corn, rice, chicken - you know just the bland and while she does love baked chicken it got old quickly.

The biggest thing was we were afraid to make a mistake. We didn't know if you know she ate too many tomatoes was that going to be the thing that pushed her over the edge and make her condition worse and I was beside myself I was trying away and count and measure and read and looking everywhere. I started to look a little bit in some different places into health and diet recommendations in different areas to see you know how I could make those work for her.

Even though I'm trained in Nutrition, I struggled with this. I was able to make the changes to improve her health finally by looking into other areas to looking at better patterns, better ways to kind of get her diabetes under control and keep everything manageable and we did try lots of things and I know that that's not any different from you I know you can relate you've probably tried a lot of different things. I know it's hard to make a choice when it's like you're afraid of food it's like you're afraid of "what is this food going to do? This suddenly, I mean I'm told and should I eat it or not?" and I did figure it out and I know you can too I'm not special I'm not different and as a matter of fact I started probably in a lot of ways in a very similar situation to you it's just that I had the knowledge to kind of take it and weed out what was not working. I want to show you how I made the changes that make life easier to handle and manage her diet.

I do teach this to people, I teach it all the time, I talk about it all the time and I do have a program coming out on February 17th. It's called Love Your Kidneys. Let's just CKD meal planning and if you want to know more about it I have a guide book that kind of goes through the steps if you go to renaldietHQ.com/mpckd and that'll put you on the waitlist but it'll also give you the information about the course.

Kind of a little preview talking through like what I did, what I change and how it's changed. But this class is going to be... so it opens on February 17th. You can purchase it and then starting on February 26th, we're going to do an hour to an hour and a half every week a different training, different module to learn about what changes to make, what to do that week and I also have three days where I'm going to have Question and Answer for an hour to an hour and a half specifically about what you're doing that day or that week and and those all will be live and recorded.

I'll give you the chance to adjust to what you need but it'll also give you the chance to get specific answers and know kind of where we're going with it make sure that you're on track. I'm excited to bring that to you. I've worked this out. I've worked out this method and my goal is that at the end of the program that you'll be confident in planning meals, putting meals together that work for your diet.

At the end of the time I want you to be able to say "okay, I can make a meal plan in 15 minutes a week. I know what to do I know what to change." Recipes, meal plans, meal grocery lists, all that stuff. We're going to talk about all of it. We're going to talk about how I tweaked our process and what you can do to improve your process and then how you can go forward.

How do you adjust and how do you change? That's my goal at the end of the program. If you want to head on over to there and grab the waitlist, it's going to have a guide book that talks about the four ways, the four steps to progress and improving your diet.

Thanks guys! I really love talking to you. Let me know what you have questions about and be looking for another email from me. I will be talking about the special opening on February 17th and what that's going to involve. So, I'll talk soon.

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