Monday, October 20, 2014

A New Scientific Salad!

G'day, Readers, 

Today, I'm sharing with vous a (not-so -scientific actually/nor renal-friendly, but I love it), salad I have been sooooo enjoying again, (as tomatoes, on most renal regimes are rather frowned upon due to the potassium (k) count).

It is based on the side salad my dad used to make back in the 70's on his celebrated spaghetti nights.  His, if memory serves, was more a mix of tomato, onion and cucumber dressed with oregano (a major player in this salad), white vinegar and oil.

My version is a tad tweaked and it goes like this:
(Sorta) Dad's Cuc 'n Tomato Salad

-half a small English cucumber, peeled and chopped.
-1 clove of garlic, finely minced, (and letting it rest for half an hour or so, for the allicin to form)
-2 golf ball sized, nice 'n ripe tomatoes, cut up small
-couple sprigs of fresh parsley, (curly), finely chopped
-few shakes of dried oregano
-few shakes of dried onion
-1 shake of dried wakame, (aka seaweed, which is a nice and k-balanced source of natural sodium and many other important minerals).
-1/2 tsp of hazelnut oil
-1/2 tsp linseed oil
-1/2 tsp EVOO, (extra virgin olive oil)
-1/2 tsp of ACV (apple cider vinegar)
-fresh black pepper to taste
(All ingredients organic when possible.)

Serves 1. 

(I enjoyed a small handful of almonds on the side.)

Next time I'm gonna throw in some chick peas or beans of some sort.

And on the subject of legumes/pulses, I still sometimes just stand back in delight at how many natural, healthful, delicious and, "off limits for renal patients", foods I have managed to re-incorporate into my diet since the renal failure.  Liiiiiiiil by lil, over maaaaany moons, testing this and that, using my trusty monthly blood tests that show exactly how said foods are affecting ye ole electrolytes.

Some of these sorely missed foody delights include: brown rice, whole grain pastas/breads, all legumes, bananas, (wooohooooo!), all nuts 'n seeds, as mentioned, tomatoes--and even the odd normally-cooked potato.  :)  Always in moderation, of course.

Thankfully, (and I believe, due to my rather vegetarian/clean-eating ways for so long now), I have zero problems with high serum phosphorus levels.  Something many kidney patients have to keep an eye on.

So hopefully, this gives some hope to those of you out there newly diagnosed with CKD and feeling the cosmic-bummer that is the docs nonchalantly uttering phrases like, "White rice/pasta/bread ONLY now" or, "No more nuts, or bananas, or dates or potatoes or...".
bon ap & bon vibes,

: J

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Thanks, Rosie Perez!

G'day, All,

And yes, it's her voice I've been hearing lately each time I whip out the cleaver to chop up some quince to bake.  

"What's a quince?", is the line from her character in a Jeopardy scene from the film "White Men Can't Jump".  I just love her voice and accent.

So yes, I had never tried this magical fruit until a couple of weeks ago when I saw some in the market.  At first I thought they were some kind of giant pear but upon picking one up, I realized not so, as they are hard as wood and sometimes pretty large too.

My friend  who works at the market told me that it's delicious, (only when cooked), so I bought some and got busy.

To say it is good is an understatement.  I liked the wee golden, chewy chunks SO much, that I ate most of them right outta the baking dish--standing up.  ;)

The taste is sort of like a pear/apple/almost cardamom-esque experience, with a nice firm texture too.  Very special.

Here is a pic of a surprise dessert I had waiting for P upon his return from work last week, (drizzled with a lil forest honey for him).

And it's so easy to prepare, just peel and chop some up, toss in olive oil and bake with a bit of water in the pan at 200C for about half an hour.

I added a bit of stevia to mine and mmmmmhmmmm, GOOOOOOD!

What's nice is, it's a tres renal-friendly dessert option with less than 200 mgs of potassium per 100 grams. 

(That's in raw form, as I couldn't find a nutritional content profile on cooked quince.) 

A decent source of vitamin C too.

Defo gonna make this again when I see them. 

So boom, that's all, Folks. 

Time to get back out into this exceptionally warm and sunny Fall day here.

Bon weekend & bon ap,

: J

Friday, October 17, 2014

Good Times with Tony and other "Labs"

Allo, All,

So I'm walking back from retrieving my monthly lab results morning, (with my trusty Retriever, of course), and on the way back, I stop to let Tony sniff a small Kleenex Box I recognized, (wee dog of undetermined fluffy breed).   Soon I see the human on the other end of the extendo-leash, a sweet old woman whom I have stopped and talked with before, (again, enroute home from the lab).

It didn't take long for me to realize that she had totally forgotten our prior encounter, (her asking the same curious and caring questions as the first time, (about Tony's Gentle Leader, which I explained I use when I'm feeling less than strong while walking him; he's a very gifted "dipper", able to scoop up anything seemingly edible on the street in a millisecond--which can easily almost dislocate a shoulder socket if one is not ready/fragile not using the Leader), and so again, she inquires as to why I might not be strong at times, (as from the look of me, that's the last thing a person might assume).  So I again told her about some of my medical journey and she in turn, shared much of hers--which I already knew in great detail but I just let her talk as clearly, it was doing her soul much good, a win-win in my books.

After I started getting chilly from the lack of movement in the nippy morning air, I bid her and her little Sadie adieu and went home to hungrily delve fully into my latest lab results and to sum it all up:


GFR, (kidney filtration rate), is holding strong at 38, (stage 3b Kidney Disease, for those wondering), but even so, all electrolytes are in balance, fasting glucose normal, hemoglobin at a respectable 12.6 g/dL and the thyroid numbers, (tested due to the wild new ride that is menopause), are all normal!

But here is the best part: For the first time in--well, since hospitalization, (save for a one-time, post gallbladder attack faux-normal reading), my triglycerides are NORMAL!  And WELL below the max, too!

LDL is within normal ranges, (it too has been high for way too long), and I'm rather proud of my 70 HDL reading, I must say.

Hoping this trend will continue and improve even more as the presnisone levels decrease and my adrenals come more fully back online.

So yes, already a very nice morning, which also included two loads o' laundry AND a trip to the grocery store.

With an honorable mention of how awesome my dear ole Tony is, as while waiting in the lab for my results, he clearly made the days of a few elderly lovlies.   I just adore watching the transformation on the faces of creature-lovers when they see Tony, perfectly calm and cute and ready to be petted by anyone who is keen to do so.

Rather like myself, I reckon, subbing "petties" for smiles.  ;)

And on that note, time to hit the kitchen for some kinda scientific salad experience, with a nice free range egg, I reckon.

Bon weekend vibes to All,

: J

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

More on Antiperspirants etc., and Kidneys

Hello again, Readers,

The other day, after a friend made a comment re: my "Armpit & Hammer" post, (as I've come to think of it), I realized that I must post the article she linked to regarding some deoderants, most antiperspirants and even sunblocks too, in relation to folks with impaired kidney function.

Below is a C&P of the article from the American Association of Kidney Patients.

Are Roll-on Deodorants Safe for People with Kidney Disease?

A. Over 90 percent of the U.S. population use antiperspirants and deodorants. What is harmless for the healthy population can be of danger for people with impaired kidney function. Most of the antiperspirants and some deodorants contain aluminium (Al), which is absorbed by the skin (Flarend et al – Food Chem Toxicol, 2001). In healthy people, it gets eliminated by the kidney, but for people with reduced function, Al will accumulate in the body. Albeit unusual, this could lead to dementia (Carpenter et al. - Int J Occup Med Environ Health, 2001), anemia and bone disease (Jeffery et al. - J Toxicol Environ Health 1996).

In regard of this knowledge, recommendations to avoid Al intake should not be neglected. Since Al is virtually contained in all air (especially dusty), water and food (particularly when canned or tinned), this is quite difficult. As mentioned Al can be contained in antiperspirants, deodorants and also in sunblockers regardless of brand, odor or price. Since manufacturers are obliged to state the content of their products, getting informed about the aluminium content of the mentioned product is a good measure of avoidance.

Answer provided by Nathan Levin, MD. Dr. Levin is the Technical Director at the Renal Research Institute and he is a member of the AAKP Medical Advisory Board.

Living and learning, (so MUCH each day), and as the kidneys handle 95% of the elimination process of aluminum, I say, one more cheer for baking soda, WOOOHOOOOOOO!

And another thank you to Madame Sandra for the heads-up on the subject.


: J

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Smelling like a...

Hello again, Readers,

Today, I offer this:

Armpit odor, it's not hilarious.  At least for the great percentage of us out there who have wet earwax.

Antiperspirant--not hilarious either.  A far cry in fact, when considering its links to Alzheimer's, breast Cancer...

And then there is the carbon-footprint we are all leaving on this planet daily and my ever-growing concern about what I can do as an Earthling to lessen it.

On that subject, some time last year I read an article/blog (can't remember the source now), about how armpit odor can be halted, yes, stopped in its tracks, using ZERO deoderants, antiperspirants, perfumes or anything of the sort--and for a solid 48 hours, no less.


At the time, I was still getting chemo, which had somehow rendered my armpits non-odorous, so I had just shelved this new info for future explorations.

Now that the wee 'pits are once again in normal working order, this past week I decided to test this lil tidbit out, doing just what the article suggested, eagerly anticipating my new naturally scentless armpit experience.

Well, to my utter delight, IT WORKED!  And for two days annnnnd change!  Two days which included working out pretty vigorously too, as well as a demi-nude full back x-ray, one for the lungs as well, a mammogram annnnnd a boob ultrasound, (processes I often get a lil clammy for; still being relatively "new" to this professional patient biz).

I was sure to NOT wash my armpits during those 48 hours too.  When bathing, I just kept my arms down,  wanting to be as strict as possible with the layman's experiment.

This means: no more plastic deo-product trail coming from THIS human, no more clogging of precious pitty pores, no more, "what the hell IS that" moments when reading the ingredient lists of so-called "natural" deoderant labels.  And no more trying new ones that just can't be trusted.

And, it's easy-peezy.

I just did it again this morning and look tres forward to this more eco-friendly armpit lifestyle.

So what's this amazing, mysterious, fantastical thing, you ask?

You quite likely have some sitting around right in your home and if not, it's niiiiice and cheap and easy to find.  The ingredient?  Sodium Bicarbonate.

Yup, good ole baking soda, made into a paste with a tablespoon(ish) of water, smeared on the ole pits and left there for a few minutes, rinsed and--voilaaaahhhhhhh!  Confidently odor-free pits for yes, 48 hours. (And perhaps longer, which I'll likely explore soon.)

So there's my totally off-topic blog post for the day.

Hope it's of use/news to many.  Well, just the stinkies, teeheeee...


: J