Not on my plate. Not anymore. (sigh)
Last week I had the distinct privilege of meeting with Dr. Steinman, PKD doctor, guru, and all around nice guy. In addition to persuading me to join his clinical trial up in Boston, he also told me I need to make some changes in my diet. In addition to low sodium, (and when he says low, he means low--1500mg) he suggested that I also go vegetarian. Not vegan, necessarily, but lay off the beef, pork, and chicken.
When he said that, my brain practically exploded.
But, like the good PKD patient that I am, I am trying. Dr. Steinman made the point that it's not that one steak will kill you, but the negative cumulative effects a regular animal protein diet can have on kidneys that are already compromised. So, with that in mind, I went grocery shopping today.
The experience almost made me cry.
It's not only giving up the meat, really, although I'll admit that most of the meals I cook for my family revolved around meat of some kind. It's the balancing act I am faced with that was overwhelming for me. How do I balance a vegetarian diet with low sodium? How do I balance my recent commitment to eat locally ground food that is in season with such diet restrictions? How am I going to feed my family when the only real vegetarian dish I know how to make is Eggplant Parmesan, a dish my 5 year old adamently refuses to eat? And what do I do with the 10 lbs of frozen ground beef I bought in bulk last month from my favorite farmer?
The enormity of what I faced, the changes I would have to make, hit me in the produce aisle, and I wanted to sit down amoung the potatoes and weep.
Like everything else, I know that I have to do this in small steps. I picked up some trout to make for dinner, with a bag of salad and locally grown acorn squash for side dishes. I got some organic tortillas and some canned refried beans, thinking we could do bean tortillas tomorrow. The sodium from the canned beans isn't ideal, but it will have to do until I figure out how to actually make food with real beans.
I did have some positive thoughts in the grocery store. One: beans are cheap. Two: Eating like this, the baby weight is bound to come sliding off in a jiffy.
I guess there's a sliver lining in everything.