5 Ways to Keep Kidneys Happy During the Holidays

Tis the season for parties, social gatherings, tons of goodies and a round (or two, or three) of drinks! But do you know how to balance all this enjoyment with kidney disease? Here are five tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays!

Bring a simple but beautiful fruit and cheese plate to your party. Add some low-sodium crackers and sliced baguette with some grainy mustard for extra flavor options.

Bring a simple but beautiful fruit and cheese plate to your party. Add some low-sodium crackers and sliced baguette with some grainy mustard for extra flavor options.

  1. Don’t "save room for later”

    Many people-with or without kidney disease- skip breakfast and sometimes even lunch to make sure they have plenty of room for all the food at their family gathering or office party. DON’T DO THIS!! Food is fuel for our bodies and we need it to thrive!

    Think of a car gas tank. Just because you run it until the big red EMPTY sign is flashing doesn’t mean you get to overfill the tank at the gas station. Full is full! Don’t bring yourself to a party with the low meter and expect to overfill it and be happy.

  2. Partake in Potlucks!

    Don’t show up empty-handed to the party! Pick a dish you really enjoy that fits your dietary preferences and goals. Whether it be some high-quality protein, a beautifully arranged veggie tray (with low-potassium veggies if needed), or some cute holiday treats - bring something you can enjoy and not feel guilty about!

    Looking for recipes? If you have kidney disease and/or diabetes, I highly recommend you check out DaVita’s recipe database. They have SO. MANY. RECIPES!!

    One of my favorites are the Egg Muffins (which you could make in a mini-muffin tin and totally get away with calling them “mini crust-less quiches” to fancy it up a bit)!

  3. Find Ways to Stay Active

    While it is probably not the time you’re planning on running a marathon (or maybe it is - you do you, boo!), I highly encourage you to find time to get in some light activity.

    Join a friend for a free yoga session (you can generally get a free session if you’re not yet a member), take a walk through a beautifully decorated park, or grab some friends and family for an indoor game of laser tag!

    Whatever it is, find something that naturally fits into your lifestyle.

  4. Mind Your Meds

    Just because it’s the holidays does not mean our health takes a vacation! Here are some ideas to keep you tracking your medications:

    *Bring a pill holder that can hold all of your meds for the entire trip (like this one here).

    *ALSO bring a portable pill holder to have some on hand, in case you go out to eat.

    *Use a timer or schedule reminders on your smart phone

    *Enlist the help of your company! They want you healthy, too, and they’ll help remind you when you need them.

  5. Keep Alcohol at Bay

    There is a TON of booze flowing this time of year. First, make sure your doctor is okay with you having any alcohol- especially if you’re on medication. (Some medications will interact with alcohol.)

    Secondly, sip and savor. If you’re having a drink, it better be a darn good one. Don’t waste your time or money for something that isn’t completely enjoyable.

    Third, limit the amount. Daily recommendations are two drinks for men, one drink for women (sorry, ladies, but don’t try to keep up with the boys).

    Finally, make sure you’re staying hydrated. Slow down your alcohol intake by including plenty of water before and after your drink. This could be as simple as having a vodka soda with lime, minus the vodka.

    If you’re on a fluid restriction- keep track of how much you’re having total. All fluids, ice, and other viscous foods (like yogurt, jello) count towards your restriction. Use tall, skinny glasses to feel like you’re having more.

And there you have it! Some simple guidelines to help you enjoy the holidays without feeling like the holidays enjoyed you ;)