Today in one of my classes, we discussed renal diseases and the types of diets one must follow when kidney function is impaired.

Let me just say, the renal diet is incredibly complicated and bland—I can imagine it would be frustrating to follow. Not only do you have to limit protein in most cases, but you also have to avoid foods high in both potassium (you can pretty much kiss fresh fruits and veggies goodbye) and phosphorous (so long dairy, meats, and nuts—even soy milk!). Fluids also have to be restricted to as low as 500 mL per day in some cases! That includes soup and ice cream. You also have to monitor sodium intake.
As I downed coffee after coffee while studying for an exam today and washed an almond-butter-and-banana sandwich down with a little soy milk, I took a moment to enjoy the fact that I could.
It’s easy to forget how lucky we are to be healthy when we’re used to being well. It’s important to remember to be thankful for that. I know sometimes I get really busy and focus more on the negative day-to-day events, but practicing a little mindfulness can be helpful—sometimes we need to clue ourselves in again to how lucky we are.
Unless of course you have renal disease and in which case, my sympathies.

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