February 27, 2009

Hold the Salt

My journey with Lupus began with quite a bang – a 3 month hospital stay, chemotherapy, and too many ups and downs to count. The most lasting effect was renal insufficiency – meaning my kidneys only work at a fraction of the normal capacity. I cannot rid my body of toxins or water retention at a normal rate and this leads to high blood pressure and other functional complications. Amazingly/luckily/unbelievably – my kidneys actually regenerated enough that I no longer needed a kidney transplant (thank you, Dad) and my dialysis tubes could be removed.

Now it was up to me. Sodium got the ax and I embarked down the road of finding an effective and realistic diet that allowed me to rely on as few medications as possible. It has taken me a long time to finally feel like I can navigate my way through the kitchen, grocery stores, and restaurants with success and satisfaction. My compass has not been the advice of doctors and nutritionists (who very much tried their best, but left me with few answers), but the determination of friends and guidance from others like myself. There is nothing I enjoy nothing more than showing people that you can eat delicious, flavorful, mouth-watering food without cooking’s most trustworthy ingredient.

Even if you don’t have the dietary requirements, you may just find that a tender piece of meat, a perfectly ripe red pepper, or delicately sauteed leeks bursts perfectly with their own flavors.

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