A successful low-oxalate Christmas is one of the best holiday presents you can give yourself. By celebrating the season without compromising your kidney health, you’ll end the year with pride and positivity. However, staying honest on a diet is difficult at any time of year, let alone during the chaos that comes with planning for the holidays. It may sound difficult to achieve, but committing to a few key strategies can help you achieve a low-oxalate Christmas without missing out on what’s important this season: quality time with loved ones.
Make a list, check it twice (and then some)
Think of this list as your low-oxalate conscious. It should contain all the tempting high-oxalate ingredients and dishes that pose a risk to your diet throughout the season (these might include mashed potatoes, pecan pie, and party snacks such as dates, nuts, and olives). Having this list handy at all times will help keep you honest on your diet, acting as a reminder that you have committed to your nutrition and kidney health the next time you’re staring down a big bowl of candied almonds. Keep the list in your wallet, bag, or on your phone, so that you can refer to it when grocery shopping or while at holiday parties.
Substitute classic Christmas dishes
It’s easier to avoid high-oxalate foods if you have low-oxalate substitutes to replace them with. To get you started, here are a few ideas for low-oxalate swaps to classic Christmas dishes:
• Try broccoli casserole instead of green bean casserole. Broccoli has a lower oxalate content than green beans but works just as well in this cheesy baked dish.
• Try mock mashed potatoes with cauliflower. This is a typical substitute for potatoes in many weight-loss diets but fits nicely into the low-oxalate diet as well.
• Use cornbread stuffing instead of bread stuffing. Cornbread carries less oxalate than white or whole wheat breads.
Offer to bring sides to holiday parties
For many people with food restrictions, asking others to accommodate their diets can feel stressful or awkward. If you fall into this category, you might feel pressure to abandon your low-oxalate diet at holiday parties this season. However, you can instead offer to contribute a low-oxalate dish or two. You’ll reduce your host’s time in the kitchen while still being able to eat, drink, and be merry with the other guests.
Commit to positive thinking
When dieters focus primarily on what foods they’re missing, slip-ups come naturally. Therefore, adopting a positive attitude is integral to keeping your low-oxalate diet on track during the holiday season. If you start to feel overwhelmed, remember that oxalate reduction is a key to kidney health that can prevent pain, stress, and hospital bills long-term. And by staying low-oxalate during one of the most difficult times of the year for dieters, you’re not just promoting your kidney health; you’re also honing your skills as a nutrition-savvy consumer that will last long after the Christmas lights have come down.