The New Year brings hope for a bright future and the promise of self-improvement. It’s the perfect time to commit to healthier habits; but so often, these habits start to slip after a few weeks or months. We’ve collected some kidney-friendly New Year’s resolutions that can have a significant and enduring impact on your health. Here’s to happier kidneys and a more nutritious lifestyle all year long.
Drink More Water
Drinking more water every day is crucial to improving kidney function. Fortunately, you don’t need to revamp your lifestyle to get more water in your diet. Consider these simple hacks for increasing your water intake that will quickly become second nature (more here)
- Drink a glass before every meal
- Mix it up with seltzers and flavored waters
- Use water tracking apps to stick to your goals
Avoid Key Oxalate-Packed Ingredients
Unlike the gluten-free or carb-free diets, the low-oxalate diet doesn’t typically involve cutting out a single category of food. For effective oxalate reduction, it’s important to know the oxalate contents of a wide variety of ingredients, which can be time-consuming and frustrating.
To make day-to-day dieting a little easier all year long, you can learn some key oxalate-packed ingredients to eliminate, such as:
- rice bran
Keeping an eye out for these ingredients will help you quickly identify foods to avoid.
Start an Oxalate Journal
If you don’t already use one, an oxalate journal can become an important new tool for long-term oxalate reduction.
Oxalate journaling is a system for manually tracking your oxalate intake. All you need is a lined or grid notebook. For every meal or snack, you eat, record the oxalate content in your journal, calculating the total at the end of the day. Getting into this habit will not only help you keep track of your diet, but will also make you more conscious of your nutrition in general. You may also find that the simple act of documentation makes it much harder to “cheat” on your diet.
Plan Meals Ahead
Similar to oxalate journaling, this resolution is aimed at helping you stick to your diet and build healthy habits. Planning low-oxalate meals for the day or even week ahead means you’ll be less likely to slip up at restaurants or the grocery store. Check out these recipes and snacks to get started.
Team Up With a Friend
Following a diet of any kind tends to be much easier when you’re not doing it alone. This year, you can make a joint commitment to the low-oxalate diet with a friend who is also interested in promoting his or her nutrition and kidney health. By teaming up, you will have someone to compare notes with, to give pep talks when your morale is low, and to help you explore low-oxalate friendly restaurants.
Stay Positive About Your Goals
Any food restrictive diet can be difficult to stick to throughout the year. The key is to focus on your long-term goals, not the tempting foods you’re missing out on. If your will power starts to fade, think of the positive impact oxalate reduction will ultimately have on your kidney and urinary tract health. Remember that you’re developing skills as a nutrition-conscious, savvy consumer that will make each year healthier than the last.