Friday, May 08, 2009

Hey, look! It's May! Time to post again

No wonder my traffic has eroded so woefully—I haven't been keeping up this blog. I'm blogging every day—sometimes twice a day—at my 1⅓ crossword blogs. Between that, an uptick in freelance work, the persistence of the whole laziness/procrastination nexus, Facebook, and Twitter, yeah, I don't take the time here. Sorry. There does seem to be a rash of blogular lethargy these days, though. I can think of at least seven blog pals who have been blogging much less than they used to. Omigod! It must be contagious! Is it a swine writer's block pandemic?

Embodying the cheesiest trope of blogging, I return to whine. Why? Because I have to limit my potassium intake. I think it's more common for people to have low potassium levels and need to take a K supplement, or try to eat more bananas and orange juice. But not me. If I don't consciously minimize the potassium in my diet, the level goes up and increases the risk of cardiac arrhythmia, a.k.a. OMG YOU COULD TOTALLY DIE and you wouldn't even have symptoms. So I cannot mess around. Do you know what foods are particularly rich sources of potassium? I'll tell you:
  • Chocolate.
  • Milk.
  • Ice cream.
  • Potatoes in their many delicious forms.
  • Bananas.
  • Oranges, orange juice, and their citrus cousins. (Quelle ironie, as we say around here.)
  • Beans, including the lovely pinto and black and kidney beans as well as the thank-god-I-have-a-health-excuse-to-avoid-them lima beans.
  • Nuts, including yummy cashews, pecans, pecan pie, and almonds.
  • Peanuts and peanut butter. Let us not overlook Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
  • Dried fruit.
  • Peaches.
  • Pears.
  • Chickpeas and the hummus that's made from them.
  • Tomatoes and tomato sauce.
  • Cheese.
  • Whole-grain bread.
  • Brown rice.
  • Spinach and dark leafy greens. (Iceberg lettuce is a better bet.)
  • A wealth of other fruits and vegetables.
What doesn't have a ton of potassium?
  • Well, you've got your processed white bread and white rice. You know—the stuff I shouldn't go overboard on if I want to stave off type 2 diabetes, which my dad had.
  • Beer and wine. Small favors! 
  • Sugar.
  • Grease. But not butter! That's dairy, and dairy has potassium.
  • Meats. I haven't eaten red meat since I was 12, and lots of meat protein can tax impaired kidneys so I don't want to go there.
  • I think apples and grapes aren't too high in K, at least compared to other fruit. Of course, what fruits are you supposed to eat more of? All those other ones. These ones pretty much deliver sugars and fiber without a lot of phytochemicals, don't they?
  • Water.
  • Fritos.
Isn't that a pisser? You can imagine what fun it is to shop for groceries or peruse a restaurant menu. Keep in mind that I should also watch my salt intake, and the fun multiplies! Some of my favorite meals and snacks say NO in two or three different ways. I'm going out for Indian food tomorrow, and I lovelovelove channa masala. Why, that's chickpeas galore! With some salt for good measure. How about a little homemade trail mix for a hit of protein—combine (unsalted) nuts, dried fruit tidbits, and chocolate chips. Chocolate ice cream is a two-fer. Mashed potatoes with lots of milk, butter, and sour cream. A tall glass of cold milk. A bowl of sliced bananas in orange juice. Cheese pizza with tomato sauce. Mexican food with beans, cheese, tomatoes, and sour cream.

I really should see a nutritionist for advice. Could some of you hassle me about that so I actually make an appointment with someone? Because this food thang bums me out, and there's no reason to think the dietary restrictions will ease at some point so I could use the help. Anyone in Chicago know a good registered dietitian?

Yes, this entire post is pretty much a big whinefest. Join me, won't you? Tell me what food you can't have. If you're one of those lucky dogs who can eat anything, just lie. I'll be sad if all the comments are "Wow, that's too bad! I love all those foods and eat them several times a day, every day."


Jay said...

My 37th birthday present from the universe was an allergy to shrimp. I love shrimp. Apparently, I love it so much that I ate my entire life's allotment before I turned 37.

My mother loves to send me recipes she finds. She continues - 12 years later - to send me recipes for shrimp dishes. Thanks, Mom.

Narya said...

Cucumbers and bell peppers (yes, ALL colors) are terrible--they make me burp, which gets progressively more icky as I digest them. With peppers, I can smell from across the room whether they are high in whatever chemical it is that my body does not like. (I can eat hot/spicy peppery things, though, with no problems.) I think my body doesn't like something about cantaloupe--some enzyme or something--because I cannot swallow it; it's a very visceral reaction. I can eat fresh mint, but mint flavoring does not agree with me. And iceberg lettuce, though all other lettuces are fine. (This one is very mild.)

On one hand, this is a short list, and none of them are apparently life-threatening. On the other hand, so many restaurants put bell peppers in every damned thing that it can be harder than you'd think to avoid them. Same with cantaloupe; it's ubiquitous in fruit salads. And try to get a salad with neither cucumbers nor iceberg lettuce nor bell peppers.

I don't have many complaints, though; the list is short, it's reasonably manageable, and servers in restaurants are really good about checking on ingredients for me.

My mom had to avoid potassium--until she started on dialysis--so that list is familiar to me. She's good about monitoring, though, so she'd just limit her intake rather than eliminate foods entirely. Sucks, though.

Krupskaya said...

I love quiche (easy, fun!). I love scrambled eggs -- with cheese, a little wet, spread on bread, or with a nice green salad. I love baked goods. And about seven years ago I developed, overnight, an allergy to egg whites. An epi-pen, plunging blood pressure, swollen tongue kind of allergy. I miss eggs so.

Word verification on this is "eataxyl."

DoctorMama said...

Maybe you could just take a lot of Kayexalate? Except for that pesky explosive diarrhea side effect ...

That all really does suck.

Sarahlynn said...

My sister-in-law is supposed to follow a low-carb, diabetic diet (whole grains, low sugar, etc.).

Her husband has a chronic kidney condition, for which he's supposed to follow a low-potassium, low sodium, low protein diet (sugar is fine, thankyouverymuch).

And his sister, who's living with them for the summer, has celiac's disease or something like it, which takes out wheat and I have no idea what else.

I would hate to do their meal planning!

Although I do tend to send cookbooks as gifts. Here's one I haven't tried:

And some of the Mediterranean Diet recipes look good, though you'll have to weed out potatoes and the occasional green and leafy thing.

Best of luck.

K said...

I have not the full joy of celiac, but I am gluten intolerant. Forms of wheat harass me at all turns! I also should avoid bananas, lactose, eggs, and peas. Why peas? Dunno. But they showed up in my bloodwork from some joint called ImmunoLabs.
Chocolate? o we're good there.

So I feel your pain, but not as immediate-life-threateningly.

ps See a nutritionist!! I think there's one at NW downtown, but I do my own thing as well. My chiro, like a lot of chiros and acupuncturists, is pretty good at the nutrition stuff.

spaceranger said...

You posted this a long time ago--but I'm going to comment anyway. Over the years I've found that fermented foods trigger migraines for me. Some of my most favorite foods and drinks are fermented, including (but not limited to) beer, wine, and aged cheeses. Today I went to a polish festival and ate some (fermented) sauerkraut (and did not drink any polish microbrews or any honey wine even though they looked soooooooooo good). The sauerkraut was *delicious* and I was really hoping I could get away with it (I have already fully tested my limits with beer, wine, and stinky cheeses--but I haven't previously tested my limits with sauerkraut). I didn't get away with it. I'm lying in a quiet, dark room with an icepack on my head (and the lighting on my monitor turned down as far as it will go) waiting for the drugs to kick in. Stupid migraines.

Migraines also keep me from eating MSG (and other sources of free glutamate), artificial sweeteners, and large amounts of citrus fruit. Those I don't really miss much at all--but oooooh how I miss highly fermented food and drink.

Zul said...
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