Kidney-Friendly Foods from Georgia

Georgia has always been famous for its charming southern hospitality, food and drink. No meal served there on a warm day would be complete without a cool glass of lemonade, and this regional recipe sampler has the coolest of them all—Minted Lemonade! All recipes have been modified to reduce potassium and phosphorus making them kidney friendly.

DaVita dietitian, Mary, is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but over thirty years ago she fell in love with her adopted state when she married a Georgia boy and he brought her home to meet the folks. The rest, as they say, is history.

Mary attended Georgia State University in the state capitol of Atlanta, and says she always had an interest in how nutrition affects people. Having a brother, a niece and a nephew who are all nephrologists, it seems that the renal field “runs in the family.” Mary has been working in her clinic for over four years.

Mary points out that Georgia has the largest population of chronic kidney disease patients in the nation, and the largest number of clinics. Atlanta doesn’t get much snow, but ice storms are periodic. “An ice storm makes it impossible to go anywhere, so the emergency diet is important.”

Challenging food temptations of the region include biscuits, cornbread and Coke®. Local delicacies include ham, bacon, greens seasoned with fatback and grits. Central Georgia is famous for its peaches and watermelon, while pecans come from South Georgia, and shrimp are liberally harvested from the coastal waters.

Mary says that the most challenging aspect of her job is dealing with people who do not understand the need for nutrition. But seeing those people get better as they attain better knowledge of kidney-disease nutrition is very rewarding. Mary describes her approach as “very straightforward” and tells her patients that the single most important thing they can do to improve health is to control phosphorus. Another effective motivational technique is “determining what is important to a patient and showing them they can still enjoy life.”

“Three or four days after I started working at DaVita, I came in and saw the patients whispering and laughing,” says Mary. I asked the charge nurse what was going on and she said, ‘They have a nickname for you already. It’s Dr. Phil. You tell it straight and don’t pull any punches.’ I laughed right with them. They had me figured out, quickly.”

“What I enjoy most about working for DaVita is the real team,” says Mary. “They believe in quality care. I have a great bunch of people to work with.”

Mary concludes with a few interesting tidbits about Georgia. Ray Charles, Jimmy Carter and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hailed from Georgia. The state bird is the Brown Thrasher, the state flower is the Cherokee rose and locals are fond of saying, “Y’all come back.” Even the Girl Scouts originated in the stately city of Savannah.

Mary warmly invites you to try one or all of the recipes that make up her gastronomic Georgia sampler: Rachael’s Dilly Chicken, Mustard Seed Rubbed Pork Tenderloin, Peach Crisp, Mary’s Cherry Pie and Minted Lemonade. Y’all come and try it now!”

Georgia menu for a dialysis diet

Breakfast

  • 1/2 English muffin with 2 teaspoons margarine
  • 1 teaspoon Muskadine (grape) jelly
  • 1/2 cup low-cholesterol egg product
  • 1 cup grits
  • 1/2 cup coffee
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 2 tablespoons nondairy creamer

Lunch

Dinner

Snacks

  • 1/2 cup grape juice and 6 vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup watermelon cubes
  • 1/2 cup water for medications

Georgia menu nutrient analysis

Meal

CAL

PRO

g

CHO

g

FAT

g

CHOL

mg

Na+

mg

K+

mg

PO4

mg

Ca++

mg

Fiber

g

Fluids

cups

Breakfast

 

602

20

74

25

2

452

438

171

136

1.2

2

Lunch

730

33

83

29

94

632

827

372

179

5.2

1

Dinner

 

628

24

79

24

173

663

680

236

147

5.1

1

Snack

 

262

3

49

6

0

105

416

50

23

1.2

1

Total

 

2216

80

285

84

302

1852

2361

829

385

12.7

5

The above table contains average nutrient values for menu portions. Your intake may vary based on your portion size and brand difference. Your individual needs may be higher or lower than the sample menu. Please consult your Dietitian and refer to your individualized meal plan to determine the amounts to eat.

Cal=Calories, PRO=Protein, CHO=Carbohydrate, FAT=Fat, Chol= Cholesterol, Na+= Sodium, K+=potassium, PO4=Phosphorus, Ca++=Calcium

Recipes


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