National Food Strategy
Whilst sitting sipping on a morning coffee, reading the latest news about the national food strategy. I was reminded of how changing my diet affected me as a kidney patient. Moreover what sugar was doing to me and the hold it had on me. So, whilst starting my second coffee, I was reminded of what I questioned when going through therapy for my depression.
The reason I am saying this now, is because the government are focusing on food and the health of the nation. As a kidney patient we often have to look at diet and nutrition. But I have to be honest, I forgot and ignored what I was told post transplant. I think back to silly amounts of processed food and my cholesterol of 7.6 around 10 years ago. I remember this because I was put on statins, because of the blood results.
So, at many points in the last 5 years of so, I have tried many diets and had some success. But I always found myself craving something sweet, I questioned what sugar was doing to me. Do I have an addiction that somehow has a grip on me? Do I turn to sugar to make me feel better? The answer to both was yes, as I realised I could not go more than a few days without my sugar fix. I questioned it more after my breakdown 3 years ago. As you can imagine I was at a very low point.
But experience as a patient has taught me well over the years. I have never been afraid to learn from mistakes & be honest about it. I was now off work, before Covid hit and I started to learn more about sugar. I watched documentaries and found myself wanting to learn more. I searched for books and time and time again, the one pictured here was mentioned, so I bought it. What was this white stuff doing to me? as I turned page after page.
Whilst reading all the news about the nation food strategy. It triggered a few memories of not only the cholesterol, but about sugar. I think back to when the advice was don’t eat butter and fat, eat low fat. So, we did replacing butter with margarine. Ready meals became the norm, which were riddled with sugar.
Many times I went back to cooking from scratch and more so when renal patient view came about. I could see my bloods and access them more easily, checking creatinine etc. What I also did as a patient is start to learn much more about the other results. I focused on cholesterol, as well as on my weight. I might be making it sound like I have always been fat, but that was not the case.
I was around 14 stone 7 pounds before being diagnosed with CKD, fine for my size, muscle mass and height. Dialysis was around 13 stone 13 if memory serves me well. It should do, as I have the memory of an elephant, but as the years went by I was beginning to resemble one. One of the reasons I never changed anything, was I knew I was getting something right post transplant. Basically, I was reluctant to change anything. So, I stayed between 15 and 16 stone for many years.
Cooking From Scratch
After being inspired to change, I armed myself with a new Christmas present back in 2019. I was now the proud owner of my sparkly new food processor. It all started well in the beginning of 2020, but then a mystery new virus emerged. I won’t go on about Covid, but because of a number of reasons, my new focus on nutrition had to take a back seat. It took quite a while to get back into healthy eating, because access to food became an issue. Thankfully though, even if I have the occasional blip because of mental health. I get straight back at it and my relationship with food has changed considerably. Something I know doubt will touch on when I write about my mental health and what sugar was doing to me.