The Kidney Community Kitchen

I don’t usually talk about my 9 to 5 here. This blog is a place where  I write and cook for the love of it, and when I have something I find important to share. As I was saying in my last post (that was way overdue), I’ve been busy. With that, what I actually mean is that my work team has been busy. I work at the Kidney Foundation of Canada and for the last few weeks (months?) we have been putting a great deal of energy into producing a website that caters to the nutritional needs of people living with kidney disease: the Kidney Community Kitchen!

I am still learning about all the challenges that kidney patients have to face and eating is just the tip of the iceberg, and is in of itself a whole can of worms! Can you imagine having to track not only your sodium intake, but also phosphorus, potassium, protein and even liquids? Getting the right nutritional intake really is a science for people affected by this disease. Think about it this way: your whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce that you conveniently whip up because you don’t have time for dinner – a kidney patient can’t eat it. That gourmet sugar-free bar of raw chocolate that you splurged on? a kidney patient can’t eat it. Garlic roasted potatoes? forget it. How about your morning glass of OJ? yup, you guessed it…

As much as this project was an eye opener for me in realizing the complexity of this disease, when I saw the final product (a new online tool) finally coming together I was really excited. We managed to put together a site that makes tracking a kidney patient’s nutrient intake and creating meal plans easy (because it is hard work! I would know, I created some of them myself!). On the resource site, you can upload your own recipes and have them revised by our team of dietitians, and hare your experiences with other people in the forums. At the end of the day, all I hope for is this tool makes the daily life of kidney patient just a little bit easier.

Recently this  news article was published and gives a good general insight into a kidney patient’s daily challenges.

Now I know this is not the type of topic I usually cover but since food connects us all – especially at this time of year, and kidney disease affects so many people I just had to share this exciting piece of news that I am so proud to be a part of. And, the best part is it not only looks great, it’s also free.

If you know someone who is living with kidney disease, please pass along this valuable resource. The Kidney Community Kitchen!

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A warm kicked’up drink good for the soul (and a cold!)

Well it is that time of year again… I think I see a trend forming. Somehow come November this regular blogging thing goes on hiatus. In between closing the year-end with the 9-5, attending some fabulous events like the launch of the Mixeur Montreal Guides and the Alsace au menu dinner at Le hangar, planning Dishcrawl events, shopping, holiday parties,  endless eating, some drinking…let’s face it and we all know this – it’s a busy time of year!

Amidst the rush, daylight savings time and the erratic weather, the common cold is just around the corner. If it is not a cold then I find myself wanting to curl up with some classic comforts that make me feel cosy inside even when it is crummy outside (snow anytime please, I’d like to ski over the holidays!), with some thick wool socks and warm drinks.

When I was little, my mom would make a grog for me when I had a cold and a sore throat. Her version of the drink was made with hot water with lemon and honey, the right ingredients to make me feel better (very PG). Since those days, I have moved out, taken on adult responsibilities and this drink has become all grown-up – but I still turn to this basic combination of ingredients when I need to curl up with something hot and comforting.

So here is my kicked’up version of a grog. Makes a great warm cocktail for the holidays, a snowy day or après-ski – and still comforts you when you have the sniffles!

Kicked’up Grog

  • 1 oz whisky or rhum
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbso fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tbsp honey, or to taste
  • Pinch of your choice of spices such as nutmeg, clove, anis, cardamom…

Combine all ingredients in a mug, stir and enjoy! Makes one drink.