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Healthy Living Tips

Pair Up supporters love to share their tips on healthy living and what they are doing to help prevent kidney disease. Read the tips below for inspiration, and check our “Living Healthy” feature every month for opportunities to share tips of your own.  Make sure to check with your doctor before making changes in diet or activity!

If you’ve Paired Up with a friend or loved one in the fight to prevent kidney disease, you can share your story here.




Submited by: Margaret Clark 

Arlington, VA - December 11, 2013  

What will be my strategy for not overeating at the (usually sumptuous) company holiday party tonight?

  1. Arrive near the end of the cocktail hour so I do not stand around munching for an hour.
  2. Take a few hors d'oeuvres and find a place to sit down that is far away from food.
  3. Take small portions of things I really want to eat, not just some of everything that is there.
  4. Do not eat desserts just because they look pretty. Decide if a dessert is something I really want to taste and savor ... and then do it.
  5. If I start to feel bored, I will leave rather than just go eat/drink more.

(I just realized that, with minor modifications, these behaviors could apply to a lot of things in life--not just food.)



Submited by: Honey Lindgren 

, - July 17, 2013  

I am always searching for low-sodium substitutes so I don't feel like I'm missing out. I use mascarpone cheese instead of cream cheese and it allows me to make dips and salad dressing. I use unsalted nuts to add texture to foods, including chopped up and added to meatloaf instead of bread crumbs. I bake my own bread and it's not nearly as difficult as one would think. I even have sushi on occasion and use fresh lemons instead of soy sauce. 


Submited by: Patricia McKinnon 

, - June 21, 2013  

Read labels at the grocery store. Go to the store rested, well fed and feeling well, otherwise stick to a list or food choices that you know are in alignment with your goals. 


Submited by: C. Gibbs 

Richmond, VA - April 26, 2013  

I love fresh, raw broccoli and cauliflower. So I when I purchase them, I wash, and cut the stems off and keep in a container. When I get hungry, I grab a few of each with a low-fat salad dressing. It really satisfies my hunger and they take longer to eat, because you have to chew them really well. 


Submited by: Nancy Jordan 

Augusta, Ga. - April 10, 2013  

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. During the summer months I freeze my grapes and then eat them. 


Submited by: Marilynn F. 

Boise, ID - March 21, 2012  

When eating out, ALWAYS ask for nutrition information and ask if it is possible to remove salt from your entree. I have done this, and restaurants have been very accommodating to me. 


Submited by: Kitty B. 

Victoria, TX - January 25, 2012  

I use a smaller plate because smaller portions make the plate look full. I lay my fork down between bites to help me from eating too fast because if I eat fast I tend to eat too much. I purchase as much fresh produce as I can afford. If I can't find or can't afford fresh I avoid cans and choose frozen. I READ every label before I put anything in my shopping cart. 


Submited by: Phyllis A. 

Lake Alfred, FL - January 7, 2012  

I put a bowl full of seasonal fruit in the refrigerator at eye level. It makes it much easier to grab an apple, orange or some grapes from the bowl instead of cutting a piece of pie that's in the fridge. 


Submited by: Ellen S. 

Trimble, TN - January 7, 2012  

I carry bottled water with me so I won't be as tempted to stop and get a soda if I'm in the car. 


Submited by: Erica H. 

, - December 23, 2011  

Eat a protein first thing in the morning to get you through the day. Have the majority on your lunch and dinner plate be veggies, fresh or frozen. For my sweet tooth I eat sugar-free gelatin and popsicles that are low-carb and low-sugar. 


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