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At this time of year we often find ourselves thinking about starting the new year with positive changes to better our lives, whether it be physically or mentally. Something that may come to mind for those with CKD may be: How can I be kidney SMART in the new year? How can I make changes in my daily life that will ultimately benefit my overall kidney health?
This concept may seem overwhelming to start, however, learning how to set kidney SMART goals will help to achieve success and give you a fresh start to the new year!
Plus, take a look at some easy examples of weight loss and other personal SMART goals!
What does it mean to be kidney smart?
Kidney smart is educating yourself on why and how to keep your kidneys the healthiest they can be. By being kidney smart, you have the ability to take control of your kidney health and achieve happy kidneys!
How can I become kidney smart?
Becoming kidney smart means educating yourself on kidney health basics and the lifestyle choices that can benefit your kidney health. Understanding proper diet and nutrition information on how to help your kidneys function to their full potential is key. Setting up SMART goals is a great way to get yourself there!
What is the kidney smart class?
The kidney smart class is a paid service offered through Davita that offers in person and online classes for those interested in learning more about kidney disease. The class offers education on kidney health, resources for renal nutrition, and other tips for people with different levels of kidney disease.
What is a kidney SMART goal?
A SMART goal is a 5 step mnemonic tool that is set up to help you to achieve a goal. Putting together a goal that follows S M A R T recommendations can help to set you up for success!
The first step to set up your SMART goal is to be Specific. Be specific in what you want to achieve by your goal. The key is to state exactly what you want to obtain in the outcome.
To make your goal specific, think about these questions: Do you want to perform a certain duty or task to reach your goal? Try and ask yourself who, why, what, which and where to make it as specific as possible.
The second step of a SMART goal is to make it Measurable. Provide a way to track and evaluate your progress so you can see your results.
To make sure your goal is measurable, set yourself up with a way to see your progress. Give numbers or amounts that you can easily track. By doing this, you can keep yourself motivated to complete the goal! Reevaluate when necessary along the way.
The third step of a SMART goal is to make it Attainable. Making sure your goal is achievable sets you up for success!
To make sure your goal is attainable, ask yourself, do I have the resources and ability to achieve my goal? Are my goals realistic? Having unrealistic goals can set you up for failure and decrease motivation.
The fourth step of a SMART goal is to make it Relevant! Make sure your outcome will improve or change the objective you want to achieve from your goal.
To make sure your goal is relevant, make sure that the outcome will improve or resolve the main purpose of your goal in some way. If you are not able to do this, then you should go back and think about the specific plan and your goal objective.
The fifth and final step of a SMART goal is to make it Time Bound! Set a specific date in which you will accomplish your goal. Giving a deadline can help you to keep on track and set your expectations for when you will see results.
To set a time frame, think, when do you want to achieve this goal? Make sure you are fair with your expectations, however, having a firm deadline will help to keep you motivated.
What’s the difference between a kidney smart goal and a plan?
Is a goal the same as a plan? Yes and no. In order to achieve a goal you must plan. Planning out your SMART goal with the previously mentioned steps will help to set you up for success.
Setting a kidney smart goal
A goal is defined as: the result or achievement of which effort is directed. Your goal is the objective in which you want to achieve in the end. What is the end result you want for your kidney health?
Making a Plan
A plan is defined as: the result or achievement in which effort is directed. Your plan is the action you take to get to your goal. What steps will you take in planning for success in your goal?
Examples of Personal SMART Goals
How to make kidney smart goals to lower phosphorus
Example: I will read all of the labels in my pantry and remove anything that includes phosphate additives.
Label reading is very important for kidney health, especially when it comes to phosphorus. This can be a great first step if your phosphorus is uncontrolled.
Example: I will move my phosphorus binders to the kitchen counter where I cook and prep my meals.
Struggling with taking your phosphorus binders? This is an important medication prescribed by your doctor and should be taken as prescribed. Try placing them in a very visible and obvious location to help serve as a reminder to take them when you are supposed to.
How to make kidney smart goals to lower potassium
Example: I will record all of my food for at least 3 days to see how much potassium I’m eating and where it’s coming from.
Potassium comes from our diet, so if it becomes too high it is potentially something you eat. I recommend using a food journal to track at least a few days to see what your habits are.
A journal can be as simple as a pen and paper, or you can use a digital journal like Cronometer. Pick whichever feels the easiest for you.
Example: I will exchange tomato sauce for red pepper sauce.
Once you see what your log is telling you, you’ll be able to make an even more specific goal. For example, if you really enjoy pastas with tomato sauce, swapping it out for a red pepper sauce may be an easy but significant step in managing your potassium!
How to make kidney smart goals for weight loss
Making kidney smart goals can also tie in with other goals such as weight loss. Setting these smart goals for weight loss and kidney health can help you to achieve success and have you feeling great!
If you want to make a weight loss goal, be sure to include an action that brings you to that outcome. Your goal or objective is what the action should solve. Using smart goal recommendations gives you the steps to achieve your kidney and weight loss goals.
Example: I will meal prep and cook plant based meals from home 5 times per week for 4 weeks.
Take a look at what happened to Sandra E. from Florida when she started using SMART goals to reach her weight loss goals!
“By the grace of God I found Jen. She taught me so much about food and made being vegan taste good. Trust me, that’s amazing coming from a former chick-fil-A eating carnivore!
“My kidney function has doubled under her care to 18% and climbing in 3 months! I didn’t know how much a dietitian could do but I’m glad I made the choice to get one and that I hired the right one, Jen Hernandez. After working with her I felt hopeful, empowered, and optimistic!
I’d overwhelming recommend Jen to anyone needing to restore their health. She’s very knowledgeable and so easy to work with. Best of all I lost almost 30 Lbs!“
Will making kidney SMART goals make my kidneys happy?
The purpose of a SMART goal is to set you up for success! The key is to follow the steps to make sure you achieve your goal. Making and achieving kidney friendly SMART goals will ultimately have you on your way to happy kidneys.
What should I eat to make my kidneys happy?
First and foremost, remember that there is no one specific diet for CKD. With that said, there are certain foods we can eat that can benefit and make our kidneys happy!
Increasing your fiber intake is one of them! Adding fiber into your daily routine can help regulate potassium levels, along with controlling blood sugar, and blood pressure. Consuming fresh fruits like berries, and grapes are a great way to make your kidneys happy.
Adding vegetables like cabbage, bell peppers, and cauliflower to your diet can help too by increasing fiber and nutrients that can benefit kidney health! Keeping kidney friendly snacks accessible is important!
Another way to make your kidneys happy is to drink LOTS of water! Water helps your kidneys rid the body of waste by making urine, so it is important to consistently consume water throughout the day.
What should I avoid eating to keep my kidneys happy?
When it comes to CKD there are foods that we should avoid or at least limit to keep our kidneys happy. As always, each situation is different, but there is one thing that everyone with kidney disease should ALWAYS avoid and that is starfruit!
Other than that, each situation is different, but in general, following a low protein diet can help to keep kidney function longer, reduce protein in the urine, and help to control phosphorus.
Another thing to keep an eye on in the diet for those with CKD is sodium, phosphorus, and potassium. People with CKD have impaired or lost the ability to control these levels so it is important to keep them in check.
Should I do a kidney cleanse to start?
During your planning and SMART goal setting process you may find yourself thinking of doing a kidney cleanse as a sort of “jump start” for your kidney SMART goal.
While this may sound like a good place to start, there is no need. A kidney friendly diet as well as fluids will have your kidneys do their job and self cleanse.
Want to know the best place to start? Head over to my Plant Powered Kidneys Online Course to learn more about exactly what the best first steps for improving kidney health are.
This course goes over the fundamentals of the kidney diet so that you can devise the best kidney smart goals for your health!
As the year comes to an end, it is important to think about the goals you are wanting to achieve in the new year! When it comes to those with CKD, making sure you set kidney smart goals is key.
Following the SMART goal recommendations, using these examples of personal smart goals and getting the right info in the Plant Powered Kidneys Online Course will give you the tools you need to set your kidneys up for success!