Marching Towards a Healthier You!

The month of March is not only National Nutrition Month, but National Kidney Month as well. In fact, March 14th is National Kidney Day. Maintaining proper kidney function is very important! This vital organ is in charge of numerous functions in our bodies including:

  • Filtering waste out of 200 liters of blood each day.

  • Regulating the body's salt, potassium and acid content.

  • Removing drugs from the body.

  • Balancing body's fluids.

  • Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure.

  • Producing an active form of vitamin D (calcitriol) that promotes strong bones.

  • Controlling the production of red blood cells.

Kidney disease can be a fatal disease and is actually the 9th leading cause of death in America. There are more than 26 million Americans that have kidney disease, but the majority of those individuals are unaware that they have it.

Eating a well-balanced diet is especially important for those with kidney disease. People who have this disease may have to limit protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium consumption. However, if you have kidney disease, it is important that you meet with a Registered Dietitian to discuss the proper diet that meets your specific needs.

In honor of National Nutrition Month and National Kidney Month, put your best fork forward and try out these spectacular salad recipes:

Shrimp Salad

Portions: 2

Serving size: 2-1/2 ounces shrimp with dressing, 1-cup salad, and 1-ounce bread


1/2 pound medium-size shrimp, uncooked

1 teaspoon fresh dill

1 teaspoon fresh oregano

1 teaspoon fresh basil

1 garlic clove

1 scallion

4 small mushrooms

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 teaspoon mustard seed

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 cups green leaf lettuce pieces

4 cherry tomatoes

2 slices crusty French bread


  1. Peel and devein shrimp.

  2. Chop dill and oregano. Thinly slice basil and scallion. Finely mince garlic. Slice mushrooms.

  3. In medium saucepan combine wine, mustard seed, pepper flakes, bay leaf, and lemon zest. Add enough water to fill pan 2/3 full. Bring mixture to a boil.

  4. Add shrimp and cook until pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, rinse with cool water and chill in the refrigerator.

  5. To make dressing, mix olive oil, vinegar, dill, oregano, basil, garlic, mustard and scallion in a salad shaker or screw top jar. Shake well.

  6. Place shrimp in a bowl, add dressing and toss well.

  7. Serve shrimp over green leafy lettuce. Garnish each salad with two cherry tomatoes and 2 thinly sliced mushrooms. Serve with a slice of crusty French or Italian bread.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories: 241

Protein: 20 g

Carbohydrates: 19 g

Fat: 9 g

Cholesterol: 144 mg

Sodium: 367 mg

Potassium: 405 mg

Phosphorus: 171 mg

Calcium: 101 mg

Fiber: 2.7 g

Renal and renal diabetic food choices:

2 meat

1 vegetable, medium potassium

1 starch


Counts as 1 carb

Grilled Chicken Salad

Serves 4

Serving size: 1 chicken breast over 1-1/2 cups salad


3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash® garlic herb seasoning blend

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

6 cups butter head lettuce

1/2 small red onion

12 medium strawberries

8 plain breadsticks, 9-1/4” x 3/8” size


  1. Make dressing by combining olive oil, vinegar, Mrs. Dash seasoning and salt.

  2. Place chicken in a zip top bag and add 2 tablespoons of the dressing to coat chicken pieces.

  3. Heat a grill to medium high heat.

  4. Place chicken breasts on grill and cook 8 to 10 minutes until juices are clear and chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and rest 5 minutes.

  5. Tear lettuce into peices. Cut onion into rings.

  6. Arrange lettuce, onion rings and strawberries on a plate.

  7. Slice each breast diagonally and place on lettuce bed.

  8. Pour 1 tablespoon remaining dressing over each salad.

  9. Serve each salad with 2 breadsticks.

  10. Renal and renal diabetic food choices

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

Calories: 308

Protein: 29g​

Carbohydrates: 14g

Fat: 15g

Cholesterol: 70mg

Sodium: 278mg

Potassium: 534mg

Phosphorous: 249mg

Calcium: 55mg

Fiber: 2.2g

Renal and diabetic food choices:

3-1/2 meat

1 vegetable, low potassium

1/2 starch

1/2 fruit, low potassium


Counts as 1 carb

Spinach-Mandarin Salad

Serves 5

Serving size: 1 cup


2 cups fresh spinach

1/2 cup dried cranberries, sweetened

5-ounce can water chestnuts, drained

1 cup mandarin oranges

1 medium apple

1/4 cup crunchy chow mein noodles

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup vinaigrette salad dressing


  1. Drain water chestnuts and oranges; cut apple into wedges.

  2. Place washed, drained spinach leaves into a 1-quart serving bowl. Sprinkle dried cranberries over top.

  3. Add water chestnuts, chow mein noodles, apple wedges and mandarin oranges.

  4. Sprinkle pepper over top. Cover and refrigerate to chill.

  5. Toss lightly with 1/4-cup vinaigrette salad dressing and serve

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

​Calories: 157

Protein: 2g

Carbohydrates: 31g

Fat: 4g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Sodium: 145mg

Potassium: 232mg

Phosphorus: 32mg

Calcium: 28mg

Fiber: 2.9mg

Renal and renal diabetic food choices:

1 vegetable, medium potassium

1 fruit, low potassium

1 high calorie

1 fat


Counts as 2 carbs

For more information about National Nutrition Month check out and for more information about kidney health you can go to The National Kidney Foundation’s website.

Lastly, for more kidney friendly recipes, check out



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