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How My Daughter Found the 'Bright Side' of Having a Limited Diet

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Two months ago, my gorgeous 10-year-old daughter, Samantha, was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with a rare autoimmune condition called nephrotic syndrome, where the kidney filters protein into the urine (rather than retaining it in the blood).

After a week of being hooked up to infusions to help release the excess fluid, we were told we could go home. However, the doctors advised Samantha’s diet must be low salt.

That would be easy, we thought — until we went grocery shopping and read the labels on food.

Cereal for breakfast. No, too much salt.

Bread for lunch. No, too much salt.

Biscuits for a treat. No, too much salt.

Cheese for sandwiches, pasta, lasagna. No, too much salt.

Luckily, our family makes most dinner meals from scratch and we don’t generally eat jar food because guess what? Yes, too much salt.

As a family, we went on a journey of discovery.

Samantha found a low-salt bread recipe so we could make bread buns at home. Then she experimented to make it even better.

We discovered the few cereals on the shelf that she could have for breakfast.

We discovered  muesli and oats were better than most options.

Rather than ham and salami for protein on sandwiches, we baked chicken breasts and sliced them up.

We use essential oils, herbs and spices to provide flavor to foods rather than salt.

Now that she is in remission, we do not need to worry about salt levels. However, it has become a part of our new normal. This means if she does relapse, it won’t be such a shock the next time.

During this time Samantha was often asked “So what do you eat?” She decided to put it all together in an ebook to help others. She is currently selling this on my website and on Amazon. From each book sold, she is donating two dollars to the Nephrotic Syndrome Trust (NeST), a charity that raises money to fund research to find a cure for this disease.

If you would like to support her and NeST, you can purchase a copy here on the Essential Life Balance website.

Originally published: June 27, 2018
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