When we go on holiday, we relax our daily routine, and may well eat most of our meals in cafés or restaurants. And, of course, an important part of travelling is enjoying and tasting local cuisine and exploring new gastronomic traditions.
In most cases, as long as you are careful to remember your own nutritional requirements and make any necessary adjustments to meals, you will still be able to enjoy and share new food experiences with your travel companions.
You should allow yourself to feel excited about eating new, different food when travelling, but remember as well that you will have to keep to some dietary rules to ensure your kidney disease is controlled and that you enjoy your holiday to the full. Here are some tips here to help you plan ahead:
- keep to your normal eating schedule and do not skip meals: eating regular meals will help you maintain your normal metabolism; ensure you choose suitable meals, and the right portion sizes. When routines are relaxed on holiday, it is easy to skip a meal; and, when hungry, it can be hard to control what you eat and you may make food choices that are not right for you
- do your homework before travelling: find out about the typical dishes and food traditions at your destination. You can then assess in advance which foods are best for your clinical situation, enabling you in turn to make the right decisions about what to eat. You can also always ask for help and advice from your home clinic team
- do not be afraid to ask questions in restaurants: most restaurants will be delighted to advise you if you explain your situation to them. Why not have a chat with the waiter about how the dish is cooked, any detail you need about ingredients and information about portion sizes, salt content etc. They will usually be very happy to adapt dishes to suit your needs, if they understand what these are;
- remember your usual rules: it is easy to forget things when caught up in the excitement of travelling. That is part of the fun, but for your safety, it is important not to forget everything!
As a renal patient, you might need to control thirst, avoid drinking too much and becoming overloaded with fluid. You can make this easier by controlling your salt intake and not avoiding excessive amounts of spicy food. Controlling your body temperature is also important for fluid balance – avoid hot places