Things have changed in the last 20 years. When I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Failure at the end of that other century, yes, 1999. No one staged my kidney failure, so I do not really understand the numbers. (I had stage 4 lymphoma so I figure stage 4 renal failure is not good.) All I knew about my GITrack was that what I put in my mouth would affect my kidneys one way or another. The worst thing I could eat was animal flesh, beef destroys kidneys and it had to go. I was already having trouble with beef so it was not hard to give it up. I put myself on a vegetarian diet, I was not diabetic but what would it hurt me to do a diabetic-vegetarian diet. I was able to feel good and stay off dialysis for 3 years. At that time if you were told you had renal failure you could be on dialysis in 6 months.
I am happy that, today, others are on a diabetic-vegetarian diet and it is working for them too. Getting use to a new lifestyle change is not easy. For me it was not too hard, I lived by myself, fixed all my own meals and I did not buy things I could not eat – no junk food. I first made a list of foods I could have then went from there – not what I could NOT have. It is just like your wardrobe, you know what works well together so that is what you wear. I like trying new things, if it was on my new food list I would try them together. If I did not like them I would not do it again.
The hard part is if you do not live alone. When my father was diagnosed with diabetes everyone went on the same diet, everyone lost weight and felt better. If your family will not help with your lifestyle change (for medical reasons) then they should not be welcome at your table or you should not eat at theirs. If you grew up eating beef and it was 75% of your meal or any other animal flesh then be thankful you made it this long. A good salad is wonderful, I can make it my entire meal. All fresh vegetables are good to eat raw and good for your body. I might cook some macaroni, adding all the fresh raw vegetables in my refrigerator with a little olive oil and vinegar. I like frozen white corn and petite peas in my salad. I just microwave them for about a minute and they are delicious. I might add carrots, mushrooms, a small amount of lettuce, low-sodium seeds or nuts, cheese and/or cooked white chicken meat, and whatever I have in a big bowl. If I have low sodium crackers I will have them too,
I am thankful that what I did over 15 years ago is now a regular diet for End Stage Renal Failure. I know my doctor had his new patients start a diabetic-vegetarian diet and they did not have to begin dialysis ASAP. He was very happy that I managed to stay off dialysis for 3 years, he never had anyone stay off that long before just from what they ate. I also took my meds as directed.