It’s my six-month kidneyversary and today I’m grateful for food.
On April 11, 2017, my little sister gave me a second chance at life when she donated one of her kidneys to me. So on the eleventh of each month, I remember to be grateful for everything I have. Today I’m especially grateful for food.
This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada. It’s similar to the American holiday, without all the trappings of colonialism.
We Canadians did, however, borrow the traditional American meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.
I’m not a big fan of pumpkin pie, but I do love me some mashed potatoes and gravy.
Last year, I couldn’t eat any. I had stage-four kidney disease and my kidneys could no longer remove toxins from my body. I was overdosing on nutrients that are usually good for you, and had to avoid foods with potassium.
The list of restricted foods was a who’s who of foods that are supposed to be good for you, including avocados, whole grains, legumes and spinach. And it turned out that potato, in all its glorious forms — friend, baked and mashed — was about the worst thing I could have.
So when I gorged on mashed potatoes and gravy this Thanksgiving, I was especially grateful for this healthy new kidney that gets the toxins out of my blood.
Food is something worth being grateful for.
My friend Miranda says she tried writing a gratitude journal but found she was mostly grateful for food. One day, the only item on her list was shawarma.
The World Health Organization reported last month that after declining for over a decade, hunger is on the rise again, driven by war and climate change. More than 10 per cent of the world’s population — a whopping 815-million people — are malnourished or starving. To put that in perspective, that’s roughly the population of the entire European Union plus the United States.
So today I’m grateful for food.
I’m grateful that I was born in a country of privilege, where I’ve never had to feel hungry.
I’m grateful that I can choose fresh healthy, foods.
And I’m grateful that once in a while, I can choose mashed potatoes and gravy.
What about you? What are you grateful for today?