By: Caro Santos-Neves
As someone who’s in the kitchen all the time, (Yep, I’m a chef), and who has a love affair with coffee, I find myself 1. Drinking too much of this dehydrating stimulant (3 cups at least), and not enough H20 to make up for it. And 2. Taking my time (too much time), when I need to use la toilette. I mean, think about it, if I’m pan searing a piece of fish, and I don’t want it to overcook, I hold my pee until that plate has been set down. Oh the sacrifices we make for food.
There’s always this great fear that I’ll get a UTI or …lets be honest, have a bit of leakage. And so to make up for my caffeine absorption + my holding-it-in habit, I eat foods that keep my bladder strong and balanced. I avoid sugar, foods with too much acid (wine, tomatoes, citrus). When I can, I try to avoid alcohol, but opt for Mezcal over wine because it has less sugar. And while it takes a lot of motivation sometimes, I substitute my java for green tea (Antioxidants anyone?)
I have found that the best way for me to maintain a healthy diet is in fact by being intentionally healthy while cooking and always sneaking in a little something extra in the dishes I make. For example, a few days ago, I had a few extra broccoli stems and so I made a dip. I knew that I wanted to give this dish a hint of Spring + Umami flavor. And! I wanted to use ingredients that would heighten the level of nutrition. Lucky for me, Tahini is one of my favorites and it has a significant amount of calcium. Well, turns out it also has phosphorus, which helps remove waste from your kidneys. I also decided to use Dill, which is an incredible herb that often gets added to salmon and potato salad dishes. I adore using it in dressings, because it feels unexpected, but also incredibly refreshing. Dill is yes another herb that has so many healthy benefits, especially ones relating to our digestive tract, menstruation, and pelvic pain. It helps decrease gas as well as cramps! Next time you feel the side effects of eating too many gassy foods, or cramps, both of which can increase pressure on the bladder, try adding dill into your life.
Creamy Broccoli Dill Dip
Makes 4 Servings
3 tablespoons Olive oil
Sea Salt (to taste)
½ white onion, sliced, caramelized, cooled
1 head broccoli florets, plus stems
¼ cup tahini
1 small bunch dill, rinsed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Juice from ½ lemon
Preheat oven to 400 F.
In a small bowl mix broccoli with olive oil, and season with salt. Put on half sheet pan and roast for approximately 20 minutes or until toasted. Remove from oven and let cool.
In a blender combine, onion, broccoli, tahini, dill, lemon juice and large pinch of salt. Puree for approximately 45 seconds, or until smooth.
Serve with a hydrating veggie like Kohlrabi, roasted Celery or Jicama. And if you decide you like chips better, just make sure they aren’t too salty!
*~Do you have any recipes or snacks that are especially soothing for the bladder?~*
After earning a B.A. in post 1800's European history from Brown University, Carolina officially began her food career as an editor at Epicurious.com while completing her chefs training program at the Natural Gourmet Institute. She eventually became part of the team that opened both Comodo & Colonia Verde in New York City.
Having spent a significant amount of time abroad no food adventure seemed too foreign for Carolina. She’s done everything from executing a Japanese breakfast pop up at Summit at Sea to making ceviche for 300+ people at the James Beard Foundation Dinner for The Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, to working closely with The Bubble Org to insure that children have access to healthy food education. Presently, Carolina aims to create community and conversation around the table through her personal brands, “Call Me Caro” + “The Supper Women".