I called my doctor about my kidney stone the other day.  He started by thanking me for gift wrapping it then said that he had sent me a list of foods to avoid.  He stressed that I should be drinking lots and lots of water, as in between 64-94 oz a day.  That adds up to more than two of those huge drinking vats they give you to take home from the hospital when you have a baby.  The information came in the mail today, and I learned kidney stones usually affect people between ages 20-40.  Here is an edited version of the diet recommendations. 


“Avoid these high-oxalate foods.”

  • black tea
  • chocolate
  • soy products
  • nut butters
  • high fiber cereal
  • grits
  • whole wheat products
  • taro
  • blackberries
  • currents
  • dewberries
  • rhubarb
  • beans of all kinds
  • beets
  • carrots
  • celery
  • eggplant
  • escarole
  • kale
  • okra
  • olives
  • peppers
  • potatoes
  • rutabaga
  • spinach
  • squash
  • sweet potato
  • swiss chard
  • zucchini

I can live without most of this, I really don’t care for whole wheat anyway, so that will come naturally, but a few things will be hard to give up.  How does one not eat potatoes?  I have 15 pounds of them in the house right now.  And beans.  How do you live without beans?  Not to get personal, but I craved refried beans when I was pregnant with Leo.  As in I ate about three cans a week.  The La Preferida brand are the best you can get outside of a joint with the word “Hacienda” in the name.  I didn’t get kidney stones then.  I don’t eat tons of beans anymore, but refried beans…green beans…kidney beans in taco salad…chili…and carrots and rhubarb and squash and zucchini?  Sweet potatoes?  The garden part of this looks ugly.  I turned to the next page to find this…


“Limit these moderate-oxalate foods”

  • beer
  • coffee
  • orange juice
  • apples
  • mandarin oranges
  • pineapple
  • prunes
  • liver
  • sardines
  • corn tortillas
  • plain ravioli
  • spaghetti in red sauce
  • cinnamon poptarts
  • white bread
  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • fennel
  • lima beans
  • lettuce
  • onions
  • potato chips


I can limit myself on most all of this, I have managed to limit myself to one bite of liver in nearly 40 years, I am only a little behind that on lima beans, I drink one cup of coffee a day, not a problem, but corn tortillas?  I like broccoli and asparagus, and I can eat fresh pineapple until I have sores in my mouth.  Fortunately it isn’t on sale often enough for this to happen on a regular basis.


“Eat as much of these low-oxalate foods as you like.”

  • apple juice
  • cola
  • wine
  • cheese
  • milk
  • butter
  • mayonnaise
  • bacon
  • all other meats except liver and sardines
  • Cheerios
  • graham crackers
  • macaroni
  • white rice
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • cucumbers
  • kohlrabi
  • mushrooms
  • peas
  • corn syrup
  • honey
  • sugar
  • jello


Too bad I am not three years old. 


So I can throw out everything I learned about nutrition and I no longer have to wonder if I am eating enough whole grains and vegetables, but I will have to tell my kids to eat all these vegetables that I can’t.  I am completely out of luck as far as tea and chocolate are concerned, but I can drink as much Coke as I like.  And I need to limit my intake of cinnamon poptarts.  Eggs didn’t make the list one way or the other.


I think I need to talk to the good doctor about this a little, from a practical standpoint.  I am afraid my tea, which I think of as brown, is probably black and I am gonna need a firm definition of “avoid.” 


He did stress water intake.  I am hoping that is the key.  What is the calculated risk here? It has been about 10 years since I had my last kidney stone, I am only one year away from 40 and I have about 100 of those oxycondon pills left…