This week, Jill answers an FAQ about french fries and if they’re ever safe to eat on the Kidney Stone Diet.
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Who is Jill Harris?
Jill is a nurse and health coach that specializes in educating patients on kidney stone prevention. For more than 20 years she’s helped patients understand that kidney stones can be prevented with the right treatment plan. It’s one thing to be told to lower oxalate or drink more water, but HOW do you do it? That’s where she comes in. Through the educational resources at kidneystonediet.com, stone formers can learn everything they need to know to significantly lower new stone risk.
Who is Jeff Sarris?
Jeff’s co-founder of SPYR, a branding agency based out of Chicago, where he and his business partner Dave help awesome people like Jill create online platforms that make an impact. He’s also a certified health coach, Executive Producer of the Netflix documentary Minimalism, and host of the Starting Now podcast.
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Jeff Sarris: Welcome back to the Kidney Stone Diet podcast, the show about reducing your kidney stone risk and living your best life. I’m your host and fellow student, Jeff Sarris.
Jill Harris: And I’m Jill Harris, your kidney stone prevention nurse.
Jeff Sarris: So we are back at it. We’re both wearing long-sleeved shirts today.
Jill Harris: Yeah, so first of all, we are very happy–I’m happy it’s fall. I can’t really speak for Jeff. He’ll tell us, but it’s like in the 60s today with sunshine. To me, it doesn’t get better. I love wearing a hoodie, as we all know, but this one–well, do you like fall, Jeff, first of all?
Jeff Sarris: I like fall, but I love summer. We were talking before this, we just came back from Miami Beach and the “felt like” temperature was 100 degrees every day. And I’m like, “This is awesome!”
Jill Harris: Well, that’s because you’re not a middle-aged gal. If you were a middle-aged gall, you wouldn’t think that’s so awesome. We’re already hot all by ourselves without it. So, I’m glad you had fun, though, because getting away is very important, as we all know, for our mental health. Now, my hoodie, people, we finally got it! And I told Jeff, I’m going to tell people, we make like $1.14 off these. We don’t make money off merchandise, just so you know. The place we use has really good quality and, you know, there’s not a lot of markup.
They’re taking all the money. They’re doing all the work. Our designer, our in-house artist, Dave, who’s the second partner in the three of us, in Kidney Stone Diet, he comes up with the design. So we have the “Portion, not perfection,” and then, of course, the little kidney stone logo, which I love so much that Dave made up. And then, if we turn around, we put the–can you see it, Jeff?
Jeff Sarris: Yeah, I can see it! You can even get closer to the camera.
Jill Harris: We put the little kidney stone logo where a kidney stone would be on our back.
Jeff Sarris: Yeah, maybe don’t pull it–maybe pull it side-to-side just so it’s a little–there you go! Now you can see it! You can see it. Perfect! Yeah, I think it’s so fun. I like that it’s little there, too.
Jill Harris: So, if you guys want them, they come in lots of colors. Of course, I picked black, but they have teal, and black and blue, and we have hats and coffee cups–all kinds of things for you guys, because you asked for it. We’re gonna be making more things, too, but this is where we started. We’ll probably do “Turn it around, Buster Brown,” all kinds of fun things. So yeah, that’s available at kidneystonediet.com.
Jeff Sarris: And like you said–what’s that?
Jill Harris: The shop page, I think?
Jeff Sarris: Yeah, just /shop. I can jump over there right now. So, you’ll see KSD merch, and then there’s a bunch of different pieces right now. And, like we talked about just before we jumped on, this is going to sort of always be changing. So if things aren’t popular, they’re gonna go away. We’ll put new ones in. So, not to make it all like “Act now, act fast,” but, at the same time if it’s something you like, either let us know or pick it up and we’re gonna keep swapping these out. But, like Jill said, this isn’t a moneymaker. This is just for fun.
Jill Harris: This is for you and for fun. And also if you’re like, “You know what, girl? Maybe you tell Dave to make this kind of shirt and you know, maybe you guys want something else.” Let us know! It’s for you! Okay? But I buy up the hoodies because they’re hoodies and they’re comfortable and nice and I love it, and because that is my main thing: Portion, not perfection, people. Portion, not perfection. So have a little bip of whatever you want, but just don’t have too much of it. That’s it! Except spinach and almond products. What are we doing today, Jeff?
Jeff Sarris: So, we have a listener question and it’s coming from Tracy. Why don’t we fire that up right now? Why don’t we try to fire that up right now?
Jill Harris: We’re on your time, Jeff.
Jeff Sarris: Let’s see what we got here.
Jill Harris: Well, you know, if you can’t fire it up, I certainly can talk about other things. That’s not a problem. “Here’s Jill ad-libbing because there’s nothing being said.” Alright, I’ll ad-lib! Don’t have to ask me twice! Well, there’s always stuff to talk about people, right? So, if he can’t fire this up, I have 25,000 topics we could talk about in the back of my mind.
Jeff Sarris: When we finish this one, I’m just gonna reboot my little mixer here and then things will be good. But, yeah, why don’t we go for sort of an FAQ or one of the things that you want to touch on this week.
Jill Harris: Alright, an FAQ! “Jill, how much oxalate is in French fries? And are you telling me I’m never allowed to have a french fry?” Henry, this is such a common thing. We already have a video on baked potatoes. That’s another common thing, but french fries. Let’s talk about them, people. We know that potatoes are higher in oxalate. We know this. It doesn’t mean you can have them because they’re not spinach high. When the Harvard list says something’s high, or medium, or low, please look at how much is actually in the product in that serving size. So that’s why we took the Harvard list and all their values of high, medium, and low and we made the safe list.
It gets rid of the adjectives and it just tells you the serving size for baked potato and how much oxalate is in that serving size. So you can use that 100 milligrams of the oxalate bank account analogy. So, you know if you have 100 milligrams of oxalate, you’re can have a lot of food still, people. You just can’t eat as much as you want. So you can’t have three baked potatoes. “Jill, who would do that?” You’d be surprised, okay? Bodybuilders love eating sweet potatoes and baked potatoes all day long.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to French Fries!
So, now french fries, french fries. They are higher in oxalate because they’re a potato. It’s not just the oxalate, people. You gotta look at all that saturated fat, all the salt, lots of calories in french fries. Does that mean you can never have a french fry? That would be “no,” you can have them. So we all know that about once a month, I have my wonderful hotdog and crinkle fries–and for me crinkle fries is where it’s at. I don’t care about shoestring. I don’t care about steak fries. Well, I like steak fries, but crinkle fries, they make me happy.
So does that mean because I watch all the things that I tell you guys to watch because my family has kidney stones and I never want them? I do, but I am also having french fries at the most once a month. I don’t have them that much. Am I telling you to have them once a month? Have them once a week? Just have a few. If you’re saying to me, “Jill, what the hell? I can’t have a few or I’m gonna have a whole truckload!” Not for you, then, it’s a trigger food. But if you can, you know–God forbid, but if someone gets McDonald’s, somebody may–and, also, by the way, if someone’s like, “Jill, I can’t give up McDonald’s.”
I’ll say, “Okay, can you get the kid’s meal where everything smaller? Can you substitute apples sometimes for the little fries?–because we all know an apple don’t taste like a fry and you can’t do that all the time. I’m not nuts, but, I mean, sometimes can you? The point is, even though some things are higher in oxalate and french fries is something that so many people ask me about, you can certainly have them. For me, the bigger issue is the salt and saturated fat. But again, it’s portion, not perfection and don’t have them every day.
Make sure you’re getting enough calcium!
French fries are absolutely something people can enjoy. I often say, “Listen, life is long if you’re not eating foods that bring you joy, and sometimes it’s unhealthy food that’s gonna bring you joy for a second.” It’s totally okay! It’s what we do the majority of the time, what we do the majority of the time on how much at a time we’re doing it. The other important thing when we’re talking about oxalate is to make sure you’re getting enough calcium every day. Calcium for men is up to 1,000. And, for women who no longer get their period up to 1200. Other women, 1000, okay? And that means up to, not over and the reason we want the calcium for you–well, you all need calcium, and it doesn’t have to be from dairy. Go to kidneystonediet.com.
I have many articles on the blog that will tell you how to get calcium instead of from dairy. You don’t have to do that if you’re plant-based. But the reason we want you to get calcium is because you have a skeleton you need to feed. That is the way we get rid of excess oxalate in the body because it binds in the intestines, and goes through the stool, and then we get rid of that excess oxalate. So, french fries, you can have them. They’re not something to eat every day, obviously, for way more important things than oxalate. But, please, people, if it’s a favorite thing of yours, enjoy yourself and then get right back to work. That’s what we say here at Kidney Stone Diet, right?
Jeff Sarris: Yeah, absolutely. And like high quality–
Jill Harris: Do you like fries? What’s your favorite fry?
Don’t deny what you love
Jeff Sarris: I love fries, and chips, and everything. There was a period of time where I was just like, “Okay, no more.” I’m not going to have them because like things being deep fried and just potatoes in general whatnot. But then, eventually, like that only lasts for so long. Like you say, you can’t just cut something out, especially if it’s something you really enjoy. Like, we do actually–Amara makes, what did she make? Is it jicama fries? Like she’s made different fries at home that work out really well that like taste good, and it’s just changing it up, sort of a different nutrient profile and things. But yeah, I always love the crinkle fries from Portillo’s. I don’t like getting things that are cooked in that kind of oil, but it’s like once in a while–much more frequently, for me, are chips. So, Siete, they make chips with, is it in coconut oil? They’re slow cooked, so it’s not oxidized in the oil, all these different things. But yeah, that’s definitely a Kryptonite of mine.
Jill Harris: And, listen, I always say deprivation will always lead to temptation. Specifically–and I’ll say on average–it’s way more women than men. Women will tell me, you know, this is what women do, “I didn’t eat all day or I don’t eat my favorite food anymore.” But, then, at some point, you binge, right? It’s very common that I’ll hear people say, “I didn’t eat all day. I didn’t eat all day. I don’t know what the hell am I doing gaining this weight?” Well, you ate all night! Because once you got home, you just you were starving, right? So, it’s not healthy. First of all, it’s not healthy to deprive your body of energy all day long. Calories are energy and so you want to eat throughout the day to keep your body running well.
But so many people are busy during the day. So they just don’t make time to eat. And then when they get home, they’re just eating whatever they get. They’re making dinner, they’re eating everything. They’re starving them throughout the night. They’re watching TV or whatever they’re doing. They’re picking up their kids plate from the kitchen table. Little booboo kiddie didn’t finish his fries, or his cake, or whatever, and then mama eats it. This is what we do, people. So enjoy your favorite foods, so you’re not always hankering for. That’s the problem. People are like, “I can’t take it anymore. Give me the whole cake!” Right? Instead of having a piece here on there, right?
I mean, I tell my patients, especially ones that struggle with weight, have something of your favorite thing, a little bit of it every day, if it’s not a trigger food and sends you into crazy land, right? But something that brings you joy, so you’re not always like, “God, I can’t have this, this, this and this!” Right? So it’s how we think about things. It’s always an attitude change, too. I often I’m talking about that in the Kidney Stone Prevention Course. It’s how we think about things. We’re brainwashed from the diet industry. They want us to think we’re doing something overnight or we’re not doing something. It’s totally black-and-white thinking and it doesn’t work. What we do here at Kidney Stone Diet is we practice a healthy lifestyle.
And, sometimes, life gets in the way and you have to be flexible. You just have to be. Like, if you’re planning to do 30 minutes, seven days a week or an hour, seven days a week at the gym, and Tuesday night, the babysitter calls and says she can’t make it. Then a lot of people are just like, “I can’t do anything. I’m just going to forget it. I’m terrible.” And then they fall off the whole program, instead of being flexible and saying, “Well, Tracy’s not coming tonight. So I got a kid here, but, you know what, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to take the kid in the stroller, and I’m going to walk for a half hour.” And we’re just talking about activity. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder, you don’t have to be a Palatine biker. You just were asking for activity, not sitting on a couch, right?
It doesn’t have to be all that. Don’t listen to the diet industry. They’re crazy making. They’re crazy making. And so what people are always talking about is either they’re good or they’re bad, on it, I’m not. We’re always practicing, people. Have compassion, and kindness, and patience for yourself. That’s all you need. And, then, day-by-day, you make changes. One day, you’re gonna go back five steps, and next day, you’re gonna go forward, it’s gonna go like this. For the rest of your life, you’re gonna practice. For the rest of your life! So, manage your expectations. You’d be surprised how much that changes your attitude. That’s what I got.
Jeff Sarris: Yeah, I mean, that is like really what it comes down to. And I feel like the “portion, not perfection” hoodie for today is the perfect combo. And yeah, if you want to check them out, again, that is kidneystonediet.com/shop. You can find it right in the navigation, but you’ll be able to see all the different merch. There’s a lot of fun stuff there. We will be back to a listener question with the next episode. If you have a question, and you’re out there, that number is 773-789-8763. We would love to feature you on a future episode. For everyone who’s subscribed, and left comments, and given the videos a thumbs up, that means the world to us. It has really helped. Things are still growing, and moving along. It’s all going really well. We’re very excited with how much reach we’re getting with the show.
Jill Harris: We love it! And, also, what Jeff and I would like to know–Jeff’s like, “I didn’t tell you to say this. I don’t want to know nothing. Stop putting words in my mouth!” I want to know, anyway, what kind of fries are your favorite ones? Krinkle, steak, shoestring, McDonald’s, Burger King. Wendy’s? What do you like? People like talking about french fries? A lot of people do everyday in my practice. So that’s why I’m asking, “What kind do you like?” But I do want to hop on and say that to hop on his bandwagon. My God! We’re really creating a robust community here. It’s what we have on Facebook and I want to create that here on YouTube, so thank you for your support. You guys are amazing. A lot of you will–there’s a little love button, or something on there, and throw five bucks, 10 bucks, you don’t have to do that! But that’s so kind that you do. So thank you for doing things like that. You guys are amazing. So thank you from me as well.
Jeff Sarris: So, with that, we will wrap for this week and we’ll see you next time.
Jill Harris: Bye, guys!