This week, Jill answers a listener question about intermittent fasting and whether kidney stone formers should or shouldn’t be fasting.
Have a question? Leave us a voicemail at (773) 789-8763.
Stop Kidney Stones Once and For All
- Kidney Stone Prevention Course
- Kidney Stone Diet Meal Plans
- 24 Hour Urine Collection Analysis
- Private Coaching
Kidney Stone Diet Resources
Find more episodes of the Kidney Stone Diet Podcast here.
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.
Love this episode? There’s more!
Jeff Sarris: Welcome 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: I’m Jill Harris, your kidney stone prevention nurse. Do you know what I forgot, Jeff, in the last video–because we’re taping, we always do these as a batch, so we do like 4, typically,–the Kidney Stone Prevention Course is $40 off. It’s the lowest it’s ever been. That’s a big deal and I want to make sure people understand that because of the recession, we’re dropping the course price. It’s $149 and we’re giving it away. So take advantage of that before it goes back up to the $189.
When You Fall Off the Wagon, Get Right Back On!
The other thing I want to say this is just general housekeeping, for people who can’t afford $149, that’s why Jeff and I are here. So you can get information on YouTube kidneystonediet.com has so much free information. The private Facebook group, I’m on there throughout the day doing Facebook Lives, answering questions. Make sure you utilize that, too. It’s called the Kidney Stone Prevention Diet or something like that. Go find it, and ask to be a member, and I’ll accept you. So lots of great ways to get information. Spotify, YouTube, as you’re here, whatever, but the course is on sale, people. It’s not going to get lower. There’s people who are copying us, which is great, because the more people that get information, I’m not everyone’s style–not everyone wants to see me or hear me–but they’re double the price, over $300, with two years of experience, not almost 25. So, think about this, we’re giving this away right now.
Jeff Sarris: Yeah and that comes with all the videos, and then you have the one month of the accountability group, which is huge. That’s sort of the the bread and butter of the course.
Jill Harris: Yes, it is, so that’s where you come in–they’re like office hours because no matter what lifestyle or diet changes you need to make for whatever medical condition you have, it’s one thing to be thrown a brochure, it’s one thing for your doctor to tell you low salt, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But then you got to talk to somebody on how exactly you make those changes. That’s what the accountability group calls for. Also, people are in there, they’ve lost 50 pounds, 90 pounds, because they show up, and they stay accountable. That’s what it’s for. So you get that free for a whole month. Thereafter, it’s $19 a month, and there will be–typically, it’s three to four hours a week I spend giving my time away in those calls. So, again, giving my time away to do whatever I can to get the word out and to help you guys understand that you, too, can prevent kidney stones, you too can lose weight, there’s no gimmick.
It’s good, old-fashioned hard work and staying accountable for long-term success. And I have a lot of long-term success in my career because my patients are committed and work hard. My job is just to give them information, listen to them, tweak what they’re doing, and also motivate and make sure they understand that they have to be patient, and loving, and compassionate with themselves and that it’s not about perfection. It’s about being flexible and trying different things and knowing that you’re going to have a lifestyle thing get in your way, a funeral, a birthday, or going out to eat being on vacation. What do you do when all that happens? It’s complicated. It’s not as easy as the diet industry tells us it is and then when we fail where mad. “What’s she talking about? Does anyone know?” No, no one knows! What the hell are we talking about?
Jeff Sarris: We’re diving right in! We’re getting right to the meat of all of it because that’s really what it comes down to. None of this is easy. There isn’t a magic pill, there isn’t the quick fix. The reason that you do the course, you do the accountability calls is to educate people and help them along that path because it’s an easy one, but it’s worth it.
Jill Harris: Somebody on the Facebook page said something today, “I’m so discouraged. I’m so this. I’m trying to lose weight. Now, I have the kidney stones.” And so when I read that post, I did a Facebook Live for that person to tell her, “Look, you’re no different than anybody else.” Everyone feels discouraged because the diet industry has set us up that if we have a bad day, that we’re terrible people and we can’t do it. Yes, you can. It’s ridiculous to think that. Again, it’s about being patient. No one gained a kidney stone in a week. No one gained 20 pounds in a week. This stuff takes time to get these problems, and it takes time to get rid of these problems.
But the best thing that you can know is that it’s not just about not getting sick, but it’s also about how you’re going to feel when you start making better choices more times than not because that’s what we’re asking you to do. More times than not. When you don’t make the healthiest choice for your body because sometimes you want to feed your mind and it wants a Twinkie, that’s okay. It’s what do you do after that? Do you beat yourself up? Or do you say, “That was delicious. Now I’m getting back to work.” That’s all we’re asking you to do. That’s hard, but, at the same time, that’s what’s needed to do. Oh, also, did you see my little–this is my kidney stone shirt.
Jeff Sarris: I like it!
Jill Harris: Now, this one is the “Don’t judge my joy” one. Can you see that?
Jeff Sarris: Yeah, I really like that on the back there.
Jill Harris: Yeah, me too. Don’t judge my joy, whatever that joy is! We did a video “don’t judge my joy.” It’s a really good one, people, you should watch it. It’s on this channel and that’s where this t-shirt came from. People were like, “Yeah, don’t judge my joy. I would get a t-shirt.” So we made you one! I love sitting on my porch watching the little walker-by people and I don’t want people to judge me for that. People will say that’s a waste of time, but it brings me joy. I don’t know what to tell you. So don’t let anyone judge your joy either. You need to do you. So, yeah, the little kidney stone. It’s so cute. I love Dave for making us that.
Jeff Sarris: Yeah, it’s fun! Again, it’s kidneystonediet.com/shop where you can find that. What do you say we dive into the question because we should be good to go this time.
Is Intermittent Fasting Kidney Stone Diet-Compliant?
Listener Voicemail: Hello, this is Tracy calling from Utah. I’m trying to find out if fasting plays a role in either preventing stones, but mostly in recuperating from stones, and how fasting plays a role. Thank you.
Jill Harris: Interesting question and a lot of people ask me about I.F., intermittent fasting. Fasting, am I a fan of it? I’m a fan of whatever works for you to be compliant for the rest of your life and as long as you’re plugging your goals, my goals, our goals, Kidney Stone Diet goals into that lifestyle. So, if you’re doing Keto, it might be difficult for you to eat a lower salt diet. It might be difficult for you to get your calcium. “But I eat lots of cheese, Jill, on Keto!” Yeah, but it’s also very salty. And people are eating a lot of almond flour on Paleo and Keto. So, it’s always complicated. I don’t care about what diet you want as long as you can do it for a lifetime and fit our goals into it. So, that’s fine. Now, I ask, will it help prevent kidney stones? Not necessarily. Would I suggest it to prevent kidney stones? No, I would not because most people can’t be compliant to that long-term. They just can’t.
That’s my experience dealing with people who tell me that every day. “I tried it, Jill. I lost weight, but I can’t not eat. My friends want to go eat at 8:00 and I’m supposed to be stopped by seven.” It just doesn’t work into people’s lifestyles very well. So, typically, what we’re talking about with I.F. and why people do you lose weight is you’re having less calories throughout the day, right? If you shorten your eating window, and you have to stop by seven o’clock at night, you’re not eating through all your Netflix movies all night long, right? And so you’re lowering calories, typically.
What I have an issue with–it may be hard to really scatter your calcium throughout the day in that short eating period, so that may be something I’m not too fond of. There’s nothing that says it’s going to prevent kidney stones, that’s for sure. But if you’re doing I.F. and you’re following the Kidney Stone goals, sure. Also you may lose weight, which also will help prevent kidney stones. So I want to be clear here: I would not say nor is there any research that would show that I.F. will prevent kidney stones. So, to answer that question, no. Am I a fan of it and would I promote it? No. For the average person, no. Why? Because most people can’t stick to I.F. They just can’t.
If I.F., intermittent fasting, works for you and you’re paying attention to your Kidney Stone Diet goals, I don’t have a problem with it, except the calcium does need to be spread out throughout the day. That’s something you need to pay attention to. Could I.F. help with kidney stone recovery? That’s an interesting question, Tracy, not necessarily. I don’t think any doctor is going to say, “Do I have to help with your recovery?” What will help with your recovery is paying attention to the Kidney Stone Diet goals because it’s just a healthy diet. Lots of fluids to help you if you’ve had a lithotripsy or surgery to break up your stones you want to move to help pass those remnants, drink fluids to help pass those remnants. That is what will help. Take whatever medications the doctor has asked you to take during your recovery. That kind of stuff will help. Will I.F. help? No. So I want to be clear, if you want to do it. Do it and pay attention to the goals. Is this stuff promoted to help prevent or help with recovery? No. Does that make sense, Jeff?
Jeff Sarris: Yeah, it absolutely does because it isn’t easy to stick to, especially like there are also the gender components as well that go into fasting and like how it does differ from men to women, and sort of how our bodies react and times of the month and all these different things. So, it is a complex question, as well, but it’s an interesting one. I’m glad that Tracy brought that up because it’s something that you hear about all the things and ways it can help. So, could it maybe possibly help in this in this way, too. So it’s really a valuable question to have answered.
Jill Harris: It is, and I think you know, I.F., like I said, typically, it’s lowering your calories every day because you’re not munching all night long. So, when you put hard and fast rules, I’m not eating before 11am and I’m stopping at seven, there’s a lot of time–if you wake up at six and you go to bed at midnight–that’s a lot of time you’re not eating, right? So you’re restricting your calories. Basically, that’s what I.F. is for most people, for most people. So if one can do it–I’ve had a couple stoners do it. They changed their lifestyle, they paid attention to their salt, they tried their best with the calcium. They do find that that is the issue spacing it out because you don’t want too much calcium really close together, because our body has a hard time absorbing it period. So, that is the little trick, but if you can be compliant with it, and that is the lifestyle you totally love and you’re fitting into our goals. Go forth. God bless. Right? My experience, though, tells me most people can’t stick to that for a long period. It just doesn’t become their lifestyle.
Jeff Sarris: But, I mean, I think that’s the the perfect encapsulation of it because that is if it’s working for someone, if it works for you, then it absolutely fits as long as the other things are in line. It’s funny because we always come back to the Kidney Stone Diet goals, but that that’s at the core of it. That’s what makes it work.
Jill Harris: Absolutely! So, I had this one patient, I’m thinking of, specifically, they weighed I don’t know, like 420 something pounds and they were like 5’6″, so they were also small. That patient lost a lot of weight doing I.F. so my message is always to be flexible because most patients are trying to fit themselves into these very small, tiny box of very hardcore rules. Most patients, in my experience, cannot adhere to those rules. It’s too much and once they have one screw up, they just get too down on themselves. But there are a smaller amount of people, in my experience, that they dig those rules. “I am not eating before 11 and after six or seven at night, and I am good with that.”
So, this patient lost a lot of weight, but that was who this patient was they really liked rules like that because they had no control, otherwise. I coached her for a long time because it takes a long time to lose that much weight if you’re doing it safely. And that’s the biggest thing, too. Once we lose weight too fast, we typically gain it just as fast back. That’s what we do. And we lose a lot of muscle, people. We don’t want to lose muscle at our age because muscle keeps our metabolism rolling nicely. That’s really important, too. So, anyway, she really dug those rules. That worked for her and she’s still doing okay now. My important part of teaching for her was she still needs to learn how to eat well.
A lot of people do I.F. and they ain’t eatin’ no better. They’re restricting their calories. So if you eat, you know, 5000 calories of crappy food, unhealthy food, and go down to 1200 calories of crappy food just to lose weight, because you’re lowering your calories. Right? She needed to learn how to eat properly and that’s what took her a long time because there was a lot of emotional stuff going on around with food. That’s why she weighed so much. It’s not about teaching people broccoli is good and wieners ain’t. It’s about why is somebody eating? What are they doing with the food? There’s a reason they’re eating and overeating, and going back and forth with the emotions that all that causes, right?
So, you know, are they in a bad marriage? Did they just lose their dog? Do they have a terrible boss? I repeat myself a lot people because I hear this every day. So it always bears mentioning and reminding you, you are not alone. So, when we are stressed, some people don’t eat when they’re stressed. That’s me. So we all do different things with food. It’s not about just knowledge. It’s about how do you deal with the emotional part of eating, that’s super important. So that’s why she worked with me for a while. She couldn’t just do that by herself. It helped that she was doing the restricted hours, but she still had to deal with ‘what do I eat during those hours?’ So she had to learn how to eat healthy instead of eating crappy food all day long. So that’s really important.
Again, guys, it’s complicated. Lifestyle changes. Don’t just say, “Listen to the diet industry. Just do this and by 21 days, you’ll be a different person.” That’s crap. You may be and then day 22, you go back to what you were doing, and you gain all that weight back. So, it’s complicated, and you need people to help support you, and also to motivate you, and also to tell you it takes time. But that doesn’t sell things. The diet industry is made upon selling products to you, a new one every year, because last year’s don’t work no more. So I’ve been peddling the same thing for 24 years because it does work and you don’t need anything else, but what you need is some education on what’s important. Each one of you is different and that is also very important. The end. That’s “I Love Lucy.”
Jeff Sarris: Oh, I know that one. For sure. Love it.
Jill Harris: I love it. Okay, so that’s what I have to say. What was the question?
Jeff Sarris: I just wanted to say, make sure you check the merch store soon for “Broccoli’s good, wieners ain’t.” That’s just so silly. But yeah, I mean, I think this was great, thank you. Thanks for the question. And, obviously, we’re not going to make that shirt, but I just thought that was a really funny phrase. If you have a question, and you’re listening right now, and you have a question that you would like answered on the show, in a future episode, the number is 773-789-8763. Just leave a little voicemail, your name, maybe where you’re from and in the world, and your question. We’d love to feature you on a future episode.
To check out the Kidney Stone Prevention Course, which, as Jill mentioned, is discounted right now and much more attainable. We’re just trying to make it as accessible as possible. You can go to kidneystonediet.com to find that. The meal plans, which we haven’t mentioned for a little bit, and everything else, but so much free content out there. We want to keep helping you as best we can, but if you want some of the premium stuff, you can also grab that as well. And I think with that we will wrap for today.
Jill Harris: Oh, I do want to ask one more thing. I like to ask the viewers, if you are doing I.F. and finding it sustainable for you or if you have tried it and didn’t find this sustainable, let us know in the comments. I can’t wait to answer some of those questions or talk about it with you. So let’s go!
Jeff Sarris: With that, we will see you next week.
Jill Harris: Thanks, Tracy!