This week, Jill answers a listener question about protein drinks for kidney stone patients when on a liquid diet.
Have a question? Leave us a voicemail at (773) 789-8763.
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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. Oh, do you know what I thought the other day? He’s like, “Oh, shit, it’s the end of the day and she’s bringing something up that has nothing to do with kidney stones again.” Well, I took a friend of mine out yesterday and we saw The Golden Gals. It was a play in drag. It was drag. So, there was these three men dressed up as The Golden Girls. Oh, my God, was it just fabulous, and funny, and had so much fun!
I love The Golden Girls. I never watched it my whole life and somebody said, “You’ve never watched The Golden Girls?!” I’m like, Alright, let me see it. And I got hooked. It’s a great little show to watch before bed, unless you get that song stuck in your head- “Thank you for being a friend.” Anyway, so I’ve been really enjoying it. So, then I took somebody and I was like, “Let’s go see The Golden Gals.” They’re like, “What the hell is that?” I’m like, “It’s drag Golden Girls, so let’s go!” We had a ball! That’s what’s new with me. Not that anyone asked. That’s what I did yesterday.
Jeff Sarris: That’s fun! Is that–is it like a local thing? Do they do that all over the place? What is it?
Jill Harris: No, it’s just local. The theater, it’s like, whether you’re in the first row or the last one, it’s all the front row seat. It’s tiny, but it was so good, and so adorable, and so sweet. They did such a stellar job. They really took on those roles. I mean, it was amazing. So yeah, it was great. Loved it, and just to see the–you know, they made the set look like the family room. It was great. I enjoyed it.
Jeff Sarris: Very cool. Yeah, I don’t have anything like that to share, recently, since we’ve been back, but I like that. And it’s fun finding little things like that that are maybe unexpected because you’re like, “I’ll give this a shot.” But then when it actually comes through, and it’s something worth talking about that’s really good.
Jill Harris: I love random stuff like that. That’s why I live in the city, so I can go walk into to the grocery store, but I’ll say, “Oh my god, there’s a magic show here this weekend. Let’s go!” So, I love doing really just random “let’s go, all of a sudden” things. They’re like, “A magic show?” “Yeah, who cares! Let’s just go!” You know, because I mean, half the time it’s not the best, but half the time, it’s friggin’ excellent. I love it!
Jeff Sarris: Have you ever been to the Chicago Magic Lounge? Do you know about that?
Jill Harris: No, what’s that?
Jeff Sarris: So I’ve never been, but I’ve been meaning to go, so maybe we should go sometime, but it’s a place that all they do–they have illusionists, and do sort of up-close stuff, and everything. I think it’s sort of a speakeasy vibe. I think you go through like a closet or something, or a bookcase or something to get there. But I remember somebody mentioned it way back when and I’ve been meaning to check it out. Anyway, enough magic talk! Let’s dive into this week’s question from Bruce.
Listener Voicemail: Hello! My name is Bruce and I have a dislocated jaw. So, my jaw is wired shut for the next six weeks. I’m on a liquid diet and I’m struggling to find a protein powder shake that won’t be harsh on my kidneys. So, I’m looking for at least 56 grams of protein a day to aid in the healing process. I’m in South Carolina. This is Bruce from South Carolina. This jaw is wired shut. Just looking for some protein. Thank you.
Jill Harris: Oh, Bruce, I’m so sad to hear about this for you, God! Well, I think people who are listening are like, “Yeah, it wouldn’t be too bad if Jill wired her mouth shut for a minute. We could use a break!” No, Bruce, I’m so sorry that you’re going through that. That’s terrible, honestly. So, he’s looking for protein. He’s looking for, you know, about 55 grams. I don’t know exactly what he said, but I think 54-55 grams. I’m just rounding it up because it’s fun to work with round numbers. Fifty-five grams of protein. Luckily, nowadays, you can find protein drinks all over the place, as we all know. Lots of them, lots of them are just filled with junk as part of the ingredients.
Here are some of my favorite protein powders!
And he didn’t say if he could have dairy, which tells me he can because otherwise he would say that. I would say this, Bruce, I’m just going to throw some suggestions out. Overall, before I do, these are for everybody, whether your mouth is wired shut or not, when you’re looking for protein shakes, here’s what I suggest. Look for the lower salt and lower added sugar. That’s the first thing you look for. That’s the first thing. You want to keep those down. There’s a few things I use. I will use–because dairy doesn’t sit so well with me–I will use an egg white protein. My egg white protein has a higher sodium. As a matter of fact, where is it? It’s here somewhere. It’s Healthy and Fit Egg White Protein. We do not sponsor them. They do not sponsor us, but that’s what I use. I use the gourmet vanilla flavor, Healthy and Fit Egg White Protein.
I’m just gonna get it because we’re all damn home here. So I like seeing things. Now, since it’s been winter, I haven’t had any of this. It’s too cold, but that’s what I use. If you look at this, Bruce, it has 24 grams of protein, but it has 295 milligrams of sodium. When I have something like this, something higher in sodium, I just have it. You get 1500-2000, I like to push it to the 2000 limit because if I say 1500, they’ll say, “I’m doing 700.” Don’t. Fifteen hundred is the base. Of course, those of you who have been on a low salt diet for a long time, you like being around 800. You do you. But on the Kidney Stone Diet, the goal is 1500. So, because he’s not eating anything, he’s going to have some room in his salt budget, okay, because he can’t chew right now.
So, for one scoop of this, I’m going to get 24 grams of protein, but it’s going to give me 300 milligrams of sodium. So when I have something like this in the summer, I’m having it number one, because this is my alternative to ice cream. Thank you very much. That’s why I’m using it because I don’t eat ice cream because of the sugar, and lactose, and all that. Even the low-lactose ones have a crapload of sugar, so I don’t eat ice cream. So I will use this as my ice cream treat sometimes, but I will make room for the sodium in my day. People think, “Jeez, Jill, you say to have the Healthy and Fit, but it’s high in sodium!” But I’m watching my sodium for the rest of the day. I’m not going over my goal. I know I’m having this and I have plenty of room in my sodium budget because I eat a very low sodium diet. So I’m not worried about it.
But when I suggest a product or say, “Hey, this is what I’m doing,” I like to call out it is high in sodium. Make room for it in your day. So there’s that. This is the Egg White Healthy and Fit. We don’t get nickels talking about them. Other things which are nice to do, you could do these days, Bruce, you could do because–now if you make a smoothie out of this, you know the sucking may be difficult with your mouth being wired, too, so I don’t know. So I’m just saying that. I don’t know how good you can suck with a wired jaw, so I’m just bringing that up. You may not want to make it real thick, if that’s a problem for you. Otherwise, here’s some easier.
Look at your labels, people!
Nowadays, I mean, the ultra filtered milks are unbelievable. So, Fairlife–and these will be lactose-free because they’re ultra filtered. They get rid of all the excess fat, they get rid of the lactose, they filter it really way down, so you get more protein in these products. I’ll show you. I think I have some in my kitchen. I don’t have to just make it up. Yes, I do. Now, there’s a lot you can say about this. Here’s Core Power, made by the Fairlife people, 42 grams of protein, but, Bruce, pay attention. Forty-two grams of protein, 900 milligrams of calcium. We don’t want to do more than 500 at a time. So this half now, half later. So, with this, you’ll get your calcium needs met, too. Again, these products, nobody knows I’m putting these on the show. These are things I use and I like to share with people what I use, sometimes.
Jeff Sarris: And we do have links in the show notes that if you buy through there, they are affiliate links to Amazon, so we do get some nickels from that. But that is–
Jill Harris: Okay, that’s true. We could make a couple nickels. That’s right.
Jeff Sarris: Just so people know, there is no connection. No sponsorship, there’s nothing. This is just stuff you like, so we’ve now added it to the description on these just so you can find the products that Jill likes.
Jill Harris: I actually buy mine off Amazon. Now, they also have strawberry flavor. They also have–I got a 42 here, but you could get I believe they make a twenty-four. I also get that. So my son will have the 24 and he gets the chocolate one. I’m not going to, of course, tell my kidney stone formers to get chocolate, but the strawberry one is also very good. So I will have this. I will split the dose on this. So, you could do this, Bruce. This is Fairlife Core Power. It’s in the description, I have a subscription to this, actually. I’m happy with this because I’m lactose-free because of my stomach issues and this sits with me really well. On days, I can’t eat too much–Bruce, actually, because I have bowel issues, there’s days, I can’t eat a lot, so I will use this as my protein source, exactly what you’re asking for.
It was awesome that we did this call today. So, in summary, I use my Healthy and Fit Egg White Protein all throughout the year. I just started getting these maybe two months ago and it’s just been a lifesaver for me, personally. Then my son gets his stuff, too, and he gets his calcium. But, say you’re like, “I don’t want to buy these.” Then, look for anything, Bruce, that will fit you, okay? If you are vegan or vegetarian, like I said, I don’t think you are because you would have said that, the egg protein, of course, would work for a vegetarian. There are pea protein powders, if you wanted to use those. So, what I would do, is I would try what I’m suggesting, but also–because it’s only for six weeks, you may not want to buy a whole protein powder. Maybe you just want to get the Fairlife Core Power for a subscription right now on Amazon to get you through the next month.
But, in essence, just to say for anybody who’s interested in protein drinks, there’s so many different things, nowadays. So, look around your grocery store what you would like. You can Google stuff, too, but when you’re looking at the label, I know what people do: “Oh my god! Forty-two whoozy boozies of protein. I’m getting that!” But look at the label! You don’t want 900 milligrams of calcium at once, people. So, you’ve got to look at everything. I do the work so you don’t have to, but you know, this is a great source for people who are watching their potassium because of chronic kidney disease, something like that. You want to pay attention to that. So these ultrafiltered milks may have more of the base ingredients, like it’s going to be multiplied because they have filtered the whey and the lactose, whatever the hell they’re doing. So it makes these ingredients more in here. Does that make sense?
There’s more calcium, there’s more protein because they’re filtering out all the other liquid, and you’re just left with what they want you to be left with. So, what I’m saying is something like this, there are going to be people who are bodybuilders and fitness people, or you know anybody who is trying to do a lot more protein– probably too much as most people are doing–they’re just looking at that 42 grams and going, “Oh, hell yeah! I hit the protein jackpot!” Now, we’ve got 900 milligrams of calcium, you’re just drowning in one thing. Don’t do that! Turn it around, Buster Brown! Split this product up. So, for Bruce, again, I want to tell you I’m so sad and sorry that you’re going through this, but there’s plenty of options.
If you don’t like the two I suggested, I want you to go to the grocery store, if you can send somebody you love and who is supportive to you to go to the grocery store, have them look at protein, but pay attention to the calcium that’s in these products, and the sodium, and the added sugar. Again, it may have more calcium, but then you’re going to have to split that product up in a couple of different portions, like I do. So I will have some of this with my lunch and some of this with some cereal later on. Sometimes, I have some cereal for a snack and I will use this–so I’ll use this one bottle throughout the day is basically what I’m saying because I need 1200 milligrams of calcium. Bruce, you probably need a thousand. You do need 1000, so you don’t want to go over what you’re supposed to get either because the body doesn’t absorb it so great. Extra winds up in your urine and that can be a strong risk factor. So we don’t want that for you.
So I think that should be good. Oh, you know what else there was some product– God bless America, I forget what it was. It was a protein shake, but it was clear. It was actually clear liquid protein. It almost looked like a Gatorade with like 24 grams of protein in it. I forget what it was. It’s a popular product, too. I just can’t think about it right now. But, anyway, those are two “for sures” if you wanted that, or just Google protein drinks or powders, and find the ones with the lowest sugar, lowest salt. If you have problems with artificial sweeteners, be aware of that, too, if your belly gets upset.
So look at your label, people, for what you need to pay attention to. Calcium and these ultra filtered milks are really important. And your protein powder sodium is going to be high, most likely, okay? Also, one more thing, because there always is with me, these powders, people, they have calories! Some of them, a lot. So if you’re using this, if you’re using like a protein powder, you want to get the most protein for the lowest amount of calories, like this Egg White protein only has 100 calories. Some of these powders have 250-300, and people are having that a lot during the day. You’d be surprised. Some people are drinking shakes three times a day, that’s 900 calories, sometimes. Be careful! People say, “I’m exercising, but I’m not losing weight,” because you’re drinking all your calories. So, pay attention to all of it. Your label is your best friend. The end.
Jeff Sarris: Yeah, I think that calcium note, too, I’d never even thought that, that it could be so high in one thing. Distributing it throughout the day is so important, like you said, because we don’t want that just onslaught at one point, right? It’s sort of like drinking our daily dose of water all at once and then being like, “Okay, I’m good. I’m done.” It’s like, “No, this is over time. It’s important.”
Jill Harris: Yeah, that’s that. So, I think that was a great question and I’m so sad he’s dealing with this. Hopefully, by the time this show comes out–well, that’s the thing, too. Maybe we put this one first? We should put this one first.
Jeff Sarris: Yeah, we’ll do that.
Jill Harris: Yeah, we just did like four shows, people, and this is our last one we’re recording today. So, let’s put Bruce’s first, so while he’s going through this.
Jeff Sarris: Yeah, this will come out next week, then. Thanks again, Bruce, for your question. If anyone’s out there with their own question, the number is 773-789-8763. And we would love to feature you in the future. As Jill said, that’s a wrap today for us, both in this episode and for this batch. We really appreciate everyone who’s tuning in, listening, subscribing, liking, giving a thumbs up, commenting, all of those things.
They mean a lot. They cost nothing, but it goes a long way to help us reach more people with this information that hopefully can continue to move people down the right path to living a better life. Our lives start with our health. If we don’t have our health, what do we have? I think it’s a very important thing to always keep in mind. But, with that, we will wrap for this week. Thanks again, everyone. Thanks again, Bruce. Wow, I’m tongue-tied at the end today!
Jill Harris: You can tell it’s our fourth! We’ve been doing this for hours.
Jeff Sarris: But, yeah, thanks, again, Bruce, and we will see everyone next time.
Jill Harris: Thanks, Bruce! Speedy recovery. Bye, guys!
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