Let’s talk about how to stay compliant with your Kidney Stone Diet goals over the holiday season, because I don’t expect you to forgo your favorite treats. What would the holidays be without your customs and favorite family festivities?
I want you to enjoy your favorite foods because the only way to stay compliant with a healthy diet is to do precisely that—enjoy your favorite foods and move on.
The critical point in the last sentence is “move on.” My patients tell me they dread the holidays because of the non-stop eating that starts on Halloween and lasts until January 1. They figure, “Hell, I just ate all my kid’s Halloween candy, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I may as well just wait until January to get back on the horse.”
The “holidays” (if you include Halloween) consist of less than six days—so why eat poorly for eight weeks? Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater! The patients who work with me (and I have extra over the holidays because of the anxiety they suffer about binge eating during this time) find that once they enjoy their Thanksgiving meal, they immediately return to their healthy habits on Friday. Once you learn to get straight back to work, you gain control, feel good about yourself, and are empowered to return to the KSD.
Also, keeping to standard portion sizes and skipping that second piece of pie is important. Patients tell me they feel bad when going back for seconds because it’s hard to stop once the cycle starts. If this sounds like you, skip the second helping. Being mindful of your triggers and patterns will keep you on the straight and narrow.
Staying on the road to stone prevention and keeping weight down over the holidays means being flexible, enjoying your Mom’s homemade apple pie, and moving on. As far as oxalate goes, no one makes a stone overnight—enjoy the mashed potatoes (or if you want a low oxalate mashed potato, try this recipe). Get your calcium needs met on those days (if you can), and make a healthy choice soon after. This philosophy has rid my patients of anxiety, guilt, shame, and fear. You can still enjoy your favorite foods during the holidays. In fact, I encourage it!
Your friend and advocate,