The lovely lady across the breeze-way was a professional cook for 20 years.  She is retired now, but every once in a while, she gets a hankering to get out the pots and pans.  Sometimes, I am the beneficiary of her sumptuous recipes.

BrowniesThe other day, she brought me a gorgeous plate of warm chocolate brownies with walnuts and marshmallows.  Mmmm-mmmm!

Only problem, I make chronic kidney stones, and high on my list of forbidden  foods are chocolate and nuts!

What is a grown man supposed to do!  Throw them out?  Oh, heck no!

I took them to basketball practice, but the guys didn’t realize they were supposed to be eaten, so I took more than half back home.

The plate just stared at me for a couple of days.  FINALLY, I stuck one in my mouth and let all that chewy goodness melt in my mouth.  Oh, my heck!!!

I stuck what was left in the microwave so I would get the sense of a functional kitchen, if even for a few minutes.  (I don’t cook.  The microwave is my only “stove” and/or “oven.”)

Here is a list of the foods I can’t eat.  You can read through it, or skip to the next paragraph.

AVOID: SALT, cheese, luncheon meats, processed foods, spinach, beets, chocolate, nuts, seeds, potatoes (p.5), rhubarb, rice bran, baked potato with skin, corn grits, Navy beans, hot chocolate, bran flakes with raisins (p. 9), Teriyaki, canned meat/fish, cheese pizza, canned soup, soy sauce, link sausage, all pickles, creamed cottage cheese, canned vegetable juices, ham, frankfurters,  processed cheese, chips/snacks, salami, bologna, natural cheeses (p. 13) Meat, fish, poultry (p. 16) ABCS OF KIDNEY STONES). Bran Flakes, Fiber One, Wheat germ, Concord grapes, Lemon peel, Lime peel, Celery, Swiss chard, parsley, parsnips, Green peppers, Rutabagas, Summer squash, Watercress, asparagus, Eggplant, parsley, Ovaltine, Tea, Cocoa, pepper,  Vegetable soup, Peanut butter, berries/juices, soy, Tofu (YOUR GUIDE TO A LOW OXALATE DIET),  Sweet potatoes,  Dried green beans, Red currants,   Fruit cocktail,  Tangerine, White corn,  Tomato sauce/soup (Other guides.).

My family is a remarkable bunch.  Almost all are in some sort of healthy regime.  I walk three miles a day, and play basketball.  We also have those who pump iron, those who do Yoga, those who run.  Those who bike. Those who work construction.  Vegetarians, and at least one vegan.  At one time, even honey was on the “don’t eat” list.  Most health experts say we should stay away from all the processed foods in the middle aisles of our grocery stores.  That leaves raw fruits and vegetables, plus meat, unless you don’t eat meat.

REALLY healthy people try to find health food stores that only sell organic fruits and vegetables, so that narrows the plate down even more.

If I were to follow ALL the guidelines, even my bottled water would get scrapped because it is fortified “with minerals added for taste.”  If I read the fine print it lists, “sodium bicarbonate, and sodium sulfate.”  Even my oatmeal is processed, so I guess I better lay off that as well.

Oh, I haven’t even mentioned my forbidden lists for heart trouble and pre-diabetes!!!!

So, I got to thinking, what about the dietary restrictions of many other people?  I know the Jews can’t eat just whatever they want.  Same with Muslims.  Hindus.  Diabetics.  Cancer victims.  The list goes on.  Follow them all, and you don’t have any “recommended” food left.

Just following my ONE dietary guideline against kidney stones, I’m not left with many food choices.  This afternoon at the store, I almost cried as I tried to find SOMETHING that would be “safe” for my Christmas dinner.  If you haven’t already, now look at my “Avoid” list.  You might get just as discouraged as I was.

The last couple of days, these jumbled thoughts have rumbled through my starving brain: “Why did God invent pecan pie, multi-grain bread, angel food cake, corn on the cob, turkey legs, cranberries, yams, butter . . . . . . . . . ”

I need a drink.



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