Of all the health issues that could plague a person, my husband has unluckily drawn the kidney stone straw. Poor fella, his first was two years ago, at 37 … so he’s got a long time to look forward to dealing with the delights of that malady. I know, perhaps a little TMI, but I figure good information is worth a little pink-cheeked shyness.
Kidney stones tend to be blamed on excess calcium, and since the mister’s a dairy master, he was disheartened to learn that he might have to give up cheese or milk or yogurt; that we’d have to buy him a separate container of OJ Simpson since the juice my son and I drink has calcium (which is good for my girlie and his little boy bones), or that he’d be a grocery store pariah and have to start drinking something like almond milk (no dairy). But the doc assured us that no amount of calcium that he could cut out of his diet would affect the stones one way or another (he’s just lucky like that)–so he still drinks skim milk, enjoys yogurt and eats cheese in moderation. No need to be so flamboyant about it, just in case.
He delighted in learning that having a beer a day would help to cut the uric acid that causes the stones. Being a fine connoisseur of the ol’ hops and barley was surely a plus. Then there was the suggestion that he eat asparagus once a day. I’m going to plant asparagus in my Victory Garden this year because it’s expensive, and I make sure to have at least one serving on hand for him every night. In fact, I got a kick-ass All Clad asparagus steamer pot for Christmas. Now, I switch between steamed, roasted and sautéed asparagus … some nights I make enough for both of us, but every night he has a helping. We’re still adjusting to the smell.
Talk about a kick to the teeth. Seriously, I love coffee. I can have 15 cups of coffee a day–14 of the them right before bed–and still sleep. But in an effort to be supportive, I decided to just make a pot of coffee once or twice a week (though I make no bones about sneaking out to my local Starbucks whenever the urge strikes me) and take up the tea habit with my man.
Holy cow, what an experience. I feel like learning about teas is like learning about the printing process when I started out in marketing. There’s a million types of teas … green teas, black teas, herbal teas; there’s double the number of accoutrements … tea strainers, strainer spoons, bagged teas, loose teas, special tea honey, tea cups with strainers built-in. And tea costs a freaking fortune.
Finally after about three months of tea imbibing, we’ve settled on four or five brands that we really enjoy, and have discovered an easy way to administer our tea addiction.
For tea at home, we use loose tea from a tin that I cannot read, that the mister picked up at the Grand Asia Market. It’s like world travel to go in that place, and I love it. We have a tea ball strainer that makes the loose tea by the glass, or we can put on a pot if we’re all having tea. By the way, my 12-year-old loves the jasmine green tea, too. He’s particularly fond of the process of making tea for himself.
For tea on the go, we have a selection of tea bags. We’ve discovered that one tea bag in a travel coffee mug will last two or three refillings worth of hot water. Then, we tuck an extra teabag in our bag in case we need a bolster of the good stuff later in the day, while still on the run.
So, this journey on the road to beating kidney stones has been long and painful for him, challenging and helpless at times for me. But our best advice for the most comfortable, least frequent attacks of the kidney stone monster, on a daily basis … and remember, I’m not a doctor, I just play one on tv … is:
- one to two beers
- a serving of asparagus
- lots of water
- one to two cups of hot jasmine green tea
What works for you?