Kidney beanz

Gerry McDermott
2 min readApr 22, 2018


A few years ago, I had a kidney stone.

It started — or at least the pain started — while I was running on a treadmill at the gym. I assumed I pulled a muscle putting on my running shoes. It can happen!

But, something didn’t feel right. So, I got off the treadmill and went for a shower.

By the time I got home the pain was intense. I was soon on my knees calling 911. The pain came in waves. When a wave hit, I could barely breathe the pain was so severe.

The stone passed painlessly the next day, and I was back at work the day after. But, I was left with the fear that it might happen again, so I signed up with a nutritionist. I wanted to see if I could change my diet to minimize the chance of another stone forming.

I kept a detailed food log for a week or two before our first meeting. I recorded everything I ate and drank, together with the time of day. As an aside, I discovered doing this is motivation not to overeat.

About to have another slice of cake? You probably won’t if you know someone will ask ‘did you really need seconds, let alone thirds?’

I was sure the nutritionist would be impressed with my log. At that time I didn’t eat meat, dairy, or fast food. I was convinced she would think my diet was a model of moderation and healthy eating.

I was wrong!

My diet was a shit show. My ‘healthy’ lentil and tofu ready meals contributed significantly to my average daily salt intake of 5,000mg. My regular evening plates of pasta and marinara sauce sent my carb intake rocketing, while my protein intake was miserably low.

What I thought would be a minor tweak to my eating habits turned out to be a major overhaul. I was eating the wrong stuff at the wrong times.

I never ate breakfast. I never ate before a workout and then ate way too much afterwards. Basically nothing about my diet was good.

I had to change just about everything.

Sorry animals, even though I don’t like to think about it, I started eating your friends and family again. And you know what, I feel so much better for it.



Gerry McDermott

Scottish by birth and American by choice. Trying to write more clearly, take better photos, and read booksinstead of watching YouTube.