How many times have you heard the statement, “You can’t be too healthy”? Although I can appreciate the intention behind this assertion, I happen to disagree with it wholeheartedly.
In fact, I believe that trying to be too healthy can actually be unhealthy. Sound counterintuitive? Let me explain…
For over 20 years now, I have read, discussed and experimented with just about every nutritional protocol out there.
When I say “every”, I mean everything from the popular, mainstream nutritional plans to the most obscure and underground dietary theories.
While my clients often become my very brave test subjects, I always begin every experiment on yours truly.
I have literally studied, dissected and applied all of the “best of the best” nutritional protocols to myself. Given my obsession with uncovering every possible way to be “healthy”, you would think that I would be superman by now.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Trying to be “too healthy” actually landed me in the emergency room recently.
Even worse, my dreadful visit to the E.R. involved getting two surgeries, both of which involved the insertion of a large catheter into a very sensitive part of my anatomy. (Guys, you may now cringe)
Much to my disbelief, my quest for ideal health resulted in my developing a kidney stone. Here’s how:
For the past year or so I was extra motivated to focus more on health and less on performance alone. So I began eating large quantities of what the experts tout to be the most nutrient dense foods available. A few of my A-list of daily foods included:
Organic spinach- I added 3 cups of spinach to my morning smoothie everyday.
Organic sweet potatoes- I ate two of them as my post-workout carb source.
Organic nuts- This was my go-to snack food. I had two servings a day (and thoroughly enjoyed both of them)
Organic berries- My low sugar/high anti oxidant quest led me to eat two servings of a variety of berries everyday.
Looks like a great list, right? Well I thought so too, but unfortunately, each and every one of the “health foods” listed above contains a very high amount of oxalate.
For those of you who don’t know, oxalate (an ester of oxalic acid) is a substance found in many of the healthiest foods out there.
And can you guess what 75% of all kidney stones are made of? You got it—oxalate (along with some calcium). So here I am going out of my way to ingest some beloved health foods at just about every meal, and I end up getting two very painful surgeries for my efforts.
In retrospect, I would have fared much better with some dietary variety and food rotation. Now I’m not suggesting that you never consume any of the foods I listed above.
In fact, I think they are a great addition to a healthy diet. But there is a take home message here:
Don’t always search for the “best” vegetables, carbs, proteins, fats, etc. and eat them excessively.
Instead, loosen up a bit, use a less rigid approach and rotate your foods, even if that means occasionally eating some foods that the “experts” would consider to be “less healthy” options.
Dedicated to your success,