Hi!  This site has moved and changed names!  Please visit me at Low Oxalate Info for more articles and recipes.  Also, please note that I will no longer be supporting comments on this site.  All comments left on this site will be transferred to the corresponding post on my new site and will be answered there.  Thanks for visiting and please visit me at my new site!



Welcome!  My name is Heidi, and I’m a single mother of twin pre-schoolers, a Ph.D. student in environmental economics and a low oxalate dieter.  I started this site as a resource for busy parents who are trying to balance the demands of an active family life with a low oxalate life-style. On this site you will find kid-friendly, low oxalate recipes.  You will find tips on how to follow a low oxalate diet, how to please picky eaters, how to incorporate high oxalate foods into your meals without jeopardizing the low oxalate dieter, and how to let the kids help cook.  I hope you will also find support, resources and comraderie as you make your healing journey.

I became a low oxalate dieter after I was diagnosed with vulvar pain syndrome about 20 years ag0–a huge relief after five years of severe pain and misdiagnoses (The doctor who correctly diagnosed me used the terms vulvar vestibulitis and vulvodynia).  I began the diet with timed calcium citrate supplements, as recommended by the Vulvar Pain Foundation’s Pain Project.  I experienced some immediate relief (within 2 weeks) from the worst burning sensations and pain, then experienced a gradual lessening of my many symptoms over the next few years (I had almost every symptom on the VP Syndrome symptom list).  Eventually, I also added guaifenesin treatment, pioneered by Dr. Paul St. Amand as a treatment for fibromyalgia (a severe pain and chronic fatigue disorder that many women and men with VP syndrome have). As scientists have learned more about how oxalate works in the body and as more foods have been tested and (re-tested) for oxalate content, I have modified my diet and treatment, each time with a further lessening of symptoms.  Although I am not pain-free (my VP symptoms are about 80% improved), I have achieved complete relief from my rectal, mouth, and eye symptoms; from my fibromyalgia symptoms; from my urinary symptoms; and from my intestinal symptoms.  Controlling the timing and type of carbohydrates in my diet has also freed me from chronic fatigue due to problems with hypoglycemia (another condition that many people with fibromyalgia and VP syndrome seem to have).  I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Vulvar Pain Foundation and Dr. St. Amand, and will be a low oxalate dieter for life.

I found the  low oxalate diet difficult at first, but it soon became second nature.  In fact, for the past fifteen years I’ve rarely thought about the challenges of low oxalate dieting.  Then I had twin sons.  Suddenly, my low oxalate household was invaded by peanut butter, chocolate, whole grain cereals, and other temptations I hadn’t  encountered for years.  Overwhelmed with the day-to-day responsibilities of caring for young twins by myself, I also found it difficult to eat well and suffered from severe flare-ups in many of my symptoms.  Something had to change.

Since then, I have developed a style of cooking that helps me please my family while staying true to the low oxalate diet.  I have learned how to cook simple, family-friendly low oxalate meals that are realistic for a busy family’s schedule.  I am also slowly learning which high oxalate foods I can resist and which ones need to stay at daycare or grandma’s house.I hope my experiences may help you.  I also hope your experience and feedback will help me and other readers.   Although I am its author, this is your site.  Welcome.  Please let me know how I can help support your family.


35 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Jen Says:

    Just came across your page and am looking forward to sharing and learning…

  2. M Says:

    I have been diagnosed with kidney stones… the calcium oxalate kind… your site is a G-d sent to me as I’m trying to keep in mind the high co content but am not always good at it. i’ll try some of your recipes! I also wonder how in the world you manage with two kids, single mom, pulling all this info together, and staying so disciplined! My hat off to you!

    1. Heidi Says:

      Thank you. I was very disciplined on the low oxalate diet for a long time, then went on an oxalate free-for-all when my boys were born. A huge health mistake for me! It’s taken a lot of work to get myself back on track and I hoped others could benefit from what I’m doing, especially those with families to feed and non-oxalate dieters to please. I’m so glad I could help you! That’s what makes doing this worth it.

  3. Mel Says:

    I’m really pleased to have found this website. I’ve been suffering with vulvodynia (as well as some other symptoms like knee pain) for about 3 years now, never thought that my diet might play a role. I recently started the Paleo diet and realized they had alot of low-oxalate foods, so seeing your recipes for Paleo/gluten-free choices has been refreshing. I am starting to remove the high/med-oxalate foods out of my Paleo diet (which is hard because they freakin’ LOVE almonds haha) but your recipes have been extremely helpful. I wanted to also add in some sort of calcium citrate/b6 supplement as was curious as to the brands you use — I heard some cal citrate supplements are better than others (some use the ones with added vitamin D while others have problems with that.) Thank you for creating this blog!

    1. Heidi Says:

      You’re welcome, Mel. I’m so glad I’ve helped you. I started leaning toward a Paleo diet 15 years ago when I began to control my carbohydrate intake to treat hypoglycemia. I continue to lean further as I’ve almost eliminated wheat this year and and have drastically cut down other grains and beans. I just can’t let go of cheese, though. And nothing spells comfort to me as much as a bowl of oatmeal with milk! Oh well. I’ll definitely have more Paleo recipes coming up if I can get my kids to eat them. And occasionally I’ll have some that my boys think are “yucky.”

      I’m learning a lot about supplements that support low oxalate dieters through the Trying Low Oxalates yahoo group. They really are the experts over there. I highly recommend joining if you want good advise about brands, doses, timing and personal experience with supplements. I do plan to do a series on supplements that support the low oxalate diet, but I need to do a lot more research on some of them before I launch the series.

      Take care,

    2. Michelle Says:

      Mel, I have vulvodynia too. I wanted to tell you about the NVA, they offer support to woman with chronic pelvic pain. Their website is: http://www.nva.org.

      Take Care!


  4. Michelle Says:

    Thank you so much Heidi!

    I was diagnosed with vulvodynia almost 8 years ago, and I am on the low oxalate diet. I just made the cottage cheese pancakes (only I used half rice flour, and half chestnut flour and flax meal mixed, plus I put the cottage cheese in the blender). I LOVE bread! I was so overjoyed to have pancakes again without worrying about a flare up!! Hope you don’t mind if I post this.

    For women with vulvodynia please go to http://www.nva.org
    (The National Vulvodynia Association) They offer support to woman with pelvic pain including doctor referrals, and a support contact person to talk with. (and much more!)

    Thanks! I’ll keep watching to see what recipes you add next. I may start my own blog some time in the near future for the new recipes I have come up with myself…..we’ll see


  5. Heidi Says:

    You’re welcome, Michelle. I really hope to start experimenting with Chestnut flour soon. I like coconut flour, but my boys aren’t thrilled with it. I’m thinking chestnut flour might be more appealing to them, especially in things like zucchini bread and muffins. Let me know if you do get a blog up and running, so I can put a link on my site.

    1. Michelle Says:


      I have not done much baking with chestnut flour yet, but so far it seems to be working well (and chestnuts are supposed to be very good for you). The only problem is that it’s very expensive to buy. Right now you can buy raw chestnuts but let me tell you, it is a tonne of work to score the shell, roast, de-shell and finally grind them into flour. I have a couple mor ebags in my fridge, but once I finish those I may just bite the bullet and buy it (if I can find it!)
      I’ll let you know if I set up a blog.

      Take Care


  6. mollysparker Says:

    Hi Heidi!

    I came across your website when searching for low oxalate diets. I’ve been suffering with vaginal pain for years that doctors have (obviously) been unable to link to yeast, bacterial or other infections. I’m wanting to try a new diet to maybe help, but also want to try the calcium citrate supplements. You mentioned them being “timed” – what exactly does that mean? Just before a meal, spaced evenly throughout the day?

    Thanks for any help!

    1. Michelle Says:

      Hi Molly,

      I have vaginal pain as well, I just wanted to tell you about the National vulvodynia Association in case you have not heard of them, they offer support to woman with chronic pelvic pain. Go to http://www.nva.org if you want more information.
      I hope the low oxalate diet is helpful, it sure is helpful for me!!!!!


    2. Heidi Says:

      Hi, Molly.
      Calcium citrate is a highly recommended supplement for anyone with oxalate issues. Calcium citrate (without vitamin D!) binds to the oxalate and helps flush it from your body. There are some different opinions about how to time it. Many women in the Vulvar Pain Foundation Pain Project have had their urine tested for periodic peaks in oxalate levels (A high percentage of the women have normal oxalate levels most of the day, then 2-3 sharp peaks in oxalate levels which tend to coincide with sharp increases in pain. I had this pattern when I was tested almost twenty years ago. My peaks were 2:00 pm and 4:00 am and I always hurt the most during the afternoon.) Pain project participants time calcium citrate intake to an hour before the “cyclic peaks” in oxalate content in their urine (the timing of the peaks remain relatively stable day to day). I took calcium citrate this way for almost ten years along with the low oxalate diet, and it seemed to help me, especially in the beginning when I was doing a lot of healing.

      Most people who take calcium citrate, however, time the citrate so that they take it about twenty minutes before each meal. The rational for this is that the calcium citrate will bind with oxalate in your food as you digest it and this will help the oxalate pass out of your body without causing you as much harm. This is how I currently take calcium citrate and it works much better for me at this point in my healing than timing the calcium citrate to my peak oxalate levels. Given the simplicity of this type of timing, this is how I recommend any newcomers to the diet time their calcium citrate.

      If you find that can’t tolerate calcium citrate, you can take magnesium citrate which also binds to oxalate (although this is supplement is usually recommended as a secondary supplement to calcium citrate). Some people take both, but I chose not to. Calcium citrate and magnesium citrate can help people with oxalate issues even if they chose not to follow a low oxalate diet, but if you truly have oxalate issues no amount of calcium citrate is going to make up for eating a lot of really high oxalate foods like spinach, rhubarb or almonds. Most people with oxalate issues will only heal on a medium or low oxalate diet.

      I hope the low oxalate diet helps you as much as it has helped me. This treatment has been a life-saver for me–the one truly effective treatment although it did take a few years on the diet before I reached my current state of health.

      Good luck and take care.

      1. Lisa G Says:

        Hello Heidi:
        You mentioned that the Calcium Citrate should not have vitamin D. What is the reason for this suggestion? I have been looking to buy it locally over-the-counter, but ALL I can find is with vitamin D. Where do you purchase yours? What brand name do you use? Thanks, Lisa

      2. Heidi Says:

        Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb the calcium we ingest, but we don’t want the calcium citrate to be absorbed. We want it to bind with the oxalate in our gut and help it pass safely through our digestive system instead of it being absorbed into our bloodstream. Calcium citrate taken 20 minutes before eating is the best form of calcium for this job. If you also want to take calcium for your bones, metabolism etc., you can take calcium with Vitamin D between meals. My grocery store sells a generic form of calcium citrate without Vitamin D which works well for me. There are a lot of on-line sources, too. When I get the new site up and running (hopefully soon!), I’ll be able to provide links and advertisements for some good sources, but this blog server prevents me from doing that.

        Hope this helps,

  7. Lisa Says:

    Hello! I just recently discovered your blog, and have really enjoyed reading. I have only been on the low oxalate diet for one week now. I haven’t purchased the cookbook, but have been using some food lists that I found online. I thought I would give it a couple of weeks to find out if it was helping before I spend the money on the cookbook. After the first several days, I did think it was helping, but my pain has been steadily getting worse the past 2 or 3 days. I am not considering giving up, because I know that I need to give it more than just one week; however, I was wondering if you have ever experienced fluctuations in your pain, even when you were eating the right foods? I can’t understand why it would get better, just to get worse again.
    Thank you, Lisa

    1. Heidi Says:

      Hi, Lisa.

      Yes, I had a lot of fluctuations with pain levels in my first few years on the diet and even some now. Most of the first year was a two steps forward, one step back progress, although sometimes I took three or four steps back and was really discouraged. It was only after months of keeping a journal of my diet and pain levels that I realized that my trend was one of healing. My bad days weren’t as bad and I didn’t have as many of them.

      I’ve heard of a lot of reasons for the fluctuations but two seem most prominent. First, let’s assume you have an oxalate issue. Let’s further assume that your pain is caused by oxalate in your urine or body tissues.

      The easiest explanation for the pain fluctuation is that you accidentally ate something high oxalate and that’s causing the increased pain (BTW, a lot of internet lists are wrong . . . ). After a few days of eating low oxalate again, this type of pain will go away.

      The second explanation is a little harder. If you have an oxalate issue, it’s because you produce oxalate in your body or because your digestive system isn’t working properly to keep the oxalate in your food out of your bloodstream and the rest of your body (or both of these things). Once oxalate enters the blood stream, it either has to leave your body by the urine (or sweat glands, vaginal glands, etc.) or your body must store it in its tissues. If you have had oxalate issues for any length of time, then your body has stored at least some excess oxalate in your tissues, possibly A LOT of it.

      When you go on a low oxalate diet, you don’t introduce as much oxalate into your blood stream. This means less oxalate will leave your body in your urine and you will feel better. Possibly a lot better. If that oxalate level in your body gets low enough, however, so that there is less oxalate outside of the cells that are storing the oxalate than inside the cells, then your cells release some of the stored oxalate. This is what we call dumping. When you dump, you again have a lot of oxalate in your blood and your body will try to get rid of it through the urine etc. (or possibly restore some of it.) Of course, if you have pain because of oxalate in the urine, then this will cause you to have pain again. Possibly a lot of it.

      So, your pain episode may be because you ate too much oxalate or you may have followed the diet beautifully and are now dumping. BTW, the yahoo.group calls the first few good days (or weeks) after starting the diet, the “honey moon phase of the diet.” Because eventually dumping will start. . . And unfortunately, you will keep dumping in a cyclic nature (a decent week, then a bad dump, then a few good days, then a moderate dump etc.) until you dump all of excess oxalate in your body at which point you can fully reap the low or no pain reward of being on the diet. (Sometimes when dumping is too bad, eating a lower medium oxalate diet instead of a low oxalate diet helps keep the dumping cycles at a tolerable level while you are in the healing phase of the diet.)

      The real problem is knowing if the pain is because you ate too much oxalate for your body, because you are dumping, or because of some other reason (like hormonal fluctuations and stress). And yes, it could be that the original assumption is wrong and that you don’t even have an oxalate issue.

      What helped me the most was fully committing to the diet for at least six months, keeping a journal of things like my stress level, diet, pain levels etc. (so I could start to see patterns over the long run, not so I could micro-manage or second guess every fluctuation in pain), and finding a community of support (through the Vulvar Pain Foundation and now through the Trying Low Oxalates yahoo.group).

      Good luck. I hope the low oxalate diet helps you!


      1. Lisa G Says:

        Heidi, I just want to thank you for your generosity with your time. I have learned so much from reading your posts, as well as from the answers you have written to your readers’ questions (including mine). I have joined the oxalate yahoo group you recommended, and have been learning so much. I have also been considering joining the VP Foundation. Do you still belong to it? Do you still feel it is worth $45 a year? Or do feel that you learn all you need to know from the yahoo group?

      2. Heidi Says:

        You’re welcome,Lisa. Yes, I do belong to the VP Foundation. For me, the combination of the VP Foundation and the Yahoo group is the most helpful for my continued health and well-being. The Yahoo group is a fabulous support for learning about the low oxalate diet and especially for learning about the supplements that support the low oxalate diet and how oxalates interact with the body (a lot more about supplements then you’ll learn from the VP Foundation!). You may also learn a lot from other members about other conditions that the low oxalate diet supports and realize you might have trouble with these conditions, too (or a family member does). It’s a real eye-opener for some. The information and support I receive about the low oxalate diet there is invaluable. You will find a few other women dealing with VP in the group, so you can also tap into their knowledge or experience for support. However, there are only a few and most are also just beginning the low oxalate journey.

        The VP Foundation will also give you great support and information about the low oxalate diet, especially as it relates to women with vulvar pain–based on 25 years of research and experience. They can offer support and guidance about dealing with the pain as you heal on the diet and can also offer you a lot of information and support about skin stabilization therapies that have helped thousands of women. Most of the women who were participants in the VP Foundations’ Pain Project improved on the low oxalate diet, but many saw their greatest relief when using the diet in combination with the skin stabilization therapies. A few women healed mostly with skin stabilization therapies, while only avoiding the high oxalate foods. The VP Foundation also has a support network where you’ll be matched with a leader or two in your region who has been a member of the Foundation for years and can offer you one-on-one support through emails, phone calls or sometimes face-to-face (some regions have support groups). These leaders are knowledgeable about all of the treatments the VP Foundation recommends, plus they are very knowledgeable about practical helps for soothing everyday pain while you are healing. Most are completely healed or significantly healed and can talk to you about their healing journey. It can also be very uplifting to read the newsletter and all the testimonials from women who have healed or are seeing great improvements from the diet and stabilization therapies. The support network of the VP Foundation was invaluable to me when I was still in a lot of pain–definitely worth the $45.
        Hope this helps.

  8. Noura Says:

    I appreciate that you’re giving time and effort to make our lives easier with these recipes! thanks!
    I’m not sure about the ingredients of “paleo pancakes”, its says 4 eggs and “1/4 cup coconut flour”, is the flour quantity correct? it seems more like an omlet with this little flour.

    Can you do without eggs at all? “IgG for eggs here!”

    Thank you,

    1. Heidi Says:

      You’re welcome, Noura.

      Yes, the recipe for Paleo Pancakes is correct. Coconut flour is very different from grain flours. It is very high fiber (11 grams fiber in a fourth cup) and that fiber sucks up moisture like a sponge. When you bake or make pancakes with coconut flour, you use a lot less coconut flour than you would wheat or rice flour and you add more water or eggs. In fact, if you start looking for coconut flour recipes you’ll see that they all seem to have egg in them. Coconut flour just works better with eggs. Of course, I’d love to be proven wrong.

      Here are three very good low oxalate egg substitutes: (each substitutes for one egg)

      1.5 T water, 1.5 T coconut oil, and 1 tsp. baking powder

      1 T tapioca starch, 1 T coconut oil, then enough water to make 1/4 cup

      Blend 1 T ground flax seed and 3 T water in the blender until mixture is thick and creamy OR heat it in a saucepan, stirring constantly until gooey.

      Each of these works well when replacing 1 or 2 eggs in a recipe, but I’m not sure how it would go over in the Paleo Pancake recipe, since that recipe is almost all egg. Hmmm. When I finish my comprehensive exams in three weeks, maybe I’ll experiment a little. Other people have asked for a “less eggy-tasting pancake.” Maybe I could create an egg-free one that was still low oxalate.


  9. Noura Says:

    Thanks for the tips, Heidi. Will definitely try one of these alternatives with other egg-containing recipes. I just bought a bag of flax seed for this.
    Good luck with your exams.

  10. Drew's Mommy Says:

    Hi Heidi! Thanks for having us on your blogroll. I’m going to be doing a shout out about your blog on mine…just wanted to give you the heads up. I LOVE your recipes and information! Many of my followers also do a LOD, so they should enjoy your blog as well!! Keep the recipes a coming! Can’t wait until the holiday chaos calms down and I can try some more of your recipes. 🙂

    1. Heidi Says:

      Thanks for the shout out, Joanna! I appreciate it. I’m looking forward to doing some cooking this next week, too! The last few months have been crazy busy for me.

  11. Jennifer Says:

    Hi! I am first beginning to research the low oxalate diet. I have interstitial cystitis with pelvic floor disfunction, in addition to IBS and endo. You mentioned that your urinary symptoms got better on a low oxalate diet. Do you know anything more from your experiences regarding low oxalate and interstitial cystitis/bladder frequency-urgency?
    Thanks for the help. I am already planning to make your granola bars! They sound and look delicious!

    1. Heidi Says:

      Hi, Jen.

      Yes, I had bladder symptoms along with rectal and vulvar symptoms. When my symptoms were at their worst it was sometimes hard to identify the pain source — everything hurt! My bladder symptoms were moderate compared to my vulvar symptoms and included some frequency/urgency, painful urination (burning pain) and bladder pain. It seemed like I was constantly being diagnosed with UTI’s and yeast infections, but none of the treatments helped (and most made it worse). My bladder symptoms cleared up pretty fast on the low oxalate diet, except I occasionally still had bouts of frequency/urgency and bladder pain. Those bouts got further apart and less severe over the first 2-3 years on the diet and eventually stopped.

      I’ve met a number of women through the Vulvar Pain Foundation and the Trying Low Oxalates Yahoo Group who have had IC (often but not always along with vulvar pain or pelvic pain). Many have improved greatly on the Low Oxalate Diet, often along with other treatments such as skin stabilization treatments, biofeedback for pelvic floor disfunction, vitamin supplementation, and sometimes other diets such as GAPs for leaky gut syndrome or gluten-free, casein-free diets. You might try joining the Trying Low Oxalates group or the VP Foundation for further help with these treatments. It sounds like a low oxalate diet could be a helpful part of your healing journey.

      Take care,

  12. Lisa G Says:

    Thanks, Heidi – your explanation makes perfect sense! Which grocery store? I am also in Missouri, so there is a good chance I will have one in my town.

    1. Heidi Says:

      Hi, Lisa.
      I’ve been using the Hy-vee Health Market brand since they opened their first store in Columbia about seven years ago. It’s inexpensive and effective. My favorite combination!

  13. gina Says:

    You are truly a wealth of information. I have had IC for the past year and am on elmiron with some improvement. I also have vulvar pain and see a PT.It was accidentally I found I need a low oxalate diet. I started doing the Eat to Live diet and was eating 1 pound of raw spinach a day…along with blueberry smoothies and almond milk. I was in severe pain a few days into it and couldn’t even stand at times. Then my PT and I figured out it must be the oxalates in spinach that were causing such a bad flare. Still getting out of that flare and just started the diet yesterday for low oxalates.
    I can’t find a low oxalate list to follow since they all conflict. Can you guide us to a list that is accurate?
    I also cannot locate calcium citrate without Vit. D. Not sure where to find this but glad you explained the timed part to us.
    I have 3 little kids and one is 1 1/2 while another has special needs. I am truly hoping this diet can improve my symptoms! Thank you thank you thank you!!!


    1. Heidi Says:

      Thanks, Gina. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. You wrote this comment at the same time I moved this site and somehow it didn’t get transferred with the rest of the comments. I’m going to stop supporting all comments on this site within a day or two. If you would like, could you re-post your comment on my new site at http://lowoxalateinfo.com? Thanks. I’ll answer your question there!

  14. Sheila Says:

    Hi Heidi,
    I had a severe problem with VP and lesions on the nerves in my eyes, floaters and such, muscle pain, kidney pain, decreased urine stream at times, until I got on a low oxalate diet. I can’t tell you how many years this went on a doctors just thought I was crazy. I had to figure it out for myself. I have celiacs also and problems with dairy digestion. Sometimes I get so discouraged that most things make me sick. I feel a lot better now but it’s hard to be 100% oxalate free. Thanks for your site, its great! It lets me know that I an not completely alone, though I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

    1. Heidi Says:

      I’m glad you like it, Sheila! I’m actually in the middle of moving all my content to my new blog, http://lowoxalateinfo.com , and shutting this site down. I’m such a blog newbie though, I just learned about the 301 redirect yesterday which automatically redirects everyone from this site to my new site. Oy! As soon as I have figured out how to do that, this site will no longer exist! Anyway, since the new site, Low Oxalate Info, is this exact same site with some new content, I moved your comment with all the other comments to my about page on the new site. Please come viist me there! I’m hoping to do a lot more with the how the Low Oxalate Diet works and the connection to Leaky Guts and Gluten intolerance/celiac. Maybe you’ll find something more to help in your healing journey.

  15. Megan Sandoz Says:

    Hi Heidi,

    Do you know of a lab that provides testing for periodic peaks in oxalate levels? I have only been able to find testing that includes the 24-hour pooling method. Thank you for you help!


  16. Hello Heidi–
    Your lowoxalateinfo.com site has expired.
    I love it!!
    Any chance you are willing to bring it back?
    All the best–
    a low oxalate learner

    1. Heidi Says:

      Hi, Lynn. Thanks for your kind words. I wish I could have kept that site going even after I was no longer actively posting, but it got too expensive to maintain. It is with much regret that I had to let it expire, along with all of my posts and hard work. I may start another site later if I find a less expensive platform. Thanks for the interest.

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