LOD, GF, SF, LDF, MF Smoothies CAN Be Done!

Muppet French ChefWhen faced with extreme dietary measures, the faint of heart may indeed faint.  And so did I initially!  Now I am 5 days into a necessary pureed low oxalate, gluten-free, sugar (sweetener)-free, largely dairy-free, mold free diet and still alive.  Cool beans.  But without the beans of course!

Such is life when faced with the reality of dental issues triggering convulsive episodes.  What’s an occupational therapist on an extended leave to do about that?  Well, adapt and carry on!  So carry over your best mega-blender (favoring the Vitamix) and get it screaming.  This is going to be LOUD.

Notes:  these recipes lack sugar, sweetener, and most seasonings that “normal” people would add to make these foods taste better.  Persons not on a low oxalate diet will probably use almond, rice, or boxed coconut milk in place of the coconut milk listed.  Add these to your own taste.  The liquids always go in first; frozen foods are last.  Flavors generally intensify, especially when “cooked” in the blender at high speeds.  That generally translates to limiting the number of veggies or fruits as things can taste really weird with too many ingredients.  Adding avocado or cucumber can be o.k. for fruit smoothies if you add a little more fruit.  If you can, “chew” the liquid as you consume it to stimulate salivation; saliva aids in digestion and chewing helps you to feel more satisfied.  Lastly, I have not had much luck freezing completed concoctions.  However, I have had great results freezing small portions of yogurt and coconut milk:  when allowed to thaw some first, it seems to thicken fruit smoothies nicely!

Smoothies

Start with 4 oz. grass-fed plain yogurt (vanilla coconut or almond yogurt) and 4 oz. unsweetened coconut milk (canned or Caila Farms) in the bottom of the blender.

Add 1/4 cup frozen strawberries or blueberries.

Pour in your favorite protein powder:  3/4 scoop Whey to Go Lactose-Free Protein Powder.

To make the smoothie more sustaining, add up to 1/2 avocado, 1 T. oil (avocado, grapeseed, or other organic oils.  No olive oil here!)  The avocado also makes it very creamy without altering the taste or color.

Add whatever seeds, wheat germ, or nuts you can tolerate:  1 T. raw pumpkin seeds, 1 t. wheat germ.  If you have a yucky-tasting supplement you are taking, throw it in too!

Blend until smooth which is usually 1-2 minutes.  Note that you may need to turn the blender on and off, tamp down the frozen fruit to keep it in contact with the blade, or add larger strawberries one-at-a-time to protect your unit.  To make it thinner, add more liquid or blend it longer.  As with all of these recipes, use a spoon (or your fingers) to get all of the smoothie out of the blades, nooks, and crannies at the bottom of the Vitamix.  This stuff is gold and none should go to waste!

Soups from Leftovers

Place 4 oz beef (bone?) broth, about 1 1/2 cups of beef stew (or similar leftovers such as casserole), and about a cup of a single vegetable (if none are in the beef stew/casserole) in the blender.  Last night I added about 3/4 cup of frozen peas.  Yes, the smoothie was green but when hungry, you will close your eyes and get over that quickly!

Add at least 1/2 t. sea salt and don’t be surprised if you need more to make it taste better.  Soups are generally pretty salty foods.

To make the soup more sustaining, add 1 T. ghee/organic butter or oil (avocado, grapeseed, or other organic oils.  Olive oil is o.k. here if you like and are not LOD or MF.)

Blend for about 7 minutes or until the mixture is pulverized beyond recognition, heated, and steaming when you open the lid.  Thicken if needed with 1T. potato or corn starch.  Add starch in small batches after the mixture gets warm as it will thicken quickly!

This recipe might need less blending time if all of the vegetables are pre-cooked.  Taste with a spoon and adjust seasonings.  Give it a “cream of ____” name and enjoy in a mug or with a spoon in a bowl.  Or begin again with broth, salt, leftover potatoes (or other vegetable), a few roasted leeks or onions and about 2 T. plain yogurt for a yummy potato soup!  People pay big bucks for this type of delicacy at fancy restaurants you know!

Soups from Raw or Frozen Ingredients

Place 4-8 ounces of meat (or veggie, bone?) broth and half as much unsweetened coconut milk into the blender.  Add at least 1/2 t. sea salt and don’t be surprised if you need more to make it taste better.  Soups are generally pretty salty foods.

Add 4 oz. of cooked meat:  Low Sodium Boar’s Head turkey breast has no preservatives or spices; small chicken breast or larger thigh, 5 0z. can of cooked chicken breast, trimmed & cubed pork chop, etc.

Top with about a cup of 1-2 types of vegetables that taste good together and are not both green in color!  Frozen veggies in smaller pieces are easier on your blender, of course.  Mixed vegetables usually don’t taste very well IMO as there are just too many flavors!

To make the soup more sustaining, add 1 T. ghee/organic butter or oil (avocado, grapeseed, or other organic oils.  Olive oil is o.k. here if you like and are not LOD or MF.)

Note that you may have turn the Vitamix on and off, tamp down the ingredients, or add the frozen ingredients slowly to protect your blender.  Blend for about 7 minutes total or until the mixture is pulverized beyond recognition, heated, and steaming when you open the lid.  Thicken if needed with 1T. potato or corn starch.  Add starch in small batches after the mixture gets warm as it will thicken quickly!  If it tastes bad, add more salt (or seasonings if you can, especially onion and garlic).  Follow with labeling it a gourmet name as noted above.

Breakfast!

I generally eat either dinner leftovers or a meaty dish for breakfast so I have limited ideas for what might taste o.k. for the rest of the world!  In general, gluten-free instant oatmeal is softer than slow-cooked and can be made heartier with 1 t. of ghee/butter, mashed fruit, 1 scoop of Whey to Go, and powdered nuts/seeds/wheat germ.  I have pulverized very crispy bacon to a powder and added it for a fabulous and blood-sugar sustaining oatmeal in the middle of the night!  Remember to add the whey or protein powder LAST and after cooking; it cooks to an almost scary, crunchy brown texture in when microwaved!  (White rice) grits would probably also work well with ghee/organic butter.

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Well there you have it:  my survival plan until I can get some teeth pulled.  This will also be my menu right after the dental

procedure as well.  Thank the Lord and my Intended Beloved for the gracious gift of a Vitamix years ago!  Steve spoiled me one Christmas with a reconditioned unit and we have used it most days of the week since then.  See how the Lord is sooooooooo good to me?

Time for some more soup . . .  :JJ

Crazy Food Combinations

Gluten free oatmeal with beef gelatin for added protein?stop messin with my head

Sautéed celery, carrots, and turkey patties with salt and marjoram?

Baked and herbed chicken thighs?

Almond butter on iceberg lettuce wrapped around a slice of leftover turkey/beef meatloaf?

Almond/coconut milk smoothie with celery, carrot, avocado, and Celtic sea salt?

Yes!  Things sure can get weird when you’re on 3 diets at once:  1)  mold-free due to mold illness, 2) Candida/low sugar and starch due to a systemic infection, and 3) low sulphur due to probable methylation issues.  And you thought trying to lose a couple of pounds for your New Year’s Resolution was challenging?  That’s kid’s stuff  in my kitchen!  At least number 3 is only for 10 days before I add back cruciferous vegetables to see if they have contributed to the noxious symptoms of the past 2 years.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll figure out how to make pancakes out of squash and coconut flour after all!

In the meantime, note the incredible power of food.  I have a true Foodie friend who was able to help her sister recover from a deadly kidney disease in record time by painstakingly altering her sister’s eating plan.  The Nephrologist was astounded at the improvements in her lab results.  Yes, food is fuel and should require more of our time and attention if we desire better performance from our bodies or health.  While I do wish that my adherence to a mold-free and Candida diet for the past year would have made more of a difference, I know that I would be FAR WORSE if I had been more lax.  I am grateful for the supernatural strength of the Lord to help me shop for, prepare, and tolerate these special foods when I have felt very sick.

Somehow I am not be surprised that the Lord cares for all of these details of my life.

Matthew 6:26  (NIV)

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

The food of the earth was created for our nourishment and enjoyment from the very beginning.

Genesis 1  (NIV)

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
He has provided so much for us so I am challenged to be a good steward of that which He has provided.  I certainly can make it through the inconvenience and “missing out” of the sweeter and juicier foods for a time if it will help me get well.  I don’t need to know how long this will last; I am just grateful that there are new approaches to try and I only have to go to my local grocery store to find them!
So if you are facing some new dietary challenges this year, take heart!  You are not alone.  The changes you are making might just change your life in more ways than you imagined.  Besides, the smell of almond slices roasting in a little organic olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt is, well, heavenly!  Try it on a salad or topping a casserole in place of cheese and see whatcha think.  ;J