Week Three – and a Birthday!

So last weekend we went to a wedding and this weekend we had a birthday – mine!!!  All year I had been thinking about how I wanted to celebrate but when it came down to it, I just wanted a simple cruisy and quite relaxing day.

My beautiful friends drove down from Auckland in the morning for brunch.  Prior to surgery I thought occasions and get togethers would be tough.  But you know, I’m learning they are not.  I need to think about them a bit and plan a little more, and not get embarrassed over my plates and serving size however having the support of my amazing friends certainly helps, but most of how I deal with it happens in my head.  “I can’t eat that, so I will have this”.  And my favourite … “It’s not all about the food”.
What I really enjoyed, aside from the visit of course, was cooking for them!  I found a breakfast skillet recipe that I would love to try later – kumara (sweet potato), zucchini, red peppers, onions and bacon with a few eggs baked on top.  I tried a wee piece of the kumara – oh yes, we’ll be adding that to the kitchen recipe book!

That afternoon himself and I went to the movies.  We saw the new James Bond film – Spectre.  And I loved it!
Also a perfect chance to just relax and sip away, upping my fluids for the day.  I’m still having a bloody hard time reaching those 1.5 – 2l goals.  I took one of my favourite drinks, OVi Peach, and bought an extra bottle of water.  Finished the OVi and only just started on the water, sloshed my way out of the theatre and peed like a racehorse when I got home.

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These come in Peach, Citrus and Berry.  Peach is my absolute fav but I tried the Berry last night and it ain’t bad either.   They also work great as a flavour to a bottle of water.  Ugh, so hating that furry mouth feeling from chugging water all day.

And then to top my day off … I created something delicious for my birthday dinner.  Its bloody hard to get excited about eating when you don’t feel hungry – I’m trying to fix that by having an alarm set on my phone for each meal and using strong flavours in my food.  Week Three is all soft foods right (so just a wee step up from Week 1/2 pureed foods – basically baby foods), its nice to be able to have an egg in the morning and OH MY GOD I MISSED CHEWING but I wasn’t really up for an omelette for my birthday dinner.  Then I looked at the menu again and hello wee prawns!!

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I marinated my 3 prawns (6 for $0.80 at New World) in lime juice for a couple of hours and then popped them in a pan with 1tsp extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 tsp garlic.  And the lime juice – don’t forget that delicious juice. Right at the end of cooking I threw in a pinch of baby spinach leaves and let them wither up.  PERFECT!

Now if I can work out how to flavour my morning 1 egg omelette and cheese (perhaps with a homemade pesto) then I’d be even happier!  I’m enjoying garlic and lemon hummus and cottage cheese for lunch however I know I’ll eventually get bored – anyone else got any great suggestions for me??

Strength. A river cuts through rock not because of its power,
but because of its persistence.

Food, the Early Days 

Sorry Food, it’s not you, it’s me. I just don’t care about you anymore. I want to, but … yeah, nah.

Me and Food, our relationship has changed drastically. Pre surgery (even pre surgery diet), I used to think about food ALL THE TIME.
Now its him who asks if I am hungry (No) and what time I want to have dinner (oh, in a bit). Still, Mom and I have gone to a wee bit of effort to ensure that I have something nice and tasty for when I am ready to eat.
When I met my dietician Georgie in our pre-surgery meeting, she (and the notes in my post-op care pack) say that people experience a switching off when it comes to eating. I read that and thought “Shit, thats pretty cool” cos honestly, I said above that I thought about food all the time and believe me, I was not kidding!

Georgie has given me a plan that saw me started pureed foods once I was released from hospital. On the day I got home Mom made up a delicious Beef Casserole and then a few days later she made a Chicken and Vegetable soup. We pumped up the protein in the soup by adding Naked (No flavour) egg white protein powder from The Honest Food Co. Both of these meals are absolutely scrummy.

Meals right now are every 3-5 hours and are 4 teaspoons or 1/4 cup in size.
As a totally personal preference, I really don’t want to rely on packet/processed food. I’d much prefer to eat whole foods except the addition of extra protein of course however even then the Honest Food Co pack that I have chosen is paleo. Eventually I will get in to making my own baked beans and I’ve planted a vegetable garden that should keep giving us all the vegetables that we will need.
Grow, grow, grow you little buggers!

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So with that in mind, I thought I would share with you my favourite selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I’ll pop up a couple of the recipes that we have adapted.

Breakfast:
Mega Protein Shake – Chocolate Protein Shake Mix, unsweetened natural yoghurt, trim milk, egg white protein powder (makes enough for days!)
Creamy Beans – Lite baked beans, lite cream cheese, paprika, coriander – blend until super creamy

Lunch:
Lemon and Chive Chicken – canned smoked chicken, lite cream cheese, lemon juice, chives – blend into a paste, lemon juice to taste
Chicken and Vegetable Soup – click here for a link to the recipe including the extra protein I added

Dinner:
Beef and Tomato Casserole – click here for a link to the recipe
Black Bean Burrito Cream – click here for a link to the recipe – I skipped the Nacho Cheese Sauce and added lite cream cheese at the pureeing stage for me (small wholemeal wraps for him)

Even if I have to force myself to eat, or set a reminder on my phone, it may as well be super tasty (and presented nice!). Tell you what though – I am SO looking forward to being able to chew my meals. I am moving on to soft foods on Friday, scrambled egg and tuna for breakfast – HELL YEA!

Check out my Pinterest board “Allergic to Sugar” for more recipes and ideas. Do you have any favourite meals that you’d like to share?

“A healthy outside starts from the inside”

Recipe: Chicken and Vegetable Soup

This has been adapted slightly from a Cuisine Magazine recipe.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 leek, white part only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 1 stick celery, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flatleaf parsley

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a low heat then add the leek, carrot and celery and fry gently until the leek is soft. Add the stock and simmer until the carrot is soft.

Add the chicken thighs and poach over a low heat for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken from the soup and set aside for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.  Shred the chicken and reserve.

Meanwhile add the corn and the spinach to the soup and simmer for 3 minutes.  Add the shredded chicken back into the pot along with the parsley.

—> at this stage I added extra protein.  I added 1/2 cup of The Honest Food Co NAKED Egg White Protein Powder

Transfer to the soup to a food processor or blender and blend in batches until completely smooth.

Freeze in ice cubes or small containers.

 

Recipe: Beef and Tomato Casserole

This has been adapted slightly from the original: http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/cuisine/70896855/recipe-beef-and-cherry-tomato-casserole-with-pumpkin–potato-gratin
The wine has been removed – and so has the gratin!

  • 800g gravy, blade or chuck steak
  • Flour for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • A few sprigs thyme
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 400g can cherry tomatoes (no added sugar)
  • 1⁄2 cup flat-leafed parsley, coarsely chopped

Cut the beef into large pieces. Season the flour with salt and freshly ground black pepper then use to coat the beef.

Heat the oil in a casserole dish and brown the beef well, in batches, removing it to a plate as you go.

If necessary, add a little more oil to the casserole, then add the onion and carrot. Fry gently until very soft but uncoloured. Add the whole peeled garlic cloves and thyme sprigs then return the beef to the casserole. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and add the stock and tomatoes.

Cook, with a lid slightly ajar, for 1 1⁄2 -2 hours or until the meat is tender (alternatively, cook in the oven at 180°C). Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Top with parsley then puree until smooth

Freeze 1/4 cup portions in ice cube trays