This evening I had my bi-monthly meeting with my nutritionist. She is absolutely A-MAZ-ING and a key member of the health team I have created for myself. I was extremely fortunate to find such an educated nutritionist who truly understands Gastroparesis.
I thought that I knew an okay amount about nutrition, but once I met my nutritionist I realized just how little I knew. I found out that I was a nutritional idiot. Our meetings are spent discussing nutritional quantities in foods and creative ways to meet my nutritional intake. She truly understands which foods I can and can’t eat with Gastroparesis.
There are many food limitations with Gastroparesis. The baseline is the same for everyone but each person’s body reacts differently to almost every food you can think of. Each person’s body reacts differently from month to month for every food item. The baseline items that everyone with Gastroparesis has to say goodby to are: uncooked veggies (bye bye summer salads!), nuts unless they are completely pureed into a nut butter (bye bye chunky peanut butter!), extremely limit your intake of read meat (bye bye steak & hamburgers!), anything overly acidic is gone too (bye bye tomatoes, oranges, lemons, etc!). Our stomachs also can’t break down foods with small particles (bye bye corn, celery!) And for me personally, I’m also working to eliminate all chemicals. Virtually all processed food is gone at this point (this is just a wise health choice for anyone).
Needless to say, all of the above can lead to severe nutritional deficiencies. You find alternative options for protein, calcium, potassium, and virtually anything else. You find foods that are jam packed with nutrients so that you limit the amount of food going into your body so that your stomach has less work to do. It is amazing how many foods are jam packed with essential nutrients but also take up minimal tummy space.
Did you know that 1 container of Greek Yogurt is jam packed with 15 protein? Imagine, 1 little container of soft food can become your breakfast and kick your day off with a protein boost. Another amazing food for me? Tofu! (GMO free, of course!) Tofu is easy to digest and a measly 3 ounces of it is packed with 7 grams of protein. This is why I started adding tofu to my smoothies. You might be asking yourself, “Why doesn’t she just use protein powder?” Well, the answer is quite simple: whey protein powder came dangerously close to sending me to the Emergency Room twice and caused me to be down for the count for several days. However, thanks to my amazing nutritionist, I discovered Hemp Protein powder. It is easier on your stomach and has worked great for me. I add it to some of my other smoothies.
Potassium was another issue for me until I found coconut water. A mere 8 ounces of coconut water contains 470 mg of Potassium! So let’s add that to the smoothie too! I would venture to say that my smoothies are more nutritionally balanced than any meal that a “normal” stomach person eats with solid food.
It has been a fun experience learning so many creative solutions to maintaining my nutritional intake without more than one solid meal per day. Over the past couple of months I have learned to celebrate these nutrient rich foods instead of mourning the foods I can no longer have. Once you let go and allow this shift to occur, you begin your path of mental healing.
My only hope is that my GP sister, Marie, has found a creative way to have a birthday cupcake today! I wish her all the best & am so glad to have met her (even if it is only on-line)!
PS…I am NOT a trained medical professional & any changes to your diet should be discussed with your doctor.