Too Hot To Handle – updated

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Sometimes when feeding blended meals via g-tube, the food is actually too hot to put in the tummy!  Our mouths are our first line of defense, protecting our bodies from food that is too hot to eat.  But we still … Continue reading

Beets and Beet Greens


Beets seem like the funniest little vegetables.  In our culture, we don’t really consume them often, but they have some important nutrition, especially when raw!   Here are some facts I’ve found on the internet, specifically at a website called The World’s Healthiest Foods:

Beets belong to the chenopod family which has some unique health values not readily available in other foods. Chenopods include chard, spinach, and quinoa. Here are a couple things you want to know about beets:

  1. There is a special connection between their phytonutrients and our nervous system health
  2. In a recent lab study on human tumor cells, betanin pigments from beets have been shown to lessen tumor cell growth
  3. The longer you cook beets, the more they lose the betalains’ nutrient value
  4. The phytonutrients betanin and vulgaxanthin have both been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support
  5. They are a wonderful source of folate
  6. Beet greens are incredibly rich in nutrients
According to the above-referenced website, beeturia (a reddening of the urine after consumption of beets) occurs in 10 – 15% of adults.  It is not considered harmful in and of itself, but it may be a possible indicator in one particular set of circumstances involving problems with iron metabolism. Individuals with iron deficiency, iron excess, or specific problems with iron metabolism are more likely to experience beeturia than individuals with healthy iron metabolism. So if you experience beeturia, it is worth following up with a healthcare professional to verify iron status.
Two more bits of info for you…
Beets do not need to be peeled… the peels contain lots of nutrients and can be scrubbed well before use.
One or two whole medium beets per week is enough to benefit from their rich nutritional value.

The Process


Blending meals for use by g-tube dependent persons isn’t really hard.  Here are some pics of my process.  I cook the meat in two pans while the various vegetables are soaking in a water/vinegar bath. Then I set up my assembly line and blend one batch after another.

Setting up the assembly line

 

Blender and meat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End Result

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I find it is much faster to make several batches of food if I get the meat mostly cooked, get all the vegetables, etc. prepared and then blend one batch after another.

You’ll notice some of the batches are the usual green (thanks to spinach) and some have a reddish-brownish tint.  That is because of adding beets.  More in my next post!

Don’t Use Raw Sprouts


In the efforts to feed healthy blended foods to our g-tube fed dependents, we are always looking for “super foods” that will optimize their nutrition and give them the best opportunity to be healthy, right?  Well, raw sprouts – alfalfa, bean, chia, etc. – are NOT a good idea, according to this article I read on Medscape.com:

“Hello, I am Dr. Raj Mody. I am an internal medicine and pediatric clinician and infectious disease epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). I am glad to have the opportunity to talk with you about sprouts, and the risks they pose to health, as part of the CDC Expert Video Commentary Series on Medscape. So-called sproutbreaks have occurred every year in the United States since at least 1995 and have taught us that sprouts are a risky food to eat. Sprouts were found to be the cause of a devastating outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli infections in Europe this summer. Ultimately, this outbreak caused more than 4000 illnesses, more than 900 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome, and 50 deaths.

Why are sprouts a risky food, you might ask? Some people think of them as the ultimate healthy food — fresh and natural. In fact, raw sprouts can be anything but safe. Lessons from outbreaks have taught us that it is a good idea for people who want to lower their risk for foodborne infection to cook raw sprouts or avoid eating them raw.

Here is what we have learned:

Lesson 1: A sprouted seed is a perfect vehicle for pathogens.” 

To read more of this article and watch the video, go here.


Simple


Blending food for meals fed by g-tube, or n-g, or j-g….  Giving care to someone with chronic, complex needs has many facets.  Food is not the only part of that care. That is primarily what this blog has been about, and will continue to be about. But I’m concerned.  Am I overwhelming you with information on nutrition?  Am I making it too complex?  I want to serve you, not make life harder.

Is your “tubie” benefiting from blended meals? How do you know?  Have you made observations that tell you blended meals are helpful for your tubie?

Take a look back.  What do you remember about pre-blended meals?  What has changed since then?  It is a good practice to actually physically write down the positive impact of blended meals. As you go through this life – this life that is different than you thought it would be – take note of the good you have accomplished. It affirms your efforts, it gives you encouragement later – when you need it most.

Write it down. The improvement in skin color, the better bowel movements, the weight gain, the improvement in sleep, the disappearance of a rash, the mood improvement, the reduction in phlegm or cough or runny nose….  even if you don’t know WHAT the reason is for the change, write it down.  Enjoy it.