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

More Unclogging Info

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There are those times, when feeding someone via g-tube, that extension tubes and/or the actual button get clogged.  It is a rare day for me, lately, but just last night AND THE NIGHT BEFORE, Nat’s button got clogged. Now while … Continue reading

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!

No Guilt Allowed


Life is hard, no?  Looking at the news footage of recent events in the USA, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, it reminds me that we each get hit with storms – the storms of life.  Some of us live in a perpetual storm, of sorts.   Living with chronic, complex care needs is a storm, imho. If you are not currently feeding via blended meals, but hovering on the periphery considering it, please DO NOT FEEL GUILTY!  In my emails, my signature includes a quote from Lori Borgman.  I don’t know Lori but I like what she says:

“I even wonder how you endure schmaltzy pieces like this one — saluting you, painting you as hero and saint, when you know you’re ordinary. You snap, you bark, you bite. You didn’t volunteer for this. You didn’t jump up and down in the motherhood line yelling, “Choose me, God! Choose me! I’ve got what it takes.” You’re a woman who doesn’t have time to step back and put things in perspective, so, please, let me do it for you. From where I sit, you’re way ahead of the pack. You’ve developed the strength of a draft horse while holding onto the delicacy of a daffodil. You have a heart that melts like chocolate in a glove box in July, carefully counter-balanced against the stubbornness of an Ozark mule.”

So as you sit there wondering “if” you can do this blended meals thing, “if” you want to even undertake such a task, give yourself a break.  Your energy might be maxed out with what you are already doing.  Each of us can only do so much. If you need to, wait.  Or decline altogether.  And please, don’t feel guilty.  Please. There are storms enough, without giving ourselves a guilt storm.

“This man beside us also has a hard fight with an unfavouring world, with strong temptations, with doubts and fears, with wounds of the past which have skinned over, but which smart when they are touched. It is a fact, however surprising. And when this occurs to us we are moved to deal kindly with him, to bid him be of good cheer, to let him understand that we are also fighting a battle; we are bound not to irritate him, nor press hardly upon him nor help his lower self.” Rev. John Watson aka Ian McLaren.

Also quoted as:  “Let us be kind, one to another, for most of us are fighting a hard battle.

Recipe


Making blended meals to feed via g-tube is not really complex.  I am convinced that anyone can do it!  Putting effort into the nutritional value of blended meals is just like putting effort into the nutritional value of our own meals. I strive to feed my family meals containing lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and good proteins.  Very often I can take the leftovers of a family meal and blend them up into a meal for my 13 year old daughter, who is tube fed.  I’ll add more leafy greens or whatever I feel is needed to balance out the leftovers.

Today I am experimenting with escarole and quinoa.

Escarole

Endive

Endive is the cousin of endive.  They have very similar (identical?) nutritional profiles.

All leafy greens contain anti-oxidants which are thought to be important for best health and cancer prevention.

Escarole and endive also contain calcium, Vitamins C, A, Calcium, Phosphorus and Iron, Thiamine, and Niacin.

Escarole and endive have a slightly bitter taste to them and I don’t normally like that kind of taste, so I haven’t served these greens to my family in the past. Well, Natalie is my guinea pig! Of course, she will not actually taste it, but her blended meals will familiarize me with escarole and then putting it in a salad is just one step away!

Today’s recipe also includes broccoli.  I have advised against broccoli in the past because it is a cruciferous vegetable. These vegetables tend to produce varying amounts of gas in people. I have blanched the broccoli, enough to break down the crunch-factor a bit, hoping to reduce the gas production. It seems that ingestion of digestive aids, like pineapple, papaya, and perhaps lemon juice or vinegar can help the body in the processing of these vegetables.  I have not found any studies that support this, however.

Back to the recipe: I’ve mentioned quinoa before and I really like this “grain”.  It is actually a protein AND a relative of leafy greens!

Recipe:

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 c. cooked broccoli

1 c. liquid used to cook broccoli, or more as needed for consistency

1 c. water

2 c. escarole

1 tomato

½ c. walnuts

1 c. fresh pineapple (or canned in its own juice)

Blend and refrigerate.  Feed as you usually do for any other blended meal.

Calories:

Quinoa has 250 calories in 1 cooked cup.

Pineapple has 149 when including the juice

½ c walnuts has 91 calories

The broccoli has 50 calories, tomato probably only 10 – 20, escarole only about 20. So we are getting a total of approximately 600 calories for 7 – 7.5 cups when the air is slowly blended out.  That means it is only 10 calories/ounce.  By adding ¼ c. olive oil to the recipe, we add only  4 ounces, but 480 calories, bringing it up to … let’s see 1080 divided by 64 = 16.875 calories/ounce.  Still a bit on the lean side, but very healthy.  Olive oil is a good fat, and no offense, but your brain is about ⅔ fat, and needs fat in order to, believe it or not, maintain the correct electrical conductivity of the cells! Olive oil’s main component is monosaturated oleic acid.  Oleic acid is one of the most common fatty acids in myelin: the proective sheath the covers communicating neurons in the brain.    Drink up!     ;D

Perhaps this recipe is a once-a-day recipe, as opposed to a three-times-a-day recipe. Finding protein sources (like quinoa) other than meat has been established as a very smart health practice. I will be working on more quinoa recipes in the days to come. One of them is for me – I found a recipe for a quinoa, salad greens, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon salad. Sounds great, doesn’t it?!  Come on over for lunch!

What is in Pediasure?


Over at Facebook’s Blenderized Food For Tubies, I read this:

“One of our members did some basic, scary math:
a child on 1000mL of pediasure a day will be subsisting on the following per month, and nothing more:
16 cups of corn syrup/sugar
7 cups of safflower, soy, and MCT oil
6 cups of isolated protein from milk
and a bunch of vitamin/mineral supplements”

Reason enough to move into blended meals?

Communicating With Doctors


Here are some previous posts about communicating with doctors and other medical personnel.  This is one of our most important AND challenging jobs as parents/managers of chronic, complex care needs.

Keep Asking Questions

Doctors and Communication: You Don’t Have to Get Angry  

Managing Fear in Medical Emergencies

In All Honesty