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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Call for Help

I got an email from The Middle last week - she's been battling digestive problems for a while and finally got an initial diagnosis, requiring her to drastically change her diet.

Here's her plea:
I have been given a preliminary diagnosis...mean(ing) my diet SUCKS. I am attaching the cheat sheet I was told to print out for aid. In addition, I can have homemade salsa and baked chips. Please help me with some ideas of food. The past few days it has been oatmeal for breakfast with an egg white or two and then sandwiches for lunch and dinner. I have only been drinking water and cranberry juice.
The cheat sheet says:

My initial suggestions include:
  • Breakfast burritos – scrambled egg whites, tortillas (corn or flour), salsa. Mushrooms sauteed in a ¼ t of olive oil if you want to change it up
  • Grilled veggie tacos – carrots, potatoes, shredded beets (grill the veggies, then put them in the tortilla)
  • Rice pudding – cook the rice until it’s very mushy, stir in some applesauce
  • Mashed potatoes and parsnips – trust me on this one, mashing parsnips makes it taste like there’s sour cream mixed in!
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Guacamole – chop ½ of a tomato in it
  • Open faced veggie sandwich – toast a piece of white bread, top with sliced avocado
  • Oatmeal with fruit – sliced mangoes, sliced bananas
  • Smoothies – frozen pieces of papaya, mango, banana blended with water or a juice you can handle. Stir in a touch of applesauce for add’l sweetness
  • Grilled chicken (or turkey) breast, sliced and served with any number of sides – toast, fruit, mashed potatoes, ½ baked sweet potato
  • Butternut squash soup!! Make it with rice milk instead of dairy milk
  • Spaghetti squash – bake, pull the insides out of the shell with a fork (it comes out in strings like spaghetti), top with sauteed mushrooms
  • Stir fried rice – it only takes about ½ t of olive oil. Warm the oil, add cooked rice, lightly scrambled egg whites, diced carrots, mushrooms and chestnuts. If you like it, add tofu (soy) – cook it separately in a little olive oil first to firm it up. Maybe toss in a very small amount of garlic or onion (less than ¼ c. of onion)
  • Cooked carrots sweetened with applesauce instead of honey or maple
  • Cornbread (make with rice milk instead of regular milk)
  • Turkey/chicken roll up – sliced turkey/chicken, sliced avocado, rolled up in tortilla
I'm thinking that you might have some great ideas, too!

If you have an idea (even better, a recipe!!!) post it in the comments! Help my poor diet-changing Middle Sister out.


  1. Looks to me like you've posted a no. of good ideas, Shannah. What about milk - is fat free OK on breakfast cereal? Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, are good grilled. Also thinly sliced for open face sandwich. EggBeaters, fat free, taste same as fresh eggs to me. We often have them scrambled on Sunday evenings. The diet seems skimpy on green veggies. Maybe a few, occasionally, would be OK. Has the digestive problem be given a medical term? There are recipe books, I'm sure, with suggestions.

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  3. I wonder if my crustless pumpkin pie would work with modification - drop the sweetener, change the milk to soy milk.

  4. I've also "sauteed" bananas with cinnamon, and you can "bake" apples in the microwave with cinnamon. Slice the bananas into a saute pan coated with non-stick spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Saute over med-low heat to caramelize. Cut up an apple in bite-sized pieces, sprinkle with cinnamon and warm in the microwave for about a minute (longer if you like it softer). Both are delicious, warm desserts without a lot of guilt.

  5. I recently hear a suggestion for a different way to prepare beets that makes them palatable (for those of us who cannot STAND beets). I didn't pay a lot of attention because I'm abhor beets. I'll try to find out and pass it along. (Sorry for the multiple posts - sort of stream of consciousness going on.)

  6. Keep them coming!

    The diet is light on greens, I thought as well. From reading more on it, I noticed that she can have greens but it has to be "after" a Safe Food and in lighter amounts.

  7. Per request from The Middle, here's a recipe for Ugali (goes well with greens):

    2 cups water
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup white cornmeal

    Bring water and salt to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the cornmeal slowly, letting it fall though the fingers of your hand. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue stirring regularly, smashing any lumps with a spoon, until the mush pulls away from the sides of the pot and becomes very thick (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool somewhat.

    Place the ugali into a large serving bowl. Wet hands with water, form into a ball and serve. Makes 2-4 servings.

    To eat ugali, pull off a small ball with your fingers. Form an indentation with your thumb, and use it to scoop up sukuma wiki (greens), stews and other dishes.

  8. I can't have milk because of lactose. I am bigger on rice milk though so it is all good anyway.
    Thank you for the dessert ideas. I think that is the HARDEST part of my diet completely.

    Nita - yes, the initial diagnosis is IBS. I have not found many recipes as many lists of what you can and can't eat. For me this is hard cause I am not good at making meals off of ingredients. It is why I went to my big sis cause she is AWESOME in that department.

    Also, the menu that my sis has provided so far has been great. It will be nice to add so much more to those meals. I haven't been in pain for a few days now and it is the best feeling in the world.