Thursday, May 10, 2012
Cat Food, Me Food
I promised to give folks some idea of what I eat on a given day.
Let's start with the size of the plate... that is smaller than most teacup saucers. The serving size is from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup TOTAL per meal. Let that sink in for a second. 1/4 cup of food is about three to four bites for most eaters.
I typically start my day out with 1/4c of egg replacement, with a smattering of mustard and hot sauce. The hardest part was finding hot sauce that didn't have sugar in it.
Next: I take about 30-45min to eat those fake eggs. Some mornings, if I am still hungry after finishing my pseudo-eggs, I will have a tiny fat-free,sugar free yogurt. Half an hour after I finish, I can start drinking for the morning. By about 9:30 - 10am I am starting to get hungry again. I have to stop drinking a half an hour before I even think about eating.
Now it's 10am.... time for second breakfast. This is when I usually have either a homemade protein shake made with Unjury Protein Powder and 1% lowfat milk (1cup). Some mornings, I am on the road to see doctors or clients, so I bring along that lovely product on the far left of this image: Boost, Glucose Control. Tastes pretty close to a McDonalds milkshake that has sat in the car overnight. Thick, vanilla-ey, cold(ish), and sweet.
Three hours later I am ready for lunch. Lunch is usually 1/4c of canned chopped chicken breast and 1/4c of refried beans, with more mustard and hot sauce. With the exception of honey mustards, most mustards have zero sugar! That was a nice thing to find out.
No one I have ever met likes the way refried beans smell straight from the can. Same thing with canned chicken. Our cats went nuts when they heard the can-opener. They assumed (and it smelled like) it was cat food. As I sat down the first time to cold chopped chicken and cold refried beans, I thought there was no way on earth I could do it.
Hah! It was awesome. Go figure.
Midafternoon I often find my tummy rumbling and dinner seems a long time away. Sometimes I can hold off the major hunger with some sugar-free/fat-free instant pudding. I get a little bit of protein from the pudding, but mostly I get some mouth-satisfaction and some brain-satisfaction.... more on those issues in another post. If pudding doesn't seem like it would hit the spot, then I will try 1/4 c of sugar free applesauce, or even sugar-free jello.
Not too long before hunger takes over and bonks me on the head, dinner for the family becomes a priority. With all the smells and textures of preparing food (that I can't eat)... my mind starts REALLY looking forward to dinner. A pretty typical evening meal is 1/2 c of mashed tuna with 1-2T lowfat mayo, some mustard (yeah, I know...who puts mustard on tuna?....try it! it's amazing!).... and if I am still hungry after eating the tuna (always protein first)... then I am allowed to have up to 1/4c of some pureed vegetables: smashed peas, pureed green beans, mashed potatoes, liquified carrots, squished beets.. you get the idea. I get a taste. Not much more than that.
What am I drinking? Well...drinking is a whole new thing too. First off, you can't use a straw. Too much air entrainment. Basically, you sip... 1-2oz at a time. Less than a swallow. Just barely enough to take pills with. I am allowed non-caffeinated beverages as long as they are sugar-free and non-carbonated. For now, that looks like 1% or fat free milk (which counts towards the day's protein intake), sugar-free Kool-Aid, Crystal Light, herbal teas, and water. Not terribly exciting, but crucial. Given the window of time around eating, it is essential that you spend the non-eating time slowly sipping on your drinks.
Today I found a way to make a hot chocolate drink with sugar-free hot cocoa, mixed with a scoop of vanilla protein powder, 1T of instant decaf coffee, and a splash of sugar free caramel syrup. It was awesome. Perfect drink for a cool wet day. The best part is that it counts as a meal. More on meal requirements in another post.
In closing... I want to point out that to eat all the food in this image would take me more than 2 days. Yeah. This is a whole new world. Tiny portions, tiny bites, lots of time between bites, and giving myself ample time to really savor the experience.