Thursday, March 19, 2009

What We've Learned About the Liquid Diet

We are almost done with this two week long, prescribed, "liquid protein" diet before the surgery. It has been difficult on a whole host of levels. Certainly, the hardest part of this for both Master and T is the severe caloric restriction. They have periods of time during the day when they really do feel hungry, and there is not a whole lot to do about that. It is also the case that the severely limited food intake has left them (especially Master) feeling weak and fuzzy headed.

When we began the two week period, all we really had to go on were a couple of pages that were included in THE NOTEBOOK that they were given by the surgical center. Those pages gave us a very minimal idea of how to do this diet, and we really struggled in the first week to figure out a reasonable way to spread out the "meals."

The plan is based on the consumpion of liquid protein. We are using the recommended brand, UNJURY. It is a medical quality protein supplement, and it comes in 5 flavors: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry sorbet, chicken, and unflavored. Master is to have 4 protein drinks each day, and T is allowed 3. Two of them are to be made with skim milk, and the others are to be made with some other no-cal or very low cal beverage. The good news is that the stuff doesn't taste too bad.

Along with the protein drinks, they are each allowed six servings from this list:

  • 1/2 cup fat free, vegetarian soup (Amy's or Hain's)

  • 1/2 cup of oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, or Cream of Rice

  • 1/2 cup of fresh fruit (1 cup of berries)

  • 1/2 cup of sugar free applesauce

  • small salad (lettuce, tomato, and onion) with fat free dressing

  • 1 serving of sugar free pudding or jello

  • 1 cup of V-8 vegetable juice or tomato juice

The challenge that we've encountered is how to spread out that set of options in some way that sustains the two of them through the day, and keeps them from suffering too horribly. There were some limited suggestions provided by the surgery group, but we didn't find them very workable. Here's what we've come to as we've gone along (I'm going to give you Master's plan, since I'm more familiar with His routine. T may have made some slight adjustments for herself):

Breakfast --
1/2 cup of Cream of Wheat with sugar free maple syrup
diet soft drink (this won't be allowed post-surgery)

Morning snack --
Chocolate protein shake made with skim milk and 1/2 banana

Lunch --
Chicken flavored protein shake
Diet soft drink

Dinner --
small salad
Amy's vegetarian vegetable soup
Protein drink made with diet cranberry juice and strawberry sorbet flavored UNJURY
Diet soft drink

Bedtime snack--
Chocolate protein shake with 1/2 banana

I know that T has managed to get off of her diet soft drinks. Master is hanging on as long as He can. This week, He is still drinking regular tea and coffee. Once the surgery is done, the only allowable coffee and tea will be decaf. They each also have to take two chewable multiple vitamins, and six chewable calcium citrate tablets each day. We actually made up a weekly chart that helps us keep track of the various bits and pieces each day -- they check them off as they go along.

I know that is not especially interesting reading, but I was determined to capture this while we were still doing it so that, if anyone ever asks us how we did this, we'd have it recorded.



Amber said...

It's all interesting to me, thanks for posting this. :)

M:e said...

I think this might also be an important post for you all once you're past the surgery and starting to add food back into your diets, as a sort of now and then comparison.

love and hugs xxx

T said...

My version of daily meals:

Protein shake w/milk while driving to work
1 small can of low-sodium V-8
1/2 cup instant oatmeal

Morning snack: 1 Jello gelatin cup

Lunch: Protein shake w/water
1 yogurt

Afternoon snack - 1 Jello pudding cup

Dinner - same as Tom's
Small salad w/ff dressing
1 cup of Amy's Vegetarian Veg soup
Protein shake w/milk

Evening snack - fruit or yogurt cup