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Kristen’s Liquid Diet Continues

When having to do a liquid diet, tasty smoothies are key. Credit: José Carlos Cortizo Pérez, Flickr

I have good news and I have bad news. The bad news: My week-long liquid diet (due to TMJ) has dragged out to more than three weeks, and there’s no reason for me to suspect that it won’t go a full month. Now, after the first week, I was given the go-ahead to eat soft foods, so long as I was smart about it, but I’m still getting the majority of my nutrition through smoothies and soups.

Here’s the good news: It’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. I’ve become pretty damn good at making a killer smoothie, if I do say so myself. Your suggestions on my last post were super helpful—thanks!—but I’ve found that I don’t follow many actual recipes.

I use a bit of Greek yogurt or soft silken tofu, some frozen fruit, a scoop or two of protein powder, some almond or soy milk (or juice, depending on the other ingredients) and, generally, some frozen chopped spinach, with the occasional dose of honey, cinnamon and or ginger. Sometimes there’s some peanut butter and/or banana added in. And it always, always comes out tasty. It’s like magic.

Allow me to geek out on you for a quick second here. It is strangely exciting to see just how much spinach (or kale, or other super-duper good for me veggie) I can add to a smoothie before it starts affecting the flavor. Anybody else like seeing how green you can make it while still having it be delicious?

Between this and an assortment of heat-and-eat organic soups (have you guys tried Pacific? They have a ton of delicious, creamy soups that are easy to eat on their own or mixed with veggies, Greek yogurt or fun spices), eating—at least when I’m at home—is surprisingly easy. But the most surprising part? I’m not hungry. I’m sure it’s because I’m being so vigilant about making sure my meals are packed full of great nutrition—as often as not, I’m eating better and cleaner than I would normally—but still, the lack of hunger shocked me.

That being said, I’m also not losing much weight, and while that’s a bummer—I totally thought this would be an easy way to drop a few stubborn pounds—I’ve decided not to worry about it. I’m far more concerned with making sure I’m properly fueled for workouts and, you know, life, and if that means I’m making my smoothies a little more calorie-dense than I would if I were truly aiming for weight-loss, I think that’s probably just fine.

And, you’ll notice I said that it’s easy to eat at home. A recent three-day road trip proved that eating on the go is…well, a challenge would be putting it mildly, especially because so many soups in restaurants are made with a chicken or beef broth base, and in addition to being banned from chewing, I also don’t eat meat. Let me tell you, I’m a pleasure to be with in a restaurant these days.

Still, I’m feeling surprisingly good, and very much looking forward to the day when I can eat a bagel again without pain. In the meantime, keep the recipes and suggestions coming! I’m pretty set with smoothies, but soups and other tasty purees are most welcome.

Are you as surprised as I am that I haven’t been starving non-stop? Have you ever had to follow a liquid or a soft-food diet for a week or more? —Kristen



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