Liquid Diet, Take Two

My shopping trips are getting pretty predictable. Not pictured: A metric ton of frozen fruits, a huge bag of kale, and pouches of protein and chia seeds.

My shopping trips are getting pretty predictable. Not pictured: A metric ton of frozen fruits, a huge bag of kale, and pouches of protein and chia seeds.

It’s back to smoothies and soups for me.

My TMJ has flared up again in a big way, and so, for the past few days, I’ve been on a liquid diet. Again.

I’m hopeful that this flare won’t last as long as the last one. After all, I’m doing the liquid diet thing solely to get my jaw back to a place where I can chew or talk or smile without pain, not because I’m looking to lose a quick five pounds. I’d really like to be back to the occasional bagel within a week or so. I’d really, really like that.

This time around, I’m in a much more intense training cycle than the last time I dealt with TMJ, and it’s proving to be a challenge. It’s not that I can’t get enough sustenance through my smoothies; in fact, I think I’m probably better nourished in general because, when everything I eat is going into a blender, I’m really conscious of what I’m eating. In fact, I suspect this is going to help me with my goal of getting a better handle on my nutritional needs.

The issue is that, well, I’m hungry. A lot. And while smoothies aren’t exactly rocket science to make, whipping one up does take considerably more time than grabbing, like, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when I stagger in the door after a 2.5-hour bike ride, you know? Or at least more planning. Which means, I guess, that maybe I need to do more planning on hard workout days and have something pre-made and waiting for me in the fridge. Gah. Meal planning is really not my forte.

Do you have suggestions for liquid (or at least really, really soft) meals that are quick and easy to make and are seriously satisfying (and nutritious, and vegetarian)? Lay ’em on me. Please. —Kristen


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  1. Michelle says:

    I’m vegan and when I got my wisdom teeth out I made a lot of lentil dhal. I would either cook it down super long so it was like a thick paste or puree it and add spinach and tomatos. Super high protein and filling.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I’ve had tons of bad TMJ problems in the past. Check out tmjhope.org They have lots of great recipes and diet ideas.

  3. Sarah says:

    My nutritionist, after her initial assessment, said, “You have to start eating more fat if your brain is going to work properly.” ooooops. 🙂 She told me to start each day with a smoothie that had two tablespoons of coconut oil, protein powder, light coconut milk and any frozen fruit I wanted. Amazing. I felt better and stronger almost immediately. I hope you heal soon. xo

  4. Karen says:

    Seasonal fruits but typically:
    Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries (blackberries & cranberries when in season and tasty), banana, almond milk and rainbow light vanilla protein powder.

  5. Julia says:

    These custards are quick to prepare and last in the frig for about a week. You can flavor them with almond extract, maple, etc. I often eat them for breakfast, and of course dessert!

  6. Sarah says:

    I have TMJ as well. My go-to soft meal: Mashed Red Potatoes (without skins) and Fat-Free Refried Beans (no lard) with a little cheese. Make a big batch of potatoes, then when you’re hungry dish up a bowl and add the beans and cheese then pop into the microwave.

  7. Terra says:

    When my husband had his jaw wired shut he could only drink his food for months. His family would blend anything. If dinner was a hamburger, then that is what got blended (this was MANY years ago and smoothies and juicing were not something everyone talked about). His dad got pretty good at blending whole meals for him to drink. My husband said that many of them were surprisingly good.

  8. Verhanika says:

    My rule for smoothies is that I always rinse out my blender and immeditately put the base for my next smoothie in it. I always have a half a banana and protein powder in every smoothie so I’ll add that and stick it in the fridge so it’s easier to add to once I stagger in post-workout. Lately, my new base has been banana, protein powder, kefir and spinach. To it I add oatmeal (cooked, not raw oats), coconut oil, frozen berries or mango, almond milk, coconut milk, PB2 powder, almond butter, anything. But the help is always that my basics are there ready to go.

    Good luck! TMJ is rough.