So for a couple of months now I have been blenderizing whole foods for Ryan, thanks to one of the great love's of my life.
Yes, my Sweetheart makes it possible, too, but I was actually referring to the awesome machine called the Vitamix. I never thought I would become a kitchen machine enthusiast, but this thing is INCREDIBLE!
We bought it because after a lot of research we realized that a blenderized whole foods diet would be the best thing for Ryan. You might remember that Ryan is not currently able to eat anything by mouth. This is due to the results of his last swallow study. It showed that he aspirates everything, which basically means that he chokes on even the saliva that small amounts of food can create. Choking, of course, can be kind of scarey, but the real risk is that if it gets into his lungs it becomes an infection risk.
So, his GI doc and nutritionist recommended a blenderized whole foods diet. There were a few reasons for this recommendation. The first is that Ryan wasn't thriving on his current diet. He was losing weight, having chronic constipation issues, and having ongoing seizure issues. The second is that his formula is known to cause chronic constipation issues and I wanted to try whole foods to resolve the issues instead of constantly struggling to find the right balance of Miralax. The third is that research shows that people who receive whole foods through g-tubes have a higher rate of returning to eat by mouth than people who only eat formulas. The best reason of all though was that I was really wanting to move Ryan to real foods and was willing to put the effort into doing it.
We used to feed him:
Corn Syrup Solids, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Canola Oil, High Oleic Safflower Oil, L-Arginine, L-Glutamine, L-Lysine-L-Aspartate, Tripotassium Citrate, L-Leucine, L-Phenylalanine, Dicalcium Phosphate, L-Proline, L-Valine, Glycine, L-Isoleucine, N-Acetyl L-Methionine, Tricalcium Phosphate, L-Threonine, Mono and Diglycerides, L-Histidine, L-Serine, Sodium Chloride, L-Alanine, Magnesium Acetate, Choline Bitartrate, L-Tryptophan, L-Tyrosine, Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono and Diglycerides, M-Inositol, L-Ascorbic Acid, L-Cystine, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Zinc Sulfate, DL-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate, Niacinamide, Calcium-D-Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Cupric Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Acetate, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenite, Phylloquinone, D-Biotin, Vitamin D3, Cyanocobalamin.
Yum, right? Not.
Now he gets to eat some combination of:
Strawberries, mangos, peaches, pineapples, apples, carrots, tomatoes, avocados, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, broccoli, etc. And every day I add avocado and a little olive oil for the healthy fats and soon I'll be adding some nuts. I also add a plant based protein powder.
I've heard I can add meat, but I haven't been able to get it to work through the pump though and since I don't eat a lot of meat I've just worked on finding other good sources of protein for him.
The other great thing that's come from having this wonderful blender is that I, too, end up drinking at least one of my meals each day. I LOVE IT! Typically in the morning, as I'm gathering Ryan's produce I'll just put a few things in the blender for me, too. (The great thing about the Vitamix is that it doesn't take a lot of prep work. It does most of the work for you!)
So, this morning, I tried KALE in my smoothie. I'm not sure what the big deal about kale is. Why are people so scared of it? I thought it tasted good. I just blended the following: about 1/4 cup pineapple juice, 1/4 cup water, 1 cup fresh pineapple, 1/2 fresh pear, 1/4 fresh apple, 2 strawberries, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries & blueberries, 2 large Kale leaves.
Tasted great! I think if someone could figure out a way to make a kale drink a pretty pink then it wouldn't be so scarey. Then I might be able to get someone in my family to taste them. Not even Johnathon would try this one. :)