Nourishing wisdom for wisdom teeth extraction
Last week my youngest son had this wisdom teeth extracted.
Unfortunately, it was a particularly difficult surgery as two of the teeth were quite impacted (yup we put it off a little too long – sigh). Poor guy.
The first day he could barely get the gauze out long enough to even drink water (the bleeding was so bad). But eventually that evening it slowed down and he was able to get in his first meal of the day.
As expected, they told us he would be living on soft foods for at least a few days.
To boot, there was also the issue of how to keep his digestion running smoothly. He had to be on a certain amount of pain meds which you probably know can be a HUGE deterrent to, well, um, keeping his bowels moving regularly.
I knew this was an opportunity to pull out my best recipes for smoothies, puddings, and soups and be sure he was well fed despite his eating challenges.
I firmly believed that the better his nourishment was, the shorter time it would take for him to heal.
The menu I came up with actually reminded me a lot of what Stephanie and I strive for when we are faced with clients who have eating challenges for other reasons, such as cancer, Parkinson’s, compromised immune or gastrointestinal issues. In many cases these clients need soft, blended, pureed and/or cooked foods for ease of swallowing, digestion, and/or nutrient assimilation.
Below are the strategies and recipes that I used for a successful recovery:
Have refreshing drinks on hand: Staying hydrated is really important, but avoid using sugary replacement drinks like Gatorade or commercial bottled iced teas. Go for a pitcher of homemade ice tea like organic peppermint, and flavor it with some raw local honey. You could also keep some coconut water and tomato juice handy, which both have good amounts of potassium and the tomato juice will have sodium. Our favorite bottled brand of tomato juice is Knudsen’s Very Veggie. They also have a couple of delicious carrot juices.
Get your blender revved up! Smoothies are perfect when cool and refreshing is the goal. They can be packed with so many healthy goodies. We made tons of variations, from pineapple-mint and papaya-ginger-pear to strawberry-coconut and blueberry-cucumber. Simply blend your favorite frozen fruit with some unsweetened milk and add in your choice of protein powder, nuts or seeds, spices, and veggies like cucumber, spinach or beets. Check out THIS blog post for our smoothie primer. More smoothie recipes HERE and HERE.
The pineapple smoothie below was his favorite:
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 tiny piece frozen banana
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup spinach leaves
5-6 mint leaves
1/2 -3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
Serve up some soup. Blended/pureed soups are a wonderful vehicle for including lots of good veggies and fats into one meal. I always start with sauteed veggies in olive, avocado, coconut oil or butter/ghee. Adding spices at this stage really brings out flavor, like curry or cumin. This time around I made a gingered carrot potato soup, but you could go with almost any blended veggie by following THIS recipe, which uses zucchini.
Pamper with pudding. Forgo the store bought pudding cups which are filled with excess sugars and fillers, and instead whip up your own creation using REALLY healthy ingredients like bananas, avocados, dates and/or prunes. I opted for the added sweetness from prunes for their high fiber content, so I used those instead of dates in THIS delicious recipe. I also added some extra almond butter and coconut which boosted the nutrient content and added delicious texture and flavor.
Get real with Ramen. Most ramen store bought noodles have no nutritional value and lots of added undesirable ingredients like caramel, corn syrup, and GMO soy. So we opted for plain ramen rice noodles at the health food store, like THESE, and I cooked them in an organic chicken broth. I added some chopped scallions and spinach, and topped it off with a dash of tamari and sesame oil. It was delicious, super easy, and contained nothing artificial.
Mash it! My mashed potatoes were the hit of the week. I included turnips and a little cauliflower into the dish which added some flavor and upped the nutrition profile a bit. All you do is dice up a few potatoes, a large turnip, and a few pieces of cauliflower and simmer them in water until soft. Drain the water and put back into the pot. Mash the soft veggies with your choice of olive oil, organic butter or ghee, a couple tablespoons of full fat coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste. Thin these out or leave them thick to your liking.
THE NOURISHING GURUS
Jane and Stephanie, creators of The Simply Nourished Solution™, are nutritionists who help women over 50 go from overweight, frustrated, and inflamed to lighter and healthier so they can be more active, feel good in their bodies, and live the second half of life with energy and confidence. Their 3-pronged approach, which can fit into any lifestyle, encompasses not only wholesome energizing foods but powerful habit and mindset shifts.
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