Some Like It Smooth

I had a good afternoon yesterday. I managed some lunch, a smoothie snack, and a bit of shopping. (I left the house. For non-medical purposes. Hours after the end of an episode.) I needed to pick up a few – temporary – things that fit right now. I backslid a bit in the evening. That seems to happen a lot after morning episodes, but I’m not sure what to do to prevent it.

Smoothies are something I’ve only started making since getting the NJ tube inserted. I experienced considerable difficulty swallowing during its first day or two, and smoothies were one of the few things I could keep down. I’m continuing them now, even though I’ve managed more solid food, because they seem easy on my stomach and they’re a good way to get some vitamins in.

so let’s turn up the blend till we…

This was yesterday’s selection. I blended a frozen banana with a bunch of frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries), a splash of grape juice, crushed ice, and a good measure of almond milk. Almond milk is my favorite non-dairy milk, but I haven’t acclimated myself to the taste of it straight. I like it on my hot rice cereal in the mornings and I’ve used it to bake with, but I’m not crazy about simply imbibing. I want the calcium and vitamin D my almond milk is fortified with, so I’m looking for different ways to use it. (Any suggestions?) It worked really nicely in yesterday’s smoothie, so I think I’ll keep that up.

While ill, healthy takes on a new set of associations and meanings. Healthy isn’t necessarily about eating the cleanest, getting the most exercise, or eating lots of salad (though even while well those things can be taken to excesses!) Healthy, for better or worse, becomes not sick. In general, I am eating quite clean, because most of what I can eat is clean, and I react badly to some things that aren’t. (Nitrates, dear nitrates, we are not made for each other. Remember that time you gave me that episode with the worst neurological symptoms I’ve had in an episode?) Right now, my stomach is even more sensitive than usual, and some things I’ve always enjoyed are impossible. Sayonara sweet potatoes; it was nice knowing you. Lettuce and raw spinach? You can come back when you stop setting up camp in my stomach every time you enter. My vegetable consumption is mostly limited to summer squash right now. It’s a good thing I love that squash and it abounds locally right now.

(I have been curious about green smoothies. I wonder if blending the spinach might make it easier to digest. It would be nice to get those nutrients in. Does anyone have experience with this? I also wonder if you can make green smoothies using cooked spinach. My other concern would be one that might seem vain, but can be crucial when dealing with nausea: the color. I couldn’t face a brown smoothie at the moment.)

Exercise presents some similar dilemmas. My doctors have encouraged me to engage in some gentle exercise when I feel up for it, but for the last few weeks I most certainly haven’t. I’ve currently avoided the emergency room and admission to the hospital for almost two weeks. (Thirteen days. You better believe I’m counting.) I’m having shorter and slightly less frequent episodes. I’m receiving a nutritional base through my NJ tube at night and I’m getting food in by mouth as well. It seems like a good time to try to get moving a little bit and rebuild some strength. I think I’m going to try some gentle yoga in a little bit and see how that goes.

I’m still reading An Infamous Army and I’m almost finished with American Studies. You know you live in a slightly unusual household when you’re reading the latter at the breakfast table and your father walks in and exclaims, “I’m so glad you’re able to read something fun!” Having my mind back after stopping Reglan is nice.

What’s your favorite smoothie combination? Do you do green smoothies?

What do you do for gentle exercise?

What are you reading now?

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7 thoughts on “Some Like It Smooth

  1. Your smoothie looks great. I like to make a smoothie with chia, oatmeal, frozen banana, peanut or almond butter, almond or coconut milk with cinnamon and nutmeg. No, I have not tried green smoothies yet. I like yoga for gentle exercise, my legs get tight and it really helps loosen them up. I am reading “Entre Nous” by Debra Ollivier and “Operation Typhoon Shore” by Joshua Mowll. Take care 🙂

  2. I have never had a green smoothie, and I like raspberry and a bit of lime best. Gentle exercise = walking, preferably with a friend. My friend and I walk most early mornings, or we did until I started back at work this week and now we only have 2 mornings left in the week, dangit. I am reading Euripedes and Barbara Tuchman’s “A Distant Mirror,” which I do not recommend for queasy folks since it’s about the 14th century.

    I’m so sorry about how sick you are and hope it gets better soon. It’s amazing what we think is normal when we’ve had it our whole lives (like your pain after eating). My little girl has an eye condition that causes her to see double on the left side of her field of vision. She was surprised to realize that most people don’t see that way.

    • Walking is wonderful — I’ve been going on walks with my parents some mornings when I’m feeling well. Bidwell Park is truly one of my favorite places to be. And I like your thinking about the fourteenth century and queasiness. 😉

      Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. I’m still amazed, looking back, that I’ve lived with something so off without ever realizing it. I hope your little girl’s eye condition is okay! I can definitely see how someone would think that’s normal vision, if that’s all she’s known.

  3. Man on man, you are dealing with some stuff right now. Kudos to you for sharing and putting yourself out there. I’ll be rooting for you.
    I dabbled in a green smoothie once with Kale, Strawberries and Bananas. It was delicious but awful to look at…very army color green.
    As far as almond milk goes, I use it to make all my cream sauces (pasta, macaroni and cheese) and with egg dishes (scrambled, frittata, quiches). Pretty much any place you see cows milk, I use almond.

    • Thank you! It’s definitely a fine line between putting myself out there and sharing too much and turning people off or exposing myself too much. I’m hoping this blog will help me strike a balance.

      That’s good to know that almond milk works in sauces! Thanks for the tips.

  4. Your smoothie looks delicious, but I can imagine you’re not looking forward to a brown-ish one very day. I often make a green smoothie to take to work, it’s easier to digest than bread (for me at least) and this way, I get a lot of fibre, veg and fruit in one go. My basic greens are spinach (but I’m really not sure whether blending it will make it easier for your stomach & cooked probably won’t taste good), escarole, bok choy, celery and kale. Frozen fruit works a treat, but I always include apples and a banana. No rice or other (non-dairy) milk.
    I pour the smoothie in a termos, so my co-workers won’t comment on the weird colour (and that way I don’t have to look at it either).

    Yoga is a great idea, it’s my go-to exercise as well. Walking outside (despite the visibility of the tube) and getting some fresh air and sunlight/vitamin D is great exercise as well.

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