Though I haven’t posted recently, I have been busy.
I am in the process of filming cooking lessons on the techniques neccessary to puree almost every food. There will be five lessons in all.
The cooking lessons will be on a DVD that will be included in the purchase of my care manual “Making Every Bite Count”. Because this information is essential to living on a puree diet, I hope to make all the full length videos available to view online for a small fee.
Through these cooking lessons, I will show you how to modify the foods you love so you can still eat them if you are on a puree diet.
First up: Meat
Pureeing meat can be a real challenge! Cooked meats can be hard to puree because meat protein form tight bundles that need can be difficult to chew, let alone puree. When pureeing meat, keep in mind that:
- you need to start-out with cooked meat
- meats that are easier to chew will also be easier to puree
- you’ll need broth or other cooking liquid
- you’ll need an instant food thickener to bind the puree into a cohesive mass for safe swallowing
- purees don’t have to be soupy
- purees can taste great!
This video is just a snap-shot of the full video, so take a look and get some ideas!
The National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders is offering a series of patient-centered webinars on the latest research on swallowing disorders. Experts in the field of swallowing disorders such as tongue stem cell research, nutrition, aspiration pneumonia, as they relate to swallowing disorders. If you have a swallowing disorder or are Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), please share this information with them. For more information, visit their website: http://www.swallowingdisorderfoundation.com
Cost: Free for members. Nominal donation required for non-members.
Webinar #1: July 15, 2014
Adult Human Tongue Stem Cell Research
Dr. Peter Belafsky
Webinar #2: August 27, 2014
The Role of Electrical Stimulation in the Treatment of Swallowing Disorders
Dr. Christy Ludlow
Webinar #3: September 30, 2013
How to Find the Right Professional to Help with a Swallowing Disorder
Nancy B. Swigert, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-S.
Webinar# 4: November 4, 2014
Aspiration Pneumonia in Patients with Swallowing Disorders
Tiffany Mohr, MA, CCC-SLP
Webinar# 5: December 2, 2014
I-Pro Swallowing Solutions
Dr. JoAnne Robbins
Webinar #6: January 27, 2015
Nutrition and Dysphagia
Laura Michael, BS
Webinar #7: February 24, 2015
Degenerative Disease and the Impact on Swallowing
Dr. Michelle Ciucci & Dr. Emily Plowman
Webinar #8: April 7, 2015
Clinical Implications of Swallowing Research
Molly Knigge, MS, CCC-SLP
The NFOSD is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that relies on the generosity of our family, friends, and members to provide the financial support required to carry out our commitment to providing patient hope and improving the quality of life for those suffering from all types of swallowing disorders. We do this by enhancing direct patient support, education, research, and raising public, professional, and governmental awareness. Our mission is to advance the prevention and treatment of swallowing disorders in our lifetime.
It is so easy to feel alone when you are diagnosed with a medical condition that requires modifying and changing all the foods and beverages you eat and drink. We take the ability to eat and drink for granted. After all, you’ve been eating and drinking your whole life!
For many of us, eating and sharing meals is how we socialize. Food also has a strong cultural significance. Not being able to share in the joy and satisfaction of enjoying a meal can leave you feeling isolated. This is why it is so important to find the support for managing you condition.
You are most certainly not alone. In 2013, more than ten million Americans had a swallowing test. The National Institutes of Health estimates that one in six Americans over the age of 60 is having trouble swallowing. The US spent over 500 million dollars in dysphagia-related hospital re-admissions in 2013. The statistics are staggering.
The National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders is a great online source of information and support. (Disclaimer: I am a board member of the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders) The NFOSD offers topical information, webinars, patient support, education, referrals and all things related to research and treatment for swallowing disorders. The NFOSD webinar series covers topics like how to find the right professional to help with a swallowing disorder, nutrition and dysphagia (my specialty) and more. The goal of the foundation is to “advance the prevention and treatment of swallowing disorders in our lifetime”. For more information, visit this website:
Swallowing problems often co-occur with other health issues like Alzheimer’s, ALS, Stroke and Parkinson’s disease. For disease-specific information visit:
ALS Association www.alsa.org
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America www.alzfdn.org
The Alzheimer’s Association www.alz.org
American Parkinson’s Disease Association www.adaparkinson.org
National Stroke Association www.stroke.org
Support for People with Oral, Head, Neck Cancer http://www.sponhc.org
If you are caring for a child with eating or swallowing problems, a great resource is Feeding Matters. Visit their website: www.feedingmatters.org.
If you are looking for support close to home, contact your local hospital. Many hospitals have community outreach and support groups. If your local hospital doesn’t have a swallowing disorder-specific support group, ask them to create one. Or contact your community senior center. Many communities offer support for their aging population.
Making changes to habits and lifestyle can be hard, especially when it is something as basic as eating. Finding the support of others with the condition and from those who treat the condition can make the adjustments and modifications a little easier to swallow.
When you are a caregiver, it is easy to feel alone and overwhelmed. If you are a family caregiver, it may feel even more challenging because of family dynamics and family roles. Even when you are doing your best, you can’t seem to “fix” what is going wrong. Often, family caregivers are thrust into the role without much preparation. Whether you are caring for an aging parent or a spouse or child with an unexpected illness, switching gears and roles can be HARD.
When you are in the thick of it, please remember to “take the oxygen mask for yourself” before you assist the person you are caring for. “Taking the oxygen mask” means looking after your own basic needs. Take time to eat, rest and care for yourself. You need to do those things that rejuvenate you. Doing so does not make you selfish, it makes you smart. If you can’t breathe deeply or if your body, mind and soul are not nourished, you will no doubt fail. There is only so much of you to go around.
When my mom was in the thick of it, when Dad had more bad days than good, I would remind/nag/cajole her to take time for herself. Many, many times I told her: “I’m losing Dad to Lewy Bodies; I don’t want to lose you as well”. She listened. She asked for help and assistance within the family, from her friends, in the community and through support groups. As the old saying goes: “Many hands make the burden light”.
My parents had always been the first to volunteer when there was an emergency or need whether it was in the family, within the community or among their friends. I am grateful that their community responded when Mom and Dad were in need. Both of my parents taught me the true meaning of grace and courage.
Dad has been gone five years now and Mom continues to move mountains.
In my next blog post, I will share some of the great support groups and online communities in which I have found strength and support. In the meantime, if you would like to contact me, please visit my website: http://www.dysphagiasolutions.com.
Recently, I worked with a client who had just returned home after six weeks in hospital and rehab. “Irene” had been a vital, active 78 year-old woman before her stroke. More than anything, Irene and her husband “Bob” want to get their lives back to normal.
Since Irene has arrived home, Bob has been working overtime managing all of the activities that come with recovery from stroke including: scheduling doctor’s appointments then going to the appointments, ordering and receiving a hospital bed and wheel chair, juggling therapy visits, picking-up prescriptions, making the house wheel chair friendly and opening all the mail that accumulates while you are occupied away from home, just to name a few.
Bob asked me to help him learn how to cook for and feed Irene. Before the stroke, cooking was Irene’s job in the family but Bob will do anything it takes to care for his wife, including learning how to cook at 78 years-old! Being a bit overwhelmed, Bob has no time to cook for himself, let alone cook and then puree meals for Irene. I’m glad that there are foods like Mom’s Meals – Purees to recommend to him.
Mom’s Meals is an online supplier fresh-cooked, ready-made refrigerated pureed meals. Each meal has a main dish, vegetable and dessert. Their menu consists of comfort foods like:
- Scrambled Eggs with Brown Sugar Pork Loin Bacon, Bread and Applesauce
- Roast Beef with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots, Vanilla Pudding and Applesauce
- Pork with BBQ Sauce, Cheese Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Fruit and Chocolate Pudding
- Roasted White-meat Chicken with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans and Carrots, Fruit and Vanilla Pudding
- Pasta with Marinara Sauce and Broccoli, Blueberry Applesauce and Pudding
You order online (or by phone) and Mom’s Meals ships directly to your home. The meals have a 14 day shelf life and are easily reheated in the microwave.
I sampled four meals and I found them delicious and hearty. At between 600 and 700 calories per meal, they are ideal for helping to rebuild your strength. With four breakfast menus and eight lunch/dinner choices, you have some ability to eat a variety of foods. If you like home-cooking, Mom’s Meals purees will appeal to you, as they did to Irene and Bob.
Each full puree meal is $7.49 plus shipping. Shipping is $14.95 regardless of the size of your order.
And if you are too busy to cook, like Bob, check-out their regular meals, as well!
To order from Mom’s Meals purees visit their website: http://www.momsmeals.com/independent-at-home/pureed-menu/.
If you need advice, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-266-5622.