Peanut Butter, Banana Snacks Etc

These are quick to make but require a few hours to freeze. Tasty and of course there are variations. Nice, summery dessert. Your family may eat all of them, so either make a lot or lock them up.

Simple 10 piece version.
1 small banana sliced into 10 flat pieces (Trim those pointy ends so the pieces lie flat.)
Set on small plate or pie tin or– something that will easily fit into a prepared! place in your freezer.

2 T of peanut or other nut butter (more about nut butters in another blog) divied up so you’ll put about 1/2 t on each banana slice.

Freeze. That’s it. I add a bit of sugar-free chocolate sauce for extra scrumptiousness.

Variations:
Different fruits both peeled and pitted, For example use canned pear slices or peach halves. (No berries unless you can handle the seeds.)

Nut butters – you can buy almond and probably other nut butters. Look for a smooth finish. No chunky style.

Various toppings. Smucker’s makes a sugar-free caramel ice cream topping as well as fudge. Look for it near the ice cream section. You could make your own by using cocoa powder, stevia and a little milk.

My mouth is watering now, just thinking of a peach with caramel topping, filled with a walnut butter. Oh yeah.

If you eat 10 pieces using a banana, you’ll be getting 1 fruit exchange, maybe 15 – 20 grams of carbs depending on the size of the banana, 2 T of peanut butter is 1 high fat,protein exchange, 7 grams of carb and the sugar-free chocolate sauce, is only 4 grams of carb per 2 T (you may not need that much.)

As always, if you have diabetes, test your BG an hour after consumption

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Gastroparesis and Food Part 2
4th of July
Surviving gastroparesis is not much fun especially since food plays such a major role in our social lives.
Planning for the upcoming 4th of July I was thinking about food not fireworks. That’s just how my mind works. I was wondering if I could eat fresh blueberries if I pureed them with water and let the blender do its thing for 10 minutes. Maybe add a touch of almond extract? Use 2% milk? (Hey it;s a holiday!) but I’ll need to check BG promptly all day. A small price to pay if it actually digests. Other flavorings might work as well. Papaya with orange juice? Water with ice cubes (with food colors of course!) Grape juice with yogurt? Suit yourself.

I’m making potato salad – no skins- tidbits of onion, low fat mayo, boiled eggs. Cut the potatoes in mini-cubes, or if you like mash them with no fat but the mayo, grate the onions and boiled eggs – add mustard to taste. Chill.

Choose a veggie you love, cook it , puree it and/or eat a small serving if it’s high in fiber. You can puree it with water or broth and drink it hot or cold. I’m having asparagus in a can. I’ll add a cup of chicken broth,cold, a packet of plain gelatin and putting it in a small, 1 cup dish. I’ll garnish it with some diced canned tomato. Make more bowls for others or a dish served the next day. You might want to add a tomato rose as a pretty garnish – but don’t eat it!

And chicken. Buy chicken tenders and cook in the microwave in a small bowl with a little Liquid Smoke and BBQ sauce. I find the original or old fashioned varieties usually have much less sugar. Of course you could make your own and sub stevia for the sweetener. Cover the bowl with a plate and you’ll have a mini oven. It takes only a minute or two to microwave 1 3 oz. Serving., a whole chicken thigh, or several will take more time of course..

Have ice milk or yogurt for dessert, maybe a dollop of sugar free strawberry preserves on top. Or a slice of pound cake with reduced butter, or use angel food cake fresh from the store :>)

You can have your holiday food without too much fanfare- put a sparkler on top and a smile on your face.

Jellies and Jollies

Flavoring products for those with gastroparesis and diabetes are somewhat limited. It is easier to flavor drinks with chocolate sauce or cinnamon
than it is to find sugar-free, no-fiber low-fat fillings for many desserts. I like Smuckers selections to add fruit fillings to thumbprint cookies even your children will like. (www.Smuckers.com/products). You can find a few flavors that aren’t at the local Kroegers, such as Guava and Black Raspberry.

They even have a seedless strawberry jelly which would make a good filling for a jelly roll. I’d jazz it up with a thick vanilla pudding made from scratch or a packaged mix made with 1 1/2 cup milk instead of the usual 2.
Spread it on the flat jelly roll before the jelly, not all the way to end – it spreads as you roll.

You’ll need a jelly roll pan, that’s the ‘cookie sheet’ with the rim around the edges. You might get away with a a 13 x 9 casserole dish, or even a rectangular roasting pan! Prepare your fillings first! A jelly roll made as it is with a sponge cake, doesn’t take long to bake. (10 minutes or less @ 350 degrees). I use a parchment baking sheet to help unmold it later.

Sponge cake recipes abound and some are easier than others. Joy of Cooking recommends a Hot-Milk sponge and you can make this in a multitude of flavors, including chocolate, which is as you may know, the foundation of the infamous Buche de Noel, a Christmas tradition. For those with diabetes try Smucker’s Hot Fudge topping as a frosting substitute. You’ll need to find your own recipes – they’re simple but depend on technique. I recommend making a few small cakes before having a grand presentation. You might be serving scrambled eggs with flour and chocolate topping ! Surprise! You betcha.

Sprinkle powdered diabetic sugar on top. Buy some xylitol at the health food store. Take 1/3 cup and put it in your clean coffee bean grinder.Zap ’til it looks just like…

If you do this right, it can be a stunning centerpiece, but in any case it’ll taste yummy.

Getting Through Gastoparesis with Food, Part 1

A stomach that is partially or fully paralyzed demands special treatment.
Hints that you have it depends really on how you feel. A little nausea was how it started with me. I ate a lot of saltines in those days. Some people can eat little to nothing without tossing their cookies. They can get by on nutrition drinks without fiber (think health food store Spiro-Tein in dozens of flavors and some without sugar), they may have sugar but that might help you even with diabetes – you’ll probably need those extra calories.

Your aim is to get at least 1200 calories a day, 200 more if you’re a guy.
You can also try drinks like Boost and Glucerna. Read the label. I made the mistake of buying a version of one drink that turned out to have a goodly amount of fiber (4-5 grams). If you have diabetes and are on insulin this doesn’t work well. The insulin gets into your blood faster than the food and you may go so low you pass out.

If you do have diabetes and take insulin, unless your doc is an endocrinologist who specializes in diabetes, you may have to ask for a gastroparesis test yourself. Docs aren’t great with this, neither are Certified Diabetes Educators. That’s because this is gastroenterology issue that is interfering with your diabetes. This is the doc that does your colonoscopies and such. Check out the site on www: gicare.com for some introductory diets.

What I find delightful is peanut butter cookies. Here’s a version of the Joy of Cooking recipe toned down in fat and eliminating almost 95% 0f the sugar.
Heat oven 350 degrees. This recipe makes 3 doz. 2 1/2 inch cookies.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons (t) baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
pinch of salt

In another bowl
2 Tablespoons (T) olive oil (light in flavor)
1/2 cup (c) smooth peanut butter
3/4 stick butter
2 T xylitol ( from the health food store)
1/4 c brown sugar – or 2 T if you like it less sweet

Taste- if you want it sweeter add more xylitol

In a small bowl or cup
Mix 1 1/2 eggs (1 egg + 1 egg white will do it)2 t of vanilla.
Mix flour into peanut mixture. Add eggs and vanilla.

Roll into balls, (I flour my hands) put ’em on a sprayed cookie sheet, flatten them with a fork. You can add a little more flour if the balls seem a bit loose.
Bake 10 minutes Add more time if necessary but don’t over bake. These cookies will firm as they cook.

They’ll still have a lot of fat, so try a 1/2 cookie to see how they settle in your tummy. Wait an hour and test BG again.

I make about 1/3 of this recipe but only make 6 cookies. They ring up about 45 grams of carb. YMMV.

They’re great for breakfast.

Fresh Vegetable Soup

No fresh vegetables are allowed on the gicare.com diet for Gastroparesis. I thought I was visiting hell. But the ban on fresh vegetables and fruits really is a ban on raw vegetables and fruits – due to their higher fiber content. Vegetables? Cook the hxxx out of ’em to help break down the fiber content, peel them, seed them if necessary and eat them in small quantities. Also drink the broth. ( It’s full of cast off vitamins and minerals from the cooking process.)

But start with fresh veggies- from the garden, the Farmer’s Market, even the organic section of the supermarket. They’ll have fewer toxins, higher nutrients and best of all better flavor.

Chicken Nude
(that’s restaurant talk for chicken noodle )

4 cups noodles
2-4 chicken thighs (no skin or bone, cooked )
2 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion
1 summer squash -peeled @ seeded
3 fresh tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
8 cups chicken stock (or alternative)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Salt and seasonings to taste (I like curry or Italian)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

To prep tomatoes cut a small x on the bottom, dip into boiling water just long enough for the skin to curl a little (10-15 seconds). The skin should peel away easily with a little paring knife action. This brief dipping is also called blanching (blan-ching). Cut these in half and seed them by running an inverted spoon through the seeds on each side until the seeds fall out.

The squash can be peeled with a potato peeler, halved and seeded as above.
I cook my chicken in a bowl in the microwave. I figure 1-2 minutes per piece. Cover it. (Plate) If it’s a little on the raw side, don’t worry, we’re not through cooking in this recipe.
Put all the veggies in a food processor and pulse until tiny but not mush.

Put 9 cups of water/stock in a pan on the stove. Heat to boiling and add noodles.
Cook to desired texture.

Add oil at the end. (Sauteing the vegetables in oil uses much more fat,
so don’t.)

Add veggies and seasonings. Taste. Want more? Add a little. Taste. Cook for 30 minutes or simmer for an hour or more for better flavor. Add more stock if necessary.

This is a very thick soup and can be used for an entire meal.
2 cups will have approximately 50 grams carb, 3 oz. protein, 1 teaspoon healthy fat.

Enjoy! Coming soon – down-home Tuscan Tomato soup.

It was fairly easy to determine that blenders, grinders (as in coffee bean…) and food processors and sieves were going to figure prominently in my new life with gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying). I found minimizing the size of food particles helps me to digest them.

I learned early on that liquifying or nearly doing so might save me from a life laden with nothing but salt-laden V-8 juices if I ever wanted to eat healthy food again. Sure, vegetables and fruits have fiber but that really depends on how much fiber you can tolerate, how much will still allow your food to digest?

For me at a nearly normal (stage 3, on the http://www.gicare.com site) I’ve found I can tolerate around 12 grams per day. I spread it out through the day. I’m speaking about insoluble fiber like seeds, not those that are more easily digested, which are also included in most fruits and veggies. My Certified Diabetes Educator told me that’s a lot. She has patients on all liquid diets and no fiber but my perspective says you’ll never know until you try.

I by, and adjust. Eat canned spinach. No? puree? No. puree and strained through a sieve? You’ll soon find out what you can handle. (But be sure to try during waking hours, in small [1/2 cup servings] and check your BG 2 hours postprandial to see what’s going on. Take the amount of insulin needed for the veggie’s too. Then if your BG is 125 instead of your usual 195, you’ll know the fiber is too much.)

Give it a whirl!

Signs and Symptoms

Sleepy day. I just woke from my nap and am ready for another. Frankly I blame all my gastro parties with the paramedics. Multiple ER visits. This recent blooming cold sore on my lip. I’m exhausted, and it shows. Whether it’s final exams, a year of broken bones, or a wedding, I have this marker when it’s through. I break out with cold sores. What does your body do?

Gastroparesis is a condition that can drain you, just like diabetes can.

When your insulin gets into your bloodstream faster than your food can, you may pass out if the food is delayed too long. If you have or suspect gastro
there are 3 things to remember
1. Gastroparesis is best handled by a Gerontologist, as it’s a digestive problem, so not your regular doctor or even your Certified Diabetes Educator. The doc who does your colonoscopy is the one to see. An endocrinologist is my number 1 recommendation for those with diabetes- they specialize in the intricacies of diabetes of which gastroparesis is a part.
2. This is most likely the premier cause of the”dead in bed” syndrome when your blood sugar goes way too low while sleeping. It’s serious.
3. The symptoms of gastroparesis vary a lot – you may be passing out for no discernible reason, feel nauseous, constipated or otherwise feeling your digestive system isn’t ‘right’. Don’t mess around. Go get help.

Start Here

Eating a diet for gastroparesis varies depending on your age and your ‘state’ of gastroparesis, which includes numerous stages – from feeding tubes to what I refer to as ‘nearly normal’. Also consider your own preferences and tolerances. I have a master’s degree in nutrition but I am following a gastroenterology diet I found online(www.gicare.com). adding foods I felt I had no reactions to one at a time.

I have had Type I diabetes for 48 years, gastroparesis for 14 of them. At the time I was diagnosed, I was nauseous all the time and got by just eating saltine crackers. I tried various medications but none worked for me. I ate a healthy high fiber diet that was ultimately my undoing. I started passing out stone cold on my cement floor. I have hypoglycemic unawareness. I felt nothing, came to at a paramedic party and continue to ask my insurance to cover a CGMS. At the moment I’m fighting for more test strips.

I found the no to low fiber diets (gicare.com) , low fat diet, etc. and immediately felt better. Later I found I could tolerate, actually digest other foods :>) I went slowly though. First I tried milk and yogurt, then lower fat cheese, peanut butter and forward. I’m on a pump and took a bolus more often, after checking my BG to see what foods made it through. Your mileage may vary (YMMV). Good luck.

Gastroparesis Exercises ala Bernstein

Blue skies, 70 degrees, what a wonderful morning to walk to the Community Garden, a short block away. This is bliss and it’s also good exercise. Exercise is good for gastroparesis, it gets the body moving.

Dr. Bernstein, the famous doctor who writes about diabetes encourages those with gastro to specifically do abdominal exercises, such as the yoga distension and retraction of the abdominal muscles.
. inhale slowly extend chest area AND stomach area
. exhale rapidly and contract muscles to spine
. repeat – Do as many as you can after eating until you reach 100 in 4 minutes. BUT start slowly then progress in movement and moments.

Another trick is to chew gum after meals. Bernstein recommends chewing for up to 1 1/2 hours.

There’s another exercise he calls the flip-back, you arch backwards and then flip forward. Haven’t tried this yet. It falls into my old ‘can’t hurt, might help’ category.

All of these are worth trying.