Posts Tagged ‘Smoothies’

The Importance of Protein – Powder ideas for smoothies

ImageOnce we are diagnosed with gastroparesis, we have to create a diet of low fat and low fiber.  Eliminating high fat and high fiber allow the stomach to function a little faster than bogging it down to process those foods.   Plus, making smaller meals help move the food faster.  I have found that I need to stick to 1c to 1.5 cups of food.  Nothing more, for my ‘meal’.   Yes, I in a way, measure it out and put it on a small plate.  This way I don’t grab for more food and make myself sick(er).  It is hard to stop ‘eating’ when you are still hungry, but the literal pain if you don’t is worse -for me.

When I started the GP Meal Plan, I cut out a lot.  I was living off a muffin or oatmeal in the morning (both of which are not recommended), then soup for lunch with crackers and a little portion of what I made my family for dinner (still not a wise idea .. if it is not GP Friendly.  Even in a small portion) and during the day I would have a smoothie of some sort.

Can you tell what I was missing?  I hope you guessed EVERYTHING!  I wasn’t getting enough vitamins, minerals and protein was a big miss on my part.

Every day I felt more and more crappy (pain, nausea, fatigue, light headed, dizzy, headaches, etc).   I didn’t understand what was going on.  I was eating low fat and low fiber with small meals.  Maybe my GP was getting worse.  I didn’t know.   But, one day I ran across and article talking about protein and thought for a minuted of how much I may consume in a day.  Hmmm, not much.  Does it matter that much, really?   I began to do more research and found out that lack of protein causes a lot of problems, such as:

  • Loss of muscle
  • Fluid retention
  • Hair loss
  • Body temperature falls
  • Fatigue
  • Nails break easily
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal Pain

Once I figured out that I needed more protein in my days, I began to hunt for items that I could put in my smoothies.  I tried things like tofu and Greek yogurt.  That was never going to be enough, so I searched for protein powders and tried: hemp, peanut butter powder, soy, whey and now my favorite egg protein powder.  Following is a list of Protein Powders along with the amount of protein per serving:

  • Tofu – 9 grams (2″ x 2″ x 1″ chunk)
  • PB2 – 5 grams protein, 2 tablespoons (this is a brand of powdered peanut butter)
  • Soy – 20 grams protein, serving size 24 grams
  • Whey – 25 grams protein, serving size 28 grams
  • Hemp – 25 grams protein, serving size 1 tablespoon
  • Pea – 25 grams protein, serving size 1/4 cup
  • Egg White – 24 grams protein, serving size 28 grams
  • This list is an example from the actual brands I had on hand.  Each brand will/can be different.

For me, the tofu and peanut butter did not contain enough protein for the amount I needed to consume in a day.  The Hemp and Whey could have sent me to the ER if I wasn’t smart and only tired a little amount (sever cramping, bloating, etc).  I ruled out the soy powder, just because I am not that big of a believer in soy.  To me, it is in too much of our food as it is.  I am lucky that the Egg White Protein powder not only tastes great in a shake/smoothie, but it gives me the boost I need every day and has not make me sick!  I swear by it!!

In a given day we should be consuming 50 – 100 grams.  Here is a link to a calculator to help you estimate.

Lastly, if you can eat some real food, try Protein Bars.  The Balance Bar is easy to digest and can provide any where between 15 – 19 grams of protein (depending on the flavor).  I keep one with me when I go out of the house.  Once I start to feel light headed I eat the bar and am good to go for another hour or two!

It is amazing how just this little changed has helped me.  I feel so much better than before.  Yes, I still have gastroparesis and am in pain every day, but I feel better than I did.

Link regarding protein deficient symptoms:


It’s Smoothie Time

ImageOne day my normal Greek yogurt brand was on sale for a great price.  I wanted to buy as much as I could to save money, since it is a daily used item for me.  But there was a problem.  How was I going to eat all of it before it expired?  My husband could see my wheels turning and simply said, ‘why don’t you freeze it?’.  What a great idea!  So I bought 4 – 32 oz containers and stopped at the local Dollar Store on my way home to get ice cube trays.   Anxious to try this, I went to work filling by the tablespoon into each section of the tray.  A 32 oz container will fill 24 cubes.

I gave the trays a few hours (we have a wonderful deep freezer, so time is quick) and tried to get them out.  No go.  Dang what the heck!  At this point the expensive silicone trays would have been a blessing.  I didn’t let this stop me.  I tried a knife around it.  No go.  So, I set the bottom of the try in some warm water in the sink, took it out after 20 seconds, tried it and WA-LA!  They came out!!  A little soft now, so I put them on a sheet pan and back in the freezer they went!  The next day I put them all in a zip lock bag and did the process all over again (4 more times to be exact).

Strawberries are my go to in a smoothie, along with bananas.  Both are great to buy on sale, slice up and freeze on a sheet pan.  Then toss in a zip lock (gallon size) bag.   This time of year they are a great buy.  So I load up on them just before they go off season (prices go up) and hope to have enough for the winter.

This is all great, if you have extra freezer room.  Any maybe my selection of Greek yogurt, honey type, was not a good idea to try to get out of the ice cube trays.  But I love the real honey that is in it and to me it is worth the extra step.

Any berry will freeze great for this.  We do blueberries as well, but my husband eats them out of the freezer, so I don’t tend to get many when it comes smoothie time!

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