Friday, September 30, 2005

Thoughts on Food

Lauren never met a meal she didn't like. --my dad

Unlike many of my newlywed pals, I'm no slouch when it comes to meal preparation. I get a kick out of playing the part of the domestic goddess. I genuinely enjoy planning and preparing meals for our family. There is one caveat, however; I am desperately trying to pack on some pounds while my husband is determined to lose weight.

Instead of his and hers monogrammed towels in our bathroom, we have separate groceries. Our shopping list has a little B or L written in parenthesis behind each item, designating whether it is my item or his. I drink whole milk and lactose free milk, he drinks 2% lowfat. I have full-bodied yogurt, he has the "light and fit" variety. Some days I feel like I'm still in college contending with my 3 roommates for fridge space!

As my husband has commendably implemented changes to his eating habits, I've had to relearn how to make sure I'm getting 3000+ calories each day. The tricky part lies in being supportive and encouraging of his healthy eating habits, but still keeping foods handy that I need. I'm glad that he has strong self-discipline and isn't easily derailed by his bottomless-pit of a wife.

When I first took charge of my own eating habits with the help of the CF Team Clinic, it was a lot of trial and error. I was told that I should take in as much fat and protein as I could handle. That's the key phrase: as I could handle. There's a delicate balance that has to happen between the food intake volume and the administration of supplemental enzymes. Over the years I have gone from Pacrease to Ultrase to Creon, which is my drug of choice. (Thank you, Lord, for excellent insurance coverage; those meds ain't cheap!)

Getting enough calories is exhausting sometimes. People often tell me "I wish I could eat like you! You never gain a pound!" Spare me. I would gladly swap places with that person in order to gain a pound. People without CF don't understand how frustrating it is to eat and eat and eat some more, choke down a disgusting supplemental food (don't even get me started on Scandishakes!) and still only weigh 99 pounds soaking wet.

I'm fortunate to actually have a fairly ravenous appetite. Back in high school I could pack away two Double-Doubles, fries and a shake from In-N-Out and call that an afternoon snack. I joke that my four basic food groups are 1) sugars 2) fats 3) salts and 4) artificial flavorings. These days I'm eating healthier stuff, but still in huge quantities. My doc wants to see me gain about 4 more pounds by my next appointment--padding for the winter months I presume--but I'll be darned if I have to get there using foods that I hate. I prefer to meet that goal in a manner of my choosing.

To that end, I've created a great mega-calorie shake. I call it "Rocket Fuel". According to my calculations, it's got a whopping 1000 calories. I usually make one when I get home from work. If any of you CFers out there would like to give it a try, please let me know what you think by leaving a comment at the bottom of this page. Here's the recipe:

"Rocket Fuel"

1 1/2 c. vanilla ice cream
1/2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. Dole pine/orange/banana juice
1/4 c. malted milk
1 Tbls. Twinlab "MCT Fuel" orange flavor
10 strawberries
1 medium banana

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until it is uniform in color and consistency. Enjoy!

I'll probably put some of my other "Signature" recipes on this site in the future. For the most part, Carnation Instant Breakfast is the only nutritional supplement that I can stand to ingest on a regular basis. My philosophy is, it doesn't matter how nutritional/calorie-laden it is, if you can't make yourself like it enough to eat it, you'll never gain any weight from it.

Hello, fellow Cfer & believer in Christ!!
I was so happy when I came across your blog! My Sister I both have CF.
She is married & has a beautiful son and is two years older than myself. We are both adults living with CF, you sound pretty healthy despite the *weight gain*...You are so blessed to have an appeitite...something for me that I do not have. Although my body seems to hang on to fat pretty well, I weigh about the same as you but I am probably a whole lot shorter :) My sister is great and has a blog as well her name is Leah, she is great a brave and mighty woman for the Lord!! Well write soon, In His Love, Rebecca
Hi Rebecca,
Actually, the 99 pounds soaking wet part was a figure of speech my dad likes to use. In reality I tend to hover around 120lbs.(Unless I'm on prednisone, then I gain about 10 pounds on what seems to be my face alone!) Back in April I dropped down to 103 in a matter of weeks. Last weigh-in at the clinic I was 116. Just out of curiosity, how tall are you? I'm 5'5".
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