A companion to the upcoming book of similar title, this blog gives recipes to make your own homemade and healthy Meals Ready to Eat. Whether you prepare these for survival in emergency situations or to provide healthy meals for work and camping/backpacking, or if you just need portion control for your diet, there are recipes here for nearly everyone! // ALL ingredients are dehydrated or freeze-dried, or shelf-stable, and all recipes are for one serving. // At least ONE new recipe will be added each week.

Diet struggles

Hubby and I finished the bantam chicken coop today and finally got them moved out of my garage today. They are all huddled together because they've been growing and out-growing a small coop they've been in since babyhood. Hoping they'll come around.

But dag, that wore me out.  So much that I could barely reach up into a bowl to grab some candy!  Aw, too bad we're out in the boonies, and had nobody to come by for candy.

Which brings me to my topic: candy.

I have a sweet tooth.

And the bad teeth and tummy to go along with it.

Hate that I can't control my eating, and unfortunately, Hubby isn't strong enough to NOT buy me these things. I ask for candy, or tacos, then he runs out to buy them.  I deeply wish he wouldn't, but maybe he is weak like that, and since I'm too weak to NOT ask for these things, well, I'll never feel better.

At least the candy I'm eating is gluten-free.  And my tummy is feeling a tiny bit better.  But it is NOT good for my fatty cirrhosis liver. 

God, help me be strong.

Bad news plus gluten-free

I got a call on Wednesday from my gastroenterologist.  He said that even tho he still isn't 100% what's causing my nausea, bloating and abdominal pain, he has the results of some of my tests.

I have cirrhosis of the liver.  Non-alcoholic.  Which means, I either got it from meds I've been on for a long time, plus over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naprosen, but also probably from being overweight for so long.

PLEASE LOSE weight NOW!  You don't want to end up like me, ok?

Anyway, he didn't tell me how bad the cirrhosis is.  Could be reversible, or could be near transplant stages.  He insisted that his office make time for him to meet with me, so we're meeting on Nov 17 so he can give me the particulars.

Plus, he has the results of my cortisol stimulation test.  I'm slow.  Duh.  He wants me to see an endocrinologist, so I've found one in his same building and asked my PCP to send over a referral.  Hope the endo doc sees it soon and gets back with me before the end of the year. 

The gastro doc also suggested that even tho my colonoscopy and endoscopy/upper g.i. show no indication of me being celiac, that I should do it for at least 30 days and see if I feel better. So, now I have to re-think my instant meal plan.  Why?

Because many "instant" products, like mashed potatoes, oatmeal, rice, lunchmeat, etc, have gluten in them.  And because I have cirrhosis, I am researching what I need to eat for that.

Bear with me, please.  It's frustrating but if changing my diet to be gluten-free and for liver problems, then maybe I'll feel better.

Protein-Packed Overnight Oatmeal

Do you remember how my post last week was about my overnight oatmeal? And how I needed to add protein to it?

Well, I ordered from Amazon.com (a few weeks ago) some hulled hemp nuts/seeds.  They do provide a bit of roughage as well as protein, but I guess I need it.  SO when I made my overnight oats Wednesday night, in addition to cinnamon, powdered milk and a tiny bit of nutmeg, I also added a tablespoon of the hemp nuts for protein.  Know what else? I added some powdered peaches ... I've been craving peaches lately.

Thursday morning, got up, found that it had all reconstituted nicely, and ate it cold.

So very delicious.

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Note: This was a difficult week, this one past.  On Monday I had minor surgery.  Fasted Sunday night, and at the hospital first thing on Monday for a trans-jugular liver biopsy.  That means, they cut a hole in my neck to get to my jugular, then fed a tube with a camera and claw-thingy on the end, went all the way down to my liver, looked around and took a piece. I'm not recovering very well.

THEN yesterday, on Friday, I had to go to a different hospital for an adrenal/cortisol stimulation test to see if THAT is causing my abdominal pain, bloating and nausea.

Hope to get my results soon.

Bland Overnight Oatmeal for Tummy Problems

I still don't know the cause of my abdominal pain, bloating and constant nausea. Saw my PCP yesterday who said she had no new ideas. To listen to my gastroenterologist. No help, she.

Meanwhile, I'm doing a bit of bland diet.  Making oatmeal in the morning ... EVERY morning... is getting old. Last night I put my portion of oats in a glass container, added the water called for and finished up with milk powder, cinnamon and nutmeg, stirred, covered, and let sit in the fridge.

Trouble sleeping, though, so I got up early today, got out my oatmeal, and it had all reconstituted!  Tasted delicious.

Thinking I need to add protein to it. Somehow.

Pemmican as a diet food

I've been researching lots of different kinds of foods that were eaten in the past, when modern conveniences were not available. Pemmican fascinates me, but how can I make it from instant foods, PLUS make it healthy.

First, oils can't be dehydrated.  At least not that I know of.  Butter can but I don't want to use that.

So we have to assume that this food can't be completely instant.

Second, the other two ingredients are dehydrated powdered lean meat plus powdered super-healthy fruit like blueberries.

3/4 powdered meat
1/4 powdered fruit

Mix until completely combined.

Add just enough oil or fat (animal fat or go healthy with olive, coconut or walnut oil) to get it to all stick together.

Easy to make, especially if you already have the powdered fruit and meat.

This can actually be a super-healthy diet some-what-instant food!

Health Update

I finally have a few minutes to myself so I thought I'd catch you up on my health.

Last night I sprained (or is it strained) my foot as I walked to the bathroom in the dark.  I had to follow a certain path because we haven't cleaned the carpet yet.  Why do I need to clean it?  Well, it's a gross reason so you should feel free to skip ahead, but after my EGD/colonoscopy the other day, I had a sudden attack of diarrhea.  Hubby did his best to clean it up, but, well, you know men!  I had every intention of cleaning it up, but I haven't felt up to it until last night.

And then I hurt my foot.

So ... hopefully, Hubby and I will do it tomorrow.  If I still can't walk on my foot, he'll do it.  Bless his heart. He even bought some carpet cleaner to do it.

Meanwhile, I have appointments next week to get the results from my barium swallow, and my EGD/colonoscopy.  Hoping at least ONE of them will tell me what's wrong with me.

I weighed yesterday and am still surprised there's not a drop in the numbers.  Weird.

As to what I'm eating, besides the protein drinks in the morning, plus the juice, I am managing to keep fresh plums down. Wonder why. I would think they would be too rough on my stomach, but nope.  Same goes for some apple dices that I dehydrated this week ... no problems eating them. And I am now able to eat a bowl of oatmeal or life cereal at night for dinner. 

I did try to eat some fast food but my body obviously knows me better than I do because it refused to process it.

Geez, I'd love to have an Olive Garden salad. Or a chef's salad.  Or even a plain ole salad with a boiled egg, peanuts, scallions, croutons and thousand island dressing.  Okay, maybe not so "plain ole"!

Anyhoo, I have lots of fruit to dice and get in the dehydrator... plums, peaches, pears, kiwi and apples.  That's my plan for next week.  I also have LOTS of chickens in our freezer, processed from our own little farmette, that I need to dehydrate. The plan is to boil them good, let cool, skim off the fat, pick off the meat, cut the meat into very small pieces and dehydrate until quite crispy.  I'll figure out what to do with the fat later. And I might dehydrate the bones till crispy, then crush and use as bonemeal for my roses.

Gotta learn how to use every bit of food in some way.

Well, my alone time is over, so I guess I'll get off and finish watching the last episode of Youtube's "Secrets of the Castle" with Ruth, Tom and Peter.  I love love LOVE this and their other series.

= = = = = = =
p.s. The "helpers" we fired last week... well, we think they stole one of my credit cards' numbers because I had some fraudulent purchases which thankfully, my bank caught.  Can't trust anyone, right?

Still have abdominal pain

Here it is, after 8:30 p.m., and I'm regretting trying to eat a normal meal.  I had half a ham-and-cheese sandwich with an heirloom tomato and bell peppers, plus some milk.  That was around 7 p.m.

By 8:20 (thank goodness for the journal I keep!), I came down with such severe abdominal pain and nausea that I had to get Hubby to bring my nausea meds into the bathroom for me.  Uh, too much information?

Sorry.

I have so many wonderful heirloom tomatoes and other produce sitting here, waiting for me (and family) to eat. But I can't.  It's very frustrating.

On the 15th, 3 days ago, I had another attack as bad as the one that put me in the hospital on the 10th.  Luckily, I had all of my meds here, so I took 3 (yes, three) of the Zofran (which is a melt in your mouth emergency nausea pill) plus two of a different pill, one of a third pill, and I changed my behind-the-ear nausea patch.  I finally calmed down quite early in the morning and fell to sleep, finally, by 6 a.m.  I read and re-read my journal from the 15th and from August 10th and can NOT figure out what those two days have in common to make me have such intense attacks.

Nothing.

So ... what do you eat when you can't eat?  Never again will I have jello as that's what I threw up on Aug 10th when all of this started.  Instead, broth.  Applesauce scratches my stomach.  Oh, and about a half of a banana is ok (a whole one is too much).

I did my barium swallow yesterday and now my dizziness is worse.  I get my results in a week or two. Here's hoping they found SOMETHING that will help solve my health scare/problem.

Take care, people.  You never know what something horrible will attack you.  Can you imagine trying to do any kind of work with severe nausea and abdominal pain that has you doubled over?

Eat healthy.  Please.  Not for me, but for you and your future.

Read the labels on the products you buy.  If there are more than few ingredients, put it down and make it from scratch.