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Good eats?

CritterMamaLori's picture
CritterMamaLori
Posts: 42
Joined: Feb 2018

Hi all,

So.... hubby is gone long hours. I used to be able to throw a frozen pizza,  tv dinner in the oven or a premade bagged salad on a plate. Now I'm told I need to becareful of highly processed, high sodium, premade salads due to e.coli, listeria, etc. and try to eat high protein, healthy foods.

What are good, easy to prepare or already prepared keep on hand foods for one? Are there any high quality, ready made freezer meals out there that can be purchased at a basic Walmart store not a specialty type store as they are not in my area? 

Thanks in advance!

Evarista
Posts: 256
Joined: May 2017

Has your clinic given you written guidelines for neutropenic diet yet?  You may not get those until after your first round of chemo. Here are some guidlines from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:  https://www.lls.org/managing-your-cancer/diet-guidelines-for-immunosuppressed-patients

I became expert at the Walmart frozen food aisle. Rather than give you a list, I suggest going to the company websites for brands that you like and checking out the nutrition.  My mainstays were Lean Cuisines because they were the highest in protein and reasonable everything else.  Our "rule" was that the meal should have at least 16 grams of protein.  There are many, but you have to pick what you like and what your appetite will let you eat. I could only do things with pasta for a very long time. Most will be tolerable with respect to sodium, just do not eat salty chips, etc.. Also, your sodium may in fact drop and your appetite may also. Be sure to microwave thoroughly.

Salads: I gave up on 'em very quickly.  Just way too much work.  Wash in water, wash in white vinegar, rinse in water (and if you don't have clean city tap water, you're using bottled). Same with fresh veges. I substituted frozen veges that I could nuke well in the microwave. Fruit: stick to what you can wash and peel: bananas, oranges, apples. Avocados (if you like them) are easy to deal with, go down easily, and are a good source of potassium. 

When/if your appetite fails you: you still need to eat.  At my worst, Haagen-Daz vanilla ice cream, because it has the highest protein per serving and tasted good.  Plus, if you get mucositis, it's very soothing. Gentle foods: bland cereal, cream cheese, toast, etc. And Ensure or Boost if nothing else.

Another hygeine tip:  keep your kitchen sponge soaking in a bowl of half water/half white vinegar when not in use.  Replace weekly, including the sponge.

CritterMamaLori's picture
CritterMamaLori
Posts: 42
Joined: Feb 2018

Evarista you need to be an Ambassador or something of the highest.

I wasn't given any list for anything but the "chemo girls" (my name for those sweethearts) tell me so much and my hubby and I try to absorb as much as we can. I've been fed so much info while being stressed about everything else I know I miss some important facts. This is how I ended up here. Hoping to get as much info as I can.

If no one has told you yet, you are the biggest asset to this part of the CSN site in my opinion. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Evarista
Posts: 256
Joined: May 2017

That's what many of us are doing here and are happy to do it.  But thank you for your kind words. As for being a "wealth":  I guess that's the up side to OCD! I looked to see if I could scan my dietary instructions for you, but do not see any way to send it with the messaging feature.  But if you google "neutropenic diet" you'll find more links.  My chief rules were: 1) pre-packaged everything: store bread, not bakery. No bulk unless I can cook it. No restaurants. No potato salad, etc. from the deli counter. And so forth.  2) Is it "nuke-able" (microwave)? 3) Can I peel it?

For your hubby: take advantage of Walmart's online ordering for non-perishables so all he has to do is run in and pick up.  If you can add another person (one of those teenagers from work?) to the "Allowed to Pick Up" field, that person could help in a pinch. Hang in there

CritterMamaLori's picture
CritterMamaLori
Posts: 42
Joined: Feb 2018

Wore myself out shopping last night. Hubby and I tried to follow some of your rules and picked up some "test" foods. Figured I should get a little ahead and find good stuff before actually needed. It's interesting to pay attention to what you never thought about before. Hubby commented he could live on your rules easier than I. I love fresh foods not pre packaged. New concept to me but if it's something better in the long run, I'll do it. ....I'll miss my grapes tho :-( too hard to peel :-P

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 642
Joined: Mar 2015

I am pretty much much a picky eater so not wanting eat certains food is common for me. To find myself in a situation where I had to eat to fight the cancer was not easy. I define myself as someone who eats to live. I am married to a guy who lives to eat. If it were up to him I would have been eating something every hour. I also don't eat many kinds of fruits and veggies. My husband with health problems of his own, has to limit read meat. So he often made vegetable soup so I would get my veggies. (I also had a can of V-8 every day and still do.) Also did the nutritional drink every day. When I absolutely did not feel like eating but hadn't eaten for a while my go-to food was wonderful, nutritious mac & cheese. LOL. I did lose weight during treatment but I had enough to spare. 

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