back to the vitamins

Not pills this time.  I tried a couple of days of vitamin pills recently, bad bad bad.  I’m now on the hunt for a liquid vitamin that doesn’t taste god awful.  At the drug store, I found a pediatric brand.  It was horrible.  On the label, it says you can mix it with formula to improve your child’s tolerance.

There is nothing on earth that you could mix it with to improve tolerance. My 8 hours of truly foul vitamin burps convinced me that this thing is child abuse in a bottle.  There’s got to be something better.  And I’ve got to find it because I am down to 123 lbs. I was 132 on May 8th.

I’m tracking my calories, trying to figure out where I can supplement.  On my good days, I am managing to eat nearly 1200 calories and a large amount of that comes from empty sugary ginger ale. The big problem is meal size (necessarily very,very small) and what can be eaten during the day that is ok for me to eat.  I can’t eat dairy, so quick snacks of pudding and most shake-things are out.  I tried a “suitable for lactose intolerance” nutritional shake.  Also nasty, and strangely burny going down – left my mouth and throat feeling raw for hours after.  I have no idea what was in this excessively sweet chemical soup brought to you by Nestle, but I will not be doing that supplement again.  Like the liquid vitamins, the liquid nutritional supplements don’t come in sample sizes.  And neither is cheap.  I do much better on the weekends, when I can eat my home-made food frequently.  But until I  can bring in a full sized fridge, a blender, and a place to wash the many dishes I accumulate eating like this, I’m sort of stuck on work days eating a lot less than I want to and should eat.

My two favorite few things I’ve made which are very good, not high fat (fat slows down gastric emptying), and have some reasonable nutritional value are potato soup and banana smoothie.  I utterly suck at cooking from a recipe, or paying a hell of a lot of attention to quantities as I am making up a dish, so take the following amounts with a grain of salt (no pun intended).


  • About a pound of potatoes, peeled
  • A few thin slices of onion
  • Half an apple, cored, peeled, and sliced thin
  • about 1 tsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp clarified butter (less lactose in clarified butter, I am to understand)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Rubbed thyme
  • Rubbed parsley
  • About 6 cups of chicken broth (I used prepackaged low fat)
  • 1-2 cups lactose free reduced fat milk

Par boil potatoes in water.  While boiling:  saute onion and apple and roast the garlic cloves.  My no-fancy-dish roasting technique includes cutting the bottom off the unpeeled cloves, making a little cup out of a doubled up square of aluminum foil, pouring in a wee bit of olive oil, and then folding the foil up on itself.  Pop it in the oven at about 350 until you start smelling that sort of nutty garlic smell.

When the potatoes are mostly soft, I drained them, used a masher to partially mash up a few, and then put in half the chicken broth and returned it to a boil.  I added the spices, apple and onion, and garlic while it was doing this second boil.  Boil until the potato is completely falling apart.  Let it cool a bit, add some of the cold broth to help cool it down, then ladle it into a blender.  You can blend hot too, I just don’t recommend it for safety reasons.  You’ll probably have to blend in batches due to the quantity unless you have a crazy big blender.  Once you have it all blended up, put it back in the pot, add the rest of the broth, put in about a cup of lactose free 2% or less milk, and cook on a very low heat.

Makes a lot – like a really huge mixing bowl lot.  So use fewer potatoes and less broth and milk if you don’t want all that and don’t want to freeze it.  You’ll need to stir it with milk or broth as you reheat it after a few days, but this soup was quite tasty, and got me through the week.

Banana smoothie, the low fat version.  This one requires a bit of advanced planning to freeze the bananas:

  • Two medium sized bananas, frozen
  • Ice cubes
  • Reduced fat lactose free milk

To freeze the bananas, let them get very ripe.  How ripe?  I went with still some yellow visible but lots of brown spots.  Peel and break them into smaller chunks, and place in a zip lock.  Freeze.

For smoothie, add frozen bananas, about 4 ice cubes, and reduced fat lactose free milk to blender.  Blend it up!  If you want something that’s more like ice cream, go easy on the milk.  I wanted shake consistency, so I put in about 2 cups of milk.  It made two large glasses and it was quite good.  I’m thinking of making some strawberry syrup this weekend, no seeds, no thank you.  I don’t need that gunking up the gut.  But I’d like the flavor and the vitamins.

Which brings me back to vitamins.  I found a brand on Amazon that got decent reviews, so it’s ordered.  If it’s tolerable, I’ll let you know (with the name, because I think it’s important that this sort of info be shared).  Wish me luck.  And if you have any low fat, low fiber, lactose free liquid/soft solid diet recipes that you’d like to share, send them my way!

(planning to try this weekend:  ginger peach smoothie…)

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  1. Wish you luck! I just force things down at this point… Lol. I’m glad you can eat potatoes b/c that’s the only food I can eat in certain forms that will put weight on, but I can’t boil water on the hotplate in here! Well, a small saucepan for tea will boil. Wish I had an oven for baked potatoes. I get the work ordeal with bringing the kitchen with you. Lol. I can’t eat potato chips (super good for staying over 100 lbs, but the fat would do you in). Does that make any sense? On the rare occasion I leave this cave, I get French fries for some fat and digest those just fine. Again, potatoes, vegetable oil, and salt–what’s the difference? I was such a healthy eater before I got sick, and now I grab fries to not lose more weight! Haha.

    Have you tried cooked, rice cereal? I can’t do any grain but rice and that sticks to your ribs a bit. It comes in a little orange box. I do find all the ground rice makes my blood sugar crash in due time, although I’m fine with my daily gruel of basmati–lost again. I found a multi that doesn’t give me an overdose (a pill, though), but they do nothing for my low weight or fatigue feeling. I just feel like I must need those vitamins that are lacking in my restricted diet. Really hope those online vitamins will taste better. I wonder if you can dump them into the coffee you love–that has to disguise everything. Still don’t know how you drink coffee!
    A 🙂

    • Oh no, I would never do that to coffee! I think of coffee like my zombie ichor. 😉 It is one of my migraine meds….and now that I’m drinking less of it, it’s no longer also a trigger.

      I was doing rice milk, no so good for me…the lactaid milk is much better nutritionally. I’m glad I gave it another shot. Last time I had it (when I was a kid), I don’t think it was lactose free, just reduced. And the lactase pills had stopped working for me over the last couple of years (not making it out of my stomach in time to be there for the milk product?) I figured I just shouldn’t drink milk. But the milk I’ve got now is lactose free and so far, it seems fine.

      I haven’t tried cooked rice cereal. I can give it a shot. Cream of wheat seems ok for me, so I suppose it’s a similar thing.

      All of this stuff has something in common though – it’s stuff it’s hard to eat at work.

      Just bought some little tupperware things for making and taking lactose free pudding. That’ll help.

      • I’d stick with the Lactaid Milk if you can. I have that problem, as well, but I can’t have ANY dairy anymore (even goat/sheep–don’t tell Sheep) as dairy is a huge rosacea trigger–the worst one. Another fun thing I have and the acne-type (nearly in check w/diet and meds). Rice milk is just more starch (like the empty calories I eat), although still a fan of the rice cereal if you’re dying. I eat puffed rice but thinking you need baby food here. Can you eat nuts (I’m out now) b/c almond milk is good in my opinion, but you seem rather finicky. Haha. Oh, the fat might be an issue. Hmmm.

        I always brought leftovers to work as I never took a break and where to eat with my GI problems then and this was before the massive intolerances/allergies/rosacea. Grab those Ziplock containers and fill ’em up!

        Hope those vitamins work out. I was thinking about your post earlier–you know how super allergic kids get special formula-type drinks (or people on feeding tubes w/massive issues!). How do you get that stuff? I know these are prescriptions or something. I totally need something like Ensure w/o all the crap I can’t have–just a safe protein, vitamins, etc. I think you do, too. I think I would feel a bit better energy-wise if I weren’t starving (as the last GI doc pointed out). Duh! I do eat and am OK w/my diet, but it’s so void of everything I feel like I’ll get one of those distended stomachs and flies will start sticking to my face. That was terrible. Sure something horrid will happen to me now for saying that. Now I can’t stop laughing so I’ve really screwed myself.

      • The problem with a lot of the supplement drinks is that quite a few of them contain milk products…so you especially have to be careful about them. I tried one, it was wretched. But I’m not against trying another.

        No nuts. Not good for the low nickel diet. I did give almond milk a shot last summer when I was looking to change away from my noxious non-dairy creamer. It burned my throat and gave me nuclear level reflux. Since I’ve been on a low nickel diet, the mouth sores have practically gone and the sore mouth only seems to hit me when I have legit thrush going on. Evidence to maintain that diet I think. So no nuts, sadly.

        Yep, as the saying goes, you’re gonna smoke a turd in purgatory for that fly thing. ;p I do understand what you mean though, and it is funny to me too so I guess I’ll be right there with you in the purgatory smoking room.

      • LOL! We’ll be there while “We Are The World” plays in the background.

  2. The soup recipe sounds great! Will definitely give it a try.


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