Once 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
- Nails break easily
- 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. http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/library/blproteincalculators.htm
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: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/low-protein-levels.html