It’s been two weeks since we’ve posted a Foodie Friday! We’ve had a lot going on these past couple weeks including getting a new puppy and oral surgery.
Today’s post is going to be around my post-oral surgery recovery which consists of a three week liquid diet. I know, sounds pretty terrible right? I’ve done it before when I had my jaw surgery three years ago, but at that time I was numb everywhere and I couldn’t smell or taste much during the initial recovery so it wasn’t a big deal what I was drinking at the time. I will admit that this time around it has been very difficult.
For one, I’m able to smell and taste. Additionally, my swelling hasn’t been too bad so it’s not discomforting at all to eat.
Being on a liquid diet is and isn’t as bad as it seems. I know. It sounds crazy to say that, but if you find the right liquids, it’s not as bad as you think it would be. Also, because you know you shouldn’t be eating actual solids it keeps your temptations at bay. Soft solids may be tempting, but do listen to what your doctor prescribes as well as do what you are comfortable with. The last thing you want is for a piece of food to be stuck in any of the surgical sites and gets infected leading to a longer recovery period.
I am writing about this through my experience of needing to do a liquid diet due to oral surgery requirements—not as a leisure experiment or dieting option. I do not recommend a liquid diet at all as an attempt to lose weight. Will you lose weight? Of course you will. That’s a given. But that should not be the reason you do it—because unless you are drinking something well balanced at almost every hour or every other hour, you caloric intake will significantly drop leading to a malnutrition diet.
The most important thing is to make sure you grab meal replacements, not simply just protein shakes that focus primarily on protein intake and not the fats, carbohydrates and fibers that are also important when on a liquid diet.
Here’s what I’ve been in taking. I try to eat something every 2-3 hours to keep my caloric intake decent—but know you will still encounter weight loss—that’s unavoidable. I would highly recommend bulking up on your weight prior to entering into surgery that requires a liquid diet. Even being on a liquid diet for a week will result in weight loss. For example, my surgery was 8 days ago and I have already lost 4lbs.
Some items not listed in the picture include Naked Juices in Mighty Mango and Green Machine, Santa Cruz Organic Cranberry Juice, Bonafide Provisions Beef Bone Broth, Bel Campo’s Chicken Bone Broth, along with some homemade soup from my parents. I am allergic to soy so my meal replacement options more limited, but there are still options. I used to go with a GNC branded meal replacement when I had my jaw surgery, but they’ve since discontinued that particular item.
I would often mix the meal replacement with coconut water or unsweetened oat milk to give it a little more carbs to help tame my hunger. I would usually do a meal replacement for breakfast and for dinner. All other meals consist of soups and my go-to was definitely this Trader Joe’s Organic Creamy Tomato Soup. It’s delicious and it’s gluten free.
I had my surgery on a Thursday and by Tuesday I was having major withdrawals on food that I basically had a mental breakdown. Even my puppy’s food was getting to me. She’s on fresh food from Just Food for Dogs, so basically human food. It was that bad.
So you will have a moment similar to mine during your journey on a liquid diet. It’s normal. It’s withdrawal, but it will get better once you’re able to recognize why you are required to do this. Then you just start making a list of things you will eat immediately after the liquid diet and potential soft foods diet is over! It’s definitely something to look forward to. Now we are on day eight and it’s getting better.
Being on liquid diets post surgery has really made me appreciate food that much more. I already have a list of recipes I’m going to try for the holidays!
Also, it’s important to try to look at the positive sides of things. I understand that sometimes we undergo non-elective oral surgeries and that can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But try because that’s how you can overcome that hurdle of withdrawal!
When I was on a liquid diet post jaw surgery three years ago, I couldn’t taste or smell. More than half of my face was numb and swollen for weeks, if not months. So taking my prescribed medications and antibiotics was merely impossible and took some creativity on my boyfriend’s part to ensure I was still in taking them.
That diet required a food syringe for a good 1-2 weeks. We ended up crushing some of the antibiotics and mixed it with other liquid medication such as Benadryl and Motrin. Many times we would mix it with a mango smoothie from Nekter Juice Bar. That really helped mask the bitterness of the steroids and antibiotics.
I am grateful that this round of liquid dieting I did not need to resort in a food syringe and I was able to take my antibiotics normally without needing to crush it and mask it.
I apologize if this is not an appetizing Foodie Friday this week, but I hope that this is helpful for those who need it post-oral surgery! Feel free to email me or leave a comment below for more details or recommendations!