One of my Favorite Foods

I love to drink fruit smoothies. Ulcers or no, they are a staple in my diet.

For any patient on Prednisone, the topic of diet is a tender one. This is what works for me:

I try to eat as healthy as I can, because I genuinely believe that “clean eating” can make me feel better and more in control of my health. I also give credence to the argument that a hundred years ago, no one was eating fast food and sodas multiple times a week, and many diseases and disorders that Americans deal with on a regular basis were mostly unheard of. I will leave it to the Ph.D.’s in the world to figure out whether a causal relationship exists between those facts, but I will say that it makes *sense*. So, I choose to eat clean when at all possible. I still eat out multiple times a week, but rarely in chain restaurants, and mostly when I know where the ingredients are coming from. 

So, I frequently replace a meal (usually breakfast / lunch) with a fruit smoothie. In high school, I worked as a manager for a regional smoothie restaurant. I learned how to mix smoothies effectively, so here are the steps I take:

— 1. Mise en place: Before you begin, go ahead and wash, peel, and chop your fruit as needed. I do this on the day I do all of my grocery shopping to ensure that the ingredients are ready (especially since I tend to blend a smoothie while I’m one the way out the door each morning). 

— 2. Use water, tea, or fresh lemonade to fill the blender just to the base of the blades. This will probably end up being about half of a cup of liquid, depending on the brand and make of your mixer. (I use a middle of the road, name-brand, glass blender that I got on clearance a few years ago for about $40.)

— 3. If you choose to use any sweetener, add it directly to the liquid and allow it to dissolve. Using artifical sweeteners will cause air pockets, so be prepared to frequently take the blender off of the base to tap out the air pockets. I’ve found that the best sweetener to use is turbinado, a natural, unprocessed sugar that is easier for our bodies to process.

— 4. Next, add any yogurt that you want to use. I choose to use whatever brand of organic Greek yogurt is on sale for the week, and usually I just buy plain yogurt since the fruit will add plenty of flavor. I typically add about 1/2 c., as any more makes the smoothie too chalky for me. (A 1/2 c. of the brand I use most frequently is about 25% of the recommended daily intake of protein.)

— 5. Add in your fruit. I typically use 1/2 – 3/4 c. of strawberries, plus 1/4 c. of two of the following: mangoes, pineapple, blueberries, watermelon, and kiwi. Typically, I will steer clear of the pineapple if I have a set of mouth ulcers because it is more acidic. Make sure your fruit is at refrigerator temperature – if you’re grabbing some fruit from the freezer, stick it in the microwave for 20 seconds to ensure that it will blend easily.

— 6. Add in the ice. I use about 2 – 2 1/2 c. of ice per smoothie. I make enough to fill up a large Tervis tumbler for the road and a small glass cup for me to drink while I’m getting ready. 

— 7. Blend. I typically blend my smoothie for 30 seconds – 1 minute, depending on the fruit I’ve added. 

I hope that helps someone out there; when I get mouth ulcers frequently, I rely more on smoothies, since they’re easy to drink and can be modified to ensure that I’m getting plenty of the nutrients that my body needs to heal.

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