Fact: being on a liquid-soft diet will only work if we keep the pantry, the fridge, and the freezer stocked, and if we always have something ready to eat. If we don’t, then as soon as we get hungry, (you could finish this sentence, couldn’t you) we’ll eat whatever’s available and pay for it afterward.
The Criteria: Paleo, High Protein, Low-Cal, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Low-Residue, Easy to Prepare Liquid-Soft Foods
It’s not always feasible to do a cooking rodeo and spend hours on food prep, so doing a little every day is key. But liquid-soft foods must meet certain criteria: they need to come together quickly (for days when we don’t have time to cook or are sick), they must be paleo so they don’t complicate SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth), they must pack a lot of protein while still being easy-to-digest, and they must be low-cal/low-carb/low-fat, and low-residue. That’s a pretty tall order, but it’s possible!
Note: We hear about healthy foods every day, and these are those foods. They make us strong and get us healthy because they provide optimal nutrition at a low-calorie price, and it’s critical that we have them. This means we need to stay ahead of the game by keeping the fridge and pantry stocked at all times, and we should prepare two or three things every day.
Here’s the list of staples that I always have on-hand:
Items to Always Have in the Pantry
- Gelatin powder: NOW Brand organic gelatin has 9 grams of protein per tablespoon; Knox makes it of course, but theirs only has one gram of protein per tablespoon. I buy two pounds of the NOW brand per month.
- Collagen protein powder: Collagen holds your body together. Your skin, bones, hair, nails, muscles, and tendons are all made of collagen. Since you’re made of it, it’s a much more natural fit protein than other proteins. It literally gives you strength, and even cushions your joints. I can’t say enough good about it.
- Stevia sweetener: The NOW brand is my favorite. The large size has over 2,000 servings, so it lasts a long time. Stevia available at grocery stores are good in a pinch, but they’re bonded with erythritol or maltodextrin (corn products) which can upset a sensitive tummy.
- Packets of unsweetened Kool-Aid (the .20/ea. kind, not pre-sweetened)
- Peanut butter powder: The three most popular brands are PBFit, PB2, and Jif. Each one is available with sugar or without. I find that PBFit is usually the best choice for the money, but they all taste about the same – which is wonderful! Each tablespoon has 6 grams protein.
- Canned turkey: Canned meat is what medical professionals call “mechanical soft” food. The density of the meat is broken down by the canning process so it’s easy to digest. It’s hard to find it and it’s expensive in the stores, but Amazon has it in a box of 12 cans at a great price.
- Cream of chicken & cream of mushroom soups, low-fat, low-sodium
- Sugar-free jam (@ 10 calories per tablespoon). You can find it at Walmart and at Aldi.
- Coconut oil
- Mayonnaise (to use as a base for the Mayo-Made-Better)
Cold Foods to Always Have Ready
- Prepared jars of clear gelatin (I make eight at a time)
- Almond milk, 30 calorie-unsweetened, vanilla (for ice cream and pudding), and plain (for soups, etc.)
- Eggs, unboiled and boiled (always!)
- Pudding. Sugar-free, non-dairy
- Jello, sugar-free, aspartame free
- Light mayo (try this version of your favorite mayo – but made better
- Boiled eggs (boiled no more than 8 minutes lest they turn powdery and gray around the edges
- Almond flour: My recipes use just a tablespoon per serving because more than that is hard to digest. And be sure you get almond flour and not almond meal, as meal has more fiber/more bulk (the skins are left on).
- PB Fit or PB2 (great in milkshakes or ice cream)
Frozen Foods to Always Have On-Hand
- Flatbread – definitely a staple!
- Frozen fruits, sliced and frozen in muffin or ice cube trays for diffused fruit water
- Roasted & pureed turkey/ham/beef frozen in ice cube trays – drop one in your soup to add protein
- Muffins, brownies, cookies, or fruity pancakes (recipe coming), the “bready” things, one or two at a time, frozen in sandwich bags
- Ice cube trays full of sweetened & flavored almond milk – for ice cream and shakes)
- Gelatin, prepared and set in canning jars (I make eight at a time) – for shakes, ice cream, and even mayo
There are many delicious ways to prepare these foods, so you won’t even lament giving up the old foods (well, that might not always be true… I sure miss Fritos!). But one thing is sure: by keeping these foods on-hand and ready, we can stay healthy, strong, and trim.
We’re stronger together!