By Dr. Shahla Ray, Ph.D.
The recipes provided in this website are great food choices after your surgery. They contain a wide array of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, high quality protein and carbohydrates. For phase one (week 1-2), you need to make sure to thin your soups or drinks with milk or water. Remember, during the first two weeks you should only take in nourishment that is thin enough to drink. During phase two (week 3-4), you can have thicker foods but make sure to puree your soups well until there is no pulp or stings left (strain if needed). The consistency of the soup must be like apple sauce. If your soup is too thick for the phase 2 after your surgery, you can thin the soup by adding a little milk to your soup. Milk powder can always be added to your broth or soups to increase the amount of protein, calcium and other nutrients. After phase 2, you can eat solid foods but keep a few things in mind. Make sure that the transition from puree to regular diet is gradual. For example after puree foods phase is finished, eat steamed vegetables before you transition to raw vegetables, use your best judgment, and introduce new foods slowly. Make sure you chew well.
Tips on vegetables: The best method of cooking vegetables is steaming (due to the minimal loss of vitamins and antioxidants). Therefore most of my recipes for soup preparation require steaming. To steam, simply put about 1/2 cup of water in the pot, place the steamer in the pot and put your vegetables on the steamer. Cover and turn the heat to medium-high. Once the water starts to boil, the steam would cook the vegetables. When the vegetables are tender, turn the heat off (for example, broccoli takes about 10 minutes of steaming to become tender). Immediately, rinse the veggies under cold water. This preserves the green color of the vegetables and stops further cooking.