Last week, temperatures in Melbourne crept up 44° Celsius (about 111°F for those who measure temperature in Fahrenheit) during a heatwave that lasted for 4 days, but seemed much longer!
It’s always tricky to cook and eat when your head is foggy, you’re dripping with sweat and can barely move, but we had further complications – H, my 17-year-old daughter, had mouth surgery, including wisdom teeth extractions, so anything crunchy was definitely out.
Planning for the post-op diet
I’m guessing that H is not the only vegan who will ever have oral surgery, so I thought it might be useful for me to share some of the vegan foods that were suitable during her post-op period. I know I trawled the internet for this kind of information in the lead up to her surgery.
Her instructions were to eat no hot foods, hard foods or foods with small seeds in them, but to eat lots of cold foods.
I’d been giving a lot of thought to the kinds of foods that might be suitable. As well as being soft, they’d need to be nourishing, tasty and appetising – a good mix of sweet and savoury foods. I’d put together a good stash of foods, so I wouldn’t need to leave her to go out shopping on a boiling hot day.
The first day
The day of the operation was 44°C. Cold drinks were in order, but the post-op instructions were to avoid milk products for the first day (not that we eat dairy anyway, but we forgot to ask whether that included non-dairy milk products, so she avoided those too). Icy water was all she felt like at first, but as she got better, and hungrier, we tried out some other soft foods.
- Just Wholefoods tropical fruit flavoured jelly
- Kool Pops/Zoopa Doopas (normal icy poles were out because she couldn’t open her mouth far enough)
- Cold mashed potato (sounds hideous, but she loved it)
- Botanical Cuisine Classic cheese
- Apple juice stirred in her Zoku slushie cup
Moving towards solid food
On day 2 ‘dairy’ products were allowed. Years ago, whenever my son had his braces tightened, he spent a day or two living on Sustagen, but now that’s out – first, because it’s made by Nestlé. (I try to boycott Nestlé because of the whole baby formula thing.*) Second, because Sustagen contains dairy products, and now we’re vegan we don’t eat those, of course.
I looked around and came across a similar kind of product – a fruit flavoured vegan meal replacement – Bioglan Super Foods Wholefood Smoothie. It comes in a sachet and is mixed with non-dairy milk to make a berry-flavoured meal in a glass. It looked promising.
I tried it out to see if it would be OK for her. Unfortunately it had little seeds in it, which were a no-no post-op, so she couldn’t try it. I can’t say I liked the taste of it too much, but I guess it would be handy for some people in some situations – but there was a tastier option…the green smoothie!
I know that before I was vegan, I would never have thought of making a cold drink with green vegies in it – so it’s lucky I know all about green smoothies now, because they were perfect! Delicious, cold, refreshing, filling and good for a healing body.
She also enjoyed brown smoothies (chocolate and banana) and white smoothies (coconut milk, banana and juice).
Some of the other foods she was able to eat included:
- Icy poles
- Red lentils
- Refried beans
- Coconut yoghurts (like CoYo)
- Cottee’s chocolate instant pudding (it says it may contain traces of gluten, dairy and soy). It didn’t set properly, probably because we made it with low-fat soy milk, and it specifically said to use full-fat milk. We froze it, and it she loved it.
- Pacific Natural Foods flavoured almond milk
Late on Friday there was a ‘cool’ change (not quite cool enough for my liking), but it meant that over the weekend I was able to make some rather delicious pureed soups. OK, they looked a bit like bile (I didn’t mention that to the family), but they tasted great.
I just chucked every vegie I could find into the pot (broccoli, zucchini, carrots, pumpkin, potato, celery, rainbow chard, onions, garlic, basil), then mixed in some stock, tomato puree and red lentils, along with the Screaming Seeds Mediterranean spice mix, and pureed the lot. You really can’t go wrong.
Nibbling at solid food
Today (day 4) she has felt much better, and was hungry for proper food. I made spaghetti with tempeh meatballs from Isa Does It, because it was solid but soft. Delicious! H managed to nibble away at it. It took a while, but she got through it eventually – without the side salad.
Her mouth is still a bit sore, and she still can’t quite speak properly, but it’s nice for her to be back to relatively normal food. It was good practice for me, because her big brother will be having his wisdom teeth out in 3 weeks’ time, and I’ll be doing it all over again!
*The Nestlé boycott
If you don’t know much about the Nestlé boycott that has been going on for years and years (since I was at school!), watch the video below for an overview, or Google (or Bing) ‘Nestle boycott’ to find out more.
I have to add that boycotting Nestlé is very difficult, because they seem to buy and sell other brands all the time! HOPEFULLY they don’t own any of the brands I’ve pictured. (I know they owned Peters at one time, but apparently they don’t anymore.)
Check out the brands they own at the moment.