Now that you have made it through the first three weeks of the post-surgery diet, which are by far the toughest, you can add much more variety to what you eat.
Soft Mechanical Diet
Lean, Green and Clean
The soft mechanical diet is basically healthy, soft, easy to eat, chew, swallow, and digest foods. By this point, you should be more accustomed to eating smaller portions and less frequently. It will get easier from here on out, but it does take about three months before this way of eating feels like your new normal.
Take your time to prepare your foods. Smell them and enjoy the taste and texture of them. Use a smaller serving plate and utensils for your meals. Make sure to plan and schedule at least 20 minutes for a meal.
Drink liquids at the right time
Please avoid drinking liquids 15 minutes before and 30 minutes after a meal. The reason we ask this is because when you drink before a meal, it may fill your tummy up too fast and take up space that you need to fill with protein. Drinking too soon after a meal will “flush” the foods from your pouch too quickly, leaving you feeling hungry sooner and maybe even give you some gastric distress. Make sure to cut your food into small bites and chew it very thoroughly.
Reading nutritional data on product labels is important
Many products make it easy to understand, at a glance, the nutritional information for that food. Product labels now clearly list the calories, sugar, fat, and main vitamins. The labels will always list the serving size, servings per container, calories, fat, total carbohydrates, and protein, in that order.
Until you are comfortable with all the new changes, just focus on those main things; and remember, for every gram of fiber, you get to subtract one gram of carbohydrates to get your net carbohydrates.
You can follow the Week 4 soft mechanical diet for several weeks. This includes a combination of all the clear liquids, full liquids, pureed foods, and soft mechanical foods.
Soft Mechanical Foods Diet
Eggs, egg whites, and Egg Beaters egg substitute
Low-fat, lite, or fat-free cottage cheese, string cheese, American, cheddar, mozzarella, ricotta, etc.
Ground or tender roasted, baked, grilled, or boiled chicken, turkey, or quail with no skin. Avoid the dark meats and higher fat poultry like duck and goose meat.
Seafood and Fish
Baked, broiled, poached, grilled or canned salmon, tuna, sardines, soft crab meat, scallops, or white fish
We recommend that you try the PBJ peanut butter powder mix first and occasionally have a treat of peanut, almond, soy, or sunflower butters.
It is best to avoid the crunchy types and cookie butters. Stick with the natural and low-fat brands.
Lean Protein and Meat
Chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, better cuts of pork, veal, lamb, deer, and elk. Ground hamburger and beef steak are fine occasionally.
Soy/Veggie & Protein
Gardenburger, Morningstar Farms, Amy’s California Burgers, Beyond Meat, Boca Burger, Garden Black Bean Burger, or Field Roast Burgers.
There are countless brands of veggie or meatless burgers that are low-fat, low calories, and are a good source of protein.
Roasted, baked, grilled, boiled, all cooked, frozen or canned asparagus, brussels sprouts, green, wax, or Italian beans, beets, turnips, peas, carrots, cabbage, all lettuces, cucumbers, eggplants, jicama, leeks, mushrooms, onions, okra, tomatoes, cushaw, summer, and spaghetti squashes, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, etc.
Fresh is best! You should have two servings per day of fresh, frozen, or canned in water or own juices, no lite or regular syrups. Soft fruits include peaches, pears, baked apples, cherries, bananas, mangos, melons, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, and grapefruit.
Orange and mandarin sections can be eaten but only with membranes removed for first three months post-surgery. Fruit is higher in natural sugars so make sure to limit to two 4-ounce servings per day.
Cereal & Bread
Avoid regular breads; eat lower calorie breads like Sara Lee Delight, which has 40 calories per slice.
Homemade protein shakes, protein powders and mixes, already prepared protein shakes, and protein waters are all good. We recommend shakes that are not more than 250 calories total, have at least 15 grams of protein, and the carbohydrates should not be more than half the number of grams of protein.
Occasionally it is fine to enjoy a protein bar when you are unable to have a regular meal. We recommend protein bars that are not more than 200 calories total, have at least 15 grams of protein, and the carbohydrates should not be more than half the number of grams of protein.
Avoid raw, crunchy vegetables that are difficult to digest for at least three months post-surgery.