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Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » High Calorie "Flare Foods" Ideas Needed


06-22-2013, 01:44 PM   #1
thunderbear1
 
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High Calorie "Flare Foods" Ideas Needed

My husband is 35. He's been dx with CD for 8 years next month. He's a really good person but he stubborn as hell. And he has very low self esteem. He's never been a big man (5'11 135-40 lbs before the CD) but since his very first flare his confidence has went through the floor. Back then he got down to 108lbs. We've tried Ensure and high calorie foods but it was'nt till here recently that I've learned about the healthy hi cal foods. Right now, he's 120 lbs he lost 5 lbs in the past month due to disease activity. His family has accused him of beimg on drugs because of his weight. He thinks he looks diseased (it didnt help when his new GP asked if he had ever been tested for HIV cause he was 120lbs). Now he is down about his apperence. I dont really care how he looks but its understandable that he does. Im overweight and I would imagine being underweight is just as bad in the self image department. I want to cook healthy high calorie meals for him but he wants everything fried. We were raised in the south they fry EVERYTHING down here. I tried googling high calorie foods but most of the recipes involve steamed veggies which at the moment is on the no list. He's getting tired of the same old "flare foods" he's veen eating for 8 years. They are mashed potatoes, applesauce, pudding, jello, broths, etc. Its pretty bland. Any suggestions on high calorie "flare foods"? Even just making the ones up there just a little more interesting. Thanks!
06-23-2013, 09:58 PM   #2
Jennifer
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Before I get into what foods to try I'm curious if your husband is on a particular treatment plan (meds? etc). Getting him into remission will definitely help him bulk up and be able to eat the foods he really loves. With the Ensure drinks and other supplement drinks try to stay away from ones that contain Carrageenan as that can actually make him worse. I haven't seen it in Ensure Clear and some of the powders don't have it but always check the label before buying.

When I'm in a flare I follow the Low Residue diet. Low sodium, low fat etc. Yes it bland but doesn't have to be boring. You can make just about anything low residue. Can't fry anything but baking can get a nice crispy outside if he can tolerate it like this recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/c...ipe/index.html You can substitute any of the spices for things he can tolerate. Ask him what his favorite food is (or if you know it say it) and we can help think of ways to make that low residue. What sort of proteins is he able to tolerate?

I'm moving your thread to Diet and Fitness as you'll get a lot more responses there.
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06-23-2013, 10:29 PM   #3
nogutsnoglory
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I am having trouble gaining weight too but I eat organic full fat dairy and white flour processed wheat. I try to eat avocados, nut butters and coconut oil. All are healthy sources of fat and high in calories.
06-24-2013, 12:27 PM   #4
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I make high calorie fruit smoothies every morning. I typically use 2 fruits (e.g., frozen peaches, frozen blueberry, banana or apple without skin). I avoid fruit with seeds such as strawberries. To increase calories, I add smooth nut/seed butter (e.g., peanut, sunflower, almond or tahini) and about a tablespoon of healthy oil (e.g., light olive, canola, medium chain triglycerides). I add cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom for flavor, plus a little sweetener. If I'm burnt out on the nut/seed butters, I will add plain soy protein powder instead. It never upsets my stomach like typical breakfast foods.

Typical blenders require a lot of clean up time, so I'd recommend something like a kitchen aid hand held mixer or a magic bullet for regular use. Best of luck!
06-24-2013, 02:05 PM   #5
PsychoJane
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I'll agree with the answer given above. Nut butters and healthy oil can be added to a lot of food with subtlety and they seem to be well tolerated by most. You may want to try pairing high carbohydrates and fat in same meal. Let say, a sauce with coconut milk + honey+soy with rice is pretty good to stack fats.Try adding olive oil to pretty much everything and prefer carb vegetables: roots, squash, cooked carrots (pureed).
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06-24-2013, 05:39 PM   #6
Amy2
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We're trying the SCD.

First thing every morning, my son has a 5 - 600 calorie smoothie.
2 bananas, 1 C strawberries or blueberries, 2 T almond or pecan butter, yogurt...

A green smoothie in the afternoon.
1/2 pound of fresh, organic greens, steamed and blended into a beverage with an avocado and a little bit of water.

That's an extra 8 - 900 calories everyday.
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06-25-2013, 11:01 PM   #7
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Thanks you all! Ive been trying to find coconut milk, Ive read that is high cal and good for the gut. I found the coconut oil, but it looks solid. Is that how its supposed to look? Do you melt it down?
Jennifer, his favorite food is fried chicken. He handles it pretty well but I have to drain it very well. He can handle fish, turkey and chicken well.
Amy, Ive been reading a lot about the SCD and Paleo diets, but hes stubborn about it.
06-25-2013, 11:09 PM   #8
nogutsnoglory
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Coconut milk is fantastic, a health food store should definitely have it. Supermarkets will carry it but we wary of brands like Goya as they include lots of artificial ingredients. You want the pure stuff.

Coconut oil is solid based on temperature but if its warm in your home it will be totally liquid. You can use it harder or melted its a great high fat but healthy fat.
06-26-2013, 06:29 AM   #9
UnXmas
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Low fibre/low residue works best for me.

Peanut butter is one of the best foods I've found. It's cheap and easily available, high calorie, but the "good" kind of fats, and easy (for me) to digest (as long as it's smooth rather than crunchy).

Cooking things in olive oil also adds in some healthy fats.

I do well on supplements like Ensure. Especially when I just can't face eating much. I had previously been eating things that went down easily like ice cream when I couldn't stand sitting down to a whole cooked meal. My doctor recommended supplements as they're high calorie and have all the vitamins you need, so you don't need to worry about getting in all your vegetables - which are low calorie and usually difficult to digest as well.

I also agree with the post above that avocados are the best fruit to gain weight on, and east to digest.

If he is ok with dairy switching to full fat milk is an easy way to get more calories and you can add it into things like sauces. A low fibre breakfast cereal like Cornflakes or Rice Krispies is easy to digest, and by using full fat milk rather than semi/skimmed and adding sugar you can get in more calories without making it any more filling.

I also eat a lot of white bread products, such as plain scones with butter. White rather than brown or wholemeal is the easiest when you're flaring, and although opinions vary on whether butter is healthy - maybe olive oil based spreads are better? - it gets in a lot of calories and I find them very easy to eat.

I would say though that at really low weights calories can be more of a priority than making sure food is "healthy". With the weight loss your husband has experienced, he needs to eat whatever high calorie foods he can, and if what he really feels like eating happens to be unhealthy - e.g. chocolate - it's still going to do him more good than harm. It is so much easier to eat more when you're feeling bad if you allow yourself to eat what you fancy and enjoy - as long as it's not going to cause digestive problems. As long as he's getting all the right nutrients (supplements can help with this), calories should be the priority in the short term, and he can worry about not overdoing the bad fats when he's gained weight and is in a better position to do so.

Although the ideal would be that he can gain weight whilst still avoiding unhealthy fats, sugar, etc., but if he's finding it a struggle the unhealthy foods are not going to do him as much harm as being underweight. As well as feeling down and tired from weighing too little, if he's underweight and happens to get an acute phase of illness, he won't be able to recover as well as he would if he weighed more, and the longer he's underweight the greater the possibility that it will begin to affect things such as his bone density. So it isn't always the best thing to worry about the quality of the calories if it's hindering weight gain.

I'm also sorry your husband had to put up with suspicions that he's got HIV or is taking drugs. As a young, underweight female I get a lot of people - doctors especially - assuming I'm anorexic. It's really hard when you're incorrectly stereotyped. I imagine it's harder for an underweight man in this respect as the social pressure is to be muscular.

It's good to see how much you care about your husband, you are already doing him the best thing you can for his self esteem by showing him you care whatever he weighs and looks like.
06-26-2013, 06:36 AM   #10
Johnnysmom
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I don't know how he will tolerate it but when I make my son mash potatoes I add cream cheese and butter. The nutritionist told me to add calories to everything! My son always has whole milk, high protein, high calorie foods. We avoid sugary drinks like gatorade unless he is dehydrated because they will fill him up and dampen his appetite.

Chicken and mash potatoes with lots of butter and cream cheese and whole milk were our staple foods! He also did supplemental drinks and cliff bars to add calories between meals.
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06-26-2013, 04:59 PM   #11
Cat-a-Tonic
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I agree with what Jennifer said about carrageenan (it's been shown to cause UC in lab rats!) - however, Ensure Clear is kind of awful. I tried it but I just couldn't make myself drink it. I found a meal replacement powder that I add to drinks, and it doesn't have carrageenan, and it's far more palatable. Have a look around though because a lot of the powders contain carrageenan too - I know that Ensure powder does and so does Carnation instant breakfast, so avoid those. The powder I got is pretty generic, I found it at the grocery store on a whim while looking for less-horrible flavors of Ensure Clear.

I concur with what the others said about nut butters, too. I personally have trouble with peanut butter, it makes my acid reflux go haywire, but I can do almond butter just fine. It's a little pricey, but if it doesn't cause symptoms then I feel like it's worth it.

I would say try coconut oil, but be aware that there is a possibility it may cause an increase in symptoms for him. I don't know the specifics behind it, but coconut apparently contains medium-chain triglycerides, which are really tough to break down for certain people (myself included). I tried coconut oil capsules once, and ended up in horrible stomach pain for hours. I can't tolerate coconut flour either - one cookie made from coconut flour similarly put me in a lot of pain. I think I'm in the minority though, so hopefully your husband will have no problem with coconut oil. If he does have a problem with it, I'd say go for olive oil. That's my go-to oil, I add it to pastas and sauces and things like that.
06-26-2013, 06:09 PM   #12
Jennifer
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The vanilla flavor for Ensure powder doesn't have carrageenan (I have some here at home) the chocolate does have it (I dunno if there are any other flavors for it, those are the only two I've seen, either way check the label to be sure). The Ensure Clear tastes like regular Ensure but with an after taste of whatever flavor it claims to be and leaves a film in your mouth. I have the Peach and agree that its not great but not horrible so I can drink it. Its just expensive really.

I used to cook with coconut oil. Never had a problem with it. It is solid but when it heats it melts into a liquid so start with a little. On hot days the whole thing will turn into a liquid so be careful when opening it.
06-26-2013, 06:21 PM   #13
nogutsnoglory
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I am going to buy the ensure powder to avoid carrageenan. I hate vanilla though but I guess I can flavor it.

I wish the powders and Ensure clear came in plus form with extra calories.
06-26-2013, 08:37 PM   #14
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His GP gave him Flagyl and it seems to be controlling some of his symptoms. The most important beng diarrhea. I hope thats a sign that hes retaining some nutrition and calories. He drinks the bottled Ensure Plus Chcolate flavor. Ive increased them to 2 bottles 3x a day while hes flaring. He cant drink dairy milk cause it causes stomach pain but he drinks vanilla soy milk. We're thinking about the almond milk. He cant really do fiber it causes him to bloat really bad. We've been sitting down and making a list of his "good" foods. I guess a food diary. When he first got sick he got down to 108 lbs he just cant seem to get past the 128 mark.

And, Unxmas, yes that doc really made him self concieus. When doc asked that I said "he has crohns disease. Thats why hes thin". It kinda made me mad altho I know the doc was only doing his job. The whole drug suspcion by his family started back when hefirst got sick and really thin. When he cant eat, due to pain or nausea, they really start the speculation. Its enough to drive someone crazy. Im hoping though, that with the Flagyl helping him, that he'll start putting on some weight.
The reason why Im worried about the healthy fats is because heart disease runs in his family. So does hi cholesterol and genetic hi BP.
06-26-2013, 10:14 PM   #15
Jennifer
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Almond milk has carrageenan in it. The chocolate Ensure Plus he's drinking now contains carrageenan (all the Ensure Plus and regular Ensure flavors do). http://abbottnutrition.com/brands/pr...re-plus-retail

"Carrageenan may exacerbate symptoms and disease progression in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), including Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis." http://www.crohnsforum.com/wiki/Carrageenan

Can he tolerate avocados? That's definitely a healthy fat. I like eating them on toast with a little butter, salt and pepper. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/8...about-avocados
06-27-2013, 08:54 AM   #16
Cat-a-Tonic
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Most almond milk does contain carrageenan, yes. I have found that the Silk brand almond milk doesn't contain it, so that's what I've been drinking.
06-27-2013, 10:08 AM   #17
nogutsnoglory
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The Whole Foods organic brand of almond milk also contains no carrageenan. One of the Whole Foods employees told me there is a movement by Whole Foods to move away from companies using carrageenan. I hope that's true but it would be a big initiative.
06-27-2013, 11:47 AM   #18
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Most of my favorite vegetarian convenience foods contain carrageenan.
06-27-2013, 03:06 PM   #19
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I looked up that carrageenan and its in a lot of stuff! I told hubby about it but he loves the Ensure. He said it helps with his energy. Ive been making him lots of pb sandwiches. Ive also been more aware of his caloric intake for the past week & he seems to have more energy since hes been eating more calorie rich foods. Next week Im going to start making avocado stuff. He already loves guacamole but Ive been reading about smoothie recipes that are calorie/nutrient rich but not so heavy on the stomach. They all contain avocadoes and coconut milk. And heart healthy too. Which is a concern because of the heart disease that runs in his family (his Dad had a quadruple bypass at 43 yrs old). Its all kind of confusing, but I think Ive got it figured out.
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