Food for Spoonies: Gastroparesis version. Hit ‘n’ run traybaked Chicken*

In an effort to figure out what I can eat, I’ll be starting up some more Food for Spoonies posts; I’ll tag them as GP.

Some posts may be low FODMAP too, or can be modified to be low FODMAP – because it seems there is some cross over; but I am not specifically aiming for low FODMAP recipes. I’ll tag the ones that are as low FODMAP.

This first recipe is for Hit ‘n’ Run Traybaked Chicken, based on Jamie Oliver’s recipe. It seems as far as GP food goes, it is all about what works for you. I picked this recipe following some general guidelines about cooking any consumed vegetables until they are very soft – which may not work for everyone.

Hit ‘n’ Run Traybaked Chicken

  • 3 ripe roma tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion *leave out for low FODMAP
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 bunch fresh time
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Cut roma tomatoes into quarters, cut the onion into large wedges, and cut the bell peppers into thick strips.
  3. Add veggies to a tray or baking dish with the chicken thighs. *Jamie Oliver suggests using skinless, boneless thighs; I haven’t found leaving the bone in makes a difference in flavor (though I don’t know about fat content) but it uses less spoons than trying to de-bone chicken thighs.
  4. Sprinkle thyme, paprika, salt and pepper over the tray. Add oil and balsamic. Toss everything to coat.
  5. Spread everything over the tray making sure the chicken isn’t covered by the vegetables. Roast for 1 hour, turning and basting a few times during cooking.

When it’s done, all the veggies are incredibly soft, and basically melt in your mouth. I imagine they would be very easy to puree and still have great flavor to go with the chicken. The whole thing might puree very well together and still give you a wallop of flavor.

*Edit: I recently picked up The Gastroparesis Cookbook. It seems onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers are all things that generally don’t work well for people with gp! They are all on the “Avoid” recommendation list. Now, this meal worked for me–given I ate small enough portions, but it might not work for others with gp. That said, it is still a great food for spoonies in that it’s very low spoon friendly to prepare!

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Confirmed

Well, even with a shortened test, apparently it was enough for the radiologist to conclude I do have mild gastroparesis.

I am admittedly somewhat relieved that yet another test didn’t come back and leave us with no answers.

Time to start a gastroparesis diet, and be damn glad the Reglan is working.

Gastric Emptying Scan

I had my gastric emptying scan yesterday.

It was a 2 hour procedure, with images taken every 30 minutes. I walked back and forth to the waiting room between the pictures, and laid down for the scan.

I haven’t gotten the official results yet, but from the table on the copy of the images I got, it looks like at 120 minutes my stomach was about 48% empty.

Now, from reading up online it seems this may or may not be normal, and a 2 hour scan is really not as adequate for diagnosing gastroparesis as a 4 hour scan.

At 2.5 hours, >40% retention is considered slow gastric emptying, according to this research.

Would I have had >8% emptying in another 30 minutes? I know I was still burping and tasting eggs and orange juice for the next few hours after the test. So something had to still be in my stomach 4 hours later – was it >10% of what I had eaten?

I don’t know, we didn’t do the test that long.

Ugh.

I would have happily stayed at the hospital for 4 hours if that had been an option made available to me. Why do the shorter test if it isn’t as reliable?

I’m continually frustrated by the medical systems lack of standardization and evidence-grounded practices.

And I’m continually thankful I have the resources and abilities to find more information and call out doctors and medical practices. Or else I wouldn’t have an endometriosis diagnosis, nor a gallbladder right now.

But it is bullshit that I should have to do all of this independent research and the medical system isn’t build on doing what is best for their patients in the first place. Because it should be. We should aim to do the proper test, with proper procedures, the first time. And we should make sure patients are informed as possible about the procedures they are going in for so patients can call out inappropriate practices that arise.

I guess I should have researched the results of a gastric emptying scan more thoroughly before my test, so I could have questioned the 2 vs 4 hour procedure. Not that it would have been any more likely for me to have the longer scan done, but at least I could feel I addressed it.

Low Intestinal Mobility

I can’t remember how much I’ve said about my gastrointestinal problems lately.
I’ve had absolutely no appetite for the past few months, and feel nauseous most of the time. Thankfully I haven’t thrown up, but being queasy all the time sucks.

I’ve been on Reglan for the past week to see if it helps, and thankfully, it does. About 30 minutes after taking a pill I not only can eat, I want to eat! I’ve actually surpassed my expended calories every day this week–which compared to coming in a few hundred short each day has been amazing.

So Monday I go in for a Gastric Emptying Scan. Dr. B2 warned me that even if the scan comes back negative, that doesn’t mean I don’t have low motility and a problem elsewhere, so she started me on Linzess to help increase motility as well.

I’m glad to have a doctor that is so willing to listen to my concerns and work with me to figure out what is going on and how to make my life more manageable.

Mother’s Day

I posted this on Twitter first, but I’m posting it here too.

“Did not expect an overwhelming sadness ab not being preg &having a baby this Mother’s Day. Cool.Thks #depression & uterus for that blindside”

Apparently I am really struggling with that today, and am going to need to spend a significant amount of time distracting myself from it.

I know I’m not well enough to take care of myself, and my pets, let alone be pregnant and take care of an infant, but that doesn’t stop that deep, consuming, desire to want to be pregnant right now. I don’t just want to be a mother, I desperately want to be pregnant, to give birth. The whole deal. I’ve thought about it before, and if that doesn’t happen for me- if I can’t get pregnant, then I can never go the surrogate route. That would kill me. I could adopt, but not an infant. For some reason it is integral to me to go through the whole pregnancy, to go through nursing. I can’t explain it and it certainly doesn’t agree with my rational thinking, but it is there and I do recognize it.

So for everyone else struggling with deep seated emotions today, and the likely fall out that will follow for the next few days, know you aren’t alone. I’m there with you.