In the midst of my drama, let us not forget that my there is drama for the other person who lives with me. I don't talk about it too much because it's personal and I think he would be horrified to know I write about it. But, I'm at the end of my frustration rope, so I'm going to recap some food issues that we have round here.
1) Celiac - No wheat, bran, barley, or rye as a result of a gluten intolerance.
2) Eosinophilic esophagitis - We refer to this as the second of the "boutique diseases" that impact the fud sitch we're dealing with. Essentially, the boy is allergic to a variety of foods. In his case, these are very mild allergies, but they manifest themselves in a ringing of his esophagus, heartburn, and a narrowing of the esophagus. These allergies include most fruits (except grapes and apples), a lot of nuts (except almonds and cashews), tomatoes, onions, and a whole bunch of stuff I know I'm leaving off this list.
3) Pickiness - I don't allow the boy to eat pork because pork is gross. He doesn't like eggs.
To our dismay, the boy has managed to lose whatever weight we have valiantly fought for him to put on in the last year or so. His low weight is problematic on a number of fronts - he has no reserves if he gets sick, self-consciousness, and stress on organs. He is relatively active, doing weightlifting with a trainer a few times a week and riding his bike semi-occasionally (that will pick up as the spring arrives). The only solution to this putting on weight problem that we can see is for the boy to eat more calories. Ideally it would be a 3000 calorie a day diet, but that's not realistic because he's just not that hungry. We're looking for more like 2400-2500 calories a day.
But how? Seriously, I'm begging for ideas that won't break the bank. We are spending about $100-$120 a week on groceries for both of us and, while we can certainly sustain that, I'm pretty sure that adding another $20-40 a week might not be sustainable...
A general day might look like this:
Breakfast (he's not super hungry) - a couple pieces of toast with butter, a cup of tea, yogurt
After working out - a protein whey smoothie made with ice cream
Lunch (no access to a microwave) - a ham sandwich, some almonds, yogurt, cheese stick, meat stick
Afterwork snack - ice cream/popcorn/pudding/oatmeal/cereal/whatever we have in the house
Dinner - our dinners are usually in the realm of about 300-500 calories a serving
We've talked about adding a fourth meal, turning the afterwork snack into another meal, but then he's not really hungry for dinner. And, beyond that, I'm fresh out of calorie rich food ideas that meet all of our strange specifications. We add calories in as many ways as possible - whole milk, real butter, full fat sour cream, blah, blah, blah. I don't want it to end up falling into the, hey, have two Milky Way bars every day to fill in your calories because he has arteries we need to care about, too, but I'm almost to that point. The frustration on my end is pretty intense and I can only imagine what it is like on his end. We're frequently looking at him needing another 300-500 calories at bedtime.
(Is anyone interested? Yes, I've gained weight while I've been laid up. I think it's quite a bit, but the boy says no and there's no scale to check. I've certainly lost a LOT of muscle tone. Going from working out 4-5 times a week to complete immobility for a couple of months is not awesome. Now I can do some light weights with my upper body and some floor work for my core so I'm hoping to at least halt the weight gain until I can incorporate more cardio into my life. So, while I need more like 1200-1500 calories a day, I KNOW that and do not eat anywhere near the amount he eats daily.)
So, yes. If I took a picture of us today, he would look like a skeleton and I would look like a puffy face. We know.
Any ideas? My experiences with dietitians have been stressful at best. Does anyone have a miracle cure for us?