PATIENT STORY

Satisfied Without Solid Food

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Is It Possible to Live on a Liquid Diet?

October is Vegetarian Awareness Month
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There is no shortage of articles about juicing and drinking smoothies. You survived on a liquid diet before, as a new­born infant. As an adult, perhaps you have sipped a smoothie as a meal replace­ment a time or two. Maybe that smoothie was your choice of bever­age with a burger and fries. I can say, from personal experience, it is possible for an adult to subsist on liquids for many months.

I ate leftover Kung Pao Chicken before rushing to an evening meeting. Within 30 minutes, my stomach felt like it was filled with hot coals. I began perspiring and passed out. Friends carried me to a car and rushed me to a local hospital. An hour later I awakened to discover neglegent emergency personnel did nothing. I walked out for a ride home while my wife argued with the on-call doctor and insurance company.

Following damage to the lining of my stomach, I was unable to eat solid food at all. After swallowing one bite, my abdomen would convulse. It was like having a leg cramp in my stomach. I thought I was going to starve to death.

During the first week, I experimented with soft foods like hot cereals, scrambled eggs, bread, and peanut butter. The joy of eating was over­shadowed by the fear of excruciating pain. Eventually, I found solace with a kitchen appliance called a blender.

Living Off of Smoothies

My moist sojourn began by blending variety of nutrients and powders with milk and ice cream. You may object to the latter, but it was my only indulgence. Besides, it cooled the inflammation in my stomach.

My appetite was fed. I was so happy shouting, “I will live!” But how long would it last? You have heard estimates of intervals an individual can live without food or water. Would that apply to my newfound diet?

Every couple of weeks I tried a bite of soft food, as a test. No, not ready. Sometimes I sat at a restaurant table with friends. They ate my favorite foods while I drank water or sipped my smoothie through a straw.

In the ninth month, I recall biting into a piece of toast with no reaction. I was reborn! That morning, the simplest of foods tasted like the best breakfast ever. Ongoing suspicions over tainted meat led me to become a vegetarian.

Juicing is not something I recommend for such an extensive period of time. A doctor should monitor a full liquid diet that lasts more than a few days. But you should know that any griping you experience from going hours between smoothies won’t kill you. Incorporate some soups or smoothies into your diet as meal replacements to maintain a healthy weight. Who knows? A blender may save your life.

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Main photo licensed from Adobe Stock.

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