the seriously soft food diet

Well, this has been a depressing month. Back at the end of October I was sentenced to gum graft surgery, something which I had never heard of before and hope to never experience again. The surgery itself went fine, and apart from the general unpleasantness of having stitches all over my mouth, weird putty bandages on my palate and one particularly nasty evening of uncontrolled bleeding from the graft donor site after said bandages came off, my recovery went well. Things went south when I was laid off from my day job, which admittedly was a mixed blessing, since the job was one of those things that seemed perfect for me on paper but was turning into a sort of living hell, then things got even more thrilling when I turned out to be allergic to the antibiotics I was taking. Through all of this, I was completely unable to eat solid food or drink any quantity of alcohol. Here’s what my diet looked like for those first couple of weeks (I know these pictures are hideous, but this kind of food doesn’t deserve good photography):20151030_121645

Day one. Post-op instructions, lots of painkillers, a completely numb face, and a banana smoothie with protein powder. I ate a lot of bananas, particularly since I couldn’t have any sort of acidic fruit or anything with little seeds.


A really depressing bowl of pureed mashed potatoes with boxed mushroom soup. I ended up throwing the leftovers of both of these away because no matter how much of them I ate I never felt remotely satisfied. I had better luck with other boxed soups, particularly the Pacific brand red lentil curry soup.


Indian food to the rescue. A bowlful of moderately spiced dal and saag was tasty and not too depressing, although the curried pork my husband was eating was taunting me from across the room.


Miso soup with the softest silken tofu I could find. I had to let it cool to lukewarm before eating but at least it felt like real food.


I tried cooking cauliflower with ginger and Indian spices until soft, thinking I could eat it without chewing, but ended up having to puree it. It was sad.

(At one point I tried going out for Greek food, thinking I could maybe eat moussaka and garlic bread. I was wrong. That was sad, too.)


One of my more successful experiments: a very tasty chicken chili with fresh corn and poblano peppers. I left part of it for my husband, then pureed the rest for myself. It was a touch stringy but surprisingly delicious.

Note: I forgot to take any photos but I made the broccoli cheddar soup from Smitten Kitchen and it was delightful. A very timely post.


Unsurprisingly, I ate a lot of ice cream. One day I couldn’t deal with much real food at all so I tried making a milkshake with added protein powder. It…could have been worse.


I was getting very tired of soup after a week, but this was a good one. Kale, garlic, white beans and carrots in chicken broth. I pureed it (thank god for immersion blenders) and it turned out to be delicious even served lukewarm or cold. Which was good, because the night I made it was the night my mouth wouldn’t stop bleeding and I couldn’t eat anything hot for several more days.


I was mostly avoiding alcohol, since I was taking a lot of ibuprofen, but when your dinner is pumpkin soup and leftover pureed spinach sometimes a little red wine can make you feel less like you’re eating baby food.20151111_140047

The day I graduated to macaroni and cheese was a personal triumph.


4 thoughts on “the seriously soft food diet

  1. Glad you’re on the mend! Reading this, I realized that I have totally blocked the food/eating experience I had after my gingival graft a few years ago. I do remember the pain (they said it would be like a ‘bad pizza burn’ which was a total understatement), being grateful for drugs, and thankfully no complications.
    Amen on the glory of handblenders.

    1. I don’t blame you for blocking it out. I found it odd that they insisted it would just feel like a pizza burn, when actually, no, it felt like I had a mouthful of stitches that hurt like fire whenever I moved my mouth. Not quite the same thing.

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