We did it!!

18 Feb

Apologies for the delay in getting this post up. A combination of busy-ness, website failure and our separation to other parts of the country were to blame!

HOWEVER, we did it!!! We’ve been spending the last few days appreciating solid food more than we’ve ever done in our lives. It’s surprising how much the different textures and individual flavours of food can mean after a week of purée! Not having to spend so much time thinking about  what we could possibly eat and preparing food is also a relief!

We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has sponsored us and supported us through the week! From our friends and family asking us how it’s going, everyone who has helped publicize us on Facebook and Twitter and to everyone who’s shown an interest who we don’t even know!

So far, we’ve managed to raise £427 for Scope, which is far far more than we expected and has made this experience truly worth it! So for that especially, Thank You!!!

We also hope we’ve managed to raise a little awareness of the difficulties people with swallowing problems face on a day to day basis. Although tricky at times, this has been an extremely positive experience for both of us and we have learned so much!

We will keep you updated with our sponsorship total and our mention in The Courier next week!

But until then, thank you for reading!

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Puréed Giving Voice

14 Feb

Part of the reason we decided to embark on this journey of discovery was because last year the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists launched the Giving Voice campaign.

Giving Voice aims to raise the profile of speech and language therapy and inform the public and politicians what we do and why it’s important. However, so far this campaign has focus mainly on the communication aspect of speech and language therapy, but this is not all we super speechies can do!

A significant portion of our work involves working with clients with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties as well. So speech and language therapy not only transforms lives but can save them too by ensuring they only eat things that have no risk of going down the wrong way when swallowing and entering their lungs which can cause pneumonia. As this is such an important part of the speech and language therapists’ profession we didn’t want to miss this opportunity to raise awareness here too.

For more information on the Giving Voice campaign go to http://www.givingvoiceuk.org/ and to read another great blog written by Julie Carr, a newly qualified therapist and Newcastle graduate, visit http://juliegivingvoice.blogspot.com/

 

Back to today….

Jenny:

Today has not been a great food day today. I had to have last night mushed up risotto for lunch which wasn’t that nice. The only positive was that it was hotter than dinner had been. It would seem blending food is a sure way to cool it quickly, so I am looking forward to being able to eat everything properly hot again. I had a really long and hard work day in Uni today and what I really could have done with was a nice peanut butter kitkat chunky to perk me up in the gap between home time and dinner time. Obviously this was out of the question so I just lay in my bed feeling hungry and sorry for myself until tea. Dinner was quite nice, but pureed cauliflower is not tasty at all.

Charis:

Only 1 day to go!!! Although, this week hasn’t been too bad I’m certainly glad there’s only one day left of putting far more effort into deciding what to eat and preparing food. Today I had my first apple of the week after pretty much failing at blending it into a smoothie on the first day (don’t worry I’ve been eating other fruit just of the softer, more easily pureeable variety!). So I had to first peel the apple, then cut it into small chunks and then cook it and mash it up a bit before I could eat it. The result was still tasty (especially as I added some sugar) but really it would have been a lot easier if I could have just picked up an apple and bitten into it! Today, being a day of firsts, was also the first day I had soup. This is something both me and Jenny have felt quite strongly about because many people we’ve spoken to (especially our mothers!) have said ‘Why aren’t you just eating soup all week?’. Our reason behind not doing this is, although we could quite easily live on a variety of soups for one week, this would get a bit boring if you had to do it for the rest of our lives and we wanted our week to represent a typical food week for someone living with a swallowing disorder. One man we’ve met through our degree even says ‘Puréed Greggs pasties are better than no pasties at all!’.

Exciting news – our interview with the Courier is definitely on for tomorrow so look out for us in next weeks issue!!

For those of you who don’t know it off by heart yet, this is the link to our sponsorship page:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=ChewlessChallenge

Thanks for reading!

Purée Party Pics!

13 Feb

As promised, here are some pictures from Saturday’s Purée Party!

For those of you who are friends with us on facebook there will be more pictures there – not everyone wanted to be publicised on our blog!

Exciting news of today  is that we’re going to be in next week’s Courier (Newcastle University’s student newspaper) and we should be meeting with someone this week to give comments and have our photo taken!

Not much else has been going on today except we were both happy we could feed ourselves again! But don’t worry – full blog posting will resume tomorrow!

Big thanks to Mark for providing us with photos and as always… http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=ChewlessChallenge

 

One for me, one for you

12 Feb

Today we set ourselves the extra challenge of feeding each other everything we ate (we were allowed to drink ourselves). This was because many people with swallowing difficulties also have movement difficulties which means they are unable to feed themselves. Additionally, often such individuals also have communication difficulties meaning they would be unable to say when they were hungry, finished eating or ready for the next mouthful. We decided this would be one challenge too far for us today. However, we still experienced some of the difficulties that these people face. Charis bashed Jenny’s teeth whilst feeding her breakfast and Jenny tipped half of Charis’ lunch on the floor! Oops.

In fact, even as we’re writing this Charis is spoon feeding jelly and custard into Jenny’s mouth, though this is a slow process – as much of today’s meals have been. Not spilling pudding on the laptop is an additional challenge!

Today our flatmate Mark cooked us a pureed dinner for the first (and last) time. We think he found it really hard to come up with something that could puree easily that a) he would want to eat unpureed and b) that we hadn’t told him he couldn’t cos we had already planned to do it later in the week (at least the first two ideas). In the end he made thai green curry and it tasted pretty good although probably better if not blended! Dinner took aaaages today as we were feeding each other. Obviously when you’re feeding yourself you pause to talk, but turns out you also cant feed someone else and talk at the same time! Unsurprisingly dinner was pretty cold by the time we’d finished.

Here’s some photos of today’s meals

Charis’ thoughts on the day:

Today was definitely the toughest day so far! I felt very dependent on Jenny all day and also a bit imposing whenever I wanted to eat anything. Meal times took sooo much longer than normal not only because you were being fed, but you then had to do it again for the other person!

I had my first pureed pasta today for lunch. This wasn’t too bad but my whole meal blended together was a bit samey and I didn’t really notice the pasta in it, it just added bulk.

Dinner tasted really good, but I wish I’d had some chunks of chicken to choose from and we found that rice isn’t the best blended food!

Jenny’s thoughts on the day:

No offence to Charis, but I really don’t want to feed her or her to feed me. It’s a hassle. I could only stay at the library for a short time so I was home by the time Charis (and I) got hungry again. We also had a think about the importance of positioning. You have to sit quite close to each other to feed each other, particularly if the ‘feedee’ doesnt move towards the spoon. It’s also important to be sat at the right height, as it’s really hard to judge how far to tip the spoon up as you pull it out of someone’s mouth to avoid wiping lunch on their nose!!

On the plus, everything tasted good today!!

As always here’s our sponsorship page – MASSIVE thank you to everyone who’s sponsored us so far!!

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=ChewlessChallenge

 

Purée party!!

12 Feb

Hey Guys,

Sorry for the slight delay in getting this blog up, the party ended too late to do it last night, party animals that we are..

So yesterday was spent in the kitchen creating all our favourite pureed puddings.

These included: chocolate mousse, strawberry mousse, custard, jelly and jelly with pureed fruit in. Yum yum. Dont worry, photographic evidence will follow!

Everyone who attended was keen to find out exactly what we had been eating and were not jealous in the slightest! Having said that, we think everyone enjoyed the pureed treats and smoothies on offer; particularly Jess who invented the summer berries and wine smoothie!

Our individual thoughts..

Charis:

The purée party was lots of fun and a great excuse for us to spend some time eating our favourite puréed foods! My worst thing for the day was that I had to whip a pint of cream by hand – a problem, although infrequent, not restricted to a puréed diet! Definitely considering investing in a electric whisk! It was a bit odd having a party without finger food, like bowls of crisps, and everyone eating out of bowls! Overall I think it was a success!

 

Jenny:

I love jelly and custard. A complete winner.

Something aside that I have noticed is how much milk I’ve been getting through compared to a normal day. Usually I only have milk in tea, but recently I’ve been having lots of tea as usual, at least one bowl of readybrek or wheatabix, milk based smoothies and adding milk to things to make them mushier! Everyone has commented how they think we  are sure to lose weight over this week, but with this milk consumption I’m not so sure! But at least my bones will be strongerer 🙂

 

We’ll add photos and our entry from today up this evening…it’ll be a good one cos today we’re feeding each other all day!

Love Jenny and Charis

Ps. You know the drill.. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=ChewlessChallenge

 

Day 2

10 Feb

2 days down 5 to go…

 

Today we thought we’d give you a little bit of background into the charity we’re raising money for SCOPE.

Scope is a charity supporting disabled people across the UK; primarily those with cerebral palsy and their families. Many people with cerebral palsy have difficulties co-ordinating muscles, including muscles of the face and mouth needed for chewing and eating. This means many individuals have to have modified diets or are completely tube fed.  Scope provides support, advice and services for these individuals as well as campaigning to improve disabled people’s legal rights and opportunities, remove disabling barriers and create the appetite and enthusiasm for the full inclusion and equal participation of disabled people in every aspect of our society. For more information go to http://www.scope.org.uk

Here is a sample of today’s menu:

Charis’ thoughts on the day:

Today was the first evening meal I cooked for us and although it required a little more preparation than usual it wasn’t that difficult.  I made a pureed variation of moussaka with a mince and vegetable base, pureed aubergine layer and topped with cheese sauce. When buying ingredients the only difference to normal was that I tried to get large aubergines as you get more pureeable pulp for your money because you can’t puree the skins. The end result was pretty tasty (if I do say so myself). I’m still finding lack of carbs difficult and lunch is especially weird for me!

Best thing: Dinner again (and I treated myself to a chocolate mousse)

Worst thing: Felt hungry during the afternoon

 

Jenny:

Aside from lunch (scrambled egg on instant mash – don’t ask), today has been yummy, though I have felt hungry. I am sure the process of chewing psychologically tells you you’ve eaten something proper.  Charis’ dinner was very tasty, and like my fish dinner yesterday, definitely proves that it’s worth taking the time to puree each food type/layer of moussaka separately rather than just chucking the whole lot in the blender.

Best thing: banana, oats and honey milkshake – yum

Worst thing: having to use mash as a substitute for toast!

 

Check back tomorrow to read all about the puree party we’re hosting! Exciting stuff, hope to see some of you Newcastle folk there.

Remember you can sponsor us at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=ChewlessChallenge

Lots of love xx

Day one!

9 Feb

Hello everybody!!

The first day is done! It was not as bad as we feared (though no doubt there is plenty worse to come!).

Here are some of today’s meals:

Breakfast wasn’t that much of a challenge, just a bit mushier than normal, smoothies and yogurt made adequate snacks but lunch left a lot to be desired. Dinner was surprisingly tasty and didn’t even look that different to normal. In fact, the best thing about it was that pureeing the carrots and peas seemed to release all their colour so they actually looked very appetising (if you didn’t think of them as carrots and peas!).

Our thoughts…

Jenny:

Today’s actually bin alright! I  rediscovered how much I love baked apple (skinless obviously) with some sugar and mixed spice, but also discovered that a banana and tinned peach smoothie is no where near as nice as it sounds it could be.  For lunch I had pureed pasta and pesto. Pasta doesn’t so much look pureed as pre-chewed…nice.

It was my day to cook dinner today for the two of us and our flatmate (and photographer) Mark. Cooking a balanced and pureed meal is challenging enough (we had pollock with mash, peas, carrots and parsley sauce), but having to cook a non-pureed version alongside that took all of my coordination skills! Some things got a bit cold while we were trying to blend everything else, but drowning the plate in parsley sauce both helped to heat it up and helped it to slip down chew free!

Best thing: baked apple!

Worse thing: All the extra prep that needs doing before you can eat.

Charis:

Today has not been as difficult as I thought it was going to be, but it has been very weird! The food itself on the whole tastes OK-good but my thoughts around it are odd! I’ve found it very strange not to bite into a piece of fruit and having limited types of carbs that are easy to eat (no bread especially!). Snacking is also different as it’s not as easy just to pick up something to eat – you often have to prepare it!

Best thing: Dinner was really yummy and the most filling meal of the day!

Worst thing: Lack of carbs!

 

Six days left to go…long. Sponsor us at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=ChewlessChallenge

Thank you!!