Ever had braces? Then you will certainly know what I mean: after that ortho visit where your mouth feels like it has been assaulted with a ton of metal. Oh wait! It has! All the tightening, separators, rubber bands, springs and who knows what else can kick your mouth into hit by a truck mode.
Then comes the three or four days after where your mouth feels like it is on a constant hangover and the least contact with food will release the monster. So you find yourself caught up with eating soups and purees, for breakfast lunch and dinner, coffee being the only reminder of the life you had just a couple of days ago.
And if you are anything like me, at the end of day number two you open the refrigerator door and stand there staring in hope to see the light! The puree/ soup aversion has started to settle in and chewing becomes an attainable dream…
Okay I am exaggerating, but I really end up missing chewing food. So I tend to spend more time thinking about what to eat than actually eating and that is a problem.
Because let us face it, having braces is THE way to lose weight unhealthily. I can easily drop 3Kg in four days. I know it is a dream for a lot of people, but to me this is a nightmare because it can make me fall into skinny mode which I don’t want.
Having braces for about a year and half though taught me a few tips and tricks that I am sharing in this post.
You want to eat something nutritious yet soft enough on your painful teeth, you want something tasty and that does not taste bland. And you can only eat so much potatoes!
For breakfast things are the easiest because usually the nature of breakfast food is helpful. I found that eggs are really easy to eat when you just had a tightening. Scrambled or omelet works well since you can eat with basically no chewing. Adding some plain yogurt to eggs after cooking them or/and some sumac can give you a different range of tastes.
Smoothies and yogurt are an awesome option too, especially Lebanese style smoothies that can use an addition of milk.
I also recommend toasted bread rather than soft, because soft bread tends to get a little doughy and chewy in your mouth and would be painful. But toasted bread tends to hydrate and get pulverized. Just don’t bite into it tear it with your hand!
You may think pasta is a friend, but it is a trap. Pasta is chewy and it could be very painful to eat on first couple of days. It becomes possible to eat it when the pain recedes a bit though.
Avocados can be a nice option since they can be used in both savory and sweet preparations but you don’t want to indulge into them because they are highly caloric.
Some boiled veggies can be of great use. I will name potatoes and cauliflower. Potatoes are pretty versatile you can boil them and go from there. You can mash them with some salt, pepper and olive oil or with some Tahini sauce. Basically this is pounded garlic lemon and Tahini diluted in a little water. You can find the recipe on our Falafel recipe post here.
Boiled cauliflower can be prepared the same way too. Cauliflowers can be bland but this is a way to make their taste pop out. My dad loves cannellini beans made that way too. And of course the eternal hummus! I also remembered that tortilla de patatas is a great way to eat potatoes with some protein and lots of flavor. Here is a recipe I use as a guideline (click on tortilla for the actual recipe). Although I cut down the amount of oil into a couple of tablespoons in which I sauté the tiny dices of potatoes and add more veggies than the recipe calls for. The trick to this one is to sauté your veggies till they lose all the water in them so it makes it easier to turn you omelet. Also making it a small size one would make the task easier too.
Cauliflower can also be made as a stew. Cut them into florets and prepare a base of sautéed onions, tomato paste add the cauliflowers (you can boil them half way for a faster result) and enough water to cover. Season and it can be served with rice. On better days this can be made with some meat chunks you add to the sautéed onions.
Stuffed courgettes or Opo squash can be something to eat too, the ground meat can be omitted on those tougher days.
Risotto can also be an option as long as you don’t add some chewy stuff to it. It can be a sauce flavored risotto. The range is wide really.
Of course you need some more consistent protein so fish is your best friend. It is flaky and soft and can be made with some pounded garlic coriander and lemon in the oven. You will have a tasty, nutritious and soft dish at the same time.
Cream cheese or Labneh can be an option also. Labneh, in case you don’t know, it is a type of cheese made with drained yogurt and some salt if you like it, till it has a cream cheese texture. It is good with boiled eggs seasoned with some salt, pepper and dried mint.
Mangoes, bananas, kiwis and even some berries can be used as dessert or in a fruit salad with some fruit juice. I usually like pineapple – yeah I love my exotic fruits – (insert blushing face here).
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is just meant to give ideas to people like me who find themselves at wit’s end after each orthodontic visit.
Do you have any suggestions? Share with us in the comments.