Sunday, November 16, 2014

If your elderly relative has puffy ankles it just may be a sign of low protein in their blood. When my husband, after a couple of chest xrays and a blood test, was diagnosed with vey low total protein and very low albumin. His blood has been leaking fluid into his ankles and into his lungs and he was seriously lacking in energy. The doctor told us the solution is to eat protein.

That has sent me on a mission to find out about how you can stack a diet with protein rich food. It has sent me looking for different ways of doing fish and eggs, among other things. This blog is about my journey – the recipes I find and the meals he eats – well sometime I am eating meat dishes while he eats a fish dish. He hasn't eaten meat for 40 years so he is unlikely to start at 89 years old.

For four days now we have been on this mission and I guess it is going to take quite a while to get his protein levels up. He has had fish and an egg for almost every meal now and already he is reporting more energy. Actually the first thing he has noticed is that he is sleeping better. And I did notice he spent a bit of time in the garden the other day, which is a good start. But we have to be careful not to overdo it. Yes his levels were extremely low, but still, be careful and sensible.

I understand that as you get older you need more protein because your body doesn't absorb it as well when you are young.

The doctor reminded my husband that he is still doing the washing, and that he is a critically important person in his family. He is a wonderful father and grandfather and great grandfather. He still has more to contribute and also to enjoy the bathroom we have just upgraded in our home. We use the shower for the first time tonight!! Hooray.

Anyway you can help in the following ways: Contribute recipes that are relatively easy. We particularly want variety. We cant go on having fish and an egg three times a day! That would be boring as....And probably dangerous. And expensive.

Today he had fish in tomato for breakfast. For lunch he had dried yellow peas cooked with a bit of salt and flavoured with a piled teaspoon of green curry paste. And because I had to go to Wellington to the dentist I soused fish in apple cider vinegar before I left, then when I got home I drained it and added coconut cream, chopped red onion and spring onion and tomato.

He says he is full. Great news. Hope I didn't overdo the protein today. Hope his kidneys are coping so far. Must find out ASAP.

Malcolm is one unique person but my father in his last decade was another case of someone who needed better nutrition. After our mother dies, Dad was hooked on bread and jam and frozen cheese cake. There are plenty of elderly like Malcolm and Dad who simply don't get enough protein.

And here are some items I bought today for future recipes. I especially look forward to using the chermoula Morroccan herb and spice marinade, which my sister says was delicious with fish.


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