A chronic pancreatitis daily meal plan is something you will have to determine by experimentation. The first step you need to take is to read my previous posts on foods that are normally safe and those that are never safe. You can start here with what I deem to be the basics you should know about a proper pancreatitis diet.
The next step is to prep for and do a food diary. Without doing the prep and then the food diary properly you will never really know what is safe and what is NOT safe for YOU. Yes it is a pain in the butt, get over it, do it, and you just may find you are able heal your pancreas.
Choosing The RIGHT Chronic Pancreatitis Daily Meal Plan
Over the last few years people who visit my blogs have asked me about my daily meal plan. You know, what I eat on a daily basis. There is a lot of info out there from people who think they know what what a proper chronic pancreatitis daily meal plan should be but most are dangerously WRONG. Where most authority sites (doctors, hospitals, dieticians, etc) toted foods and meals with a high fat content many have now figured out that fat is one of the major enemies. I think they are reading my blogs. 🙂
My chronic pancreatitis diet meal plan is going to be far more restricted than yours (in most cases) because I’m also a diagnosed celiac. I have celiac disease and I’m one of the few who illicit a celiac response not only from wheat, rye, barley and anything made from those grains but also corn, oats and rice.
I’m not going to go into all the research I finally found on why corn, oats and rice trigger a celiac response in a small percentage of celiacs like me because it most likely has nothing to do with you and your situation but …
Since being diagnosed as a celiac in 2009 I have had to learn all about celiac disease as well. It took me a couple years to get it all worked out because everything out there (on the net, etc) says that celiacs can safely eat corn, rice and oats. Not true for a few of us. Anyway …
The point is MY chronic pancreatitis daily meal plan is far more restricted than what yours needs to be, in most cases. MY actual chronic pancreatitis daily meal plan will make you think yours is extravagant! So instead of what I eat NOW daily, which you’d find way to restricting, I am going to give you suggestions based upon what will be safe for as many as possible.
Your target for fat consumption is 5 grams or less per meal with a total of 25 grams per day, including snacks. Use this free tool to help you determine fat content and nutritional value (nutrient density). 5 grams of fat or less per meal with a maximum of 25 grams per day is NOT an easy target to hit for those who have never put a real, common sense, pancreatitis diet into implementation mode.
Your doctor, your dietitian and your neighbor will tell you that restricting fat to 25 grams per day is not safe. Well, they aren’t the ones who have to suffer and I ain’t dead yet and it’s been years; 30 plus now and counting yet …
I can tell you what may kill you if you don’t cut the fat – pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis will kill you faster or make you wish you were dead long before a low fat diet. If you like being sick keep eating the way you currently eat or how your doctor tells you to eat, or that dietitian or the sick chick in your favorite pancreatitis support group. But …
IF you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, if you are tired of nausea, puking and pain, if you just want to feel decent again, even GOOD again then do something different and pay attention to what I have said over and over and over on my two pancreatitis blogs and a couple Huppages.
Recognize the facts.
Fat and alcohol are your two enemies.
Food is not your friend and if you don’t start getting serious about a proper pancreatitis diet you may be looking up from six feet under sooner than you think.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I can eat breakfast for breakfast, lunch or dinner. One of my favorites that I’ve had to give up because of celiac disease is oatmeal. I used to love oatmeal with apples, cinnamon and brown sugar. I also loved oatmeal with molasses. Oatmeal is good for most people and it has that “stick-to-the-ribs” quality that pretty much keeps you full for hours. I also love scrambled eggs, fried potatoes and onions. Add some fruit (bowl of bananas, kiwi, strawberry, blueberries) or a glass of organic vegetable juice and I’m good to go. A nice omelette with spinach, onions and tomatoes, fried potatoes and onions and coffee definitely works.
Breakfast # 1: Oatmeal
- 1 cup of oatmeal cooked
- 1/2 cup of apple chunks
- cinnamon to taste
- 1 tsp of brown sugar
- 1 piece of whole wheat toast
- 1 tsp of apple butter, grape jelly, strawberry or raspberry jam
- 1 – 2 cups of coffee
The above breakfast contains approximately 5 grams of fat. You need to look at the fat content AND ingredients of any particular bread you buy for using as toast for breakfast. Some may have more than 1 gram of fat. If so you need to have 1/2 a slice or adjust the amount of oatmeal. Apples, cinnamon, brown sugar and jam do not contain fat.
Breakfast # 2: Scrambled Egg Whites, Fried Potatoes, Toast and Vegetable Juice
- 4 egg whites scrambled in a non-stick pan (no butter or oil), salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a fresh clove of chopped garlic, cilantro and or parsley to spice up your egg whites.
- 1 small potato fried in a non-stick pan with onions, NO oil or butter
- 2 slices of whole wheat toast with fruit jam or jelly
- 1 glass of fresh, organic vegetable juice
The above breakfast boasts about 18 grams of protein, 3 – 4 grams of fat. There is ZERO fat in egg whites and zero fat in the potato. This is a hearty breakfast for those who need a substantial first meal. If you don’t want so much leave something out like the toast or only have one slice or leave out the potato. You can vary it in several ways. The only fat is in the toast so check your labels!
Breakfast # 3: Spinach Omelette With Tomatoes, Fried Potatoes and Fresh Strawberries
- 6 egg whites seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 cup of fresh spinach
- 1 cup of fresh, chopped tomato (poured over the omelette before eating)
- 1 small potato fried with onions, without oil or butter
- 1 cup of fresh strawberries (or any berries in season)
- 1 – 2 cups of coffee
This breakfast boasts around 27 grams of protein and ZERO fat! It’s a great way to start the day. It’s a lot of food, maybe too much for some, so you may want to make a smaller omelette or leave out the potatoes.
These are just three of my favorite breakfasts. Unfortunately I can no longer eat oatmeal or toast (I was diagnosed with celiac disease) but you probably can. I know that some of you have mentioned how restricted a pancreatitis diet can be but if you use your imagination you’ll soon find you can heal your pancreas, avoid more damage and still eat pretty dang good!
Mid Morning Snack
IF you should get hungry before lunch eat an apple! They are good for you and contain ZERO fat. They also have a ton of pectin and good fiber that helps sweep LDL cholesterol out of the body and the skins are loaded with flavonoids. Remember to go organic if at all possible.
Another healthy in between meal snack is a glass of organic vegetable juice. Yes, I push organic, make-your-own vegetable juice because it is easy to digest and depending upon your ingredients organic vegetable juice is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids. And it is pancreas friendly.
Another power packed snack or even lunch is a fruit smoothie. Remember I don’t usually juice fruits. I want the whole fruit when I eat it and so my favorite fruit smoothie is made in a blender which gives me the skins of apples and berries, the fiber and all the cool nutrients, all pureed into a nutrient dense, great tasting drink. Try my favorite smoothie:
- 1-2 bananas
- 1 apple
- 1 kiwi
- 1 cup of frozen blue berries (makes it nice and cold)
- 8 ounces of orange juice (fresh juiced or store bought)
Blend it and enjoy. It tastes great and is one nutrient dense, power-packed snack with ZERO fat. If that is too much for one serving save it in the fridge for your next snack or cut it down to suit you. When downsizing this recipe I would suggest 1 banana instead of two and 4 ounces of OJ instead of 8. You can also do 4 ounces of OJ and 4 ounces of pineapples juice (very tasty!) which is awesome in flavor.
Lunch OR A Light Dinner
I often skip lunch or I’ll substitute dinner at lunch if I had a light breakfast and am hungry. Then I’ll either skip dinner or have a light dinner. I’m flexible and you should be also especially if you are not yet healed because if you don’t feel well, do not feel like eating then don’t eat! Making yourself eat just because you or someone else thinks you NEED to eat is NOT going to help you heal. If you don’t feel good it may be a sign your pancreas needs rest. Pushing food on your pancreas when you don’t feel well could spell disaster so pay attention to what your body is telling you! Eat only when you really feel like eating. Learn to “eat to live” versus “living to eat.” Yet …
For those of you who think you need three or more meals per day, and hear me on this … it is better for many to eat less at each meal but more often, then, here are some suggestions for lunch.
Lunch #1: The fruit smoothie
Above I gave you my recipe for one of my favorite fruit smoothies. I also gave you a variation using part OJ and part pineapple juice. Both are great. You can add almost any fruit you desire. I’ve used the above basic recipe and added strawberries, huckleberries, black berries, watermelon, and many other fruits that were in season.
Lunch #2: Protein fruit smoothies
This one may or may not work for you. It all depends on whether or not you tolerate dairy products. But this smoothie is good and offers 9 grams of protein which all fruit smoothies do not offer.
- 8 ounces of COLD, NO fat milk
- 4 ounces of COLD, NO fat, plain yogurt
- 1 cup of frozen blue berries
- 1 banana
This combination smoothie will provide 15 grams of protein and other great nutrients without any fat! And it tastes like a blueberry-banana milkshake 🙂 BUT if you do NOT tolerate dairy this isn’t for you. Let me remind you here to TEST everything! Test foods that I say are safe! Test everything you put in your mouth and swallow and follow the procedures outlined in the food diary (including prep).
Lunch #3: Salad with Oil Free Dressing
You can create almost any kind of salad and use one of these oil free salad dressings to liven up the taste! Salads are only limited by your own imagination.
One of may favorites is Ceviche. And …
Basically all it is is lots of cucumber, tomato, celery, onion and shrimp mixed with a lime juice dressing you’ll find on my oil free salad dressings post.
Another favorite salad of mine is a combination of kale, broccoli, cabbage, onion all sliced and diced with the addition of legumes. You (not me lol) could even add rice or barley and then drizzle balsamic honey mustard dressing on it and enjoy a taste bud experience.
Both of the above salads offer great taste with plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals. Again create salads and try the oil free salad dressings and you’ll hopefully enjoy better health while eating pretty darn good.
Dinner #1: Boiled chicken with vegetables
I had a terrible time finding a picture. No I don’t have a digital camera or a smart phone lol. So the pics I have found will have to do for this section and you’ll have to get your mind to improvise its vision 🙂 Anyway you’ll need:
- Enough skinless chicken breasts to feed your tribe
- 4 – 6 nice sized red potatoes
- 4 – 6 stalks of celery
- 4 – 6 carrots
- 4- 6 parsnips
- one nice big onion
- 2 – 3 bay leaves
- 4 cloves of fresh garlic
- 2 sprigs of tyme or 1 teaspoon of tyme
- Fresh basil
Trim your chicken of all visible fat. Start boiling the chicken breast(s), in a large pot, around 2 pm if you want to eat at 5 pm. Once the chicken has boiled for an hour take out the chicken and dump the water (gets rid of more fat). The add the chicken and more water to the pot AFTER you have clean it (the pot). Boil for another hour and a half. While waiting chop/slice up all the other vegetable ingredients (not the spices yet). 30 – 45 minutes before serving add all the veggies and spices (smash the garlic, add the basil, tyme and salt and pepper to taste). Cover the pot, set the timer and when the timer dings enjoy a fabulous dinner! The parsnips add a mildly sweet flavor that I really like. If you want a thicker, stew like sauce add in some potato flour (1-2 teaspoons). Here’s another of my chicken soup type recipes that is very similar.
Dinner #2: Cod Fish with Asparagus and Yams
Fish is especially good for those who suffer from chronic pancreatitis but white meat fish is best because it has less fat. And Cod with asparagus and yams sprinkled with brown sugar is one of my favorite meals.
One nice filet of Cod (116 grams) boasts 21 grams of protein, 250+ mgs of omega 3’s, 460 mgs of potassium, vitamin E, A, B 12, calcium and more with only ONE gram of fat.
Add the nutrients found in asparagus and some yam sprinkled with brown sugar and you have a darn nice, nutrient dense meal!
This is what you’ll need:
- A nice chunk of cod for each person
- Fresh or frozen asparagus
- Enough yams for your family
- Brown sugar
- Fresh crushed garlic (1-2 cloves)
- Lemon enough to squeeze on the cod
I start off cooking the meal by nuking the cleaned yams in the micro wave. I usually do two nice sized yams and they take about two 9 minute intervals on high to cook the way I like them. I check them half way through to see if they need an additional 9 minutes or if less might work. While the yams cook I get my cod ready in the frying pan. No oil, or spray just lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley. Once the yams are done I set them aside and nuke my asparagus (in heat and serve pouch) for 4 – 5 minutes on high heat. I like 4 minutes but you may want your more done at 5. While my asparagus is nuking my fish is frying (covered). By the time my fish is done so is everything else and I slice open my yam, sprinkle it with a liberal amount of brown sugar, dish up my fish and asparagus and begin enjoying a nice eating experience 🙂
I’m not a chef so if I can think of stuff to eat and how to cook it so I don’t get sick so can you, or your wife can. If I can do it, trust me, anyone can! With a little imagination you can create some fine meals. Roasted vegetables with fish and salad, the same with chicken or turkey breast. Really, just think, do and eat! All it takes is thinking of the foods you like, putting them in combinations that sound good and cooking then in a safe manner.
I’ll add more dinner ideas when I have time but your chronic pancreatitis daily meal plan is extremely important. Remember the target fat goal. No more than 5 grams of fat per meal with a total of 25 grams of fat per day. Most of that fat should be plant based which is much less inflammatory for the pancreas.