" My name is Chris and for the past 3 years, I have been living with esophageal strictures and decreased salvia input from radiation treatment for head and neck cancer. The limited foods I can eat have to be small and smooth enough to pass easily through the stricture and also need to contain enough moisture to be easily chewed and swallowed. Some foods like breads and meats are extremely difficult if not nearly impossible for me to eat. Since these restrictions only allow me to eat extremely small amounts of food at a time, family get-togethers and even lunch at work are challenging. Eating is such a social activity and because I may only be able to eat a bite or two of only certain foods it makes people feel awkward. For me it is no longer awkward to be around others who are eating, it is more that I still have a longing and desire to participate in eating and I miss it very much.
I tried drinking over the counter liquid supplements combined with eating small amounts but lost weight quickly since they could not provide the correct caloric intake to sustain a healthy weight. Through all this I consulted with my doctors, speech therapists, and a nutritionist to see if we could find a way for me to eat enough on my own. This had been a challenge because I dislike yogurt, hummus, lentils and beans and I had removed sugar and most processed foods from my diet three years prior to my diagnosis. Things were even more complicated since I am a teacher working full time and eating on demand is not an option. Feeling discouraged, I was not considering any options other than remaining on the feeding tube I currently rely on as my primary source of nutrition.
Then in mid-January, 2017, I reached out to Maria Quici from Dysphagia Gourmet looking for recipes for pureed food that more closely resembled regular food in taste and that offered me more variety from my standard choices of oatmeal, soup, mashed potatoes, and limited fruits and vegetables. What I discovered was better than anything I could imagine. Maria introduced me to [EASY]base.
It had been 3 years since I had my last real meal and in a just a couple hours, I was enjoying fruit (strawberries), broccoli, and even a cheeseburger using [EASY]base. I was impressed with the color of the food I prepared since it remained true to the original food yet, what was really amazing was it tasted just like I remembered. The foods also contained enough of a liquidy quality that I was able to swallow them without any issues. The preparation was relatively easy, thus the name [EASY]base, and I can now look forward to including more foods in my diet and experimenting with others I may have not even considered in the past.
When Maria asked me what I thought, my response was “How do I get more [EASY]base? ”