Kam, Rachel, and Michelle have banded together to discuss creative tips and recipes to help anyone who's recovering from jaw surgery. Please note we're not nutritionists - But through trial and error, we made these recipes with the hope that each meal would provide us with the nutrients we need and the zesty flavors we crave. We now share these ideas with you. Bon appetit and best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Pie in a Glass

For all of you sipping on smoothies for the holidays, this is a good alternative to pumpkin pie

2-3 heaping tablespoons of pumpkin pie filling (more or less depending on your taste)
2 scoops of vanilla Muscle Milk powder
1-2 graham crackers
enough milk and ice to get the consistency that you prefer

Blend all ingredients until smooth and enjoy!
You may also substitute ice cream for the protein powder for a holiday treat.

Jaw Droppin' Freebies!

I'm always keeping an eye out for free samples, so when I found these jaw-friendly finds, I just had to share the love! You may have to give some info / sign up for mailing lists and such, but I think it's worth it for free grub. :)

Ensure- coupons for a Free Shake and Savings on a Six-pack.

MINUTE MAID- Coupon for any frozen juice product.

Dairy Queen- Buy one, get one free blizzard treat.

R.W. Knudsen Family- $1.00 off Organic 8-pack of Juice Boxes.

Earth's Best Organic Baby Food- Sign up for the e-Newsletter and get $4 in Coupons & special offers.

...And for the optimist:

Stride Gum- "Settle" and get a free pack of gum. You won't be able to chew it, but perhaps it will serve as good jaw-healing inspiration. ;P

Sgt. Peppers & Lentils Hearts Club Stew

What You'll Need:

1/2 lb bag of lentils
1 can of diced tomatoes and green chilies (like Ro*Tel)
3 & 1/2 cups water
1 table spoon salt

[Once served, add salt & pepper to taste]

Start off rinsing your lentils in a strainer. Keep an eye out for any little pebbles or anything. After rinsing, add to a medium sized pot along with the 3 & 1/2 cups water and salt. Set temperature to medium high heat. Stir occasionally.
After the lentils have reached a boil, cover the pot and bring the temperature down to a simmer. Check up on the soup every once in a while and stir. Continue to let the lentils cook until they are very tender. (This should take about 30 minutes). If you think the lentils need more water, you can add an extra 1/2 a cup)

Once the lentils are tender, add the diced tomatoes & chilies. This will give those lentils some "Pepper"! Personally, I like Mild or for a little heat, I go with Original. [I have low tolerance for spicy food] And if you're a tabasco sippin' lover of heat, you can go with Hot. God have mercy. ;P

After you've added the tomatoes and chilies, bring it back to a boil uncovered. If you're on the "soft foods" stage, you're ready to eat! (Just let the lentils sit in your bowl a few minutes so they can soak up a little of that moisture) If you're on the "blender diet" Get out your hand blender, and start blending! ;)

[A health note: Lentils are a super food! They are packed with fiber, iron, protein, and folic acid. They are low in fat and cholesterol free. PLUS, The tomatoes & green peppers contain Vitamin C- this assists the body to absorb the iron! So eat up!]

Don't Be Cruel to Canned Soups

The first week after surgery, I ate homemade chicken soup for lunch and dinner. This was the perfect meal for me because it provided me with several vitamins and nutrients I needed to regain my energy. But it didn't take long before I grew weary of eating that soup. And I'm not much of a cook, which presented a major challenge to my lacking culinary skills.

That's why I befriended the soup aisle at my local grocery store. When I walked down the aisle, I felt a bit of dread. But I decided to change my attitude and try different soups. There are so many options, which is wonderful because it will help stave off the inevitable boredom you're bound to experience by eating the same foods daily.

Here are some flavors that delighted my taste buds:

- Tomato soup

- Potato and Garlic soup

- Leek soup

- French Onion soup

- Split Pea and Ham soup

And when I got tired of these soups, I went to a local restaurant and ordered Shrimp Chowder soup and Beef Barley soup - to go, of course. That way, when I got home, I could blend the soup to a thinner consistency.

I kept having to tell myself not to snub the soups. They've been a lifesaver throughout my recovery.

Choppin' Broccoli - Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Easy Melting Cheese (like Velveeta)
1 can of Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 & 1/2 Can of Milk

This is a quick and easy soup!
Just warm a small/medium sized pot on the stove at medium heat.
Add the can of Cream of Broccoli Soup and the Milk. (If you wish this to be thicker, you may just add one can.)
Stir the soup and when it is starting to warm up, add a large slice of Velveeta cheese to the soup. This will help thicken it up and add great flavor, but still making it easy to drink. You can add as much as you feel necessary, but it doesn't take much.

After the soup has come to a boil, set the pot aside and let it cool for about 7 minutes, this will allow the soup to cool and it will also thicken the soup.
"Chop" up that soup with a hand blender, so you'll have no problems eating it!

*You may add protein powder to this after the soup has cooled, it might make the soup a little lumpy, but it didn't bother me much.
*Rachel recommends adding wheat crackers for great texture and taste. Great idea!
*Michelle adds rice to hers, this is a great option when at the "Soft Foods" stage of recovery!

American Bandstand - With Graham Crackers!

I recently bought a box of graham crackers to try Rachel's Rico Suave. (It's an awesome shake!) But what else could I do with these crackers? I had forgotten how much I like eating graham crackers and peanut butter. But because I can't chew foods yet, having that snack was out of the question. Or was it?

Here's how to satisfy that craving:

1 bottle of Ensure, vanilla-flavored
1-2 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter
8-12 graham crackers

Pour Ensure into blender. Add peanut butter, graham crackers, and ice. Blend. Drink and enjoy! And check this out: The graham cracker was invented by Sylvester Graham in 1829. He lived in Massachusetts and invented this cracker to make a healthy snack for his vegetarian diet. So this is definitely an American treat. Sweet!


For most of us that have been on a liquid diet for even a week, soup gets old!! Even though I got tired of it, here are some things that you can add to your standard vegetable soup to change it up a bit.

-firm tofu (blends smooth, tasteless, and adds protein)

-canned chicken breast (very moist and blends perfectly)

-sweet potato (Cut into small chunks and cooked in a little olive oil before being added to the blender. This brings in a whole different flavor and great texture) If you do this with regular potatoes, it gives your soup a touch of french fry taste.

-Ritz wheat crackers-they allow a thicker consistency as well as a nutty flavor to the soup. I put these in a lot of my dinner blends that were too runny.

Bananarama, Cream of Wheat Style

This is great especially if you're craving a hot breakfast. And it's super easy to make!

1 1/4 cups of milk
3 tablespoons of Cream of Wheat
1-2 handfuls of frozen bananas
1 dash of cinnamon, to taste

Just follow the instructions on the Cream of Wheat box (if you use milk, be sure to stir frequently). Once made, pour Cream of Wheat into a regular blender. Add frozen bananas and cinnamon. Blend. You may want to add more milk for a creamier consistency. Enjoy!

The Rico Suave

This is a good one that you can use with Muscle Milk while on a liquid diet and then change it to Mexican Vanilla ice cream later for a special treat.

2 scoops of vanilla Muscle Milk or other vanilla flavored protein powder
1 cup of milk
1-2 handfuls of frozen strawberries (kept frozen for a thicker consistency)
several dashes of cinnamon (depending on your taste, I like a lot)
1-2 graham crackers (these give a great taste and help make it thicker)
1 heaping tbsp of glutamine

Blend until smooth and enjoy. It makes a killer milkshake that even the rest of the family can enjoy with you.

Orange You Glad?

I remember when I was little getting an Orange Julius at the mall with my mom. They have made a comeback and this is how you can enjoy one and get the benefits of lots of vitamins.

2 scoops of Vanilla Muscle Milk
1 heaping tablespoon of frozen orange juice concentrate (still frozen)
1 heaping tablespoon of glutamine
1 cup of milk
1-2 handfuls of ice
Blend until smooth. If you like more or less orange flavor, just tweek the amount of concentrate. This was one of my favorites!

Chicken Soup for the Orthognathic Soul

This recipe comes from my friend's mom. Without question, this soup played a large role in nursing me back to health after my jaw surgery. If you live by yourself, I would recommend making this recipe a few days before your surgery - just use several tupperware bowls to freeze the soup. If you have a loved one to make dinner for you, then get them to make this soup! It really is so nutritious and delicious.

3 pounds of split chicken breast, with bone
half-dozen carrots
half-dozen celery stalks
3 small onions, chopped
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 handful of parsley
1 teaspoon of salt and pepper, to taste
1 big can of crushed tomatoes
1-2 dashes of other herbs and spices you can throw into the pot!

Clean chicken. Put in stock pot, skin and all. Cover with water to about 2 inches above the chicken. Put to a boil. While waiting to boil, chop up carrots, onions, and celery (leaving the leaves on the celery). Once chicken comes to a boil, skim the scum on the surface. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic powder, parsley, salt pepper, crushed tomatoes, and other inspirational ingredients you find in the cabinet.

Simmer for 2 hours. Occasionally stir. Then take out the chicken and break off the meat into a tupperware container. Then use a spoon with holes in it and transfer the vegetables in the stock pot to a sieve. Save carrots into a separate container and place in the fridge. Use a spoon and crush the vegetables through the sieve into the stock pot so that the resulting soup has all of the nutrients from the vegetables. Then take off the stove and allow to cool considerably.

After cooling, place in the fridge over night, allowing the fat to rise to the surface. The next day, skim the fat off the surface. Now you have your stock. When making the soup, combine chicken and carrots and stock. Heat on the stove, and once warm, take your hand held blender and grind it into a pulp that can fit through a straw. Then enjoy! :0)

All Shook Up- "The Elvis"

This smoothie is great for an early morning boost of energy or to satisfy your sweet tooth.

2 scoops of chocolate Muscle Milk or 1 small chocolate Ensure
1 heaping tablespoon of smooth peanut butter
1 small squirt of wild honey
1 frozen banana
1 dash of milk
ice cubes
Blend until smooth and all the ice is crushed. If you like more peanut butter, then add more! All the ingredients can be tweeked to your liking. This is one of my ultimate favorites. It is also fantastic with vanilla Muscle Milk or Ensure as well.

LaBamba Blend

This is great for an afternoon snack. You can keep the blended fruit in a tupperware and have it on hand to mix into anything.
1/2 cup of frozen pineapple
1/2 cup of frozen mango
1/2 cup of frozen strawberries
1/2 cup of frozen peaches

Put all the frozen fruit into a bowl of water and in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes to thaw them out a little. Then, blend all the fruit in the blender and strain if necessary. Sometimes the peaches and pineapple leave strings that can be a booger to get out of your brackets and back teeth. I would stay away from dark berries since the seeds are nearly impossible to get out and the dark colors can stain your teeth. Take the fruit blend and mix into your favorite vanilla ice cream, plain or vanilla yogurt, small curd cottage cheese (if not completely wired or banded shut), or pudding. My favorite is vanilla yogurt by far. I also like to mix it in either oatmeal or Cream of Wheat for breakfast. If you make a large batch of the fruit, then this is a really quick snack to keep on hand when you are really hungry and don't have much time.