This afternoon, I had my appointment with the nutritionist that my pulmonary doctor referred me to. The big takeaways were (a) I REALLY need to be snacking between meals, preferably a couple hours before the next meal, and (b) it takes 3500 extra calories to gain one pound. Some ideas she gave me for good, high-calorie snacks:
- Nuts (850 calories per cup)
- Dried fruit (400 calories per cup)
- Avocado Italian style - mashed (250 calories) with salt and olive oil (125 calories per tablespoon)
- Nutrition drinks - I've had Ensure and it's nasty after a while, but there are other brands
- Adding extra cheese or dressing to stuff I'm eating anyway
I definitely got a vibe of sincerity and genuine concern from her as I unfolded my last several years of health history. She not only understood but also emphasized the importance of maintaining a healthy weight in order to support the immune system and better fight disease. The trick, she says, is to change your habits and routines so they become part of your lifestyle - I may even need to go as far as to set an alarm to remind myself to eat every couple hours (this seems obvious when someone says they want to gain weight, but I have never been one to eat just for its own sake - I eat when I'm hungry).
Beginning tomorrow, I'm going to keep track of what I eat and weigh in every week so I can have an idea of what works and doesn't. I am not sure that I am ready to share my weight yet - suffice it to say that I am profoundly underweight.