GLUTEN-FREE | CAN BE DAIRY-FREE* | CAN BE VEGETARIAN**
I’ve been running from it for a few years now, but it’s finally time: I’m getting my wisdom teeth out this week.
The timing makes sense: I’m currently trying to rest my knee, so I’m spending my nights binge-watching Breaking Bad and taking Epsom salt baths instead of going to the gym.
At first it was frustrating, but I’m starting to enjoy my this rare opportunity to chill out, heal, and give my body a break. Since I’m already couch locked, I decided that this was as good a time as any to get my teeth ripped out.
what to expect when you’re expecting to have your wisdom removed
I’ve gotten very mixed messages about what to expect from this experience, which speaks to the biodiversity of humankind — everyone is different, everyone’s teeth are different, and everyone handles pain differently.
I posted on Facebook asking for advice (“for a friend”), and received a hilarious number of responses. In short: eat soft foods, don’t use straws, and distract yourself with pain medicine and long movies.
Although I have an excellent team of caretakers (my sweet boy, mommy, and friends), I hate being a burden, so the planner in me decided to prepare a variety of soft meals, snacks, and treats to get through the next few days.
Beyond mashed vegetables, it’s difficult to find too many soft paleo foods, so I’m giving myself a little break. My goal is to have a good variety of healthy and not-healthy-but-not-totally-terrible foods around — so I’m throwing in some pulses, maybe some mac and cheese, maybe some ice cream…. when in Rome, right?
So far, this soup is my favorite thing I’ve prepped for post-surgery recovery. It’s savory, warm, and wonderfully comforting — exactly what (I think) I’ll want when everything hurts.
If not, I’ve got a nice variety of ice creams and gelatos — just in case. ❤
about this soup
Enjoy this simple, nutritious soup any day of the week. It packs about 16 grams of protein per cup, so it’s super filling. You get a hefty dose of vegetables — onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, lentils — and none of the gut-punching sodium you’ll get from store-bought soups. Toasting the garlic releases a nice roasted flavor without having to spend time roasting, which is accentuated nicely by the warm spice of cumin.
The flavor is warm and comforting and surprisingly meaty, thanks to the lentils. This would make a perfect weeknight dinner in the fall, with a simple salad and a piece of crusty, buttered bread on the side.
PS– Who else is excited for football season (food)? Football food. #chili
I wrote this recipe before my surgery, but am now publishing a day after. I’m happy and grateful to report that the entire experience has been relatively painless. I awoke from the surgery yesterday, light-heartedly accused the nurse of removing my lips (jk — still there!), then told her that I was Rosie the Riveter, and then fell back asleep for the majority of the afternoon. #majaafterdentist
My pain levels have been minimal, thanks to my strict pain meds/icing schedule. I’ve also been hydrating religiously, with ice water, coconut water, and non-caffeinated lukewarm teas. If oral surgery is anywhere in your future, I highly recommend doing everything the doctor says, even if you tend to be a rebellious patient like me. Take it easy, do what you’re told, and you’ll be just fine.
As far as food goes: When we got home, my sweet boy got me a Cacacacao shake from Juice Bar, which was exactly what I needed to tame my hunger and cool down my burning jaw. That smoothie is full of goodness: avocado, banana, raw cacao, hemp seeds, almond milk, goji berries, and more. He had them blend it up super smooth for me so to not disturb anything. Great success!
For dinner, the wonderful creature made me an impressively gourmet meal for a post-op patient: Cheesy garlicky polenta with two poached eggs. For dessert, I got to try some of my lovely friend Kreya’s homemade coffee and chocolate chip ice cream. It made me feel very loved. ❤
I’ve gotta say, I’m really loving this temporary need to only eat rich, creamy, luscious things — obviously not sustainable, but I’m not minding this polenta/poached egg/ice cream/shake diet I’m on.
For breakfast today, I had more cheesy garlicky polenta with scrambled eggs, and for lunch I was finally able to graduate to semi-solid foods: lentil-potato soup (with ice cream for dessert). De-lish. ❤
- 4 cloves of garlic, whole (not peeled)
- 2 tbsp. grass-fed butter or olive oil for dairy-free*
- 1 white onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 quarts organic free-range, low sodium chicken stock or bone broth, or low-sodium organic vegetable broth for vegetarian**
- 1 cup red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
- 2 cups green lentils, rinsed
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp. thyme (dried)
- black pepper, to taste
- Prep: Start by prepping all of your ingredients so that they are ready to go: Dice onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes; rinse lentils.
- Toast garlic: Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves and toast them lightly for 4-5 minutes, until they are fragrant. Remove from the pot. Remove the pot from the heat for a few minutes to let it cool.
- Sautee onions: Put the pot back on the burner at medium heat. Add butter/olive oil to the pot, then add onions. Sautee for 3-4 minutes to soften.
- Cook veggies: Add carrots and celery and continue cooking, until vegetables are soft.
- Add everything else: Peel and mince garlic and add to the pot. Pour chicken stock/bone broth over the vegetables, and add the potatoes, lentils, and spices.
- Boil, then simmer: Bring to a gentle boil, then allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, until potatoes and lentils are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or store in fridge/freezer until ready to eat. ❤