According to The Vegetarian Society, "In order to gain weight it is essential to increase the energy content of your diet. Also, in order for your body to make proper use of protein, you must ensure sufficient energy. The most concentrated form of energy in the diet is from fat. If you can tolerate fat then try and increase the fat content of your diet."
Have an Avo: Avocados are creamy and high in calories and nutrients. They are also soft and easy to eat during times when mouth ulcers and other nasty side-effects take hold.
Get Smooth: Smoothies are a great way to add extra protein in the form of a protein powder, and calories with the addition of soy or rice milk, soy yoghurt or ice-cream, nuts, seeds, bananas and even soft silken tofu.
Get Saucy: Have meals with a good sauce, made with pureed fried onions, perhaps with tomatoes or mushrooms. To increase the energy density of sauces use vegan margarine and add soya milk or silken tofu.
Beans: Cooked beans can be added to soups, stews, pies, salads, etc as well as being able to be pureed or used for dips such as hummus.
Soy Soy Soy: All of the over-processed soy products that we usually steer clear of are full of calories and protein. If you are looking to bulk up, delicious products such as Tofutti cream cheese will certainly help!
Go Nutty: Nut butters are a great way to get lots of the good fat and nutrients from nuts in an easily digestible way. Choose raw almond butter, sunflower butter, tahini, or hazelnut butter and add them to crackers, vegetable crudites, salads, deserts, baked goods or have them on toast.
Oily Goodness: Extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, etc are a healthy way to add good fats to the diet.
Rice, Pasta, Gnocchi, sprouted bread, vegan custard and yummy vegan cheese are some of the other things that spring to mind if you are looking to put on weight.
Unfortunately, there are not many vegan meal replacements, such as Sustagen, which offer all of the nutrients that the body needs in a liquid form for times when patients cannot eat. Vega Complete Meal Replacement is a powder that was formulated by a vegan triathlete and is available at www.pureprescriptions.com, but it contains some natural products that pharmacists and oncologists may not agree to.
If you are looking to put on weight as a cancer patient, then there will likely be other challenges that need to be addressed also, such as dry mouth, loss of appetite, sore throat and mouth ulcers, nausea, constipation or diarrhea and loss or change of taste. The most important thing is to get some form of nutrients in to the body each day, so whatever is tolerable and appealing is often the only consideration.
While some of the Crew are enjoying pigging out on all of these vegan delicacies, we are looking forward to the end of treatment when a return to a healthy RAW vegan diet will help to detox the body!!
Here is a lovely recipe for Lemon Poppy Scones to get your taste buds drooling...
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup margarine
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Cut in margarine until the mixture is the consistency of large grains of sand. I like to use my hands to rub the margarine into the flour. Stir in poppy seeds, lemon zest and lemon juice. Combine the soy milk and water, and gradually stir into the dry ingredients until the batter is moistened, but still thick like biscuit dough. You may not need all of the liquid. Spoon 1/4 cup sized plops of batter onto the greased baking sheet so they are about 3 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes the preheated oven, until golden.