The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Creating a Healthy Diet to Meet Your Goals
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a good idea for everyone. But if you are one of the 12 million Americans who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), this can prove to be a difficult challenge. People diagnosed with COPD have to be especially aware of their lifestyle choices, particularly regarding the foods that they eat.
Many COPD sufferers find it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. For some, this means difficulty losing weight, and for others, it means difficulty keeping weight on. Both challenges present additional issues for COPD sufferers. Individuals with excess weight often have additional breathing complications, as the extra weight will make it harder for lungs to expand and fill with air. On the other hand, individuals who are underweight are typically missing essential nutrients, which cause excessive fatigue.
The key to resolving both issues is—not surprisingly—diet. No matter what, everyone should consume a healthy diet, but this can mean something different for each individual. We are all unique, so why shouldn’t our diet be unique too?
The downfall of most diets typically lies in restriction. Far too many diets tell people to give up carbs all together or give up all sweets. It is almost impossible to adhere to these strict rules; rather, the better alternative is moderation and substitution. This applies to individuals seeking to gain weight or lose weight. No diet should make you give up your favorite foods, and depending on your goal, you can tailor your favorite dishes to fit your needs.
As an example, we have tailored one of everyone’s favorite comfort foods—macaroni and cheese—to fit the needs of an individual seeking to gain weight and an individual seeking to lose weight. Check out the different ways we substitute essential ingredients to meet each diet’s needs.
Goal: To Gain Weight
Crock Pot Mac and Cheese
16 ounces of macaroni
16 ounces of Monterey Jack Cheese, cubed
16 ounces of Colby cheese, cubed
16 ounces of Velveeta block cheese, cubed
1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into slices
16 ounces of whole milk
Pepper to taste
- Boil water on the stovetop, and cook macaroni according to box directions. Once the noodles are your desired firmness, drain water and set aside.
- Cube all of your cheeses and slice your butter.
- Lightly spray or grease your crockpot with non-stick spray.
- Layer 1/3 of the macaroni in the bottom.
- Layer half of the cheese, butter and optional pepper.
- Layer second 1/3 of the macaroni next.
- Layer remaining cheese, butter and optional pepper.
- Add final 1/3 of macaroni noodles to the top.
- Pour milk over mixture.
- Cook on low for about four hours and stir once mid-way through baking cycle.
Recipe from Lovely Fluffy Mama blog.
*Note: Product should not look like above image.
Goal: To Lose Weight
Skinny Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
3 cups of 1% milk
4 egg whites
1 tbsp. of cornstarch
8 ounces of 2% sharp cheddar cheese (approx. 2 cups grated)
4 cups of dry, whole wheat penne pasta
- Whisk together the milk, egg whites and cornstarch in slow cooker. Be sure to whisk well.
- Stir in the grated cheese and pasta noodles.
- Cook on low for 1.5 to 2 hours.
- Be sure to stir the food every 15 minutes after the first hour.
Recipe from Skinny Ms.
Learning to Cook with Lung Disease
It can be a difficult transition to learn how to cook with lung disease. Standing in the kitchen is tiring and rushing from the stovetop to the cutting board can make anyone feel anxious and out of breath. Using a slow cooker or crockpot is a great way to minimize the rush. Not only does this allow you to prepare the meal and rest, but also typically allows for cooking larger portions of food. This means you can freeze your leftovers and not have to cook for a few days.
Many lung disease sufferers are also breathing easier in the kitchen after choosing cellular therapy for pulmonary conditions. Many of the Lung Institute’s patients report being able to get back to the things they love. For some, this means cooking. If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about cellular therapy, contact us at (800) 729-3065.