Every now and then I have a really bad flare-up of pain in my jaw joint, aka TMJ pain (the “TMJ” stands for “tempromandibular joint” which means the jaw joint). The only way to get it to calm down is to avoid chewing for awhile, and then gradually work up to foods that require a more normal amount of chewing. In my case, because of my connective tissue disorder, there are also certain foods I always avoid since trying to chew them strains my jaw.
In this post, I’m sharing what I eat on a no-chewing diet and which foods I always avoid. In my next post, I’ll share foods I eat on an easy-chewing diet and on a medium-chewing diet.
- fruit smoothies
- instant breakfast
- ice cream
- Scandishakes (at 580 calories each, these are meant for people like me who struggle with unwanted weight loss)
- apple sauce
- canned fruit
- mashed potatoes, yams or squash
- store-bought baby food
- I know this sounds super gross, but baby food cereal and meat are sometimes the easiest way to get something substantial to eat that doesn’t involve chewing and isn’t sugary. Eating sugary things gets really tiring after about one day. I like to add spices or mayonnaise to the meat to make it less boring.
- nut butter
- protein smoothies (I choose one thing from each of the following lists, then put it all in the blender):
- milk, cream (stir it in after putting everything else through the blender, otherwise you just invented a new flavor of whipped cream 😉 ), or almond milk
- ice cream or sherbet
- vegan protein powder, instant breakfast, nut butter, or hemp protein powder
- olive oil or canola oil (because I need the extra calories)
- maple syrup
- fresh, frozen or canned fruit (bananas or berries are usually the best)
Things I always avoid:
- crunchy granola bars
- most cold breakfast cereals (like Chex, Bran Flakes, granola, etc) – sure you can let them get soggy in the milk, but then they are gross
- popcorn (the hulls make it too crunchy)
- corn on the cob (just cut the corn off the cob after it’s cooked, then eat it)
- crunchy pretzels
- potato chips
- tortilla chips
- bagel chips
- biting right into a whole apple
Well, that’s pretty much it for Part 1!
Have you ever needed to do a no-chewing or TMJ pain diet? Feel free to let me know what it was like and what your favorite things to eat were in the comments.