Liz Rovira: Post Operative Nutrition

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Liz Rovira: Post Operative Nutrition


Living in a mountain town it’s inevitable – you’re either going to get hurt or know someone who does.

In terms of injuries and surgeries, I’ve drawn the short end of the stick. Earlier this month I went in for my seventeenth major surgery and found out three days before going under I needed yet another operation. The frustration of multiple surgeries paired with crutch time, inability to cook and prepare healthy meals and overall change in daily life is incredibly challenging. Even though I do my best to prepare in advance –putting the clothes I need on the highest shelves, stocking the fridge with yummy food and doing a deep clean of my house – challenges always arise and one of the biggest places I start to slack off is diet. Be it post-op exhaustion, pain or lack of ingredients, it’s hard to maintain healthy eating habits during recovery. 

In my most recent surgery one of the recommendations was to eat 500 extra calories / day. But eating healthy and getting all the proper nutrients after a major operation is hard and near impossible unless you have a full time caretaker who also happens to be a top chef. After my recent hip surgery, a girlfriend surprised me with a Tuesday Foods lunch subscription and my mind was totally blown. Not only had I never heard of this food service but it’s local, in the Roaring Fork Valley and a mix of the healthiest, most nutritious, yummiest selection of goodies one could ask for. 

Alongside standard medical care and rest, nutrition plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and speedy recovery. Eating well after surgery can help reduce inflammation, increase strength and mitigate loss of muscle mass, strength and functionality and help with healing and repairing tissue. Tuesday Foods is a fantastic option for individuals seeking optimal nutrition during their postoperative recovery period. 

  1. Tailored Nutritional Support:

Tuesday Foods understands the unique dietary needs of individuals and in my case someone recovering from a hip operation. Their team of nutritionists and chefs carefully craft menus that focus on delivering meals rich in essential nutrients vital for healing and regaining strength. These meals are designed to provide a balanced blend of proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals necessary for tissue repair and immune system support.

  1. High-Quality Ingredients:

One of the standout features of Tuesday Foods is their commitment to using high-quality ingredients. Their meals are prepared using fresh, locally sourced produce and sustainable proteins. By prioritizing quality, they ensure that their meals are free from artificial additives, preservatives, and other potentially harmful substances. This attention to detail enhances the nutritional value of their meals and supports the body's healing processes.

  1. Customizable Meal Plans:

Every individual's recovery journey is unique, and Tuesday Foods recognizes the importance of personalization. They offer customizable meal plans to cater to specific dietary restrictions and preferences. Whether you have specific allergies, follow a particular diet, or simply prefer certain ingredients, they allow you to tailor your meal selections accordingly. This customization ensures that your meals align with your dietary needs and individual preferences and you really can’t go wrong with any of their options. 

Opting for a more anti-inflammatory diet post-op is always a goal of mine that’s always been hard to achieve. There are foods that are meant to clear up inflammation in your body and according to Harvard Heath, “doctors are learning that one of the best ways to reduce inflammation is not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator.” Examples of anti-inflammatory foods include tomatoes, nuts, green leafy vegetables, berries and olive oil. Not only that, but tons of different food choices offer nutrients to fuel your body post-op and Tuesday Foods is full of them. 

  • Protein helps the body make new blood cells which is critical for healing

    • Protein rich foods: lean meats, fish, tofu, eggs, poultry, legumes, nuts

  • Fiber helps to improve digestions and prevent constipation

    • Fiber rich foods: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes

  • Antioxidants help to protect cells from damage and reduce inflammation

    • Antioxidant rich foods: berries, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds

  • Vitamin C helps with wound healing and reduce risk of infection

    • Vitamin C rich foods: citrus fruits, tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts

  • Iron is necessary for making new blood cells and helps with healing wounds

    • Iron rich foods: Poultry, fish, lentils, red meat, spinach, iron-fortified foods

  1. Convenience and Time-Saving:

Recovering from surgery can be physically and emotionally demanding, making it challenging to prepare nutritious meals consistently. Tuesday Foods solves this problem by providing convenient meal delivery services. Their website allows you to easily place your order online, selecting the meals and portion sizes you require. The meals are then delivered right to your doorstep on Tuesday, eliminating the need for grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking. This convenience allows you to focus on rest and recovery while ensuring that you have nourishing meals readily available. Plus, they use reusable tupperware so nothing is going to waste. 

  1. Varied and Delicious Menu:

One common concern when relying on a meal delivery service is the fear of monotonous or bland meals. However, Tuesday Foods stands out by offering a diverse menu of delicious options. Their chefs create flavorful meals that incorporate a variety of culinary influences, ensuring that you never feel bored or unsatisfied with your meals. This variety not only improves your dining experience but also ensures you receive a wide range of nutrients essential for your recovery.

In my journey of way too many surgeries and what feels like endless recovery time, nutrition has always played a pivotal role but this time around it’s been easier, more nutritious and a lot yummier with a much larger variety of food options. By embracing the benefits of Tuesday Foods for a post-op meal service I was able to focus more on healing vs. painfully cooking and preparing food while on crutches. Postoperative nutrition is vital for both healing and mental health. When you’re eating well you can recover faster, feel better and fill your body with the good stuff, easily. 

Liz Rovira runs Embers Media, a boutique marketing firm in the Roaring Fork Valley. She is an avid skier, rafter and biker who loves to be active when she’s not in recovery or facing medical complications which she does with tenacity and grit. Follow her adventures at bitzofliz