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My Kind of Hamburger Helper

I went to enter my nutritional information in my spreadsheet after preparing my Hamburger Helper Tomato Basil Penne for lunch, and I noticed that the box claims to contain 5 servings. Huh!? It’s never fed much more than just me before. If I split a box, I’m still starving. But that’s not the important part, the changes I make are the important part.

Like I mentioned a couple of days ago, it’s the little things that you can add to the food you’re already eating that can have the biggest impact on weight gain. Today’s nice little chef’s audible was ricotta cheese. At 110 Calories for 1/4 cup of cheese, it adds a nice little extra to an already 1,500 Calorie lunch, before my tea, Boost Plus, and “after snacks.” Come to think of it, I also add another 1/4 cup of macaroni noodles, too. I didn’t account for that in my calculations.

I’ve been so busy launching this site this morning, I’ve only eaten my breakfast and a 12oz glass of tea so far. It’s time to get on the ball and eat like a king again. Any day I’m over 3,000 Calories after lunch is a good food day.

Bonus tip from yesterday’s eating: I sat down with the rest of my bag of fruit trail mix to see how much of it I could finish. Wouldn’t you guess that it all went in my belly and added 700 Calories after a hearty BBQ chicken dinner? Well, it did, and quite easily.

Simple Tips for Extra Calories

Once you realize how easy it is to add hundreds, if not thousands, of calories per day, you’ll never look back. One of the most tiring parts of having cystic fibrosis is the massive amount of food that must pass through our bodies each and every day, just to maintain weight. Gaining weight is a whole new ballgame. The best way to turn the tables on this overwhelming task is to add calories to the food you’re already eating. Here is a run-down of my tips and tricks. Some are not going to be the best if you already have CFRD or are on a serious diabetes diet to avoid full-blown diabetes. Any massive amounts of sugar and starch in my diet is enjoyed as a treat rather than a staple.

  • Drink milk with your dinner? Add chocolate syrup to tack on an extra 200-300 Calories.
  • Cook with a bit more oil than usual. Olive oil is a huge source of fat calories. If you’ve got a “normal” spouse, this may necessitate preparing food in separate pans, but it’s well worth it to gain weight.
  • Drink extra calories with something like Boost Plus or Ensure. I hated the taste of so many drinks, but I finally found one I like. At 350 Calories each, three per day adds 1,050 Calories that can chase down a meal no matter how full you are.
  • Mayonnaise can be your best friend. 1Tbs of mayo is 110 Calories. It can go on sandwiches and makes a creamier sauce. Same goes for:
    • Sour cream
    • Butter
    • Ricotta cheese
  • If you snack with low-cal or empty calorie items, replace them with things that get you the most calories per ounce (or even per dollar). Chips, Combos, Oreos, and Hot Pockets are my favorites at the moment. Roll with your taste.

What are your tips for adding extra calories without feeling like a human garbage disposal?