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I joined this forum a moment ago in order to ask for help. I am Autistic and have Sensory Integration Dysfunction which pretty much means that the way my brain processes certain stimuli is different than neuro-typical people. When I try to bite into crisp lettuce, tomatoes, etc. (mainly fresh veggies) I find myself in excruciating pain (mainly horrible headaches and dizziness) due to my brain having difficulty processing the stimulation.<br>
Because of my SID I pretty much have no other choice but to eat canned vegetables (the are often softer) and a bunch of carb filled foods like breads and noodles. My diet has pretty much consisted of PB&J's, Pasta, and canned vegetables for the last several months (I am a new vegetarian). I can puree my food at home, but since most of the time I am not at home, but out (I'm a full time student and work) I have little option but to eat out. Am I pretty much stuck eating Pancakes at IHOP and the same few pasta dishes at Olive Garden or are there other vegetarian friendly options for someone with my condition? It get's really expensive when you cannot order a cheap side salad and have to opt for a more expensive and less healthy alternative. Since I took meat and dairy out of my diet I've put on 30lbs (I think due to the huge increase in carbohydrates), but my calorie intake has been about the same. I feel really stuck because I don't want to eat animals, but it feels like if I don't want to die myself due to obesity related issues (I am not anywhere close to being obese yet, but I feel that if the wait gain keeps up within a few years I will be) I have no choice. I can't go back so if you can help me it would be immensely appreciated.<br><br>
~Nathan<br><br>
P.S. I've been considering adding dairy back into my diet to maybe give me a few more options, because at least that way no animal would actually have to be killed. I don't want to add meat back because when I grew up animals were my primary form of interaction. I had difficulty interacting with people my age (still kind of do) and when I did try to interact I was never treated well. Animals have always been kind to me and because of them I didn't feel like I was some kind of freak. I really don't want to let animals die just so that I can have a significantly more diverse diet.
 

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Hmmm... that's a tough one to deal with. Must be very frustrating. Off the top of my head, here are a few thoughts...<br><br>
Oatmeal topped with bananas would be a good filling breakfast.<br>
Tofu has a great soft consistency.<br>
If you order a veggie dish at a restaurant, you could always tell the waiter that you need the veggies to be cooked until they're very soft.<br>
Lots of places offer veggie burgers. You could just leave off the lettuce, tomato, onion and eat the burger and the bun.<br>
Soup can be a good option, you just have to ask what's in it. I think the Minestrone at Olive Garden is vegetarian.<br>
Baked potatoes are pretty filling.<br>
At someplace like Chilis, you could do the veggie quesadilla, just have them leave off the cheese and cook the veggies a little longer until they're soft.<br>
You could do a veggie burrito with black beans in a lot of places.<br><br>
I also think you'll find things much easier if you pack a meal to take to work with you. Low fat hummus is great for sandwiches and would give you a good alternative to the PB&Js. A bowl of beans would also be really easy to heat up in the microwave. And if you don't like to cook or prepare food, you can look for frozen meals like Amy's that you can pop in a microwave. Not necessarily cheap, but definitely cheaper than eating out.<br><br>
Good luck!!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>-Resplendence-</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2892230"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I can puree my food at home, but since most of the time I am not at home, but out (I'm a full time student and work) I have little option but to eat out.</div>
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Do you think you could tolerate sandwiches with a faux meat filling or veggie pate or something similar?<br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">When I try to bite into crisp lettuce, tomatoes, etc. (mainly fresh veggies) I find myself in excruciating pain (mainly horrible headaches and dizziness) due to my brain having difficulty processing the stimulation.</div>
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Have you ever tried making your veggies a little less soft over a period of time? This could help to de-sensitise you so that eventually, you might not need them pureed. This works for some people.
 

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Also, green smoothies are a great way to get easily 3 servings of fruit and vegetables in one easy drink. I usually do mine as half fruit/half leafy green veggies, vegan protein powder such as hemp, and a little bit of sweetener like agave nectar or maple syrup. Sometimes, depending on the consistency, you may need to add water so it blends better. And they're delicious, you can hardly taste the veggies!
 

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So you pretty much need super soft foods??? What about beans? Bean burritos, chilis, soups, rice and beans, falafel, hummus, baba ganoush, curries, Indian food!!! So much ethnic food is soft.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>-Resplendence-</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2892230"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Because of my SID I pretty much have no other choice but to eat canned vegetables (the are often softer)</div>
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<br>
there's a thing called 'cooking' that may help with that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)">
 

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It sounds like your main issues are:<br>
Soft foods are a must<br>
Eating out is getting expensive<br>
Most soft vegetarian foods at restaurants are higher calorie than you need or want (pasta and pancakes)<br><br>
I'm going to list some vegan foods that are soft and are generally lower calorie (or at least more nutrient dense) than pasta and pancakes:<br>
- mashed potatoes without gravy or butter<br>
- soy yogurt<br>
- bananas<br>
- avocados<br>
- oatmeal<br>
- well-cooked/overcooked bean dishes (like New Orleans style red beans)<br>
- soups (split pea, potato leek, minestrone, tomato, etc)<br>
- casseroles without crunchy toppings<br>
- smoothies<br>
- applesauce<br>
- vegan cheese and some vegan meats<br>
- pudding<br>
- hummus<br>
- dal<br><br>
I recommend that you take a multivitamin daily and try to eat lower cal vegetarian foods that don't bother your senses.
 

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Is Sensory Integration Dysfunction different from Sensory Integration Disorder? Because I am supposedly afflicted with the latter and do not suffer from that kind of thing. Mainly for me, it has to do with touch sensitivity and a strange interest in tactile input. I have heightened senses, which includes sense of touch so unfortunately I also have extremely sensitive skin.<br><br>
As for the foods, I get along fine with barely eating any crisp veggies/fruits. Definitely look into the cooked stuff, and if you have to eat out of cans then so be it. Just try to make sure you're getting healthier stuff and not just preservative packed year-old crops.<br><br>
Eating out at restaurants can be a difficulty, but if french fries don't bother you (at least not the soft ones) then order those. I practically live off of french fries when eating out, and most restaurants don't add meat or animal products to theirs, except McDonalds. Although french fries aren't exactly horribly healthy they can be a life saver.<br><br>
And about the milk industry - it does cause a lot of deaths, directly. Make sure you research it. I think you'll be fine as for things to eat without having to add dairy back in to your diet. If you do end up having to, then oh well - some change is better than none. However like I said I think you'll be fine without it.
 

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I would change the canned vegetables to frozen ones; they are a lot healthier. Canned veggies have added salt, sugar and less nutrients.<br>
If you have a choice in restaurants try going to an Indian or Thai place. They have a lot more choices with softer but delicious and healthy food<br>
Other menu choices could be a vegetable broth based vegetable soup (they usually have well cooked veggies in) or possibly a rice dish.<br><br>
If you can cook at home and bring things with you, it's always a better choice then a restaurant. Usually even their 'healthy' choices aren't very healthy and will most likely cause you to gain weight.<br><br>
For sandwiches that you could make and take with you, you could use any combination of the following:<br>
avocados<br>
falafel<br>
grilled veggies<br>
imitation meats<br>
sprouts<br>
hummus<br>
condiments<br><br>
Some food you could make and take with you (if you have small a cooler or lunchbag with a cooling pack to carry them in that would increase your options):<br><br>
Sandwiches<br>
Soups<br>
Rice dishes<br>
Baked potato<br>
Burritos<br>
Fruit salad (Bananas, soft melons, peaches, nectarines, etc)<br>
Smoothies<br>
Muffins with fruit and/or nuts in them.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>leth</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2892961"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
there's a thing called 'cooking' that may help with that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)"></div>
</div>
<br>
Thanks for that incredibly helpful post. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rolleyes:">
 

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I have to pack lunches for my boys, and it works well. I use a thermos to keep foods warm, and it really works. The cold pack keeps everything else chilled well.<br><br>
It might help with the need to eat out.
 
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