Happy Jackson Snack Boxes #66

A simple salad (lettuce, red pepper, grape tomatoes, and maybe a cucumber slice somewhere) leftover from a work event, some Italian dressing, cracked wheat crackers, a double chocolate almond energy ball, a cranberry white chocolate pistachio energy ball, some of my sunflower seed spread, orange slices, and pineapple chunks.

I'm getting more into energy balls lately, in part because of a new medical development. After a lot of conversations with a lot of different doctors (I have so many to visit anyway I didn't add in anybody new, so I have that going for me, but this has been a come-and-go issue with me for a few years now and is getting worse), it was my dentist who told me I have another weird, rare, incurable disorder: Geographic Tongue. When I'm having a bad flare, anything hot, acidic, spicy, or salty makes eating really painful. That leaves cold (or just not hot) and bland or sweet things, mostly, though I'm still experimenting. Oranges and pineapple are really too acidic, and were probably a mistake on a day I was flaring; I was too optimistic.

I loved both of these energy balls and will be making them again, and you'll begin to see a lot more of them in my future, tongue issues or not, because they're easy to make and can cover a lot of my nutritional bases without me having to actually cook things. This is good for when I am weak, as well as when my tongue is oddly angry. Some of them are also good for difficult swallowing days, though these chunky ones aren't especially good for that. Here's hoping my mini food processor holds up! When I have especially good experiments I'll give you recipes.

A mini rant: Geographic tongue is not life-threatening and doesn't really do much other than make my tongue lose some of its taste buds temporarily, turn red, and hurt a lot. It is also a malady that much more commonly afflicts women than men. It may be related to autoimmune disorders. Doctors seem unconcerned about it, nobody knows what causes it, and there is no treatment for it. I have to believe that if it were mostly men who were having this happen, just as I believe if it were mostly young men and not young women who get the bizarre intermittent weakness and paralysis that comes with myathenia gravis, it would have been studied more and we'd have better answers and better treatment. Weak women who can't eat aren't considered a problem; both things conform to gender stereotype in different ways.

The good news is that my flares are rarely severe for very long, and I'm learning how to take care of myself even if the doctors aren't interested. Why is this the story of my life?


  1. That sucks. And I have to agree with you, if men had these conditions they would be all over it. It is awful that the doctors don't even care about some of them.

    Do you like carrot cake? I have a really good recipe for carrot cake balls I could send it you like?

    1. Carrot cake was my absolute favorite before going vegan and I haven't had it since then (although I know I could)! But in energy ball form it sounds AMAZING.

  2. Such a tasty lunch!
    I’m a really big fan of energy balls, they’re easy to make from nearly anything- if you search for homemade larabars there’s lots of options. I’ve swapped in dried apricots for the dates at times too- the key is to soak them well so they’re soft enough to blend easily. Oh, and adding oats and nut butters could be a good way to keep them softer too.
    I agree absolutely that were the circumstances different there would be more research and options and a lot less oh well and head shaking antipathy.

    Once cold soups sound appealing vichyssoise could be a good option that isn’t acidic and can be very satisfying, fairly easy to make too.

    1. Thanks for the tips! I did try some apricot-coconut balls recently and they were really nice--soft and smooth. I hadn't thought of cold blended soups, but you're right, vichyssoise could be really nice.

  3. Your lunch looks amazing and the energy balls sound really delicious and perfect for a nutrient boost. I'm really sorry that you have to deal with yet another issue. While not life threatening it is still another burden and another issue that you still have to deal with. It makes cooking and planning take that much more energy which you are already short on. I'm sorry that you are dealing with that too. And it really sucks when you feel like you are on your own to deal with your own care. Sadly I'm with you on that, not necessarily because my doctors don't care, but more because nobody really seems to have an idea of what the hell fibromyalgia is (and there are still tons of doctors that don't believe it is a thing). I can empathize with your illness causing dental issues as well… I deal with tmj and tons of tooth and jaw pain thanks to mine. I hate that you have to struggle so much and that you don't have doctors that you can trust to give you a solid plan of action. I hope that things will turn around soon and that you will receive some information.

    If I can think of any recipes that are easy and that fit within the parameters of what you can eat somewhat comfortably I'll make sure to pass them along!

    1. 1. Fibromyalgia must be a thing; too many people suffer from it to be a not-thing. I never understand doctors who just pretend things don't exist.
      2. I have always had TMJ pain, but the myasthenia gravis made it more pronounced, because one side of my face is weaker and the other side overcompensates. It's amazing how many things hurt with my supposedly non-painful illness! (Although I clearly have more than one thing; most people with autoimmune disorders do.) Thanks for looking out for me!

  4. I wasn't too impressed with the energy balls I've tried before, but the two you made sound great, and I hope you find many more fun recipes to try!
    That really sucks to discover yet another issue on top of everything else you're dealing with, and your mini rant is totally valid; it's infuriating that these disorders would be taken more seriously if men were diagnosed with them as much.


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