In this episode of the Swallow Your Pride Podcast, John Holahan, founder of SimplyThick®, joins me to discuss his new book, “Modern Dysphagia Cooking.” The cookbook provides guidance on how to make dysphagia-compliant dishes at home, and John shares the inspiration behind the book and the process of writing it. We discuss the challenges of using the IDDSI pyramid and how it can be overwhelming for some people. John emphasizes the importance of focusing on the end-user and making sure that the recipes are flexible enough to accommodate different preferences. The cookbook includes recipes, techniques, and detailed descriptors and testing methods documents to help people prepare dysphagia-compliant food at home. We also discuss the benefits of the book for home health patients and SimplyThick®'s efforts to provide education and support to people with dysphagia.

See other episodes with John:

Through Thick and Thin: Xantham Gum and IDDS Implementation

Embracing IDDSI

Get the Cookbook here!


Download a Transcript


Discussion of “Modern Dysphagia Cooking” book [00:02:27-00:06:15] – John Holahan discusses the inspiration for and process of writing his new book, “Modern Dysphagia Cooking,” which provides guidance on how to make dysphagia-compliant dishes at home.

Techniques for Making Dysphagia-Compliant Dishes [00:06:56] – John Holahan discusses the techniques for making dysphagia-compliant dishes and how they help healthcare professionals and consumers.

Challenges in Making Dysphagia-Compliant Dishes [00:08:04] – Theresa Richard and John Holahan discuss the challenges in making dysphagia-compliant dishes and how to overcome them.

Overview of “Modern Dysphagia Cooking” [00:12:29] –John Holahan and Theresa Richard discuss the content of “Modern Dysphagia Cooking” and how it goes beyond a simple cookbook.

The Importance of Nutrition [00:14:04] – Discusses the importance of nutrition and strategies to add more calories to dysphagia-compliant dishes.

Shaping Food for Increased Calories [00:14:54] – Explains a study that found a significant increase in calories when food is shaped and discusses the benefits of shaping food for dysphagia patients.

Challenges with Bread [00:17:15] – Discusses the challenges of bread for dysphagia patients and a recipe for a dysphagia-compliant bread alternative.

Techniques for Pureeing Meat [00:20:52] – John Holahan discusses the key to pureeing meat and the importance of using extremely thick liquid to achieve the right consistency.

Using Bone Broth for Protein [00:21:27] – Theresa Richard talks about using bone broth to add protein to her son's diet and the delicate balance of piling on calories while ensuring safe swallowing.

Techniques for Dysphagia-Compliant Pasta [00:23:28]  John Holahan shares his technique for making dysphagia-compliant pasta, including boiling it in twice the amount of water and pureeing it cold with milk and butter.

Home Health Patients [00:27:12] – Theresa Richard talks about her experience with home health patients and how a cookbook like “Modern Dysphagia Cooking” would have been helpful for them.

Building a Resource Kit [00:27:53] – John Holahan discusses the process of creating the cookbook and the idea behind building a resource kit for families and SLPs.

Importance of Visual Learning [00:29:22] – John Holahan talks about the importance of visual learning and how the cookbook's website will feature videos to help families and patients learn how to make dysphagia-compliant dishes.

Live Streams [00:33:22] – John Holahan talks about the twice-a-month live streams called “Lunch with SimplyThick®” where they answer questions and show how to make dysphagia-compliant dishes.

Cookbook Availability [00:37:00] – Theresa Richard asks John Holahan where people can get the cookbook “Modern Dysphagia Cooking,” and he answers that it's available on Amazon and their website.

Patient-Centered Care [00:38:17] – John Holahan emphasizes that their techniques are not special, but they are all trying to help patients get the food and nutrition they need.

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