Recovery Milkshake

October 11, 2011 at 7:00 am 6 comments

My family has an odd tradition. Okay, so maybe we have a lot of odd traditions… but what family doesn’t? To share one: in my family, the best way to recover from surgery is a chocolate milkshake. Any will do, but the tradition is rooted in the McDonald’s classic. Let’s rewind a bit to see where this came from…

I mentioned in a recent post that I was born with a cleft palate and several craniofacial clefts. I am very open about sharing what I have been through, and in fact have even enjoyed researching and learning more about embryological development in med school. While a cleft palate is common, the other facial clefts are not, and so I was immediately transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I was blessed to meet some of the most talented plastic surgeons, opthamologists, orthodontists, and other specialists, who were brave enough to push the envelope with new techniques and procedures, allowing me a very normal life. I have had seventeen reconstructive surgeries so far, beginning at the age of three months and spanning through March of this past year, and seem to be done for at least the near future!

At CHOP, the only food option besides the hospital cafeteria is McDonald’s, and so the chocolate milkshake tradition began. I would always request a chocolate milkshake as a reward for being good on a doctor’s visit or for making it through another surgery (and post-surgery hospital Jell-o… yuck!), and my parents would usually oblige! This treat carried me through all of my procedures, and stuck with my mom and sister as they have recently faced the OR as well.


My friend recently went under the knife for the first time, and the least I could do to aid in her recovery was share the chocolate milkshake tradition. Now that I am older, wiser, and a lot less fond of McDonald’s, I decided to experiment with my own version of CCK’s chocolate shake for a healthier recovery milkshake! Whether you are in recovery or just want an excuse for a healthier shake, give this a try!

Question: What is a strange tradition in your family?


Healthier Chocolate Milkshake

1 frozen banana

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tbsp Nutella

6 milk ice cubes

3/4-1 cup milk

2 tbsp cocoa powder

The night or a few hours before, pour milk into an ice cube tray to form frozen milk ice cubes. When ready, combine all ingredients in a blender. Start with 3/4 cup of milk, and then use the last 1/4 cup to adjust consistency. Stir and enjoy!


Entry filed under: Recipes. Tags: , , , , , , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide  |  October 11, 2011 at 10:40 am

    This is a cool tradition and I agree with the wisdom of leaving Mickey D’s behind.

    • 2. homemadeadventure  |  October 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm

      Especially since this milkshake tastes even better!

  • 3. Kana Tyler  |  October 11, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Strange tradition in our family… I have no idea how this started, but we’ve been doing it since I was a kid, and now my own kids are doing it as well… On the first day of any month, if you yell “Rabbit Rabbit!” at someone before they remember to say it to you, you get all their luck for the month. It’s quite the lively competition now… (Side note: when something big like a surgery or exam is coming up, winners will regularly “give back” the luck to the person who needs it–but only AFTER the satisfaction of beating them to the Rabbit Rabbit…) Crazy, huh? :)

    • 4. homemadeadventure  |  October 11, 2011 at 8:50 pm

      That is awesome! Things would get pretty crazy in my family… we’re a pretty competitive bunch. Love the span of generations!

  • 5. erraffety  |  October 12, 2011 at 6:01 am

    When I was a kid, I had heart problems and spent a lot of time at the hospital, too. There was a Boston Market on the way home, and my mom or dad always took me as a reward from being good. It could be 4:00 in the afternoon and I’d still order the rotisserie turkey, mac n cheese, and sauteed spinach-yum!


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