One fateful morning, Robin Gentry McGee’s father slipped and fell on ice, which led to a severe brain injury. Even though the family was advised to pull the plug, he miraculously survived, but he needed a lot of medical support and was fed through a tube. When one day Robin looked at the ingredients, she was shocked — “it contained many different forms of sugar and a lot of chemicals, but not one ingredient was real food.”
She looked for and alternative, an organic whole food feeding tube formula, but could not find one.
Not ready to give up, she used the knowledge she acquired from her professional chef career as well as further nutritional research, and began creating and tinkering with her own formula using grains, legumes, fresh veggies, Chinese herbs and supplements.
Her father’s recovery was slow but he improved, and his doctors called it nothing short of a “miracle.” Robin writes that she does not believe in miracles, but she does believe in the power of nutritional real food.
Today, her formula is sold online under the name “Liquid Hope.” The formula can be used for tube feeding or oral feedings, instead of chemical-laced products like Ensure.
[Robin wrote a book describing her journey to find a way to help her father. Called “A Turn for the Worst: Traumatic brain injury and a daughter’s search for answers,” it can be found on Amazon.]
“Making the option of real, whole food available for use in a feeding tube was my way of trying to help my father. Making this formula available commercially as Liquid Hope is my gift to others,” she writes at Functionalformularies.com
Functional Formulas: Let Food Be Thy Medicine
Functional Formularies created the following products:
Liquid Hope – an “organic whole foods feeding tube formula and oral meal replacement.” Full information about the product can be found here.
Nourish – organic feeding tube formula for pediatrics. You can read the full list of ingredients and more information about the formula here.
The formulas are: dairy-free, tree nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and corn-free.
Ingredients that Heal
Functional Formularies use the following ingredients (among others) in their formulas:
Almonds: provide healthy fats and protein, reduce the risk of heart disease
Broccoli: full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, helps prevent cancer
Brown rice: fiber-rich
Carrots: beneficial to the cardiovascular system
Chick peas: aids in heathy digestion, regulates blood sugar
Flax seed oil: high in omega-3s, anti-inflammatory
Garlic: antibacterial and antiviral
Ginger: boosts immune system
Green peas and kale: anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants
Quinoa: high in omega-3s, fiber and protein
Rosemary: helps digestion and circulation
Sweet potatoes: balances blood sugar, antibacterial and anti-fungal
Turmeric: powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
Wakame: anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant
How to Properly Use the Products:
The company does warn that new users need to switch over slowly if they have been using conventional formulas. Liquid Hope and Nourish are made from real food, and it may take the digestive system a little time to re-adjust to it.
The formulas have a two-year shelf life when unopened, 48 hours when opened and stored in the fridge, and a four-hour hold time at room temperature, after which the food needs to be changed.
Other Things You Need to Know:
- Liquid Hope and Nourish are covered by Medicare and Medicaid health insurances, and the company has an insurance specialist on staff to help with insurance questions.
- The products cost $7.99 per serving.
- The products can be purchased at FunctionalFormularies.com
“As consumers become more savvy about true, whole foods nutrition, they balk upon reading the ingredient list of common hospital-based meal replacement formulas. Yours fills the void nicely!” wrote Jeanne M. Wallace, PhD, about the formulas.
Other healthier nutritional meal replacements you might want to consider are: Vega One, Orgain, and CalNaturale Svelte Organic. As always this is for informational use only and you should consult a doctor first before making any major changes (see our full disclaimer here).
Watch a short interview with Robin at a health fair, and a story about how she helped save her father’s life, below:
This article was originally published in May 2016 and updated with a new picture and video in December 2017.