Category Archives: weight loss surgery

Pasta

Tonight was a special night out with the family. And the kids really wanted to go to The Old Spaghetti Factory. Now I love their food as much as the next but having had weight loss surgery it’s not the best choice for me.

I went into this night out with a plan. I brought my plastic containers to be able to put my salad in and some of my main dish as well. I do this for two reasons to avoid being asked 20 thousand times if the food was ok and so I don’t have to explain to some stranger that I’ve had weight loss surgery. I’m usually pretty open on the topic but sometimes I just want to go out to dinner without going into a whole explanation. I had pre planned what I was going to order and then when I got there I was intrigued by a dish that wasn’t on their menu online but was now calling my name at the restaurant.

I chose to order a salad which went straight into my container as soon as the waitress left. And for my main I order Chicken Alfredo served with bacon, mushrooms and mascarpone stuffed ravioli. Keep in ming that I am almost two years post op and would never have imagined ordering this dish before being this far out. What did I learn from ordering this delicious pasta dish? Pasta to a weight loss surgery patient is like a Chinese food meal to everyone else. You always think you can eat more then you actually can and after a few bites your so full it hurts. Then 30 minutes later your ravenous again. I don’t regret the food choices I made tonight because it has taught me something I already knew. Stick to protein and avoid pasta. That one meal I ate over the course of several hours in four different sitting. I am currently typing this feeling stuffed and satisfied but will probably wait quite a while before having pasta again. There are so many alternatives i have found to pasta now that I don’t ever feel like I am missing you. Here’s a few ideas for pasta substitutes: quinoa, zucchini noodles, sweet potatoes or sweet potato noodles, shiritake noodles ( I have to admit the texture of these just isn’t for me), Chicken Alfredo can be served of broccoli or cauliflower. You can make egg wraps and use those as your pasta sheets in lasagna honestly the list goes on and on.

What are some of your favourite pasta substitutes? Is there any foods that you use to love that when you try to eat you no longer enjoy?

Holiday Cooking part 1

As I mentioned in my last post I want to arm you with some recipes that are healthy and tasty this holiday season. I know I really should start with the main course or the veggies but I’m going to break the rules and go straight to dessert.

A few months after my weight loss surgery I rediscovered protein balls. These delicious little balls packed with flavour and meeting my nutritional requirements while allowing me to feel like I was have a treat. So today I am going to share with you a recipe for Cherry Cheesecake protein balls. I made these ones cherry but you can you a mixture of dried fruit of mango if you prefer.

This recipe will make 8 servings of 2 protein balls per guest. I didn’t fancy these ones up as I really like the flavour of them as they are.

Here’s what you need

1 cup quick oats

1/4 cup dried cherries ( I used unsweetened)

3 tbsp ground flaxseed

1.5 scoops of vanilla  protein powder ( I used GNC Iso burst French Vanilla)

3 tbsp light cream cheese

1 tbsp all natural almond butter

3 tbsp of milk

In a food processor add oats, cherries, protein powder and flax seed. Process by pulsing until it’s crumbly. In a small bowl combine the cream cheese and the almond butter once combined add to the food processor along with the milk and pulse till it starts to come together in clumps. Using a 1 tbsp measuring spoon, scoop out the mixture into your hand and roll. Refrigerate or freeze and pull out when needed to entertain or just a quick snack while shopping for the holidays.

Here’s a little secret with these delicious Cherry Cheesecake balls you can eat them year round! you can have them for breakfast, snack or a dessert that doesn’t require ustencils.

Just in case you were curious here’s the nutritional information for two protein balls(1 serving) I used MFP to calculate the nutrition.

Calories 134

Carbs 14 g

Sugar 11g

Fiber 1 g

Protein 8 g

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I look forward to sharing some more tasty ideas with all of you.

My Thoughts on Everything In Moderation

Since having my gastric sleeve almost two years ago(it will be two years in January) I have joined many Facebook support groups. Although these support groups can sometimes be very helpful in not making you feel lonely there is tons of misinformation you have to sift thru. I know that we don’t all get a great program like the one that I had the privilege of being a part of and all our dieticians etc give us different guidelines. However with the holidays coming up I am finding these groups are giving us almost permission to slip up on our eating habits. I have scrolled past many post and not left comments but I feel like I have this platform that I want to use here to voice my concerns which I hope don’t come across as judgemental to some of you. And this is my point of view based on my life and I can’t say it will be true in your life. Anyways here we go….

With the holidays approaching us I have seen tons of Facebook posts  about can I eat this or can I eat that  and there is always a few people that say this surgery isn’t about deprivation it’s about everything in moderation. These comments really get to me. Why? Because 1. You shouldn’t be feeling deprived and if you are maybe it’s time to evaluate your relationship with food, I have found tons of bariatric friendly recipes that are delicious treats and desserts and that meet our nutritional requirements. 2. If everything in moderation really worked for us would we really have needed the surgery in the first place?  Wouldn’t the countless diets we have put ourselves thru have worked?  The fact is for some reason certain foods do trigger us. The sooner we accept that the sooner we can enjoy having food freedom.

With all of these people feeling deprived I kind of want to start a blog series on the Holidays. I don’t want to do the typical posts about how to avoid food pushers and eat before you go to the party etc type blogs but blogs with recipes to help all of us see that we are not missing out on anything by not going back to bad food habits. I know that high fat pumpkin pie is your favourite and it’s only once a year but what if you could eat a pumpkin pie that didn’t make you dump or feel terrible after you ate it? And let’s be honest it starts with one holiday and then there’s birthdays and a night out and a friend is getting married and before we know it we are back in the same traps we were before surgery.

So here’s the thing I can scroll past the posts but let’s help each other in a constructive way instead of enabling ourselves to self destruct.

 

 

9 Weeks post op

Oh my goodness. I am 9 weeks post I can’t believe how fast time has gone by.  These past 9 weeks have been full of ups and downs and everything in between. But let’s address the questions I get asked the most.

What can you eat now?

I can pretty much eat everything with a few exceptions. I can’t have any rice or pasta for another 3 weeks. But honestly I’m not missing it at all. I do have to limit sugar and it’s not recommended I eat fried foods but that ok with me as well since these types of food got me in trouble in the first place.

How much weight have you lost?

From my highest weight I am down 50 lbs!!!! Some of this was lost prior to surgery but I have lost a majority of it after surgery.

How many clothing sizes are you down?

The day of my surgery I was wearing size 22 clothing and today I am in a size 18 but their starting to get lose so going to have to get more clothing soon 🙂

Would you do it again knowing everything you do now?

I would have the surgery again in a heartbeat. I am not going to lie to you it’s work some days are better then others but in the end I still think it was the best choice for me.

What advice would you give someone that had decided to have surgery?

My advice would be to make sure to surround yourself with people that will support you. Don’t be surprised to lose some friends and gain some new ones, not everyone is ready to accept the changes we are making.

Be prepared for a new normal. Our portion sizes are dramatically different then what we are use to.

If you love to workout be prepared to not be able to for a while. I went from working out a lot to not being able to do anything to just a couple weeks ago being able to partially return back to my workout routine.

Journal. Journal your food, your emotions, your hopes, your dreams, your goals. Journal everything. Sometimes we don’t always want to say things out loud but putting them to pen and paper makes us feel better.

You still need to work at your weight loss. Our surgery is a tool but we still need to do the work. And if you start eating like you use to and stretch your stomach you will be in the same boat as when you started.

Find support groups online, in person whatever you can find. I’m part of both in person and online groups and it’s helped me a lot. Sometimes we just need to know we aren’t the only ones experiencing what we are going thru.

 

I’m hoping to post a video soon but I’m still trying to figure the life blog balance 🙂

How long does it take you to eat?

I’ve been asked by people that are contemplating weight loss surgery how long it takes me to eat. And there really isn’t a set time I can give you because it depends on the type of food that your eating and also if your new stomach is giving you pain. I can eat cloud bread in 5 minutes and not feel any pain but I can eat two bites of chicken and feel like my stomach is going to rip open. So today while I was eating my pancake I decided to take pics as I went along. I could not finish the pancake in one sitting it’s actually two meals for me. It’s the first time I’ve had pancakes since surgery and they were delicious but quite labor intensive to eat. This was my pancake. It’s not a regular pancake I used a high protein pancake mix to make these. But this would probably take someone 5 minutes to eat well it took me 45 minutes to get thru half lol.

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Here is 15 minutes into my eating adventure

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This is a very close picture of the size of pancake I can eat at a time

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This is 45 minutes in

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And this is an hour in when I decided to stop cause I was full

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So as you can tell by my pictures eating is quite the process for me these days. I also can’t drink while eating so that can suck at times.

Hope you enjoyed the visual of how long it takes to eat for me right now. Have a goodnight 🙂

 

 

The struggle is far from over

Everyone thinks that once you have weight loss surgery everything will be rosy and life will go back to normal after 6 weeks of recovery. I’m not 6 weeks post op yet but I can tell you that I don’t think this will be the case for me. I think that even if i am confident in my choice to have weight loss surgery there are tons of things going thru my head at any given moment of the day.

When you do your orientation they tell you that it takes 6 weeks for you to heal. Although I think this might be the case for the physical body to heal I don’t think it’s true off your mental health. No I am not depressed or anything but I do have a lot of fears. I fear that the surgery will be unsuccessful  and I will be obese all my life. I fear that I am eating the wrong foods. I fear I am not eating enough or that I have eaten too much. I fear I will get an infection. I fear that I will disappoint my surgeon, dietician and medical teams that have gotten me ready for surgery. I fear that I will stretch my pouch out. I fear that I will always experience pain when I eat. So although my body is healing I think my mind will need some time to stop fearing everything I’ve mentioned.

I also think that just because I had surgery once I am healed it isn’t a free pass to eat whatever I want. I think it will always be something I need to work at. What I am putting into my body and how I am burning off my calories as well.

Right now I am averaging about 200-600 calories a day. And the scale is not budging anymore. I know it’s normal to have a stall especially since I am eating so low calorie but when I get on the scale and see that I am the same or that I have gained my mind starts freaking out. So for now I won’t be using the scale, I will measure myself once a month and do my weight in when I have my appointments.

I’m sure this rollercoaster is far from being stopped so I will hang on and enjoy the ride.