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Post-op day 11 (must think of more interesting titles)

Jen581791

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Today I felt pretty normal! That's a good thing - my stomach doesn't hurt, my lactose issues are at bay, and I have more energy. I went to White Sands National Monument in New Mexico and actually went for a fairly good walk on the dunes. It's gorgeous. It also did a superb job of exfoliating my feet - the white gypsum sands are extra exfoliate-y.

 

I was still suffering from the aftereffects of drinkable yogurt yesterday (yogurt isn't supposed to have that much lactose! Too much for me, I guess), but woke up feeling good. I decided to totally avoid dairy today to make sure I don't have whey issues in addition to the lactose. Apparently I don't, since one day of shakes with unsweetened soy milk and I feel good. I'm going for three shakes today, and I feel like although that will be a lot, the increased calories might be good for my energy. Still have to get that last shake in, though. I also had a mini-can of low sodium V8, which is sitting very nicely with me and tastes pretty good, to boot. 

 

My ingenious idea for soup today after some failures (vegetarian vegetable strained = lightly-flavored orange-tinted salty water; cream of mushroom made with soy is repulsive) was Amy's Thai coconut curry soup. I LOOOOOOOOOVE Thai coconut soup, but was a bit worried about the fat content (it's 10g per serving). It sat very well with me and was the first good tasting thing I've ingested since February 8. Not that I'm counting. It's got a bit of protein, it's very low carb for soup, and not sure if I mentioned it, but it's delicious. I'm currently staying in a hotel on my travels (off to an AirBnb tomorrow), so my "cooking" is very limited. I have a hotel microwave. Looking forward to moving on to soft foods on Monday and being able to use the AirBnb's kitchen to whip up some creative soft foods: the apparently required ricotta bake, eggs, not sure what else. 

 

I know it's early days and I'm still on liquids, but it seems like I can take in a lot more liquids than other people talk about. The 64oz of water are no problem (I usually drink a lot of water), but also shakes, soups, and V8 are easy to get down pretty quickly. I mean, not in gulps, but many sips. I can take out an 8oz shake in like half an hour. I would worry a bit more about this, but I watched my leak test at the hospital (does everyone get to watch this? I thought it was fascinating!), and that liquid just does one loop-de-loop in the pouch and it's outta there. Very fast. So I think I won't worry about being able to consume liquids quickly. Apparently it all changes when the actual food starts. 

 

The lolz of the day was: reading about my Fb surgery-twin support group complaining about gaining a pound today, then me consoling with the age-old wisdom of paying attention to trends, not daily changes, and THEN getting on the scale for the first time since day 7 post-op and finding out I had gained two pounds. Oddly, I think I mentally set myself up for success by thinking about other people's gains first. The two pounds really didn't faze me at all - I feel and look thinner, and logically I know that I'm not gaining weight on 500 calories a day. 

 

***************Philosophical ramblings alert!***************

 

I've been doing a lot of thinking, trying to decide what my "food philosophy" is going to be once I get to that point. My nutritionist is not that specific (so far) about what kinds of foods SHE thinks I should be eating, other than her preference for a low carb low fat diet. I know that the field of nutrition is a bit conservative in their opinions about what exactly constitutes a "healthy" diet, and some people seem to do better on one than another. My problem is that I've done all the diets. And I like to research stuff, so I've read all the research on all the diets. Basically, I think I know everything, despite my obvious lack of any credentials ;)

 

Low carb, high fat vs. Low carb, low fat

For me, low carb seems to make me feel less hungry and less obsessed by food than other diets, but that usually only works if it's low carb plus a good amount of fat. Low carb, low fat makes me want to scream after not very long. However, it's very hard for a vegetarian to actually do REALLY low carb, like keto/old school Atkins style because all of the protein sources except eggs have some accompanying carbs (beans, fake meat). It's hard to get below 20g of carbs per day or whatever the target is. So my low carb isn't really super low carb, it's just pretty low carb.

 

I've been watching videos by Dr. Matthew Weiner, a bariatric surgeon in Michigan who has a very particular way of dealing with post-op diets. He prefers his patients to focus on vegetables (and some fruit) and leave the protein in a secondary role. He has a lot of good info in his videos on YouTube, and he actually seems like he might be a secret vegan trying not to push his lifestyle on his patients by allowing them some limited amounts of proteins, while still getting enough protein to meet their post-op needs. 

 

The idea is that if you eat enough vegetables (and fruit), which don't set off insulin reactions during digestion, you will essentially crowd out the bad stuff in your diet and naturally eat lower calorie, more satisfying food and never be hungry. I feel like this might be a good fit for me because of its reliance on non-meat protein (nuts, seeds, beans) and focus on eating adequate volume while still being good for insulin levels, leaving the patient satisfied and not in a hunger spiral due to blood sugars and whatever other weird hormonal effects of eating higher glycemic foods. 

 

He also emphasizes getting off shakes and other fake-foods very quickly after surgery, and I like that. I don't like artificially sweetened things and don't eat much processed food in general, so the idea of living on shakes and bars kind of doesn't jibe with the foodie in me. In fact, his protein drink is a smoothie with fruit and greens and a scoop of plain whey protein. Sounds better to me than the chemical tasting ones I'm currently drinking. My sticking point is with the diet having not much oil (even healthy kinds) or cheese (omg I love cheese please don't take my cheese you can have my wallet just don't take my cheese). 

 

I guess I've got around three months of protein focus before I really get to a point where I need to decide on my eating philosophy, so no reason to stress right now. Just food for thought. 

 

 

 



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Honestly, I feel like I'm just getting to the point of having enough room beyond compliance to think about what I eat in a systemic way, and I'm almost 7 months out. 

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Good to know! I'm a planner, so I can't really help thinking of the grand scheme and implementation and whatnot. I'm also drowning in down-time at the moment, which amps up that tendency... Reality and pouch issues will kick in with regular food, I'm sure. 

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I mean, realistically, I've made certain kinds of decisions already, and every day is full of decisions—I guess it's just that they're not the REALLY hard ones for me yet. Like, deciding to eat primarily whole foods that I prepare myself and log with a kitchen scale and MyFitnessPal isn't rocket science, but that doesn't mean I didn't decide to do that. I decided to reincorporate fruits and vegetables, to not sweat minimizing carbs too hard as long as things were in balance and I was hitting my protein; I decided how to grocery shop and how to eat from a takeout menu or at a restaurant and all that jazz—but a lot of that relied on work that I'd already done in my many years of eating disorder recovery, so YMMV based on your own background. Besides which, I tend to think many of my current decisions will have to adapt to changing norms for a good many months yet, so it's really just a surfing day-to-day thing a lot of the time.

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I guess the decision making feels pretty slow coming on because of all the time being spent learning how to eat again! Like you, I largely know WHAT to do, having spent every other month/week/day/year of my life on a diet, but the overall game plan I suppose will be an evolving thing. I am mentally appreciating the fact that my teeny new stomach will be helping me to make wise choices - but I guess it will also be dictating what I can and can't eat, to an extent. 

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I feel like I could have written your entry for so many reasons, but primarily because we both are-as I imagine many on here are-foodies and chronic dieters, and also at the beginning of our journey.  I read with interest and concern the posts by those who battle weight gain 1-3 years (or more) out and desperately hope that I can find a manageable plan that lets me feel as if I am still living according to my food principles-whole foods, lots of fruits and vegetables and yes, for god sakes, some amount of good CHEESE!  I am not a vegetarian but I am happy to decrease the amount of animal fat in my diet simply by the smaller portions I am eating.  I am on soft puréed now and have one shake (30 g protein) per day, one half cup of nonfat Greek yogurt with pink grapefruit or berries in it and whatever my family is having for dinner sans the carbs.  I have loved tomato sauce (a well made and healthy one like Rao's) mixed with chicken or ground turkey.  It tasted like heaven!    I also had about a teaspoon of very smooth guacamole that was so, so delicious.  I am averaging around 44 G protein/day and my nutritionist says that is average.  I think you'll be so happy once you move through the next stages and slowly figure out what works for the plan and how to keep what you love.  Looking forward to hearing more from you about your journey.  Good luck!

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Hi @Waisting - yes, the foodie/chronic dieter identity is a tough one to mentally calm down right now. Your diet at the moment sounds a little more varied than mine (I'm on the road and am eating in hotels!), so good for you :) I'm currently enjoying ricotta bake that I had an oven for at an Airbnb, but otherwise, a couple shakes a day (getting less palatable as the days go by), cottage cheese, refried beans, and apple sauce for the most part! I'm contemplating doing some eating out this week as we're in a decent town for it (Moab) and my husband is getting sick of eating what we can fix in a hotel room. Thai curry or tom yum soup coming soon, I hope. I hope there's a kitchen somewhere in my near future since I love to cook. Thanks for your encouragement, and I hope you're doing well, too.

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Hear you on the shakes!  Moving to next stage (soft foods) Thursday.  Just when I think I will lose my mind on one phase, I find myself coming to the next, though I understand many people keep these darned shakes in their diet for the long haul.  Hope you find some nice choices at the restaurants around there and happy travels!

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