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.