Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta with Turkey Sausage

Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta

Ronzoni Healthy Harvest PastaLast night I made myself some Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta with Turkey Sausage. Nothing fancy, but it was my first time having the Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta.

My dinner was nothing fancy at all, but being Italian I enjoy my pasta. A lot of Gastric Bypass post op patients have trouble with it, but this is a Whole Grain Pasta and it is a bit different. This pasta is made with durum whole wheat flour and has three times the amount of fiber as regular pasta. This pasta vs. regular pasta maybe a lot easier to handle.

I had never had it before the surgery because if I was gonna eat pasta I was eating the real stuff. But now being I am changing things up I figured instead of increasing the chances of dumping or other issues I would go this route. I have had other forms of pasta already (such as Pasta Roni, Lo Mein & Rice Noodles) without any issues, but one never knows right?

So I cooked up some Turkey Sausage (gotta have protein ya know) and I also cooked the box of Pasta. I cooked the pasta extra so it was nice and tender. This pasta take a bit longer to get tender than your regular pasta I noticed. Then I just added my pasta to the cooked sausage along with a jar of sauce and was good to go.

I did not tell my kids the pasta was different because I wanted to see if they noticed. My son loved it and my daughter figured out something was off, but she ate it with no complaints. Hubby liked it too – SCORE !!

That is my plate with my portion in the photo above. DO NOTE – that is a salad sized plate and my pasta portion was about a 1/2 cup. I sprinkled some Parmesan Cheese on top of my pasta (more protein). I also made Crab Cakes and had 1/2 of one on the side.

So what did I think of the Pasta? I thought it was very good. It tasted a little different, but it is doable again. I had no issues at all – so I was happy, oh and full !!

Depression after Gastric Bypass Surgery – it happens


TruthIf you have had or are thinking of getting Gastric Bypass Surgery make sure you know the signs of depression. Depression following Gastric Bypass is very common and I have already had a bout of it myself.

Just let me start by saying I am no doctor, but I do know a lot about depression and I have also done my research on the subject. I have suffered from depression most of my life and have been treated for it via medication for years along with seeing a psychologist from time to time. It is not a fun feeling at all. It truly sucks to be quite honest and you feel like crappola !!

I have been on 40 mg of Celexa for years now after trying many different medications to find what works for me. I also have anxiety as well. I know a true mess I am right? The medication does a great job of keeping me in check, but it is NOT a cure all either.

Here are some of the Symptoms of Depression:

Emotional Symptoms

  • constant sadness
  • irritability
  • hopelessness
  • feeling worthless or guilty for no reason
  • loss of interest in favorite activities

Physical Symptoms

  • trouble sleeping
  • low energy or fatigue
  • significant weight change
  • difficulty concentrating

Well I have had my depression under control for the most part, but after I had my Gastric Bypass Surgery I had those horrible feelings come back and hit me hard. It hit me about week 2 post op and lasted a couple weeks. I felt miserable and just laid around the house, in bed and had no energy or motivation to do anything. I was confused thinking why am I feeling this way, I should feel great I was losing weight and having no complications with the surgery or anything. No matter how hard I tried to shake it, it just would not let go.

So I started doing some research online to see if this was something that occurred after Gastric Bypass Surgery. Well guess what? YES it is and it is not uncommon at all. Here are some of the things I had read:

Research has shown that low calorie diets may cause depression, and a low-calorie diet can increase the symptoms in already diagnosed depressive people (that’s me !!). The diet following gastric bypass surgery is so low in calories that depression often follows the procedure – but patients rarely recognize the cause. Depression can be caused by inadequate levels of mood stabilizing chemicals such as serotonin, nor-epinephrine, and dopamine. These brain chemicals can be altered by nutritional deficiencies and the physical stress of recovering from a major surgery.

Another reason is if you are a comfort eater like myself – well that goes out the window. Food can no longer comfort you like it did prior to the surgery. It is like you are breaking up with your best friend. Your vice is now gone. For me I had also given up smoking so now I had nothing to fall back on. I was losing my mind for a bit there – literally !!

When I had my first post op appointment with my surgeon I talked to him about it. He said Gastric Bypass causes so many changes in one’s life and it is hard to grasp it all at once. Everything changes – your self image, eating habits, relationships and even the way your body absorbs medication. Which was funny because I was feeling like I stopped taking my medication all together even though I did not.

Depression is serious and should not be overlooked – people even commit suicide from it. I am glad to say that I have never gotten that bad, but many do. Everyone should know the warning signs and not ignore it. Research also shows that people who suffer from depression after Gastric Bypass will replace one compulsive habit, such as overeating with another bad habit such as drinking or gambling. They call it “Addiction Transfer”. That can also be very scary and deadly depending on what habit one chooses. I also read that experts agree that gastric bypass does not cause addiction, rather if someone has an addiction prior to the surgery that it is likely they will have one after, although a different one. I read that and think to myself – Oh Great just what I need.

If some people think that having Gastric Bypass is a Quick Fix – It is not at all. It is a rollercoaster of ups and downs and I just started the ride myself. I say to just be educated on every aspect going in and you should do just fine. Know what may occur and be prepared. Depression is so common and trust me is sucks big time !! If you feel you have symptoms of depression don’t wait – talk to your doctor there is help.

So how am I coping? Well I will tell ya that I am feeling much better. At about week 4ish post op I started feeling more like myself again almost overnite. BUT I do have a horrible confession to make and I am not happy about it at all. My family when they read this is gonna have my head on a chopping board, but I told myself when writing this blog that I was going to be honest about everything. So here it goes…. I have picked up cigarettes again.

I am so stupid and now I will have to quit all over again, but I fell into the “Addiction Transfer” as I spoke about above. I do not think that the cigarettes made the depression go away, but it definitely helped with some of my sanity. BUT by doing so I have put myself in risk for other issues such as ulcers if I continue. Smoking after Gastric Bypass is not a good thing to do at all and I know that. I started taking Omeprazole which is a generic Prilosec to help coat my stomach and help prevent any issues. Bottom line is that I have to quit yet again. I know it does not matter, but I am only have a few a day just to take the edge off. Yes I will stand up and say it “I am Nicole and I am an ASS”.

I do know that the depression can come back at anytime and if it does I will see my doctor about changing my meds or even see a psychologist. At this time I feel it is under control, well besides my addiction transfer, but I will work on that too and keep you updated on my progress. I am not perfect by any means and this road is not easy, but I am on it and that is all that matters right? even if I hit some road blocks along the way.

My first Nutrition Appt since my Surgery

Doctor Patient Records

Doctor Patient RecordsHere I am at the start of week 6 and I finally got to see my Nutritionist. I was very excited for this visit and had my food diary in hand along with my list of questions. I was hopeful she could shed some light on why I did not lose at my 5 week weigh in.

I was really hoping that when I stepped on the scale in the office I would have at least lost 1 pound or even a 1/2 pound, but NOPE-NADA. Even their scale showed no loss since last week – URGH – really???

So there I am in with my Nutritionist Amanda – she is so pretty right? Anyway I was excited to get down to business and see if she had any insight or if I was missing something. So of course that was my first question – Why? She told me it is not abnormal for this to happen even this early on. My body is in shock and adjusting. I did just lose 19 pounds in a month which is pretty good even if I was expecting more.

She also said there will be many stalls and plateaus on my journey – it is just what happens. I have accepted it and will move on and not stress over it. I will hope to see some changes next Monday on my weigh in day and if I do not then I will panic like a crazy lady and maybe stalk my surgeon (lol).

I had her skim through my food diary to see if there may be any red flags and she said it looked good. She told me at this point in time I should be eating about 3/4 Cup of food at a sitting. I should also not be taking in more than 800 calories and about 250 per meal (I know I am under that at this point). Sugar content in a food should be less than 10 grams per serving and more than 15 is bad (I have not had anything really with much Sugar content – scares me).

I had a bunch of other questions about foods and if I was able to eat them now and if it was OK. I was excited that she told me I could have fruit – I knew I could have canned fruit in natural juices, but eating the real thing like an Apple, Peach or Nectarine was very exciting. I LOVE fruit and with summer not to far off I am excited for all the summer fruits which are my favs. So on the way home I picked up a couple nectarines at the store – I hope they taste good even though they are not in season.

I also asked about Peanut Butter and Jelly – I like myself a good PB&J every now and then. I can have Peanut Butter, but not too much of course and she said to look for the Sugar Free Jelly. I did stop at the store on my way home and I picked up a Natural Jelly that has no High Fructose Corn Syrup and only natural sugars.

We also talked about breads and being I am a starch baby and miss my bagels she suggested the Thins. OK so its not my New York Bagel, but if I had a craving that would work for me if I needed it. I did pick up some Sandwich Thins to try out – they are very thin and I thought they would be great for a PB&J or my Chicken Sandwiches to change things up.

I did touch base with her on her thoughts about Artificial Sugars and them causing you not to lose weight as I talk about in my recent post HERE. She did say that she had known that they can cause you to crave sweets and that is what can cause weight gain, BUT she was not very aware of the things I had read about them. Regardless I have cut out the Light 4C Ice Tea and switched to plain water – it can’t hurt right?

OH and I cannot forget that I had told her that after I eat sometimes I will get very cold. So cold I need to go under blankets and I shiver. I was surprised that she said this was a form of “Dumping”. So here I thought I had escaped the wrath of Dumping Syndrome and even though I have not gotten the severe dumping where I feel like I am gonna die, I do seem to get another form. When I think back to when this happened to me each time I had a bit too much to eat at one sitting. I am happy to have not gotten the “I wanna Die Dumping” because the feeling of being cold is easily helped with blankets. I hope that is the only dumping I will ever have, but again time will tell and I may not have had a food yet that has truly disagreed with me – like sugars. Fingers, Eye, Toes and Legs are crossed that I can escape it.

So I got my list of questions answered and was excited for some of the new foods she told me to try out and add in. She also assured me again that my stall was not abnormal and not to dwell on it. So I will continue doing what I am doing and I should see the weight loss pick up again. If it does not I am to contact the office and as my hubby said I may need to go in for service (lol). So here is to hoping for a good loss come my next weigh in day !!

I will meet with Amanda again at my 3 month anniversary and of course she is always available for me if I need her sooner.

I am so lucky to have such a great medical staff behind me !!!

Thanks Amanda for making me feel a bit better about my weight loss stall – I will not stress out about it – for now.

My fifth week after Gastric Bypass

Sunny Day

Sunny DayWeek 5 seemed so much better for me and I had a bit more normalcy being able to eat regular food this week. We also had a few warm days so I was able to get outside and feel the sun rays – hopefully winter will be over soon.

The things that I enjoyed the most this week was being able to sit down to dinner with hubby and the kids and actually eat what they were having. The kids really liked that as well.

I am also happy to report that those feelings of depression that were so bad seem to have lifted up quite a bit this week. Almost overnite I started to feel a bit better. Maybe it was the sun coming out more and knowing Spring is right around the corner – who the heck knows, but I am happy to be feeling happier !!

Here is what I ate so you can see each day for the fifth week:

(I am not gonna add the times on – just the order in which I ate)

February 21st

Today I chilled with my daughter and caught up on some of the Twilight Movies. She was not feeling well all weekend running a fever and stuff. I got her favorite snack to make her feel better – Goldfish Crackers and I was jealous so I took a handful and let me tell ya they were so good. The salt left on my lips afterwards was priceless. Yes I like salt. I also cooked up a Quiche today and you can find the recipe here: Crustless Spinach, Feta and Onion Quiche. It is yummy and as you can see I ate it twice today.

February 21st

  • Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)
  • Protein Shake
  • Handful of Low Fat Wheat Thins
  • 1/2 Chicken Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread with Mayo, Salt & Pepper
  • Handful of Low Fat Wheat Thins
  • 3/4 cupish Sir Fry with LoMein Noodles, Shrimps and Veggies
  • Handful of Low Fat Wheat Thins

Today was the day that I had my first Post Op Appointment with my surgeon. I was officially released to unrestricted food with caution of course. The Wheat Thins were a craving after seeing the nurse in my surgeons office eating them. Then the one things I was dying to have was a sandwich on a piece of bread – so missed bread !! So I made one using Deli Sliced Dietz & Watson Chicken (so yummy) and I had that on 1 slice of Whole Wheat Bread – now I did not cheese out on the Mayo – I used the real deal. Sometimes some things are not worth cheesing on and for me Mayo is one of them. Now don’t get me wrong I do have Low Fat Mayo in the house that I use with other things, but I my little sandwich I wanted the real stuff for flavor. I added some Salt & Pepper and my tiny sandwich was dreamy !! And yes I had lots of Wheat Thins this day – I was addicted and if you read my post HERE you will understand why.

February 22nd

  • Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)
  • Protein Shake
  • 1 Whole Chicken Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread with Mayo, Salt & Pepper (Rut Roh)
  • A Slice of Crustless Spinach, Feta and Onion Quiche
  • Ham Steak, Broccoli & Pasta Roni (small side of Natural Applesauce for dipping)
  • SF Ice Pop
  • Handful of Low Fat Wheat Thins

OK lets start by talking about that whole sandwich I consumed. Yesterday I had a 1/2 sandwich and felt like I wanted more because it was so good – so today I made myself a whole one. NOT a good idea – this was the first time I really pushed myself and ate more than I should. After I ate it I got really cold and went under 2 blankets – laid down and fell asleep for 2 hours. Form what I know now that cold feeling I had is a form of dumping. I did not have any other symptoms just the cold and I think the reason is that I ate too much.

I also went outside today because it was sunny and kinda warm. I helped stack wood and clean the garage a bit. It felt so good to be outside and what a mood changer it was. The sun can do marvelous things ya know !!

Tonight I had dinner with the family and decided to eat what they were having which was Ham Steak, Broccoli and Pasta Roni. I plated my small portion on a dessert plate vs a regular plate. I cut up my ham in tiny pieces and started with that first. Protein first is important. I also used Natural Applesauce for dipping (I am a dipper). The I had some Broccoli and after that I had a few bites of Pasta Roni. By the time I got to the Pasta Roni I was almost full and after a couple bites I could feel it not wanted to go down – so at that point as much as my brain was telling me to finish what was on my plate – I did not. It was a proud moment for me to walk away – just sayin’

February 23rd

  • Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)
  • Protein Shake
  • A Slice of Crustless Spinach, Feta and Onion Quiche
  • 1/2 Chicken Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread with Mayo, Salt & Pepper
  • Handful of Low Fat Cheese Its
  • Small piece of Flounder with Tarter Sauce

Had me another Chicken Sandwich – I am hooked, but notice I only had 1/2 today !! I was also excited to have some fish – I love fish, but I still had to have a small amount of Tarter Sauce on the side for dipping. As I have stated above – I am a dipper !!

February 24th

  • Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)
  • Protein Shake
  • 1/2 Chicken Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread with Mayo, Salt & Pepper
  • 3/4 cupish Low Fat Corned Beef Hash
  • SF Ice Pop
  • 1 Sugar Free Tastycake Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcake
  • 3/4 Burritto – Ground Turkey, Refried Beans, Low Fat Sour Cream, Guacamole & Salsa in a Tortilla
  • 1/2 Slice Muenster Cheese

Today I had a headache and my back was hurting probably from over doing it the other day outside. So I took a Tylenol 3 and took it easy. IT was also really rainy and gross out today which was a bummer after such a nice couple of days – what a tease that was. It was Taco Night for dinner and I was happy to join in. Usually I eat the crunchy Taco Shells, but we left those out beacuse I was not sure they would be a good idea for me – so we just used the Soft Tortilla Shells. So I made mine with a small amount of what I listed above and peeled off any excess shell. I was able to eat about 3/4 of it and was full. It was so good and so very hard to not finish it I must say, but I listened to my body and stopped. Taco night is a favorite in my house and to think that I used to easily down 6 Crunchy Tacos to just 3/4 of a Burrito amazes me.

February 25th

  • Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)
  • Protein Shake
  • Bite of my son’s omelet
  • 1/2 Laughing Cow Low Fat Swiss Cheese Wedge
  • Handful of Low Fat Cheese Its
  • Salad – Lettuce, Tomato, Feta Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 3/4 cupish Shrimp with Lobster Sauce over White Rice
  • 2 SF Ice Pops

Today was very exciting for me – I had my 1st Salad in months. I LOVE Salad. We had some left over lettuce and tomato already cut up from Taco Night so I could not help but eat some. I topped it with a bunch of Feta Cheese for protein and it was amazing. It was Iceburg lettuce, but that is ok for now – next time I will have more nutritious greens. I just craved a salad and it was there ready to go. For dinner hubby and my son ordered Chinese Food and I wanted some too. So instead of my usual Garlic Chicken I decided to order Shrimp with Lobster Sauce. I did not think the Garlic Chicken would be a good idea at this point. I was nervous about the White Rice, but I said what the heck. So I took a small portion and placed it into a bowl so I would not over eat and it was sooo good. I did not have any reaction to the rice. I was however thirsty later as I always am after Chinese Food (next time I will ask for no MSG) so I had 2 SF Ice Pops to cure that while I watched TV.

February 26th (my dad’s 75th Birthday ♥ !!)

  • Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)
  • Protein Shake
  • 1/2 Chicken Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread with Mayo, Salt & Pepper
  • Handful of Low Fat Cheese Its
  • 1 Low Fat Mozzarella String Cheese
  • 2 Pieces of Popcorn Chicken (stole from daughter)
  • Handful of Peanuts
  • 1 Small Chicken Cutlet, Peas Scalloped 3 Cheese Potatoes and Light Honey Mustard for dipping
  • Salad – Lettuce, Tomato, Feta Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing
  • SF Ice Pop

So while shopping at Walmart today my daughter got a cup of Popcorn Chicken. I stole 2 pieces !! For dinner hubby made Chicken Cutlets (Breaded & Fried). I had 1 small Chicken Cutlet which I dipped into Light Honey Mustard (that is me the dipper), some Peas (canned) and a few bites of Scalloped 3 Cheese Potatoes. I handled it very well, thank godness. Later that night while watching TV I craved a Salad again and I still had some lettuce and tomato left so I made another one and enjoyed it while watching TV. Later I followed it up with a SF Ice Pop.

So this was a good week I must say. My depression seemed much better and being unrestricted with my food may have helped as well. I did eat a lot of Chicken Sandwiches this week, but I go in spurts with everything. One week I may be in love with a certain food and eat it everyday and then the following week I am over it.

I was so excited to have a couple salads – I really missed that so much. I cannot wait until Spring when all our local Veggie Stands get filled up – I am so there. I love home grown produce, but have failed at my own veggie gardens over the years – a bit of laziness I guess. I will do my Topsy Turvys again though – those are pretty easy.

I look forward to adding in more new foods and hopefully I will continue to avoid the harsh “Dumping” so many experience with certain things.

So I had my Week 5 weigh in and I was shocked – you can read my post all about it here:

5 Week weigh in and no weight loss – WTF?

As you can read in the title I had 0 weight loss – how crazy is that? You just read what I ate the whole week. Read the post and learn why I think it may have happened.

Stay Tuned for my post about meeting with my Nutritionist…

My 600-lb Life on TLC follows Gastric Bypass patients


TLCHave you seen the show My 600-lb Life on TLC? This show follows several people over the course of 7 years before and after Gastric Bypass Surgery and shows the rollercoaster ride that it is.

This show has aired over the past month and followed four people – Melissa, Donald, Henry, and Ashley as they struggled to go from weighing over 600 lbs. to being their ideal weight using Gastric Bypass Surgery as their tool to help. This documentary really shows the highs and lows of Gastric Bypass Surgery and I found it very interesting to watch.

I could really relate to each of these patients and even though I did not start my journey at nearly the weight any of them did – I certainly could have if I had not chosen to have the surgery when I did.

I loved how it followed the patients over 7 years so you really got to see the struggles they faced with following the diet, mental challenges, skin surgeries to remove excess skin and their physical changes. It truly was a rollercoaster for each of them as it is for anyone at any starting weight going through the same thing – including myself.

The choice to have this surgery is not a quick fix nor is it an easy one and I think the show really showed that. I also think it may have given many obese people hope that they do not have to live life not living life. There is a way out and Gastric Bypass is a tool that can help.

Like I said I enjoyed watching the show and was sad there were only 4 stories, but I give BIG Kudos to the people following their stories over that 7 year period of time. I say job well done.

The best part of each show for me was watching the transformations that took place as each of them lost the weight and started living life as they wished they could have years prior.

If you have not seen these shows they are a must see – check on TLC for repeats or if you have On Demand.

5 Week weigh in and no weight loss – WTF?

Depressed Woman

Depressed WomanToday was my 5 Week post op weigh in and I did not lose anything. Talk about frustration and confusion. How can this be when I am not doing anything wrong.

I cannot tell you how pissed off I am after stepping on the scale and not seeing any change in my weight. I freakin’ had major surgery to lose weight and even that does not seem to be working. WTF? I am so confused and angry right now – what a let down.

When I saw my surgeon last week I voiced my concern that my weight loss seemed slow and I was only down about 19 pounds in 4 weeks. He did not seem as concerned as I was about it saying I have a slow metabolism and I was ok with that answer until now. To not lose anything when I am eating maybe a third of what I use to seems crazy to me. I keep thinking that if I was eating this amount and not have had the surgery would I have lost more? (ok of course me eating this amount would have never happened without surgery – let me get real.) BUT what is going wrong?

So as I sit back and bite my nails trying to get my head around it all I have been doing some thinking and research as to what might be the reasons. First let me add in that I have not seen my nutritionist yet. I was suppose to meet with her prior to my post op follow up last week, but she had to reschedule – my appointment with her is tomorrow. For now I have to draw up some of my own conclusions and here are my thoughts.

Weight Loss Stall – Yup this happens and it can even happen this early from what I have read online. My body can be in shock asking what the hell is going on and trying to adjust to all the changes I have recently put it through. So that is one thought.

Crystal Light/4C Drink – Aspartame/Splenda – So I was thinking, as I have said, and it came to mind that I have been drinking Light 4C Ice Tea (similar to Crystal Light) which is made with Splenda in my water daily. So instead of drinking plain water I fill my bottle everyday with the Ice Tea. I remember awhile back being on Weight Watchers and other diets and when I started drinking this my weight loss would slow down or stop. So I did some research online and I have found that Aspartame and Splenda can be an issue for not losing weight as well and it can also cause weight gain believe it or not, hmmm?? I have read an article about it at The Mayo Clinic – this is just one of many written. Here is a quote from the article: “If you’re trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain, products sweetened with artificial sweeteners rather than with higher calorie table sugar may be an attractive option. On the other hand, some research has suggested that consuming artificial sweeteners may be associated with increased weight, but the cause is not yet known”. Maybe this is my issue.

Hormones – Now even though I have had a hysterectomy I still have my ovaries and still ovulate. This past week was that time and when I think about it that may have even contributed to the depression the prior week. Meaning maybe it was like PMS of sorts. The surgeon said this surgery can mess with your hormones too. Maybe my body is retaining water. Hmmm could that be it?

Poop – Ok this is a crappy (lol) thing to talk about, but I gotta add it in. Now I have had bowel movements, but not as often as prior to surgery. I am not eating a ton of fiber right now – so maybe I am a bit backed up.

Slow Metabolism – This is what my surgeon had said. This is a true fact because of all the trouble I had losing weight prior to my decision to having the Gastric Bypass. This can be from many factors such as lack of exercise and possibly one of the medications I take for my heart (tachycardia) which slows down my heart rate and drops my blood pressure. I work from home and I am at my computer sitting most of the day. My exercise is limited and that can be an issue. I had started on my treadmill last week, but really only did it one day and did some yard work on another day. I have a bad back and the outside work messed me up. So could it just be my metabolism?

Protein & Liquid Intake – Now I am suppose to be getting in 60 mg + daily. I may not be getting in exactly 60 grams everyday, but I am pretty damn close. As far as the liquid goes – I know I am not getting in the 64 ounces they want me too – I am getting in at least 32 ounces daily. Could it be I am not taking in enough protein and liquids? Could be.

Food Intake – Could it be what I am eating? Uh I doubt it because I am not eating much at all and I make sure to try and eat foods high in protein. I have however started eating more normal foods this past week – meaning not pureed – could that be it?

In conclusion I have no idea and maybe it is just my body trying to figure things out. Or maybe it is one of the other things I listed above. I keep a food diary of everything I eat and I am looking forward to seeing my nutritionist tomorrow to go over everything with her and maybe she can give me some insight to what may be happening with my slow weight loss and now stall.

I will not bite my nails off trying to figure it out right now – I just stopped biting them a couple months ago and I am having too much fun with nail designs. I will however make some changes starting today such as – no more Light 4C Iced Tea with that artificial sweetener !! I filled my water bottle with plain ol’ water. I will also make sure to get my big butt on the treadmill no less than 30 minutes a day starting today as well.

I will write a post tomorrow after I see the nutritionist and let you all know what she has to say about it all and if I have any luck the scale will go down when I weigh in at their office.

It still is very frustrating to say the least, but I knew going in that Gastric Bypass would not be easy – I was just not expecting to have a stall this early on in my weight loss.

Stay Tuned…..

Crustless Spinach, Feta and Onion Quiche Recipe

Crustless Spinach, Feta and Onion

Crustless Spinach, Feta and OnionHere is a simple recipe that is a great source of protein. This Crustless Spinach, Feta and Onion Quiche Recipe is easy to make and tastes delicious.

Last week I was looking for some recipes I could try out and this was one of the ones I found. It has a nice amount of protein and it looked like it would be soft to chew. I am also a BIG fan of Feta Cheese so I was very excited to cook it up. I thought it was very tasty so it was worth the share. So if you are looking for something different give this a try.

Here is what you will need to make it:

  • 1 Medium Onion – Diced
  • 6 ounces Fresh Baby Spinach (I used regular Spinach and chopped it up and removed stems)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 Large Egg Whites
  • 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper (I did not add this to mine, but next time I will)
  • 1 1/3 Cups of Skim Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Feta Cheese

Preheat your oven to 400

Grease a 10 inch or so Pie/Quiche Pan – I used a Cake Pan

Next gather all your ingredients. I also chopped up my spinach since I did not buy the Baby Spinach – I also cut off the stems.

In a frying pan cook your diced Onions in a bit of Olive Oil (or Cooking Spray) until they are soft. Then add in your Fresh Spinach and cook until just wilted – this will happen fast. When that is done take it off the heat and set aside to cool for a few.

In a Large Mixing Bowl. whisk together Eggs, Flour, Baking Powder and Salt. If adding in a pinch of Cayenne Pepper you can do that now as well. Next whisk in the Milk and then you can stir in your Onion Spinach mixture.

Then just pour that into your Pie Pan, or in my case Cake Pan – lol. Then take your Feta Cheese and crumble it all over the top.

Bake your Quiche in the oven for about 25 minutes or until set and the outer edge is golden brown.

Let is set for about 5 minutes and then cut it and eat !!

Enjoy !!!

My first Post Op Appointment ~ Meet my Surgeon

Reading Hospital

Reading HospitalSo I finally had my first post op appointment, Tuesday February 21st, since my Gastric Bypass Surgery. It has been 4 weeks since my surgery so I was excited to see what my doc thought of my progress. Of course I also had some questions – like that is a shocker !!

Originally I was suppose to see my nutritionist prior to seeing my surgeon, but she had to reschedule. So I have rescheduled that appointment for next week. No big deal – I was more excited to see my doctor anyways – lol

That is me with my surgeon in the photo above (not the most flattering picture of us – thanks to Hubby and his not so good camera skills – lol). His name is Dr. Federico A. Ceppa, and he works with the Reading Hospital Weight Management Group in PA.

I liked him from the first time I met him. Can you believe I am older than him? I feel so old. But I like the young doctors – I feel they are fresh and hip on the latest technology so that does not bother me so much – just makes me feel old. What I liked the most about him was he took the time to answer my questions and I always have a lot of them (trust me). In addition to that he smiles a lot and is not one of those stuffy doctors so it made me feel extra comfortable. I smile a lot too – so that worked for me !!

Now don’t get me wrong – even though I was won over by the smiles does not mean I did not do my research either. It is important when choosing your surgeon to do a little digging to make sure there are no red flags. I dug a bit before going under the knife and all was good.

I was excited to finally see him again since it has been 4 weeks since my surgery. But before I got to see him I met with the nurse who weighed me in and took my vitals. Let me add in that stepping on that scale now was so easy compared to the pressure prior to surgery when I had to lose weight to even get it done. It was so nice to not have that weighing over me (no pun intended).

When sitting and talking to the nurse I found out she had the sleeve done on January 19th which was 4 days before my surgery. I asked her how much she had lost since and she said 52 pounds. I was like “Holy Crap” really? Here I am at just about 20lbs – how can that be? But she told me she had a hard time keeping food down and was back in the hospital with some minor issues twice since. She had just returned to work the day before. Prior to this surgery she had the Lap Band done which did not work for her at all – so that is why she had the sleeve done and is finding better success with it so far.

I did notice on her desk some Wheat Thins and was like – “Are you eating those?” she said yes. Now I was jealous – I wanted Wheat Thins !! I was hoping when I saw the doctor he would tell me I could have some too. I love Wheat Thins and now that was all that was on my mind. Crunchy Crackers – oh the thoughts of them – yum yum yum. I held back my drooling cause it was time to see Dr. Ceppa !!

So the first thing I asked him was if my surgery was really done because I was not having any issues. He laughed of course. He was happy with my progress so far and I told him I was concerned I was not losing quicker. He said everyone is different and that my metabolism it slower than most. He told me I would have slow weeks and then all of a sudden see a big drop, but not to worry because it will come off. He also told me that in just 4 weeks my BMI dropped 10% – now how can I complain about that.

I asked about the “Dumping” wondering if it is normal that I haven’t experienced that. Of course it is not anything I want to experience from what I have heard. He asked if I have tried eating Ice Cream. I was like Uh No – why would I do that? I eat the Sugar Free Kind, but not regular. He said at some point I will experience Dumping, but I just have not had anything that has not agreed with me yet. OH great – just what I wanted to hear – I am still hopeful I am one of the few that escape that horror. Time will tell.

Next I told him about the depression hitting me. He said that is normal and explained that it is very common when you take the comfort food away from a comfort eater. In addition to that so many changes are taking place after the surgery such as how you look at yourself, relationships, how your body is absorbing meds, your daily life etc… It all made sense of course and I knew that. (I will do a post all about it soon). He recommended I talk to a psychologist. That is something I will consider if I feel I need to and if I find my mood does not change. I can also talk to my primary doctor as well.

I had a few other stupid questions in between and while asking I was still thinking about those damn Wheat Thins. So my BIG question: Can I eat Now? Drum Roll……answer: YES !! Of course I have to use caution, Chew my food really good, stay away from the bad stuff like sugar and all that Jazz.. Oh Happy Dance – no more Pureed Foods (even though I had been having other stuff lately), but now it was official !! Wooo Hoooo.

So he told me he would see me again in 3 months and at that time I would have Blood work to check my vitamin levels. I was all good with that.

On the way home hubby and I had to stop and take my son to the doctor – he was home sick from school. So we did that and on the way home I was thinking what I would eat when I got home. I wanted a sandwich so bad – so I decided I would have myself a Chicken Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread. OMG that sounded so good and I could not wait to get home to make it. First we had to stop at the grocery store. I ran in to pick up a few things and of course one of those was a box of Wheat Thins. I got myself the Reduced Fat ones.

Now my house is literally minutes from the store, but I could not wait to open the box and have a cracker or two. So I did that and it was like heaven arrived in my mouth. Hubby did not care for all the noises of joy I was making while eating, but who cares – I could not help myself. I chewed those little salty squares of goodness really well. When I got home I had a few more crackers and by the time I thought about my sandwich I was full from the crackers. So my chicken sandwich would have to wait to later.

So all in all my appointment went well and I felt good about where I am at this point and the fact that I can be on an unrestricted diet now (with the exceptions of what to not have) is a HUGE mood changer to me. I cannot wait to go back and see him in 3 months and learn how much more I have dented that ugly BMI of mine.

I keep thinking to myself that it must be amazing for my surgeon to see how he changes people lives and for him to see the changes in how his patients look every time he sees them afterwards. That really must be cool – don’t ya think?

My fourth week after Gastric Bypass

Woman Pointing

Woman PointingHoly Crap it is 4 weeks since my Gastric Bypass Surgery – I swear the weeks are just flying by. Things have been easy and so far so good, the only issues I have been battling with is some extra depression.

I have stated in previous posts that I suffered from depression for many many years and was on medication prior to my surgery. The feeling of depression has hit me again – it almost feels like I stopped taking my medication altogether. Depression after Gastric Bypass Surgery is very common, but I thought I was safe being I was already on meds – well not the case at all.

This past week was the worst – just did not feel like doing much of anything. I just laid around when I could and watched TV – I had no motivation to do much of anything else. It is so weird because you would think I would be so happy losing weight and all. Nope – it is very hard to not have anyway to cope being the one thing that would comfort me (FOOD) is gone. It is that and a mixture of other things like the not smoking too that is driving me CRaZy. I will talk to my doctor when I see him for my post op visit- for now I will deal with being a little extra crazy.

Here is what I ate so you can see each day for the fourth week:

(I am not gonna add the times on – just the order in which I ate)

February 13th

  • Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)
  • Protein Shake
  • 1/2 Cupish Refried Beans with Salsa & Low fat Sour Cream
  • 1 Laughing Cow Low Fat Swiss Cheese Wedge
  • 1/2 + Cupish Mashed Potatoes (Bob Evans)
  • A few bites of Tuna Fish
  • 1 Laughing Cow Low Fat Swiss Cheese Wedge
  • 1/2 Cup Broccoli (pureed with I cannot believe it is not Butter & Salt)
  • Frozen Protein Shake Pop

Today I tried some Tuna Fish I made for the hubby and kids – it was delish. I am getting bored with my food now and slowly taking chances trying some new things.

February 14th (Valentine’s Day)

  • Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)
  • Protein Shake
  • Piece of Watermelon (small heart shaped piece)
  • Chicken w/Salsa & Low Fat Sour Cream
  • Sloppy Joe with Turkey

Hmmm Looks like I did not eat much today. I did not miss chocolate on Valentine’s Day because it is not my thing – I know crazy right? Even my kids who are also eating healthier only got a Chocolate Heart this year that had 3 chocolates in it. I did get them Watermelon that was cut out in Heart Shapes and a Cinnamon Bun for Breakfast. The Watermelon looked so good I had to have one too. For my dinner I took some Chicken from a roasted chicken and mixed it with a small amount of chicken broth & salsa – I pureed it a bit and topped it with some low fat sour cream (thanks to a reader for that idea). I was eating that while my family was having Sloppy Joe’s. Well theirs smelled so good so I ditched the rest of mine and had some of theirs. Sloppy Joe was much better – just sayin’.

February 15th

  • Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)
  • Protein Shake
  • Am’s Bean Soup
  • 2 Pieces of Muenster Cheese
  • Hubby’s Homemade Mei Fun w/Scallops & Shrimp and small piece of Cod Fish
  • Slice of Sugar Free Blueberry Pie
  • Piece of Muenster Cheese

Yup I got extra daring today and added even more new tastes to my list. I tried some Muenster Cheese I bought for my son – I love Muenster Cheese and it is good – do not let the name scare ya !! Hubby made dinner tonight and I decided I would join the family and have some too. I was nervous at first with the Rice Noodles, but I said WTF and dug in to my tiny portion. I also had a small piece of Cod Fish as well – I picked off the breading. After I ate I waited thinking OMG I am going to have Dumping – well thank god I did not. Earlier in the day I went grocery shopping and I want to thank the Amish ladies who added a nice selection of Sugar Free Pies to the bakery. I was craving a sweet dessert. So I picked up 1/2 of a Sugar Free Blueberry Pie to try. No I did not eat the whole 1/2 – I just had a little slice and it was YUMMERS !! Love the Amish – I will have to go back and get an apple next time !!

February 16th

  • Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)
  • Protein Shake
  • 1/2 Cupish Refried Beans with Salsa & Low fat Sour Cream
  • Coffee with SF Hazelnut Creamer
  • Few Pieces of Imitation Crab Meat
  • 1/2 Cupish Refried Beans with Salsa & Low fat Sour Cream
  • 1 Sugar Free Tastycake Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcake

Today was a normal eating day with the exception of me trying some Imitation Crab, which I like to eat just plain and cold. I also had purchased a box of Sugar Free Tastycake Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes the day before. I ended up having one tonight – they are small and each package has 2 in it. One Cupcake is only 70 calories and has 1.5 grams of protein. It was pretty good – would a Hostess Cupcake be better, absolutely – but not a good idea at all after surgery. The SF Tastycake was a good treat without any bad repercussions.

February 17th

  • Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)
  • Protein Shake
  • Few Pieces of Imitation Crab Meat
  • 2 Scrambled Eggs
  • 1 Sugar Free Tastycake Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcake
  • 2 small pieces of Yogurt Cheese
  • A few slices of Avocado
  • 1/2 + Cupish Mashed Potatoes (Bob Evans)
  • SF Ice Pop
  • 1 small piece of Yogurt Cheese

Today I made myself 2 scrambled eggs – 1 scrambled never seems to be enough. I ate it all and was nice and full. Hubby was cutting up some Avocado for his sandwich at lunch – so I ate a few pieces – I love me some Avocado !! Again I had no issues with anything I ate today.

February 18th

  • Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)
  • Protein Shake
  • 1 small piece of Yogurt Cheese
  • 1/2 slice of Muenster Cheese
  • Am’s Ham & Potato
  • 1 Sugar Free Tastycake Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcake
  • 1 small piece of Yogurt Cheese
  • 1 Sugar Free Tastycake Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcake
  • 1/2 Cupish Refried Beans with Salsa & Low fat Sour Cream
  • 1 small piece of Feta Cheese

Wow seems like I ate a lot today, but in reality hardly anything compared what I use to eat in a day. My sister made a Ham & Potato recipe that she shared with me. I had a small amount – it had pieces of Ham and Potatoes in a creamy sauce. I really liked it. I will get the recipe to share – it was a winner so she will be making it again. I also had a piece of Feta Cheese today – Feta Cheeses is my favorite and I am glad cheese is loaded with protein. I would marry cheese if I could.

February 19th

  • Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)
  • Protein Shake
  • A few bites of leftover Sloppy Joe Meat
  • 1/2 Cupish Chicken Pot Pie (PA Dutch Style)
  • Goldfish Crackers
  • Tiny Bite of Pizza
  • 3 Spoonfuls of Broccoli Cheese Soup
  • 1/2 Salmon Burger and Tarter Sauce
  • SF Ice Pop

Today I tried lots of new things, but with some minor issues. I tried some Chicken Pot Pie (PA Dutch Style) which is not the pot pie I grew up with that had a crust on top and bottom. They make it very different here – to me it is basically Chicken and Noodles. I had no issues after I ate that. I also had some of my daughter’s Goldfish Crackers – which was incredibly enjoyable, but I had to watch that I did not over do it since we were watching TV. She was sick and we were hanging out on the couch – that is dangerous because I could have mindlessly eaten the whole bag – I was proud that I controlled myself.

At dinner time I heated my son up some leftover pizza and took a very tiny bite from the end. Right after that I heated up some Broccoli Cheese Soup for my daughter and tasted 3 spoonfuls. I have a very bad habit of picking in the kitchen and tasting. Well I did not have dumping, but my stomach did not seem happy with one either the Pizza or Soup cause it was yelling at me. Then I had my 1/2 Salmon Burger with Tarter Sauce on the side. My belly was still not happy, but the culprit was not the Salmon. It was not horrible, but I knew something did not agree with me.

So not too bad of a week besides the damn depression. I am hoping that will fade away, but I will still talk to my doctor about it. I also did well adding in new foods to try this week – even though I should have still been on pureed foods according to my surgeon’s guidelines. I just felt good enough and ready to make the leap to new things and I was getting so bored of eating pureed foods anyways. Hopefully I will not get yelled at by my surgeon for doing so. I did use a lot of caution and chewed my food really really well.

And yes another week goes by with no episodes of that “Dumping” everyone talks about. I have been so lucky to have had no major issues with eating at all. I am not sure if that is really a good or bad thing. It kinda makes me nervous in a weird way. I have not pushed myself to over eat and can feel when I am full. The hunger I have is more mental than physical which is something I fight with everyday, but it is getting easier.

The weight loss is slower that I would have expected with how little I am eating, but everyone loses differently I guess. I can see more of a difference in my size vs what the scales tells me and I can now pull my jeans right down with out unbuttoning with no issues at all. I only expect to be in my jeans for another week or so before I need to down size. I always lose in my upper body first and I have such a big Ass and Legs and that is what is keeping my pants up right now – lol.

My face has thinned out quite a bit and even my boobs are shrinking. Since I have been heavy my boobs got huge – Double Ds for me and I am looking forward to them going away. I will be very happy in a B cup – just sayin’ As for the Hubby – well he will just have to live with it !!

Stay Tuned for my First Post Op Visit Post….

Check out Make Tiny Changes if you would like to donate to a worthy charity in support of mental  health.

Tomato Bean Soup Recipe

Tomato Bean Soup

Tomato Bean SoupMy sister made me this delicious Tomato Bean Soup last week which was worth the share. It is a great source of protein from all the beans and it was extremely tasty !!

First let me start off by saying that I have such a great sister who happens to love to cook when she has the time. Last week when I was complaining about eating the pureed foods she decided to make me this soup. While it was not pureed when I ate it – it could have been if I wanted it to be. I decided to eat it as is because all the ingredients in it were cooked to where they were extremely soft.

Here is what she used to make this Soup:

  • 1 Large Onion – Chopped
  • 1 Large Carrot – Chopped
  • 1 Celery Rib – Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves – Minced
  • 4 Cups of Chicken Broth (you can also use vegetable broth)
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Cans Kidney Beans or Cannellini Beans (my sister used one of each)
  • 1 Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese

NOTE: You can add in an additional can of beans to this – which is what we will do next time we make it. Hey the more protein per serving the better right? If you are at the point where you can tolerate Pasta – you can also add some in to the soup as well – 3/4 Cup uncooked pasta would be enough. I also think it would be tasty with some cooked ground turkey too – so many options !!!

In a large pot saute up your Onion, Carrot and Celery in the Olive Oil until tender. Add in Garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Next add in the Broth, Sugar, Italian Seasoning and Red Pepper Flakes. (if adding Pasta add it in now as well). Then add in the Crushed Tomatoes and canned Beans. Bring to a boil and then let simmer uncovered until the beans and vegetables get to your desired likeness. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese.

My sister cooked the soup till all the veggies got very soft and the Cannellini Beans broke down a bit and made the soup thicker.

I do not know the exact nutritional info for this – that will all depend on how many cans of beans you use etc.. BUT I do know that it is no less than 10+ grams protein per serving (about 1 Cup).

P.S. – YES that is a Baby Spoon in the bowl – I use the Nuby Baby Spoons when I eat – it helps me from putting too much in my mouth at a time.

Enjoy !!!