Do you have Papaya Enzymes on hand?

Papaya

PapayaI recently read about Papaya Enzymes and how helpful they are to Gastric Bypass patients when you have trouble with food getting stuck and other digestive issues. Do you have some on hand?

I have yet to experience any food getting stuck issues myself, BUT that does not mean I will not in the future. I have heard that the feeling of food getting stuck is horrible – you just feel as though it is sitting there and it can be a very intense pain. A lot of times this will happen with meats, but it can happen with any food.

You may have been told or have read that if you find this happens to you on a protein based food to take some Meat Tenderizer and dissolve in some water and drink. The Meat Tenderizer will help to break it down quickly. But how gross does drinking Meat Tenderizer sound to you? To me it sounds quite disgusting in a BIG way. The great thing is that Papaya Enzymes work the same way and from what I heard they taste a heck of a lot better. Some say they taste just like baby aspirins.

So what exactly are these Papaya Enzymes (also know as papain)?

It is a potent mix of proteolytic enzymes derived from the papaya fruit which helps aid in digestion and also speeds up the breakdown of certain proteins.

Papaya Enzymes have a lot of other great benefits, but for us Gastric Bypass patients it is something we should always have on hand. For us it is no different than having band aids on hand for those times when we have a boo boo. This is one more item to add to your Gastric Bypass first aid kit as well as keeping some in your purse or car just in case you even need to use it.

I have read on many Gastric Bypass Forum sites that many find such relief from it when they have food stuck, bad fullness, have bloating etc… And you just never know when or where you will be when ones of these may occur. It is always good to be prepared, armed and ready – don’t ya think?

NOTE: Always be sure to check with your surgeon before taking anything new if you feel uncertain about it. Remember I am not a doctor and do not get paid the big bucks, I am just sharing what I have read and things I have learned along the way, just sayin’

Personally for me, these are on my shopping list for my next trip to the store. I will keep them at home, as well as carry some in my purse – just in case. Again even though I have not had any issues with eating – one never knows and it can happen at any time. I would rather be prepared with something that may help than be in pain, especially while I am out somewhere.

You can find Papaya Enzymes in your local stores or you can also find it being sold online. Oh and they are very inexpensive too – BONUS !!

Feel free to comment below if you have your own experiences using these, I would love to hear from you.

Carnie Wilson undergoes Lap-band Surgery after RNY Gastric Bypass

Carnie Wilson

Carnie WilsonHave you read the news? Carnie Wilson goes under the knife again after regaining weight after RNY Gastric Bypass and goes for Lap-band Surgery.

Why are people making such a big deal about this? Carnie Wilson had RNY Gastric Bypass Surgery back in 1999 when she weighed in at over 300 pounds. She had lost over 150 pounds after surgery, but unfortunately gained a lot of it back over 12 years. If you struggle with your weight and have had or not had Gastric Bypass you know all to well it is a daily fight.

I think people forget to realize Gastric Bypass Surgery is not a fix all. It is not a magic surgery that once you have it you will be skinny forever. It is just a tool to assist those of us who need it.

Many people who have Gastric Bypass Surgery run the risk of gaining the weight back over time – those old habits creep back up on us and your stomach stretches back out. This is not uncommon at all. I pray that I am not one of those who regain the weight back, but you never know – it is hard with or without surgery.

The only difference between Carnie’s story and ours is that she is in the news because she is a celebrity. Personally I would hate to have all my business all over the news etc.. That in itself would make me eat. Can you imagine what it is like to have your image picked apart every time you go in public and cameras flashing as pictures are taken of you from every angle? Ok sometimes I do dream I have my own paparazzi following me, but you know what I am saying. That has to be pressure to the MAX !!

I feel for Carnie and can relate – why? because I am just like her without all the fame and fortune of course. I do not think she should be criticized for her decisions to undergo another Weight Loss Surgery. I give her props for making the choice to be healthy again and hope she will do great with the surgery and not make the same mistakes as she did the first time around. Food is EVIL.

There have been many celebrities who have undergone Gastric Bypass Surgery and other Weight Loss Surgeries who have also struggled, but their hardships are just plastered all over the place.

Here are some of the other Celebrities that have had Weight Loss Surgery:

  • Star Jones – Gastric Bypass in 2003
  • Roseanne Barr – Gastric Bypass Surgery in 1998
  • Anna Rice – Gastric Bypass in 2003
  • Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein – Gastric Bypass in 2003
  • Al Roker – Gastric Bypass in 2002
  • Sharron Osbourne – Lap-band in 1999
  • Randy Jackson – Gastric Bypass in 2008

Drew Carey and Aretha Franklin still deny having undergone any Weight Loss Surgery, but it is just suspicious with their quick weight losses. Maybe they just do not want to admit to it yet or they really did it without – hmmmm????

Good Luck Carnie on your new journey !! You can do it !!

Let me know what you think – leave a comment below…

Cereal is not my friend

Breakfast Cereal

Breakfast CerealSo last night I thought I would have myself some cereal, Honey Bunches of Oats which is one of my favorites. Well it turned out to be not such a good idea and I think I know why.

Since my Gastric Bypass Surgery I have not had much trouble with any foods I eat. I just get the occasional grumble in my tummy telling me I either ate too fast or a bit too much. But last night I was craving some cereal and I thought it would be ok for me to eat a small amount of it. So I poured myself some Honey Bunches of Oats with about 1/2 cup of Skim Milk.

I ate it as I normally would prior to my surgery. Within about 5 minutes of finishing it I had the worst pains in my stomach (pouch). It was like I was being stabbed. If I moved it was worse because I got up and tried to walk it off. I did not panic, but it hurt. I got up and grabbed a Gas X and chewed that hoping it would help some and maybe it did a bit, but at that point I just wanted to lay down and be still.

So I went to bed early so I could lay there and not move. When my kids came up to bed they came in to give me a hug and kiss goodnight and I was like stop right there and do not come any closer. I was afraid of them moving me – so we gave air hugs and kisses. I felt bad, but movement is what made it worse. While I was in bed I went online on my phone and researched Cereal after Gastric Bypass. I discovered why I probably felt like I did.

For starters I did not let my cereal soak up the milk and get soggy – I ate it crunchy. After Gastric Bypass it is also a rule not to drink and eat at the same time because it pushes the food quickly through your pouch. I think these two things were my main issues. I honestly did not even think about it prior to eating it. Boy was I stupid, but I paid the price.

I do not think it was the type of cereal I ate for the nutritional info is not that bad, although there are many other cereals out there that would be a better choice. I just wanted a small amount and it was not going to be a daily thing. Well the fact is it WILL NOT be a thing for me at all – I am banning the cereal from my diet for now. If I cannot eat it crunchy then I do not want it anyways – I am not a soggy cereal person, just sayin’.

I woke up today and my belly still feels not happy – not hurting anything like it was yesterday, but like it is sad (lol). I got the kids off to school and even though I was in bed early last night I was so tired. Hubby said I should go lay back in bed and that is what I did. I slept for another 3 hours and feel a bit better now. I am gonna give my pouch a break today and will have liquids and mushy things and hopefully my belly will be happy again.

My sixth week after Gastric Bypass

6 Weeks

6 WeeksAfter last week when the scale decided to not move at all with any weight loss I knew I had no choice but to not dwell over it and just keep moving forward. Was I disappointed? Yes of course I was – Big Time, but there was nothing I could do about it.

So I decided to keep doing what I was doing with some minor changes and hoped that I would see some results on the scale come my next weigh in. I told myself if I did not see the numbers go down that it was my surgeon who had something to worry about – lol.

I had a fairly good week with some challenges such as going to the Movies and being around all the temptations and that was followed up by a meal at my in laws house. It was my first time since surgery to have eaten out like that and it was hard for me, but I made it through.

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

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

February 27th

  • Water (drank over the course of the day)
  • Coffee with Sugar Free Hazelnut Creamer (1/2 mug)
  • 1/2 Chicken Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread with Mayo, Salt & Pepper
  • Lean Cuisine – Meat Lasagna Cal: 320, Fat: 8g, Protein: 17g topped with some Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Low Fat Mozzarella String Cheese
  • Bite of Chicken (from leftovers)
  • 1/2 Cupish Crab Salad
  • 2 Slices of American Cheese with mustard
  • 4 Slices of American Cheese with mustard

I decided this week I could ditch the Crystal Light and drink only plain water – that maybe it was the artificial sweeteners causing me no weight loss. It could not hurt and besides water is the best choice anyways. I also had my first Lean Cuisine today, I was craving lasagna and thought I would give it a try. I did end up eating the whole thing which was probably a bit more than I should of. I did have the chills a bit afterwards and ended up falling asleep for a bit. My Nutritionist says the chills is a form of “Dumping”.

I did go food shopping today and picked up some American Cheese for the kids. I had not had any in the house since my surgery – it is a favorite of mine and I know it is not the best. Well I dipped in to it. I have a habit of taking 2 slices and putting some mustard inside of them. I did this once during the day and my body was fine with it. But not long before I was going to bed I did it twice – so 4 slice sin total. My pay back was a little nausea – Yup I over did the cheese.

Also note I had no protein shake today – usually I start every day with one. Well I decided to take a break from it because it was getting too monotonous.

Today I also added Biotin to my list of Vitamins I take. This is suppose to help keep my hair and nails stay healthy and maybe reduce the chances of it falling out down the road from the surgery. We will see if it works, but regardless it will help my hair, nails and skin be healthier.

February 28th

  • Water (drank over the course of the day)
  • Coffee with Sugar Free Hazelnut Creamer (1/2 mug)
  • 2 Bites of Chicken (from leftovers)
  • 1 Low Fat Mozzarella String Cheese
  • 1 Low Fat Mozzarella String Cheese
  • 1 Ham Sandwich on Sandwich Thins with Mayo
  • 1/2 Cupish Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta with Turkey Sausage & 1/2 Crab Cake
  • Choboni Blueberry Yogurt (ate 3/4)
  • Handful of Low Fat Wheat Thins

Today I saw my Nutritionist for the first time since surgery – see post HERE. I got a lot of answers on a list of questions I had for her which you cam read on the post I did. One of the new things I ate today were Sandwich Thins – Nutritionist said they were a good choice, well I am not sure if she said I can eat a whole one like I did for lunch. After my ham sandwich I got those chills again and my belly hurt a bit – I went under the blankets and ended up sleeping for about 2 1/2 hours.

For dinner I made a Pasta dish and you can see the recipe for it here: Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta with Turkey Sausage. It was very good and I did not seem to have any problems with that. For my dessert I had a Choboni Yogurt to get in more protein – I was unable to finish the whole thing though so I ate about 3/4.

Today I also added Omeprazole to my list of Vitamins I take. I did this because I started smoking again and in hopes it will help me from not getting any ulcers. I know smoking is so very bad, but you can read my post HERE all about it. I will be working on quitting yet again.

February 29th

  • Water (drank over the course of the day)
  • Coffee with Sugar Free Hazelnut Creamer (1/2 mug)
  • Mrs. Budd’s Shepard Pie – Cal: 274, Fat: 15g, Protein: 18g
  • Handful of Low Fat Wheat Thins
  • A few bites of a Nectarine (was not very ripe)
  • 3/4 Cupish Chicken with Rice Pilaf, Broccoli and Cauliflower
  • Salad – Lettuce, Feta Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing

I tried a Mrs. Budd’s Shepard’s Pie today which was just some ground beef with onions and carrots topped with some mashed potatoes. It is a pre-made meal and it looked good when I saw it in the store. It was ok, but nothing I woudl buy again. I was also excited to have a piece of fruit today, but disappointed that it tasted gross – it was not really ripe and I should have known since they are not really in season yet.

I did not eat a lot today and I actually went to bed early. The funny thing is – my wise ass hubby added to my food journal so when I woke up the next morning I see this added to my day: 5 Donuts, 2 T-Bone Steaks, 1 Box Mashed Potatoes with 5 Cups of Gravy and 1 Gallon Rocky Road Ice Cream. That really made me laugh – gotta love him !!

March 1st

  • Water (drank over the course of the day)
  • Coffee with Sugar Free Hazelnut Creamer (1/2 mug)
  • Lean Cuisine – Swedish Meatballs Cal: 290, Fat: 8g, Protein: 19g (tossed out about 1/4 of the noodles)
  • Handful of Low Fat Wheat Thins
  • A Few Peanuts with Raisins
  • 1 Low Fat Mozzarella String Cheese
  • A few Cheese Doodles (Rut Roh)
  • Bite of American Cheese & Ham while making son’s lunch
  • 1/2 Chicken Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread with Mayo, Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Slices of Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese of Low Fat Wheat Thins
  • 1/2 Cupish Chicken with Rice Pilaf, Broccoli and Cauliflower

Today I seemed extra hungry – maybe from not eating much the day before. I also found that I picked a bit today which is an old habit of mine. We have not had any bad snacks around in the house since my surgery because we are trying to get the kids to eat healthy as well, BUT these Cheese Doodles were hidden in the garage. They came out because my daughter had her friend over and they wanted a snack so I thought I cold get rid of them. Well there they were in front of me and I dipped in and ate a few – not a bunch – just a few. FYI – They were delish !!

March 2nd

  • Water (drank over the course of the day)
  • Coffee with Sugar Free Hazelnut Creamer (1/2 mug)
  • A few Cheese Doodles (I have NO control)
  • Lean Cuisine – Meat Loaf & Mashed Potatoes Cal: 250, Fat: 8g, Protein: 20g
  • 1 Low Fat Mozzarella String Cheese
  • 1/2 Chicken Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread with Mayo, Salt & Pepper
  • A Few Peanuts with Raisins
  • Coffee with Sugar Free Hazelnut Creamer (1/2 mug)
  • 1/2 Chicken Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread with Mayo, Salt & Pepper

Nothing to eventful today – I did have some extra Coffee in the evening to keep me awake on a Friday night. Other than that it was just another day.

March 3rd

  • Water (drank over the course of the day)
  • Protein Shake
  • 2 Ritz Crackers
  • Handful of Low Fat Wheat Thins (at the Movies)
  • 2 Slices of American Cheese (picking)
  • 1/2 Turkey Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread with Mayo, Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 Pickle
  • 2 Tbsp Potato Salad
  • 1 Slice of Tomato
  • 1/2 Banana
  • A Few Peanuts with Raisins
  • Salad – Lettuce, Feta Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing
  • SF Ice Pop

Today I finally had another Protein Shake, I knew I was going to be out of the house and wanted to make sure I got it in just in case. I was going to the movies to see The Lorax and then going to my in laws afterwards for a late lunch. It was the first time I was eating out since the surgery and it was hard with all the temptations at the movies and keeping myself in check at my in laws. I wrote and entire post about it HERE. I think overall I did really well, but it was not easy. It was truly the first time reality was setting in about how food and I have a much different relationship now and things will never be the same. I think others who have had this surgery will understand that.

March 4th

  • Water (drank over the course of the day)
  • Egg & American Cheese Omelet
  • Coffee with Sugar Free Hazelnut Creamer (1/2 mug)
  • 1/2 Chicken Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread with Mayo, Salt & Pepper
  • Salisbury Steak, with Mashed Potatoes and Carrots
  • SF Ice Pop
  • 8 Flipside Crackers with Cheese Spread

I made my son and omelet for breakfast and decided we would split it – I made just Eggs with American Cheese – it was soooo good. For dinner hubby made the most Delicious Salisbury Steak per my request – I wanted some meat – lol. I have shared the recipe HERE. I ate only 1/2 of one and then had some Carrots and Mashed Potatoes on the side. It was very filling and I so wish I had room for more, but I did not. While watching my evening TV I had a snack of 8 Flipside Crackers topped with a smear of Cheese Spread. The Cheese Spread is a fancy one we buy at our local store – I think it is like a provolone wine cheese – it is so tasty.

So I had some new foods this week such as Lean Cuisines which I know are not the best, but it makes it easy on me during the day to just heat one up for lunch. I also did not have my protein shakes most of this week and tried getting in my protein other ways.

I did find I am getting back into old habits with my morning coffee, BUT I use to drink a large mug full prior to surgery and now I am lucky if I drink 1 small mug. I just like the warm drink on the cold morning and I bet I can do without it come summer.

I also noticed that I have to watch my picking/grazing – I am not too bad with it, but I can see how that old habit can quickly creep back up on me. If I do pick I write it down – that is one thing I told myself I would do – everything that I eat no matter how small will be written down and I have been great at that.

I have to work on getting in more water – I am no where near the 64 ounces per day – I am still at maybe 1/2 of that. I also was suppose to start exercising and that did not happen either. I am hoping as the warm weather comes and I become a yard slave I will have no issues there. Winter always gives me the blues and even more so now after the surgery. I cannot wait to be outside in the warm sun. I am literally counting down the days until Spring, which is March 20th ya know !

I cannot believe 6 weeks have gone by already – shocks me everytime I post my weekly food journals how fast the time goes by. I must say it gets easier, but is also very hard at the same time if that makes sense.

So I did my weigh in this week and was nervous after having such an early stall last week with no loss – want to know what the scale said? Well then visit my Weigh Ins to see.

Here is to another week on my journey……

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…..

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?

Frozen Protein Shake Pops – an easy way to get more protein in

Frozen Protein Shake

Frozen Protein ShakeAfter Gastric Bypass Surgery it is so important to get in all your protein. Sometimes this can be very hard and most people get sick of drinking the protein shakes all the time, myself included. So it is time to get creative.

I am lucky that at this time I do not mind drinking my protein shakes. The only problem I have is that is takes me forever to finish just 8 ounces. I make sure the first thing I have every day is my protein shake before I have anything else. So my days starts off with 26 grams of protein – not too bad. My doctor requires me to get in 60 grams or more daily.

It does not sound like a lot, but it can be. I had noticed that I have been getting in under that daily and needed to increase it. At night I like to have a sweet dessert – sugar free of course, but sweet. Since I had been eating Sugar Free Ice Pops and Fudge Pops often I thought why not freeze my protein shakes into one and have that instead. So I gave it a try.

My first attempt was in my Zoku Quick Pop Maker – it was a fail. I think because of the no sugar in the protein shake – it did freeze, but it got stuck in the cavity. I was sad by that because the Zuko can freeze them within 3 minutes so no waiting. Oh well – I will save that for some healthy fruit pops this summer.

Lucky for me I also had another Ice Pop Mold in my cabinet to try out. So I mixed up 8 ounces of Chocolate Protein Shake and it turns out that each mold will hold 4 ounces. So I filled up two of them and stuck into the freezer hopeful it would work.

Later that night I took it out of the freezer and tried to pull out my Pop – URGH it was stuck. So I just ran some hot water over the bottom and it slipped right out. Wooo Hoooo !!!

Guess what? It was YUMMY. Best part is that it took me about 15 minutes to eat and one pop is 13 grams of protein.

So if you need help getting in the protein I say FREEZE it for a change of pace. You can even have fun with it and combine flavors in the pop molds – do 1/2 vanilla 1/2 chocolate – maybe make a Neapolitan using Chocolate, Vanilla & Strawberry – you get the idea.

These will definitely be great this summer when it is hot.

There are so many different Ice Pop Molds on the market – mine happen to be the kind with a straw attached called a sipper – so if mine melts I can sip it right out – love that !! If you want to make them right away and you do not have a ice pop mold in the house – do it the old fashioned way – freeze some in a plastic cup and when it is semi frozen stick in a Popsicle stick (or a plastic spoon) and then finish freezing..

Feeling Blah and really wanting winter to be over

Feeling Blah

Feeling BlahI am less than 3 days from my 3 week post op and I am just feeling down and Blah. I have read and been told that after Gastric Bypass your emotions are all over the place and I guess they are right cause mine are.

Since the middle of week 2 post op I have been feeling the blahs set in – it is weird to me because you would think one would be energetic and happy after having this surgery. Nope – it is quite the opposite really. I had read about this happening, but did not think it would happen to me. Some often regret having the surgery – now I have no regrets about that at all – I just feel depressed.

Being I have suffered from depression all my life and have been on medication for years I know that feeling. I am still on my meds, but for the first time in a long time that feeling is back. Hard to explain it exactly, but you just feel blah. I just do not have any motivation to do anything. I have found myself watching a lot of TV and laying around on the couch and in my bed with spurts of energy.

I am lucky to work from home so I am thankful I do not have to worry about getting up and going to work. But even my work has suffered because I have not given it much attention in weeks. It also does not help that it is Winter and I would just love to be out in the yard feeling the warm sun on my face.

I am counting down the days until Spring because I know being outside on my patio and gardening in my yard will be a huge help. I also know this will past or at least I hope it will. I have to remind myself that my body is still healing and has undergone drastic changes and it is also trying to adjust. Just sucks to feel blah, it really does.

I am not having a really hard time with the not eating part so much, even though I am tired of pureed foods. I do miss certain things like salads, sandwiches and my favorite evening snack which was pretzels and cheese. I remind myself at some point in the near future I will be able to have those things again.

I tell myself that I broke up with Food because we had a bad relationship and now I am in a new relationship, but we have to take it slow – baby steps.

My other problem is that before my surgery I broke off many of my bad relationships such as Smoking, Biting my Nails and drinking Coffee all day long. Now I am left with no bad habits and no vices – I think this is what is adding to my blahs as well. I have had coffee, but in tiny amounts and it is not the same without a cigarette to enjoy with it. I really miss smoking, but it is one relationship I do not want back even if it sounds so good. That relationship is expensive !!

I keep hearing the emotions I am feeling will pass and so I will wait and try and keep distracted as best I can. I am lucky to have great support between my family and friends, but it is still hard. I will keep you informed on how I am feeling and hopefully it will be short lived.

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My second week after Gastric Bypass Surgery – Pureed Diet

Second Week

Second WeekSo I made it through the first week after surgery with no problems at all. Now I was ready for week two and also the change of menu with the new items I can have on the pureed food part of my journey. I was very excited for a change, but how did I do with it? Well I am gonna tell you.

I have to explain again that every doctor has a different schedule of what foods they want you to eat and when. For me the Bariatric Pureed Foods start at Day 10 – 30. Pureed foods are smooth blended and have a consistency of Stage 2 Baby Foods.

Now if you read my post on My First Week after Surgery you will remember I cheated and jumped ahead a couple days and started eating Part Skim Ricotta Cheese. I do not recommend cheating like I did, even though I did not have any issues does not mean you will not.

Before I get into what I ate all week I have to share a couple of items that I purchased that I love and you may want to get as well. First I got myself some Nuby Baby Spoons
– I liked these because they were small in size and not rubbery on the end. OH and the bonus – they will change color when my food is too hot – lol. I decided to get baby spoons because it would make me eat smaller bites and it has worked !! Mind games !!!

The next item I got was a new water bottle. I wanted something I could take on the go and carry around the house. I ended up finding this really cool Quench Sports Bottle (could not find it online – sorry) at Walmart. It was perfect because it did not have a straw and the top flips open and when you drink it comes out very slow – perfect. It holds 24 ounces and I usually fill it with my Crystal Light and can drink one a day so far. I did find these Tupperware Quench Bottles that are similar and may work just like mine.

As you can see in the last photo I use little Dipping Cups to eat my pureed food out of. They hold less than 1/2 cup and I find them the perfect size and once again great for those mind games to feel as though you are eating a lot. You can buy them online or I found mine in Walmart for about $1.00 each.

I could not wait to get to the pureed part of this process – I was so sick of the liquids and the thought of any soups just turned my stomach. To think I was going to be able to eat different foods was so exciting even if they were pureed. I wanted food that had flavor because it almost seemed everything on the liquid part was sweet and I am a salt girl. So what was I going to try out first?

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

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

January 31st (not really suppose to be on puree just yet- I cheated)

Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)

1/2 cupish Part Skim Ricotta Cheese

Protein Shake

1/2 cupish Part Skim Ricotta Cheese with a tsp. Tomato Sauce on top

1/2 cupish of Vanilla Cheery Ice Cream spitting out the Cherry Chunks

Now that I am typing this I guess I did not eat that much this day, but to me at the time I did. Funny how quick we change.

February 1st (Ok to start pureed foods – Whoops, my bad – lol)

Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)

Protein Shake

1/2 cupish Refried Beans with a sprinkle of low fat Cheddar Cheese melted topped with some Low Fat Sour Cream

1 Laughing Cow Low Fat Swiss Cheese Wedge

1/2 cupish Fresh Cauliflower (pureed) made into faux mashed potatoes

1 SF Ice Pop

OMG the refried beans were to die for – although the cheese was a bit stringy (I will leave that off the next time). I also love Cauliflower so that was just as good as well. I made a whole head of Fresh Cauliflower mashed it up really good, added some Skim Milk, I cannot believe it is not Butter and Salt & Pepper to taste. I had a whole container to eat up for the rest of the week – YUM YUM YUM.

February 2nd

Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)

1/2 cupish Fresh Cauliflower (pureed) made into faux mashed potatoes

Protein Shake

Pureed Stir Fry

2 Laughing Cow Low Fat Swiss Cheese Wedges

Ok so this night my hubby had cooked up a Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry with Rice a Roni Fried Rice for him and the kids. It smelt soooo good. So I decided I had to try some for myself. I took one piece of meat and then the broccoli and Rice and placed it into my Magic Bullet Blender and pureed it up. I thought the refried beans were good – this was like heaven. Some have trouble with rice – me Nope none at all.

February 3rd

Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)

Protein Shake

Egg Salad

1 Laughing Cow Low Fat Swiss Cheese Wedge

Egg Salad

1/2 cupish Fresh Cauliflower (pureed) made into faux mashed potatoes

So today I tried Eggs and once again OMG so good. I took one egg mashed it up and added about a tsp of so of Low Fat Mayo and then a squirt of Gulden’s Mustard. I pureed it up in my Magic Bullet and it was beyond delish !! As you can see I had it twice. Major Protein meals !!!

February 4th

Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)

Protein Shake

Egg Salad

1/2 cupish Corned Beef Hash

1 Laughing Cow Low Fat Swiss Cheese Wedge

1 Lit and Fit Vanilla Yogurt

1 SF Ice Pop

So I was doing some reading online to find other things that I could eat. I had read some were having Corned Beef Hash – the kind that comes in a can some call dog food. It just so happens I love that stuff. So I checked with my nutritionist to make sure it was ok to have being it is high on fat and they said yes as long as it is not a daily thing. So I cooked some up pureed it a tiny bit in my Magic Bullet and chowed down – with my baby spoon of course. I had no problems with this and it was soooo good.

February 5th

Crystal Light Iced Tea (drank over the course of the day)

Protein Shake

Cup of Coffee with SF Coffemate Hazelnut Creamer – maybe 20 sips

1/2 cupsih Refried Beans with Low Fat Sour Cream

1 Laughing Cow Low Fat Swiss Cheese Wedge

1/4 Cup Fresh Cauliflower (pureed) made into faux mashed potatoes

1/2 cupish Mashed Potatoes

1 SF Ice Pop

Today I tried some Mashed Potatoes – they were made from the box with Skim Milk, I cannot believe it is not Butter and Salt & Pepper to taste. I LOVE Mashed Potatoes and even though these were not my creamy buttery potatoes I am use to they were still yummers. I had no issues with them – me so happy !!!

I think my second week post op has gone great – to be honest with ya, I almost feel like I never had surgery. I have had no issues, but gas and that is nothing a Gas X cannot fix. I keep saying I have to be careful by saying that so much cause you never know, BUT as of right now there has been no dumping syndrome, no vomiting, no diarrhea or anything else for that matter. Call me lucky – I will take it !!

Now you see my photo in the upper left of Baby Food Jars – well prior to this stage my sister bought me some and I did as well thinking I will eat it. On Wednesday the 1st I opened a jar of the Chicken with Gravy and almost vomited by the smell of it. I was already a bit grossed out by the flesh color, but the smell was horrible. It was at that moment I declared myself a vegetarian through the pureed stage of this and I had extreme guilt that I ever fed that to my babies.

Obviously I did not last as a vegetarian with the Stir fry and the Corned Beef Hash. I refuse to eat pureed Baby Food Meat. I do have some Fruit and Vegetables, but have yet to be adventurous and open any of those – I am scared – lol

My mood has been a bit up and down, as well as my energy level. I am still waiting for that big boost of energy everyone talks about. I am not exhausted – maybe it is just a bit of depression. I have a lot going on in my life right now and it has been very hard to not go back to smoking. I would love a cigarette again, but I will not give in.

Yesterday I felt pretty crappy and down. I also had back pain which I get time and again. I just bummed around the house, watched TV and worked on the computer a bit – totally uneventful. I cannot wait until it is Spring and I can go outside – that will definitely help.

Things I purchased prior to my Gastric Bypass Surgery

Things I purchased

Things I purchasedI wanted to share some of the items that I purchased prior to my surgery. These are items that I knew I would need when I got home and that way I did not have to worry about it.

One of the most important things to have in your home is the protein shakes. I was drinking these prior to going in for surgery so I had found a couple that I liked the taste of. My favorite Protein Shake brand happens to be CVS Brand – the Chocolate Whey (nice chocolate flavor) and the protein grams in each scoop is 25grams – which is quite nice. I also bought one in Vanilla flavor as well. Add that to 8 ounces of skim milk and you have a total of 33 grams !! And being I should be getting in 60+ grams a day – two of those a day and I am good – then everything else is a bonus.

The only problem with the CVS brand is that is can get pricey because in my store it does not come in large containers. So I buy it when it goes on sale. I will have to check other stores to see if they sell it in a larger amount.

The other Protein Shakes I bought were by Designer Whey. On hand I had Chocolate (my favorite), Strawberry and Natural Unflavored (which I can add to my food for extra Protein). These will give you 18 grams per scoop and with the skim milk it is a total of 26 grams per serving.

When it comes to your protein shakes it is really just a matter of taste, BUT do keep in mind I have read that people’s taste will change after surgery. For me I have not found that to happen. I would not recommend buying large quantities prior to surgery – just buy enough to get you through and to make sure you are not one of those. They can get pricey.

Protein Shakes come in a large variety of flavors so even if you are grossed out by one you loved prior to surgery you have lots of options. For me – I am a creature of habit so I tend to drink just the chocolate and I am good with that. I did try the Strawberry during my first week home and I hated it, but I am not sure I would have loved it prior either. I will not get rid of it because I can add things to it like Bananas and fruits to create smoothies when I am feeling adventurous.

Another very important thing you want to buy is a Protein Shaker Cup also known as a Blender Bottle. Basically it is a cup that comes with a blenderball that is made of stainless steel. The blenderball helps mix your protein shake with the liquid so you do not have those protein powder balls floating. I honestly think these are a must have and I love my Blender Bottle.

I only bought one cup for myself to use in pink – they come in all colors and sizes as well. I did not get a large one because it was a waste – I got one that holds 20 ounces and even that is over kill. I only use 8 ounces when I make my protein shakes.

So I just wash mine every time I am done using it and it s ready to go for my next shake. I may get myself one more in the near future, because it would be good to have 2 in case I get lazy with the washing and that could very well happen – lol.

So be sure to get one of these prior to surgery – trust me you will love it. You can order yours on Amazon like I did here: Blender Bottles.

Note that every doctor will have different requirements as to what you should be eating after Gastric Bypass and the items I am sharing are things that were ok with mine.

You just want to be prepared so you can be home the first week to heal and focus on getting in your liquids vs. having to go out shopping. It will be a big change and the less you have to think about the better it will be for you.

Here is my recommended Gastric Bypass Shopping List of things you should have on hand prior to surgery. Again these are items that I purchased, but I think they will be the same across the board – just check with your doctor.

  • Protein Shakes – Flavored and Natural Unflavored
  • Skim Milk (Fat Free Milk) for shakes
  • Blender Bottle (as stated above)
  • Cream of Wheat and Cream of Rice
  • Dry Milk Powder – this is great to add extra protein to your shakes and soups
  • Splenda or other artificial sweetener – I prefer Splenda
  • Low Fat Cream Soups (must strain before eating)
  • Low Fat Broths
  • Decaf Coffee or Tea
  • Sugar Free Jell-O
  • Sugar Free Ice Pops (love)
  • Sugar Free Fudge Pops
  • Crystal Light – I use 4C brand Iced Tea
  • Gas X – Chewables. You will want to have these on hand, trust me. They will become your best friends.
  • Dulcolax – This is very helpful after the surgery, but check with your doctor
  • Liquid Tylenol

So that is my list to give you an idea to what you should stock up on prior to going in for your surgery. These items should get your through the first week or so when you are still doing the liquid portion of your diet.

I also ordered a couple recommended books – The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Well after Weight Loss Surgery and Recipes for Life after Weight Loss Surgery. They are both great reads, but most of the recipes are for later on down the road. I also purchased the Magic Bullet Blender which was also recommended and perfect for when you get to pureed foods and after.

Since I am up to the pureed foods as I am writing this I have to add that I have used it and it is AWESOME !!! I keep it out on my counter and keep the smaller cup attached – I puree what I need and then just unscrew the cup and you can eat right out of that. I highly recommend you get one of these too – I love mine.

Ok so I hope that helps and if I have missed something that worked for you please leave it in the comments below.