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Sunday, February 20, 2011


I also wanted to mention a slight complication that I had. This is really the only misstep so far in this whole process for me. Within days after the surgery I began having insane heart burn all day long. I lived on Tums for two days to try and get the fire to calm down. They had me upgrade from the Pepcid to Prilosec 20mg twice a day. After a few days of taking that, I will still waking up around 4am with heart burn. They decided that based on my symptoms I must have developed an ulcer. While this is not the greatest thing to happen while I have a tiny sensitive stomach, they were prepared. I have to take Carafate four times a day. The only hard part is that I take it 3 hours after a meal and 1 hour before a meal. This was also making it hard for me to eat. I'm on quite the strict schedule of eating because I have to not drink 30 minutes before and after a meal. Now I have to make sure I don't eat within 3 hours before or 1 hour after this medicine. I've made up a pretty tight schedule of eating and drinking and taking the medicine four times a day. I'm still not used to it and eat around 1 or 2 times a day, but I'm confident that I will soon get the hang of it and eat normal healthy meals. Well, really tiny normal healthy meals.

No More Watery Goodness

Its been almost a month. Tomorrow marks 4 weeks since I had the surgery. I'm starting on the stage III and IV diet finally. No more purred watery food for me! This morning I weighed in at 262 pounds. That is 19 pounds since my surgery. I'm really excited and hopeful that I'm going to continue to lose weight. Now that I'm able to start eating things again I can actually eat. I haven't been eating much of anything over the past week. When I think about the watery food I would rather not eat. I have felt tired and lethargic lately because I'm just not eating. It isn't the smartest thing I've done, but it happened and I can't go back. At least I'm ready to eat again. Last night for dinner I had a piece of light bread toasted with a little Earth Balance. Not exactly a healthy meal, but it felt great to chew something. I also can't wait to get back to cooking meals for my family. I've really slacked off on that because it is hard to cook something you aren't going to eat. I think for lunch I'll have some hummus on a 1/4 of pita bread. I buy the Joseph's low-carb pita because it is super thing and low and everything. By buying the thinner bread it is less filling and I can get more protein and fillings onto the bread. I can't eat much still so I don't want to fill up on bread.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

3 Weeks Later

It's been 3 weeks now and I'm still stuck at the same weight I was when I was 1 week out. I've gained and lost between 269-272 for the past week now. I finally had my husband take a picture to see if there was any sort of progress that wasn't noticed by the scale. Everyone keeps telling me how good I look and that I've really lost some weight. After closely examining the pictures, I'm thinking that my weight has been shifting around a little bit. Pardon the blurriness of the second photo, my husband was nervous this morning :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Trying out new things

I'm now 2 weeks post op. I weigh the same as I did 1 week post op. But I'm not going to get discouraged. I know these things take time. The worst part right now is still being stuck on the stage II diet. It is pretty hard after being on this limited diet for a month to find new things that make we want to actually eat. Nearly every soup can be pureed and strained and that gets me some of my meals. But I need something new. I decided to see how cottage cheese would be if I pureed it and strained it. This is my vegetarian side coming out because I need something besides soup or I might go insane. So today I am a vegetarian. The cottage cheese isn't so bad. It just tastes like straight ricotta at the moment. Oh well, something different! My husband went off to the grocery store and I gave him a list of things to bring me so I can try a few things out. He is getting me some strained infant fruits and plain yogurt so I can mix them up. I've done the vanilla yogurt and I'm tired of it. Have I mentioned how long this stage II diet lasts for the sleeve patients? Its nearly 2 months!!! 2 weeks pre-op and then 3-6 weeks post-op. My mother, who had the bypass, is happily eating anything she wants right now because she only had to do it 2 weeks post-op. I only mildly hate her for this. Apparently the sleeve incision takes far longer to heal. But in the long run I can have a piece of cake or a Hershey kiss and not toss my cookies, so I guess 2 months of hell is worth it! Maybe tomorrow I'll be vegan again, but until I get a bit more creative, I'm a vegetarian. I'm nearly positive that once I can eat I will be a happy vegan again. But for now I'm on the dairy band wagon. Still no eggs!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Where do I get my best recipes?

Most of my recipes come from Veg Web. I also have what I consider to be my cookbook bible, Vegan on the Cheap. Back to VegWeb though, it is a site dedicated to vegan recipes and I'm so glad I found it. A decent recipe for pudding is Protein Pudding. I love this soup, Sweet Potato and Squash soup. While on the stage II diet it just gets pureed and strained. This is my staple for Broccoli soup cravings. Another yummy soup that is great is the Taco Pantry Soup. Those are some of my favorite soup recipes, but I can't wait until stage III diet starts so I can get into my other super favorite recipes! For now I'm stuck in stage II. Soups and shakes for now!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Protein Supplement

The one that I've found that doesn't taste completely horrible is from GNC. It is a soy protein that packs 25g of protein per one scoop. I suggest the vanilla flavor. It is wheat, gluten and dairy free. I add it to West Soy unsweetened soy milk and it tastes like crushed up walnuts. No idea why, but it isn't completely wretched. Sometimes I do 8oz of milk and 4 oz of water to thin it out a little because it is quite thick. I've never tried 4oz of each, but maybe that will be tomorrow morning. Pre surgery I had one of these every morning for breakfast instead of the recommended Carnation Instant Breakfast. Post surgery I make one in the morning and sip it over the course of an hour. This gives me a jump start and gets me nearly half way to my protein goal for the day. Once I'm able to advance to the mushy stage I can incorporate more beans and tofu but I will still have one of these in the morning. There are plenty of other soy and vegan shake products, but trust me, this one is a stand out that doesn't make you want to run screaming to Burger King for cheap and easy protein.

Recipe for Power Protein Soup

1 14oz Block of Tofu drained but not pressed
1 Can of White Beans rinsed
1 Frozen block of Winter Squash thawed
2 Cups of Unsweetened Soy Milk

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until super smooth. Strain contents into a medium sauce pan and heat over medium heat until warm. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Each 1/2 cup serving contains around 10 grams of protein! When striving for that 60 grams per day, this is a great help.

*on 2/8/11 I decided to find some new flavors for this and tossed in some cumin. This was a great idea!

Why did I want surgery?

About a year ago I was told that I had high cholesterol and that no amount of dieting would fix it. I thought that was a challenge. Reading things about how to lower it with diet I found that being a vegetarian could help. I knew some friends that talked about a book called Skinny Bitch and I thought I would give it a try. The book turned me into an organic vegan overnight. I've molded to be mostly organic and occasionally non-vegan. I still don't have meat but occasionally I slip in a little dairy. After reading the book and starting my new diet I lost 10 pounds in the first week. I thought, "this is what is finally going to work for me!" After 20-30 more pounds I felt amazing! Sadly, that is as far as I got. My weight loss stalled at 300 pounds. What a crappy number to get stuck at. After a few months of trying many things to get my weight loss going again, I decided I needed some help. My mother was going through the motions to get gastric bypass and I thought I would tag along to one of the meetings. Man, that was a scary situation. I did not want the surgery after listening to what it was all about and all the things that had to be done in order to get it. After a few weeks of thinking I decided that I would start the program and see where it led me. I knew that no matter what, I didn't have to get the surgery if I didn't want to. So off I went in secrecy to these meetings and pre-surgical appointments and testing. I didn't tell anyone except my husband and of course my mother. I was embarrassed to admit that I couldn't lose weight on my own and that I had to take the easy way out and get surgery.

I finally came to a point where I had to tell someone about it. So I confided in my friends. My friends that have always been there for me. They supported me without question. I was so nervous because of everything I've heard about weight loss surgery. Some people believe it is only for lazy people that don't want to try to diet. I'm quite sure I was one of those people too. But after getting to a point where I felt I needed a little more help, I was a believer that it is not an easy way out. So in the end, I decided to get the surgery. I decided it was what is best for me and my family. I have no regrets at this point and I know that my health is only going to benefit from it. So I got the surgery to feel better about myself and to be able to exercise and be a healthy role model to my daughter.

Before Gastric Surgery 1/23/2011 281 pounds

Why do we need another blog?

Why does this world need another blog? I mean, aren't there enough? I had a Sleeve Gastrectomy on 1/24/2011. I never thought it would be so difficult to go through this process and be a Vegan or Vegetarian. I decided that because of my experience, I would try to help out others in the same position. As I tackle this journey I will share my obstacles and triumps. I hope that sharing my journey can help someone else.