Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch

My yesterday in post weight loss surgery eating...

Breakfast: Scrambled Egg Bowls are one of my favorite post-op breakfasts. In fact, I've been known to have them for dinner too. This one is probably the one I have the most because I hate wasting mushrooms so if I have a few bumping around I sautee them with a pinch of fresh thyme and serve them over a scrambled egg with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Bariatric Gastric Bypass Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Low Carb Protein RNY VSG Recipe Cooking

More Eggface Scrambled Egg Breakfast Bowl Ideas

After breakfast, I head to the Farmer's Market. Today was the first day I felt human after a 3-day migraine. My fellow sufferers can relate I'm sure... that foggy, can't move too quickly because you are afraid it will come raging back feeling but also really wanting to do something to get back into the human race. I didn't stay long but I bought some beautiful zucchini, eggplant, peppers and onions that will all turn into delicious parts of this week's menus and some berries for breakfast or toss in a protein shake.

Lunch: Melted Ham and Cheese Roll-ups and Pickles, an easy, go-to, are cold-cut roll-ups (look for low sodium, free from nitrates/nitrites options) sometimes I just roll them up and call it a meal or when I'm feeling like a grilled cheese (I don't do bread) a quick saute in a pan gives me the melty, cheesy, gooey, I'm wanting.

Bariatric Gastric Bypass Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Low Carb Protein RNY VSG Recipe Cooking

More Things to do with Cold Cuts

Dinner: I felt up to a little cooking and made Shrimp and Zucchini Noodles with a storebought Bruschetta sauce... this one is so easy and literally takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish. Less if you used a pre-cooked protein... like leftover chopped, grilled chicken or steak instead of shrimp which I sometimes do.

Gastric Bypass Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Low Carb Protein RNY VSG Recipe Cooking

Shelly's Bruschetta Shrimp and Zucchini Noodles

2 Medium-sized Zucchini, spiralized
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
3/4 cup Storebought Bruschetta Sauce
12 large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and a few twists of Black Pepper to taste

Spiralize the zucchini and saute till just tender about 5 minutes. Drain most of the excess liquid. I prefer a lot of sauce so I drain most but not all. If you like a less soupy end product drain it all. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add Bruschetta sauce and shrimp. Cover and cook till shrimp are opaque and cooked about 8 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cooks Notes: If you don't have a spiralizer (get one, they are great and fairly inexpensive) but of course you can also just slice the squash, or buy premade zoodles but 3 boxes of those and you've bought your spiralizer. You can find Bruschetta sauce in the fresh pasta section or I love a shelf-stable jarred Bruschetta Sauce that Trader Joe's makes (what I used this time) or of course you can make your own:

Homemade Bruschetta Sauce

4 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and diced
1-2 Tablespoons, fresh Basil, chopped
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
a drizzle of Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
pinch of dried Oregano
Kosher Salt, taste
a twist of Black Pepper

Mix all ingredients together about 15 minutes before serving.

More Low Carb, Alternatives to Pasta
More Healthy Italian Recipes

Snacks: I had a Starbucks Sugar Free Vanilla Soy Latte as I walked around the Farmer's Market and in the evening a piece of Coconut Cream Protein Pie sitting outside getting some fresh air. After being curled up in a dark, room it was nice to breathe some fresh air and look at the stars.

I've shared this story before but for those new to the blog... I wasn't a big birthday cake fan as a kid. I always requested a special Coconut Cream Pie that my neighbor Mrs. B. made for me. It had nuts pressed in the crust and was the bomb. My neighbor growing up on Long Island Mrs. B was quite the character and an awesome cook. When I was a kid I was her official taste tester. She'd have me taste-testing different versions of the same recipe and I would have to give my opinion in detail as to why I preferred one over the other. She entered and won cooking and recipe contests all the time. Her garage was literally full of new appliances (they gave away those back in the day) which she would then sell and use the money to go on exotic vacations to places like Fiji and Bali. She passed away about a year ago. She was one of my cooking inspirations and every time I enter a cooking contest (and once and while win) I think of her.  Here's my no sugar added, bariatric surgery friendly version...

Sugar Free No Sugar Added Gastric Bypass VSG RNY Vertical Sleeve

Shelly's Coconut Cream Protein Pie 

Crust Layer
1/2 cup Oats, dry
1/2 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Spelt Flour
1/4 cup Protein Powder, any flavor
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/3 cup Nuts, chopped (I used Pecans)
1/4 cup Sugar-Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla)
1 Tablespoon Melted Butter

Sugar Free No Sugar Added Gastric Bypass VSG RNY Vertical Sleeve

Pudding Layer 
2 cups of Sugar-Free Pudding (I used 1 small package Sugar-Free Vanilla Pudding and milk, prepared per package direction) When pudding has thickened, mix in 1/4 cup Unsweetened Coconut, toasted. You'll need a little more for the top.

Sugar Free No Sugar Added Gastric Bypass VSG RNY Vertical Sleeve

Optional Protein Pudding: 1/4 cup Protein Powder (any flavor, mix into the milk and pudding mix to dissolve) When pudding has thickened, mix in the 1/4 cup Unsweetened Coconut, toasted OR another option: 1 small package Sugar-Free Vanilla Pudding and instead of the milk and added protein powder in the pudding recipe you can use Vanilla Ready to Drink Protein Shake (Premier, Unjury, etc.) When pudding has thickened, mix in the 1/4 cup Unsweetened Coconut, toasted.
You'll need a little more for the top.

Mix crust ingredients together and press into 11x8 Pyrex rectangle casserole dish or pie plate that has been sprayed well with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 for 13 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Spread pudding over cooled crust. I like to have some additional toasted coconut on top of the pudding layer but can be omitted. I think it makes it pretty. Return to the fridge for at least an hour. Serve portions with a squirt of No Sugar Added, Homemade Whipped Cream. You can even make that coconut flavored. Makes around 15 servings. Holds up several days in the fridge, I actually made this before my migraine and the crust was still yummy and crunchy.

More Bariatric Friendly Desserts
More Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus

Thankful I am on the other side of this migraine. I need to go back to the doctor and see what is new and exciting in the way of treatments. Open to hearing from others about what is working for them.

Weight Loss Surgery Wisdom from a Friend

I believe people come into your life for a reason. Years ago when I was researching bariatric surgery I became active on the Obesityhelp website and made several friends, many of whom I still chat with after all these years. One of those early friends was Ruth Lamb (aka Dame Tooter) her early words of wisdom and guidance helped me and seeing her paying it forward was definitely a guide for me as I became a post-op to continue to share my experience, story, tips, recipes, etc. for others so their journey might be made a little easier. I lost my friend and early weight loss surgery mentor to cancer this weekend. I will miss her and always be grateful that we crossed paths in this life.  

Quote friendship

I want to share something she wrote years ago that helped me, I hope it helps the newer post-ops reading...
WLS TIMELINE – Or Am I Normal? by Ruth Lamb 
As you can guess not everything will apply to everyone, however, the following are my observations for the last few years.

By 1 week preop:
Panic sets in – much like the panic before having a baby. What to take to the hospital… pack and repack. Arrange everything you can before going into surgery (cook meals, write letters, read the memorial pages (an old OH feature) and then go to the message boards to get reassurance, confirm babysitting, postop help, time off work, travel arrangements, etc.). Dive into whatever final foods you’re just SURE you’ll never eat again. Ask the MB (Message Board) what foods you’ll never eat again. Insomnia! Mood swings. Preop testing, nasty bowel preps (btw, there are NO easy ways to get this stuff down. Just do it!). Wonder if you’re weird because you ARE NOT scared. Wonder if you are making a mistake because you ARE scared. 
Postop Day 1 through Week 2:
“What the hell did I just DO to myself???”
“Why am I/am I not hungry?”
“I’ll NEVER be able to get in all the fluid/protein/food they want me to.”
“I can eat TOO much – did I break something?”
“I can’t eat enough… will I die of starvation?”
“I can’t believe how badly this hurt! ~OR~ I can’t believe I even had surgery, because there’s so little pain!”
“Why do I have no energy?”
“When can I eat…fill in the blank?”
“Will I ever be able to gulp water again?”
“Why did I GAIN 10 pounds???”
“Wow, I’ve lost 10 pounds!”
You think you've hit your first plateau. Nope. Odds are VERY good you haven't :-) 
Postop weeks 2 through 12:
Post op remorse usually fades during this time period. What a relief that is!
You TRY hard to stick to your doctor's diet regimen/protocol and wonder if you’re evil when you slip off the wagon by eating… fill in the blank.
You think you've hit your first, 2nd or 3rd plateau. Nope. Odds are VERY good you haven't :-)
Nearly everyone experiences a stall during the first 3 months.
You accidentally gulp water and freak that you’ve broken your pouch.
You accidentally forget to chew something to death and fear you’ve plugged your stoma.
You FEAR strictures, fistulas, and leaks every time you burp, get nauseated, have diarrhea, feel a muscle cramp, etc. This fear is not abnormal and you ‘could’ have one of these since this is the prime time for it – however, fear is no way to live. There are common symptoms attributed to these. Hopefully, you’ve researched them postop and can shelve the fear and keep a reasonable eye out for them.
You discover that you vomit or burp mucus, foam or fluid occasionally. This is called frothing, the foamies, or just mucus. It typically IS just mucus, caused by your healing pouch.
You discover your body has weird ways of telling you that you’ve eaten enough/too much (i.e., sneezing, sniffles, runny nose, hiccuping, etc)
You wonder if it’s normal to poop once, twice, three times a week.
You discover one day the scale is evil (you’re losing too slow) and the next day it's your friend when it rewards you with 1, 2, 5 pounds gone.
You wonder if you’re losing too fast and how will you stop it when you get to ‘goal’.
You wonder if you’ll EVER get to ‘goal’.
You try numerous types of protein drinks/bars, etc and wonder if protein is ‘for life’.
You swear you will never eat or drink… fill in the blank…as it is evil or forbidden (pop, cookies, popcorn, gum, etc.)
You discover that many (not ALL) long-term postops have discovered that very little is forbidden or evil to them in moderation and with care. 
Months 3 through 18:
You worry you are a slow loser and have days you doubt the tool will work, or wonder if it’s broke. I am NOT mocking. Some people’s tools DO break during this period of time, but it is in the minority, not the majority.
You wonder if you’ll ever get to goal.
You made goal and worry you’ll not stop losing.
You worry because you can eat TOO much.
You worry because you still eat too little.
You worry about getting in enough protein.
You worry you’re getting in too much protein.
You ponder whether carbs are evil or not.
You question again whether diet pills are evil.
You compare your losses against everyone else’s.
You discover that you had an exercise guru hidden within you and are now an exercise maniac.
You discover that you HATE exercise and try and force yourself to get moving.
You may have hit your first plateau. Don't panic! - Have you noticed a reoccurring theme? :-)

Months 19 and beyond:
You may hit a plateau. Don't panic!
You reach goal and worry you'll regain.
You wonder if you'll stop losing!
You wonder if you'll EVER make goal (you've likely heard about the dreaded window and fear it closed at 18 months - be aware, I continued to lose to goal for 20 to 22 months).
You may find yourself sliding; eating the wrong foods; slacking on exercise; and freak when you regain 10 pounds. Time to get back on track. 
This is NOT to discourage you from asking questions. If anything this is to encourage you to. This is to show you that all your fears, doubts, worries and hopes are VERY normal – and to not be afraid to ask that question that is eating at you. I have purposely not provided ‘answers’ to most of the above questions, because we all need to discover our own path on this long loooong journey and everyone’s answer will be slightly different, as will their journey. So if you’re worried, curious, knowledgeable or just flummoxed… ASK, TELL, RESEARCH!  
Good luck to all – preops and postops and just the curious.
Bariatric Surgery Advice Tips Answers Questions
Ruth, Me and Amy (circa 2006)
In Ruth's memory, I will continue to share my story and answer questions whenever I am able. RIP my friend.
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