It is the final day of my full liquid diet! Cue the party horns, streamers and balloons! I’m at the point that I am literally gagging on soup, even when it tastes good. I’m not normally a fan of semi-solid textures all by themselves (think: baby food), but bring on the purees!
It’s curious how I think about food more than I did before surgery, but in a completely different way. Rather than plotting how to satisfy my next craving, I’m more deliberate and careful. I know that planning ahead is the key to being successful in my new life and so I’ve become quite methodical. I’m not saying I no longer have unhealthy cravings…the other night I dreamt that I ordered the entire menu at Sonic and stuffed my face with corn dogs. I’m just glad the cravings stay tucked away in my dreams. 😉 But I digress…
Luckily the pureed phase only lasts a week and will allow me some creativity and variety (plus more protein intake, which is something I desperately need). I’ve created a “Pureed” Pinterest board (Pinterest has become my saving grace during this experience. It gives me great ideas.)
Basically these are some of the options I plan to rotate through:
- Vegetarian refried beans
- Mashed potatoes (with dry milk powder or protein powder)
- Mashed cauliflower (see above)
- Baked low-fat ricotta with tomato sauce
- Plain nonfat Greek yogurt with mashed fruit on top
- Poached eggs with mashed avocado
- Eggs in purgatory (healthy version)
Considering that I can only eat 1/4 cup per serving, I should make it through the week without getting too sick of anything on the list. This is assuming that my sleeve can tolerate everything, of course. I may have some rude awakenings when I start feeding it more substance. I’m trying to be careful about not bombarding my system with more than one new food item at a time.
Looking ahead to Post-Op Week 4, I’ll be attending a nutrition class at my surgeon’s office to discuss incorporating soft foods into my diet. And then the fun can begin! 🙂 I’m excited to start menu planning and trying new, healthy recipes. The good news is, cooking for two is now more like cooking for four/five – cooking one meal should last us a few days with the portions I’ll be eating. We plan to do a lot of crock pot meals to keep whatever meats I eat soft and tender (bonus points for stretching leftovers even further!), as well as A LOT of fish.
I’ll be on soft foods for about five weeks as everything continues to heal, and then I can return to eating “normally” (a new normal for me), with a few big no-nos: white/doughy breads, pasta, rice, sugar. Still no caffeine or alcohol either. To be honest, I don’t miss it.
As I’ve researched food options, I’ve come across some great bariatric-friendly blogs and websites. I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface, because there is a whole world of weight loss surgery websites out there, but these have become especially helpful:
It’s interesting that bariatric postops have developed a diverse array of opinions about what is permissible in the world of bariatric living. Some use full-fat ingredients in tiny portions but completely avoid bread. Some adapt “comfort foods” into more healthy versions. Some still have a strong sweet tooth and have developed goo-gobs of sugar-free desserts. To each their own, I guess (it also varies based on how long ago their surgery was). But it’s reassuring to know that I can still enjoy eating after weight loss surgery.
Other resources and ideas that have come up recently…
- I dusted off our copy of The UltraMetabolism Cookbook, which I have used with great success in the past, for some recipe inspiration and went to town flagging almost every page.
- My cousin and aunt have highly recommended this book, which I plan to utilize a lot.
- I’ll return to frequenting favorite blogs like Katheats for healthy ideas (shout out to a fellow Davidson alum and contributor to the Holistic Nurse series). A few of my tried-and-true favorites: “Low and slow” baked sweet potatoes…oatmeal pancakes…kale chips!
- Steve and I have also discussed signing up for a subscription food delivery service like Blue Apron, or a meal planning app like Cook Smarts, to keep us accountable to cooking at home, rather than resorting to take out after a busy day.
One thing is for sure… I am determined to not only eat LESS but eat BETTER.