Stuff to read

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

One year update

I had the vertical sleeve gastrectomy a year ago without a single problem or complication. I didn't exercise (bad I know, but I will start) and have pretty much stuck to the general diet of the program, with the occasional slice of pizza or bite of pasta. Eating out is no problem; the leftover other half is lunch. Most places have some form of fish, chicken, beef and a vegetable.

At 331 pounds where I started, I barely fit in size 28 jeans and a 3x top. Now I'm wearing size 22 jeans, and a 1x top it's a lot easier to breathe, walk, and I have more energy. I know I will lose more slowly now but I will keep going. Maybe one day I can be size 16. That would be fine by me.

I'm glad I did it, and I would do it again.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

6 weeks out- 1st fresh tomato caveat

Today's lunch: 4 small slices fresh mozzarella, chopped fresh basil, one peeled farmer's market tomato.

I was able to finish half of this, and the tomato, though delicious, isn't sitting well. Now I know why people wait 3 months before trying salad. Next time I do this, it'll be with canned tomato.

Friday, August 27, 2010

6 weeks out - general report

I'm averaging a loss of 3 lbs a week since surgery--which is what my surgeon said would happen. My biggest cheat (wine and dark chocolate) gave me 1,200 calories for one day, but on average it's about 800 a day. This morning I weigh 292. I started on my surgery day at 313. Slow but steady. 6 weeks, 21 lbs gone. It's the long term that counts--I don't pay attention to the day to day 1-2 pound fluctuations (probably water weight) on the scale, I go by my Monday weekly weigh-in.

Things I find helpful: Always having a shaker bottle in my hand. I use the kind with the metal ball inside for mixing protein easier ("Blender Bottle"); drinking no cal beverages constantly (helps with hunger feelings, which I still get sometimes. The Grehlin leaves our system slowly).

Things I keep in my desk at work: Protein powder, tons of the Wal-Mart version of Crystal Lite (half the price, and the apple one is really good)

Progresso Light Soups (160 calories a can, no opener needed, good when I forget to bring my lunch)

Areas where I seem to be different from other people on the VST board: my tastes didn't change after surgery; I have no problems getting liquids in (I drink like before, unless the liquid is thick) and meats are no problem to eat. I still haven't tried fresh fruits, salads, and veggies (because of the indigestible fiber) but I can have frozen, canned and cooked fruits and veggies so that's fine. I didn't become lactose intolerant. I had a very smooth surgery recovery. I think protein shakes taste fine (lots of people hate them but I think it may be because they buy the cheap ones, but I could be wrong).

Eating in restaurants isn't a problem, I just pick grilled or broiled meat, chicken, or fish and tell them to hold the carbs (no potato, bread, rice etc). I take whatever's left home for the next day's lunch. I stay away from fast food completely.

Areas where I was the same: Constipation as soon as I hit mushies/soft solids (it cleared up); the dreaded 3-week stall (it cleared up). It's just our bodies adjusting.

Things I'm working on: exercising more. For people who have reached goal, exercise seems to be key, and they do it every day. Doing it in the morning is best because you burn calories faster all day long. I use Leslie Sansone's 3 Mile Walk DVD for now.

In total, I've lost 37 lbs since I started the pre-op diet and I feel a lot better, I can walk more easily, and don't regret having the surgery. I'm off all my pre-op meds. (Diabetes, cholesterol, triglycerides, anti-depressants)

I am very conscious of having a protein RTD Isopure Plus drink in my purse and in the office for peace of mind. You never know when you'll need it (long meetings etc). I also carry a MedicAlert bracelet that says "Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy-No blind NG tube" when I travel.

That's all I can think of, any questions just ask!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Spanish tortilla breakfast recipe

Ok, no pic this time, but it would just look like an egg, lol. A Spanish tortilla (from Spain, not Mexico) is an egg fritatta served in slices like a pie. I love the flavor, but I'm not going to make a whole pan of it, so here's my single serving substitute:

One SMALL (like new red 1 inch diameter tiny tiny) potato. Peel and then microwave 3 mins. Chop.
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 eggs
Salt to taste

Put a small amount of olive oil in pan. Add potato and garlic and cook until the smell is amazing. Then add the egg, crush the yolk and cook until egg is done.


About 300 calories
15 gr protein
27 grams carbs (I don't eat other carbs when I have this breakfast--my limit is 35 carbs/day but my nutritionist says I can have 100 carbs/day but I don't believe her lol)
15 grams fat (but it's "good" fat)

I finished out this day with cheese sticks and protein shakes. I just wasn't that hungry after having that breakfast. Total calories today, about 700. Some days are less than others, but I run 700-1,000.

I will take pictures of the stuffed peppers when I make them this week. They deserve a pic.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

5 weeks out - here's what I'm eating

With 64 oz of liquid and a protein shake and lowfat string cheese here and there, here is a one week menu for me 5 weeks out. I'll post recipes as soon as possible for the stuff that needs it. Tip: I got a George Foreman grill and it rocks! You don't use any oil for cooking and chicken, fish, beef, and quesadillas come out great. It's fast, too, because both the top and the bottom are heated.

Ok, here's the lowdown on the 5 weeks out menu, about 1,000 calories a day, mostly under 35 carbs a day, low fat and sugar--most meals average 200-300 calories each---recipes to follow in a later post:

Egg & Cheese omelet: Sunday breakfast

Roast Beef Quesadilla: Sunday lunch
Corn tortilla
Lowfat Swiss cheese
Lean Roast beef

Italian salad: Sunday dinner
Mozzarella (in a ball, lowfat if you can find it)
Fresh tomato
Fresh basil
Olive Oil & vinegar
Purple onion

Squash and zucchini fritatta: Monday breakfast, save leftovers for Tues breakfast
Leek (you can substitute shallot or onion)

Salmon and green beans: Monday lunch (cook in morning, wrap for lunch)

Stuffed green peppers: Monday dinner, take other half as lunch Tues
97% fat free Hamburger
Mexican tomatoes from can
Fat free Ricotta
Lowfat Shredded cheese to melt on top

Fritatta: leftovers for Tues breakfast

Crock Pot Soup:  prepare Tuesday morning/Tues dinner
Potatoes (small red)
Green Beans
Canned tomato

Wed: Fritatta breakfast leftovers

Wed lunch: Soup leftovers packed for work

Wed Dinner: Roast beef quesadilla

Thurs breakfast: Steak and eggs

Thurs lunch: Leftover steak and frozen broccoli/carrots

Thurs dinner:  Cod and frozen green beans (save leftovers for Fri lunch)

Fri breakfast: Protein shake with iced coffee

Fri lunch: Corn tortilla, refried beans, cheese quesadilla

Fri dinner: Salmon and eggplant

Spanish tortilla: Sat breakfast, leftovers to follow

Friday, August 6, 2010

Soft Solids Easy Recipe: 5 minute Portabello

This is for when you have absolutely no desire to cook--but you gotta get that protein in! And it's preferable that it taste good.

5 minute Portabello Mushroom Melt

1 medium portabello mushroom cap, stem removed, upended
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (remove stems)
2-3 slices buffalo mozzarella (the kind that looks like a round ball; the best kind is packed in liquid. If you can't find that, get the one that's in the round ball)

Turn the mushroom cap upside down
Microwave for 4 minutes if you have the lowest-power/wattage microwave like me; 2 minutes if you've got a powerful microwave. The mushroom should be moist and tender.

Chop a reasonable amount of fresh basil (fresh is crucial for flavor) and completely fill in the mushroom cap.

Top with thick slices of buffalo mozzarella; be generous. Even if it's not lowfat, it's only 70 calories per slice.  If you can find lowfat, be even more generous. When I made this, I used 3 thin/medium slices of full fat cheese. (I was low on calories). The mushroom only has 20 calories.

Mircowave until the cheese starts to melt down the side. About 1 minute.

[For more protein, and if you have the extra time, sautee a bit of shallot, garlic, and ground meat to add to the basil filling.]


Approximate stats:
150-170 calories, depending on amount of cheese
6 carbs
9 protein
3 fat

Thursday, August 5, 2010

For pre-ops with a surgery date

After surgery, you are put on clear liquids. The big challenge is getting in your liquids, and your protein, that can help healing. I made sure I had a few bottles of Isopure Plus RTD, and when I got sick of sweet stuff, Unjury protein Chicken Broth. I had a very easy time after surgery, and I think having these was part of the reason.

I have a few packets of the Unjury protein chicken broth powder left--enough to get someone through the clear liquids stage. It's a shame to just have it sitting around, so if you have a surgery date, and there's time enough for me to mail it to you, send me an email and let me know you want it. I'll just need your mailing address. The first mailing address received gets it. My email is

I hope this is of help to someone!


UPDATE: Broth has already been sent to someone.