Weight Loss vs. Family Feasts

13 Jun

Growing up I was surrounded by food. We were passionate about our family values. We were loud, boisterous, and rowdy. Meals were not just food they were events. Loading up on pasta till you could barely move was the norm.

Being plump was not a problem , it was normal. Chubby cheeks, no problem, the more to squeeze and pinch. My friends almost all came from the same type of families. We were all just one happy and fat neighborhood.

Food Rewards

Rewards were centered around food. And let me you, it did not take much to be rewarded. Getting an A on a school project most certainly deserved a special dessert. I think I could have swatted a fly and earned a dinner celebration.

Birthday dinner menus were planned far in advance. We always got to choose what we wanted for that special occasion. My Mom, could cook anything so the sky was the limit. “Would you like some tiramisu honey? I’ll make you one just for you.”

Overcoming the Food Factory

By the time I reached high school my weight was totally out of control. I began dieting. Let’s see there was the grapefruit diet, banana diet, Weight Watchers, and your basic starvation diet. I would lose 10 or 20 pounds, give up, and gain 30. It was a vicious cycle that many over weight people go through.

My adult life was spent raising the kids and being determined not to let them be like me – at least weight wise. I tried to cook healthy meals and keep them active. My special treats were kept out of reach of the kids. That’s right, it wasn’t good for them, but it was my refuge of joy. Cookies, candies, and chips were kept in my special hiding place.

It took a while but I finally realized I needed help. I spoke with my physician who had for years warned me about the dangers of my weight. We discussed gastric bypass surgery and set a date. It wasn’t quite that quick but after much education and some therapy thrown in I was on my way.

Yep, we threw some therapy in. after spending years and years thinking food was the be all and end all I had to retrain my thinking to realize my rewards did not need to be food. I learned to think twice before diving into a mega meal. I learned that having just a bite of dessert could satisfy me. I didn’t have to eat the whole damn thing.

Bariatric surgery was a life saver for me as it has been for many people. I overcame a lifetime of food therapy with confidence in myself. I became much more active and had much more fun. Weight loss surgery is not for everyone but it worked for me.

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Bariatric Diet: Delicious, Nutritious and Ambitious

9 Jun

I just had a delicious dinner that was so good I feel the need to share. It was highly acceptable on my bariatric diet. At first I wasn’t much in the mood for cooking but once I got going the spicy ideas came flooding in. It was exceedingly easy too – due to some prep work that was already done.

I love to buy those big packages of chicken thighs. What a deal those little suckers are! A couple weeks ago I baked a whole package of them and froze them in two or three thigh packages. I have to brag a little here because a feat almost unthinkable pre-bariatric blondie was performed when cooking them. I love, absolutely love, the chicken skin all crispy and crunchy and delicious. Same goes for fat on a steak but I don’t want to get started on that.

Chicken with no Skin

The day I was preparing the big batch of thighs I meticulously tore the skin off of each precious little thigh. Now that took some will power! In the fat old days I would have left it on and asked whoever was eating with me if they didn’t like the skin to give it to me. Now maybe that sounds a little gross to some but I am here to confess and share my past indulgences with the cyber world.

Bariatric Recipe: Delicious Spicy Chicken Sauce

Now that I’m past the chicken part I can get back to business here. I decided a nice baked potato and broccoli would go great with my pre-cooked (did I say skinless?) chicken thighs. Not wanting to slather the potato with butter and sour cream but wanting something to flavor it up I decided on a chicken broth sauce. Here’s how I did it.

Ingredients

  • One can fat-free chicken broth
  • One medium onion – sliced
  • One tomato – chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • A teaspoon or so of curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray. You can use a teaspoon or so of olive oil if you prefer. Heat the skillet till hot and add the sliced onion. Cook till starting to brown and translucent. Add the tomato and stir in and cook together for a few minutes. Pour half the chicken broth into the skillet with the cayenne pepper and curry. Put a lid on it (I love saying that) and let simmer. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes. Put the cilantro in for the last five minutes.

Add the cornstarch to the leftover chicken broth and stir till completely blended. Add slowly, stirring constantly, into the skillet. This will thicken to a great saucy consistency. Makes two to four servings depending on just how much you love it!

I poured this sauce over the baked potato and even some on the broccoli. OMG delicious! Just goes to prove that bariatric recipes do not, I repeat, do not have to be boring and bland.

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Bariatric Diet and a Mexican Restaurant!

2 Jun

Bariatric Diet - Healthy Mexican FoodDid you know there is healthy Mexican food at restaurants? I didn’t until today. I had a meeting with the owner of Super Mex today in one of his restaurants.

The whole way there I told myself I was not going to eat. But like an idiot I did not have time for breakfast and was absolutely starving when I got there…starving like to the point of feeling a little dizzy – no, I did not say ditzy.

Tortilla Chips and Salsa – NOT

The lovely waitress came to the table and I obediently ordered a Diet Coke. Checkmark for step number one.  Then the temptations started rolling. Out came the tortilla chips, salsa, and bean dip. Anything hot and spicy pushes my craving buttons. I stared at the chips for what seemed like an eternity. The owner must have thought I was in a tortilla trance.

Confessing the Bariatric Diet

The owner and I were having a great conversation (after I came out of my stupor) covering politics, kids, and his business. Feeling we were now buddies and I knew the waitress was about to come for our orders I told him I was really trying to watch what I eat. Maybe that doesn’t count as confessing to a bariatric diet (as I boldly suggested in the heading here). But it’s damn near close so let’s not pay attention to that little detail. My new buddy told me he knew just what I should order.

Mexican Brown Rice, Vegetables, and Shrimp

God love my new friend and his restaurant. He quickly suggested a brown rice, vegetable, and shrimp dish. The waitress had arrived so without delay I ordered just that. Wow! It was absolutely delicious. I put some hot sauce on it and enjoyed a great lunch. The owner told me it was only 400 calories. Not bad for a Mexican restaurant where damage could be in the thousands of calories without much effort.

As a tiny side note you might want to check out this bariatric recipe for fish tacos.

One Little True Confession:  Tortilla Chips – Yes

As I munched on my lunched (not a spelling error – I just like to rhyme) those damn tortilla chips were practically speaking to me begging me to try one. I finally caved. I took one. Now don’t get me wrong this was not your normal everyday little chip. It was a real tortilla chip. Big, round, and about the size of a Frisbee – ok, maybe not quite that big – but big I tell you, BIG.

All in all I really think I did pretty well. I ordered sensibly, only had one little chip (oops, did I say little?) and drank my Diet Coke like a good Bariatric Blondie should. So the moral of the story is you can eat healthy at a restaurant – even a Mexican one.  Stay strong fellow dieters, stay strong! Adios!

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Sublingual B12 Vitamin: Like a Bat out of Hell

17 May

Bariatric Vitamins and B12

I have been pretty religious about taking my bariatric vitamins and supplements but I’ve always wondered about sublingual B12 and what the heck it is. B12 I get, it’s a vitamin. But what does the sublingual part mean? Investigator Blondie is on the job.

Here’s what the big daddy of internet information, Wikipedia, says:

Sublingual, literally ‘under the tongue’, from Latin, refers to the pharmacological route of administration by which drugs diffuse into the blood through tissues under the tongue. Many pharmaceuticals are designed for sublingual administration, including cardiovascular drugs, steroids, barbiturates, enzymes, and increasingly, vitamins and minerals.

To put it in blondie terms that means you put it under your tongue, it dissolves, and rushes through your bloodstream like a bat out of hell. Now wasn’t that a bit easier to understand than the Wiki version? I’ll tell you what, you give people a website and they just have to take it that extra step to look like geniuses.

Bariatric Blondie Lacks Intrinsic Factor

In my internet search and destroy mission I also found a Web 2.0 page about Sublingual B12. It talks about why bariatric patients need Vitamin B12. It seems we are lacking intrinsic factor. Now, I’ve always known I was lacking but I didn’t know my intrinsic factor was included. It seems that since my little pouch was installed my stomach was separated from the part that makes it. Well, I’ll be damned.

I do take Sublingual Vitamin B12 as part of my routine. I am safe from the threatening lack of intrinsic factor. I am sublingually saved from the lack of a crucial vitamin. All is right in Blondie World.

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Bariatric Retraction

15 May

Gastric Bypass Diets do not Care about What Day of the Week it Is

OK, so maybe yesterday wasn’t Saturday. It felt like Saturday to me…obviously. So now I have to rethink my week. I did pretty damn good on Friday, not the weekend. Today is the weekend so did yesterday’s bariatric diet not even count? Have I wasted a day of good behavior? I’m in a little turmoil here folks.

Frosting on Rice Cakes?

Plus, our favorite commenter has suggested frosting on rice cakes. Now I have that temptation to deal with. I scavenged through the pantry. There is no frosting to be found. I may have to chain myself to my desk to prevent going to the store.

My confusion has taken me to a level where I’m not really sure I want to go. Do I splurge because I did so great on Friday and after all it is the weekend? Stop me someone!  Stop the madness!

Calm Down Blondie!

OK, calm your little blonde self down. Settle in and get some leftovers from last night out…sometimes I just must talk to myself. So you got the day wrong. Everyone has done that, at least I hope I’m not the only one.

It’s an absolutely beautiful day. It is Saturday. I see the light and I will try my hardest to stick to my diet. Frosting Man will not take me down. I am stronger than that. I am above a frosting temptation…and I know what day it is.

Am I rambling? You bet I am. It’s a must sometimes when reality hits the misinformed. I will slowly repeat the days of the week to myself until I remember just how that works.

Gastric Bypass Diet: A Day to be Proud

14 May

Bariatric Diet Bragging

Weekends have notoriously been tough for me on my bariatric diet. But today, Saturday, I was exceptionally good and just feel like bragging a little bit. My week was really nothing to boast about so I thought I would be extra careful this weekend.

I will Never, Never Give Up my Hazelnut Coffee Creamer

I started my day with my usual coffee. I’ve never been able to give up coffee creamer so I admit defeat on that one. I just include it in my daily calories and say the hell with it. My favorite flavor is hazelnut by far and I will fight for the last in the bottle.

Berry Delicious

But enough of the naughty me. I started my eating off with some delicious strawberries. I’ve learned to measure everything and I had ¾ of a cup. They were absolutely delicious. I don’t think I’ve had such sweet and scrumptious strawberries in some time. Since I definitely have a sweet tooth the berries took care of that little urge.

Love me some Turkey and Rice Cake

Next on the menu was a rice cake and turkey breast for lunch. Rice cakes are sooo filling that I just munched on little pieces for about an hour. The lean turkey breast slice was very good with it – made for a nice light lunch.

Dinner fit for a Bariatric Surgery Patient

I had a very busy afternoon working so the time flew by and before I knew it dinner time was here. I bought a roasted chicken yesterday. The breasts were very juicy and tender. I measured three ounces and stopped myself there. Broccoli was cooked in the microwave with one of my favorite seasonings – lemon pepper.

As I sit here now I am munching on a few grapes. I plucked the little darlings off the stems, measured ½ a cup, and have grabbed one to eat every five or ten minutes. I’m really quite full but again the grapes took care of my sweet tooth.

I am the Bariatric Queen for the Day

Maybe a little round of applause is in order for the Bariatric Blonde. I will gladly accept all accolades and praise. Now that I’m thinner I can even comfortably pat myself on the back. I’m feeling good, satisfied, and proud.

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Spring: Baby Ducks and Baby Geese

13 May

I love Spring! It’s just so new and exciting. There are new leaves, new flowers, and new baby animals. As I look out my window I can see three baby geese and their proud parents. I’ve been watching the babies grow and become more brave.

They are just so cute I can hardly stand it. They are always very close to their mom and dad. If you ever want to see protective parents just watch some parents of baby geese. They will not let any other geese come even close to the babies. They make unbelievable noises at any intruders. If they must they will chase after and threaten other geese that even look the wrong way at the babies.

The little baby geese are becoming a little more worldly. When I first started watching them they could barely jump up this little ledge coming out of the lake. Mom and dad would have to coax and show them where the easiest place to get up is. Now they jump it, up or down, with no problem. They have even ventured into the lake by themselves. But not too far…mom and dad would never permit that.

There are also several families of ducks that include very adorable little babies. One lucky family has 11 babies. What would you call that? Elevendruplets? I was worried about them at first. I was afraid some big old turtle would grab them from underneath and have baby duck for dinner. But they have gotten bigger and I don’t think (please) that a turtle could get them now.

Some other duck families on the lake have a more manageable family size. One other family has five little ones. It’s just so cute how they all stay close together. If one wanders off – and they frequently do – getting distracted by some lovely bugs or something equally as interesting, mom rounds them up and makes sure the family is totally intact.

So just thought I would talk a little about my view out my window. One rather disconcerting thing though is I caught our cat today lurking at the edge of the lake. I don’t think the fowl parents would let him get close to the babies…but I’ll be keeping a close eye on the little hunter.

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Gastric Bypass Hair Loss

13 May

No thinning hair for me!I was reading an article online today that talked about bariatric surgery hair loss. It was pretty interesting. After WLS it seems our bodies go into an urgent situation. It is like, “wait a minute, what happened to all my big meals, snacks, and all-you-can-eat days?” It goes into a panic mode!

In this panic attack our body decides that it better send all the nutrients to the most important places first. That would be a few little important organs like our kidneys, liver, heart, and some other rather essential places. That leaves behind some less crucial places like our hair.

Stop Thinning Hair: Don’t Forget to Take your Bariatric Vitamins

Well, I don’t know about you but all my life I have treasured my hair. It was like my crowning glory. I couldn’t buy the fashionable clothes I wanted so I always made sure my hair had the latest style and looked fabulous. I made sure it was shiny, styled, and I don’t mind saying, quite beautiful. So what’s up with all the vitamins and nutrients being sent to those silly organs?

Since I did much research before my WLS I knew there was a chance of my hair thinning post bariatric surgery. I was not about to let that happen to me. I loaded my cupboard full of bariatric vitamins and supplements and just dared my organs to take away from my precious tresses.

Protein for Hair

Since our hair is made mainly out of protein, it is called keratin, be sure to have plenty of protein in your bariatric diet. There are some great protein supplements out there. I’ve also seen products for hair, skin, and nail supplementation. These work great too and help all three.

Be sure not to have an emergency situation for your hair. You can help make that not happen. No point crying over dull, thinning, and damaged hair. I still love my hair – but I love the rest of me too!

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Bariatric Diet: Call the Cops

11 May

breadEverything was going great on my bariatric diet (please note “was”). I’ve diligently abided by all the rules and kept things going nice and smooth. But a good friend unknowingly(?) halted all that. Call the diet police if you want because I am guilty!

Danger, Danger! Diet Breakers Inside

Last night I decided to take a little walk to one of  my neighbor’s house. Our dogs play together so I thought it was a good time for an impromptu doggie play date. I should have known before I entered the house that danger lurked inside. The scent coming out of the open windows was pure heaven. Fresh bread!

Diet Willpower: A Good Day gone Bad

It took me exactly 30 seconds for my willpower to break down. I pulled up a chair at the kitchen table, sat down, and proceeded to break any resolve for a good diet day. Now, let’s look at this logically and ask yourself this question. Could you really have freshly baked bread without butter on it? Don’t lie to yourself!

Butter: My Pre-Bariatric Surgery Friend

My answer is easy. Butter was my friend pre-bariatric surgery. Butter became my love last night as I delved into the bread and butter set so graciously in front of me. OMG, it was so delicious, so wonderful, and so absolutely worth it.

Yep, that’s right. I said it was worth it. Every bite was savored. Every morsel was treasured. I had a wonderful time talking with my friend. We laughed and giggled till the nightly news came on. A small glitch won’t kill you.

Gastric Bypass Diet: Back on Track

I’m back on my gastric bypass diet track now. Exercising a little extra will help. I’m cutting back on a couple of things today too. So thanks to my girlfriend for a great evening. But I do think it may have been not too “unknowingly.” After all, the wind was blowing towards my house.

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Calcium Citrate and My Little Broken Toe

10 May

I broke a toe the other day. I know, I can hear the little tiny violins playing now. It was a stupid thing to do and I should have been more careful. How I did it is a little embarrassing. Now that I’ve lost weight I don’t mind (I’m not saying I love it but…) looking in the mirror.

Vanity Strikes the Toe

I was carrying some laundry in to the bedroom and there is a big full length mirror in the hall. Of course, I had to take a little glance in the mirror. Wrong move! Looking away from where I was going made me run my toes right into a little column that comes out of the wall. Now how stupid is that?

I dropped the laundry and grabbed my aching toe. I thought that surely the pain would go away in a minute and all would be right with my world. Well, that didn’t happen. It started to swell, turn colors, and hurt like a son of a bitch. Yes, that’s right, a son of a bitch. If anything deserves a little cussing it’s a broken toe.

Calcium Supplements: My Saving Grace

Before my WLS I frequently would break them and they would take forever to heal. I always attributed it to a lack of calcium. But since my surgery I’ve religiously taken my calcium supplements along with my bariatric vitamins. I’ve been amazed at how quickly my precious toe is healing. Instead of weeks it has only taken a few days to start the healing process. I always take calcium citrate. It’s the very best for bariatric patients – and everyone – for that matter.

The True Pain: Shoes and Sadness

In closing I would like to state that the very worst part of this is not being able to wear my new, absolutely gorgeous, pair of red high heels. I’m sure some of you understand. Now that is real suffering!

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