Wednesday, October 28, 2009

To Melanie

I am not sure if you received my response. Just in case, here is 'public' version:

Hi Melanie,
Congratulations on your surgery - big step!
To answer your question, try to get unflavored protein mix and add it to chicken broth. Greek yogurt (which has a lot of live cultures and is thicker) is good easy start. Also try Kefir - not many people know about it - but it is not just pro-biotic but PRE-biotic, in other words it has nutrients to feed pro-biotic bacteria.
I live only a block from Trader Joe - and the books are:

Cooking with all things Trader Joe

The I Love Trader Joe ( )

Good luck to you - and do not get discouraged. The first three months could be unpleasant, but every time I test my blood sugar and step on the scale - I and incredibly happy.

Best wishes!



Sunday, October 25, 2009

4 Months

Today is 4 months since the surgery.
I started with BMI above 40 as 'severely obese', at the day of my surgery I was in the top of 'obese' category. Only yesterday I crossed from 'obese'  into  'overweight' range below 30.
So I am just 'overweight' now. Sweet.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

100 Kg Milestone Smashed

This morning, after few days of reverse direction, my weight dropped to 218.8 lbs, well below 100Kg mark.
The bad news: my belly button is now 2 inches lower than it used to be. 8^)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Zombie Attack

Yesterday I had another zombie attack. I slept most of the day and night, and today I am just fine. I guess that was what I needed and the rest helped. I know that out of over 1600 (!) people who read this blog, many are either expecting surgery, or already had it and I am just few steps ahead. Of course nobody states that my experiences are 'typical' but generally you might expect similar situations. Just like nausea and puking in the beginning, tiredness later. I am trying to listen to my body and follow its requests. No time to be macho...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Practical Tips (2)

After bypass surgery there is unbalance in fiber consumption. I solved it in a very simple way. I use two kinds of Benefiber. One, unflavored, purchased in large 1.6 lb containers, dissolves almost instantly and does not change (significantly) the flavor of drink. I add it to coffee substitutes, etc. Another kind, flavored, comes in little convenient tubes, each suppose to be dissolved in 16 oz. of water. I use one for my 32 oz bottle. Makes a pleasing drink, and two bottles like this satisfy the 64oz water consumption requirement. Since I started doing this about month ago, I have no problems where I used to get 'stuck' before.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Practical Tips

I would like to share some of the practical 'survival' tips that I use.
  1. Fortify the protein:
    I use unflavored protein mix (many varieties).  For example: one container of Nile Organic Potato and Leak soup, just add boiling water and wait 5 minutes, has 110 calories and only 4 grams of protein. That means only 16 calories are from the protein - less than 15%. I try to keep my daily ratio of protein calories to total calories above 35%. By adding half scoop of protein mix (60 calories, 12 grams of protein, 80% ratio), my soup meal becomes 170 calories, 16 grams of protein, 37.6% ratio. I am still not dealing well with meat, so this 'trick' is sure way to boost protein intake and still create easily digestible meal.
  2. Eat soups:
    I work a lot, live by myself and cooking is not really what I want to do. Soups (fortified with protein mix) solved my problem. Some of my favorites:
  3. - Trader Joe Beef and Barley (200 cal, 14g protein - serves two meals) - a small carton. 
    - Nile Organic few varieties - single meal, a cup with dry soup - add boiling water.
    - Health Valley Organic - microwavable.. - meal and a half. 
    • Other foods - quick, convenient, and tolerable:
    • - Light string cheese 
      - Cooked shrimp 
      - Fish (sashimi or broiled) 
      - Cottage cheese (organic with live cultures - many store brands are 'dead') 
      - Organic yogurt and kefir (again, live cultures!) 
      - Canned tuna - go for better ones. 
      - Trader's Joe reduced fat smoked Gouda. 
        • Grain beverage as a coffee substitution and use DAIRY dry non-fat milk based creamer.

        Tuesday, October 6, 2009

        Energy is Back

        I cannot explain and I wish I knew. Yesterday I had a heavy day of lectures in front of 450 students, Bariatric Center Support group meeting, etc. I was expecting my lately usual crash, but as of 11PM I was still full of juice. Today - same thing. I will go to the gym, just returned from nice one hour walk, had my Office Hours with number of students, life is great!
        I am puzzled, but also relieved as I suspected that something might be going wrong...
        I am glad I did not call my doc for an appointment.

        Saturday, October 3, 2009

        To Billy in N.C.

        Billy, I responded to you but the email bounces back. Good luck to you and thank you for the email.


        The fourth month after the surgery starts with two major themes.

        • I can eat more different foods, however still stay away from solid dry textures. I have to eat slowly, or face the punishment. I have to chew, chew, which somehow I forget as old habits die hard.  
        • Second prevailing motif is my tiredness. I feel great, but tired, tired, tired. I sleep 12 hours per day, and that's not enough. I was told that it's normal, but doesn't feel normal to me. Even though I signed up for the gym membership, I am just too tired to go there. Sounds like an excuse, I know, but it is not. I go home instead, to bed, and in 5 minutes I am sleeping like I was on drugs. I am wondering if this is a symptom of some deficiency and I am planning to see my doctor. However at the Bariatric Center last week they told me that any deficiencies will not show up on the tests until 6 month after surgery. At the same time they said that being tired is normal at this stage. My system went through a major surgery, rearranged digestive system, lost 75 lbs, all this puts a stress on me. May be the sleep is what I need more than exercise at this juncture. I am planning to take an easy day today - go for a walk, watch the Ducks game on TV, sleep. Tomorrow I will be mostly in my office working.