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March 2009 posts

At least

...the new PCP is a doll.  She's a sweet older woman, totally different bedside manner than any other doc I have met.  She's got a heavy accent, her medical school was in Bulgaria.  I think she may be a fit for us.  I just got a physical, but she was the first to respond non-negatively (I could just say positively, but that isn't it either) to my quick history.  She was intrigued, and liked that I was gathering information about others in my situation.

When pressing my belly for the "does this hurt?" she said, "there's quite a bit of flesh on the belly!"  I would say so. 

All was normal today, but it always is.  I will go back for a fasting blood work at some point, I need to have my iron situation checked again.

Nothing was accomplished today - but they're getting my records and at least I will HAVE a PCP.  That is, until she tells me I am faking seizures.


Bariatric Advantage Calcium Citrate Chewy Bite Chocolate Flavored

 
DSC_1524 DSC_1527
If you are a skimmer, and do not read:  Here is the man review.  I handed Mr. MM one of these chewy bites yesterday and would not divulge what they were.  I said,

"Eat this, give me your immediate reaction and review." 

"I'm not touching this unless you tell me what it is, you're poisoning me aren't you?"

"Trust me."  *giggle*

"I know, I know!  I know EXACTLY what it tastes like!"  He stops, looking at the ceiling and taking entirely too long with the chew.

"You know the edge of a pan of brownies?  JUST. LIKE. THAT.  Then, a little bit of crumbly stuff left in your mouth, not a lot, just enough for me to notice.  Now, WHAT am I eating?"

"Wait, would you be willing to eat these everyday for a supplement?  You think you could follow through with them?"

"Yeah, they're good."  He cracks a joke about him + brownies.

Click here to order.

Continue reading "Bariatric Advantage Calcium Citrate Chewy Bite Chocolate Flavored" »


Hiss.

I have a long awaited appointment for a new PCP today, I have zero luck in finding one, and the specialists always ask - "Who's your primary care doctor?"  Um. 

I am just hoping the man gets home in time to take me.  We have a sick kid home today, I'm going to have to drag her butt there too, maybe they can chill in the car or drive around while they wait for me.

I sort of dread any more appointments, because our new health insurer does not seem to PAY.  I still have an outstanding balance for my last iron infusion.  $2400.00  This never happened before with BCBS, no long-term outstanding bills, they always covered things.  I am sure I will get all sorts of referrals out today and blood work, again.  I also loathe giving my 'history' to new doctors - it's almost like I want NOT tell them ANYTHING and let someone figure me out for once.  I feel like the moment I mention anything - I am not taken seriously.

Grr.


Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

I am currently headed to the freezer to see if I have any ground chicken.  Following recipe is a good swap when you crave something like this:
Tyson® Buffalo Hot Wings - 5 lbs.
  -MM

Source:  Dani Spies

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Ingredients
1 pound ground white meat chicken
1/2 small onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 tsp of smoked Paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup hot sauce (I use Wing-Time)

Garnishes:Blue Cheese Dressing
A couple of handfuls celery sticks
A couple of handfuls carrot sticks

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, onion, garlic, parsley, paprika and cayenne.  Season with salt and black pepper. 

Take about two tablespoons of meat mixture and roll between the palms of your hand to form a meatball about the size of a golf ball.

Place meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray.  Pop them in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until they are cooked through.

While the meatballs are baking, heat the hot sauce in a  large skillet.  Toss the baked meatballs in the hot sauce to coat.

Serve the meatballs with celery and carrot sticks and blue cheese dressing.

Makes 16 meatballs.

Nutritional Analysis

Four Meatballs:  Calories: 184; Total Fat: 6.5g; Saturated Fat: 0.5g; Cholesterol: 75mg; Sodium: 333mg; Carbohydrate: 5g; Dietary Fiber: 0.8g; Sugars: 1.4g; Protein: 29.2g

Dip in THIS!

Rich & Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing (without the fat!)

Ingredients

1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp minced shallot
1 tbsp. of red wine vinegar
1 tsp. of Worchestire
2/3 cup of plain no fat Greek yogurt
2 tbsp of crumbled blue cheese
1 tbsp of skim milk
Salt and pepper

Directions

Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

Makes 6 - 2tbsp. servings

Nutritional Analysis

2 tbsp of dressing: Calories: 30; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 0.7g; Cholesterol: 4mg; Sodium: 60mg; Carbohydrate: 2.1g; Dietary Fiber: 0.81g; Sugars: 1.6g; Protein: 3.2g


Vivanno Knock-off from Eggface! The NOMZ!

This recipe is from The World According to Eggface.  If you haven't already, GO SUBSCRIBE TO HER BLOG.  She tempteth us with delightful WLS appropriate foods. 

Shelly's Banana Protein Mochacchino for 2

2 cups Vanilla Soy Milk (you can use ANY milk or milk/water combo. I'm a soy girl)
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup
1 Banana
1 scoop Click Espresso Protein Powder
1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
3-4 Ice Cubes

Add liquid, then powders, then additions and blend on high.  Serve it with a squirt of SF Land o Lakes Whipped Cream and a drizzle of Smucker's SF Caramel Syrup.

I smelled pancakes.

I haven't made pancakes in a long time. It's mostly because I love them.  They do not love me. I bought a package of Arrowhead Mills Pancake & Waffle Mix, Multigrain to use for a recipe, which of course I haven't tried, but I made actual pancakes yesterday.   Big deal, right? 

They are better nutritionally than the typical pancake and waffle mix, with whole grains, and about 100 calories for the amount I would eat.   For 2 pancakes, prepared with oil, it's 200 calories.  Just mix, it's 130 for two.


Ingredients:
organic whole grain yellow corn flour, organic whole grain wheat flour, organic enriched white flour (flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), buttermilk powder (buttermilk, whey), organic whole grain brown rice flour, baking powder (monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch), organic whole grain rye flour, sodium bicarbonate, sea salt.

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I would absolutely use this mix again and again. 

The kids, were very excited, "You're making pancakes?!" when they smelled them cooking.    Nobody knew that I was not preparing typical mix.

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My seven year old noted the texture difference, they are grainy-er and a bit gritty, but they are full of grains.  Four out of four ate them without complaint with just sugar-free syrup.  I haven't had regular fake maple syrup in the house for years, I can't even imagine!

Hungry Jack Regular Microwavable Syrup
(210 calories in one serving for just the syrup.  31 sugars, mostly from HFCS.  Nom.  Or 25 calories for sugar-free syrup made with Splenda.)
Picture 19

I tried one yesterday, and reheated one today for my own breakfast. 

Pancakes are super-filling in a post gastric bypass belly, typically not something you're supposed to eat anyway, but I think I will mess around with this mix and make them even healthier for myself and the kids.   (Thinking about what I could sneak in.)  Or I could make these, which I am drooling over right now, but they have to be super-high calorie, kind of kills half the purpose, but still whole grain!


Old lady.

Bachelorette party this afternoon, the photos aren't very appropriate.  (No, no nakey mens, just toys.)  But, I am posting rather, to say I ate a brownie in the shape of a peni, washed it down with beer.  Yum.  That's a good rule following girl.  Though, as everyone continued to party, my SIL and I went home to the babies.  We're old.  LOL.

Back to regularly non-scheduled posting tomorrow.

Continue reading "Old lady." »


Chocolate is on the way, woot.

The highly anticipated (I know, right?  Only we could get excited over a supplement.   I was excited to get more Chewy Fish Oils the other day.  WEIRD-O.) BA Chewy Bites are finally in stock and shipping out.

I have not tried them yet, but I have been told they are amazing.  I will review them when I get 'em, and I will let you know either way.  I am a fan of the chocolate calcium products in general, I hope this does pissadoint.  ;) 

Click here to order.

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The Bariatric Advantage® Calcium Citrate Chewy Bites have been designed
with the weight loss surgery patient in mind.  They are sugar-free and only
have 15 calories per chew, far below the levels previously found in early
products.  The initial flavor is chocolate and will be followed next by
lemon cream.

Calcium Citrate that tastes like dessert – Wow! After weight loss surgery, many people are required to take a lot of calcium. At Bariatric Advantage, we recognize that providing different flavors and forms of this important nutrient helps assure compliance and makes taking large amounts of calcium much easier. Our Calcium Citrate Chewy Bites deliver 250 mg of elemental calcium as calcium citrate in a delicious chew. They also contain 125 IU of vitamin D3 for healthy absorption. These chews are sugar-free as well, so you don’t have to worry about getting extra carbs while you get the calcium you need. Each chew is individually wrapped so you can take them with you wherever you go.

But, I can't ever have that again!

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I shared a recipe with Obesity Help that was published in their newsletter.

I opened a can'o'worms.

  • "But!  I was told I could NEVER eat lettuce after surgery?"
  • "My nutritionist told me not to eat lettuce because it's a filler food with little to no nutrition and I can't ever have it again!"
  • "We're not supposed to eat lettuce, you know."
  • "What about berries?  They told me no berries!"

Disclaimer time!  I am not a nutritionist nor a doctor, do not take your advice from the internet.  Thank you, come again.

Mama's plate.


Now.  About LETTUCE.  After you are cleared for raw veggies, a 'soft' lettuce is typically allowed on a post operative diet.  I see listed on many hospital programs, specifically these.

From  Brigham and Womens' Boston:

THE FOLLOWING VEGETABLES ARE CONSIDERED "FREE"

  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Green onion
  • Hot peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Radishes
  • Zucchini
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spinach

Early post op, you might quiver at the mere thought of eating any of those let alone a salad. 

But, soon as you feel up to it and are given the okay to move on to big girl food, you may CRAVE crunchy, and how can we fulfill a bit of that urge without hitting the crackers?  Crunchy veggies. 

If your nutritionist told you that lettuce is a filler food with little to no nutritional value, that's because it IS.  So what? 

If you are getting in ALL OF YOUR OTHER NUTRIENT REQUIREMENTS, lettuce is just extra, nearly calorie-free and a GOOD FILLER. 

That's why we eat it! 

Early on, your small stomach will not be able to handle the kind of filler food that lettuce might be.  Hell, you may never be able to DIGEST it or other raw veggies, but are you not going to try anything just because it may bother you?  Uh, no.  It's all a food roulette, pretty much for life (mostly RNY life) and sometimes food goes in sometimes it comes back.  (For me?  Raw onions and raw whole bites of carrots come back and hurt my intestines, among other things.)

Your nutritionist doesn't want you filling your pouch with non-nutritive foods because you must leave room for the muscle saving proteins and such.  (At first you won't HAVE any room for extras.) 

Main Entry:
non·nu·tri·tive Listen to the pronunciation of nonnutritive
Pronunciation:
\-ˈn(y)ü-trət-iv\
Function:
adjective
: not relating to or providing nutrition <nonnutritive sweeteners>


Lettuces are not entirely non-nutritive.  They contain vitamins.

It does not take long before you long to stay full.  Instead of grazing, why not introduce 'free' foods or low calorie salads to fill those urges?  (Says the girl who ate 1/4 cucumber last night with salt, pepper and Wasabi!)  If you're going to snack and can't spare the calories, it's safer to go that route.  You may be shaking your head NOW as a baby WLS'er eating nearly nothing, you can't imagine eating anything like a salad.  EWW.  But, your body changes fast, and at some point you may be able to eat normal portions again, and you are taking in lots of calories, sometimes enough to hold your weight loss at a dead stop.  (Hi!  Waving!)

As for the berries, they are one of the best lower GI choices in fruit.  SO good for you.  Not immediately after surgery, you have to wait until you are cleared for fresh fruit.  Ask you nutritionist or doctor.

For lettuce, romaine gives the best actual nutrition.

By the time you're say, five years post op, you can eat a HUGANTIC bowl of lettuce without damaging your day's calories, as long as you're not at a salad bar loading it up with cheeses and other really high fat and calorie dense condiments.  Stick to the veggies and a fresh dressing.  No bottled crap with 200 calories in a couple of tablespoons.

I guess my point is, if you have a growling belly,  you're far enough post op,  and you have already eaten your share of necessary proteins/or have a plan to get them all in over the day.  EAT A SALAD.  It won't kill you.


You can reach me on an airplane, You can reach me with your mind...

http://www.hbg.psu.edu/hum/McCormick/vance/president/telegram_christmas_wilson.jpg
We got yet another new phone here a while back.  Two handsets and a corded base, just in case, you know the hand-sets went missing.  With a two year old that stores things for hibernation and a first grader who likes to talk on the phone, gone.  Nobody claims to know where they are.

So, I ask you:  Do have any idea where EITHER handset is?  Huh?  Did you take it?  Did you hide it under your mattress to call your friends?  I don't mind, I just need at least ONE back.  Why?  Because the friggin' base handset does not work!

If you need me, send a telegram.

GROWL.

The other day, I was under a bed, you know, looking for shit, and I found a cell phone!  Was it MY CELL PHONE MIA 2008?!  MAYBE! MAYBE IT WAS! 

Remember the phone that had a nearly $300.00 internet usage charge?  I blamed my first grader for taking it and playing poker online, on my phone you know. (I did think maybe she did, but I am being sarcastic, she can barely dial a number correctly.) I was so excited to find it again!  Where had it been?  Did she hide it once it was no longer charged?  I took it discreetly, plugged it in.  It wasn't.  It was my husbands phone.  The two year old had taken it THIS time, it was on a table (where I placed it because it was dead), and she took it.

I let my first grader hold it.  Show me how to use it, you know, just to see.  She can't.  "Mama, help me, it doesn't woooooork."

So, I ask you:  (laugh)  Did you take my cell phone a couple of months ago?  Did you rack up $300.00 worth of bill on it for the interwebz?  I don't care, just send it back so I can have a CELL PHONE because I now have NO HOUSE or CELL phone.


Interview with Dave Fouts

Chef Dave Before Bariatric Surgery

Dave Fouts had WLS, lost 210 pounds and took his passion for cooking to the bariatric community.  The following is an interview of Dave Fouts, "The World's First Bariatric Chef" taken from the Milwaukee/Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

Today he's known as "the world's first bariatric chef." He has four books addressing weight loss and travels around the country teaching portion control, healthy eating and cooking techniques. You can find his recipes and a newsletter at www.chefdave.org.

Fouts will be in town this weekend, demonstrating cooking techniques at private luncheon celebrating the 10th year of the Froedtert & Medical College Bariatric Surgery program.

Q. What led you to become a chef?

A. I just always had a passion for food. As a child I never wanted to do anything but be in the kitchen. It was more than just the food. It was a creative outlet. . . . 

I have to give credit to my granny. She's in her late 80s now. She'd let me stand next to her on a chair and treated me as an equal and taught me how to cook. . . . She really took the time out. She had a lot of grandkids and realized I had a gift and nurtured it.

Q. You started out managing a fast-food restaurant. What did you learn?

A. It gives you insight into how people rely on fast food. . . . You've got a meal for $4, and you're out the door and you're full. Everything I've done in life teaches me about the value and cost of the food.

What I took - besides gaining an extra 50 pounds eating there - is if you have the proper price point, people will come and eat the food. I do a lot of consulting for Fortune 500 companies. When they go to add healthy foods to their menus, people don't want to buy it. Too high in price, or they don't want to eat like that by themselves.

It's one thing to say it and another to act on it. I feel sometimes that's how companies get a bad rap. They invest millions into development and launching, but then nobody buys it.

Q. Why did you choose bariatric surgery?

A. It's not a small decision. Weight-loss surgery should always be the last resort. I'd tried every single diet there was. . . . 

The turning point was with my oldest son, who is now 8. Looking at pictures, I didn't remember half of the events. . . . I wasn't in the photos. Where was I? My wife said, "Oh, you were at home, you weren't feeling well. You were tired." My obesity was that bad.

I'd watched a (television) special about a surgery called gastric bypass used for this 50-year-old man to live. . . . To this day, I would hope that one day he would read this and contact me because he is the reason. He opened up my eyes to a whole different world.

Q. How do you approach food differently now?

A. I realized I needed to do something as a chef when I was sitting there after surgery. Chefs know you don't puree food in a blender, you puree food in a food processor. Otherwise it is going to be gross. That's why people were having failures after this surgery.

Other patients were having issues keeping food down. It wasn't that they weren't doing what the dietitian told them. They didn't know how to prepare the food or choose the meat. I talked to my physician, and we realized just education on proper cooking measures, just giving them the basics, would make a difference.

Q. Who is the audience for your books?

A. When I wrote "Culinary Classics," it was the only cookbook published for weight-loss surgery patients. . . . Now it is out of print.

The industry has changed since I had that surgery (in 2001). We had to do strictly glorified Atkins. . . . 

There are now some standards. I typically do a cookbook every two years because the guidelines change. . . . My latest book, "90 Ways to Ditch Your Diet," is being repackaged as "30 Days to Ditch Your Diet." "World's First Bariatric Chef" was taken off the cover. People thought it wasn't for them. But it is for them, because it teaches portion sizes.

Q. What do you think of weight loss shows like "The Biggest Loser"?

A. I think it has inspired people, but there is more drama than there needs to be. . . . I don't think weight loss should be sensationalized. It is a disease in this country that affects millions of people every year. . . . 

We don't sensationalize heart disease, . . . but we do that with people who are overweight. . . . It's the one last frontiers where people can be discriminated against, and it is socially acceptable. That bothers me.

90 Ways to Ditch your Diet - Click Image to Close

C-O-M-C-A-S-T

Dear COM CAST contracted employee,

I am sorry that I answered the door and perhaps frightened you.  You might not recall, but you came to disconnect our old service and pick up the box and modem.  I saw your COM CAST shirt, so I opened the door.  What you may not have noted was that I wasn't fully dressed.  When you pulled into the driveway, I was preparing to hop in the shower.  I had juuuust taken my pants off. 

I realized you were waiting at the door, so I threw on whatever I found.  I was obviously not aware of your visit.  On the top of the clean laundry pile, a pair of Hanes Men's Boxer Briefs.  What I forgot is that I had also applied the GREEN face mask.  What you arrived to was a green faced short haired girl in men's underwear.  Confusing, no?  I think you were very confused by my appearance, as your facial expression indicated.  You may have been slightly intrigued by this androgynous green monster, you stared into my eyes.  (SNORT.)

The small talk was extraordinarily awkward on my part, I just wanted to shut the door, but you started talking about the weather.  There was my chance to explain!  I might have said that I was getting in the tub, so I could go out for a walk, TMI.  And you shared that you have been trying to get back in the running groove.  Yeah, cool, bye!  The talking continued and I was inching my way back in. 

"So, did you have to sign a contract for that FIOS?"   

"I don't remember, but it's less expensive, thanks!"

Then I shut the door.  I hope I did not burn a hole into your retinas with my unique outfit and green face.   Had I known you were coming I'd have ignored the door.

Signed,

Green faced male undies wearing stubble legged freak.


I can haz Stomaphyx?

(I want my Topamax back.  No.  I don't.  I prefer knowing where my feet and hands are and not having visual disturbances, and sort of being somewhat back to normal.  BUT, man did it help with the GRAZING.) 

I start most days with super intentions and then I blank out.  It's almost like being pre-op on a much smaller scale.  HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPO. 

The thing IS, that when the urges to graze are there as an early post-op, you can't do much damage calorically. 

This far out, forget about it.  If I want something, any something, I can usually eat a typical serving, and then I am hungry again within 60-90-120 minutes.

Do I sound like a Stomaphyx commercial yet?

Eat something.
Full temporarily.
Hungry again.
Eat something heavier, hoping it will just stick.
Full temporarily.
Hungry again, divert.  Find something else.  Ignore.  Drink something.  Wait.
Eat.


During the year on Topamax I could basically eat whatever, whenever, I didn't struggle as much.  My weight dropped at first, and bounced a little, but I wasn't gaining.

It's constant.  It almost feels like the old days on Weight Watchers without the counting points and shit.  (SIDE NOTE:  OMG, remember going to meetings, and then leaving after and going OUT TO EAT because you pissed out all your water weight and lost weight?  We would get fucking PIZZA after the meetings.)

I have said it before, I would (hypothetically, I am not crazy) be better off if I never ate a thing every single day and allowed my blood sugar to remain low normal, and not tempt the full/empty beast.  It's all, "FEEED ME, FEEEED MY HOOOOLE!" once tempted.  If I don't start the day with food, I'm alright. 

Sounds crazy to some, I know.  But I know there are a lot of you out there that do this cycle game daily.  I know it's a direct route to regain.

I am being honest with you because, for one, because I know some WLS'ers lie about their eating habits.  They may tell you they eat like a rabbit with a protein fetish, but not so much.  Sure it's nobody's business what they are putting in their mouths, until they tell you how to eat, or claim to be something else. 

"Oh hai, I iz a size six!  I haz never regainz!  You haz to eet wike me to be suxsessfulls!"

Funny-pictures-fat-cat-in-basket
Bullshit.

I am usually pretty good.  Even if I am eating badly in my own eyes, it's typically decent choices, just too frequently.  I don't claim that I don't touch shit, I do.  If I want a burger, I get one, but in my situation it's not often since I am pretty stucked for the majority of the week.  I have to eat what is physically in the house.  If what is in the house are all good choices, it keeps me to a certain level of suck eating.  I may eat too many frequent snacks of decent foods, you know?

I can't lie though.  I hate that I have upswings in weight, but I am here writing to you daily about "life after blah blah blah," and you have to know it's hard.  It was SO simple at first, right?  That first year to second year, it's a breeze, until you can eat again.


Door to door.

I am such a wuss.

Please do not be offended.  It is truly just my nature to avoid confrontation, among other things.

We came home from the grocery store, when I saw three women dressed in various shades of black trench coats and hats.  They were holding something to their chests, walking slowly.   First I thought, IT'S THAT NANNY SHOW!  THEY ARE HERE TO SAVE ME! 

Wait a minute.  No. 

Continue reading "Door to door." »


Bariatric Fusion Multivitamins


After weight loss surgery, vitamins are imperative, from my experience, you're not allowed to skimp.   I am not a nutritionist - nor a doctor - listen to them - however I think vitamins are important.  This is why I am on this mission - to try every. single. vitamin. out there made for the bariatric post op.

Continue reading "Bariatric Fusion Multivitamins" »