Losing It! The Party.
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My name is Desiree Dunning. I’m 45 and I weigh 194 pounds.
In our last segment entitled, The Surgery, I talked about the two-week period following my surgery. I discussed my dietary constraints and the unique challenges faced by bariatric patients. In the end, my liquid diet could not be completely sustained due to issues with hunger. As a result, I discovered what it’s like to have severe chest pains!
The liquid diet was finally over and I could move on to things with a little more substance! But first, I had to review the notes from my nutrition class and do a little supplement maintenance!
My first move was to start my chewable bariatric vitamins. This lasted for four dosages. Every time I tried to take them I got violently sick! But prior to my surgery, my NUT (Nutritionist) emphasized the importance of getting my vitamins and supplements in no matter what! Therefore, I called my NUT in an attempt to find an alternative support vitamin that would work. My NUT gave me a variety of vitamin products to try. I tried chewables from other companies, liquid crystals from two companies and capsules. The only ones that didn’t make me violently ill were the capsules, which are difficult for bariatric patients to swallow in the early post-operative days. The reason I couldn’t take any of the other options provided by my NUT is because they were too sweet. I mean sickeningly sweet! I also discovered that it is very common for bariatric patients to have trouble with vitamins. Thus, there is a vitamin patch that you can get a prescription for. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a viable option for me!
One of the things that they teach you in nutrition class is how to chew and process your food. Seriously? I’ll bet that you thought we all knew how to do that! Unfortunately, you would be wrong! According to my NUT, you must chew your food 30 times before swallowing. I expressed how horribly unappealing this sounded, but my NUT assured me that the excessive chewing allows for a few things: the opportunity to properly break down your food; it allows you to properly digest food; and it helps you know that you are full before you overstuff yourself!
How much protein have you had today? Before my surgery, I never contemplated that question! But I quickly figured out that I wouldn’t be able to get enough protein because of my recent surgery. Therefore, I needed some type of supplement in order to get enough protein each day. At first, I used protein shakes. However, I found them to be way to sweet, which made me gag! I needed to find alternative methods to supplement my protein intake. Thus, Dannon’s Light and Fit Greek Yogurt found its way into my daily food rotation. There is another greek yogurt that has more grams of protein and fewer sugars, but the flavors are not as appealing to me. Since I cannot live on yogurt, I had to come up with some additional sources of protein. I heard about GenPro, a protein powder that is unflavored and has thirty grams of protein per serving. This was perfect because that is the maximum amount of protein that your body can absorb at any one time.
It was obvious that I was dying for more food than I could technically have, so I immersed myself in anything that could be put in a blender or food processor. But I never turned on my blender! Why, you may ask, didn’t I turn on the blender? Because I found this stage unappetizing due to the way food looks when it is pureed! Remember that we eat with our eyes and then with our other senses! That being said, I did move on to a “softer” version of soft foods.
During week three, I moved on to the “pureed stage”, which lasts one week. I ate things such as bananas, applesauce, mandarin oranges, and other soft fruits. Cottage cheese and greek yogurt became my new best friends! I made dishes such as chicken and noodle soup, spaghetti with spaghetti squash, and smothered chicken with vegetables—which is cooked in chicken broth for a couple of hours. Therefore, everything was fork tender and very manageable!
Next it was time for regular soft foods, which seemed a little more palatable! I included foods such as cheese, fish, shrimp, baked potato, sautéed spinach, green beans, and pork tenderloin. I also wanted to test out something fried at home because I was warned that it could cause Dumping Syndrome. Specifically, my NUT warned me to try fried food at home the first time in case it made me sick. Fortunately, I was able to eat one piece of the fried chicken AND I didn’t get sick! That’s one in the win column for me!
Now all of this happened right before our family’s Annual Holiday Kick-Off Party. Therefore, I needed to suck it up and head out to the Ranch, despite my culinary restrictions. This meant that some meals would be out and that I would be eating party food. Not the best situation for a person almost four weeks out from bariatric surgery!
If you were in my shoes, what would you have done? I did what anybody else with large, medium and small event experience would do! I pulled up my shirt-sleeves and helped my Mother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law prepare the food. Unfortunately, I did not take care of my needs during the food prep portion and almost passed out twice. Just so you know, my family was unaware that I was having an issue. In any event, that was my cue to make myself stop and eat!
One of the no-no’s post-op is drinking alcohol. This has to do with the number of calories involved. In my case, I found out that I cannot drink Prosecco due to the bubbles. That means champagne and sparkling wine are things of the past! I can consume beer, wine and liquor, but only 30 minutes following a small meal. And then only in small quantities. I decided that it was too soon to tempt fate!
During this two-week period, I was much more successful with my weight loss. I lost 10.5 pounds, bringing by weight-loss grand total up to 24.5 pounds. I also lost several inches.
My name is Desiree Dunning. I am 45 years old and I weigh 183.5 pounds.
Below is my recipe for Smothered Chicken and Vegetables.
Smothered Chicken and Vegetables
1 whole chicken
Red potatoes – quartered
Celery – sliced
Onion – sliced
1 can of Cream of Chicken soup
½ cup of chicken broth
Salt, Pepper, Garlic, fresh basil, bay leaf
Clean and season the chicken. Fill the cavity of the bird with ice cubes and place in a roasting pan. Add the red potatoes, onion, celery, and carrots around the chicken. In a small saucepan, make the cream of chicken soup. Add the soup to the roasting pan. Add salt, pepper, garlic, basil, and bay leaf. Add ½ cup of chicken broth. Put the lid on the roasting pan. Place in the oven for 1.5 hours. Take the lid off and let the chicken broil for 20 to 30 minutes—until the skin is golden brown.
PHOTOGRAPHY: DESIREE DUNNING
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