Saturday, June 30, 2012

What's For Dinner? Saturday June 30

There's been a lot of discussion in the WLS community lately about what we're eating. Particularly with post-ops that are a month or two back into solid foods, boredom with plain foods can become a problem, and honestly - quite a few of us considered ourselves "foodies" pre-op, and still want to enjoy the variety of fine dining but still of course need to keep to our basic rules and restrictions.

To that end, I've decide to do a regular post on "What's For Dinner?". I'll probably feature most of my daily eating, aside from breakfast - as I'm still most comfortable having a protein shake for my first meal of the day, and I rarely, if ever, venture away from my favorite Syntrax Nectar Chocolate Truffle flavor.

This morning I woke up late, and had shopping to do - so I skipped breakfast - NOT recommended, but this is about how I eat - warts and all.  The nutritionist in my program recommends food items be limited to 10g of fat and 10g of sugar per serving. For the most part, I stick to that - particularly with sugars, a little less so with fats. I've said before that I really hate "fake foods" - and low fat salad dressings and mayonnaise are two of my big ones. I have made a conscious choice to use the "regular" versions of these products today - other days I may choose a variety that is more naturally lower in fats. All that said...

Today's menu is:

Lunch - Tuna Sandwich
  • 1.5 oz albacore tuna (water packed) w/2 tsp mayonaisse
  • 2 small slices French bread (near end of a 1-lb bakery loaf), toasted
  • Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
  • 8 almonds (Blue Diamond, lightly salted)
Dinner - Steak, Green Beans, and Salad
  • Balsamic Glazed Sirloin Steak (3.5 oz portion)
  • 1/2 cup steamed green beans
  • 1 cup mix of romaine lettuce, napa cabbage, roma tomato
  • .5 tbsp Ken's Buttermilk Ranch dressing

 Daily Totals: 719 calories, 34g fat, 56g carbs, 17g sugars, 50g protein

I'm 10g under my goal for protein, and 850 calories is a general guideline (not a hard goal) at my stage post-op, so I have some flexibility for a small snack before bed if I choose.

The Balsamic Glaze for the steak was amazing - definitely going into our rotation for beef meals!

Note: I use for food, exercise, and weight tracking. Nutritional values provided by their database. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Colonoscopy for the 4th

Today was finally my referral appointment with the colon guy - basically just a review of my referring doctor's report, talking with me about what my symptoms have been, and scheduling the colonoscopy.

Since the Great Ass Abscess, I've still had some discharge from the incision site - leading docs to suspect I have a fistula (internal infection that's often perforated through from the colon - frequently related to Crohn's disease). Also, during the abscess surgery the doctor saw reddened an granular looking spots on the colon walls, as well as areas that bled easily when touched, both of which can point toward a Colitis diagnosis. So, the colonoscopy is needed to diagnose or rule out those issues, and check for anything more nefarious.

Unfortunately, I have to wait 2 more weeks for it - scheduled for July 3 at 2:30pm. On the plus side, I have the 4th off, so I can take an additional day for the anesthesia to wear off. On the down side, at 2:30pm procedure means nearly 2 days without anything but clear liquids. Additionally, the prep may be difficult. They usually have people drink 64oz of Gatorade mixed with a whole bunch of Miralax - problem is, I can't have regular Gatorade because of the sugars. They do make low-calorie Gatorade G2 - which while definitely lower in calories than regular Gatorade, does still have sugars - 12g per 20oz bottle, so a 64oz bottle would be about 26g. Depending on how fast I can manage to drink it - it may have adverse effects from too much sugar.

The nurse did tell me to only drink about 3/4 of it the day before, and then instead of the normal Magnesium Citrate they have people drink the morning of (I can't - it's fizzy), she wants me to drink the remainder of the Gatorade/Miralax mixture in the morning. Fun.

I know this needs to be done, so in that sense I really want the day to get here and get it over with. I am concerned about what may be found - but I guess better to know what it is and how to treat it than have continuing unexplained issues.

One thing I'm not sure of, is if they do find a fistula if this doctor will be able to repair it, or if I'll have to have another procedure - I guess we'll find out in a couple weeks.

The further bad news of sorts - is that I started exercising again, but as I feared, it has indeed angered the incision that hasn't fully healed (since it's oozing so damned much still). I've cut back again, but I really want to get back to it - it truly is an integral part of continuing weight loss.

Not much else to report - just looking forward to getting some answers.

Monday, June 11, 2012

No Fear of Ingredients

My program's nutritionist may have a bit of conniption fit over this - but one thing I want to put out there, is that as a post-op WLS patient, we don't need to have a lifelong fear of certain food items. Now surely I won't be making (and eating nearly entirely on my own) my favorite chocolate caramel cheesecake - that's just way too much sugar and fat. However, as individual ingredients in a larger dish, some items that we may immediately think that we can't consume are pretty darned harmless.

The Man and I were discussing our recent food habits while we were out on our road trip, and we both felt like we'd been stuck in a bit of a rut. As devout beef eaters, it almost seemed blasphemous, but we were getting tired of the same old steak every night. I knew I needed to get back into cooking most nights - both from a cost and nutrition standpoint. I turned to some recipes I had collected, and realized I had most of the ingredients to adapt a recipe I had tried about a year ago from - a pork tenderloin with a chili-maple sauce.

The maple comes from pure maple syrup - the ingredient in this recipe that many post-ops would probably believe they can't consume. The key here is in the amount - for two servings, honestly with a bit of sauce left over, only 1.5 tablespoons are used. Yes, that puts some sugar grams into the recipe, but as you'll see from the nutritional information at the end, it's still under 10 grams sugars per serving - assuming you licked your plate clean.  The fat content is a tad high - less oil can be used in cooking the pork as desired to reduce it.

Please do not be tempted to substitute "sugar-free" syrup, or artificial syrup (sorry, Aunt Jemima). Those products won't emulsify in the glaze like true maple syrup. It's worth the minor investment for a small bottle.

When I made the recipe the first time as written on Epicurious, we both found it overwhelmingly spicy, so I knew it would need some modification. It also called for 12 oz of pork tenderloin, which for the two of us was way too much. I did have some center cut loin chops in the freezer, so I choose to use those. The recipe follows as modified.

I still only consume about 2 oz of meat per meal, so my intake was 1/2 serving - half of the nutritional information that follows the recipe.  Photo shows approximately 6oz pork, the Man's serving compared to my 2oz serving.

Pork Cutlets with Maple-Chili Glaze

  • 2 center cut boneless pork loin chops  approximately 4 oz each
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1.5 tablespoons pure maple syrup (grade A light or dark amber)
  • 1.5 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
  • salt and pepper

Sprinkle each side of the pork with the 5 spice powder, salt and pepper. Heat the oil over medium high heat in a small skillet until it begins to shimmer.  Cook pork approximately 3 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm.

Deglaze pan with chicken broth, then add chili-garlic sauce and maple syrup. Boil over medium high heat until reduced to 1/3 volume - sauce will take on a slightly glossy appearance and be tacky to the touch.

Pour glaze over pork to serve.

Nutritional information (based on the recipe builder at 1 serving = 1/2 recipe. Calories: 289,  total fat: 19g, saturated fat: 6g, carbohydrates: 11.3g, sugars 9.3g, protein 21.1g

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On the Road as a Post-Op

The Man and I are on the road this week, a little vacation - first in 2 years, actually. We took a road trip from our home in NC and will wind up in Bowling Green, KY where we'll be doing an investigation with the Ghost Hunters! It was the Man's birthday present, and I'm quite excited to be meeting Amy and Adam from the show.

The hardest part has been how to eat on the road. It's not so much that I can't find anything to eat (though we did bring a baby blender and my protein shake mix along with a cooler that has some milk in it), but I feel so wasteful when we sit down for a meal.

Last night we ate at a local steakhouse in Logan, WV. I ordered what seemed to be "small", a steak salad. Holy hell - this thing arrived in a bowl/plate bigger than what the Man's steak was served on, and could have fed me for at least 4 meals. I got about half the meat in, and a tiny dent in the salad, and it looked like I sent back my entire meal.

Today, for lunch we ate at a little diner in the historic district of Georgetown, KY - I had their small burger, and managed to eat not quite half of it, and a few nibbles of a french fry or two. The burger was so good I wanted more, but I knew if I took even a bite more, I'd end up losing it.

What struck me even more, though, was how big servings are in restaurants these days, particularly in "fast casual" chain restaurants (Applebees, Chili's, O'Charley's, etc, I'm looking at you). Portions are just enormous. I've eaten all over the world - from Europe to Japan, Mexico, Scandinavia, and even Russia, and have never been served so much food as we are here. No wonder so many of us are obese!

As much of a "foodie" as I am, I recognize how much portion creep has contributed to the battle so many of us are fighting. While I may have forced portion control on myself with my RNY surgery, it's something I'll have to deal with moving forward in choosing the both the right dish, but really the right restaurant. From a portion, value, and quite frankly - quality - perspective, your local establishments are a far better choice than the frozen processed junk that corporate restaurants want to serve us.

So with that said - we're off to a local Thai place, where I hopefully won't insult the owners with my meager consumption - but I'm assured by a local friend, it's damned good eating!