Food, the Early Days 

Sorry Food, it’s not you, it’s me. I just don’t care about you anymore. I want to, but … yeah, nah.

Me and Food, our relationship has changed drastically. Pre surgery (even pre surgery diet), I used to think about food ALL THE TIME.
Now its him who asks if I am hungry (No) and what time I want to have dinner (oh, in a bit). Still, Mom and I have gone to a wee bit of effort to ensure that I have something nice and tasty for when I am ready to eat.
When I met my dietician Georgie in our pre-surgery meeting, she (and the notes in my post-op care pack) say that people experience a switching off when it comes to eating. I read that and thought “Shit, thats pretty cool” cos honestly, I said above that I thought about food all the time and believe me, I was not kidding!

Georgie has given me a plan that saw me started pureed foods once I was released from hospital. On the day I got home Mom made up a delicious Beef Casserole and then a few days later she made a Chicken and Vegetable soup. We pumped up the protein in the soup by adding Naked (No flavour) egg white protein powder from The Honest Food Co. Both of these meals are absolutely scrummy.

Meals right now are every 3-5 hours and are 4 teaspoons or 1/4 cup in size.
As a totally personal preference, I really don’t want to rely on packet/processed food. I’d much prefer to eat whole foods except the addition of extra protein of course however even then the Honest Food Co pack that I have chosen is paleo. Eventually I will get in to making my own baked beans and I’ve planted a vegetable garden that should keep giving us all the vegetables that we will need.
Grow, grow, grow you little buggers!

DSC_5620

So with that in mind, I thought I would share with you my favourite selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I’ll pop up a couple of the recipes that we have adapted.

Breakfast:
Mega Protein Shake – Chocolate Protein Shake Mix, unsweetened natural yoghurt, trim milk, egg white protein powder (makes enough for days!)
Creamy Beans – Lite baked beans, lite cream cheese, paprika, coriander – blend until super creamy

Lunch:
Lemon and Chive Chicken – canned smoked chicken, lite cream cheese, lemon juice, chives – blend into a paste, lemon juice to taste
Chicken and Vegetable Soup – click here for a link to the recipe including the extra protein I added

Dinner:
Beef and Tomato Casserole – click here for a link to the recipe
Black Bean Burrito Cream – click here for a link to the recipe – I skipped the Nacho Cheese Sauce and added lite cream cheese at the pureeing stage for me (small wholemeal wraps for him)

Even if I have to force myself to eat, or set a reminder on my phone, it may as well be super tasty (and presented nice!). Tell you what though – I am SO looking forward to being able to chew my meals. I am moving on to soft foods on Friday, scrambled egg and tuna for breakfast – HELL YEA!

Check out my Pinterest board “Allergic to Sugar” for more recipes and ideas. Do you have any favourite meals that you’d like to share?

“A healthy outside starts from the inside”

Recipe: Chicken and Vegetable Soup

This has been adapted slightly from a Cuisine Magazine recipe.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 leek, white part only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 1 stick celery, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flatleaf parsley

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a low heat then add the leek, carrot and celery and fry gently until the leek is soft. Add the stock and simmer until the carrot is soft.

Add the chicken thighs and poach over a low heat for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken from the soup and set aside for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.  Shred the chicken and reserve.

Meanwhile add the corn and the spinach to the soup and simmer for 3 minutes.  Add the shredded chicken back into the pot along with the parsley.

—> at this stage I added extra protein.  I added 1/2 cup of The Honest Food Co NAKED Egg White Protein Powder

Transfer to the soup to a food processor or blender and blend in batches until completely smooth.

Freeze in ice cubes or small containers.

 

The Final Countdown

And just like that, I am into my final week pre-op.  I think I have done almost everything that I need to do – in the next couple of days I’ll order some of the bariatric meal replacements (rather than relying on Optifast), I need to pack my hospital bag and the day before I need to get a final round of blood tests.

I’m full of nervous excitement.

Last night we went to the movies and as we were walking back to the car, the movie theatre is in a large shopping complex, I walked past a store I have never ever ever been able to shop in.  I caught myself wondering “would I be able to wear that?”.
Whilst the previews were on before the movie, there was something on the screen that made me think of the Tongariro Crossing, an adventure I haven’t even been able to consider doing and I thought to myself “one day I could actually do that”.  So I added it to Blondie’s Goals.

From now on these will be my victories – and my rewards.  Not on the scale wins, but non-scale victories.
I’ve met my goal weight loss for the surgery and in four more sleeps I will be in that operating theatre ready for a whole new chapter in my life.  I can’t believe how fast it has come around.  Or that the pieces have all fallen in to place.

Let’s just have a quick look at private weight loss surgery in New Zealand;

  • Visit your GP and discuss with them whether this is the best option for you.  You need their referral.
  • Check your medical insurance. I’m with Southern Cross on the WellBeing One plan, I’ve been with them for three years so they could cover up to $7500.
  • Get an appointment with the Surgery team – individual meetings with the nurse, surgeon, dietician and psychologist.  The team will meet and discuss your case and decide together whether to schedule your surgery.
  • Costs are approximately $20,000 for the surgeon and the hospital.  This includes 12 most post op care and support.
  • Medical procedure finance is available – Nova Medical Finance is often recommended.  Their process is slow and you must have all the paper work exact else it takes ages and can get very frustrating.
  • Optifast (for the pre-op diet) is available instore at Life Pharmacy or online at Pharmacy Direct.  Alternatively, even though its been out of stock, ams nutrition.co.nz has the Celebrate range which is supposed to be a hundred times nicer.  I’ll let you know when I finally get my hands on it.

Wanna know the biggest issues I have come across to date?
I can’t stop buying water bottles.  Eco friendly, fruit infusion, squeezable.  I think I have a problem.

2 Weeks Pre-Op

Time has absolutely flown by and all of a sudden, here we are.
Less than 2 weeks to my bypass now and I am into the 2 week pre-op diet.  Its actually not too bad – and not too hard.  Sure having 2 shakes a day is pretty boring but I’ve already met the weight loss goal that my surgeon set for me so now I am playing a game of “how low can it go?”

My starting weight was 154.5 kilograms and todays weight is 146.1 kilograms.

One of the questions, or sections of questions, that I was asked on my initial patient profile were around my relationship with food.

  • Do you eat in the car? 
  • Do you choose not to eat in front of others?
  • Do you eat when you are sad?

Oh no I thought, not really in the car.  I’m okay with eating around other people. Sad, not me!!

Woah – how bloody wrong was I?  And I started realising these things even before I entered the two week period.  I ate so much – and much more often than I even realised.  I felt quite deflated after this realisation, and quite scared and sad.  I ended up texting my Mom and laying it all out – even though I had admitted it to myself in my head, I wasn’t quite ready to say it out loud.  And then Mom gave me one of her talking to’s, which is exactly what I needed, and reassured me that I wasn’t making a mistake, this anxiety would pass and that she was proud.

So here we are – my surgery is in 10 days and I think I am organised.  I’ve met my goal weight loss, my final approval has come through from Southern Cross so they will cover the full $7500, I have my hospital pack and a new shiny Nutri Bullet blender.  I think I’m ready to go!  Am I missing anything?