I went to my 3 week follow up appointment at Swedish 12/19/13. I ended up being late, partially due to the awful new phone system they have. I don’t want to get into that though. I had the most difficult time finding parking than I ever had. I was walking with a cane because I’m so incredibly weak, and had to stop and sit whenever seating was available. So I was about 30 minutes late for the nutrition group appointment. The other people in the group also had surgery roughly within the past month. We learned about transitioning to soft foods and what is/isn’t allowed. Lots of questions were asked, not many were actually answered. I feel like the people running this meeting should have more experience with this stuff. The lady is perfectly nice, she would make a fine friend, but the not knowing the answers thing got pretty frustrating. We were given a bunch of paperwork with food lists and other things to keep an eye on. After the group appointment, we were sent to wait for our individual incision check. I spoke with a woman and her husband while in the waiting room – she was much smaller than I was (like, MUCH smaller, I wonder if she has some other medical issue requiring rapid weight loss – not that she had much at all to lose) and she said she gave up and had started eating a few days ago. Psh, can we do that? Why wasn’t I a rebel? I got weighed and their scale said I was about 10 pounds more than my home scale says. Say whaaaat? Anyway, I got put in a room, and the nutritionist came in while I waited for my wound check. She wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything since I was late for the group part. She’s much better 1 on 1. I told her about how I was not doing well with protein intake or shakes and how even the mention of certain foods were making me nauseous. She advised that I take a week off from the shakes and the vitamins and just focus on starting the soft foods. The logic there is that if something makes me sick, I would know it’s not the shake or supplement. She gave me a direct line to reach her so I don’t have to deal with the stupid answering service, a card that says to please sell me food at a reduced price because I had surgery, and an additional food list that others don’t get until their next appointment, in hopes that I would get more food ideas since I have all these food rules. A surgeon came in (he checked me once while I was in the hospital, but wasn’t in the operating room with me as far as I know) and said everything looked normal. Me with my open and infected wounds, barely able to breathe, and nearly in tears because I’m so exhausted. Whatever. He did tell me to ignore their scale and keep going by the one that I use the most. He kept trying to send me out and I’m like dude these incisions need covering, so he did so with dry gauze (really fun when that sticks – thanks doc), told me I was doing well, and basically sent me on my way. The drive home was pretty bad, I was really physically uncomfortable and was probably a bit too weak to drive. Even though I was given the OK to begin eating soft foods, the thought made me sick. I was so discouraged by the whole event, that I went home and slept. I was in the ER about 12 hours after I got home from that appointment. More about that later.
Ohhh, protein. The dreaded p-word. Probably the main thing I get asked about when people hear that I’m on a plant-based diet. But now, getting weight loss surgery? It’s a big deal. Those first three weeks after surgery. I’m on a liquid diet. The goal is to drink 60 ml or 2 oz of liquid protein supplement every hour, to get 100+ grams of protein and 800-1000 calories per day. (I’m also supposed to sip 4-6+ ounces of calorie-free, caffeine-free, non-carbonated beverages every hour too. Ugh.) I won’t be free to really get into normal foods and stuff til like three months out.
Anyway, I shouldn’t get into all that now. I’m just here to talk about alternative sources of protein today. Now, I cant act like I get enough protein now. I mean, some days I do, I’m sure. I don’t recall having my protein levels tested, so I’m not sure how I’m doing with all that. I eat a LOT of beans. Love me some beans, for sure. The problem with that is the bean shells may be difficult to digest after surgery and should be avoided. Boo. So what else can I eat?
There is all sorts of complicated info about complete proteins and amino acids and all that. I could go into it but since I really don’t understand it myself, it wouldn’t go well. So I went through a LOT of links and found two good ones that explain the confusing stuff and have examples of how much protein is in various plant-based items.
You don’t have to be on a plant-based diet to use this info. Anyone that takes a special interest in protein intake can use the info. I wish I had more to say about it, but at this point I’m still learning myself. I could share stuff I saved from Pinterest, but really, those two links cover the basics pretty well. I haven’t met a nutritionist that is supportive of my diet yet, but my personal trainer is vegan and is a good source of info.
I will definitely have more to say about this as I progress through this whole thing, but for now, that’s it!
Trying to share my most recent YouTube video again…