Tag Archives: plant-based

Food is a dirty, dirty tramp.

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So I stole had a grand idea. If I use GIFs, I can write less and still make a point.

This is brilliant, and perhaps I’ll write posting more.

Anyway, today I would like to talk about food and how it’s been a part of my life lately.  After my surgery, I was on a liquid diet for 26 days. It really wasn’t that bad, some of the time.

Depending on the day and what I could tolerate, I mostly lived on Propel, licorice tea, water, a bit of pop, and protein drinks in whatever way I could force down. (I tried mixing protein powder with water, hot chocolate, juice, broth… the thought makes me sick.)

I was so weak during this time because I was sooooo dehydrated and lacking protein. I could barely walk. I couldn’t shower unless someone else was at the house, out of fear that I would black out. I would have the most bizarre cravings, too. I recommend keeping a list of the things you come up with, it’s pretty funny later on. (I don’t have mine in front of me, but I remember craving reheated food (it HAD to be reheated… I don’t even…), the smell of Jack in the Box tacos, certain meats (keeping in mind that I don’t EAT meat and haven’t since I was a child), and like, the taste of burps after eating broccoli or something.

It was pretty entertaining. I would crave those things, but really had no desire to eat. It wasn’t anything I had any intention of acting on. I would allow myself to feel the craving and generally once I acknowledged it, it would pass. I didn’t feel hunger until my period. That was probably the first time I was like “Screw this, I need food now.”. But I kept on my path.

As mentioned, I had my post-op appointment and after that I was cleared to eat soft foods. You’d think I would be all:

Right? Yeahhhh, no. I ended up in the ER for pretty severe dehydration. I still felt like shit after being released, but hit up my local health food store to pick up some food/drink to test out.

I had my first real food in the evening on 12/20. I had these:

I had been dreaming of these beans for ages. I used to eat a whole container of them mixed with a whole bag of salad, a roma tomato, a small can of sliced black beans, ranch dressing, green onion, and crushed tortilla chips as a taco salad. It probably weighed like two pounds. Yikes. Anyway, I didn’t really want to eat at the time, but knew I needed the protein so I tested it out.

I may *look* okay here, but felt like ASS.

I basically dipped a fork in the container a few times. It was tasty. But a few hours later, OMG. I was in the bathroom for like two hours.

I was in unbelievable pain. Like awful period cramps. I used to get like this at times, with whatever digestive issue I have. (Colitis, IBS, IBD, Crohn’s… depends on who you ask) My body was doing all it could to get the food OUT of me. I was in pain, wanted to puke, wanted to die – it was just awful. I was minutes from calling an ambulance.  This pain went on most every time I ingested anything food-like for about two weeks.

Things have since improved, to an extent. I saw my regular doctor, that took my issues seriously. I took Lomotil for the cramps (same thing I had to take before surgery) and eventually didn’t need to take it. I’ve been going in weekly for checkups with the doctor. The pain and cramping stopped, but I also didn’t have a bowel movement for ten-ish days. I’m still dehydrated, not getting enough potassium, sugar, calories, or protein, but am able to get around a bit now.

I am now free to eat most anything, I guess. Honestly, with all the issues I’ve been having (I know, I’m not properly explaining all those things, I’m an awful writer), I’ve had to throw the rules out the window, to an extent.

As this point, I’m just focusing on chewing properly, taking my time, learning what is/isn’t going to make me sick.

I have felt so much better. It really is the little things. NOT being doubled over in pain all the time is pretty liberating. I’ve felt almost unstoppable at times.

The bad part for me is when the damn period returns. It seems I must eat all the things.

I am on my period right now and my brain keeps telling me to snack. It blows. I am still nowhere near getting the calorie intake, but have gotten better about finding ways to incorporate potassium and protein. I really am feeling a bit better. I’ve gone to the gym twice. That’s the goal, to really get going there.

I had more to say, but this has taken me HOURS to write because I get distracted so easily. I have to go.

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Post-surgery follow-up

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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.

The “P” word.

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Protein, fucker!

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.

1. “How do you get enough protein on a plant-based diet?”

2. “Protein in the Vegan Diet”

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!

Eat the rainbow