I never really thought about food very much before the surgery. Now, I think about it all the time. I figure out what I am going to eat; I measure it; I cook it; I measure it again; I put leftovers in small containers-pre-measured for later; I think about what I should do for the next meal; I think about when I can drink water next; I think about when I can drink milk or tea, and that depends on when I am taking my multivitamins, calcium and iron; No milk or tea with my iron and no tea with my multivitamins and calcium; I think about how much time in between meals and how much protein and liquids I have consumed so far in my day; I check my food log to see how I am doing and figure out what I need to add to the day; I think about yogurt and how it is my evening snack and I am out of it right now and I am out of milk too. Oh no. I think about labels on my food and whether the fit and trim version is really better for me or not…usually questionable; I think about the grocery store and how I want to try new things; I think about my fiber mix and did I remember to use it today; I think about how I made awesome chocolate milk last night ( 1 tablespoon of Hershey’s chocolate powder, and two Stevia packets blended with my milk in my Magic Bullet); I think about how I want to try new recipes and make new calorie and protein and sugar conscious meals that are appropriate for my new tool. OMG, All I think about is food.
I recently wrote a version of this on facebook the other day and I hope you have read it with the breathless, run on type of commentary in which I meant it. When you first have weight loss surgery, it is amazing how all you think about is food. Trying to remember what to eat and when takes up a lot of time and energy in the beginning.
A typical day for me starts about 7 am and I wake up and have my coffee with a Stevia and milk. I take my morning meds, including my multivitamin and calcium. I cannot have tea with the morning meds because there is some interaction that makes it harder for the body to absorb to calcium (or is it the multivitamin…I don’t remember…I just know I can’t have tea in the morning).
I also have set a rule for myself that helps me to get in lots of water and stay hydrated throughout the day. Before I allow myself to have a meal, I have to drink a quart of water or other liquid. Now, at the beginning this was impossible, but I do it all the time now and I am 83 days out now.
I try my hardest to eat my breakfast by 9 am. If I eat later than that, my entire schedule is off kilter and it is hard to get back on track throughout the day. This morning, I am having 4 ounces of cottage cheese and 2 ounces of mandarin oranges. For some reason though, I made myself a second cup of coffee, just puttering around the kitchen (probably not even thinking at all about my schedule, just thinking about how much I love the Komodo Dragon blend from Starbucks), and now it is almost 10 am and my cottage cheese and mandarin orange slices are sitting here, staring at me, waiting for me to finish my coffee. I already finished my quart of water.
Finally, I am done with that cup of coffee and I can move on to my breakfast.
When I was in my pureed stage I bought a lot of Gerber Baby food. I kept the little jars and plastic containers. I typically will make up a batch of jello and put it in the jars (2.5 ounces and some four ounce jars), but I also use the plastic four ounce containers as the perfect measurement container for my food. I am supposed to eat four ounces of protein and two ounces of fiber food (fruit or vegetable).
So now, I have finished my food (at 10:15 am) and I have to wait one hour before I can drink anything. I also have to be aware that I need to take my iron pill around lunchtime, however, I cannot have any milk product or tea within two hours of eating the iron pill. So, the earliest that I can have the iron pill is at 12:15 pm since I finished breakfast today at 10:15 am. This also means that I cannot have any milk product at lunch time. No cheese, no milk, no yogurt, etc.
All during the day I am also counting up my liquids and my proteins as well. My coffee is ten ounces before adding the milk, which is four ounces. Milk is about one gram of protein per ounce so my protein count for one cup of coffee that I make at home is four grams of protein and 14 ounces of liquid. Today alone, I had 8 ounces of protein with my two cups of coffee, 28 ounces of liquid via coffee, plus 32 ounces of water (60 ounces of liquid before breakfast) and then the four ounces of cottage cheese has 12 grams of protein so I am up to 20 grams of protein so far.
My doctor wants me to have about 100 grams of protein per day and at least 80 ounces of liquid. I typically have closer to 130 ounces of liquid per day because of my rule about drinking a quart of water before each meal.
Lunch today will probably be a piece of chicken that I will saute in the pan with a bit of coconut oil spray, some spices, and some zucchini and onion leftovers from a couple of days ago. When I calculate how much protein is in the meat, they say to figure that each ounce of cooked meat has approximately seven grams of protein, so four ounces will have about 28 grams of protein for my lunch calculations. After lunch (since I will have had my quart of water before I eat), I will be up to 92 ounces of liquid, and 48 grams of protein. I also will have had my iron pill before I ate (12:15 pm) so I will know that I cannot eat any milk product before 2:15 pm.
And then we move along to my afternoon. I am busy with my writing; I have to remember to water the plants outside and get in some exercise…I do some really horrific push ups (from my knees and not from my toes yet), but I will get there one day…probably…if they do not kill me first, etc.
Since I will have had my iron pill at 12:15 today, I cannot have my afternoon tea until after 2:15 pm. So, about 3 or 4 pm I will start my tea pot and let a quart of tea simmer for a bit and take it out to my front porch to relax. I love my tea. Raspberry and orange are my two favorite flavors besides peach when I can find it. I may read a book, watch the tadpoles grow; yes we have tadpoles. We are on our second batch of babies and the mama keeps laying eggs. They are fun to watch. Then hubby will get home and we’ll chill out for a while. It is nice to relax with him and just chat about our day, work drama, facebook drama, life drama, etc. If I drink a full quart of tea, I will be up to 124 ounces of liquid for the day. Depending on how long we sit out there, I may get another quart of water in, but that just depends on how the time goes, how hot it is out there, etc.
By 6 pm tonight I will hopefully start dinner. Since I have to also have two servings of milk and a serving of yogurt per day, I will typically enjoy a tall glass of milk, (sometimes with chocolate powder and Stevia to make chocolate milk). If I have it before dinner then it will bring my liquid numbers up to 140 ounces of liquid, and it will add 16 grams of protein, bringing the protein numbers up to 64 grams.
I think we are going to have fish tonight along with some quinoa and brussel sprouts. As I am only allowed about two ounces of fiber foods I will need to have two brussel sprouts maximum and only about a tablespoon of quinoa along with my fish.
I will have to be careful at this point to not go over or be under my protein count by too much. I will still need my four ounces of yogurt at the end of the day, and depending on which one I eat (regular or Greek) it will differ on how much protein I get. The regular plain yogurt I have in the fridge is 8 grams per cup (I am only having a half cup, so 4 grams) and the Greek yogurt is 24 grams of protein per cup (so 12 grams per half cup). The maximum grams of protein that I will have left for the day is 36 so I have to choose appropriately to attempt to not go over.
Dinner then will be four ounces of fish (28 grams of protein) along with my two ounces of fiber foods. Because of the size of my pouch, I will be extremely full on that amount. I will now be up to 92 grams of protein and 140 ounces of liquid.
I still need to remember to take my multivitamins and calcium tonight. As I have to calculate 2 hours after having had my tea before I can have my meds, it will mean that I cannot have my meds until after 7 pm if I didn’t finish my tea before 5 pm. Since I will be having dinner around 6:30 pm and I cannot drink for an hour after I eat, and I will probably not finish until 7 pm, it will mean that I cannot drink until at least 8 pm. So between 8 pm and 8:30 pm tonight I will have my meds and hope that I can get them down. Sometimes, the dinner meal seems to get stuck, and if so, then I have to wait until later to get in my meds. It is best to have my meds before dinner, but because I didn’t finish breakfast until 10:15 am this morning, it has thrown off my entire schedule.
Then I can have my yogurt which will be four ounces of the plain yogurt (four grams of protein). This will put my end of day totals to 140 ounces of liquid and 96 grams of protein.
My entire day is consumed right now by calculating what I can eat and when I can eat and juggling the possibilities and the numbers. I keep a food log every day to ensure that I can tell where I am at all times. On days when I forget to log my food as I go, I may realize that I am way over my protein or way under them, and the same with my liquids, especially when I do not drink my water before each meal.
Thinking about food consumes my days right now, but the more I do this, the more it becomes a natural process.