During my pre-op phase of my gastric bypass journey, we had many classes and opportunities to join forums specifically run by our weight loss team. As a participant, you learned very quickly that life after bypass was going to consist of “food” and a ton of protein. “Food” is defined as any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth. I mean, think about it. That is pretty basic and simple and over time we complicate what “food” is and how it makes us feel and what we use it for. In American culture we use food for celebrations, to help us feel better, and remember a particular time or event that was life changing. Perfect example: weddings! There are the bachelor and bachelorette parties (okay, these could be considered a liquid diet), the reception, and the actual wedding dinner. We meal plan and prep our way through life, coupon clip, and ration our budget to be able to splurge on that favorite restaurant once or twice a month because it’s so much easier than the amount of effort it takes just to EAT!
At first I thought about the many fad diets out on the market that were heavy in one area of nutrition or the other. Either they focused on extremely high amounts of carb, or they were highly protein driven – some of which I had tried with no success, i.e., the Atkins Diet. But that’s not what my nutritionist and surgical team talked about, at all. Post-operatively, they communicated and believed in eating a very balanced diet and changing the relationship we each had with our “food.” Portion control, real food (earthy veggies, lean meats, minimal sugar, and no processed food), and exercise are going to be key. Immediately after surgery, the food regime was vitamins, protein, water, broths, sugar free jello, protein, more PROTEIN, and walking! This concept seemed a little impossible and foreign… I mean, if I could not eat meats, fats, and sugars, how would I survive?! How long was this going to last and how was this supposed to work?! Through the classes and discussions with others who had similar procedures, I finally found the answers. It happens with pre-op practice, with patience, and with time.
I had to undue 33 years of bad eating habits and misconceptions about my relationship with food. If you read My Story, you learned that I was an athlete. I was a large athlete who power lifted and threw heavy objects for a Division 1 school. I needed food, of any kind, to keep up with that lifestyle. I suffer from PCOS, which has symptoms similar to insulin resistance, and I still battle with that to this day. My food relationship was and is complex, and it requires constant discipline to keep it in check.
To make sure my protein needs were being met, I chose Premier Protein Whey Powder. I equate that choice to wanting to make my own smoothies and protein drinks. It sounded so glamorous. I set-up a bar in my kitchen with my protein drink supplies, took some snaps, and posted that shit on Instagram with a gold star. Let’s be honest, that was dumb. With my career I did not have the time, energy, or want to blow my new found lower food budget on a protein powder product that actually wound up making me sick (HELLO, dumping episodes!).
Then, I quickly fell in love with Premier Protein Shakes. They are the perfect size and pack 30 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar, 24 vitamins and minerals, and only 3 grams of fat! There are 5 flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberries and Cream, Bananas and Cream, and Caramel. Seriously, HEAVEN in a Tetra Pak!!!!
Recipe that got me through my sad coffee withdrawal at 12 weeks post-op:
Prepare your favorite blend of decaf coffee the night before. Put it in the fridge overnight to chill. Make sure you put your favorite Premier Protein in the fridge the night before as well.
In the morning, in your favorite coffee cup or travel mug (without a straw and at least 30 mins before or after a meal), mix in half of a Chocolate Premier Protein shake (approximately 5 oz) and 2 oz of cold coffee with ice. Voila, iced mocha, baby!!!
Don’t forget your new stomach pouch is very small and still healing. I found it very difficult to drink a whole Premier Protein shake but the best design of the product is that it is resealable due to the Tetra Pak. Seriously, a lifesaver for that new smaller food budget so you do not waste your heavenly nectar.
Check out the Premier Protein website for recipe ideas.