food diplomacy through the story of a meal

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The surgery was uneventful, 12-laproscopic sites and a plum-sized stomach.  Voila!  The only thing that seems to be the most troubling is the anxiety.  This my dear, is off the charts.  Perhaps the week to have the surgery is not when the psychiatrist is driving along the Norwegian coast?  I have not had to call upon my deep, yoga breathing more in the last few days.  I am not in pain, but feel a bit out of sorts.  This is not something that I deal with and am trying to keep everything together.

I thank you all for your tremendous support, calls, emails and will get back to you as son as I can.  Concentration is tough right now.  Also, I hope to be more focused by next week.

The plan goes as such:

Today and tomorrow:  Clear, sugar-free liquids.  If you are not somebody who ever ate “sugar-free” anything this a shock.  The jello, beverages, and other food items are terrible.  I have found that an orange popsicle and ice water are just fine.  Cool, soothing, and not too sweet.

Sunday will begin the “full liquid” phase.  During the time since the surgery, nutrition is really not the top of the list.  Hydration is the key.  Moving to the full liquid phase is an invitation to having vanilla-coffee shakes until I am pale in the face.  The key at this time is to get high protein into the body and learn the ques to new feelings of hunger and fullness.

I have created a “cookbook” for these two weeks which include vanilla-based, chocolate based, and fruit-based shakes.  These fine meals are complemented by diet and sugar-free jello and pudding, thinned oatmeal, fat-free Greek yogurt and the epicurean treat – organic baby food fruits.  I am nervous entering this phase as I am not hungry and don’t know how well I will tolerate the food choices.

Finally, day 12 takes us to the “soft and blended” which includes new additions such as egg whites, tuna and chicken salad (pureed), cheese (yes there is a G-d), lentils and beans, mashed potatoes, pureed carrots or squash, and finally real fruit.

The key here is to get more food introduced into the body and to see how it settles.  This phase will go on for two weeks at least.  Patients need to learn how to eat again, to determine when they are full and how to identify mind hunger or real hunger.  Many folks have a very hard time ramping up to this amount of food (3/4 cup total at each meal) and it is all part of the process or this new education.

I leave you with what maybe my two favorite protein drinks, don’t be too jealous:

Vanilla Ice Blended
1-scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup decaf coffee
1/2 cup of skim milk
3 ice cubes
Blend and enjoy

Mango Banana Protein Lassi
4 oz. vanilla soy milk or skim milk
4 oz. water
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1-scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 banana
1/2 cup fresh mango chunks
2-3 ice cubes



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