Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Surviving The Holiday Eating Season – Plan Ahead!

It’s that time of year again.  The holiday season is quickly bearing down on us.  Halloween. Thanksgiving.  Christmas.  Hanukkah.  New Year’s.  These are the big winter celebrations we all love to eat and/or drink our way through.

october-holiday-food

Health Magazine has an article of 50 holiday foods you should not eat.  I don’t think avoiding all holiday food is a good idea.  I mean, yeah, you probably should not eat everything, and any wlser who cannot have sugar should probably avoid the sweet treats anyway, but, it’s the holidays for crying out loud.  What is the point of a celebration if you cannot celebrate?  I think the key to surviving the holidays is to have  a solid plan and stick with it.

For example, I am not a big sweet eater, but the pumpkin everything is really making me kind of crazy this year, especially because I cannot eat it.  I mean, I guess I could if I did not mind getting horribly ill, risking instant diarrhea or vomiting, and laying in bed for an hour or so, but really, would it be worth all of that?  (Once you have had instant diarrhea and had to throw away your underwear in a McDonald’s bathroom while on a road trip, I can tell you the answer to that question is a resounding no.)   Instead, I purchased a can of raw pumpkin that I can turn into some kind of delicious, healthy treat that fits into the wls diet.  I have some ideas I’m kicking around, and if it works, I’ll post the recipe with pictures.

I had my by-pass just before Halloween last year.  I could not even stand to look at candy let alone risk eating it.  Last Thanksgiving, was only one month after my surgery.  I was still eating pureed food.  I did have pureed turkey and sweet potatoes for dinner, but not much else.  By Christmas, I was eating some solid food, but still, not a lot.

This year will be different for me.  I can eat somewhere between 1100-1400 calories per day.  Granted, about 300 calories per day is protein supplements, so actual food intake is more like 900-1100 calories per day.  Still, that is a lot more than 400-800 calories I was eating last year at this time.  Also, my hunger has returned, which means I feel like eating more often than I did last year.  Not as often as I did pre-surgery, but still, it’s there.  And I have introduced quite a few new foods into my diet, which means I can eat a wider variety of foods than I could last year.

All of this could spell potential trouble for the upcoming holiday food season.  And I have to admit that I am a little worried.

So, I have developed a plan to make sure I stay on track this year.  So, here it is:

  • Allow myself some treats – I’m not saying I will go for the pumpkin bread that will make me vomit, but I will come up with some kind of alternative.
  • Make a plan for holiday meals – I did this last year.  I went to my sister-in-law’s parents for Thanksgiving.  I took my blender with me so that I could puree turkey.  I won’t be pureeing my food this year, but I can still plan ahead.  I will carry the protein snacks that I need with me.  I will make sure I only eat the healthy foods, protein, veggies, the way I’m supposed to.  I do not know if I will cook, go out to a restaurant, or visit family for the holidays, but there is no reason the holiday meal cannot be a healthy one that fits into the wls plan.
  • Go to the gym – I have to stay focused on my exercise plan.  The last few months have been difficult with work, but now that things are slowing down, I have to get back on the wagon and exercise!  This will be crucial in maintaining any diet plan through the holidays.
  • Avoid alcohol – I have not had any alcohol since the surgery.  I do miss a nice glass of wine, but I’ll live.  The surgeon’s office told me to avoid alcohol for the first year after surgery.  The nurse in his office thinks it’s a good idea to avoid alcohol altogether forever.  I do not know if I will avoid it forever.  I probably will because my liver was not in fantastic shape before the surgery.  But, for now at least, I am not done losing weight and alcohol, even the occasional nice glass of red wine, is simply empty calories that I cannot afford.
  • Continue to track my food intake and exercise – I use MyFitnessPal.com.  I have the app on my phone.  I log everything.  All of my calories, walking, and exercise.  I can say I eat 1200-1400 calories per day and know that number is pretty close to accurate.  Tracking my food keeps me honest and focused.  For anyone who wants to join me on My Fitness Pal, my name is morgaine84.  I have also found that if I look up the calories for something I want to eat before I eat it, sometimes I decide the calories are not worth it.  Other times, I may adjust my diet so that I can fit it in. But most of the time, I just don’t eat it.

That is my plan.  I may add to it as the holidays get closer.  I encourage anyone who is dieting for the holidays to set a realistic plan and revisit it often to make sure you’re staying on track.  Even people who have had wls need to be prepared.  The surgery is a tool and can help a lot, but it won’t work if we don’t stay focused!

Happy Holiday Eating!

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A Quick Note About Thanksgiving Dinner

I decided to spend the day with my brother and his in-laws.  I think I posted that before.

They were so nice about meeting my new diet requirements.  I brought the Baby Bullet with me to do any necessary pureeing.  There was some confusion over what I wanted to drink during dinner.  I had to remind them a couple of times that I cannot eat and drink at the same time.  No biggie, that all worked out just fine.

I pureed my turkey.  I had sweet potatoes and asparagus as well.  I did not need to puree the sweet potatoes nor the asparagus. The asparagus was quite mushy so I just mushed them up some more before eating them.  I added a little bit of gravy to the turkey before I pureed it.  I stuck to the plan, two tablespoons of turkey, one tablespoon of sweet potatoes and one table-spoon of asparagus.  I slowly ate and took the full 30 minutes to complete my meal.

The stuffing, one of my all time favorite foods, stayed at the other end of the table away from me.  I do not know if that was by design or if it was a happy coincidence.  If  I had stuffing sitting in front of me for 30 minutes, I’m not sure how well my self-control would have fared.  Alas, I did not have to test my will as the stuffing stayed safely far away from me.

I felt quite satisfied that I had a good holiday meal and I was full and not craving anything too dangerous by the end of it.  Not to mention, I had a great time visiting with my niece and her cousins.

At one point my niece and little Georgie were pretending that I was a dragon they had to kill.  George poked me in the stomach and I had to nicely tell him that for now, they had to stay away from my tummy.  My niece interjected by saying, “Yeah, Aunt Colleen has a really big boo-boo on her tummy.”  The conversation quickly devolved into a discussion on how big the boo-boo was with each of them trying to out do the other.  I ended it by saying in an animated fashion, “It’s the biggest boo-boo you have ever seen, George!”  They both fell down laughing and continued with their game slaying the giant Aunt Colleen dragon.

They were very cute.  Little baby Ollie who is two and not one, is just adorable.  He’s definitely the strong silent type.  I can see his little mind going as he tries to figure out a different way to get around his parents and the other adults in the room.  George and my niece are loud and a bit chaotic.  While adults are trying to settle those two, little Ollie is silently doing something he knows he should not do.

Example:  The adults are corralling Georgie and my niece back to the table with their cupcakes so that they do not drag cake throughout the house.  Also, to teach them that we eat at the table not while playing with toys.  Ollie took advantage of the distraction and silently slid under the table, cupcake clenched in both fists, and slipped away into the other room with the toys before anyone noticed he was gone.

The kids were so cute.  Of course, I can say that being safely ensconced in the Auntie arena since I do not have to take them home at all!

One another note, I do have a tree.  I bought a pre-lit tree at Target for $50.  It’s a six-foot tree, which is bigger than I wanted, but it’s narrow and does not take up too much space.  I like it.  I bought some extra lights and I have it decorated already.  I am done shopping for my niece.  I did not go to any stores on the dreaded day after Thanksgiving shopping day.  I did however, do some shopping online and I am having presents sent to me at no additional cost.  I am excited about the holidays this year.  So, bring on Christmas!

(presents under tree are simulated through decorative boxes and one toy bear. no actual presents were used in the creation of this photo)

 

 

The Big Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is usually a day that I love to spend cooking.  Even if I am going to someone else’s house for dinner, I make a dish to bring with me.  This year, I am not cooking at all.

I am going with my brother and his family to his wife’s parent’s house.  They often invite me over for holiday meals.  They are so nice to include me to make sure that I have somewhere to go on holidays.

I am really happy to spend the day with my niece and her little cousins as well.  They make the holidays so much more fun.  I even get to meet the newest cousin.  I think he’s over a year old and I have not met him yet.  The last time I saw his mother, (my sister-in-laws brother’s wife), she was pregnant with him.  I cannot wait.

I will be taking my baby bullet blender with me so that I can puree some turkey.  I also plan on having some sweet potatoes and some green beans if they’re not baked in a casserole.

I was so happy today.  I pulled out a dress pants suit that I have not worn in forever.  When I bought it, it was kind of snug.  I had to wear spanx under then to get them buttoned and they were still very snug.  I’ve only worn the outfit twice.  I put it on today and the pants fit me perfectly with a little room even sans spanx.  The jacket also fits me perfectly.  The blouse is a little snug, but only because I am still wearing a support garment under my clothes.  The garment is kind of bulky so it is hard to judge just how my shirts fit unless I put them on without it.

I have really been struggling with my protein shakes.  I do not like the soy shakes at all.  I have tried using brewers yeast, which works well in chicken broth, but I still do not like it.  I’ve made the decision to try the protein shakes with the milk protein.  Trader Joe’s has a great chocolate shake.  The vanilla one was too sweet for me.  I had some dumping after drinking it.  I also bought a chicken soup protein drink made by Unjury.  I keep plenty of Zyrtec and Benedryl handy just in case of a reaction.  I do still some of the soy drinks and Brewers Yeast during the week, but I’m mixing in the Trader Joe’s and Unjury shakes as well.

I am really concerned about not getting enough protein.  I do not want to lose my hair.  Yes, I want to be healthy and all that, blah, blah, blah…but I am kind of vain about my hair.  I was born on a good hair day.  My hair texture is fine, but it is thick.  It doesn’t look thick until you try brush it.  Hair dressers love to work with my hair.  I am always getting a free style when I go get my hair done.  As they are working on it, or drying it, they often say, “I want to try something different, do you mind?”  Sometimes I go get my hair trimmed just to get it styled.  I’ll take a picture the next time I go to the beautician and show you how great my hair looks after I go.  Can’t wear a bikini, have great hair.  It’s the one good thing I have.  I really do not want to lose it.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.  I know I will, even though I cannot pig out this year.  I still have a lot to be thankful for.  I have great family and friends.  The best ever!  I have received so much love and support this past year I know that I am blessed and lucky to have them in my life.  I am also thankful for all of the support and well wishes I have received from the readers of my blog!  It feels so good to have strangers reach out to you and be supportive of what I am doing.  Thanks everyone and enjoy the big feast today!

 

Home At Last

So, I convinced my sister to bring me home yesterday.  I was just getting too antsy not being at home.  I am doing a lot better.  I still cannot do anything strenuous, bend over too much, or lift anything over 5 pounds, but I was ready to come home.  It was so nice to sleep in my own bed.

I will not be alone for long.  My friend is coming into town this weekend.  He will be here Saturday morning.  We went to college together a million years ago.  My niece calls him Uncle Junkle.  Well, OK she called him that once when she was about 1 1/2 or 2 years old.  Now WE call him Uncle Junkle.  She varies between calling him Uncle Jerry or Uncle Junkle.  She loves him because he gives her piggy-back rides and is entirely too silly.  Oh to be 4 years old.

I weighed myself again and I am down to 265 as of yesterday am.  I did not weigh myself today.  I cannot get into the habit of weighing myself every day because I just get too crazy about the numbers on the scale.  I have to concentrate on other things.  I am feeling better and moving around easier.

I started to get some of my Christmas decorations out today and got caught up in cleaning my closet.  I didn’t lift anything, I just ended up sitting on the floor with a garbage bag in hand cleaning out boxes and throwing things away.  I threw out the cardboard boxes, but I’m leaving the bags of trash for Uncle Junkle to take down to the trash room for me since I’m not supposed to lift them.  He doesn’t know it yet, but I have many projects for him when he gets here.  Hey, we single girls gotta put those guy friends to work, right?

I got the Christmas decorations out though and I’ve started wiping them off so that I can put them out for the holiday.  Most of them probably won’t make it up until after Thanksgiving, which is good.  I generally do not start getting things ready until after T Day, but I figure since I’m home alone with nothing to do, I might as well do something.  I think this year I’m going to buy a small sparkly tree.  I haven’t had a tree or lights in years.  I want something festive this year and I think a nice sparkly tree will do the trick quite nicely.

 

What do you think?  Yes?