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What a week!!

Ugh what a week.  I'm so damn glad it's about over.  Monday our internet went down.  This is usually not a big deal, but now since I work from home, it's a VERY big deal.  We didn't get it back until freakin Wednesday.  So that's put me quite behind on my hours for the week.  Dammit.

Diet wise, things are going ok.  I'm 2 pounds shy of losing my first 50.  I've been stalled for nearly a month.  I'm pretty sure the weight I lost was poop.  Sparing a majority of the details, constipation has gotten the better of me.  BIG TIME.  Last night was pretty much the worst night of my life, and I never EVER want to endure that pain ever again.

I've been meaning to get on here and post a few more protein bar reviews...I've tried some really tasty ones!  I was so utterly disappointed in the Quest Banana Nut Muffin ones.  I really wanted to like them, but they tasted like ass, so the bar promptly got thrown away.  Very disappointing.

What else...oh!  My family joined the aquatic center.  I love swimming, it's always been one of my favorite forms of exercise, but we never have anywhere to swim.  My son was on the school swim team last year and loved it so much, but he does need some improvement, so I got him signed up for swim lessons there, and then signed up for a family membership as well.  I cannot wait to start tomorrow.  I'm seriously stoked about this!!

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Food...it's good

I've been getting really tired of eating the same old thing, over and over again.  I'm always looking for something new, something protein packed and low carb, and something quick and easy.  Yesterday was food experimentation day in my house, and I've found two winners!

The first one winner would be these amazeballs chicken and bacon wraps.  My recipe was tweaked a bit.  First of all, it's 20 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" cubes.  Then, I used a pound of Wegman's brand organic uncured turkey bacon.  The original recipe called for "real" bacon, but this stuff was out of this world, and tasted like ham.  And the third and final ingredient was one packet of dry Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix.  You coat the chicken in the ranch, wrap it in the bacon, which you cut into thirds, and secure with a toothpick.  I baked them in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes.  Each wrap has 38 calories, 1g carb, and 6g protein.  I ate 4 of them.  My husband ate, oh,maybe a dozen or so?  

And dinner?  Allow me to say OMG.  I've been dying for pizza.  The gooey cheese, the pepperoni, the sauce....yum.  Do I miss the dough/crust?  Yea, sometimes.  There's nothing like a greasy slab of pizza, dipped into ranch dressing.  Yea, that's why I'm fat.  Anyhow, I took a zucchini and sliced it in half lengthwise, and then again lengthwise until I had 4 strips.  I used 1/4 cup of pizza sauce, and spread it on all 4, used about 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese and 10 slices of pepperoni, diced and dived among the 4.  I baked this in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  I like when my cheese is golden brown and starts to get all crusty like on the edges.  The only thing that would of make this more perfect would be mushrooms.  Oh and maybe onions.  One slice of my zucchini pizza is 80 calories, with 3g of carbs and 4g of protein.  I never promised a protein-packed powerhouse with this one.  But it surely was a tasty treat!!

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Product Review: Quest Protein Bar - Apple Pie

In my never-ending "Quest" (ha!!) to find the perfect protein source, I stumbled upon these bars.  I had read a lot of reviews and posts about them over at Obesity Help.  I thought, well, if so many people like these, they must be good.  Of course, that same line of thinking is why I have a tub of Unjury collecting dust in my kitchen.  But I digress.  This bar was a much less expensive investment to try.

First of all, I love apple pie.  Cold, room temperature, heated...I don't discriminate.  I love it.  So I was the most excited to try this flavor.  I have a few other flavors to try, but this one...this one was gonna be money, I just knew it.

Apparently, there are only 6 non-fiber grams of carbs in these bars.  I still don't have a firm grasp on carbs -vs- net carbs, and in My Fitness Pal, I count all carbs.  But, I do feel better knowing that truly, I did not consume 24g of carbs in eating this bar.

The first thing that I noticed about the bar is how dense it is.  It's really chewy, and well, dense.  I've heard that you can microwave it for a few seconds and it's supposed to be heavenly.  That's something I'll have to try next time.  I was already logged into work on my lap top and honestly, too lazy to get up and heat it.  Besides, I was enjoying it as is.  So, it's dense and chewy.  But then, oh.my.gosh...yes!  Real pieces of apple!  It was a nice change from the typical protein bar that's coated in a nasty-ass faux chocolate.  There's none of that here.  

This bar gets a 9 out of 10.  For sure.  This will be my go-to bar of choice.  It was refreshing with the apple, and you definitely cannot argue with 20g of protein.  Very good flavor, no funky smell, no funky aftertaste.  This one is definitely a winner and will for sure be going into my protein bar rotation.


Product Review: Power Crunch Protein Energy Bar

I really struggle with the protein some days.  I have issues with the protein shakes.  The main issue is they make me gag.  I just can't get them down.  Once I smell them, it's all over.  And I know the trick about drinking out of a cup with a lid so you don't smell it.  But let's be honest...you smell it.  The other problem I have is that my taste buds change literally day to day.  I bought a tub of Unjury after my surgery, and drank it two or three times with no problem what so ever.  Now?  I cannot even stand to look at my tub, because the taste just nauseates me soooooo badly.  

So, I struggle with getting in enough protein.  I decided to give protein bars a go, and see if maybe I can replace a meal or snack with one of these, to boost my protein a bit.  Today my son and I made a wee trip to the Vitamin Shoppe to suss out their selection of protein bars.  I walked out with 10 bars to try, and yes, I'm going to be one of those people who writes about them here.  

First on deck?  This baby.  Power Crunch protein energy bar, in peanut butter fudge flavor.  The package makes it looks really delicious; sort of reminds me of a nutty bar, and those things are like crack to me.  Soooo flippin good.  There's just something about chocolate, peanut butter and wafers that hits the sweet spot.  

Obviously, that's what appealed the most to me; the look of the bar on the package and the advertised flavors.  I've gotta tell you, it's certainly no nutty bar, but I don't hate it.  There is ZERO funky protein smell, so no stomach turning feelings here.  That's huge.  The flavors and texture are nice.  There is real peanut butter, at least according to the ingredient label, but I feel like that flavors gets lost by the faux chocolate coating on the bar.  The bar is nice and crispy and it breaks down into a nice texture while you chew.  Despite it not being real chocolate, or lacking some strong peanut butter flavor, this bar is pretty good.  I would definitely eat it again, and that is saying a lot.

Overall, I'd have to rate this bar a 7 out of 10.  It's not something I'd crave, necessarily, but it did the job.  I got 13 grams of protein which isn't exactly high, it did what I needed it to do...give me a little boost.  I will definitely be trying the other flavors that this bar comes in.  Those flavors include:  Triple Chocolate, French Vanilla Creme, Peanut Butter Creme, Cookies and Creme and Wildberry Creme.

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Chicken "Muffins"

If there is one thing you should know about me, it's that I'm completely, utterly, hopelessly addicted to Pinterest.  I find THE coolest shit there.  From recipes, to crafts, to..well..everything!  

Last night I was looking at low carb food, and came across these chicken muffins.  I made them for dinner tonight and they were soooo good.

Here is the recipe, for the curious...

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup quick cook oats
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • Shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
  2. Spray a non-stick cupcake pan with your nonstick spray
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, minus the cheese.
  4. Roll into balls, and put into your cupcake pan
  5. Put a pinch of cheese on top of each ball (I probably used 2 tbsp. in total, for all 12 muffins)

Bake for 40 minutes.  Chow down.

A serving size for a male is 4 of these, and 2 for a female.  I could only eat 1 1/2 of them, a month out of my VSG.

I ran these through My Fitness Pal, and here's what I got, calling a serving 2 muffins...

168 calories
6g carbs
8g fat
25g protein
106g sodium
1g sugar

I didn't think it was too bad.  The muffins are really good; lots of flavor and spice.  I'd like to cut down on the spiciness next time (it gives me wicked heartburn/indigestion), and add some shredded carrots and zucchini to the mixture.  You can add more cheese on top, but I'm not a big cheese fan so that's why I went so light on it.

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What a difference a few weeks makes.  I'm talking about pre-op versus post-op meals. My very last meal before my pre-op diet?  It was from Five Guys.  It was a delicious, greasy fat-laden  double bacon cheeseburger, with lettuce, tomato, mayo and ketchup, and a regular french fry.  Oh, and a large Diet Coke.

I will be the very first to admit.  Sometimes, I REALLY miss eating shit like this.  I do.  French Fries are probably my biggest vice on the face of the planet.  And I'm sorry, but probably the only thing better than a bacon cheeseburger is pizza.

I am bringing this up now because today for lunch, I had a cheeseburger.  But it's not what you think.

First, let's discuss the "nutrition" in the above meal, shall we?

Bacon Cheeseburger

  • 920 calories (gross!!)
  • 62 grams of fat (can we say clogged arteries??)
  • 180 mg of cholesterol (no wonder I was on Lipitor!!)
  • 1310 mg of sodium (and 2 blood pressure medications)
  • 40g carbs
  • 51g protein

Regular Fries

  • 953 calories (more calories than my burger...and this one time, I got the regular size, not my standard large!!)
  • 41 grams of fat
  • 962 mg of sodium
  • 131g carbs
  • 15g protein

Large Diet Coke

Wow.  That's quite the meal huh?   1873 mother-fucking calories.  I mean really.  Was that necessary?  But that's how I ate.  ALL of the time.  Like, every meal was an event for me.  I'd go to Tim Horton's for breakfast and get a BLT bagel with a large iced mocha latte.  Or, I'd go to Chipotle for dinner and order a burrito bowl with double rice, and double meat and get the chips and salsa for a snack after dinner.  Of course, I'd wash that all down with a few Diet or Cherry Cokes.  And let's not forget about the standard Hershey bar for dessert. 

Well duh.  No wonder I got so big.  I look back now and I'm just disgusted.  It plays in my mind like a bad book.  You ever see those shows with the really large obese people and they talk about how much they eat and you can't help but feel disgusted because it seems like so much?  Yea.  Well, try taking stock of what you do eat, or used to eat and I promise, the eyes will fly wide open!

So back to today's lunch.  My cheeseburger.  I made turkey burgers for the boys, and I wanted one too, since they're on my list of soft foods.  Mine was sans bun, which I did not miss at all.  I melted a Weight Watchers cheese single on top, and dipped my bites into 1/2 tablespoon of ketchup.  I was able to finish 2/3 of my burger.  Here's what my meal weighed in at:

2/3 Jennie-O Turkey Burger

  • 130 calories
  • 7 grams of fat
  • 0 carbs
  • 18 grams of protein

2/3 slice Weight Watchers Cheese Single

  • 20 calories
  • 2 grams of fat
  • 1g carbs
  • 3g protein

150 calories for a meal, compared to 1873.  And after the meal I had today, I don't feel sick to my stomach or so stuffed that all I can do is lie on my couch for a few hours to let it digest.  Because after my last meal, I was stuffed.  I literally couldn't move off of my couch that night, because of how packed I was.

But today, I feel satisfied, not stuffed.  And the burger was DELICIOUS.

I love my sleeve!!

OMFG...the burn

Ugh, not having a good time today with the heartburn.  There are days when it's just unbearable...like today. The last time I got hit with the major heartburn bug, I had pureed some chicken, and added pasta sauce and melted parm cheese on top to make a chicken parm puree.  I ate half of it and then Godzilla decided nope, no tomatoes for you today sister.  And I was done.  That night, and the following day, my heartburn was frikkin BRUTAL.

It's been bearable since then.  Every once in awhile, I'll eat a Tums or two after a meal, just to calm things down.  But today, nothing is working.

Last night, I opened a can of chili and pureed it.  I ate one bite and felt the burn the whole way down.  I thought ok, maybe one more bite, just to be sure.  Yea, I was sure.  And the chili wound up going into the freezer.  The only thing that I think can maybe be causing this major flare up today is 1) the Crystal Light pink lemonade I've been drinking and/or 2) all the lemon pepper tuna fish I've been eating.  All that acid...cannot be good.  But I've been consuming these things for the past few days, so why now?  I can't even get my pureed beef stew down right now, because it just burns.

It's a damn good thing I enjoy the delicious calcium infused Tums.  Because without these puppies, I'd be screwed.  I'm glad I see my surgeon on Friday - I really need to up my PPI.  It's 20mg, and I'm not sure if I should increase that, or go to twice a day, but something has got to give.  I will pay whatever it costs to tame this fire in my chest. :/



I swear, this dang stall on the scale is going to be the death of me.  I have obsessively been weighing myself ever since I was a week out of surgery and realized hey! I can weight myself at home again.  And there was NO greater thrill than seeing the pounds just come off....sometimes as much as a pound a day.  It felt like victory.  It felt wonderful!!

Then a week or so ago, I noticed the same exact weight, day after day after frikkin day.  And I said to myself; "Self, you are in the dreaded week 3 stall that you kept reading/hearing about."


The 3rd week stall.

But I don't wanna be stalled!

But, I am stalled.

And have been.  And to be perfectly honest with you, it's pissing me the fuck off.

But!  There is good news.

Today I had to go back to the office (I work from home...woo woo!!), to pick up some more work.  I saw some of my friends, who I haven't seen since about a week or so before my surgery, so it was nice seeing them again.  And I have to say, even though I really can't see the results on my body yet, because I see myself every single day, I did have a few people tell me what changes they can see.  Hearing things like "You look amazing" was something I never thought I'd hear anyone say.  But I guess when you drop 45 pounds, it does make a difference.  

I was told that they can see the difference in my face, and all over....

The face is what makes me the happiest.  I used to love taking pictures with my husband and son, but then you start to notice things like those pesky double chins and how fat you look and it makes you feel AWFUL, so you just stop taking pictures.  But I miss those times, and all those memories, so losing weight in the face?  Definitely a good thing!  So while on one hand, I'm obsessed with this dang stall, on the other hand, I guess I can take into account that I have lost some weight and people can notice, and that is a very good thing.  Total self-esteem booster too!

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The Devil and His Headaches

Prior to my weight loss surgery, I used to get frequent headaches.  Frequent meaning at least 3 days a week.  I used to miss a lot of work because of my migraines.  I would get them and just wouldn't be able to function.  I would notice things like not getting enough sleep gave me a headache....getting too much sleep gave me a headache...having too much caffeine gave me a headache...not having enough caffeine gave me a headache...

I never considered that anything in my diet was contributing to headaches.  I just didn't ever think about it, honestly.

Once I started my liver reduction diet, I stopped drinking Diet Coke and Cherry Coke - my two biggest vices on this planet.  Also, I obviously stopped eating the sweets I was addicted to - mainly chocolate.  So right there, I was ditching caffeine and sugar.  What also stopped was my headaches.  I wasn't feeling like utter crap on Monday mornings, my head was clear!  It was great.

And until then, I hadn't had a headache, until I woke up today.  I was laying in bed thinking to myself, what on earth made my head hurt?  I've not had caffeine...or carbs really...or sugar....

oh.  wait.


I DID have some sugar.  And I have been so used to not having it, and knowing what I was putting into my body that I didn't even consider to read the label of something new I had tried.  Dammit.

So I've been struggling with protein big time, and just needed something new, so I grabbed some Slim Fast ready to drink shakes.  Uh yea.  These little bottles of poison are LOADED with sugar...taking a look at the label we have: sugar, fructose, HFCS, maltodextrin, sucralose...and then at the bottom in bold it reads "sweetened with nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners"

So, yuck.  This explains my headache today.  Over a month of going sugar free and then bam.  A cocktail of crap.

How could I be so stupid to not even read the frikkin label?  Seriously...

This just goes to show that for the rest of my life, I need to take the time to read and pay more attention to what's going into my body.  Because the honest truth is that I feel like utter crap right now with this headache.  I did not miss feeling this way every single day, honestly.  Who would??

Also, I'm really annoyed, because I'm at the infamous week 3 stall.  I've been stalled for about a week now.  I was thoroughly enjoying losing a pound a day...I was feeling so successful, and I was feeling like the pain from surgery was worth it....and giving up all my favorite foods was worth it.  Until I stalled.  Now I feel like an epic failure.  I know that it supposedly happens to everyone, but when the scale isn't moving, and I'm eating SO little, I feel like something is wrong with me.  This sucks!!!

Things I Miss...

There are certain things that I really miss about my "former" life.  More than a big fajita bowl at Chipotle...more than Buffalo chicken fingers...more than pizza dipped in ranch....more than ooey gooey brownies...I miss ice cold water.  I miss my big 1 liter bottle of ice water that I'd crack open every morning and finish by break time at work.  I miss being able to open the top and just chug a few big gulps back and feel refreshed.  I miss how crisp and clean water used to taste to me.  I miss it!  I miss water sooooo much.  I miss it more than diet coke, or cherry coke, or a mocha frap from Starbucks, or hell, even more than an iced mocha latte from Tim Hortons.  I am miserable without my water!

I just want to climb right inside a big glass and swim around.  Which brings me to the next thing I miss....swimming.  Growing up, we had a pool and it was the best thing ever.  Nothing makes you feel more weightless than a pool.  And I miss that feeling.  I've been trying to find a reasonably priced public pool for me and my son to go to this summer; just so I can go and swim laps.  But, this also brings forth the problem, me wearing my bathing suit in public.  Like seriously?  Why on earth am I even remotely considering subjecting myself to that torture?  Because swimming feels frikkin awesome, that's why.  And because I don't give a rats ass what anyone thinks about me.  They don't know where I am on my journey, dammit.

Other random things I miss...

Hershey's chocolate bars, specifically with almonds.
Vegetables.  Corn.  I made my son corn for dinner and wanted to eat it all up!
Raw veggies too!  I've got 2 pounds of baby carrots in my refrigerator that I'd murder to eat.
Eating like I used to.  If only I could...without the consequences.  

So now I'll ask...what do YOU miss?


So today someone on a Facebook group gave me two really good puree recipes.  The first one is chicken (I used canned), with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese, to make a chicken parm.  I did 2 tbsp. of canned chicken and pureed it with the sauce and sprinkled on some cheese before I nuked it.

1. This was SUPER good.  I love chicken, I love spaghetti sauce and I love cheese.
2. I WISH I was at a stage where I could eat more than 1 tbsp. at a time.  I made 2 tbsp. but couldn't get it all down.
3. My sleeve doesn't like acidic tomato sauces just yet.  I pray this is temporary. I never had an issue before.
4. This leads me to believe I need to wait on my Smart Ones Meatloaf, pureed meatballs with spaghetti sauce and chili.  Perhaps I can do the meatballs in either beef broth or fat free gravy.

The other recipe was for Hawaiian chicken; chicken blended/pureed with a touch of pineapple juice and soy sauce.  Now that sounds REALLY good.  Hell, at this point, I'd puree a turkey burger with teriyaki and pineapple...talk about good!  I'm going to have to try this one for sure too! 

I am curious if anyone has ever tried infused waters?  Water taste vile to me, but it's free, so it's the easiest beverage to get.  Maybe I need to try these??  Thoughts?

Sunday Truth

I cannot WAIT until I have my energy back and I'm not so light-headed all the time from dehydration.  My ass is dying to get back into the gym.  I used to go rather religiously with my husband when we first got our memberships.  But my mind never caught up with my body.  You know how they say you can't out-exercise a bad diet?  It's 100% truth.  I'd justify eating crap because "I did so good at the gym today."  Guess what?  That shit doesn't work.

Anyhow, I put on a few more pounds and was just really uncomfortable going to the gym.  Not physically, but mentally.  I'd see the stares from people.  OMG look at that morbidly obese chick in the yoga pants on that treadmill.  It was like the voices inside my head would just SCREAM at me to leave.  So I finally stopped going.  But you know what?  Screw all those people.  I'm not there for THEM.  I am there for me.  And I cannot wait to get back and get this party started again.

What a Struggle

Ugh.  I never in a gazillion years thought it would be such a struggle to drink all my water, and get in all my protein.  Never.  

I am the person who NEVER struggled with eating before.  I'm the person who would go out to dinner and order an appetizer, and eat all my dinner and kick back a few cocktails.  I'm the person who would eat just one more slice of pizza, because I could.  I'm the person who would never say no to food.  And now, Godzilla (my tummy) is making things very difficult for me!

So first, there's the water issue.  Water is just not good.  Cold, cool, warm, it simply doesn't taste good.  I did discover one secret, and that is that my morning pills go down much better with room temperature apple juice.  I do 6 ounces after my shake in the morning to get my meds down.  It's the only way I can so far.

I've discovered that my protein shake is a million times awesomer when I add in 1/4 of a banana.  Holy cats, that makes all the difference in the WORLD!!!  And as far as protein goes, my source is sugar-free Carnation Instant Breakfast.  I cannot stomach the Bariatric Fusion, and while I find the Unjury to be okay, I would rather drink something that's good, rather than just ok.  

I'm so used to sucking down as much food as I want.  Today for lunch, I did a tuna puree.  (Which, by the way, tuna is really fucking hard to puree! I shouldn't of drained that can!!).  Anyhow, it was good.  I ate 1 tbsp and couldn't get any more down.  Isn't that ridiculous?  When I used to make myself tuna salad before, a tablespoon was like a taste test before I spread the entire can on some toast.  Seriously.  But a tablespoon went down, and I got that all-to-familiar feeling in my throat, that tightening, and then heard that rumble from Godzilla telling me to stop.  WHY ON EARTH DID I NEVER LISTEN TO MY STOMACH BEFORE?  Why didn't I ever stop before when my stomach started to hurt?  Why didn't I stop when I was full and knew I couldn't eat any more?  What a fucking dumb ass I am.  I mean REEEEEALLY!!

This life, this sleeve....it's such a struggle, but I think every day I'm learning the ins and outs a bit more.  


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