There are so many foods that I shouldn’t eat after bariatric surgery. Cookies. Cake. Pie. Ice cream. Chinese food. Honestly, some my body can handle in very small amounts – half a cookie, for example – and some, my body rejects on the first bite (I’m looking at you, Chinese food!).
The reality is, I have had to change my diet (and I am using that term as the food I eat, not some crazy fad diet) drastically. I eat a ton less carbs than I used to (although more than I probably should). I try and get the majority of my fat from healthy sources these days, like avocados, olive oil, and nuts. But what makes up the staple of my diet is protein. Lord help anyone who gets in the way of me and my protein!
You see, your body is pretty smart. Carbs are the easiest to break down (read: doesn’t take a lot of energy) so your body prefers to use them as sources of quick energy. That’s why you get the sugar rush…which is then usually followed by a crash. Next easiest to break down is fat, and finally, if you’re not eating enough or getting proper nutrition, your body will start eating away at your muscle. Eating enough protein (along with strength training) can help prevent muscle loss.
One of the side effects of gastric bypass surgery, besides rapid weight loss, is malnutrition. Not only can I simply not eat as much, but I process things differently now too – I don’t absorb as many nutrients as I used to. That’s why it’s so important for me to take my vitamins daily and also have regular checkups to make sure that I’m not deficient in anything (when I went for bloodwork in December, I received an excellent bill of health!). The nutritionist again stressed protein as the staple of my diet, followed by vegetables, then fruit, and finally, complex carbs (if I had room to eat them…as if!).
I thought I’d share some of my bariatric staple foods with you. I often get the question, “well, what can you eat now?” For me, the answer truly is just about anything (except that damn Chinese). I also use the disclaimer that I’m human, and I still enjoy tasty treats, just in much smaller quantities than before.
So, here are some of the foods that you’ll most often find in my house:
Protein: Fairlife milk (lactose free and 13g protein per cup for skim milk!), protein powder, sugar-free Carnation Instant Breakfast, eggs, cheese, Greek yogurt, lunch meat, chicken, fish, canned tuna
Veggies: green beans, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, squash, zucchini
Fruits: Apples, bananas, pears, no sugar added fruit cups, applesauce
Complex carbs: brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat crackers, whole wheat bread, whole-wheat tortillas, oatmeal, sweet potatoes
I truly don’t eat much beyond that. Veggies are fruits are pretty hard for me to consume, partly due to skins on things like apples and grapes, and things like salad are incredibly voluminous – they just take up a lot of room in my tiny pouch.
Obviously, I need to get creative in the kitchen. I am slowly learning how to get better in the kitchen!
Share with me: what are your food “staples”?