Its been exactly a week after my appendix surgery. For the first few days I had no hunger cues like tummy rumblings or headaches because of the medication, and this was followed by my stomach shrinking and my meals becoming smaller. However, all things level out, right? Yesterday my appetite was back in full force. In fact, I felt like getting full was an unachievable feat. Lets do a little recap:

First came breakfast:

  • 1 5.3 ounce container of Oikos Vanilla Nonfat Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of grapes
  • 1/2 cup of Nature’s Path Flakes
  • handful of Fiber One
  • 2 crushed walnuts
  • And a sprinkle of Agave

That’s a complete breakfast in my mind! Apparently, it wasn’t in my stomach’s because about 2.5 hours later I was crazy hungry. I thought I could do the trick with a few of TJ’s everything crackers and a blob of hummus

but I was wrong. My stomach accepted that as a 30 minute peace offering before getting down to the business of lunch. My fridge has a funny assortment of remains so don’t laugh at the compilation of food…I need to go shopping pronto.

  • 1 whole wheat toast with light laughing cow – pressed in george forman grill
  • 6 pretzels
  • Blob of Guacamole
  • Blob of Hummus
  • Veggies

After eating this hodge-podge, I wanted more. I had a huge granny smith apple and made myself take a nap (watch Las Vegas) to escape the appetite.

I did finally make it to the grocery store and they were having a sale on Fage yogurt – $1 per 5.3 ounce container. Awesome, that’s like 50% off so I picked up 10!

Around 4pm, I was hungry. Again. Starting to see a pattern? I created what may be the most delicious thing ever: took half of a very ripe banana and microwaved it until it caramelized (got the idea here) and spread the banana on a whole wheat waffle and sprinkled with walnuts. YUMMY. Its the kind of snack that would be hard to make at work, but great for at home.

Later in the evening I went out to dinner with my boyfriend. Its the first time I’ve done my hair and makeup since the surgery and it was to feel attractive, and like a girl.  Our dinner was, in short, amazing, but unfortunately, my camera did not make it to dinner.  We went to a wonderful BYOB Cyprus restaurant. I enjoyed a few chunks of homemade rye bread with tahini, fried halloumi cheese with tabbouleh, and then a whole durado fish. The fish was stuffed with thyme twigs and lemon. Heavenly.  Oh, and I drank half a bottle of wine.

I guess I’ve recovered and well enough to go to work on Monday. Thank goodness I get to enjoy a weekend without being laid up in bed.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!


Advertisements

Whether its cold weather, an illness, or you are just having a down sort of day, comfort food has a way of making things better. Since I’ve been recovering from the appendix surgery and its been cold, not to mention I lay around all day, I crave comfort food all day. However, as I mentioned, most of my day is spent laying,  so if I gave in to all my cravings, I would probably have to go back to work wearing my pajama’s since that would be the only outfit that fit.

I’ve been trying to find ways to satisfy my comfort food cravings without having the real thing. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Ice Cream – non-fat greek yogurt with agave syrup drizzled on top. Must serve in a fancy glass and eat slowly as if it is luxurious, fatty ice cream.

Pizza – its really the warm cheesy bite mixed with carbs that I’m craving, so I’ve been making lots of little whole wheat pita pizzas

Chocolate Chip Cookies – I’m not sure why this works so well, but whole-wheat waffles spread with Nutella make me feel like I’ve gotten to eat quite a few cookies. Waffles is one of the things that I’ve never really eaten before this surgery, and now I crave them for breakfast and dinner.

Here’s a few other replacement ideas that I mean to act on in the next few days:

Potato Chips – Popcorn sprinkled with Sea Salt

French Fries – Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Creamy Soup – Opt for creamy tomato instead of something like a New England Clam Chowder

Mashed Potatoes – I say go for it, but use low fat milk and something like Brummel’s Yogurt Butter and enjoy a reasonable portion guilt free. Personally, I prefer a sweet potato mashed and naked.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich – whole wheat toast with a low fat Laughing Cow Cheese spread between, and pressed in a George Forman or panini press

And last, but not least, I have found that one of my true comfort foods is Animal Crackers. When I don’t want to eat anything, but know I really need to, my animal crackers have really come through.

Does anyone have any other comfort food replacement ideas?

After the appendix surgery, food was a distant concern. The pain medication keeps you from feeling pain, which includes hunger. With no headache or stomach pain to signal hunger, I went quite a while without eating. Eventually, I started feeling so nauseous that I remembered food! There’s no rules about eating solids vs. liquids, so its pretty much about listening to your cravings. Pretty nice huh?

On Saturday morning, my body said PANCAKES! My wonderful caretaker used Steph’s recipe for perfect, fluffy whole wheat pancakes. I had one plain one with nutella spread on it, and another one with blueberries added to the batter and maple syrup on top. The pancakes were indeed fluffy, and I loved them. My tummy shrank quite a bit, so I was only able to eat half of what is pictured. I enjoyed every bite.

Nutella and Maple Syrup make friends with my Pancakes

So Fluffy!

After breakfast/lunch, I did more of what I do all day. Sleep. When I am awake, my mind is pretty fuzzy, so I need to read something simple and with lots of pictures. I’m slowly going through every girly magazine that exists.

I think I am slowly getting dumber...

It snowed all day long, so in between the naps and magazine reading, I watched the first snow of the year settle in.

With the pain medication that I take every 4 hours, its important to eat something or the nausea kicks in. Animal crackers have been my go to because they’re just such a simple food. Plus, I see them as a comfort food and when you are sick that’s what you’re really after. Later in the day, I enjoyed a whole-wheat hoagie with hummus and grilled veggies.

Soft and warm - that's comfort food

Its incredibly frustrating to know that I can’t work out for weeks, and even then, I’m going to have to take it easy. Its frustrating to lay around all day and have little clarity and to constantly be falling asleep. UGH.

Any advice on staying positive?

Wednesday evening I was writing a post about how much I missed having almond butter while I did the no / low fat experiment. While writing this post I had sharp pains in my right side, which I tried to ignore. This pain didn’t subside  and between the hours of midnight and 3am I tried to convince myself to go to the Emergency Room.  I was so worried that the ER would think I was a silly girl with indigestion while there were people with serious problems. On the bright side, no one laughed at me, but on the down side I had acute appendicitis. My surgery was schedule for 1030 the following morning and everything has been a blur since then. Lots of pain killers, nausea, and pain.

Just wanted to post a quick update that I was home and recovering and that I wasn’t not posting because I quit my experiment!

Sorry for any grammatical errors – the morphine makes me loopy.

Its the infamous month of holiday parties, cocktails, and cookies. Appropriately so, its December 1st,  and today was my first holiday party. Rather than tell you what I ate today, let me start with what I did not eat:

There were bacon wrapped scallops, spanakopita, asparagus wrapped with prosciutto, and a peanut butter chocolate ice cream cake. Those are just the highlights! Its no wonder people gain weight during the holiday season. My strategy was to eat a few skewers of grilled chicken, a few pieces of lox, 1 glass of wine, and then to put gum in my mouth.

Other than the beautiful food at this party, my eats were uneventful. Greek yogurt with grapes and cereal for breakfast, sans the almonds, and I felt like I got hungrier earlier than usual with no fat in my breakfast. The rest of the day followed the fat free plan. It was weight training day – no impact from the lack of fat…yet? Lunch and Dinner were about as exciting as this:

I’m not sure if everyone is like this, but I can eat the same thing for lunch and dinner…is that weird?

How do you handle all the temptations of holiday parties?

I don’t eat a lot of full-fat but as  I was sprinkling Parmesan cheese over my veggies and shrimp dinner, my boyfriend pointed out to me  that I’m attempting to do no fat, not a low amount of fat. Oops! I guess I didn’t take myself as seriously as I should have because in recording the eats for my first day – there’s fat sprinkled into most of my eats. Its not exactly an experiment if you cheat. I want the full experience of my body noticing that fat is missing (or lack of that feeling). Maybe we don’t need fat other than fatty foods taste good?

I started the morning with about 6oz. of non-fat greek yogurt, half a cup of grapes, a teaspoon of almonds, and 1/2 cup of Nature’s Path heritage flakes. I learned that 3/4 cup of cereal is 2 points, and 1/2 cup is 1 point. Since I get 20 points a day this seemed like a good way to save. However, it doesn’t really make sense to me why the difference over 1/4 of a cup – does anyone know why? I was also surprised that 1 teaspoon of almonds was 1 point, the same as my 1/2 cup of cereal!

Before the gym, I had a piece of ww toast with a teaspoon of jelly. This usually would have been almond butter, but I can’t say that my lunch workout suffered. I did a high-power cardio workout with no affect/hunger.

Aren’t the slices of this 40 calorie tiny?

Lunch was a non-fat feast – I managed to avoid any nut butter or other slips.

  • 1 cup of Trader Joe’s Black bean soup
  • TJs’  ww quesadillas stuffed with non-fat cheese, left over turkey, and salsa
  • Veggies and non-fat honey mustard dressing as dip

Lunch kept me full for a long time and I was very surprised about this. I usually think that if there isn’t any fat at all you get hungrier faster.

For a before dinner snack I had my beloved Veggie Booty – and they have 5 grams of fat. Hm…I guess I wasn’t as prepared as I thought for a non-fat life.

And finally for dinner, I enjoyed one of my favorite pasta dishes only this time I didn’t include olives due to fat. And, I didn’t have any pasta because I’m just not a huge fan of carbs at night. But, the bf thinks a meal isn’t complete without carbs and protein, so here’s the his and hers version:

Yes, his looks better.

For tomorrow – I’m going to be more conscious about the normal items I eat that have fat. Sadly, I always have almonds in my yogurt so I’m missing them already.

So the advice generally given is to enjoy the Thanksgiving meal and the next day get back to your usual eating habits and exercise routine. But what if you get sick the day after??? I’ve been sleeping away 70% of the last 2 days with exercise maxing out at walking to the kitchen or bathroom. I feel like a sloth.

Being laid up has given me some time to think  though. I’ve always been curious about how food affects our bodies, health, and weight.  And, I think its interesting how many of my friends live by certain “food rules” such as low carb and fat free. The funny thing is all of these woman are stick thin, so obviously it works for them. I’m not stick thin, its not my body type, however, I’m curious to see how a low carb and non-fat lifestyle would affect how I feel and how I look.  So I’ve decided to become a guinea pig and try both of these lifestyles for a month and see how it affects my energy levels, my work outs, and my weight.

For the first month (December), I am going to follow Weight Watchers because the program keeps fat in check due to the high points assigned to foods like peanut butter. The alternative way to adhere to a low fat diet would be to keep fat intake under a certain percentage of my total calories, but that is way too much math to compute on a daily basis.

For the second month (January), I am going to do the induction period of South Beach and then continue to follow phase 2.

During both of these trials, I’ll keep track of how I feel and my body’s reaction to limiting certain foods. I think the first program will be much easier than the first, as I love carbohydrates. I know that experimenting like this sounds hypocritical to my general approach of eating healthfully and listening to your body – but its only 2 months of my life and I think it will teach me a lot about how my body reacts to certain food groups.

Ok – happy experimenting to me (as soon as I stop being sick)!