Sunday, January 26, 2014

unemployed, with a full-time job...

I'm unemployed right now, but I'm kind of glad because getting into this new lifestyle takes time and effort. I've discovered that being a gastric bypass ("GB") patient is a full-time job, at least right now it is.  It's a never-ending cycle of drinking water, taking vitamins, eating a meal, drinking water, checking to make I have enough protein, etc.  Maybe it's not as bad as it sounds, but it's tough to do all those things and meet my daily goals when my new stomach ("pouch") is the size of my thumb.  I'm guessing it will be easier to keep all the balls in the air when I'm further out and my pouch capacity grows a little.  At the moment I'm struggling to get a solid routine going.

My daily protein goal is 70-75g.  Since starting my regular diet on January 20, I think there has only been one day where I've actually met the goal. I find I am very close to meeting it most days.   Since my stomach is so small, I can't get all my protein from my food.  Plus I get only three meals a day, preferably no snacks. That means drinking protein drinks or eating protein bars.  Although, I usually don't eat a protein bar unless I'm going out and won't be near food.  I use it as a meal, otherwise it puts me behind in getting my fluids in. More on that later.  I usually start the morning with a protein hot chocolate, which gives me 15g.  Breakfast is either a scrambled egg with some cheese (10g) or a Greek yogurt (12g).  Lunch is whatever is around. Sometimes it's leftover lentil soup from the Turkish place down the road or a couple cheese sticks.  Maybe some refried beans with a little cheese and sour cream.  I try to make sure lunch gives me at least 10g of protein.  Same for dinner.  Sometimes I'll sneak a snack in, like a cheese stick or a turkey sausage stick (kind of like a Slim Jim).  If all goes according to plan, the hot chocolate plus my food should give me about 50g for the day.  I then try to make up the difference with a protein drink, which has 23g.

And that leads me to fluids.  I'm supposed to get 1.5 to 2 liters of fluids a day.  Fluids are water, Crystal Light, skim milk, low calorie sports drinks, 100% vegetable juice; pretty much anything that's low calorie and non-fat.  This is a tough one.  I can no longer gulp down half a glass of water at a clip; I have to sip.  Not tiny sips, but not gulps either.  Also, I have to stop drinking 30 minutes before eating and can't drink again until 30 minutes after eating.  So with my eating time usually around 20 minutes, I'm losing an hour and 20 minutes of drinking time each time I eat.  That's why there's really no room for snacking.  Not yet, at least.  In order to help me get all my water in I've bought a 1.5 liter bottle of Poland Spring, which I refill each day.  But I often find myself with almost half a bottle left at 9 PM.  One trick I've tried to get all the water in is to use the vitamin crystals, which uses up two glasses of water and I get most of my vitamins in.  But then I get tired of the orange flavor so it's back to plain water and my chewable vitamins.  I think next I'll mix up some Crystal Light.

And then there's the vitamins.  I need two chewable multivitamins, 1500mg of calcium and a Vitamin D everyday.  The reason for two chewables is that as a GB patient, I don't absorb certain things as well so I need a double dose.  I started out using the vitamin crystals, because I was on a liquid diet and then later I could knock out two glasses of water that way, plus get the vitamins.  But as time went on, I wanted something to chew on and I got tired of the orange flavor.   I'm finding it hard to remember to take all my vitamins.  Often it gets to be 10 PM and I still have two calciums, a multi, and the Vitamin D.  I'm thinking I'll have to set an alarm for myself at intervals throughout the day.  At least until I get back to work and get into a routine.

Well, I just finished my hot chocolate so I guess I'll start my vitamins now.  Then I can eat.  Then I'll start ,y water.  Then I'll...

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