Posted in after gastric bypass surgery, bariatric diet, bariatric eating, gastric bypass diet, gastric bypass protein

The Beginner’s Guide to Macro and Micronutrients

Today’s guest post comes from Monica Nichols…see her bio at the end of post!

The two most-used terms in nutrition nowadays are probably micronutrients and macronutrients. And it’s no surprise, since they’re one of the most important aspects of building a healthy diet and promoting a healthy lifestyle. When you know a sufficient amount about micro and macronutrients, it becomes much easier to plan a perfect meal that will give your body everything that it requires on a daily basis. Simply put, a “nutrient” is any organic or inorganic molecule that the body requires in order to properly maintain all the processes inside of our cells. It could be a vitamin, a protein or just about anything else. One of the most popular classifications of nutrients is based on how much of them our body needs. Hence, we get the following classification comprising of macronutrients (molecules that our bodies need a lot of) and micronutrients (those that we need in smaller quantities).

This article is going to be a quick guide to the most basic macro and micronutrients, precisely why our bodies require them and why it’s a really bad idea to let yourself become deficient in any of them.

Macronutrients

As I already mentioned, macronutrients are molecules that our bodies require in large quantities. There are three types of macronutrients out there: proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates (or carbs, as they’re regularly abbreviated) have a singular function within our organism – to provide energy. When food that contains carbohydrates is ingested, these molecules are metabolized into a more simple form of sugar called glucose. Glucose is incredibly important in our bodies, as it is the bread and butter of our body’s energy supply. Our brain needs it in ample doses to keep functioning properly, which is why people on low-carb diets can sometimes feel that their mental functions are somewhat impaired – their brains simply don’t have enough glucose to continue operating at 100% efficiency.

Carbs are somewhat of a double-edged sword, however; because they’re almost pure energy, over the centuries our bodies have adapted to respond really well to them by releasing large amounts of the feel-good hormone dopamine into our bloodstream. In other words, carbs are always welcome in our bodies and we don’t always know when we’ve had enough, which means that it’s really easy to overeat with carbs – much more so than with fats and proteins.

micronutrients

Continue reading “The Beginner’s Guide to Macro and Micronutrients”

Posted in after gastric bypass surgery, bariatric diet, bariatric eating, bariatric recipies, benefits to bariatric surgery, gastric bypass diet, protein ice cream, Protein supplements, weight loss surgery experiences

A Different Way to Get Your Protein

Tired of protein shakes?  Try protein ice cream!  What a fantastic sweet treat to get your 75g a day.  This recipe uses Nectar Grab ‘n Go…to try all their 17 fantastic flavors, try getting a variety pack here…

Nectar Grab ‘N Go variety pack

nectar variety pack

Twisted Chocolate Cherry Protein Ice Cream

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Recipe by Better Bariatric, LLCA little sweet and a little tart make this protein ice cream the perfect frozen protein treat! Makes two servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 packet Nectar Twisted Cherry protein powder
  • 1 single serving container Dannon Fit & Light Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 1 oz extra dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Cooking Directions

  1. Using a fork or whisk, mix milk and protein powder together in a small bowl.
  2. Gradually mix in yogurt, until throughly blended.
  3. Following your ice cream makers directions, add mixture to ice cream machine.
  4. During last two minutes, add in chopped dark chocolate.
  5. Enjoy soft serve or store in airtight container in freezer for up to 3 days.

185 calories, 4g fat, 23g protein, 12g sugars (from dairy)

Posted in after gastric bypass surgery, Bariatric vitamin requirements, gastric bypass diet, gastric bypass protein, healing after gastric bypass

Nutritional Deficiencies

Hair loss seems to be one of the biggest topics asked about after gastric bypass.  Right on the heels of this seems to be lots of comments about how “I get enough protein in with food alone” from people who had their surgeries like two minutes ago.

Let’s get real here.  You CANNOT get enough protein from food alone right after your gastric bypass surgery.  It is PHYSICALLY impossible!  Even if by some miracle you are able to eat enough food, your bypassed small intestine are not absorbing all the protein out of the foods you eat.  Same goes for vitamins, and why we need vitamin supplements also.

Hair loss is only one complication of lack of protein and vitamin deficiencies.  Anemia, bone disease, eye problems, and skin rashes are just some of the other problems that can occur.  A dietician I worked with at one of my local hospitals said they have seen numerous patients coming into the ER with medical problems due to being non-compliant.

Please, follow your doctors advice, and supplement with protein and vitamins after your surgery.  It’s not just a scheme you’re being told to do this; it’s for your own health and your own good.  Supplementing doesn’t just have to be vanilla protein powder in a blender either!  There are soooo many tasty supplements out there.  Proti Diet is one of my favorites, and comes in everything from soups to pancakes to chocolate cake!  If you like fruity flavors that will mix right into your Crystal Light, Nectar is a good choice.  Bariatric Fusion makes great tasting vitamins as well as protein powered.  I’ve included a few Amazon links to get you started.

Bariatric Fusion Variety Pack

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Bariatric Fusion Soft Chews-Iron

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Proti Diet Hot Cocoa

cocoa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nectar Grab N Go variety pack

nectar-gng-lineup

 

 

 

 

 

For further reading:

http://www.obesityaction.org/educational-resources/resource-articles-2/weight-loss-surgery/protein-supplements-weight-loss-surgery

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/809195_8

Posted in bariatric eating, gastric bypass diet, life after gastric bypass, Uncategorized

A Sample Menu of a 7 Year Post-Op

I’m always curious what other people are eating.  When I was a newbie, there were lots of different sites that had sample menus based on what stage I was at.  Liquids, full liquids, purees, soft foods…I never had trouble finding out what to eat.  As a long-term post op, not so much.  There are not a whole lot of “sample menus” of people who are further out.  Why?  Probably because lots of us don’t bother to track anymore.  Or we have our routines down so well we don’t put too much thought into it anymore.

So, here’s a sample menu of mine, in case you every wondered “what are long term post ops eating?”

B:  1 ripe banana with 1 tablespoon peanut butter and non-fat Greek yogurt

S:  baby carrots with red pepper humus

L:  1/2 turkey and cheese sandwich on double fiber whole grain bread, 1 cup vegetable soup

S:  protein shake

D:  1/2 grilled chicken breast, veggies and couscous

S:  no sugar added rice pudding

Do I measure my food?  Nope.  Do I count calories?  Nope.  Should I?  That’s a matter of opinion.  In the 7 years since my gastric bypass, I’ve gotten pretty good at eyeballing up my food, knowing how much will fit in the pouch.  If there’s more on my plate then ends up fitting, it goes down the garbage disposal.  I’ve learned to pay very close attention to my “full” cues and listen to them at all times.  When I’m done, I’m done.  If I’m not hungry, I don’t eat.  No foods are off limits, but I chose to eat good ones the majority of the time.

One of my favorite things about this surgery is that if I use it correctly my pouch will tell me what works and what doesn’t.  If I eat something I shouldn’t, it sure lets me know.  If I over fill it, ditto.  If you still measure, count calories, etc, and that works for you that’s great!  Everyone should find the groove that works for them and use it.  As long as we have the results we’re looking for, no need to change the routine!   If you’re looking for a new protein shake to add to your food log, try my Orange Creme Shake!

orange-creme  Orange Creme Protein Shake

5-6 ice cubes

1 cup fat-free milk

1/2 cup no sugar added manderine oranges

1 scoop Muscle Pharm Combat-Orange Creamsicle

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 packets Splenda

Add all ingredients to blender and pulse until smooth.   Enjoy ice cold.

*Approximate nutrition:  261 cals, 2g fat, 33g protein, 8g sugar

Posted in gastric bypass diet, gastric bypass protein, gastric bypass protein bars

Fav protein bars

I love protein bars. They are such a portable way to get energy, make a great meal substitution, and satisfy my sweet tooth. I’ve tried so many brands, but some are too heavy, some are chalky, or taste like sawdust. Of course, everyone’s tastes are different, but here is a list of my favorites, and they are all rated 4 stars or higher on Amazon.com too!

Quest: These bars are dense and satisfying. I like that they give you a “full” feeling, but are still very low in sugar, and high in protein.

Pure Protein: Bars similar in texture to Quest bars; they also come in a variety of flavors, are low sugar, and very high in protein.

The Simply Bar protein bar: I like that these bars bars have a light and airy texture. and are low in sugar.

Power Crunch Bar: Wafer type protein bars. My personal fav is the French Vanilla; tastes just like dessert!

Clif Builders Bar: Very filling, good taste and texture.

Supreme Protein Carb Conscious: Great flavor, and 15g of protein in each bar.

Luna Protein Bar: I love that these bars have fiber as well as protein. Helps to keep you full.

(The above bars can be found at Better Bariatric and Amazon.com)

 

Posted in gastric bypass diet, gastric bypass recovery time, Protein supplements

10 tips for family and friends

Even the most well meaning family members and friends can have a hard time being supportive after your bariatric surgery.  Here are 10 tips on what to say (and NOT to say) to someone you care about after their weight loss surgery.

  1. Don’t tell people I had gastric bypass without my permission!  Yes, this includes telling the waiter when we are in a restaurant!
  2. Ask how I am feeling, even if surgery was a few months ago.
  3. Don’t ask what size I’m wearing now.  Unless you’re planning on buying me a new wardrobe, it is not something I want to discuss.
  4. Don’t ask if I’m planning on having “all that skin” removed!
  5. Don’t ask if “that’s all” I’m eating.
  6. Don’t ask “can you eat all that”.  
  7. If you invite me to dinner, and I bring some of my own food, please don’t be offended.
  8. If I have a complication, don’t say “that surgery was a bad idea” or “I told you so”.
  9. Don’t tell me I look sickly, or need to gain some weight back.
  10. Please, don’t compare my weight loss with your cousins/friends/co-workers.  Everyone knows someone who had “that surgery”, but our journey’s are all different.

Better Bariatric

Posted in bariatric diet, bariatric eating, gastric bypass diet

Chew, chew, chew!

Before getting weight loss surgery, practice chewing your food.  Oh, you already chew when you eat?  Not the way you have to as a post-op!  It’s recommended you chew each bite 30 to 50 times before swallowing!  Basically, chew until its so dissolved you feel like your chewing up your own teeth.

I didn’t bother practicing chewing properly before surgery.  It was the dumbest suggestion I’d ever heard of!  How hard could chewing food 30 to 50 times be?  I regretted it big time.  Once I moved to soft foods that actually had to be chewed, I had a really hard time paying attention and slowing down.  Not realizing it, I was always a gulper.

The first few times you forget, and go back to your gulping habits (if you’re anything like me) you’ll realize your mistake very quickly.  It’ll suddenly feel like you swallowed a brick, so there will be no mistaking what went wrong while you were eating.  It will get “stuck” and will stay that way for quite some time until it dissolves enough to move out of your pouch.  So start practicing before surgery, or if you’re a post-op like myself, use this as a reminder to chew, chew, and chew some more! 

Better Bariatric