Tag Archives: Coffee

Not Just a Month, But a Lifetime

Jen Week 1 Elimination Diet

Here I am, finishing up week one of my elimination diet! I feel strong and healthy! New foods and more exercise are always part of my continuing gastric sleeve journey!

“Not Just a Month, but a Lifetime”

By that statement you might think I mean that my elimination diet feels like it’s lasting forever. In some way it does feel that way as I’m missing the convenience and flexibility of eating foods with wheat, sugar, dairy, and almonds. What I’ve really come to realize is the I need to think of this diet as a lifetime change. By that, I hope to keep many of the healthy changes I’ve made so far this week. Some of them include:

*I’m focusing on eating protein first. When I first started eating non-liquid foods after my gastric sleeve surgery, I always ate my protein first followed by vegetables. Now that wheat is off my list, I am making protein my first choice in my meal. Not only is this helping me by giving me more energy, I’m sure my iron levels will show an increase on my next blood test.

*There are less preservatives, sugar, and sodium in my diet. By taking the time to read food labels, I’m now aware of what really goes into food. Well, if I could understand what some of the words included in the food are, I would know if there were good or bad. If an ingredient has more than four syllables, my guess is it isn’t good for you. I could be wrong, but I’ve decided this month to buy foods in which I actually know what the ingredients mean. There is one exception but I’ll talk about that later.

*I’m not frantically trying to figure out what I’m going to cook for each meal. I wish I was one of those people who meal plan and cook on a Sunday, but I’m not. With my kids and husband’s ever-changing schedules, I don’t always know when and who will be home for dinner. So, each morning I decide what to make for dinner based on what I know that morning. Tuesday is always Taco Tuesday thanks to the Lego Movie, but every other day, the meals change. Fortunately, I have a number of dishes that I can draw from based on the amount of time I can cook that day. My Pinterest board is filling up with more healthy recipes.

*I have more energy…finally! After wondering why I was so tired for so long, I finally feel energetic for most of the day! Instead of trying to keep my eyes open past 9 PM, I can make it until 10 PM. OK, so that makes me still sound old, but some days you just enjoy these small victories. I’m sure the new vitamins and iron supplements I’m taking are part of the reason I feel better, but I know eating better is a big part as well.

*I can exercise more! With better fuel and vitamins in my body, I am able to workout longer and better. Now, I’m sure working out with my trainer twice a week is a large part of my increased athleticism. Having a professional guide you, motivate you and push you is well worth the cost and time, in my opinion.  And by my increased interest and commitment to working out, this is a new way of living that I plan to keep!

With all these great changes, what in the world would I not want to keep from this elimination diet? Here you go:

*First, I would say coffee, but as I mentioned in my post about day one, I decided not to give it up. I tried for the first few days to drink it with cashew milk and stevia, but it wasn’t the same. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t particularly good either. So I broke down and went back to my non-daily sugar-free creamer. Yes, the one with words that are too long. Honestly, if this is my only vice in life, I’m good with it. Eventually, I’m willing to try other sugar alternatives, but for now this creamer makes me happy. Silly, I know, but right now this is my biggest vice, so I’m OK with it.

*All right, I’ll be honest and say that sugar-free non-dairy creamer is probably not my biggest vice. My love of Starbucks would be my worst vice. Now, if I was buying pastries or bagels along with my espresso, that would be really bad, especially when I know how great I currently feel without large doses of fat, sugar and wheat in my diet. I broke down on day three of the elimination diet and drank a tall soy latte. The only reason this drink breaks the rules of my diet is that Starbuck’s uses vanilla soy which has cane sugar in it. This is my big treat about three days a week. Yes, it might seem ridiculous, but I really enjoy lattes.  I really love grabbing one while I’m out running errands or drinking one while I write outside my home. Yes, I know they make regular coffee, but I don’t particularly care for it. I want my latte and I’m going to keep getting it..no pastries or bagels, though.

*I can’t wait to eat at a restaurant again! As a family, we only eat out once a week, but it’s a nice break from cooking for me and it gives us a chance to focus on our time as a family without home distractions. I’m sure I could eat out, but honestly I believe it will be a pain to frantically search the menu for food without dairy, sugar, wheats or almonds. Choosing better dishes that are protein and vegetable centric will be my new goal when we return to dining out.

Now, some of you might question why I couldn’t give up a few things like coffee, creamer, and Starbucks for just a month. True, in the scheme of life it’s not that long to remove these foods from my diet. But it was making me cranky, irritated, and I was focusing on what I couldn’t have instead of the what I could eat. I actually have a wide range of foods I can eat and I’m discovering new foods like sunflower butter and paleo-style meatloaf that I love. I have decided that I need to concentrate on what I can do easily and forever, not just for a month. I keep going back to the thought that I’m working on a lifestyle change, not just a month change. Just like I realized that going Down the Scale wasn’t a “before/after situation” but a continuous journey, this elimination diet is helping me focus on a healthy lifestyle permanently!

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This is the New Normal

My new Starbucks treat, Skinny Hazelnut Latte, and my journal with one of my favorite sayings!

My new Starbucks treat, Skinny Hazelnut Latte, and my journal with one of my favorite sayings!

I woke up this morning full of dread and excitement. Week six is here which meant time to weigh myself. My gastric sleeve surgeon recommended only weighing in once a week, but I must admit I’ve cheated and checking every few days. I jumped on the scale on Saturday and I was only down about a half a pound. Needless to say, I wasn’t a happy camper.

This morning I was a happy camper though! For the week, I’m down three and a half pounds! This makes a total of 29 pounds for six weeks! Yes, I’m finally happy and not feeling blah about it. I realize more stalls are going to be part of my journey, but I’m learning to enjoy the victories, however large or small.

My biggest victory of the week is that I’m learning to live with my new lifestyle. No, I’m not perky or feeling successful all the time, but I’m coming to terms with the new normal. This means eating healthy food in small quantities. My favorite meal is three slices of Trader Joe’s Oven Roasted Turkey lunch meat with a Roma tomato. Not very exciting to most people, but after eating pureed foods, it’s heaven and healthy.

Another part of the new normal is learning when I’m full and listening to my body. As a lifelong over-eater, this is still is a strange feeling for me six weeks after surgery. And when I’m full, I am full. Eating too much is extremely uncomfortable and even with the magic pink Gas-X pills, it doesn’t automatically go away. I am getting better at this each day.

One of the biggest challenges I have dreaded is eating out. No, I haven’t been cooped up in my house this past six weeks, but I have brought food each time we’ve gone out during mealtimes. Of course, that’s the best thing to do since it gives me control over what I’m eating. This past Friday, I decided to throw caution to the wind and not bring lunch when I took the kids on a day trip. We went to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch and I did great, if I may say so myself.

Yes, the kids had pizza and I was OK sitting across for them with as they ate. I ordered the Chicken Lettuce Wrap Appetizer. Yes, I wanted pizza, pasta or anything with gooey cheese and meat, but I knew it wouldn’t be worth it. I ate one lettuce wrap and was full and satisfied. I was surprised to be full from one, but I was proud of myself for not eating more!

I took my time eating and engaged with my children more than I used to when we ate out. Being a mom, I tend to spend more time getting my children settled with their meal and then wolfing down my food. This time I ate my meal slowly and could truly enjoy it and my kids. Another big change was not finishing the food on my kids’ plate. Really, pizza crusts aren’t that good so why was I eating them before? Another bad habit I’m breaking!

Another food habit I’ve changed is my coffee intake. I drank one to two cups a day at home and went to Starbucks or Peet’s three to four times a week for a sugary espresso drink. I don’t drink coffee at home now and I go out for espresso once or twice a week for a sugar-free drink. No caffeine headaches and I feel like I have a treat when I get my coffee when we’re out. This new normal is amazing.

Challenging, frustrating, exciting are just a few of the words to describe my weight loss journey so far. Having had some tough times, I know I can get through the future ones. My post-sleeve life is settling in and becoming a bit normal. And normal is all I’ve ever wanted to be in terms of my weight. Here’s to being normal in all the right places…