Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sharing Saturday: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

I don't normally share personal information so freely online but perhaps other vegans who are considering or have had gastric sleeve surgery will find me through this post and we can share ideas.

All my adult life my weight has been a concern.  In 2001 I was exploring the idea of gastric bypass surgery.  I was 260lbs. chronically ill and quite frankly housebound for a year and a half, leaving only to drive the kids to school or activities and to go to physician appointments.  Needless to say I was in pain, uncomfortable, lethargic and quite unhappy.  Praise God, the last person I saw in the process of pre-surgical evaluations was a very gifted RD/CDE, Natalie Dickstein.  I will forever owe her a debt of gratitude and respect.  Thirty minutes into our first appointment she figured out that I had celiac disease, something I had never heard of.  Who had back in 2001?  Certainly not all the physicians I had seen who failed to pick it up.

Five days later all  my pain and discomfort had vanished.  I began to lose weight without effort.  Through the removal of gluten from my diet I lost 40lbs. without trying.  Once that 40 was gone I started going to yoga and later removed some other items from my diet as a result of allergy testing and my heart leading me to evolve from vegetarian to vegan.  This took off another 50lbs. 

I maintained my weight at 170lbs. for ten years.  It might not sound light but it was fine with me.  My health was good, I ate reasonable portions and felt satisfied, I exercised, went to work at a sometimes very stressful job which I commuted to.

In 2012 I started to struggle.  I began gaining and couldn't understand why.  I was treated by a naturopath with an elimination diet and with homeopathics for multiple parasites.  I noticed I'd lost the ability to feel satisfied which freaked me out.  I had western medical physicals, blood work, the whole routine.  Long story short, almost two years later what I kept hearing was that as people get older their metabolism slows down and you just have to accept it.  Well, at 212lbs. I could not accept how I felt so I did something about it.

Truthfully, I had embarked on this second dalliance with weight loss surgery because I had hoped the same thing that happened the first time out would happen again - one of the pre-surgery evaluating professionals would find the magic solution as Natalie had for me in 2001 and I wouldn't need surgery.  That was not to be.  But another wonderful thing that happened was that the sleeve surgery has come about in the years since I first considered bariatric surgery.  A 45 minute surgery versus a surgery of several hours.  I guess God had always known that I would need some kind of surgery and he provided Natalie to me so that I could hold out long enough for the sleeve to be commonly performed.  I don't know what would have happened if I'd had the bypass with undiagnosed celiac and I shudder to think where I might be today if I'd done it then.

My surgeon, Dr. Eric Sommer, is a wonderful guy and was worth me traveling to see. 

You will be seeing more recipe posts here as I explore which foods sit best in my new sleeve and I hope other bariatric patients will share with me here.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tasty Thursday: Real Simple Cranberry Sauce






I got an email from Real Simple Magazine that featured Thanksgiving recipes.  This one caught my eye because it contained ginger, which I love.  Even better is despite the cranberry sauce being very big on flavor the ingredient list is nice and small.  No last minute runs to the store to make this.

12 oz. fresh cranberries
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. fresh ginger

My Mom doesn't really like ginger so I reduced the amount in the recipe from one tablespoon to one teaspoon thinking it would be just a hint of flavor but I guess my nice, fresh, organic ginger was very much filled with flavor because it very present.  I'll make some plain cranberry sauce for Mom.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tasty Thursday: My Version of GF/Vegan Cholent

Reading about Cholent on one of the blogs I follow, Frugal and Kosher, got me curious about a vegan version.  I found a recipe to get started with, then modified it with what I had on hand in the kitchen.

I put the following into the crockpot:

4 cups water
2 cups TJ's hearty vegetable broth
9 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. caraway seed
1 tsp. applewood smoked salt
4 twists on the pepper mill
2 bay leaves
2 cups red lentils
1/2 lb. bag of matchstick carrots
3 large organic russet potatoes, cut into chunks
1 jar TJ's pizza sauce
1/2 can black beans

The black beans were leftover from last night's meal.  I had planned to add another can of red kidney beans but the crock pot is so full I'm thinking if it needs something more I will toss more beans in at the end.

While this is cooking we tossed a batch of these molasses cornbread muffins into the oven to serve with the soup.  The batter filled my Lodge cornbread pan, mini muffin pan and small loaf pans.   I use blackstrap molasses so we get a little extra iron from that plus the benefit of cooking them in the cast iron pans.  The sub for whole wheat flour was my favorite, most convenient GF blend, Bob's Red Mill.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tasty Thursday: GF, Vegan Scallion Pancakes

Just had these delicious gluten-free, vegan scallion pancakes.  The only changes I made from her recipe was that we had no sesame oil so I used white truffle oil and the flour blend was Bob's Red Mill.  They're delicious!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tasty Thursday: Sweet Red Lentils and Rice





Another easy crockpot recipe.  I got my inspiration here.

Into my crockpot I tossed:

2 1/2 cups red lentils (1lb. bag)
4 cups liquid (I used 1/2 cup orange juice, the rest water.  Would have used a whole cup OJ if I'd had it.)
1 tsp. powdered ginger, organic
1 heaping teaspoon dried local garlic flakes
4 Tbsp. local honey
A good shot of Bragg's Liquid Aminos
2/3 cup rice, uncooked

Turned the pot on Low and let it sit for four hours.  If I hadn't been sleeping I might have taste tested it and turned it off a little earlier.  The rice started to get a little gummy, but overall I'd rather have that than crunchy, undercooked rice.

It came out quite tasty!  Hubby added a little margarine to his, which made me want to try that too, but I prefer it just straight out of the crockpot.  Each of us had two bowls and there is some left for folks to take to work for lunch if they'd like.

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tasty Thursday: Oven Baked 'Fried' Rice


I found this recipe today and just couldn't wait to try it.  This is one of those recipes that you can throw in just about whatever your taste dictates and you'll enjoy it.

I used:
white rice
can of pineapple chunks, drained (it was in juice and nothing else, so I drank the juice for dessert)
bunch of scallions, sliced
Bragg's Liquid Aminos
oil
bag of frozen peas
bag of broccoli florets, thawed

Mix your items together in a large bowl, coat your cookie sheet or glass casserole with vegetable spray, place in 350F oven.  Stir every 20 minutes until done, mine was in about an hour and twenty minutes.

I served this with edamame pods on the side.  Next time I'm planning to shell the edamame and put them in the mix.  Have fun with it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: Christmas Tree Shop $10 off $50

You know I like to reduce waste as much as I can, well this coupon will help us not 'waste' too much money at Christmas Tree.  It will load as a PDF.  Enjoy saving a few dollars on your holiday shopping!