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.