Menu plans (for gastric band): What I eat

by Christine on September 16th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition, Gastric Banding Surgery

The other day I was yapping at Allan from “Almost Gastric Bypass,” asking him to post a few sample recipes of what a typical gastric bypasser might eat. After doing a quick internet search, I discovered that sample menu plans were really hard to come by. (He politely declined, claiming that nobody would really care.)  I then realized that very few meal plans exist for gastric banders as well. So…this is my attempt to offer up a few sample meals…things I eat…on the offchance that it will help someone out there in cyberland.

To start with, I recommend reading my “How I lost 90 pounds” post at the top of this blog. You’ll read a very general overview of my eating: I limit my carbs, indulge in healthy-fat foods, eat every 2 hours, etc.

Additionally, I aim to eat 800 calories a day. I get a lot of emails and comments from people shocked at that number and proclaim it to be much too low. I’m not suggesting that 800 is how much you should eat, but I DO suggest finding out what your calorie setpoint is. It’s different for everyone, so don’t just base it on some dumb medical chart hanging on a wall; every body is uniquely different (different genetics, different metabolism) so figure out what works for YOUR body and go with that.  I believe 1000 calories is my “maintenance” calorie setpoint, so I aim for 800 to get a 20% deficit, hence the weight LOSS.  It works for me; find what number works for you.

At 800 calories a day yes, I have plenty of energy and exercise sufficiently on this number — provided I’m not sick with the flu or whatever, of course. Unless you have a BMI of 18 or less or have other complicated health issues, you’re not going to throw your body into “starvation mode” or some other gimmicky bullcrap if you lower your calories 10-20%. Honest. No danger. In fact, there  are numerous of real, genuine scientific studies that extoll the benefits of reducing your calories, with facts that doing so reduces your risk for heart disease and helps you to live LONGER.

All that being said, here are a few sample meal plans:

Meal Option #1

Breakfast: Almonds (90 calories worth)
10 a.m.: 1 apple (80 calories)
Lunch: Healthy Harvest Soup (seriously, I live on these things): 150 calories (that means you’ll throw some away. Don’t finish a whole can.)
3 p.m.: 6 crackers (70 calories) and 1 oz cheddar cheese (80 calories)
6 p.m.:  2 oz grilled chicken (94 calories) with some 10 asparagus stalks (32) and 5 sliced mushrooms (40) sauteed in some garlic and 1 Tbs margarine (100 calories) and a dash of salt
9 p.m.: About a quarter cup of applesauce (50)
Total calories: 786 calories

Meal Option #2

Breakfast: 1/2 cup Honey bunches of oats (100 calories) and 1/4 cup skim milk (23 calories)
10 a.m.:  Grapes, 1.5 cups worth (92 calories)
Noon: Salad: 1 cup small cut-up lettuce of your choice (8 calories) + 1 medium tomato (22 calories) + 1/2 a cucumber (12 calories) and a small can of tunafish (70 calories) + feta cheese (less than half of one-quarter cup)(50 calories). Dressing is lemon juice and red wine vinegar (0 calories). NO MAYO WITH THAT TUNA.
3 p.m.: Almonds (90 calories worth)
6 p.m.:  2 oz grilled sirloin (107 calories) and 1/4 cup canned corn (44) + 1/4 cup black beans (50)
8 p.m.:  1 apple (80 calories)
Total: 748 calories

Meal Option #3

Breakfast: Medifast Protein Shake (I like Dutch Chocolate) mixed with water (100 calories)
10 a.m.: Almonds (90 calories)
Noon:  Campbell’s tomato soup (120 calories) + skim milk (40)
3 p.m.: 5 crackers (60 calories) and peanut butter (120 calories)
6 p.m.: Panera’s Vegetarian Black Bean Soup (200 calories), no sides.
9 p.m.:  Half a cucumber (12 calories) plus some lite ranch dressing (66 calories)
Total Calories: 802

As you can see, it’s very easy to eat every two hours, eat healthy and filling foods, and yet keep your calories well below your goal!  Honestly, if you cut out empty carbs (sandwich breads and wraps, potatoes, rice, etc) you’ll discover that it’s easier to keep your calories low.

I’m no saint. I make poor eating choices all the time. For instance, I’m sipping on a Red Bull (110 calories) right now. I have a weakness for just a tiny bit of Mr. Goodbar in the evening. I factor those into my diet by perhaps cutting a few almonds out or eating two bites less of my lunch.  In the end, I try to keep my calories focused on 800 calories.

My favorite foods are:

Breakfast:

  • Honey bunches of oats
  • Cheerios (plain version, not the sugary honey stuff)
  • Eggs, any style! (1 whole egg + 1 egg white)
  • Almonds

Snacks:

  • Cucumber or slices of bell pepper + LF ranch dressing
  • Almonds
  • Any fresh fruit at all. Just keep it to 150 calories or less.
  • Medifast protein shake (other protein shakes are ok, just watch calorie amounts)
  • Tuna fish + spicy brown mustard — NO MAYO and NO BREAD. Just plain.  Put it on some celery!
  • Cheese + crackers (limit the amount of crackers; watch the calories in the cheese)
  • Homemade guacamole on toasted ww pita wedge (the fewer pita wedges the better)
  • Pickles

Lunches

  • Healthy Harvest or Select Harvest soups (only 150 calories worth or thereabouts; that might mean throwing a little bit out). I particularly like soups that have beans or barley in them. I limit soups that have pasta, rice or potatoes in them (or I’ll “pick around” them, since it takes me forever to eat anyway.)
  • Campbell’s Tomato soup
  • Panera’s Vegetarian Black Bean soup
  • Homemade salad with any veggie you want in it. Throw in a dash of cheese or avocado! Vinegar + lemon juice as a dressing.
  • Leftover grilled chicken from the night before, with a side of veggie

Dinner

  • Pretty much any grilled meat (chicken, sirloin, pork chop, fish) with FISH being optimal.  Keep your portion sizes to about 2 oz, unless it’s fish in which case you can probably do 4 oz.
  • If you’re dying for a carb, try couscous or quinoa
  • Any side of vegetable, preferrably fresh. Add some extra-virgin olive oil or margarine, but watch the calories and only add about 100 calories worth at the most.

You can read a few old food journals of mine by clicking here and here for even more meal options.

Eating with Gastric Band
Eating with the gastric band can sometimes be a challenge. You’ll have to find what foods work for you and which don’t. For instance, I can’t eat broccoli any more to save my life.  I cannot eat bread products, such as pizza dough. Many banders have problems with steak and celery. That’s fine, just learn to avoid those items and instead eat foods that you CAN eat.

That being said, be careful that you don’t end up drinking or eating too many “liquid” calories. It’s very easy to opt for a protein shake because it’s easy, and then realize after the fact that 2 scoops = 220 calories. Yikes! Similarly, resist the urge to order cream-based soups (cream of potato, cheesey cauliflower) because they are loaded with calories. Instead seek out soups that have lots of veggies and beans in them.

Hope this helps! I’ve lost 90 pounds with the band so far, and by watching your calories and choosing healthy foods, you can lose the weight too!

(That’s me, 2nd to the left, with the blazer on)

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Starving

by Christine on September 8th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Eating Disorders, Short Stories

That was it. I had it up to here with being fat. Careful consultation with BMI calculators, nutritionists, doctors, and various attempts at fad diets just weren’t cutting it. Regardless of the plan, the steadfastness of my effort, it didn’t matter — the weight just kept pouring on. I was killing myself at the gym, going both at 5 a.m. before work and at 7 p.m. after work, but it didn’t matter. The weight just kept adding up, up, up.

I was 190 pounds and I could see the 200’s creeping carefully closer. I wasn’t piling on the weight quickly, but at an average of 2-5 pounds per month, it was slow but steady. I knew that unless I took drastic action, the weight would just keep piling on.

I decided that on Monday I would stop eating entirely. Surely THAT kind of calorie deficit would be enough to let my body know who was really in charge here. Oh, I had done a mini-fast before…maybe 10 days long…and I knew that it wouldn’t be an easy road, but it would surely be easier than the dieting + exercise + killing myself mentally that had been happening for months at that point. Surely anything, even outright starvation, would be easier than that.

I figured Monday would be the easiest day to start, because the first few days are the worst on any fast — the relentless need to eat, the real hunger, the pretend hunger, the obsession over food are always the worst. Weekends are the hardest times on any diet because of the temptation lurking in every social event. Work days were structured, rigid. I could do it, if i could just get past the first five days.

The plan? Eat nothing. Nothing at all, save 100 calories or less of liquids per day, such as watered down juice. I could have all the 0-calorie soda I wanted. The plan would make a huge calorie deficit, and surely my body would either lose weight or collapse.  At that point, I was A-ok with either outcome. If I collapsed, maybe the doctors would finally take me seriously.

Day 1 came. I woke up and went pee. Standing naked I logged my starting weight. 190 pounds. I went into the kitchen. Grabbed some water, filled up a few bottles to take with me. I looked at the food on the counter, saw the remaining veggies on the counter. Knowing that my husband wouldn’t eat them, I threw them out. I went to work, avoiding the free donuts and bagels. I took a diet soda and nursed it. My stomach growled. I looked at the clock, mentally checking to see when lunch would be, out of habit. I’m stronger than this, I told myself, and sipped my soda some more. For lunch I went rollerblading, thinking every second of the way about all the food I would not allow myself to eat. The afternoon was torture. My stomach was shrieking, but I told myself that it was all worth it in the end. I went home and gave my bathroom scale to my hubby, telling him to “hide it good” and not bring it out until this time next week.  He shrugged, knowing that I was on yet another crazy diet, and agreed. For dinner I had some watered down apple juice, maybe 20 calories. I smiled, knowing that I was beating it this time. I went to the gym.

Day 2 I turned into a raging, angry psycho beast. I glared at everyone, avoided the phone and restrained myself only to emails. I shut my office door and spoke to as few people as possible. I bit all my nails off. My stomach continued to shriek, and I continued to drink Diet Pepsi. I could nurse a regular 20 oz bottle all day and still have some left over. Lunch involved rollerblading for distraction. When I got home I went through the refrigerator and cabinets and threw everything away that hubby wouldn’t eat. Not a thing remained. I went to the gym.

Day 3 I was so tired I could hardly keep my head up at work. For lunch I slept in my car instead of rollerblading. When I got home I went to sleep and didn’t wake up for the rest of the night.

Day 4 my stomach stopped grumbling nearly entirely, and I realized somehow of the brilliance of my Day 3 happenstance “plan:” If I could just sleep, I wouldn’t have to worry about eating at all! I was lethergic and tired, but not quite as cranky. For lunch I went for a walk at the nearest mall. When I got home I popped 2 sleeping pills and fell asleep before dinner.

Day 5 my brain was completely incapable of stringing together two coherent sentences, but a sense of calm came over me. I was fatigued, and that was easily remedied by taking more sleeping pills when I got home. Still not food. Five days and not a thing to eat.

Day 6 and 7 were the weekend. I slept as late as possible, then tried to clean the house, read a book, or something. I asked hubby if we could NOT go to dinner, but I agreed to a movie. Both days I took sleeping pills. Seven days and not a thing to eat.

Days 8-12 were work days. The manic adrenaline kicked in. I couldn’t sleep at all, and I was incredibly hyper, like I had just injected pure caffeine into my bloodstream.  Enblazoned with a sense of hope that this was the energy blast I needed to lose the weight, I spent every non-waking work moment scrubbing my house, diving into my autograph hobby, and going to the gym (yay for a 24-hour membership).  I didn’t sleep a wink for five nights, and I didn’t eat a bite either. My stomach stopped talking entirely. I wasn’t hungry at all. It was perfect. At one point I realized that I hadn’t pooped in a week or so, so I took some laxatives. I was doubled-over with cramps and agony, but I was incredibly happy that I eliminated something. Surely that was another pound or two of weight lost! Victories!

Days 13-14 were the weekend again. I asked hubby to go camping with me. Out of house, no chance for temptation! I survived two more days of not eating, but the lethargy was starting to come back.

Day 15 I called into work sick. I took sleeping pills and slept all day. Fifteen days and I didn’t eat a thing.

Day 16 my body seemed to normalize a little bit: I wasn’t frantic, and I wasn’t too lethargic either. I wasn’t bursting with energy though. I could think a little clearer. I settled down to work, but the habits of eating at work were hard to break.

Day 17 I cheated by eating one-quarter of one slice of ham at work. It was there staring at me. I wasn’t hungry; I ate out of habit. 30 calories. I nearly called the whole starvation diet off, but decided that 30 calories wouldn’t ruin the entire “plan.” I went to the gym to work out for 2 hours of heavy cardio in retribution.

Day 18-19 were normal, if there’s such a thing as “normal” when you’re not eating a thing. Water started to get too boring, so I threw in a squeeze of lemon. I had tea for one “meal,” and although the smell was wonderful, the taste was vile.

Day 20 was Saturday. We had dinner plans with friends. I didn’t quite know how to handle that tactfully. “Thanks but no thanks, I’m on a no-food diet.”  Hmmm, not so much. I mulled over the menu online for hours beforehand. When we got there, I ordered a bowl of soup. I had maybe 3 or 4 sips of soup, and mostly pushed it around with my spoon.  Eating was, for the most part, avoided. Success! 20 days with only two “slipups” of a very small amount. For the most part, I had gone 20 days without eating.

Day 21, more of the same. Day 22, more of the same. I kept going, not eating a thing, sometimes sipping on apple juice, or, even better water with a little apple cider vinegar (known as an appetite suppressant).  I didn’t die. I didn’t have a heart attack. My moods evened out for the most part. My thinking went in waves: sometimes clear, sometimes foggy. My moods fluctuated from sleepy to alert, to a little frantic, but for the most part I just existed. I just kept going. And going. And going. It got easier, the longer I went without food.

Time kind of stopped and stood still. I was numb all over, mentally and emotionally. I was just existing, and barely, at that. I had this intense self-loathing that crawled over my skin and sucked the life out of my soul. I couldn’t walk past a mirror without looking dispassionately at my image, hoping and praying that the next day I would wake up looking some someone completely different. I wrote hateful things on my bathroom mirror, like “fatty” and “ugly” and “weakling.”  I would wear a rubber band around my wrist and slap it HARD when I thought about food. Eventually, after a few weeks of that, I was a little bloody around the wrists, so I started wearing the rubber band around my ankles instead. I would daydream about getting shripwrecked on a desert island or going on Survivor; I’d be FINE without food. I’d be the last one standing at the end of it all.

It’s no wonder to me that religious ascetics used prolonged fasting as a way to empty the mind and get closer to God. I’m not religious by any stretch, but there’s a period when your brain stops struggling with what might be and what was and, with its numbness, is content to be in the here and now. (This type of religious fasting is called anorexia mirabilis and has been around for centuries.)  All religious have used fasting to reach that point of, oh I don’t quite know what to call it — accepted clarity, perhaps.

For 70 days I didn’t eat a thing, except for five teeny tiny little slipups. At day 70 I thought I would finally weigh myself. I asked hubby for the scale.

187.0 it said. 70 days of not eating and only three pounds lost.

At that point I completely gave up on myself. I got into my car and drove to the corner store. I bought a handful of candy bars and ate them one after another. The sugar made me vomit. I cried some. Then I took a sleeping pill and slept it off. The next day I ate everything in sight, and the day after that, and the day after that. Until I was 225 pounds.

Weight loss surgery was the only option I had left.  Nothing else worked, not even outright starvation.

I don’t know why the weight loss surgery worked when nothing else I did made a dent in my weight gain. All I know is that I’m so grateful that it has worked.

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Rocked it out! (plus…gazpacho + excess skin)

by Christine on August 11th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Yup, major score. It went great. I was prepared. I had good answers. I think I said the things that she wanted to hear. The job as she described it was different than I imaged; it apparently involves a lot more business development and client management than editing. That’s all good with me. Plus, it involves some really fun travel. She said she just got back from a trade show in Alaska.  Could this be my dream job? Needless to say, I’m totally excited about it, and I definitely look forward to learning more at my in-person interview on Thursday.

I felt so good about the phone interview that I was blasted with some serious energy afterwards!  I dove into the kitchen and tried my hand at making homemade gazpacho. It turned out really yummy, but the recipe needs to be tweaked; it was way more olive oily than I would have liked.  But the soup was close, really close.  I was a little clueless about how to guesstimate the calories. Aside from the olive oil, it’s all fresh veggies, so it must be very low in calories. I blended 3/4 of the veggies in the blender, then put the veggies through a seive and eliminated the pulp, leaving a really light, watery broth. (Delicious, too!)  What are the calories, in say one tomato or one cucumber, if you eliminate all the pulp? The sugar and juice is still there. I can’t figure out if it would still keep a substantial amount of its calories or if it would be substantially reduced in calories; I can make an argument either way. Hmmm. It looks a little something like this, but not quite as chunky and more watery… (EDIT TO ADD: My Ph.D. scientist replied to my question above about the calories in juice-not-pulp. He says that you’d lose half of the calories, if not more, by juicing the fruit/vegetables, even considering the residual sugars. So if a tomato has 30 calories, assume that by juicing in you’re only consuming 15 calories.  Limitations of this analysis: my friend a stem cell researcher and not a dietitian, but he did ask around the hospital for me to ask about this question.)

I’ll post the recipe when I work out the ingredients properly!

Then I went on a cleaning frenzy. I scrubbed my laundry room from top to bottom, until the floor was gleaming and the washer/dryer (oh my, they are so old!!) were sparkling. It felt fantastic to make that room so shiny and new!

Then our honeymooning friends called to say that they were back in town, and did we want to get some ice cream? Hells yes I wanted some ice cream! I went, and I indulged. I had way, WAY more than I should have (I ordered a small and ate it ALL — normally I’d eat a third and stick the leftovers in the freezer), but it was hot out and the ice cream was delicious.  What a treat! Now, I need someone to remind me of this ice cream if, in a week from now, I start bitching about the scale not moving.  No shit sherlock. It might have something to do with your eating choices.  I don’t think it’ll be a major problem, especially if I can make it to the gym tonight, but I also need to take responsibility for my actions and own up to them, you know? In this case it was worth it, but I also don’t indulge like that very often.

Now onto my last point for the day: skin excess.  This is what has been bothering me for the last few weeks. My husband is bothered a lot by my droopy boobs (he brings it up several times a week and tells me he wants me to get plastic surgery on them), but it seems that I’ve been far more pre-occupied by this leg-skin. This isn’t fat people, this is excess skin. I’m THRILLED to have lost almost 90 pounds, and I wouldn’t take it back for anything in the world. But this is one of the consequences that I either need to live with or deal with.  If anyone is out there that has had surgery to tighten up skin…is this “serious” enough that insurance might pay for it, or no? (Sorry everyone…I would have taken a pic of my droopy boobs but I didn’t want to horrify you guys more than I already have.)

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12 Healthy Foods that will Make You Fat

by Christine on July 29th, 2010

filed under Diet, Food, Nutrition, General Information

Sushi

  1. Salads. I love salad. I know, that’s unusual. How often has it happened that you show up at a restaurant and look over the menu and all you see are high-calorie-value-options. But then you see “salad,” and you think, “Ah ha! I can eat healthfully now!”  The problem with salads are two-fold:  Firstly, the toppings.  Cheese. Almonds. Dried fruit. Croutons.  Bacon Bits.  All of these items add up significantly! The second problem: Dressings. Most are laden with oils, salt, and fat. In moderation, that’s not a problem, but if you’re like me, you want to douse your greens with some flavor.  Your best option if you’re going to pick a salad: Mix up some homemade dressing and carry it with you. My homemade dressing is: equal parts red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Add a little water, some salt, and some dill.  (Add a dash of olive oil if you want, but I typically don’t.) On its own, this dressing has ZERO calories. It’s worth putting in your purse or keeping in the fridge. Just in case.
  2. Sushi. I have several issues with sushi. For starters, they are filled predominantly with white rice. White rice (CARB) doesn’t do a thing for you other than raise your glucose levels and then make you crash about an hour after eating it. It’s bland, meaningless filler, devoid of nutrition and vitamins that you can find in other foods. Secondly, let’s talk about the sodium. In a typical serving of Sushi (9.5 oz) there is about 1182 mg of sodium! That’s a whole heck of a lot!  You can typically find the salt in the seaweed wrap, in the rice, and in any sauces.  And let’s talk about the salt. In Wegman’s Hoisin Peanut sauce for sushi, there’s a ton of sodium (620 mg) and a ton of sugar (12g). There’s nothing healthy in it.  So, sushi, I say shame on you! You are not a health food!  If you are stuck with Sushi or Sashimi at a party, pick that bad boy apart and just eat the fish or veggie in the middle. THAT part is good. The rest is naughty!
  3. Dried Fruit. While I admit that dried fruit is healthy (it’s fruit, after all), they pack more calories than if you got them served fresh. For instance, 10 rings of dried apple is 156 calories; a regular apple is less than 100 calories. Half a cup of raisins is 219 calories; half a cup of regular grapes is 52 calories. If you LOVE your dried fruit and must indulge, do so in moderation!
  4. Granola. Holy calorie nightmare, batman! One cup of granola has about 597 calories! Plus, many types of granola are high in saturated fats.  I don’t know why granola is associated with a skinny, hippie lifestyle, but if you eat this stuff regularly, you’re going to be anything but skinny.
  5. Wraps. Many people opt for wraps instead of regular bread when enjoying a sandwich.  The problem with wraps is that there’s more surface area to them than regular bread, so you can pile more food in the middle. Case in point: A Honey Baked Ham Turkey Bacon Ranch Wrap has 705 calories. Red Robin’s Caesar Chicken Wrap has 1244 calories.  A Ruby Tuesday Turkey Burger Wrap has 658 calories.  None of those are diet-friendly choices. If you really feel like indulging in a sandwich, why not wrap the outside with a big hunk of lettuce?
  6. Veggie burgers. These bad boys are becoming pretty much standard in most restaurants and offer a “healthy” alternative, especially for vegetarians.  One good reason to choose a veggie burger is because it cuts out saturated fats. Also, the portion sizes of a veggie burger is typically much less (2.5 ounces, as compared to 5.0 ounces for a burger).  They are also higher in protein.  These all seem like great choices, right? The problem is when you start slapping on the extras. Have you ever seen just a plain veggie burger, on a bun? Nope. They’re loaded with cheeses, sauces, veggie-chili, ketchup, etc.  A quick perusal of calorie counts shows an average veggie burger cashes in at 650 calories!  At that nutritional price tag, you’re better off choosing something else.
  7. Diet, microwaved meals. While many of these frozen meals offer yummy variety, quick cooking, and low-calories, the amount of salt they put in the dishes in order to preserve them on your grocery store shelf is deadly.  Most meals clock in around 600 mg (or more) of salt in each meal! Holy smokes!  You’ll be so bloated it’ll be a shock if you can squeeze your butt out of the cafeteria chair after that. Steer clear, my friends.
  8. Bran Muffins. I checked out a few bran muffin recipes, and most of them are extraordinarily high in cholesterol and carbs. That being said, they are an okay (not good, but okay) source of fiber and protein, and don’t always have high amounts of calories and fat. Not all bran muffins are created equal, so if you must have one of these, read the labels carefully. Personally, I wouldn’t touch these with a ten foot pole.
  9. Rice cakes. Remember back in the 1980s when everyone was chowing down on rice cakes as the latest diet craze? I don’t know about you, but rice cakes are inexorably linked in my mind to weight loss and waifish figures delicately grazing on them. But are they really that healthy? Well, they are low in calories (about 35 calories per cake) and can be filling. The downside is that they offer pretty much zilch in terms of nutrition. They have very few vitamins, devoid of fiber, high in carbs, and a high glycemic index. For the same caloric price tag you can wolf down a big cucumber, and I guarantee it’ll keep you feeling fuller for longer.
  10. Half and Half. Most people enjoy their coffee in the morning, and there’s a lot of people out there that put enough sugar and cream in the coffee to kill a small village. But not you, health-conscious person! You use half and half! But is it really as good as you think?  For a little container of half and half, it’s 20 calories. “What’s wrong with that?” you ask.  But think about it…8 oz of half and half is 160 calories, whereas 8 oz of skim milk is only 80 calories. If you’re watching calories, this is a significant difference. My advice? Replace that half and half with a dash of skim milk.
  11. Bottled Tea. Tea isn’t necessarily that bad for you. Lipton’s Unsweatened Tea has 0 calories, after all.  But if you grab a SoBe Green Tea found in so many convenience stores, you’re chugging down 240 calories and a whopping 61 grams of sugar.  At that calorie price-tag, you might as well chug a Red Bull.
  12. Juice. Most of us are aware that juice is pretty high in sugar. Many companies add a ton of extra sugar as well. For instance, a regular 8 oz cup of Tropicana Orange Juice has 108 calories and 21g sugar, whereas 8oz of SunnyD has 128 calories and 30 g sugar.  But let’s take a look at the carbs in these drinks, too: 25g and 31g, respectively!  Between the sugar and carbs, you’re better off just saying no.  If you’re going to drink some juice, get a fresh piece of fruit and juice it yourself. You’ll cut out a lot of added sugar by going the natural route.
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Friday Update & Doctor’s Visit

by Christine on July 23rd, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Happy rainy Friday to you, Revolutionists!

Here’s a general update on my food and my life.  Yesterday it was purely painful to sit through work, not just because it’s a pretty painful job, but because I felt miserable. For breakfast I had a handful of almonds (100 calories). I had some orange juice that I sipped on all day (120 calories). For lunch I had some chicken noodle soup (120 calories).

After work I went over to a friend’s house. My head was stuffy and congested, and I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open! I begged him to let me take a nap before having dinner. I probably should have gone home and canceled my plans, but I have a big problem overextending myself saying no and canceling when I’ve committed to a plan.  He graciously said yes, and was patient as I zonked out. I don’t even remember laying down.

When I woke up, we made homemade crab cakes. I wish I had thought to look up the calories of the ingredients as we were cooking, but I was really out of it.  Normally I would take a mental tally of everything! We used: canned crab meat, lowfat mayo, and spices. Then we lightly breaded the cakes and fried then in EVOO. The cakes were pretty small, but because of the oil I’ll guesstimate the crabcakes at perhaps 200 calories, but really it was probably less than that. We made some cous cous (75 calories) and a side leafy green salad with light cesar dressing (60 calories).  I was stuffed, and the crab cakes were wonderful!  It was lovely to have dinner with a good friend, and we always have so much fun making homemade food.

Yesterday’s calories rang in at: 675. Much lower than normal, probably because I didn’t have a mid-afternoon snack.

Today I woke up and still felt miserable.  I was talking to my co-worker about this lingering cold, and he recommended that I call my doctor. Because I have some underlying health issues that may be contributing to this cold feeling worse than normal, I thought, what the heck? So I called my fantastic, awesome, amazing doctor and she said, “YES COME IN RIGHT AWAY.”  Oh boy!   I hope she gives me some meds to feel better soon! I have lots of questions for her about my underlying health issue, so this is actually very good, very productive to see her. Also, I haven’t seen her in many months, and she’s going to be blown away by how much weight I’ve lost! She’s the one that suggested the gastric banding surgery in the first place, so I am going to be happy to show her how successful I’ve been with the surgery. I owe much of my healthy, happier life to her. She believed in me when so many other doctors completely gave up on me.

Eating when you’re sick is difficult, I’ve learned, when you’re a normal-weighted person. As a fat person, I’d eat all the time, no matter what. “Loss of appetite, what is that?” But now I understand!  NOTHING sounds good to me. I crave nothing, and actually the idea of food pretty much repels me. Isn’t that funny how a body’s physiology changes?  To ensure I eat enough today, I’ve planned some of my food out:

Breakfast was some cheerios without milk (50 calories).  Mid-morning snack was almonds (100).  Lunch will be Healthy Harvest soup (180).  Mid-afternoon snack will be cheerios with skim milk (120).  Dinner will be out, since I have last-minute shopping to do. I suspect I will get soup of some kind, or perhaps a salad. I don’t feel up for any meat. I’ll guesstimate (250  calories) for my meal. Plus lots of water, all day, for the PEWC challenge! That makes 700 calories….a little low for me. Maybe I’ll throw in an evening treat of some kind to push that number to 800.

Here’s a fun note from my archives! A year ago today I heard John Williams conduct the Boston Pops at Tanglewood, for his annual Film Night. I love John Williams! He’s a god!!  Here’s a photo of me, from that night, with a photo of me, today at work:

Sorry for the “Pretty-girl, ‘facebook'” pose there. I often do not have anyone to take photos of me, so I have to take the pictures myself. It’s not a matter of me trying to look like a “hot girl” — I’m 32 years old and married for Christ’s sake! — but it’s a matter of convenience. I recently read a blog where the author was slamming the use of this “hot-girl pose” (aka: taking a picture of yourself, by yourself) but for me, it’s a matter of convenience. Just so we’re all on the same page.

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