"The food you eat is your responsibility" - a gentle reminder in the education manual that I am still accountable for how this program will work for me.
What's a sample menu look like? Glad you asked. Each phase reminds me of another phase of my life. We can all look back and say "during that time, I was...or I did..." That's the same way I'm looking at this part. God has graciously gotten me through some rough phases of life and it is nothing for Him to guide me through these phases as well.
**REMEMBER THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR ANYONE WHO HAS NOT HAD GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY AND IS NOT UNDER THE CARE OF A BARIATRIC PHYSICIAN.
Phase 1: Clear Liquids. First meals after surgery. Foods to include: water or ice chips, low fat clear broth, sugar free jello, sugar free popsicles, 100% juice diluted with 1/2 water, sugar free beverages like Crystal Light or Sugar Free Kool-aid. Start slowly - limited to 2 oz per hour. Do not use straws. take small 'pea sized' bites. Do not be surprised if it is difficult to take a total of 2 ounces in 1 hour. It's normal to feel bloated, gurgly and bubbly in your stomach.
Phase 2: Strained Full Liquids. These foods will be started on day 3 of the hospital stay. Strained creamed soups, diluted fruit juice, low fat/low sugar yogurt, low sugar pudding, skim or 1% milk (or lactose free/soy milk) any of the stuff from Phase 1. Meals should last 30 minutes. Sip additional beverages. You will not be able to drink all the allowed fluids. This is okay. Stop when you feel full. Wait and start sipping again.
Phase 3: Modified Full Liquids. Days 4-14. For the first time since surgery, you will need to stop drinking fluids 30 minutes before and after your meal. Foods allowed: You may add protein powder to foods. Low fat cottage cheese, very soft scrambled egg or egg substitute, soft cooked egg - avoid crispy or rubbery consistency, ricotta cheese, thin baby food rice cereal/oatmeal, cream of rice/wheat, grits, thinned oatmeal (avoid dry and lumpy oats), thinned mashed potatoes, vegetable juice, no sugar added applesauce, 2nd step baby food fruit plus all foods in Phases 1 & 2. Sample menu: Breakfast - 1 soft cooked egg; Mid-morning snack - 4 oz protein smoothie; Lunch - 1 oz grits plus protein powder, 1 oz applesauce with protein powder; Mid-afternoon snack - 4 oz. protein smoothie; Dinner - 1 oz low fat/sugar free yogurt mixed with 1 oz baby strained fruit and protein powder; Evening snack - 4 oz. protein smoothie. Total protein: 67g
Phase 4: Pureed. Weeks 2-4. To protect the new stomach, the food should be blended or pureed to applesauce consistency prior to eating. Foods to include (all foods in Phases 1-3): canned, water packed meat - chicken, tuna, lean ham or salmon, 2nd foods baby meats (no thank you!), homemade pureed meats (avoid beef), canned sweet potatoes and canned pumpkin, green beans, carrots, beets, squash, spinach, asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms, avocado - all cooked until very tender and pureed. Be sure to strain to remove any strings or hulls. Pureed (canned in own juice or fresh) peaches, pears, fruit cocktail, strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, kiwi, papaya, mango. Sample menu: Breakfast - 2 soft scrambled eggs, 1 oz oatmeal with protein powder; Mid-morning snack - 4 oz protein smoothie; Lunch - 2 oz cottage cheese, 1 oz green beans; Mid-afternoon snack - 4 oz protein smoothie; Dinner - 2 oz canned tuna with fat free mayo, 1 oz pureed cantaloupe; Evening snack - 4 oz protein smoothie. Cool added bonus is that they also included "Everything you need to know to make blended (aka pureed) food". So I'm not going at this blind. Total protein: 79g
Phase 5: Medium Soft Diet. Weeks 5-7. Foods to include (all foods in Phases 1-4): baked seafood, moist baked ham, boneless skinless chicken breast (cooked soft), 90% or leaner ground turkey, low fat cheese, 1T low-fat peanut butter, low fat refried beans, thin sliced or shaved lean lunch meets, beans and legumes (avoiding hulls), baked potato (no skin), unsweetened dry cereal, saltine crackers, low-fat pretzels or rice cakes, thin tortilla , wrap or pita bread, cooked corn, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, onions, tomatoes, eggplant, cabbage (veggies cooked until soft), banana pineapple, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, mandarin oranges. Sample menu: Breakfast - 2 oz low fat cheese, 1 oz cantaloupe; Mid-morning snack - 4 oz protein smoothie; Lunch - 2 oz turkey breast, 1 oz stewed tomatoes with protein powder; Mid-afternoon snack - 1T low fat peanut butter, 2 saltine squares; Dinner - 1 oz baked salmon, 1 oz asparagus, 1 oz baked potato; Evening snack - 4 oz protein smoothie. Total protein: 72g
I find it interesting that they broke "phase 6" into 4 sections...to me it would be phases 6, 7, 8 and 9. But whatever...
Phase 6: Modified Regular. Months 2-5. ~3 oz per meal. Remember to eat slowly and chew thoroughly. Add only one new food each day to help determine tolerance. All the foods in Phases 1-5 plus add moist, soft cooked pork chop or loin, moist veal along with pasta and cooked rice (must be very moist). Sample menu: Breakfast - 2 oz hard boiled egg plus 1 oz grits with protein powder; Mid-morning snack - 4 oz protein smoothie; Lunch - 3 oz deli turkey meat with 1 tsp low fat mayo; Mid-afternoon snack - 4 oz protein smoothie; Dinner - 2 oz moist boneless skinless chicken breast, 1/2 oz mashed potatoes with protein powder, 1/2 oz cooked spinach; Evening snack - 1/2 rice cake and 1T low fat peanut butter. Total protein: 85g
Months 6-7. New foods added ~4 oz per meal. Add: 1/2 c air popped popcorn, celery, lettuce and raw veggies, prunes, raisins, apricots, oranges, tangerines, nectarines, plums and raw apples. Sample menu: Breakfast - 3 oz soy sausage link and 1 oz of strawberries; Mid-morning snack- 4 oz protein smoothie; Lunch - 2 oz low fat chicken salad, 1 oz red leaf lettuce; Mid-afternoon snack - 4 oz protein smoothie; Dinner - 3 oz lean ham, 1/2 oz brown rice, 1/2 oz green beans; (no evening snack). Total protein: 81g
Months 8-9. You may increase the amount of food at each meal to five to six ounces per meal. Remember to stop eating when you first feel full. Sample menu: Breakfast - 3 oz Canadian bacon, 3 oz of oatmeal with protein powder; Mid-morning snack - (none); Lunch - 3 oz low fat cottage cheese 3 oz sliced tomato; Mid-afternoon snack - 2 oz cantaloupe; Dinner - 4 oz tuna steak, 1 oz baked potato (no skin), 2 oz chopped lettuce; Evening snack - 4 oz protein smoothie. Total protein: 75g.
Months 10-12. You may increase the amount of food you eat to six to eight ounces per meal. Remember to stop eating when you first feel full. Sample menu: Breakfast - 3 oz scrambled eggs (or eggbeaters), 2 oz chopped veggies to add to eggs and 2 oz low fat cheese to add to eggs. Mid-morning snack - 4 oz protein smoothie; Lunch - 3 oz chicken breast, 3 oz tossed salad with low fat dressing; Mid-afternoon snack - (none); Dinner - 3 oz baked pork chop, 2 oz applesauce, 2 oz steamed broccoli; Evening snack - (none). Total protein: 76g
Obviously there will be substitutions and I've been provided with quick reference guide to foods that will help me figure out all of that. I'll need to PLAN. It's one of the key parts that I've been hearing about. Plan your meals, don't try to do it impromptu. I'm not the best at planning. I'm really really not. I'm definitely going to have to be better at that going forward. Plus, I'll need to make sure that I am getting the proper amount of water. It's essential.
Bariatric Center has also provided some "how tos" for cooking soft lean meat, tips on eating out and so on. They've been good to include reminders like, learn to stop eating when you first sense fullness; eat slowly (each meal should take 30 minutes!); measure your food; change your snacking behavior (from high-calorie, high fat foods with minimal nutritional value to protein rich snack); make an eating schedule to eat no sooner than every 3-4 hours between a meal or snack; avoid foods high in sugar and/or fat; limit caffeine and carbonated beverages; no bread until after at least 6 months if not a year; seek recipes that soft cook meats; chew all foods to a puree consistency; plan your meals in advance; be prepared for food intolerances; find other things to replace "habits" of eating; take vitamins as recommended; over the counter medicines should be sugar free; record your foods; go to the support groups!
The following may slow my weight loss: drinking liquids that contain sugar; eating high calorie foods; eating to overfull; skipping meals; eating while watching TV, driving or reading; eating snacks that are not following the dietary guidelines; not exercising; not monitoring food intake.
Lack of exercise, poorly balanced meals, constant grazing and snacking are the basic causes of not losing or maintaining weight loss. (And what has gotten me to the point of needing this surgery anyway!) Bariatric Center wants you to be one of the 97% that looses and keeps off the weight for many years. Begin today to learn new lifestyle changes on the journey.
The food I eat is my responsibility.
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14