Saturday, December 22, 2012

Social Media As The Cure For Head Hunger?

Head Hunger

The truth is, even when I'm not physically hungry, I'm always going to be thinking about food. Like, right now. I'm already planning what I'd like to eat this weekend, even though I'm full from the bowl of buttery grits I just ate. Twice. Don't judge me.

Before my Duodenal Switch, I heard that my appetite would forever act wonky. I heard that I wouldn't even be all that hungry during my first year out from surgery. Well sweeties, it's true. I wasn't that much hungry. Miracle that it was, it was pretty much because I was too sick to my stomach to think about food.

Anyway, I'm glad that's over with. But, not totally gone away. My post-Duodenal Switch tummy has officially resigned from rest of my anatomy and is now it's own entity. As such, I have NO control over what it does, when it gets hungry, or even when it's not.

Sometimes I feel like my DS holds me hostage. It's true. Because when it ain't hungry, it ain't hungry. The only thing that can threaten this hostile situation is Head Hunger.

Where do you go for food inspiration???

I talk about food. A lot. On Twitter, Facebook and everywhere in between. It's not something I plan on doing when I log in, but because it's on my mind, that's what I end up talking about. I love talking about food & sharing ideas with ya'll, but it's terrible for my Head Hunger.

That's when I end up on Pinterest, Likes, or some other photo-sharing website, looking at food pics. It's addicting. But oddly enough, when I've looked at enough cheeseburgers and cookies, I feel full. Then it reminds me of a study I read a long time ago--I don't remember where--that people who spend time looking at food porn eat less at mealtimes.

I think that's true. What do you think??? In the meantime, check out this Pinterest image...I was hungry this AM, and I couldn't figure out what to eat. So, I went to my virtual buffet instead. LOL



I have been wanting to make this fatty Charleston Dip for the longest time! Where do you go on the web for inspiration?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Eating Like You WANT A Stomachache?

Eating Gone Wild

This morning, this last Friday before Christmas, I'm feeling very thoughtful and even a little sad. I've got a lot on my mind. Everything is bothering me at one time: parenting, food, finances, eating, weight, holidays...they're all just wrapped up into one huge ball and it's annoying the heck out of me.

As far as eating goes, everything has been tossed out of the window. I'm just grazing, nibbling, at times, STUFFING my mouth with whatever's at hand. Well, not WHATEVER...I do have standards you know...

The problem with haphazard eating practices is that when you engage in it, if you have digestion problems, it will be very difficult to pinpoint what's given you trouble. For me, even though I'm eating plenty of Duodenal Switch-friendly foods, I'm also consuming way more simple carbs than usual. Sure, I can blame it on the holidays, but Christmas didn't hold a gun to my head & make me eat those cookies.

Eating & Working From Home

This week, I've been spending a lot of time in front of the web cam. I participate in so many sponsored link campaigns, and it's actually a great way to earn income from home. I'll post one such video at the end of this post so you can see how easy it is, but there are a few drawbacks to doing what I'm doing.

I don't have an office, per se, so I do a lot of my work in the kitchen, at the table. Maybe that's why food's on my mind all the time. From where I'm sitting right now, typing this post, my thoughts keep moving towards the refrigerator...

I think I eat so much more now that I'm home all the time. And here's the crazy: Sometimes I think I'm eating just for the stomach ache. Just to irritate the hell out of my Duodenal Switch...that's the part that gets worked out in support groups--that's where you come in...why do I do that?

My weight hasn't been all that impacted, I'm grateful for my Duodenal Switch for keeping the numbers in a comfort zone. I am fluctuating daily between 120 lbs and 140 lbs. That's a wide gulf, in my opinion, but remember that how much water your body retains affects your daily weigh. Yesterday I was 130 lbs, this morning, I'm 119. That'll change as this Friday marches on. =)

So here's that video I promised...

This is a sponsored video. I like making them, and it's nice being paid for something I would have done for free a few months ago...




By the way, I'm all over the internet now, so follow me! Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and I'm even playing around more with my Pinterest boards. So connect with me, and let's try very hard to have an awesome weekend. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Truth About Drinking And Eating After Ur Duodenal Switch

The First Year Of Rapid Weight Loss

The first year is one you should chalk up to the learning curve. There's just too much going on during this first phase of weight loss. I lost weight so rapidly in the 12 months following my surgery that most of the time, my focus (and my doctor's too) was on how to take care of myself during the steep changes that were occurring on an almost daily basis.

I literally lost no fewer than 5 pounds a week. Which means, if you care to figure it out, that's almost a pound for every day and a half. That means that everything I did, everything I ate, was pretty much burned as fuel for what my body needed right away.

My thinking and ideas about food took quite a beating the 1st year too. Especially when it came down to how I liked to eat. See, I spent my entire adult life eating in one fashion:

  • Food in my mouth
  • More food in my mouth
  • Chew, swallow
  • Deep swallow of beverage
  • Food in my mouth
  • More food in my mouth
  • Chew, swallow...
You get the picture, don't you?

Does this remind you of your own style? Well, let me break it to you, that's one of the first things you will be forced into changing very soon after the weight loss surgery. There is just no way it can be done, drinking while eating. As soon as I was able to eat small meals, I learned that I couldn't do it mindlessly--as I'd done before. Eating is so much apart of our human lives that by the time we're grownups, we can do it in the dark. With a blindfold on. At night.

Reasons Why You Should Pass The Glass

There are two reasons why retraining yourself to hold off on that glass of water until after you've eaten.

  1. Filling up with protein first is always going to be your highest priority after weight loss surgery. And with good reason too. You're going to be losing weight rapidly in that first year and along with that, protein, vitamin and mineral stores will also be eliminated. The idea that you won't be hungry as much after surgery is hogwash. I was plenty hungry, many times a day--heck, many times a morning. It's a trend that continues even now, I'm always eating. What that means for you is every protein rich meal your body asks you for will be for good reason. Give it what it wants, and don't forget to be gentle. Just make sure your surgeon has cleared you to begin adding more complex foods to your menu.
  2. Even though you will be replacing what you're losing with supplements, I advise learning how to eat the new way as soon as your surgeon clears you. Before, the purpose of drinking while eating was probably to flush down the pipes some huge chunk of food we haven't taken the time to properly macerate. All that's about to change. Chewing food properly, taking time in between bites, learning your body's new signals for being full--all of that is different now. That's a lot of work for your newly reconfigured body to do and adding additional tasks, like a glass of water, will stress your digestive system out. 
On top of these reasons, it just might hurt to drink while eating. Yes, hurt. As in, physical pain. You may never understand what it feels like to actually feel water traveling down your digestive tract, feeling as though it's kept the same large spherical shape as it travels, unless you've had weight loss surgery. For me, it was enough of an incentive to push the glass away. Eventually, I learned how to enjoy my food without drinking right away.

The Downside To Waiting To Drink

There is a downside to holding off on drinking until up to 30 minutes after your meal. In my experience, after awhile, you actually forget to drink! For longer than a year, I stuck hard and fast to the waiting rule and that significantly affected how much fluids I was taking during the course of the day.

After awhile, I barely noticed the missing glass during meal times. I would push away from the dining table and go on about my tasking and it would be another hour or more before I remembered to hydrate myself. This went on for a few weeks before my body--and my Duodenal Switch--began to complain.

I became dehydrated, seriously enough to require a series of rapid intravenous drips in my hospital's emergency room. I had to learn that my body would respond differently to threats now. Losing weight doesn't just make you thin, it uncovers a new lifestyle. One that's totally you-centered. You have got to take care of your health after your weight loss surgery. 

No negotiations on that one.

So, there you have it.

Have a great weekend.









Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why Rice Is Still Off-Limits To My Duodenal Switch

Fewer Restrictions, But Still No Rice

There's no such thing as a dietary restriction when it comes to my Duodenal Switch. I knew that when I picked this surgery, chances were that I'd be eating a regular, normal diet afterwards. I didn't totally understand then just how long it would take before this would happen.

Every body is different, and your return to a full and restriction-free diet may take more or less time. It took 3 years before I had the "guts" to even attempt to add certain foods back to my diet. However, rice is still off limits to me. I have eaten it once since my surgery and even then, it wasn't until this past summer when I dared it. If I recall correctly, it was deliciously and expertly cooked saffron rice, from a Spanish restaurant. It had herring in it and it came with stewed ox tail. I'm laughing as I bring up the memory because I tried to be careful and eat only the meat. I was treated to lunch that day, and I didn't want to be rude, so I thought a spoonful of rice wouldn't hurt.

The good news is that it didn't physically hurt me. I ate the entire dish. It was like I'd reached an intersection in my mind. I heard the caution in my inner voice: Careful Tracie, don't overdo it. But then I heard something else, it said: You won't know if you don't try.

Bloated? Stay Away From The Mirror!

Even though my experience that time wasn't awful--I didn't die--I have not eaten rice again. I've decided that the bloating I went through two hours later messed with my mind too much. When you're bloated, stay away from mirrors, because that's all you're gonna see, is that perfectly round belly extended out to here. You won't stop obsessing about it. All of a sudden, life becomes a countdown clock until it's time to go to the ladies restroom.

The good news about bloating is that it's easy to conceal most of the time. I just suck it in whenever I'm walking across a crowded room. =) Another crazy thing? No one notices it more than you. When I stopped at a convenience store yesterday, I felt awkward in my midsection because I'd eaten a few cookies a few hours before.

The clerk said, "I wish I had your trim figure. You can eat anything."

She wouldn't have believed me if I told her the whole story.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Duodenal Switch Style Carne Molida | One Recipe That Makes 3 Dinners

There is no way to make an authentic taco, burrito, or any other Latin inspired entree without first knowing how to make the deliciously seasoned ground beef filling: carne molida.

Knowing how to make this opens you up to other tasty treats like empanadas and my very favorite pasteles, a meat and cassava "patty" that are a tradition around this time of year. This is also one great tasting filling for my Stuffed Jalepeno Peppers.

This is my Duodenal Switch version, which means it's a lot higher in fat than normal people should be eating. As a courtesy, I remind my husband about this detail every single time. 

I don't think he cares that much.

How I write recipes

It's just not my strong suit. When I go into the kitchen to cook, it's from memory and never does the same dish taste the same twice. I don't want to mess you up in the kitchen with measurements I'm not entirely sure of, my recipes will be more heavy on pictorials and information about what I used, and a general measurement of time. The rest is based on your own culinary experience.


Let's take a look at what I did
 

I'm sure you know what to start with. Your preferred fat to saute. I have 3 favorites: Butter, Extra Virgin Olive Oil or a mix between butter AND the olive oil. 


In my opinion, this is one of the hardest working packet of seasonings you could use in your cooking. 1 pack goes a long way. I used 1 1/3 lbs of ground chuck in this pot.



 After sauteeing, the onions & pepper, then add your minced garlic. Stir a few times. Then add sofrito, about 1/4 cup. Tomato sauce, roughly 4 tablespoons. Let simmer.


After you place the ground chuck in the tomato base, turning it after the meat begins to brown in the sauce. Now, the beans are optional. Sometimes I add them, sometimes I don't. Two P's to consider when you cook this: Preference & Protein. Certainly, by adding the beans, you're upping the grams. On the other hand, the more processed ingredients you add to the pot, the higher the sodium. So, adjust according to your own taste. 

Slowly add one cup of cold water and cook on high, stirring frequently, until the liquid reduces and you can see the beginnings  of the leftover fats.

I usually pour off a few tablespoons of the fat, and incorporate the rest into the beef. This fat is what makes this carne molida a Duodenal Switch special.

   
This recipe can easily transform itself from carne molida to Curried Chili con carne molida by shaking some Jamaican curry powder, or Indian spices to the saute fat. Watch for the color of the oil and vegetables to turn from light mustard brown to a deep sandy color.

There's so much you can do with carne molida once you get the hang of it. With the tomato, curry or whatever other optional stand-ins you can think up, you will definitely taste it. It's the result of the flavors you built in from the start.

You won't ever rely on a taco seasoning pack again.  

But if you're as resourceful as I think you are, you'll find a recipe to use it in. Maybe even this one, it's all a matter of Preference.

Let me show you 3 ways I use carne molida when I make it:


Curried Chili con carne molida
 

Tracie's Almost Famous Bacon Wrapped Jalepenos con carne molida (feat. ricotta cheese)



Carne Molida Stuffed Tacos con queso y crema

Other great optional add-ons include avocadoes and I like olives.



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Everyone else, I'm in the process of relaunching this site in stages over the next several weeks. 

Joining our mailing list will get you recipes from me & other subscribers (starting in January 2013), product reviews, raffles and giveaways, and the inside scoop on free or low cost cookbooks, goods & services and more.

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Duodenal Switch | Tuesday Chef 

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