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Clean Eating

This tag is associated with 5 posts

Bite Me

So, I took a little time to settle in to my new job/apartment/downtown O-Town life. And despite my best efforts to explore the coolness of Canada’s most conservative city, I’m still coming up wanting. Which is fairly frustrating since I’m pretty much wanting most of the time with this band in my belly!bite me embroidery

My biggest challenge at work is finding time to top up my tummy between the endless and sometimes unnecessary meetings I’m forced to focus on before the kick-off of my ‘real responsibilities’. It’s certainly been a struggle holding back the hunger. You see, despite dropping nearly 30lbs and at least a dress size, I still don’t want to be the fat girl stuffing her face in a meeting. But I’m booked up most of my mornings and to keep myself focused fuel is a must!

I’ve done my best to (sometimes not-so-subtly) announce my augmentation but I can’t go ’round telling the entire team of more than 1200 peeps that I’ve resorted to surgery to drop a few dress sizes. As such, I’m starving most of the time to the point that I’ve actually felt faint on more than one occasion.

So, what I’d like to focus on here is my top five favourite snacks for the busy bandster:

  1. Almonds are your friend. Well, as long as you don’t have a death-inducing nut allergy they are. Buy a big bag of plain roasted almonds and those snazzy 100 cal size Ziploc bags and make up a bag for each day of the week. Make sure you don’t fill the bag – almonds are a very healthy but high-cal treat. Use about 8-10 almonds per bag and keep them in your pocket.
  2. Peel and slice small apples and put them in one of the Ziploc bags with a squeeze of lemon and cinnamon. Add some Splenda if you’ve got a sweet tooth.
  3. Keep some Kashi ‘chewy’ granola bars in your bag for munching in the elevator. Give yourself a few minutes to chew these bad boys though cause they’re quite stiff on the ol’ chompers and most certainly a pain to push through the tummy if not chewed properly. My personal fave is the Dark Chocolate Cherry. (Relax! It’s much better for you than it sounds!)
  4. Prepacked cheese sticks are handy too. Armstrong makes a mean herbed one that I think I might love. Team them with some low fat Triscuits or some of those great whole grain and seed bread crisps from the good people at Lesley Stowe’s. Check out their website for some ‘crispy combinations’.
  5. Yogurt is high in protein and terrific for the tummy too. Try to stay away from the low fat and premixed fruit flavours though cause they’re often high in calories and sweeteners. Go for Greek yogurt if you can find it and add your own fresh peeled fruit or field berries.

What about you? What are your helpful hints for home-made snacks?

So Much to Say

Well, the internet has been down in my humble abode since just after my fill so I’ve got a bit of updating to do. I’ve been trying to shorten the length of my posts lately so I’ll try and keep it brief.

Dr BishopWhen I arrived at Dr Bishop‘s clinic, I was greeted by their super friendly staff. I provided my driver’s licence and health card info. Since it was my first visit to the clinic, I then met with a very nice nurse called Wendy who took my patient history information. I was a little surprised that Slimband hadn’t provided this information to them in advance of my visit as the information Wendy requested was basically the information contained in Slimband’s pre-op questionnaire. But, no biggie. I then returned to the waiting room and waited to see the doc.

Dr Bishop really has exceptional beside manner. He comes across as a very nice man, well-informed and thoughtful. He spent about 30 mins chatting with me about my history and getting a feel for my level of knowledge on my Slimband journey. He had recently returned from a conference at Harvard so had plenty to share with me on suggested methods to assist me with my weight loss while respecting that I would have some of this knowledge myself already for which I was very grateful.

My fill itself went very well. Quick and painless. On Slimband’s instruction, he injected 3ccs into my band but informed me that he would have recommended 4 ccs ‘since it’s the recommended first fill level in Australia’ at the moment…He gave me some water to drink to ensure I hadn’t had an ‘overfill’ and sent me on my way. The whole appointment lasted about an hour and I felt very relaxed throughout.

Shepherd's PieSince the fill, I don’t really feel all that restricted. Shamefully, I didn’t stick to the clear/full liquids mix for the first 48 hrs as instructed. I drank mostly water throughout the day but by around 8pm that night I ate about 3/4 cup of Mom’s homemade Shepherd’s Pie.

Since Tuesday was the DMB concert and I was travelling to Toronto, I went back to Clean Eating but took things very slowly. I had more to drink than I did to eat so I guess that was good. I’ve been told it takes about 2 weeks to feel the full effects of restriction so I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. I’m thinking I’ll be fillin’ ‘er up again in a month though!

Can I Kick It? or What’s the Skinny of Bandster Friendly Serving Sizes

I’ve been super busy lately and I realised I hadn’t posted about my ‘Nutrition Kickstart‘ with Slimband’s resident dietician Arlene. This was an essential discussion regarding my progress from mushies to solid food.

Nutrition

Granted, it was some time ago (8 days to be exact), it’s important to me to document my journey as best as I can. I scheduled my chat with Arlene for just after mid-day in the hopes that if I was finally working again, I’d be able to chat with her over lunch.

Well, it was indeed lunch time but since I’m not yet working, I was running around town with my family (AKA The Team). Unfortunately, they decided on our way to Winner’s that a basket fried flesh from Wild Wings would be a suitable eating place for a recently-banded bambina. Imagine my shame when I saw Slimband’s number show up on my phone just after I placed my order…

The chat was scheduled for 30 minutes and since I’d been warned by members of the MySlimband community to come prepared with specific questions for Arlene, it went quite well.

I started off by telling her I was feeling quite fine. Almost back to normal, in fact. I am able to eat nearly all things I’d been able to eat before my surgery. I was slightly concerned but she was very happy to hear it. She assured me that this was okay and that I need not live in constant fear of band slippage as I’ve mentioned before. I’m simply a fast healer and my body is adjusting nicely. Well, that’s GREAT news!!

I also mentioned I’d been reading the Clean Eating Magazine as per her suggestion in MySlimband. As I mentioned before, Arlene promotes the Clean Eating*** principles and often provides bandster-friendly versions of snacks and meals including modified serving suggestions.

Since I’d been following the monthly meal plan in the magazine I was feeling good but also concerned I was eating too much. Despite the well-balanced, low calorie nature of the meal plan, I just couldn’t eat every 2-3 hours without feeling stuffed. So, I mentioned I felt the meal portion sizes were surprisingly large but the snacks were perfect. I was certainly surprised by this as it seemed I was able to eat a bit more than some of my bandster friends at the same stage as me (7 days into solid foods).

She reassured me again and suggested I try to reduce the portion sizes in the Clean Eating meal plan in preparation for my first fill in the coming weeks. As an exampled I’ll use my favourite Clean Eating breakfast:Kashi Go-Lean and Strawberries

Clean Eating breakfast serving suggestion:

1 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal

1/2 cup sliced strawberries

1/2 cup skimmed, soy, or almond milk

Arlene’s bandster-friendly serving suggestion:

1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal

1/4 cup sliced strawberries

1/2 cup skimmed, soy, or almond milk

So, it looks like halving the servings is a good start. Simple enough, eh? Arlene also mentioned that bandsters can indeed snack on popcorn…IF they are able to without any trouble BUT we must take it SLOW to ensure we don’t choke. Woo hoo! I love popcorn and it doesn’t have to be drenched in butter for me to enjoy it. So, that’s another healthy snack (about 3 cups) I can enjoy along with all of the other snack suggestions in the Clean Eating meal plan.

I also chatted with Arlene about the prospect of revisiting my Body Doctor fitness regime in the coming weeks. She recommended that if I’m going to be working out that strenuously, I’m going to need to add another meal to the Slimband program of 3 meals and 2 snacks every 2-3 hours and ensure that if I’m exercising in the evenings, that my post-workout meal contains 30g protein and 20g of carbs.

Since Arlene knew I was out and about (but didn’t know WHERE), she sent me a reference sheet with lots of helpful information about serving sizes and tips and tricks for eating out (I did mentioned I do that A LOT in my life). This was a big help.

From what I gather though, the Nutrition Kickstart seemed to be largely a rehearsed ‘personal’ information session that if one comes unprepared, they may or may not come away with much more information than what is written in the Slimband Post-Op Binder.

That being said, I’ve also messaged Arlene several times from within the MySlimband community and she actively participates in the discussion. She’s provided some very useful advice there and here so the combination of the three support systems is really great overall. As usual with the band, they’re providing the tools and it’s really up to me how I use them.

***Loosely speaking, Clean Eating principles are based on eating foods in as natural a state as possible, EVERY 2-3 hours (no exceptions people!!!), some savvy food pairing and ensuring each meal or snack is a perfectly balanced combination of protein and carbohydrates. By following this, carbs are digested in 2-3 hours allowing us to feel fuller longer. Otherwise, carbs are digested immediately making us feel hungry early.

It Feels Good or How Booze Brings Me Back to London Times

Well, I’m back from the CALL Conference and feelin’ pretty fine! I’ve mentioned it in passing but I’m a marketing consultant and I’m currently between contracts. What that means in layman’s terms is quite simply, I’m unemployed.

Being at the CALL annual conference which I’ve attended faithfully with Justis Publishing for the last four years made me feel alive again. I so enjoy my job (when I’m working) but the people really make it worthwhile. My Justis colleagues, although sometimes a PITA like most colleagues are on occasion, really are a fantastic bunch and equally, the clients. I’ve always looked forward to this conference and this year was no exception.

In terms of band relations, it was a bit of a nightmare. If I’d been there in a completely professional capacity I’m pretty sure there would have been nothing both clean eating and bandster friendly to eat at the conference or during the social events. I brought some of my own food so I was okay but when that ran out, it really tested my clean eating knowledge.

The first night, I started the evening with my very favourite drink – a Manhattan

Warhol Manhattan Cocktail

It really doesn’t get much better than this for me. I just LOVE them. And as alcoholic drinks go, they’re pretty much bandster friendly due to the lack of carbonation but they’re fairly high in calories and alcohol content so should be consumed in moderation.

My Justis friends…treated me to a fantastic dinner at Windsor‘s ‘most upscale’ restaurant…The Keg! Huh?? I’ve got nothing against The Keg cause the food was great and the staff were friendly and prompt but it’s The Keg and me and these mates have eaten at some pretty flash places so I was surprised to hear they’d been there the night before and were keen to go again.

I hadn’t tried steak since getting the band so erred on the side of caution and went for a very delicious chicken dish. Needless to said I ate about a quarter of the food on my plate. But it was good. That being said, EVERYTHING they served came in a HUGE portion with loads of unnecessary carbs so a lot was wasted.

Even the appetizer (crab, parmesan and spinach dip) was too cheesy and came with twice-fried tortilla chips that seemed a bit to thick for me to have more than a nibble.

Also a challenge was the not drinking a glass of wine with my dinner. I had one glass at the beginning while my dinner companions finished the appetizer but had only just a few sips through dinner. And no dessert. A definite improvement from previous conference night’s out but felt a bit deprived.

I did dare to drink a bit more throughout the evening (about an hour after dinner) but it was tough to make bandster-friendly drink selections (if there is such a thing!) and I was full for quite a while.

Most drinks come with carbonated mixer and all bottled drinks come carbonated. I ended up going with Manhattans, other martinis and a significant amount of shooters. I’m fairly certain I’ll be paying for it on the scales this week!

Let Me Clear My Throat

Hmph. Woke up feeling pretty tight this morning. Was difficult to get even water down at first. Not so difficult that I couldn’t swallow it and keep it down but it felt quite similar to the way I felt around Day 4 or 5.

hmph

Since I’d had some real food last night (tried BBQ’d pork tenderloin souvlaki chewed literally hundreds of times and a tiny salad), I figured it’s just all part of the process. I must admit though, that moving on to real food, although super exciting, also makes me live in fear of band slippage due to eating too much or too solid too soon. I’m feeling a lot better now but it’s still a bit more difficult to swallow today than it was two days ago.

I’ve also got that irritating port-site pain again. It’s not as strong as it has been in the past. It’s more like a niggling now but still annoying nonetheless. I guess it’s going to take some getting used to having it near my bra line.

I didn’t have near as much water or eat as often as I should have today either…It’s late in the evening and I’m only now starting to really hydrate again. On top of all that, my (ahem!) monthly visitor came nearly a week late (at 41 days and has definitely overstayed its welcome by nearly an extra week. Apparently, irregularities such as this are directly linked to hormonal imbalances caused by rapid weight loss, poor nutrition and trauma such as surgery.

In other news, I’ve decided to follow the Clean Eating meal plan in their May/June 2010 issue. I went for a shop and found pretty much everything on the list at Costco and Superstore. The only things I couldn’t find were Silken Tofu (Sobey’s carries it though) and dried figs. The whole list for Week 1 cost somewhere in the region of $225 so it really wasn’t cheap. But I’m hoping it will all pay off.

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