Finger-pokin’ Good

So as an RNY’d pregnant person, I can’t do the usual glucose tolerance test. My OB asked me to go buy a glucose testing kit with at least 25 strips and test for 7 days. I’m supposed to do my fasting level right when I wake up and then test again two hours after breakfast.

Umm, okay?

See, this is really new for me. And I don’t want to spend a fortune on a non-covered ridiculously-expensive glucose meter and all that, so I talked to the pharmacist at Walgreens and she suggested the store-brand kit that comes with a rebate for the full purchase price. It’s basically free! And it includes 10 test strips and 10 lancets so you can test for 5 days, which is plenty long enough!

Except NO.

I tried testing for the first time today. 10 finger pricks and 7 test strips later, I got my two readings. Guess I’ll need to buy more supplies since I basically used them all on DAY ONE!

Upon waking: 82

Two hours after breakfast: 67

Now I know absolutely nothing about this stuff. My mom is pre-diabetic and is supposed to taking Byetta or something, but she doesn’t. I have a Type 1 diabetic aunt, but it’s not like I ever see her test or anything. So I turned to Dr. Google to look up what the normal ranges actually are, and discovered that two hours after eating should be 70 – 140. So I’m a little low. I read on.

I learned that under 60 or so, you experience the heart-rating, sweating, dead-tiredness of hypoglycemia. I just call that carb coma and it happens to me ALL. THE. TIME.

I read on. And discovered under 50 or so, you can experience memory loss, shakes, loss of consciousness, and as the level dips lower, seizures and coma. YIKES. I’ve been in the 50’s, I just know it.

Now here’s the thing. For breakfast, I ate a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese smothered all over it. Of course that’s not the ideal breakfast for a bypassed person. I could have had something smarter like a protein shake. Or a protein bar. Or a nasty little sausage patty and some nasty eggs (not into that kind of food). But seriously, I’m sure it was low because I ate so  many carbs for breakfast.

Anyway, this little adventure isn’t so fun. I feel bad for the day-in, day-out glucose testers. I guess I’ll pick up more supplies today and see what I can find out throughout the week. As of right now, it certainly doesn’t look like gestational diabetes. Whew!

And hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to type without band-aids on four fingers.

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NOTE TO SELF

I don’t know how I got in the habit of posting once a MONTH, but I did, and that’s where it is. I think it’s because my life isn’t 100% weight related right now. And I’m busy. And there’s facebook to keep up with.

But every now and then I’m drawn into thoughts/feelings that aren’t entirely appropriate for public (i.e. facebook) consumption, and these are them:

  • Seriously, I’m a moron and I do not learn my lesson. If I eat eleventy million servings of baked lays, I will enter a crazy-scary episode of what might be reactive hypoglycemia / the shakes / duuuhhh-ville. I will type things like “note to selfs” plural and not even notice. Apparently, one of my multiple personalities can’t spell. And then everything is funny. I notice phrases on TV like “she’s floppy like a duck” and can’t stop laughing. And you tell me carbs are not like DRUGS???

Actually, that’s only one bullet point. See? See what happens to me?

I never learn!

Nutrition Check-in

I mentioned all the areas I need to assess, and now that I’ve got vitamins squared away for the time being*, I’m trying to figure out what in the heck to do about food.

Why do I feel so lost about what I am eating versus what I “should be” eating?

Why do I feel like there’s no plan?

Well, I’m almost a year and a half out, I can eat ANYTHING (and I do mean anything), and there’s a whole world of food out there to be had. It was a lot easier when I had a list of “approved” foods for the stage I was in and I was too afraid to veer off the list. Things aren’t so simple now. I’ve got to actually figure out how to eat a healthy, balanced diet and friends–this is new territory for me.

Because let’s be honest. The post-surgical diet is no way to live long-term. 1/4 cup here, 1/4 cup there, all protein-all the time isn’t normal. Yes, our bodies obviously can survive. But now that I can eat more (a LOT more, sadly), I’d like to make sure that MORE FOOD = MORE NUTRITION. Like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, all that jazz. Not just more simple carbs.

Because while I say I can eat anything, let me be clear: anything except simple carbs compounded one after the other. Like rice followed by banana = carb coma following by sweats followed by fainting. Or, in other works, hypoglycemia. Not on my wellness plan.

But when I think about well-balanced eating, I always come back to the food pyramid and I have no idea what to do with that. What’s a protein bar? 1 protein, 1 carb, huh? Why is a potato a grain and not a vegetable? Why is low-fat sour cream a fat and not a dairy? WTF??

Melting Mama posted this info today, and it has been pretty helpful because it’s  food pyramid guideline tailored for post-op bariatric patients. Here are the links:

So here’s my action plan. I’m going to:

  1. Use these guidelines to meal plan June 1-5
  2. I’ll also food journal on livestrong to try and get calorie equivalents, but this is less important than balance
  3. Once I have a week of journaling, I’m going to send it to my University’s dietician (who I met with last week) for her review. She thinks I’m already eating pretty close to the food pyramid, so this will just be for some feedback and additional ideas.

And I have to admit, I’m going to amend some of the rules as listed on the plans. I’m currently drinking probably 30 oz per day of caffeinated beverages (*hangs head in shame*) so I’ll need to cut back more slowly. Going to 6oz cold turkey might very well kill me.

In other news, I’m going in for my 1-month follow-up with Dr. Hartog Tuesday. I’m nervous about it because I’m not so thrilled with how my arms are shaping up, and I worry that he’ll be like “oh well, they look good to me, thanks and goodbye” when what I’d really like is “yes, I see what you mean, and I can fix it!” We’ll see what happens.

I know you need before/afters, and I’m working on it. I’m going to try and get Lee to take some this afternoon, and I’ll upload tomorrow. I’ll probably make it a password-protected post since I don’t want any creeps checking it out. 🙂

* Apparently, I have no stoma and can easily swallow ginormous horse-pills. The B-50 complex pills are huge, but they go down without a fight. No wonder I never feel full!

Earth to Meghan

It’s time for one of those periodic check-ins that keep me grounded, healthy, and engaged with my overall wellness. It’s difficult to keep close tabs on all of this during hectic mid-semester rushes with my coursework, but this summer I’m doing an independent study and an online course, so it’s a bit easier to spend time thinking about my health & wellness.

So here are the areas I’ll be thinking through and addressing:

  • Counseling: is it time to stop? do I keep going? I started counseling right before surgery simply because it’s recommended for us. My appointments went from every week, to bi-weekly, and now they’re every 4 weeks or so. I don’t mind going, it doesn’t hurt, it’s just one more thing to keep track of. My sense is that it’s better to keep going even if I don’t think I need it. When I don’t have anything to talk about weight/body wise, I still get lots of great advice when it comes to PhD work (since my psychologist has been there, done that!) and so forth. So I’ll continue through summer, re-evaluate before things get busy for me again this fall.
  • Nutrition: I need to do some serious work on this front. Sure, I’d like to lose those last twenty pounds so I can be officially “normal” at 145 pounds. Today I’m back at 165 and this is where my body seems to want to stay! I’m not as worried about the numbers now (since I’m healthy and strong and I feel good), but I do want to pay attention to how well I’m nourishing my body. Based on the bible study at work, I’ve been learning more about the food pyramid and we’re all trying to do better as far as that goes. So I definitely need waaaay more vegetables, more fruit, and less processed crap. I will be working on reaching a balance I can live with throughout the summer, and then working off those meal ideas throughout the fall when I’m too busy to pay attention.
  • Exercise: I’ve done okay on this, but I’m down for the count right now after surgery. Beginning June 3rd after my tapes are off, I’m committing to 5 days per week in the gym, consisting of a mix of spinning, weight lifting, yoga, and whatever else I feel like. Then on Saturdays I’ll pick back up with the bike trail. It’s a privilege to be able to workout 6 days a week, and I don’t want to waste the opportunity while I have the time!
  • Supplements: I’m currently re-evaluating my supplement regiment based on what other long-term post-ops are recommending. I haven’t had many of the blood tests most people get… my surgeon only checks the CMP/CBC/and B12. I’ll be researching this and I’ll report on what I decide!
  • Relationships: It’s important to me that I make time this summer to touch base with some of my friends, my mentor (an old boss), go visit my sister in Jacksonville, etc. I don’t have time for this stuff during semesters, so I want to do it while I can!
  • Plastics: Depending on how my arms heal and how they look once swelling is done, I’ll make a decision about what I want to do next. I thought a thigh lift made sense for the next thing before we have kids, and I still think that’s the plan. But we’ll see how the arms turn out before I decide if I want to jump right in or find another surgeon, that kind of thing. Either way, I’ll want to have a decision made by the end of August so that if I’m doing it, it’s booked for December break. Just one more thing on my mind that I’d like to have resolved this summer!

So that’s where I am and what I’m working on. I’ll be focusing on each “pillar” of my health, reporting back here, and asking for any feedback you might have! In the meantime, I’m researching my little heart out! 🙂

More food!

I did eat everything as planned yesterday. I thought it was a great day in terms of food, but comments helped me realize it really wasn’t all that impressive. Today I’m improving by eating breakfast and getting more fats via dairy.

I do want to share the recipes for a yummy dinner I made Monday night. It was really, really good!

I made these Adobo Pork Chops from Fitness magazine. I actually used extra lean, very thin sliced pork chops so the cooking times were totally different for me, but they were delish. SO GOOD! In fact, Lee ate 4 of the 6 pork chops I cooked up right there on the spot. So much for leftovers….

And since I’m trying to learn to cook vegetables, I whipped this up on the side:

Zucchini with Red Peppers and Feta

1 white onion, diced

3 medium zucchini, 1/4 inch slices

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp water

1/4 tsp cumin

Half cup bottled sweet red peppers (sliced)

Crumbled reduced-fat feta

salt & pepper

  1. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan, add onions and cook until golden
  2. Add zuchinni slices, water, and cumin. Cover and steam on medium heat for 3-7 minutes (depending on whether you want the zuchinni crisp or soft)
  3. Add roasted red pepper slices to heat through
  4. Add salt & pepper, feta crumbles, and enjoy!

I’m telling you guys this was really tasty. Lee didn’t love it, but he’s not a big fan of red peppers or feta anyway. I ate it UP! This makes 6 servings at around 50 calories each. I know I got the recipe somewhere, but now I can’t find it. Once I figure it out, I’ll update this post to give credit where due!

Today’s Eatin’

I’m making it my ambition to eat more fruits and vegetables. Do you have any idea how much you can eat when it’s mostly fruits and vegetables?! Good Lord! I’ve been trying to pay more attention to how I feel when I eat certain things, particularly on days like today when I start with the gym at 5:45 am get home from class well after 11pm. Got to keep the energy up!

Here’s today’s food:

6AM: Spinning class at the gym, 20 oz water

7AM: Multiple cups of coffee, 1/4 cup 1% milk, splenda

10AM: Pure Protein Bar (S’mores)

12PM: Light Sun-dried tomato flat-out wrap, 3 oz low-sodium turkey breast, raw red bell pepper

2PM: Strawberries, Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt

3PM: Cinnamon Apple Spice Tea

4:30PM: 3oz extra lean boneless pork chop, zuchinni squash (I’ll be sharing these recipes tomorrow–YUM!)

5PM: Last 20 oz water

7:30PM: (between classes) plum

8:30PM: (during class break) baby carrots, celery sticks, 1 tbsp ranch dressing

10:30PM: (drive home) Pure Protein Bar (Chocolate Deluxe)

My guess is that I may not actually eat the celery and carrots. I doubt I’ll be hungry, and it may actually be difficult to eat that much during a 10 minute break. But we’ll see!

So for ALL THAT FOOD (let’s admit–I’m eating or drinking almost constantly!) The Daily Plate calculates:

Calories: 954

Fat: 27 grams

Carbs: 114 grams

Sugar: 45 grams (yogurt is the biggest contribution)

Fiber: 22 grams

Protein: 83 grams

I’d say this is a good eatin’ day! I certainly don’t eat this well every day, but I’m happy with how this day’s shaking out. I do think I’m a little low on the fat content, but ham (and maybe cheese) instead of turkey on the wrap could fix that.

Why is it so much easier to eat well when I’m not at home all day?! I really need to work on how I eat on weekends. But that’s another problem for another day! 🙂

Itty Bits

Some good things:

  • My sister Rachel is coming with me to the conference in Rhode Island the weekend of March 28th. We’ll stay for a few days, boom in and boom out of my presentation, and get lots of sister time! We haven’t traveled together in ages. I’m really looking forward to quality time with her! (And I’m glad I won’t be traveling all by my lonesome.)
  • I’m off hormonal birth control for upcoming plastics (since hormonal birth control is a risk factor for blood clots). Being off birth control has forced Lee & I to think long and hard about when we want to try for kids, and we’re praying together and separately about this issue. But the good news is that we’ve identified a “window” of time to start trying that we can pray about. I’ll spare you the OCD spreadsheet where I worked this out, but we’ve identified April 2010 through August 2010 as an ideal time to conceive. That’s more than a year from now, which means a baby would be two years from now. And I know these things can’t really be planned to great detail, but this is huge for us. We’ve got a window picked out and we’re praying about it!
  • My scale is finally moving again. I’m 168.2 today. Still hoping I can reach 155 by May, but we’ll see about that.
  • I had a counseling appointment this week, and it’s the first time I’ve been since December due to scheduling conflicts. It was SO GOOD to get back there. I’m convinced it’s part of me transitioning into a well-balanced, healthy life! I won’t go forever, of course, but I’m grateful to have my counselor right now!
  • I’m making homemade chicken soup for dinner. I’ll be trying a whole bunch of new recipes this week as I’m trying for more fiber, lower calories for both me and Lee, and I’ll post anything that turns out to be good!

And now I’m off to study and have a great weekend. 🙂