I had been wanting to start a blog for some time now, but as we all know, life can sometimes get in the way of our wants and desires. I failed miserably at blogging several years ago during my single girl days…like the proverbial tree in the forest question, does a blog actually exist if no ones reads it? But, as I am in the first steps towards my brand new life, and starting a blog is one of the assignments for school, it seems like the stars are aligned for me to give this another shot. So here I am, telling my story and hoping to help some folks along the way. Plus, all of us fancy people need to stick together, and spread the love for all things that make this life just a bit prettier, such as home decor and decorating, make-up, hair, and anything else that catches our fancy. Remember, fancy is a state of mind, regardless of the state of your finances.
So I thought it would be helpful to describe how I prepared for my return from the hospital, both in terms of food, as well as vitamins and supplements. I cannot stress enough that I am NOT a medical professional, and although I work in a hospital and for the department that oversees the medical management of weight loss and works closely with the bariatric surgeons (our patients start in nutrition and weight management and then move to surgery), my prep was/is based on their medical recommendations and patient education I received. But please, please consult with your own surgery team. These are just some ideas of what/when I had in place for when I returned from the hospital, post-surgery, Day 3-Week 2. I also cannot stress how happy I was to be home!
Weekend before my surgery
As I had my surgery on a Tuesday, I wanted to shop that weekend for my return home and not leave everything up to my husband (he is the best, but…you all know how it can be giving men directions!). On the Saturday before, we shopped for Stage 2 foods, plus the vitamins and supplements. Here’s what we picked up, and where (note that I live in Massachusetts, but there of course are Walmarts, Targets and GNCs nationwide, and any local supermarket should carry the equivalent of the food).
If you haven’t started trying protein shakes already (I did not, which was a mistake and I’d HIGHLY recommend trying a few brands so you know the ones you like), try to grab a few brands and flavors, they usually come in packs of four and shouldn’t be over $10. Here’s what I picked up for protein shakes, not knowing the brand/flavors I preferred:
- Premier Protein Ready-to-Drink: chocolate, vanilla, banana and cream (Target, Shaw’s Supermarket)
- Equate Ready-to-Drink: chocolate (Walmart)
- Premier Protein Powder, Whey: chocolate (Shaw’s)
Over the two weeks, I did venture out and try more, but wanted to have at least a few days worth, just in case I wasn’t feeling up to venturing out to the store. Plus, it was bitter cold in MA at/around the holidays, so really had no interest in shopping in 2 degree weather (yes, it was THAT cold!).
Since woman cannot live on protein drinks alone (although that was about 50% of what I ate/drank), I also needed sugar-free, and non-carbonated snacks and drinks, and yogurt, to supplement the shakes. Here are the groceries we picked up at our grocery store:
- Ready-to-Serve chicken broth
- Chicken bouillon cubes
- Dannon Oikos Triple Zero yogurt: vanilla container (large) and 4-pack mixed berry
- Hunts 4-packs of sugar-free jello, cherry and strawberry; sugar-free pudding, chocolate and vanilla
- Gatorade G2: Ice Blue flavor (regular Gatorade has too much sugar)
- Crystal Light: on the go packets, pink lemonade and fruit punch; 2 quart drink mixes, strawberry watermelon
- Decaf green tea (I like Bigelow’s but any will do)
- Snapple Diet Iced Tea: lemon
Finding the vitamins and supplements took a bit of time to pick-up, but they were ready for me when I came home on Day 3. Unfortunately, they weren’t all available at one store, and one I had to order online, but again, they were there when I needed them. This is the one area that I would recommend giving yourself more time than the weekend before.
- Children’s cheweable multi-vitamin, Target brand (about $8)
- Calcium Citrate cheweables, GNC brand ($19.99 for 30, but they were running a special of buy-one-get-one 50% off, so I got 60 for $30)
- Vitamin B12 Complex, Liquid, Nature’s Bounty, pack of 3, ordered on amazon.com ($14.10 for 3-pack, and I’m still not even finished with the first bottle
I hope you found this helpful, and gives you an idea of what are some staples after your surgery. I was pretty miserable the first few days home, so I was really glad to have everything I needed. Within a week of my surgery and my 5th day of being home, I was ready to venture out and start trying different flavors of protein shakes and yogurt. I’ll share a breakdown of my favorite shakes in a later post.
Enjoy! And remember, each day of your post-surgery life is healthier than the one before!