Went out to eat at a restaurant tonight. 3rd attempt, 3rd success. I hope we can keep those odds going. Haven't ventured far on the menu selection. Have had grilled salmon twice and grilled red snapper once. Grilled fish seems to do pretty well. Have had some sort of potato and a little vegetable each time. It works for Keith to get a meal and for me to just eat a few bites of it.
To give some background, Keith and I historically eat out all the time. I'm not talking just a few times a week, I'm talking basically every meal. My late husband, Richard, and I ate out a lot, but not like this. Richard did a lot of the cooking also and did almost all of the kitchen clean-up, When he died, one way that made it easier to cope was to eat out. Loading the dishwasher was one of my trigger points as it was something he always did. If we ate out, there were less dirty dishes. I totally got out of the habit of cooking.
I was starting to feel guilty about eating out all the time and was trying to cook more about the time Keith and I started dating. Between going out to dinner on dates and then going out to check out restaurants for his kansastravel.org website (he reviews locally owned restaurants and all sorts of attractions from museums to zoos to everything), we just kept going out more and more. After we got married, it continued. With both girls gone from home, going out to eat is just so much easier than eating at home. Others may not understand it, but it was our routine.
Facing this surgery, that was one of the things we wondered about. We knew we would be eating at home more. The thing is, I don't even hardly remember how to cook, not that I was ever a very good cook. The rare occasion we do eat at home, Keith often cooks and does one dish type meals that he did as a bachelor. If I cook, it tends to be separate dishes, but nothing fancy. Often from freezer to table.
With the post-gastrectomy diet, I have to eat every 2 hours. I eat very little at each time. A typical "meal" might be 1/4 or 1/2 of a mini-bagel, 1/2-1 oz of low-fat cheddar cheese, 6-10 bites of chicken. I've been eating all week on a rotisserie chicken Keith bought Sunday. The food's fine, but there's really not much to it. There's not the flavors that you get in having a "real meal". I get the flavors by going out to eat. I don't get those flavors from eating at home. Maybe eventually, I'll figure out how to cook again and put flavors in my own food, but right now I don't have the energy for it. And if eating out works in this new norm, maybe we'll just go back to eating out. But right now I don't want to try it every day. I am thankful that it is an option and seems to be working so far. I know lots of people haven't done as well as I have at this point. I'm thankful that I am able to consume real food (although limited selections, still real food).
I haven't tried any food yet that my body absolutely hasn't tolerated. The biggest problem I've had were with the protein shakes and some other beverages I tried the first couple of days. The Carnation Instant Breakfast and Smoothies with added Protein Powder (when I remember to add it) work. I use them as supplements between meals which give me both the protein as well as the liquid that I need to stay hydrated. I'm not sure if I'm following exactly the schedule of what I'm supposed to be doing, but I feel like it's at least pretty close. So far so good.