As I get further and further removed from my gastrectomy, I find myself posting less and less often. I often think about posting, but don't make myself sit down and do it. I commented recently, "I was too busy living life to write about it." That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm going to try to make myself do better as I know it would be helpful to those who are going through the same things and others are just curious.
I thought it might be good to share my daily routine as far as food intake. I am 17 months out from my surgery (and that's how I usually refer to it, "my surgery"; I've had various surgeries over the years, but this one is just "my surgery" and life is defined as before and after surgery, just like before and after children). But anyway.....
Before surgery, I was never a big breakfast eater. I would usually eat a granola bar on the way to work. Now I emphasize protein every time I eat. I don't count calories or count grams of protein, but I try to get protein with every meal and every snack...and it seems to be working. Granola bars do not have very much protein, so they have went bye-bye. They have been replaced with Kellogg's Special K Protein cereal for breakfast. I have found that I like the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crunch flavor straight out of the box. There are 7 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving. I've actually never measured how much I eat, but I'm guessing around a serving. I carry it in a zip-lock bag and eat in on the way to work, usually finishing at work since I only have a 2 mile drive to work. I often don't eat breakfast until close to 9:00 (I'm not a morning person) and I usually eat lunch at 11:30, so I often don't have a morning snack. If I do have a morning snack, I like Atkins Peanut Butter Granola protein bars. They have 16 grams of protein. A lot of the snacks I eat later in the day, I don't like to eat in the morning; this is one of the few things I enjoy in the morning besides my cereal.
As I said before, I usually eat lunch around 11:30. My lunch is, more often than not, leftovers that I bring to work and heat up in the microwave. It includes some sort of meat, potato, and sometimes a vegetable. It also includes unsweetened iced tea. Before lunch, I drink water periodically, but then I drink tea with lunch but not too much) and will continue drinking it all afternoon.
In the afternoon, I have several snacks. Using the criteria of eating every 3 hours, it would only be one snack, but instead I tend to eat 2 or 3 snacks during the afternoon, eating every hour or two. At work, I keep a supply of cheddar cheese sticks, mozzarella string cheese, pretzels (that I eat with the string cheese) and protein bars. Protein bars vary a lot in the number of grams of protein. For the most part, I have stopped buying the ones that are only 7-10 grams figuring I might as well eat one that's 20 instead. I particularly like Pure Protein. They are small bars (I never have problems finishing them which does sometimes happen with bigger bars), but have 20-21 grams of protein. Costco sells a variety pack with 21 bars of Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chewy Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Deluxe. Others that I particularly like are Cliff Builder's Protein-Chocolate Mint or Chocolate Peanut Butter (20g), ProMax-Double Fudge Brownie (20g) and Balance Chocolate Mint Cookie Crunch (14g). I also really like Atkins Caramel Chocolate Nut Roll Bar. It's only 7 grams of protein, but I still buy it because it's almost like eating a candy bar.
I also always carry snacks in my purse. I usually have peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets and nuts, either regular mixed nuts, peanuts or honey roasted peanuts. Lately, I've been mainly doing honey roasted peanuts. I didn't do them for quite some time, afraid that they would be too much sugar. I don't know if I would have had troubles earlier, but I've had no problems now. I stopped doing mixed nuts because I don't like cashews and I got tired of the number that were in the mixed nuts.
At home on weekends, as well as doing the above snacks, I do a variety of cheeses with crackers. I'm so glad I don't have any dairy issues as I know some people do after TG as cheese is a big part of my snacking.
I eat a variety of things for supper. There really isn't anything I won't eat, but grilled fish and chicken are my "go tos". I also eat steak, hamburger, pork, etc. We often go out to eat, which almost always means I will have leftovers for lunch the next day as American restaurants serve too much food. If I fix my own dinner at home, I will often eat an entire frozen fish filet or chicken breast, partially because the serving size is smaller and partially because I don't fix as many side dishes. If I need leftovers for lunch, I'll go ahead and fix an extra serving.
I had been having a smoothie almost every night as I found it did better than many other snacks in the evening. My typical make your own smoothie is 2 ice cubes crushed in the blender, add some juice (strawberry watermelon or mango), 4 tablespoons whey protein powder, 1 container Greek yogurt (any flavor), frozen fruit (some combination of mangos, peaches, and berries) blended all together. Just over the last few months, I have found myself having other snacks in the evenings and doing less smoothies, although I still like the smoothies too. I particularly do a lot of the peanut better pretzels and honey roasted peanuts in the evening.
It's nice that I've pretty much fell into a routine and have a system, but at the same time, I'm not afraid to experiment and venture outside of it. Occasionally, things don't go well, but more often than not, they do.