amazon, bariatric surgery, gastric sleeve, Uncategorized, VSG, weight loss surgery

Top 5 Weight Loss Surgery Must Haves

Tomorrow, Jan 8, makes me 8 week post op from my Gastric Sleeve Procedure.  I’m down about 33 pounds now and feeling great.  I am tolerating everything very well (a little TOO well, it was definitely a challenge getting through the holidays!)  I’ve decided to come up with this list of “Must Haves” for anyone else who may have recently just had the procedure or is looking to have it soon!

  1.  Quality, Great Tasting Protein Shakes – I am pretty sure I’ve tried zillions of brands by now, I’ve settled on 2 shakes that I flip back and forth between now.  Atkins Ready to Drink Shakes – Milk Chocolate Delight (12 pack)  is the first one.  I love the Milk Chocolate Flavor.  These shakes have 15g protein per 11 ounce shake, and only  1g sugar!   My second favorite shake is the Premier Protein ready to drink shakes, Chocolate (4 pack).  These are a whopping 30g of protein per 11 ounce shake and also only 1g sugar.   Protein is your new staple once you have this surgery.  Most of you will be on a liquid diet after surgery for a couple of weeks.  I was having 3 protein shakes a day and was aiming to have 65-75g protein a day.  Even now that I’m almost a couple months out from surgery, I’m still having a protein shake for breakfast… it’s just easiest when I’m getting myself and 2 little ones ready so early in the morning so I can get to work.  Whatever shake you end up getting, an important factor is LOW SUGAR!



2. My second Must Have, believe it or not, is a Rachael Ray Oven Lovin’ Non-Stick 12-Cup Muffin Pan or any standard size muffin pan.  Food prep is a HUGE component of your new life once you have this surgery, and a muffin pan makes it that much easier.  Why? IT’S THE PERFECT PORTION SIZE FOR YOUR NEW SMALL STOMACH! I’ve used my muffin pan countless times already to make a ricotta bake and mini meatloaf (I’ve posted recipes for both of these!) 71dy-whGc7L._SL1500_

3.  My third Must Have is the NutriBullet 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System!  After the 2 week liquid diet, you will move onto purees.  This blender was a life saver! I was able to blend scrambled eggs, chili and soups! (I even blended some soups during that first 2 week liquid portion!) You literally don’t even have to press a a button! I would puree a couple servings of chili or soup, weigh out one serving into a dish and just keep the rest in the bullet container and pop it in the fridge for the next meal



4.  My fourth Must Have is a kitchen food scale like this Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale.  A scale like this is CRUCIAL to long term success.  I know even from dieting before the surgery, you must weigh EVERYTHING.  After a while of getting lazy, you start to just “eyeball” things, and before you know it, you’re over eating! I have been doing a lot of food prep these days, so I have been weighing out 4-5 oz portions and putting them in tiny containers like these Freshware 40-Pack 8 oz Plastic Food Storage Containers with Airtight Lids  and then popping what I can in the freezer! Certainly helps with hectic mornings!


5.  My fifth Must Have for WLS are…eggs! These little guys will help you get through most stages of advancing your diet.. I pureed them, then mashed them to pieces and now I just eat egg salad or scrambled eggs! 1 large egg contains 70 calories, ZERO carbs or sugar and 6 grams of protein! Oh, and they’re delicious!



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Amazon Influencer!

I am excited to announce that I am now an Amazon Influencer and I have my own page to share with you!

I love posting deals and sales that I find.  The items on my influencer page are items that I currently own (or have owned) and are products that I LOVE and find to be great quality products.  They may or may not be on sale.  Over time, I will continue to add more items to this list.

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bariatric surgery, gastric sleeve, Uncategorized, VSG, weight loss surgery

1 Month Sleevaversary – a VSG update

Today marks 1 month since I went in for my Gastric Sleeve Surgery! I am feeling great and wish I had had this done sooner!

Overall, I’ve lost approx 25 pounds so far.  I am still kicking myself for not weighing myself on my home scale the morning of my surgery.  Anytime I get weighed at the office/hospital, that reading tends to be anywhere from 1-4 lbs higher than my scale at home.  So if I subtract my hospital surgery day weight from my home weight today, its 28 lbs, but I don’t think that is too accurate, so I will go with 25.  I’m still incredibly happy with that!

Some NSV (non scale victories)  – With all my weight gain after having kids, I couldn’t fit my wedding rings on anymore.  I had a ring from my grandmother, just a simple band, that was a little larger than my wedding set.  I wore that in place of my wedding rings when they got too tight.  I eventually grew out of that band as well! I can comfortably get my grandmothers ring back on, and I can even just barely get my own wedding set on as well! I pretty much have been wearing it for “special occasions” the last week or so, it does get a bit uncomfortable and I can only get it off with soap and water.. but hey, its progress!  I still have 50 lbs to go until I hit my goal of “wedding weight”.  (My overall surgery goal is 20 lbs more than that!)

I also have this vest I love for the winter.  Lets face it, I’m fat.. I sweat a lot.. jackets are a bit overkill unless its like minus 10.  I’m quite comfortable in a sweater with this vest over the top.  For the longest time, I couldn’t even get it zipped up.  Then I could only get it zipped if I brought it up around my waist (normally the bottom sits at hip level) and zipped it there and left it.  Now, I can zip it (snugly) at hip level.. Woo hoo!

I started back to work this past Monday as well.. my scrubs are loose on me! I don’t think I’m quite ready to go down a size yet, but it’s coming soon! Just before the surgery, they were uncomfortably tight. It feels good to be able to breathe in them!

A couple things I’m bummed about which I have mentioned in other posts.. I thought I would no longer have cravings after this surgery and that I would no longer feel hungry.  Unfortunately, I am still battling cravings.  I see candy/cake etc and my head WANTS it.  And although my stomach no longer “growls”, I do get an uncomfortable acidy feeling in my stomach when I’m due to eat.  This can occur as soon as 2 hours after I’ve last eaten, or maybe up to 4-5 hours.  I’ve been questioned “are you sure it’s not just head hunger?” but it definitely feels like a physical pain, and I experienced this before the surgery as well.  What bothers me about it is that it sets me off into panic mode like I need to eat THAT SECOND, and that’s when I tend to eat super fast.  I talked to one of the GI docs I work with and I may try a few things to see if I can help calm that feeling.  Right now, I’m trying tums, but that doesn’t seem to do much.  I just end up eating something to get that feeling to go away.  I’m going to try some pepto as well, see if that will help coat my stomach.  If not, he mentioned a prescription medication called Carafate to help coat the stomach as well.

amazon, bariatric recipe, bariatric surgery, easy recipe, gastric sleeve, Uncategorized, VSG, weight loss surgery

Turkey Cranberry Mini Meatloaves – WLS friendly


Today is meal prep Sunday! Part of weight loss surgery means avoiding the things that got me overweight in the first place.  A big one for me is lack of planning! This often leads to a lot of eating out, or hitting up the drive thru! I decided to try a couple of new recipes today, one of them is this Turkey Cranberry Mini Meatloaves, baked into a muffin pan like this Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware, Cupcake/Muffin Pan, 12-cup so they are portioned nicely for those of us who have had weight loss surgery!

You will need:

1lb ground turkey

1 cup multigrain breadcrumbs  (or substitute plain)

1 egg

1 granny smith apple, grated

1 small yellow onion, grated

2 Tbsp sage leaves, shredded

2 Tbsp dried cranberries

2 Tbsp cranberry sauce

*salt to taste*


I couldn’t find any multigrain breadcrumbs, so I just used plain.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees!

Next, basically mix all the ingredients in a large bowl with the exception of half of the cranberry sauce (you’ll use that to garnish the top after they are placed in the cupcake tin)

Get your muffin pan ready by spraying with nonstick cooking spray.  I really love my Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware, Cupcake/Muffin Pan, 12-cup.  I’ve had it for many years without any issues!

Now you can start to fill your muffin pan! Be generous and fill to the brim as nothing in here will rise! When I made this, my package of ground turkey was a little over a pound.  I ended up filling 11 out of the 12 circles.


When you are done, add a little dab of cranberry sauce to each one.  I just got canned whole berry cranberry sauce, although I have made a delicious cranberry sauce in the past on my own!


Once your oven is preheated, you are ready to pop it in!  Bake this on 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.  I ended up keeping mine in for an additional 4-5 minutes.


The final product:


They came out delicious! Even my husband liked them.  When I make them again, I would add a dash of salt.  Other than that, they are perfection.  Each muffin weighs about 3.5oz.  I will keep some in the fridge for during the week, and I also froze some as well!

For me, since I had a total of 11 muffins, these are the nutrition facts for 1:

Calories – 118

Protein – 12g

fat – 2g

sat fat – <1g

carbs – 12g

fiber – 1g

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bariatric surgery, gastric sleeve, Uncategorized, VSG, weight loss surgery

I finally felt my restriction, a VSG update

A recap for anyone new here.. I had the vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery on Nov 13.  I am almost 4 weeks out.

I’ve spent the majority of the last few weeks thinking something has gone wrong with this surgery and that it is not working for me.  Yes, I have been losing weight just fine.. but I guess I just thought that all my cravings would be gone, a glass of water would fill me up, I would no longer feel hungry.. that sort of thing.  None of that has happened.  I can still gulp fluid.  I still see cake or candy and WANT it so bad ( I don’t have it), and my stomach doesn’t really growl, but I get that uncomfortable acid-y feeling that’s associated with it.  I have had no problem meeting my daily requirements over the first few weeks (64+oz of fluid, 60+grams of protein a day..).  I have been advancing through the stages quite easily, feeling quite eager to enter the next.  2 long weeks of liquids, followed by a week of puree, and currently on a soft food diet.  I’ve followed the instructions.. eat slow, serving sizes of 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup.  I’m able to get the 1/2 cup down fine.  But I always stop there.  Certain things, like yogurt.. I can eat an entire 5.3oz container (my go-to is Oikos triple zero).

Two days ago, I made my mother’s spaghetti and meatball recipe in the crock pot.  I only had the meatballs with a little bit of sauce.  I started out with 3oz, and then went back for 2 more ounces.  I probably should have just stopped after the first serving, but it was soooo delicious.  By the time I finished that 5th ounce, I was uncomfortable! This was definitely the first time I felt like this after eating something, and I don’t think that will happen again for quite some time.  As miserable as I was for a little while, I was finally reassured that I do in fact have a restriction in my stomach!

amazon, bariatric surgery, easy recipe, gastric sleeve, Uncategorized, VSG

Gastric Sleeve 2.5 week update

I haven’t checked in in a while.. despite being out of work on surgical leave, I have been BUSY! Honestly, I feel great.. I am living my dream right now.. I’m a stay at home mom to kids in school! HA! I have spent the last 2 weeks tearing apart the house.. cleaning.. organizing.. getting rid of stuff to charity or to friends.  I’m decorated for Christmas, I’m mostly done shopping, mostly wrapped.. I feel like SuperMom! I’m worried I’ll form an addiction to minor surgery so I can get a few weeks off every year 😉

So let’s see.. I finished my 2 weeks of post of liquids.  That was hard! I really felt like I wanted more.. it wasn’t sustaining me and I felt actual hunger pains.  But finally, this past Monday, I saw my nutritionist and advanced to the pureed stage.  So now I’m eating things like Egg Salad, heartier soups (pureed, no pasta), Chili, and this amazing Ricotta Bake. I will share the recipe for that below that I found somewhere on the internet!  I’m eating 2-3 ounces of ‘food’ at a time, and I feel satisfied when I finish.  All in all, I’m getting about 700 Calories a day now.  I have 3 “meals” a day and then plenty of fluid in between (but not for the 30 min after I eat of course!)  I am still having cravings/head hunger.. which I thought would go away, but I guess that is a demon that will be with me for the long haul.

The most exciting part.. I’m down about 22.5 lbs now! I am feeling great because of that, and you can really see a difference already too! Especially in my face and abdomen.  The heavier I get, the worse back/sciatic pain I get too.. it’s hard to be active the heavier I get because of this.  It especially flared up when when walking uphill or when doing activities slightly bent forward (vacuuming, mopping/sweeping, washing dishes/loading the dishwasher.. that sort of thing) and I can already feel such a difference when I’m doing those things.


8 oz of Ricotta Cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1 Large Egg, beaten

1 Tsp Italian Seasoning

salt & pepper to taste

1/2 cup Marinara Sauce ( I like Rao’s brand! Low carb!)

1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Mix Ricotta cheese, Parmesan, beaten egg and seasoning together and place in an oven proof dish like this CorningWare French White 12-Piece Bake-and-Serve Gift Set.  Pour marinara on top and top with mozzarella cheese.  Bake it in the oven @ 450 for 20-25min (tastes best) or Microwave until hot and bubbly.

This is the oven proof dish set I have from corningware.  the smaller casserole dish is PERFECT for this recipe!  It is currently on sale for $78.93 with free shipping on amazon (price can change anytime!) CorningWare French White 12-Piece Bake-and-Serve Gift Set31CGN9996ML

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Happy Birthday to ME, and a gastric sleeve update!

Yesterday I turned 37. It was perfect and a little depressing at the same time.  I had celebrated with my family and a few friends the previous Saturday night as a “last supper” knowing I would be having the surgery and would be on a liquid diet for my birthday, but I guess it didn’t really prepare me for not being able to “celebrate” my birthday.  For the previous 36 years, my birthday has been surrounded by nice meals, cake, cupcakes, ice cream, dinners at a restaurant, fancy drinks… every treat imaginable.  It just seemed strange not being able to celebrate that way this year.  My husband was home with the kids, so there certainly wasn’t a lack of love.. We just kind of hung around the house most of the Day, and had to run to Costco because we were almost out of dog food, so there I was looking at all these yummy samples and grabbing them for the kids.  Ironically, they DID have a sample of chicken broth.. so I grabbed that! But I must say, I really did miss cake on my birthday this year.  My cravings are definitely not gone, that’s for sure.

Otherwise, I’m down just under 15 pounds! I’m happy about that, that’s for sure! I’m pretty much pain free at this point too, unless the kids are jumping on me 😉 the incisions are just a little itchy.  I’ve been getting a ton of stuff done around the house that I don’t normally get to do, I feel good about that! Next hurdle.. Thanksgiving!