Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nutritional Yeast

I have had a few people email me and ask why I use nutritional yeast in some of my cooking. The short of it is it boosts the nutritional value of my foods and it tastes good.

So then…what is it?

First let me tell you what it is not. Nutritional yeast is NOT the same as brewer’s yeast…used in helping beer. It is NOT baking yeast…used in bread making. It is also NOT Torula yeast…a by-product of paper production.

So then…again…what is it?

It is a great source of proteins and B-complex vitamins. It has a nutty cheesy flavor but sugar-free, low fat, gluten-free, sodium free and dairy free. It is a complete protein so a great option for me to help boost my protein intake without a lot of what I do not want.

The Nutritional breakdown on this wonderful item is as follows:

  • Amount Per Serving (2T)
  • Calories: 60
  • Total Fat: 0g 
  • Total Carbs: 5g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 9g

A fabulous boost for sure. I have used it as a topping…think popcorn, mashed potatoes, eggs. I have added it to recipes…think Vegan Taco Soup, Black Bean Soup. I have added it to various food items items…think spaghetti sauce, meatloaf. For me it is as good in or on a lot of things.

So where might you find it?

I have not found it at your typical grocery store but I have found it online as well as my local health foods store in the bulk bin section.

After I have my surgery, protein will be the most important thing I make sure to have, so adding a tablespoon or 2 to things will certainly help me with this goal.

Have you used Nutritional yeast? What are your thoughts?


Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Day After

Ah the beauty after a winter snow!

Yesterday was a mess…cold…dreary…cold…did I mention cold!?

Today the sun is out…still cold…a canvas of white fluff covers everything! The kids are happily playing in the snow…the house is warm. Just the way I like it.

Now I have a confession…

I messed up last night on day 1 of my protein liquid! ERRRR!! Had a very stressful….meltdown conversation with our oldest son. Was VERY stressful. Me, I am a stress eater and someone left a bag of chips in front of me! The next think I know I am eating them!!! At 10:30 at night none the less! Oh I was mad at myself.

Today I vowed I would do better and I have so far until I opened the fridge to see fudge! It called my name! Oh and I did not answer it…at first. I told my family they had to eat it or I was tossing it under water.

I am moving on. I cannot allow this to defeat me, I HAVE to remain steady to this regimen…for my own safety during surgery! Can I just please live in a bubble for the next 3 weeks!? After surgery should not be as hard as I will not feel hungry…from what I have been told.

My head is killing me. Feels just like when I gave up caffeine! I really need to distract myself…a lot…the next 21 days.

I can do this.

I CAN do this.

I CAN DO this.



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Time Has Come

Today I officially am starting my pre-op…phase 2…diet. It is going to be VERY hard. Nothing beneficial is easy though, right? I also need to keep in mind that it is really a short time in the big scheme of things AND it is for my safety, better recovery and overall well being.

Here is a before…


I am the one on the right! YUCK!

Oh how I hate seeing it! To think I had been 62 pounds lighter, then up up up went the weight AGAIN! I know this surgery is only a tool, but I also know it is one that I need. I am not getting any younger, I am not getting any healthier and I want to be here for as long as I can. I want to run after my kids, to play and play hard with them. With this I know I will.

My journey to health continues with a new chapter…today.

I look forward to adding new entries, knowing full and well not all entries are going to be good…happy…perfect. I will however be moving forward to a person gaining health and vitality.

I have my “Bariatric Bible” to keep me company and it is chocked full of reminders for me from now and forever more.

The next “official” photo I share will will be 1 month post-op. That will be January 15th and then once a month there after. I get excited…scared…nervous…happy all at once thinking about that.

I also want to thank you for your support and all the kind comments and emails. The support from you has been so appreciated and heart warming. I remember debating about sharing this with the world or just closing my blog down back in June. I am glad I opted to share. Thank you!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy Chicken

We took the kids to see Happy Feet Two tonight and all I can say is I am happy the kids enjoyed it. Don’t get me wrong it was OK, I was just disappointed at the very evident lack of any story line. I was not too impressed with the whole 3-D aspect of it either. I am thinking I will just see good ol’ 2-D movies from this point forward. For that matter I will probably just wait for them to come out to DVD because even at matinee prices it was over $35.00 just for tickets.

The days are ticking away until surgery…26 and counting…I’m getting nervous. While we were in Rockland I stopped at Wally World and bought a pair of PJ’s as I do not have any. I typically just were sweats. With my surgery being laparoscopic I do not want anything on my belly…such as sweat pants…so Kev told me to buy a new one…will be my only one. Yes funds are tight…thus feeling a bit guilty spending the money on tickets…with STILL waiting on a decision with Kev’s short term disability claim from back in July! They have extended the decision to sometime late this month now.

Here is another recipe for you to try. I really loved this one and hope you do as well…

Thai Chicken & Veggies

  • 2 LB boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 onion, cut in rings
  • 8 carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 1 LB fingerling potatoes

For Sauce:

  • 1/2c soy sauce
  • 1T minced garlic
  • 1/2c salsa
  • 1/2c natural PB
  • 1/4c white vinegar
  • 1/4c water
  • 1/4c brown sugar
  1. Layer veggies in bottom of crock pot.
  2. Add chicken.
  3. Make sauce by adding to a bowl and whisking well.
  4. Pour over chicken and veggies.
  5. Cook for 8 hours on low.

Servings Per Recipe: 8

  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 402
  • Total Fat: 11.2g 
  • Total Carbs: 41g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4.7g
  • Sugar: 14.6g
  • Protein: 36.3g

A very hearty meal and definitely warms you up in the cooler months. Not necessarily a surgical weight loss friendly meal…but definitely a family friendly one.

Until next time….


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

For Val

My dear friend Val has been under the weather for over a week now and she tells me she reads my blog when she is bored…but I have not written anything since the 10th! (I just called to see how she was) So this post is dedicated to my wonderful friend Val.

Not much to report other than I will be officially starting my liquid protein diet…um today! Yep I need to lose as much as possible this we are at the countdown…this time next month I will have had my surgery! I am scheduled to go in at 10:15 and is supposed to be a 2 hour surgery.

How about a recipe?

Yeah, I knew you’d be interested! I thought I had a picture of this, but apparently not, though it was sooooo good!

PB Chicken

  • 2 LB boneless, skinless chicken breast, chunked
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large red pepper, diced

For Sauce:

  • 1c chicken broth
  • 2/3c natural PB
  • 1/4c soy sauce
  • 1T cumin
  • 1 lime, juiced
  1. Place chicken and veggies in crockpot.
  2. Make your sauce by adding all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until incorporated thoroughly.
  3. Pour over chicken and give a good stir.
  4. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
  • Servings Per Recipe: 8 
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 301.4
  • Total Fat: 16g 
  • Total Carbs: 7g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Protein: 35g

This would not necessarily be a weight loss surgery friendly meal…BUT it is a family friendly one. My kids really loved it and it is simple enough they can actually throw this together when Mom…that’s me…wants nothing to do with the kitchen.

What do you think? Do you enjoy easy throw together meals, simple enough the kids can cook?


Monday, November 14, 2011

Friday is here

Yay it’s finally Friday. This has been a long week for me. I am hopeful with the weekend approaching things will be better.

My youngest has been experiencing dizziness since school started and up until last week we thought it was the bus ride. I’ve been a homeschooling Mom up until this year when we put our youngest 2 in public school. So even though he’s in second grade, there are a lot of new things for him. The bus was a big one.

So as soon as he told me this also happened at school…I drive him in the morning…and he had to go to the nurse, I was on the phone to his doc. Apparently what he’s experiencing is vertigo so we have a neurology appointment next week and an audiologist appointment at the end of the month to try and get some answers. His primary doc was baffled but had an idea or 2 that would need confirmation from a peds specialist…thus the 2 appointments. This is concerning me a lot and cannot wait to see the neurologist in particular hoping he can clue us in on what might be going on.

I also…changing gears here a moment…found out that my secondary insurance quickly approved me for my surgery BUT my primary is not being so cooperative and the way my policies are if my primary will not approve, my secondary will not pay even with an approved letter. Sooo I am now again waiting on Aetna…I am not pleased at all with this insurance company. We are also still waiting on a determination of my hubs short term disability claim from them…yes STILL…since he went back to work in JULY!!

When I talked to my hubs about it he said not to worry there are many at his job who have had the surgery and they have the same insurance as his, however I also know it is only recently they have been really running through the gammit with those submitting short term disability claims as well. Sooo we are in a waiting pattern again!

Oh by the way… hi Val!

I will not allow all this to get in my head and lead me back down a binge eating episode though…I will NOT allow it!

I am needing to really watch myself with all this though because I am really emotionally struggling between the waiting game with my insurance, my youngests vertigo issue and the woes of being a parent to a 17 year old who is exerting his independence and making not so great decisions.

My coping mechanism is usually heading for food…comfort food…sweets….crunchy…everything in between. This is VERY HARD! I’m working on changing this to my knitting…which I have and am doing daily. I have several hats and a couple sets done and will be posting pics of them soon.

How do you deal with stress? Are you an eater? An exerciser? What, what is your coping mechanism?


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Long Day

Today has been a LONG day.

We had to travel 3 hours…one way… to a neurologist for my youngest because of his vertigo. It’s a theory that what he is experiencing is a type of migraine. There is not any pain associated with it, just what he has been having. Vertigo…nauseated…pale.

The good and bad of this…he should outgrow it…but possibly go into full fledged migraines. Sooo we are in a  wait and see pattern. Dr. Morrison wants us to journal his “episodes” for the next 8 weeks and then he will see us again. We also will be seeing an ENT at the end of this month to help see anything else in that area. We know no more really than this morning before we left. Other than the evaluations and things get added or crossed off the list of possibilities.

I am better personally than my Freaking out yesterday. I actually have a calm  over me and am currently taking the emotions as they come. I have told my family, well I did that before I told anyone else, I have started to make preparations for when I am in the hospital and during the weeks after of recuperation. I am making lists of things I need for before…during…after…surgery and the hospital stay.

With that thought…those of you who have had bariatric surgery what was on your list of things to do…to take…and to have when you got home? What do you wish you would have had on each of those lists? Let me know please, it would be a great help.

I told you I have been experimenting in the kitchen and here is one I did…

Protein Jello

  • 1Pkg. Sugar Free Jello of your choice
  • 1 scoop vanilla protrin powder
  • 2C water

Prepare Jell-O according to directions. When you get to the step of adding a cup of cold water, simply add in your protein powder to the cold water and then as soon as the hot Jell-O mixture has cooled, add, stir and allow to set.

  • Servings Per Recipe: 2
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 85
  • Total Fat: 1.25 g 
  • Total Carbs: 3.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 13.5 g

I actually got fancy and molded it using 2 boxes, but you don’t have to…unless of course you wanna get all fancy!!

I want to try pudding with a very similar method but I think the carbs may be too high, I need to check on it. Might be too much for Phase 2 I will be on for 4-6 weeks, but after that I think it will be ok as an occasional treat. I will be sure to get back to you on that.

I have been a knitting fool and a number of hats and hat/scarf sets ready so be looking for my contest to name a store for me. I am pretty excited about it!

Until next time….


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Freaking out

Hello all!

I have been experimenting in my kitchen a lot lately and I do have a number of recipes I will be sharing with you. Some have been for an ease of feeding the family while I am recuperating from surgery as well as ideas to make life a bit more manageable during my Phase 2 time prior and after surgery…a total of 4-5 weeks.

With that I have been emailing the SWLP coordinator this morning with some of my ideas. So when the phone rang with a Bangor number I just figured it was Lynn calling me about some of my ideas…even though she was responding to me via email.

It was not Lynn!!! It was Candy!!!! She is Dr. Toder’s scheduling nurse!


I have a date!!!!!!!!

My insurance finally came though and she called!! I was not thinking I would get a call, all of my appointments have been via mail. None have been via the phone!

I am now officially FREAKING out! AND I have a part tonight on the ministry school…one that I’m not supposed to use any notes with and though my end is pretty easy, I am FREAKING out….ok…deep breaths!

So I had intended on vlogging this, but I just cannot. I am way to nerved up so I am going to just tell you the “old fashioned” way…

My date for surgery is December 15th!!!!!!! Just a little over a month away! OMG!! December 1st I will officially begin phase 2 for surgery! Holy Cow!

OK I am going to let this all set in now…


Saturday, November 5, 2011


Ah the weekend is here, though I have already messed it up. I had plans for my ministry and woke too late…in fact everyone woke too late, even my 7 year old who is typically up at 5 waking everyone else up!

Still no word from Aetna on an approval for my bariatric surgery. I was really hoping to get something in the mail yesterday, but nothing.

I saw Dr. Toder on the 14th of October and the insurance was submitted the following week, I believe on the 17th so we are half way through the time frame they have to get back to my Dr.

My weight is up and down the same 2 pounds which is very frustrating! This scares me too because what if this same thing happens even after I have my guts re-routed?! I know hormones are effected with the surgery, could that make a difference?

The sun is out, the air is COLD! It feels like winter is here, though it is only fall. In the fall, yearly, we get our family portraits done. So we are headed south this morning to look for a nice place to have for a backdrop. Probably the water since most of our fall colors are gone in part do to blythe and in part to the freak October snow storm we had.

Do you have anything annually you do in the fall with your family?


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In the Mail

After a very upsetting morning I totally threw everything through the window.

No, not literally I just gave up...temporarily.

So what did I do? I went to subway and ordered a footlong BMT added three cookies, then proceeded to Walgreens where I bought 3 bags of half off Halloween candy!!

Ok I ate the entire sub and half the cookies then started into the candy. I managed to eat 5 recees, 3 kit kats, and a twix. then I stopped.

Did I mention my morning was pure stress? I've not felt stress like this in a very long time and it was not good. In the past I'd have finished off that candy and then been so sick. So progress yes but still not Good in light of my surgery that's approaching. No date yet.

Tonight I feel horrible, disappointed, frustrated with myself and really mad.

So when the mail brought an approval letter from my insurance company I felt a twinge of panic. it's imperative for me to get off as much weight as I can prior to surgery for my safety during surgery AND to avoid being opened up for the surgery. Where I'm going they're able to do it laproscopic using a robot BUT only if they can see around inside my abdomen....thus the weight loss to help shrink the fat around the organs, primarily the liver.

The candy is gone. I gave it away.

My mood is still blue. I'll read some encouraging scriptures.

My heart is torn. It will eventually mend.

I'm now freaking out. It too will pass.