Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cat Food, Me Food

I promised to give folks some idea of what I eat on a given day.

Let's start with the size of the plate... that is smaller than most teacup saucers. The serving size is from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup TOTAL per meal. Let that sink in for a second. 1/4 cup of food is about three to four bites for most eaters.

I typically start my day out with 1/4c of egg replacement, with a smattering of mustard and hot sauce. The hardest part was finding hot sauce that didn't have sugar in it.

Next: I take about 30-45min to eat those fake eggs. Some mornings, if I am still hungry after finishing my pseudo-eggs, I will have a tiny fat-free,sugar free yogurt. Half an hour after I finish, I can start drinking for the morning. By about 9:30 - 10am I am starting to get hungry again. I have to stop drinking a half an hour before I even think about eating.

Now it's 10am.... time for second breakfast. This is when I usually have either a homemade protein shake made with Unjury Protein Powder and 1% lowfat milk (1cup). Some mornings, I am on the road to see doctors or clients, so I bring along that lovely product on the far left of this image: Boost, Glucose Control. Tastes pretty close to a McDonalds milkshake that has sat in the car overnight. Thick, vanilla-ey, cold(ish), and sweet.

Three hours later I am ready for lunch. Lunch is usually 1/4c of canned chopped chicken breast and 1/4c of refried beans, with more mustard and hot sauce. With the exception of honey mustards, most mustards have zero sugar! That was a nice thing to find out.

No one I have ever met likes the way refried beans smell straight from the can. Same thing with canned chicken. Our cats went nuts when they heard the can-opener. They assumed (and it smelled like) it was cat food. As I sat down the first time to cold chopped chicken and cold refried beans, I thought there was no way on earth I could do it.

Hah! It was awesome. Go figure.

Midafternoon I often find my tummy rumbling and dinner seems a long time away. Sometimes I can hold off the major hunger with some sugar-free/fat-free instant pudding. I get a little bit of protein from the pudding, but mostly I get some mouth-satisfaction and some brain-satisfaction.... more on those issues in another post. If pudding doesn't seem like it would hit the spot, then I will try 1/4 c of sugar free applesauce, or even sugar-free jello.

Not too long before hunger takes over and bonks me on the head, dinner for the family becomes a priority. With all the smells and textures of preparing food (that I can't eat)... my mind starts REALLY looking forward to dinner. A pretty typical evening meal is 1/2 c of mashed tuna with 1-2T lowfat mayo, some mustard (yeah, I know...who puts mustard on tuna?....try it! it's amazing!).... and if I am still hungry after eating the tuna (always protein first)... then I am allowed to have up to 1/4c of some pureed vegetables: smashed peas, pureed green beans, mashed potatoes, liquified carrots, squished beets.. you get the idea. I get a taste. Not much more than that.

What am I drinking? Well...drinking is a whole new thing too. First off, you can't use a straw. Too much air entrainment. Basically, you sip... 1-2oz at a time. Less than a swallow. Just barely enough to take pills with. I am allowed non-caffeinated beverages as long as they are sugar-free and non-carbonated. For now, that looks like 1% or fat free milk (which counts towards the day's protein intake), sugar-free Kool-Aid, Crystal Light, herbal teas, and water. Not terribly exciting, but crucial. Given the window of time around eating, it is essential that you spend the non-eating time slowly sipping on your drinks.

Today I found a way to make a hot chocolate drink with sugar-free hot cocoa, mixed with a scoop of vanilla protein powder, 1T of instant decaf coffee, and a splash of sugar free caramel syrup. It was awesome. Perfect drink for a cool wet day. The best part is that it counts as a meal. More on meal requirements in another post.

In closing... I want to point out that to eat all the food in this image would take me more than 2 days. Yeah. This is a whole new world. Tiny portions, tiny bites, lots of time between bites, and giving myself ample time to really savor the experience.


  1. amazing Alex- I am continuing to follow your ever evolving travels through life.

  2. Thanks Meredith. It has been such an incredible journey so far. I wish I could express how wild it was to talk to the surgeon after he had finished removing my stomach and decided to explore the rest of my abdomen. I hadnt asked him to do that. It just amazes me that he would take the time and energy to do that, just to be prepared to finally put my intestines back together. Made me feel so much better... safer... more real.

    Looking forward to this process getting better and more enjoyable every day.

  3. Dude! It's a whole new ballgame, hopefully with a grand slam in the 9th. If you lose the weight to get to the next place you need to be ... it's all worth it.

    I can attest to reprogramming your brain to look at smaller portions and your gut saying ... okay brain I AM full. It's difficult enough to make a meal last 15 minutes ... never mind 30-45. That takes patients and fortitude!

    Sounds like you're getting the knack of it though. I'm very happy for you Alex! You go boi! : )