Healthy Holiday Goodies

I love to bake. No, really I LOVE TO BAKE!!! I have fond memories of spending the week before Christmas baking with my Mom and sisters. See the rockin’ 70s pic below from my family heirloom recipe book. I’m the ridiculously cute blond on the right (I think I was 3 or 4 in this pic).

However, despite my butt growing wider in adulthood and despite that I have embarked on serious weight loss journey these past two years (125 pounds lost), I am still going to bake. However, I am going to significantly reduce not just the quantity of what I bake, but also the fat and sugar that are in my traditional goodies.

Revamp #1: Goo Pie. I know it sounds like nothing you’d want to eat, but you know that delicious caramelized goo that’s in a pecan pie? That’s the makings of a Goo Pie. Basically, you make it like a traditional pecan pie, but leave out the nuts. This year, it’s going to be a Goo Custard. Leave out the crust, use reduced sugar corn syrup (I found it at King Soopers aka Kroger aka Ralphs) and put it in to ramekins.

Revamp #2: Sugar Cookies are the cornerstone to an Incredible Shrinking Fattie family Christmas. My eldest sister, Sandy (in the middle of the pic above) and I have had a friendly sugar cookie rivalry for as long as I can remember. I will concede that Sandy is the Queen of Sugar Cookies in our family. She knows how to get them perfectly crispy and they just melt in your mouth. Excuse me as I pause to wipe drool from my mouth. This year, I will be trying out a highly rated Whole Wheat Sugar Cookie recipe: http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http://yummysmells.blogspot.com/2007/12/sugar-cookies-healthy.html. As for the decorations, I will be using a cream cheese icing made by mixing fat free cream cheese with a little vanilla, milk for consistency, and Splenda instead of sugar.

Revamp #3: Dream Wafers are what my ex-husband requests me to bake every year (ex-husband? Yep, we are still great friends and we spend the holidays together with our significant others and our kiddo). Dream Wafers are a sandwich cookie made from two thin rounds of shortbread and a bit of filling in between (traditionally frosting). This year, I will be making them with regular Smart Balance and a little butter flavor via this recipe: http://www.paralumun.com/diet.htm (scroll down for the shortbread recipe). For the frosting, I will be doing the cream cheese frosting recipe mentioned above with a thicker consistency and mint extract.

Revamp #4: Truffles. Keep your truffles on the healthy side by using semisweet or dark chocolate chips. Then, instead of heavy cream, use cream cheese such as this recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/so-easy-homemade-truffles-16910.

My final recipe requires no revamping and comes from that healthy cooking wonder, Linda, of Eating Well Living Thin…molasses ginger cookies: http://eatingwelllivingthin.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/holiday-cookies-my-favorite-molasses-spice-one-ever/.

So, instead of depriving yourself of holiday goodies or throwing in the towel and eating all of that high fat high sugar stuff, try revamping your family recipes. Make it a family affair. The holidays don’t have to result in weight gain and sugar coma.

Revamp

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Melting Mama: Preach Sister!

As most of you know, I am very disillusioned by my weight loss surgery (WLS). Not only have I not lost the weight I was told I would, but the results of my surgery has left my body broken with chronic pain and essentially homebound. It is my belief that those of us who have had WLS are expected to only tell the good stuff and those of us who are realistic about our experiences are often shushed when we seek support for our broken WLS. Melting Mama had a great post today regarding WLS that those of you in the Polyanna camp really need to hear.

Broken WLS by Melting Mama

Gastric Bypass Puberty

So, I am well over a year out from my RNY surgery and never had a problem with dumping. However, as of late, I have developed a sensitivity to sugar and have experienced a couple of dumping episodes. Am I a late bloomer? Does this mean I have finally reached gastric bypass puberty?

Word on the street is, “No.” No matter where you are in your gastric bypass journey be you a three month poucher or a seven year poucher, you can still experience dumping. Many times it’s totally random and other times your body has begun to reject a certain food such as someone I know who can’t eat ice cream. For me, it began with a small piece of cake that had some seriously weird buttercream frosting on it that I know was made with shortening and and excess of sugar to cover it up (thanks Target bakery)…okay, that one makes sense. However, I recently experienced a mild dump with some Yoplait Light yogurt. What the heck? I have eaten just about every flavor of this brand of yogurt imaginable and have never had a problem, but this was a new flavor (Black Forest Cake).

So, what happens when you dump? Oh, dumping is so…well…special. For me it began with getting really hot and sweat began rolling off my rolls. Then the heart palpitation began followed by the most extreme nausea EVER! I had “morning sickness” with my kiddo until I was about six months pregnant, but even that roller coaster ride from hell could not have prepared me for the nausea that came along with dumping. I felt and probably looked like this:

I have begun to note what foods cause me to either not feel so great or that make me experience a full on dump. So far it’s completely random. While the cake mentioned above caused me about an hour of hell, the same amount of cake in a mini cupcake was fine. The only difference is that I know the frosting on the mini cupcake was made with butter. Black Forest Cake yogurt = bad, but Red Velvet cake = no problemo. Ah, you just gotta love gastric bypass weirdness from the constipation to the dumping, it’s a wheel o’ fortune I tell ya.

Here is a link on information regarding Dumping Syndrome by a gastric bypass patient: http://ezinearticles.com/?Dumping-Syndrome:-The-Dirty-Secret-Gastric-Bypass-Patients-Keep&id=36837

Celebrating Non-Scale Victories

Has your scale stopped working? Working your ass off, but not seeing a reduction in said ass? On a plateau that has grown so high you are considering jumping off of it? Yeah, I’ve been there. Hell, I’m there right now.

I have been on a weight loss plateau since March 31st of this year. I got weighed prior to my knee surgery and the scale hasn’t moved since. To be honest, I had one month since then where I didn’t eat in the way I was supposed to. However, finding out your mother is battling her third type of cancer in less than a year combined with the financial stress of filing for disability, moving, and mobility issues would get the best of most people. Outside of that time, I’ve been tracking my food, staying within my calorie allotment, moving as much as I can, taking my supplements, getting in my water, and getting at least 80g of protein a day. I keep fighting that damn number on the scale and getting nowhere. I often feel like I have failed my surgery and dread going in to see my surgeon. It’s to the point where I am considering revision surgery (likely the Extended RNY).

Am I a failure? Is anyone experiencing a plateau or experiencing regain a failure? NO! Unless you have been binging and gorging whilst your ass is planted to the couch, you are not a failure. Guess what? Our bodies are all scientific and stuff and there are a lot of factors involved in continued weight loss and keeping it off. All too often we take the easy road and start down the path of self-ridicule and failure talk. You know what I say to that? SHUT UP!

It’s time to stop with the negativity and DO SOMETHING about it. Make an appointment with a doctor who specializes in weight loss (not necessarily a surgeon), a registered dietitian, get a complete metabolic work up, and bring in a truthful assessment of what you have and have not been doing to lose weight or keep your weight off. Our primary care docs typically only have basic knowledge in these areas and in my opinion it’s worth a visit to a specialist to figure out what’s going on with your body.

Now, for your self talk: It’s time to stop kicking yourself in the ass, stop feeling like a failure. to stop ridiculing yourself, etc. and time to get back to taking care of yourself. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to do that is to back away from the scale for a while and follow that up with celebrating non-scale victories. Measure yourself and see how many inches you have lost. If you still have your “fat pants,” dig them out and jump in them to see how far you have come in your overall journey. Did you walk an extra 5 minutes today, good for you! Can you shop at a non-plus size store now? WOOT! Go in to your closet and donate everything that is too big for you. Keep your eyes and mind on the overall journey and stop beating yourself up with the scale!