Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Dreamed A Dream. . . Of Chicken Fried Steak

Les Miserables and Susan Boyle may have "dreamed a dream in time gone by," but lately I've been dreaming of food.  Seriously!  Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes and gravy.  Spaghetti and meat balls with garlic toast. Actual dreams.

For the last thirteen days, I've been on a modified preoperative diet to shrink my liver.  They want it to shrink because it sit on the stomach where my band will be attached, and shrinking it means they won't have to move it a lot during surgery and run the risk of damage. My diet consists of three meals a day. Two of protein shakes, and the third of any soup I want -- as long as it's not cream based. I can have snacks of low fat cottage cheese, sugar free pudding and jello, and V8 juice, and another protein shake.  Due to my height, I need at least 105 grams of protein a day. 

I have become a skilled Shake Artisan (Smoothie King's got nothing on me). In the morning, I always go for a coffee-based pairing; in the afternoons, something a little more fruity.  The key was finding the protein I liked and loading up on recipes.  It's been fun trying different combinations.

The Tools of My Trade:

My JCPenney Cooks 5-in-1 Power Blender with Attachments.  Works great! Easy to clean! Easy blend-to-go access! (And, of course, you know I got it on sale WITH a coupon!)
Jay Robb's Whey Protein Powder.  Thus far, my go to protein powder of choice.  Tastes great! Blends smoothly! 25 grams of protein per scoop! (Like Raisin Bran, 2 Scoops in the morning and usually at dinner.)  Zero grams of sugar! One gram of carbohydrates! 110 calories!

I use skim milk or low sugar juice.  Frozen berries and fruit.  Aldi is my go to store for these because I can get a gallon of skim milk for 99 cents and wonderful frozen fruit at amazing prices.  A tablespoon of peanut butter provides a little extra protein and goes great with the chocolate.  Coffee is great with chocolate or vanilla protein powder, and some mornings I add a little sugar free hazelnut creamer to add a different flavor.  

My other protein drink of choice is Nature's Choice Zero Carb ISOPURE Protein Liquid.  I keep one in the truck in case I get hungry and need need a protein fix.  Each bottle has 40 grams of protein.  Zero sugar and carbs.  160 calories. Tastes GREAT!  My favorite flavors are Alpine Punch and Apple Melon, which tastes kind of like an apple Jolly Rancher, but not as sweet.  Great to sip on throughout a day of shopping and errand running.
  After surgery, I'll gradually work my way back up to foods -- even chicken fried steak -- but from now on, I'll always have to incorporate protein shakes and drinks into my daily life.  Honestly, I should have been doing this all along; it's amazing how much energy the right amount of protein gives me throughout the day and has made me feel fuller and lose weight.  By adding the right amounts of healthy protein in my diet during my four months of nutrition training, I lost over 15 pounds.  Since Saturday, the last time I weighed while on my two week pre-op modified diet, I've lost an additional 12 pounds -- not sure what I've lost since Saturday.

Now those pounds might look like 10 bucks to a billionaire, but I'm well on my way!  Off to bed, to wake up to my last band free day.  

Excitement Level: 60%  Nervous Level: 40%



  1. My favorite soup: Avegolemono Chicken Soup
    4 c chicken broth
    1/2 lb chicken, cooked and shredded
    1/4 c lemon
    2 eggs
    1 box spinach
    2c cooked rice
    pepper to taste

    heat broth and chicken,
    whisk together eggs and lemon juice until frothy, gradually whisk in 1 c of hot broth,
    add spinach to rest of broth and boil, add rice, reduce heat, slowly add egg mixture while whisking until thickened. add pepper to taste.

    I LOVE this soup, because it tastes so different from other soups, It never really gets very thick for me, but the egg mixture somehow makes it seem a little creamy even though there's no milk in it. It also freezes great. Good Luck!

  2. Thanks, Danell. I love making soup, and usually have it for lunch - even before I began this process. I'll have to give it a try. It sounds a little like italian wedding soup but with chicken instead of meatballs. Can't wait to make it!