Friday, July 27, 2012

Not the Way I Wanted to Make it to Onederland, But Happy to be Losing

At Can Majo', a wonderful seafood restaurant on the Barcelona waterfront.
I made it to Onederland last week, although not the way I planned. For those who don't know, Onederland is when you get to the 100s from the 200s. I'm at 195 pounds and down 78 pounds at the last check before I hit the road again July 22 to Spain.

I got back from 16 days in West Africa on July 14, and immediately became very ill. Had my abscessed molar extracted Monday, July 16, then became ill from something we still haven't figured out. High fever, chills, sweats, aches -- 102, 103 for a couple of days, the 17th and 18th, also raging diarrhea which has continued and not slowing down. Fever broke early Thursday morning. Can't remember being that sick for about 10-15 years.

Figuring I brought home some varmint (parasite) from West Africa, I went to my physician on Thursday, July 19, and they did a bunch of tests. Blood tests, stool tests (yicky.) Gave me some Lomotil (actually the generic.) Worked a little. The good news is that I didn't pick up malaria in West Africa, although I didn't think so because I was taking the preventative med Malarone, you never know. Malarone has flu-like symptoms btw.

Complicate it by my getting a flu shot each year like clockwork, so I didn't think it was the flu.

Had a long-planned trip to Spain July 22, to visit my daughter who has been studying abroad in Barcelona. Took it anyway, even with system somewhat dodgy. A little turbulence and I lost my dinner in a plastic cup though. The Delta flight crew was extremely understanding and helpful.

We're having a good time, planning my bathroom breaks often and I'm hanging in there. Drinking LOTS of water, trying to stay hydrated, but it just runs right through. Sigh.

More soon!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Traveling and Losing Weight

Pit cooking kabobs at Indigo Indian restaurant in Lagos
 It's our last day in Lagos, Nigeria, for the foreseeable future, and for the first time traveling, I managed to lose weight during my visit thanks to my sleeve. I'm now down 70 pounds to 203 and getting closer to Onederland (being in the 100s vs. the 200s.)

There are so many wonderful restaurants here. The international community is strong and many of our favorite restaurants are various ethnic restaurants — Indian, Chinese, Thai, even Tex-Mex.

Hubby has been working in Lagos for four years and we repatriate together today. 

In our last few days here, we had some wonderful times with old and new friends, often around a great meal.

The biggest thing that was a challenge is that many Lagos restaurants use lard in their cooking and lots of salt. But I figure anything in moderation. My favorite dietician Steph at WeightWise told me when we first started this journey that I could eat a bite of anything and that's kept me from going a little batty watching everyone else eat things I can't.

One friend was determined we would try his favorite Thai restaurant Bangkok and we had possibly the best prawns I've ever had for an appetizer. One member of our party also ordered them with red curry sauce for an entreé. I limited myself to one prawn appetizer and it was worth it. I'm not sure what they did coating or cooking it, but it was magical with just the right crunchiness and not greasy at all.
The prawn appetizer at Bangkok Thai restaurant in Lagos

Hubby and I ordered a duck dish to split with the best name ever — Angry Duck. I think it came by its name because it came out of the kitchen making a huge sizzling sound, sort of like fajitas do in a Tex-Mex restaurant. It was fragrant with spices and so tender. Again, just a couple of bites and I was happy — it was a splurge on my diet, but a modest one.

Other great dishes were Pineapple Rice full of cashews, various veggies, of course, pineapple and served in a half of a carved pineapple. I passed on eating it because of the carbs. But hubby sure liked it, and I mostly posted the picture because it was so pretty and unusual.

And that brings up something else. Many of the dishes at Bangkok had carved edible vegetables adorning them or were served in other beautiful ways. I swear it makes food taste better when it looks incredible.

Pineapple rice at Bangkok
At Indigo Indian restaurant, one of the dishes we ordered was "cottage cheese," prepared in a Tandoor oven. It was not like any cottage cheese I've ever had. It was more like a firm tofu, with miniature potatoes and chunks of corn accompanying it, all in the colorful tandoori style. I ate the cheese only, but with the tandoori method of cooking, it was cooked in a low-fat style I appreciate.

Some other favorites were Bottles, a Tex-Mex restaurant that serves up some excellent salsa and guacamole, fajitas, hubby's oozy, cheesy enchiladas and bean burritos for our vegetarian friend. We also love to go to Pearl Garden Chinese restaurant and Caf√© Royal for an English breakfast or a hearty burger or main-dish salad for lunch. 


Friday, July 6, 2012

The Whine About Wine for Gastric Sleevers

Probably the hardest thing after my Dec. 27 gastric sleeve surgery was not drinking wine. And I've had the occasional glass, usually with hubby, but sometimes in a solitary way just reading a book and kicking back.

My wine-drinking philosophy when my sleeve started feeling healed was to count the calories I'd had that day and see if my calorie count would allow a glass of wine or two.

This is not a terribly good idea, I'm sad to say. There are several reasons why, but the most resounding one came out a couple of weeks ago. Check out this new report:

- Weight Loss Surgery Increases Risk of Alcohol Addiction in Some from ABC News

- For another thing, I don't lose weight if I drink wine. That was the whole goal of the surgery — to give myself this marvelous tool to lose weight — and drinking wine screws that up.

- When you drink wine or alcohol, it hits gastric sleevers hard and you get tipsy right away. And it passes through and almost immediately that wine glow wears off. Instead of feeling mellow, like I felt drinking wine before having the surgery, my body feels differently and the wine is somehow more aggressive towards my body. Having the sleeve definitely changed how I enjoy wine.

- The other thing the psychologist at WeightWise warned about is transfer addiction — that is, transferring a food addiction to an alcohol addiction. 

Plus there has been alcoholism in my family, so I'm going to have to be especially careful about that.

To drink or not to drink? That's the question, if you'll forgive the paraphase. Do I really want it? Yes. Do I really need it? No.

Oh, and by the way, I'm more than halfway toward my weight goal now.