Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fresh Peas & Spinach Soup

My sister gave me a recipe for fresh pea soup with spinach, and I changed it just a bit to punch it up.  I thought I would share the recipe here for anyone that would like it, along with photos (sorry, I haven't bought a flip yet so no video, for now).  It really ended up quite good and I am sure that it will even better tomorrow.

The recipe is as follows:

1-2 ham hocks
1 16 oz package of diced ham (optional if you are not ready for meats yet)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
24 oz fresh or frozen green peas
1 10 oz package fresh baby spinach
3 cups of chicken broth
3 cups of water
1/4 tsp salt (optional if you are using low-sodium broth)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 T. olive oil
1 T. bacon fat (optional)


In a large dutch oven, brown the ham hocks (on medium) in 2 T. olive oil.  I used two ham hocks but one is sufficient.




When browned on all sides, remove and set aside.  Add onion and 1 T bacon fat to pot.  Cook until onions are transparent, about 5 minutes.


 Add chicken broth and water, and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Now add the peas.  You can add them frozen if you wish.  Cook until peas are thawed--it won't take very long--about 5 minutes.  After peas are thawed and broth is bubbly, add spinach. You want to cook until the spinach is wilted but still bright green:



Strain the soup, keeping the liquid aside.  Take the pea/spinach mixture and puree in a blender or food processor. 


Add puree back into dutch oven.  Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne.  You may now add as much of the saved liquid as you like back in to bring the soup to a texture you like.  Add the ham hocks back at this time.


You may also add the diced ham.  Simmer for an hour to an hour and a half.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream.


DELICIOUS!  A very good, smoky flavor--excellent texture....and great if you've been put on full liquids or purees.  If you've been moved on to small meats, you can use the diced ham, you'll love it!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Clearance, Clarence.

I was so excited about my weight loss yesterday that I forgot to mention that I've been cleared for some new foods and am so happy about it.  I can cook again!  So, tonight I am making a recipe, slightly modified, from my sister Robin.  It's a fresh pea soup made with onions, spinach, and ham, and pureed.  I am going to make a how-to video to show how easy (and inexpensive) this is.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Results Are In...Week ONE...(drumroll....)

Just came back from my day at the doctor's office (and I do mean "day"...since 10AM!) and I've lost...


9.5 POUNDS!

Yippppppppeee!

Back to your regularly scheduled program...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Today is my one week Banderversary!

Boy, last week at this time I was sacked out.  I feel pretty good about my week, even though I have not been 100% faithful to the clear liquids/no coffee mantra.  It's certainly frustrating to watch others chow down because their doctors are more liberal in regard to their diet, but overall I am happy that my doctor has limits because I know I need them.  I just hope that he lifts some of those limits for me tomorrow.  I really didn't realize I would be so famished, yet all I have to do is have a little something and I am totally full.  I have been told that when I go for a fill my famished feeling will most likely go away, and it should also ease up the more I lose.
I get scared that because of my Hashimoto's I actually will not lose very much.  I have kind of accepted that.  I'd be happy if I could lose 50 lbs. Matt seems to think I will be able to make goal.  I just want to be realistic, that's all. I expect no miracles, despite hard work.  I hope I don't seem too negative, but I have experience in this category.  I knew going into this that it might not work as well as with other people.  If it does, then that is just a bonus.
I have my first support group meeting tomorrow at 10:00AM.  I am excited about it.  My doctor's appointment is at 1.  I will update y'all when I get back. 

Night night! :-)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Welp...I think a wheel came off my wagon. But I didn't fall off!

I woke up this morning and my stomach was GROWLING.  It growled in a way I have never heard it.  Wow.  Needless to say, I've had problems all day with the gnawing--and chicken broth did NOT take it away. Neither did Jello.  So, I decided to take the bull by the horns and make tomato soup for lunch.

THAT WORKED!   I am actually still full.  Believe it!  We're going on 4 hours now...

I am dying for a pickle though.  I do not understand why, but there it is.  Maybe if I drink pickle juice.  Is that wrong? LOL!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Getting kind of sick of broth, gotta tell ya.

We were out all day looking for a TV cabinet. Well, not all day--but 3-4 hours. I got what I guess is hungry for me now; kind of a rumbling but more of a dull, hollow feeling in my upper stomach. So, we stopped at Sonic, because I knew Matt and Paige would be happy (Phoebe was at school today) and I could get a small or kid-sized grape slush or limeade. Well, they ended up having real non-fat yogurt smoothies, so I got a small one. It took me well over an hour to finish it. LOL!! I like that a lot. :-) Matt had a double Sonic jalapeno burger (we have to work on Matt...). Unfortunately, it made me realize how much I am missing real food. I can't wait until my doctor's appointment on Thursday. I hope he lets me begin to experiment a bit. I am dying for some scrambled eggs!

We got two fish for Phoebe today. She is so happy about it! They're just two little comet goldfish, but they're all hers. :-)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nephew's Birthday Party

Today is day 4 post-op and we all went over to my sister-in-law's house to celebrate our nephew's 2nd birthday--with a fabulous looking cake and everything! I didn't even lick a fork. I feel great! I am really trying to stay on track so that when I go for my appointment on Thursday, my doctor will give me clearance for mushies. That means I will be able to start eating REAL food. I have several recipes for some delicious soups and purees, and I'll be able to eat them along with eggs, cheese, yogurt...mmmmm. Good stuff. Can't wait!

Short post as I am super tired, but I just wanted to pop in and update.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day Three: The Same, I Think...

Wow, I really think the hernia correction (did I mention I had one?) is what is bugging me the most. Was up at 4:30 waiting for the magic number of 5 on the clock so I could take pain meds. Helped Matt get Phoebe ready for school. I am at home with Paige today, but I do not anticipate any major problems. I am about to take a nap and I have Paige in here watching one of her favorite Baby Einsteins. I also have Stacy on speed dial if I can't handle it. I think I will be okay though!
Not hungry at all. Just drinking some chicken broth right now. Then off to la-la land.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day Two, or "Don't Forget to Take Pain Meds"

The word of the day is: SORE :o)

Very tender today. Mainly from center to left side of abdomen. LorTab is my friend.

I woke up at 6:30 to help Matt with Phoebe and Paige. When they were all gone I took a dose of pain meds and went back to bed. I just woke up about an hour ago....very sore. So, I took some again and am feeling better. I think my window is 5 hours (the bottle says 4-6). Tastes bloody awful. Bitter! Ick. Though not like that iodine contrast from yesterday...now THAT was bitter! Whew.

Here is what I've eaten today:

3/4 c. chicken broth
2 popsicles (sugar-free)
2 lifesavers to suck on
some water (how am I going to get 64 oz a day down me when I am supposed to "sip"?)

isn't that fabulous? And I'm not really hungry at all. I think what I thought were stomach rumblings were really just intestinal sounds. It's hard to say.
Matt will be picking Paige up from Mother's Day out in about an hour and then he heads back to work. I will be helping Phoebe off the bus since he has to go right back to work.

I am excited that tomorrow I will be even more "on the mend" and back to myself. I can't wait to see how I feel in a week. I am not looking for any big losses, but it will be interesting to see if I've lost any weight. I ordered my Tanita scale last night off of Amazon so hopefully that will be here around my 1 week Banderversary!! <---is that how you spell it? LOL

Back to bed for me. Just wanted to update!

I am a BANDITO!

^^^Reminds me of Skippyjon Jones. lol

Well...I was banded at 8AM this morning.

It was all rather uneventful, actually. My sister-in-law Stacy came to the house at 5AM (I owe her BIG time) to make sure Phoebe got on the bus and that Paige was looked after while Matt and I were at the hospital. We arrived at the hospital a little after 6 and because I was already pre-admitted, I just had to get ready. They took me back to pre-op while Matt went to the waiting room. I changed into a gown, laid down in a bed/stretcher, and the nurses hooked me up to a heart rate/BP monitor. My IV was put in with no problems, and I had a shot of anticoagulant in my arm. Matt was allowed to come back in and wait with me. The anesthesiologist came in to talk with me. He was very nice. I told him about my kinda rough experience with intubation during my first cerclage (and I never woke up when it was removed so he remembered!). Then Dr. Cavazos came in, I introduced him to Matt as "my son, Dr. Cavazos" lol, because he is so young (or I am just so old...)! LOL. After that it was on. Matt and I kissed and hugged and he went to the waiting room. The anesthesiologist gave me a sedative in my IV and I was wheeled into the OR. I remember making some kind of joke on the way but I was starting to get loopy. I remember laying there for about two seconds and then I was DONE. Out like a light. I don't even remember the oxygen mask on me or anything.

When I woke up, I was in the PACU and the nurse came over to me and asked me how I felt. I was very groggy. Kind of sore, but not really. Just tired. She let me sleep but I kept going in and out of sleep, which I guess is pretty normal. After I was more alert, she gave me some ice chips (thank goodness!!) and then after a few minutes asked me how I was doing with them. I said, "Fine." I think in hindsight she was wondering if I was getting nauseated. I was in a recliner for recovery and have no idea when I actually was put in it. Weird.

I closed my eyes for what seemed just a moment and when I opened them Matt was there. He was lightly touching my arm, and smiling. He said, "Hi sweetie." :o) Things just improved from there. I was able to get up to go to the bathroom, and had a popsicle. I did have to swallow iodine contrast to make sure everything went through my band okay. That was cool to watch on the monitor. At 1:30pm, I was dressed and ready to leave.

We got home and I basically hit the sack after chatting a bit with Stacy and saying hi to Liam. I was sooo tired. I woke up at 6pm and had some meds, some chicken broth and chatted with the girls a bit. It was so great to see them. I fell asleep after a while and woke up at 12:30am and I have been awake ever since, though I have to say I am getting groggy again.

I did not expect to hear my stomach rumble, but it is growling. I imagine it's because even though I am banded, I have no restriction yet. So, I will have to just drink my liquids and eat jello when I am hungry. The good news is, I get full very quickly. That is a good sign as when it is time for solids, they will stay with me longer. I am not allowed any type of solids for two weeks, and only very soft foods at that point until about 5 weeks, when I can start re-introducing regular foods. I am to walk 30 minutes every day and be up and moving as much as I can when I am awake.

So, that's it for now. I will give another update tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Surgery is Tomorrow Morning

How do I feel? Well, slightly anxious, but overall...I've just been too busy to think about it much. Trying to get as much stuff done as possible to make it easy on Matt since neither one of us really knows how I am going to feel after this.

I have also been sick, so that has taken my mind off of things. The girls gave me their cold--how generous of them. lol. Fortunately, the doc's office says as long as I don't have a fever--and I don't--things should go off just as they should.

So, what is in store for me for the first two weeks? Apparently, protein drinks, skim milk, clear broth, and jello. Now that is what I call variety. Hopefully the two weeks will go by quickly and I will move on to phase 2--the "mushies". Sounds lovely, don't it? *wink* I can have anything that can be mushed up, basically. Sweet potatoes, creamed soups, yogurts, fruits, veggies. After four weeks total, I will be ready to go back to good ol' regular food. I am going to try--try try try--to stay as close to clean foods as possible...foods as close to their pure form as they can get, with little to no processing. I don't know how that is going to work with the girls and their favorite American cheese slices, but I will have to work on it. For me, that is going to mean that I will be cooking fairly healthy meals. This is where the band will help me the most. If I do my part, the band will do its part. My calorie consumption is going to be somewhere around 700-1000 calories a day. If I walk 30 minutes every day, I should see at least a 2-4 lb a week loss, which will put me at a 40 lb loss, at 2 lbs a week, in June when we go to FL. That would be really nice! I wouldn't feel quite so self-conscious about my weight. The doctor said I will see the largest weight loss in the first few months. That should be interesting.

The procedure will take 45 minutes, approximately. I have to be at the surgery center at 6AM. Surgery is at 8AM. I am not really "nervous"--just anxious to get to the next phase, because I want to see how difficult it is going to be for me to lose with my thyroid issues and PCOS.


Well, I better go...Paige is crying. I will check back, if I can, tomorrow.