A Girl Needs Options: Protein

Bariatric Diet, Weighing In With Whit

One vital part of the pre-op and post-op diet when having any bariatric procedure is protein. It can get old real quick if you only have a couple options! This is a preview into my protein options {it grows almost weekly – a girl needs options!}.

The key ingredient in protein needed by bariatric patients is whey protein isolate. You also want to find one that offers at least 20g of protein and approximately 10 g {or less} of carbs per serving. That can really limit powder options, but luckily they continue to come out with more and more options.

Alani Nu just came out with their Confetti Cake flavor right after my surgery and it has been my favorite find so far! Highly recommend you check it {seriously, who doesn’t love cake!?}.

Today Is A Good Day For A Good Day

Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Self care

Self care comes in many different forms. The cheapest and easiest – ME TIME! Life is busy, draining, exciting, and downright crazy sometimes. Back a couple months ago I started setting my alarm for 30 minutes earlier each morning {and I LOVE sleep, like…really love it #napqueen} to make sure that I have time to set aside for just me. It doesn’t have to be long – sometimes its 5 minutes, sometimes it 10 – it just has to happen! I don’t think about what I have to do that day. I don’t think about how much I deplore the traffic on my morning commute. I just take time for me, take in the sights around me and remind myself that today is a good day for a good day.

Bariatric Surgery: Week One Post-Op

Weighing In With Whit

It is important to not compare yourself, nor set your expectations, based on somebody else’s journey.

Even though my journey through this process started well over a year ago, I have been using the number I saw on the scale the day I began my pre-op diet {July 29}. I did my official weigh-in and I am happy to announce that I am down 20 lbs total {check out that cheesy smile from my photo this morning}! I lost 10 lbs. during the liver shrinking pre-op diet and have now lost 10 more lbs. since my actual surgery date.

I feel awesome! I am able to get up and move around a little more and I have gotten in a pretty good routine of getting my required protein and water in each day.

I was super excited to find a smart scale that 1) didn’t cost an arm and a leg, 2) links automatically to my FitBit app, and 3) will look great in my own bathroom once I return home. I found it on Amazon {of course I did, I literally buy everything from there} and just as soon as I can figure out how to get the link to stay I will update and provide the link for you!

I got the all-clear to start walking 20-30 minutes a day so I am looking forward to adding that into my daily routine tomorrow. The only pitfall I am experiencing right now is motion sickness. I have always been very prone to it. County fairs are NOT for me – I literally get sick just watching the rides and lights. I can’t ride in the third row seat of any vehicle and at times swinging on a swing set has ended with me ralphing in the bushes.

Sorry, that may be TMI, but I didn’t want to scare you into thinking that the motion sickness is a normal prolonged side effect for this procedure. One thing I knew before, but verify each day now, is that everyone reacts to this procedure very differently. From side effects to recovery time to rate and amount of weight lost – everyone is different! It is important to not compare yourself, nor set your expectations, based on somebody else’s journey {this applies to bariatric surgery and literally every other aspect of life}.

Liver Shrinking Pre-Op Diet

Weighing In With Whit

I have heard it referred to as the hardest part about having bariatric surgery {including post-op}. I also have seen hundreds of variations of what is allowed during these two weeks leading up your surgery date. I am going to share what my experience was like, but please keep in mind that what your surgeon requires during the pre-op diet may be very different than what mine required.

Before I dive into the specifics, the pre-op {commonly called the liver shrinking diet} prepares your body for surgery and improves surgical outcomes. Prior to preparing for this surgery I did not realize exactly where some of my internal organs sat. I knew they were there and they were functioning and I could only hope that my surgery didn’t turn into one of those bad outcomes from Grey’s Anatomy because Meredith Grey and Miranda Bailey are not employed by the hospital I would be having my surgery at and they wouldn’t be there to save the day {In case you couldn’t tell…I love Grey’s Anatomy}.

Anyways…the purpose of the diet is to deplete the glycogen in your liver, making the size of your liver smaller. Because the liver actually sits on top of your stomach and must be moved out of the way for this procedure, the smaller size makes laparoscopic surgery safer. The entire surgery is done through 5 incisions on your belly. There are factors that could lead to an open procedure, but I was lucky enough to not experience any of those.

I did fine with this diet. You may be surprised how full you actually are! I did experience “keto flu” about 8 days in and that made me sluggish for a couple days, but overall it was not a bad experience. I was able to lose 10 lbs. prior to my surgery on this diet. The key to succeeding on this diet for me was preparation, keeping myself busy, and ALWAYS having something to drink in my hand.

Liver Shrinking/Pre-Op Diet Requirements

Protein – 60 g daily minimum

  • 2 egg whites (cooked without oil or butter) or eggbeaters
  • 3 oz chicken (cooked without fat or breading) or water packed chicken breast
  • 3 oz fish (cooked without fat or breading) or water packed plain tuna
  • 1 cup yogurt (0% fat, no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese
  • 2 whey protein isolate shakes (20 g protein & less than 10 g carbs per shake
  • 16 oz skim milk or lactose free milk

Fruit – 3 servings a day allowed(approx. 15 g of carbs and 60 calories per serving) If using canned fruit there must be no added sugar, or unsweetened. Avoid fruit canned in heavy syrup and do not add sugar or honey to your fruit.

Vegetables – 3 servings a day allowed (approx. 5 g of carbs and 25 calories per serving). Serving size: 1/2 cup cooked or 1-cup raw. Do not add butter, bacon grease, oil or any type of fat. No breading. Avoid starchy vegetables.

Liquids in any amount – Water or sugar free flavored water; coffee and tea (with sugar substitute); fat free broth (beef, chicken or vegetable), sugar free popsicles, sugar free jello

Liquids in moderation – 1 cup low calorie or no calorie sports drink (ie. Powerade Zero or G2); 1 cup tomato juice/day

Sample menu that I used:


  • Eggbeaters (single-serve cups sold in packs of 4 at Wal-Mart)
  • 1 cup cubed cantaloupe
  • Coffee, black

Mid-Morning Snack:

  • 20 g whey protein isolate mixed in 1-cup skim milk {check back to see the variety of protein powders I chose}


  • 3 oz chicken (baked, boiled or grilled)
  • 1/2 cup cooked brussel sprouts {I bought a variety of steamer bags from the frozen section. It is also garden season so lots of fresh veggies this time of year for free!}
  • 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese
  • 3/4 blueberries

Afternoon Snack:

  • 20 g whey protein isolate mixed in 1-cup skim milk


  • 3 oz fish (baked, grilled or poached – NO breading) {I used canned tuna in water}
  • 1/2 cup cooked zucchini
  • 1 cup 0% plain greek yogurt {you don’t have to use greek, but I like it better}
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries

Bariatric Surgery: Post-Op Day 1

Weighing In With Whit

Post-op day 1 was a very bad day for me. There, straight to the point – no sugar coating. I was very nauseous all day and spent a lot of time dry heaving {the last thing you want to do with 5 incisions healing in your belly}. I ran a low-grade fever for the better part of the day. My blood pressure was through the roof and my heart rate was elevated.

I was taken down about 10 am for my swallow test. The pre-op barium swallow was absolutely awful. It also indicated a hiatal hernia that they ended up repairing during my surgery. This, in my opinion was nowhere near as bad as the pre-op version. This time they provide a clear liquid and you only have to get 3-4 sips down – it is still one of the grossest things I have ever tasted but it was over in no time. I passed and was cleared for liquids!

I wasn’t able to get much other than water in that day due to nausea. Because of the symptoms I had been experiencing all day and the fact that I could not get any of my meals in, I ended up having to stay an additional night. Typically with the sleeve, patients are able to go home the next day. Thank goodness I packed extra underwear!

Through the night I continued to wow the nurses with getting my laps in and I could tell I was getting faster {up to turtle speed, no peanut butter}. If you get anything out of this I hope that it is the importance of getting up and walking. You will likely not feel like it. It will be painful. It will tire you out. Get your tail up and do it!

I Thought It Would Never Come – Surgery Day!


I’ve only waited for this day for a year and a half…and it finally came!

I didn’t sleep a wink the night before surgery. I was ready {check out the cheesy smile}! I registered with the hospital at 8:30 am and went to the waiting room on the surgery floor. It was only a couple of minutes before they called me back and my nerves were wrecked! I wasn’t second-guessing my decision to have the procedure, but I am not a fan of needles or just the idea of a major surgery so I was certainly anxious to get it over with. Before I knew it they had me prepped to go, pushed something into my IV and I barely remember waving bye to my mom and sister-in-law. I vaguely remember waking up in the recovery room. I vaguely remember waking up a few times after that in my own room and there were different visitors each time, but I couldn’t hold my eyes open long enough to visit with them.

About 3:30-4 pm I finally was able to keep my eyes open and I was ready to get up! I told my nurse that I needed to use the bathroom and then I wanted to take a walk. In all of my research and pre-op appointments I knew that there would be a lot of pain associated with the gas that is pumped into the stomach cavity to allow the procedure to be done laparoscopicly. I didn’t want to prolong it so by golly I was up and at em! I made a lap with the NA’s help and switched to the chair in my room. I had a few naps and a few visitors the rest of the afternoon. My sweet 2 year old niece, SJ, came to visit and did not like seeing her Auntie hooked up to machines. She told me to come on and asked if I was ready to go {seriously y’all, I have the most precious nieces and nephew}.

I was up and down throughout the night walking the hallways. I was moving about as fast as a turtle in peanut butter, but I was determined to get my laps in and try to walk the gas out.

Oh, the worst part of surgery day…you will be so thirsty when you wake up. You CAN’T have anything to drink! They did provide these lemon flavored swabs that were supposed to moisten your lips and mouth {super gross, somewhat sour, but clutch given the situation}. It was almost noon the next day before I was able to have something to drink! More to come on that…