Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Surprising Statistic About Lapbanding

Wow! Danger in Lapbandland

So, my therapist, who is a nutritionist and an expert on eating disorders, casually dropped the following fact: 50% of married lapbanders get divorced. Huh. They don't mention that in the "information giving seminar" I attended, and I'm betting they won't at any you might attend, either. Now a few seconds after she mentioned this, I realized that the divorce rate is 50% in the general population anyway, so maybe this isn't a significant statistic after all. But she says that experts think that it is, just don't ask me how the math works on something like that.

We spent a little bit talking about this, and she opined that, her experience, couples had trouble mostly because the unbanded spouse became threatened by the banded spouse's changing physique. Makes sense, really. When the old gray mare who ain't what she used to be starts bein' what she used to be and better... well... that's gotta jangle some nerves. And I'm sure it changes the dynamics of any relationship for one partner to go through a complete transformation (because it is both physical and emotional.) I immediately said, "I don't have to worry about that, my husband is excited about me losing weight." He is, too.

But I do detect a little bit of anxiety on his part. I've always been the person most interested in food in our relationship, but he's been able to enjoy my fixation vicariously. He has no problem with his weight at all. He can pretty much eat what he wants and stay slim. It means a lot to him when I cook, its one of the only "wifely" chores he seems to really take a lot of notice about. He loves coming home to an aromatic house and sitting down to a plate of hot food, made by someone who loves him. So he's probably worried it will never be like that again. I have been a bit worried about our family meals too. So, I got some bariatric surgery cookbooks, and I'm going to start cooking again.

One thing I've realized, any sort of high protein, low carb diet will work well with the band. Low fat is important too. The doc asks you to eat protein first, then "good" carbs, like veggies, then starchy carbs, like potatoes. So first I hauled out my old low carb cook books and refreshed my memory about some of my old, low carb favorites. Then, my order of bariatric cookbooks arrived, and I got pretty excited.

Most interesting to me is Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery: Over 140 Delicious Low-Fat High-Protein Recipes to Enjoy in the Weeks, Months and Years After Surgery. This has some promising recipes that are quite sophisticated. The author uses spices and sauces to jazz up what could be some pretty boring fare. She also employs a technique that I have long used to make quick meals taste like they've taken forever to cook: instead of water she uses chicken or beef broth when cooking. This is a fabulous technique I caught on to years ago, and one that will thrill you once you try it out. With the new "soft canned" broths available today, which can be used and then refrigerated, you can keep broth on hand and use it at will. The author was a cook before she had gastric bypass, and developed these recipes with a friend after her successful weight loss. This one gave my imagination a boost.

I also liked Recipes for Life After Weight-Loss Surgery: Delicious Dishes for Nourishing the New You (Healthy Living Cookbooks). This book was written by a nutritionist. She is not quite as creative as the other author, but she makes up for it by including some must have recipes for staple foods cooked in a new way, like oven friend chicken. My only problem with this book is that it is short on the protein. But you can supplement protein using the shakes and drinks that are readily available.
So, now I have two books to help me feed my family. I plan on trying a couple of recipes a week, and I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, here's a recipe I made up myself to help me get off the mashed potatoes and increase my protein intake.

Creamy Mashed White Beans
1 Can Great Northern White Beans
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice
Wash the lumpy stuff off of your beans in a colander. Combine ingredients in a non-stick pot and heat through. Once heated, mash beans and then stir to creamy consistency. (You can adjust oil and lemon juice to your taste.) This will yield about 2 1/2 servings, each with about 7 grams of protein.

This bean mash is great with grilled steak, and pretty much doubles your protein intake for the meal.
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