Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Laptop Lunches

My kids are responsible for packing their own lunches. Lately they've decided this means slap a piece of lunchmeat on a piece of white bread (bad mom for buying it!), folding it in half, and calling it a sandwich. Stick in a piece of fruit that likely gets thrown away and they call it lunch. Um...notsomuch. Other times they "pack" a lunch and "forget" it and get a school lunch. The school lunches are loaded with fat and crappy simple carbs, and are completely processed foods. Again, notsomuch.

I've always tried to teach the kids good eating habits, but lunch is one that's hard to do the older they get. I can make sure they have a healthy breakfast before school, I can serve a good healthy dinner, but lunch is out the door. Since I've had gastric bypass and they're hitting the "bottomless-pit_ growth spurts, healthy eating for the whole family is even more important.

I also watched the pre-view of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution the other night. He started a re-vamp of the lunch programs in Britain and has now started in the "fattest city in the US." Seeing the resistance that he's getting from the school system and the horrible requirements from the USDA has even further steeled my resolve that it's up to ME to make sure the kids are eating healthy.

Soooo...I had been playing with the idea of "Laptop Lunches" for a long time, but couldn't bring myself to order the lunchboxes because they're kind of pricey. I finally sucked it up and ordered some yesterday and they're being delivered today. YAY!

There are tons of different websites that are dedicated to kid lunch ideas. Some of them are just obsessed. Please God, don't let me get that bad! They're great for ideas though, and once your head is in that groove it's easier to come up with your own ideas. One of my favorites, though, is EggFace. Shelly is another gastric bypass patient and she takes bento/laptop lunches with her all the time. They're high protein and healthy, so great for weight loss AND kids. If I have EF next to an idea, it's from her website and she's got a recipe listed. (Here's her site

So here's my list so far. I'm so excited to get the kids more involved in healthy lunches again!

Leftovers from dinners. Duh.
Zucchini Egg Bake squares
Whole wheat veggie pizza strips
Spinach & zucchini turkey meatloaf balls
Ham & cheese quiche squares
Mini turkey burgers
drained ramen w/shrimp
Hard Boiled Eggs (Bug's new obsession)
Tuna salad rolls
Hummus & veggies or pita chips
Tomato & mozzarella stick skewers
Fruit w/ sweetened ricotta
baked greek shrimp w cucumber salad & yogurt dipping sauce (EF)
Mini egg bites (EF)
Shrimp (coconut, southwest, whatever other flavor we can come up with)
Quesadilla wedges w/salsa
Pepperoni & cheese picks
pudding & graham crackers
taco salad
PB & fruit tortilla sushi
Roasted Veggies (EF)
Lemony Chickpea & Tuna salad (EF)
Naked chicken nuggets
Meatballs (italian, greek, sweet & sour...)

That's what I've got so far. I'll add as I think of more, or as the kids do. Tonight when we're getting lunches ready I'll slice the leftover Ricotta chicken from last night into little wheels. Yum.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Ever notice that the more you try to pile on and control every bit of life, the more precarious it becomes?  Eventually, the more you try to control, the harder you crash. 

I had come to the point that it felt like WLS was controlling every.single.aspect of my life.  Every part of my day revolved around it.  I had to make sure I was getting in all my vitamins, all my protein, all my water, and exercising.  I speak at my surgeon's seminar as a "been there, done that" patient almost every month, and I'm a support group leader.  Being a bariatric surgery patient was defining who I am.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad definition.  I'm just a control freak and I want to be the one who defines who I am, not the circumstances of my life.  I took a break from exercising for about 6 weeks...again.  The break was mostly due to craptastic weather, kids being sick, and me being sick, but I definitely used all of the above as excuses.  I didn't focus as much on how much protein I was getting in, and REALLY dropped the ball on my water.  I'm lucky I haven't ended up in the hospital from dehydration. 

And even though I fought it, WLS still had control in my life.  Lack of exercise and ignoring my protein needs left me worn out and achy, and completely without muscle tone to the point that I flat out felt weak sometimes.  My skin had broken out because of the lack of protein and water.  Instead of getting nutrient rich food and making every bite count I was eating crap.  I pushed my limits on fat & sugar.  Milano cookies?  Bring 'em on!  I can handle 12 grams of sugar, and two cookies ONLY have 10 grams!  Yeah, a McPukes cheeseburger has 12 grams of fat and 300 calories, but it ALSO ha 15 grams of protein.  I was rationalizing everything.

The worst part, though (confession time) is that I've been drinking.  A lot.  Transfer addiction much?  I started drinking around Christmas time, and I've had at least a glass of wine almost every night.  A few times I've had as much as an entire bottle, by myself.  There were days that I wanted a glass of wine fairly early in the day, and though I wouldn't let myself it still scared the crap out of me.  I kept on drinking in the evenings, anyway.  I also learned that alcohol prevents dumping for me, so I was able to take in MORE crap.  Hello empty calories!  Hello extra fat & sugar that should be knocking me on my butt!  Brian asked me to not drink for a full week, and I managed.  As soon as that week was up though, I had me a new bottle of wine!  I even rationalized the drinking, and told Brian that it was just something I needed to get through.  Yeah, a load of crap, and partially true, but essentially more rationalizing. 

I've been slowing down on the drinking.  My dad is an alcoholic and that's been in my head a LOT.  When I wanted a glass of wine earlier and earlier, I knew I was toeing a line.  I didn't drink much last week.  Brian and I did go to a winery on Saturday, and we picked up a bottle of Reisling.  (I'm not a fan of white wine anymore, all about the reds.)  We split the bottle on Saturday night, I had the last glass of it on Sunday night.  Monday, I picked up two more bottles of red, and just about polished one off by myself that night. 

That was stupid.

It hit me a lot harder than it usually does.  I had to hold on to the headboard when I went to bed to keep the room from spinning, and it really didn't do much good.  I was hung over most of the day yesterday.  Even the one other time I got flat out DRUNK, at our Christmas party, I managed to not have a hangover the next day.  Me no likey hangovers!

So I'm done with the drinking every night.  If the kids are making me insane I have to find something else to help me unwind.  If I need to relax, there are other ways.  To start off, I'm going to refill my Xanax scrip as soon as I'm done with this. ;)  I'm back to working out, and oooooooooooooohhhh it feels so much better!  I have a bottle of shiraz on the counter, and yes, I'll let myself have it...eventually.  One glass, and I'll be having a "why are we having a glass of wine" conversation before I allow myself to pour it.  "Because I'm the mommy and I said so" is no longer a reason to have a glass of wine. 

I'm finding that balance that we all need, slowly but surely.  I've finally figured out that in order to have balance we sometimes need to find a different foundation.  And it's OK.  A new foundation gives us a new spot to look out at the world from, and after all....isn't that the whole reason we go through WLS anyway?

I'm so sorry I've been gone, and especially for so long.  I've been trying to re-establish that necessary balance in my life, and as happens so often, I ended up over correcting in the wrong direction.  But I'm back now!