Holiday Eating After WLS & Cooking for Two

So its less than a week before Thanksgiving and all most people can think about (or at least its all I can think about) is FOOD. I’ve been doing nothing lately but making lists about what I should be making and all the things that I’ll need for the small feast that Ryan and I have planned for our at-home Thanksgiving celebration. I’ll be talking later in this post about what I’ll be making for the two of us, which will no doubt still give us plenty of leftovers. (Another post perhaps?)

Now, is anyone ready for a big surprise? Being a weight loss surgery patient has not changed the fact that I still LOVE food. I just can’t help myself. We need to eat in order to live, right? Sooooo, if its a requirement for life, why not really enjoy it, too? Finding a balance between good-for-you and damn-good-for-your-tastebuds foods has become a bit of an obsession of mine. I’m constantly on the lookout for healthier (and protein packed) versions of “cheat” foods… especially sweets! My Instagram has tons and tons of recipes I’ve tried over the last year or so.. and I’ll be slowly adding them here for quick reference. In the meantime, let me know if there are any you’ve seen that you’d like added!

Being a fairly new member of the WLS community (sleeved on 16-June-2014) I’ve only endured one holiday and I came out relatively unscathed! I only gained seven pounds! Now, I admit, at the time that was heartbreaking to me but being less than six month post-op, I continued to lose after I got back into my regular eating habits. Even at this point, being more than a year out, if  I fall off the wagon (as I have as recently as two weeks ago.. a story for another time, perhaps), getting back into a steady, mindful eating routine sets my body back on track to help me lose whatever excess I may have gained from my less-than-quality choices.

That’s the thing about the holidays.. lots of people (myself included) fall out of routine and use it as an excuse to have “just one more cookie. OK, maybe two more…”

Its when we extend past the holidays and make our “juuuust one more” philosophy a regular occurrence that we start to see the scale creep up again. That scale is a tricksy bastard, he is…

So, I like to try to use the holidays as an exercise in moderation, rather than an excuse to overeat.. it doesn’t always work… but I do what I can.

But being a weight loss surgery patient shouldn’t restrict you from enjoying the foods you love.

What surgery does is limit the amount you can take in at one time. Now does that mean you should try and space out two dozen chocolate chip cookies over the course of the day so you can justify having them? Uuuh.. no. Please don’t. But don’t let your fear of (possibly) gaining a couple pounds stop you from indulging in the flavors of the season.. within reason, of course.

Now, seeing how this is only my second holiday post-op, I’m going to try to make my own wls-approved Thanksgiving for two this year. Which will probably be more like 4, seeing how I’ll still have leftovers for daaaaaaaays.

(This page is still under construction, so if there recipes aren’t linked yet, have patience! They’re coming!)

Here’s what’s on the menu for us this year:

Turkey (duh) but I didn’t buy a huge bird. I got some individual turkey breast tenderloins from the market instead. While not totally price-effective, at least I know I’ll be able to go through all of it with little/no waste.

Mashed red potatoes with gravy. I don’t eat potatoes often (or ever, really) so this is definitely not modified for WLS patients… just a small indulgence! 

Low-sugar cranberry sauce (in the crock pot… holy shit, I know!)

Sweet bread stuffing… another non-WLS approved item.. again, making stuff I love for the sake of the season. I don’t ever have any bread on hand besides the Portuguese sweet bread (its Ryan’s, I swear), so I’m going to use that instead of white bread in my stuffing recipe and see how it turns out.

Pumpkin cheesecake vanilla protein pudding I used this along with the pumpkin protein brownies in the trifle recipe earlier in this post!

Banana protein cheesecake with honey fried bananas.

Green bean casserole. Ryan is in charge of this one… simple, satisfying, but no WLS modification.

WHEW. You might not think that’s a whole lot of food, but trust me, I’ll have Thanksgiving feasts for a week.

I’m a (near)-obsessive food tracker. I use MyFitnessPal and a digital kitchen scale to weight and measure out everything that I eat.

Thanksgiving will be no exception. 

I may give myself some additional “wiggle room” in my calorie intake as a bit of a celebration of the holiday, but I’m still trying to stay mindful of quantity. If I had to guess, this is what my Thanksgiving plate would look like:

2-3oz turkey (protein first, bitches)
and then small spoonfuls of:
         mashed taters (and lots of gravy)
         stuffing (and lots of gravy)
         cranberry sauce (AND LOTS OF GRAVY. Just kidding. I’m not a huge fan of cranberry sauce, so I really just want to try it to say I did.. you can’t make something and then not have a least some)
         green bean casserole (mostly beans, very few fried onions.. need some color on that plate!)

What you see here is 2.4oz turkey; 3 baby carrots; 1oz mashed potatoes; 1/2 of a stuffin’ muffin, 1tbs green bean casserole; 1 tbs cranberry sauce. It took me over an hour to eat it all!

Dessert is when it all goes to hell and I’m having one of everything, so let’s not even go there, OK? But it has protein in it, so its good for you!! Right??!


What I’m trying to say, I guess, is try not to limit the types of food you have this holiday season… just limit the amount you have. Everything in moderation, man. Its not that you CAN’T have cake, pie, turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, and everything else. Just… not all at once. Take your time to enjoy the company of your friends, family and loved ones. Your tummy will thank you when you’re not sick and in a food coma like everyone else 😉

If you have any questions or comments (or suggestions!) leave them in the comment section. I want to know how you’ll be spending Thanksgiving this year! Any veteran sleevers out there have any additional advice? Sound off and let’s connect!


Join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s