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WLS Chronicles ~ Dining Out

25 Apr

I had a request to put together some restaurant experience from a WLS perspective.  It is not as easy as it might seem to just eat less than you did before.  It takes some planning, tons of patience and it certainly takes a support system that understands and empathizes with what you’re going through.  Life is DIFFERENT.  It is BETTER, for sure.  But, different, nonetheless.

My first meal out was Mexican.  I ate refried beans.  They were amazing.  Cheap.  Everything.  🙂  Once I felt better about going out, it was easier to ask our server if I could eat off the kid’s menu.  I have yet to find a restaurant that denied me that chance.  I have a card from my surgeon stating that I had bariatric surgery but have not needed to “prove it” yet!

The easiest way to see my food habits is to check me out on Instagram.  Search the hashtag #whatJJate and you’ll see ALL my foodie pics!  Here are some things that I snapped pics of that have worked well for me in the last several weeks and where I had them:

Broiled Fish, Bay Breeze (Sanford, NC)

This was one of my first restaurant meals.  It was delicious.  I could only eat VERY little and to be honest it was not great reheated.  If I had an air fryer maybe it would have been better?  It was a costly dinner for what I ate so I have not had this one again!  (Note, I just was not very comfortable asking about the kid’s meal here…no knock on them, I just wasn’t prepared to talk about my surgery too much to strangers.)

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Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap, Chick-fil-A (Many times, many places!)

This is one of my faves.  It is a quick decision and as long as I have somewhere to stop and eat, it’s easy.  I usually get the avocado ranch dressing and dip it in there (sparingly).  The key to this one is SMALL bites.  One wrap is two servings for me at this time.  I peel off most of the wrap as the lettuce holds it together nicely.  I do still eat a few bites of the wrap though.

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Protein Bistro Box, Starbucks (Many times, many places)

Another great idea.  It includes apples, hard-boiled egg, grapes, white cheddar cheese and Justin’s honey peanut butter.  (It also includes a multigrain muelsi bread which I discard.)  I squeeze a little of the peanut butter on the apples – delish!  A great choice if you forget to pack your snack and need a meal on the run!  I have also taken this into restaurants if I was worried about their choices.

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{Kids Meal} Grilled chicken w/ broccoli rabe, California Pizza Kitchen (Durham, NC)

This was yummy and for sure was better than any of the regular menu options.  Yes, you can always go with a salad with some type of protein but you are paying about $12-$14 for ONE meal then.  A kids meal $4-6 will easily fill you up (protein first – then veggies to fill up) and you’re not wasting a ton of food.  I usually take the leftover veggies home to put w/ other protein meals!

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Grilled Chicken Quesadilla, Los Charros (Broadway, NC)

I usually get this with a side of guacamole to put on top of it (or pico).  I open the quesadilla up and then just eat the chicken and cheese.  I also usually let myself have TWO tortilla chips with salsa if I’m still hungry after my chicken is gone.

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{Kids Meal} Grilled chicken w/ broccoli, Outback (College Station, TX)

Easy choice here!  Order from kids menu….the chicken is really good.  You can do steak here too of course but this was before my steak days! 🙂

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Burrito Bowl, Chipotle (College Station, TX)

This looks HORRIBLE.  But it’s delish. 🙂  I get a burrito bowl w/ no rice.  Only protein of choice, beans, salsa, cheese, light on the lettuce and sour cream.  It is easily 4-6 meals for me.

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Sirloin steak, Texas Roadhouse (College Station, TX)

My first steak after surgery.  I chose to wait three months post op to have ANY steak because I like mine medium (risk of infection in your recently sewn up gut!).  It.was.amazing.  Also, it’s easy to order a REAL portion (I did 6 oz) because it’s easily divisible.  🙂  I ate this three times….ordered my two sides as a bowl of chili and a house salad.  Ate the chili for another meal and had some of the salad each time I ate the steak.  Makes that $9.99 go pretty far!

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White bean chicken chili, Lupe Tortilla (College Station, TX)

We make this a lot at home.  I think my Dad eats it about twice a month.  It’s easy to make and is packed with protein w/o having a ton of bad carbs.  The restaurant version was the same and very good.  I did not eat the tortillas w/ cheese that it came with (but I wanted to).  I ordered this from the “Starter” menu so it wasn’t the price of an entree but was two servings for me.

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Cheeseburger (no bun), green beans & mushrooms, Sodulak’s (Snook, TX)

A cheeseburger (hold the bun) is an easy choice anywhere.  Having a side like green beans is a huge bonus for me!  I was able to eat about 1/2 of this burger w/ the mushrooms on top and a few bites of green beans.

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{Kids Meal} Grilled chicken w/ broccoli, Outback (Southern Pines, NC)

Ordered from the kids menu again…and my Mom got a potato that they gave her extra cheese and bacon for…I added that to my chicken and will do that again!  Yummy!  Pretty much MOST restaurants have grilled chicken on their kids menu and some type of steamed veggie.  (Note:  I have gotten very comfy about the kids menu and don’t even feel the need to tell my life story in defense of it!)

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Fast Food Options:  OF COURSE, cooking at home – grilling, roasting, etc…. is usually best…LIFE HAPPENS.  These choices have gotten me through a meal that I might have otherwise skipped (DO NOT DO THAT).

Chick-fil-A

  • An 8 count (FRIED!) nugget entree only has 9 g of carbs and packs 28 g of protein.  My tummy tolerates these VERY well…just eat slowly!
  • Grilled chicken sandwiches (minus bun) are great!
  • Even the regular (fried) chicken sandwiches are low in carbs due to the fact that they are not heavily breaded.  (Again, no bun.)
  • Chicken Noodle Soup…the small has 18g of carbs and 12 g of protein.  (NOOOO crackers!)
  • I stay away from the salads because there is just not that much chicken in them and I have to focus on protein.

Taco Bell

  • Breakfast Soft Taco (Bacon) has only 15g of carbs and has 11 g of protein.  Again, take it SLOW and chew well.  I TRY NOT TO EAT ALL OF THE TORTILLA.  (So, I move all the contents to one side and tear off the tortilla.)
  • Beef Soft Taco Supreme has only 20 g of carbs and has 10 g of protein.  (Same tortilla note above.)

Bojangles

  • You can order a side of bacon and egg.  For real.  🙂

Cook Out

  • Burgers w/ no buns
  • Grilled chicken w/ no bun
  • Barbecue & slaw

Wendy’s

  • Burgers w/ no buns
  • Grilled chicken w/ no bun
  • Chili is a WONDERFUL option.  (small has 16g of carbs and 15g of protein)

Big T’s, Jim’s, Dairy Bar, etc…. – stick with either hamburger steak, burger w/ no bun, grilled chicken, or eat before you go with family and you can have an unsweet tea or coffee and visit and not worry about what you eat!

TRAVEL NOTES – If you’re blessed and get upgraded to First…there is usually a low carb option and MOST meals come with salads that you can put whatever “meat” (and I use that term very loosely!!) on the salad and call it a day!  Best to pack snacks that you can easily turn to though, in case they are just not serving or are only carb-loading!

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HOME CHEF/HELLO FRESH/ETC ETC ETC NOTE:  You can still do these services..you just have to watch the carbs.  Choose meals that are low-carb or that you can adapt by not eating the breads.  Most of them include sides that are relatively low on carbs (like roasted veggies) so it’s still a possibility!

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Treats:

Sugar-Free Sno-cones are the BEST!

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Perspective

7 Nov

Sometimes we get reminded of how important perspective is.  A few examples lately:

MJ is SO excited to “vote” tomorrow at school.  Many (including me) take this for granted or see it as a chore or burden.  My eight year old is looking forward to it, she did her “research” and knows who she is voting for and prepared to defend it!  Many fought for this right for all of us and we should all see it that way!  No matter your political preference or level of HAD IT with this election, I hope everyone has voted or will vote tomorrow!

I take MJ to school 99% of the time.  I won’t lie and say that I don’t take it for granted.  I am blessed to have the ability to do that.  I have since she was in K-5.  I took Christian to school for the most part until he was able to drive.  This is something that some Moms would love to do.  This morning, Mike was so happy to be able to drive MJ to school.  He’s playing in a golf tournament today and made sure he planned his morning to have the time for his baby girl.  It warms my heart mostly but it also reminds me that what one person might grumble about or not look forward to, another longs for.  What one person sees as a responsibility, another sees as a JOY.

I guess it’s fitting that I am realizing this now…in this season of THANKSGIVING.  Basically, I am hoping this reminds me to not take things for granted, to choose JOY and to be thankful for the blessings that the Lord has given me.  Maybe someone else could use a reminder too.  🙂

Letters from home

14 Aug

When your sweetheart is traveling for business, make no mistake about it…THEY MISS HOME. I speak from experience.  There is nothing like finding love notes from your loved ones in your luggage.  Do it. Overdo it. You will send a smile miles away…who doesn’t want to do that?

I like to include pics  (from Groovebook prints) and funny sayings.  Please, ladies and gents, don’t say things like “come home, I need help around the house” because that’s just rude. ☺

Say things like, “We miss your smile around the house…hope you rock that presentation!”  

My last note (usually a Friday morning) is always the shortest.  Literally it usually says…COME HOME AND KISS ME….or GET YOUR SWEET CALVES HOME…  

You get the point. And so will your sweetie. 😍

Cleaning or Cleansing?

1 Aug

Since we moved into our home three years ago, we were blessed to hire someone to clean it.  I honestly don’t know that I have ever deep cleaned the house until after I retired on 7/15.  I seriously forgot how satisfying it is to see something dirty and make it clean.  To have the vacuum lines…the clean counters…  Maybe I’m OCD more than I admit.  I love the fact that I can declutter and rearrange and my hubby comes home and notices.  Silly little things but in this season of sickness for my life, it is very rewarding to have something – anything, to feel that I have a little control over.

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