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Thanksgiving – What to Pass and What to Pass On After Gastric Bypass

There it is, stretched out before you like an oasis in the desert.  Spread out on that table is probably a good chunk of the reason you needed gastric bypass surgery in the first place.

I myself have waddled away from the table after having multiple helpings of my mom’s bread stuffing.  And my stepfather always knows where to go to get the best Thanksgiving pies – and he usually gets several, even if there aren’t going to be too many people for dinner.  And God bless my dad – he married into an Italian family.  Who  knew there was a pasta course with Thanksgiving dinner?

But now that you’ve had your surgery, Thanksgiving dinner is like a table full of land mines, waiting to take you out.  Stick with a few simple rules, and together, we’ll get you through so you can be up at the crack of dawn to do your Black Friday shopping.

RULE NUMBER ONE – Protein, baby, protein!  And lucky you!  There’s 20 pounds of it sitting right there, center stage.  If you’re cooking, make sure you’re extra careful to keep the turkey moist.  Baste often, cover with foil for the early stages of cooking, and start checking the temperature at the earliest point in your “done” window.  Dry turkey can be a beast to get down into a gastrically altered tummy, and stuck bird will ruin your whole day.

RULE NUMBER TWO – Vegetables are not covered in cheese, bread crumbs, or marshmallows.  And if they are at your table, move to a different table.  For some of you, vegetables are hard to eat, especially raw.  But plan to have something your pouch can tolerate.

Those candied yams might go down nice and easy, but you dumpers will regret it when you’re laying on the bathroom floor, bargaining with God that if he lets you live through that delicious praline topping on the sweet potatoes, you won’t allow a sugar into the house for Christmas.  And even if you don’t dump, should you really be eating a vegetable with a marshmallow topping after gastric bypass surgery?  Probably not.  And believe me, I’ve got so much sugar on top of my sweet potato casserole, it crunches when you dig the serving spoon into it.  If you want something sweet, bake some sweet potatoes, top them with a little cinnamon and some butter (don’t overdo the butter); or have some steamed baby carrots.  Even some sweet baby peas will add a bit of sugar to your holiday meal.

RULE NUMBER THREE – Starches are your mortal enemy.  Voldemort.  The Joker.  Lex Luther.  Ban them from the table, or at least ban them from your end of the table.  Potatoes are a pariah.  Stuffing is a sin.  Casseroles are criminal.

Load your end of the table with a delicious salad.  Throw in some chopped pecans and a handful of dried cranberries so you’ll have the taste and texture of some of the things you think you’re missing.  Make mock mashed potatoes with cauliflower, or if your family has a pasta course, make your course with spaghetti squash.  You can probably eat way more starches than you should, they aren’t of any real nutritional value to you, and you can’t convince me that throwing sausage or oysters into your dressing qualifies it as a protein.  Skip the starches.

THE CARDINAL RULE – I know it’s the cardinal rule because it’s red 😉

Anyway – the cardinal rule of Thanksgiving is to make yourself a sugar free dessert.  It’s just not going to be Thanksgiving if you don’t have something indulgent.  A beautiful low carb pumpkin cheesecake on the table will give you something to really look forward to that you can enjoy relatively guilt free (don’t eat the whole thing, but have a slice!).  Put a fruit salad on the table – you’ll be surprised at how many people will reach for seconds on fresh fruit, or take a smaller piece of pecan pie, and use the fruit as an accompaniment.  And if you finish your piece of cheesecake, the fruit will be there for you to pick at instead of nibbling your way through a second piece of dessert.

Keep in mind the real meaning of Thanksgiving.  It’s not a holiday meant to celebrate food.  Thanksgiving is a holiday to cherish the meaning of family, friends, and the wonderful blessings you’ve been given.  It’s nice to gather around a bountiful table, but spend at least a little time, when the table is clear, to appreciate the REAL things you have to be thankful for – wonderful family, good friends, and a thinner, healthier you!

The End of Daylight Savings Time 2010

Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend.  Don’t forget to turn your clocks BACK when you go to bed Saturday night.  You don’t want to be late for the sermon on Sunday morning.  When else will Dad get that mid-morning nap in?  He’ll be a bear all day!

And the most important thing about the end of Daylight Savings Time? Remember to change the batteries and test all of your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. You never know when some crazy woman will allow her legally blind husband to try to make a frozen pizza, and he’ll set the oven on fire.  Make sure those smoke detectors are in working order!

Mickey Mouse firefighter daylight savings time 2010

Now is also a good time to go over a family emergency evacuation plan with everyone, especially the kids. Make sure everyone knows how to call 911 or your local emergency number, and don’t forget to have a spot outside where everyone is to meet in case you have to evacuate your home!

And enjoy that extra hour of sleep!  I know I will – if I’m not doing Algebra homework!

Project Runway Season 9 – Will You Watch or Won’t You?

He wuz robbed 🙁

And I’m sorry to be posting this more than a week after the finale, but it was just too hard to wrap my head around the fact that Gretchen won.

I can’t even begin to tell you how sad I was when Mondo Guerra, the odds on favorite to win this thing at Fashion Week, lost his bid to become the next big hit on the runway.  Not only was I sad for Mondo – who was not my early favorite, but I was sad for the show.

I have sat through season after season, retching over designs I thought resembled clown costumes.  I’ve seen outrageous outfits parade down that runway to the ooohhhhs and aaaahhhhs of the discriminating judges panel.  I saw Christian Siriano take the whole damn thing the year he was working on his collection – were his fashions “sellable”?  Wearable?

Mondo was more “fashion forward”, and while you probably don’t see things like that every day down at the WalMart, his designs certainly had a wearable factor to them.  They were young, they were hip, they were trendy.

Gretchen’s clothes were played, dated, old fashioned, dull.

And she was a bitch.  She criticized every designer.  She blatantly mocked Michael Costello.  She had a dour look on her face for the entire season.

And she walked away the winner.

I just don’t know what the judges are looking for, and I think this season in particular they seemed inconsistent in their criticisms.  Mondo shined.  He was bold, he took chances, he played with color, but used black and white.  He was everything they seemed to look for in every other season.

I agree with Tim Gunn.  There had to be a crack pipe hidden somewhere near the judges.

Will I watch Project Runway Season 9?  I can’t wait.

McRib Gastric Bypass Review

I know what you’re thinking.  Didn’t you NEED gastric bypass surgery compliments of a few too many McRib sandwiches?

This isn’t going to be a “Forget it!  It’s bad for you” review.  Actually, according to McDonald’s nutritional facts, the McRib has less calories than a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder with cheese.  It has nearly 300 less calories than the Angus Bacon cheeseburger.  It even has less calories than some of their breakfast sandwiches.

McRib is back and here is gastric bypass review
There are 22 grams of protein in the sandwich, and it is quite easy to eat off of the bun.

So when compared to say a McDonald’s Southwest Ranch chicken salad, the McRib has about the same number of calories, more protein, and is way easier to eat.

I’m not telling you to have one for every meal.  But if you’re out with your family and want to grab a quick dinner somewhere, this isn’t your worst choice.  Just skip the fries.  And the soda.  You shouldn’t be drinking it anyway.

Thanks, Jim, for spiffing up this underwear ad. I know it took a lot out of you.

Would You Like a Side of Flu With That?

Starbucks.  Every morning.  Same drink.  Every morning.  Same baristas. Almost every morning.

This morning was a relatively new girl.  I’ve only seen her maybe twice before.  She’s nice enough, pleasant at the drive through, no problems.

Until this morning.

I pull up to the window, and in a gravelly voice she says, “How you doin’?” (because I live in Jersey, where we all talk like this)  I say, “Good! How you doin’?”

And she says,

Oh my God, I am so sick!

Okay, is it just me?  Do you want the person who is mixing your drink, without gloves on, putting your lid on your cup – you know, the lid that will eventually touch your mouth – announcing that she’s sick?  And not just “sick” but “so sick”?

Honey, could you do me a favor?  Stay the hell home or tell me you have a gravelly voice because you stayed up all night drinking and smoking cigarettes.  Or cigars.  I’d much rather leave the drive through window shaking my head at some crazy kid who had the energy to stay up drinking and smoking and still make it for an early shift at work than scrambling to find my anti-bacterial gels, wipes, and sprays.

Ugh.  And me without a flu shot.

Frugal Christmas Gifts for Your Husband – Avoid Giving Another Tie!

Let’s face it.  He’s the one person in your life you know better than anyone else. So why are you stumped at Christmas time?  You should instinctively know what to get him, right?

Well, it’s not always the case in my house.  While there are some things that scream “perfect gift” for my husband, they usually scream at someone else rather than at me.  Like the electric nose hair trimmers.  Or the audio books gift certificate.  I usually scratch my head and ask “Why didn’t I think of that?”

And that’s because I am trying to find the not so practical on a budget.  Would he like the 52″ flat panel TV, so he could see Peter Griffith’s nose hairs?  Sure he would.  I’d like to look like Heidi Klum, too.  We can see how that worked out.

So, for the man in your life who doesn’t want another tie, another pair of Simpsons boxer shorts, or anything that you find in the $10 Christmas gift display at Target, here are some thoughts.

The Homemade Coupon Book – Go ahead and laugh.  I think this may have been the most popular gift I ever gave my husband.  You can fill it with practical things if you have a practical guy – like a coupon for you to take the trash out one week, or you’ll take the car in for an oil change.  Or you can fill it with things that benefit you – like a date night that you do all the planning for, including lining up a sitter.  My husband prefers the coupons that offer back rubs and foot massages, which usually works out well for me as well, as he often reciprocates!

Something from the Kids – There are some adorable things your kids can make for dad!  How about a t-shirt with your kids painted footprints on it, with the words “My Kids Walk All Over Me” written on it?  Or a t-shirt with their hand prints and their names that says “Daddy’s Little Helpers” or “Best Dad – Hands Down”.

Never under estimate the power of baked goods.  The dad in our house would be thrilled with some white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  They are by far his favorite, and the bonus here is that he’ll share them with the kids.  It’s a win/win!

Other options are plans for an inexpensive day out.  Take dad to mini-golf and for an ice cream, or take the football to the park and treat him to a hot dog after a game of catch.

Dad will be thrilled to have a gift that won’t take up space in his closet or collect dust on his desk, but he’ll be even happier that you’ve kept the budget in mind!