Friday, November 11, 2016

Gallbladder Surgery Week one : Recovery and what to eat

I have been struggling with digestion issues for over a year now. I had been putting off going to the doctors, for fear it was all in my head. After most things I ate, I was plagued with chronic bloating and stomach ache. After months of complaining, my husband finally made me go to the digestive and liver disease specialist. We did a few test with blood work, endoscopies, and ultra sounds. We found an excessive amount of sludge and polyps in my gallbladder raising some concern. The polyps and sludge can give symptoms similar to gallstones. I met with a surgeon and they decided it was best to take it out. After sending the gallbladder to pathology, it was determined that the lining was diseased and not working property.  I am now 1 week post surgery and trying to get my life back and adjusting to a low fat diet. I did an extensive research about removing my gallbladder and what it would mean for my health. What can I eat? Will I still be sick? Will I loose weight? I am sure some of you will have those concerns as well, so I am going to document my journey and write some of my favorite recipes while recovering from surgery.

The first few weeks, you are recommended to stay on a low fat diet. This generally means no dairy, processed food,  and fatty meats, but there are also healthy fats you need to be careful of such as avocados and nuts. Generally try to keep your servings around 6-8 grams per fat if not less.

Day 1-3 post surgery:
It was hard to get anything down after surgery. I had a lot of low fat chicken noodle soup and saltine crackers the first few days with several bottles of water. Keeping hydrated and getting rest is crucial for your recovery.

Day 4-7 post surgery
I finally had an appetite on day 4. The pain meds and anesthesia can decrease your appetite quite a bit, so when you finally are ready to eat, try to keep it small and frequent meals. A lot of my breakfast consisted of toast and some jam. Lunches were salads (but be careful, some salads are loaded with fat) and soup. Dinners were a mixture between lean meats and vegetables. I also made a few low fat desserts for my sweet tooth craving!

After surgery, I lost 10 pounds!! The picture below is me 1 week before surgery vs. 1 week after. While most of the weight was water weight, I can tell the difference the low fat diet has had on my body. I am feeling so much better and thankful for the surgery. I have listed below some ideas of meals and snacks to have on your low fat diets after surgery listed below. I hope you enjoy these meals as much as I did and feel better soon!


Mornings are the hardest for me to digest food from no longer having the stored bile. I like to keep it light with either toast, fruit, or half a baked sweet potato. I also have a hard time with dairy, so I use an almond milk creamer for my coffee.

If I don't have any left overs from the previous night, I will either have a low fat lean cuisine (some are as low as 2 grams of fat!) or I will have chicken noodle soup. Panera has a few low fat options as well (Chicken noodle soup, Garden Salad, and Wonton Broth Bowl)
While I am on a low far diet, the rest of my household is not. I have tried to be conscious of making meals with low-fat options but don't force my husband to be on a diet.

The first real meal we had after surgery was seasoned pork chops on the grill with baked sweet potatoes and asparagus. Simple, clean, and easy.
Another night we did a steak salad. On mine, I had lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, low-fat steak, and salsa. My husband added avocado dressing with cheese and red wine vinegar to his.
One of my favorite dinners was the steak and eggs night! Eggs can be a litter higher in fat so I limited my self to just one. We sliced up some potatoes, boiled them, and finish frying them in the pan with just pam (to avoid using higher fat oils) and seasonings. I seared the steak in a cast iron pan and baked it to cook it thoroughly and topped with an egg and steak sauce.
I love a challenge, especially when it comes to baking and desserts. I played around with a few ideas for delicious low fat desserts. Recipes are listed below.
                       Peach Pineapple Cream Cake                   Low Fat Banana Pudding Cupcakes
You can also have froyo! Ben and Jerry's has an awesome collection of low fat frozen yogurts.

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