Supplements are very important, especially to anyone who is post-op gastric bypass (roux en y) surgery. Because we can’t take in enough nutrients from the food we eat, it’s essential that we take vitamins in order to give our bodies the vitamins and minerals that they need. One very important supplement is iron. Iron assists with regulating the amount of hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying component of blood, so needless to say, it’s pretty important to make sure there’s a sufficient amount of it there! Without enough iron, iron deficiency sets in. Common symptoms of iron deficiency (often referred to as anemia) include:
- low energy levels / tiring easily
The easiest way to combat, or better yet prevent, iron deficiency is by adding a supplement to your daily regimen of vitamins. I take an iron supplement every night. My biggest complaint about iron supplements is the abdominal discomfort – the outright pain that they cause. Iron supplements have also been known to cause diarrhea and constipation, though by far the biggest complaint seems to be the general abdominal discomfort. In the past I’ve just dealt with it, and have made sure to take my iron supplement right before bed, so I could sleep through the discomfort.
Then I had the opportunity to try Feosol Complete. Feosol Complete is a special type of iron supplement that contains two types of iron, heme (HIP) and non-heme (PIC), in each tablet, offering a total of 28mg per tablet (one dose per day is the recommendation). The inclusion of two types of iron means that the supplement breaks down and is absorbed in two different ways, which can reduce or outright eliminate abdominal discomfort.
I have been taking Feosol Complete, and I can’t recommend this iron supplement enough. I’ve deliberately been taking these iron supplements earlier in the evening in order to fully put them through their paces, and I’ve had no abdominal discomfort whatsoever! The tablets may be a little larger than the standard small circular-shaped iron supplements, but if the trade-off is a comfortable iron supplement that gives me what I need with no side effects? I’ll take it!
You can purchase Feosol Complete for a suggested retail price of $19.99 for a 30-ct bottle at many pharmacies and retailers.
Disclosure: Feosol provided me with free products in exchange for my honest opinion.
In the history of our relationship, weight-wise, I have been bigger than my husband for over 3/4 of our time together (12 years as of August 16th, 2012!), so I’m still reveling in the sometimes-still-surprising fact that I am now smaller than he is. When we met, in the summer of 2000, I was around 240 lbs. Five years later, I was 300 lbs. Four years later, in 2009, I was at my heaviest – 330 lbs. Ugh. All along, his weight remained pretty stable. When we met he was in the 180s, and now, at his heaviest, he’s just over 200 lbs. So at my heaviest, I outweighed him by nearly 150 lbs. That is a lot, people. Here are some pictures to illustrate the weight/year timeline:
In August of 2010, I reached 199 lbs, aka ONEderland. And a few pounds after that, I officially weighed less than my husband. Currently, two years since then, I hover between 160-162, and my husband is currently around 205 lbs – so there’s just about 40 lbs between us. Quite frankly, I’m fine with that gap. And I’m fine if he stays right where he’s at, while I continue to work my way down to 150.
My minimum daily protein requirement is 60g. I try to shoot for 80g-90g, simply because more protein = more energy, and better metabolism/weight loss. Here’s how I generally get enough protein in from day to day:
Breakfast: protein shake (4-6 oz. of cold water + 1-2 scoops of protein powder – 1 scoop = 30g of protein)
Lunch: protein shake (same as above) or Greek yogurt (15g – 17 of protein, depending on the brand)
Dinner: something meaty or bean-y (anywhere from 12g – 15g of protein, depending on how many ounces)
In between breakfast and lunch I’ll typically have a snack consisting of a half-sized protein shake, or Greek yogurt, or low-fat string cheese, or a dollop of peanut butter on a Ritz cracker; and before dinner or after dinner I will have another full-sized protein shake.
Really, the only way I’m able to get in a sufficient amount of protein every day is to make sure at least 2/3 of my protein requirements come from my protein shakes. Otherwise there’s just no way I can consume enough solid food to get what I need.
Rickland Orchards was one of many brands that was present at BlogHer ’12, but they were one of the ones that stuck out in my mind because they were promoting their Greek yogurt products. If you’re a post-op gastric bypass patient that’s reading this, then you’ve no doubt perked up a bit: Greek yogurt, after all, is an excellent source of protein, especially because it provides even more protein than the standard kind of yogurt does.
Rickland Orchards kindly loaded me up with one of each flavor of their Greek yogurt bars: apple & honey, blueberry acai, cherri almond, cranberry almond, orchard peach, and toasted coconut. I gave a few to my friend Amanda, who had gastric bypass surgery last month, and the rest I stashed in my house, in my purse, and in my car. Each bar is nutritious, containing 7g of protein (not bad for a non-perishable, travel-friendly food!) and 5g of fiber. The sugar content isn’t too bad, either, which each bar containing between 7g and 12g of sugar.
The bars themselves? Delicious. They’re crunchy, yet soft and gooey enough to be enjoyable by people with all texture preferences – you don’t have to really crunch down on them and chew hard like so many granola/protein bars require you to do, yet there’s still a satisfying crunch. And the inclusion of the delicious Greek yogurt, which coats and is also throughout each bar, is awesome as far as protein and taste goes. If you’re a post-op who is looking for non-perishable, delicious snack/travel-friendly options, definitely consider trying Rickland Orchards Greek yogurt bars. You can buy them at shop.ricklandorchards.com for $1.79 per bar, or get them in packs of 12 or 48 in order to save more with a bulk purchase.
Disclosure: Rickland Orchards provided me with complimentary products.
For post-op gastric bypass patients, there’s only one type of yogurt you want to eat: the Greek kind. This yogurt typically has two to three times more the amount of protein in it than the regular stuff does. The downside is that you lose out on taste, big time. There’s just something about Greek yogurt in particular. It’s not as smooth as regular yogurt, and it has this thick, almost chalkiness to it, and then there’s the typical protein-y aftertaste. But I’m not being entirely fair here, because I need to disclose: I don’t like yogurt. Nevertheless, I consume several single-serving containers of it a week, and on some days, in order to ration/stretch out how much protein powder I have left, 2-3 containers per day.
This is my 7-day pill box (it has 4 compartments for each day: morning, lunch, afternoon, and evening):
Well, that’s one of them. I have four of them altogether. This way I can set up a month’s worth of vitamins at a time, as opposed to just a week’s worth. Vitamins are very important for all post-op patients, and if you want to feel and look your best, and provide your body with what it can no longer get sufficient amounts of via food, then be prepared to take vitamins. And by vitamins, I mean real vitamins: so put down the damn Flintstone’s and Gummi Bears and be prepared to hit up GNC, CVS, Rite-Aid, or even your local Target’s vitamin aisle for real, honest-to-goodness, vitamin-rich vitamins that will provide you with what you need – because 1-2 kids’ chewables per day just won’t cut it.
Keep in mind that you should always speak to your doctor, or better still your bariatric surgeon or a nutritionist/dietitian before stocking up on vitamins, but in general, here are a post-op’s daily vitamin goals:
The Very Important Ones:
Calcium (citrate): 1,500 mg (minimum)
Vitamin B-12: 1,000 mg per week or 2.5 mcg (2,500 mcg) per day
Vitamin D: 1,500 iu
Iron: 18-30 mg
Vitamin A: 5,000 iu
Vitamin C: 225 mg
Now, here’s what I take. Again, please consult your doctor, surgeon, or nutritionist/dietitian, as I am none of those.
Calcium: 800 mg
Vitamin B-12: 3,000 mcg
Vitamin D: 2,000 iu
Calcium: 800 mg
Vitamin C: 500mg
Iron: 18 mg
Fiber supplement (to keep things “regular” since I cannot tolerate much in the way of fibrous/leafy vegetables): 2
One of my most dreaded seasons as a fat chick was summer. And even up until this summer summertime was still my most dreaded season. Why? Not the sweating, though sweating is of course unpleasant. No, it’s the rubbing. The chafing. The oh-so-dreaded chub rub. Have you ever had it, specifically between your thighs? Ergh. So painful. I learned quickly and painfully as a teenager that it was best to stick to jeans and capris, to avoid chub rub. The few times I did have it resulted in walking bow-legged, and sleeping sprawled like a starfish with diaper rash ointment slathered all over my thighs. In the two years before my surgery, the few times I wore a skirt, I wore knee-length Spanx for the sole purpose of preventing chub rub – my thighs felt — and glided against one another — like they were coated in Teflon, so chafing was a definite non-issue.
Fortunately, there are some products available that can assist with preventing chub rub. One such product hails from EdenFantasys.com, and it’s called Happy Hooters. Touted as a “female comfort lotion” that “helps keep you dry”, Happy Hooters is designed for use under and between the breasts, but honestly that is one place I never had any real issues with chafing or other discomfort. No, my issue was thighs. And even though I have lost half of my body weight (+4 additional pounds), because I’m still bottom heavy (thanks, Polish & German bloodlines), and I have some loose skin on my upper thighs, chafing can still sometimes be an issue.
I have used Happy Hooters a few times this summer, with excellent results: comfortable, chafe-free thighs!
You can purchase this product here for $12.99, though right now it’s on sale for $10.39, and if you use coupon code ES2, you’ll save an additional 15%.