Saturday, June 22, 2013

Damn you, Paula Deen.

It's always kind of a sad deal when someone who has always been a "friend in your head" disappoints you in some way. I'm looking at you, Alec Baldwin.

Being from the South, I always kind of liked what Paula Deen represented. Or maybe she just reminded me of one of my mom's crazy ass friends. You know the one...they're in the Junior League with your mom, but they really don't seem like they belong there. Like they may or may not have a bottle of hooch in their pocketbook. She just seemed like a fun time. The whole thing is beyond disappointing, but it is forcing some conversations to take place that we've needed to have for quite a while.

Anywho...over the years I've made many a PD recipe. I even have a couple of her cookbooks. And yes I've added all the butter, and all the cheese, and it was yummy every damn time.

But I am getting WAY ahead of myself. I'm sorry. Where are my manners? I haven't even introduced myself. My name is Julie, I live in the South, and on Friday, June 7th, 2013, I got the lap band.

You must understand that I come from a family and a culture that is deeply rooted in food. We plan our next meal while we're eating our current one. We celebrate with food, we comfort each other with food, we bond over food. It's just the way it is. Not surprisingly, a lot of us end up overweight and unhealthy. Like me. I was the only 5th grader at Weight Watchers, the "biggest" member of my high school dance team, and the deeply unhappy young adult that decided to do something about it. From January 2000 through July of 2002, I lost 150 pounds. How? 1200 calories a day and lots and lots of Tae Bo. To this day I have a deep affection for Billy Blanks. I had never been happier. I was 28 years old and I had finally conquered my weight problem once and for all. Or so I thought. Years went by. I worked. I traveled. I met my husband. Priorities shifted, life was lived, and slowly but surely nearly every pound came back. Except this time, at 38, the problems had multiplied. My knees were getting worse by the day, I could barely exercise, and I was losing hope quickly. I didn't have that 28 year old metabolism anymore, and my motivation was nowhere to be found.

I am deeply ashamed to say that I always viewed weight loss surgery as the easy way out. I think this had a lot to do with the fact that I lost an enormous amount of weight "on my own". I went to my first lapband seminar as a skeptic. But a skeptic with an open mind. As the doctor began to speak, he began to address every one of my thoughts and fears as if he was reading my mind. I left there feeling a weird emotion that I hadn't felt in a long, long time. Hope.

When I began my journey, the very first thing I did was search for blogs. Luckily I found them. And I read them...some of them from the very beginning. Every single post. I learned so much. The things they never tell you at the seminar. The things you really need to know. Karin? Amy W? They are total rockstars and my constant inspiration. Go read their blogs. Go now.

When I began to think about blogging I started to worry. What could I possibly have to say that hadn't already been said, and way better than I could ever say it? What could I bring to the party?

The number one question that I am asked by my family and friends is "what do you eat?" Or sometimes even "what do you GET to eat?" This gave me a great idea. I'm going to blog about it. I'm going to post photos of my daily eats along with nutrition info, and the occasional recipe.

I don't mind telling you that I can throw down in the kitchen. And I'm not talking about "throwing down" in a Bobby Flay sort of way. Which, as far as I can tell, involves way too much chipotle marinade. I hope to give you some great ideas, some slimmed down versions of old favorites, and options at your favorite restaurants. We eat out a LOT. There will most certainly be some repetition. Maybe the same meals two days in a row. My aim is to give you a real life depiction of what someone with a lapband really eats.

Today is my first day of "real food". I did a two week pre-op diet, and for the past two weeks I have done both clear and full liquids. A week of each. It wasn't so bad, and I've lost quite a bit of weight already.

As anyone who has been on a liquid diet can tell you, you spend quite a bit of time planning what that first real meal will be. I went back and forth quite a bit, but I have to say that today's menu has not disappointed one tiny, little bit.

I began my morning with coffee, like any rational person does. Except this was no ordinary cuppa joe. I added a touch of fat free half and half, and a half scoop of Chocolate Splendor Unjury. Don't even get me started on Unjury. I should really buy stock in the company.

For breakfast: a creamy scrambled egg and a dollop of luscious ricotta. I texted this photo to my mother and she said..."Looks good! Is that a biscuit?" Oh mother, you are precious. And yes I know that banana in the background has seen better days. I kinda like 'em like that!

For lunch: some Virginia smoked ham (ended up eating half of that), a scoop of Kalamata tapenade, and some divine fresh mozzarella.

For dinner: And this is where it all comes back to Paula Deen. I knew I'd get there eventually. :) This a lightened up version of Poppy Seed Chicken casserole. The original version has a stick of butter and a carton of sour cream. Delicious, yes. Healthy, no. I have eaten this at potlucks, wakes, picnics, etc. for years. If you like creamy comfort food, this will be your jam. You cannot tell anything is missing at all. It's simply yummy. Here's the recipe: Along with some green beans seasoned with Cavender's Greek Seasoning. A staple around these parts.

The total for the day.

And guess what? I'm having the exact same menu tomorrow. A day of deliciousness like this? I don't mind repeating that at all! :)

Thanks for reading!


  1. Have you tried ViSalus shakes? I loved them much more then Unjury. It's the shake that tastes like a cake. I just add my own flavors as it only comes in one flavor so if I want Chocolate I add some sugar free Jello pudding powder into my shake same thing with the Cheese cake flavor, I have even made coffee shakes.

    1. I've never tried them, but a co-worker of mine swears by them. She says they are delicious too, and LOVES the cheesecake flavor the most.

      Thank you SO much for checking out my blog!

  2. Those are really good meal ideas! I'm not banded yet (shooting for a September Band-Day), but I think I will try that chicken dish, it sounds so easy to make!

    1. I think you will really like it. Neither my husband or I thought it was any less delicious than the full fat version either.