Your surgery limits whether you can eat and what you can eat.
Pushing the boundaries with festive food is not worth the risk after surgery to the stomach area.
If you have a gastric band, there’s a risk you could move it out of position. After gastric sleeve and roux-en-y gastric bypass, there’s a risk of tearing the cut stomach along the staple line.
Because food cannot be the focus of your celebrations this year, prepare your brain for something completely different.
After all, it’s only for one year. Christmas and New Year, like birthdays come around every year – there are plenty more around the corner.
If you are going to celebrations at someone else’s place, you need to be upfront and tell them.
Tell your hosts ahead of time that a) you won’t be eating but you’d love to enjoy their company over a drink, and b) please don’t be offended if you pick you way around the meal, but your doctor/dentist has advised you to eat very slowly and not to eat foods that need chewing.
If they don’t know you have had weight loss surgery and you don’t intend on telling them, fudge an excuse such as ‘you have had emergency tooth repairs and the dentist has said no chewing at all’ or ‘you’ve had a bug and don’t feel like much’.
Because friends know you are usually a good eater, they will notice if you don’t tell them ahead.
If you’ve booked to go out to dinner, cancel it if you can or send someone in your place! There is no way that you’ll enjoy the event and the temptation to eat will be too strong.
If the celebrations are at your place, then relax. You are in control and can develop a menu to suit your needs.
How much you can manage at a single time depends on the surgery you have had and is best discussed with your own dietitian and surgeon.
Make a special effort with festive liquids to suit both you and your guests. Take the focus off eating and put more energy into conversation and having fun.
Ideas to get you started:
Be cautious with alcohol because you may drop your guard and attempt to consume something unwise.
Don’t gamble that you’ll be safe to chew! This is a dangerous move that could cause band slippage or a torn staple line.
Remember to pace your meal out and serve only tiny amounts. You are sampling not gulping.
Rethink the menu and serve variety platters or tapas to keep that sampling feeling strong for all guests.
If anyone notices that you are eating small and you feel you must respond but don’t want them to know about the surgery, just say you’ve been picking all afternoon and have had your fill already!
Ideas to get you started:
Christmas food hampers and edible gifts!
A creative (not really) friend or relative knows how much you love food and always selects edible gifts.
It happens every year, but this year you don’t want the food so drop some hints loud and clear, right now. Plant a stack of non-edible gift ideas into their brain.
Check out my gift and wish list for starting ideas and a template to work with.
If the culprit person lives with you, place a wish list of must-haves on the fridge door or as pop-up on the computer screen.
Make a decision today about how you will deal with any edible gifts that come your way. Choose to a) don’t break the seal and re-wrap them to gift on to someone else or b) remove them from the house by taking them down to a homeless people’s shelter or c) take them into your workplace for others to devour when you return to work
Some fluid and puree-soft recipe ideas to get you thinking….
You’re bound to find other recipes that are suitable within your own collection of recipe books and clippings.
There is no need to buy a special cookbook.