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LATINOS or ANYONE Familiar with Latin/Peruvian Culture & Food - HELP!!!



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Hi!

First off, I'm fairly new here, so if I'm posting in the wrong place, I apologize in advance. Also, VENT WARNING:

I'm scheduled to have surgery August 5th and I'm extremely excited! The only thing is, I've been thinking a lot about how much my life is going to change after surgery, especially when it comes to my relationship with food and family. I know mostly everyone here has their own battles with food, but mines start with my culture.

To give you a better picture, I grew up in a Peruvian household and still live in one. I also grew up with a lot of other Latinos and Latin food has always been a part of my life. It’s all I know. If I'm not eating Peruvian food, I'm eating Puerto Rican, or some other Latin dish. Food is important to Peruvians... EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, and I can’t stress that enough. Our portions are hugeeeeeee (which is what got me in this mess in the first place) and the food is irresistible. We have a couple hundred different types of dishes (not exaggerating) with such a wide range of ingredients coming from the Andes, the coast (sea), and the jungle.

Anyways, I'm getting ready for surgery and I have a regimen to follow. I've been shown examples of portions I will eat after surgery, I've been given ideas to try, and I've been told what I can and cannot eat. A lot of change is on its way. I'm happy I'm taking the steps to a better quality of life, but I feel like I'm getting piece of my heart ripped out my chest!!! When I talk about my food requirements after surgery with my parents, they start crying out of sadness for me! On one hand they are happy for me but on the other they feel bad that I will never be able to eat the same again. It feels like there's a funeral happening in my house. It feels like a part of me is dying, and it feels like a part of my culture is getting stripped away from me :(. I'm the only overweight person in my family so I can’t relate to anyone.

I'm not backing out of my decision or doubting it and my family is very supportive and believe I should still do it. Here are my questions though:

1. Latinos or anyone strongly influenced by your culture: HOW did you cope with losing this part of you?

2. What do you all do at family gatherings, parties, and on holidays while everyone is eating?

3. What do you eat? recipes are welcomed! I’ve been told to eat yogurt, chicken meatballs, canned Soup, and all kinds of food I'm not use to... Have you found a way to make your Latin food healthy?

4. Peruvians or Peruvian food lovers: Can you still eat things like ceviche, aji de gallina, lomo saltado, and anticucho, just minus the rice? Can your stomach handle the spice and seasonings?

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1. Latinos or anyone strongly influenced by your culture: HOW did you cope with losing this part of you? You don't loose this part. It sits on the back burner for a bit.

2. What do you all do at family gatherings, parties, and on holidays while everyone is eating? Early on I would bring my own food to events. It is hard to see everyone eat while you are limited but the more you do it the easier it gets. I see people avoid the situations, but lets be realistic, you cannot hide this way for the rest of your days. learn to deal with it and move on. I like to sit with family and friends while we eat. I used to eat more , but now I talk more.

3. What do you eat? recipes are welcomed! I’ve been told to eat yogurt, chicken meatballs, canned Soup, and all kinds of food I'm not use to... Have you found a way to make your Latin food healthy? I stuck to my teams meal plan for the first 8 months and then started to make it my own. I focus on protein and veggies, many Latin foods are both.

4. Peruvians or Peruvian food lovers: Can you still eat things like ceviche, aji de gallina, lomo saltado, and anticucho, just minus the rice? Can your stomach handle the spice and seasonings? I am Guatemalan, with 2 best friends who are Peruvian. I can handle most spicy things again, (can no longer deal with straight habanaro anymore). By 10 months out I was fine eating spicy. As for the foods above all are easy except the anticucho and lomo saltado. Beef has been real hard for me unless its ground, but I know people who have no issue, and yes rice I can no longer handle, but to me that's a good thing. 👍

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On 7/3/2019 at 3:25 PM, nenes78 said:

1. Latinos or anyone strongly influenced by your culture: HOW did you cope with losing this part of you? You don't loose this part. It sits on the back burner for a bit.

2. What do you all do at family gatherings, parties, and on holidays while everyone is eating? Early on I would bring my own food to events. It is hard to see everyone eat while you are limited but the more you do it the easier it gets. I see people avoid the situations, but lets be realistic, you cannot hide this way for the rest of your days. learn to deal with it and move on. I like to sit with family and friends while we eat. I used to eat more , but now I talk more.

3. What do you eat? recipes are welcomed! I’ve been told to eat yogurt, chicken meatballs, canned Soup, and all kinds of food I'm not use to... Have you found a way to make your Latin food healthy? I stuck to my teams meal plan for the first 8 months and then started to make it my own. I focus on protein and veggies, many Latin foods are both.

4. Peruvians or Peruvian food lovers: Can you still eat things like ceviche, aji de gallina, lomo saltado, and anticucho, just minus the rice? Can your stomach handle the spice and seasonings? I am Guatemalan, with 2 best friends who are Peruvian. I can handle most spicy things again, (can no longer deal with straight habanaro anymore). By 10 months out I was fine eating spicy. As for the foods above all are easy except the anticucho and lomo saltado. Beef has been real hard for me unless its ground, but I know people who have no issue, and yes rice I can no longer handle, but to me that's a good thing. 👍

Thank you so much! All the information you provided really helped and made me realize a lot of things. I guess I have to put what I feel behind and look at the new journey ahead of me. My family crying feeling bad hasn't helped much with this. I think I just have to see how I feel after surgery and how I adjust to my new stomach. Everyone is different. Reading about people not being able to handle spice, seasonings, and even meat really scared me. Its a learning curve, so we''ll see!

BUT I'm glad to know that certain Peruvian dishes minus the carbs still might be possible lol

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This has also been a big concern for me, but my Peruvian family has been very supportive of my decision. My boyfriend is also Peruvian and supportive of this decision, but we plan on visiting Peru when I am 6 months post op (surgery date for June 13th 2024). This will be my first time in Peru since I am from the US and we plan on doing a lot of walking around Lima, Callao as well as touring Huacachina, Ica and Las Ballestas.

If you are still active on here do you have any insight now on how your relationship with Peruvian food has changed?

I plan on staying as safe as I can abroad so making sure things are cooked thoroughly, no tap Water, only peeled fruits/veggies that are thoroughly cleaned. As well as portioning when we do eat out we plan to share dishes, I will try to order vegetarian options when possible, and if I have to/want to order my own plate I will ask for a to go box right off the bat to make sure I dont eat too much due to like you said the massive portion sizes.

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