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Life Abroad with VSG



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Hello,

I am so glad to have found this forum right before my surgery. I am an American, but I currently live in Egypt and I will be getting my VSG on January 26th! I have lived in 4 countries in the past 3 years, which has led to poor choices in food and exercise. I think it's mainly because of adjusting to local food, navigating what food you are buying (sometimes there aren't even nutritional labels), and as I previously loved late runs at night that is something I left behind states side because in some countries I have lived in it is considered quite odd and you get lots of uncomfortable stares. I know it's a long shot, but I wonder if there are any people with a similar situation? Also, for my main question does anyone have any advice on simple at-home exercise routines to start after post-op (once it's safe of course)? Or just generally good foods that can be eaten without worrying about specifics of nutritional values that aren't the basics of meats and vegetables? Even yogurt sometimes stresses me out because I know it can have high sugar content. Before going down the VSG path I kind of gave up on the food selection because it was impossible to know what is in everything. Alternatively, if anyone has found any great resources for limited ingredient recipes, I would love suggestions!

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Try pintest for recipes

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Recipe ideas: Pinterest or Skinnytaste

Workout Ideas: YouTube has great short 10 minute low impact workouts that you can do after VSG. You can do anything, like walking in place, short walks, etc. immediately and I highly recommend walking immediately after surgery, but no weight lifting for 4 weeks, nothing more than 10 lbs I think.

Foods: Without nutritional labels to see if it's sugar-free or not, that's a tough one. Obviously meats are high Protein which is good. Cheeses have protein. Can't go wrong with meat and cheese. You already know about fresh veggies and fruits. No, I'm lost without my food labels. Sorry.

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1 minute ago, GradyCat said:

Recipe ideas: Pinterest or Skinnytaste

Workout Ideas: YouTube has great short 10 minute low impact workouts that you can do after VSG. You can do anything, like walking in place, short walks, etc. immediately and I highly recommend walking immediately after surgery, but no weight lifting for 4 weeks, nothing more than 10 lbs I think.

Foods: Without nutritional labels to see if it's sugar-free or not, that's a tough one. Obviously meats are high Protein which is good. Cheeses have Protein. Can't go wrong with meat and cheese. You already know about fresh veggies and fruits. No, I'm lost without my food labels. Sorry.

Thank you for the suggestion! I have been looking at Pinterest and I think I may not have narrowed down my key terms well enough. I've also been looking at pre-op diets, but it's all Powerade, Jell-O, and specific brand beverages which seem to have electrolytes... I just haven't ever found anything like that here. I'll keep poking around tho for ideas. I haven't looked at skinnytaste much so I will have to check it out. I feel like I'm working from a bit of a disadvantage since most popular recipes books have a lot of ingredients I don't usually have access to, I got out of habit from hunting for the right recipes for a while.

Also, thanks for the workout ideas- I'll take that advice

Anyway, after perusing the site a bit more I think I might have made this post under the wrong forum- as I now see one more specific for food and nutrition. (Sorry, I'm a Newbie)

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For foods: Stick to whole foods. You don't need any premade, prepackaged, Keto or bariatric foods. meats, cheese, fruits & veggies, eggs, etc. If you buy ingredients and make your own meals, you don't need to worry about nutrition labels. I know it seems boring, but the trick is to switch up flavors (Spanish, Asian, etc. etc.) and figure out what you like. Cottage cheese, jerkey, Protein bars/shakes, hummus, and things like that are all generally very safe bets as well.

Recipes: Look in the forums here, Pinterest, or online for cookbooks. Also, find support from a registered dietician if you can - @theguacwarddietitian, @bariatric.meal.prep, @bariatricchefboyrd, and @mybariatricdietitian on IG are all great, as is @BariNation.

Exercise: Fitness Blender (website or YouTube) and Get Fit With Rick (website or YouTube) are great resources for at home workouts. They both have a wide variety from super beginner to super advanced, many that do not require any equipment at all.

Pre-Op Diet: This varies WIDELY from surgeon to surgeon. Some require a period of liquids only, some have a whole foods, low carb based approach. Your surgeon should be telling you exactly what they expect you to be doing pre-op.

Lastly, please make sure you are having this conversation with your surgeon. They should be providing you with nutritional guidance, meal plan resources, etc.

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you live in Egypt??? Send me a mummy LOL :)

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I find its easier to buy plain or plain Greek yogurt. No need to look at labels then. I add my favourite sweetener or honey and fruits. In Egypt I would be eating figs and dates with it. If you struggle to get Protein Shakes, Use a tip that I was given, drink skimmed milk with a tablespoon of milk powder added to bump up the Protein. I added fruit and occasionally Peanut Butter to it and blended it smooth. You can add yogurt to this too.

If you say what kinds of foods you want to cook the people on here can give you the recipes

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I’m with @Sleeve me alone!. Stick to fresh ingredients & prep your own meals. Add your favourite herbs & spices as you’re able. You’ll find to begin you’ll tolerate a more simple diet more easily & meals may just be Protein.

Can you order Protein Shakes online because they will be the focus of your post surgical diet for the first couple of weeks.

Do products you can buy list the ingredients? They tend to list ingredients in order of amount used so if sugar is high on the list avoid it. Many manufactures list nutritional content of their products online too so you could try that.

I’m a big make it myself person but I rarely follow recipes. Once you have a few basic recipes you can vary ingredients & boost them up however you want. You can make Soup & stew like dishes without a recipe from almost whatever meat, vegetables, legumes you have in your fridge, freezer or pantry. I keep tins of Beans, lentils & tomatoes, stock & gravy powders in my pantry - you don’t have to worry too much about their sugar, salt, fat & carb content - & they can be easily used in a variety of dishes. I’m making a no recipe soup this weekend: chicken thighs in the freezer, lentils in the pantry & will add, celery, onion, carrot, chicken stock, some herbs, garlic, ginger. Done & yum!

All the best.

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On 1/20/2022 at 5:14 PM, Sleeve_Me_Alone said:

For foods: Stick to whole foods. You don't need any premade, prepackaged, Keto or bariatric foods. meats, cheese, fruits & veggies, eggs, etc. If you buy ingredients and make your own meals, you don't need to worry about nutrition labels. I know it seems boring, but the trick is to switch up flavors (Spanish, Asian, etc. etc.) and figure out what you like. Cottage cheese, jerkey, Protein bars/shakes, hummus, and things like that are all generally very safe bets as well.

Recipes: Look in the forums here, Pinterest, or online for cookbooks. Also, find support from a registered dietician if you can - @theguacwarddietitian, @bariatric.meal.prep, @bariatricchefboyrd, and @mybariatricdietitian on IG are all great, as is @BariNation.

Exercise: Fitness Blender (website or YouTube) and Get Fit With Rick (website or YouTube) are great resources for at home workouts. They both have a wide variety from super beginner to super advanced, many that do not require any equipment at all.

Pre-Op Diet: This varies WIDELY from surgeon to surgeon. Some require a period of liquids only, some have a whole foods, low carb based approach. Your surgeon should be telling you exactly what they expect you to be doing pre-op.

Lastly, please make sure you are having this conversation with your surgeon. They should be providing you with nutritional guidance, meal plan resources, etc.

@Sleeve_Me_Alone thank you for the in-depth response! I will definitely be looking into all of your suggestions. Some of them already look great. Also, I just had a conversation with my surgeon and his team said "Eat what you want and enjoy your life" so I guess I don't have to worry about a pre-op diet. I didn't think that was common, but I guess I got lucky.

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On 1/20/2022 at 9:22 PM, seadoo2021 said:

you live in Egypt??? Send me a mummy LOL :)

I do! I actually saw the new exhibit of 22 mummies at the new museum that was built in Cairo, wouldn't dare disturb it though😅

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On 1/20/2022 at 10:35 PM, summerseeker said:

I find its easier to buy plain or plain Greek yogurt. No need to look at labels then. I add my favourite sweetener or honey and fruits. In Egypt I would be eating figs and dates with it. If you struggle to get Protein Shakes, Use a tip that I was given, drink skimmed milk with a tablespoon of milk powder added to bump up the Protein. I added fruit and occasionally Peanut Butter to it and blended it smooth. You can add yogurt to this too.

If you say what kinds of foods you want to cook the people on here can give you the recipes

Nice tip! Will definitely be adding that to my notes, especially since I know how to find all of that. I am a little concerned about dates as they have an extremely high sugar content and all my friends have told me that dates were their family trick to regain weight whenever they lost too much from being sick. So beyond Ramadan, I try to avoid them 😅They scared me away

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On 1/21/2022 at 5:00 AM, Arabesque said:

I’m with @Sleeve me alone!. Stick to fresh ingredients & prep your own meals. Add your favourite herbs & spices as you’re able. You’ll find to begin you’ll tolerate a more simple diet more easily & meals may just be Protein.

Can you order Protein Shakes online because they will be the focus of your post surgical diet for the first couple of weeks.

Do products you can buy list the ingredients? They tend to list ingredients in order of amount used so if sugar is high on the list avoid it. Many manufactures list nutritional content of their products online too so you could try that.

I’m a big make it myself person but I rarely follow recipes. Once you have a few basic recipes you can vary ingredients & boost them up however you want. You can make Soup & stew like dishes without a recipe from almost whatever meat, vegetables, legumes you have in your fridge, freezer or pantry. I keep tins of Beans, lentils & tomatoes, stock & gravy powders in my pantry - you don’t have to worry too much about their sugar, salt, fat & carb content - & they can be easily used in a variety of dishes. I’m making a no recipe Soup this weekend: chicken thighs in the freezer, lentils in the pantry & will add, celery, onion, carrot, chicken stock, some herbs, garlic, ginger. Done & yum!

All the best.

I might be able to find a store that I can order from, but most of the time no ingredients or nutritional values are listed. Sometimes it will be if it is imported, but it's usually very expensive. Although I speak Arabic pretty well I can't read or write so when there are ingredients I'm not sure what they are, and sometimes they are in German because they import a lot from Germany. It's a struggle😒

I really like the list you provided of ingredients, I will be sure to incorporate those into the pantry. Thanks!

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        I got hard judgment from my father, which I expected, I made him promise not to share this with his brothers (who are assholes) I told him whether he likes it or not I am an adult and I deserve respect and privacy especially when it concerns my health. (he begrudgingly agreed)

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