Depending on your surgery type and your surgeon, you will be on liquids only for two to four weeks after surgery. Prior to surgery you might think that it will be impossible since you won’t be able to eat. I will say it does mess with your mind just a little but it is doable and in the first week, you really won’t feel like eating or drinking.
Water is the best thing you can sip on all day. The old statement of “sip, sip, walk, and sip some more” is very true. You should be sipping every 15 minutes to get in all your water for the day (64 oz minimum). Other items that might help during the liquid stage:
Sugar Free Popsicles
Sugar Free Jello
Mixing cream cheese with sugar free jello gives it a different taste and gives you some protein
Protein shakes if you can tolerate them
Crystal light lemonade
My surgeon wanted me to use something called “Protein X” and I have to say that was the nastiest thing I have ever tried to drink in my life! I made it only a few days with that stuff and that was mixing it with Crystal Light Lemonade, which to this day I can’t drink because it reminds me of that nasty Protein X. If you are told to use this product, you can try mixing with other things or if you are brave, just take the shot and down it. I couldn’t do that but some are able and that gives you some protein.
Once you have completed your required time of liquids, it is time to begin putting soft foods back in to your life. I was excited for this time to come as I was wanting something “food” oriented so badly. It is going to be a shock as to how little you can eat when you first start. I couldn’t even eat an entire scrambled egg in the beginning if that gives you an idea. The best approach to this graduation event to soft foods is to take it slow! You want to learn your body’s new “I’m full” sensation. For me, it felt like a lump in my throat down right above my collarbone. When I felt that, I learned not to put another bite or sip in my mouth or it was coming back up! This is a trial and error period. You will at some point eat one bite to many or drink to quickly after eating or come across a food that your stomach simply rejects and you will throw it back up. Let me warn you, when you have very little liquid in your stomach with food, throwing up is much more painful so you want to avoid it at all costs!
Some good food ideas for moving on to the soft foods diet:
-Turkey salad – cook a turkey breast and then put the meat in your food processor and get it ground up extremely fine. Add some Mayonnaise and then the juice of some sugar free pickle relish for a little bit of flavor. My turkey salad at this point almost looked like turkey paste. I would eat a tablespoon at a time.
-Scrambled eggs – As I mentioned before, start with one egg. If you had the BPD, feel free to mix a little heavy cream in the egg and scramble it in butter.
-Protein Shakes – continue those if you have found one that you can tolerate. They count as protein as well as liquid.
-Yogurt – Look for low carb yogurt. Kroger has a good brand called CarbSmart. You can also eat Greek Yogurt if you like it but check the kind your pick, some have to many carbs for me and not enough protein to justify eating it.
-Cottage Cheese – if you like it.
If you are lacking energy at this stage, you need a little bit of carbs. I was told by the surgeons office to drink a little orange juice. That was a HUGE mistake as it sent me immediately to the bathroom! I learned from others on the support boards that the easiest thing to get down was some mashed potatoes from KFC. They are smooth and if you add a little butter, you can easily get down a tablespoon and you would be surprised at how much better you will feel with just a few carbs. You can also eat 3 Ritz Crackers slowly – let them dissolve in your mouth so it’s softer. That will help to get you some energy.
I hope this gives you some ideas of what I tried and was able to tolerate in the early stages. It really is a learning experience so be patient and what works for others might not work for you and what works for you might not work for others. Our new stomachs have a mind of their own, I call mine my tummy Diva.