Monday, January 21, 2008

Snacking Behavoir . . .

As Ava continues to be a picky, picky, picky eater we have resorted to increasingly strange "stunts" to get her to eat. The attempts range from plates in the shapes of animals and critters and spoons with glitter and bugs in the handles - oatmeal, peanut butter and honey "dips" on a plate with apple spears as "dippers" - fruit juice, yogurt and ice "smoothies" in sippy cups, crumbled cheese since sliced, block and shredded just don't seem to be the right shapes and consistencies, etc., etc., etc.

The point is that what we have noticed is that the best way to get Ava to really eat (she DOES usually have one really good meal a day but the other two leave something to be desired) is to let her be a free range eater . . . a "grazer", if you will.

We have some food available to her - essentially 24/7 - and she comes over in between trips down the slide in her playroom or in between readings of "Everyone Poops" or in between musical videos on Noggin.com and she'll have a bite of this or a taste of that and, occassionally, a full on smack-down-snack-session.

While this works very well for her (and for us) in terms of getting daily calories and keeping her weight up - this is, as any one who knows anything about gastric bypass will tell you - a TERRIBLE way to eat for most people.

When you are just having a "little" of this or a "bit" of that throughout the day - you don't usually account for those calories on your daily food log (yes - I still keep one - roll your eyes all you want) and you don't usually make very good food choices when you are dabbling in the kitchen.

For long term success after gastric bypass - grazing is pretty much the mortal enemy of the stomach pouch. You can't just have a little of this or a little of that. You have to make a concerted effort to say "I WILL eat three meals and one snack a day and I will not eat any thing else." (or whatever breakdown of meals and snacks work best for you, I suppose).

I'm still pretty good about it but I will admit that I am slipping a little bit - as I mark 10 months and 197 pounds lost since my surgery. My weaknesses are Reduced Fat Triscuits (I'll grab one or two (or three)) when I walk through the kitchen in the evenings and I have a soft spot for sugar free pudding cups too. At 60 calories a cup for the pudding and about 60 calories for a few Triscuits, they are not that terrible for me and am still making sure I only get 900 - 1000 calories per day (with the occassional exception) but since I hardly go a day without one snack or the other (or both) - it is the first sign to me that I need to stay vigilant of the dietary promises I made before my surgery.

As Sheryl Crow once crooned . . . "No one said that life after surgery would be easy but no one said that woven wheat and dulce de leche pudding would make it so damned hard."

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