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karla_sue

Post Gastric Surgery food question

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Hi All,

 

Anyone go on a cruise within a year of gastric surgery? What were some of your strategies to help stay on track and not get sick?  I will be going on a cruise at 8 1/2 months post sleeve surgery at Christmas time and don't want to either get sick or gain weight, I also want to stay healthy. We always eat in the MDR for dinner and for brunches, breakfast and lunches when it is open.  Any and all help accepted. TIA

 

Karla

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Eleven years ago I cruised less that a year after the old-school Gastric Bypass surgery. Since you have had "only" the gastric sleeve you don't have to worry about getting sick due to the malabsortion that is the main effect of the bypass. Your most important issue will be stretching the sleeve back out to the size of your old stomach by overeating.

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1 hour ago, karla_sue said:

Hi All,

 

Anyone go on a cruise within a year of gastric surgery? What were some of your strategies to help stay on track and not get sick?  I will be going on a cruise at 8 1/2 months post sleeve surgery at Christmas time and don't want to either get sick or gain weight, I also want to stay healthy. We always eat in the MDR for dinner and for brunches, breakfast and lunches when it is open.  Any and all help accepted. TIA

 

Karla

I assume you have a list of recommended and not recommended foods.  So not having to cook it yourself I think is a huge plus.  Beyond that I'm guessing it's the same old 'use common sense.'  Good luck and have a great time.

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Last year I went on a cruise 2 months post Gastric Bypass (Ruen Y)surgery.  I did not find it hard at all to find "approved" foods to eat.  I was just careful to only have a bite of an appetizer or soup and very small portions of a cooked veggie (easy to mash up)and shredded up some chicken for dinner.  I had brought protein powder with to make shakes for breakfast. For lunch i tried to stick with the protein shakes, soups, and other very soft foods.  I was told that I could have meet with staff to have a special diet request met.  I found that I did not need that but is was nice to know that option was available and that they are willing to help with any diet restrictions. Also, I tried walking on the track each day and found very active shore excursions.  I actually came home from this cruise 1 pound less than when we left.....that has NEVER happened before :).  Good luck and you can do this!!! 

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You will simply do what you do at home...eat only the types of food, in the recommended amounts that you know is correct.

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4 hours ago, cb at sea said:

You will simply do what you do at home...eat only the types of food, in the recommended amounts that you know is correct.

Generally, I've found it's easier to eat in a healthy manner when out than at home.  I'll never have the depth and breadth of food that a restaurant has.

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19 hours ago, karla_sue said:

Hi All,

 

Anyone go on a cruise within a year of gastric surgery? What were some of your strategies to help stay on track and not get sick?  I will be going on a cruise at 8 1/2 months post sleeve surgery at Christmas time and don't want to either get sick or gain weight, I also want to stay healthy. We always eat in the MDR for dinner and for brunches, breakfast and lunches when it is open.  Any and all help accepted. TIA

 

Karla

 

I had the more radical Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.  By the time I was 8-1/2 months out I knew very well what I could and could not eat, and though I wasn't a cruiser back then, I don't think I would have had any trouble at all eating appropriately.

And congratulations for taking ahold of your life this way.  I've had my ups and downs, and I'd still certainly like to weigh less than I do, but life is much more livable at 290 than it was at 390.

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On 7/4/2019 at 8:01 PM, karla_sue said:

Hi All,

 

Anyone go on a cruise within a year of gastric surgery? What were some of your strategies to help stay on track and not get sick?  I will be going on a cruise at 8 1/2 months post sleeve surgery at Christmas time and don't want to either get sick or gain weight, I also want to stay healthy. We always eat in the MDR for dinner and for brunches, breakfast and lunches when it is open.  Any and all help accepted. TIA

 

Karla

 

Karla,

 

You will be fine. Bring your protein powder and vitamins to supplement. When in the main dining room, you can ask for half size potions or even appetizer sizes so you don't over do it.

 

We also find it easier to just tell the waiter, assistant waiter and others since DW doesn't have liquid with eating. Once they know they are good with it. All the dining staff are trained to look for uneaten food and to keep  the drink glasses full. If let them know it's OK - you don't drink and that you just sample food they won't keep asking if everything is OK.

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DH cruised just 3 months post gastric sleeve a couple of years ago and had absolutely NO issues.  There is plenty of variety and the MDR makes it easy.  Go for it!

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On 7/6/2019 at 7:18 AM, Dat Cruisin Couple said:

 

Karla,

 

You will be fine. Bring your protein powder and vitamins to supplement. When in the main dining room, you can ask for half size potions or even appetizer sizes so you don't over do it.

 

We also find it easier to just tell the waiter, assistant waiter and others since DW doesn't have liquid with eating. Once they know they are good with it. All the dining staff are trained to look for uneaten food and to keep  the drink glasses full. If let them know it's OK - you don't drink and that you just sample food they won't keep asking if everything is OK.

 

Totally agree that informing your waiter on night 1 is a great idea

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I'm 7 months post-op sleeve. Taking my first post-op cruise in 2 months. I dine out a lot. Like it's kind of ridiculous. I have learned to avoid appetizers. Too easy to fill up before the good stuff arrives. When we eat in the main dining room, I won't get one of every course. I'll also tell my waiter on our first night that I'm fine with having our food brought out at an accelerated pace if it's something they can do. The biggest thing I hate isn't the food I can't eat. It's the sitting there waiting while everyone else continues to eat long after I've had my fill LOL.

 

I use the timer on my phone to pace myself between drinking and eating. I have found that if I have an empty stomach, I can drink as soon as 10-15 minutes before a meal and it be gone from my stomach. Most surgeons say no drinking 30-60 minutes prior to eating, but the purpose of that rule is so your stomach is empty and so that food doesn't easily wash out with the liquid. Through trial and error, I've found 15 minutes to be my sweet spot. 

 

Most importantly: lean steak IS healthy lol. Also lobster tail with a little butter. Seafood in general. I'm allergic to chicken so I eat a lot of steak and seafood. 

 

I don't usually do protein shakes. If you do, you can get a little baby formula powder travel case type thing (or two) and pre-portion out some scoops. 

 

Bring a yeti style cup for keeping your water cold all day. 

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49 minutes ago, amandaepperson21 said:

I'm 7 months post-op sleeve. Taking my first post-op cruise in 2 months. I dine out a lot. Like it's kind of ridiculous. I have learned to avoid appetizers. Too easy to fill up before the good stuff arrives. When we eat in the main dining room, I won't get one of every course. I'll also tell my waiter on our first night that I'm fine with having our food brought out at an accelerated pace if it's something they can do. The biggest thing I hate isn't the food I can't eat. It's the sitting there waiting while everyone else continues to eat long after I've had my fill LOL.

 

I use the timer on my phone to pace myself between drinking and eating. I have found that if I have an empty stomach, I can drink as soon as 10-15 minutes before a meal and it be gone from my stomach. Most surgeons say no drinking 30-60 minutes prior to eating, but the purpose of that rule is so your stomach is empty and so that food doesn't easily wash out with the liquid. Through trial and error, I've found 15 minutes to be my sweet spot. 

 

Most importantly: lean steak IS healthy lol. Also lobster tail with a little butter. Seafood in general. I'm allergic to chicken so I eat a lot of steak and seafood. 

 

I don't usually do protein shakes. If you do, you can get a little baby formula powder travel case type thing (or two) and pre-portion out some scoops. 

 

Bring a yeti style cup for keeping your water cold all day. 

I know nothing about this but love food and wonder something.  What if you made a meal of all appetizers delivered one at a time so you're eating with your table mates.  I happen to love apps and can easily make a meal from them.  I'm likely totally wrong but thought I'd share my thought.  It's got to be tough.

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Thank you all for the advise and helpful information and personal experiences.  I don't do the powdered protein. Since I like the dining room, I will most likely do 1 egg and some kind of meat and let my guys (either hubby or son) eat what I can't. It won't be a hardship on them! LOL!!!  For dinner, I will do a 1 for sample of some appetizers they order and do something I like (full of good protein) for my dinner.  I haven't gotten sick yet (definitely know the feeling when I am full!) so I think by then, I will have a handle on the sizing of a portion I can eat.  

We chose a non food-centric vacation now for summer since I am still learning what I can tolerate but I had an opportunity to jump on a Christmas cruise and didn't want to not go because of the surgery. It will be a very good test of my will, but I think not getting sick from too much food will keep me in check and that many months out, I will know my real limits.  

 

Again, thanks for the suggestions and help!

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You don't have to share your medical history if that makes you uncomfortable.  Easy, though, to order a half-portion or appetizer-size portion, or just say 'skip the potatoes'. 

 

Some find that using the smaller utensils that you may have 'trained' with before surgery are helpful, and your waiter will bring you a smaller plate if that helps you maintain portion control. The big plate will be whisked away quickly.

 

The wait staff is trained to alert their team leads if a dietary issue is mentioned (shellfish, gluten, dairy allergy, low salt, etc.) so be ready for a *very* helpful person to come check to ensure that your needs are met.

 

We once shared a table with a young man who had recently had oral surgery, and needed soft/blended foods.  They bent over backward to identify items that were already soft or that they could blend.

 

Ultimately, the amount of attention you get is directly correlated to how much of your medical history/concerns you share.

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4 minutes ago, Sue Do-Over said:

appetizer-size portion

I believe I wrote something to that effect upthread.  That way you're continually getting food delivered.  As we've gotten older we just can't eat as much as we used to.  Frequently when we go out to eat dinner, we'll order two apps and that's enough.

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On 7/9/2019 at 5:18 PM, karla_sue said:

Thank you all for the advise and helpful information and personal experiences.  I don't do the powdered protein. Since I like the dining room, I will most likely do 1 egg and some kind of meat and let my guys (either hubby or son) eat what I can't. It won't be a hardship on them! LOL!!!  For dinner, I will do a 1 for sample of some appetizers they order and do something I like (full of good protein) for my dinner.  I haven't gotten sick yet (definitely know the feeling when I am full!) so I think by then, I will have a handle on the sizing of a portion I can eat.  

We chose a non food-centric vacation now for summer since I am still learning what I can tolerate but I had an opportunity to jump on a Christmas cruise and didn't want to not go because of the surgery. It will be a very good test of my will, but I think not getting sick from too much food will keep me in check and that many months out, I will know my real limits.  

 

Again, thanks for the suggestions and help!

I'm 11 years out RNY and usually get the question of you didn't like it. I just say I'm full and want to still have a bite or so of desert. It was a joke with our waiters on the first cruise that I didn't eat anything and my friend didn't drink because she was driving. I do pretty much order something from every course but never finish anything. It's fine and I get to satisfy my taste for what appealed to me.

 

Just order what you want, have a few bites to satisfy the taste and don't worry about setting it aside. My nieces love going with me as they eat their entire dinner and then clean up my plate. One will even ask if I'm done (I might still be eating when she asks) because she wants the rest of my dinner. 

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I just found this group and I am so excited but also worried. I had RNY surgery 16 months ago (October 2018), so I pretty much know what my body can and cannot tolerate. I have gotten used to listening to my body but I am scared I can/will get sick if I am not extremely careful. I have cruised before surgery on Carnival but this March will be my first time since the surgery and my first time on Royal Caribbean (Oasis of the Seas).  I love the advice posted above to order a half-portion or appetizer-size portions instead of a full meals. Anyone tried the specialty restaurants after surgery?  I am traveling with my husband, my son (17) and another couple and they all want to try at least one specialty restaurant (Chops Grill or 150 Central Park).  Any information/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Rose

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2 hours ago, Mskartman said:

I just found this group and I am so excited but also worried. I had RNY surgery 16 months ago (October 2018), so I pretty much know what my body can and cannot tolerate. I have gotten used to listening to my body but I am scared I can/will get sick if I am not extremely careful. I have cruised before surgery on Carnival but this March will be my first time since the surgery and my first time on Royal Caribbean (Oasis of the Seas).  I love the advice posted above to order a half-portion or appetizer-size portions instead of a full meals. Anyone tried the specialty restaurants after surgery?  I am traveling with my husband, my son (17) and another couple and they all want to try at least one specialty restaurant (Chops Grill or 150 Central Park).  Any information/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Rose

I went to the steakhouse on our Christmas cruise and it was great. I ordered every course and had a bite or 2 of each thing and let others "try" the rest. Also, in the Main dining room, I asked for only the protein portion of the meal I wanted. Then if I had room after eating that, I would have maybe a bite or 2 of someone else's veggie or go to the lido later and grab some kind of fruit.  It worked for me and I lost 2 pounds on that trip. Hope this helps you in some way.  I go on a cruise in 9 days and can't wait. I will use the same techniques again.

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I am 17 yrs out from a duodenal switch surgery and have cruised at least 45 times since the surgery and I can honestly say that I have never had a problem with the food.  No matter what venue we chose to eat in I could always find something to eat.  One thing that works for me is to eat multiple small protein meals a day. (couple of slices of turkey or ham from the buffet mid-afternoon etc) My nemesis 

is mayo, pasta and ice cream so I stay away from them...most of the time😏 

I would also like to add that I never found it necessary to share my medical history with the waiters or  any other people I interacted with since I was always able to find something suitable to eat.  If asked by someone why is wasn't finishing or ordering something I would just smile and say I was full.  No further explaination necessary.  Enjoy your cruise! 

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On 7/8/2019 at 9:12 PM, clo said:

I know nothing about this but love food and wonder something.  What if you made a meal of all appetizers delivered one at a time so you're eating with your table mates.  I happen to love apps and can easily make a meal from them.  I'm likely totally wrong but thought I'd share my thought.  It's got to be tough.

That would work very well.  The caveat is the appetizers should be protein heavy.  The post surgery diets emphasize protein, protein, protein.

 

I had the sleeve about three weeks ago.  I'm doing very well.  The surgeon says I'm down 20 pounds since the surgery.  I've gone from a 48 inch pants to 40s.  I can get into a 38 but it's a bit tight.

 

Edited by RocketMan275

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