Since I realize I don’t put date stamps on my blog posts, for future reference this is being posted on December 5, 2013, the day after my 37th birthday.
I know many of you wonder what to do on your birthday. In a former life there was cake and ice cream and overly indulgent meals. But what do you do now that you’re trying to live differently.
Well, the answer isn’t the same for everyone. As a longer-term post-op I can say that I know some people who do cake and ice cream, just in smaller quantities or sugar-free. I know others who abstain.
I personally ditched the cake/ice cream paradigm right off the bat after surgery. Firstly, sweets just don’t captivate me the way they did before surgery but also I wanted to start a new tradition. For the first few years post-op I’d treat myself to a HARD workout (with a trainer even!) and I’d go out to sushi with my mother.
Then in 2012 things changed. Mama Foodie passed away in March 2012 and with her went my birthday tradition.
Last year I reacted to that by cancelling my birthday. I forbade folks from planning celebrations. Many folks were bummed about that because they wanted to make me feel special because they knew I was in pain. But in the end, I did what I needed to do emotionally and I’m proud to say I did not respond to my grief by overeating!
This year was my second birthday post-Mama. I didn’t cancel my birthday but I also didn’t make a big fuss out of it. Truth be told, I have no idea if I’ll ever feel the same about my birthday again.
So what did I do? I tried to reach outside myself a little. I volunteered to help wrap Christmas presents donated to homeless women and children. I went to work (true fact: Nik has a day job for an organization working to end poverty, injustice and human suffering). I came home and cooked dinner for my divas and we prepped the house for Christmas deco. And guess what? It was just what I needed!
The lesson here: some things in life can be overwhelming after WLS. And then some things in life can just plain be overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need from people. Self-care is important to this process.
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 small green pepper diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 lb. lean ground meat
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 oz. tomatoes & chiles
- 1 c. prepared salsa
- 10 oz. black beans
- 2 c. chicken broth or water
- Spray a pot generously with non-stick cooking spray and set it over medium heat and allow it to get HOT. Add onion and green pepper and sautee until soft, about 3-ish minutes. Add garlic and sautee another minute or two.
- Add ground meat and brown, mixing onions, peppers and garlic into the meat mixture. Drain meat meat mixture if necessary (although if you use lean ground meat, the excess liquid should pretty much evaporate in the process). Add taco seasoning or spices (not both) and stir well.
- Add tomatoes & chiles, salsa and black beans and mix well. Add broth or water until desired amount of liquid is achieved (NOTE: for you this may not require the whole two cups called for in the ingredients. You want soup but you don’t want to dilute your spices too much!).
- Drop the heat down to medium-low, cover and let it come to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow it to sit covered for a few moments before serving in bowls with desired toppings!
I know how you feel Nik. I too find it hard to celebrate my birthday now that my mom is gone. She was admitted to the hospital the day before my birthday and was still in there when she passed away 19 days later. My family tries to make my day extra fun, but I wish they'd let it pass without notice. So proud of you, how you didn't turn to food for comfort but stuck with and stayed in control of healthy comforting food!
I lost my mom several years ago around Christmas/birthday time too. Its a hard time of year. Bless you and your family. Thanks for all that you do… I'm 3 months post op and I really appreciate your blog and recipes!
Hi and happy birthday to you! I understand what you're going through with your Mama, as I lost mine close to Christmas and my birthday some years ago. Its hard around the holidays. I just wanted to let you know that you are doing a great job with your blog and wanted to thank you so much for your hard work! I am 3 months post op and am still struggling to find my way through the new process of cooking and eating a whole new way. You have already helped me tremendously. Again, thanks!
Do you know the nutrition facts on this recipe
I do! However I don’t give nutritional information for my recipes. Here’s how you can figure up the nutritionals with the unique ingredients you used: https://www.bariatricfoodie.com/bf-basics-how-to-figure-out-recipes/