Wordless Wednesday: Roadtrip Almonds


Wordless Wednesday: Beehive Cheese Ipanema

Review: KalorieBox Healthy Snack Delivery

kalorieboxWho doesn’t love to get goodies in the mail? I know I do!

I was approached by Kaloriebox to see if I was interested in receiving a box to review for my blog. I love food and trying new things, so it was a no-brainer for me.

The box I received included the following:

Kaloriebox is a pretty cool concept. Quoting their website:

KalorieBox is simple: choose a plan, get your KalorieBox in the mail every month, and discover low calorie, healthy alternatives to the foods you already love.

You’ll start by choosing the plan that works best for you. We have three options you can pick from: monthly, 3-month, and 6-month. You can cancel any time, and we have a money back guarantee.

After you’ve signed up and chosen a plan, you’ll receive your KalorieBox in the mail every month. Each box is shipped on the 15th and will contain five or more low calorie, healthy items. Oh yeah, did we mention shipping is free?

kaloriebox review

On to the review:

Zevia: I’ve tried a few “natural” sodas before, and they’re not very tasty. I’ve seen Zevia at the store before, and I’ve passed it over because I’ve had a hard time finding anything sweetened with Stevia that I actually like. I was pleasantly surprised with the lime Zevia…it’s like a Sprite but more refreshing. And less carbonated, so it’s better for my grouchy pouch.

Cheese Thinnables: Protien and fiber packed crackers have been hit or miss in my experience, so I was least excited to try the Thinnables of anything in the box. They look exactly like Cheez-Its…but taste about half as good. I wasn’t impressed, and after three crackers I set the box aside. I’ll hand them off to my husband for his next mindless late-night snacking spree.

Mango Peeled Snacks: I used to eat a lot of dried fruit before surgery, but not it’s on the no-no list because it’s so high in sugar and can cause dumping. But Dried mango is my favorite, so I was happy that  “Much Ado About Mango” was the fruit snack in the delivery. Peeled Snacks are USDA certified organic with no preservatives. The texture of the mango was kinda tough, so I had to chew it a lot, but it tasted pretty good.

FiberOne Cookie: For a long time I ate FiberOne bars daily because they were a low-point choice on Weight Watchers. But eventually, I started getting all sorts of GI issues from the bars, so I stopped eating them (even though they tasted SO good). The FiberOne cookie is yummy, and tastes a bit more like cookie dough than  an actual cookie. I only nibbled a bit on it because I didn’t want to risk the GI problems from the chicory root extract.

Pacific Almond Vanilla Milk: The almond milk was by far my favorite thing in the box. I have really been digging almond milk, and I like that Pacific sells it in a ready-to-drink pouch. I’m going make today’s protein smoothie with it.

Pirate’s Booty White Cheddar Puffs: Pirate’s Booty has been my “snack crack” for years. I LOVE eating these puffs, but I have so little control over myself with an open bag that I only will buy snack-size bags now. The booty wasn’t listed on the packing list, so it was a nice surprise to have in my shipment.

I’m on the fence about whether or not Kaloriebox would be a good thing to give my endorsement to for bariatric patients. It’s great for people who are trying to make better snack choices and lose weight, but the stuff in the box isn’t necessarily the best for a bariatric diet. I would prefer that more items were higher in protein (like samples of protein powder or jerky/meat snacks). My only complaint about the actual delivery was that the box was filled with scrunchie little red paper things, and they got all over my room. But as for the concept – I love it. I love to try new things, especially if they’re healthy. It was a nice assortment of snacks to try.

FTC Disclosure: I received this box complimentary from Kaloriebox for the express purpose of reviewing the box on my blog. No additional compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

To Be Perfectly Honest…

Today will be one of my not so pretty posts. Even though I’m posting a pretty good picture of me.

April has been a really tough month emotionally. My weight loss has slowed considerably. I traveled out of town three weekends out of the month, and never was fully prepared for all the meals that I should have planned and brought along food for. Being unprepared brings temptations. And this month I’ve fallen prey to several temptations.

What have I eaten, you ask? I’m not telling you this so you can criticize me, I’m telling you so I can be honest with myself. I succumbed to pieces of Easter candy. I’ve eaten some full-fat ice cream instead of frozen yogurt. I’ve sipped on soda a few times. I’ve snacked on Cheetos Puffs a few times (even though I know they’re useless crap with no nutritional value). My portions haven’t been monstrous, obviously since I can’t really consume more than 3 ounces at once, but I know I’m off the wagon.

Most gastric bypass patients deal with a condition called “dumping,” where condition where ingested foods bypass the stomach too rapidly and enter the small intestine mostly undigested. This causes nausea, vomiting, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, dizziness and fatigue. It usually happens after eating high fat or high sugar foods. But as far as I can tell, I’ve never dumped. My body hasn’t equipped me with the mechanism to make me violently ill if I eat rubbish. I must be crazy for wishing my body did. I seem  to only get sick eating “healthy stuff” like eggs and chicken.

So yeah….bad food choices. In actuality, I’d say that 98% of what I eat is right on track, and 2% is “bad.” I’ve come up with all sorts of excuses why I’m sabotaging my weight loss like this, especially so early in the game. And the biggest source of anger and frustration is all the damn food advice people give me. It messes with me every time.

I’ve always been a pleaser – I want to make people happy by doing what they others ask me to do. But in the case of food advice as a weight loss surgery patient, it’s infuriating. I’ve been tempted to go back to people whose advice has been a catalyst for something bad happening and say “See what you did to me!!” For instance, a certain person has bugged me over and over to try eating a certain food. I had already had a hard time tolerating it, but I knew they wouldn’t get off my back until I ate it and reported back. So I finally ate it, and I violently threw it up. I ran back into the bathroom multiple times to wretch, and I even started vomiting blood. It wasn’t pretty. And the whole time, I was mad at this person who had so persistently advised me to eat it. Honestly, I know I should have stuck to my guns and ignored the advice. I should have been stronger. But I’m feeling weak and vulnerable these days, and now that I’ve had well over 100 people give me advice, it’s really messed with my head.

Unless you are a doctor or nutritionist – PLEASE do not give me advice on food. The only exceptions to this rule are 1) If you have PERSONALLY been a weight loss surgery patient (not your friend, not your family member) AND/OR 2) if I PERSONALLY ask you for advice. However well meaning you are, it is NOT helpful. I have an extremely limited amount of things that I can eat, and can only eat very limited quantities. I need to expand my palate when MY DOCTOR recommends it, NOT YOU. When I get food advice, it confuses me. I makes me want to start to push the limits of what’s right for me to eat. It makes me want to binge on junk food. Often the advice makes me cry. Sometimes it just makes me not want to eat at all, and fasting is NOT good for me at the stage.

Secretly in my head, I want to tell people who give me food advice, “Is it important enough for you that I eat ____ that it could risk our friendship? Okay then….SHUT UP!”

I think it’s time to go into counseling again. I need to grow a thicker skin.

Food Diary 1-30-12

Today was my first day of the pre-surgery “crash diet.” The goal is to keep around 1000 calories per day. Here’s my food diary:

  • Bottled mango smoothie – 220 cal
  • Muscle Milk light shake – 100 cal
  • 2 light String Cheese – 160 cal
  • Carrots and 2 TB hummus – 100 cal
  • Quaker multigrain fiber crisps – 80 cal
  • Green beans – 60 cal
  • Del Taco chicken soft taco and regular soft taco – 340 cal
  • TOTAL – 1060

This morning I had an appointment with Dr. Smith. I hadn’t seen him in the office since last April, so he wanted to go over a few things with me. He gave me a quick physical exam, discussed my most pressing symptoms, showed me where the incisions would be for surgery, and answered a few questions. Next, I met with Cathy, who is the surgery scheduler. We went over more paperwork, confirmed radiology appointments, and reviewed the pre-surgery diet. I also got my FMLA paperwork submitted so my husband and I both have time off work.

I was FLOORED to see how much weight I’ve gained this month. I started the month at 357 (when I weighed in at Dr. Poor’s office when I had bronchitis.) Today I was 373.3, which is officially the most I’ve ever weighed. I’ve gone up 16 pounds in three and a half weeks. It’s a lot, and I expected to gain some, but not that much. I’ve been replacing diet soda with juice, flavored milk, and other drinks so I keep myself away from the bubbly. I was on steroids for over 2 weeks for bronchitis, which ALWAYS makes me gain. And then with the 5-day bingefest I had over the weekend, I guess it isn’t too surprising. I’m retaining fluid like crazy, probably because of all the high-sodium foods I had. Good thing I’m eating right, starting today!

The Last Supper(s)

When my surgery was scheduled this week, it was only two days after I found out that my insurance approved my surgery. In addition to the actual surgery, I had to schedule an ultrasound of my gall bladder and an upper GI endoscopy. Once the scheduling was done, I was told it’s time to enjoy the food that I love, because my pre-surgery “crash diet” was about to begin.

This mean I only had 4 days to fit in meals of my most favorite foods. That’s not a lot of time for a foodie like me.

beyond glaze doughnuts

Now, I’ve already been tapering down the volume of food I consume since after the holidays, and since I stopped drinking soda, I’m able to eat MUCH less than I used to. This is a good and a bad thing – it’s easier to transition into my pre-surgery diet, but it makes “deathbed bingeing” very difficult. Here’s a rundown of everything I ate in the last 5 days:


  • Beyond Glaze doughnuts (I cut them up and shared them with coworkers)
  • Great Harvest oatmeal chocolate chip cookie
  • California burrito from Beto’s
  • Pork barbacoa salad from Cafe Rio
  • Steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, and 3 rolls from Texas Roadhouse
  • Blue Coconut cream slush from Sonic
  • Dulce de Leche shake from Del Taco
  • Green curry pot pie and mango sticky rice from Chabaar
  • Ben and Jerry’s Red Velvet Cake ice cream
  • Monte Cristo sandwich
  • A platter of BBQ rib tips and chopped pork with all the trimmings

I also attended two fun get-togethers with friends, which centered around food. Friday night, I got together with Jen, Rosie, and Davey at Gourmandise so I could have my last gourmet pastry – the Peach. I also had bites of English bread pudding, chocolate muffin, and sips of Rosie’s Belgian hot chocolate.

Saturday I went to the #BeehiveBuzz tweetup at the Beehive Cheese Factory in Uintah. We toured the factory, sampled their unique artisan cheeses, mingled with my local Twitter friends, and had a potluck. The hardest thing for me was to not drink the soda! There was a cooler full of gourmet sodas, and the vanilla cream and orange cream sodas were screaming my name. Luckily, I did not cave to temptation, and have made it 9 days soda-free.

And how do I feel now? SICK! I haven’t eaten this much rich food in a short amount of time before. I feel sluggish, my belly aches, and I actually look forward to beginning my pre-surgery diet in the morning. This will consist of 1000 calories a day, with 2 protein shakes a day and one a “sensible” lean protein meal. I’m also meeting with Dr. Smith in the morning for a follow up appointment, since it’s been almost a year since my initial surgical consultation.

If you were about to undertake a completely new way of eating, what would be your last supper? Or suppers?