Housekeeping Update: I FINALLY bought a domain name! From now on, the address to this blog is http://www.quarterlifecrisiscuisine.com! Took me over a year, but when I realized how cheap it was I kicked myself for not doing it sooner. Also, if you haven't Liked Me On Facebook, I would really appreciate a Like! I've had the goal of getting to 100 fans for a while, and it's slow goings. Thanks!
So. I'm going to be honest with you guys. And it might be just a little TMI so I'll try to be as polite about it as possible. And, wow, this turned out to be a long ranty post, hah. You have been warned...
This gallbladder thing is freaking. me. out.
For those who don't know: the gallbladder regulates (and I think also produces) bile to the stomach, to break down fat. The liver creates bile too, so the gallbladder isn't absolutely necessary for existence and when inflamed (like mine was) it's often removed, like an appendix or tonsils. However, without a gallbladder to store and distribute the bile when needed, the liver just kind of haphazardly tosses the bile into the stomach and intestines to do its stuff.
Meaning, whenever I eat something with fat, I'm playing russian roulette with my stomach. At any given time, my stomach may or may not have enough bile in it to break down any fat I'm eating. So before each bite I'm questioning: Will I digest this comfortably? Or will this be painful or uncomfortable or, eep!, embarrassing for me? And then the bigger questions: What is my body DOING with this fat it can't break down? Will I lose weight? Will I lose TOO MUCH weight? Will I GAIN weight? Will I ever be able to sit down and enjoy a burger and fries with my friends without having to be terrified I can't handle the grease anymore?
I might have to deal with this forever.
Upon leaving the hospital, I was given little direction as to what I can and can't eat. The surgeon seemed to imply I could go back to eating normally in a week or so, but that I may find some foods off-limits for a while. The internet is no help, as I keep getting conflicting advice everywhere I look. Basically, every person is different and there is no set of "rules" for what you can eat sans-gallbladder. Some people go back to a normal diet after a month or two, some are forced to go on strict diets of incredibly bland food or face the digestive consequences. The majority of comments on forums about gallbladder removal are all people upset at their intense change of diet upon getting this stupid little organ removed. What can I do to help my situation?--Eat all organic! Take this supplement! No fat! Low fat! Good fats! Veggies are good! Veggies are bad! Dairy is okay! Dairy is terrible! Don't ever be more than three feet from a restroom! Only three grams of fat a day! Only three grams of fat per meal! Ten grams of fat! One hundred! Six meals a day! Four meals a day! Three meals a day! NO FRENCH FRIES NOT EVER AGAIN! Okay maybe you can have french fries but only on the seventh tuesday of the month if the weather is exactly 75.2 degrees...??
Freaking. Me. Out.
I was just starting to be a foodie! And a novice cook or chef or whatever you call someone who likes to make food as a hobby! UGH! I mean, yes, this is absolutely nothing compared to the pain I would be in if I hadn't gotten surgery, and there are certainly worse things that could have happened to me, but the more I read the more I just want to cry in frustration. WHY CAN'T YOU GIVE ME THE ANSWERS I NEED, OH INTERNET!
And yes, I'm still recovering. It's entirely possible I'll be just fine in a few weeks. It's also possible I'll have to be very careful about what I eat from now on. But I need to realize there really is nothing I can do about that. I need to just chill out, STOP Googling about it, and listen to my body.
I'll figure out what I can and can't eat, what works and what doesn't work, and I'll have to adjust my diet accordingly. And, if one day I'm craving French Fries more than anything else in the entire world, I am sure it won't kill me to indulge... as long as I make sure the necessary resources are nearby if need be. Eventually I'll be able to gauge if the pain I'll feel after is tolerable and worth the indulgence.
It'll be a long road, folks, and I won't pretend I'm not a complainer. But on the bright side, I'm sure I'll finagle some interesting recipes out of it all!
About this quiona: It was my first attempt at any sort of quiona recipe, and honestly I'm not 100% sold yet. This grain (seed? what ARE you, quiona?) is all over the blogosphere for its many health benefits and versitility. I finally bought a box and decided to make it into a cold salad instead of a stand-in for a hot pasta dish or binder for a patty of some sort as I've been seeing on other blogs. And though I thought I came up with this combo all on my own, it is quite similar to a recipe I realized I'd bookmarked from 5 Star Foodie, so perhaps I subconsciously was inspired. The flavors in this are bright and blend well, even if I'm not totally into the quiona texture just yet. Next time I think I'll add a splash of balsamic vinegar, just to get more of a salty/sweet thing going on with the orange. And, it's pretty low fat, so I'll keep this on hand for when I want a safe lunch.
Roasted Beet Quiona Salad
- 2 cups quiona
- 1 bunch beets
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 stalks green onions, diced
- 2 oranges
- 1/2 cucumber, cubed
- Salt and pepper
- Olive Oil
- Goat Cheese (for garnish)
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and scrub beets and trim off greens, then poke holes all over and put in aluminum foil pouch and place in oven. Bake until soft, about 40 minutes (this ALWAYS takes longer than I think it will) then peel and cube. Wash and trim asparagus and cut into bite size chunks. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake (can be done at the same time as beets) until tender and some blisters form. When both are done, let cool.
-Cook quiona according to package. You're really going to have to check the package because I can't for the life of me remember. It's kind of like cooking rice. After quiona is tender and the little tendrils are visible, set aside to let cool.
-Toss the veggies, including cucumber and green onion, with the quiona. Squeeze the juice of one orange into the salad, and peel the other orange and cut into pieces. Add orange pieces to quiona mix and toss. Chill in fridge until ready to serve. Garnish with goat cheese.