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  • Primal after Gastric Bypass

    It was suggested in another thread that we start a new thread here as a support group for those of us who have had Gastric Bypass in the past. So, here it is!

    I guess I'll start out with the first question: Are you guys still doing supplements? I take my usual handful of vitamins and supplements daily (bariatric multi-vitamin, probiotic, B-vitamins, iron, calcium, fish oil) but I feel that at 7 years out I'm getting enough protein from my Primal diet that I don't need to do protein shakes anymore. How about you guys?

  • #2
    I am new around here, but I will reply. My surgeon forbids shakes/liquid calories after 8 weeks post op -- we were supposed to get all of our protein through food sources. I am 1 1/2 years out and have been stalled for a while, so I am doing primal/paleo in hopes of getting to my goal and being healthier.

    To be honest, the way I was eating post-surgery was very primal/paleo anyway -- with the exception of dairy. The nutritionists wanted us to use low fat (!!) dairy as a major source of our protein. Now, I am dropping the dairy (especially the whey protein shakes which I had added back recently in an attempt to break my stall). Pre-surgery, I tried many low-carb plans without success -- perhaps it is the use of cheese, whey, yogurt, etc. stopping any results? *bonks self on head* I wish I had figured that out before surgery!

    I have to limit my veggies on primal/paleo in order to have enough room for the protein (since our tummies are so small) and I keep track of how much protein I get to make sure I get enough.

    I will ALWAYS take supplements - B12 is vital due to the way our intestines were modified. I also take a bariatric multi, probiotics, iron, calcium, fish oil, a ton of D3, resveratrol, Vitamin C, etc.
    Last edited by PterodactyGirl; 06-10-2012, 02:45 PM. Reason: fix typos

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    • #3
      I had the VSG about 2 years ago, so not quite the same thing as I don't have to worry about fat malabsorption or anything like that.
      I started at 208 lbs (highest weight ever 218) and was at my goal weight in less than 6 months. Got to 135 for like 2 days, and I've been maintaining around 140-143 for almost 1.5 years now. With primal, I was able to drop into the 130s again.
      I almost never take any supplements, at this point I have no trouble consuming 150 g protein through diet alone. Once in a blue moon I'll have a whey shake post-workout. I also pop a few fish oil pills every couple of days.

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      • #4
        Awesome, glad to hear there are others out there going Primal and doing well with it. I dropped the shakes a couple of years ago, mostly because so many had artificial sweeteners then, and haven't really felt like I needed them because I can get plenty of protein from my diet now. I'm familiar with VSG, sometimes I wish I'd had that instead of RNY, but hindsight is 20/20 and it's was pretty uncommon then anyway. I had some regain (not horrid, but back into overweight territory) but have been slowly and surely losing it, first by going back to the post-op diet which was somewhat Primal in it's low-carb, anti-bread/starch way, and now by eating Primally.

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        • #5
          Re: artificial sweeteners and other chemicals in shakes, I should share that I recently came across Whey Gourmet Naturelle brand. I've had Whey Gourmet's regular shakes before and they were very good, albeit expensive, so I was intrigued. I read the label and there's nothing but whey protein, cane juice solids, and stevia, with a small amount of the regular stabilizers (guar gum, etc). Whey Gourmet | The World's Best Tasting Protein Shake My store only had the vanilla flavor, which I'm generally lukewarm towards. I bought a jar regardless and it's very good - considering it's not one of my favorite flavors!

          Looking on their website, they have some other pretty cool flavors, like matcha green tea...I'd love to try that one! I just gotta find a store that carries that in Canada, whether brick-and-mortar or online.

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          • #6
            Hey friends!! Just ventured back into the old thread and noticed a new link! Hurray. Doing well with Primal, it really keeps me away from the flour and baked goods that got me in fat. I am over 3 yrs now and down 170 lbs and holding. I have had a bit of regain, but within 10 lbs, but I am starting to look defined and have good energy at the gym.

            I supplement and will always take vitamins.. iron deficiencies can crop up way beyond your surgery date. I also still use one meal as a protein supplement which gets me to a 40:30:30 ratio of protein, fat and carbs.

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            • #7
              Hello Everyone - I had RNY gastric bypass May 6, 2000 at age 21. I was 300 lbs the day of surgery (5'6"). I lost down to 155 lbs and maintained that for 2-3 years. Bad habits and laziness, plus a pregnancy, and slowly my weight started creeping back up.

              Here I am close to the 13th anniversary of my surgery and I now weigh 265 lbs. I'm so scared that I weigh this much now. I've contemplated doing primal for a while now, but I'm not much of a red meat eater, I mostly eat chicken and fish. So not sure how this will fit with that. Plus, I just don't know where to start. Slowly, making a few small changes here and there, or just go all in. No matter, I need to do something to stop my weight gain and lose weight that will work with my special diet needs due to RNY.

              I already do not drink soda (never got back into that after surgery) and I make my own Almond Milk because I don't digest regular milk very well. I do love cheese and yogurt. Not much of a veggie eater, especially salad, but fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, etc. I do like. I love to cook, but don't make the time for it.

              As for exercise, I have a 8 hour, M-F desk job, so no built-in exercise at work. I also am going to school online full-time, so spend a lot of time at home at my desk writing papers. Exercise has become non-existent and I know I need to fix that, but again, just don't know where to start or how.

              Any advice from fellow gastric bypasser's and how you started this way of eating and exercise would be greatly appreciated. I need to lose weight again and keep it off for good for my health and happiness, and for my family!

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              • #8
                Ditching gluten was my first step, I had been suspecting gluten intolerance for a long time and got a big YES when I completely eliminated it. No more digestive issues, no more "bypass gas", no more reactive hypoglycemia, no more joint pain, eczema, the list goes on. Accidental gluten makes me feel terrible for 2 days now, so it's a huge motivator. I don't feel weird and woozy after every meal anymore, which is wonderful. Once I figured that out, I cleaned out the cabinets and even my 20% treats are still always gluten-free. Also, probiotics are a MUST for post-ops, our altered anatomy is very susceptible to developing gut flora imbalances and bacterial overgrowth. I do a lot better with dairy when my guts are behaving, but I think the surgery renders most of us at least somewhat lactose intolerant. These days I limit my dairy to cream, cheese, and the occasional yogurt, though I'm giving that up starting Monday. I'm doing a strict 30 day reset because I've stalled, likely b/c I haven't been active this winter, eat too much dairy and fruit, and have too many gluten-free cheats like rice and potatoes. My daughter is gluten intolerant too and since she's underweight I keep some GF treats around for her (GF cereal, crackers, etc.) and those things are sooooo tempting because while they won't make me sick, they will make me fatter. ::sigh::

                Are you not a fan of the taste of red meat, or does it not sit well with you? Have you tried grass-fed beef? Also, I can see this way of eating being difficult if you're not a fan of veggies, have you tried different ways of cooking them? I hated asparagus until I learned how to roast it in the oven with olive oil and parmesan. Not fearing fat helps out veggies a lot too--steamed vegetables are just meh. Salad is seasonal for me, I can't stand the idea during the winter, but once the weather warms up it's more appetizing. I have to watch fruit though, it can be as bad as straight sugar for me.

                With your busy and mostly sedentary schedule, finding time for both cooking and exercise might be tough. Doing something like setting aside Sunday afternoons for food prep (chopping, portioning, pre-cooking things like chicken breasts for lunches, fritatta muffins for breakfasts, etc.) would help with the cooking part. As for exercise, I need to get on that wagon myself. I was a lot more active when I first started Primal because we lived a different lifestyle (full-time RV life) but now that we're back in a house I don't have the built-in exercise and it's starting to show. My husband and I are trying to work out a schedule where we do the bodyweight exercises at home (we found a pull-up bar at a yard sale, woot) and walk/sprint a few days a week. He's in the same boat as you--sedentary day job, and full-time school online, so I know it can be hard to work that in. I'm a SAHM, but I homeschool. One thing that I did that might work for you is I have a cheap recumbent bike and added a surfshelf to it for my laptop, so whenever I "sit down" to do things on my computer, I'm actually doing a little exercise.

                Anyway, hope I helped a little, I'm 8 years out from surgery and have been Primal for over a year so if you have any questions I hope I can help. I am definitely a Primal convert--so many of the health issues that bugged me post-surgery are gone now that I'm eating better, I can't imagine going back even if I didn't lose another pound.

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                • #9
                  I just stumbled upon this and I'm happy to have found others that have "gone Paleo" after gastric bypass. I haven't fully committed to a Paleo lifestyle, but I believe that is what I should do to get everything back on track and continue to be healthier and happier. My surgery was in Oct. 2008 and I still struggle with reactive hypoglycemia (especially during pregnancy, which I am currently in my second pregnancy since surgery) and other nutritional deficiencies. I'd love to find an actual group, on Facebook, perhaps, of people who have had RNY and who are going or have gone Paleo. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!

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                  • #10
                    Sorry for a second reply, but I really would love to know what types of supplements (food based, non-GMO, all that good stuff) you all take. I've been trying to find something for such a long time that I don't have to take 6 pills 2x daily because that just makes me gag every time and I end up skipping them. What are your favorite brands of supplements? Is there anyone here who has had RNY and doesn't take supplements anymore, since going Paleo, and who has their labs drawn yearly that actually ISN'T deficient in anything?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GoingCocoNuts View Post
                      Sorry for a second reply, but I really would love to know what types of supplements (food based, non-GMO, all that good stuff) you all take. I've been trying to find something for such a long time that I don't have to take 6 pills 2x daily because that just makes me gag every time and I end up skipping them. What are your favorite brands of supplements? Is there anyone here who has had RNY and doesn't take supplements anymore, since going Paleo, and who has their labs drawn yearly that actually ISN'T deficient in anything?
                      I still take Bariatric Advantage, but switched to capsule form (it is 6 pills but they're small, I take 3 in the AM and 3 in the evening) just to make it easier to put in a pill carrier. Any time I've gone off of supplements, I've had issues--for example I switched to Celebrate for a while, which doesn't contain potassium, and ended up with some heart trouble because I became very potassium deficient and had to take the rx horsepills, ugh. Since then, I've been careful and don't go off plan too much. BA vitamins aren't perfect, but they do state: "There is no wheat, gluten, egg, or dairy in our formulas. We also do not include ingredients such as starch, talc, vegetable oils, waxes, or chemical dyes." I am still searching though, the GMO stuff bothers me a lot. My supplement line up: BA multis, methyl b12 sublingual (every other day b/c the brand has a high dose), ProFerrin heme iron (wish it didn't have artificial coloring, but there aren't many choices out there and it's the ONLY iron that actually gets my numbers up and keeps them up without destroying my digestion), a Cal/Mag/Potassium combo (Country Life), D3 gelcap, Barlean's fish oil, and ox bile (I had my gallbladder removed 3 mos after my RNY). Still searching for a good calcium supplement, though I wonder if my body was telling me I was overdoing it because I just can't tolerate even calcium citrate. I wish I could say I have great labs, but we moved and I haven't found a new doctor yet. I can definitely feel certain deficiencies though from experience (particularly iron, if I had to guess I'd say I'm on the low side right now but not dangerous).

                      It's interesting that your reactive hypoglycemia worsened during pregnancy, I had the opposite happen when I was pregnant with my daughter, though I wasn't Primal then. Regardless, going Primal has pretty much cured my RH, I've only had a few episodes and they were usually due to my own stupidity--eating way too many starchy carbs or sugar at one time.

                      A FB group would be awesome, I'll have to see if I can set something up. Ms. PaleO Eats (Orleatha Smith) Level Health and Nutrition is also a post-op and has a FB page/group.

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                      • #12
                        Speaking of, she just posted in reference to post-ops today. Level Health and Nutrition

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                        • #13
                          Supplements

                          Originally posted by GoingCocoNuts View Post
                          Sorry for a second reply, but I really would love to know what types of supplements (food based, non-GMO, all that good stuff) you all take. I've been trying to find something for such a long time that I don't have to take 6 pills 2x daily because that just makes me gag every time and I end up skipping them. What are your favorite brands of supplements? Is there anyone here who has had RNY and doesn't take supplements anymore, since going Paleo, and who has their labs drawn yearly that actually ISN'T deficient in anything?
                          I had my RNY bypass in 2001, high-300, low 140. Right now I'm at 162, been maintaining this weight for about 7 years now. As I get older the extra 20 pounds keep my face full--with all the saggy skin I was looking older than I deserved.

                          I finally found supplements easy to take and affordable. I take Nature Made full strength minis. They have a daily multi, omega 3, b energy, immune support. They are EASY to take gel caps, no aftertaste. Affordable, you can sign up online to get NatureMade coupons, my Albertsons grocery put them on sale and so does my RiteAid. I had NO after surgery support and have been suffering with multi complications ever since. Since I've been on these my bloodwork comes back within range levels. No more vitamin deficiencies (except protein and calcium challenge).

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                          • #14
                            I had RNY on March 7, 2003. High 325, low 175. I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis which is what helped the insurance company approve me for the surgery. My weight loss after surgery was very disappointing. It was over a week before any weight came off and I was not eating solids and had done my research with a friend so I knew what was high quality. I had lost down to 284 before surgery. So, all in all, it took 14 months, but I briefly saw 175. Then it started to go up. I read somewhere that RNY briefly alters the flora in your gut to help the good flora take over for a bit. I am a big fan of flora. I think all my good flora were killed when I was 7 years old by docs who put me on antibiotics for a year. My 2nd grade school pic shows a chubby face for the first time. I don't regret my surgery, in fact, that keeps me from catapulting back to over 3 large. I have tried everything, but the weight keeps creeping back.

                            About 6 months ago, I googled "natural alternatives for thyroid disease" and the advice that I found was drink Kombucha tea and give up wheat. I started researching and brewing my own KTea at home. Of course, the blog's with the KTea recipes and gluten free recipes lead me to ElanasPantry and eventually to MDA. As I learned more, I cut out grain's as well. I couldn't decide if I thought corn was a vegetable or grain, so I hung onto it for a while, but the fact that it was GMO? UGH. Finally, about 2 weeks ago, I read, "It Starts With Food" by the Hartwigs. It was like light was shining through a stained glass window onto my Kindle. That is probably the one point when I felt, YES! I AM ON THE RIGHT TRACK.

                            I have ordered and taken all of my Primal Flora, but now I am looking for something cheaper. My kitchen is full of my "science experiments" which I would love to share with peeps, but everyone thinks I am weird about my food and they just dismiss me. Oh well, my weight is decreasing, very slowly, loose .6 lbs, gain back 1.2 lbs the next day, then down 2.0 lbs. Crazy. But I am now down 10 lbs. What a struggle! However, I am comfortable living this lifestyle. I try to eat offal once a week (OK, close, I like Boar's Head light Liverwurst. Processed! I know but it is the best I can do.) I make my own fermented salsa and try to eat 1-2 cups per week. I have Kimchi fermenting now. Can't wait! I make beef bone broth every two weeks, don't really like the taste so I sneak it in to food to fool myself. I rant about the evils of soybean oil and why is it in every-fricking-thing? I make my own mayo, it's the bomb. How could you not love it with bacon. Bacon makes the fat girl in my soooo happy!

                            So anywhooo, we are very tight with money this summer, so I am turning to wonderful eggs. Baby chicken building blocks.
                            I had these wonderful pickled buffalo eggs. Amazing. I am forcing myself to eat ground beef, veal, pork, but I don't like the texture of ground meat (even hormone free and grass- fed). If I could live on fish, chicken and steak, I would be happy, but my BF loves meatloaf. So I load it with veggies so I can deal.

                            All in all, if people would have been smarter over the past decade about processed GMO food, maybe I would not have had the surgery, but I did, and here I am. Primal eating agrees with this foodie! I really would be in heaven if I could go to the BACONPALOOZA in VA to meat Rob Wolfe and the others... (meat was intentional there folks)
                            Last edited by ksettle70; 08-03-2013, 04:36 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by meeshar View Post
                              A FB group would be awesome, I'll have to see if I can set something up. Ms. PaleO Eats (Orleatha Smith) Level Health and Nutrition is also a post-op and has a FB page/group.
                              I just started a FB Group so that we can all share our woes and triumphs.
                              https://www.facebook.com/groups/1458403741046528/

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