Category Archives: VSG Food

“An orgy for your tastebuds”…they were not lying!

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Review: The Vortex Bar & Grill (Midtown)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Don’t you hate it when you eat something that’s so good?!

We went to The Vortex Bar & Grill in Midtown. This place has such a great vibe, the atmosphere, the people, and the food omg.

The parking sucks, but it’s downtown so it’s expected. We only walked like 5 mins and my feet weren’t hurting so that was great.

On first sight I was like what kind of crazy ass place did this boy bring us to?!  I see skulls, weird statues and sh!t. Once we got in, they were on a whole vibe.

We were seated rather quickly, the staff was great and quite helpful when it came down to the menu and making selections.

Of course, we started with shots the moment we sat down.

I get really big eyed when somebody mentions shots because if I ingest the right thing I am one and done okay. LMAO! My brother asked the waitress “what drinks are your most popular?”

This waitress said y’all should try the $3 shots of mystery (and get this they don’t tell you what’s in it) My brother was all like “yes we’ll take that” before she even finished explaining this secret shot. Then we ordered a round of cocktails afterwards.

I was like “oh lordy, I’m done for”.

Our Menu Selections

The hubbs had the ATLien it was a coconut rum-based drink. He thought it tasted pretty good. He said it was great if you like your drinks fruity and strong. I usually love my drinks strong and fruity but since surgery ½ shot and I’m good, 2 shots and there goes my memory. My new tolerance never kills the fun, the buzz comes quick and leaves just a quick.

We checked out this menu and EVERYTHING sounded good. I still follow a drink and eat waiting period, I don’t usually order a lot of food if I start with shots or any drinks. I give myself 30 mins in between eating and/or drinking. If I try to eat without giving myself time, I go into these indigestion spells where I burp uncontrollably. It’s super annoying.

We ordered the MAC ‘N’ CHEESY-CHANGA.

Listen to me…..that thang was so good. It is basically a deep-fried burrito stuffed with mac n cheese and pulled pork. It was so soft. (stage 3 soft foods) The flavor was so on point. No flavor overpowered the other, the balance was awesome. The cheese sauce was so rich and blended right into the BBQ sauce. YUM!! I wanted to order another menu item, but I was stuffed ½ way into my second piece.

My brother ended up ordering a burger with an egg on it and a side of fries. They were so good, crispy on the edges and soft in the middle. OMG!

Pay attention to yourself…

I enjoy ordering foods that are not hard to digest. I’ve learned it’s better to play as nice as you can with your new stomach taking into account that you may have to make adjustments when you eat.

I don’t take well to beef anymore. It makes me full super fast and I always feel constipated after I eat beef. I always try to opt out the beef with varieties of turkey, chicken, sea food and certain vegan meats.

I try to go for the highest protein rich meat available.

Everyone may not have to adjust their food. I don’t like feeling sick after I eat and I noticed that only happens when I eat certain things. I have also had to scale back on pastas and rice as well.

5 star rating for everything from atmosphere, to menu options, staff, vibe, décor and more. All in all it was a great experience. We definitely plan to go back again. 

Where are the bariatric friendly food experiences in Atlanta?

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These experiences are everywhere as long as you know how to eat.

I created a whole food segment with the mindset that just because you had or are having bariatric surgery doesn’t mean you still can’t eat good and enjoy yourself with a night on the town. Good grub ain’t never hurt nobody. You just have to take it easy.

I was super excited to get up here and get a real good feel of ATL. I only imagined that life would be just as exciting as in Miami. The first year was a little much because of the whole Covid and quarantining thing. We had not gotten the chance to really experience much of the cuisine, or city life.

I didn’t want to lose the ability to enjoy dining out and living life. One of my goals was to experience as much life as I could after going through this life transformation. To do all the things I wanted to do but couldn’t because of my weight issues.

I have always been a foodie. LOL, with all kinds of food too not just fatty ones and sugary ones, but healthy foods, island food, international foods etc.

I love to eat, I love to cook, I love the camaraderie and memories that come when family and/or friends gather together. I am a mother of 4 picky eaters who love to eat good, so I have to practice my skill inside the kitchen as well as out.

I know that my food journey will be something I have to continue and practice for the rest of my life. I also know that I want to still enjoy that journey. Sometimes I might binge on some ice cream. somedays I might want a vegan burger, other days I might want a protein shake, and sometimes I might want a few fries.

The way I see it is…as long as I pay attention to when my body is full, I will be okay. As long as I stick to my 30 minute wait rule between eating and drinking, I will be okay. I always try to remember not to over indulge.

I was told by my surgeon that my new stomach size was 4 oz at capacity. when I think of how small that is I realize that I can’t over eat even if I wanted to. I would be puking before I hit the restroom.

What made me want to create a food segment?

Moving to Atlanta we knew there would be so much culture, life, and history to experience. I didn’t want to skip a beat. So when my husband decided to start working for Uber, we begin to visit a lot of restaurants across Metro Atlanta. From Locust Grove all the way to Marietta. We were visiting a lot of places. Some of the food smelled heavenly while others smelled horrid. Either way we wanted to try some of these places to see what the hype was about.

We all love getting out and having a good time. My husband and I have no social life…..I’m a covid and germ freak especially since working in the hospital. So, I have made it very difficult to start the process of stepping back onto the social scene. (I’m not gonna lie)

I was able to convince my brother and my husband (mainly myself) to have an outing at least biweekly. We all work insane schedules between work, family, and school; it is crazy difficult to get some actual adulting time in.

But, we’ve started with my brother as the spear header and have been having a great time. My brother has lived in Atlanta for a while now so he’s more aware of the hot spots and lit places. Plus, he created this list of things to do and places to go in Atlanta so we started with that. I really look forward to our outings though. It’s literally the only time I get to get all cute and done up.

Here’s the problem with the eating out thing…

The greatest challenge is my food intake of course. To really enjoy my dining experience, I must go in with the motto “A little goes a long way”. I always order way more than I can eat, but some places have large portions with no smaller choices available. Depending on the restaurant if I can’t make up my mind I order options, which means most of the time we take home leftovers.

Although I don’t drink a lot, going out for drinks is a much easier process. I gained control of the liquor method after my first 2 drinks following recovery. My first drink was around 6 months and then not again until after my 1 year surgeversary. 

I got my VSG surgery the same year we relocated to Georgia. No, it was not the plan but it was just where life took me. I was 6 months post op when we finally moved up.

It wasn’t until recently that we started making time to get out.

I need to remain as normal as possible

One of my biggest worries when I got VSG, was how much my life would change. Especially when it came down to my food and my well-being. Eventually after recovery I wanted to be able to return to eating and experiencing everything I love plus more. I didn’t want to lose anything but fat and bad habits.

Challenges are something I expect to run into for the rest of my life because of my weight loss surgery. That’s not to say that all challenges are bad. I’ve found that challenges no matter the state make me better as a person.

Trial and Error is a must

My trials and errors with food started very early on into my recovery. The dislike for all things sweet and sugary was on super strong. By the time I hit full liquids I was in such a state of despair I felt like the livelihood of my stomach had met its ending. And this was only about 2.5 weeks post op.

About a month post op I got permission to return to normal foods as tolerated. It was the as tolerated part that got me.

I had to learn what my body could tolerate and how much it could tolerate. I had to retrain myself on my body’s physical ways of telling me I’m hungry or full. I had to start PAYING ATTENTION TO MYSELF. I still have days when I eat something that’s so good I’m like “just one more bite!” then my intestines start biting me in the ass literally.

I know I’m not the only girl/person trying to maintain my sanity and navigate life after bariatric surgery. I figured why not review and share all these Atlanta experiences for my fellow bariatric folks.

Don’t limit yourself…..adjust!  Let’s Review Atlanta.

Quick and Easy Salmon Sweet Potato

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So remember the sweet potato thing….

I tried my hand to make this copycat recipe of this sweet potato dish we had tried at this restaurant called SPUDZ. The first time I did it we baked the sweet potatoes in the oven and then finished them off by layering them with the rest of the toppings and placing it back in the oven.

The second go round I didn’t want to wait for the potato to cook in the oven, so I decided to do everything via microwave. We steamed the potato in a bowl covered in plastic wrap. While that was cooling we steamed the broccoli and the salmon in the microwave. Layered everything popped it back in the oven to melt the cheese and Voila.

The dish is good either way. The convenience of being able to make this in the microwave makes it even better.

Enjoy the recipe

Oh, So You Eat Sweet Potatoes Now?!

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One thing I’ve discovered about myself since having Bariatric Surgery is that I can no longer trust my tongue. Things that I use to love, I now hate. Things I used to hate I now love. My tolerance for certain heat levels of food has changed as well.

I have never been a sweet potato fan. I swear I tried to like it, especially considering all the health benefits that come from sweet potatoes.

I did the baked sweet potato thing, the fried sweet potato thing, the powdered sugar sweet potato thing, the sweet potato pie thing, the restaurant sweet potato thing.

 LOL… I promise I tried multiple ways before I said screw it. 

Early on into my recovery I wasn’t given real recipes from my nutritionist or my doctor. I was given a list of you can and can not haves. This does not help when you are a bariatric patient that’s use to eating whatever kind of food you want. Having a few sample recipes involving food other than protein shakes would have prepared me better.

One thing I can say is that, I wish I would have done more of my own recipe research prior to surgery. I would have compiled a booklet of recipes for every stage of the recovery process. It would have definitely helped kill the boringness of protein shakes, yogurt, and soup that was on repeat 24/7.

The soft foods stage has been my ultimate favorite of all things bariatric recovery.

The food on this stage falls right in between not to heavy and just heavy enough. Given the right ingredients every meal can be protein and fiber packed. Mostly everything included in the recipes for this stage of recovery are highly digestible and easy on the stomach.

Accidental Awesomeness

Let’s talk about this accidental awesomeness that is the SWEET POTATO.

Hubby and I had a lunch date at this place called Spudz. It’s a create your own potato place. The menu is crazy. They have a ton of options for every kind of craving. This time around we went with a sweet potato-based meal.

We purchased the menu item called the Yam’N Steak. This potato consisted of steak, broccoli, roasted corn, smoked gouda, cheese, and fresh scallions. I didn’t know what to expect because I hadn’t had a sweet potato since before I had surgery.

But again, I can not trust my tongue anymore.

I dove in and boy was It good. It was better than I expected because the combination of all the flavors mixed so well. After about 3 forkfuls I had to call it quits though. I was super stuffed.

Usually when I try new things and like them I attempt to copycat the recipe so that I can make whatever the dish is anytime I want.

Since having bariatric surgery, the hubbs and I have been looking for meals that are tasty and healthier for the children as well. I can normally create and make dishes that they don’t mind trying and are affordable to feed the whole family of 6.

A few months after the soft foods stage, once I was approved for regular foods. I started noticing constipation picking back up. After researching and speaking with my bariatric coach I came to realize that I had to start paying more attention to my foods.

Then about a year after surgery, I had to readjust my diet again because I noticed that certain foods were making me feel heavy when I would eat them. I had to slow down on red meats and pork, starches, certain grains, certain dairy foods and more. I use to substitute my meats for steak usually because of the high protein, but it was definitely not agreeing with my stomach anymore.

So when I attempted this copycat for the family I used the steak. When I made the quick recipe for myself I used salmon instead and I did it in the microwave vs the oven.

I can say for sure that it was definitely easier to digest with the salmon. It was filling without making me feel sick. I loved it.

Support Is Key With Bariatric Surgery

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Going through something like bariatric surgery really affects you internally. Before going through with it, make sure you have a good team or person behind you. I have a girlfriend who has been through this entire journey with me before and after VSG. We have a lot in common and that’s probably why we’ve been friends for so long.

We have various similarities like our food choices, how we used food to cope with emotions and stress, our thought processes are similar, so it’s nice to have a person besides my husband who understands.

For me it was great to have a person I could vent to about any and everything. She was the one I called when I had a mental breakdown during the liquid phase of my diet.

My doctor and therapist warned me about the mental aspects of the diet but they didn’t really go through how deeply this surgery affects even your thought process once food is taken away from you.

The Breakdown

I had hit rock bottom with the liquid diet and I was so over the protein shakes and the yogurts. I craved salt and savory foods. But I didn’t have enough knowledge on the food recipes to get through every phase. I mean sure they give you a list of foods you can and can not have but no meal ideas to put together. If you don’t research these things prior to surgery then you fall into a whirlwind of repeat food and it’s so aggravating.

I went off on my husband because he couldn’t figure out what I wanted to eat. I know it sounds crazy.

He kept asking me “what did I want to eat?”

I was unsure because I was totally over everything in my refrigerator.

So I made him choose.

He must have gone through 3 or 4 different options. Broth, yogurt, Jell-O, protein shakes, protein yogurt everything was sweet.

Nope, nope, nope, nope…..

I exploded.

Realizing the Issue

I told him “he didn’t care about me”, and that “he wanted me to be hungry”. I blamed him for being in pain. I called him a bad caretaker, I was an emotional wreck. None of it was true but I was reacting off hunger emotions, stress and depression. I couldn’t think straight because I couldn’t satisfy the craving I was having for food.

I felt like he wasn’t doing a good enough job with helping me. Even though he had nothing to do with why I was feeling so angry, confused and hurt.

My girlfriend talked me through why I felt the way I did and I came to realize I was HANGRY. The lack of food choices, mixed with the inability to help myself, and the pressures of dealing with all the stress without packing down donuts or cookies to cope with the changes was killing me.

It was breaking me down because I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. Having her there to go through that situation with me was easier to handle BECAUSE I had someone to talk to. Someone other than the person I had just went off on.

After she and I talked, I realized that I had treated my husband horribly. All he did was try to help me. He was there, he supported me, and took my brutality while I processed my everything. I couldn’t have been more grateful for the time he took to make sure that I was okay.

I didn’t realize how insane I would become just because I couldn’t eat. It’s not like it happened a lot either. But, it was during that time I understood that although food was not my main problem with my overall health it was still a problem nonetheless.

This particular situation with my husband and how I felt about my entire recovery during the liquid phase really kickstarted my mental health evaluation.

If it wasn’t for the two of them I don’t know where I would be mentally with my recovery.

I often hear people talk about how they have gone through the surgery and have difficulty with recovery because they don’t have support or they are surprised at how many people turn their back on you during a time of need like this.

My suggestion, get a therapist. If you don’t have anyone or find yourself struggling especially mentally seek a specialist, find a support group and just vent. Don’t sit in a cloud of confusion and depression because you feel some type of way.

You will never improve if you don’t fix you first.

Listen to YOUR body folks

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🚨⚠VSG EDUCATION & INSIGHTS⚠🚨

Please listen to your body folks. I don’t know how people manage to re-stretch their stomach after #VSG.

In 1 year I have overindulged twice and the first time was on accident.

1st time: A seafood binge on my birthday, I had just got onto soft foods and I was a little too excited ( almost 3 weeks post op)

2nd Time: Drinking and eating at the same time and over filled my belly (like 2 weeks ago)

When you have Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy you are informed that you should not to eat and drink at the same time (it prevents overwhelming your stomach). You are encouraged to eat slow and take small bites. Thoroughly chew your food until it is basically mush (helps to digest better)

Guys please make it easier for yourself especially during your first year of recovery. This photo displays the usual amount of food I can eat in a setting before I FEEL FULL! I have learned to listen. Right now I am 1 year 2 weeks post op. I eat a lot of small meals throughout the day and I am completely satisfied.

On another note @starbucks hit the nail on the head with these egg bites. OMG they are lite and fluffy, and sooooooooooo good 😋 I’m saving the other one for midday snack😁

That wasn’t exactly tasty 🤨😲

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“I stopped eating sugary and processed foods back in January 2020 in preparation for surgery.”

Food Info⚠️
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I am almost 13 months post op and I’m still learning things about myself and this new tongue that I have. Okay, so this is typically how my mornings go especially when I’m on the run. I usually grab fruit and yogurt or coffee. This morning I decided to try a Nutri-Grain bar 🤢
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I stopped eating sugary and processed foods back in January 2020 in preparation for surgery. Every now and then I may have a popsicle or something but I’m more into savory things and such. I opened the package and tasted a crumb and gave it to my husband. 🙊 I CAN’T DO IT!


I’m not saying everyone will loose certain cravings and tastes  for all things sugary. But for me it’s a no go. I opted for the banana and I was still only able to finish half of that.
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Listen to your body folks….. your stomach will remind you later.
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#vsgblogger #vsgfood #healthyeats #vsgjourney #vsg #vsglifestyle #breakfast #bariatriclife #gastricsleeve