As part of my recovery process from my surgery on August 7th, I haven't been able to cook for myself for almost a month now. Except for a fried egg, here and there.
As someone who does enjoy cooking, less than some but more than others, it's been hard on me. I haven't been able to decide what I want to eat, how I want it to taste and what I can and can't grab when I'm suddenly starving (apparently testosterone makes me act like the Hulk when I get hungry):
+ HUNGER =
So, what's a health coach to do?
Well, I applied what I knew and made the best of it. Just like I tell all my clients.
Most mornings, I had instant oatmeal and added nuts, seeds, butter, nut butter, honey, maple syrup, raisins--any or most of those. Lunch was tasty leftovers from friends or whatever Brenda had made.
Dinner was more of the same from lunch.
I can't exercise, so everything I'm eating isn't being worked off, the way that the body likes to utilize energy/food. So, as I'm trying to make good decisions with the food I'm being offered and what little I'm able to make, I'm also trying to consider what my body needs to heal well AND the pounds I'm adding since I can't exercise.
Yeah. Or as that swimmer guy from the Olympics would say, "JEAH!"
My physical limitations created a need to ask for help--and an even greater awareness of what I wanted to consume, how, when, where and why.
Here's my biggest secret: Don't Eat Crap.
I felt like celebrating. I totally did! But I also felt like I needed to eliminate the massive build-up of toxins (anethesia and Rx drugs for pain) and the monotonous diet of simple carbs I had while recovering that first week. Eating crap food wasn't going to help me celebrate this milestone in my life.
Here's what I did to cleanse and restore following surgery (good advice for anyone, anytime):
1) prioritized veggies as much as possible: thanks to my pals who made delicious, veggie-based dinners for me to eat. WOW! They helped so much. I also ate chopped-up carrots, broccoli and cucumbers on a daily basis for snacks.
2) water: we bought huge containers of water with the little spigot on the bottom because I couldn't raise a glass to fill it at the sink. I felt like an animal making hourly migrations to the watering hole...
3) reduced sugar and wheat: both major causes of inflammation, I reduced or limited how I consumed these in the weeks following my surgery. It gave me the room I needed for better food AND helped aid all my tissues in speedier healing.
4) read, wrote, slept and welcomed visitors: since I was busy doing these things, I wasn't walking around the house eating from boredom.
5) ask for help: when I felt hungry, I asked for help reaching for things. When I needed meat, I asked for it. When I needed veggies, I asked for them. Water. Some ice cream.
This recovery process and my experience with cooking for myself is just another example of how everything in our lives happens for a reason and we can use every experience to learn and grow from it.