Over a series of posts, I’ll be walking through the healthy steps I took to prepare my body for the trauma that is surgery, highlighting the steps I took to shorten the healing process, prevent muscle loss and weight gain, keep my digestive system functioning and maintain high levels of energy and immunity. Last week I focused on my exercise routine. This week takes a closer look at what I ate.
I curated a diet of simple, easily digestible foods, eating similar foods at the same times from day to day to keep my body in sync. I removed potential gut agitators, primarily gluten and dairy. Though I’m an O-blood type and need red meat, I cut it out of my diet this week. Red meat stays in the system for quite awhile before it’s fully digested.
Monday and Tuesday my food focus was easily digestible, high protein foods and fresh produce that would work together to build my immune system and sustain my energy levels.
Breakfast: sautéed oatmeal. This is my go-to when I’m looking for a hearty, protein and fiber-dense breakfast that can be prepared in under ten minutes. It’s gluten and dairy-free, naturally sweetened with banana, and keeps me full for hours. Watch for the recipe in an upcoming post!
Lunch: roasted root veggies (beets, carrots and sweet potatoes) on a bed of arugula tossed lightly in oil and lemon, served with roasted salmon
Salad spotlight: Specific reasons I chose these foods pre-surgery
- Beets increase blood flow and carrots are highly anti-inflammatory, both touting cardiovascular benefits preventing the formation of clots during the immobility in recovery
- Sweet potatoes are high in immunity-boosting Vitamins A, C and E, as well as digestion-friendly fiber and anti-inflammatory antioxidants
- Although greens are typically more difficult to digest, arugula is high in magnesium and vitamin C, which work together to destress the digestive system
- Salmon is not only among the most digestible protein sources, but new studies show it actually works as an anti-inflammatory in the intestinal tract. (A win-win for a fit girl fearing for her tummy once anesthesia and Vicodin make their way onto the scene)
Dinner: pulled chicken breast, baked sweet potato topped with coconut oil (a major digestive aid), and a baby watermelon (it wasn’t intentional, but I ate the whole thing!)
I snacked on apples, mangos and dates throughout the week and consumed a ton of water.
On Wednesday I switched to a liquid diet to ease up on my GI tract even more. Before breaking out the juice, I started the day with a breakfast smoothie made of nutrient-dense produce (spinach and blueberries), a healthy fat (avocado), protein, fiber and omega 3’s (ground hemp and flax seeds) and a natural immunity boost (a touch of local honey). I then eased into juices the remainder of the day and began fasting at midnight in preparation for my operation in the morning.
What to watch for next week: How a Fit Girl Recovers