Gall Talk

Sharing recipes, war stories, and advice about gallbladder surgery

Diet 101

So, you’ve realized that whole “all the cheeseburgers in the world” thing your doctor told you is a lie.   Basic logic tells you that you are now missing an organ, and your body must adjust and compensate. Maybe you’ve already noticed that your body reacts poorly to some food. Here’s a basic break-down that worked for me:

1) Immediately after surgery: tiny portions (no more than 4 oz) as often as I felt hungry of apple sauce, chicken broth, jello, and similar liquid stuff.  Eventually, if you’re good, you can move on to exciting things like mashed potatoes and maybe even toast.

2) The next 6 months: Very Strict Diet. Things you will not even breathe near: anything spicy, fried, or fatty. Full-fat dairy. Processed meats like salami or pastrami. Alcohol of any kind. Sour cream. Ice cream. Any kind of fast food from any kind of fast food restaurant (if you were a frequent visitor of McDonald’s or its brethren, you can forget about them permanently). No red meat. No mayonnaise, salad dressings, or sauces that contain vinegar.

At this point, you’re wondering, “WTF am I supposed to eat?? Grass?” No, young grasshopper, there is a variety of things you can eat.  Your new diet will be a combination of low-fat and high-fiber. You will eat a lot of whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and quinoa. You can have all the fruits and vegetables your heart desires, as long as they aren’t fried or soaking in heavy cream. Chicken, fish, and other seafood are your new best friends, and you might even have a bit of occasional pork. While you can forget about a red velvet cupcake, you can have as much angel’s food cake as you can cram in. Legumes (beans) are also going to become a wonderful new staple.

3) 1 year after and going forward: You can try reintroducing some things and see how you feel. Everyone thinks this diet is really hard, but in fact, it’s really easy. When you eat something stupid, your body will immediately say, “NO, YOU JERK, YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO EAT THAT”. You learn those cues pretty fast.

For me, it’s been about 5 years now. I eat a little beef sometimes, but a steak will put me under. I loooove tiramisu, but can only eat it if I split it with 2 people. Ice cream is still a no-no, but gelato is a fantastic substitute.   And just the smell of a Burger King makes me ill to the stomach.

Don’t worry. I promise it will be okay.

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