Hi, Friends. I’m nearly four weeks post-surgery and doing fairly well. Some minor discomfort, which is to be expected. And as I mentioned in my previous post, this recovery has been so much better than my last that I can’t complain. My bruising has diminished a lot, but I still look like a puffer fish. This swelling is stubborn, man. And my jaw will be rubber-banded shut for about two more weeks. Which means I’m still on a liquid diet. Which means… I’m officially hangry.
You guys – I would trade my children for a cheeseburger right now if I could actually eat it.
In some messed-up, masochistic form of torture, I can’t stop watching food videos. You know the ones that demonstrate an entire recipe in about 60 seconds? Literally, can’t stop watching them. Hey, it’s 11:43pm and I should be sleeping, but instead I’m going to watch “Oven-Baked Chicken Wings 4 Ways.” This is my life now. It’s sick, I know.
But it all looks so good. The trashier, more junked-up food, the better. A giant meatball filled with spaghetti? OMG I need. Oreo-stuffed donut holes? Get in my belly. Every possible variation on stir-fry you could possibly imagine? I want them all.
At first glance a Mac-N-Cheese Bun Burger looks disgusting. But after you haven’t eaten solid food in a month, it’s pure genius. I would so eat a Mac-N-Cheese bun burger. Speaking of Mac-N-Cheese, did you know there are 14,738 ways to make it? It’s true. I know because I’ve watched/read every single variation on how to do so. Quesadillas compete with Mac-N-Cheese in terms of sheer volume of recipes. Before I would’ve just thrown some cheese on a tortilla and stuck it in the microwave. Maybe a little guac if I was feeling feisty. But quesadillas can be so much more than that! They hold endless culinary potential! I would’ve never thought to make a quesadilla with flank steak fajitas or BBQ chicken and Gouda or sautéed mushrooms and spinach. So fancy! Thankfully my eyes have been opened.
I now realize what I’ve been missing out on. Why have I never eaten a chocolate cream cheese croissant bake? That sounds amazing! BBQ Bacon Onion Meatball Bomb? I’m intrigued. The only recipes I don’t get excited about involve cauliflower. I just can’t get behind the cauliflower craze. Anyway, I could go on about all the recipe amazingness I’ve discovered during my convalescence – like 50 variations of baked penne – but I’ll stop. In an effort to be productive during the past few weeks I decided to actually take all these newfound recipes and meal plan. I can’t wait to make (and eat) all these weird, delicious things.*
So what am I actually “eating”?
Protein shakes. You knew that was coming.
Everyone who recommended protein shakes to me and insisted they weren’t bad – tasty, even! – YOU ALL LIED.
Before my surgery I got a little over-enthusiastic about my recovery drinks and bought four different brands of protein powders. Four. Do you understand how large protein powder containers are? I am drowning in protein powder. So even though I think they all taste like sidewalk chalk, I persist. At one point I added coffee ice cream to my Shakeology in a misguided attempt to make it palatable. What a waste of good ice cream. No matter how creative I get with these powders, they just don’t taste good.
When I initially solicited my friends for their brand recommendations, I was asked for reviews. So here are my rankings, from best to worst:
- Vital Proteins: This is actually tasteless. So whoever recommended this, you’re not a liar. But everyone else still is. If you’re going to blow your money on protein powder, buy this kind.
- Orgain: No matter how much I doctor this up – almond or coconut milk, fruit, etc. – it still tastes like protein powder. Just not as much as the other brands. I did enjoy the pre-made shake more than anything I blended for myself, so if you still want to drink these things, go that route.
- Shakeology: I know a lot of people who swear by Shakeology. Um, okay. I add a few dates as a natural sweetener and a heaping spoonful of peanut butter to make this drinkable. I’m talking Skippy here, not the all-natural, healthy PB you buy for your kids.
- Vega Protein & Greens: Sorry friends who like this. You have obviously never enjoyed a mac-n-cheese bun burger (or anything remotely tasty) if you think this is enjoyable. Or even tolerable. The recipe on the top of jar was for, “Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie.” I made this recipe and IT TASTED NOTHING LIKE AN OATMEAL COOKIE.
After complaining enough my mom told me to just drink milkshakes. Indeed, even my doctor told me to drink milkshakes. He said, “I don’t care if you drink Oreo milkshakes all day, every day.” He did want me to add protein powder to the milkshakes, but, ew. At first I attempted to avoid the shakes, in an effort to be mindful of my recovery. But after a couple weeks of bone broth and smoothies, I caved. So now I drink the smoothies and the protein shakes and the bone broth, but I also drink a milkshake every day. I’m only human. I will shun these unhealthy sugar-bombs once I’m consuming more than a few hundred calories a day in protein powder.*** But until then, bring on the milkshakes. Want to know my milkshake rankings? This is important.
- Five Guys
I should note usually my mom makes me milkshakes at home, but every now and then we splurge. Oh, did I mention my mom? Here she is!
This is my mom helping Elisabeth with her homework. That seems fairly unremarkable, except that my mom is supposed to be on a cruise around the British Isles right now, not teaching her granddaughter sight words.
Yes, my saint of a mother ditched her cruise to stay and take care of the kids and me.
My mom collected my kids from California and brought them home Labor Day Weekend. It was great to see them after a month apart, but it was a setback for my recovery. Soon after they arrived my pain increased. At that point I couldn’t speak at all, and trying to communicate with Elisabeth and James was exhausting and frustrating. I didn’t (and still don’t) have the energy to care to them full time. Not to mention, they’re kind of hazardous. I have been headbutted in the face no less than five times. Not good for a jaw that has recently been operated on. Add to that that at the time my mom was supposed to leave, Damon was also leaving for several days and we still thought Irma might hit us and prompt an evacuation. It was all too much for me. (Which I did not like to admit. But the thought of evacuating by myself with two kids, unable to speak or eat, and still dealing with pain was overwhelming.)
So my mom stayed. Because that’s what she does – takes care of other people. I honestly don’t know how I would have survived the past couple of weeks without her, and I am eternally grateful. Thanks, Mom.
*Let’s be honest. I’m never actually going to make any of these things.
**This is obviously not a sponsored post.
***Hahaha. No I won’t. Milkshakes are delicious.