There is a difference between clear liquids and full liquids. This post lists both. A clear liquid diet is often used as the first step in post-op nutrition, they supply fluid, electrolytes, and a limited amount of energy and encourage the restoration of gut activity after surgery (some Dr's skip this and move straight to full liquids.) Full liquid diets include milk, milk products, milk alternatives (lactose intolerance or dairy-free) and other liquids with slightly more texture. Be sure you are always choosing sugar-free, low naturally occurring sugar (lactose), no added sugar liquids.
There's not much you can do but survive this part of the journey. The liquids through pureed/soft food phase are miserable and until you start eating "real food" again you will feel like a patient. It gets better I promise.
A few items that help in this phase:
Popsicle Molds - $1 store carries them or you can do the old Dixie cup, foil and wooden stick trick but I love these molds. You can pour leftover SF drinks in and make your own popsicles. If you want to take your popsicles on the go these popsicle baggies are pretty cool.
Ice Cube Trays - You will be opening boxes of broth or making homemade broth (great to do a couple of nights before surgery), pour the remainder of the box into an ice cube tray and freeze. When frozen unmold and put in a freezer Ziploc bag. Nuke one or 2 cubes as needed. I know... 1 or 2 cubes crazy?! but remember you are healing and this won't be the way you "eat" forever. It will freak you out for a bit. I drank capfuls of double milk (recipe below) and cried and thought "What the hell did I do to myself?! I can't live like this?!" It's the shock of surgery, shock of new life, drugs & anesthesia in your system, hormones, lack of nutrients... again... it gets better I promise.
Measuring cups and food scale - When our nerves are healing we may not be getting the signal or feeling of fullness, as RNYers we also have a bypassed pyloric valve so fluids flow on through. Post-ops often question "Did they even do surgery?" when they don't feel restriction, you will know you had it during solids. Trust me. Remember I said this the first day you eat chicken. It's important you eat the appropriate portion sizes (your Dr. will provide you this info at each food phase) things like measuring cups, little portion cups and a food scale can help.
Blender Bottle for shaking up protein powder shakes and Travel "sippy-cup style" Mugs which sort of skims foam off protein shakes as you drink them, foam can sometimes make you more gassy early on.
Some Liquid Ideas
Sugar Free Drinks - look for non-carbonated, caffeine free (most programs clear you for both in moderation after a time) I love the little sticks that can go in water: crystal light style. Dehydration is one of the main reasons for readmission to the hospital post-op so don't let it happen to you. Sip, sip, sip.
Decaf Tea - Regular or herbal teas are a nice way to start the day (until you are cleared for caffeine/coffee which varies from program to program.) Speaking of tea: Smooth Move Tea is also a good one if you are having constipation (ask your Dr before using.)
Sugar Free Jello (packets and refrigerated cups) - seems thicker than "liquid" but generally is OK and when you are allowed yogurt try one of my favorite recipes: Fluff Stuff
Popsicles - Sugar Free Popsicles will be your best friend, crunch factor.
Broth (homemade, strained of all solids) or Store bought (canned or boxed) - I love boxed and when you get bored of one flavor start mixing them (easy if you made cubes, just pop a couple of each flavor.)
Bone Broth (more protein) Pacific Organic Bone Broth comes in some fun flavors: Turkey with Rosemary, Sage & Thyme, Chicken with Ginger, Chicken with Lemongrass and Chicken Original.
Protein Soups - A few companies make savory protein powders now. Celebrate Vitamins (see link on the left) makes a Chicken Soup and Tomato Soup version.
Strained Cream Soups - Just make sure their are no solid chunks of veggies or meats, pour through a fine mesh strainer.
More Money Saving Tips.
Protein Shakes - Look for low carb, low calorie, whey protein isolate is best for absorption. Then it's really a personal taste thing... keep trying them you will find a favorite... look for travel packets, samples, sharing tubs with other post-ops.
More Protein Tips
My Favorite Protein Shake Recipes
Sip water every chance you get, walk, breathe fresh air and chill. Leave the scale alone for awhile. I know you want to see the #'s drop but unless you are super strong it's going to drive you batty. Despite doing all the right things it may not move right away or it may move for a time then sit at one weight for weeks then suddenly drop. Concentrate on the life changes: healthy eating choices, moving your body every day, working on the head stuff. There is no finish line. The day after a scale # or a dress size is achieved you will wake up to more of the same. The #'s will come and if you concentrate on those life changes versus the #'s, those #'s may just stick around a lot longer ;)
Cleared by your Dr. to move on... Tips, Suggestions & Recipe for Pureed/Soft Stage