Traveling Post-op

I'm going to NY soon and it got me thinking about our special needs as a post-op. I figured I'd share a few of the post weight loss surgery travel tips that have helped me. Hope it helps you too.

Eating and Food:

On the plane: I generally eat what I can of what I am given (chicken off a salad, meat out of a sandwich) but you can request a "Low Calorie" or "Diabetic Meal" these are more weight loss surgery friendly. I fly United so here is United's explanation of their special meals check with your airline carrier of choice

Out of the snack basket: choose peanuts (watch out for honey roasted), almonds, beef jerky. To drink: I usually water down OJ, have plain water, or tea (they have decaf). I'm mildly lactose intolerant so since they don't have my soy milk and I'm not a black coffee girl coffee is out for me unless they have non-dairy creamer.

At restaurants: I can usually find something at any restaurant that I can eat. I may have to have them leave something off or change something slightly. I generally say, "I have some specific dietary concerns can I have no xyz and add abc instead." I also order items a la carte and create my own meals.

Here's a great site that might help you plan ahead.

Just an FYI for those needing soy milk like me: Starbucks in every city I've been has soymilk. There's something comforting about that.

Getting your protein supplements in: There's a ton of different RTD's ready-to-drink protein drinks on the market or just bring your favorite protein powder (single scoops placed in snack baggies or travel packets). I put them in my checked luggage or send them ahead and I bring my trusty shaker bottle.

On long trips car trips: I always bring along some protein snacks (protein bars, cheese sticks, almonds, peanuts, crunchy cheese, turkey jerky, tuna kits, crab packets). I freeze a few water bottles for most of the day they keep my snacks cold in the cooler and at the end of the day the defrosted water is a nice cold drink. The dreaded gas station convenience store stop: Avoid the cheetos and nachos and opt for a cheesestick or nuts.

At the hotel: if possible I request an empty mini fridge in the room so I can stop at a local supermarket and get some cheesesticks, yogurt, and fresh fruit. Snacks that will keep me from making not so good choices.

For really long trips or if bag space is needed mail some supplements (protein powder, vitamins, bars, shelf stable soy milk) to your destination. Call your hotel to be sure but generally if you address the package:

No-tell Motel
c/o Guest: Eggface (arriving 9/5)
100 Main Street
Anytown, USA 00000

most hotels will hold your package at the front desk for you.

Traveling in Europe: A lot of Bed and Breakfast (B&B's) and hotels in Europe offer breakfast with your stay but unfortunately it's usually a high carb feast. Generally you can order a protein source like an egg for an additional cost or better yet head over to a local market and buy small tastes of local cheeses, meats, and veggies and have a picnic staring at the Eiffel Tower or the Italian countryside.

Be aware that some countries are "insulted" if you leave food or don't eat heartily it may be best to explain that you recently had surgery and can eat only a little when you first order.

Exercise while traveling:

* Walk the aisle of the plane. Everyone should do this a few times a flight to avoid blood clots whether you are post-op or not.

* During flight layovers I walk the airport. If my flight is taking off at Gate 100 I walk to Gate 1 and back.

* I always try and stay in hotels that have a gym room or pool.

* Some gyms let you have a day pass to try before you buy a membership.

* There's a ton of exercises that don't require equipment: jumping jacks, squats, lunges, marching or jogging in place.

* Pack an exercise band and learn a few exercises using it that can be done in your hotel room.

* Walk the halls of the hotel and/or use the stairs instead of the elevator.

* If all else fails go dancing or use your Ipod or turn on the Spotify or Pandora Internet radio channel or radio in the room and get down to that.

* Take a walking tour of the city you're visiting. Check with the tourism office.

* In Europe, you will get plenty of walking in so no worries.

Enjoy your trip!