Bring on the Protein!


When I first started researching WLS – waaayyyyyy back when – I quickly discerned a theme that was more than just passingly recurrent: PROTEIN!

It was preached from the rooftops!

It was lauded by the experts (surgeons, nutritionists, support group leaders, long-term post-ops).

There was a baseline assumption that every pre-op would include as a part of their preparation for surgery a foray into the protein supplement waters and find several options that as a post-op would become something akin to a life preserver.

I was wide-eyed.

I knew next to nothing.

I listened carefully, I nodded a lot, I took copious quantities of notes.

…and then I did some protein drink taste testing.

(…gosh… I didn’t know anyone snapped a picture of me then…)

It wasn’t pretty.

Come to find out – I’m allergic to virtually all of them.

I really don’t like projectile vomiting, or having mind-blowingly wretched gut aches, or explosive diarrhea, or life-alteringly wicked migraines, or hives all over my body, or asthma attacks, or anaphylaxis.

So I knew early on that I’d have to be strategic about protein as a post-op.

It meant I’d have to *gasp* get all of my protein from FOOD!

(Honestly – I still have a really hard time not laughing out loud when someone gives me this horrified look and asks, “You mean you’re a WLS post-op and you get your protein from food?” Kinda like I’ve just confessed to something like eating my own boogers (blech! I can’t believe I just typed that!) for heaven’s sake!)

So – I dug in.

I did my research.

I strategized.

I gathered tools.

And I started reading a LOT of labels.

Know what?

It’s not that hard – the whole get your protein in by food thing.

If you’re a DS’er – it’s actually not hard at all. If you’re a RNY post-op – I’m sorry, my methodology probably ain’t gonna work for you. It’s all about the pylorus, baby! It is your friend, and yes, Ms. You Know Who You Are Surgeon – we are in love with our pylori!

So – I’m gonna make you a deal.

I’m gonna spend this week focusing on protein here.

We’re gonna talk about why it’s important.

We’re gonna talk about how much you need.

We’re gonna talk about what your protein-related labs are and where they ought to be.

We’re gonna talk about how to correct sucky protein-related labs.

And I’m gonna give you some recipes that will hopefully help you celebrate the fact that you’re a DS’er and that food is not the enemy.


And lastly – on Friday – maybe every Friday, even – I’m gonna have a Q&A. It’ll be protein related this week – and if you have any questions about protein as a post-op – sock-it to me, and I’ll do my level best to give you maybe an answer, but if not an answer, at least the right direction to find one.

And hey – just so we’re all on the same page – let me encourage you to use the Comment function, okay? This is going to be all about conversation – not lecture, okay? Keep it clean, of course, but I want to know what you think about all of this stuff!

And if you’re new to blogging or RSS feeds – here’s a great insider tip. You can sign up for a “subscription” to a blog – gosh – tons of places on the web anymore – with this great little orange and white graphic that you’ll see on your browser toolbar (on a more probable than not basis).

When you click on that you’ll have the option of subscribing to that site’s RSS feed. I use Microsoft Outlook and when I subscribe, it automatically sets up a new folder with the appropriate name and downloads new content. It’s fabulous. Or – if you look on the right side of this blog – under the “About Me” blurb, there’s an option to sign up for new posts to be delivered to your inbox by email.

So – you with me?


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Blackthorne says:

    Dina –
    I know you’re better researched than most, so if anyone has an answer, it would be you. One of the “rules of thumb” I hear tossed about – both in the WLS community and the body-building one – is that the body can only absorb 30g of protein at a time. Yet when I ask people who quote this as ‘fact’ to produce medical research to support this, I have yet to have anyone actually do so. The only DS specific research I’ve seen on absorption was Gagner’s piece on how much fat we absorb.

    Have you ever seen or read any clinical studies that document how much protein can be absorbed by anyone- by normies, DS’ers, mice, rats, pigs, or little green men from Mars? If so, can you provide a link or article/author so that I can get a copy of it?



    1. Dina says:


      EXCELLENT question! I’ve actually done quite a lot of research on this very topic and if you’ll allow me – I’d like to hold the answer for Friday. Okay?

      Thanks so much!


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