100 Grams of Protein

In my last post, I mentioned that I was trying to eat 100 grams of protein a day to help with wound healing for my mastectomy incisions (more later on if you dare read about it). Being a no sugar/starch/grains kinda gal, “How hard could that be?” One hundred grams protein = 400 kcal, and my daily allotment is just at 1200. No biggie. Ha!

Here is what it takes for me to stuff down 100 grams of protein, keeping in mind I am trying to maximize calories (!) because my appetite is crap suboptimal:

  • Whey protein shake with whole milk = 24
  • Three 3 eggs = 18
  • 1 oz Gouda cheese = 7
  • 1 cup Fage 0% Greek yogurt = 20
  • 4 oz filet mignon (I get to treat myself) = 33

Now add a couple of servings of berries, a huge salad, some broccoli and I barely make 1,000 calories. The sight of eggs is starting to gag me. Sure we mix up the meat/fish protein (smoked salmon, yummy!), and I can always eat another serving of Fage to make up if my daily count is running low. But, I prefer not to have so much protein coming from dairy sources. Again, my appetite is off, so nibbling on almonds (8 grams for 1/4 cup) just isn’t very palatable now.

Why so focused on protein for wound healing? I couldn’t find a reliable scientific answer about how much I should be eating when trying to heal up a nasty wound. The consensus is more protein = good. (Along with certain vitamins.) As I have bemoaned over many posts, my former breasts were very saggy with resulting thin skin over the chest wall. During a skin-sparing mastectomy, the breast tissue is scooped away from the skin. shearing off blood vessels and nerves. If one has a marginal blood supply to certain skin areas, well, then one is almost guaranteed to have some areas of skin necrosis (death). Even “normal” women who have a mastectomy run a 10% chance of developing some skin necrosis in the incisions. The plastic surgeon left lots ofย  extra skin to work with for my second surgery (when my temporary tissue expanders will be replaced with permanent implants). Good for me because I have a significant amount of necrosis – so much that I am having surgery next Tuesday to remove the dead skin. This is kind of like a burn – there is plenty of good skin underneath, but the bad stuff has to be removed or risk infection and really bad outcomes.ย  Also, the tissue expanders cannot be “blown up” with fluid to prepare my chest for the permanent implants until these incisions get healed. Heavy sigh…

The good news is that 2 of the 4 drains were removed yesterday, which decreased some of the pain I am having. I doubt the other 2 will come out before next week.

Until then, it’s choke down protein, vitamins, green veggies, and fruit; rest; stay mentally active; and keep a positive attitude. I don’t know which of these is harder.


15 thoughts on “100 Grams of Protein

  1. Rarely have I ever had a lack of appetite. It looks like you are doing a good job of getting lots of protein for little calories. Do you like beans? They are a great source of protein when paired with a whole grain.

    I have two friends who have had similar surgeries to yours. They had very good outcomes with the reconstructive surgery and got lifts for the other side at the same time! They ended up with matching girls!

    Great news that the drain removal has helped with your pain level.

    I haven’t been spending much time blogging or posting comments since my daughter came home. We have been having so much fun having “girl” days. Even so, you have been and will continue to be in my prayers and thoughts.

    Hoping you have an amazing day today! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The long-term goal is that I will have the best looking chest in the nursing home! LOL
      Thanks for your continued prayers.

  2. Yikes. I read another blog where a woman is post surgery and trying to eat a lot of protein too. My least favorite food group:( How about beans? I’m a big fan myself.

    • I love beans but haven’t been eating them much because of carbs – might just change that!!!!

  3. Glad you got drains out, but sorry about the necrosis. You know as well as I that it happens. Don’t forget to hydrate and take your vitamins too!

  4. Thanks for the reminder about hydrating – it’s so easy to forget even here in Tucson. I’m taking a “senior” (cough) multi-vitamin with zinc, vitamin A and supplementing with 2 grams of C (channeling the ghost of Linus Pauling) ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I’m so glad you’re progressing right along with your recovery! I find it difficult to ramp up the protein, too. A girl can only eat so much tuna! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Oh Jan, My heart goes out to you and I am so happy to hear that at least two of the drains have been removed so that you can experience at least a measure of more comfort. I hear you on the protein front….lobster, crab, yellowfin tuna are all pretty high, as are pumpkin and squash seeds if that is any help. If you’re not up to heavy, fish or seafood lettuce wraps are pretty light. You are in my thoughts and prayers every day as you progress toward your complete recovery. ~ Blessings, Janet

  7. I’m just curious – why are you not wanting to get too much of your protein from dairy? I’m trying to up my protein right now too (to help my muscles since I’m swimming so much) and not being a huge meat fan at the moment, I’m ending up with Fage twice a day, plus a Honey Milk protein drink, among other things. It isn’t easy, that’s for sure – but I was glad to see the filet mignon treat in there for you – I can’t help but think that the iron has also got to be great for your healing!

    Glad some of the drains were removed. You’re getting there…I know it’s not easy.

    • My personal reason for limiting dairy is what is does (or rather does NOT do) for my gut. I’m not into the arguments about whether dairy is meant to be consumed by humans or raw vs. pasteurized products. Just my own choice to seek a variety of protein sources that agree with my body.

  8. You could try mixing stuff into your yogurt – like chopped almonds or even some protein powder. I am not a big egg person, but I make a scrambled mix of turkey sausage “crumbles”, spinach, eggs and a bit of parmesean.

    I hope the healing keeps progressing and that you find some things to keep yourself positive. Want movie/book/TV/internet suggestions?! Put it out there…

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