Nutrition for Surgery and Injury Recovery

January 19, 2019

The idea that eating good food will lead to a good recovery is a novel thought for many, especially considering it's often not discussed leading up to surgery. Listen in to learn how the food you eat now can have a great impact on your recovery and on how quickly your wounds heal - for planned and unplanned surgeries.

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CASSIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. All of you are in for a great show today. My colleague and I are going to be talking about a topic that I don't think we've done yet on this program. Today's topic is nutrition for surgery and injury recovery and I'm betting many of you didn't even realize that there are definite nutritional recommendations to follow before you have surgery and certainly nutritional recommendations for recovery after your surgery. But before we get to those recommendations, I have a statistic to share. Did you know there are 4.8 million surgical procedures done every year in this country? That's a lot and that would say to me, there are probably a lot of listeners out there with a vested interest in our topic that's right now. While I have not had a true cut open the skin type of surgery, I have had some pretty tough procedures done where they did have to sedate me to remove kidney stones. I had to have that done sadly three different times. So it took a toll on my body and I know my cohost has had some major surgery, so really we both know that food matters when it comes to healing after surgery. I am Cassie Weness. I am a registered and licensed dietician. And joining me in studio this morning is JoAnn Ridout. JoAnn is also a registered and licensed dietician. Welcome to the show, JoAnn. It's always such a pleasure to be on air with you.

JOANN: Thank you, Cassie. It's good to be on with you too. It's been a while. I am so happy to be here today to talk about healing after surgery. As Cassie said, I personally know that food matters and even though I've been a dietician for over 30 years and worked at Courage Center for about 25 of those 30, Courage Center is a Rehab Center in Minneapolis that now goes by the name of Courage Kenny. I truly did not understand the positive or negative impact that our diet had on our bodies before and after surgery until they actually experienced that myself. So I want to share that with you a little bit later today.

CASSIE: Yes, today, Joanna and I will share some research with you as we always do. We'll share clinical experience, but we'll also be speaking from a place of personal experience. Now, if you are scheduled to have surgery, it's important to know that the food you eat today can have a big impact on your recovery and how quickly your wounds heal after that surgery. And we realize besides a scheduled surgery, there's always the unexpected. This time of year in Minnesota with the ice people fall that could put you in the hospital. You might have a car accident. You might end up needing an emergency appendectomy. There are so many things that could unexpectedly lead us to a trip to the operating room, so I would advise you eat healthy now whether you have a surgery planned or not because you don't know what tomorrow brings.

JOANN: Exactly, and it is interesting to note that about 72 percent of all surgeries are experienced by people over the age of 45, which is interesting, but it does make sense. And that Minnesota rates in the top three states for the most falls by women and I wonder if ice has something to do.

CASSIE: That makes sense to me because it's winter here. That's interesting. In the top three states for the most falls. And think of all the surgeries that your parents, your aunts and uncles or other relatives, your friends or even you have had or are scheduled to have. And I have some more statistics. These numbers are pretty astounding. When we look at total hip replacements in the United States, every year there's on average 300,000 of those performed a year. Now the number gets even higher when we look at knee replacement surgeries, there are about 700,000 knee replacement surgeries in the United States each year, and that number continues to climb. And here's an even bigger number. 3.6 million cataract surgeries every year just in the United States. Wow. Add those together. 300,000 plus 700,000 plus 3.6 million. Of all of those people, how many do you suppose we're told that they will recover and heal faster if they eat right, if they eat real food. Maybe there was a handful of those millions. But the truth is every type of surgery is a trauma to your body and every surgery brings to you a higher risk for certain things. You're going to be at a higher risk for infection. If you're having a surgery, you're going to be at higher risk for pneumonia. Depending on the type of surgery you're having, you might be at a higher risk of experiencing a fall, higher risk of weight gain or weight loss depending on you and your surgery, and often there's a higher risk of a loss of energy or fatigue.

JOANN: That's right, and before every surgery I've ever had, I was told to scrub down with this antimicrobial soap that was really strong. It made my skin feel weird. But no one ever told me what foods or supplements my body needed to fight off infections or the supply of nutrients that my body needed for healing. After back surgery, I really wish I had known I would recover faster without sugar and without process carbs. Also, no one ever told me before surgery, focus your meals on eating meat and vegetables, good fats, and avoid process foods. Today we want to share the message that eating good food will lead to a good recovery.

CASSIE: Isn't it exciting to be here and be able to share this message as we were not given this, but at least I can share it with all of you. So if you are scheduled for surgery, we have some very basic recommendations to start off with. First, eat real foods at least the majority of the time. Maybe you're not going to be perfect, but if 80, 90 percent of the time you're choosing real foods, you're doing really well. And I bet you've heard that recommendation before. Eat real food, not processed food. Or some dietitians might say eat whole foods. Same thing basically. So what does that really mean? Well, here's one example. If you want to get vitamin C in your diet and you like oranges, it would be best to eat an orange and avoid drinking a glass of orange juice. An orange is a whole real food. Orange juice is a processed food and I know the line starts to get a little fuzzy for some people in terms of what is real and what is processed. This is the way I explained it to my kids and I think this works great for us adults to just ask yourself, is this something I could grow in my garden theoretically or picked from a tree? So if we think of an orange, you know, if we lived in the right state, we could walk out and pick it from a tree. Could we go out and pick a glass of orange juice from a tree? No. So it's processed and it turns to a lot of sugar.

JOANN: It was interesting because at my last job I worked with a person who had just come to this country from Africa a couple of years earlier and she stopped by to talk to me one day because she couldn't figure out why she was gaining weight and she had gained 20 to 30 pounds over the short period of time she had been in the United States. Couldn't figure out why because she was still eating pretty good real food, like what she was used to. But it was interesting as we talked, he was talking about orange juice and she was drinking a 16 ounce bottle of orange juice every single day. So of course I suggested she switched that to water. There's just a lot of sugar. That must have been an aha moment for her that she thought she was picking a healthy beverage, but it really was a processed food. So much higher in sugar.

CASSIE:  Well, and I bet if we let listeners know, I don't know, a 12 ounce glass of juice that probably takes six or more oranges to make that glass of juice. So I think that really starts to help you visualize how much sugar that is. If we look at a baked sweet potato, that's a whole food, right? You could grow that in your garden. Sweet potato chips, not so much. That's a processed food. And we're going to give you just a couple more examples so you can really wrap your head around what is a real food and what is a processed food. But first we have to take a quick break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you're just joining us today, we're discussing foods to include and foods to avoid before and after surgery, whether that's a major surgery or a minor one. And if any of you out there have had surgery, you know that often you experience digestive problems following that surgery. Sometimes it's from the surgery itself. Sometimes it's from the medications that you need to take for pain after the surgery. So because of this, it's really important during this time in your health to support your digestive system. We recommend that you do that with a good probiotic. If you're not familiar with the term probiotic, they are the good bacteria or basically the good bugs in your intestinal track that help with the digestion of foods. They help to fight off germs. They helped to stave off infections. Probiotics also help keep you regular and they help you to avoid nausea after surgery. And when we come back from break, JoAnn will discuss what type of probiotics to use and when. So stay with us. We'll be right back.


JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Before break, Cassie mentioned probiotics, which are the good healthy bacteria that your body needs to digest food. Some foods that are rich in probiotics are full fat, plain organic yogurt and then sauerkraut. So we prefer the old fashioned fermented type. A good brand is Bubby's. Also kimchee and other fermented vegetables. So these are all good sources, but we find most people still need to take a probiotic supplement to avoid heartburn or constipation or diarrhea, or to help our intestines heal after antibiotics and surgery. Our favorite probiotic is bifido bacteria either in capsule or powder form. Most people need two to three capsules of bifido before meals or a quarter to a half teaspoon bifido powder before each meal. So we have bifido balance available each of our seven locations or you can get it online.

CASSIE: And it just got me thinking, hearing you talk about that, JoAnn, I wonder if some people out there have experienced more cravings when they get done with surgery because of antibiotics and other things that they might've had to take that kill off good bacteria and then your yeast kind of overgrows, which is kind of another show. But I thought of that because I just had a class participant last week who's been eating really well tell me she's still having cravings and I said, I think you have yeast overgrowth. You need this probiotic at least for a period of time that you were just talking about. So, it's really a great product. So when we went to break, we were giving some examples of real food versus processed food and like I mentioned, a good question to ask yourself is, could I grow this in my garden or pick it from a tree? So, think of a chicken breast. If tonight for dinner you bake some chicken breast, maybe just drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar over them to marinate them, that would be a real whole food. Now backing up, you can't grow that in your garden, but we could also say if you could raise it on your farm or your ranch, it's real. So you could raise a chicken on your farm. Chicken nuggets on the other hand, very processed. And if you're questioning that at all, just look at the ingredient list. It's like 40 some ingredients long. Some of those brands are very processed, and I could go on and on with different examples, but I think you get the gist. As I think about real food versus processed, I think of what is fed to us when we're in the hospital or to a patient in the hospital and it's kind of sad when you start to think about some of those foods that show up on that hospital food tray, the food tends to be more processed than it is real, which seems like kind of a paradox, right? Because you're in the hospital trying to recover from a surgery or a chronic illness and then you're fed mostly processed foods. That means high sugar. That means not a lot of nutrients. How can we possibly heal well? Well, when we're fed these processed foods, just a thought.

JOANN:  And so let's go back to the idea about an orange versus orange juice. So a 12 ounce glass of orange juice has about the same amount of sugar as a 12 ounce can of soda. So about 11 to 12 teaspoons of sugar. That's a lot. When you think an orange just has about three teaspoons of sugar, so much, much less. So are you thinking, why is sugar and anti healing food? There are many reasons. So one of the most important reasons is that sugar is inflammatory. So there are many reasons sugar and processed carbs can lead to chronic and low grade inflammation like diabetes or high blood pressure come to mind. So one of our clients who just happens to be a nurse found that when she ate processed food, which we know turns to sugar, her knee felt as though it had shards of glass in it, so that caused her intense pain. When she eliminated the sugar and processed carbs, she also eliminated the terrible pain in her knee and that awful feeling of shards of glass was no longer there.

CASSIE: Amazing. And I’ve heard similar stories.

JOANN: I have too and I have personally had that experience when I lost my knee pain and my hip pain when I gave up sugar and those processed carbs, so that really works.

CASSIE: It reminds me of what Darlene Kvist, the owner often says, “Do you have any sugar aches?” Too much sugar in your body does often start to ache. And there are many research studies out there confirming the link between sugar and inflammation. Just one of the many that I've recently read, I want to share with you. This study was looking at the sugar found in soda or in in other drinks like those fancy coffee drinks, and it was linking the sugar to higher inflammatory markers. So here are some specifics. This study found that 50 grams or in other words, 12 and a half teaspoons of fructose, which is one of many forms of sugar caused a spike in an inflammatory marker. Now I just want to back up and say 12 and a half teaspoons is about what you would find in a can of pop or a glass of juice. This was enough to cause a spike in an inflammatory marker called C reactive protein, or sometimes the doctor will call it CRP. I personally had my husband test his CRP because I suspected some inflammation, so oftentimes you can ask your doctor to test this when you're in for an annual exam, drinking a pop or a glass of juice spiked that C reactive protein in just 30 minutes and it stayed high for several hours after drinking that high sugar beverage and that's why one recommendation, one of the many recommendations we give in order to heal your best after a surgery is to avoid drinking pop. Avoid drinking juice. And I know listeners are not going to like this next one. Avoid drinking alcohol because alcohol spikes your blood sugar.

JOANN: That's right. It is inflammatory.

CASSIE: Yes, and it's not just JoAnn and I up on our soap box saying this stuff. You know, even the American heart association has come out and said, we are getting too much sugar in our diet and it is inflammatory and they've come out with some specific recommendations. For adult women, the American heart association says don't eat any more than six teaspoons of added sugar. So you better not drink that can of pop or even a small foo foo coffee drink because you're going to get more than six teaspoons. And then for adult men, the American Heart Association says no more than nine teaspoons of sugar.

JOANN: That's right. So when you eat the real whole foods such as celery sticks instead of celery juice or other juiced vegetables, you get the fiber in your diet with those whole vegetables, the whole foods. It's important to include fiber while you're recovering from any type of surgery. So you may wonder why fiber is so important. Fiber plays a major role in preventing constipation. Many of you know that is a common complication after surgery and not only is constipation more than a little annoying, it can lead to major discomfort and also weight gain, but more importantly, constipation shuts down the essential process of eliminating all of the toxins from your body after surgery. And you need those toxins to be eliminated.               So of course you can add a fiber supplement, but at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, you know we always say food first and we do know that real food works best.

CASSIE: Absolutely, and if you want to know which foods to eat to best support regular bowel movements, I would suggest three words: Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. A variety of a lot of vegetables. If your digestive system is a little out of whack because you've just been through surgery, the cooked vegetables are probably going to be easier on your system, so you might want to do more cooked than raw. Please don't look to the so called “high fiber” cereals or the Fiber One bars and those types of things. Those are processed foods and so they're going to turn to a lot of sugar. Sugar is inflammatory and that slows down the healing process. A nice way to add a lot of vegetables to your eating plan is to make a vegetable soup, and if you do that with a homemade bone broth, you're going to get a lot of protein and minerals that are essential for healing as well from that bone broth. And soup is easy to eat, especially if you're not feeling very hungry after having had that surgery or if some of the pain medications are making you a bit nauseous. So, a lot of nutrients. It would be a healthy substitute for that little something that you want to satisfy your hunger and let me say one more thing. It's best to have that soup without the crackers because crackers would be a processed food. And we need to take a quick break, but before we do that, I have a little tip that is easy to implement and that can really help the healing process. This is one of the easiest and most overlooked habits. Are you ready for it? My tip is drink plenty of water. Did you know dehydration actually slows the healing process, so it's really important to drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water each day. Plain, filtered water is best, but herbal tea works too. Water with lemon would hydrate you as well. Get creative and think of ways that you can add a glass of water several times throughout the day. Don't go anywhere. We'll be back in a minute.


JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I invite you to join Dar and Chris and myself on Saturday, February 16th at our St Paul Location for our Menopause Survival Seminar. We think every woman, whether you are in perimenopause, menopause, or post menopause, should attend. It really is a women's health seminar as much as a menopause seminar. Research states that one out of eight women today will develop breast cancer and as Dr Rakowski, our special guest on the January 5th cancer show pointed out, excess estrogen in the body is one of the leading risk factors to breast cancer. As women, we need to know how to protect ourselves. The menopause survival seminar is so much more than just learning about natural solutions to hot flashes or sleep problems, although we do talk about that and that's important too. All I can say is after a long day of teaching that seminar, I'm always amazed that I leave full of positive energy every single time and I'm always amazed at the wonderful group of women that are there and sharing their stories.

CASSIE: Yeah, that's a great class. I have sat through it and learned so much. If you want to learn more or if you want to sign up, you can call the main office at 651-699-3438. Dar, the owner of Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Chris Knievel and my coworker here in studio with me today, JoAnn, they are all great teachers and I think part of why they're so great is that they're truly passionate about helping you understand how you can be your healthiest self during this time in your life.

CASSIE: So, we were talking about soup without the crackers. Great way to get vegetables in.

JOANN: And I just wanted to bring that back because I wanted to talk about a couple of my favorite soup recipes. One is our chicken and vegetable soup in. One is the hamburger soup. That's a newer recipe. It's been on our website and there's a lot of vegetables in there. I make that one a lot now.

CASSIE: Especially this time of year, a nice warm soup here in the Midwest.

JOANN: So, earlier we were talking about constipation. If that is an issue for you, besides eating the variety of vegetables, we recommend adding additional magnesium to your daily routine. You will find that magnesium relaxes the colon and also helps to relieve muscle cramps and aids in sleep. So that's a nice side benefit. So for constipation, we recommend adding anywhere from two to six capsules each day of mixed magnesium and we find the capsules are very easy to take, a little easier to swallow, but they're very effective.

CASSIE: And on that note, I had an adult lady come to me last week and she just cannot swallow pills. We do have a powder magnesium at the office, too. That's a great flavor if that's easier. And we have the magnesium glycinate 75, too. If they don't need the mix, that would be a smaller capsule. So, lots of options. So we've talked quite a bit about the importance of eating real whole foods and limiting or avoiding the processed foods and the high sugar drinks. And we talked about how sugar creates inflammation, which can decrease blood flow, it can create more pain, and overall, simply put, it works against the healing process. But JoAnn, I'm thinking we should get a little more specific for our listeners. What do you say we share some specific real foods that help the healing process?

JOANN: Okay. And the question many of your asking is what should I eat to support that healing? So whether it's after a cataract surgery, after a knee surgery or a gallbladder surgery or surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, I do have a quick story about a small spot of skin cancer that I had on my face last summer. Was too small for me to even see, but amazing the size of the wound that I ended up with that needed to heal because they needed to go long enough so there wasn't a big gap when they stitched it. So I had that surgery early last summer. About three or four weeks after the surgery it was my second recheck appointment. The doctor was commenting on how quickly I was healing because at that point in time she could barely even see the wound and the stitches she had put in. She said, you're healing very quickly and faster than most that I've seen. And I said, I know why. My nutrition is so good and I was extremely careful to not eat that sugar or that fat. I was really careful with avoiding anything I shouldn't eat. So I said by nutrition and she said, oh, well maybe. And I said I had a lot of protein, vegetables, healthy fats, taking probiotics, you know, so she's like, yeah, maybe you could be right.

CASSIE: Food matters. We know you're right.

JOANN: A little education for the doctor.

CASSIE: Just keep putting it out there until it sinks in for them. Good for you. And that's what I wanted to talk about is that first and foremost, our body needs plenty of protein and like you said, JoAnn, you were eating plenty of protein. Following any surgery, whether it's a, you know, a little small incision or a big surgery, your body needs a higher amount of protein and iron. And think about, you know, I think about my cousin that had knee surgery recently and they had to really move some things and manipulate some things because that knee and that leg were so crooked. So your muscles may have been potentially moved, manipulated, or damaged during surgery. And now they need to be repaired. So when we eat that animal protein in our digestive system, that protein, just to give you a little biochemistry, is broken down into its smallest parts which are called amino acids, and it's these amino acids which then help to repair and help the healing process by regenerating tissue, and that is the piece that is really critical for wound healing, the regenerating of that tissue. Now in addition, protein is the source for many key minerals, especially iron. So when you're eating animal protein at breakfast, animal protein at lunch, animal protein at dinner, and maybe at a couple of snacks in between, the iron in that meat will help you regain your energy levels. And this is because iron helps to create new blood cells. Now I fully understand, I've been there. Sometimes after a procedure or after a surgery, you're just not hungry for meat, but we really encourage you to really try your best to eat at least nine ounces of animal protein and you can spread that out into very small servings throughout the day. Now it would even be more beneficial if you could eat 12 to 14 ounces of animal protein throughout the day, but at the very least nine, and if you were to ask me what are some good sources of animal protein, I would say anything that you like to eat that's an animal protein, that's your best source. And we do prefer that you eat grass fed, so whether it's grass fed beef, grass fed pork, grass fed chicken or turkey, whatever you enjoy the most would be a great choice. Also, wild caught fish, especially the fattier fish like salmon and mackerel and Halibut, because then you'll get those omega three fatty acids. That's a whole nother show. We know omega three fatty acids are anti inflammatory, so that can help speed up the healing process. And let's not forget eggs. Organic eggs are also a great choice for animal protein.

I think we better take that final break.


JOANN: So we were talking about, we've been talking about nutrition for healing after surgery or after an injury. And I've discovered that for many of my clients who've had surgery, also for myself, that meat cooked in a slow cooker or meets added to soup, that's my favorite, especially in the winter, seemed to agree much better with our digestive systems. And sometimes even those cooked vegetables are easier to digest as well. Also, it makes it better for us to eat more willing to eat it. They kind of taste better when they're warm.

CASSIE: And the house smells so good if you use that slow cooker, that bone broth is awesome.

JOANN: So another good way to get some good protein in is eggs. So one egg contains about seven grams of protein or approximately one ounce, and we do recommend an organic egg. Eggs also contain vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K , also b vitamins, calcium, zinc and iron. Lots of nutrients in that one little egg. All those nutrients are critical for healing, so it's very easy to make a two egg omelet with lots of vegetables cooked in butter. My favorite is putting spinach in there and maybe a side of sweet potato. That's a very easy and nutrient dense breakfast. It's not only good for you, but it tastes great, too.

CASSIE: I love a sweet potato in the morning with my egg and vegetables. That's a great idea.

JOANN:  It's so easy to make that.

CASSIE: And another delicious way to get that animal protein in you is by making a protein shake and it's really easy as well. I think a protein shake is, especially good if you're having some nausea after surgery and if a lot of food is kind of a turnoff. Most people can get down a protein shake because you can sip on it. It's cool and refreshing. It has that little bit of sweetness to it from the fruit, and we have some very tasty recipes for protein shakes on our website. So check that out if you'd like, and I want to say one more thing about the protein shakes or the protein powder in particular. If you're at all confused about the best protein powder to use because there are a lot of them out there. I want to encourage you to stop into one of our seven office locations. We can help guide you to find the best type of protein powder and the best recipe to use it in to support your individual healing. And if you're a podcast listener and don't live anywhere near our offices here in Minneapolis, simply call our main office at 651-699-3438 and we'll be happy to answer your questions about protein powders. And while I'm talking about stopping by the office or calling the office with your questions, I also want to encourage you to inquire about a great product we have on our shelves called Injury and Surgical Support Formula. And I was reminded of this product when JoAnn and I were visiting on the phone yesterday about what we wanted to cover on the show today. And honestly I had forgotten, but our discussion reminded me I bought this product for my dad two years ago when he was having knee replacement surgery. Now unfortunately I was not successful in talking him into taking it prior to his scheduled surgery, but he did take this supplement faithfully once he was home and recovering. And I'm not exaggerating when I say he had a very successful and speedy recovery and just to give you a comparison, his brother, just a couple of years older than him than him had knee surgery a few months after my dad. It was the same hospital. It was the same doctor, but no Injury and Surgical Support supplement. And his brother did not have a fast recovery. And in fact, his brother's knee is still giving him trouble now, two years later, it just never healed right. So I'm certain this supplement really helped the healing process for my dad. And when you look at the ingredients in this product, it makes sense. It has nutrients like vitamin C, zinc, it has glucosomine and msn and a lot more. And all of these nutrients work together to support the healing process. So if you want to find out more about this product or you want to learn how you can order it, you can go to And from there just click on vitamins.

JOANN: That's right. That's a great supplement. And then back to protein again, remember that eating high quality protein foods helps our wounds heal, helps to keep your immune system strong. As I said earlier, with my 25 years at Courage Center, I worked with many people to help them heal wounds. I was on part of the wound committee there. We were really kind of addressing wounds specifically. I definitely focused on protein. That was one of the first and foremost things that we used for healing. But also protein is not just for building muscle and healing wounds. Protein is also key in bone building, so if you've had a broken bone, make sure to include protein with every meal and snack.

CASSIE: Great recommendation. And another thing to think about is that the physical stress of surgery uses up so much of our basic energy, so that comes back to protein because protein helps give us energy. It's so important to get plenty of protein. As I recommended before, somewhere between nine and 14 ounces spread throughout the day. And then also remember those vegetables, they're going to give you fiber and a lot of antioxidants. Those antioxidants help with healing. And then of course each year healthy fats. And if you're eating protein, vegetables, and healthy fats, you will eliminate the processed foods because you're going to be too full to eat them, right? So when you avoid the processed foods, you're going to avoid all that extra sugar and all of those bad man made fats. You want to focus on the healthy fats like eating butter and coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds. These are going to help give you a healthy cell membrane which can help with healing. And then at the same time avoid the four big offenders when it comes to man made fats. Those four big offenders you want to avoid our soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil and canola oil. We know these bad fats interfere with the healing of the cell membrane and that's critical for wound healing. So we know what it means, JoAnn, but just to share with listeners, if you're going to avoid soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, that means no more margarine, no more deep fried foods like French fries or onion rings, and please skip the microwave popcorn. That gives you that double whammy. It turns to a lot of sugar and it has the bad fats. And I'll just throw out there one more reason why you want to be eating those healthy, real fats is that they help your body absorb all of the antioxidants and vitamins that you're getting in the grass fed meat and the vegetables.

JOANN: That's right, and talking about all of the foods to eat before and after surgery could take several shows, so I'm going to give you a condensed version of our recommendations. Eating unprocessed, real whole foods like Cassie said, that you could either grow on a farm or in a garden, real whole foods before surgery will fill your tank so your body can better handle the stress from surgery. After surgery, real food nutrition, the weight and wellness way of eating speeds or recovery, and that lowers your risk of infection and helps you regain your strength and energy.

CASSIE: I love your cliff notes. That hit it right on. As the show comes to a close here, I just want to remind our listeners that our goal at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. Yes, it's a simple message, but it's a powerful message. Eating real food is life changing.


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