Sex after Surgery and Spinach Pesto

Even health professionals get sick. And we hate going to the doctor even more than you do.

To make a long story short, I have to have surgery in less than 10 days. And because of that, I have to endure the pre-op clinic visit. The big purpose of that visit is to get all your bloodwork done, see if you need to see any other doctors, make sure you can have anesthesia, and then finally to tell you everything you’re not allowed to do before and after having surgery.

The last part being the most fun, of course.

So here I was, sitting in the doctor’s office with a well-intentioned, very intelligent, older nurse practitioner. The first part went easy- I just had to have anesthesia two weeks ago for some procedures so there were no issues there. It took a bit of time to edit my allergies- I discovered during those same procedures that apparently I’m allergic to the adhesive for the heart electrode monitors (I looked like I had lyme disease because of hives for 4 days all over my chest and abdomen- sexy…not).

Then, surprise!

Me: Wait, it says here that I’m not allowed to COOK for 2 weeks?

NP: Yup. Pots and pans are too heavy for you to lift. It’s minimum 7 days but possibly up to 21. Remember, you can’t lift anything heavier than half a gallon of milk.

Me: But I can’t COOK?

NP: Correct, but the biggest thing is that you’re not allowed to have sex for 2 weeks. And I mean any of kind of sex. You can’t have oral sex, vaginal sex, or anal sex. You aren’t allowed to use a vibrator. You can’t use a dildo. You can’t use your hands or use someone else’s hands. You can’t have foreplay. You can’t…

Me: Excuse me?

NP (looks up from her list): Yes?

Me: Look, it’s on my form that I’m single and there’s no chance I could be pregnant. I haven’t even had a DATE since January. The chances of me meeting someone and deciding that I’m going to sleep with him in the next month are probably as close to zero as they could be. I have a COOKING BLOG. Me not being able to cook is much more upsetting that you informing me that my recent celibacy is going to have to last at least another month for medical reasons.

NP: Okay. You know you can’t bake, either.

(don’t worry, dear readers-I’ve since been stockpiling posts so I don’t have to disappear from the blogosphere for 7-21 days)

Surgery Approved Spinach and Walnut Pesto

I can at least lift this jar out of my fridge. Shown here with Trader Joe’s Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Ravioli (which I am not allowed to cook post-op)


  • 3 c fresh spinach, washed and drained
  • 1/3 c walnuts
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. In a food processor (I did this in my Cuisinart 7 C food processor), add the spinach, walnuts, parmesan, and lemon juice.
  2. Start the food processor and drizzle in olive oil into the feed tube until you reach your desired consistency (I used 1/4 c). Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve on practically anything. To store, place in small jars and leave room at the top. Cover with a thin layer of olive oil (this will help your pesto stay green). You can also put this into ice cube trays (again, covering with a small layer of olive oil), freeze, then pop those cubes out and store them all together in a freezer-safe bag. That way you can defrost one at a time in your fridge.

116 thoughts on “Sex after Surgery and Spinach Pesto

  1. You make me laugh…the real LOL not the LQTM (my daughter told me that’s Laughing Quietly to Myself).

    1. I must no longer be hip (though my 18 year old brother has been telling me that for years) since I have never even heard of LQTM πŸ˜‰

      1. She may have made that up…she’s “cool” like that.

  2. Awesome I’ve been looking for a good pesto recipe! Thanks for the great stories πŸ™‚

  3. Yep, my weak spot! Looks like a great recipe to try!

  4. Wishing you all the very best in the coming weeks! We will stay tuned for more great recipes and tales.

    1. I’ll need something to do while I’m couch bound for 2 weeks πŸ˜‰

  5. Brilliant .. life can be tough at time. Great story again. Go easy on the blogging .. can be heavy at times too. Take care and be good to you. Just wonder what are you going to eat ?????

    1. At the moment I’m cooking up a storm and freezing individual portions that don’t weigh more than 5 lbs. As my one friend pointed out last night, most food I could get delivered would weigh more than that. πŸ˜‰

      I’m not allowed to push a vacuum, either…hopefully I can open the microwave door!

      1. Very good … micro can be a life saver. When I had my cancer treatments and after the DaVinci robot had done it’s job on me .. I was the same – had filled up the freezer with ready made meals .. and I could hard eat. You go easy and be careful with that microwave door.

  6. You are so funny…I look forward to your posts…good luck on your surgery and I guess you will just have to hold out for a little while longer on the celibacy thing…lol…

    1. With where I live and how bad the dating scene is, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion already πŸ˜‰

  7. Pesto is so delicious and so easy to make! Love the punch of flavor it adds to a dish. Good luck post surgery! Try to relax πŸ™‚

  8. Loving your blog – v funny! Hope the surgery goes ok

  9. Title drew this out, even while I’m suppose to be posting my blog, put off a work assignment and devoured the delicacies of a very fun blog – thank you!

    That is exactly why I hate surgery. I’m not a good listener so it’s not such a big deal – I’m also male:)

  10. You make me smile. LOVE your posts! And so very glad you’ve got a stockpile of recipes to feed us with during recovery. I wish you all the best for the horrid 2 weeks post-op of no cooking and no baking! Seriously, how much do you really NEED the surgery? Maybe you should call up one of those inappropriate timing date dudes, like nose-hair guy, to see if he wants to get together. No sex. Just have him follow your recipe instructions and lift the pots. It’s a win-win.

  11. Hope everything goes well with your surgery! I think is a great idea you are getting your food ready! Take care!!

  12. OMG HILARIOUS. But I have a Cooking blog!!!! πŸ˜€ And frankly, I would argue that a muffin tin is lighter than pots or pans, so maybe not all baking is out?

    1. The tin at some point will probably weigh more that 5 lbs…

      1. Bummer. 😦 Take good care of yourself! All the best.

  13. I love pesto. And spinach. And I desperately need a food processor. Your story was hilarious. I wonder how many times a day that nurse practitioner has to read out that list? Is she just totally numb to it? I wish she had a log of all the ridiculous responses she must get in a day…

    1. I just loved how I got the full list of every sexual practice that I couldn’t do, while I had to read on the sheet that I couldn’t cook. Maybe she read my blog post about my dance skills and started assuming things about me…which just aren’t true…

      1. Also, Macy’s normally puts the Cuisinart 7c processor on sale at least once every 2 months (and sometimes more often than that). Ideally you want a 9c one, but unless you’re using to to make tons of pie dough or chop everything in your fridge, you’re probably okay with a 7 cup.

      2. Ruuuuuuuuuude.
        On another note, I took my sweetie in for a stress test this morning and he was really concerned that the nurses were photographing his lower half… and then one of them asked him if he works out while she placed her hand on his bicep. I was trying so hard to keep my giggles to myself, but now I wonder what sorta list she read him while I was waiting… πŸ˜‰

  14. Best of luck with your surgery!
    Terrible you can’t cook!
    I laughed so hard that you were more concerned with your blog than the celibacy..hmmm ravioli..but wait..I know your cooking loads before the surgery to survive during..but what if that person couldn’t cook..*shambles*

    1. They probably have people to cook for them…I don’t!

  15. Wishing you good health and light food!!!

  16. Good luck feeding yourself. Glad to read you’re stock-piling on freezer friendly foods. Some people don’t realize not everyone eats out, let alone blog about it…. Good luck with the rest.

    1. I’m convinced it’s because she knew I was a medical student that she thought I must not cook.

      1. FarAwayPeachGarden April 26, 2012 — 4:20 pm

        I was an engineering student and I didn’t cook for a long, long time. You discover better things in life as you get older….:-) BTW, great story!

  17. I am in a relationship, but still, not being able to cook ( or excercise) would definitely be worse than no sex! love the recipe!

  18. First, good luck on your surgery. Second, thank you, thank you, for not making this about how you can’t manage to do without sex for two weeks. As a long-time married person who hasn’t gotten any action for months, I would not want to hear it. I almost didn’t open your blog, in fact, because I was afraid that was going to be what the blog was about. I, too, would be more upset about the loss of cooking than the loss of sex. Both are essential and fun but when one goes away, it isn’t a tragedy – just a loss – but when cooking goes away! Now that’s a sacrifice! Take care and enjoy the joy of cooking again when you are healed – and maybe the joy of sex again too.

  19. Good luck with your surgery, but boo on not being able to cook! That pesto looks delicious!

  20. Incredible… Really inspiring I must say!

  21. I hope your surgery goes well. I have been through this before, unable to lift anything for eight weeks after a major surgery. It is unbelievable how objects are heavier than you think. Meal delivery was scheduled for us through our church, very grateful for that. It didn’t solve all the problems, but it was a big help. Somehow every meal was chicken broccoli rice; not my husband’s favorite meal and he was highly irritated about the daily meal of chicken broccoli rice. He doesn’t know how to cook, so if he didn’t go get meals, too bad, so sad.
    PS For people with children, it is impossible for them to understand why you can’t pick them up. They also run into you, I know.

    1. There is a reason why my parents won’t be helping take care of me, considering they watch my niece every day…

  22. Thanks for the recipe! I just bought a bunch of spinach πŸ™‚
    And good luck with your surgery and recovery! Frozen portion sound good. You should also get people to cook and clean for you haha Take full advantage of it

  23. twicecookedhalfbaked April 4, 2012 — 5:46 pm

    This made me laugh so hard! It is funny what becomes important depending on where you are in life. I hope the surery goes well.

  24. Firstly, I don’t know how I’d survive without masturbation for that length of time (since nobody else would do it for me- love single life!). Like, I feel really sympathetic but at the same time you’ve just given me a delicious recipe. My mouth is watering. Maybe it’s just saliva. Hm. Anyway, as a vegetarian, I’m always looking for new pasta recipes. I’ve totally followed your blog.

  25. Hilarious post here! So happy to find your blog. Best wishes for speedy recovery from surgery.

  26. OMG….. best wishes for you speedy recovery as you make me laugh so much especially when I need it the most!!!!

  27. I’m cryin’ over here! My 5y/o is asking me what’s so funny…what the heck am I supposed to tell her???

    1. Big people aren’t allowed to do big people things after surgery?

  28. I actually own a food processor which I have never used. Weird I know for someone who cooks a lot. After looking at this pesto recipe, I guess I will have to learn how to use it. I think it is the same kind as yours.

    Surgery–take good care of yourself. Guess you can blog even if you cannot do anything else much.

  29. Hope you get to cooking very soon after the surgery! This recipe looks delish.

  30. Yet another great story from you! Good luck on your surgery and recovery. I bet you’ll be cooking up a storm after the 7 to 21 days! Btw, I’ve got an idea for your blog during the recovery period. Try to feed a friend instructions on how to make some dishes and write about how they succeeded or botched it. Could be fun.

  31. hope your surgery goes well…

  32. Your posts always make me laugh, even the tense ones (somehow). As the child of a nurse, I understand where you’re coming from here. My mom hates to go to the doctor, and we practically have to hog-tie her and drag her in when she gets sick. But here’s hoping that nothing untoward happens and all goes well for you, pre- and post-op!

  33. Okay this was so so hilarious! Loved it so much lol. Have a safe surgery and best of luck!

  34. Best of luck with your surgery–and if you do happen to ‘find somebody, woo somebody, and decide to either cook for that said somebody or have sex with that said somebody…I hope you choose to have sex…cause I would hate to have you set yourself back and not be able to post your recipes for us!

  35. Good luck with your operation! Your posts are very funny! πŸ™‚

  36. beastandbeauty (Mystique) April 5, 2012 — 4:04 am

    Great recipe and even better anecdote that made me LOL for real! Can’t wait to try this recipe! Yum!

  37. Too funny. Hope everything goes well with your procedure.

  38. triathlonobessed April 5, 2012 — 8:34 am

    I hope your friends that live close by take the initiative to cook some of your wonderful recipes and feed you while you’re recooerating. I’d be a great test run of how they turn out. Best wishes for a speedy recovery! elizabeth

  39. Haha. Priorities. Best of luck to you. Hope you have someone around to help!

  40. While you are eating all of your stored-up foods, this is the perfect time to pour over stacks of cookbooks and cooking magazines that have probably piled up in the course of your busy life (or is that just me?) and get ideas for your post-recovery blogs. Good luck to you and enjoy HAVING to rest.

  41. Thanks for the look in, just had a quick browse on here and made me chuckle. Loving the combo of cooking and medicine, almost House meets Masterchef!! Looking forward to reading along, if I’m in the states I’ll look you up for a check up and a good pasta sauce.

    P.s. that pesto is making Mr hungry.

  42. Thanks for sharing a great recipe, and good luck with your surgery!

  43. i love your blog. the pictures and recipes all look delicious, and your stories are so wonderful! and i’m in the same boat with cooking and sex…i’d be much more devastated about not being able to cook!

    1. I never said that the first wouldn’t devastate me if it actually was an option at the time. πŸ˜‰

  44. Read through a bunch of your posts and love them all!

  45. Wow, that’s a hell of a story! Hope you’re healing well. Thanks for following the 50mm Experiment!

  46. Whoa!!! These are some serious side effects from surgery!!! Not bring able to cook is definitely up there with the worst! I love that you’ve found recipes which (don’t) bend the rules and I really hope you’re on the mend now! πŸ™‚

  47. Yep, cooking would totally be my priority!

    Just nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award – see my blog for details (I think it’s a community thing that circulates the blogosphere so you’ve probably been nominated many times before). Anyway, I’ve only recently found your blog but I absolutely love it! It’s top of my list πŸ™‚

  48. Holy crap this made me laugh.

  49. I like that the NP gave it to you straight up, no beating around bushes here πŸ˜‰ Love the concept of your blog! Can’t wait to read more!

  50. Pesto is the best-o! I love the idea of using spinach, since basil is scarce in the winter and super expensive at the store. Love the post!

  51. That is hilarious! This was the conversation at my 6 week appt after my daughter’s c-section birth:
    Me: Can I do things now?
    OB: You mean like sex??
    Me: No, I mean things like laundry and driving!


  52. Haha, did she really have to elaborate on ALL the different kinds of sex? LOL. Hope you had a good recover from your surgery. And keep up the stories! I have alot of doctor friends (from going to Hopkins for undergrad) and I hear crazy stories all the time.

  53. The pesto ravioli looks yum! And good luck with the surgery (and celibacy – from sex & cooking)!

  54. Freakin’ hilarious!

  55. Love your dialog! Too funny!

  56. moscowfrostbite April 11, 2012 — 9:32 pm

    NOTE TO SELF…avoid anything that might lead to Surgery… 2 weeks of no sex, cooking and pretty much writing… sounds like hell to me!

  57. Be well, my favourite diva! xoxoxo
    And oh oh oh! I’ve finally made that beer jelly of yours and… IT TASTES LIKE HONEY! O.O It’s weirdly cool. Such a keeper – especially when I tell to tell people I had beer and bread for breakfast. Heal up fast!

    1. Oopsie. I meant “when I get* to tell” =/ Might have had too much beer without jelly there.

  58. Wishing you a speedy recovery and hope that youΒ΄re back to cooking and any other physical activity which appeals very soon!

  59. Hey there. I’m so following you! I’m so entertained by your writing and love your recipes. A great story πŸ™‚

  60. “You can’t cook…… can’t bake either” LOL – you reminded me of telling an alcoholic patient he’s not allowed to drink alcohol with his antibiotics, “so white wine’s ok then?”. That poor lady has probably instructed people far less intelligent before and, like me, has learned to assume nothing. “Inhalers are inhaled, not sprayed on your chest; they work from the inside”

  61. Really enjoyed this post, a chuckle and recipe all in one. I like substituting Arugula and Walnut Oil in a similar pesto – great nutty flavor on pasta. And thanks for the follow.

  62. Spinach and walnut pesto! Ooooh, great idea! I just bought a giant bag of spinach today. Coincidence? I think not!
    Hope the surgery went well – laughed immoderately at your reaction to the nurse’s list of prohibitions! Don’t suppose you’re allowed to laugh either, though, right?!

    1. Not allowed to laugh. Nor would I want to- it would be too painful.

  63. BWhahaah I thought this one was hysterical!! Thanks for follwoing my blog, your’s is quite amusing to me as well.

  64. i ‘liked’ this post but actually its desperately sad ! i am so sorry on the no-cooking front, more than i am, and i imagine you are, about the sex-ban. devastating. great blog, thanks for the visit on mine x

    1. It’s been quite a challenge so far…

  65. You made me chuckle, which I kinda felt bad about because of the situation but still, you put lots of personality into your writing which is awesome!

  66. yum! Love pesto! …. and about the story… very funny! It’s interesting the list of “don’ts” after surgery… and then they feel the need to tell you the list of “do’s” once you’ve recovered… the NP who saw me after the 40 days post-csection told me the big list of “do’s” and ended with “And you can drive now” I said… “Oh! Really? Wow! That was a good c-section! I would’ve been happy just with the baby… you see, I couldn’t drive before, but now I can!!???! Cool!” LOL! I guess she thought I was serious… she tried to explain what she meant… I couldn’t help but burst out laughing (which probably should’ve stayed in the list of “don’ts” because that hurt!!!)

  67. Love pesto–make it every year with my mom but can never get the bright green color I see whenever I buy it. Any secret to that? Also, I’d survive no sex. My only complaint about not cooking is I’d be stuck w/take out or hubby’s endless combinations red meat dishes. Two days and I’m done. Bring on the grilled chicken with pesto, please πŸ™‚

    1. After I make mine, I place it into smaller jars and don’t quite fill all the way. I top the jars off with a layer of olive oil- it prevents everything from oxidizing (you’ll keep that bright green color). I’ll then freeze all the jars except for one, which I’ll leave in the fridge. Each time after I scoop some out, I’ll brush that part with a bit more olive oil, to preserve the green color. Just realize that if you heat it at all (except in eggs, where it keeps that pretty green color), it’ll get darker.

      I wasn’t allowed to lift anything I could get delivered this past week, so I’ve become real good friends with delivery guys by offering better tips if they would set my stuff inside my apartment on my table.

      And my dad can, to this day, ONLY make French Toast. When my mom had surgery when I was younger, we had French Toast 4 days in a row.

      1. You sound like quite the creative type. Funny about your dad and the French toast.

        As per pesto, for some reason the one I make seems very dark up front, not that near-kelly-green color the pre-bought has going on.

      2. What are you using as your green? I think you get a brighter color from spinach or arugula- basil gets bruised easily and gets dark.

      3. Guess pesto always meant basil at my house. We grow the sweet variety every year and then make pesto. Maybe that’s the issue. I’ll have to check the label of the jarred brand I’ve used before. Thanks for your help.

      4. The jarred ones also have a lot of preservatives…I only get the bright green color that you see on tv shows if I’m using something besides basil.

      5. See what happens when you network? I learned something today πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  68. What a great post! That looks so yummy.

  69. Great to have you following “My Life in Hard Times”. I look forward to your comments and appreciate your readership. Welcome Aboard!

  70. Oh, woman, you crack me up! I’m looking forward to trying the pesto. And I hope it’s only 7 days! I’d hate to see you go thru withdrawal!

  71. Hope the surgery went well! I’m hopping on one leg with a torn tendon, but can lift pans, so have NO excuse NOT to make this pesto. Thanks for sharing and best wishes!

  72. Hey, thanks for visiting my blog! I’m following yours now =) Good luck with the surgery!

  73. Love your nurse practioner! She is very specific πŸ˜‰ . Hope you have a speedy recovery after the surgery.

  74. Wow, that was quite a list of demands related to your surgery recovery. Not being allowed to cook would piss me off too. Talk about adding insult to injury. Hope you bounce back quick so you can do the things you love without concern.

  75. Is your doctor for real???? Thanks for the like!

  76. hmmm This looks so delicious… I make my own basil pesto and never thought to make it with spinach…. my eyes are opened, if even a little bit!

  77. Damn, now I’ll forever associate ravioli with no sex…


  78. Catching up on my reading….I laughed out loud when I read this entry, hope you’re doing well. Recipe looks delicious!!

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