Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Healthy Italian Dinner Recipe: Ricotta Pancake Pizza

So you guys know I make ricotta pancakes all the time. They are a staple post weight loss surgery breakfast for me. Over the years, I've made sweet versions and savory ones. I've made mini versions both sweet and savory. I've even made sandwiches out of them but I've never thought to turn them into little pizzas till last night. What... I know right?!


Growing up when my family ate something for dinner that was a little too British (Steak & Kidney Pie) or Sicilian (Squid) for my kid palate I had a couple of go-to meals I would eat instead: one was pasta with just butter and Parmesan cheese or I'd have a toasted English muffin pizza. This dinner I made yesterday totally reminded me of my little muffin pizzas except these have way more protein and way less carbs. Soooo good! I can't believe I haven't been making these for years.

Pizza Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes

Shelly's Savory Ricotta Pancakes 

1 Egg, beaten
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
3 Tablespoons Multigrain Pancake Mix
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Chives
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1 Green Onion, diced fine
dash of Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

For Ricotta Pancake Pizzas:

Store bought or Homemade Tomato Sauce (I love Rao's brand Tomato Basil Marinara)
Italian Blend Cheese, shredded
Optional: Mini Pepperoni or any other pizza topping you love (cooked sausage, beef, veggies)

Mix pancake ingredients together. Spray non-stick pan with Pam. Cook on low till bubbles appear, flip. Cook till done. Makes 8 pancakes (about the size of the container those BreathSavers 3 Hour Mints that I love, about 3"-ish across.) These pancakes can be made ahead and reheated.

Cook's Note: I used whole milk ricotta if you use part skim. Drain through a mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter for several hours or overnight in the fridge. Avoid ricotta that says "creamier formula" you want regular ricotta.

To Assemble the Ricotta Pancake Pizzas:

Line a baking sheet with foil and place as many of the ricotta pancakes as you are turning onto pizzas on the tray.

Pizza Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes

I topped each cooked pancake with a little store bought Tomato Sauce

Pizza Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes

I sprinkled each with a little shredded Italian blend cheese and a couple of them I added mini Pepperoni

Pizza Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes

and broiled them in the oven (or toaster oven) for about 2 minutes just till the cheese was all melty.

Pizza Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes

These reheat great in the microwave not as crispy edges of course but still delicious.

More Eggface Healthy Italian Recipes
More Ricotta Pancakes

Friday, July 14, 2017

Repurposing Leftovers. Easy as 1 2 3.

Post weight loss surgery it's a given there will be a lot of leftovers... or sadly some waste. I hate wasting food and frankly I don't have the money to not use leftovers. You could just heat them up but that would be... BORING. I much prefer "repurposing" them...

Repurposing: Transforming leftovers into something equally as yummy. The goal is for them to taste and look so completely different you don't realize you are having leftovers.

Mission accomplished. Here are three delicious and very different meals and it all started with an extra piece of chicken...

1. I made a batch of my Unbreaded Chicken Tenders. I just dredge chicken breast tenders in beaten egg then in a combo of almond meal and Parmesan (1/2 cup almond meal to 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese) and seasonings (salt, pepper, sprinkle of Zaatar.) I sauteed them in a small amount of olive oil but for an even lighter version you can bake them. I do 425 (foil lined, non stick sprayed, baking sheet) for 15-20 minutes depending on thickness. They are great served with a homemade Greek Yogurt Dipping Sauce (add herbs or a little BBQ sauce or mustard to plain Greek yogurt to change it up.)

They made a great bento box lunch with some Egg Roll Slaw, Chocolate Microwave Protein Cake, and a great big Strawberry.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY WLS VSG Recipes Menus Food

More Eggface Bento Box Recipes and Ideas

2. The leftover chicken tenders were the perfect protein addition to this Pesto "Zoodles" Zucchini Noodles dinner the next night.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY WLS VSG Recipes Menus Food


Shelly's Chicken and Pesto "Zoodles" Zucchini Noodles

1 Yellow Onion, sliced
6-8 Mushrooms, sliced
3-4 small Zucchini, spiralized
2 Tablespoons storebought Pesto Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
a few twists of Black Pepper
Salt to taste
Parmesan Cheese
Leftover Cooked Chicken, sliced

Saute mushrooms and onions till golden, remove from pan. I used my spiralizer to make zucchini noodles, sauteed those till limp about 5 minutes, drain any liquid.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY WLS VSG Recipes Menus Food

Add back onions and mushrooms, pesto sauce, and seasonings. Top with cheese and leftover chicken (or steak or shrimp would be great too!)

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY WLS VSG Recipes Menus Food

More Eggface Healthy Italian Dinner Recipes

3. And finally... the leftover Pesto Zucchini Noodles became this Frittata (Italian Omelette) in the morning...

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY WLS VSG Recipes Menus Food

I warmed about a cup of leftover Pesto "Zoodles" Zucchini Noodles in a saute pan. Add 3-4 beaten eggs. Cook till almost set. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and toss under the broiler till top is set and lightly golden.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY WLS VSG Recipes Menus Food

More Eggface Breakfast Recipes and Ideas
More Eggface Repurposed Meal Recipes and Ideas

Hope you give one (or all three) of these a try. If you do, let me know what you think of them.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch

A day in my pouch is a series of blog posts to show what a typical daily menu looks like in my post weight loss surgery world. Today's healthy and delicious menu...

Breakfast: We are in the middle of a hideous heatwave. I debated going to the Farmer's Market but I did need a few things. I didn't have a single onion or any garlic in the house... an Italian with no onions and garlic is sacrilegious. I was in and out though. I grabbed my list items, some zucchini, a couple of peaches, strawberries, avocados, carrots, celery, a little bag of red walnuts. It wasn't even 9 AM the sun was blazing hot... no one tell me there's no global warming.

I stopped in Starbucks and got those Sous Vide Egg Bites for breakfast. I asked last month and got the heads up from a Barista that they were coming back at the end of June. I spotted them a few days ago but it was after breakfast. Nice to have them back as an option. If they aren't back in your hood yet, they should be soon.


I came home and quickly made up dinner. I had a little lump of ground beef from the night before. I hoped the zucchini would be good to make zucchini boats but I figured if all else failed I would have made bacon cheeseburger deviled eggs or one of my other ground beef recipes but the zucchini was perfect. I made little zucchini boats so all I would have to do is heat them up in the microwave come dinner time.

Lunch: It was 108° (this is day 3 of this) so the entire middle of the day I consumed nothing but liquids and survived. Water bottles with my latest favorite drink stick flavor: Sugar Free Squirt (99 cent store)

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Healthy Fitness Recipes

This new flavored water from Trader Joe's. Comes in 2 flavors: Lemongrass Spearmint (haven't tried it) and the Lemon Ginger which I LOVE...

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Healthy Fitness Recipes

I also made a Celebrate Vitamins Wildberry Protein Shake...

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Healthy Fitness Recipes

Speaking of Celebrate... tune in tomorrow I have some summer fun starting ;) Are you following me on Instagram? Believe me you'll want to.

Dinner: Yay! It was easy thanks to my work earlier. This is a great make ahead dinner. They reheat great! I just nuked them 3 minutes when we were ready to eat.

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Healthy Fitness Recipes

Shelly's Stuffed Zucchini Boats

1/4-1/3 lb Ground Beef, browned (could be Turkey, Pork, whatever you like)
3-4 Zucchinis, halved
1 Yellow Onion, diced
8-10 Mushroom, sliced
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 cup Storebought Tomato Basil Sauce (I use Rao's)
1/4 cup Shredded Italian Blend Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated

Take the halved zucchini and using a melon baller or a small spoon to scrape out the middle (not all but enough to get a nice amount of filling in.) Place them on a non stick baking sheet. Brown the ground beef, drain any fats. Set aside.

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Healthy Fitness Recipes

Chop the zucchini middles up and toss it in with the the onions and mushrooms and saute till golden. Add sauce and beef. Stir till combined. Fill each zucchini boat. Top with cheeses.

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Healthy Fitness Recipes

Bake for 350 for 30 minutes.

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Healthy Fitness Recipes

Snacks: I made a Chocolate Microwave Protein Cake about 5 minutes ago and when I hit publish this awaits... and some mindless TV. Oh I did end up cancelling DirectTV and went with YouTube TV (w/Live TV) so far so good... $35 versus $86. Woot.

http://theworldaccordingtoeggface.blogspot.com/2016/01/its-national-chocolate-cake-day.html

http://theworldaccordingtoeggface.blogspot.com/2016/01/its-national-chocolate-cake-day.html

Mmm Chocolate... OK gotta go. Remember check in tomorrow!!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Summer Dessert Recipe: Protein Jello Gelatin Cups

If you live in a city with a large Mexican population you have undoubtedly seen those little jello cups in markets, some look like traditional jello cups but some have a milky, creamy look. They are called Gelatina de Leche, it's Jello with sweetened condensed milk mixed in. I always buy a few for my Mum. She loves them because in England where she was raised they have a similar dessert called Blancmange which is very similar though usually slightly almond flavored. I decided I would try my hand at a sugar free version I could eat. I axed the sweetened condensed milk (sugar & fat) and opted instead for protein-packed, Greek yogurt and for a bonus protein bump added protein powder.  

This is a great one for newer bariatric surgery post-ops. It's a way to get a nice amount of protein in something other than a shake. For us older post-ops and non-ops (my Mum loved these too) they are just a yummy and refreshing, summer dessert... perfect after a BBQ. If you make them in disposable cups you can cover them with plastic wrap and take them with you to a movie in the park or on an evening walk... just remember to bring a spoon. 

Weight Loss Surgery Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve VSG RNY WLS Recipes Pureed Soft

Shelly's Protein Jello Gelatin Cups

1/2 cup Very Hot Water
1/4 cup Cold Water
1 small (3-ounce) package Sugar Free Jello Gelatin, powder (any flavor)
1 cup Greek Yogurt (any flavor)
1/4 cup Protein Powder (any flavor)
Disposable cups 

Heat the 1/2 cup of water in the microwave. Pour hot water over sugar free Jello gelatin powder and stir until dissolved. Pour in cold water. Set aside. Mix yogurt and protein powder (I used a whey isolate) together till well combined. 

Weight Loss Surgery Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve VSG RNY WLS Recipes Pureed Soft

Pour into gelatin mixture. Stir till both are combined. Pour into cups (I love 4 oz plastic cups filled about 3/4 full) and refrigerate a few hours. 

Weight Loss Surgery Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve VSG RNY WLS Recipes Pureed Soft

Cook's Notes: You can use plain Greek yogurt or flavored (just watch for added sugars in the flavored ones) stick to brands your dietitian has given the thumbs up or create your own flavor with plain, Greek Yogurt and a little Sugar Free Torani syrup mixed in. If you go that route and add syrup just reduce the cold water a Tablespoon or so to compensate for it and not effect gelatin setting.

Weight Loss Surgery Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve VSG RNY WLS Recipes Pureed Soft

If you are allowed fruit you could drop a few pieces (chopped strawberries, peaches, pears, whatever you like) into each cup before they set but they are great without (pictured), or topped with fruit or a squirt of homemade, no sugar added whipped cream, or more Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Breakfast Ideas with Premier Protein

This post is sponsored by Premier Protein®. I'm excited to share some of my favorite breakfast recipes and ideas featuring Premier Protein Shakes and Bars with you.

Premier Protein ready to drink protein shakes are a healthy and convenient breakfast (or any time of the day) way to get 30 grams of protein, 24 vitamins and minerals, in just 160 calories and 1 gram of sugar. You can drink them right from the container so they are a perfect breakfast on-the-go option. Today I want to share with you a few ways to use Premier Protein shakes (and bars) for breakfast you might not have thought of doing.

Cereal - Instead of milk in your bowl of cereal use Premier Protein shakes. They come in 5 flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberries & Cream, Bananas & Cream and Caramel so you can jazz up that boring bowl of O's or puffs.

Protein Healthy Recipes Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Fitness Protein

Overnight Oats (similar to Swiss Bircher-Muesli) - You can eat this cold in the summer or heat it up for a minute in the microwave in the cold months. I make them in half pint, 8 oz. canning jars they come with a lid so they are portable and perfect for taking on a hike (or work.)

For each jar you will need:
1/3 cup Rolled Old-Fashioned Oats (not Quick or Instant)
1/4 cup Premier Protein Ready to Drink Shake (any flavor)

Protein Healthy Recipes Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Fitness Protein

Spoon oats into jars (or a bowl.) Pour the Premier Protein shake over the oats. Pat down the oats so the surface is moistened. Cover and let rest overnight in the fridge.

Protein Healthy Recipes Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Fitness Protein

In the morning, fluff oats with a fork and serve with a variety of toppings (and if desired a dollop of yogurt the way the Swiss do.) Here are some yummy topping combos but the possibilities are endless...

Oats and Premier Protein Caramel Shake with
  • a spoon of Unsweetened Apple Sauce (or some chopped Apple) and a sprinkle of chopped Walnuts
  • a spoon of Peanut Butter (or Powdered Peanut Butter) and chopped Premier Protein Bar
  • a few slices of Peaches and a sprinkle of chopped Pecans

Protein Healthy Recipes Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Fitness Protein

Oats and Premier Protein Bananas & Cream Shake with
  • sliced Banana and a sprinkle of unsweetened toasted Coconut 
  • a spoon of Peanut Butter (or Powdered Peanut Butter) and Bacon Bits (don't knock it)
  • a few Fresh or Freeze Dried Strawberries
Oats and Premier Protein Vanilla Shake with
  • a spoon of Sugar Free Strawberry Jam and a sprinkle of toasted Almonds
  • a spoon of Sugar Free Orange Marmalade and a sprinkle of Pistachios
  • a few Cherries and a sprinkle of toasted Almonds

Protein Healthy Recipes Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Fitness Protein

Oats and Premier Protein Chocolate Shake with
  • a spoon of Peanut Butter (or Powdered Peanut Butter)
  • sliced Banana
  • a few Cherries and a sprinkle of toasted Almonds
Oats and Premier Protein Strawberries and Cream Shake with
  • a few Strawberries and crumbled Premier Protein Bar
  • a spoon of Peanut Butter (or Powdered Peanut Butter)
  • a few blueberries and a sprinkle of toasted Almonds

Protein Healthy Recipes Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Fitness Protein

Waffles -  Replace the water or milk in your favorite pancake or waffle mix with any flavor of Premier Protein Shake.

Protein Healthy Recipes Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Fitness Protein

Cook as directed per your waffle maker instructions. Look for a whole or multi-grain waffle mix with lower carbs. These waffles were made with Premier Protein Caramel Shake and a dash of Cinnamon.

Protein Healthy Recipes Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Fitness Protein

I served them with a drizzle of Sugar Free Maple Syrup but you could top with fresh fruit or mm-mm cooked apples would be great on these (caramel + apples = heaven) or make it a portable, on-the-go breakfast by wrapping in foil a waffle "sandwich" with a smear of almond butter.

Protein Healthy Recipes Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Fitness Protein

Build Your Own Yogurt Parfaits - I love protein packed yogurt parfaits and they are even better when you can adjust your own yogurt to topping ratio: a dollop of Greek yogurt, some berries, and for a little crunch (and more protein) some crumbled Premier Protein Protein Bars. This is a great one to do when you have overnight guests. Use plastic cups and spoons so your guests can feel free to take breakfast with them when they hit the road.

Protein Healthy Recipes Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Fitness Protein

Want a chance to win some Premier Protein Shakes so you can give a few of these breakfast ideas a try. Head over to my Instagram account to enter to win the AWESOME Premier Protein prize pictured below.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Fitness Workout Protein Shakes Recipes

This post is sponsored by Premier Protein® #TheDayIsYours For the purposes of this post Premier Protein provided me with products used. Want to learn more about Premier Protein products LIKE their Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram and tell them The World According to Eggface told you to stop by.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Cool Product Alert: Real Good Foods Pizza

Have you tried Real Good Foods Pizza yet? It's frozen pizza with a crust made out of all-natural chicken & Parmesan cheese and it's really good! Obviously it's high in protein and low in carbs since the typical white flour carby pizza crust is replaced so it's perfect for us post weight loss surgery folks, the low carb or keto dieters and those that need a gluten-free diet. It's got that bendy, Neapolitan thing going on (East Coasters will get this) and I literally forgot as I was eating it that it was a chicken crust.

Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve VSG RNY Foods Dinners

They come in 3 flavors: Three Cheese, Pepperoni, and The Supreme (Italian Sausage & Veggies) (I've tried 2 of the 3 and enjoyed them both) but you can really create your own flavors just by adding toppings from home. The Three Cheese would be a great vehicle to use up leftovers... sauteed mushrooms or onions, sliced olives, leftover meatballs, taco meat, whatever you have bumping around the fridge.

Stats: They are personal 5" size (I ate 2 slices and was full), calories range from 240 (Three Cheese) to 270 (Pepperoni or Supreme) per serving (1/2 the pizza) 25 grams of protein and only 4 grams Carbs.

Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve VSG RNY Foods Dinners

You can prepare it a couple of different ways per the box instructions but here's how I did it: the pizzas come on a little cardboard circle, wrapped in plastic and in a box. Remove from box and plastic and place the pizza on its cardboard circle on a microwave safe plate and nuked it for a minute on high then tossed it into a saute pan to brown/crisp the bottom.

Verdict: It was a winner, winner, chicken pizza crust dinner (sorry could resist.) Very tasty. They are a great option to have in the freezer for nights you want something quick and easy... those hot summer nights you can be eating in less than 10 minutes... maybe add a salad or veggies & dip for a complete meal.

Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve VSG RNY Foods Dinners

Where to find: They have a product locator on their website to see what stores in your area are carrying them or you can order direct from the company online (P.S. Feel free to use my coupon code: eggface to score 10% off your order.) Let me know what you think!


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch

A day in my pouch is a series of blog posts to show what a typical daily menu looks like in my post weight loss surgery world. Yesterday's healthy and delicious menu...

Breakfast: Started my day with leftover Ricotta Pancakes with a smear of Almond Butter and a Bananas & Cream Premier Protein Shake. I wrapped my "Pancake Sandwich" in foil and went for a walk at about the halfway mark I ate... then it was off to the Farmer's Market. This week's haul: strawberries, cherries, apples, an avocado, yellow, green and red onions, mushrooms, zucchini, cauliflower (I'm thinking my Cauliflower Pie later this week), cucumbers and some beautiful baby bok choy.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Gastric Bypass RNY VSG Vertical Sleeve Low Carb Protein Recipes Cooking Meals Menus

More Eggface Post Weight Loss Surgery Breakfast Recipes

Lunch: I came home and pitted my cherries (a messy but rewarding job), chopped up my strawberries I froze about 1/2 the cherries partly because I love them in Protein Shakes and it's supposed to get really really hot next week (near 100 ughh) but partly because I might be tempted to eat them if they were all left in the fridge and frozen well that would give me brain freeze ;) it's for my protection.

I sat outside on the patio and ate the fruits of my labor... a dollop of cottage cheese, cherries and strawberries.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Gastric Bypass RNY VSG Vertical Sleeve Low Carb Protein Recipes Cooking Meals Menus

Dinner: This was soooo good and will be on my menu again very soon. Well technically it's on today's menu because it makes 24 mini meatballs and we have yummy leftovers. I'm going to heat them up in this little gadget (it's great for keeping leftovers moist.) I'm going to have them for lunch with a cucumber & tomato salad. I just picked 12 or so from the one plant I have growing on the patio. Last night I served it with Baby Bok Choy that I sauteed with a little onion and a splash of soy sauce.

I was feeling like something with an Asian vibe the other night and scribbled this in my recipe notes book. It seemed like the perfect dinner when I found that baby bok choy at the Farmer's Market. I stopped at the supermarket and picked up some ground pork (it was on sale) but really you could use any ground meat.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Gastric Bypass RNY VSG Vertical Sleeve Low Carb Protein Recipes Cooking Meals Menus

Shelly's Teriyaki Pork Meatballs

1 lb. Ground Pork (or any meat you prefer)
1 Small Yellow Onion, diced
2-3 Green Onions, diced
1/4 cup Milk
1/4 cup Oatmeal, dry
1 Egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon Ginger Paste (or minced very fine)
1 1/2 teaspoons Soy Sauce
a few twists of Black Pepper

Sauce: 2 Tablespoons of Store bought Teriyaki Sauce, I love Kikkoman Garlic & Green Onion Teriyaki Sauce.

Mix milk and oatmeal together and set aside for 1 minute to soak. Saute onion till golden. Set aside to cool. Mix all ingredients together including soaked oats and cooled onions. Form into cocktail (half dollar-ish size) meatballs. Saute in a nonstick pan with a little drizzle of olive oil till golden brown and crispy (don't be tempted to flip too soon), flip all your balls and continue cooking till done. Drain any excess oil. On the heat, spoon sauce onto meatballs and shake them in the pan to be sure all the balls get a light coating of sauce. Makes about 24 meatballs.

I served it with the baby bok choy but some other options... Cauliflower Fried Rice,  one of those steamer bags of Asian-blend veggies, or these would be great for a party horsd'oeuvre or appetizer with little food picks.

More Eggface Healthy Asian Inspired Recipes

Snacks: Coffee and I made a couple of batches of Quest Protein Bar "Cookies" Mocha Chocolate Chip (latest flavor) If you have any Quest Bars that have gotten a little hard or flavors you didn't like. Make cookies out of them. I am telling you it's a game changer.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Gastric Bypass RNY VSG Vertical Sleeve Low Carb Protein Recipes Cooking Meals Menus

More Eggface Weight Loss Surgery Friendly Desserts and Snacks

More Days in my Pouch


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tips for Reducing Stress

All the chaos and stress in the world can really take is toll. I won't get political (I'll save that for my Twitter account, you've be warned) but my emotional health would be a lot better if I didn't wake up each morning wondering if we've been tweeted into World War III. It's well documented what stress can do to our body and weight loss efforts. So when the world outside is cray-cray these are a few things that help me reduce my stress level. I hope you give a few a try...

1. Meal Plan. John F. Kennedy said, "The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining." When life is calm I take some time (my Sunday afternoon usually) to make a meal plan, I basically just figure out three days in a row or so of balanced, protein forward meals and what I can do with any leftovers. I get out any pans or seasonings I need. I prep anything I can (roast veggies or throw an extra piece of chicken on the grill) basically I try and make it easier for the plan to become reality. So if/when life throws me a curve-ball or if an appointment takes way longer than I thought it would and I get home and I'm stressed and hungry. I don't have the added pressure of trying to figure out what to make and there is no eating based on emotion or "crap grabbing" anything out of desperation. I've got my plan.

More About Meal Planning

2. Take a walk outside. I try to take a walk every day. Study after study shows benefits in walking for mood and creativity. The fresh air and sunshine are natural tonics for me... if I am stressed I put on my sneakers and take off and when I get back the situation or stressor may not have changed but I have a better way of dealing with it.

3. Meditate. I have the most unquiet mind so if I can do it, believe me anyone can. I set my alarm for 15 minutes early in the morning several times a week specifically to meditate. Sometimes I'll do a guided meditation (they vary from 10-15 minutes), sometimes I just listen to the ocean or rain on leaves (we don't get the real deal much around here) or sometimes I use Mala beads (which sort of reminds me of my Catholic upbringing and my Rosary.) It's not about religion for me... it's just about starting the day peaceful and centered. It's been a great help to me and I truly feel the difference on the days it doesn't happen. Some of my favorite FREE (you can upgrade to add the bells & whistles) Meditation Apps: Calm, Insight Timer.

Stress Relief Relievers

More Apps I love

4. To do lists. This one is a bit of a double-edged sword because it can overwhelm me at times to see a long daunting list but I get a thrill when I make that big line through a task and it helps me focus on what really needs to happen. Technically, I have 2 to-do lists. One list I make each night has my 2-3 priorities for the following day and then I have a master to-do list of stuff that needs to happen at some point, I try and group them into big stuff and little stuff, so if I find a few extra minutes in the day I look at my little stuff and knock one off... and if something doesn't happen well... that's life, tomorrow is another day.

5. Music. Turning on the tunes is the easiest way to change my mood. I have a Spotify account and I make fun lists, songs to chill out to, motivation songs, dance songs (3-4 songs = 10 min workout), 80's, you name it I've made a song list for it.

6. Clear out the clutter. I have a cardboard box in the corner of my garage and when I find something that I don't want or need any longer, doesn't feel right, looked better on the mannequin... I put it in the box, when the box is full it gets put in the trunk and dropped off at the thrift (or donation box) and a new box is put in the corner. Letting go of things frees up space (literally and in your mind) to focus on what brings you joy.

7. Do something for someone else. The quickest way for me to reduce my stress level is to help someone else. Volunteering is great but you don't even have to leave home to do it. I hit a message board and answer a new weight loss surgery post-ops question or someone thinking about bariatric surgery but unsure about what life is like after. It helps me get out of my own world for a few minutes.

Other Favorites Acts of Kindness

and finally back to food...

8. Eat outside. I love to bring lunch (bento boxes are great) or dinner outside. We call them "Tidbit Parties" or "Patio Picnics," yummy protein-packed tidbits brought outside on the patio and lots of laughter is great way to soothe the soul. Here's some of our goodies from last night... Parmesan Cheese Whisps, Salami, Rosemary Cheese, Almonds, Cucumbers, Ham, Grilled Sicilian Olives, Pistachios, Black Olives, Cocoa Almonds, Wensleydale with Papaya & Mango, and the first Tomatoes from my one plant.


I love the messages on my spreaders... wishing everyone around the world plenty of both!


Oodles of Bento Box Lunch Ideas
Money Saving Tips

I'd love to hear ways you reduce stress.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Taco Tuesday Recipes

Are Tuesday's Taco Tuesday at your house? Post bariatric surgery they still can be especially if you think outside the tortilla with these lower carb and protein packed options and utilize some of these Taco Tuesday tips to make some slight adaptations.

If you must have the tortilla look for small whole grain tortilla (I use Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Fajita Size when I make my tortilla pizzas) or corn (a whole grain and typically smaller in size so less calories.) You can also cut tortilla with a cookie cutter into circles and bake them to make mini tacos cups...

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes Menus

Cheese works too...

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes Menus

Make a bowl...

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes Menus

or lettuce wrap style tacos...

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes Menus
(left to right) Lettuce Cup Fish Tacos, Leftover Tri Tip Tacos, DIY Lettuce Cup Taco Night, Crockpot Carnitas Tacos, Bento Box Tacos, Leftover Steak Tacos (Steak, Sauteed Mushrooms, Cheese) Meatball Tacos, Ni├žoise Tuna Salad Tacos, Breakfast Taco (Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Avocado, Cheese)

The benefits of giving up the tortilla shell are more stomach space and calories for all those yummy taco fillings.

Instead of sour cream use high protein plain Greek Yogurt. Add spices like cumin and chili powder, lime zest or hot sauce to jazz it up.

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes Menus

Use up leftovers. Taco Tuesday is a great way to use up some veggies you have bumping around the fridge or BBQ from the weekend. Anything can be turned into a taco.

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes Menus

and turn your Taco Tuesday night leftovers into Wednesday meals.

Shelly's Scrambled Egg Bowls

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes Menus

Shelly's Taco Egg Bites

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes Menus

or Shelly's Breakfast Taco Pie

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG Recipes Menus

Avoid the urge to have a margarita. Drinking alcohol post weight loss surgery is not advised for many reasons but it'll also add 150+ calories for plain margaritas or 300+ calories for fruitier frosty versions to your meal plan.

Hope you enjoy one of these next Taco Tuesday... or tomorrow... because really any day is a good day for tacos!

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