Headed to London

This is an exciting week. I'm headed to London to participate in the World Obesity Federation Patient Summit, a gathering of patient delegates and leaders from around the globe coming together to talk about obesity and the advocacy efforts needed to drive change. There is so much misunderstanding and stigma surrounding obesity and people affected are suffering because of it. I am looking forward to chatting about the impact we can have if we are all able to work together on some common goals. I am very proud and honored to be one of the voices from the United States at the table.

Speaking of the table... the event is being held at a former royal residence that has been donated by the Queen for educational events like these. It's called the Cumberland Lodge (outside of London) and on the same grounds as Windsor Castle (where Meghan and Harry were married last month and Princess Eugenia is getting married on Friday) Check it out...


This is especially exciting for me as it is my first trip to Europe. At my highest weight, I had difficulty in tiny airline bathrooms (airlines can we work on this!) and the thought of such a long trip was not feasible. After my weight loss, there was just always something else that needed to come first before a trip overseas. I'm excited to have this opportunity to check something off my bucket list. My first stamp in my passport!

If you've read the blog for a while you probably know I am 1/2 British. My Mum, sis, and brother were all born in England. My Dad was born in Sicily. He moved to England in his 20's where he met my Mum. They immigrated to the U.S. and I was born. So I'm the only U.S. born in my family. I used to say proudly that I was the only one that could be president but that doesn't seem to require much these days (sorry couldn't resist.) My Mum is from Yorkshire, England (more north) and this is a quick trip but it'll be nice to say I have been to her country.

If you'd like to follow my European adventure follow me on Twitter and Instagram I'll be sure to post some pictures and things I learn. It's also National Obesity Care Week (be sure to take the pledge) in the U.S. and World Obesity Day on Thursday so I'll be tweeting up a storm.

Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch

My yesterday in post weight loss surgery eating...

Breakfast: Scrambled Egg Bowls are one of my favorite post-op breakfasts. In fact, I've been known to have them for dinner too. This one is probably the one I have the most because I hate wasting mushrooms so if I have a few bumping around I sautee them with a pinch of fresh thyme and serve them over a scrambled egg with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Bariatric Gastric Bypass Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Low Carb Protein RNY VSG Recipe Cooking

More Eggface Scrambled Egg Breakfast Bowl Ideas

After breakfast, I head to the Farmer's Market. Today was the first day I felt human after a 3-day migraine. My fellow sufferers can relate I'm sure... that foggy, can't move too quickly because you are afraid it will come raging back feeling but also really wanting to do something to get back into the human race. I didn't stay long but I bought some beautiful zucchini, eggplant, peppers and onions that will all turn into delicious parts of this week's menus and some berries for breakfast or toss in a protein shake.

Lunch: Melted Ham and Cheese Roll-ups and Pickles, an easy, go-to, are cold-cut roll-ups (look for low sodium, free from nitrates/nitrites options) sometimes I just roll them up and call it a meal or when I'm feeling like a grilled cheese (I don't do bread) a quick saute in a pan gives me the melty, cheesy, gooey, I'm wanting.

Bariatric Gastric Bypass Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Low Carb Protein RNY VSG Recipe Cooking

More Things to do with Cold Cuts

Dinner: I felt up to a little cooking and made Shrimp and Zucchini Noodles with a storebought Bruschetta sauce... this one is so easy and literally takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish. Less if you used a pre-cooked protein... like leftover chopped, grilled chicken or steak instead of shrimp which I sometimes do.

Gastric Bypass Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery Low Carb Protein RNY VSG Recipe Cooking

Shelly's Bruschetta Shrimp and Zucchini Noodles

2 Medium-sized Zucchini, spiralized
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
3/4 cup Storebought Bruschetta Sauce
12 large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and a few twists of Black Pepper to taste

Spiralize the zucchini and saute till just tender about 5 minutes. Drain most of the excess liquid. I prefer a lot of sauce so I drain most but not all. If you like a less soupy end product drain it all. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add Bruschetta sauce and shrimp. Cover and cook till shrimp are opaque and cooked about 8 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cooks Notes: If you don't have a spiralizer (get one, they are great and fairly inexpensive) but of course you can also just slice the squash, or buy premade zoodles but 3 boxes of those and you've bought your spiralizer. You can find Bruschetta sauce in the fresh pasta section or I love a shelf-stable jarred Bruschetta Sauce that Trader Joe's makes (what I used this time) or of course you can make your own:

Homemade Bruschetta Sauce

4 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and diced
1-2 Tablespoons, fresh Basil, chopped
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
a drizzle of Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
pinch of dried Oregano
Kosher Salt, taste
a twist of Black Pepper

Mix all ingredients together about 15 minutes before serving.

More Low Carb, Alternatives to Pasta
More Healthy Italian Recipes

Snacks: I had a Starbucks Sugar Free Vanilla Soy Latte as I walked around the Farmer's Market and in the evening a piece of Coconut Cream Protein Pie sitting outside getting some fresh air. After being curled up in a dark, room it was nice to breathe some fresh air and look at the stars.

I've shared this story before but for those new to the blog... I wasn't a big birthday cake fan as a kid. I always requested a special Coconut Cream Pie that my neighbor Mrs. B. made for me. It had nuts pressed in the crust and was the bomb. My neighbor growing up on Long Island Mrs. B was quite the character and an awesome cook. When I was a kid I was her official taste tester. She'd have me taste-testing different versions of the same recipe and I would have to give my opinion in detail as to why I preferred one over the other. She entered and won cooking and recipe contests all the time. Her garage was literally full of new appliances (they gave away those back in the day) which she would then sell and use the money to go on exotic vacations to places like Fiji and Bali. She passed away about a year ago. She was one of my cooking inspirations and every time I enter a cooking contest (and once and while win) I think of her.  Here's my no sugar added, bariatric surgery friendly version...

Sugar Free No Sugar Added Gastric Bypass VSG RNY Vertical Sleeve

Shelly's Coconut Cream Protein Pie 

Crust Layer
1/2 cup Oats, dry
1/2 cup Almond Flour
1/4 cup Spelt Flour
1/4 cup Protein Powder, any flavor
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/3 cup Nuts, chopped (I used Pecans)
1/4 cup Sugar-Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla)
1 Tablespoon Melted Butter

Sugar Free No Sugar Added Gastric Bypass VSG RNY Vertical Sleeve

Pudding Layer 
2 cups of Sugar-Free Pudding (I used 1 small package Sugar-Free Vanilla Pudding and milk, prepared per package direction) When pudding has thickened, mix in 1/4 cup Unsweetened Coconut, toasted. You'll need a little more for the top.

Sugar Free No Sugar Added Gastric Bypass VSG RNY Vertical Sleeve

Optional Protein Pudding: 1/4 cup Protein Powder (any flavor, mix into the milk and pudding mix to dissolve) When pudding has thickened, mix in the 1/4 cup Unsweetened Coconut, toasted OR another option: 1 small package Sugar-Free Vanilla Pudding and instead of the milk and added protein powder in the pudding recipe you can use Vanilla Ready to Drink Protein Shake (Premier, Unjury, etc.) When pudding has thickened, mix in the 1/4 cup Unsweetened Coconut, toasted.
You'll need a little more for the top.

Mix crust ingredients together and press into 11x8 Pyrex rectangle casserole dish or pie plate that has been sprayed well with non-stick spray. Bake at 350 for 13 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Spread pudding over cooled crust. I like to have some additional toasted coconut on top of the pudding layer but can be omitted. I think it makes it pretty. Return to the fridge for at least an hour. Serve portions with a squirt of No Sugar Added, Homemade Whipped Cream. You can even make that coconut flavored. Makes around 15 servings. Holds up several days in the fridge, I actually made this before my migraine and the crust was still yummy and crunchy.

More Bariatric Friendly Desserts
More Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus

Thankful I am on the other side of this migraine. I need to go back to the doctor and see what is new and exciting in the way of treatments. Open to hearing from others about what is working for them.

Weight Loss Surgery Wisdom from a Friend

I believe people come into your life for a reason. Years ago when I was researching bariatric surgery I became active on the Obesityhelp website and made several friends, many of whom I still chat with after all these years. One of those early friends was Ruth Lamb (aka Dame Tooter) her early words of wisdom and guidance helped me and seeing her paying it forward was definitely a guide for me as I became a post-op to continue to share my experience, story, tips, recipes, etc. for others so their journey might be made a little easier. I lost my friend and early weight loss surgery mentor to cancer this weekend. I will miss her and always be grateful that we crossed paths in this life.  

Quote friendship

I want to share something she wrote years ago that helped me, I hope it helps the newer post-ops reading...
WLS TIMELINE – Or Am I Normal? by Ruth Lamb 
As you can guess not everything will apply to everyone, however, the following are my observations for the last few years.

By 1 week preop:
Panic sets in – much like the panic before having a baby. What to take to the hospital… pack and repack. Arrange everything you can before going into surgery (cook meals, write letters, read the memorial pages (an old OH feature) and then go to the message boards to get reassurance, confirm babysitting, postop help, time off work, travel arrangements, etc.). Dive into whatever final foods you’re just SURE you’ll never eat again. Ask the MB (Message Board) what foods you’ll never eat again. Insomnia! Mood swings. Preop testing, nasty bowel preps (btw, there are NO easy ways to get this stuff down. Just do it!). Wonder if you’re weird because you ARE NOT scared. Wonder if you are making a mistake because you ARE scared. 
Postop Day 1 through Week 2:
“What the hell did I just DO to myself???”
“Why am I/am I not hungry?”
“I’ll NEVER be able to get in all the fluid/protein/food they want me to.”
“I can eat TOO much – did I break something?”
“I can’t eat enough… will I die of starvation?”
“I can’t believe how badly this hurt! ~OR~ I can’t believe I even had surgery, because there’s so little pain!”
“Why do I have no energy?”
“When can I eat…fill in the blank?”
“Will I ever be able to gulp water again?”
“Why did I GAIN 10 pounds???”
“Wow, I’ve lost 10 pounds!”
You think you've hit your first plateau. Nope. Odds are VERY good you haven't :-) 
Postop weeks 2 through 12:
Post op remorse usually fades during this time period. What a relief that is!
You TRY hard to stick to your doctor's diet regimen/protocol and wonder if you’re evil when you slip off the wagon by eating… fill in the blank.
You think you've hit your first, 2nd or 3rd plateau. Nope. Odds are VERY good you haven't :-)
Nearly everyone experiences a stall during the first 3 months.
You accidentally gulp water and freak that you’ve broken your pouch.
You accidentally forget to chew something to death and fear you’ve plugged your stoma.
You FEAR strictures, fistulas, and leaks every time you burp, get nauseated, have diarrhea, feel a muscle cramp, etc. This fear is not abnormal and you ‘could’ have one of these since this is the prime time for it – however, fear is no way to live. There are common symptoms attributed to these. Hopefully, you’ve researched them postop and can shelve the fear and keep a reasonable eye out for them.
You discover that you vomit or burp mucus, foam or fluid occasionally. This is called frothing, the foamies, or just mucus. It typically IS just mucus, caused by your healing pouch.
You discover your body has weird ways of telling you that you’ve eaten enough/too much (i.e., sneezing, sniffles, runny nose, hiccuping, etc)
You wonder if it’s normal to poop once, twice, three times a week.
You discover one day the scale is evil (you’re losing too slow) and the next day it's your friend when it rewards you with 1, 2, 5 pounds gone.
You wonder if you’re losing too fast and how will you stop it when you get to ‘goal’.
You wonder if you’ll EVER get to ‘goal’.
You try numerous types of protein drinks/bars, etc and wonder if protein is ‘for life’.
You swear you will never eat or drink… fill in the blank…as it is evil or forbidden (pop, cookies, popcorn, gum, etc.)
You discover that many (not ALL) long-term postops have discovered that very little is forbidden or evil to them in moderation and with care. 
Months 3 through 18:
You worry you are a slow loser and have days you doubt the tool will work, or wonder if it’s broke. I am NOT mocking. Some people’s tools DO break during this period of time, but it is in the minority, not the majority.
You wonder if you’ll ever get to goal.
You made goal and worry you’ll not stop losing.
You worry because you can eat TOO much.
You worry because you still eat too little.
You worry about getting in enough protein.
You worry you’re getting in too much protein.
You ponder whether carbs are evil or not.
You question again whether diet pills are evil.
You compare your losses against everyone else’s.
You discover that you had an exercise guru hidden within you and are now an exercise maniac.
You discover that you HATE exercise and try and force yourself to get moving.
You may have hit your first plateau. Don't panic! - Have you noticed a reoccurring theme? :-)

Months 19 and beyond:
You may hit a plateau. Don't panic!
You reach goal and worry you'll regain.
You wonder if you'll stop losing!
You wonder if you'll EVER make goal (you've likely heard about the dreaded window and fear it closed at 18 months - be aware, I continued to lose to goal for 20 to 22 months).
You may find yourself sliding; eating the wrong foods; slacking on exercise; and freak when you regain 10 pounds. Time to get back on track. 
This is NOT to discourage you from asking questions. If anything this is to encourage you to. This is to show you that all your fears, doubts, worries and hopes are VERY normal – and to not be afraid to ask that question that is eating at you. I have purposely not provided ‘answers’ to most of the above questions, because we all need to discover our own path on this long loooong journey and everyone’s answer will be slightly different, as will their journey. So if you’re worried, curious, knowledgeable or just flummoxed… ASK, TELL, RESEARCH!  
Good luck to all – preops and postops and just the curious.
Bariatric Surgery Advice Tips Answers Questions
Ruth, Me and Amy (circa 2006)
In Ruth's memory, I will continue to share my story and answer questions whenever I am able. RIP my friend.

Join me in taking #OACAction

If you follow me on any of my social media accounts you probably have seen me using the hashtag #OACAction. Basically, the concept is really simple... the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is calling on its Community, as well as all of its supporters and followers, to simply take action and do something positive that moves our work as a non-profit organization forward in our mission. Your #OACAction can be any gesture that helps us spread awareness about obesity, educate and support people who are affected by it and improve their lives in some way, shape or form. All actions matter and all actions make a difference!


OAC's Mission
OAC Beliefs and Demands 

You can read more about #OACAction on the Obesity Action Coalition OAC Community Page and while you are there sign up to be a part of the OAC Community, there is a no-cost entry level now.

Today I want to share one of my favorite ways to take #OACAction: Sharing OAC materials in my neighborhood. Quick story... a few years ago a person who the attended OAC's Your Weight Matters (YWM) National Convention for the first time shared they had learned about it from reading a magazine I had left in a local coffee shop in my neighborhood. I was so jazzed for her for getting to attend what she called a life-changing experience for her health journey, I was jazzed for the OAC as we gained a new community member and I was jazzed for me too. It truly is an amazing feeling to know a small action you take can make a big difference.

Educational Resources

This week I created an #OACAction Take Action Kit to keep in my car. I used an old Your Weight Matters event bag and filled it with some of the free educational resources available by request from the OAC (most are also downloadable if you need something fast), a few issues of YWM magazines, and I filled a bag with some supplies tape, magnets, push pins, etc. I often need when posting items on community billboards or in coffee shops.

I also printed a list of places to remember to leave items:

Health Fairs
Support groups/talks
Gyms/fitness centers
Child care centers/preschools
Laundromats
Coffee shops
Grocery stores
Nail salon/hair salon
Craft clubs/book club
Library community info areas
Community centers/bulletin boards
Church fellowship/meetings
Doctor/dentist/lab/other medical waiting rooms

I think you will find there are so many opportunities for sharing materials in your own neighborhoods when you begin to make your list. I even come up with a few odd places from time to time like the other day I left an old YWM magazine in my car dealership waiting room as I was waiting for an oil change. I have to remember to do it every time because I know people will be grateful for the fun and interesting reading option... they literally only have Golf Digest, Sports Illustrated, and an occasional Money magazine. So leaving a YWM magazine each time will be my public service to save people from boredom LOL. Seriously though, it's an easy way for me to spread the word about the OAC, its awesome community and the work the organization does for those affected by obesity.

Taking #OACAction OAC Action

I hope you will join me in #OACAction taking... maybe by dropping something off at your next Dr. appointment, or by following the OAC on social media and retweeting, liking or sharing their posts so more eyes see them, or telling people about next year's YWM event, or maybe you'll take #OACAction in a different way, you can find tons of ideas in the OAC Action Center and keep checking back because we'll add more ideas from time to time.

When I take #OACAction I tweet about it (it's also happening on Facebook & Instagram so if you prefer those you can post with the hashtag there) and add the hashtag. If you search #OACAction on those social media platforms and scroll through you'll see others in our community taking #OACAction reading them inspires me, I hope it will inspire you too!




Your Weight Matters YWM2018

It was a crazy busy month! The highlight by far was the Obesity Action Coalition's (OAC) 7th Annual Your Weight Matters (YWM) National Convention in Denver, Colorado. As most of you know I have the great honor of serving as an OAC National Board Member and currently as Chairperson. This meeting is our BIG annual, awesome, gathering of individuals from across the country (34 states) and the globe (we had 6 countries represented this year!) who have personally struggled with their weight or have an interest in the education offered on health, weight, weight loss, nutrition, fitness, emotional health and wellness, and so much more.

Attending YWM each year is one of the ways I personally keep my health journey energized. Attending feeds my brain with knowledge (real deal, science supported, evidence-based, No BS, knowledge) and more importantly, it feeds my soul. There is something magical, inspiring and motivating when you find yourself surrounded by people who "get it," when you find your tribe, your community. It's powerful and it carries me like a wave from each year to the next. I am healthier for attending in both body and mind.

It's also POWERFUL in a larger community sense...


When you get that many amazing people together you feel empowered knowing there are others who care about the same issues you do and want to take ACTION to make the world a better place for those affected by obesity.


This year the OAC is focused on taking ACTION...

#OACAction is basically anything big or small (some with just a click of the mouse) that moves our organization forward and ALL ACTIONS MAKE A DIFFERENCE. There will be those that feel compelled to visit DC and share their stories in a public way to increase access to obesity care and treatment (awesome!) but for those that aren't ready or wanting to take action in that way, know that your efforts are still soooo needed... from dropping off OAC materials in your local community to sharing OAC social media posts which increases their reach to attending YWM each year and bringing friends and family to calling out weight bias and stigma and responding to our calls to act on issues. There are so many ways to take #OACAction!

Visit the OAC Action Center frequently to learn more ways to take #OACAction (we add new ones often.) Search on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook #OACAction to see what actions your fellow OAC Community members are taking and tag your #OACAction taking on social media so we can all be inspired and motivated by each other's actions...


...until we meet again at YWM2019. SAVE THE DATE and make plans to attend next year’s Convention in Tampa, Florida. August 1-4, 2019! Sign up for e-alerts to keep up with all the Convention 411 at YWMConvention.com

P.S. I have so many photos to go through from Convention I'll make another post with some fun pictures soon.

Cool Product Alert: RealGood Foods Cauliflower Pizza

Nothing beats a pizza and movie night! It was a favorite when I was a kid and it's still a favorite. If you think choosing to get healthier or having bariatric surgery will put an end to that fun tradition, you are mistaken. There are so many better for you pizza options and RealGood Foods (makers of those yummy enchiladas and pizzas with crusts made from chicken and Parmesan cheese, also a great option for Pizza & Movie Night) asked me to share that they are now making another great option: Cauliflower Crust Pizza... and they are delicious!


I know you are seeing a lot of Cauliflower Crust pizzas in the stores lately but be warned not all are created equal! Read those labels because many on the market are made with lots of starchy binders like rice flour, cornstarch, and tapioca flour so they are gluten free but basically as carby as eating a regular pizza. The stats on RealGood Foods Cauliflower Crust Pizzas are a good as I've seen. Made from cauliflower, egg, and cheese they come in at about 9g carbs, 16g. protein per serving, depending on the flavor. For more info on specific nutritional stats of each flavor.


They come in 4 flavors: Cheese, Margherita, Pepperoni, and Vegetable. They are Large, 10” pizzas, and each pie is easily 8 slices. They are available online. They will be headed to stores eventually, I am seeing their enchiladas and chicken crust pizzas in more and more stores but until then you are welcome to use my affiliate code: eggface to score 10% off your online order.

It's been so hot in my neighborhood. It's been hard for me to turn the oven on but these pizzas only bake at 400 for 20-26 minutes (I like crunchy crusts so I went for the full time.) We found a couple of movies that had plenty of snow scenes in them, turned up the portable AC and ate our gooey, cheesy pizza as we watched a double feature of "While You Were Sleeping" and "The Holiday." Pizza and Movie Night needs to happen more often!

Want a chance to win a mixed pack of RealGood Foods Cauliflower Crust Pizzas. Head over to my Instagram and follow the instructions on the Pizza and Movie Night post to enter.

This post is sponsored by RealGood Foods. For the purposes of this post, RealGood Foods provided me with products reviewed. Thanks for the opportunity to share the new product and the yummy pizza. All shared opinions are mine. If I don't love it, it doesn't get shared.

Welcome Summer Healthy Tips & Recipes

Summer is here! Wow, the year is flying by. I thought I'd share a few tips, reminders and recipes to help you have the best and healthiest summer ever. Click thru all the links and pics for recipes and more. While these are especially written for the bariatric surgery reader I think those that are eating low carb, keto, protein forward meals will find some favorites too.

Go Outside - Move your workout into nature, it's way more fun than a smelly gym and there is more to look at. Ride bikes, play tag with your kids, set up badminton or smaller spaces are great for corn hole games or go on a scavenger hunt in the neighborhood, make some protein granola and take a hike or a long romantic (or for the single gals like me, it's me-time) walk, do you have a pool or a neighbor with one... MARCO POLO anyone?!

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

Exercise early in the day, not only is it safer to exercise in the cooler hours of the AM, it will give you a good start for the day. Always wear sunscreen and bring your water with you.

Cool Eats - Visit your local farmers market, try a fruit or veggie you've never tried, ask the seller what he or she likes to do with it, get creative in the kitchen make some fun salads or create your own salad bar or have a tidbit party.

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

More Eggface Cool Eats

Summer is also prime bento box picnic weather. Pack lunch or dinner and take it out into nature... watch the sunset, make wishes on stars, find a beach, a lake, a park, your own backyard or balcony. My town has a bunch of free movies and concerts and of course 4th of July fireworks.

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

More Eggface Bento Box Lunches

Quick Eats - In the summer I am always looking for ways to cut down the cooking (heating the kitchen up) time or clean-up. These are a few of my favorites that do just that...

Foil Packets Meals
Sheet Pan Dinners
BBQ Dinners

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

If you are eating out (and heading home right away) ask for a box as you order and box up what you aren't eating before you start to use for creating meals the next day. I call this repurposing and it's definitely a time saver the next day.

Or cook big one day and turn the leftovers into easy meals for the rest of the week.

Sweet Treats - Fruit with protein-packed Greek yogurt or ricotta based dips are a favorite. Make Strawberry Cannoli, or my Fluff Stuff or churn a batch of Protein Ice Cream, make Protein Pudding Jars or Frozen "Cheesecake."

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Recipes Sugar Free Low Carb Keto Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG WLS

In the triple-digit heat we often get in my neck of the woods I am especially thankful for an afternoon protein shake made frappe-style in the blender. It's a quick way to cool me down and bonus I get some protein in too. I am careful about adding too many higher calorie items and I account for it in my eating plan for the day. You can save time by making protein shake baggies too.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Recipes Sugar Free Low Carb Keto Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG WLS

Drink Plenty of Water - I have always struggled with this one but I know it's not an option so I keep trying my best each day. Drinking more water would help so many of us (helps umm constipation, clear skin, healthy hair, it's a natural appetite suppressant, etc.) but staying hydrated is especially essential for bariatric surgery post-ops (caution: one of the major reasons for readmittance to the hospital in the first 30 days post-op is dehydration, so in those post-operative release instructions when they say carry your water bottle with you at all times and "sip sip sip" they mean it!)

There are lots of ways to jazz it up and even a few products that will do double duty and give you some added vitamins too.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Recipes Sugar Free Low Carb Keto Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve RNY VSG WLS

I always have plenty of cold water in the fridge and things like berries, cucumbers or citrus fruits on hand to add some pizazz. My latest favorite is unsweetened iced tea with a pump of Sugar-Free Torani in fruity flavors.

More tips for jazzing your H20 up

Make Memories - After cancer and the car theft, my budget won't allow for any great adventures this summer (thankful for the few trips I'm getting to go on via my work or volunteer positions) but I do live in a pretty awesome area of the country and so I've got a few local places to explore and hang out on my list.

Money Saving Tips

Southern California Carlsbad

Do you have a summer bucket list? What’s on it? I’d love to hear about it.
Happy Summer!

Healthy Dinner Idea: Sheet Pan Shrimp and Peppers

This colorful, nutritious, and delicious meal has been a hit at my house. We've had it a couple of times this month. I hope you enjoy it too. And bonus... everything is cooked on the same sheet pan so clean-up is a breeze.

Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Weight Loss Low Carb Bariatric Surgery Recipes

Shelly's Sheet Pan Shrimp and Peppers

2 Bell Peppers, sliced into strips
1/2 Red Onion, sliced into strips
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
a sprinkle of Kosher Salt

1/2 pound (16/20 ct.) Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
dash of Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper to taste
1/2 Lemon, sliced
a few sprigs of Dill

Place shrimp in a gallon zipper plastic bag, add olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper and zip shut. Toss to coat and set aside in the fridge while peppers begin cooking. Set oven to 425. On a baking sheet toss sliced peppers (any color is great, I used 1/2 of 4 different colored bell peppers you want 2 peppers total) and onion in olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and cook till golden about 35 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.

Hamilton Beach Countertop Oven Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Weight Loss Low Carb Bariatric Surgery Recipes

Push veggies to one side of the sheet pan. Place 3-4 lemon slices on the tray, add the shrimp that have been marinating in the fridge (discard marinade) and a sprinkle of fresh dill. Place back in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes more till shrimp are opaque and pink. Remove from the oven, toss veggies and shrimp together and squeeze the juice of the lemon slices over everything. I served over riced cauliflower (frozen steamer bag.)

Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Weight Loss Low Carb Bariatric Surgery Recipes

Time-saving Tip: As this shrimp dinner is cooking put another tray in the oven with the same veggies when dinner is done your extra tray of roasted veggies are done too. To roast veggies: chop into 1-2" pieces, place in an even layer on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little Kosher salt. You can use any combo of veggies (eggplant is another I do often) but try and keep the pieces close in size so they cook evenly.

Meal Prep Gastric Bypass Weight Loss Low Carb Bariatric Surgery Recipes

Roast at 425 (I did it in a countertop oven but a traditional oven is great too) for about 45 minutes, turn veggies with a spatula 2-3 times during cooking.

Meal Prep Gastric Bypass Weight Loss Low Carb Bariatric Surgery Recipes

I love roasted veggies. I make a couple of trays most weekends and then turn them into meals throughout the week, just store them in a glass container in the fridge and then use them during the week to make your breakfast (egg bites aka mini crustless quiche or scrambled egg bowl), lunch (bean salad or tortilla pizza or with cold cut rollups) or dinner (shrimp tacos or casseroles or meatloaf) more exciting. You can even freeze them to add to soups or whiz some in plain Greek yogurt to make an amazing dip for veggies.

More Eggface Dinner Recipes & Ideas

Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch

My yesterday in post weight loss surgery eating was a quite the international tour... there was some Chinese, a little Mexican food on the menu. If anyone says eating after bariatric surgery is boring, send 'em over ;)

Breakfast: I made a "beefed up" Cherry Cheesecake Protein Shake and sat outside reading the new issue of Your Weight Matters Magazine. If you haven't received yours yet it should be on its way. It's got a sneak peek at the awesome OAC Community Website that's coming soon, more about how you can take #OACAction and info about this year's Your Weight Matters National Convention in Denver. Hope to see you there! Registration Info P.S. There are a few more days to apply for the limited scholarships the OAC offers and if any of my readers are able to give to the scholarship fund to help bring more people, any dollar amount is awesome.

Obesity Action Coalition Breakfast Smoothies

Shelly's Cherry Cottage Cheesecake Protein Shake

1 cup Vanilla Almond Milk (you can use any milk)
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1/4 cup Cottage Cheese
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free Black Cherry Torani Syrup
5 or 6 Frozen Pitted Cherries

Whiz in blender till smooth.

This is a great "beefed up" breakfast shake for mornings you just don't feel like cooking/eating because it's packed with protein with the added cottage cheese dollop. Try this, even if you are not a cottage cheese fan. I promise you, it's delicious! You could also do plain Greek yogurt.

More Eggface Favorite Protein Shakes

Lunch: I roasted some of the veggies I picked up at the Farmer's Market this weekend (peppers, zucchini, red onions chopped, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt, 425 for 45 minutes or so, stirring every 15) which I used in these Shrimp and Roasted Veggie Baked Tacos.

Taco Tuesday Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Friendly Recipes

I just sauteed some shrimp in a tiny bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of chili powder. I topped each taco with a plop (very technical cooking term) of guacamole.

How I make the baked taco/tostada shells 

Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery Friendly Gluten Free Taco Tuesday Dinner Recipes

We ate outside. It was a gorgeous day and I spent most of it outside... weeding and trimming stuff so my neighbors don't call one of those "Fix That Yard" type ambush shows on me. Why is it that tomatoes and veggies I have trouble keeping alive but weeds grow like Jack & the Beanstalk tall despite all my efforts to kill them?!

More Eggface Mexican-Inspired Recipes

Dinner: This is one of my favorite dinners: Egg Foo Bites. It's my Mum's too, so it happens at least once a month in some form. I took a quicker way out and used a storebought, frozen cauliflower "rice" mix versus the more lengthy side (my Cauliflower Fried "Rice") I usually make.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Meals Cooking

I served them with Trader Joe's Frozen Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry Mix. If you don't have a Trader Joe's nearby Green Giant makes a great bunch of Riced Cauliflower Mixes too (my Target, Walmart carries them) and you could just add ginger, some veggies and a splash of soy sauce to give it the Asian vibe or if you have more time you could make my Cauliflower "Fried Rice." All are delicious lower carb options and I never miss the rice (which has way fewer nutrients and lays heavy for most weight loss surgery post-ops.)

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Meals Cooking

Shelly's Egg Foo Young Bites

2 cups Bean Sprouts
6 Mushrooms, chopped
4 Green Onions, diced
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
5 Eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
Olive oil for sauteing

Preheat oven to 350. Saute mushrooms till golden. Add bean sprouts. Cover and cook till bean sprouts go limp about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. When cool, I snip the bean sprouts up a bit with kitchen shears. Helps them fit in the mini muffin tin better. Mix all ingredients together. Spoon into lightly greased (Pam non-stick spray works great for this) mini muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Let them cool a few moments they pull away and pop right out. Makes 24. Optional: Serve with Foo Young Gravy

Shelly's Foo Young Gravy

1 Green Onion, diced
1 cup Chicken Broth
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Corn Starch

Mix cornstarch into 1/4 cup of the broth (can do vegetable broth for a vegetarian version) in a small pitcher and stir till dissolved. Add to remaining ingredients in a saucepan and cook on low, stirring
constantly, till bubbling and thickened. Spoon over Egg Foo Young Bites.

These reheat great the next day too! Yay for leftovers.

More Eggface Bites (aka Mini Crustless Quiches)
More Eggface Asian-Inspired Recipes

Snacks: Coffee, a Cheesestick, and I wanted a little something sweet last night so I made Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cookie Sandwiches out of the protein bar cookies I make. I put a smear of peanut butter between 2 double chocolate protein bar "cookies." Messy but yum! Each protein bar makes 8 cookies, so 4 sandwich cookies. 1 "cookie sandwich" was the perfect portion and hit the spot. 

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Fitness Workout Low Carb Protein Bar Recipes


Hope you have a great week! 

Cool Product Alert: Real Good Foods Enchiladas Update

I know it's supposed to be Taco Tuesday but this good news I'm sharing is somewhat appropriate since it's about another type of Mexican food: Enchiladas, specifically the Real Good Frozen Enchiladas I love. You know... the protein-packed, low carb ones where the "tortilla" is actually made of chicken and cheese and filled with all sorts of yummy enchilada fillings like shredded chicken, beef, pork or cheese. Check out my review of them back in December.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Protein Packed Keto Diet Products

You can still buy the enchiladas online (feel free to use my affiliate coupon code: eggface to score 10% off your Real Good Foods online orders) but the good news I was asked by the company to share is that the enchiladas are now available in more local supermarkets including: Ralph's, Kroger, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Smith's, Harris Teeter, and several others around the country. Look for them in the freezer case near you!

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Protein Packed Keto Diet Products

Also, FYI if you are an Ibotta user (Ibotta is a free app that pays you cash back for your purchases) right now you can score $2 cash back on your purchase of Real Good Enchiladas in participating supermarkets (offer ends July 1.)

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Protein Packed Keto Diet Products

They are great to take to work and nuke for lunch. They come in a microwavable tray of 2 of the same flavor. For dinner, I love to make 2 different flavors and give each person one of each. I served them that way tonight with another great frozen product Green Giant Riced Veggies (cauliflower, peas, carrots.) I added some sauteed onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, chopped and a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin to give the riced veggies a little Mexican vibe. The whole dinner was done in less than 15 minutes. Delicious, or should I say delicioso!

This post is sponsored by Real Good Foods. For the purposes of this post Real Good Foods provided me with products reviewed. Thanks for the opportunity to share the good news about the enchiladas. All shared opinions are mine. These are soooo good.

Tips for Reducing Stress

All the chaos and stress in the world can really take a toll. I won't get political (I'll save that for my Twitter account, you've been 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, no guilt or shame about it, that only saps energy from the new 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, songs when it rains... 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 take dinner outside. We call them "Tidbit Parties" or "Patio Picnics," yummy protein-packed tidbits brought outside on the patio and lots of laughter is a great way to soothe the soul.



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've found to reduce stress.

Baked Cauli-Tots (aka Cauliflower Croquette) Recipe

I've seen cauliflower tots in the supermarket and some recipes online and most of them have been a little carbier than I liked and didn't offer much in the way of protein. I was in the mood to experiment the other day and we really enjoyed what I came up with. It was definitely blog-worthy and will be added to my menu in the future. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Recipes Menus Blog

Shelly's Baked Cauli-Tots (aka Cauliflower Croquettes) 

2 cups of Fresh Cauliflower, crumbled/riced
2 Tablespoons Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese (like Boursin)
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese, drained
1/4 cup Spelt or Chickpea Flour
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
a few twists of Black Pepper
Bagel Spice/Everything Bagel Seasoning for sprinkling

A few hours before you want to make the tots (or better yet the night before) place the ricotta cheese in a mesh sieve over a bowl (make sure it doesn't touch the bottom) and place back in the fridge. Discard the liquid that drains. Saute cauliflower in a non-stick pan about 8-10 minutes till golden, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 425, line a baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients including the drained ricotta cheese to the cooled cauliflower (except the Bagel Seasoning.) Stir everything together until well combined and you have a thick dough. Form the dough into about 16, 3" cylindrical tots, I like double tot length, for more traditional tot size you'll get 32. Sprinkle with Bagel Seasoning.

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Recipes Menus Blog

Place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip, spray the tops of the Cauli-Tots lightly with non-stick spray and bake 15 more minutes or until golden brown.

Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Recipes Menus Blog


Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Weight Loss Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Recipes Menus Blog

Cook's Note: I used fresh, bagged, pre-riced cauliflower. You could always pulse fresh florets in a food processor till rice consistency too. I wouldn't suggest frozen for this recipe it's a little too soft a consistency.

I served the Cauli-Tots with a duo of dips: warmed Tomato Sauce (jarred Rao's Tomato Basil) and cool Homemade Greek Yogurt "Ranch" Dip.

Homemade Greek Yogurt "Ranch" Dip

1/2 cup Greek Yogurt, plain
1 teaspoon Dry Buttermilk Powder
1/2 teaspoon Dried Parsley
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Dried Chives
a few twists of Black Pepper
Salt to taste

Mix till well combined. You can find Dry Buttermilk Powder near regular powdered milk (though it's not the same) or online. This is basically that supermarket ranch packet mix without all the names you can't pronounce. If you want to turn it into dressing for salad just thin it with milk, water, or a light vinegar.

These Baked Cauli-Tots (aka Cauliflower Croquettes) would be perfect served with a salad. Great for Meatless Monday or if you have vegetarian pals coming over for lunch or dinner. They reheat in the microwave (losing some crispness but still yummy.)

Other Eggface Favorite Cauliflower Recipes

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