Protein Snacks (or small meals)

Be careful with snacking. It's important to distinguish whether you are actually hungry or just eating out of habit. If I'm actually hungry I'll allow myself the snack but only after I drink a whole bottle of water and wait my 30 minutes. Then if I am still hungry (most of the time I've forgotten about it) I'll pick from this list of protein filled snacks. If you've read the blog for any length of time you know I stay away from simple carbs so all of these "snacks" are pretty protein packed.

If you determine you are eating out of habit like always at night in front of the TV or while sitting at the computer try and change what you do for a week or two. Go out, go for a walk, read, call a friend. When I was quitting smoking years ago I realized that I would go outside after work, return phone calls and chain smoke while I talked... I literally couldn't go outside or chat on the phone for a while to break the habit.

Here's my list of 50 things to do instead of snacking.

Some tips that work for me:

1. Portion it out. Never bring the bag.
2. Eat mindfully - savor the snack. I can't tell you how many times pre-op I would reach into a bag of something I was snacking on, find I'd eaten the last one (chip, cookie, whatever) and not even realize it (Evil = Pepperidge Farm Sausalito Cookies.)
3. Try and limit simple carbs they only make you want them more.
4. If you eat scheduled meals loaded with dense protein you won't be apt to snack.
5. Be sure to drink your water. Water is a natural appetite suppressant.
6. I plan my menu (at least a day in advance) to be sure I will make the best choices.
7. Put a before and after pic on your fridge.
8. My Post-op Mantra - You can't continue the same behaviors and expect a different result.

My Protein "Snacks" or Small Meals list: This is basically my breakfast and lunch list.

* Apple with Peanut Butter & Granola or Homemade Nut Butter

* 5 Minute Protein Cake

* Protein Muffins Cherry, Blueberry, Banana, Carrot

* Caprese Skewers

1 bunch fresh basil
1 lbs bocconcini (those bite-sized fresh mozzarella balls)
2 pints cherry tomatoes
olive oil
pesto sauce (homemade or store bought)
salt and pepper to taste
Bamboo Skewers (toothpick size or cut a full length in half)

Wrap the bocconcini with basil leaf and pierce with skewer. Add a tomato to skewer. Repeat until you’ve run out of skewers or ingredients. Drizzle skewers with pesto sauce that has been slightly thinned out with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly ground salt and pepper.


* Antipasto Skewers

* Cheese sticks - Frigo Twirls Cheddar & Mozzarella Cheese sticks (Polly-O makes one too) are my favorite.

* Just the Cheese Crunchy Cheese

* Cold Cut Roll-Ups: Dill Pickle Spears wrapped with a slice of Turkey or Roast Beef or Cheesesticks or Sliced Cheese wrapped with Turkey or Roast Beef

* Protein Ice Cream.

* Almonds

* My Italian Cracker Jack

* Lime & Salt Peanuts

* Pesto Parmesan Peanuts or Tomato Basil Peanuts

* Spicy Nuts

1 tablespoon good olive oil
3 cups whole roasted cashews, whole roasted almonds
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Place a medium-size saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and nuts and toss to coat. Add cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper and toss until warmed through. Remove from heat and serve. They will crisp as they sit.

* Soy Crisps dipped in Roasted Eggplant Spread or Hummus

* Genisoy Apple Cinnamon Soy Crisps with Peanut Butter

* Newman's Own Organic Cinnamon Sugar Soy Crisps with Almond Butter

* 1 Stick of an Oh Yeah! Vanilla Peanut Butter Creme Protein Wafer

* 1/2 a Luna Bar (my favs are Lemon Zest, Strawberries & Creme, Iced Oatmeal Raisin, or Chocolate Peppermint Stick "Think GS Thin Mints") or Lara Bar (Coconut Cream Pie, Banana Bread, Pistachio)

* Cheese Stick dipped in warm Marinara Sauce

* Cream Cheese or Peanut Butter Celery Stalk with Raisins (good old Ants on a Log)

* Apple slices smeared with Justin's Almond Butter

* Celery with Italian Cream Cheese

* Hard boiled Egg

* Deviled Eggs

* Cold Grilled Chicken dipped in Cilantro Yogurt Dip

* Berries with a dollop of Ricotta Cheese

* Berries with Pineapple Cottage Cheese

* Ricotta cheese sweetened with SF Torani Syrup

* Jerky (beef, turkey, chicken)

* Cheddar Cheese with a few Apple Slices (melted slightly in the toaster oven is great too)

* Cheese Cubes or Baby Bells

* Fage Yogurt with additions (flax cereal, granola, SF Torani Syrup, Fruit, unsweetened Coconut)

* Raw Veggies and Fage Yogurt Dip or Hummus

Here's my list of grab and go (no fridge required) purse snacks.


Anonymous said...

I know somedays you must just want to skip writing, but please know that I so look forward to reading your posts. I also wanted you to know here in MIchigan, it is about 68 degress, nice cool breeze, smelling like fall - put yourself in my backyard to cool off a bit.......
Thanks again Michelle

~jane said...

Thank you for this great site--the tips, advice, recipes, all of it! I'm 4 weeks post op and really appreciate it. Today I ordered the crunchy cheese.

Michelle said...

Thanks for the comments. They made my day :)

Steffanie said...

OMG Michelle,

I'm eight weeks post op lap rny. I can eat real food now. I stumbled onto your site, but pretty sure God brought me here. I can't tell you how much I love reading every word you right, looking at every beautiful photo you post, and the recipes are to die for. I plan to spend all my spare time reading your site, and trying all the yummy sounding foods you've been so kind to share!!! Thank you so much, thanks, thanks. I worried life and food would be over after this surgery. You've opened a whole new world for me! I love you! ~Big Hugs, Steffanie

Michelle said...

Steffanie, I'm so glad you are finding it helpful. It's important to be that others know that surgery doesn't doom us to a life without "good" food.

Kayla said...

I never thought of wrapping deli meats around a pickle, that sounds so yummy! And how incredibly simple! Can't believe I didn't think of it myself lol

And a cheesestick dipped in marinara, yum!

Mel said...

Am just two weeks post op sleeve gastrectomy, and due to complications on a liquid diet for another 2 weeks... Desperate to find protein in some other form that the supplements, all of which I simply don't like. Very much appreciate your posting recipes. Was especially curious about the cheese sticks - have you had any trouble with these? Some of the literature says no hard cheeses...

Thanks again for what you do -


Michelle said...

Hi Mel, Glad you are enjoying the blog. I haven't had any issues with cheese of any type. My diet is pretty heavy on cheese.

Some Dr.'s will have issue with fat content and issues cheeses may cause with constipation.

Not sure if their are specific issues post VSG that might factor in. I had RNY.

Diane Reed said...

Hi Michelle -
I stumbled on your site through a gastroparesis support group. My mother has gastro. and needs a diet high in protien, yet low in fiber and fat. You have some good recipes in here that I intend to share. The disease is quite dibilitating and any help she can get is so appreciated. Keep up the good work!!

jennbrawner said...

Thanks so much for for your posts. They are a great help! My question is: What crunchy cheese flavor do you recommend. It is pretty pricy and I want to pick the best one. Thanks again!!

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Jenn, I love grilled cheese (milder) and white cheddar (saltier) the other flavors are tasty but after a while they get to me... I'm plain jane I guess.

Michelle Schultz said...

Hey thanks so much for your wonderful blog. I am about 4 months till my surgery but I am really trying to get into the mindset of post surgery early. Your tips and recipes ect. have been so helpful to me. Thank you so much for being a great help