Friday, August 31, 2007

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.

or

* 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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What's new?

It's flippin hot. It was 104 today. I'm melting. So much for that tiny glimpse of Fall we had the other day this nastiness is expected through next week.

I seriously don't feel like cooking or eating in this weather but I know I have to. I drank a lot. So that's good. My drink de jour is water with a splash of Glaceau Vitamin Water Multi-V Lemonade in it. Yeah probably not the best choice but it's getting me to drink my water. So what the hell.

I didn't eat much at all today:

Breakfast: Cheesestick
Lunch: Mango Banana Protein Smoothie
Dinner: Chicken Marsala and a Tomato Salad
Snack: Apple with Justin's Almond Butter

I made Chicken Marsala tonight. It was yummy. I've got leftovers for tomorrow too. I've posted this recipe before (last year I think) but I adapted it a bit so here's the new & improved version:


Shelly's Chicken Marsala

1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
4-5 sliced Crimini Mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Marjoram
3 tablespoons Flour (I use Multigrain Pancake Mix)
4 (4-ounce) boneless Chicken Breasts, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Marsala
1 Green Onion, diced

Saute onion and mushroom till golden. Remove from pan set aside. Combine the salt, pepper, marjoram and flour on a plate. Coat the chicken in the mixture. Heat the olive oil. Add the chicken and cook 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover loosely to keep warm. Add the broth, lemon juice and Marsala to the skillet and cook, stirring to incorporate any bits on the surface of the pan. Add onion and mushroom back to pan. Add green onion. Bring to a boil and continue to boil 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened. Serve the sauce spooned over the chicken.


Well I haven't done a basic update in awhile... I still get headaches and migraines. I was told weight loss surgery might improve these but sadly it did not. I'm not crazy about some of the next treatment steps the neurologist has suggested so for now I'm just living with them. Other than that I'm great -138 pounds. Still losing a few pounds two weeks out of the month. I'm researching plastic surgery and surgeons. Lurking on OH's PS board. I hope to have tummy, arms, and "the girls" done before the year is out. Franken Barbie here I come! My sister was just approved for a tummy tuck and breast reduction. She had RNY in 2004. She's paying the extra to have her belly button redone and all that... I'm glad. No belly button is so Kyle XY and a little freaky. No offense belly button-less readers.

What else? I'm going to NY. Yeah! Fall in NY. I'm so excited.

I just bought a few things today for my trip. I got 5 shirts online at Nordstrom.com they have flat fee shipping right now $5 no matter how much you order, 2 sweaters at Ross and 2 pairs of pants at TJ Maxx. So I'm set. Well I still need a jacket. I bought one back in October when I went to NY last but it swims on me now. I love it all my clothes can fit in a carry-on bag now... when I was heavy two of my garments would take up a carry-on bag. I always had to check my bags.

That's all that's new and exciting in my world. How about yours? Feel free to comment. The world according to eggface has hundreds of readers a day but few comments (TY to those that do).

Highlights of the day:

* Despite it being 104 degrees I was able to run around town all day doing errands not something I would have done pre-op +138 pounds.

* At least I wasn't in Death Valley, CA where it was 119 degrees.

* My Moo Cards came in the mail.

Listening to: "The Great Escape" Boys Like Girls

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pureed Foods for Post Weight Loss Surgery

I had a request from a newer post-op to do a blog post of the pureed foods I ate. So per request here you go.

Disclaimer: Remember post-op nutritional plans vary. My sister had the same surgery with a different doctor and we had very different plans. Foods that worked for me may be on your no list. ALWAYS check with your medical posse first.

There's not much you can do but survive this part of the journey. The liquids through pureed/soft food phase are miserable and until you start eating "real food" again you will feel like a patient. It gets better I promise.

Four kitchen gadgets helped me during this phase:


Black & Decker Mini Chopper Food Processor - I used this during the pureed stage several times a day and still use it several times a week. It is fabulous and just the right size for us. Update: When this one finally died after 7 years or so I bought this one: Cuisinart Mini Prep Food Processor - Love it and it comes in a ton of cute colors.





Hand Blender (Stick Blender) - This is an absolute must for whizzing homemade and store bought soups.

Oster Beehive Classic Blender - I had this blender for 25-ish years (through the college years aka many frozen libations) It finally died and I treated myself to a crazy $$$ Vitamix and last year I was gifted a Ninja IQ and I love those both! A must for protein shake making.

Rival Crock Pot - TMI but the trick to not hurling on meats is moisture. Crock pots make meats moist.

Here's some things I ate:




Beans: I made post weight loss surgery standard refried beans with melted cheese but I also whizzed up other beans too black beans with salsa and a little sour cream and cannelini with a teaspoon of pesto sauce mixed in.



One of the first meats I remember eating was Roast Beef Hash in a can. Yes, it resembles Alpo but in the beginning you will eat things you won't dream of eating later on. I don't do potatoes now but in the first few weeks it helped the meat go down.


Here's a favorite: I steamed cauliflower poured over a homemade cheese sauce (like for mac & cheese) and whizzed that up. Here's the recipe:

Shelly's Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

4 cups Cauliflower, steamed
2 Tablespoons Butter, divided use
1/4 cup Flour (I use Spelt, higher in protein)
1/2 teaspoon Dry Mustard
1 teaspoon Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
3 cups Milk
3/4 pound Sharp Cheddar Cheese (3 cups)
1/4 cup Bread Crumbs (optional)

Steam cauliflower set aside. Melt 3 tablespoons butter, blend in flour & seasonings. Add milk. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in cheese; pour over steamed cauliflower and mix till combined. Top with optional crumbs mixed with remaining 1 tablespoons of butter. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until golden brown. This will make a ton... enough for family and many bariatric portions.  You can half the recipe. You can add cooked ground chicken, turkey or beef to this too. Throw your portion in the Mini Chopper Food Processor and whiz away. You can add unflavored protein too... mix it in milk like you would a shake so it's dissolved or you'll get clumps.

Crock Pot Stews:

Store bought and homemade stews. This recipe is still one of my favorites. The gravy is to die for and really helps in the whizzing process. Do not leave out the 1/4 cup of wine. This cooks for 7+ hours you won't be catching a buzz from the beef stew but it really makes a difference in the taste.

Shelly's Crock Pot Pot Roast

3-4 pound boneless Chuck Roast
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 package Lipton Dry Onion Soup mix
1/4 cup White Wine (most of the alcohol cooks away)
1 whole Onion sliced

Optional: The last hour of cooking I sometimes add the following:
1/2 cup frozen Peas
1/2 cup frozen Carrots
1/2 cup sliced Mushrooms

Place a 3 or 4 pound boneless Chuck Roast in a pan and brown both sides about 5 minutes a side. Place the brown meat in a crock pot and add a can of undiluted cream of CHICKEN (yes chicken) over the top of the roast and spread it around just the top. Then empty a package of Lipton dry Onion Soup mix over the cream soup and don't mix it. Drizzle 1/4 cup of white wine down the side of the crock pot. Place onion rings on top. Close the lid. That's all there is to it!! Don't add any additional water either. Cook on low for about 7 hours.

In the pureed stage I whizzed this up it's not pleasant to look at. Is anything after it is whizzed up really? but it tastes awesome. BTW Now I eat this (un-whizzed of course) with a side of sauteed spinach or cabbage.

Soups:


I made a lot of homemade and store bought soups and used my hand blender to puree them. You can hide unflavored protein in soups for added protein. Remember "unflavored" just means not chocolate or vanilla it doesn't mean tasteless. There is no tasteless protein. They are getting better though.

Salads:


Crab salad - with a squeeze of lime and a dab of yogurt or mayo, mashed avocado.
Chicken salad - with dill or curry powder or a little pesto sauce.
Tuna salad - with mashed cannelini beans, a squeeze of lemon juice or Italian dressing.
Egg salad - with curry or dill or mix some hummus in.

Greek yogurt (or if you must mayo/yogurt combo) to moisten. I added things like a dab of wasabi mayo for kick. I use/used full fat dressings and mayo when I use them. I don't do fat free. I mean come on we are eating tablespoons of food at least they can taste good. This was a surgery on my guts not my taste buds. Feel free to substitute with the fat free nuclear waste product of your choice.

I used my Mini Food Processor and whizzed them till they were smooth. I have a lot of recipes posted in the blog for salads I basically used those but eliminated the crunchy items (nuts, fruits).

For an Italian fix:

Weight Loss Surgery Vertical Sleeve Gastric Bypass RNY WLS VSG Recipes Cooking Blog

Shelly's Ricotta Bake

8 oz of Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 large Egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup Marinara Sauce
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Mix ricotta cheese, parmesan, beaten egg, seasonings together and place in a oven proof dish. Pour marinara on top and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake it in the oven @ 450 for about 20-25 minutes (best) or nuke it till hot and bubbly. I usually made it first in the oven and heated the leftovers in the microwave.


For a sweet Italian fix:
My Tiramisu Protein Pudding
or just mix SF Torani with Ricotta to taste. I still eat this now (I add a little fruit)

Other:

Plain Greek Yogurt with SF Torani syrup
Greek Yogurt makes a great dip for meats to with seasonings or a dab of pesto sauce


Shelly's Fluff Stuff (early stages version w/out fruit)

1 cup Boiling Water
1 box (4-serving size - the small one) Sugar Free Jello Mix
3 1/2 oz. (half a small container) Plain Greek Yogurt (Fage, Chobani, Voskos, whatever you use)
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup

Pour boiling water slowly over jello mix. Stir till dissolved. Set aside. Mix yogurt & syrup together till well combined. Add to Jello mixture. Beat with an electric mixer till well combined. Place in fridge for 1 hour. Remove from fridge and beat again for 5 minutes till fluffy, put it back in fridge and allow to set fully (about 2 hours) You can use any SF Jello flavor, any Torani Syrup flavor.

Faux Ice Cream - freeze yogurt or protein shakes in popsicle makers
Sugar Free Pudding (with added protein)
Oatmeal and Cream of Wheat (with added protein)
I wish I would done this back then but do now: Protein Ice Cream soooo good (just leave out any additions like nuts or fruit)

Food Dessert Protein Powder

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rain


It rained today!!! It was awesome. A few hours of a nice steady drizzle. We haven't had measurable rain in months so this was an exciting day. This winter's total rainfall was 3.75" yes that's total, the whole winter. So when it rains in Southern California it's a big deal. The news will break into regular programming with "STORM WATCH 2007" banners, special dramatic music will play and 4 reporters positioned all over town will be covering the rain event. The news helicopter will hover over rainy areas to show us the drops on the windshield. It's so overkill. It's hilarious.

So what did I do on this unusual super terrific rainy day?

I made a pot of Ceylon Tea and watched the rain till it stopped. The thunder booms freak out my kitties and so I hung out with them too. They probably aren't freaked out at all I actually think it's a ploy for treats. Attention Kitty Owners: seek out Whiskas Temptations Cat Treats in Savory Salmon Flavor. My cats literally attack me for them.

I took the leftovers from last night's dinner and made an omelette. I only really eat breakfast on the weekends. Most days I do a protein shake and a cheesestick. It's quick and easy when I'm on the run. Last night I made my Chicken Sausage Stir Fry. I used a Spinach, Fontina, & Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage (20 g. of protein per link) this time. These were equally as yummy as the Mushroom Asiago ones I tried last week. If you have a Trader Joe's nearby seek these out. The leftovers made a great breakfast.

After breakfast I hung out on OH for awhile. A lot of people are having a difficult weekend. Please join me in sending some prayers to all those needing them.

In honor of the weather I made a Fall-ish dinner Roast Chicken and a Veggie Casserole. I know I have said this before but make this Roast Chicken because seriously it rocks! It's so moist... it's like butta.




Shelly's Veggie Casserole

3 cups frozen Mixed Veggies (I used broccoli, cauliflower, carrots), steamed
1 can Cream of Celery Soup
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
1 cup Shredded Mexican Cheese
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
10 Ritz Crackers, crushed
1 Tablespoon of Butter, melted

Steam veggies till 1/2 done. Mix soup, sour cream, broth, cheese, and seasonings together and pour over veggies. Mix to combine. Pour into a buttered casserole and sprinkle crushed crackers and melted butter. Bake for 30 minutes at 425 (same as Chicken).


Highlights of the day:

* The rain was just enough to wash the skylights off and make everything smell fresh and wonderful.

* The smell of thyme and garlic in the house is so Fall.

* I read something today that has given me some direction in crap that has been on my mind lately. Not what I wanted to hear but maybe what I need to hear.


Listening to: "Just like Heaven" The Cure

Sugar free syrups

Eggface Cooking Blog

Sugar free syrups come in a variety of brands - Torani, DaVinci, Monin, Starbuck's. I prefer Torani and Starbuck's. They seem to have less of an after taste - it's a personal preference. DaVinci does have some interesting flavor choices (like Toasted Marshmallow and Cookie Dough too) but they are harder to find in my area. Most are sweetened with Splenda. So a ton of flavor for 0 calories or carbs. Can't beat that!

Where do I buy them? Locally I've bought them at the supermarket (coffee aisle), Cost Plus World Market, BevMo Beverages & More, Smart & Final, random bottles at TJ Maxx, online you can buy them through Amazon.com

How do I use them? I add my syrups to protein shakes, desserts, Protein Ice Cream, Fage yogurt, ricotta cheese, SF cocoa, cream cheese, iced tea, lemonade, steamed "milk" (I'm a soy girl but you could use the real stuff), protein balls, oatmeal, and of course in coffee and coffee drinks.

Click on the links above and below to see some recipes I make using SF syrups.

Sugar Free Torani flavors

SF Almond
SF Almond Roca
SF Black Cherry
SF Brown Sugar Cinnamon
SF Classic Caramel
SF Caramel
SF Chocolate
SF Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
SF Chocolate Macadamia Nut
SF Coconut
SF English Toffee
SF French Vanilla
SF Gingerbread
SF Classic Hazelnut
SF Hazelnut
SF Irish Cream
SF Lemon
SF Lime
SF Mango
SF Orange
SF Peach
SF Peanut Butter
SF Peppermint
SF Pumpkin Pie
SF Raspberry
SF Red Raspberry
SF Strawberry
SF Vanilla
SF Vanilla Bean
SF Watermelon
SF White Chocolate

Sugar Free Starbucks flavors

Cinnamon Dolce
Vanilla
Caramel (Discontinued 2015)
Hazelnut (Discontinued 2015)
Mocha (Seasonal)
Peppermint (Seasonal)

At Starbuck's just ask at the counter they don't usually have the bottles out for sale but they do sell them if they aren't running low.

Friday, August 24, 2007

New! Coffee Protein Shakes


I added a couple of yummy new protein shakes to My Favorite Protein Shake Recipes page. They both feature Instant Espresso so not only do you get your protein for the day but it'll keep you going with an espresso kick.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

No cook dinner

I had a busy day today and decided to make it an easy no-cook dinner well I did roast garlic earlier in the day so I should say it was a minimal cook dinner.

I made wraps. I just recently did a post on wraps so if you are looking for some ideas to wrap-up check out my master list. Tonight's wrap was Chicken, Provolone, and Grilled Eggplant.


I also made a batch of my Italian Cream Cheese. I make a variation of this recipe for my Bruschetta which was my biggest cooking contest win to date. It ended up on the back of a cheese package (my 15 minutes). This time I smeared it on some celery. You can also smear it on cucumber slices, soy crisps, crackers and bread of course. For a party: fill a Ziploc bag with Italian Cream Cheese and snip the end to form a piping bag and fill hollowed out cherry tomatoes.


Shelly's Italian Cream Cheese

3-4 Basil Leaves, chopped
Contents of 1 roasted large head of Garlic
8 ounces Cream Cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Good Sicilian Olive Oil
sometimes I add:
1/4 cup toasted Walnuts (optional) or
1/4 cup chopped Artichoke Hearts (optional)

Mix chopped basil leaves, the contents of the head of one roasted garlic, cream cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, toasted walnuts (optional), artichoke hearts (optional). Blend thoroughly. Add olive oil a few drops at a time until creamy.


How to Roast Garlic: Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Place the garlic heads in a muffin pan or garlic roaster. I love my garlic roaster. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head. Sprinkle with kosher salt. If you aren't using a garlic roaster: cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.

Highlights of the day:

* My buddy and co-worker Sarah bought me the super cool plates (pictured above) as a reaching GOAL present. She rocks! Being in Southern California we eat outside a lot and so I love love love melamine plates. I've dropped many a porcelain plate and patio cement is unforgiving.

* My tomatoes are getting few and far between but my neighbor's plants are kicking in big time. She brought me 3 huge monsters today. So tomorrow I will make a Tomato & Onion Gratin.

* Been listening to a great mix of music for the past hour that has put me in a great mood. It's amazing the power of music. So thanks Barenaked Ladies, Dave Matthews Band (my fav) and now...

Listening to: "Upside Down" Jack Johnson

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cooking experiments

Yesterday I made my Summer Squash Casserole with zucchini versus summer squash. I served it with Turkey Meatballs in Marinara. Verdict: Tasty but I think I prefer the sweetness of yellow squash in the dish. I think next time I will try a combo of both. BTW if these Turkey Meatballs aren't a part of your post WLS menu yet you must get some. 3 mini meatballs 18 grams of protein.


Tonight it was Chicken Paprikash and Cabbage. Chicken Paprikash is a classic Hungarian dish traditionally served over egg noodles but since I don't do pasta (by choice) I served mine with cabbage.



Shelly's Chicken Paprikash

4 skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts
1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, sliced
1 1/2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Sweet Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoon Flour
1 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
2/3 cup Sour Cream

Cut chicken into 1" pieces. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and pan-fry until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Using the same skillet, cook onion in butter until brown. Season with paprika and salt. Sprinkle in flour. Cook for one minute. Pour chicken stock into the pan and tomato paste bring all to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Place chicken and sour cream in skillet; simmer until chicken is heated through and sauce has thickened.

Serve over egg noodles or cabbage.

New! Banana Lover's Protein Shakes


I added a couple of yummy new protein shakes to My Favorite Protein Shake Recipes page and here's some info about the nutritional value of bananas.

If you are a banana lover you will love them if not well ummm you won't.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Butterfly

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.


The third in the "Things fly by" series. Here's #1 and #2.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Weekend wrap up

It was HOT. I can't wait for Fall.

Saturday I went to the Farmer's Market again. I really didn't have any intention of going this weekend but Saturday was one of those days where everything I planned screwed up. I was going to the mall to buy a shirt. I thought I was getting a good start to my day but when I got to the mall the store didn't open for another hour. So I headed over to the only thing open that early the Farmer's Market. It was lovely as usual. I bought a big bag of zucchini (they didn't have any yellow squash so I'm going to make my Summer Squash Casserole with zucchini this week I'll take FP and share.) I also bought some eggplant, garlic, corn, and more Austrian Fruit Bread for my Mom. I went back to the mall where I looked at the shirt and it looked nothing like the picture in the ad paper. I came home and realized I had forgotten to take out the steaks that I wanted to BBQ for dinner. I decided I needed to go back to bed for awhile. It was one of those days.

We ended up eating In and Out Burgers "Protein Style" with grilled onions (Protein Style = wrapped in lettuce, no bun) Mmmm. If you are near an In and Out order this (it's on the secret menu) and is so much better than with a bun.

Sunday I talked to my sis who just got approved for panni removal (she had RNY in '04). My sister, my niece ('04) and I (06') all had open RNY. They had surgery in the states and I went to Mexico.

I did a lot of cooking yesterday. I cooked a batch of my apples and some of the Asian pears together and made a crumble for my Mom. It made the house smell wonderful and Fall-like so I enjoyed that and she gets a treat too.

For dinner I BBQ's Beef Kabobs and the corn I picked up yesterday and popped open a can of beans. I thought my day of cooking was over and then I got a call from my caterer friend to "come help right away" so I spent most of yesterday night making gourmet boxed lunches for some corporate meeting.

I'm going to be trying a few experimental recipes this week so check back for recipes and food porn (if the experiments don't work LOL then I guess you'll get ummm nothing)

Tonight's dinner was experiment #1. One of the cooking contests I enter every year is sponsored by Hidden Valley Ranch and this year I entered an adaptation of this recipe. This new version came out so much better than the contest winner. I call them Beef Fiesta Bites (think crustless mini quiches but better). I hope you try them. This can be served as a main dish with a salad. We had a Tomato, Cucumber & Feta Salad with them. It's also a great weight loss surgery friendly appetizer at a holiday party.


Shelly's Beef Fiesta Bites

1/2 yellow Onion, diced
2 clove Garlic, diced
1 teaspoon Butter
1 teaspoon Hidden Valley The Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix, dry powder
5 Eggs
1 can/4 oz. Chopped Green Chiles, drained
1 jar/4 oz. Red Pimentos, drained
1 1/2 cups Shredded cheese, Mexican Blend
1 cup Crumbled Browned Ground Beef

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brown ground beef set aside. Saute onion in butter till golden. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more. Set aside to cool. Mix all ingredients together. Be sure meat & onions have cooled slightly before adding eggs. Spoon into lightly greased mini muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes or until centers are firm. Makes 24.



Highlights of the day:

* My shipment of Justin's Almond Butter came I was running scary low. Try some smeared on an apple. It's my favorite snack.

* It's much cooler today.

* My cat Rose who absolutely hates her picture being taken let me take 2 or 3 good ones before she got snarly & pissy.

Listening to: "Breathe" Michelle Branch

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sometimes things fly by

If you've been reading my blog for awhile you know I'm purse obsessed. Have no fear it's not a transfer addiction I was purse obsessed pre-op too. So it doesn't count. I buy too many and my Mum and I also make them for fun.

Here's our latest tote creation. The Bird Bag part of the "Things fly by" series. Remember my absolute favorite owl bag was number one. We are currently working on the third in the series. I'll share it next week sometime.


The title of the series is a joke my Mum and I share. Years ago I was at this Chinese Buffet in San Diego (will remain nameless). I made my selections from the steam table and sat down to feast. As I raised my fork I noticed a winged creature looking back at me and upon further examination I noted several winged creatures. I of course walked over to the manager with my plate and shared with her my discovery. Her response: "Ahhh yes sometimes things fly by."

So yeah I left.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Weight Loss Surgery Post-op Starbucks Survival Guide

Going to coffee was a pre- weight loss surgery treat for me. I was so happy that I didn't have to give up my treat as a post-op. Of course I'm not drinking my pre-op Venti Caramel Macchiato with extra caramel and whipped cream. Even without the extras I was consuming 390 calories, 43 grams of carbs, 39 sugars a pop. What was I thinking?!?





My current yummy order is a Grande (sometimes Hot, sometimes Iced) Sugar Free Vanilla Soy Latte with No Whipped Cream. FYI: A Latte is espresso, steamed milk, and foam, and is not sweetened unless you ask for syrup or add sugar/sweetener to it.

Starbucks has a lot of choices that are do-able for us. Disclaimer: I know some Dr.'s are anti coffee (can cause ulcers, dehydrate you, LOL kill you... for me 66.5 Lattes = Death. I think I'll be good.) Stick with your Dr.'s plan but if you are allowed a Cup o' Joe...


Bariatric Surgery RNY Gastric Bypass Sleeve VSG Choices Food Coffee Drinks

Here's some general info that I think will help the weight loss surgery post-op survive Starbuck's:

* Starbuck's has sugar free syrups (SF Vanilla, SF Cinnamon Dolce, they used to have more: SF Caramel, SF Hazelnut, at one time even SF Gingerbread but sadly have eliminated them Grrrr: tell them you want them back) the sugar-free syrups add great flavor and sweetness and contain no calories at all. The regular syrups can easily add 100+ calories to your drink. Please don't send me emails about artificial sweeteners and my impending death from them... "they can pry my SF Latte from my cold dead fingers" will be my reply ;)

* The Skinny on "Skinny Lattes" The Skinny Lattes are made with a default of non-fat milk, the SF Syrup of your choice and no whipped cream. This new terminology did nothing for me since I'm a soy girl! They also now have almond milk and coconut milk.

* Instead of whipped cream which is about 80 calories of fat, just add some extra foam to your coffee.

* You can order decaf but decaf doesn't mean it's caffeine free. If you need a decaf protein packed choice: Celebrate Vitamins makes a decaf coffee protein powder.

* I personally would steer clear of Frappuccinos even the light ones aren't the greatest choice.

If you must have a frosty drink here's a couple of protein packed wls friendly Faux Frappuccinos you can make at home. BTW: you could use regular milk I'm just a soy milk girl.

* The dreaded Bakery Case: in the immortal words of Dionne Warwick "Walk on by."  

Starbucks Survival List Eggface Healthy Food ChoicesThis blueberry muffin is sad because it's 430 calories. Please don't eat me! 


See this post for Some OK food choices.

Other Starbuck's Drink Options: 

Teavana Shaken Iced Passion Tango or Black Tea (Unsweetened or you can add SF Vanilla)
Caffè Americano (Unsweetened or you can add SF Vanilla, Add Milk)
Iced Coffee (Unsweetened or you can add SF Vanilla, Add Milk)
Tea Latte (Ask for SF Vanilla instead of the default Classic syrup)
Steamers (just steamed milk and add SF Vanilla or SF Cinnamon Dolce and a dash of cinnamon from the milk bar)
Water ;)

**Update 2016 Limited Time Holiday Offering: Hot or Iced Skinny Peppermint Mocha (default Nonfat milk, SF Peppermint Syrup and Skinny Mocha Sauce)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Another yummy find at Trader Joe's


Last night I made a Chicken Sausage Stir Fry with Trader Joe's Mushroom Asiago Chicken Sausage. I usually steer away from sausages because you don't usually get much nutritional bang for your buck but these are great. Each link has 18 g. of Protein, 170 Calories, 9 g. Fat, 2 g. Carbs, 0 g. Sugars. No MSG, no nitrates or nitrites, and they are antibiotic and hormone free. The ingredient list is all items I can recognize and easily pronounce which is rare in a sausage product. More importantly, they taste great.


Shelly's Chicken Sausage Stir Fry

1 Yellow Onion, Sliced
3-4 Large Mushrooms, Sliced
2 Cups Zucchini and/or Summer Squash, Sliced
2 links Mushroom Asiago Chicken Sausage, Grilled and Sliced
Olive Oil

Grill the sausages about 3 minutes a side on the BBQ or indoor grill to get a little color. Slice and set aside.

Brown Onion in a little olive oil. Add Mushrooms and Zucchini/Squash. Cook till squash in tender and golden. Add Sausage slices and cook till warmed through. The Sausage is fully cooked.

Serve with a side salad and for non-ops ;) a nice glass of Pinot Grigio. It's a quick and easy summer supper.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's a Wrap! and a product review


"The best things brought to the U.S. from Mexico are the tortilla and burrito. Now Americans steal it, and create this phenomenon called a wrap."
~Comedian George Lopez

LOL I guess that's true.

I love wraps. It's my sandwich alternative since I don't do bread. I have at least one a week. They are a perfect quick and easy no-cook or minimally cooked meal. Most are great cold but some are even yummier warmed a bit in a skillet or on a Foreman Grill. I eat 1/2 at a sitting usually with a little salad, sliced tomatoes, or olives.

I use Mission Brand Carb Balance Whole Wheat 6" Fajita Size Tortillas. They also come in Flour and 8" Burrito Size.

Here's the Nutritional Stats on the ones I use:


The World According to Eggface Master Wrap List:

Turkey, Swiss Cheese, Avocado
Chicken Salad
Tuna Salad
Chicken or Turkey, Grilled Veggies (zucchini or eggplant), Provolone (Hot or Cold)
Chicken or Turkey, Provolone, Olive Tapenade (Hot or Cold)
Grilled Chicken, Romaine Lettuce, Caesar Dressing
Grilled Chicken, Romaine Lettuce, Cilantro Yogurt Dip
Turkey, Muenster Cheese, Hummus, Sprouts
Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Cucumber, Dill
Roast Beef, Swiss Cheese, Wasabi Mayo
Corned Beef, Swiss Cheese, Coleslaw, Thousand Island Dressing
Cannelini Bean Salad
Goat Cheese, Pesto, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Pine Nuts, Olive Tapenade (Hot or Cold)
Green (Pesto) Eggs and Ham
BLT with fresh Basil (Hot or Cold)
Fresh Mozzarella, Basil, Tomatoes or Tomato Sauce (Hot or Cold)
Leftover Beef, Chicken or Shrimp Fajitas or Stirfry (Hot or Cold)
Turkey, Tomato, Herbed Spreadable Cheese, Baby Spinach (Hot or Cold)
Scrambled Eggs, Cheese, Refried Beans
Egg Salad and Baby Spinach
Peanut Butter and SF Jelly (Hot or Cold)
Cream Cheese flavored with some SF Torani Strawberry Syrup and sliced Banana (Hot or Cold)
Peanut Butter and Mashed Banana (Hot or Cold)

Here's a few of my latest creations. Check back I will be adding more to the list I'm sure.

Tip: Not using your tortillas that quickly? You can freeze and then defrost them for later use. Just place them in an airtight container with a piece of parchment paper between each.

August is National Sandwich Month.

Making sense of portion sizes

Finding it hard to determine what a serving or portion size is? You are not alone. Here are some ways you can picture a serving or portion size using everyday objects. Note: hand and finger sizes vary from person to person! These are GUIDES only.

Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta Group

1 cup of potatoes, rice, pasta = tennis ball, ice cream scoop
1 pancake = compact disc (CD)
1/2 cup cooked rice = full cupcake wrapper
1 piece of cornbread = bar of soap
1 slice of bread = audiocassette tape
1 cup of pasta, spaghetti, cereal = fist
2 cups of cooked pasta = full outstretched hand

Vegetable Group

1 cup of green salad = baseball, fist
1 baked potato = fist
3/4 cup tomato juice = small Styrofoam cup
1/2 cup cooked broccoli = scoop of ice cream, light bulb
1/2 cup serving = 6 asparagus spears, 7 or 8 baby carrots or carrot sticks, 1 ear of corn on the cob

Fruit Group

1/2 cup grapes (15 grapes) = light bulb
1/2 cup of fresh fruit = 7 cotton balls
1 medium size fruit = tennis ball, fist
1 cup of cut-up fruit = fist
1/4 cup raisins = large egg

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese Group

1 1/2 oz of cheese = 9-volt battery, 3 dominoes, your index and middle fingers
1 ounce of cheese = pair of dice, your thumb
1 cup of ice cream = large scoop the size of a baseball

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs and Nut Group

2 Tbsp of peanut butter = ping-pong ball
1 tsp of peanut butter = fingertip
1 Tbsp of peanut butter = thumb tip
3 oz cooked meat, fish, poultry = palm, deck of cards, cassette tape
3 oz grilled/baked fish = checkbook
3 oz cooked chicken = chicken leg and thigh or breast

Fats, Oils and Sweets

1 tsp butter, margarine = size of a stamp as thick as your finger or thumb tip
2 Tbsp salad dressing = ping-pong ball

Snack Foods

1 oz of nuts or small candies = one handful
1 oz of chips or pretzels = two handfuls
1/2 cup of potato chips, crackers or popcorn = one man's handful
1/3 cup of potato chips, crackers or popcorn = one woman's handful

Serving Dishes/Utensils

1/2 cup = small fruit bowl, custard cup, mashed potato scoop
1 1/2 cups = large cereal / soup bowl
1 1/2 cups of pasta, noodles = dinner plate, not heaped
1/2 cup of pasta, noodles = cafeteria vegetable dish

Extra Measurement Facts

1 cupped hand holds 2 Tbsp of liquid if you don't have measuring spoons
1 slice of bread is one ounce or 1 serving; some rolls or bagels weigh 3 to 5 ounces or more making them equal to 3 to 5 servings of bread.

Want a little cut-out card of this for your purse. Click here.
There's also these goofy plates. Although I bet people will just pile it a little higher.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

As they say in Futbol...


GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

It was weigh-in day today...


I'm unbelievably blessed. Hmmmm How to celebrate???

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Who needs pasta? Grilled Veggie Lasagna

Just for the record I dedicate half my ass to pasta and the other half to bread.

Pre-op it was not uncommon for me to buy a loaf of crusty bread and break off hunks of it in the car till I got home and realized that more than half the loaf was gone. Pasta was the same I easily consumed several cups in one sitting. Pasta salads, manicotti, ravioli, you name it. I'm 1/2 Sicilian it's in my genes to be a pasta addict I used to say. Unfortunately my jeans were size 26/28 and barely fit. I told myself after surgery as hard as it would be both of those items needed to be out of my life. Not because they are bad. No food is bad. (OK well there isn't much redeeming value in HoHo's) It's because I was bad around them. I couldn't control myself. The wonderful thing is it truly hasn't been that hard without them.

In the weeks before surgery I ate many, many last suppers. 8 added pounds of last suppers to be exact. I have to say looking back now I laugh because I have been able to replicate the flavor profiles of most of the dishes I loved and thought I would never be able to have again. You know what? I wouldn't trade these adapted versions for the traditional. Who needs pasta? I don't. Tonight's dinner is a prime example. I made a Grilled Veggie Lasagna.

I grilled summer squash and zucchini which acted as my "noodles" then used all the typical lasagna ingredients: ground beef, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella.

Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric RNY Gastric Bypass Sleeve VSG WLS Healthy Italian Food Recipes


Here's the recipe. I hope you try it.

Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric RNY Gastric Bypass Sleeve VSG WLS Healthy Italian Food Recipes
Shelly's Grilled Veggie Lasagna

1 Yellow Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground beef (could also use ground turkey)
1 cup Marinara Sauce
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon Parsley, Chopped
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 cup Shredded Italian Blend Cheese (Mozzarella, Parmesan, etc.)
4 Zucchini, Summer Squash, sliced lengthwise and grilled

Slice the Zucchini and Summer Squash lengthwise and grill on the BBQ. Set aside.

Brown onion. Add garlic. Cook for 1 minutes. Add ground beef. Cook till meat is no longer pink. Add marinara. Warm through. Set aside.

Mix ricotta, 1 egg, parsley, and Italian seasoning together. Set aside.

Spoon 1/2 of meat mixture into casserole dish. Layer 1/2 zucchini and squash. Spoon 1/2 Ricotta mixture on top. Sprinkle 1/2 the Italian Blend Cheese. Repeat. Bake for 55 minutes at 350 degrees.


Looking for another adapted Italian Food fix? Try my Pesto Chicken and Veggies.

Weight Loss Surgery Friendly Dessert


Shelly's Strawberry Ricotta Parfait

1 cup Ricotta Cheese
2 Tablespoons (or more to taste) Torani Sugar Free Syrup
1 cup fresh Strawberries, sliced
1 cup Granola or Cereal

Mix Ricotta and Syrup in a bowl till smooth. Spoon 2 T. of the Granola (I used Flax Cereal) into glasses. Top with 2 T. of the Ricotta mixture and a thick layer of Strawberry slices. Repeat.

Note: You could use a variety of different SF syrups. I used Starbucks SF Cinnamon Dolce and it tasted like Cannoli filling. Other good choices would be SF Almond, Almond Roca, Vanilla Bean, or English Toffee. I buy my Sugar Free Syrups at Cost Plus World Market, Smart & Final, BevMo, Starbucks, or online at Amazon.com. You could also use different fruits (raspberries, blueberries, or a combo)

What Blows, What Rocks

What blows:
I wish it was Fall. I am so done with summer.
I have to have $900 worth of work done on my little sports car.
Looking outside the window right now I need to replace three sprinkler heads in my lawn.
I woke up with a backache... darn boobs need to be put back into place.
My idiot neighbor set off a rocket last night and it scared my kitty. She's been hiding all night.

What rocks:
I'm only 1 pound from Gooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllll as they say in Futbol.
Making a yummy dinner tonight (come back for food porn later)
Gonna hang out in LA with some OH pals soon.
Going to NY soon too.
Meteor shower tonight.

That's all I got.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Farmer's Market (revisited)

Went to the Farmer's Market this morning. I heart the Farmer's Market. I know I've talked about it before but it rocks and is worthy of several blog entries. Everything is super "picked that morning" fresh and at most stalls you get to try before you buy. For a post-op Gastric Bypass patient with our itsy-bitsy capacity this means: Free Lunch. Today I sampled smoked fish, cheeses, fruits, veggies, nuts and I was full. I am a cheap date.

If you need a reason to shop at a Farmer's Market here you go:

Freshness
Flavor
Variety
Availability of produce not often found in supermarkets (many organic and some heirloom varieties)
Pricing
Supporting Local Farmers
Fun Atmosphere
Get some walking in

I go because unlike fruits and veggies from the supermarket the ones from the Farmer's Market actually TASTE. So worth getting up early on a Saturday for.

If you want to locate a Farmer's Market in your area. Type your zipcode in at this site for a list of Market's near you.

Here's a pic of today's bounty:


Strawberries (I'm making a weight loss surgery friendly dessert tonight I will post the recipe and pic so check back), Garlic (two varieties Polish and Purple), Corn (BBQing later with steaks), big bunches of Dill and Parsley, Nectarines, Yellow Squash and Zucchini, Maple Rum Smoked Salmon (OMG!!), Smoked Cream Cheese (OMG squared!!), Nine Grain Bread (for my Mom, I don't do bread) and 1/2 a loaf of Austrian Fruit and Nut Bread (also for Mom)

Friday, August 10, 2007

A milestone


I just called to have my Lane Bryant and Roaman's catalogs stopped and switched my email contact preferences on my Nordstrom's account from Plus Size Sales Alert to Regular Size Sales Alerts. Closing my Avenue account.

WOW! This is a biggie. A milestone.

Woot Woot

Size 10 and L from a tight 26/28 in 13 months.

Soon Plastic Surgery to lop off a little more... Franken Barbie here I come.

Where are you?



The fattest states are in the south. Must be all that good southern cooking.

Is Paula Deen (sweet southern cook) really Satan?

Anagram Paula Deen and you'll realize that she has been A La Dupe En us. Well you can't A La Dupe En me Paula Deen. I'm on to you.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A product review and recipe


I tried Trader Joe's Chicken Chile Verde the other day and was sort of disappointed. Not in the flavor. It was really yummy. The texture however was much more watery than I thought it would be. I decided though that it would make an excellent base for a Mexican Chicken and Bean Stew.

Verdict: It was awesome.

Here's what I came up with for tonight's dinner:


Shelly's Mexican Chicken and Bean Stew

1 Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless, diced
1 Onion, Diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
4 small Zucchini, sliced
1 can Diced Tomatoes (I used S&W diced)
1 can Cannelini Beans, drained
3 cups Chicken Broth
1 package Trader Joe's Chili Verde (defrosted slightly)
Olive Oil

Cilantro
Avocado
Mexican Cheese
Sour Cream
Lime

Brown chicken in oil. Set aside. Brown onion. Add garlic and zucchini and saute 5 minutes. Add Chicken, Tomatoes, Beans, Chicken Broth, Chili Verde package contents. Simmer on low 45 minutes with lid on.

Top with cilantro, sliced avocado, cheese, sour cream and a squeeze of lime as desired.