Friday, March 5, 2010

Plan for success

Longtime blog readers have heard me say this before but I'm in a chatty mood and I have a handful of new readers. I think one of the most important things we can do as a weight loss surgery post-op is plan menus.

Planning helps me make sure that I have a good balance of protein, fats, and carbs. For example I wouldn't have a Tortilla Pizza on a day I ate Oatmeal for breakfast. I'd be pushing my personal carb limits. With a plan I can see something like that before it happens.

Planning helps me make the best choices. By having a plan in place I rarely get caught in the "crap grab." "Crap Grab" happens when you are hungry and have no plan. You grab any old crap that is around ;)

Planning helps me use leftovers wisely. I don't like waste and when I sit down and plan a day (or two) in advance I can figure out ways to use food in the most cost effective way.

Planning helps me not overeat. I know if I'm eating something that is not on my "menu" for the day (last minute invite to lunch, having a hungry day, popcorn at a movie) that I am eating extra... something that can either be dealt with with a little longer walk or later in the week with a lower calorie meal choice.

Starting out: When I was first starting on this journey I made a list of 3-4 Breakfasts, 3-4 Lunches, 3-4 Dinners and 3-4 Snacks that worked well for me and I just rotated those for awhile. Slowly I added a few more new menu items and now... well you know I eat oodles of different things each week.

I plan a day or two advance nothing more than that. I write it down because that is the only way I will remember. My short term memory is well ummm short. I try and do it faithfully. Every once and awhile I come home late, too tired and I say, "Ehhh I'll just figure it out tomorrow" and sure enough the next day the "crap grab" begins and I find myself eating way more than I should have. Not a good thing.

So I plan... to set myself up for success.

Here's what I ate yesterday...

Breakfast: Shelly's Irish Cream Mochachinno. Mmmm like a good for you Non-Alcoholic Mudslide.

Shelly's Irish Cream Mochachinno

1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk (you can use ANY milk or milk/water combo. I'm a soy girl)
2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Torani Irish Cream Syrup
1 scoop Click Espresso Protein Powder
1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder (20% off discount code info)
3-4 Ice Cubes

Whiz in blender till smooth. Top with Sugar Free Land o Lakes Whipped Cream, optional.

Lunch: The last of the leftover Green Bites. I like to heat them up in the toaster oven versus the microwave. I ate 4 sitting in front of the computer working on a project that was due last week but the flu that invaded my body had other plans.

Dinner: A variation on my Cottage Stuffed Peppers. I'm calling them Alfredo Peppers.

Shelly's Alfredo Stuffed Peppers

3 peppers of any color, stemmed, seeded, and cut in half lengthwise
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
2 Small Zucchini (I used one green & one yellow), diced
3/4 pound Ground Beef (or Turkey) (about 1/2 a package)
1/2 cup Storebought Alfredo Sauce
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
1 cup Cottage Cheese, drained (small curd, plain)
3 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese (divided use)
Olive Oil for sauteing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the peppers in a lightly oiled Pyrex casserole dish, season with salt and bake for 20 minutes. Remove peppers, drain any water that has expelled from the peppers and set aside. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Saute onions and zucchini till golden. Add ground meat and saute till no pink is seen. Add sauce, seasonings, salt & pepper. Mix till combined. Off heat add drained cottage cheese (I just put it in a mesh sieve or small holed colander for about 20 minutes to remove any excess whey) and 2 Tablespoons of the Parmesan. Mix to combine. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon mixture into partially cooked pepper halves. Top with additional 1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes (until peppers are fork tender.)

Snacks: Roasted Chickpeas, an adaptation on my Cookies & Cream Coffee Protein Cake I ate during an awesome episode of Grey's Anatomy (finally this was like an old school Grey's episode), oodles of coffee & tea...

Shelly's 5 Minute Cookies & Cream Coffee Protein Cake (version 2)

1 Egg, beaten
3 Tablespoons Milk (I used Vanilla Soy)
2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla)
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
3 Tablespoons Multigrain Pancake Mix (I use this)
1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Coconut
1 Instant Nescafe Coffee Stick
1 scoop Cookies & Cream Protein Powder
Pinch salt
1 Measuring Cup or Microwave Safe Mug

In a measuring cup or microwave safe mug, Mix egg, milk, syrup and oil and combine thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix pancake mix, coffee, coconut, protein powder and salt. Tip dry into wet and stir till combined.

Nuke on high for 2 minutes (my microwave is getting old and needs 20 seconds added now.) Let it sit for three or so minutes (it pulls away from the sides) before tipping the cake onto a plate.

Yields 4-5 slices. Served it with a squirt of Sugar Free Land o Lakes Whipped Cream and a drizzle of Smucker's SF Fudge Sauce. Soooo good. This morning for breakfast I'm having a slice with some Almond Butter and SF Fudge Sauce smeared on, it tastes Nutella-ish

Other Eggface Protein Cakes

A few more thoughts...

Eat. Don't skip meals. When I miss a meal I tend to overeat the next time I'm around food and fellow weight loss surgery peeps know overeating means an hour or so of OUCH, PAIN. Plus eating planned meals also does the obvious good stuff like keeping blood sugar balanced and metabolism in high gear. Talk to your nutritionist about an eating plan based on your lifestyle... I do 3 meals, 2 small snacks.

Keep a food log for a few weeks. It's pretty interesting to see everything in B&W. Find a free online program like and enter everything for a few weeks. Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass but when you see the calories, fats, carbs, protein grams you can usually pretty quickly see if things are out of sync. I was pretty religious logging my food the first 2 years. It taught me about portions and nutritional values. Now I get on a every few months, log for a few weeks and do a reality check making adjustments as needed.

I'm no saint. I'm just a girl that battles the same demons that you do. If a poor food choice is made, I recognize it and try to figure out a way I can set myself up for success next time (bringing a healthy snack, finding a yummy healthy alternative for what I'm craving, etc.)

This is a lifetime war against obesity. Like any war you head into each battle hoping to win. Sometimes you do and sometimes the enemy gets the upper hand.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." ~Winston S. Churchill

So I regroup, strategize and come back fighting the next day. No guilt, no beating myself up, one poor choice does not have to become a bad day, month, year, years.

Well so I call the blog The World According to Eggface - Recipes and Ramblings of a Former Fat Chick the above would be the ramblings part ;) If you are still reading here's a few more Tips for the Long Haul that are helping me. Hope they help you too.


Anonymous said...

I know I have told you this before but you truly keep me on track and my head in the game. Seriously....thank you so much for your insights and sharing your feelings. You are a true inspiration for me. Thank you!

Shelley McAndries
Flagstaff, AZ

Lynne said...

Shelly, do you have any suggestions for cooking for one? I know you will say freeze the leftovers, but all I have is an apartment-size freezer top to my fridge.

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Thanks Shelley! from another Shelly :)


Lynne, Be sure to read my repurposing leftovers blog entry:

I would definitely get creative in how you change up a dish you make turning leftovers into something completely unrecognizable the next day. Also most any of my recipes can be halved without any issues.

Hope this helps,
~Michelle "Shelly"

cindycindy said...

Thanks so much for posting this, Shelly. I also REALLY appreciate your detailed answer to my question yesterday. It really helps me. I'm only 11 weeks out and yet have only lost 35-40 pounds (depending on the scale) and nothing in the last 3 weeks AT ALL. I am wondering if maybe I am eating too much, but I honestly don't see how that is possible....I have been having some high-fiber foods to help, well, get things moving if you know what I mean ;) -

Anyway, I found your blog a week ago and your recipes have made me feel like a human for the first time since December 16th, the day of my surgery. My cuisinart ice cream maker came last night (gotta love the UPS man!!!) and I am listening to it making my very first batch of protein ice cream (lemon) - Amazon and the Protein Max people made a mint this week thanks to you, by the way! I bought a bunch of stuff.

I also ordered something called Whey low (a sweetener) - I haven't seen this used in any of your recipes. Have you ever used it?

Anyway, I am now a big fan of your blog and thank you so much for sharing your recipes and insights with us. Congratulations on your great success - you look beautiful! :) cindy

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Cindy, You are very welcome. You by the way are doing AWESOME and have lost way more than I had at 11 weeks ;) I actually gained 10 pounds out of the hospital. So throw out the words "only lost" and celebrate. Try not to worry. You will have those stalls but if you are making good choices and have changed your life trust that scale will kick in again.

Thanks for the lovely compliment. Oh and you will have a blast making protein ice cream flavors :)


P.S. I haven't tried Whey low I will look for it and give it a whirl though.

Donna Howard said...

I really needed to read this today! For reasons I still haven't figured out I am setting myself up for failure. I have abandoned my good habits and all the old ones have reappeared. Not sure if it was winter blahs or just denial but it's time to get back in the game. Thanks for such a wonderful blog!

Anonymous said...

Shelly, I don't know what I would do without your blog. It takes away that all alone feeling and makes me feel like I am among friends.

I went back to your beginning last night and started reading your blog from day#1. I plan on reading everyday until I am caught up with the present. It is especially helpful as I am 4 weeks + 5 days post RNY. I am getting nervous as I have only lost 10 pounds. I keep a journal everday and am only eating 600-800 calories a day. I am also getting 30-60 minutes of walking in a day. I keep thinking maybe I will be the first person this surgery did not help! Of course, that all alone feeling again.

Again, thank you for helping me and so many other people and thank you to all the other people who comment and make me feeling like part of the group.

I have tried to get on twitter but have been unable to sign in for some reason. I am really computer illiterate. I will keep trying as I want to join your wls twibe.

Thanks, Cheryl

The Babe said...

Thank you for this post. I'm going to bookmark it because planning is something I really struggle with. It helps to see how it can make me successful in "black and white," as you said. :-)

Vicki said...

Thanks for the great post! I'll be having RNY surgery on 4/6. You said you had 3-4 breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks planned and you rotated those. Could you share what they were? Thanks a bunch. And thanks for being such a great inspiration!

Conesus, NY

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Thanks guys I hope the few tips help you along in your journey.


Hey Vicki,

You will want to check out the pureeds/soft foods blog entry:

Also the protein shakes. If you haven't found one yet. Here's the 411 on the one I use and an online source (including 20% off discount code) if your local GNC doesn't carry.

and you'll want to hit be sure to hit the archives from the early years on the left hand side of the blog too.

At 8 weeks I was cleared for everything as tolerated so my menus don't look too much different from now. If something felt heavy or gave me discomfort I just waited a month or so and gave it another try. All trial & error in the beginning. Everyone is different... my sis (also an RNYer) can't do chicken I ate it from 8 weeks on practically every day.

Typical Breakfasts: Cottage Cheese, Fage Greek Yogurt flavored with SF Syrups, Protein Shakes, Scrambled Eggs with Cheese or Omelets, Leftovers

Lunch: Crab Salad or Chicken Salad made w/ 1/2 Fage Greek Yogurt/Mayo, Chicken or Beef dipped in a Yogurt Dipping Sauce, Cold Cut Rollups, Leftovers.

Dinner: Casseroles, Chicken or Beef dipped in a Yogurt Dipping Sauces (recipes in the blog), Turkey Meatballs in sauce, Chili/Soups/Stews, Pastaless Lasagna/Manicotti

Snacks: Cheese sticks, Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, I was big into making protein popsicles too wish I had figured out the protein ice cream thing that early on.

I dipped everything or made sure it was pretty saucy. Moisture was key for success with foods especially earlier on (but even now)


Dawn said...

I was just turned on to this site yesterday and what little I have been able to read has giving me a new since of motivation. You blogs are awesome and the recipes are a blessing. I am going out today to try the protein powder you use since I have not been doing well with the protein powder I bought. I was just banded on July 2, 2010 and have lost 13lbs since surgery. I was getting discouraged a little but found a friend who was being banded this week and she told me about your site. I feel like between my new friend and you blog site I see a whole new world has opened up for me and my success with the band.

lisa said...

Thanks so much for your commitment to your blog. You are a true blessing and inspiration.

You said early on you made a list of 3-4 breakfasts, lunches, dinners, there somewhere on your site that you have any menu plans.

I could really use some help starting this menu planning. I am 10-days Post-op from the sleeve and trying to game my game book started.

Many blessings,

Lisa <><

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Hey Lisa, Best wishes on your weight loss! If you hit the search button above and type in "A day in my pouch" you will get a lot of daily menus. I've eaten pretty much the same way since 8 weeks out (portions slightly smaller obviously) for soft/pureed or protein shakes look over on the left side of the home page for that link :)

Anonymous said...

Shelly I would really appreciate your advice on this? Mon & Fri's I go to class and leave home from 6pm-11pm. I try to eat something before I leave and take a protein shake to class. When I get home I'm in a eating frenzy? Please help, I undo all the great eating I do the rest of the time?
Desperate, Christina

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Christina, I remember those late night college classes... I was pre-op and gained a lot of my weight during those years. Are you able to bring a little something (cheesestick, Crunchy cheese, 12 almonds or something like that) into class. I'd shove it in my purse and slip outside (bathroom break) and eat it so I wasn't famished when I got home... a protein snack to tide me over. Also... when I got home if I did eat anything I'd measure my portion and put the rest away right away to avoid eating too much.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shelly, Thank you so much. I am going to definitely pack a little protein snack as you suggested and sneak out when feeling hungry. You are a blessing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shelly, it's me again Christina. I tried your 5 min Protein Cake and taste was amazing...but the sides came unstuck but the bottom didn't and broke off? Did I do something wrong?
Christina :0

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Christina, My guess... needed 10 more seconds. Microwave strengths vary. Also you can do the same batter in mini muffins tins makes 12... 350 for 12 minutes. So good.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shelly, thank you so much for every tip, recipe and word of encouragement I am 8weeks post op gastric bypass, and at my two month nutrition consult was given your site to try. I found myself on site for more than 2 1/2 hours gathering all the information that I could to help make this new life style change smoother. I am already 56 pounds and 5 sizes smaller (from 24 to 14)but with your tips and advice am looking to excel with weight loss. It was really of great help concerning the protein drinks, as I am too now struggling with that. I am looking forward to trying some of the shake recipes with hopes that I will be able to drink a shake and "enjoy" it also. Again thank you and congrats to you in all your accomplishments.
Kim R.

Mommy2Jude said...

Thanks Shelley for another great blog post. At five weeks six days out, I am currently "stuck" and trying hard not to compare myself to others. I'm getting better, and this I think is going to help me in the long run. I may just print a copy to tote around so if during the day I feel defeated, I can be pumped up again. You rock :-)

Dani said...

Hi Shelly, I am fairly new to some of these things and am really appreciative of all your tips and recipes. I am going through as many posts of yours as I can. I found you via Pinterest. I have had a lap band for just under 3 years with much difficulty and am in the process of scheduling revision surgery to Roux-en-Y projected within the next 6 weeks. I am anxious to get on with my weight loss but extremely nervous of how my life will really be post surgery this time. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and tips. ~ Dani

Jmonae03 said...

Hi Shelly, can you tell me where you got your bento box from?


Michelle "Shelly" said...

Sure... Amazon: looks like they are on sale too. Yay.

Anonymous said...

Shelly: Thank you so much for all of your blogging. I have been having issues lately and just re-reading all of your posts is a big help. I have not been planning and have been very guilty of the crap grab. So, here's to a new start. Each and every meal is a change to begin again. Your suggestion to just start out with 3-4 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with help those of us with shorter attention spans. Thanks again for all of your hard work.