Healthy Eating Post Weight Loss Surgery: 10 Favorite Protein Sources

In no particular order my favorite post weight loss surgery protein sources...

Eggs - I make several versions of these little crustless quiches I call "Bites" you can find all those recipes by clicking here. Drop a couple in a snack sized baggie for an on-the-go breakfast. I serve with a scoop of veggies or a salad for lunch or dinner and they are always the first thing to go at parties. Non-ops and whippersnappers love them.

Hard boiled eggs make a great portable protein source (save some salt & pepper packets from your next takeout order) but I prefer them turned into deviled eggs or egg salad.

Shelly's Deviled Egg Spiders
Shelly's Confetti Egg Salad
Shelly's Bacon & Egg Salad
Shelly's Pesto Deviled Eggs

Chicken - When I BBQ I almost always throw an extra breast of chicken on the grill to have on hand. I know a lot of post-ops have issues with chicken but I love it. The trick for me is to keep it moist and to dip it in a yogurt-based dipping sauce like this or this or turn it into a chicken salad. Some of my favorite chicken salads:

Shelly's Pimento Chicken Salad
Shelly's Tropical Chicken Salad
Shelly's Chutney Chicken Salad
Shelly's BLT Chicken Salad
Shelly's Italian Chicken Salad
Shelly's Dilly Chicken Salad
Shelly's Crunchy Curry Chicken Salad
Shelly's Mexican Chicken Salad
Shelly's Healthier Hot Chicken Salad Casserole

Protein Powder - I place a scoop of my favorite protein powder into snack sized baggies and place the sealed baggie inside my blender bottle. I always have one of these in the car or my airport carry-on. Then all I need is to buy a water bottle (or ask for some water on the plane) and shake, shake, shake. If I'm home I can get a little more creative. Other favorite uses:

Protein Ice Cream
Protein 5 Minute Cakes
Protein Muffins

Cheese - I am a cheese-o-holic and yes I eat full-fat cheese. Premium pouch space is reserved for only tasty things. I don't do cardboard cheese and usually that non-fat stuff is full of a bunch of bizarre chemicals with long names I can't pronounce, that can't be good. Soooo it's the real deal only for me. I just eat that full fat cheese in moderation. I love all cheese but some of my favorites are Manchego, Burrata, Provolone, Mozzarella, Ricotta and Cottage Cheese.

Greek Yogurt - (common brands: Fage, Chobani, Oikos, Voskos, Trader Joes) Be sure to look for Plain. Steer clear of flavored, most are compotes and full of sugar. Add Sugar Free Torani Syrup, Defrosted Frozen or Fresh Fruit, Sugar Free Pudding for a sweet version or use like sour cream in savory dishes. I prefer 2% but they also have 0%. Here's a ton of ways I use it.

Shrimp - Cooked Shrimp dipped in cocktail sauce is a favorite. Again I use the real deal cocktail sauce (they do have SF versions) I just don't slather and never have issues. Salsa is great too. I also love grilled shrimp and leftovers make the best Tortilla Pizza topping.

Tuna - I make lots of salads with it. They stay for several days in the fridge so I always have a quick snack or lunch that's packed with protein. Here's a few favorites:

Shelly's Tuna Caprese Salad
Shelly's Lemony Chickpea & Tuna Salad
Shelly's Tuna Salad Italiano
Shelly's Tuna Pesto Salad

I prefer Ventresca Tuna (it's premium belly tuna, packed in oil (drain it), common brands: Roland, Ortiz) it's super moist and so much more flavorful then regular tuna. Seriously it's one of those things that once you have the good stuff you are spoiled for anything less. If you hate tuna... try Ventresca Tuna. Trust me.

Beans - I love beans and since I don't do pasta, rice, bread, or white potatoes since weight loss surgery (by choice) I get my carb fix from them in a much more worthwhile and nutritious way.

Shelly's Cannelini Bean Soup
Shelly's Mexican Beef & Bean Bake
Shelly's Greek Three Bean Salad
Shelly's Italian Bean Salad
Shelly's Kidney Bean Soup
Shelly's Greek Bean Salad
Shelly's Chicken Cacciatore with Beans
Shelly's Cannellini Bean Mash
Shelly's Sausage & Bean Cassoulet
Shelly's Italian Beef & Bean Soup
Shelly's Roasted Chickpeas
Shelly's Black Bean Soup
Shelly's "Award Winning" Jazzy New Orleans Muffaletta Salad :)
Shelly's Beef & Bean Bites
Shelly's Burrito Peppers

Another Favorite are frozen Edamame Pods. I use this little gadget to steam them in the microwave and they really satisfy when you are looking to crunch something. I also get the shelled ones to have on hand to add to salads.

Cold Cut Roll-ups - Watch the sodium content. I prefer Boar's Head Low Sodium meats. The Low Sodium Roast Beef is delicious. Roll-ups are the quickest meal when you have no time. A slice of any cold cut meat wrapped around a cheesestick or pickle spear or you can get a bit more fancy if pals are coming over. I eat them cold or if you have a few minutes try these hot versions.

Shelly's Avocado and Turkey Melted Roll-up
Shelly's Ham & Cheese Melted Roll-up

Peanut Butter/Almond Butter - Yes it's high in fat but in moderation, it's a super yummy way to get some protein in. Here's one of my favorite ways to eat it.

P.S. If you are wondering what else is in my pantry. Here's a list of my pantry essentials.


Angelyco said...

Hi Shelly!

I have a question that I've been curious about for awhile: could you make the "Bites" with a regular muffin pan instead of mini and what kind of cooking time do you think it would take? I've been wanting to try these for awhile, but I don't want to buy a new pan just for these (I'm kind of OCD about kitchen clutter).


Michelle "Shelly" said...

Sure. I do the mini ones for portion control (perfect for post weight loss surgery pouches) but larger will work too. Start watching them from 25-30 minutes on... when they are golden they are done.

Leigh said...

What a great post... I think I need to print it out and stick on the fridge. I am one year out today.. yay! and still have days where I can't think of one thing I really want to eat. This list helps so much... I just get stuck in a rut sometimes and need a little nudge to get me going again.

marisa said...

Thank you thank you for the protein post. I am struggling so bad with my protein and on top of being severely anemic right now, my hair took a turn for the worse.

Excited to try some of these!

Karyn said...

Thank you so much for this posting! I'm almost 4 weeks out from RNY surgery and I'm having a problem getting in my protein (and water). I will put all of your suggestions to work - some now and some the further I get out from surgery. I LOVE your blog! Keep it coming!

Seana said...

Hi Shelly,

I was totally inspired by your deli rollup yesterday. One of hubby's favorite dishes that I cook for super special occasions is Jalapeno cream sheese stuffed chicken breast wrapped in bacon. I took four slices of roasted chicken breast deli meat, one tablespoon cream cheese, one tablespoon diced pickeld jalapeno's and a crumbled half a piece of bacon. wraped it all in the chicken and browned in the skillet. I was in HEAVEN, Thanks for the inspiration!

AmazingGreis said...

Great post!!!

So glad to see you have FULL FAT cheese too. SO many people give me the stink eye when they hear I still only eat FULL FAT cheese. I hate the fake stuff and it's not like I'm eating the entire package.

Angie said...

I have nominated you for the Stylish Blogger Award. See my blog for information and instructions on how to pay it forward.

Di said...


This is one of the best and most useful posts I've seen for we RNY'ers. I, too, am a fan of those things you mentioned. Beans have seen me through YEARS of post-op eating. I am 6 years post-op and still maintaining my ideal weight thanks to intelligent and well thought-out meal choices. Sure, I sometimes eat those not-so ideal choices, but rarely and few and far between.

When people ask how I maintain, I tell them I try to always make the right choices and mention you as a source of inspiration and your site as my favorite resource. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Lots of hugs...Di

Snikahs said...

Shelly ... have I ever told you how much you rock my post-WLS surgery world. I love you girl! So much that if you were a man I WOULD PROPOSE!

Thanks for all the yummy high protein recipes and ideas! You rock!

Emily said...

What a great post! I need new ideas and inspiration almost every day, and these are some great ideas. You're just too much, you know that?! P.S.--Just to brag and celebrate, I just hit the 100 lb mark--big woohoo's all around!

mikimi said...

I am a lurker to your blog as well as lazy about cooking but your blog always gives me ideas and so much inspiration to consciously and happily make better eating choices in my everyday life.
My big bummer is that many products you and PouchParty use are not readily available in Israel so I adjust how and what I use.
Most importantly-this post was very well informational!

Katie said...

What yummy looking recipes! My nutritionist told me to increase my protein intake, so these will be great to try. Do you mind me asking, what is your favorite protein powder? There are SO many out there, I don't know where to start! Thanks!

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Thanks guys hope it gives you a few ideas to keep those protein levels up!


Hi Katie, There are soooo many it can get confusing my fav:

Anonymous said...

I LOVE reading all your suggestions. I LOVE reading your blog. I am a little over 3 months out from RNY and I am almost 60 lbs down. Thanks for all you do. Enter me in your contest please!!

Sue said...

Hey! After finding SEI protein 2-3 years ago I can NOT use anything else. I love the chocolate and would love to try the strawberry.

It's good to know that you have a
Facebook page as well. I just "liked" your page and will post about this contest as soon as I'm done here. email address is


denise said...

Denise Higbee

oooh please pick me please pick me I would love to try the strawberry protein drink... I am running out and need to reorder so a WIN would be wonderful!!!

lynn said...

OMG! First of all I want to enter the valentine giveaway! Secondly GOOD GRIEF CHARLIE BROWN THATS THE MOST AMAZING PROTEIN POWDER EVER!!!!Just got my first container of the chocolate and I am an addicted fan forever! You, Me and protein...WHAT a team!!! We love you!


Lori S said...

I made the Mushroom Bites last night!!They were too good! Even my husband liked them! Thanks for all your great recipes!

Lori Langley said...

This has been such a great resource for me. I just wanted to thank you for your talent. Not very many people search to serve others with there talents and I have been among the fortunate. I have lost 140 lbs since June. Thanks, again.

Stacy said...

I love your blog! I have not had a weight loss surgery, however I'm eating low carb and have lost 30lbs. Your blog has given me so many neat ideas and recipes. I recently started making some of your protein shakes and I LOVE THEM! Thanks for everything you do and keep up the good work!!