My Birthday Wish

Can't tell you what I wished for but I will give you the recipe...

Shelly's Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Ice Cream

1/2 cup mashed Strawberries
2 Tablespoons Whipped Cream Cheese
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla)
1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk (or Regular Milk)
2 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder
1/4 cup chopped Strawberries

Mash strawberries, SF Syrup and cream cheese together. Mix together milk, protein, & strawberry cream cheese mixture. I used this gadget to mix it up. It makes it airy and lump free. Pour into ice cream maker. Follow your machine's instructions for freezing. 5 minutes before done add chopped strawberries. I put it in the freezer to set for an hour. Top with an optional squirt of Land o'Lakes Sugar Free Whipped Cream.

If you haven't tried Protein Ice Cream yet... do it now! I promise you will very, very happy you did.

Basically you can just throw your favorite protein shake recipe in an ice cream maker and viola in 20 minutes or so you have an AWESOME UNBELIEVABLY YUMMY weight loss surgery friendly summer treat!

Another year older

Thank you guys so much for the birthday greeting emails, PM's and posts.

I had a wonderful day. My sister woke me up bright and early (an annoying family tradition LOL) and sang to me. Then my Mum and I took off and spent the day at the County Fair. The fairgrounds are near the beach out here so after the Fair I ended the day at my favorite place in the world. Perfect.

At the fair they have a different cooking contest each day so I turned in an entry. In the past I've taken First Place in Canola Oil, Hidden Valley Ranch, Sargento Cheese's contests. Local pals: when you go to the fair support the Food and Crafts Division by buying this year's cookbook. I'm on page 43.

No, I didn't win this year. Apparently there are hundreds of lover's of this product... I am not one of them but it was a blast anyway. I entered the Great American SPAM contest. The theme was appetizers. I made a version of my bites with SPAM. They are actually quite tasty.

Here's the entry and the recipe:

Shelly's Spamtastic Bites with Tropical Dipping Sauce

1 (12 oz.) can Spam, diced
1/2 cup Crushed Pineapple, drained
1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
2 Green Onions, diced
2 cloves Garlic, diced
1/2 cup Cheddar or Co-Jack Cheese, shredded
5 Eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon butter

Preheat oven to 350. Saute diced Spam till golden. The contest required using 12 oz. I'd do less personally. Add drained pineapple and saute for 1 minute more. Set aside to cool. Saute onions till golden in butter. Add garlic. Cook 1 minute more. Set aside to cool. Beat eggs. Mix all ingredients together. Be sure Spam mixture and veggies have cooled slightly before adding to egg mixture. Spoon into lightly greased mini muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Makes 24.

Tropical Dipping Sauce

Equal parts Orange Marmalade Simply Fruit and Crushed Pineapple with juice. Microwave marmalade for 25 seconds till warm and add pineapple. Mix.

The winner this year was a layered SPAM Pate Cheesecake. Very elaborate. I was shocked, amazed and frankly weirded out by how many SPAM creations there were. We had a beautiful day at the fair despite me not winning this year.

My favorite parts of the fair are the collections, the award winning roses and the animals. Yeah my answer pre-op would have been very different... it would have been the FOOD. I actually didn't eat anything much while I was there. I brought some nuts and a protein bar and had those in the morning. Later I ate a Roasted Corn and I bought some SF Maple Nut Fudge. Yum! I was horrified at some of the new fair food choices... Deep Fried Reese's Whips Bars, Deep Fried White Castles. Scary! and yes I saw many, many, people eating them. I did get a little sad at the Fair I saw so many SMO and MO people indulging in fair goodies and I thought how I would have been right there with them consuming 3000+ calories in a meal a few short years ago. Hopefully they will find there way out of that hell too.

After the fair we got coffee and went to the beach for a bit. Ahhh my zen zone. We are going out to dinner next week (my Mum's birthday) so I came home and BBQ'd. My birthday dinner was yummy BBQ'd Greek Chicken Kabobs and a Greek Salad with homegrown heirloom tomatoes. No cake for me (not into cake) but I did indulge in a birthday treat I made for myself.

and with the little bit of melted sugar free chocolate I had left I made some chocolate dipped Apricots too...

Nuke a Sugar Free Chocolate bar (for 25 second intervals stirring till melted - my microwave took 45 seconds total)

Dip berries or dried fruit or nuts or your finger ;)

*Be sure any fruit you dip is washed and dried thoroughly. Drops of water will cause the chocolate to seize up and render it unusable.

Highlights of the Day:

* The fair is always fun.

* Spending my birthday staring at the Pacific Ocean my most favorite place in the world.

* This is the first year I could use my Birthday Banner my Mum and I made last year. It spells out HAPPY BIRTHDAY and has cute end pieces with candles and cupcakes. It's a gorgeous keepsake that we will use year after year at every family birthday!

Listening to: "#41" Dave Matthews (my fav seen him live 8 times)

Pizza & Ice Cream Party (post WLS style)

Practically everyone in my family has a birthday this month. This week alone we have three: today is my brother's, tomorrow is mine and my Mum's is next week.

Oh joy tomorrow I'm another year older. Somehow as you get older birthday's lose there appeal. Remember when we used to countdown the days. When and why does that stop happening? I think it directly correlates to when we start paying bills and buying our own toilet paper.

When I was a kid there was no better birthday dinner than a Meatball Pizza and my favorite Coconut Cream Pie (I wasn't into cake.) Here's the weight loss surgery friendly version of my childhood birthday meal I had for dinner last night...

Shelly's Meatball and Pepperoni Tortilla Pizza

Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Fajita Size Tortilla topped with Marinara Sauce, Provolone, Turkey Meatball, Pepperoni, Parmesan, Basil and Italian Seasoning.

How to make them: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. I put 1 drop literally of olive oil on the cookie sheet and spread it around. Place tortilla on cookie sheet. Spread the sauce on the tortilla (pesto, marinara, alfredo, bruschetta sauce, whatever.) Put a slice of cheese on top of that (I like provolone) and then any combination of toppings or leftovers I can find bumping around the fridge. Sprinkle with parmesan. Pop in oven. 10 minutes exactly. Have the oven hot before you do the toppings **Do not let them sit. Pop them in the oven right away or the toppings will make the tortilla soggy versus the yummy crispy porn pictured above.

and for dessert...

Shelly's Toasted Coconut Protein Ice Cream

1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk (or Regular Milk)
2 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Coconut)
2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Coconut, Toasted

Sundae toppings: SF Caramel Sauce, Land o' Lakes SF Whipped Cream, more Toasted Coconut and a Maraschino Cherry

Mix together milk, protein, SF syrup & sauce. I used this gadget to mix it up. It makes it airy and lump free. Pour into ice cream maker. Follow your machine's instructions for freezing. Makes 1/2 pint.

Check out the original post for more Protein Ice Cream how to's.

Highlights of the day:

* My super cool pals Sarah and Haven made me this awesome apron with The World According to Eggface logo on it. You guys rock! Thank you.

Wanna see?

* Despite my love for my manual ice cream maker by arm demanded I upgrade so yesterday I got this electric model. I'm excited. Prepare for some crazy Protein Ice Cream creations this summer.

* I've got fun weekend plans. I'll take pics.

Listening to: "Reflections" Diana Ross & The Supremes. Reminds me of China Beach. I loved that show.

Protein Ice Cream Sundae

Who said we can't have our weight loss surgery and our "ice cream" sundae too!?

Shelly's Chocolate Caramel Protein Ice Cream

1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk (or Regular Milk)
2 scoops Chocolate Protein Powder
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Caramel)
1 teaspoon Sugar Free Caramel Sauce (I used Smucker's)

Sundae toppings: Land o' Lakes SF Whipped Cream, Chopped Walnuts, Smucker's SF Hot Fudge Sauce, and a Maraschino Cherry

Mix together milk, protein, SF syrup & sauce. I used this gadget to mix it up. It makes it airy and lump free. Pour into ice cream maker. Follow your machine's instructions for freezing. Makes 1/2 pint.

I used a little manual machine. So I stirred the crank for 15 minutes (a great arm work out). You can eat it then (it's soft servish) but I like to put it in the freezer for 1 hour to harden up a bit.

I love my little manual Donvier. I've had it for no joke 20 years. I bought mine for 50 cents new in the box at a thrift. Score.

If you don't have a manual or electric machine you can always use a 1 lb. coffee can inside a 3 lb. coffee can with rock salt and ice. That is pretty messy though so if you can get one of these Donvier's (ebay an old model or a new quart model) I highly recommend it. If you have kids you might want to buy this which looks like fun.

What flavor to make next?

Mint Chocolate Chip
Toasted Coconut


Mock Macchiato

When you are jonesing for Starbuck's Iced Caramel Macchiato that decadent whippage capped and caramel drizzled death wish in a cup sure to make an RNYer hope to die after consuming.

Treat yourself to one of these instead...

Shelly's Caramel Mock Macchiato

4 oz. of Soy Milk (or Regular Milk)
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani (I used SF Caramel)
1/3 a can of Starbuck's Doubleshot Light (23 cals)
1 scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder
2-3 Ice Cubes
2 Tablespoons SF Whipped Cream (I used Land o' Lakes Sugar Free Whipped Cream 20 cals for 2 T's)
1 teaspoon SF Caramel Sauce (I used Smucker's 20 cals for 1 teaspoon)

Whiz with this groovy gadget which makes it double in size. Add a few ice cubes. Top with Sugar Free Whipped Cream and a drizzle of Caramel Sauce.

Calories 231 (less than some protein bars and a heck of a lot tastier)
Protein 26 g. (using my ingredients) to figure out yours go to
FYI: Starbuck's Iced Caramel Macchiato w/ Soy & Whipped Cream - Calories 430

What does your Starbuck's order say about you???

Consult the Starbuck's Oracle.

Picnics rock

I need to go on more picnics. They rock.

The other day we (Mum & I) packed the little bit of leftover Greek Bean Salad and I made a batch of this awesome protein packed Turkey Slaw. I tossed them into these little containers with a couple of plastic forks and an ice pack in my backpack and we drove over to the park/lake near my house.

It was hotter than you-know-what but there was a nice breeze (hence the hot, sweaty and windblown shot of me above.) We ate our yummy salads and walked around the lake. Good times.

Make this salad. It rocks too.

Shelly's Turkey Slaw

1 cup Smoked Turkey Breast, diced
1/2 (1/2 a 16-ounce bag so 1 cup) bag Broccoli Slaw Mix
1/2 (1/2 a 16-ounce bag so 1 cup) bag Cabbage Slaw Mix
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/4 Small Red Onion, diced fine
1/4 cup Raisins
1/4 cup Slivered Almonds, toasted
1/4 cup Mayo
1/4 cup Fage Greek Yogurt
1 Tablespoon BBQ Sauce
1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper to taste

Toast almonds in a dry pan for a few minutes. Set aside to cool and crisp up.

In a large bowl combine turkey (I go to the deli and ask for a 1/2 lb hunk of smoked turkey and then dice it into cubes), slaw mixes, onion, cheese, raisins and almonds. Mix mayo, yogurt, BBQ sauce, and vinegar together. Pour the dressing over the slaw mixture, season with salt & pepper and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Roasted Vegetable Soup

I had some leftover roasted veggies from making my Greek Bean Salad on Saturday. So last night's dinner was a delicious bowl of Roasted Vegetable Soup.

I thought yeah it's 100+ degrees soup sounds perfect ;)

Shelly's Roasted Vegetable Soup

1 Yellow Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
2 cups of Roasted Veggies*
1 can (15 oz.) Chopped Tomatoes
1 teaspoon Tomato Paste
1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, chopped
3 cups Chicken Broth (or Veggie Broth)
Olive Oil

Topping: Crumbled Cheese, Pepperoni Chips

*See this recipe for instructions on roasting veggies.

Saute onion in olive oil till golden. Add garlic and Italian seasoning cook 1 minute more. Stirring constantly. Add remaining ingredients.

Whiz with a groovy cool must have immersion blender or by batches in a regular blender.

Simmer for 10 minutes on low. Top with crumbled goat cheese, feta, or parmesan. I also made a few pepperoni chips to crumble on top.

Pepperoni Chips

A yummy topping crumbled on top of soups or salads or just to snack on.

Place pepperoni slices on a plate and nuke on high for about a minute. Listen when the sizzling sound stops.

Transfer to a paper towel and let cool for a minute. They will crisp up like chips.


I went to the Farmer's Market super early this morning. I wanted to finish up all my errands and running around before it got too hot. We've been in a hideous heat wave in Southern California. Yesterday was 107 and today is 105. Ughhh! triple digits in June. What will it be like in August?! Any Aussies want to adopt me for the winter? Let me know.

Back to the FM. I hit my regular stands and scored some yummy things to play with this week... eggplants, zucchini, onions (red, yellow, and green), peppers (red & yellow), garlic, corn, spinach, strawberries, white and yellow peaches, and the most unbelievably sweet nectarines I've ever eaten.

After coffee and errands I came home and turned the oven on (oh joy) to roast some of the fresh veggies I just bought. I'll tell ya though heating up the kitchen was sooooo worth it.

If you like my Italian Bean Salad you will heart this.

Tonight's dinner:

Shelly's Greek Bean Salad

1 medium Eggplant, peeled & cubed
2 Peppers, cubed (I used red & yellow)
1 Red Onion, cubed
a drizzle of Olive Oil
a few twists of Black Pepper
Kosher Salt to taste

1 can Cannelini Beans, drained
1 can Chick Peas, drained
1/2 cup Feta or Myzithra Cheese, cubed
1/2 Cucumber, diced
3 Green Onions, diced
1/4 cup Pignolis (Pine Nuts), toasted
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest, grated

Lemon Dressing:

1/8 cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice (1 small lemon)
1/8 cup Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Optional ingredients: chopped kalamata olives, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped artichoke hearts or boost the protein even more by adding tuna fish, smoked fish, or grilled chicken.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss eggplant, onion and peppers with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in oven for 50 minutes, turning once or twice halfway through cooking time. Set aside to cool.

Zest lemon before juicing. Set zest aside. Mix dressing ingredients. I whiz it with this groovy gadget. Set aside.

Toast pine nuts in a dry pan for 1 minute or so. Careful not to burn. Don't walk away from these. They brown quickly. Allow to cool.

Drain and rinse beans. Chop 2 cups of the cooled roasted veggies. Add to beans. Add all remaining ingredients and pour on dressing. Mix and chill for at least 1 hour but the longer the better.

I served it with BBQ'd Greek Chicken Kabobs and a yummy Fruit Salad for dessert.

Highlights of the day:

* My nephew finished his second year of law school (ranked 2nd in his class.) Gotta love family discounts on legal services. You just never know ;) Hell I might go crazy in this heat.

* Mmmmm I have a bunch of roasted veggies left. I'm deciding what to do with. I have a few yummy ideas.

* The sun is going down. Going to sit outside and stare at the stars.

Listening to: Jason Mraz "I'm Yours" my current favorite song plus he's super cute.

2 years

It's my 2 year anniversary of Roux-en-Y (RNY) Gastric Bypass Weight Loss Surgery

All co-morbidities resolved (Sleep Apnea, GERD, High BP)
Off all medications (was on 8)
-149 pounds down (-23 pounds this second year)
From a size 28 to drum roll... size 6

Thank you to the two awesome doctors in Mexico that gave me back my life Dr. Aguirre (RNY) and Dr. Quiroz (Plastics). The best Dr.'s I've ever had (in any country.)

Thank you to my family and friends (both "real world" and "cyber")

Thank you to the readers of my recipes and ramblings here at The World According to Eggface. It's important to me that people know that life after weight loss surgery isn't just protein shakes and cottage cheese. The blog is my public service announcement that you can still eat "good food" after you get your chitlins rearranged ;)

Catch up with my journey:
1 week
1 year
18 months

Listening to: Journey "Be Good to Yourself" (my weight loss journey theme song)

Healthy Foil Packet Dinners - Shrimp and Moths

We loved the Pesto Shrimp & Veggie Packets from the other day so much we decided to have them again tonight but I changed things up a bit. OMG these are sooooo good... all the yummy stuff from a restaurant shrimp pasta dish without the heavy useless pasta. Shrimp are a great protein source too. A four ounce serving of shrimp supplies 23 grams of protein.

shellfish seafood weight loss healthy camping easy dinners
Shelly's Shrimp Venezia Packet

7 Raw Shrimp, peeled & deveined and tails removed
1/2 cup Fresh Spinach Leaves
1/4 of a Small Onion, sliced
1/2 Small Zucchini, sliced
3 Artichoke Hearts, chopped
2 Tablespoons Bruschetta Sauce (I used Trader Joe's but Contadina/Buitoni make one. Find it in the fresh pasta section)
1 Tablespoon Pesto Sauce (I used Trader Joe's but Contadina/Buitoni make one. Find it in the fresh pasta section)
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Peel and devein shrimp. Ingredients listed are for one packet multiply it for how many packets you are making. Place all ingredients in center of a piece of heavy duty foil (if you are using the $1 store stuff double it)

Fold the foil over and seal each packet. BBQ 15 minutes in covered grill. Open packets carefully (steam burns are not fun) and mix with a fork lightly before serving.

Highlights of the day:

* It's suppose to be cooling down. It was 102 today and woot only forecast for 100 tomorrow. Uggh. My walks have been too toasty but I did sweat a pound off this week.

* Conversation my Mum and I had this am (I should mention my Mum wears a hearing aid) but this will explain a lot about me.

Me (reading the horoscope outloud): Mars is in Uranus.
Mum: What?! Moths are in your Anus?

Listening to: "Lorraine" Dicky Barrett (swoon) and Bim Skala Bim

Banana Caramel Cream Cheese Bars

So this is what I was trying to make last week when I accidentally mixed stuff together and ended up making banana nut muffins. I decided to give it another try and I'm glad I did.

There is something about bananas and caramel together I love. The top layer is like a yummy cream cheese frosting over a nutty oatmeal cookie base. Hope you enjoy it.

Shelly's Banana Caramel Cream Cheese Bars

1/4 cup Raw Almonds, ground
1/2 cup Steel Cut Oatmeal
1/4 cup Soy Flour (7 g. of protein per 1/4 cup)
2 scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
dash of Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Caramel)
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
1 Egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/3 cup Nuts, chopped (I used Pecans & Walnuts)
3 oz. Cream Cheese
1 Banana, mashed
2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Caramel Sauce (I used Smucker's)

Preheat oven to 350. Mash banana and mix into cream cheese set aside. In a mini food processor whiz almonds, 1/4 cup of the oats, soy flour, 1 scoop of the protein powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt till fine. Add Torani syrup and whiz again. In a separate dish beat egg, vanilla and almond butter together. Combine both. Add additional scoop of protein, the other 1/4 cup of oats and nuts. Spread the oatmeal batter into a parchment paper lined Pyrex dish (8x7). Spread banana cream cheese over oat base.

Drizzle caramel over top and swirl with a spoon. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool and cut into bars. Keep refrigerated.

Highlights of the day:

* Got some lovely emails regarding my "H is for..." post. It's so cool to have people in your life that just "get it." Thank you!

* Went on a walk then for coffee where I lusted after a hottie. No, I didn't get the digits. I get no play in Cali. NY guys would have got my number. They don't let opportunities pass them by. Well... most NY guys ;) with one MAJOR exception.

* After coffee I went to Costco to buy a few things and ate lunch at the "Costco Buffet" I'm such a cheap date. I love it. One of the samples was of a yummy Angus Beef Burger stuffed with Blue Cheese I'm going to try to duplicate. I bought "The Bucket List" which I never did see in the theater. Sounds like sometime this weekend popcorn and a good cry will be on the agenda.

Listening to: "Oldest Story In The World" The Plimsouls (Best Break-up Song Ever)

Pesto Shrimp & Veggies

It was a hot day yesterday. Kissing the triple digits. So I thought I'd cook outside instead of heating the house up. This was super tasty. A complete meal in a packet.

Low Carb Weight Loss Diet Recipes
Shelly's Pesto Shrimp & Veggies Packet

7 Raw Shrimp, peeled & deveined and tails removed
1/2 cup Fresh Spinach Leaves
1/4 of a Small Yellow Onion, sliced
1/2 Small Yellow Squash, sliced
5 Cherry Tomatoes, halved (I used yellow grape tomatoes)
1 Tablespoon Pesto Sauce (I used Trader Joes but Contadina/Buitoni make one. Find it in the fresh pasta section)
1 teaspoon Olive Oil or Butter
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Peel and devein shrimp. Ingredients listed are for one packet multiply it for how many packets you are making. Place all ingredients in center of a piece of heavy duty foil (if you are using the $1 store stuff double it)

low carb wls weight loss surgery recipes menus food Fold the foil over and seal each packet. BBQ 15 minutes in covered grill.

Recipes Low Carb LowCarb Eating
Open packets carefully (steam burns are not fun) and mix with a fork lightly before serving.

Highlights of the day:

* Went to TJ Maxx and bought 2 pairs of super cute jeans. In get this... size 6. I wanted to run out of the dressing room and get on the loudspeaker ATTENTION SHOPPERS: Do you realize I was busting the seams of size 28 just 2 years ago??? Woot Woot Woot!

* After my shower I noticed my boob scars are looking better and better. I've been slathering them with Bio Oil. It rocks and smells awesome too.

* In my latest sewing lesson I learned how to make a clothespin bag (or if you are a Brit a "Peg Bag"). This one was 75% Mum and only about 25% me. I'm only good at straight lines. Oh I did saw down and sand the wooden hanger.

Yet another use for my pre-op jeans. Wanna see?

Crafty Sewing Projects Recycling Clothing

Listening to: "Better Together" Jack Johnson.

Patio Party

My Sunday: I made this dip for my Mum and I. We sat on the patio and gave ourselves pedicures.

Shelly's Tomato Feta Yogurt Dip

3 1/2 oz. (1/2 a small container) Fage Greek Yogurt
1 oz. Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Feta Cheese (I used Tomato Basil Seasoned Feta)
3 Tablespoons Bruschetta Sauce (find it in the fresh pasta section I use Trader Joe's brand but Buitoni/Contadina make one)

Blend in a mini food processor till smooth. If you use plain feta toss in some basil & oregano.

Serve with weight loss surgery friendly dippers: soy crisps, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, celery, asparagus spears, etc. This is also great for dipping sliced chicken or steak in.

Other Eggface Yogurt Dips:

Shelly's Pesto Yogurt Dipping Sauce
Shelly's Spicy Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Highlights of the day:

* Mmmm dessert will be one of those killer Chocolate Covered Cherry Crumb thingees I made yesterday.

* Free HBO weekend just watched "Scent of a Woman" Woo Ha!

* Listening to music right now.

Listening to: Coldplay "Viva la Vida" I heart Chris Martin's voice. Gwyneth Paltrow is very lucky.

H is for...

Fat Chick version

H is for Happiness - I wasn't happy fat though I put on a damn good show. To my friends I was the happy, funny, chubby girl. I faked happy really well.

I remember one day in my early twenties I was having lunch with a bunch of friends of mine (all skinny chicks) We were looking at bridal magazines and discussing the upcoming wedding of one of the group. She was talking about her beautiful dress which prompted everyone to share what their dream dress would look like. It came around to me. Sure a dream dress in a size 28. That's not a dream that was my nightmare. I announced to the group, "I've never thought about the dress. Now the menu I can tell you every course. Fat chicks have their priorities." Of course this got a laugh from the group. I had to deflect. I was playing defense. It was my protection device. To say what they were thinking before they thought it and through the use of humor.

I thought, "If only I wasn't fat I'd be happy."

Post Gastric Bypass version

H is for Happiness - I blamed a lot of my life issues on being fat. I recall saying many times "Well if I wasn't fat" or "If I just lost weight" to explain away why my life wasn't the way I wanted it to be. To my disappointment it wasn't all about the fat. The stars didn't all align after I lost -148 pounds. Ummm hello?! I read the fairy tales it's time for the "happily ever after" part, right? At first I found something to blame... well it's getting rid of the loose skin and plastic surgery that needs to happen and then I'm sure I'll be happy. So I started my plastic surgery journey. Now I'm free of the skin issues (well for the most part ;) just don't look at my inner thighs). I'm starting to realize what I've been doing. Happiness isn't eluding me I am eluding happiness.

So last night I sat on the swing outback and watched the sunset and the almost full moon appear. I wished on the first star that appeared (and the second just in case the first was a planet or a plane) I was happy. I wasn't sitting with the love of my life. I wasn't sitting behind my dream house. Life wasn't perfect but... I'm trying to learn to take pleasure in simple everyday things. A beautiful sunset, a laugh with my Mum, crashing waves, a killer song, the season's first tomato from my garden (which was the best tomato I have ever eaten in my life by the way) all these things can bring happiness. I still have wishes, goals, dreams, even a "dream man", but life is too short to put happiness on hold. I'm taking it where I can.

I read something the other day (it's a little Hallmarky but it speaks the truth) thought I would share it and try and learn from it...

"We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are. After that, we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage.

We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, when we are able to go on a nice vacation, or when we retire. The truth is there's no better time to be happy than right now.

If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and remember that time waits for no one.

So, stop waiting...

Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until you finish school
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until you retire
Until summer
Until spring
Until winter
Until fall
Until you die

There is no better time than right now to be happy. (Beware: here's the super corny part) Happiness is a journey, not a destination."

If you are wondering what this entry is all about catch up here.

Chocolate Covered Cherry

After my usual Saturday stuff (Farmer's Market, coffee, errands) I went on a 4 hour walk. I am beyond beat but it was awesome. This from a girl who used to stop twice to sit down walking one length of the mall. Amazing. Thank God for weight loss surgery.

I came home and mustered enough energy to make dessert though. This dessert seems fitting for this weekend. When my father was alive every Father's Day I would buy him a box of his favorite chocolate covered cherries.

Shelly's Chocolate Covered Cherry Crumb

28 Cherries, pitted
1/2 teaspoon Corn Starch
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla)

1/3 cup Raw Almonds
1/3 cup Steel Cut Oats
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla)
1 Tablespoon Almond Butter
1 Tablespoon Cold Butter

Pit cherries. Toss cherries with SF syrup and cornstarch and spoon 7 cherries in each of the 4-4 oz. ramekins. Set aside.

Whiz almonds in a mini food processor till fine. Add the rest of the ingredients and whiz again till thoroughly mixed.

Sprinkle clumps of the topping equally over each ramekin of fruit. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden. Serve crumbs hot or cold.

Chocolate Drizzle:

1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Hot Fudge Sauce (I used Smucker's), nuked 25 seconds and drizzled over cooling crumbs. You can also melt a couple of SF Mini Chocolate Bars and Tablespoon of milk together.

Friday Fish Tacos

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Food Recipe
Fish tacos are unofficially Southern California's signature dish. The fish taco is to SoCal what pizza is to New York or cheesesteak is to Philly. We love them. I ditched the typical "holder" corn tortilla and batter opting to grill/steam the fish in foil packets.

Shelly's Tacoless Fish Tacos

1 pound of a mild white fish (cod, flounder, orange roughy, tilapia, something like that)
1/4 cup Italian Dressing
Shredded Cabbage (I use coleslaw mix)
Sour Cream (or Fage Greek Yogurt)
Shredded Mexican Cheese
Hot Sauce (I use Cholula)
Aluminum Foil

Marinate the fish (a hour or so in the fridge) in Italian Dressing. Wrap it in foil. Use "Heavy Duty" good foil, if you are using the $1 Store stuff double it.

Grill for approximately 15 minutes with the lid closed, flipping once halfway through cooking time. The fish is done when it separates easily with a fork. Top fish with cabbage, cheese, sour cream, a squeeze of lime, and hot sauce.