Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch

Yesterday. My post weight loss surgery day in eating. Not too shabby, eh?

I was lucky enough to score a super top secret sample of the CLICK Espresso Protein new Vanilla Latte flavor 2 months ahead of its release. I taste tested yesterday morning. I mixed it with water first... it was good BUT THEN I mixed it in the blender with vanilla soy milk & ice OMG HEAVEN! This seriously could put ole' Bux out of business it's so good.

Breakfast: CLICK Vanilla Frappe - 1 scoop CLICK Vanilla Latte Flavor, 8 oz. Vanilla Soy Milk, handful of ice cubes. Whiz in blender.

Lunch: Shelly's Roast Beef and Onion Tortilla Pizza - Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Fajita Size Tortilla topped with Havarti Cheese, chopped Roast Beef, Marinated Cippolini Onions, Green Onions, and a sprinkle of Parmesan Cheese. Here's how to make them.

Dinner: Tuna Salad Italiano = delizioso. Oodles of protein and fiber this is perfect on a night you want something yummy without a lot of effort.

Shelly's Tuna Salad Italiano

1 (15 oz.) can Cannelini Beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 oz.) can Artichoke Hearts, chopped (water packed)
1 can Tuna Fillets, packed in Olive Oil, drained (I use Roland Ventresca Tuna Fillets)
1/2 cup Roasted Red Pepper, chopped
1/4 of a Red Onion, diced
4-5 Olives, chopped (I used Garlic-stuffed Sicilian)
zest of 1/2 a Lemon
juice of 1/2 a Lemon
1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Mix together all ingredients and let marinate at least 1 hour before serving.

Great served as is but also yummy on a half of an avocado or tomato.

Snacks: Fuji apple slices with Shelly's Caramel Yogurt Dip and waaaay too many cups of coffee

Shelly's Caramel Yogurt Dip

3 oz. Fage Greek Yogurt (I use 2%)
2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Caramel Sauce Topping (Smucker's)
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

Mix together till thoroughly combined. I find a mini food processor is perfect. Serve with banana slices, strawberries, apple slices, protein cake cubes for dipping.

Bento & Bookworms

We had a nice break this weekend from all the rain so I took my super cool bento box packed with lunch and snacks to the park, found the driest picnic table and hung out with nature for a few hours. Deep breaths of fresh air is sometimes the best medicine.

Pink Box (top left): Shelly's Grilled Eggplant Roll-up
Green Box (top right): Roasted Chickpeas
Blue Box (bottom left): Roast Beef & Cheesestick Roll-up
Orange Box (bottom right): Shelly's Tropical Sunrise Protein Mini Muffins

Shelly's Grilled Eggplant Roll-up

Grilled Eggplant Slice
Fresh Basil Leaves or Baby Spinach
Equal parts Herb Goat Cheese and Cream Cheese

Brush eggplant slices with olive oil or spray with a little non-stick spray. Grill on BBQ or indoor grill till softened. Cool. Mix cheeses together. Spread about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto each eggplant slice. Add a basil or spinach leaf or two. Roll-up.

Roll-ups are a great post weight loss surgery friendly meal. Some of my favorites:

Turkey, Swiss, Green Chili or Avocado
(these are super yummy heated)
Roast Beef & Pickle Spear (or Mozzarella Stick, pictured above)
Turkey, Swiss and Cranberry Cream Cheese
Ham & Cheddar (also yummy heated)

More Eggface Bentos

When it was raining and gray I got a little crafty and made a bunch of little cloth napkins for my super cool bento boxes out of material scraps I had on hand. I love the little daisy napkin pictured above.

Oh and check out the library book bag. I was sitting on hold the other day doodling and here's the result...

Listening to: "Breakeven" The Script

Cool beans

Oodles of protein, iron, fiber and yumminess. Beans are a staple in my post weight loss surgery meal plans. I use them in soups, casseroles, and salads like this one.

Bean salads are great. Make them on the weekend to have on hand for the week. They just get better and better as they sit in the fridge and all the ingredients get a chance to love on each other. Perfect for taking to work or on a picnic too, no mayo to worry about.

My lunch yesterday...

Shelly's Southwest Salad

2 boneless skinless Chicken Breasts, sliced into 1" pieces
3 Green Onions, diced
1/2 teaspoon Southwest Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 (15 oz.) can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup Corn Kernels (I used grilled frozen defrosted)
1/4 of a Red Onion, diced
2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup Pineapple Salsa (regular Salsa or Mango Salsa can be subbed)
juice of 1/2 a Lime
zest of 1/2 a Lime
1 Tablespoon Fruity Vinegar (Champagne, Red Wine, Cider)
Olive Oil for sauteing

Saute chicken until golden and cooked through. Add green onions and seasonings and cook 1 minute more. Cool.

Mix remaining ingredients together including cooled chicken. Chill till ready to serve. Best if made several hours in advance.

This would be great a great use for leftover rotisserie chicken, leftover steak, or substitute shrimp, tuna, or crab. Great as is or spooned into avocado or tomato halves.

Other Eggface Bean Salads:

Shelly's Greek Three Bean Salad
Shelly's Italian Bean Salad
Shelly's Greek Bean Salad
Shelly's Black & White Bean Salad
Shelly's Corn, Crab and Black Bean Salad
Shelly's "Award Winning" Jazzy New Orleans Muffaletta Salad :)
Shelly's Beef & Bean Taco Salad
Shelly's Roasted Veggies & Shrimp Salad

Tropical Sunrise Protein Mini Muffins

Yesterday Martha Stewart took over my body again (she does that from time to time) I roasted veggies, roasted chickpeas, made protein ice cream, made a pot of soup, cleaned up the garden, went for a long walk, had a picnic lunch, worked on a crafty project and made these mini muffins. No sugar, white flour or oil added. High protein. Super yummy.

Today Martha apparently has decided to reside in someone else because I'm on my 3rd cup of fully leaded coffee and am still being a slug. Thankfully I had a yummy breakfast this morning courtesy of yesterday's demon possession.

Instead of reaching for something full of fat and sugar from the bakery case or vending machine toss a couple in a snack size baggie and drop them in your purse. Men you can too. Indiana Jones wore one.

Shelly's Tropical Sunrise Protein Mini Muffins

3/4 cup Spelt Flour
1/2 cup Vanilla Protein Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
dash of Salt
1/4 cup Macadamia Nuts, chopped
1/4 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/4 cup Dried Mango (I used Bare Fruit Mango)
1/4 cup Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla - on sale now)
2 Eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons Cottage Cheese (I used Pineapple Cottage Cheese)
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 Banana, mashed

Optional Topping
1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

Soak dried mango in the 1/4 cup of SF Syrup for 1 hour to reconstitute. When soft snip into bite sized pieces.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray mini muffin tin with Pam and set aside. Mix all ingredients together till combined including the reconstituted mango & syrup mixture.

Spoon into muffin tin (a mini ice cream scoop works great) and sprinkle with a pinch of topping.

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Remove pans from oven. Allow to cool in the pan for 3 minutes.

Transfer muffins to wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Store in a sealed container to keep them soft and moist. They freeze great too. Makes 24 mini muffins.

Listening to: "Your Guardian Angel" Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. You know it might be the music I've been listening to this morning making me slug-like I've been on an emo marathon. LOL OK time to change the iPod playlist to something with more energy.

PB&J my way

Craving a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Try this...

Shelly's PB&J Protein Shake

1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk (you can use ANY milk or milk/water combo. I'm a soy girl)
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Raspberry Syrup
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Strawberry Jam
1 Tablespoon PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter (or regular Peanut Butter)
3-4 Ice Cubes

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

Get your fix. More Eggface Peanut Butter recipes:

Shelly's 5 Minute Peanut Butter & Jelly Cake
Shelly's Peanut Butter & Jelly Protein Ice Cream
Shelly's Peanut Butter Cup Protein Ice Cream
Shelly's Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Ice Cream
Shelly's Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites (or Pie)
Shelly's Strawberry Peanut Butter Sushi
Shelly's Dessert Pizza
Shelly's Peanut Butter & Jelly Mini Muffins
Shelly's PB&J Oatmeal
Shelly's Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip

My breakfast this morning. Yum! A good start to hopefully another beautiful day. Sun was out all day yesterday and I took full advantage. I was barely inside. It was a great day. Well... after the shock of nearly becoming road kill wore off.

You guys know my Saturday routine... I hit the Farmer's Market. Well I was crossing the street (in the crosswalk) right in front of the market when a woman blew through the stop sign going well above the 25 mph speed limit and missed me by inches. I literally felt the breeze from the car on my legs. Ohhhh and of course she just kept on driving. My New York upbringing comes out by instinct when in danger and let's just say I hope she read my lips and hand gestures from her rear view window. I'm actually glad she didn't stop because I would have gone all Jersey Shore on her ass ;)

After the drama... I did manage to make it to the market and get some great fruits and veggies. Love my Farmer's Market. I just put two huge trays of yellow, red, green peppers and red onion in to roast now. The house will smell like heaven in about 20 minutes or so. Love to have those on hand during the week. I also picked up a beautiful variety of apples. Thinking Apple Crumb for dessert. I am going to hit the park for a picnic later. Maybe bring dinner and watch the sunset. Hope everyone is having a GREAT weekend.

Hope for Haiti

Watching the Hope for Haiti benefit tonight reminds me how life can change without warning.

There are several ways to donate:

Phone: (877) 99-HAITI
Text: "GIVE" to the number 50555 ($5 to the Red Cross billed to your cell) or "HAITI" to 90999 ($10 to the Red Cross billed to your cell)

No donation is too small.

Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.

Crab Rangoon Dip & Evil Twins

Mmmm I love this dip. You can serve it hot or cold. Last night I made it both ways for a side by side comparison to see which I like better. Verdict: Yum ;)

Shelly's Crab Rangoon Dip

4 oz. Cream Cheese (or Neufchatel cheese), softened
1 (6 oz.) can of Crab Meat, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons Soy Sauce
1 Green Onion, diced
2 Shallots, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
a few twists of Black Pepper
dash of Kosher Salt

Saute shallots and green onion till golden. If you can't find shallots 1/4 of a red onion would work but I like shallots for this. Add garlic cook 1 minute more. Set aside to cool. Mix cream cheese, crab, soy sauce and seasonings together. Add cooled veggies. Mix till well combined. You can eat this cold or hot.

For cold: stuff celery sticks, pipe onto cucumber rounds, into cherry tomatoes or with veggie dippers.

For hot: fill ramekins 3/4 way full with dip and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with veggie dippers like celery, carrots, cucumber, bell peppers.

So anybody General Hospital fans? My Mum has watched it since I was a kid so I've always kind of known what has been going on through her but lately we've been catching it together on SoapNet. OMG this week is gonna be crazy!?! I've got a crush on one of the stars (hot hot hot) and his character (an undercover cop) is going to get shot by his own father ("The Godfather") They obviously don't know they are father & son. No worries, he won't die and even if he did "die" as any soap fan knows NO ONE really dies. He would be back in a few years suffering from amnesia or as his evil twin bent on the destruction of the town. If you are a fan check this out. It's so cheesetastic you gotta love it.

A day in my pouch

Breakfast: Jamba Juice has their $1 Oatmeal deal back (Wednesday's only - for a limited time) and since the rain lifted a bit in the AM yesterday I got some outdoor exercise in then went and had a bowl of their yummy steel-cut oats with sliced banana on top (ask for no brown sugar)

If you don't have a Jamba near you. Try my Banana Walnut Oatmeal. It's a little more work then just placing an order but super yummy.

Lunch: BBQ'd Scampi Skewers on a bed of baby spinach and roasted veggies with a lemon vinaigrette. I barely made it... as I brought the shrimp in from the BBQ the heavens opened again and it began to pour. Day 4 of this. Ark building has commenced. Send critters.

Dinner: Rainy, cold, gray = time to make soup. This is sooooo good. Seriously tastes like a Philly cheese steak sandwich.

Shelly's Philly Cheesesteak Soup

1 Maui Onion, diced
3 Green Onions, diced
3-4 Mushrooms, sliced
1/4 lb. (about 4 slices) Roast Beef, chopped (I used Boar's Head Low Sodium)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Tablespoons Multigrain Pancake Mix (I use this)
1 (15 oz.) can Chicken Broth
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Olive Oil for sauteing

Saute onions on a low heat till golden. You want to caramelize them versus brown them. Add mushrooms cook till golden. Add beef, Worcestershire, garlic, seasonings. Make a well in the center of the pot and add butter and pancake mix. Cook 1 minute. Slowly pour broth and milk in. Add cheese. Simmer on low till soup bubbles and thickens, stirring occasionally.

Snacks: Roasted Chickpeas and 2 scoops of Protein Ice Cream eaten under 2 throw blankets curled up on the couch watching some Food Network BBQ competition. I always get sucked into those.

Listening to: The rain, the heater kicking on, random noise my PC is making, and that 80's song "Breakout" by Swing Out Sister which has been stuck in my flippin' head for 2 days since I heard it playing at the supermarket. Thinking I may need a musical exorcism. Calling the Vatican later today.

Italian Quickie

Every week I make up a batch of roasted veggies. You can keep them in the fridge for several days or toss them in the freezer. I use them in oodles of recipes including this quickie 10 minute Italian dinner...

Shelly's Italian Microwave Meatballs

12 Mini Cocktail Size (or 8 full size, halved) Meatballs (fully cooked kind)
1 cup good Marinara Sauce (I use jarred Rao's Tomato Basil)
1 cup Roasted Veggies (this time it was just Peppers & Red Onions)
2 Mozzarella Cheesesticks, chopped
2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, chopped
2 Tablespoons Parmesan, grated

Heat meatballs in sauce in microwave safe bowl for 3 minutes. Stir. Add remaining ingredients.

Return to microwave for another 3 minutes or so till cheese is melty & gooey.

It's weight loss surgery and family friendly. Great eaten as is, with a salad or sauteed spinach on the side.

Other Eggface uses for Roasted Veggies:

Shelly's Roasted Vegetable Turkey Mini Meatloaf
Shelly's Greek Bean Salad
Shelly's Roasted Veggie Tortilla Pizza
Shelly's Sausage & Pepper Skewers
Shelly's Roasted Veggie Cheese Dip
Shelly's Chicken Cacciatore with Beans
Shelly's Faux Chicken Fajitas
Shelly's Roasted Pepper Yogurt Dressing
Shelly's Roasted Vegetable Soup

Turkey Enchilada Soup

My super easy protein packed lunch. Perfect for this rainy day. I'm actually enjoying the rain today... of course it's only Day 1, ask me again on Day 5. Steam cleaned all the tile in the house (kitchen, dining room, bathrooms) with my new steamer (I love it) and made this yummy soup. Now: sitting eating my soup, cozy sweater, watching the puddles form on the patio through the window.

Shelly's Turkey Enchilada Soup

1 Yellow Onion, chopped
1/2 package Ground Turkey
1 (15 oz.) can Corn, drained
1 (15 oz.) can Black Beans, drained & rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can Red Enchilada Sauce (I use Mild)
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Olive Oil for sauteing

Shelly's Spicy Yogurt Dip
Fresh Cilantro
Cheddar Cheese

Saute onions till golden. Add turkey and cook till no pink is seen. Add remaining ingredients. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Leftovers are even better the next day after everything gets a chance to love on each other.

Top each serving with Shelly's Spicy Yogurt Dip, fresh Cilantro and Cheddar Cheese.

Listening to: Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds "Jimi Thing"

On my walk

Storm's a-coming. Got an outdoor walk in before I am forced to mall walk (God help my pocketbook) and Leslie Sansone-it for a week.

and this one I am appropriately entitling, "The End"

How you like 'dem apples?

So I was in search for a crunchy low calorie snack they other day and SCORE I found these Apple Chips (and other snacks) called Bare Fruit. I loved them and then went in search of all the different varieties.

They have a ton I'm working my way through them all...

Cinnamon Apple Chips (yum)
Granny Smith Apple Chips (yum)
Fuji Apple Chips (yum)
Banana and Cherries
Pineapples and Mangos
Dried Pears
Dried Mangos
Dried Cherries (yum in salads see below)

Bare Fruit is a great name for them because it's just that... they take super yummy organic fruit add nothing to it and bake it slow and low for 10 hours in a wood burning oven. No added sugars, preservatives, additives just awesome fruit. I love the apple chips.

The original bag I found at Costco and have since ordered all the other varieties online.

The apple chips make a super topping for my beloved Fage Greek Yogurt. They add some crunch & texture. Yogurt, a little SF Torani Syrup and some Bare Fruit. Mmmm SF Caramel & Apple Chips. It's like a healthy Carmel Apple. I can also see using them on salads, oatmeal, protein ice cream. Good stuff.

Yesterday I took advantage of the last of the sunny days we will be having for awhile. We are about to be rained on for the foreseeable future so I packed my super cool bento box and went to the park to soaked up the soon to be elusive sun's rays.

Pink Box (top left): Shelly's Fruit and Nut Chicken Salad
Green Box (top right): Bare Fruit Cinnamon Apple Chips
Blue Box (bottom left): Cheesestick and Baby Bell Cheese
Orange Box (bottom right): Shelly's 5 Minute Sugar Free Black Forest Cake stars

Shelly's Fruit and Nut Chicken Salad

Rotisserie Chicken, Breast Portion, chopped
1/2 Cucumber, chopped
1 stalk Celery, sliced
1/4 cup Pecans, chopped
2 Tablespoons Sliced Almonds
1/4 cup Dried Cherries, chopped (I used Bare Fruit Dried Cherries)
2 Green Onions, diced
Kosher Salt to taste
a few twists of Black Pepper
Roasted Pepper Yogurt Dressing

Mix all ingredients together till well combined. Serve as is, in a half of a tomato or avocado, in a wrap, on a bed of lettuce.

Shelly's Roasted Pepper Yogurt Dressing

3 oz. Fage Greek Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar (any fruity vinegar will do)
1/4 cup Roasted Peppers & Onions
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

In a mini food processor whiz all ingredients till smooth. Great as a dressing for salads or dip for veggies, chicken, fish, shrimp.

It was a great day. Started with a visit to my Farmer's Market. Today's haul: onions, peppers, shallots, garlic, apples, and get this... strawberries. Super sweet ones in January. Amazing. Those crazy 80 degree days I guess. Hit Starbuck's to do some work and people watch, OK mostly people watch. Then it was off on a walk and a picnic at the park. At some point I hit the supermarket and Costco. Saturday. Costco. Place was a madhouse and people were in gnarly moods. The supermarket was a much better experience. Madhouse. Lines were all a mile long. I got on a line that's debit machine broke and was trapped for 10 minutes while they tried to fix it.

Doesn't sound good you say?

Well it wasn't till I flirted with the cute guy behind me. So hey hottie buying coleslaw: call me. You haven't tasted coleslaw till you've had mine ;) Wooooo How's that for a pick-up line?!!! Noooo I didn't say it. LOL.

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend!

Listening to: Train "Hey, Soul Sister" So darn catchy.

Strategies for Eating Out Post Weight Loss Surgery

By request from blog reader Mary I'm sharing some strategies I employ when eating out after having weight loss surgery. The first section is about my choices at sit down casual restaurants and the last section is about my healthiest options at fast food, quickie joints.

Gastric Bypass Bariatric Surgery VSG RNY WLS Food Healthy Fast Food Choices

Plan Ahead: If possible get a copy of the menu and plan what you are going to have in advance. That will save you from making poor choices on the spur of the moment. Most restaurants and fast food joints have a web presence, Google their website and read the menu in advance. Here's another great resource for menus.

Make substitutions: You can still order your favorite chicken fajitas, but instead of the Mexican rice and refried beans, do double beans or ask for a salad on the side. Ask for double veggies instead of the starch. At breakfast get sliced tomatoes or fruit instead of hash browns. You get the idea — this stuff will take a little extra thought at first, but in no time it will become second nature. If it's somewhere else on the menu you can probably get it as a substitution.

Portion it: Ask the server to box half up right away. I just say, "I really want dish xyz but that looks like a lot can you box half up for me" Then get yourself one of these groovy gadgets that heat leftovers up without drying them out. We are no longer members of the clean your plate club. Facts are facts. We will sadly waste food or learn to walk out with boxes. Hopefully you can split meals with the person you are with but that isn't always possible.

I hate to waste water so when they ask for drinks (I don't drink with my meals post weight loss surgery) I say something like, "Nothing to drink for me, just had a huge coffee" and that stops them from asking over and over again.

My most restaurant common orders are:

Grilled Fish, Crab Legs, Shrimp with all veggies
Fajitas. No rice or tortillas, double beans
Steak with all veggies
Salads with some sort of protein, no croutons, dressing on the side

Leftover Crab becomes Crab Omelet, Crab Salad, Bites, Stuffed Mushrooms
Leftover Steak becomes Tortilla Pizza or this awesome Brunch Casserole.
Leftover Grilled Fish becomes a Salad
Leftover Fajitas becomes Breakfast, Salad, Tortilla Pizza

More Recipes for Repurposing Restaurant Leftovers

I love crab legs when I'm with a group. They take forever to eat, great protein, looks like I've ordered a lot so no one feels self conscious about my tiny portion, and leftovers are great the next day.

Enjoy! Enjoy spending time with the other people in your group and make the food secondary to the social event.

So that's restaurants. What about the dreaded drive-thru? Here are some of my Fast Food orders because life happens and sometimes you just have to...

Gastric Bypass Bariatric Surgery VSG RNY WLS Food Healthy Fast Food Choices

In & Out Burger: "Protein-style" Single Cheeseburger with grilled onions (Protein style = wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun.) Most burger places will do variations of this.

Five Guys: Ask for no bun, they put it in a plate on top of lettuce, you can add grilled onions, cheese or some bacon.

Taco Bell, Del Taco: Order of Pintos & Cheese/refried beans with a scoop of meat or chicken added.

El Pollo Loco: Grilled Chicken Breast (single piece - they are huge) or $1 side salad minus tortilla strips & the $1 Chicken Taco El Carbon. I discard the tortilla and dump the chicken on the salad. Great meal for $2.

McDonald's: Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken, no dressing (ask for salsa packets), they will sell you a grilled chicken breast patty only or a burger patty only too.

Carl's Jr: Cranberry, Apple, Walnut Grilled Chicken Salad (ax the walnuts if you are sensitive to sugars they are glazed) or they will wrap any of their burgers in lettuce. Just ask for the "Lettuce Wrap" version

Sbarro: Side of Meatballs or Sausage with Sauce.

Wendy's: Chili with cheese. Burger patty.

Subway, Submarina, Firehouse: They will turn any of the subs into salads. Watch the dressings, ax the croutons/breadsticks/flat breads.

Starbucks: Sous Vide Egg Bites, Egg White Whole Wheat Feta Wrap (I ask for double cooked makes it crunchy), Oatmeal (in a pitch when traveling I will do oatmeal, complex carbs, add cinnamon from the coffee bar), Protein Plate give away the bread, Soy Lattes. Here's my Starbuck's Post WLS Guide.

Dunkin Donuts: Plain Oatmeal (add cinnamon from coffee bar), SF Latte (they don't have soy well at least the airport DD's don't)

Panda Express: Mushroom Chicken, Veggies (side)

Jamba Juice: Oatmeal w/ Banana (no brown sugar)

Chipotle: Burrito Bowl minus rice (this will feed an Army)

Baja Fresh: Tortilla Soup (minus tortilla strips)

KFC: Single piece of Kentucky Grilled Chicken, Green Beans side.

Chick-fil-A: Chargrilled & Fruit Salad, Kid's Meal Grilled Chicken Nuggets with fruit salad and water, Some people like the chicken salad I'm not a fan,

Rubio's: You can have grilled fish on any of their salads. Ask for dressing on the side or better yet use salsa. My favorite is the Balsamic & Roasted Veggie Salad and I add Grilled Tilapia.

Panera: Cup of Creamy Tomato Soup (no croutons), 1/2 order of a salad (ax any carby toppings, dressing on the side), Oatmeal with Quinoa & Almonds (minus honey)

Diners, IHOP, Denny's: Scrambled Eggs with cheese and avocado is my standard. If they have turkey sausage even better.

That's about all I can think of right now. I'll add others if they come to mind. Feel free to post your orders or restaurant adaptations in the comment section. These are just things as a post-op I personally have eaten. When in doubt, ask your dietitian/bariatric surgeon's office.

Hey and don't feel guilty if you make a poor choice. Life happens. You can't rewind time, so you might as well get over it. Start planning your next healthy meal.

Healthy Travel Tips: Keeping Your Health On Track While Traveling

Nutty Hoecakes

Hoecakes are a coarser, denser version of pancakes, sort of biscuit-like in texture and generally made of cornmeal. They're Native American in origin and made in the south or so this ex-New Yawker, current Valley Girl hears. If you are wondering about the name they were originally cooked out in the fields, on the blade of a hoe, over an open fire. Hoe-cakes. I think it sounds like an insult you'd yell at someone who tried to cozy up to your man, "Hey Hoecakes! Hands-off."

My city girl version is made with a combo of almonds and protein powder. They make a great on-the-go breakfast.

Shelly's Nutty Hoecakes

1/2 cup Almonds
1/2 cup Vanilla Protein Powder
3 Tablespoons Multigrain Pancake Mix (I use this)
1 Egg Yolk
2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Almond)

Whiz almonds in a mini food processor till ground (cornmeal-ish consistency.)

Mix all ingredients together. Coat a non-stick pan with Pam or canola oil. Spoon dollops of batter (about 2 T per hoecake) into pan and flatten with a spatula. Brown until crisp, turn and brown on reverse side. They will not bubble look for golden edges before flipping. You can eat them warm with SF Maple Syrup but I actually prefer them plain at room temperature.

A day in my pouch

Rainy day in my 'hood. It was a nice change. My dirty car looks brighter and my dying lawn got a free drink always a good thing. Here's the yummy stuff that filled my surgically altered anatomy today...

Breakfast: A bowl of oatmeal. Mmmm tasted like a cinnabon but without the pesky 730 calories, 114 carbs, 24 g fat that is in a regular cinnabon. Ohhh and to think I'd eat a cinnabon with extra icing as a "snack" in my pre-op years.

Shelly's Cinnamon Bun Oatmeal

1 cup Oatmeal (Quick Cook)
2 1/3 cups Water
Pinch of Salt
1/3 cup Milk (I use Vanilla Soy Milk)
1/2 teaspoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Brown Sugar Torani Syrup (or Starbuck's SF Cinnamon Dolce Syrup)
dash of Cinnamon

Combine the oatmeal, water and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the milk, butter, cinnamon and syrup. Stir well and cook for 1 minute. Serve with a dollop of "Frosting" and some Cinnamon Brown Sugar Nut Topping.

Shelly's Cinnamon Sugar Nut Topping

1/2 cup Walnuts
1/2 cup Pecans
1/2 teaspoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Maple Syrup
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Toss all ingredients together till evenly coated. Spread evenly on a cookie sheet. Bake for 9 minutes at 350. Let cool completely. Nuts will crisp as they cool. Store in an airtight container. Also great on top of Protein Ice Cream.

Shelly's Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese "Frosting"

2 oz Cream Cheese (or Neufchatel cheese), softened
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Soy Milk
scrapings of 1/2 a Vanilla Bean
1-2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Brown Sugar Torani Syrup (or Starbuck's SF Cinnamon Dolce Syrup), desired sweetness and consistency

Mix together till smooth. For use as a topping for oatmeal, spread on slices of Protein Cake or as a dip for fruit.

Lunch: A salad of sweet caramelized roasted veggies & shrimp.

Shelly's Roasted Veggies & Shrimp Salad

1/2 lb (about 21) Large Shrimp, cooked, tails off
1 (15 oz. can) Cannelini Beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup Roasted Veggies (I used a combo of red onion & bell peppers)
2 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Lemon Vinaigrette: 1 part Lemon Olive Oil to 1 part Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar (any fruity vinegar will do). I use this to whiz it up.

Combine all ingredients and chill. Best if made 1 hour before serving. Serve as is or on a bed of baby spinach. The roasted vegetables can be prepared in advance, even the day before. Just store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Dinner: Meatball Skewers. I made these as part of our New Year's Eve celebration and we loved them so much we did a repeat tonight. These are really kid-friendly... call them "Cloudy with a chance of meatballs skewers" and have them help assemble.

Shelly's Orange Pineapple Mini Meatball Skewers

20 Mini Cocktail Meatballs (storebought or make your own)
20 Pineapple Chunks (in natural juice, drained)
2 Tablespoons storebought bottled Orange Sauce* (brands: Iron Chef, Panda Express, Roland - Asian section)

Heat meatballs according to package directions. Set aside. Heat sauce in microwave for 1 minute. Toss meatballs in sauce until coated. On each plastic skewer thread 1 meatball and 1 piece of pineapple. I ate them as is but you could serve them with a green salad or an Asian stir fry vegetable mix would be great too.

*Orange Sauce like most condiments contain some sugar. 2 Tablespoons of sauce spread out over 20 meatballs should not cause a dumping issue. Here's my thoughts on using bottled sauces. If you are highly sensitive. Eliminate it.

You can definitely make your own meatballs. I'm 1/2 Sicilian so I often do but if you are making these for a get together why not make your life easier and buy them. Frozen meatballs are great they can be used in oodles of weight loss surgery friendly dishes soups and stews, stroganoff, tortilla pizzas, casseroles, and one of my favorite ricotta cups.

Snacks: a Café Biscotti Protein Shake, tastes of a cooking experiment coming soon to a blog near you ;), and oodles of coffee.

Café Biscotti Protein Shake

My Italian breakfast of espresso & biscotti in a liquid protein packed form. It was a perfect on-the-go breakfast this morning. I drank it on the run while dropping off the car to get new brakes. Uggh $$$. Would have much preferred to drink it from my villa's balcony overlooking the crystal clear blue Mediterranean sea but I haven't won the lottery or been scooped up by a rich Italian man... yet.

Shelly's Café Biscotti Protein Shake

8 oz. Vanilla Soy Milk (or Milk/Water Combo)
1 scoop of Max/Ultimate Cookies & Cream Protein Powder
1 packet of Instant Coffee Crystals
2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Vanilla Torani Syrup (on sale now)
a couple of Ice Cubes
Optional topping: SF Land o Lakes Whipped Cream

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

These instant coffee packets (Starbuck's Via or Taster's Choice) are great for adding to protein shakes & smoothies, puddings and custards.

Other Eggface favorite protein shakes & smoothies.