This week: Fitbloggin' 13

Tomorrow I'm off to Fitbloggin'13 in Portland, Oregon. The FitBloggin’ Conference is a conference for anyone who blogs about fitness, wellness, healthy food and a healthy lifestyle. Bloggers from across the country come together to discuss a variety of health and fitness related topics and how to utilize social media to help foster health and wellness.

I will be tweeting my adventures in "The City of Roses" so if you want to follow along be sure to follow me on Twitter:  I'm @Eggface and of course I'll have tons to blog about when I get back. I'll be celebrating my birthday while I'm there and catching up with a old friend who lives in the area. It's my first trip to the Pacific Northwest. All that awesome coffee awaits. Good times.

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Fun at the Fair

We went to the San Diego County Fair this weekend. It was lots of fun. Every year I enter a few of the cooking contests. I've been pretty lucky bringing home lots of Blue Ribbons. This year I was only able to enter one. Sadly, not a winner this time. My healthy dish was beaten out by a pretty decadent group. Oh well, next year. If you are a local and headed to the fair be sure to head upstairs to Home & Hobby where they are selling the past Fair Cookbooks for only $2 a piece. These are the ones I have winning recipes in...

Two of my favorite past fair winners are on the blog.

Shelly's Tiramisu Protein Smoothie
Shelly's Jazzy New Orleans Muffaletta Salad

I brought my bento box packed with lunch and snacks. It really is scary the things they will batter dip and deep fry on a stick. I ate it pre-op but now I bring my own food in. I am impressed with Albertson's Supermarket, one of the Fair Sponsors who does provide what they call a "Rejuvenation Station" that has a few healthy choices. If you are local seek it out. They had Oh Yeah RTD (Ready to Drink) Protein Shakes, Cheesesticks, Hardboiled Eggs, Greek Yogurt, Nuts, Fresh Fruit Cups. Very impressed. Just before heading home I bought a Vanilla Creme Oh Yeah. Not a funnel cake or deep fried Snickers passed my lips. Proud.

Here's what I brought...

Pink Box (top left): Tomatoes, Basil, Oregano
Green Box (top right): My fair contest entry "Shelly's Protein Powerballs"
Blue Box (bottom left): Leftover Grilled Chicken, Mozzarella Mini Ball, Hunk of Rosemary Asiago Cheese
Orange Box (bottom right): Wasabi Flavored Edamame (addictive but soooo good)
Shelly's Protein Powerballs

1/2 cup Almond Butter
2/3 cup Chocolate Whey Protein Powder (any brand)
1 teaspoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup
1/4 cup Chopped Nuts
1/4 cup Ghirardelli  60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips (can use Sugar Free chips, the 60% were required by the contest rules)
1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa for rolling

Mix first 6 ingredients till thoroughly combined. Roll into quarter size balls. Roll balls into unsweetened cocoa. Refrigerate. Makes 18-20 powerballs.

More bento box lunches 
Want a bento lunchbox like the one above. Here's a link.

Hope everyone has a great week!

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Celebrating Health Giveaway

Today is a special day in my world. 7 years ago today I had Open Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery.

I was insured through my workplace, had a BMI of 54 with several health issues - severe Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea, High Blood Pressure, and a host of other issues related to obesity, all of which were being treated by my doctors and costing my insurance company and myself thousands and thousands of dollars. All the while I was repeatedly denied any weight loss related treatments: no weight loss or fitness programs, nutrition classes, pharmaceuticals, therapy, nothing related to the treatment of weight loss was covered and I was denied weight loss surgery even though I was told by my doctors that many of the painful, debilitating, and life threatening conditions impacting my health would be potentially relieved and that having weight loss surgery was the best option. I began researching my options and I chose to self-pay for weight loss surgery in Mexico on June 20th, 2006. It was the best gift I ever gave myself. Well and it's also my birthday on the 28th so this is a big month.

In honor of those two fun days... It's Giveaway Time! Help me celebrate by entering the giveaway and telling a friend about the blog.

The Prize: a super cool purple Nike Gym Bag so you can hit the gym, dance class or travel to the Your Weight Matters Convention to hang out with me this summer in style and it's jam packed with some of my post weight loss surgery bariatric favorites...

9 single serving packets of Celebrate Vitamins ENS in Vanilla Cake Batter, Chocolate Milk, and Strawberry flavors (each delicious shake contains a high potency multivitamin, 500 mg of calcium citrate, 4 g of fiber, and 25 g of whey isolate protein in each serving)

A 60 count bag of the NEW Celebrate Soft Chew Multivitamin in Very Berry flavor (watch my goofy video review)

A 60 count bag of Celebrate Vitamins Sugar Free Calcium Citrate Soft Chews in Berry flavor

15 single serving packets of Celebrate Vitamins ENS in Wild Cherry, Cranberry-Grape and Citrus Splash (a full compliment of vitamins and minerals, plus 500 mg of calcium citrate in each stick pack)

3 Chike Nutrition single serving packets of High Protein Iced Coffee (contains 2 espresso shots, 20 grams of whey protein, 23 vitamins & minerals & only 2 grams of sugar in each serving)

6 Quest Protein Bars (in Apple Pie and nom nom nom the highly sought after Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough)

3 single serving packs of Syntrax Chocolate Truffle, Vanilla Bean Torte and Double Stuffed Cookie Protein Powder

1 sample packet of PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter

2 packets of Krave Jerky (Basil Citrus Turkey and Chili Lime Beef)

1 Mini Sampler Set of Sugar Free Torani Syrups (4 - 150 ml mini bottles in SF Caramel, SF Raspberry, SF Vanilla, and SF Hazelnut)

A 20 oz. Purple Blender Bottle Shaker

How to Enter: LIKE  The World According to Eggface Facebook Page then COME BACK HERE and LEAVE A COMMENT on this blog posting (include a name and some email address where I can contact you if you are the winner) Scroll down to # of comments below to leave yours. That's it, easy peasy.

For fun: Would love if you would tell me how you have celebrated your weight loss surgery anniversary or birthday as a post-op. For pre-ops, whatcha planning to do to celebrate?

***Want an extra chance to win?***

* Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway: Hey everyone enter the @Eggface Celebrating Health Giveaway 

Contest Period Ends: Sunday, June 30th, midnight (Pacific), Monday, July 1st. I'll draw a name using a random number generator and announce the winner here on the blog! I will also email the winner at the address provided. You'll have one week (7 days) to respond to my email or another winner will be chosen. Remember winners MUST be a Facebook follower of the page listed above. One ENTRY per person. Blog comments are moderated so there may be a slight delay (up to a few hours) in seeing your comment/entry post. Giveaway is open to anyone in the United States (48 contiguous only.)

Big Hugs and Love to anyone who shares this Giveaway on their Facebook Page or in a group they belong to. I appreciate the shout outs. Good Luck and thanks for being a part of my special days!

A Couple of Berry Good Breakfasts

Went to the Farmer's Market yesterday, my usual Saturday morning routine. This week's haul: onions, mushrooms, tons of zucchini, tomatoes, and one of these gorgeous 3 packs of mixed berries. Mine had strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. This morning I cleaned them and most have been turned into breakfasts and snacks for the week.

These Berry Greek Yogurt Parfaits are a great grab and go breakfast. Sometimes I mix protein powder into the yogurt this was just Greek yogurt sweetened with Sugar Free Vanilla Torani Syrup and a scraping of a Vanilla Bean. One is berries, yogurt and topped with a sprinkle of almonds. The other has no nuts.

I put them in a plastic cup and cover them with plastic wrap. Grab one and a take off out the door. I love to take them on my walk and then find a park bench to sit and eat it. Just having them already assembled in the fridge makes making good choices easier.

I also made a batch of Protein Muffins.Which takes all of 15 minutes from beginning to eating a warm from the oven muffin. I toss 2 in a snack size baggie and you have another great grab and go breakfast or snack. I often take these when I know I am going to a coffee shop. There is not a whole lot of choices in the bakery cases for us but I never feel left out with my special muffin stash. You might want to take an extra one to share with a friend... otherwise you get "Ooooh what's that?" and suddenly you are muffin-less.

Shelly's Berry Almond Mini Protein Muffins

1 Egg, beaten
3 Tablespoons Milk
2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Almond Torani Syrup
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
3 Tablespoons Multigrain Pancake Mix
2 Tablespoons Almond Meal/Flour
a few Fresh Berries (I used 6 raspberries and 12 blueberries)
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
Pinch salt

In a measuring cup mix egg, milk, syrup and oil (applesauce or cottage cheese can sub for oil but 1 T divided between 12 muffins is really not a lot) and combine thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix pancake mix, almond meal, protein powder and salt. Tip dry into wet and stir till combined.

Pour into a non stick mini muffin pan that has been sprayed with Pam. Drop a berry or 2 in each muffin. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Makes 12. Cooks note: Almond meal/flour is just finely ground almonds... meal = ground with skins on, flour = ground with skins off, they are interchangeable in most recipes, you can certainly make your own with a coffee grinder.

A little meal planning and prep on Sunday makes for an easier week.

Planning for success
A day in my pouch (need ideas)
Bento Box Lunches (lots of lunches)

Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there. My father died at 67 years old of obesity-related sleep apnea and heart failure (I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea at 35 years old.) His death was definitely one of my a-ha moments and started me on my journey to getting healthy.

Go for a walk with your Pop today, cook him a healthy meal, lead your family in good health by living your life as an example.

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Your Weight Matters Convention Reminder

We're at the 2 month mark now before the "Your Weight Matters" Convention, August 15-18 in Phoenix, AZ and I want to make sure everyone knows about this GREAT event and makes plans to attend.

The nation's leading experts in weight and health will be presenting more than 40 different evidence based, educational topics from losing weight, maintaining weight-loss, the emotional weight loss journey, nutrition, fitness, all the latest information and research. These are member requested topics... the stuff we all want to know about. Information and tools to help us battle obesity and win! The convention is presented by the Obesity Action Coalition so you will also learn how you can get involved on a national scale (or from your home) in advocacy efforts to help to create awareness of the issues those affected by obesity face.

Beyond all the AMAZING educational offerings, is the opportunity to connect and hang out with an AWESOME group of people that all understand the physical and emotional issues those affected by obesity face. Obesity can be isolating, I spent a lot of years saying, “No, sorry I can’t join you” and sitting on the sidelines watching my life go by. The sense of community and vibe at this convention is welcoming, understanding and safe. Being surrounded by people who “get it” is one of the best feelings in the world. We HAVE A BLAST. We dance and laugh and exercise together. One of the nights we're going to dress in wacky beach outfits. Some brave souls will go sliding down the waterpark ramp and floating down the lazy river (part of the resort amenities.) I will be indoors in the AC chatting with all my new pals, sharing stories and sipping iced tea.

Invite your friends and family... this is not just for people that have had weight loss surgery. It is for EVERYONE that is concerned about their health and weight. Just a 5-10% weight loss can have a significant impact on your health. My obesity related health issues were all resolved within my first 35 pounds lost. So if you have friends and family that want to get healthier this is for them too. Get 10 people to say you sent them and you are in a drawing to win airfare, three-nights hotel stay and full registration (there's also 2 other prizes which means there are crazy good odds of winning, the 411 on the contest.)

Here's some info to help you make your decision to go...

The Official Invitation Video
The Agenda
My Convention Attendance Tips

REGISTER NOW! Trust me, it will be life changing. Hope to see you there!

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A day in my pouch

A day in my pouch is a series of blog posts (I try and post them every few days) to show what a typical daily menu looks like in my post weight loss surgery world. I didn't realize till just now that I had an entirely vegetarian day...

Breakfast: Store-bought Pineapple Cottage Cheese with a few Raspberries and a sprinkle of Pistachios and Almonds during a phone meeting discussing the Your Weight Matters Convention details (I'm on the planning committee.) Are you coming? CNN will be there. So exciting! I love that more people will hear our stories and learn what WE ALL LIVE AND KNOW to be true that weight and obesity is more than "just stepping away from the table." There are still tickets available. I hope you will consider making the trip.

Lunch: Leftovers. I made a version of my Cauliflower Pie, one of my favorite post-op dinners and heated up a piece for lunch. My cauliflower was on the small side and I had some mushrooms that needed using so I decided to throw them in. Delicious.

Shelly's Mushroom Cauliflower Pie

1 head of Cauliflower, cooked and mashed
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
8-10 Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
3 Eggs, beaten
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated (divided use)
1 Tablespoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Chives
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Marinara Sauce (I use jarred - Rao's is my fav)

Break up cauliflower florets and cook in salted water till fork tender. Drain. Mash. Saute onion and mushroom till golden. Mix remaining ingredients together (hold back 1 Tablespoon of the Parmesan.) Pour into a 8 x 11.5 x 2 (2 qt) Pyrex casserole dish that has been sprayed with Pam non-stick cooking spray. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes and place under the broiler for 5 more minutes to brown.

When done I cut the pie into squares (I get 8-10 squares from the pie.) You can eat it as is but I top each square with a Tablespoon of Marinara Sauce and a sprinkle of cheese and it goes back under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Mmmm. Nuke to reheat.

Dinner: Grilled some zucchini to have on hand in the fridge. It makes a great quick dinner just topped with cheese and placed under the broiler or if you have more time turned in Pastaless Manicotti or Lasagna. Tonight I chopped a few pieces as a Tortilla Pizza topping. Shelly's Grilled Zucchini Tortilla Pizza - Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Fajita Size Tortilla topped Italian Blend Cheese, Grilled Zucchini and a sprinkle of Italian Seasonings. 375ยบ for 10 minutes in the oven.

More Eggface Pizza

Snacks: Too much Coffee and a super secret taste test I can't blog about yet. I was creating my entry for an upcoming cooking contest and had to have a few bites to make sure it was contest ready. I think it's a winner (and it's weight loss surgery friendly of course.) I'll tell you all about it in a few weeks. My goal is to win at least one cooking contest a year. Last year I won 2. My biggest win $$ last year was Silk Milk's Holiday Contest. Wish me luck.

More days in my pouch 

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National Get Outdoors Day Bento

I found out that yesterday was National Get Outdoors Day, that's great because I actually spent most of it outside. I started my day at the Farmer's Market getting supplies for the week. This week's haul: strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, onions, yellow squash, zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower (Mmmm I'm going to make Cauliflower Pie this week) and some chili lemon almonds. We have a local almond grower that makes these yummy flavored almonds, a few I can't have because he adds sugar but the chili lemon, applewood smoked, wasabi and simply roasted are favorites.

Nothing I bought needed refrigerating quick so I took a nice long walk around Old Town. It's the touristy area in my town where the market is held each week. The other day in Trader Joe's I overheard a woman talking about a great consignment shop and I went searching it out. I found it. I bought a pretty summery blouse (originally $75 for $10.99, Woot!) you'll see me wearing in Phoenix if you are joining me at the Your Weight Matters Convention. I did stand in the store for a few minutes coveting a little green purse but I was good. No $$ for frivolous.

Speaking of walking and money... If have some extra coins jingle jangling in your pocket or under your couch cushions I'll take 'em! I'm walking in the Walk from Obesity because I can! I once couldn't say that. Thank you to some of my rock star readers and pals who have already donated: Deann Burch, Doris Fiallo, Mike Hodges, Lea Crosetti, Kris Harvey, Laura Jones, Lois Lothrop, Janice Lambright, Jean Haller, Eva Weber, Jessica McKean xo. Can't be there I will walk for both of us. Click on the link to head over to my donation page. Every penny counts and any donation is happily accepted.

I came home grilled some of the zucchini, made a few antipasto skewers, filled my bento box and head outside again to eat my lunch. I sat on the patio, tried not to look at the lawn (aka dead weeds) that need cutting and enjoyed the beautiful day.

Pink Box (top left): Little Antipasto Skewers (Cherry Tomatoes from my 2 plants, Basil, Fresh Mozzarella, Turkey Cubes, Spanish Olive)
Green Box (top right): Grilled Zucchini (swipe of Olive Oil, sprinkle of Greek Seasoning and BBQ'd)
Blue Box (bottom left): Yellow Pepper Strips
Orange Box (bottom right): Pesto Yogurt Dip (Greek Yogurt and a little Pesto Sauce mixed in)

More bento box lunches

Want a bento lunchbox like the one above. Here's a link. I've also seen these and these recently and thought they were a cool alternatives. As always thanks for purchasing through the links on the blog which helps the blog continue doing it's thing.

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend and spending at least some of it outdoors.

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Lotsa Love for Leftovers 8

Post weight loss surgery when you eat out in a restaurant it's a given there will be a lot of leftovers or waste. I hate wasting food. Sometimes I have no choice if I'm headed to a movie or I'm too far from home but if I'm heading home right after a meal you better be sure the leftovers are coming home. Those leftovers can be "repurposed" and transformed into a bunch of great meals. 

Repurposing: Transforming leftovers into something equally as yummy. The goal is for them to taste and look so completely different you don't realize you are having leftovers.

I pretty much know my capacity so I remove what I know will be coming home before I start eating. I ask for a box when I order, they look at you weird but I just say, "I'm not terribly hungry and I know I will need a box so can you just bring it with the food." 

I had an appointment that ran late and I didn't feel like cooking the other last night... actually the cooking is really never the issue it's the cleaning up that I hate. I stopped at a chain BBQ joint and got the Brisket Dinner (BBQ Brisket and 2 sides) I chose beans and corn on the cob as my side. I ate the corn and a few pieces of Brisket and I was full. I also had a few pieces of Burnt Ends (aka nuggets of BBQ gold) they were sampling a new appetizer and brought me over a few to try.

This is what came home...

I repurposed the meat leftovers above into this oh my gosh to die for Bean Casserole for dinner tonight. It was sooooo good. You would never know it was leftovers.

Shelly's BBQ Brisket Baked Bean Casserole

4 slices Bacon, cut in half
1 cup of Leftover Cooked BBQ Tri Tip or Brisket (even Pulled Chicken or Pork would be great)
1/2 a Maui Sweet Onion, diced fine
1 Granny Smith Apple, diced fine
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
2 (15 oz.) cans Cannellini Beans, rinsed & drained
1/2 cup BBQ Sauce
a few twists of Black Pepper
Olive Oil for sauteing

Saute onions till golden. Add apple and saute till they start to give a bit. About 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients including the leftover BBQ meat (except bacon) mix to combine.Pour into Pyrex casserole dish. Place bacon slices across top. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

I use the real deal BBQ sauce (they do make no/low sugar ones) I figure 1/2 cup spread out over an entire dish (a good 6 portions for non-ops) really just gives the beans the taste. I don't have issues with it but if you do there are some products out there. I use a combo of two BBQ sauces (a brown one and a redder one.)

More ideas for repurposing restaurant leftovers

Lotsa Love for Leftovers 1
Lotsa Love for Leftovers 2
Lotsa Love for Leftovers 3
Lotsa Love for Leftovers 4
Lotsa Love for Leftovers 5
Lotsa Love for Leftovers 6
Lotsa Love for Leftovers 7

More Strategies for Eating Out After Weight Loss Surgery

Nom Alert - Celebrate Vitamins New Soft Chew

At the last weight loss surgery event I attended I got a chance to sample the latest bariatric multivitamin option from Celebrate Vitamins and now I'm happy to share they are available for purchase and to try before you buy sample packs (I love that they do this.) Celebrate Vitamins understands our rearranged guts and absorption issues and design products with that in mind. These NEW Multivitamin Soft Chews were developed to match the same level of vitamins that are found in Celebrate's chewable multivitamin and well they taste GREAT! If you have to have something every day for the rest of your life it's nice to look forward to it. Orange is like a 50/50 Creamsicle Bar. Also available in Very Berry.

Check them out:

Supplement Facts (as always print and share with your bariatric team for there thumbs up)

While at the last event my pal and fellow blogger Beth made a wacky video review of the then super secret taste test. If you want a chuckle:

Check out Celebrate Vitamins on Facebook (tell 'em Eggface sent you)

If you are not taking your vitamins post weight loss surgery. Here's my soapbox PSA: It's not an option. You must. So many post-operative issues and complications can be avoided if we just make sure to take our vitamins every day. Off soapbox. 

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Sunday Brunch: Big Train Chocolate Chai Crepes

I had one single packet of Big Train Spiced Chai Fit Frappe left in my protein stash. I could have just mixed it with milk or water and drank it but Sunday mornings I have the time to get a little more in-depth with breakfast. Here's what I made instead...

Shelly's Chocolate Chai Protein Crepes

2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Soy Milk (I use Silk Vanilla)
1/4 cup minus 1 Tablespoon Water
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla)
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
1/2 cup Spelt Flour
3 Tablespoons Protein Powder (I used Big Train Spiced Chai Fit Frappe)
1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa (baking aisle)
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
dash of Salt

Blend all ingredients on low till thoroughly combined. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a half-hour.

Spray a non-stick 8 to 10 inch crepe pan with Pam. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and twirl it around to spread the batter in a thin circle. Cook till top appears dry and flip. Cook a minute or so on other side. Repeat till all batter is used.

While you are making them you can keep them warm in a low oven 200 degrees or nuke for 20 seconds before serving. Makes 8-10 crepes depending on size of pan. Yes, you can use a fry pan but crepe pans with their shallow sides make the process so much easier. They are under $15 usually. Leftovers are surprisingly good cold or you can nuke them for 20 seconds or so. The keep great in the fridge for a couple of days. Mmmm smeared with almond butter, wrapped in foil, this will be a yummy breakfast on the go.

This morning I topped mine with Ricotta (1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese sweetened with a Tablespoon of SF Apricot Jam) and chopped Strawberries from the Farmer's Market. Other great toppings or fillings: Greek Yogurt, Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Sugar Free Jam, Cottage Cheese, SF Maple Syrup, Homemade No Sugar Added Whippped Cream.

Own a waffle maker? Big Train Spiced Chai makes to die for waffles.

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