Crafty - Halloween Jack-o-Lantern Jars

I was perusing Pinterest the other day and thought this was cute I had to recreate it. They kind of reminded me of those cool centerpieces I made for my Southern California Meet & Greet a few years back.

You Need:

1 glass round Roly Poly Votive (they look like little fish bowls)
1 glass Candle Stick Holder
Jack-o-lantern Face Clings (or Black Electrical Tape or Paper)
Stuff to fill it
Optional: Quake wax

I bought the votive and the candle stick at the Dollar Store. I found the Cling Film Faces (like Colorforms) at JoAnn's Fabric and Craft Store but you could even just use black construction paper and tape or electrical tape to make a face.

If you have pets or kiddos that might knock it down, I'd suggest a little Quake Wax to attach the votive to the candle stick. It's pretty safe in my house so I just placed it on top. Now watch as I send it flying ;)

I filled mine with a "Harvest Mix" of Cinnamon Cheerios, Pumpkin Almonds, and Red Walnuts. Other suggestions: Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds), Mixed Nuts, Granola or Non-edible things like Buttons, Beads or Potpourri.

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Happy National Pancake Day!

September 26th is National Pancake Day! Some of my favorite healthier and weight loss surgery friendly ways to celebrate. I'm celebrating with these savory pancakes (think potato-less potato pancakes)

Weight Loss Health Fitness Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Food Cooking

Shelly's Bruschetta Pancakes

1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
3 Tablespoons Multigrain Pancake Mix
1 teaspoon Parsley
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Bruschetta Topping
2-3 Tomatoes, chopped
Fresh Basil, finely chopped
dash of Oregano
Salt to taste
a few twists of Black Pepper
drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar

Mix together Bruschetta Topping and set aside. Mix pancake ingredients together. Spray non-stick pan with Pam. Cook on low till bubbles appear, flip. Cook till done. Makes 8 pancakes. Top with Bruschetta Topping.

Note: I used whole milk ricotta if you use part skim. Drain through a sieve lined with a coffee filter for several hours or overnight in the fridge. Avoid ricotta that says "creamier formula" you want regular ricotta. These pancakes can be made ahead and reheated.

More Ways to Celebrate Pancake Day in a Healthier Way...

Weight Loss Health Fitness Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Food Cooking

Shelly's Variety Pancake Bites
Shelly's Ricotta Cheese Pistachio Pancakes
Shelly's Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Weight Loss Health Fitness Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Food Cooking Shelly's Chocolate Coconut Pancakes
Shelly's Healthified Crepe Suzette
Shelly's Strawberry Cheesecake Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Weight Loss Health Fitness Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Food Cooking Shelly's Chocolate Chai Protein Crepes
Shelly's Caramel Apple Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Shelly's Baked Blueberry Pancake (Clafoutis -ish) 

Weight Loss Health Fitness Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Food Cooking

Shelly's Chocolate Monkey Pancakes
Shelly's Butterscotch Crunch Ricotta Pancakes

Weight Loss Health Fitness Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Food Cooking

Shelly's Savory Pesto Pancakes
Shelly's Sweet Zucchini Pancakes
Shelly's Sausage Pancake Bites

Weight Loss Health Fitness Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Food Cooking Shelly's Crepes
Shelly's Potato-less Potato Pancakes
Shelly's Savory Garbanzo Bean Crepes

Weight Loss Health Fitness Bariatric Surgery Low Carb Food Cooking Nom nom nom.

Drum Roll...

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Happy Fall! Trader Joe's Pumpkin Soup

It's back! Trader Joe's Pumpkin Soup. I absolutely fell in love with this soup last year but it's one of those seasonal items at Trader Joe's so when the holidays are over it's gone. I was roaming the aisles yesterday and was so jazzed to see it back. Ummm, I might have bought 10. It's in a shelf stable container and has super long expiration date, 2 years or something crazy but yeah it'll be looooong eaten before then.

On it's own it's tasty and all but just not that much protein so last year I ate it with a couple of my Bites (aka crustless quiches) or a wedge of a quesadilla. It's basically pumpkin puree and seasonings like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg but the way I made it today (with added chicken and veggies) you have a delicious SUPER QUICK, SUPER EASY, 4 ingredient meal protein packed meal. It comes together faster than you can get through the fast food drive-thru line. The soup is 1.79 a box, even adding chicken, onions and celery. It's a pretty cheap but hearty meal.

Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric WLS RNY VSG Cooking Food Menus

Shelly's Quick Pumpkin Chicken Stew

1 - 17.6 oz container Trader Joe's Pumpkin Soup
1 cup Cooked Chicken (great use for leftover rotisserie)
1 Yellow Onion, diced
2 stalks Celery, diced
Salt to taste
a few twists of Black Pepper

Saute onion and celery till onion is golden and celery is soften. Toss in cooked chicken. Add soup and warm through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2-3 good sized bowls.

It tastes like a bowl of Thanksgiving. It is so good.

I was brainstorming other things I could add next time... maybe some black beans and chicken for a Southwest spin or some cooked ham and maybe some sage.

If you can't get a hold of the soup base... I'm sure a pretty good sub would be a can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling) thinned with chicken broth or evaporated milk and some added fall spices. 

More Eggface Pumpkin Yumminess:

Shelly's Pumpkin Protein Mini Muffins
Shelly's Pumpkin Ricotta Pancakes
Shelly's Pumpkin Protein Souffle
Shelly's Pumpkin Spice Protein Ice Cream
Shelly's Great Pumpkin Hot Cocoa
Shelly's Pumpkin Praline Ricotta Bake
Shelly's Pumpkin Banana Protein Shake
Shelly's 5 Minute Pumpkin Spice Protein Cake
Shelly's Pumpkin Protein Pudding
Shelly's Protein Packed Pumpkin Greek Yogurt Dip 

Happy First Day of Fall! 

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Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: 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.

Breakfast: Went for a walk and came home with breakfast. We have 6 (seriously 6) Starbucks within walking distance from my house so they aren't easy to avoid. Starbucks Oatmeal with Nuts. I added a dash of cinnamon and a splash of soy.

Starbucks Breakfast Hacks 

Lunch: After a few weeks of the heatwave from hell. We are in for at least a few days of weather perfection. I am so jazzed I get to turn the oven on more. Prepare to be inundated with casseroles. I made these little mini meatloaf muffins and filled my bento box and took my lunch outside.

Lunchbox Recipes Ideas

Pink Box (top left):  Shelly's Turkey Mexican Mini Meatloaf Muffins
Green Box (top right):  Taco Yogurt Dip (Greek Yogurt, Taco Seasoning, Salt & Pepper to taste)
Blue Box (bottom left): Cucumber Spears
Orange Box (bottom right): 1/2 a bar of the brand new flavor of  Quest Protein Bars Double Chocolate Chunk. Mmm tastes like a brownie.

Low Carb Recipes Dinner

Shelly's Turkey Mexican Mini Meatloaf Muffins

1 1/4 pound package Ground Turkey
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 cup Oatmeal, dry
1/4 cup Milk
1/4 cup Mild Green Chilies, diced
1/4 cup Leftover Corn
1/4 cup Pico de Gallo (salsa basically)
1 teaspoon Taco Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
dash of Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 24 cup non-stick mini muffin tin with Pam cooking spray. Mix oats and milk together and set aside for about 5 minutes. Add all ingredients (including oat/milk mixture) and mix till well combined. I use a mini ice cream scoop to scoop rounded mounds into each muffin section.

Low Carb Dinner Recipes

Bake for 30 minutes. Leftovers are great heated up. I put a 1/4 of a piece of cheese on each, put them under the broiler and turn them into "cheeseburgers."

More Bento Box lunches

Dinner: Shelly's Quick Cowboy Chicken. Super easy and quick meal. It's 4 ingredients basically.

Eggface Dinner Recipes Low Carb Protein Healthy WLS Bariatric Dinners

I tossed some chicken breasts on the BBQ grill. While they were cooking, I sliced and sauteed a Maui sweet onion and seasoned it with salt & pepper. Topped the cooked chicken with a teaspoon of BBQ sauce, a big dollop of the cooked onions and a 1/2 slice of cheddar cheese.

Recipes Eggface Weight Loss Surgery Meal Plans

Bariatric dinners

Broiled the whole thing till the cheese was bubbly and gooey. Yum. I ate it as is but it would be great with a little salad, a veggie, or some beans.

Weight Loss Dinners

Here's a similar Italian Quick Chicken Dinner 

Snacks: Too much coffee, the other half of the new Quest Bar and I needed to taste test a recipe for a protein shake that I'm entering into a "Ghoulish Delights" Halloween Cooking Contest so that was my snack. I'll post it. It's too funny (creepy) not to share.

More days in my pouch.

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Poor Barbie Protein Shake

My Halloween themed Protein Shake for a contest I'm entering. Poor, poor Barbie. It seems she had an unfortunate accident.

Shelly's Poor Barbie Protein Shake

1 scoop Vanilla or Strawberry Protein Powder (any brand)
8 oz. Milk (any, I do Soy)
2 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (SF Strawberry, Raspberry, Black Cherry - Barbie Pink)
a couple of frozen strawberries and/or a few ice cubes

Whiz on high in a blender. Pour into a glass, top with Strawberry No Sugar Added Whipped Cream and insert "body parts."

For body parts: you will need to dismember one new "Barbie" doll. The dollar store is a great source.

Shelly's Homemade No Sugar Added Strawberry Whipped Cream

1 cup Whipping Cream
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Strawberry Torani Syrup (any flavor works BTW)

Whisk till well combined. Fill whipping cream to the fill line of the whipper. Screw on the top. Insert the CO2 cartridge till it empties, unscrew that. Put the nozzle on, shake a few times and squirt away. It makes a ton, store it in the fridge for up to 10 days just give it another few shakes before squirting. Soooo good.

I know... sick and twisted. Happy Halloween!

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The World According to Eggface Facebook 15,000 Giveaway

This past month was a little crazy and at some point my blog's Facebook page reached the milestone of 15,000 LIKES. I look at that number as 15,000+ pals getting healthy together. I personally believe having a support network and staying active in the community helps "keep my head in the game." Sharing this ride with all of you and never feeling alone is AWESOME! THANK YOU!

and... Thank You for sharing the blog with your pals on Facebook, Twitter and in weight loss surgery related forums and support groups you belong to. It is appreciated.

I think this deserves a fun celebration so... It's Giveaway Time!

The Prize: A Nike Gym Bag Hit the gym, Zumba class, or use it as your carry-on when you join me in Orlando next year at #YWM2014 and it's jam packed with some of my post weight loss surgery bariatric favorites...

Celebrate Vitamins Calcium Plus 500 (Chewable Cherry Tart) 90 ct.
Celebrate Vitamins Multivitamin (Chewable Grape) 60 ct.
Celebrate Vitamins Multivitamin Soft Chew (Orange) 60 ct.

15 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) one of my favorite recommendations for new post-ops. Great as a shake but also yummy mixed Greek yogurt or turned into these High Protein Greek Yogurt Cubes.

1 - 14 Serving Tub (1.11 lbs.) of Chike Nutrition High Protein Iced Coffee

3 of the latest flavors of Quest Protein Bars (Banana Bread, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and White Chocolate Raspberry) 

1 Package of Krave Jerky (Lemon Garlic Turkey)

2 Packages of Crucha-ma-me Freeze Dried Edamame (Lightly Seasoned and Chive & Onion)

2 Packages Of Perky Jerky (Turkey and Beef)

1 Single Serving Packet of BiPro Unflavored Protein

1 sample packet of PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter (Some ways I use it)

1 20 oz. Black Blenderball Shaker

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

and a Red Your Weight Matters Bracelet

How to Enter: 1.) LIKE The World According to Eggface Facebook Page 2.) 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... tell me what you most want to try in the prize package or favorite item if you've already tried them all.

***Want extra chances to win?***

* Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway: Hey everyone enter the @Eggface BIG Facebook 15000 Giveaway #health #weight #food #fitness

* Follow me on Pinterest and pin at least one of your favorite Eggface recipes or an Eggface recipe you'd like to try to one of your Pinterest boards.

Contest Period Ends: Sunday, September 22nd, midnight (Pacific), sometime Monday, September 23rd. 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 (aka have LIKED) of the The World According to Eggface. 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 contiguous United States (48 contiguous only, sorry it's a legal and $ thing.)

Good Luck!

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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.

Breakfast: I made a Breakfast Egg Bowl. Scrambled Egg, a dollop of Pico de Gallo (like salsa but chunkier and less saucy, find it in the refrigerator section) and a sprinkle of Colby Jack Cheese.

Lunch: Leftover BBQ Brisket became Shelly's Cowboy Tortilla Pizza: Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Fajita Size Tortilla, a smear of leftover Refried Beans, the Brisket, a sprinkle of Cheese. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Add a teaspoon of BBQ sauce drizzle and broil for about a minute.

More Tortilla Pizzas  

Dinner: Fish Taco Foil Dinner Packet. Tilapia (any white fish will do, Roughy, Cod), Pico de Gallo, Green Onion, McCormick Perfect Pinch Salt Free Fiesta Citrus Seasoning, tightly wrapped in foil and BBQ'd 20 minutes (adjust up slightly if using really thick piece of fish.)

Open carefully. Add Avocado, a dollop of Shelly's Cilantro Slaw, Greek Yogurt, sprinkle of Cheese, squeeze of Lime. Southern Californians get this. It's a San Diego thing. Trust me it's delicious.

More Foil Packet Dinners

Snacks: Cups of coffee and you know that Trader Joe's Cold Brewed Coffee Concentrate I shared the other day. I used it to make a yummy dip for apples.

Shelly's Caramel Macchiato Apple Dip

4 oz. Greek Yogurt
1 Tablespoon-ish (to taste) Trader Joe's Cold Brewed Coffee Concentrate
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Caramel Syrup

Mix together. Dip sliced apples or eat as is. Mix some protein powder in for more bang for your buck. 

More days in my pouch.
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How September 11th Changed My Life

The tragedy of September 11th, was one of the motivating factors in my deciding to get healthy and ultimately have weight loss surgery. After my Dad died at 67 years old (weight related death: sleep apnea, heart failure) it began to hit home that I was probably on a similar path but when I heard the stories of people evacuating the Twin Towers on 9/11 I knew...

I sat on my bed watching the horror that morning. I remember hearing the news reports that people were having to climb down 80+ flights of narrow, dark stairs to escape the buildings. The brave firefighters, many of which lost their lives that day, were squeezing past them as they climbed up with their hoses and gear to help those trapped above the impact zone. When those evacuated eventually reached the bottom they were faced with no buses, subways, or taxis and had to continue walking to safety. I watched as hundreds walked over the Brooklyn Bridge away from the area. I began to think... What if that was me? How would I ever do that? Climb down 80 flights of stairs, squeeze past those firefighters, walk for miles. I can't walk across a parking lot without being out of breath. I can't walk the length of the mall without stopping on a bench. I knew my life had to change.

It took several years before I finally was able to make that change and a few more before I made that walk across the Brooklyn Bridge...

Every September 11th I remember the day that changed us forever as a nation, the day the best and worst of humanity was displayed, the evil, the innocent lives lost, the courage, but I also remember that day as the day that changed me forever.

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Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: 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.

Breakfast: An old breakfast favorite emerges. Shelly's Cinnamon Apple Walnut Salad. I went on a kick with this breakfast awhile back so much so I think I burnt myself out of it but I bought the most beautiful Fuji apples at the Farmer's Market and this was the perfect use. I was out of cranberries so a few golden raisins were subbed.

Lunch: We're in the middle of a heatwave from hell. 104 degrees and unusually high humidity for more than a week. I don't want to turn on the oven or stove to heat up the house, I don't want to stand in front of it cooking and cleaning up needs to be minimal too. So I tossed a couple chicken breasts on the grill at the crack of dawn. My neighbors must have wondered why they were smelling BBQing chicken while they were eating their Cheerios. I filled my bento box with lunch (sort of Greek themed) and took it to the park to eat.

Pink Box (top left):  Greek Salad (Romaine, Kalamata Olives, Feta, Tomato)
Orange Box (top right):  Shelly's Sweet Almond Mini Protein Muffins
Blue Box (bottom left): Grilled Chicken
Green Box (bottom right): Herby Yogurt Dip (Greek Yogurt, Oregano, Mint, Salt & Pepper to taste)

Shelly's Sweet Almond Mini Protein Muffins

1 Egg, beaten
3 Tablespoons Milk
2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Almond)
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
3 Tablespoons Multigrain Pancake Mix
2 Tablespoons Almond Meal (storebought or make your own with a coffee grinder & almonds)
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
Pinch salt
a few sliced Almonds for the top

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.

Optional: I placed 2 Tablespoons of sliced Almonds in a pan with 1 Tablespoon of SF Torani Almond Syrup and sauteed them till syrup was absorbed and almond had a little golden tinge. Cool. I placed a few on top of each muffin. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until knife inserted comes out clean. Makes 12.

More Eggface Bento Box Lunches 

While I was enjoying nature at the park everything in my house decided to break. I got home and flipped on the garbage disposal. Kaput. An hour or so later I went over to the freezer to get some ice (to make an Iced Coffee, more about this great find below) and I found a bag of defrosting ice. Checked the fridge section. Yep. Kaput. It's only 3 years old (P.S. Don't buy a Whirlpool Refrigerator.) Thankfully, I hadn't done a lot of shopping lately. I was cautious in case we had a power failure in this heatwave. Sadly, I still had to toss some stuff. So I have a fridge in the garage that is tiding me over till sometime next week when I can replace it with something... or not. I might just bring the garage fridge in. It's smaller and there is no light in the freezer (annoying) but it's paid for... ugh I hate unexpected expenses.

I was hot and emptying the fridge and freezer made me even hotter so I decided to use a Red Lobster gift certificate I had and sit in their free AC.

Tips for Eating Out at Restaurants Post Weight Loss Surgery

Dinner:  Choose your own combination. I chose Grilled Salmon and Steamed Crab Legs and Roasted Vegetables side. It came with a salad and I boxed that right away. The salad and leftover salmon and crab were repurposed into lunch the next day. When it was pretty...

What I took home (plus the salad)...

More Repurposed Restaurant Leftovers

Snacks: I came home and glared at my fridge and made an Iced Coffee with this new awesome Trader Joe's find: Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate.

I use a couple of Tablespoons in some milk, a squirt of Sugar Free Torani Syrup (excellent with the new Sugar Free S'mores flavor), over ice. It's also great mixed in Greek Yogurt. Mmm coffee yogurt. I dipped apples in it the other night.

This and protein ice cream have been my saviors this heatwave. Earlier in the day I had a few samples of fruit at the  Farmer's Market. I bought some more peaches to make more of those individual Peach Crumbs (Sunday dessert.)

More days in my pouch.

Join me at #OH2013 10th Anniversary National Conference

Come join me next month in Anaheim, CA. for the 10th Anniversary National Conference. I'll be facilitating a Group Discussion: Share your “A-ha!” moment! Friday, October 4th  2:00 pm – 2:50 pm  Mazatlan AI

What prompted you to begin your weight loss journey? Did you have an “A-ha!” moment? Michelle Vicari (aka Eggface from The World According to Eggface) will share her “A-ha!” moment and facilitate an open forum for you to share yours. Get to know each other. Make connections. Celebrate each others decision to make this healthy lifestyle change.

and I also am honored to be a part of a Post-Op Q&A Panel later that day, Friday, October 4th 4:00 pm – 4:50 pm, Location:  Mazatlan Ballroom

Other speakers include: Keynote Speaker Dr Arya M. Sharma, Dr. Timothy Katzen, Dr. Milton Owens, Dr. Alejandro Quiroz, Walter Lindstrom, Esq., Nicole Bullock, Beth Sheldon-Badore, Michelle English BSN, Diana Vogel, MS, MFT, Intern, Mary Wight, R.D., Robanne Robin, Chris Waffle, Terry Row, Dan Benintendi.

There will be a Costume Party (I'll take lots of pictures) and a Fashion Show hosted by Ayeshah Ghrelinbgone. Looks to be a great weekend of celebrating health and life.

If you have never attended an weight loss convention or event I encourage you to do it. It's a great time. Lots of great info and it is amazing to be around so many people who just "get it." Here are some tips for making the most of your convention attendance.

Want to learn more about THIS EVENT. Here's all the 411. I hope to see you there!

As usual I will be tweeting and posting on Facebook during the event so be sure to follow those pages and the official event hashtag #OH2013

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