Heads up: Sugar Free Belgian Cookie Torani Syrup

Belgian Cookies (aka Speculoos cookies) are a type of spiced shortcrust cookie traditionally eaten during St Nicholas' feast in the Netherlands. Torani's awesome mad scientists have developed a Sugar Free Syrup that tastes just like those cookies... just for meeeeee! OK not really for me but I am really jazzed about it.

I've already flavored my coffee, Sugar Free Cocoa, made No Sugar Added Homemade Whipped Cream and this Protein Shake.

Shelly's Sugar-Free Belgian Cookie Protein Shake

8 oz. any Milk
2 Tablespoons Torani Sugar-Free Belgian Cookie Syrup
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
a few ice cubes

Whiz on high in the blender. Optional: top with No Sugar Added Homemade Belgian Cookie Whipped Cream. 

Shelly's No Sugar Added Homemade Belgian Cookie Whipped Cream 

1 cup Whipping Cream
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free Belgian Cookie 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'm so excited about this new Sugar-Free Belgian Cookie flavor. If it wasn't so darn chilly today I'd churn a batch of protein ice cream with it. I'm going to mix it in some Greek yogurt tonight and dip some apple slices in it. FYI: I spotted it on the shelves at my World Market but if you don't have one of those stores near you I'm sure it will start being more readily available soon.

Drum Roll...

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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. My menu yesterday...

Breakfast: Last week I noticed my car was throbbing when it was idling and by Friday is was pretty bad so I took "Gustavo" in. Gustavo (he's a 1997) needs to last forever since any $ went to pay for RNY and post-op plastics (I was a self pay.) I nabbed the crack o' dawn appointment and was out of there in an hour. All fixed up... to the tune of $200. Always something. I whizzed up a protein shake before I took off and had a 1/2 a protein bar while I waited.

Shelly's Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake

8 oz. Vanilla Soy Milk (any milk will do)
1 scoop Celebrate Vitamins ENS - Multivitamin, Calcium, & Protein Shake in Vanilla Cake Batter flavor
2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Puree (not pie filling)
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Vanilla or Pumpkin Spice Torani Syrup
dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice
3-4 Ice Cubes

Blend on high. Topped it with another dash of Pumpkin Pie Spice.

They give out free danish and cookies at the car dealership but of course nothing I can have so I dug into my purse and ate 1/2 of a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Protein Bar in my super groovy protein bar holder.

I made it over to the Farmer's Market at almost the regular time I go. Picked up lots of great stuff for meals this week: a huge banana squash, a spaghetti squash, yellow summer squash, onions, garlic, avocado, apples, raspberries and strawberries (I was amazed they still are sweet.) I also bought some gyros meat from the Greek Food vendor (it's not on the menu but I said, "Can I just get a little meat in a box?" he charged me a couple of bucks) I had a plan for it for lunch.

I dropped my haul off at home and went over to the Methodist Church Annual Craft Faire. I've gone the last few years. I love to see all the creative things people come up with each year. Other than cooking I'm not that creative. My Mum and I have made a few cool things together over the years (our tote bags, we make some sort of fun Christmas ornament every year, oh and my famous coin purse) but I am the ideas (mostly) and she is the execution. After my expensive morning with Gustavo I didn't do much but look but I did buy a beautiful crocheted throw. I was drawn to it... it was so cheerful looking. Oh and a huge bag of used paperbacks for my Mum which once she reads will get re-recycled at the senior center.

Lunch: I came home a turned the gyros meat into these...

Shelly's Greek Gyros Bites

1/2 cup cooked Spinach
5 Eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cooked Gyros Meat (great use for leftovers)
1/4 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
2 Tablespoons Kalamata Olives, chopped
1 Teaspoon Oregano
a few twists of Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F. Saute spinach. Set aside to cool. Mix all ingredients together. Be sure spinach mixture has cooled slightly before adding to egg mixture. Spoon (I use a small ice cream scoop) into a lightly greased non-stick mini muffin tin. Bake for 30 minutes or until centers are firm. Makes 24.

More Eggface Bites (aka Crustless Quiches)

Dinner: My go-to dinner when I don't want to clean-up much. I sliced up a yellow squash for each packet, a green onion, tilapia, drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of sea salt and "Northwest Seafood Seasoning" a blend I picked up at the store the other day (basically: celery seed, dill, paprika, garlic powder, lemon zest, onion powder, pepper) Toss the packets on the BBQ for 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish)

Snacks: Some fun Halloween baking took place last night. Shelly's Vampire Fang Protein Mini Muffins.

I made a batch of my Triple Chocolate Mini Protein Muffins and added 2 Silvered Almond "fangs" and some warm Sugar Free Strawberry Jam "blood." Mmmm tasted like a chocolate covered strawberry.

More Days in my pouch.

My Current Favorite Random Acts of Kindness Ideas

1. A pal of mine Marlys shared this idea the other day on Facebook, I absolutely loved it and I had to make a few. She called them "Blessing Bags." Basically, they are bags to keep in the car to share with those in need and homeless people in your neighborhoods. I just passed one out yesterday.

It's a nice project to do with kids (your own whippersnappers, Girl Scout Troops or Boy Scouts, Sunday School Class) to teach them about caring for others. You'll need a few Gallon Size Ziploc Bags and the stuff (The $1 store is great place to find stuff for your bags and on your next trip save those hotel courtesy shampoos, lotion, etc.)

Ideas for items to include in your "Blessing Bags"

Packages of tissues
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Nuts or Trail Mix
Raisins, Applesauce, Fruit Cup
Protein or Granola Bars
Tuna or Chicken Salad Kit
First Aid Kit
Sewing Kit
Drink Mix
Coins or a couple of bucks
Grocery Store or local Restaurant Gift Card
Hand Wipes
Pen/Mini Notebook
Feminine Products
Depending on the weather in your area you could also put in a Warm Pair of Socks, a Rain Poncho, Hot Hands.

I plan on keeping a couple in the car and if I haven't given them out in a month or so I'll swap them out with new ones and donate these to my local food bank.

2. Do you read magazines or paperback books? I know with the advent of Kindles and digital books the numbers have dwindled but I know there are still some of you who like to feel the pages of a real book. What do you do with them when you are finished reading them? Do they go on a shelf or get stacked in a pile in the corner of that room you dump stuff in? I would like to suggest you find the address of your local senior center and donate the books there.

My Mum is old school and reads paperbacks. I usually score a big bag at the Friends of the Library or Thrift Store for her once a month and she tears through them. I used to just send them back to where I got them but when I was checking on something once at city hall I got into a chat with a lady who said she brought her books to the seniors. Most are on Social Security income (scary little $) and can't afford $6-7 bucks for a book. I can not tell you how jazzed they are to get new books, their eyes lit up. Made my day! I put an empty box in the garage and when I get a dozen or so books (doesn't take long with my Mum) I drop them off. To find your nearest senior center call your local government office or your state's Department of Aging.

3. The day after Halloween when you are surrounded by candy have your kids pick out a few of their favs and consider donating the rest to the troops. Operation Gratitude (awesome organization) makes up care packages for the troops and includes some candy in the boxes. Something to make friends with local kids with or a taste of home. They have some very specific guidelines to follow to donate so here's the web page with all the 411.

I don't give out candy at the house. The neighborhood kids will get lots of candy but from my house. Yes, I am THAT house. They are getting something off my Alternatives to Halloween Candy List.

Trust me your kids with be thrilled with the handful of Butterfingers and Snickers they keep and get into helping the troops. Get that candy out of the house. Sobering stats: Eat 4 "fun size" candy bars and you've consumed approximately 320 calories. You will need to walk 3.4 miles to burn them off. Now that's not so fun.

and Here's another fun project I hope you will JOIN ME in.

The Eggface Fall Cooking Giveaway

I have always loved to cook. It's my creative outlet. I was scared that having weight loss surgery would put an end to my days in the kitchen but happily it did not. I actually get to be even more creative by analyzing a favorite recipe and seeing where I can make changes to make a healthier version of a pre-op favorite. To celebrate that...

It's Giveaway Time!

The Prize: A few of my favorite gadgets and pantry staples to get you cooking...

12 Cup Mini Muffin Tin
1.5 quart Colander
Set of Measuring Cups
Julienne Peeler (you must make my Pasta-less Turkey Bolognese)
Wavy Knife
Mini Cutting Board
Almond Meal
Multigrain Pancake Mix
Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Mini Sampler Set of Sugar Free Torani Syrups (4 - 150 ml mini bottles in SF Caramel, SF Raspberry, SF Vanilla, and SF Hazelnut)

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 something you love about Fall.

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

* Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway: Hey everyone enter the @Eggface Fall Cooking Giveaway http://tinyurl.com/kdhsp5o #health #weight #food #recipes

* 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, October 27th, midnight (pacific), sometime Monday, October 28th. 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.)

Shelly's Mini Enchilada Cups

Shelly's Shrimp Alfredo Pasta-less Zucchini Pasta

 Good Luck!

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Halloween Spooky Spider Web Tortilla Pizza

Spiders and I have an agreement. If they stay outside or out of my sight line, they can live a long, happy, spider web making life. If they run across my bathroom floor or the hallway in my house and scare the beejeebees out of me they get the vacuum.

Better yet. Stay out and I'll just make this Spooky Spider Web Tortilla Pizza.

You'll need: a dollop of Sauce (tomato, pesto, alfredo, BBQ whatever you like) a Mozzarella Cheese Stick, 2 Black Olives and a Tortilla. I used my favs Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Fajita Size and some pesto sauce.

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a baking sheet lightly with non-stick spray. Place tortilla on tray. Spread with sauce. Peel cheese stick to make web pieces. Add spider (half of an olive and 8 slices for legs) Bake for 10 minutes.

More Spooktacular Healthy Treats

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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. My menu yesterday...

Breakfast: Farmer's Market morning. I was out the door with a breakfast parfait of Pineapple Cottage Cheese and Mandarin Oranges. Got some great stuff at the market... a huge bag of sweet onions, a spaghetti squash, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, an apple pear (never tried one), avocado (I've been wanting that Avocado Turkey Roll-up I make.) Hmmm I think that was all.

More Grab and Go Breakfast Ideas

Lunch: After the Farmer's Market we walked up 3 blocks to our beautiful City of Temecula Civic Center where the St. Nicolas Church was holding their annual Greek Festival. I love Greek Festivals (well all festivals really) I love the dancing and music and especially the people watching. Greek food is especially weight loss surgery friendly... Chicken, Greek Yogurt, Feta Cheese, Gyros. I had a Gyros Salad. It wasn't on the menu but I basically told them, "You know that Greek Salad on the menu (lettuce, feta, tomatoes, kalamata olives, cucumbers, and a oregano laced vinaigrette) would you toss some Gyros meat on top?" We came up with a price and voila a new weight loss surgery friendly dish was born. The ladies taking orders were impressed with my creation so I wouldn't be surprised if it makes the menu next year.

If it's on the menu don't be afraid to ask for something adapted even at festivals.

Strategies for Eating Out Post Weight Loss Surgery

I shared this with my Mum though I did eat all the kalamata olives. Love those suckers. The Festival continues today so there's still time to get your gyro-on local pals. I seriously might go back today for some gyros to take it home. Gyros leftovers are great to repurpose.

I regretted having not first dropped off my heavy Farmer's Market haul at the car before walking over to the festival when I won a tabletop ceramic firepot door prize. Unexpected arm workout.

Came home and did a bunch of cleaning and laundry. Oh joy!

Dinner: I jazzed up some of that awesome Pumpkin Soup from Trader Joe's. I sauteed a sweet onion, tossed in some cooked sausage and then the soup and served it with a wedge of Mushroom Quesadilla (just sauteed sliced Mushrooms and Italian Blend Shredded Cheese on a Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Fajita Size Tortilla.) It was 91 degrees yesterday :( I want sweater weather, pumpkins, changing leaves (well maybe not the raking), casseroles. This soup is so Fall despite what the outside temperature read...

Snacks: Too much coffee (though those splashes of soy milk in them add up to a nice boost in my protein count) and a sliced apple with a plop of Almond Butter I purchased at the Greek Festival.

More Days in my pouch.

Halloween Bento Box Lunch

It's become a tradition around these parts to make a Halloween themed Bento Box full of spooky foods. Here's this year's edition...

Pink Box (top left): Shelly's Meatball Eyeballs
Green Box (top right): Shelly's Pile of Worms
Blue Box (bottom left): Shelly's Candy Corn Tortilla Pizza
Orange Box (bottom right): Shelly's Bloody Brain Mini Protein Muffin

Online Bento Box Source 

Shelly's Meatball Eyeballs

Your favorite Meatballs (storebought or homemade) simmered till tender in tomato sauce. With a chopstick or pointy end of a utensil dig out a small amount of the center of the the Meatball and insert a Spanish Pimento Stuffed Olive. Sometimes I feel like somebody's watching me...

Shelly's Pile of Worms

Saute Bean Sprouts till tender and bendy. Stir in a tablespoon (to a pound bag) of Soy Sauce cook for a minute. Great Asian noodle alternative to serve with stirfry dishes if you can put this Halloween use out of your mind.

Shelly's Candy Corn Tortilla Pizza

You'll need 3 cheeses: I used Provolone (white), Cheddar (darker orange), and American (light orange) and a Tortilla. I used my favs Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat Fajita Size. Preheat oven to 375. Place the tortilla on a lightly Pam non-stick sprayed baking sheet and into the oven for 5 minutes. Flip and place cheeses on top.

Bake for 5 more minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into "candy corn" wedges.

Shelly's Bloody Brain Mini Protein Muffin

Any of my Protein Mini Muffin recipes will do (Pumpkin, Pistachio, Almond, Chocolate, there's more flavors in the archives) Top one with a teaspoon of Sugar Free Strawberry or Raspberry Jam and a Walnut half.

More Creepy Halloween Healthy Treats:

Halloween Bento
Shelly's Mummy Tortilla Pizza
Shelly's Deviled Egg Spiders
Halloween Bento
Shelly's Poor Barbie Protein Shake
Shelly's Healthy Halloween Fluff Stuff
Shelly's Halloween Jack-o-Lantern Jars with Harvest Mix

More Healthy Halloween Ideas can be found on My Pinterest Halloween Page

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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. My yesterday...

Breakfast: This tasted exactly like a Blueberry Muffin.

Shelly's Blueberry Muffin Protein Shake

1 packet of Celebrate Vitamins Vanilla Cake Batter ENS
8 oz. Milk (any will do, I do Soy)
1/4 cup Frozen Blueberries
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Vanilla Torani Syrup
a dash of Cinnamon
a few ice cubes

Whiz on high in a blender. I topped it with No Sugar Added Homemade Vanilla Whipped Cream.

Lunch: I made a batch of  my Garbanzo and Green Bean Salad. I love salads like this because they get even better the next day when all the ingredients get a chance to love on each other. This one is one of my favorites.

I've had the most hideous neck and shoulder pain this week. I'm blaming the beds at the ObesityHelp Conference. They were rock hard. I thought maybe sitting in the sun would help work it out so I packed up my bento box and walked over to the park to sit in the sun for a half hour. It helped a bit. I miss Motrin 800. Tylenol just doesn't cut it.

Pink Box (top left): Shelly's Garbanzo and Green Bean Salad
Green Box (top right):
Herby Yogurt Dip (Greek Yogurt, Oregano, Mint, Salt & Pepper to taste)
Blue Box (bottom left):
Bell Pepper Slices
Orange Box (bottom right):
Cucumber Slices "My crackers"

More Bento Box Lunches and FAQ's about Bentos  

Dinner: I tossed a fish foil packet on the BBQ. Tilapia, Zucchini, a handful of frozen Spinach, a Green Onion, sprinkle of Italian Seasoning, drizzle of Olive Oil. Wrap everything in foil tightly. Toss on a covered BBQ for 20 (defrosted) - 25 (frozen) minutes and depending on the thickness of the filet. Don't open the lid. Trust me it will come out perfect every time.

 More Foil Packet Dinners

Snacks: A sample of Smoked Gouda at Costco, I was there pricing a new printer. Mine decided to completely die yesterday. The scanner died a month or so ago and now the whole thing went kaput. Always something. Oh and I had a 1/2 of a Quest Protein Bar Double Chocolate Chunk (the latest flavor) while watching DVR'd Grey's Anatomy last night. Quest was supposed to be at the ObesityHelp Conference but they didn't have a booth. I was disappointed I was looking forward to scoring some samples. These new ones are yummy... very brownie like. Definitely gives you a chocolate fix when needed. I want them to make a Pumpkin Bar.

More Days in my pouch.

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ObesityHelp Conference - My Session

This past weekend, I was a speaker at the ObesityHelp 10th Anniversary Conference in Anaheim, CA #OH2013 I was approached back in April to be involved in the event in some form. I agreed but it was important to me that my session was a very different type of session than ObesityHelp had ever done in the past. Generally, conference sessions have someone from the community sharing their story, maybe a video or slideshow, or a motivational speech. It's lovely to hear one person's journey but you all know if you've been with me awhile or can read back in the 7+ years of blog posts about my journey (grab some Tylenol) and I've presented at OH events in the past and done cooking demonstrations in Los Angeles, Northern California, and Philadelphia they were fun but this time I wanted to do something different. I was thankful OH was open to it.

Some of the best and most meaningful exchanges at these conferences occur between a few patients making friends and connecting in the hotel lobby, around the table at breakfast, walking to our rooms, heck even in the ladies room. I wanted to somehow turn those awesome conversations into a session. I wanted people to look at each other, I wanted people to feel like I had invited them over and we were hanging out in my living room chatting. Last year, I saw the perfect room set up at a Fitbloggin session I attended, the room seats were set-up like a theater in the round where new friends and old were looking at right at each other. It was perfect for what I had in mind for my session.

I introduced myself and the topic: "What was your A-ha moment? That something in your life that triggered your wanting to make some healthy changes." I got the sharing starting and then what I hoped (and knew) would happen, happened. The connections began. Lots of laughs and tears as your amazing stories were shared. Thank you to those who attended my session. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I'm so thankful to be on this lifelong journey with you all!

The takeaway message which I put on a bracelet that I gave to those in the room: Remember why you started. When times get tough, when life gets crazy and it will... work, divorces, deaths, moves, illness, money, stress with kids, relationships, the day to day "stuff" and you want to turn to your old pals... Sausalito cookies, Snickers or a bowl of Pasta or three. Remember why you started on this road.

Oh and remove "Weight Loss Failure or Success" from your vocabulary. There is no such thing. There is no finish-line. The day after you hit that magic goal weight number it's just more of the same so just keep moving forward. We are on a road... like any road their will be bumps, twists, curves, good days, bad days, you may have problems that require some assistance, get back on the road and keep moving forward. Find support and strength by staying connected to those that "get it" for you and for them.

I also took part in a more traditional Question and Answers Post-op Panel later in the day.

Lots more weekend stories to share. I'm gathering pictures and will post more about the other sessions, Dr. Sharma's sessions were amazing, the exhibitors (a couple of my favs were in attendance) and of course some fun from the costume party and fashion show probably later today.

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Obesity Action Coalition FREE Educational Webinar Series

Heads up: The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is hosting a FREE Educational Webinar Series beginning October 8 (tomorrow and every Tuesday in October on Google+) This is your opportunity to benefit from the OAC’s unparalleled education and learn from experts on topics such as popular weight-loss trends, improving self-perception, practical tactics for good nutrition, and the science behind willpower.

Webinar 1 – October 8 at 8:00 pm EST.
Does that Really Work? Deciphering Popular Weight-loss Trends
Speaker: Molly Gee, MEd, RD, LD
Moderator: Robert Kushner, MD

Webinar 2 – October 15 at 8:00 pm EST.
Who’s Staring back at You in the Mirror? Improving Self-Perception
Speaker: Merrill Littleberry, LCSW, LCDC, CCM, CI-CPT
Moderator: Lloyd Stegemann, MD, FASMBS

Webinar 3 – October 22 at 8:00 pm EST.
Who’s in Control? The Science behind Willpower
Speaker: Sean Connolly, PhD
Moderator: Lloyd Stegemann, MD, FASMBS

Webinar 4 – October 29 at 8:00 pm EST.
Planning, Shopping and Dining: Practical Tactics for Good Nutrition
Speaker: Dawn Jackson-Blatner, RD, CSSD
Moderator: Pam Davis, RN, BSN, CBN

Click here for all the details and to RSVP for these FREE Educational Webinars. RSVPing is not required but will allow OAC to send you a reminder and communicate with the webinar attendees.

I'll be listening in. Hope you will too.

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Heading to ObesityHelp's 10th Anniversary Conference

Making the short drive west to Anaheim, CA. for the ObesityHelp 10th Anniversary Conference. I'll be facilitating a group chat and participating in a Weight Loss Surgery Post-op Q&A Panel tomorrow. Hope to see some of you at those.

If you are local and want to join in I believe on-site registration is available. Here's all the 411 about the event.

Be sure to follow my tweets I'll be posting pics and sharing some of the event fun while I'm there.

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