Eggface 2015 - The Blog Year in Review

A look back at some of my favorite blog posts, healthy recipes and menus, ideas and tips from the past year. My 9th year post weight loss surgery.

January: Happy New Year from Snowy Temecula! (We had snow and not just a dusting, honest to goodness real snow)

February: Oscar Eats: Top Hat Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders (they went on to win Wolfgang Puck's Contest)


March: Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch (a particularly yummy day) and Easy, Elegant, Healthy and DELICIOUS Easter Dinner

Egg Roll Bites

April: All About the Avocado and Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch

May: Cha-cha-cha Chia Jam (I LOVE this stuff) and a great honor the blog was named one of Healthline's Best Obesity Health Blogs of the Year

Eggface Chia Jam

June: 9 years and Stuffed Squash Spaceships

Weight Loss Surgery Patient Advocate

July: Friday Five and Beach Day Snacks

August: 15 Protein Packed & Portable Snacks (or Lunch) and That's a wrap #YWM2015 The Your Weight Matters Convention

Obesity Conference

September: Life After Weight Loss Surgery Q & A - Couldn't you just try exercise and dieting? and Flavors of Fall: Pumpkin Spice Protein Muffins

October: Healthy Travel Tips: Keeping Your Health On Track While Traveling and Life After Weight Loss Surgery Q & A - Long Term Success, Newbie Advice?

Pureed Weight Loss Surgery Menus

November: Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch and Thanksgiving Leftovers Transformed: Lazy Chili Rellano Casserole

December: Super Easy Appetizers and Merry Christmas

Eggface Weight Loss Surgery Healthy Holiday Recipes

Past Blog Year in Reviews:

2014 Blasts from the Past
2013 Blasts from the Past
2012 Blasts from the Past
2011 Blasts from the Past
2010 Blasts from the Past

I am thankful to be on this road with all of you! Happy New Year! May our 2016 be filled with good health and lots of laughter.

Celebrate a Healthy New Year Giveaway

When you sign on the dotted line for weight loss surgery it comes with some non-negotiable, lifelong rules that must be followed, one of which is taking vitamins and mineral supplementation faithfully. So many post-operative issues and complications can be avoided if we just make sure to take our vitamins every day.

Not all vitamins are created equal. Celebrate Bariatric Supplements are developed specifically with bariatric surgery patients altered guts in mind, they understand our unique post-op nutritional needs and they design quality (and super yummy) products to meet those needs like these new Essential 2 in 1 vitamins.
From Celebrate's web site: The Essential Multi 2 in 1 is a unique multivitamin that contains all of the essential vitamins coupled with calcium citrate. This is the only bariatric combination chewable that uses only calcium citrate (the recommended form of calcium for WLS patients) but does NOT include iron, so you will not have to worry about iron-calcium interaction.
We're starting a new year so if you are having surgery in the new year, are a new post-op just beginning this wild ride, or a post-op that wants to try something yummy and new (Mmmm Protein 20 shakes) this healthy start prize pack is something you'll want to get in on... and tell a friend... maybe they will share :)

*Thanks to my friends at Celebrate Vitamins for partnering with me on this giveaway. 

It's Giveaway Time!

The Prize: a Nike Workout (or Carry-on) bag filled with all the essentials you will need for a healthy start to 2016 including:

1 huge bottle of Celebrate Vitamins Essential Multi 2 in 1 Chewable Multivitamin & Calcium (Mango), 120 ct.
1 bottle Celebrate Vitamins Iron + C, Chewable (Grape) 30 ct.
1 bag Celebrate Vitamins Protein 20 Powder (Caramel Vanilla Swirl) More about Protein 20
1 bag Celebrate Vitamins Protein 20 Powder (Iced Decaf Coffee)
28 oz. Blender Bottle Shaker
7 day Vitamin Organizer
Eggface Reusable Lunch Bag with a Slim Ice Pack
Eggface "Remember Why You Started" Healthy Reminder Bracelet
Plus a sample of Celebrate's other flavor of Essential Multi 2 in 1: Orange-Pineapple

How to Enter: LEAVE A COMMENT on this blog posting (be sure to include a name and some email address where I can contact you if you are the winner) Scroll down to # of comments/post a comment below to leave yours. That's it, easy peasy.

Example: Jane Doe

If you aren't already following Celebrate Vitamins on Facebook be sure to do that and tell them The World According to Eggface sent you. They have fun giveaways on their page. 

Contest Period Ends:
Sunday, January 3rd, midnight (Pacific), sometime Monday, January 4th. 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. One comment entry per person. Blog comments are moderated so there may be a slight delay (up to a few hours, especially at night if I'm sleeping Zzzz) in seeing your comment/entry post. Giveaway is open to anyone in the contiguous United States (48 contiguous, AK & HI) (sorry it's a legal issue: international laws govern giveaways and a money $ thing)

P.S. You'll want to follow my Instagram account because something fun will pop-up there soon!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! I'm trying to muster up the merry despite being sick. I started feeling crummy on Wednesday night (I'm 99% sure it's bronchitis) my Dr's office is closed for the holiday and the nearest urgent care in-network is over 50 miles away (Hey Anthem Blue Cross: what's up with that?!) so I'm doing all the home remedies and hopefully I'll be feeling 100% before the New Year.

Today's plan is to curl up on the couch surrounded by some of my current favorite things (Puffs with Vicks tissues, cake batter flavored Chapstick and eucalyptus oil bubbling away in my oil diffuser), maybe watch a movie and eat yummy leftovers. Thankfully, I took advantage of whatever bursts of energy I had and made a pretty festive spread yesterday and there is plenty for today.

Since I wasn't feeling well, our usual Christmas Eve tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes was shy a few fishes but my Guacamole Shrimp Cocktail were especially delicious this year. It was a great year for avocados. Who needs (or would want) chips?!

I also assembled a little tidbit party. Cheeses, cold cuts, nuts, a few dried fruits, olives and veggies (avocado, cucumber, tomatoes). I love these little cheese spreaders with great sayings I found at TJ Maxx the other day (umm they were supposed to be a hostess gift but loved them so much I kept them, close-up pic on my Instagram.)

I made a dip for my roast beef roll-ups (Greek yogurt with a dollop of fresh grated horseradish mixed in) that will clear your sinuses for sure.

I set up a do-it-yourself hot cocoa bar with a few Christmas Quest Protein Bar "Cookies" and my Mini Apple Breakfast Loaves for breakfast this morning.

Hot Cocoa Bar: (left to right): Fit Frappe Spiced Chai, No Sugar Added Swiss Miss Cocoa, NSA Whipped Cream, Toppings: Shredded Unsweetened Coconut, Crushed SF Peppermint, Cinnamon & Nutmeg, Sugar Free Torani Syrups in my bottle holder, Keurig for hot water (or an electric tea pot would work great too)

and now I'm sipping on a SF peppermint hot cocoa with no sugar added homemade whipped cream and wishing you all a lovely day filled with joy and laughter with family and friends and some much needed peace on earth.

Healthy Holidays: Christmas Protein Shakes

Santa Claus has a lot of work to do Christmas Eve trekking across the globe delivering all the well behaved whippersnappers the latest and greatest gadgets. So many stops, so many cookies. May I suggest leaving him one of these holiday themed protein shakes and some protein bar cookies instead.

These festive shakes are delicious and will help Santa stick to his health and fitness goals.

From left to right: Shelly's Award Winning Candy Cane Shake, Shelly's Double Chocolate Mint Protein Shake, Shelly's How the Grinch Stole Christmas Protein Shake, Shelly's Cranberry Protein Shake.

You might make one for yourself too ;)

Another Holiday Treat for the Health Conscience Santa
My 10 Healthy Holiday Tips

Super Easy Appetizers

As we inch closer to Christmas we're bound to have a few guests over. Here's a few super easy appetizers that are healthy, protein packed, low carb, weight loss surgery friendly but most importantly they are so good your non-op pals just may thumb wrestle you for the last one.

Shelly's Italian Meatball Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffing Mushrooms, stems removed
Cocktail-size Meatballs (beef, turkey, whatever you like)
Marinara Sauce (I used Tomato Basil)
Shredded Italian Cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Clean and remove the stems from however many mushrooms as you want to serve. Place mushroom caps round side up/stem side down on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

Remove and carefully tip any liquid out and turn over on the tray. You'll need 1/2 a meatball for each mushroom cap. Math. Ugh. I just use the pre-cooked, cocktail meatballs that I defrost and saute for a few minutes on each side to give them some color. I know... store bought... shame on this Italian girl... you do whatever you like but you need them to be cooked and cooled if you make them from scratch. Place a 1/2 of meatball in each mushroom cap.

Top with a teaspoon or so of marinara. I use Rao's brand, straight out of the jar (it tastes like my Grandma's sauce) and top with a sprinkle of shredded Italian cheese.

Put the tray back in the oven for 10-15 minutes till cheese is golden and bubbly.

From left to right: Veggies and Greek Yogurt Dip, Holiday Shrimp Cocktail on Ice, Antipasto Skewers, Pizza Bites (crustless Quiches), Greek Hummus Rounds, Italian Meatball Stuffed Mushrooms (recipe above), Red & Green Shrimp Cocktail.

More Appetizers and Party Snacks on my Pinterest Page

Healthy Holiday Food Ideas Round-up

Bring one of these healthy holiday food ideas along to your next party or potluck and show the world that embracing health doesn't mean an end to holiday fun. Some of these are mine and a few I've spotted on the web (links below)

From left to right: Caprese Wreath, Strawberry Cannoli Santa, Rudolph the Reindeer Ricotta Pancakes, Joy Veggie Tray, Pinecone Cheese Ball, Apple Christmas Wreaths, Snowman Cheese Sticks, O Cheese-mas Tree

Taking something healthy to a party always ensures there will be something I can enjoy and surprisingly it's usually one of the first trays to empty. I think something healthy is a welcomed reprieve from the piles of sugar cookies.

More Tips for Surviving the Holidays Post Weight Loss Surgery 

Happy and Healthy Holidays!

Holly Jolly Premier Protein Pudding Jars

This weekend I made these protein packed, delicious and super festive little pudding jars to fuel the Christmas decorating. If you fancy a little something sweet as you deck the halls this holiday dessert in a jar is just what Santa ordered...

Shelly's Holly Jolly Premier Protein Pudding Jars

6 - 4 oz. jars (or clear cups)
2 Premier Protein Bars, chopped (any flavor)
2 cups Premier Protein Shake (Ready to Drink RTD, any flavor)
1 - 1 oz. small package Sugar Free Instant Pudding Mix (dry, any flavor)
Optional: 1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Syrup (any flavor)

Spoon a layer of chopped protein bar on the bottom of each 4 oz. jar. Set aside while you mix up the protein pudding layer.

I used Premier Protein Chocolate Mint Fiber Bars. Chocolate Mint just screams holiday to me.

Pour the chilled shakes, pudding mix and optional syrup flavoring into a shaker bottle. If you choose to add a flavoring put one less Tablespoon of the shake. I sometimes change it up by adding sugar free caramel or hazelnut syrup. I used Sugar Free Vanilla Pudding and Premier Protein Vanilla Shakes. Shake for 3 minutes or until thickened slightly and place in fridge for about 5 minutes to thicken further. Spoon the thickened protein pudding on top of the crumbled protein bar base.

You can top with all sorts of things to make them festive: a squirt of Homemade No Sugar Added Whipped Cream, Nuts, Berries, Nonpareils, Crushed Sugar Free Starlight Mints, more Crumbled Protein Bar. You can make these a day in advance just don't put the festive toppings on till you serve them or better yet put out little bowls of toppings and let everyone create their own delicious masterpiece!

I love these individual jars... because well... they are super cute but they are also portable so if you want to take a neighborhood walk to look at Christmas lights, you can take this dessert with you, just screw the lid on and go. Don't forget a spoon!

We decorated the house in stages over the weekend. So Friday I cleaned and put away the pumpkins, leaves and turkeys and started dragging out all the boxes and this great big old fashioned suitcase we have full of ornaments. We are not the matching balls and ribbon, perfect color scheme, Christmas tree type of family. Our tree is like a walk through our family history. I love our tree of memories.

Saturday we carefully unwrapped each ornament. They filled every flat surface around the house. I love this part. No matter how many times we have heard the stories that go with some of our favorite ornaments we share them again or suddenly a new memory will awaken. We laugh (and sometimes shed a tear) as we remember. It's mostly laughter and smiles though and yummy snacks, let's not forget the snacks.

This post is sponsored by Premier Protein. For the purposes of this post Premier Protein provided me with products used. Thanks for the yummy shakes and bars. Want to learn more about Premier Protein products LIKE their Facebook page and tell them The World According to Eggface told you to stop by.

Drum roll...

Thank you to all who entered The World According to Eggface Protein Shake Pantry Essentials Giveaway

Congratulations Liz O.! You win the Big Box of Protein Shake Pantry Essentials filled with oodles of products you will need to create many of my favorite Protein Shakes and Protein Ice Creams.

and Denise P. You are the winner of the Christmas Stocking 7 days of Protein Samples.

You have mail.

Want to learn more about any of the contents of the giveaway above: Click here for more info and sources.

Not a winner this time... no worries another Eggface Giveaway is starting very soon! Follow along here on the Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for the latest eggciting announcements!

Hint: something fun may be happening VERY soon on Instagram ;)

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Reindeer Ricotta Pancakes

What better way to celebrate Santa and his reindeer flight crew's visit than to make these protein packed, low carb reindeer pancakes on Christmas morning...

Santa's Reindeer Ricotta Pancakes

1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (Sugar-Free Vanilla, Caramel or Brown Sugar Cinnamon)
3 Tablespoons Multigrain Pancake Mix

Reindeer Parts:
A few Raisins and Raspberries for eyes and nose
A couple of pieces of cooked Bacon for antlers
Sugar-Free Maple Syrup, Peanut or Almond Butter for "sticking" your reindeer together
No Sugar Added Whipped Cream "snow"

Mix all ingredients together. I use whole milk ricotta, if you use part skim, drain first. Spray pan with non-stick spray. Spoon a dollop of the mixture into pan and pat flat. You want a small nose (50 cent piece size) pancake for every larger pancake. Cook on low till golden, flip, pat flat, cook till done. Gather your reindeer parts and let everyone build their own. Makes enough for about 7-8 reindeer.

More Eggface Christmas Ideas
10 Tips for Surviving the Holidays Post Weight Loss Surgery

Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch

A day in my pouch is a series of blog posts to show what a typical daily menu looks like in my post weight loss surgery world. Yesterday's healthy and delicious menu...

Breakfast: I swiped one of my Mini Apple Breakfast Loaves (the Chai Spice version) with a little dab of butter and warmed it in a pan till it was crunchy. You could toast it in a toaster oven too. I wrapped it up in some foil and took off for a doctor's appointment.

Weight Loss Surgery Dessert Breakfast No Sugar Added Sugar Free

More Eggface Grab and Go Breakfasts

I had an appointment with my hematologist to go over my latest lab results. They were stellar. Yay! I am pleased. I had a issue with iron last year. Iron and ferritin dropped very low despite being faithful with my vitamins. I had a 2 (well 4, it's 2 in a series) of Injectafer Iron Infusions (they are awesome) and I've been checked every 3 months for well over a year now and looks good. It's just one of those things, the double edged sword of a malabsorptive weight loss surgery procedure. The benefits still waaay outweigh the negatives for me though. Just always gotta keep up with the labs, even if you are a faithful vitamin taker because of that little section of bypassed intestine... and it's easier to adjust if something drops then it is to dig yourself out of a hole. So take your vits and get your labs done (OK off soap box.)

Lunch: I came home and made a batch of Curry Chicken Salad and I ate a big dollop with cucumber "crackers" well they were more like planks I guess. This is great to make on Sunday to have for lunches in the week. It's versatile you can top salad greens, a tomato or avocado half, or like I did with cucumber.

Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery Fitness Food Menus Lunch Recipes

Dinner: Leftovers. Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. I made these yesterday for dinner and just popped one in the microwave to reheat.

Healthy Dinner Recipes

Shelly's Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

3 Bell Peppers
1 bag Path of Life Mediterranean Quinoa
1/2 cup Cottage Cheese
1 cup Cooked Ground Beef, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
dash Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
1/2 cup Colby-Jack Cheese, shredded

Place de-seeded, halved peppers in a dish and microwave 6 minutes. Set aside while you prepare the filling. Prepare the quinoa as directed (basically microwave 4 minutes.) Saute beef until cooked through and no pink is seen. Blend beef with quinoa, cottage cheese, and seasonings. Divide filling among the pepper halves. Place peppers in a Pyrex baking dish that has been sprayed lightly with non-stick spray. Top with Shredded Cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Not a fan of beef, Mix in leftover cooked sausage, turkey, chicken, or leave the meat out but I'd up the cottage cheese to 1 cup then or add black beans or another bean so your filling isn't measly.

More Eggface Stuffed Pepper Recipes

I spent most of the day cleaning, dusting and getting Christmas stuff out. It sort of is just covering every surface, chair, table right now. I decorate in stages. Hoping to get it done this weekend, maybe make some snacks, play some Christmas tunes.

We don't usually decorate outside. My neighborhood is already draining the electricity grid... at the end of the block is Clark Griswold himself. His house gets brighter each year. I swear they can see it from the International Space Station. But... I was in Lowes the other day and I saw this old fashioned street lamp that has a candle light that flickers like a gas lamp and thought it was so pretty. So OK just one outdoor decoration. I love it but I HATE reading directions and putting things together. I always have some part leftover. Is it a spare? Am I missing something? Who knows. Ehhh it works.

Snacks: Coffee and I made a batch of Quest Protein Bar Pecan S'mores Cookies had 2 of those

and when I came inside from the yard work I made myself a Christmasy Protein Shake. I used Celebrate Vitamins Protein 20 Chocolate Mint flavor. Sooo good. You know those Andes Mint Chocolates, it's those... exactly.

Shelly's Double Chocolate Mint Protein Shake

1 cup milk (I used a combo of Almond and Soy)
1 scoop Celebrate Vitamins Chocolate Mint Protein Powder
1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa
a few cubes of Ice

Whiz on high in blender. I topped it with No Sugar Added Homemade Whipped Cream and a sprinkle of non-pareils.

More Eggface Protein Shakes and Smoothies
More Days in my Pouch

It's Giving Tuesday - 3 Ways to Give

We have a day for giving thanks. We have a couple for scoring some shopping bargains. Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. People around the world come together to give to causes that are important to them.

Here's three I am taking part in today...

1. Reverse Advent Calendar: The other day I was scrolling through Pinterest and spotted this idea by Julie Van Rosendaal for a Reverse Advent Calendar. Most advent calendars countdown the days till Christmas by having kids (and kids at heart) open a little box or window and receive a chocolate or tiny gift. This Reverse Advent Calendar is a way to really celebrate the meaning of the holiday by giving instead of receiving.

You need:
a couple of wine boxes (the kind with the cardboard dividers) free at Costco, Bev-Mo, Trader Joes
I jazzed my boxes up with red duct tape to make it festive. You could wrap them with gift wrap.
I made the countdown #'s with those free paint chip samples you get at Home Improvement stores and a wide Sharpie marker.
Non-perishable Food Items (one a day)

Starting today, December 1st, place a non-perishable food item into one of the 24 compartments each day. Once the boxes are full, donate them to your local food bank. A perfect thing to do on December 26th, Boxing Day!

Need ideas on what to fill them with you could call your local food bank Find a Food Bank in Your Area they usually have a wish list of their current needs or here's a basic list...

Meals in a can (stew, chili, soup)
Tuna and canned meat
Beans, Rice, Pasta
Flour, Pancake Mix
Peanut butter
Low-sugar cereals, Oats
Canned fruit and vegetables
Baby Formula
100% fruit juices
Powdered Milk
Granola or Protein Bars

Teachers: I was thinking this would be a great classroom project might have to start a few days early to account for vacation. Parents: This would be a fun way to countdown anything. I'm an animal lover so I thought maybe cans of cat and dog food, treats, bones, toys... leading up to a birthday (or to memorialize a pet's passing) to donate to the animal shelter.

Thank you Julie for the inspiration. I hope to continue this tradition every year.

2. Blessing Bags: I've posted about these before but they are still one of my favorite ways to help. Sadly, we have all seen people in need. These are a quick way to help. I always have a couple in my car trunk to hand out (be safe and cautious) or you can also give them to the homeless shelter or a local food bank to distribute. I had run out and gathered together enough to make stuff to make 2. Putting these bags together is a great project to do with kids (your own whippersnappers, Girl Scout Troops or Boy Scouts, Sunday School Class) to teach them about helping 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 lotions, etc.)

Some ideas for items to include...
Packages of tissues
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Soap (place in a separate bag in a bag so it doesn't go near foods)
Nuts or Trail Mix
Raisins, Applesauce, Fruit Cup
Protein or Granola Bars
Tuna or Chicken Salad Kit
Peanut Butter
RTD Protein Shakes
Band Aids
First Aid Kit
Drink Mix
Coins or a couple of bucks
Grocery Store or local Restaurant Gift Card (even remainders of cards w/ amount noted are welcomed)
Hand Wipes
Pen/Mini Notebook
Feminine Products
Cough Drops
Depending on the weather in your area you could also put in a Warm Pair of Socks, a Rain Poncho, Hot Hands (I love these)

3. The Obesity Action Coalition: For those of us that have been affected by obesity (or love a person affected) I'd also like to share an organization near and dear to my heart as an option for giving. The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) inspires me to give because their mission is to educate, support and advocate for those affected by obesity (1 in 3 adults in the US.) I first found the OAC when I was denied treatment for my obesity. I remember sitting alone in my car and crying. It didn't make sense to me that my insurance would pay for medications, treatments, specialists for several obesity-related health conditions but I was denied treatment for obesity itself. There were treatments available to help me regain my health, relieve the life threatening and debilitating illnesses I was suffering from and prevent the onset of others, how could they deny that?! It didn’t make sense. I felt alone until I found the OAC. I was thankful to know there was an organization that was working to increase access to care and treatment. I knew I had to get involved. I never want anyone to have to go through what I did.

The OAC provides wonderful free resources to educate the public about obesity, its causes, effects and helping people gain access to the science-based obesity treatment methods available for those that seek them. So much misinformation is out there about obesity and while people often mean well that misinformation can be harmful or worse. The OAC helps distinguish the science from the scams. The OAC also conducts advocacy efforts throughout the U.S. on both the state and national levels educating policymakers about obesity and how treating obesity can help prevent, or lessen the impact, of so many obesity-related conditions. The OAC fights to eliminate bias and stigma those affected by obesity face in world by shining a light on the insensitivity (and sadly often cruelty) those affected by obesity face in schools, workplaces, media, health care, society. I especially love the Your Weight Matters Convention they host each year where I’ve gained friendships, support and the comfort of knowing I will never be that girl crying alone in my car.

The OAC’s mission and good works inspires me to give back as a board member and I hope they inspire you too. You can join the OAC for just $10 till 12/31/15 (10th anniversary price) or if you are already a member consider making a small donation to support the OAC's efforts.