Eggface 2017 - 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 11th-year post weight loss surgery.

January: A particularly yummy Weight Loss Surgery Menu Post to start off the year

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Menus

February: One of my favorite recipes ever: Stuffing Muffins and Healthy Super Bowl Eats

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Menus

March: My BBC Radio Interview and Tips for a Healthy Spring

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Menus

May: Two of my favorites Sunday Brunch and Cinco de Mayo

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Menus

June: Because this year... Tips for Reducing Stress

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Menus

July: Bananas Foster Protein Pudding Jars before heading to New Orleans

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Menus

August: These were the best ever in the summer heat wave: Frozen Faux "Cheesecake" Bites and YWM2017 in New Orleans

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Menus

September: Costco Shopping List - Weight Loss Surgery Friendly? and Shakes, Burgers & "Fries" Post Weight Loss Surgery

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Menus

October: 5 Safety Tips for Walking & Jogging

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Menus

November: Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes: Appetizers, Sides & Desserts Don't wait till next year to make some of these

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Menus

December: Christmas Eve Italian-Style (aka tons of seafood recipes)

Low Carb Weight Loss Surgery Bariatric Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve Cooking Menus

Past Blog Year in Reviews:

2016 Blasts from the Past
2015 Blasts from the Past
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

Whew, we made it through 2017. It's been an eventful few months and once I've digested it all I'll be sharing all that's been happening and all that is to come. 
I am so thankful for all of you in my life! Many of you I have been able to meet and hug in the real world and some I only know from the computer screen but it always makes me smile when I see a familiar picture or screen name pop-up. Happy New Year to all! Wishing us all good health and lots of laughter in 2018. 

I hope to see you this year at YWM2018 in Denver, CO July 19-22, 2018 please try and come!

Cool Product Alert: Real Good Foods Enchiladas & Giveaway

I was excited to get the opportunity to try the latest product from Real Good Foods. If you recall I blogged about their pizzas back in June. They have a crust made out of chicken and cheese! As cool as those are I think they may have just topped them with this new line of Enchiladas.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Protein Packed Keto Diet Products

Stuffed with typical enchilada fillings like shredded chicken, beef, pork or cheese wrapped in a hand-rolled "tortilla" and like their cool pizzas, they are made with chicken and cheese. The heat level is mild to medium so for those that like their enchiladas spicer you can certainly hit them with a splash of hot sauce or salsa and for those that need a tamer heat level a sprinkle of grated Cotija cheese (pictured) or a dollop of Greek yogurt (extra protein) or guacamole would do the trick. I found the heat level perfect.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Protein Packed Keto Diet Products

They come frozen, each box contains 2 enchiladas in a microwavable tray so they are great for taking to work and nuking in the breakroom for a protein-packed, low carb lunch: 20g protein, 4g carbs (gluten-free) and just 190 calories (note: cheese has higher stats.) I think it's a great option for those from time to time that need the quick convenience of a pre-made, frozen food meal. These enchiladas have way fewer carbs and are much higher in protein than other frozen food options out there. For a quick dinner on a busy night, I'd just add a veggie or salad and you can literally be eating dinner in less than 10 minutes.

Verdict: I tried the Chicken with Tomatillo Sauce and the Beef with Red Sauce and they are both delicious! I couldn't decide which was my favorite. My Mum loved the beef the best. You seriously forget you aren't eating a typical enchilada. I will be keeping a stash in my freezer from now on.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Protein Packed Keto Diet Products

Where to find: There is a product locator on their website to see what stores in your area are carrying them or you can order direct from the company online (P.S. Feel free to use my affiliate coupon code: eggface to score 10% off your online orders.)

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Protein Packed Keto Diet Products

Let me know what you think and Psst... later today watch my Instagram for a pop-up giveaway (ends 12/29) for a chance to win $75 of Real Good Foods online store credit!

This post is sponsored by Real Good Foods. For the purposes of this post Real Good Foods provided me with products reviewed. Thanks for the opportunity to sample the new line of enchiladas. All shared opinions are mine. They were muy deliciosa!

Celebrating Christmas Eve Italian Style - Feast of the Seven Fishes

For many Italians (I'm 1/2 Sicilian), Christmas Eve is celebrated with a mostly seafood menu. It's an Italian tradition called the Feast of the Seven Fishes, Festa dei Sette Pesci. As a kid, I didn't appreciate this tradition at all. My friends were all having ham and turkey and I was staring at a plate of octopus tentacles and salted dried cod (baccala) that had to be soaked back to softness for 2 days. Needlesstosay, I filled up on cheese cubes and Christmas cookies. As I got older, I enjoyed a few of those traditional dishes... baccala is actually delicious. I must admit I never quite got into the octopus. Post weight loss surgery the "feast" is scaled down a bit but I still make sure mostly seafood is on the menu for the day. 

If you are used to this tradition or want to be Italian for the day and partake in the low carb, protein heaven. Here are a few of my favorite bariatric surgery friendly seafood recipes...

Shelly's Crab Imperial
Shelly's Mini Shrimp & Crab Cakes

Shelly's Zucchini Noodles and Clam Sauce
Shelly's Shrimp Scampi Bites

Weight Loss Bariatric Surgery Recipes Cooking VSG RNY Menus Seafood

Weight Loss Bariatric Surgery Recipes Cooking VSG RNY Menus Seafood

Shelly's Shrimp and Guacamole Cocktail
Shelly's Savory Onion Mini Ricotta Pancakes with Smoked Salmon

Weight Loss Bariatric Surgery Recipes Cooking VSG RNY Menus Seafood

Shelly's Red & Green Shrimp Cocktail
Shelly's Cheesy Crab Imperial Dip

Weight Loss Bariatric Surgery Recipes Cooking VSG RNY Menus Seafood

Shelly's Fish and Squash Packets
Shelly's Shrimp Alfredo Pasta-less Zucchini Pasta

Weight Loss Bariatric Surgery Recipes Cooking VSG RNY Menus Seafood

Shelly's Salmon with Honey Dijon Gremolata Topping
Shelly's California Roll Salad

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss RNY VSG Recipes Cooking Menus Low Carb Protein

More Eggface Seafood and Shellfish Bariatric Surgery Friendly Recipes

Low carb weight loss protein weightloss VSG RNY #bariatricsurgery

Merry Christmas and Buon Natale to all!

Eggface Holiday Protein Shakes and Instagram Giveaway

It's Christmas and you know what that means GIFTS! Head over to my Instagram page to enter to win this great box of Protein Shake Making Pantry Essentials. Protein shakes are my go-to on days when I just don't feel like a hearty breakfast, I'm running out the door and need an on-the-go protein source, or in my neck of the woods, the safe me in the hot summer afternoons.

I love to add low-calorie additions to my protein shakes to change them up. I've gathered together some of my favorites additions into this Protein Shake Making Pantry Essentials Box. If you are the winner of this box of goodies you'll be able to create many of the shake recipes on My Favorite Protein Shake Pinterest Page which includes a couple of award winners: Candy Cane Shake, Tiramisu Shake, and Chocolate Covered Cherry Shake.

Gastric Bypass Vertical Sleeve VSG RNY DS Recipes Menus Cooking Food

Shelly's Christmas Cookie Protein Shake

8 oz. Milk (any)
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (I used Celebrate Vitamins Vanilla Bean Meal Replacement)
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free Torani Almond Syrup
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free Torani Vanilla Syrup
a few frozen Greek Yogurt Cubes (or Ice)

Blend on high. Optional: top with a squirt of Homemade, No Sugar Added Whipped Cream and a sprinkle of Non-Pareils

Shelly's Chocolate Candy Cane Protein Shake

8 oz. Milk (any)
1 scoop Chocolate Mint Protein Powder (I used Celebrate Vitamins Chocolate Mint Protein 20)
1 teaspoon Sugar-Free Torani Peppermint Syrup
a few Ice Cubes

Blend on high. Optional: top with a squirt of Homemade, No Sugar Added Whipped Cream and a sprinkle of crushed Sugar-Free Starlight Peppermints.

It's Giveaway Time!

The Prize: a box full of goodies perfect for my fellow Bariatric Surgery post-op pals or anyone that uses protein shakes on their health, fitness or weight loss journey...

14 single-serving travel packets of some of my favorite Protein Shakes
5 boxes of Sugar-Free Pudding Mixes
4 mini bottles of Sugar-Free Torani Syrup
Espresso Powder Packets
Sugar-Free Root Beer Powder Packets (1/3 of a packet in a Vanilla Protein Shake = Rootbeer Float)
Unsweetened Cocoa
Blender Bottle Shaker
Holiday Insulated Tumbler
and a special knitted Christmas Tree Ornament (homemade by my Mum) to hang on your tree long after all the protein shake making goodies are gone.

To Enter: U.S. Mailing Addresses Only. Head over to my Instagram post for complete rules on how to enter this giveaway. Ends 12/22/17. Don't have Instagram it's free to start an account. Good Luck! 

Merry Christmas and Thank You for sharing this giveaway, the blog and my social media pages with your support groups, friends and family...

Facebook: When you click LIKE on Facebook be sure to select see first in news feed or get notifications otherwise you only see about 20% of what any Facebook page posts.
Instagram: I do pop-up random giveaways on Instagram at least once a month, sometimes more!
Pinterest: Oodles of recipes, divided into categories, food type, holidays, basically an online Eggface cookbook.
Twitter: Current events, news articles about health, weight, obesity, fitness, tips, motivation, random life commentary, monthly tweet chats, but just a warning I get a little political and talk A LOT on this one.

More Holiday Protein Shakes
More Protein Shake Recipes

Gastric Bypass #BariatricSurgery Food Blog

Holiday Snacks for Decking the Halls

Yesterday, I finally dragged out all the Christmas stuff. I'm a little behind this year. I literally was sick most of November (don't get this chest crud that is going around, trust me it's hard to shake.) Needlesstosay, I've been digging out of work and emails (sorry, if you are still waiting for a reply) and finally took the afternoon to get some fa-la-la-la holiday spirit up in here. I love my mixed up, eclectic tree. Every ornament has a story. We had some snacks of course because decking the halls with boughs of holly is hard work and works up an appetite.

Our bariatric surgery friendly tree-trimming tidbits: Cheese, I love cheese. I think in my past life I must have been a mouse. I made a few Ham and Pickle Cold Cut Roll-ups and Greek Hummus Cucumber Rounds (with a sprinkle of Bagel Spice) and Rosemary Marcona Almonds.

Later, I chopped up a couple of small apples and 1 pear I cooked them slightly (fork tender but still formed) with a few pumps of SF Torani Syrup (I used SF Caramel) and a dash of cinnamon and apple pie spice and turned them into little protein apple crumbs.

Shelly's Apple and Pear Crumbs

1/4 cup Oatmeal, dry
1/4 cup Protein Powder, dry (any flavor you prefer)
1/4 cup Chopped Nuts (I used a combo of pecans and almonds)
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free Syrup (or Sweetener of your choice)
1/2 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice
1 Tablespoon Almond Butter
1 Tablespoon Butter

Mix all ingredients together. Squeeze together with your hands till clumps form. You need to use your hands for this one. If your almond butter is on the loose side add a little more protein, if it's on the drier side add a little more syrup until clumps form.

Divide apple & pear mixture into 4-4 oz. ramekins. Set aside. Squeeze together topping ingredients with your hands till clumps form. You need to use your hands for this one. Sprinkle clumps of the topping equally over each ramekin of fruit. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until golden.

I served the cooled crumbs with a squirt of Homemade, No Sugar Added Whipped Cream. My delicious and healthy reward for a completing my decorating.

Healthy DIY, Homemade & Budget Gift Ideas

As promised, a few of my favorite DIY, Homemade & Budget Gift Ideas perfect for the health conscious friends and family in your life...

Protein Bar Basket - This is one of my favorites to make because everyone is getting goodie baskets of cookies and chocolate at the holidays and this is one just for us. You need: a basket or bucket or some sort, holiday crinkle-cut paper shreds and an assortment of Protein Bars.

Movie Night Treats -  a popcorn container (you might ask for a freebie next time you are at the theater), popcorn kernels, popcorn seasoning and other healthier snacks like: nuts, jerky, protein bars. I also tucked in some "soda" flavored drink sticks. If budget allows a Redbox, Amazon Gift Card or an actual DVD of a favorite movie.

Protein Shakes - An assortment of single serving/travel packets of protein shakes and a shaker bottle or insulated tumbler. This one is especially great for a new post-op, single serving/travel packets help you find your favorite before spending $$ on a big tub only to find out it's not your cup of tea. You could add mini bottles of flavored SF syrups or SF pudding change up flavors even more.

Music - Make a modern-day version of an 80's mixtape. Pick the songs for your mixtape playlist... maybe a theme like favorite workout songs or motivational songs, music to de-stress or chill out to. Copy the songs from your playlist to a USB drive, tie a bow on it and voila! Here's a great USB drive that even looks like an old-school cassette tape.

Healthy Kitchen Gift Ideas with Recipes
More Gift Ideas

Healthy Kitchen Gift Ideas with Recipes

To help Santa and his elves get through their list I'll be sharing some gift ideas that are thoughtful and would be a winner for most any person that has embraced a new healthy lifestyle. Today, I'll be focusing on Healthy Kitchen and Food Related Gifts & Stocking Stuffers

Spiralizer (aka Zoodle Maker) - Creates oodles of low carb zoodles and other spiral cuts of vegetable or fruits with a crank of the handle.

Low Carb Healthy Holiday Christmas Gifts Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Diet

If Santa brings you a Spiralizer be sure to come back to the blog and make one of these favorite recipes:

Shelly's Chicken Zucchini Zoodle Noodle Soup
Shelly's Turkey Tetrazzini
Shelly's Greek Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad
Shelly's Zucchini "Noodles" & Meatballs
Shelly's Chicken and Pesto "Zoodles" Zucchini Noodles (and leftovers Frittata)

Hand Blender (aka Immersion Blender or Stick Blender)  - a handheld blender is a great gadget, especially for the Fall and Winter months. You can puree soups right in the pot, so you get the creamy, hearty soups you love without adding the extra calories, fat and carbs of adding cream or potatoes. You'd never guess this wasn't loaded baked potato soup thanks to my hand blender.

Low Carb healthy Holiday Gift Ideas Immersion Blender Hand Blender Kitchen Ideas

Shelly's Cannellini Bean Soup

Bento Box -  I do love my bento box meals. I love that it really makes me pause and think about the nutritional balance of my meal and having a convenient way to make meals portable gets me outside in the fresh air and vitamin D more. They have bags and ice packs and lots of fun colors. You will be the envy of the office break room.

More Bento Box lunches, FAQ's and an Online Source for them
My Bento Pinterest Page (tons of lunch ideas)

Holiday Christmas Healthy Lunches Recipes

Blenders - So many choices Ninja, Vitamix, Oster, KitchenAid, Nutribullet, Hamilton Beach. All different price points from super spendy $$$ to more reasonable $$ but a good blender is must have for post-bariatric surgery and those embracing a health and fitness lifestyle.

Here's a blender I was given the opportunity to test out the other day. I think anyone who gets up super early like I do to go for an early morning walk or run would love it: the Hamilton Beach Sound Shield 950. I love to bring a protein shake along on my walk but most blenders sound like a jet engine is starting in your kitchen and I'm always afraid my neighbors are going to turn me in for noise ordinance violations. This blender avoids that neighbor dispute and/or angry family members with a drop-down sound shield that keeps the noise to a minimum. You can be even more stealth by making up a few pre-made smoothie baggies (scoop of protein powder, fruit or powdered peanut butter or frozen cubes of Greek yogurt to add even more protein) and toss them in the freezer. In the morning no need to bang cabinet doors & drawers looking for ingredients just grab the pre-made bag, dump contents in the blender, add milk of choice, blend and lace up your sneakers.

Smoothie Protein Shakes Recipes Health Holiday Presents

More Ideas: Travel Packets of Protein Powder with a Blender Bottle Shaker, Pedometers (get one for every family member and have step competitions, weekly winner gets movie night choice), a Cool Water Bottle, Tea Infuser Mugs or Tea AssortmentsFun Mugs, Gift Card to Omaha Steaks or subscription to Sizzlefish (Lean Protein), an Air Fryer or an Instapot (both on my list.)

Tomorrow, be sure to come back when I share a few more healthy gift-giving ideas including a few fun DIY and Budget gift ideas.

Important to Note: Be careful when giving gifts that have a healthy spin, gifts of this nature should be given to those who have expressed interest in and are already addressing their health or weight. Fat-shaming or trying to force someone to make a health change is mean, rude and in fact, can have the opposite effect.