Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch and Cancer Update

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. Today's protein packed delicious menu...

Breakfast: Chilly AM but I felt up to a walk and I took my breakfast with me. I love these Cottage Cheese Doubles (Knudsen/Breakstone) they have a little section of fruit goo, the goo has some sugars, so if you are super sensitive add in moderation. I get the Pineapple ones, lowest sugars of all their flavors and I have no issues with it. I took a little baggie of Protein Granola that I sprinkled in. I like the crunch.

Healthy Breakfasts Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss RNY VSG WLS Menus

I make a lot of different flavors of Protein Granola (Spiced Chai, Chocolate, Espresso) but this time I made it with Double Stuffed Cookie (aka Oreo) Protein and tossed a few pieces of freeze dried Banana into it after it cooled. Yum!

Shelly's Protein Granola

1/4 cup Oatmeal, dry
1/4 cup Double Stuffed Cookie Protein Powder (any whey or whey isolate protein powder works great)
1/4 cup chopped Nuts (any, I used Pecans & Almonds)
1 Tablespoon Almond Butter
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free Vanilla Torani Syrup

Squeeze together with your hands till clumps form. You need to use your hands for this one. Place on a Pam sprayed, foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Healthy Breakfasts Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss RNY VSG WLS Menus

Let it cool. It crisps as it cools. Crumble into smaller bite-sized pieces. When completely cool, store in an airtight container. This a great snack on a hike or topping for protein ice cream, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, protein pudding or yogurt.

Healthy Breakfasts Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss RNY VSG WLS Menus

More Eggface High Protein Breakfast Recipes and Ideas

For those following along... I had my Post Thyroid Cancer Surgery Check-up and the Pathology Report was great. Looks like my surgeon got it all. It was a single tumor (stage 1) encased in the center of my right thyroid and no other area was affected. Obviously I have to keep checking the area with periodic ultrasounds but for now, I am all clear. Feeling blessed. Next step is an appointment with an Endocrinologist who will be looking at blood tests (TSH, T3, T4, Calcitonin) to determine if my left thyroid is kicking in and picking up the slack. Fingers crossed, it'll mean little to no medication. I'm still a little more tired than I should be and I have had a few too many headaches lately though that could be from the stress of all the "patient responsibility" portion of the medical bills that are rolling in... oh and suddenly having a car payment again thanks to the Christmas Eve car scrooges. If any of my blog pals win the Powerball this weekend and have an extra $5000 they can spare you'll have a pal for life... I should probably play... I mean there's a 5% chance of a thyroid nodule turning out to be thyroid cancer and mine was. I figure I will either win the lottery next or umm get hit by lightning. LOL, maybe you shouldn't stand too close to me in a rainstorm that's all I'm saying ;)

Catch-up on my Thyroid Cancer journey: Part 1: Diagnosis, Part 2: Treatment Plan, Part 3: Surgery/Recovery

OK Back to the food...

Lunch: If you are jonesing for a Grilled Cheese Sandwich you should try this. I make a batch of Savory Ricotta Pancakes and use them like the "bread" by sprinkling a little cheese in the middle and warming them in a nonstick pan till the cheese is melted and gooey. Soooo good.

Healthy Recipes Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss RNY VSG WLS Menus

Shelly's Savory Ricotta Pancakes

1 Egg, beaten
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
3 Tablespoons Multigrain Pancake Mix
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Chives
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1 Green Onion, diced fine
dash of Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Mix pancake ingredients together. Spray non-stick pan with Pam. Cook on low till bubbles appear, flip. Cook till done. Makes 8 pancakes (about the size of the container those BreathSavers 3 Hour Mints that I love, about 3"-ish across.) These pancakes can be made ahead and reheated.

Healthy Lunches Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss RNY VSG WLS Menus

For the Grilled Cheese "Sandwiches" Pancakes: You'll need a little sprinkle or 1/4 of a slice of some good melting cheese... I use Colby, Jack, or Muenster cheese mostly.

Cook's Note: I used whole milk ricotta if you use part skim. Drain through a mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter for several hours or overnight in the fridge. Avoid ricotta that says "creamier formula" you want regular ricotta.

More Eggface Pancakes Savory and Sweet

Dinner: I made Mini Meatloaves for dinner the other night so dinner was already done basically. I have found the trick to eating leftovers as a post-op is to keep things from drying out. I love this gadget for that. You put a couple of tablespoons of water in the base and it steam heats the food. One of the best post-op gadgets in my kitchen.

Healthy Dinners Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss RNY VSG WLS Menus

Shelly's Greek Mini Meatloaf

1 1/4 pounds Ground Beef (or Turkey)
1/4 cup Oatmeal, dry
1/4 cup Milk
1 Egg, beaten
1 Yellow Onion, diced
1/4 cup Sliced Black Olives
1/3 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon Oregano
a few twists of Black Pepper

Soak oatmeal in milk for 1 minute (you can use almond meal or bread crumbs if you do bread) Beat egg. Add egg and soaked oats to ground meat. Saute onions until slightly golden. Set aside to cool. Combine cooled onions and all remaining ingredients together. Divide into 8 equal mounds. Form into mini meatloaves or if you have this super groovy pan like me use it. Bake for 45 minutes in a 350-degree oven. These freeze well either cooked or uncooked.

Healthy Dinners Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss RNY VSG WLS Menus

I served them originally with a salad and the leftovers I served with cooked chickpea sprinkled with a little Zaatar seasoning.

More Eggface Bariatric Friendly Dinner Recipes

Snacks: Coffee, Tea (so sad Trader Joe's discontinued my favorite Rooibos & Honeybush so I'm savoring the last few bags) and I made a protein shake when I got back from my walk: Celebrate Vitamins Wildberry Protein 20 single serve packet, Almond Milk, Ice.

Healthy Recipes Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss RNY VSG WLS Menus

More Eggface Favorite Protein Shake Recipes
More Eggface Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Check your thyroid.

Post Thyroid Cancer Surgery Update

Last week I had my thyroid cancer surgery. I was surprisingly not nervous. I really felt comfortable with my surgeon and our game plan. If it was as it appeared on the ultrasound contained to the right thyroid and no lymph nodes were involved he'd take just the right thyroid (lobectomy) but if it was more involved he had my OK to take it all (thyroidectomy.) Just the right side would be a big win and would mean fewer complications (parathyroid damage/calcium issues), no additional treatments (radioactive iodine I131 which is annoying and lonely sounding) and potentially little to no medication if my left thyroid continues to do its thing. I woke up in recovery and recall my surgeon saying that he, in fact, was able to just take the right side. He came in later that day and told me again. The cancer hadn't gone beyond the thyroid, no lymph nodes were involved, it was still about the same size, about a 2 cm rock. Woot Woot. I won't know about the need for thyroid medication for a while pending blood work but I am hopeful.

Catch-up on my Thyroid Cancer journey: Part 1: Diagnosis, Part 2: Treatment Plan.

I was the first surgery on the schedule so required to check-in at 5:30 AM. I live about 50 miles from the hospital and the traffic in the AM can be pretty bad so we decided to stay the night closer and head over in the AM. I wanted to give a shoutout to the Marriot La Jolla who not only had a great AAA discount but when I commented on the pretty cheese platter they posted on their Instagram account surprised me by having one in my room waiting when I arrived.

Marriot La Jolla California Southern California

Thankfully, I was able to eat or drink until midnight so my Mum and I sat in Marriott fluffy robes and had a little cheese tidbit party which as you know from past cheese tidbit parties is our thing. I don't eat crackers as you know so my Mum scored. I missed my cucumber crackers and cold cuts I usually accompany my cheese eating but mmmm cheese.

Everyone at UCSD Thorton Hospital was great. I was thankful I brought my Mum along. I usually go it alone by choice (RNY, plastics, etc.) but I'll tell you it was so nice to have someone feed me ice chips those first few hours while I was in recovery, no one would have kept coming to do that at the rate I wanted them. I was moved to my own room at around 11 AM, better bed, closer bathroom, and TV. I highly recommend the No Sugar Added Vanilla Pudding. It was heaven on my throat. My throat was sore and pitchy for a few days but I think my talking voice is almost back, not singing just yet.

We lucked out and I had no one in the bed next to mine so Mum spent a more comfortable night. She ate my fish and steamed veggies for dinner. I tried but I was still having trouble swallowing so I just ate tomato bisque soup and of course more pudding. I didn't sleep at all... which as you know is an issue for me anyway but then add-in pain and noises and scratchy hospital gowns and vitals. Speaking of scratchy hospital gowns this is me sporting mine post-op...

Lobectomy Thyroidectomy

I was thankful that night for the Food Network marathon of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives but after about 20 episodes I'm OK if I never see another again in this lifetime. I ordered an omelet for breakfast and I actually ate about 1/4 of it. So I felt like that was a big improvement from the night before already. I was released before Noon on Saturday. The ride home was long and I felt every bump even with a pillow so when I got home I was glad it was time for a pain pill. I spent the day on the couch, propped up. Sunday I took my first shower and began to feel human again. The first few days were uncomfortable and I definitely needed the pain meds but I also hate how they make me feel so I axed them after a few days and have been just doing the occasional ice pack for the last day or so. Soft foods and protein shakes help...

Celebrate Vitamins Wildberry Protein 20 Frappe

Shelly's Valentine Protein Shake

8-10 oz. Milk (any)
1 packet Celebrate Vitamins Wildberry Protein 20
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free Strawberry Torani Syrup
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free Vanilla Torani Syrup
a few ice cubes

Blend on high. Top with optional No Sugar Added Homemade Whipped Cream & Nonpareils

More Eggface Protein Shakes

I also made heart-shaped pancakes for Valentine's Day. Well, technically I only made one heart-shaped because I was on drugs but they weren't THAT good...

Sugar Free Sugarfree Low Carb Protein Ricotta Cheese

Shelly's White Chocolate Ricotta Pancakes

1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free White Chocolate Jello Pudding Mix, dry
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free Vanilla Torani Syrup
3 Tablespoons Multigrain Pancake Mix

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 the pan and pat flat. Cook on low till golden, flip, pat flat, cook till done. Serve each pancake with a drizzle of warm Sugar-Free Maple Syrup or chopped Strawberries mixed with a little Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam that has been warmed in the microwave or they are delicious just plain. Makes 8 pancakes.

These can be frozen between slices of wax paper or kept in the fridge a day or 2 and reheated (nuke 25 seconds) for breakfast during the week. Surprising good cold too. Leftovers usually get some SF jam, almond or peanut butter smeared on them, wrapped in foil and they become a great breakfast-on-the-go.

More Eggface Pancakes

I ventured out for the first time on Tuesday to Starbucks. I went to the supermarket for a few things the next day. Yesterday I went to the Hemo Doc to get my 3rd iron infusion. So my outings are getting a little longer. No exercise yet but I am hoping to get back to my walks next week. Now is when I am thankful I work from home because I am yellow bruised from my chin to my boobs. I have steri-strips and they are still on so I haven't seen my scar yet. Ehh just add it to the many others on this body. For those who ask about it... I already have a creative story about my short-lived career in the circus as the assistant to the one-eyed, knife thrower. LOL.

Thank you for the prayers, lovely messages and I've been enjoying the beautiful flowers the Obesity Action Coalition Board and Staff sent me. My issue of Your Weight Matters Magazine came yesterday and I sat and read it cover to cover while dipping cucumber spears in plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with Everything Bagel Spice. I'll know more after next Tuesday's check-up. Fingers crossed the post-surgery pathology says they got it all.

I'm starting to cook more so I'll be back posting more recipes this week! Thanks for following along on this unexpected part of my journey.

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 protein packed delicious menu...

Breakfast: I'm having a protein shake every day this week. Today is one of my favorites: Celebrate Chocolate Mint with Cafe Bustelo Espresso for a little extra umphf of energy and to boost up my protein for my upcoming surgery and later I had a hunk of a Red Velvet Protein Wafer.

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

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

More Eggface Favorite Protein Shakes and Smoothie Recipes

My Thyroid Cancer Update: (Not sure what's going on here's the post to catch up) I had a little drama finding a surgeon. There were no head & neck, thyroid cancer surgeons in my area that accepted my insurance but after lots of phone calls and lots of annoying hold music I was able to find a surgeon about 50 miles away. I have a fellow Obesity Action Coalition Board Member who knew him and highly praised his skills so that made me feel more at ease. I met with him last week and I'm on the surgery schedule this Friday, February 9th. 

My Cancer Journey Patient Blogs Voices Journey

The plan is a Thyroid Lobectomy which is the removal of half of the thyroid gland which has the malignant nodule (it appears to my surgeon to have not spread, still 1.9 cm on the right side according to the latest ultrasound) but I gave him the all-clear to take it all if there is the hint the other side could have issues. The benefit of leaving half my thyroid is perhaps (based on labs and how I feel after) not being on thyroid medication for the rest of my life, which would be a big positive, as some of you know who are on it, it often has a slew of side effects that can be managed and adjusted but it would be even better if they could be avoided entirely. But... like I said getting a good look inside will determine what's needed and I'll just hope for the best. Prayers and good vibes are much appreciated. I will update via my Twitter and Instagram account as soon as I am able and not as drugged... or maybe I'll update while I am drugged... that could be interesting ;) LOL.

Lunch: I got home later than I hoped yesterday. I went to buy some easy to slip-on slippers and a robe so my bare toosh doesn't make an appearance like Jack Nicholson's in Something's Gotta Give. Thankfully, this is literally one of the quickest meals ever and soooo satisfying. You can use any cooked meat you like, ground turkey, chicken, beef, pork. Shrimp is great too. It's a great use for leftover chicken breast or steak too. Just brown the meat and toss it in to warm through toward the end of cooking. This time I used ground sausage meat.

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

Shelly's Egg Roll Bowl

1 (14 - 16 oz.) Bag Coleslaw Mix (or any salad mix that is mostly cabbage)
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
2 Green Onions, diced
1-2 cloves Fresh Garlic, grated
1-2 teaspoons (to taste, I like a lot) Fresh Ginger, grated
a few twists of Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons of Slivered Almonds, toasted
Optional: Any Cooked Meat (about 1/2 - 3/4 cup)

Saute the coleslaw mix, green onion, soy, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and garlic until limp about 8 minutes. Add sliced/chopped cooked meat and a few twists of pepper, toss till warmed through. I add toasted almond slivers I like the nutty crunch surprise in every few bites (toast the almonds 1-2 minutes in a dry pan, stir once or twice, don't walk away they'll burn quickly.)

More Eggface Healthy Asian Inspired Meals

Dinner: Leftovers from our Super Bowl/Pride and Prejudice marathon. Amazon Prime has the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice free right now. I did watch a little Super Bowl but I couldn't help getting my Colin Firth fix. If you don't have Prime (you can still view it, just get the 30-day free trial they have) but you may be hooked on all the perks and want to keep it. Our snacks were BBQ Beef Egg Bites (crustless quiches) and Cucumber Spears with 2 protein-packed Greek Yogurt Dips and Roasted Almonds.

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

Shelly's BBQ Beef Bites (Crustless Quiches)

5 Eggs, beaten
1 cup Shredded Beef (leftover pot roast is great for this)
1/2 cup Shredded Cheese (any you love, I used Colby)
2 Tablespoon BBQ Sauce
2 Green Onions, diced
dash of Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together. Spoon into lightly greased (Pam non-stick spray works great for this) mini muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Let them cool a few moments they pull away and pop right out. Makes 24.

Cooks Note: They do make sugar free/low sugar BBQ sauces but I just use the real deal. It's 2 Tablespoons spread out over 24 egg bites so the sugar isn't an issue for most but if you are highly sensitive maybe try one of those. 

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

Oh, and the 2 yogurt dips for the cucumber spears were Everything Bagel Dip: 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt with Everything Bagel Spice mixed in and Bacon Dip: 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt with real Bacon Bits mixed in.

More Eggface Egg Bites (Crustless Quiches)
More Bariatric Surgery Friendly Party Foods

Snacks: Coffee, Tea and a slice of my Chocolate Microwave Protein Cake with a squirt of Homemade, No Sugar Added Whipped Cream and a drizzle of Sugar-free Strawberry Sauce (Smuckers) for dessert. Mmmm tasted like a chocolate-covered strawberry.

More Eggface Protein Cake Recipes
More Eggface Weight Loss Surgery Friendly Desserts

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

More Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus 

One more thing on the cancer front... I've been reading lots about the 13 cancers associated with overweight and obesity (CDC, 2018)

If you are considering addressing your health and weight (via bariatric surgery or any other means) and you are on the fence and weighing those pros and cons... I would consider reducing your cancer risk as an added plus side benefit.