Post Weight Loss Surgery Menus: A day in my pouch

My yesterday in post weight loss surgery eating was a quite the international tour... there was some Chinese, a little Mexican food on the menu. If anyone says eating after bariatric surgery is boring, send 'em over ;)

Breakfast: I made a "beefed up" Cherry Cheesecake Protein Shake and sat outside reading the new issue of Your Weight Matters Magazine. If you haven't received yours yet it should be on its way. It's got a sneak peek at the awesome OAC Community Website that's coming soon, more about how you can take #OACAction and info about this year's Your Weight Matters National Convention in Denver. Hope to see you there! Registration Info P.S. There are a few more days to apply for the limited scholarships the OAC offers and if any of my readers are able to give to the scholarship fund to help bring more people, any dollar amount is awesome.

Obesity Action Coalition Breakfast Smoothies

Shelly's Cherry Cottage Cheesecake Protein Shake

1 cup Vanilla Almond Milk (you can use any milk)
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1/4 cup Cottage Cheese
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free Black Cherry Torani Syrup
5 or 6 Frozen Pitted Cherries

Whiz in blender till smooth.

This is a great "beefed up" breakfast shake for mornings you just don't feel like cooking/eating because it's packed with protein with the added cottage cheese dollop. Try this, even if you are not a cottage cheese fan. I promise you, it's delicious! You could also do plain Greek yogurt.

More Eggface Favorite Protein Shakes

Lunch: I roasted some of the veggies I picked up at the Farmer's Market this weekend (peppers, zucchini, red onions chopped, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt, 425 for 45 minutes or so, stirring every 15) which I used in these Shrimp and Roasted Veggie Baked Tacos.

Taco Tuesday Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Friendly Recipes

I just sauteed some shrimp in a tiny bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of chili powder. I topped each taco with a plop (very technical cooking term) of guacamole.

How I make the baked taco/tostada shells 

Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery Friendly Gluten Free Taco Tuesday Dinner Recipes

We ate outside. It was a gorgeous day and I spent most of it outside... weeding and trimming stuff so my neighbors don't call one of those "Fix That Yard" type ambush shows on me. Why is it that tomatoes and veggies I have trouble keeping alive but weeds grow like Jack & the Beanstalk tall despite all my efforts to kill them?!

More Eggface Mexican-Inspired Recipes

Dinner: This is one of my favorite dinners: Egg Foo Bites. It's my Mum's too, so it happens at least once a month in some form. I took a quicker way out and used a storebought, frozen cauliflower "rice" mix versus the more lengthy side (my Cauliflower Fried "Rice") I usually make.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Meals Cooking

I served them with Trader Joe's Frozen Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry Mix. If you don't have a Trader Joe's nearby Green Giant makes a great bunch of Riced Cauliflower Mixes too (my Target, Walmart carries them) and you could just add ginger, some veggies and a splash of soy sauce to give it the Asian vibe or if you have more time you could make my Cauliflower "Fried Rice." All are delicious lower carb options and I never miss the rice (which has way fewer nutrients and lays heavy for most weight loss surgery post-ops.)

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Meals Cooking

Shelly's Egg Foo Young Bites

2 cups Bean Sprouts
6 Mushrooms, chopped
4 Green Onions, diced
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
5 Eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
Olive oil for sauteing

Preheat oven to 350. Saute mushrooms till golden. Add bean sprouts. Cover and cook till bean sprouts go limp about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. When cool, I snip the bean sprouts up a bit with kitchen shears. Helps them fit in the mini muffin tin better. 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. Optional: Serve with Foo Young Gravy

Shelly's Foo Young Gravy

1 Green Onion, diced
1 cup Chicken Broth
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Corn Starch

Mix cornstarch into 1/4 cup of the broth (can do vegetable broth for a vegetarian version) in a small pitcher and stir till dissolved. Add to remaining ingredients in a saucepan and cook on low, stirring
constantly, till bubbling and thickened. Spoon over Egg Foo Young Bites.

These reheat great the next day too! Yay for leftovers.

More Eggface Bites (aka Mini Crustless Quiches)
More Eggface Asian-Inspired Recipes

Snacks: Coffee, a Cheesestick, and I wanted a little something sweet last night so I made Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cookie Sandwiches out of the protein bar cookies I make. I put a smear of peanut butter between 2 double chocolate protein bar "cookies." Messy but yum! Each protein bar makes 8 cookies, so 4 sandwich cookies. 1 "cookie sandwich" was the perfect portion and hit the spot. 

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Fitness Workout Low Carb Protein Bar Recipes

Hope you have a great week! 

Cool Product Alert: Real Good Foods Enchiladas Update

I know it's supposed to be Taco Tuesday but this good news I'm sharing is somewhat appropriate since it's about another type of Mexican food: Enchiladas, specifically the Real Good Frozen Enchiladas I love. You know... the protein-packed, low carb ones where the "tortilla" is actually made of chicken and cheese and filled with all sorts of yummy enchilada fillings like shredded chicken, beef, pork or cheese. Check out my review of them back in December.

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Protein Packed Keto Diet Products

You can still buy the enchiladas online (feel free to use my affiliate coupon code: eggface to score 10% off your Real Good Foods online orders) but the good news I was asked by the company to share is that the enchiladas are now available in more local supermarkets including: Ralph's, Kroger, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Smith's, Harris Teeter, and several others around the country. Look for them in the freezer case near you!

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Protein Packed Keto Diet Products

Also, FYI if you are an Ibotta user (Ibotta is a free app that pays you cash back for your purchases) right now you can score $2 cash back on your purchase of Real Good Enchiladas in participating supermarkets (offer ends July 1.)

Bariatric Surgery Weight Loss Low Carb Protein Packed Keto Diet Products

They are great to take to work and nuke for lunch. They come in a microwavable tray of 2 of the same flavor. For dinner, I love to make 2 different flavors and give each person one of each. I served them that way tonight with another great frozen product Green Giant Riced Veggies (cauliflower, peas, carrots.) I added some sauteed onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, chopped and a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin to give the riced veggies a little Mexican vibe. The whole dinner was done in less than 15 minutes. Delicious, or should I say delicioso!

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 share the good news about the enchiladas. All shared opinions are mine. These are soooo good.

Tips for Reducing Stress

All the chaos and stress in the world can really take a toll. I won't get political (I'll save that for my Twitter account, you've been warned) but my emotional health would be a lot better if I didn't wake up each morning wondering if we've been tweeted into World War III. It's well documented what stress can do to our body and weight loss efforts. So when the world outside is cray-cray these are a few things that help me reduce my stress level. I hope you give a few a try.

1. Meal Plan. John F. Kennedy said, "The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining." When life is calm I take some time (my Sunday afternoon usually) to make a meal plan, I basically just figure out three days in a row or so of balanced, protein forward meals and what I can do with any leftovers. I get out any pans or seasonings I need. I prep anything I can (roast veggies or throw an extra piece of chicken on the grill) basically I try and make it easier for the plan to become reality. So if/when life throws me a curve-ball or if an appointment takes way longer than I thought it would and I get home and I'm stressed and hungry. I don't have the added pressure of trying to figure out what to make and there is no eating based on emotion or "crap grabbing" anything out of desperation. I've got my plan.

More About Meal Planning

2. Take a walk outside. I try to take a walk every day. Study after study shows benefits in walking for mood and creativity. The fresh air and sunshine are natural tonics for me... if I am stressed I put on my sneakers and take off and when I get back the situation or stressor may not have changed but I have a better way of dealing with it.

3. Meditate. I have the most unquiet mind so if I can do it, believe me, anyone can. I set my alarm for 15 minutes early in the morning several times a week specifically to meditate. Sometimes I'll do a guided meditation (they vary from 10-15 minutes), sometimes I just listen to the ocean or rain on leaves (we don't get the real deal much around here) or sometimes I use Mala beads (which sort of reminds me of my Catholic upbringing and my Rosary.) It's not about religion for me... it's just about starting the day peaceful and centered. It's been a great help to me and I truly feel the difference on the days it doesn't happen. Some of my favorite FREE (you can upgrade to add the bells & whistles) Meditation Apps: Calm, Insight Timer.

Stress Relief Relievers

More Apps I love

4. To do lists. This one is a bit of a double-edged sword because it can overwhelm me at times to see a long daunting list but I get a thrill when I make that big line through a task and it helps me focus on what really needs to happen. Technically, I have 2 to-do lists. One list I make each night has my 2-3 priorities for the following day and then I have a master to-do list of stuff that needs to happen at some point, I try and group them into big stuff and little stuff, so if I find a few extra minutes in the day I look at my little stuff and knock one off... and if something doesn't happen well... that's life, tomorrow is another day, no guilt or shame about it, that only saps energy from the new day.

5. Music. Turning on the tunes is the easiest way to change my mood. I have a Spotify account and I make fun lists, songs to chill out to, motivation songs, dance songs (3-4 songs = 10 min workout), 80's, songs when it rains... you name it, I've made a song list for it.

6. Clear out the clutter. I have a cardboard box in the corner of my garage and when I find something that I don't want or need any longer, doesn't feel right, looked better on the mannequin... I put it in the box, when the box is full it gets put in the trunk and dropped off at the thrift (or donation box) and a new box is put in the corner. Letting go of things frees up space (literally and in your mind) to focus on what brings you joy.

7. Do something for someone else. The quickest way for me to reduce my stress level is to help someone else. Volunteering is great but you don't even have to leave home to do it. I hit a message board and answer a new weight loss surgery post-ops question or someone thinking about bariatric surgery but unsure about what life is like after. It helps me get out of my own world for a few minutes.

Other Favorites Acts of Kindness

and finally back to food...

8. Eat outside. I love to bring lunch (bento boxes are great) or take dinner outside. We call them "Tidbit Parties" or "Patio Picnics," yummy protein-packed tidbits brought outside on the patio and lots of laughter is a great way to soothe the soul.

I love the messages on my spreaders... wishing everyone around the world plenty of both!

Oodles of Bento Box Lunch Ideas
Money Saving Tips

I'd love to hear ways you've found to reduce stress.

Baked Cauli-Tots (aka Cauliflower Croquette) Recipe

I've seen cauliflower tots in the supermarket and some recipes online and most of them have been a little carbier than I liked and didn't offer much in the way of protein. I was in the mood to experiment the other day and we really enjoyed what I came up with. It was definitely blog-worthy and will be added to my menu in the future. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

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

Shelly's Baked Cauli-Tots (aka Cauliflower Croquettes) 

2 cups of Fresh Cauliflower, crumbled/riced
2 Tablespoons Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese (like Boursin)
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese, drained
1/4 cup Spelt or Chickpea Flour
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
a few twists of Black Pepper
Bagel Spice/Everything Bagel Seasoning for sprinkling

A few hours before you want to make the tots (or better yet the night before) place the ricotta cheese in a mesh sieve over a bowl (make sure it doesn't touch the bottom) and place back in the fridge. Discard the liquid that drains. Saute cauliflower in a non-stick pan about 8-10 minutes till golden, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 425, line a baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients including the drained ricotta cheese to the cooled cauliflower (except the Bagel Seasoning.) Stir everything together until well combined and you have a thick dough. Form the dough into about 16, 3" cylindrical tots, I like double tot length, for more traditional tot size you'll get 32. Sprinkle with Bagel Seasoning.

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

Place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip, spray the tops of the Cauli-Tots lightly with non-stick spray and bake 15 more minutes or until golden brown.

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

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

Cook's Note: I used fresh, bagged, pre-riced cauliflower. You could always pulse fresh florets in a food processor till rice consistency too. I wouldn't suggest frozen for this recipe it's a little too soft a consistency.

I served the Cauli-Tots with a duo of dips: warmed Tomato Sauce (jarred Rao's Tomato Basil) and cool Homemade Greek Yogurt "Ranch" Dip.

Homemade Greek Yogurt "Ranch" Dip

1/2 cup Greek Yogurt, plain
1 teaspoon Dry Buttermilk Powder
1/2 teaspoon Dried Parsley
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Dried Chives
a few twists of Black Pepper
Salt to taste

Mix till well combined. You can find Dry Buttermilk Powder near regular powdered milk (though it's not the same) or online. This is basically that supermarket ranch packet mix without all the names you can't pronounce. If you want to turn it into dressing for salad just thin it with milk, water, or a light vinegar.

These Baked Cauli-Tots (aka Cauliflower Croquettes) would be perfect served with a salad. Great for Meatless Monday or if you have vegetarian pals coming over for lunch or dinner. They reheat in the microwave (losing some crispness but still yummy.)

Other Eggface Favorite Cauliflower Recipes