A Sleeve Journey

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Full Day Meal Plan #1

Full Day Post VSG Meals

Full Day Post VSG Meals

Here’s to my first attempt chronicling a full day in the life of my sleeve. If you’re interested in ones from closer to surgery – I use to do this a lot on my Facebook, so check that album out for early pre-op food collages. 

Starting in the top left, going clockwise, and finishing in the center:

  • Scrambled egg with shredded sharp cheese
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough Quest bar
  • Chicken breast
  • Coffee with cream
  • Eggplant, sliced like noodles, baked in Alfredo sauce. Topped with ground turkey. Ezekiel English Muffin made into garlic bread (only ate half as shown in nutrition below). And only ate one bean of the Asian snap pea salad, which is why it is not listed in the nutrition facts below.


Day1Nutrition1Day1Nutrition2


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Sweet Potato Chips

 

I’ve spent plenty of time (and sacrificed my fair share of sweet potatoes in the process) trying to make my own sweet potato chips that aren’t laden with calories. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of fat – if you follow me at all you’d know that I don’t subscribe to the Lipid Hypothesis nor to I run shreeking in fear from full fat products – I’d actually rather have them over the reduced fat “healthier version”. But that’s enough ranting about fat for this post – why you’re here is to learn about my perfected sweet potato chip making process! These chips aren’t laden in anything except sweet potato – because sometimes I just want to nom on many more chips without loading in the calories despite the higher glycemic index. Okay, okay, rant over. For real this time. Here’s how to make the chips:

You’ll need: sweet potatoes, hand slicer or equivalent, canola oil spray, salt, baking sheets.

Things I’ve learned throughout my various fails:

  • A mandolin or some similar device for consistently slicing very thin is invaluable to this process.
  • More is NOT better – this goes for the heat and the oil content.
  • This is time-consuming – and walking away from those chips in the oven for long will most likely result in some crispy little black discs and a burnt up baking sheet. Be prepared to baby sit your oven during this process.

The process:

  • Pre-heat your oven to a LOW setting – like 225F.
  • Slice your sweet potatoes very thin.
  • Very very lightly, spray a layer of canola oil spray on your cookie sheet.
  • Lay out your sweet potato chips in a single layer.
  • Again, very very lightly spray another layer of canola oil spray on top.
  • Sprinkle with salt as desired. (I’m not afraid of salt, but I won’t rant about fat and salt in the same recipe.)
  • Place in oven.
  • Wait for the magic to happen.

Additional notes to be aware of/tips and tricks continued:

  • I’ve seen plenty of sweet potato chip recipes cooking them at a very high temperature. At first, this made sense to me – blast them – they get crispy. I sacrificed many a sweet potato subscribing to this theory of home-made sweet potato chips. They always turned up going from  orange to charred little discs in about half a second. What worked for me was a lower temperature. I believe this helps them dry out better than blasting them does. Dehydrating is obviously a lower temperature than this and takes even longer but I seem to have found a happy medium between dehydrating and blasting them that works best for me. Maybe it also just extends that time between crispy and black that helps me catch them before catastrophe. No matter the reason – this is the happy temperature I’ve found for my sweet potato chips.
  • You’re going to have to baby these things. Certain chips will cook faster than others. This process will most likely consist of a tray in and out multiple times for removal of some and moving around of others. I tend to just have a bowl of sliced ones ready to go in and the sheets become a dynamic process – take some off, add some new on. A whole sheet isn’t going to get done at the same time which is why no – I didn’t give you a cooking time. I’d suspect 10-20 minutes is how long most of my chips stay in, but it varies, and I use this dynamic process to get large batches done.
  • Too much oil will also contribute to that quick burning process. Also, parts of the chips will end up chewy and other parts charcoal. Being incredibly light with the oil is key. That’s why when I track my calories for these, I tend to use the pre-cooked sweet potato weight – and that’s it. The oil should be so minimal it doesn’t need to exist on those calorie counters.


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P28 High Protein Bagels, Bread, Flat Bread and Spreads Review

P28 products are on my list of favorite high protein alternative finds. P28 offers a range of high protein, low carb bread products and nut butter spreads. Though I wouldn’t consider using these products if you’re a relatively new WLSer, for those close to or at goal, these are a great bread “substitute”. Watch my video review here or read below for more info with links!

P28 flat bread were the first P28 product that I found. I’ve been using their flat breads for quite sometime now. I found them one day at Wegman’s and was thrilled with the 28 grams of protein in one wrap. These wraps, for the record, are HUGE. And I would never actually eat an entire one in one sitting. They are fairly thick and about the size of a small cookie sheet, so I find them absolutely ideal for pizza crusts – essentially now my sole purpose for P28 wraps.

P28 bagels bring bagels back into my post-WLS life. I hadn’t consumed a bagel since pre-surgery until I found P28 bagels. They have a unique taste and are a bit on the chewy side pre-toast. A bit sweet – but not confining to be a sweet bagel. I made an amazing bagel breakfast sandwich with turkey sausage, cheese, and eggs on one of these. Packed with protein and crazy filling – luckily I have someone to share with! On it’s own, with butter, or various flavors of cream cheese, the options for these high protein bagels are endless and a much healthier option than just any bagel you could pick up at the donut shop.

P28 bread is probably the most versatile of the P28 line. I have endless ideas for what I could do with this stuff – and I can’t wait to try! Half a slice with some nut butter and a Greek yogurt has become a favorite breakfast choice for me. Half a slice with some nut butter is also excellent for a pre-workout snack. The slices are huge, so even for a sandwich just one slice cut in half would do for any WLS patient. The bread, like the bagels, are a bit on the “dark side” and have a slight sweetness to them, but don’t think there’s any savory idea you couldn’t work with with this bread. You can’t beat this stuff – 130 calories and 14 grams of protein.

All of the P28 bread options have 28 grams of protein per serving – though a WLS patient should not expect to be able to eat a full serving of any of these, especially if they are accompanying something else. The main protein source is whey protein isolate – a huge plus for all of us WLSers.  The links to each individual product above has full nutrition facts in the tabs.

P28 spreads – P28 spreads are nutritionally similar to any other no sugar added spread – with the addition of 14 grams of whey protein isolate per serving. These are a great option for healthy fats plus added protein. Generally speaking – they are not my very favorite option for high protein spreads, but they are pretty good. I do love the white chocolate peanut butter and their signature blend with cinnamon, cranberry, sunflower seeds, flax, and honey is also really good. For the regular peanut butter or almond butter, I’d probably go elsewhere – again with me – a texture thing. If you’ve had Nut’s N More – you should know what I’m talking about when I say really really smooth for a peanut/almond butter, but almost gritty like. Not my favorite. That white chocolate though – that will be finding a place on my self soon. My real complaint with these is that you have to buy 4 jars at a time. That’s a whole lot for someone whose had WLS and is likely consuming less than 1200 cal/day for the rest of their life.

I highly suggest ordering a trial pack from their website – this will give you everything I showed in the video (one of each type of bread, and a little sample of each type of spread). You can also use their store locator (US) online to find where their products are closest to you! For Canada click here, or UK here.

Thanks, P28, for the sample pack and providing high protein bread and spread options to us WLS patients!


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Spinach Feta Chicken Flat Bread

Spinach Feta Chicken Flat Bread

Tonight’s dinner was a total winner so I thought I’d share. Anytime my non-WLS boyfriend takes a bite of my food and goes “OMG this is delicious!” I know it’s worth sharing. Healthy AND yummy!

Ingredients:
1/2 FlatOut Rosemary Olive Oil Flat Bread Pizza Crust
1.5 oz grilled/boiled chicken, diced
1 oz shredded mozzarella
1 oz feta cheese
~1/8 cup frozen spinach (thawed)
diced red onion to taste (I put lots, so I’ll let you use your judgement on this one!)
Canola oil spray
garlic powder and oregano

Directions:
Spray both sides of your flat bread with a little canola oil and place on a baking sheet. Dust the top with garlic powder and oregano. Bake for ~3 minutes. Layer the rest of the ingredients on as follows: mozzarella, chicken, onion, spinach, feta. Bake at 350 for ~10 minutes or until cheese is melty and crust is crispy.

250 calories  25 protein  14 carbs  2 fiber


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EPIC Bar Review

Forever ago, I made a video (click here to watch!) reviewing Epic Bars. As a follow-up after consuming the entirety of bars, here’s some additional comments:

EPIC Bars, in theory to me, where the greatest invention ever. I still think they are pretty great, but I honestly can’t get myself to actually purchase them — only because of the texture. These bars are tasty, have wholesome ingredients, are loaded with protein and healthy fats, and are a quick and easy snack to have stached in the purse or car for when you need something healthy and fast. My only issue is texture. This is coming from someone who is incredibly picky about texture – so I encourage you to try them for yourself. When I think meat in a snack type form, I think jerky or similar. This bar is not. EPIC bars are a soft protein bar – think soft, moist, ground meat. For me, I just couldn’t get over that kind of texture in a shelf stable bar combined with nuts and other ingredients. Just wasn’t my thing — however, I really do encourage you to try them for yourself. I often see EPIC Bars and really wish I had liked the texture because I loved the taste, protein, healthy fats, and convinence. Maybe someday, I’ll grow up and eat all my veggies despite my distain for their texture and then I’ll like EPIC Bars. Visit their website for more information.

Thanks to Taylor and the entire EPIC team for the samples of a great product!


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Blog Rework in Progress

As a note: as you may have noticed, over the past couple of weeks, I have been working on completely redoing the blog. Certain pages linked at the top may be incomplete at this time as I rework them. Posts that you may find missing will be back soon – hopefully just in a more organized useful way! I am working on bringing you more recipes and reviews as requested. Please bear with me through the new organization and I promise all posts will be back soon!