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Practical, Bariatric Friendly, Carb Conscious, Real World… Early Meals
Everyone wants to smack the Low Carb Tortillas from our hand but no one says what we CAN eat. We’ve been eating the WRONG foods for a lifetime, how do we suddenly know what’s right?
There are a few food stages that post ops go through fresh from the hospital.
1. too scared to swallow my own spit
2. wonton soup ‘without the stuff’
3. boldly drinking ‘cream’ soups (what’s a cream soup?!) and yogurt
Then for some reason we fall straight off the cliff and have NO idea what comes next! People wander into our Bariatric Eating Support Group on Facebook and announce that they ate four bites of a chicken quesadilla that was yummy but made them sick. Of course bedlam ensues as everyone CHANGES TO ALL CAPS AND SCREAMS ‘NO TORTILLAS”.
People are VERY good at telling you what NOT to eat, especially when you tell them what you ate. Here’s are some ideas of what you can have with a few photos sprinkled in.
These are Full Liquids that you CAN eat – full liquids by definition are foods that are smooth and pourable
An Inspire Protein drink
Oikos Triple Zero Greek yogurt (the black container) – this is a smooth brand – no fruit chunks
Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk – or Unsweetened Almond Coconut Milk
Creamed or Smooth Soups – puree Progresso Lentil, Black Bean or Minestrone soup in blender and then heat. Amy’s Tomato or Wolfgang Puck Butternut Squash Soups are good choices. Cream refers to texture, not the use of milk or cream. (NO noodles or rice or chowder’s)
Tomato Juice or V-8, warmed or chilled
Jello Sugar Free Instant Pudding or better yet make the cooked kind, use fat free milk. (IMPORTANT! Instant pudding will NOT set with almond or soy milk)
Whisk enough 100% Idahoan dried potato flakes (sold in packets) into a small pot of hot Swanson chicken broth until thin and pourable
Ricotta swirled with warmed seedless Smucker’s Sugar Free Preserves – warming the preserves loosens the ricotta
These are Purees and Soft Foods you CAN eat – foods that are the texture of applesauce or that can be mashed with a fork to the consistency of applesauce
One egg scrambled with 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
Blend equal parts unsweetened baby food fruit with ricotta
Part skim ricotta cheese
Low fat cheese, mozzarella cheese sticks
1-2% cottage cheese
Tilapia poached in tomato juice and fork mashed with a little cooking liquid
Spoon salsa over cottage cheese
Here are some simple Puree and Soft foods you can prepare using our recipes
Egg ‘Crepe’ with Ricotta & Salsa
Pinto Bean Puree
Maryland Shrimp Spread
Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce
Then once you are doing well with purees and soft foods… you still need to proceed with caution. Remember that I told you this. Just because someone TELLS you that you can eat chicken, doesn’t mean you can actually do it. The surgeons and the nutritionists often have not HAD bariatric surgery so when they tell you are ‘released’ to eat a particular food they mean ‘in theory’. Foods need to be simmered or lightly cooked in a liquid sauce or salsa. Low carb vegetables also moisten bites of food.
Here are some creative protein meals that are good choices for bariatric post ops, once you’ve tackled the softer smoother foods
Chicken Tenders – put a chicken tender on a cutting board, cover with a piece of plastic wrap and smack a few times with a heavy saucepan, meat mallet, or wine bottle bottom to slightly flatten. Season with Lemon Pepper and cook for 2 minutes per side over high heat in a teaspoon of olive oil in a non stick skillet. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
Simmer boneless skinless Chicken Tenders or Thighs in a jar of salsa until tender and falling apart in the sauce – 30 to 40 minutes
Simmer boneless skinless Chicken Tenders or Thighs in a jar of pasta sauce until tender and falling apart in the sauce – 30 to 40 minutes
Lightly cook Shrimp in a jar of salsa until just cooked though – 4 to 6 minutes
Lightly cook Shrimp in a jar of pasta sauce until just cooked though – 4 to 6 minutes
Lightly cook Tilapia, Cod or Sole in a jar of salsa until just cooked through – 4 to 5 minutes
Lightly cook Tilapia, Cod or Sole in a jar of pasta sauce until just cooked through – 4 to 5 minutes
Serve any of these soft proteins with the following lower carbohydrate, high nutrient vegetables
Yellow Squash – cut into 1 inch pieces and cook, in a covered pan with 1 tablespoon of water, salt and pepper, until soft and tender.
Zucchini – cut into 1/2 inch slices and cook in a covered pan with enough pasta sauce to coat until soft and tender.
Cut Tomatoes, Avocado and Cucumber into small cubes and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon vinegar.
Saute Baby Spinach leaves in a teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Make a small Chopped Salad with baby greens and diced tomato – blend with Bolthouse Farms Yogurt dressing.
Think soft moist protein FIRST with soft cooked vegetables or salads to moisten each mouthful! If at any point you do not do well with a food and it comes back up; sip warm tea to soothe your touchy tummy and back down into the full liquid or puree stage for a day or so. Even as a fifteen year post op, I still make an occasional misstep, the food comes back up and I have to nurse my wounds with warm tea. It’s not you… its just life after bariatric surgery.