Transitioning from Early Soft Stages to 'Real Food'
This is not a diet with a beginning and end - this is your whole new life!
Once released to go on your merry way and eat 'real' or 'normal' foods proceed with caution. Just because your nutritionist says you can eat chicken, it doesn't mean you can actually do it. Many of us live in the Soft Food Zone forever - not purees or baby food, but just softer moister foods. Foods will always need to have a softer texture in order for us to comfortably eat them. Dry or dense foods will not work for a Lap Band, RNY, or Gastric Sleeve after your surgery; not just for a few weeks or months but for always. We also need to move away from processed foods as well. If a food has been changed from it's original state and boxed or packaged where it does not go bad, leave it on the supermarket shelf.
Welcome to the real world of bariatric surgery. Protein foods such as chicken or fish need to be cooked so they are not dried out and then often need to be further moistened with salsa's sauces, low fat vegetable gravies, salad dressing, low or no sugar sauces, or yogurt based dips so that they chew up into a moist mouthful. We must always practice mindful eating in regards to choices and textures.
Tuna, chicken, shrimp, and egg salads are very good first foods and make nice lunches for work. Paired with a few bites of tender baby greens or chopped tossed salad, they are super easy to eat and healthy too.
It is not a good idea to get into the habit of cooking separate meals as it can emotionally separate you from your family. Everyone eats the same food for supper in my home, so these meals are also what I serve to my husband or anyone else at the table. We are often responsible for the care and feeding of the household and they probably benefit from the positive change as well.
Always eat your moist protein first, followed by a couple of bites of the accompanying vegetables. Three bites protein for every one bite of vegetables is a good start - later on it will be a more balanced one for one bite.
When you have a feeling of satisfaction and do not care about eating another bite of food, stop. Do not eat past a point of satisfaction or fullness. As time progresses you will learn to recognize this point.
Here are some Menu Ideas for early post ops who have been given the okay to eat soft foods
- Scrambled egg with shredded cheddar and salsa
- Believe Chai Tea protein energy drink
- Morningstar Farms veggie breakfast patty with an over easy or poached egg
- Ricotta cheese with sugar free preserves and a spoonful of Inspire Whey Protein Isolate Drink mix
- Baked Vanilla Egg Custard
- Protein Latte made by dissolving a full scoop of Inspire Caramel Latte Whey Protein Isolate Drink mix in a large mug with 2 tablespoons Coffee mate Sugar Free Liquid Creamer and slowly filled to the top with hot coffee
- Mashed pinto beans with Cabot lowfat cheddar
- Black bean soup with Greek yogurt
- Boars Head deli turkey breast, slice of Swiss cheese, rolled up in a butter lettuce leaf
- 2/3 cup Fage Greek yogurt blended with a half scoop of Inspire Peanut Butter Cookie Whey Protein Isolate Drink mix
- Salad made with last night's leftover grilled salmon, sauteed shrimp, or rotisserie chicken blended with a little curry powder, Greek yogurt, salt & pepper. Loosen texture with a little chicken broth or water
- Egg salad made with half Hellmann's Light Mayonnaise and half Greek yogurt
These are simple meals that incorporate cooking styles that are easy for a post op to eat. Plus your family will love them!
Look at your open hand. A four ounce portion of protein is about the size and thickness of the palm of your hand. Eat two bites of the protein; follow with a bite of the softly cooked vegetables. The basics of roasting salmon and how to prepare these easy meals are in our recipe section.
- Roasted salmon and 1/2 cup finely chopped green salad moistened with a tablespoon of creamy ranch dressing
- Store bought rotisserie chicken with a dipping sauce made of equal parts salsa and Greek yogurt, with grape tomato halves tossed in Newman's Own Light Raspberry Balsamic Dressing
- Precooked shrimp and chopped salad made with romaine hearts, walnuts, and crumbled blue cheese dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar
- Inspire Protein Kitchen Cancun Chili with a big dollop of Greek yogurt and Cabot shredded low fat cheddar
- Celentano frozen meatballs simmered for a few minutes in Mario Batali Marinara Sauce or a jar of roasted salsa. Different flavors of sauce and salsa create different dishes. Pair with steamed broccoli or sauteed baby spinach to round out plate. Serve family members their meatballs on top of a dish of angel hair pasta
- Peeled raw shrimp quickly pan sauteed in olive oil and garlic, add juice of lemon and season with salt and pepper when just cooked through. Serve with cooked vegetables.