Baby Steps

I tend to forget that there are novice cooks or non cooks that watch our show wanting ideas for quick easy to prepare recipes.  Don’t despair, I am working on some quick recipes that put together low-carb/high-protein ideas with ya’ll in mind.

As I sit here thinking about what we used to eat and what we now eat, I remember when our foster daughters Angel and Aimee came to live with us. They had a diet of McDonalds chicken nuggets and mac and cheese from a box. Trying to get them to eat a balanced diet was very hard.  They could each eat a half of box of cereal at one meal, my kids never ate as much as these tiny girls could put away.  Time caught up with both of them quickly with Aimee developing food allergies that were diet related and a few years later Angel developed fibro.

Aimee was a willing student, and learned one dish at a time how to cook.  Angel moved away and learned on her own.  Both have become amazing cooks contending with their dietary issues.

I remember explaining to them NEVER try to cook the whole meal the first time.  Make a dish and learn to make it well.  If it is mashed potatoes remember not to boil the pot dry.. Really simple things but in the kitchen attention is crucial.

For you bariatric patients, learn to make a batch, freeze it and have portions on hand for a second, third or fourth meal you need to consider what will be needed to succeed.

Food freezes well in plastic airtight containers for 6 months.  Vacuum packaging with lengthen the time to 1  year.  So if you make a big recipe you don’t have to eat it all in a week.

First pick a recipe that you like.  Make it on a day when you have at least 1 hour.  Maybe give up and hour of TV one night!  Portion it up, then pick a second dish and do it again till you have your stash of yummy low-carb, high-protein goodies.

Most chopped ingredients like onions, bell pepper and celery can be bought either in the veg section or frozen section, it is already chopped and ready to go. Along with lots of fresh veg that can be steamed in just a few minutes.

I’ve heard folks complain that they can’t cook so they turn back to fast food! NO,NO, NO!!!

There are whole food grocery stores that have prepared entrees, salad bars and carry out meals that are healthy and don’t cost any more than eating out.

Immediately after my surgery in October 2010, my grandson was in the hospital in Florida.  I flew down 10 days after surgery, still on the soft food portion of my recovery.  I made a trip to, of all places, Boston Market and got meatloaf and mashed potatoes – enough on the child’s plate for 2 meals!  The hotel offered breakfast so if they didn’t have scrambled eggs they had yogurt that I could eat for breakfast and steal for a snack.  My daughter-in-law kept applesauce and sugar free pudding so those were available during the day.  Canned soups and canned meats such as deviled ham and tuna gave me some variety.  After the first week I was able to begin solid foods so I kept is simple with cheese, sliced turkey or ham, deli style, scrambled or hard boiled eggs, of course I kept eating yogurt and the sugar free pudding for my snacks.

KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid!!!

The simpler the better – in the first 10 days in Florida I lost a pound a day…by the time I came home I had lost 27 pounds.  I don’t recommend stress as a way to lose during the first few weeks.  It was hard on me and stripped a lot of the nutrients from my body way too fast. But if I had not planned ahead it would have been much worse.

I don’t recommend going into this surgery thinking that a patient can survive without handling food at some point.  Changing your basic habits of eating are important and the only way you can survive and keep your weight off long term. So, planning, simple recipes and support groups are crucial from the time you start the process of deciding on which ever surgery you choose.

Don’t get overwhelmed.

Take it one step at at time. Below, I list the steps to success in making your weekly meal plan.  And setting yourself up for success in trying any recipe you choose.

#1 Remove all chips, cookies, crackers, and high carbohydrate foods like Rice, Potatoes, and Bread.  ( you may be able to add some back later just don’t plan on it. Then you won’t live in anticipation)

#2 Pick a recipe you a like.  Buy just the items you need, don’t go crazy by saying “that looks good!”  you can overload yourself and lose control fast.

#3 Buy freezer bags or containers for your portions. Don’t buy gallon size, small is best at this time of your life!

#4 Make your favorite recipe.

#5 Pack in 1/2 c portions.

#6 Start over with the next recipe!

Hint: even cheese and lunch meats can be packaged into individual bags or containers for the week.  They don’t have to be frozen and can be on hand for a quick snack.

When you are confident with each recipe, mix and match your portions.  Grilled meat with fresh veg.  Do your meat in bulk, even if you are doing it on the stovetop or under the broiler.  Chicken cooked will keep in a closed container for a week in the refrigerator, but frozen it becomes a swap out for later.  Meatballs or burger patties in slider sizes are another idea that freeze well, and also will hold a week in the refrigerator.  Just don’t make quarter pounders!  A pound of ground meat should made 10-12 mini burgers.   These  are just a few ideas to cook ahead and have in the freezer and refrigerator.

Good Luck and have fun trying out new recipes.

If you have any questions on what products are easiest to use please leave me a comment, or if you have done some of these things and have ideas that I did not mention please feel free to share with all of us. Visit us in our group at www.facebook.com/groups/7Bites or shoot us an email at sevenbitesshow@gmail.com

Suzette