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Food tips after gastric bypass

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When I was getting ready for my gastric bypass surgery, I read whatever I could about it.  Back then, blogs and online support groups were pretty new, and few and far between, so I read a few books on the topic.  Now, there are tons of online resources, but I still really like a "all info in one place" book.  Here is a list of 7 of the most popular and helpful out there!

The Sleeved Life  by Pennie Nicola is about her journey getting the vertical sleeve gasterectomy.  The cool thing about this book is she combines her personal story with lots of the most recent research on this type of WLS.


The Big Book on the Gastric Bypass has everything about gastric bypass, from how to pick a surgeon, what to expect pre-op, how the surgery is performed, recovery, etc.  It has lots of info about afterwards as well, how much you can expect to lose, the diet, & exercising after.


Weight Loss Surgery:  The Real Skinny is a great one that talks about all the "bad" parts of WLS.  It goes over the mental aspects, how to change your relationship with food, and how to handle when you don't get the results you were hoping for.


The Success Habits of Weight Loss Surgery Patients (3rd addition) has stories from patients that have had all different bariatric surgeries.  Patients interviewed are long term success stories, from 5, 10, 15 years ago, some from 30 years ago!


Back On Track After Weight Loss Surgery is great for any of us struggling with weight regain, with slipping into bad eating habits, not making time to work out, etc.

Weight Loss Surgery for DummiesWeight Loss Surgery for Dummies I absolutely love the "Dummies" books so of course this one had to make the list!  As all the other "Dummies" books, this one is written in clear, easy to understand language, tons of tips and tricks, and fun to read.


Al Roker:  Never Goin' Back I had to include Al Roker from NBC on this list.  He is such an inspiration, and this open and honest story of his life, his struggles as a child with his weight, and what finally led him to getting bariatric surgery, is a must read


Most of these are available hardcopy or on your kindle, which is personally my favorite way to read :)


*I am NOT a mental health professional and I urge you to seek appropriate counseling for any relationship problems*

For many of us who have weight loss surgery, we have had weight issues most of our lives. I for one battled with my weight since the age of 12. So when we hear the words “you’re approved” it’s a mix of feelings; relief, happiness, nervousness, excitement…I’m sure you can fill in many others you felt when you heard the news for yourself. We all imagine our spouse/significant other will be behind us 100% in our decision to change our life for the better and put an end to our obesity struggles.


But what happens when you’re partner doesn’t support your decision to go under the knife? Why would he/she react this way? More and more I’m hearing of couples having relationship issues either during the approval process or soon after the surgery is done. There are many reasons that your partner might not support your decision for weight loss surgery. For many, couples met and fell in love while at their current weight. Basically who you are (and are trying to change with your WLS) is who your partner fell in love with. The new you will take some getting used to.

Some lack of support may be due to worry that you will now be more attractive to other people and leave him/her for someone else. If your partners is also heavy and unhappy with their weight, good ‘ole fashioned jealousy can be at play that you are able to change for the better and they are not.

Sometimes, without realizing it, our surgery becomes our sole focus, and that can wear on the other person (and honestly our other friends and family, not just our partners). It’s a big deal to us, and even if our loved ones are happy for us, and supportive, it doesn’t mean they want to hear about it during ever conversation…that’s when support groups come in handy, so we can talk about it to our hearts content!

If your partner is truly disrespecting you, insulting you, or hurting you in anyway, do NOT tolerate that! But if it seems to be simply they are having a rough time with the changes your surgery brought on, try talking honestly about them, and meet him/her halfway, and see if attitudes can shift to make both of you happy again. One of the biggest changes in your life doesn’t have to mean an end to your relationship!

Better Bariatric


Trick or Treat!

Trick or treat! Are those words that fill you with dread? Nothing like having the kiddo’s out gathering bags full of delicious candy that a (reformed, sort-of) candy addict like myself would drool over. So how to avoid temptation and keep your kids off a sugar high? Here’s a few tips to keep away from the candy bowl and keep your kids from overdoing it too.


  • Don’t buy candy you like…if it’s not your thing, you’re much less likely to get into the bag.
  • The last goblin to ring my doorbell for the night gets whatever is left. I don’t want any extra candy hanging around on Halloween night!
  • Buy a small trick or treat bag or small pumpkin bucket at the dollar store; no pillowcases allowed. When it’s full, it’s time to go in.
  • Help the kids sort as soon as you get home. I have my kids check out their booty, and divide it into two piles: What they love and what can go. The go pile gets packed up right away and taken to the food bank the next day.
  • The stay pile goes into the freezer. It’s harder for my kids (or worse, me) to gobble down candy if it’s frozen.
  • If you must have a taste of something, choose wisely. Miniature 3 Musketeers bar, mini Tootsie Roll, or a fun-sized Twix are a few options under 50 calories. Just watch, even that smaller amount of sugar will make some people dump!
  • Anything left in my boys’ bags after a couple of weeks goes (quietly and discreetly) into the trash.

Some parents find me mean not letting the kids go out for hours and keep enough candy to last them through Christmas, but I just feel no one needs all that. The fun is going out with friends and dressing up. A few days after, they never even remember that their stash is in the freezer anyway! If you have a great tip for keeping the little ones and yourself from a candy coma, please leave a reply and let me know about it! Happy Halloween!


Having a successful pregnancy after gastric bypass is entirely possible; my 3 year old son is living proof of that! Many women have babies after bypass. There are some special considerations to keep in mind though.


First and foremost, wait until you are at least 18-24 months post-op before getting pregnant! I’m not saying that it’s not possible to have a healthy baby before than, but it’s not recommended. Your body is trying to heal from your WLS and your weight may not have stabilized before than. Pregnancy is a big demand on your body, and it’s not worth putting yourself and your baby at risk by rushing it before your body is capable of handling the extra nutritional demands.

Making sure to have your vitamin levels checked is something else to keep in mind. Pregnant women need prenatal vitamins anyway, but for us, sometimes that’s just not enough, and it’s good to have your levels checked at the beginning of the pregnancy and again half way through.

One situation that comes up for some bariatric women is the worry of weight gain. Well, you have to gain weight! It is essential to the growth of the baby. I struggled with this some, and at every prenatal visit, seeing the scale go up would fill me with momentary panic. Constantly remind yourself that this is temporary, and necessary, for a healthy pregnancy!

The glucose tolerance test is not tolerated by a bariatric patient (this is the test where you quickly drink something that is basically sugar water and then have blood drawn). My OB had me use a home glucose monitor for two weeks instead of doing the tolerance test. This was a good alternative and worked well.

Being able to conceive easier is one of the many benefits to having bariatric surgery. These are some of the things that helped me have a successful pregnancy after my gastric bypass…above all, relax and enjoy this miracle in your life!

Better Bariatric


Indoor Workout

My preferred method of exercise is walking outside. Gets me and the kiddo’s some fresh air, and pushing a stroller helps up the calories burned. I also enjoy kicking around the soccer ball with my family, bike riding, and running around the playground. Unfortunately, living in Jersey, the weather isn’t always so great for an outside workout, so here’s a list of some of indoor alternatives. *Average calories burned based on 1/2 hour activity, and 130lb woman.

  • Just Dance for Wii-190
  • Yoga for beginners-74
  • Belly Dancing-133
  • Hacky Sack-118
  • Jump rope-236
  • Ping Pong-118
  • Wii bowling-86
  • Wii tennis-118
  • Zumba-259
  • Kickboxing-298
  • Cleaning-74 (bonus, the house ends up looking great!)

There are many other inside exercises you can do with weights, an exercise ball, and some other low-cost equipment. The important thing is to have your body moving, and not skipping a workout because of bad weather! For a post-workout meal, here’s a recipe for my Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars!

peanut-butter-breakfast-bars.jpg?w=650 Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars

2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats

¼ cup Sunflower kernels

6 chopped pitted dates

¼ cup cocktail peanuts

¼ cup wheat germ

3 scoops About Time Vanilla Whey protein powder

1 cup smooth peanut butter

½ cup sugar free pancake syrup

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until they start forming a ball. Add more syrup a drizzle at a time if it does not seem sticky enough. Spray bottom and sides of a 9×9 pan, and press mixture evenly into pan using wax paper. Refrigerate 2 hours. Cut into 12 equal bars, and store in fridge in an airtight container.

*Approximate nutrition: 259 Calories, 15 g protein, 6 g sugar


Hair Loss

Did you know that thinning hair is a VERY common side effect after any WLS? Some docs don’t bother to tell patients that, then we poor unsuspecting patients start panicking when we see the gobs of hair in the bathtub. Not to worry; hair loss is normally only between months 3-6 after gastric bypass or other weight loss surgery, and there are some things you can do to help it not be too dramatic.

  • PROTEIN-Yes, getting in enough protein is the number one way to help keep hair loss to a minimum. I cringe when I hear people saying they don’t supplement. Right after surgery our pouch is TINY and there is no way possible to get enough protein in it through food alone! I always aimed for 80-110 g a day, and honestly I did not loose a drastic hair; I’m sure getting enough protein helped with that!
  • VITAMINS-Low iron and B vitamins specifically will cause hair loss. It’s important to take vitamins every single day for your health, but your hair will thank you also! I prefer Bari Life vitamins, as they are everything I need in one formula. Works out to be cheaper in the end than buying everything separately!
  • ZINC-A deficiency in zinc can contribute to hair loss. You can have your doc run a blood check for you, or just supplement (can help ward off a cold too-bonus!)
  • FLAXSEED OIL-Some people swear by supplementing with flaxseed oil. It’s well worth a try!
  • JUST SAY NO-To coloring, straitening, blow drying, etc. These can make your hair brittle as it is, and can cause further breakage, making thinning more noticeable.
  • RELAX-Even if you do have some thinning, it will eventually stop. Try getting a new hair cut to make it less noticeable, and try a shampoo for fine hair. They can be miracle workers at making hair appear thicker!


Which WLS For You?

How do you decide which surgery to have? More and more doctors are leaving it up to patients to decide. When I had my bypass 7 years ago, I had two choices: Band or Bypass. Now the sleeve is also an option, and of course the duodenum switch if you meet certain criteria. Here are a few pros and cons to the various surgeries using information from WebMD.

Lap Band


  • Less invasive than other WLS
  • Average loss of 47% excess body weight
  • Reduction in weight related health issues


  • Repeated trips back to surgeon’s office for fills
  • Possible infections at port site, and potential band slippage
  • Not always as quick weight loss as other procedures

Gastric Bypass


  • Average weight loss 60% of excess weight
  • Fear of dumping syndrome keeps patient more accountable for healthy eating
  • Permanent weight loss tool


  • Higher risk of complications such as malnutrition and digestive issues
  • Nutrition supplements needed for life

Gastric Sleeve


  • Average patient looses more than half their excess weight
  • Less expensive and risky than bypass or DS
  • Since small intestine is not bypassed, risk of vitamin deficiency can be less than that of bypass


  • Some sleeve patients do not dump, which can cause a temptation to eat foods that are not very nutritious
  • More invasive than the band

Duodenal Switch


  • Average weight loss is higher than any other WLS procedure, as high as 75% of excess weight
  • One of the best surgeries for improving weight related health problems


  • Vitamin and nutritional supplementation is extremely important with this surgery; even several missed days of vitamins can cause a major deficiency
  • It has been suggested (but not proven) that risk of death can be slightly higher for this procedure than it is for others

Remember, no surgery is without some risks. Having weight loss surgery, and which kind you choose, is a very personal decision. These are just some of the pros and cons to each. Thoroughly research your choice of surgery, and discuss with your surgeon to make the right decision for you. When it comes right down to it, ALL of these are just tools, and how we use it will help us be successful! Roasted Rosemary Brussel Sprouts


1 lb petite brussel sprouts

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped fine

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper

Line baking sheet with foil. Add all ingredients to baking sheet, and mix gently to coat all sprouts. Arrange in a single layer, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake on top rack of a preheated 400 degree oven for about 45 min until sprouts are very tender and browned.


I’m always curious what other people are eating. When I was a newbie, there were lots of different sites that had sample menus based on what stage I was at. Liquids, full liquids, purees, soft foods…I never had trouble finding out what to eat. As a long-term post op, not so much. There are not a whole lot of “sample menus” of people who are further out. Why? Probably because lots of us don’t bother to track anymore. Or we have our routines down so well we don’t put too much thought into it anymore.

So, here’s a sample menu of mine, in case you every wondered “what are long term post ops eating?”

B: 1 ripe banana with 1 tablespoon peanut butter and non-fat Greek yogurt

S: baby carrots with red pepper humus

L: 1/2 turkey and cheese sandwich on double fiber whole grain bread, 1 cup vegetable soup

S: protein shake

D: 1/2 grilled chicken breast, veggies and couscous

S: no sugar added rice pudding

Do I measure my food? Nope. Do I count calories? Nope. Should I? That’s a matter of opinion. In the 7 years since my gastric bypass, I’ve gotten pretty good at eyeballing up my food, knowing how much will fit in the pouch. If there’s more on my plate then ends up fitting, it goes down the garbage disposal. I’ve learned to pay very close attention to my “full” cues and listen to them at all times. When I’m done, I’m done. If I’m not hungry, I don’t eat. No foods are off limits, but I chose to eat good ones the majority of the time.

One of my favorite things about this surgery is that if I use it correctly my pouch will tell me what works and what doesn’t. If I eat something I shouldn’t, it sure lets me know. If I over fill it, ditto. If you still measure, count calories, etc, and that works for you that’s great! Everyone should find the groove that works for them and use it. As long as we have the results we’re looking for, no need to change the routine! If you’re looking for a new protein shake to add to your food log, try my Orange Creme Shake!

orange-creme.jpg?w=205&h=273 Orange Creme Protein Shake

5-6 ice cubes

1 cup fat-free milk

1/2 cup no sugar added manderine oranges

1 scoop Muscle Pharm Combat-Orange Creamsicle

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 packets Splenda

Add all ingredients to blender and pulse until smooth. Enjoy ice cold.

*Approximate nutrition: 261 cals, 2g fat, 33g protein, 8g sugar


I’m all about convenience, but unfortunately there are a lot of easy to grab snacks out there that are sooo not good for us. So, here is a list of my top 20 quick and easy snack, or mini-meal, ideas!


  1. 2 ham-and-cheese roll-ups (1 slice deli ham, 1 slice low-fat cheese, 1 dill pickle, rolled together) (170 cals, 25g protein)
  2. 1 Jiff to go peanut butter cup with 2 stalks celery (255 cals, 9g protein)
  3. 1 pack vanilla Protein Wheyfers
  4. 1 2.6 oz pouch tuna, mixed with 1 tablespoon Miracle Whip, stuffed into large tomato (152 cals, 20g protein)
  5. 1/2 cup baby carrot sticks with 2 tablespoons humus (97 cals, 3g protein)
  6. 1 slice whole wheat toast, spread with 1 tablespoon miracle whip, and topped with 1 sliced hard boiled egg (228 cals, 11g protein)
  7. 1 6oz fat-free Fage Greek yogurt, topped with 1/2 cup raspberries (165 cals, 19g protein)
  8. 1 serving lentil soup (203 cals, 14g protein)
  9. 1 part-skim mozzarella cheese stick with 1 cup cherry tomatoes (107 cals, 8g protein)
  10. 1 Fruit Pie protein drink (224 cals, 21g protein)
  11. 1 oz almonds (169 cals, 6g protein)
  12. 1 sliced apple with 2 tablespoons cashew butter (243 cals, 6g protein)
  13. 6 pitted dates with 1oz goat cheese (186 cals, 6g protein)
  14. 1 2.6 oz pouch tuna, mixed with 1 tablespoon Miracle Whip, served on 6 cucumber slices (165 cals, 20g protein)
  15. 7 large steamed shrimp served with 2 tablespoons cocktail sauce (100 cals, 11g protein)
  16. 1 cup Progresso Hearty Black Bean soup (160 cals, 8g protein)
  17. 2 scrambled eggs with 1/2 cup blueberries (189 cals, 13g protein)
  18. 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese with 1/2 cup blackberries (121 cals, 11g protein)
  19. 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (143 cals, 6g protein)
  20. 1oz low-fat cheddar cheese with 1 cup grapes (111 cals, 8g protein)

Have some favorites of your own? I’m always looking for yummy snack options so please leave a comment with your own favorites!


Hernia After WLS

Hernia after WLS

Incisional hernia’s after gastric bypass or any other WLS are common I was told. They can occur with any abdominal surgery, but are more common in people who are overweight (that would be all of us WLS folks) and in people who have an vertical incision (that would be some of us WLS folks). Seeing as how I was overweight and had an open surgery, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I’d end up with a hernia.

I’ve known about it for quite some time, but as it wasn’t causing any trouble, I figured to leave well enough alone. Then I got pregnant with my second child, which didn’t help matters, yet even after his birth it still wasn’t bothering me enough to torture myself with another surgery to repair it.

Fast forward to several weeks ago. I decide I’m going to really start focusing on getting my abs into shape, and do a ton of crunches with an ab roller. All night long, I’m up and down with belly pain, and figure I pulled a muscle. By the time I wake up in the morning, I have something the size of a goose egg under my skin. I push it back in (yes, totally gross, sorry) which causes lots of pain and vomiting. One trip to the doctor later, I have instructions to go see a surgeon, who takes a look and says it’s quite large and needs to be fixed. Yay. Just what I wanted to hear.

So, in a week and a half I will be having mesh placed to fix the hernia, and a month later, I can resume my quest for rock hard abs. weights.jpg?w=97&h=69So for all of you out there who are told you have a hernia from your WLS, do yourselves a favor and get it fixed. Take a lesson from fail, and don’t wait until you wake up with a goose egg!

On a more festive note, here’s tonight’s recipe…enjoy!! shrimp-chili.jpg?w=273&h=206 Shrimp Chili

1 large onion, diced

1 large sweet pepper, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can each-black beans, pink beans, kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 large can crushed tomatoes

1 small can diced tomatoes with chili’s

1/2 pound small shrimp, peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning

1 teaspoon chili powder

pinch of red pepper flakes

In large stock pot, add olive oil, pepper, onion and garlic and saute for several minutes. Add all other ingredients except shrimp. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 min. 10 min before serving, add shrimp, and cook until just pink. Serve with grated cheese if desired.


Grab Bag of Goodies

Better Bariatric’s newest contest is up and running-Enter for the Ultimate Grab Bag! Enter Giveaway Don’t feel like waiting to see if you’re a winner? Order yours today for just $15. Lots of great individual sized products to try! Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Giveaway, protein samples<img alt="" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=eatingaftergastricbypass.net&blog=55646182&post=399&subd=eatingaftergastricbypass&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" />



Disney Dining after WLS

My family and I just returned from a vacation in Disney World. Full disclosure-I’m a Disney freak! I love everything about Disney World, and it is my all time fav vacation spot. One of the many fun things to do down there is eat at there numerous restaurants. So, I thought I’d mention a few […]<img alt=" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=eatingaftergastricbypass.net&blog=55646182&post=367&subd=eatingaftergastricbypass&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" />



I’m hearing over and over about people eating more than they are supposed to/jumping ahead a stage, etc from newbies. This is seriously scary to me. Following the diet the surgeon gives you cannot be stressed enough! This is for your own SAFETY! When you have gastric bypass or gastric sleeve done, your actually stomach […]<img alt=" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=eatingaftergastricbypass.net&blog=55646182&post=355&subd=eatingaftergastricbypass&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" />




Grazing: To eat snacks throughout the day instead of full meals. Grazing is the equivalent of a four letter word to dieters and WLS’ers alike. Everyone has grazing days for one reason or another. Could be stress, you’re on the run all day, comfort eating, etc. If it seems like the fridge is calling your […]<img alt=" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=eatingaftergastricbypass.net&blog=55646182&post=329&subd=eatingaftergastricbypass&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" />



Having WLS and successfully losing weight is something to be proud of! It’s a huge accomplishment, and NOT the easy way out! That’s why I decided to carry a line of tee-shirts that can be worn when working out, or when you’re out and about to show the world you succeeded with your weight loss […]<img alt=" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=eatingaftergastricbypass.net&blog=55646182&post=311&subd=eatingaftergastricbypass&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" />



RTD’s after surgery

In my humble opinion, the best choice for protein drinks the first few weeks after WLS are ready to drink’s. Here’s why: The first few weeks when you are home from the hospital you will only be drinking about 1/3 of a cup at a time. The RTD proteins are great, shake ‘em up, pour […]<img alt=" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=eatingaftergastricbypass.net&blog=55646182&post=296&subd=eatingaftergastricbypass&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" />



Why do gastric bypass patients need to take vitamins for life? Because the same bypassing of intestines that helps us absorb less fat and calories also keeps us from absorbing enough vitamins from our food that our bodies need. According to the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, iron, calcium and B vitamins are […]<img alt=" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=eatingaftergastricbypass.net&blog=55646182&post=259&subd=eatingaftergastricbypass&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" />



Support Matters!

Support is a HUGE factor in our success with WLS, and it can’t be stressed enough how important it is! I think a lot of us are embarrassed about our surgery, or aren’t sure how/where to look for support, so we chug along on our own. This is not the way to go! Think of […]<img alt=" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=eatingaftergastricbypass.net&blog=55646182&post=222&subd=eatingaftergastricbypass&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" />



If you have/had a summer surgery date, chances are you’ll be going away from home at some point soon after your WLS. Two months after my RNY, we went to Lancaster PA for a long weekend. At that point, I was still on soft foods, and still feeling my way around what I could eat, […]<img alt=" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=eatingaftergastricbypass.net&blog=55646182&post=181&subd=eatingaftergastricbypass&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" />



Ever notice whenever you’re going through a life change-having a baby, buying a new house, losing weight-everyone and their brother want to give you advice? WLS is a big life change, and there are plenty of people offering advice to us. Here’s my two cents worth of advice: Use your common sense, and never veer […]<img alt=" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=eatingaftergastricbypass.net&blog=55646182&post=48&subd=eatingaftergastricbypass&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" />



Slip Up’s

Raise your hand if you’re perfect. Hmmm, no one? Yeah, me either. You’d better believe in 7 years as a post-op, I’ve slipped up now and then. And anyone out there who claims they haven’t is full of it. None of us are perfect. We weren’t before surgery, and we aren’t now. After a slip […]<img alt=" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=eatingaftergastricbypass.net&blog=55646182&post=143&subd=eatingaftergastricbypass&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" />



Here in Jersey, we love our blueberries, and they are one of those foods that are great to fall in love with. They contain more antioxidants than any other fruit; and antioxidants protect us from a range of diseases, including cancer. They are also packed full of fiber, and vitamin C. When they are in […]<img alt=" border="0" src="http://stats.wordpress.com/b.gif?host=eatingaftergastricbypass.net&blog=55646182&post=120&subd=eatingaftergastricbypass&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" />



<p>Summer is my favorite season, and one of the easiest seasons to add extra fruits and veggies to your diet. I personally have a veggie garden, and grow squash, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, carrots and a variety of herbs. We have strawberry plants, and a new peach tree.</p>

<p>Growing your own not only saves money, and time (nothing like just popping out to your backyard to get the ingredient you need for tonight’s dinner!) you also know what you put in your soil and on your plants. I love surfing the net to find out organic ways to fertilize, and keep bugs away.</p>

<p>Of course eating is the best part of growing a garden! Getting my boys involved in planting and taking care of the garden has gotten them (slightly) more interested in eating veggies. I love making ratatouille with my summer loot.</p>


<li>Drizzle of olive oil</li>

<li>1 medium eggplant, skin on, cubed</li>

<li>1 medium onion, chopped small</li>

<li>1 medium zucchini, cubed</li>

<li>1 large tomato, cut in 1/2-inch pieces (or 14 oz canned diced tomatoes)</li>

<li>2 garlic cloves, minced</li>

<li>1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced</li>

<li>oregano or Italian seasoning</li>

<li>Salt and pepper to taste</li>

<li>Grated Parmesan cheese to top</li>


<p>Add a drizzle of olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add in eggplant, and saute for several minutes until it begins to soften. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften and brown slightly. Add the zucchini, tomato and garlic; cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 30 min, or until all vegetables are soft and cooked through. Add olives, and allow to sit until they warm through. Serve with grated Parmesan on top.</p>

<p>Serve this, and all your family will love eating their vegetables!</p>

<p>In spirit of the summer, I whipped up a nectarine protein drink today that was so good I have to share!</p>

<p><a href="http://eatingaftergastricbypass.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/002.jpg"><img class= wp-image alignleft" id="i-104" title="Juicy Peach Protein Drink" alt="Image" src="http://eatingaftergastricbypass.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/002.jpg?w=390&h=554" width="390" height="554" /></a><strong>Juicy Nectarine<br /></strong></p>

<p>1 medium ripe nectarine (or peach), pit removed</p>

<p>5 ice cubes</p>

<p>1 cup skim milk</p>

<p>1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Nutrition53)</p>

<p>4 packets Splenda</p>

<p>Dash of cinnamon</p>

<p>Put all ingredients into blender and pulse until smooth. Enjoy ice cold!</p>

<p><span style="font-size:x-small;">*Approximate nutritional information: 234 calories, 4g fat, 19g protein, 14g sugar (sugars come from the peach)</span></p>

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Feeding the family

One question I get asked a lot is “what do you feed your family since your surgery?” The answer I always give is they eat what I do!

Being overweight as a teen and young adult made me very sensitive to weight problems in kids, teens and adults. I don’t want my children to ever have to go through that, so if some healthy changes to what my whole family eats can help prevent that if at all possible, I want to make sure we are all eating right.

Now, my boys can be picky, so it’s not always easy going. And I know some parents are super sensitive to letting their kids have Splenda, but it was cleared by the pediatrician as okay in moderation, so for my kids, we go sugar free or no sugar added for ALL treats in the house. As far as I’m concerned, my boys have a way bigger risk of health problems from weight issues than eating Splenda!

As far as breads and pastas, only 100% whole wheat comes in our house. Check the labels, lots of brands try and be sneaky with the “multi-grain” labels. That is not the same as whole wheat. A fav pasta of ours is Barilla Plus. It is packed out with protein and fiber, but has a milder taste than the brown stuff.

For fats, I’m all about olive oil. It has fat, yes, but it’s the good for your heart kind. Our family also loves to snack on nuts, fruit, and veggies. I sub Greek yogurt to make dips, in place of sour cream, and blend it into smoothies for the boys. During the summer, I freeze Greek yogurt into Popsicle molds, and know it’s a healthy snack for the kids!

After your bariatric surgery, don’t turn into a short order cook making separate meals for everyone! No one in our homes needs refined white flour, sugar or other junk foods! You made a huge change for your health…let it be a great change for your family’s health too!

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I had quite a nasty comment on my Facebook page this morning. It was along the lines of “Of course you like your bariatric fans…you make a mint off of them”. I took this comment extremely to heart. For me, this is not “just business”. It is a cross between a hobby and a passion.

I had gastric bypass over 7 years ago, and got tired of having to check nutrition labels to see if the sugar content was too high for me, or if the protein was high enough, or if the calories were off the stratosphere. I had lots of questions…was it normal to feel this way, have this happen after I ate, feel sick after drinking, etc…and very few people to ask. At first, I was ashamed that I had to have surgery at all, so I never talked about it.

Then one day, I realized it was not shameful, and I could really help other post-ops like myself, and really help other pre-ops with their questions and making their decision. This is how this blog, my Facebook page, and my supplement store were formed. I love talking to people, answering their questions, blogging some of my stories, and carrying products that post-ops NEVER need to check the label on, because I’ve already done that.

As far as “making a mint”, HA! I keep my prices to barely over wholesale. I keep them as low as humanly possible, and 9 times out of 10 JUST break even on any sales. This is not my job. I cannot make a living on doing this. It is, like I said, my passion. So in response to the lovely comment that was left on my Facebook page last night, no, I do not make a mint. I don’t even make a quarter. I love my bariatric patients because I AM ONE! And we all need to stick together!

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