May 1, 2014

Food Prep & Meal Planning

barbara2

I know, I know, I know….but before I lose you, it’s not what you think! You don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen every Sunday evening prepping for the week.  There are many different ways you can “food prep”.

 

 

Grocery Shopping and Cooking Can Be Quick & Easy

It is always important to think about what your next meal will be or you can find yourself falling back into old, unhealthy habits.  While you are out shopping for the family it is very important as a bariatric patient, no matter what stage, to plan ahead. One of my personal favorites are the individually wrapped chicken breasts and salmon filets. These contain huge amounts of lean protein and can easily be prepared each night while cooking the “family dinner” and added to a salad or served with steamed veggies. I personally like to saute mine with onions and peppers. I know we are all trying to cook healthier and plan ahead.  By cooking a bit more each night, you will be prepared for that extra person that drops by, be able to make your plate for lunch, or if you live with the endless black hole that I refer to as my teenage boy’s stomach, you will have another helping to go around!

Eating Out: Know Before You Go

If you aren’t that great of a chef or your whole life rotates around your children, you probably eat out more than you’d like to admit. That’s okay!! Most restaurants have their menus online.  Look before you go and have a plan in place before you arrive and are starving.  If you spend too much time on the lacrosse and football field as I do, or at the local wrestling club, you will very quickly develop a rotation of healthy favorites at multiple restaurants. I always try to get the kids meal, asking for grilled meats instead of fried and replacing the fries with a side salad or vegetable if possible.  Remember to bring your restaurant card from our office to make ordering off the kid’s menu easier!

Dinner with Friends & Family: Could you make one meal Bariatric Friendly Please

If your family and friends are OVER hearing about your protein intake like mine are and you now find yourself dropping off the invite list, try making things easier for the host.  Most will fret and worry about what they are feeding you.  Helping the host to focus on the event and not you is a simple solution. I always offer to bring a lean meat or a non-starchy side when going to dinner parties or attending a potluck. I make sure it will be something I can eat and that helps go towards my protein goals. I also tend to leave bariatric friendly nibbles that are high in protein at my family and friends houses since I visit often.

Here is Some of My Favorites Meals & Snacks:

  • Apples & Natural or Low Sugar Peanut Butter or Nut Butter
  • Sunflower Seeds & Dried Cranberries
  • Edamame (Soybeans in the Pod)
  • Hummus & Pretzel Chips or Carrots
  • Grilled Fish over Spinach
  • Grilled Chicken with Steamed Veggies or a Salad

As a bonus, here is my favorite sweet treat….Peanut Butter & Banana Ice Cream

  • 4 bananas sliced (frozen overnight is preferable)
  • ½ cup of creamy peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/3 cup of water or soy milk (unsweetened)

Place all items in blender and mix. You can also add sugar free chocolate chips or syrup. Feel free to add more or less of each ingredient depending on your taste.  Also, creamy peanut butter can be replaced with crunchy for a nice texture difference.

Please share your ideas or how you make it through the busy week! What are your secrets to being a healthier you?

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