Catching up: #mealprepsunday

Sorry that I have been so terribly lame at posting lately. My sick leave ended on 19 February, and being back at work has not been very conducive to my writing. I am not very happy with the current situation nor with the solutions being bandied around to “fix” the problem. But that’s another story. Let’s just say that I come home from the office and the desire to blog or write fiction is low.

But one thing that I have been doing is sticking to my diet plan as prescribed by my surgeon and dietician.

I’ve started doing meal prep at the weekends to help me stay on track with getting the right amount of nutrients every day.

To get ideas for meal prepping, I’ve been consulting Ambitious Kitchen, Jamie Oliver, Skinnytaste and Pinch of Yum.

28701620_966733213477548_6616211733161033352_o

My egg muffin cups–yummy!

Last week, I focused on prepping an alternative breakfast to my usual yoghurt with muesli. I ended up making Ambitious Kitchen’s Healthy Breakfast Egg Muffin Cups–super easy to make and you can easily customise the recipe. I added ham, kale, mushrooms, plum tomatoes and mozzarella to my muffins. Two or three mornings, I’ve had my egg muffin cups instead pf yoghurt and been very happy. The only thing I’ll do differently next time is use cupcake liners next time since my nonstick muffin tin decided it didn’t want to behave like a nonstick tin and I spent a tad bit too much time having to scrub away egg residue (despite brushing oil on the tin).

My husband made a lamb ragù sauce for us, which we had for dinner a few times last week. I ate it with 30 grams of whole grain pasta, which worked with my still sometimes sensitive stomach. I found some gluten-free pasta from Biorì which I am going to try this week. It’s based on rice, buckwheat and corn, so will see if it’s to my liking.

The Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl recipe is a definite repeat for us. 

Today, to prepare for the upcoming work week, I decided to try a recipe from Skinnytaste’s Skinnytaste Fast and Slow cookbook for Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls. I recently bought an Electrolux slow cooker and decided this would be the first recipe to try out in it.

My husband seemed a little skeptical at first but when the aroma began to tickles his nose, he couldn’t wait to try it. I am notoriously impatient in the kitchen, but this burrito bowl recipe is super-easy to follow and it takes care of itself. Just put everything in the slow cooker and let it cook. In the meantime, I was able to get some writing done and then take a walk and go to the grocery store to pick up items I’d forgotten to add to our grocery delivery list. When I came home, the slow cooker was counting down the last 3 or 4 minutes and it smelled divine. Once it was done, I shredded the chicken, added back to the slow cooker and stirred everything together. And the taste? YUMMY! It will make a great lunch (or dinner) with some brown rice or cauliflower rice to it.

I’m already looking at recipes to try for next week’s meal prep. Here are a few of them:

What about you? Are you a #mealprepper and what have you got planned for the upcoming week’s menu?

P.S. I use affiliate links to help offset the cost of the website. If you click on any of the links and purchase anything I recommend, you’re helping me keep the site going. 🙂

My Signature for the Blog

SaveSave

Post-op Day #7: Ode to homemade soup

This time last week, I was in my hospital pyjamas at Capio St. Göran’s Hospital in the Kungsholmen section of Stockholm, walking up and down the hallways to get rid of any residual gas from my operation. I was still a little groggy, but I wasn’t in much pain. In fact, I only remember a little twinging, no full-fledged pain. I had an IV feeding me glucose and, whenever I was back in my hospital room, I was trying to remember to sip water.

One thing that still sticks in my mind: all of the water I drank at the hospital tasted sweet, like someone had added sugar. I don’t know if this was from the anaesthesia or the glucose. Even when I first came home, the water from the tap tasted weird. Now everything tastes normal again (thank God for that). I didn’t like sweet water. It made me grimace.

Since I came home last Wednesday, the thing I have been craving most has been homemade soup. After thirty days of diet soup that was grainy and not very tasty and left me hating life, it felt so good to get the clearance from my surgeon and nutritionist to have homemade food for Stage One: the Liquid Food Stage.

26962129_940084426142427_3264598568451537563_o

The first homemade soup: creamy sweet potato. Yes, I know you’ve seen it already. (Photo: me)

My gorgeous hubby has been taking very good care of me and has so far made three delicious soups for me: creamy sweet potato soup, potato and leek soup and cream of chicken soup. All three have made me and my tummy very happy. They’re filling and they haven’t irritated my stomach.

Whenever he’s in the kitchen making a new batch of soup, my appetite returns and I feel the Foodie in my kicking her heels in glee. Yes, she knows life will be in moderation now, but as long as she doesn’t have to survive on only diet soups made from powder that feel like goo in her mouth, she is happy.

Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 18.45.02

PhotoCredit: Elise Bauer/simplyrecipes.com

Why homemade soup instead of store-bought? It tastes better. You know what’s going into it–no weird E-numbers, no MSG, nothing artificial. It doesn’t take that long to make. And I’ll say it again: IT TASTES BETTER.

Just because you had a gastric sleeve doesn’t mean you don’t want your food to taste good. So make some soup, eat it and feel your tastebuds and your tummy say thank you.

Are you post-op and your doctor has given you the okay to have homemade soup? Here are some recipes I can definitely recommend trying.

Remember to make sure that you use a blender to get a nice, smooth texture. You don’t want any small bits irritating your still-sensitive stomach. Once you refrigerate any leftovers, they’ll thicken up, so add some milk when reheating.

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup from Greatist (Note: if it’s too thick, add a little more milk to thin it out a bit).

Potato Leek Soup from Skinnytaste (Note: if it’s too thick, add a little more milk to thin it out a bit).

Creamy Cauliflower Soup from Skinnytaste (Note: if your surgeon has put celery on your “avoid” list, use onions instead. Also, if the soup is too thick, add a little more milk to thin it out a bit).

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup from Pinch of Yum (Note: since I was seven days post-op, we added 40 grams of puréed turkey for even more flavour and it was delicious. We also used homemade chicken broth as our base.)

That’s it for now! I’m off to read a good book. 🙂

My Signature for the Blog

SaveSave

3 cookbooks for my soon-to-be sleeved life

All of my life, I’ve loved food. I grew up surrounded by family members who knew how to throw down in the kitchen. My great-aunt Francis, my grandmother Gertrude, my great-uncle John, my cousin Yuhnis, my great-aunt Louise, Aunt Florence…the list could go on. Every holiday meant good food and plenty of it.

My appreciation for good food started early.

So now, when I have made the decision to get a gastric sleeve, I wanted make sure that I could still enjoy good food without feeling like everything post-op would have to be bland. I needed inspiration and advice beyond what my nutritionist has said. I needed to know that I could have good food again, without stinting on flavour. I spoke to my friend, Pernilla, who assured me that I could live the sleeved life and enjoy a glass of wine and flavourful food again.

Yes, I breathed a sigh of relief.

I also wanted to make sure that my husband (who is not getting sleeved) and I would be able to eat together and enjoy what we eat. So I started doing research and found a few cookbooks that will hopefully ensure that I will not go through life grimacing at bland food.

Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 18.50.12

FRESH START Bariatric Cookbook

by Sarah Kent, MS RDN CD

I ended up ordering the FRESH START Bariatric Cookbook from Amazon UK since neither of the Swedish online bookstores I usually use had it in stock.

I used Look Inside and was pleasantly surprised that this cookbook contained more than just recipes; it also included advice on things to consider and what to order when eating out at restaurants, judging portion sizes, etc.

This particular cookbook rated high with many readers. The fact that this cookbook was written by a registered dietician and nutritionist also helped tipped the scales in favour of ordering it.

Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 19.20.59Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery

by Patt Levine and Michele-Bontempo-Saray

I’m not one who can settle for just one cookbook. When I read the reviews Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery received (and it was recommended to me by someone who’d already undergone a gastric sleeve) I decided to order it.

A Look Inside revealed some very tasty sounding recipes as well as advice for post-surgery life. The sample recipes seemed easy to follow and the slew of good reviews convinced me that this was a cookbook worth having.

Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 19.29.52Weight-Loss Surgery Cookbook

by Shasta Press

Another cookbook highly recommended by someone who has already undergone the operation. I have just ordered Weight-Loss Surgery Cookbook, so hope to receive it in the coming days.

From a Look Inside, I found a list of recommended pantry staples and a selection of recipes that sounded right up my alley.

Once I have all three cookbooks, I will ask my husband to test prepare a few dishes. I want us both to be able to enjoy eating together so that we don’t have to feel like we always have to prepare two separate meals.  Based on the reviews all three books have received, we should be okay, but I will definitely keep you posted. We are both picky about food, so if we don’t like it, we’re kind of vocal. 🙂

If you’ve already gone through weight loss surgery and have recommendations for good cookbooks, drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.