2 Habits You MUST Do Forever After Weight Loss Surgery!!

It’s time to go over 2 MUST HAVE habits after weight loss surgery! No matter which surgery you choose, Duodenal Switch, VSG, Bypass etc, there are two actions you must always follow. They may seem minute. Not everyone does this permanently. You should though! These are two practices that back up the basis of weight loss surgery and help you stay successful and healthy for a lifetime.

There’s always the dreaded regain you hear stories of. I promise! If you are thinking of weight loss surgery or already had it, you will have the plethora of people who are going to be sure to tell you about stories of regain from people they know (and how you probably will lol). In fact, regain is very possible if you only make short term changes. Weight loss surgery is a tool only. In the first year after surgery, it is important to build lifelong healthy habits.

I personally had VSG 3/25/19. Have I experienced regain? Yes, I have. I know a lot of WLS patients that do. Regaining and re-losing is part of the experience. We are all human, and all have things that come up. I have a whole routine I get into when I need to get myself back on track. I rely heavily on the support of my fellow weight loss surgery communities (join my Facebook support group here). I dig back into my favorite book for inspiration! And then I dig back into meal plans with recipes from this book.

The 2 Habits After Weight Loss Surgery To Follow:

  1. Chew your food 30 times before swallowing
  2. Wait to drink 30 minutes after you eat.

Here’s why:

1.CHEWING at least (or as close to) 30 times for each bite serves two HUGE purposes. First, this slows down your eating. Doing this reduces the amount of food you will eat. Next, after surgery, you need to prepare your food for your stomach. You do this by chewing many times. You have a much smaller pouch after surgery and that pouch needs all the help it can get digesting.

2. Waiting 30 minutes to drink after each meal is also crucial in staying full longer. The longer you stay full, the less you eat. When you drink with food in your stomach, the fluid washes the food through the stomach faster than intended. We want the food to stay in the stomach as long as possible, to keep us full as long as possible. I have a youtube video you can click here to watch that shows a demonstration of this.

SIDE NOTE:

There is one expense I have kept for myself continually since 2 weeks before surgery. I don’t normally do this kind of thing or even brag about these things to others but this one i just have to. If you are on this post because you are about to embark on weight loss surgery (or you already have), you deserve the best advice. I am 16 months out from surgery and 100 lbs down! Yes, you read that right.

I preach a lot on self care since weight loss surgery. Mostly because I lost myself for so long and gained it again since my surgery. My surgery was a wake up call to never forget little things for myself again. Maybe 1 small thing a day, a week, or a month adds up to big changes in the end! Never forget that!

So here’s my secret: I am a budget mom through and through. I don’t have tons of extra money to spend on myself but I have found different ways to put aside $10-$20 a week for myself to add up to this expense. About once a month, I order about $60 worth of products from Thrive Market.

Yes, there are some products at Thrive that you can find at grocery stores, BUT there are a lot that you will not for various reasons (whether not local or just sold online). Thrive lets you shop by Diet, shop for clean wines, shop for bath and beauty products, or snacks. And allllll of them are as clean as clean can get! That’s what I love about them. You don’t have to do the research for good, clean products, they are all in one affordable place for you!

Click below and check them out now, for a short time you can get a phenomenal deal of a $20 shopping credit! I originally started out buying collagen peptides and my soups from them.

<a href="https://www.kqzyfj.com/click-100172499-13925899" target="_top" rel="noopener noreferrer">
<img src="https://www.tqlkg.com/image-100172499-13925899" width="300" height="600" alt="" border="0"></a>

Go Forth And Prosper

Now that you know these two must-have habits, don’t underestimate them. I fall off the wagon and put myself back on over and over because I’ve seen the difference for myself. Building these lifelong habits can be two HUGE tools to help you achieve lifelong success after weight loss surgery! Be the difference for yourself!

Related Posts:
10 Best Pureed Recipes After WLS
Top Items Needed For Pre Op Diet

Follow my weight loss journey on
Instagram: @heatherish.vsg
Tiktok: @heatherish.vsg
Facebook: Life After Weightloss Surgery

Intermittent Fasting After Weight Loss Surgery

Intermittent Fasting Info!

You may have heard of intermittent fasting: 5: 2 diet, eat-stop-eat, 16/8 method. There are many different names for intermittent fasting, but mostly they all follow the same theory of having intermittent fasting periods during which it is possible to eat “normally” and “fast” periods. By reducing your calorie intake, regardless of which method you choose, you will to lose weight or maintain weight.

After bariatric surgery, a specific diet must be followed. The post-bariatric diet is designed to allow the stomach to heal properly after surgery (as well as avoid side effects and complications). It helps you adapt to eating small amounts of food that you can digest comfortably and safely and, of course, help to lose weight.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting or intermittent energy restriction is a general term for various meal times that alternate between a voluntary and non-fasting period during a defined period.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a dietary pattern that alternates between fasting and feeding periods. It does not specify which foods you should eat, but when you should eat them. In this regard, it is not a diet in the conventional sense, but it is more accurately described as a dietary scheme.

Weight loss is one of the most common reasons why people may try intermittent fasting. Fasting involves a time when you eat little or nothing. Our ancient ancestors did not have the abundance of food that we have today, so they have often suffered fasting periods between meals, which means that the human body is very used to enduring periods without food (despite what we can be getting used to this modern world). By eating fewer meals due to fasting, you are reducing your calorie intake. Also, intermittent fasting changes hormone levels to facilitate weight loss. That is why this method can aid in weight loss or long-term weight maintenance.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

In addition to weight loss, which is often the desired result, there are many other benefits to intermittent fasting. Although intermittent fasting benefits are still in the research stages, the indications have been nothing but positive.

Insulin resistance: When fasting improves insulin sensitivity, and insulin levels can drop dramatically, low insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible. Intermittent fasting can decrease insulin resistance, lowering blood sugar levels, and fasting insulin levels.

Cell repair: During fasting periods, cells initiate cell repair, for example, a process called autophagy, in which cells digest and eliminate old, dysfunctional proteins that can accumulate within cells.

Increased human growth hormone (HGH) levels: HGH levels have been shown to increase significantly due to fasting, the benefits are fat loss and muscle mass gain, to name a few.

Brain Health: Intermittent fasting increases the BNDF brain hormone and can aid in new nerve cells’ growth.

Cancer studies: Animal studies have suggested that intermittent fasting can prevent cancer. Rat studies have shown that fasting rats have shown a longer lifespan.

Different types of intermittent fasting

The most popular forms of intermittent fasting diets are below. These are the most popular as they are the easiest to follow and, most importantly, great for the long-term. Diets often don’t work, as they are short-term solutions, but you are much more likely to lose weight and maintain it if you can introduce long-term lifestyle changes.

Diet 5: 2: this method requires to consume only 500-600 calories (500 for women, 600 for men) for two days of the week, therefore to consume a generally normal amount of calories for the remaining five days.

Method 8/16: this is a flexible approach that you can adapt to your schedule. It implies limiting the feeding period to 8 hours in a day and then fasting for 16 hours. For example, skip breakfast and eat between 12pm and 8pm or eat between 9am and 5pm.

Eat-Stop-Eat: this type involves the individual fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week; for example, do not eat from dinner one day until dinner the next day.

Whichever fasting method you choose to follow, they all have the same benefits and will result in weight loss, as they all create a calorie restriction during the fasting period every week.

How Intermittent Fasting Helps You After Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery helps in losing excess body weight, but it also reduces the risk of having heart disease and can eliminate sleep apnea, hypertension, and diabetes.

However, the positive results of bariatric surgery may be compromised by practicing intermittent fasting if not done correctly. Your body must remain nourished with vitamins, minerals, fluids, and nutrients during your post-operative life.

I get all my vitamins and natural products from Thrive.

Unfortunately, many patients who have experienced significant weight loss after bariatric surgery find that they may eventually regain weight or struggle to maintain long-term weight loss. This is where intermittent fasting can prove to be a useful technique, particularly for patients undergoing post-bariatric surgery who are still learning how to cope with significant lifestyle changes.

Eliminate the “what to eat” factor: Making healthy decisions can be difficult. Deciding what to eat at home, dining out at a restaurant, or shopping at the supermarket can be daunting. By introducing fasting periods, several weekly meals are eliminated, helping to simplify the thought process.

Water Consumption: During fasting periods, it is generally not allowed to consume anything other than water or non-calorie / low-calorie drinks (such as diet drinks, herbal teas, etc.). Followers of intermittent fasting often find that they consume more fluids, which means that they are finally reaching their required daily water intake.

Smaller portions: It is easy to think that you can reduce during normal feeding periods, while what tends to happen is that your tolerance to the more substantial portions decreases due to periods of fasting, which helps the body and mind return to that mental state and post-bariatric surgery.

Sustainable: unlike other “fashion diets,” intermittent fasting seems to be sustainable. During non-fasting periods, you don’t have to eat a specific diet or product (although it’s always advisable to eat a healthy combination of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates). There are no restrictions, which means you won’t give up. “and eat all those delicious sweets that you have not been allowed to eat on a standard “diet. “

Conclusion

Intermittent fasting helps control portions and facilitates the post-operative lifestyle transition. Also, since fasting attacks Stored fat, it has no adverse effect on the proteins the body needs to recover.

However, some specialists believe that intermittent fasting may discourage recovery from weight loss surgery, as patients must have a regular intake of vital nutrients. The best way to know if intermittent fasting is safe for you depends on your specific body type and the weight loss intervention’s nature. There is still much research on intermittent fasting’s long-term benefits, but the results seem positive and a flexible and sustainable lifestyle choice. However, it is important to follow the dietary advice provided by your nutritionist or health care professional after surgery to make sure that you are eating an adequate diet that not only helps you lose weight but also rich in necessary nutrients.

Your Weight Loss Surgery Options

weight loss surgery options

If you are considering weight loss surgery, you are not alone. I had vertical sleeve gastrectomy and I want to share some real information to help you decide which surgery might be right for you.

Why Consider Weight Loss Surgery Options?

Anyone who tells you this is the easy way out is a complete asshole and knows nothing about this topic. Weight loss surgery is by no means easy. It’s a long, hard process; but, it does give you a tool that is much needed: long term food restriction. Most people who have gotten to the status of needing weight loss surgery are food addicts. (see my post about food addiction here). Food is the worst type of addiction. As a food addict, you have to find a way to still use our drug of choice and moderate it. If you have gotten to a high enough weight to be eligible for weight loss surgery, you probably use food for a plethora of cases. Weight loss surgery gives you a tool that helps moderate the usage of your drug (food).

Weight happens

Listen, weight happens. It happens to a lot of us at certain times in our lives or sometimes it’s been your whole life. Food can be used for happy times, sad times, celebrations, punishment, gatherings, loneliness, boredom, the list goes on and on. Some people can find acceptable weight loss on their own and some people need extra help. There is no shame in reaching for help. Be proud of yourself for making way for a change in your life. The goal is not to be skinnier, but healthier.

3 Weight Loss Surgery Options:

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy, also known as VSG, is a surgery where 70%-80% of your stomach is removed. The stomach left is about the shape and size of a banana. It helps you feel full after eating a small amount of food. VSG is considered less invasive than gastric bypass. VSG does have many cases of increasing GERD; so, if you already battle with acid reflux or GERD, talk to your doctor to see if another surgery might be a better fit. VSG is used for patients with a BMI of 40 or greater.

Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass surgery is another option of weight loss surgery where the stomach is divided into a smaller upper pouch and a larger lower pouch. The small intestine is then rearranged to connected to the smaller pouch. Food will go into the small pouch and then directly into the small intestine, bypassing most of your stomach. You will definitely need to stay on vitamins lifelong after this surgery. Of course, that is true for all the surgeries but you are less likely to get the vitamins needed daily from the food you consume after Gastric bypass. It’s used for patients with a BMI of 40 or greater.

Duodenal Switch

Duodenal switch, officially named biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS), is a less common weight loss surgery. It has two steps. The first step is a sleeve gastrectomy (described above). The next step bypasses most of the intestine by connecting the end portion of the intestine to the duodenum near the stomach. Even though there are two steps, it is generally performed as one procedure. Malnutrition is a greater risk with this option. This is usually for a BMI greater than 50.

Extra Weight Loss Surgery Info

  • Each surgery can cause malnutrition and requires lifelong vitamin substitution.
  • Surgery is not a stand-alone cure. Proper meal planning and prep will be necessary to achieve weight loss and prevent regain. Click here to receive FREE meal planning tools!
  • Each surgery has different pros and cons and discussing each with your doctor is the best way to figure out your path.
  • Exercise is the best aid to your new meal plans to help you lose and keep weight off.
  • You will most likely have many improvements to your health such as joint pain, blood pressure, sugar levels etc.

Start now, with your new eating habits. Get my FREE Dump & Go Recipes for Bariatric Moms Ebook. These recipes are so freaking easy and totally delicious while still keeping that healthy factor!

Consult With Your Doctor

As always, after some basic research online, consult with your doctor. You will need to find the bariatric surgeon of choice and location and make an appointment with them. There you can discuss all your options, details, health history, and more.

RELATED POSTS: 10 Best Pureed Recipes After Weight Loss Surgery
2 Habits You Must Do Forever After Weight Loss Surgery
The Beginner’s Guide To Being An Accountable Bariatric Mom
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5 Top Keto Chicken Recipes

Keto chicken recipes

These keto chicken recipes are sure to be a hit whether for the family or entertaining.

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Best Tips to Cook Chicken Keto Dishes

  • Chicken is a sure-fire staple for any keto diet. The only problem is it can get boring. I love to find recipes to spice up the normal chicken dish.
  • Chicken is also an easy dish for the kiddos. Again, it can easily get boring for them as well.

Chicken Alone is Too Lean

  • When following a ketogenic lifestyle, you need to amp up the fat content to keep you full longer. Chicken alone is a lean protein.
  • A sure way to increase taste and fat content is to either use the skin or add a creamy or cheesy aspect. The more things you can mix the better. Heck if you can sneak in some veggies, you’ve got a well-rounded meal for your kids.

Best Tips for Keto Chicken Casseroles

The great thing about these recipes is that they are casserole type dishes. If you have leftovers, they can be used as part of meal prep for future meals. You can also cook them solely as meal prep to have ready-made lunches or dinners during your week. Meal planning and prep is definitely a huge key to success

1:Keto Chicken Nachos


Click Here to watch my youtube video preparing this recipe!
Ingredients:
1 bag pork rinds
1 cup shredded cheese
2 slices sandwich cheese
Toppings of choice (I use black olives and sliced jalapenos)
1 pound chicken breasts
1 packet enchilada seasoning

Cooking Instructions:
Boil the chicken and shred, then mix in the enchilada seasoning packet
Line a baking sheet with wax paper
Pour entire back of pork rinds into pan
Layer pork rinds with sliced cheese (more or fewer slices depending on how cheesy you want it)
Next layer shredded chicken
Layer shredded cheese
Layer any additional toppings desired
Bake at 425 degrees for 5 mins

2: Keto Chicken Cordon Bleu

Ingredients:
2 lbs shredded cooked chicken
6 oz ham cut into bite-size pieces
4 oz butter melted
6 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
5 oz swiss cheese

Cooking Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Put chicken on bottom of a 9×13 pan, layer pieces of ham on top
In a large bowl, combine melted butter, cream cheese, salt, mustard, and lemon juice. Blend until thick sauce forms.
Spread sauce over chicken and ham in baking dish
Lay slices of swiss cheese over the sauce
Bake for 30-40 minutes until hot.

Click here to see a video of the casserole on joyfilledeats.com

3: Keto Crack Chicken

Ingredients:
2 lbs shredded cooked chicken
2 cans cream of chicken
1 lb shredded Mexican blend cheese
Bacon
1 pack ranch seasoning packet

Cooking Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Cook bacon and break into pieces
In a large bowl combine chicken, cream of chicken, half of cheese, bacon and seasoning packet and blend
Pour blend into 9×13 baking dish
Layer the rest of cheese on top of the casserole
Bake for 20 minutes until hot

4: Keto Pesto Chicken

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts, about 1.5 lb sliced in half widthwise to make 8 pieces
3 tablespoons basil pesto
8 oz mozzarella, thinly sliced or shredded cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cooking Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Place chicken in the bottom in a single layer and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Spread the pesto on the chicken. Put the mozzarella on top
Bake for 35-45 minutes until the chicken is 160 degrees and the cheese is golden and bubbly. You can broil it for a few minutes at the end to brown the cheese if you want.

5: Keto Chicken Alfredo Casserole

Ingredients:
1 lb shredded cooked chicken
8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
9 oz frozen spinach, thawed, drained
1 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/4 cups mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese grated
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Cooking Instructions:
Preheat oven 400 degrees
Put 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil to pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute for a few minutes.
After mushrooms are browned, add a little more butter to the pan then add the garlic and saute for 20 seconds.
Combine the rest of the butter, chicken stock, heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, salt and pepper and stir until melted.  Finally, add in the parmesan cheese and parsley, continue stirring until everything has melted.
In a large mixing bowl, add in the chicken, mushrooms and spinach.
Stir in the 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Pour the sauce over the top and mix to combine.
Pour the mixture into a 9″ X 9″ casserole or glass baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray
Spread the mixture evenly and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and bake for 15 minutes.  For For more golden cheese, increase the temperature to 425F and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden.

I hope you all enjoy these recipes!

12 Delicious And Healthy Dump And Go Recipes

dump and go recipes for weight loss

Whether you are a self-proclaimed amazing cook or an “eh, I’m an ok cook” (like me); I’ve got you covered with some dump and go recipes to make your life easier to stay on track!!

I’ve put together an easy-to-read ebook full of recipes! Most of these meals are something the whole family can enjoy. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR EBOOK NOW!

What is a Dump And Go Recipe?

Well….it really IS as simple as it sounds. You basically gather your ingredients, dump in the appropriate cooking pot/apparatus, then cook!

Whether, a bariatric patient, or just someone trying to be healthy, recipes matter. Even more so, having a plethora of recipes at hand matters most. If you have a full-time job and/or kids, easy recipes will rank highest in your mind. In pops me here. I’ve comprised a couple of weeks worth of recipes that are super easy and super healthy! I hope they bring you continued success like they do me!

So just give it a try, even if it’s just one night a week. Chances are you’ve got all ingredients for at least one of my recipes in your freezer and cabinets already.

The Healthy Factor

Dump and go recipes are totally customizable. If you are aiming for weight loss or maintaining health, you can adjust ingredients to work with you preferences. All of the recipes in my recipe book are aimed at weight loss already as I am a bariatric patient.

If you are interested in more about what it’s like to be a bariatric patient be sure to check out my weight loss surgery page here.

Related posts:
4 Easy Meal Planning Tips
No School Daily Schedule

2 Habits You MUST Do Forever After Weight Loss Surgery!!

2 habit after weight loss

It’s time to go over 2 MUST HAVE habits after weight loss surgery! No matter which surgery you choose, Duodenal Switch, VSG, Bypass etc, there are two actions you must always follow. They may seem minute. Not everyone does this permanently. You should though! These are two practices that back up the basis of weight loss surgery and help you stay successful and healthy for a lifetime.

There’s always the dreaded regain you hear stories of. I promise! If you are thinking of weight loss surgery or already had it, you will have the plethora of people who are going to be sure to tell you about stories of regain from people they know (and how you probably will lol). In fact, regain is very possible if you only make short term changes. Weight loss surgery is a tool only. In the first year after surgery, it is important to build lifelong healthy habits.

I personally had VSG 3/25/19. Have I experienced regain? Yes, I have. I know a lot of WLS patients that do. Regaining and re-losing is part of the experience. We are all human, and all have things that come up. I have a whole routine I get into when I need to get myself back on track. I rely heavily on the support of my fellow weight loss surgery communities (join my Facebook support group here). I dig back into my favorite book for inspiration! And then I dig back into meal plans with recipes from this book.

The 2 Habits After Weight Loss Surgery To Follow:

  1. Chew your food 30 times before swallowing
  2. Wait to drink 30 minutes after you eat.

Here’s why:

1.CHEWING at least (or as close to) 30 times for each bite serves two HUGE purposes. First, this slows down your eating. Doing this reduces the amount of food you will eat. Next, after surgery, you need to prepare your food for your stomach. You do this by chewing many times. You have a much smaller pouch after surgery and that pouch needs all the help it can get digesting.

2. Waiting 30 minutes to drink after each meal is also crucial in staying full longer. The longer you stay full, the less you eat. When you drink with food in your stomach, the fluid washes the food through the stomach faster than intended. We want the food to stay in the stomach as long as possible, to keep us full as long as possible. I have a youtube video you can click here to watch that shows a demonstration of this.

SIDE NOTE:

There is one expense I have kept for myself continually since 2 weeks before surgery. I don’t normally do this kind of thing or even brag about these things to others but this one i just have to. If you are on this post because you are about to embark on weight loss surgery (or you already have), you deserve the best advice. I am 16 months out from surgery and 100 lbs down! Yes, you read that right.

I preach a lot on self care since weight loss surgery. Mostly because I lost myself for so long and gained it again since my surgery. My surgery was a wake up call to never forget little things for myself again. Maybe 1 small thing a day, a week, or a month adds up to big changes in the end! Never forget that!

So here’s my secret: I am a budget mom through and through. I don’t have tons of extra money to spend on myself but I have found different ways to put aside $10-$20 a week for myself to add up to this expense. About once a month, I order about $60 worth of products from Thrive Market.

Yes, there are some products at Thrive that you can find at grocery stores, BUT there are a lot that you will not for various reasons (whether not local or just sold online). Thrive lets you shop by Diet, shop for clean wines, shop for bath and beauty products, or snacks. And allllll of them are as clean as clean can get! That’s what I love about them. You don’t have to do the research for good, clean products, they are all in one affordable place for you!

Click below and check them out now, for a short time you can get a phenomenal deal of a $20 shopping credit! I originally started out buying collagen peptides and my soups from them.

Go Forth And Prosper

Now that you know these two must-have habits, don’t underestimate them. I fall off the wagon and put myself back on over and over because I’ve seen the difference for myself. Building these lifelong habits can be two HUGE tools to help you achieve lifelong success after weight loss surgery! Be the difference for yourself!

Related Posts:
10 Best Pureed Recipes After WLS
Top Items Needed For Pre Op Diet

Follow my weight loss journey on Instagram: @heatherish.vsg

4 Easy Meal Planning Tips EVEN IF YOU HATE MEAL PLANNING!

4 meal planning tips

Before weight loss surgery, I rarely ventured into the cooking realm. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a family, I cooked. It was mostly heat-up or mix-up processed solutions. Nothing to be proud of. Cooking just didn’t interest me. I wanted to get in and out of the kitchen as fast as I could. I was able to keep the weight off doing this through my early twenties; and while my kids were young. As I approached 30, my body was changing and the pounds were packing on.

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At 35 years old, I decided to have vertical sleeve gastrectomy. There was so much to learn with all the changes coming. Through my lessons (which started 6 months prior to surgery), learning to cook with ingredients from the outside isles of the grocery store was going to be imperative. No more rushed, processed cooking. Meal Planning was also encouraged.

Wait, what?!? I’m just exploring cooking with REAL food and recipes (which I wasn’t really excited about), and now I have to dedicate a WHOLE day in the kitchen for meal planning and prep??? Ok. Listen. I’m not the betty crocker mom, but I can always -ish my way through it! I’m all about finding our -ish in life…you know…our own way for success!

I studied tons of Pinterest methods. I watched tons of youtube stories. I took notes. I thought about my life and my personality. If I just tried to be like everyone I studied, I’d eventually fail. I had to find my own path. So now, I’m sharing mine, so you can find yours. I also want you to realize you should explore your own -ish and that it’s ok to do it your own way!

What is Meal Planning/Prep?

  • Meal planning is the simple act of planning some meals for the week
  • Meal prep is the concept of preparing dishes ahead of schedule

Why Doesn’t Everyone Do It?

  • The obvious answer is time…right? You may not want to be in the kitchen all day cooking meal prep on a weekend. You may think, “great another habit to have to add to my already busy day.”
  • The thing is, you can keep it short, simple and still successful.
  • Keep reading to see how.

4 Easy Tips to Meal Planning/Prep

Here is the meat of your post. You’ll break down the problem into a list of easy to accomplish steps to help your reader.

  • Tip 1: Find Easy Healthy Recipes

    • One of the BEST tips I can offer is to find recipes that are simple, easy or quick dump and go ebook
    • I put together a short ebook full of Dump & Go recipes
    • Even if you don’t use a dump & go recipe, there are tons of recipes you can look up that are still easy and healthy. Pinterest has tons of recipes!
    • Another option is to use recipes you already know how to make but plugin healthy substitutions to make it healthy for you and still tasty for the family.
    • Lastly, there are tons of options at your local grocer that are already prepackaged. You can split them up into your meal prep containers, or simply eat them as are. This tip typically works best for breakfasts and lunches.
  • Tip 2:

    Use a planner or FREE printables
  • Tip 3: Shop Your Kitchen

    • It may seem that you need to go make a laborious trip to the grocery store to get started; but, I bet if you look in your pantry and fridge that would change. There are likely many different food options that you could put together in ways you didn’t quite expect. This way, you can save money and use what you have. Think of your fridge as a salad bar. What do you have in there that needs to be cooked so it doesn’t go to waste? What can you put together that you already have?
  • Tip 4:

    Utilize an Accountability Partner
    • Accountability partners can be a great asset to a mom. It can also count as a little self-care. Having a friend or partner that can keep you accountable and vice versa reminds you that you matter too.
    • An Accountability Partner can also be a food or fitness group or coach. An investment to yourself (short term or long term).
    • Join my team No Excuse Ninjas Facebook Group for everyday help, encouragement, tips and coaching from other bari-moms like you!

The Last Thing You Need to Know About Meal Planning and Prep

  • What I want you to take away from this post is that no matter what your situation is you can do this too! Meal planning and pre are PROVEN ways to stay on track with diet and health. It would be beneficial to start this method as soon as possible. If that intimidates you, start with the tips I mentioned above.
  • What are some other tips you use to stay on track with meal planning or prep?

Leave Me A Tip To Be Featured On My Blog!

Hi Bari-Moms!
Here in the Bariatric Moms Group we are all about finding our -ish in life! The best way to come up with your own ish is to study other methods, combine it with what works for your lifestyle best and VOILA! You found your ISH! I’m compiling super new and fun tips for meal planning (and maybe a recipe or two) in my upcoming blog post. I’d love it if you would share 1 or more of your favorite tips you’ve done with meal planning and staying on track. Let me know what you have done to stay healthy long term! I’ll feature you on my blog post! ALSO be sure to subscribe so you can see your tip included!

***CLICK HERE***

Be sure to subscribe (so you don’t miss it!) and leave your tip!

 <3 
Heather 

Keto Recipe for Dinner | Philly Cheesesteak Casserole

Lately, I’ve really been exploring new cooking ideas. I found an awesome keto recipe for dinner. My favorite place to find recipes, believe it or not, is Instagram. Since my weight loss surgery, I have joined the very large WLS community on Instagram. I love it. So much variety; and so many recipes! Before going any further I really have to give credit for this recipe to my girl Angie. We connected via the WLS community on Instagram. Be sure to find her and follow her there for tons of great recipes: @angiedone_vsg

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Casseroles are some of my favorites. I always love a good keto casserole recipe to cook and eat. Something about having all the veggies and meats in one dish excites me. I am always on the hunt for a new, healthy, easy and delicious casserole!

Recipes That Feel Wrong…but They’re Not!

Obviously, as a bariatric patient, we always need recipes that are healthy and balanced. What I love about a good warm casserole is that it FEELS like comfort food….the bad kind (and by bad I mean oh so good). Below is my newest find from a friend in the WLS Instagram community.

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Keto Recipe for Dinner | Philly Cheese Steak Casserole

This casserole is gooey, cheesy, warm, and oh so tasty and best of all…Keto! We combine a couple of cheeses, some veggies, and hamburger meat. Let the recipe ensue:

Ingredients

-1lb lean hamburger meat
-3/4 cup beef or chicken broth
-1 block cream cheese
-2 green peppers
-Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning
-1 yellow onion
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-1 10oz bag riced cauliflower

Directions:

-Chop green peppers and onions and sautee’ with a drizzle of olive oil
-After the veggies are semi-soft, add the hamburger meat to the same pan and brown with the veggies
-After meat is browned, add cream cheese and broth and mix
-Add riced cauliflower and mix
-Add Montreal Steak Seasoning to taste (I use a hefty amount)
-Pour into a casserole dish and cover with the entire bag of shredded cheese
-Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 mins

Let me know what you think of this recipe! What’s your favorite keto recipe for dinner?

The Beginner’s Guide To Meal Planning

beginner's guide to meal planning
  • If you have never really done meal planning before, you may not realize the importance of it. This one step, as simple as making your lunch the night before, or doubling a recipe for leftovers, will change your bariatric momma life!
    • Cooking my family a meal like Alfredo Penne, for example, could leave me open to a catastrophe! It’s a super simple option to cook for the family since it’s the end of the day and I’m tired. It would be way too easy to serve myself a heaping portion and set me back on my weight loss journey. That’s why I did a meal plan a few days ago and am already prepared to make my version of alfredo with zoodles!
    • I made a decision to change my behavior when I decided to have VSG Surgery. Doing the short meal planning sessions whether, on paper, whiteboard on my fridge, or my phone calendar helps me be prepared for those crazy hunger moments, tired cooking moments, or binge-worthy days.

The Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning

  • The beginner’s guide to meal planning is as simple as 1, 2, 3.
    1. Decide what and where you will record your meals plans
    2. Take a couple minutes to sit down and plan (make a list of your favorite recipes)
    3. Make the plan and stick to it

What is Meal Planning?

  • Meal planning is the simple act of taking some time to plan any number of your meals for the week. Plan for yourself or plan for your family. You can plan to eat healthy and even include a night out. Options include planning every snack and meal, planning just dinners, or simply plan your lunches so you don’t spend money on restaurant food during the week.
  • It may seem like meal planning is time consuming or will require loads of cooking you’re not really into. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. You don’t have to cook different meals every night. You don’t have to make elaborate meals. Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be more time consuming. Meal Planning itself does not have to be time consuming. And you don’t have to plan 7 meals a week!

How to get started

  • Figure out what works for you. If you have struggled with meal planning in the past, maybe you made it too complicated. Maybe you need an accountability partner to keep you on track. The main thing to get started is to just take a few minutes to pull it together and keep it simple. Start with planning only a few days to start if you’d like. Set aside a time to plan that works for you: during your lunch hour, during your child’s nap, 30 minutes before you go to bed.

Tips for Success

  • Start by building a food list. Put this list on your fridge, in your phone or in your notebook. Put all your go-to meals together. Tweak any with a healthy version for yourself if needed. Add any new ones you come across and like.
  • Try doubling a recipe to create leftovers! If there is a meal you are pretty sure you could add a little more to, take advantage of it. Leftovers can work for lunches or another night of dinner! You’ve already saved time.
  • Check out dump and go recipes. I have an ebook compiled with amazing recipes!
  • Start with meals you know you like and repeat them every week or two.
  • See if you already have some groceries waiting in the fridge to be used. Plan a meal with them.
  • Don’t forget to schedule a lazy night. There might be a night or two in the week that was so stressful you can’t even dream of cooking; or, that you just feel too dang tired. Plan an option for a sit-down restaurant or take out option. Make sure it’s from somewhere that can accommodate your healthy preferences.

EXTRAS:

  • Grab your free Meal Planner here!
  • I have a sample bariatric meal plan here if you’d like to get more ideas about low calories meal planning.
  • If you need an accountability partner, check me out here at Team No Excuse Ninjas. I’ve helped numerous people stay accountable for themselves and stick to their plans!
  • I also have a YouTube Video on my channel: HeatherIsh about Meal Planning. Click the picture to watch meal planning youtube video

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Meal Planning

  • Meal planning is key to stress free meals. Make it your own and keep it simple!
  • What are some of your favorite meal planning tips we didn’t already cover?

Related Posts:
The VSG Diet
12 Delicious and Healthy Dump & Go Recipes
4 Easy Meal Planning Tips Even If You Hate Meal Planning