Saturday, June 30, 2007

I won!


First Place. Woo Hoo!!! Here's the pic of me and my loot. I won $200, a deep fryer (what every former fat chick needs), an engraved trophy plate, an apron, a blue ribbon, and the recipe will be featured in next year's cookbook. It also gets entered into the national contest. Fun stuff!

The contest was "Stick with Canola Oil" and as part of the rules the item had to be deep fried (not so wls friendly) in Canola Oil, on a stick, and decorated or related to the "Salute to Heroes" theme of the fair. Here's my entry:



Broccoli Rockets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

3 eggs
12 oz shredded cheese (colby/monterey jack combo aka "Mexican" blend)
1 (16 ounce) box frozen chopped broccoli, steamed
1/4 lb cooked bacon, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
Italian bread crumbs as needed
Canola Oil for frying

Steam broccoli. Cook bacon till crispy, crumble into pieces. Cook onion till golden. Beat eggs in a mixing bowl until well blended. Mix all ingredients together (except the bread crumbs) till well blended. Refrigerate mixture for about 1 hour. This will help to bind the mix making preparation much easier.

Heat about 4 cups oil in a fryer or deep pan for frying at 350 degrees F. Set up a shallow pan with bread crumbs. Scoop about 1/2 ounce portion (a bit larger than meatball size) of the broccoli mixture into the bread crumbs. Form each portion into a ball around a popsicle stick and roll in breadcrumbs coating it well. Place into the fry basket or frying pan. Make sure they do not stick together. Fry for 4 minutes or so till golden brown, then remove and place onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Makes about 20. Serve hot with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce.

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. cider vinegar

In a mixing bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise and mustard. Blend thoroughly using a whisk. Slowly pour in the honey and vinegar, continue mixing until smooth and well combined.

Note: The broccoli rockets should be served hot but may be made 1 day ahead and placed in the oven next day at 350 for 15 minutes to reheat.

Edited to add: I made the test batch the night before and took the leftover mixture pressed it into a greased pie dish and sprinkled a light coating of bread crumbs on top. Baked it instead of the fry job and viola a Weight Loss Surgery friendly version.

I also saved a baby! LOL well I found a lost 2 year old and reunited her with a freaking out Mom. I was walking past a booth I saw this little girl and she was saying, "Mommy, mommy, mommy" with this quivering lip about to cry look on her face and the only people near her were four 20-something dudes. I asked them if she belonged to any of them and they looked at me like I was from Mars and said "Uhhhh No" and so I went up to her and told her I would help her find Mommy and scooped her up. I headed to the information booth by the entrance. When I saw a security cart with flashing lights and near it was a crying woman OMG when she saw me she grabbed me and Hope (my little 2 year old pal) and hugged us both so hard I thought I would pass out. She said she turned around and she was gone... she's a quicky too and apparently had gotten about 30 stalls from Mom and Dad.

So yeah!!! baby and Mom back together and a 1st place win. Overall a very good day :)

Highlights of the day:

* See Above
* What is it about BBQ corn at the fair? Soooo good. Thank God I can still eat corn. It wouldn't be Summer without it.
* The Gem Exhibit was really cool. I love the fluorescent rocks.

Listening to: "Because of You" Kelly Clarkson

Friday, June 29, 2007

New and improved

You, faithful readers will be happy to know that I purchased a new digital camera yesterday so there will be no more fuzzy food porn only crisp and sharp food porn from now on. HELLO?!? what former fat chick in good conscience could continue to offer fuzzy food porn. NOT ME! My camera was a old clunker. I passed it on to my Mom who will have loads of fun with it as she's technically-challenged LOL and it will be a huge step up from the one she is using.

I had a low key birthday. Went shopping... those birthday gift cards were burning a hole in my pocket. Chatted with friends and family. Worked. Only excitement was when I got stung by a hornet or wasp (one of those bee-like insects) on my stomach while I was BBQing. It made me feel like crud and it's still red, painful and swollen. Any home remedies out there???

Tonight I'll be testing a cooking contest entry. This entry is not so wls friendly due to it's required cooking method (deep fried) so I will be relying on the taste buds of others to gauge it's tastiness. ;) I'll take a nibble or two. I'll post recipes and pics after the contest. UPDATE: (hours later) OK this contest entry is a winner. Not only does it taste awesome but I came up with a killer way to present them to tie into the theme of the event. I'll share more tomorrow. If I don't place with this one the judges are freaks. LOL.

Highlights of the day:

* I had another Onion and Parmesan Omelette (this time for dinner) I'm on an egg kick.
* I realized that despite it being 93 degrees while I was out running errands this afternoon I was comfortable. Thank God for this surgery!
* The mail brought me a few magazine today so I have something to read again.

Listening to: "Don't Stop Believing" Journey

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My birthday

So it's my birthday. I had a ton of birthday phone calls and emails. Thank you family and friends for making my day special. OMG Haven made me the COOLEST Birthday Card. Check it out:



Yeah that's me: Eggface (I'm all about the protein and biotin)

Some fun birthday links:

The Birthday Calculator

Where I found out that Mmmmm two dreamy men share my birthday Steve Burton and John Cusack

This day in music

It figures (see below)

Monthly Tarotscope

Fun stuff :)

Happy Birthday wishes to my pal Sally! We have the same birthday. Go check out her blog. She rocks!


Highlights of the day:

* Sleeping in
* My birthday banner is almost done (pics will follow) my Mom and I's latest craft project. We're always working on something.
* Anything is better than last year ;) 8 days post-op and eating a few sporksful of Taco Bell Pintos and Cheese for dinner.

Listening to: "It's Too Late" Carole King (#1 the day I was born) What's up with my birthday song being about a failed relationship?!? WTF is this some sort of sign?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Worst things


I always thought one of the worst things about being fat was that other people knew my "issue" I mean most people have "issues" but they don't surface till you get to know a person... mine were right there on my backside, on my stomach... 100+ pounds of issues. They knew I was out of control and every other good thing in my life was negated because of that.

Other things that sucked:

Having to take medications (high blood pressure, acid reflux, etc.) my 70 year old mother isn't even taking.

Having to drive around for "diva parking" because walking across the parking lot was tiring.

Going shopping with friends and only being able to buy purses and shoes (you now know where my purse and shoe addiction stems from.)

When people you were with asked for a booth and you weren't sure you could fit.

Going to concerts and not being able to fit into the t-shirts.

Being hot all the time.

Narrow aisles in stores (especially antique stores many times my butt almost took out a breakable or two)

Weighing at the Dr. office and seeing them move that little metal weight over one more notch.

Being limited to three clothing stores.

Not getting much play anymore ;)

People analyzing what you order at restaurants. Forget going into an ice cream shop.

Airplane bathrooms. Enough said.

Tray tables on planes and sitting in the middle seat.

People always saying, "You have such a pretty face."

Walking by a group of teenagers and hoping they didn't make comments.

Having pictures taken.

Ordering things like special shirts for an event or bridesmaid dresses.

Those desks with attached chairs at University.

Not fitting on roller coasters and amusement rides.

Getting into contortions to paint my toes.

Worrying when I heard a creak in a chair.

Backseat seat belts.

Old-fashioned movie theater seats and stadium seating.

Packing a small getaway bag is impossible. 2 garments took up the whole bag.

Summer clothing (sleeveless, short, revealing, definitely not fat-friendly)

Never getting a piggy back ride or being swept off my feet.



I'm sure there are many more and it's been therapeutic making this list so as I think of more I'll add to it.

I never want to forget.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Migraine

I have a hideous migraine today. It actually started last night around midnight. I used a shot of Zomig but it didn't touch it. I was able to fall asleep but woke up with it full blown. I spent most of the day in the fetal position errr :( it also could have been too much sun and not enough water yesterday (less than 24 oz of liquid all day... bad I know) or it could be hormonal (currently cursed). Thank God for Vicodin. Anyway... I was able to emerge out of my turtle shell an hour or so ago. I'm still walking around with my head in my hands but I was able to cook dinner and eat it. I had hardly anything all day. I was able to have my protein shake this morning otherwise I would be seriously hurting in the protein department right now. I BBQ'd Chicken Kabobs and made a Caprese Salad for dinner. I'm on a fresh Mozzarella kick. Winco has great prices on cheeses. I mean REALLY good cheese. The imported Gruyere I buy for my Spinach Gratin $9 at Stater Brothers, $3 at Winco. Same brand.



We ate on the patio and I finally got to enjoy a little of what appeared to have been a beautiful day. It was really nice. I took deep breaths and I think it helped. Fingers crossed. I'm just going to listen to soothing music and surf the net till I get tired. I'm taking it slow.

Highlights of the day:

* Dinner on the patio
* The Oh yeah! Vanilla Peanut Butter Creme Protein Wafer I am eating right now (1 stick = another 7 g. of protein)
* Good drugs

Listening to: "Until She Comes" The Psychedelic Furs

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The County Fair Post-Op


What a long day but it was lots of fun. I went to my first County Fair as a post-op and I have to say I did really well. I was surrounded by people carrying plates of Australian Battered Potatoes slathered in cheese sauce (a former fav), Funnel Cakes, heck anything and everything you could shove on a stick and deep fry and you know I didn't miss it. Seriously I didn't. Shouldn't I miss it? I was expecting today to be a hideous battle but I was fine. I split an order of ribs with my Mom and had 3/4's of a BBQ corn. I was happy and satisfied. Bizarre.

I walked for over 6 hours. I remember last year hurting so much... walking around a little and then needing to sit. Today I barely sat... just during the cooking contest judging which by the way I got a 4th place ribbon (only 1-5 get a ribbon out of 43 entries) I guess that's good but not as good as last year's 1st place. Speaking of last year's win I finally got the recipe back. Woo Hoo! For those of my friends who don't know the story last year I entered in this same division (Appetizers) and won 1st place but the week after I won my computer died and with it died the recipe. I had turned in my only paper copy with my entry. So I had to wait a whole year to buy the cookbook with last year's winners in to get my recipe back. The sponsor of the contest was Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing so every recipe had to have that product in it. So after a year here you go...


Shelly's Artichoke Squares

1 12 oz. can artichokes (not marinated)
1 T. Butter
1 Medium Onion, diced
3 Large Eggs
2 Large Egg Whites
1 cup Jarlsberg Cheese, shredded (Swiss or Gruyere may be substituted)
1 packet (1 oz.) Hidden Valley Ranch Original Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive Oil (for pan)

Preheat oven to 325. Finely chop artichokes and set aside. In a small pan cook diced onion in butter till lightly golden and tender, about 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, beat eggs until blended. Stir in cooked onion, chopped artichokes, cheese, Hidden Valley seasoning mix, and pepper. Lightly coat a 12 x 8 inch baking dish with olive oil. Spread mixture evenly into coated baking dish. Bake 30-35 minutes until set and lightly browned. Cool 15 minutes. Cut into squares.


And freaky because I made it pre-op and it's really a wls friendly recipe. I have two more contests coming in the next few weeks. Wish me luck! I think I have a really good chance with the next one.

On a sad note I saw so many people struggling with obesity today. I hurt for them. The healthier I get the more I realize what a hell it was. I wasn't living at all. I was committing a slow suicide by knife and fork. I secretly wanted to scream, "Hey, I was you last year! Can you get your hands on $12,000??? Because life can change" I didn't because for one I'm not a freaky lunatic (LOL despite these insane ramblings seriously I'm not) and two thinking back I wouldn't have appreciated that last year as I stood on line to get another deep fried something or other on a stick. I just hope those that want to are able to find a way out of that hell soon. I do freely tell all that I had the surgery and hope from them seeing my success it may prompt them to find out more but I try and be subtle. Like when I asked the very overweight girl at the coffee counter if they carried soymilk because "since I had weight loss surgery I can't do milk" which of course opened up the conversation. LOL I told you... subtle ;)

The weather was awesome today and I got some color. Yeah uhhh except on my arms, which were of course still covered :( I have a total Farmer's Tan.

Highlights of the day:

* Getting the cookbook (I'm on page 6 BTW)
* The cool collections are always my favorite
* Feeling fine with not eating my traditional crap oh I even watched my Mom eat a Texas Donut (another pre-op fav) and not a tinge of desire or regret.

Listening to: "Make a Memory" Bon Jovi

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Happy Surgiversary to me

I feel like I need to get all philosophical and wax poetically about how my life is so wonderful since RNY and how the moon and stars have all aligned now. Well... it's partly true. A year ago I suffered from sleep apnea, acid reflux, high blood pressure and severe migraines. I was taking a ton of pills I was embarrassed to go pick up at the pharmacy because they were pills a 70 year old woman should be taking not a 35 year old. My sleep apnea episodes in the night besides having the potential to kill me also caused me to wake up several times throughout the night so my days were hideous. I woke up more tired than I went to bed and dragged my ass through the day. If sleep apnea episodes didn't wake me in the night I woke up with stomach acid pouring into my mouth and sometimes out my nose. I nearly choked to death more nights than I care to count. My through the roof high blood pressure made me a ticking time bomb for a heart attack. I had severe migraines on a weekly basis… the kind of migraines where you want to curl up in a ball and die. Within a month of surgery all of these conditions were resolved. No sleep apnea, no acid reflux, stellar BP, I still get migraines but truly nowhere near as many.

So then the bonus: As of today I'm -126 pounds (and still losing a few pounds a week) I lost a flippin super model. I am ecstatic. I'm smaller than I ever remember being in my life. I'm sure I saw these sizes once as a child LOL but I seriously don't remember them. I eat great food and rarely miss something from my old eating life. In fact, I pretty much eat the same (minus bread, pasta, rice, and sweets) I just don't eat for four anymore.

The world is different at this size. I have energy and enjoy exercise. This from a girl who once said, "Why would anyone purposely make themselves sweat?" LOL. I can sit in planes and use the seat belt and tray table, I can slide into booths at restaurants, shop in any store in the mall, fit on roller coasters, I'm not afraid I won't fit or I'll break it. I can cross my legs, see my feet and paint my toes without contorting my body into Bavarian pretzel like formations. Then there's the male attention I have suddenly reawakened. Heck maybe those Bavarian pretzel formations may come in handy after all. When I was a fat girl I never had doors held open for me and now men leap (yeah leap) to get to the door to hold it open. Which really sucks because when I was fat I needed the door held more than now. Errr.

I am so glad I decided to do something about my weight.
I am so thankful I found Dr. A and I was given this life saving tool.

But and I say this because I'm about keeping it real. Weight loss surgery isn't a cure-all for everything in your life. As a pre-op I remember saying many, many times "if only I wasn't fat" to explain away why my life wasn't perfect. Well I'm not fat (well technically unless I was the size of an Olsen twin I am still fat errr crack-smoking BMI chart BS) but not everything is roses and sunshine. I still have a few gray clouds I need to work on and being successful at WLS has added a few, which hopefully a good plastic surgeon can help with. It'll be awhile before feel comfortable with this new me but I'm excited to see what the future holds. At least I feel like I have a future now.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Still a foodie

Ran errands today; most of which were uninteresting and definitely not blog-worthy. Was going to go out to dinner and then realized it was Father's Day today. Every restaurant in my town has a 45 minute wait on the weekends normally... I can only imagine what today would be like so that idea was canned. Instead I headed over to the supermarket and picked up a chicken that I'm roasting with Spinach Gratin on the side.

My Roast Chicken recipe is perfection I have to say.... crispy skin, super juicy flavorful chicken. I'm looking forward to it. Much better idea than standing outside a restaurant for a couple of hours. Bonus #1 the chicken leftovers will make a great Asian Chicken Salad tomorrow... so dinner tomorrow is half done and Bonus #2 I will make some kick butt stock tonight and make minestrone later on in the week. I feel like that Quick Fix Meals lady Robin What's-her-name on the Food Network that makes 5 dishes out of one. Food Network = Fat Girl's Porn. I was a foodie before surgery and I still am... difference is I don't eat for 4 now. So Pre-op foodies listen up: You can still eat good food after surgery have no fear. You are not doomed to a life of cottage cheese and protein drinks. I love my protein shake (1 a day) but even that has to taste great... this surgery didn't deactivate my taste buds.

Here's the Roast Chicken & Spinach Gratin recipes:

Perfect Roast Chicken

1 roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme (you can use dried too just use less)
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1/2 large yellow onion, thickly sliced

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with 1/2 the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, the yellow onion and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper and thyme. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place in a roasting pan. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter.


Spinach Gratin

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onions (1 large)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 cups milk (I do it with all milk)
1 1/2 pounds frozen chopped spinach, defrosted (2 (10-ounce) packages)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese (or Swiss)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Add the cream and milk (I use all milk) and cook until thickened. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach and add the spinach to the sauce. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and mix well. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the spinach to a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and the Gruyere (or Swiss) on top. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve hot.


So a word about Father's Day: At age 67 my father died of congestive heart failure and sleep apnea. He was a big guy. His death was the catalyst for my looking into doing something about my weight, getting tested for sleep apnea and ultimately getting wls. I didn't want to go out like that or that young. So although we had our issues I say thank you and remember him on this Father's Day.


Highlights of the day:

* Sleeping in
* Bought all the stuff I need for the two cooking contests I have coming up... wish me luck!
* Mmmm the smell of Roast Chicken and thyme is filling the house

Listening to: "Catch my Disease" Ben Lee

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A beautiful day

I had to snap a picture of the view outside my kitchen window this morning. It just looked especially pretty. What a gorgeous day! I'm going to coffee with Haven and her husband and Becky and Jolene in a little bit. I'm so excited to meet Haven. I'm sure we'll take some pics and I'll share them. She just had plastics with the Dr. and place I'm considering. Can't wait to hear all about it. Dr. A recommends him so he's definitely on my short list. Bring on December. Errr once again wishing my life away. Gotta stop that.

I'll write more later off to meet the girls.

OMG what fun! Haven is awesome. Super sweet!!! I enjoyed meeting her and Bob and wow her Dr. did a great job! She was a knockout before but OMG?!? One hot mama! She told me all about her experience and it really put my mind to ease seeing her and her results. It was great to see Becky as always... you can already see some weight loss in her face. Yeah Becky!! Jolene wasn't able to come. We spent the afternoon chatting away... I think we gave Bob a shock with our last few topics LOL. Good friends, a SF Cinnamon Dolce Soy Latte, great weather... what more could you ask for?!? Good times.


Me (left), Haven (middle), Becky who is newly post-op (right)

I went for a walk afterwards. Came home and made a very summery dinner: Dilly Chicken Salad Wraps (I can eat 1/2 a wrap BTW), White Bean Salad, and Olives & Artichoke Hearts. We ate on the patio which is slightly south of my kitchen window view. I love eating dinner outside. The neighbors on the next block are having a party so we had some nice music drifting over.


Dilly Chicken Salad

2 cups cooked and cubed chicken breast meat (rotisserie leftovers are great)
1/4 cup chopped cashews, roasted
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use 1/4 cup mayo 1/4 cup Fage Greek yogurt now)
salt and freshly ground pepper

Mix together. Great on it's own, in a lettuce or tortilla wrap or stuffed in an avocado half or tomato.


Highlights of the day:

* Coffee with Haven and Becky
* Dinner on the patio with Mom
* Listening to music right now

Listening to: "Everyday" Dave Matthews Band

Friday, June 15, 2007

Currently obsessing on...

Oh Yeah! Vanilla Peanut Butter Creme Protein Wafers (OMG you must try these)
Cherries
Amazing Race re-runs on GSN
Planning a Summer trip
Aveda Be Curly Collection (I love my re-growth... I've got crazy curls)
Justin's Nut Butters
Grilled Veggies
My new purse (I know... another?!?)
The Color Green
Aromatorture (the opposite of aromatherapy)
SF Strawberry Twizzlers
My arms :(
Cooking contest preparation
My backyard
Bath & Body Works Cool Citrus Basil Body Splash
Fresh mozzarella
Music that makes you move
Google Alerts
Reading Blogs

Eat me



This is my "once-and-awhile-probably-shouldn't-but-going-to-anyway-treat"

It's this song... it's pure evil and probably sending subliminal messages:
Eat me, yummy yogurt, go now, eat me, you know you want it.

A small lasts me three days.

1 oz.
Calories 25
Calories from fat 0
Carbs 6 g.
Sugars 5 g.
Protein 1 g.

Could be worse.

This post is dedicated to Sarah ;)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Permission to kick my ass

It was a long night... I worked from 3 AM to 10 AM this morning. I made skewers again. 100's and 100's thankfully this time I did not spear myself. Anyway, came home surfed online for awhile... and then crashed. I woke up and WTH?!? It's hotter than hell. Where did this come from??? Yesterday it was beautiful and today whoa... 95. I love the heat now don't get me wrong now that I'm minus -124 pounds of insulation but this was a 15+ degree jump in a day. Totally not prepared. It'll be another summer of hiding these arms too... last year because they were fat... this year because of these batwings. I swear will I ever be happy with my body? Pre-op friends I don't want to scare you but you have to be prepared for what your body looks like after the weight loss. If you asked me last year at this time if I was planning on having PS I would have said no… well now that answer unfortunately is Hell Yeah. I need to finish this. I'm looking at December right now. I'm trying to increase my weight training... LOL who am I kidding??? I'm trying to start my weight training. I'm not a gym person. I'm a go hiking person... iPod and me and my thoughts. So this is going to be different for me but I've been told by many to develop those muscles before plastics for the best results. So hopefully finally NEXT SUMMER I will be comfortable enough to wear short sleeves. If I start bitching about the scars then and not wanting to show those... dear readers you officially have my permission to come kick me in the ass. No seriously. Intervention my ass and tell me I need a therapist.

I made Beef Braciole for dinner (as if I hadn't cooked enough) which is simmering in sauce in the crockpot as I type. We're having Fried Cauliflower with it. I'll try and remember to snap a pic. Love that "Food Porn!" I've eaten pretty good protein-wise despite the crazy mixed up sleep pattern today. I had a kick butt lunch 1/2 of a Chicken, Grilled Eggplant & Cheese with a smear of pesto Wrap and a 1/2 oz. bag of Crunchy Cheese. If you haven't found those Mission Carb Balance Whole Wheat tortillas yet... seek those out! I use the fajita size and eat 1/2. Yum!

One of the many types of skewers I made (this one I make for my own lunch a lot)

Caprese Skewers

1 bunch fresh basil
1 lbs bocconcini (those bite-sized fresh mozzarella balls)
2 pints cherry tomatoes
olive oil
pesto sauce (homemade or storebought)
salt and pepper to taste
Bamboo Skewers (toothpick size or cut a full length in half)

Wrap the bocconcini with basil leaf and pierce with skewer. Add a tomato to skewer. Repeat until you’ve run out of skewers or ingredients. Drizzle skewers with pesto sauce that has been slightly thinned out with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly ground salt and pepper.


So good! Caprese Skewers are a perfect lunch with a cold cut roll-up. Turkey breast, Swiss cheese, rolled with a pickle spear in the middle or piece of turkey wrapped around a cheesestick! This is one of my go-to lunches as a post-op. They are also one of the first things to fly at a party.

Highlights of the day:
* I'm not terribly tired despite a whacked schedule
* I actually drank a lot of water (it's so damn hot)
* Top Chef starts tonight

Listening to: "Big Girls Don't Cry" Fergie

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Never trust a skinny cook


I roasted a ton of veggies this morning (yellow and red peppers, red and yellow onions) for Chicken Cacciatore tonight. I'm looking forward to it. Mmmmm. It made the house smell awesome... like some fat Italian girl's kitchen... wait a minute?!? LOL ok a not-as-fat Italian girl's kitchen… I am wearing Size 10 now!!! Woot woot.

I think I posted this recipe before but I can't be bothered to look in the archives so here it is again...

Shelly's Chicken Cacciatore

1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

7 chicken breast tenders cut into 1" piece, marinated in a few T's of Italian Dressing for 4 hours (at least)
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz S&W brand is my fav)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss onions and pepper with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in oven for 50 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking time. SautĂ© chicken that has been marinated till golden. Add Italian Seasoning and garlic. Add diced tomatoes. Simmer 5 minutes. Add roasted vegetables with all juices. Mix to combine. For non-ops serve over angel hair pasta. For post-ops serve on it’s own with shredded Parmesan over top. It's yummy and perfect when you want that Italian food fix without the carbs.


The carbs I eat (about 25% of my diet) primarily come from fruits, veggies, and soymilk. I don't eat pasta, rice, or bread (with the exception of an occasional 1/2 of a Mission Fajita-size Carb Balance Whole Wheat Tortilla.) I'm not a carb basher though. I don't push my way... every one should follow their nutritionist/surgeon's advice. Personally, I stay far away from them because eating too many simple carbs made me fat. It wasn't the carbs themselves it was that I ate too damn many of them!! I couldn't curb it... I know this and so I avoid them like the plague. I've not had them for almost a year now and I really don't crave them anymore (Thank God) so I don't want to start eating them and start wanting them again. What's that saying nothing tastes as good as thin feels... it's true.

I think it's really important that we figure out what made us fat. Old habits die hard and it's easy to fall back into those comfortable patterns if you don't have a plan. You can't repeat the same actions and expect a different result you know.

For me it was overindulgence in pasta, bread, and rice. I couldn't care less about ice cream, chocolate and desserts. I could spend the night in See's candy store and never have the urge to take a bite... but if I got locked in Panera watch out might not be any bread left in the morning. I know this and so I avoid my trigger foods. I hope I can always be as strong. I see post-ops further out that struggle with weight gain which scares the shit out of me I have to say. I think it's good it scares the shit out of me though... it'll hopefully keep me on my toes.

Highlights of the day:

* My yummy smelling house
* It is an absolutely gorgeous day
* Mmmm Silky Latte Protein Shake (4 oz. Silk Mocha, 4 oz. water, Vanilla Protein Powder, 2-3 ice cubes. Blend.)

Listening to: "Body Movin'" The Beastie Boys

Thursday, June 7, 2007

In my garden


The gladiolus are opening and OMG!?! I watered my tomatoes and I swear they grew another foot over night. A few are over 6 feet I'm 5'2" and they tower over me. I'll post some pics. I am going to be inundated this summer. I bought all these killer heirloom tomato plants from this year's Tomatomania at Quail Gardens LOL maybe a few too many. I guess I'm going to be making a lot of salads and sauce. I also have cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash and a ton of herbs growing (dill, basil, thyme, marjoram, chives, rosemary, mint)

Gonna go hit the supermarket and Vitamin Shoppe now... all out of soymilk and I can't have that and I want to pick up a few more of those Oh Yeah Vanilla Peanut Butter Creme Bars. They rock! Soooooo good. Speaking of good. I had a reaaaaaallllly awesome dream last night. Ever have those dreams where you wake up and you lay there trying to slip back into the dream. It unfortunately never works. Well... it was one of those. I need to follow my -100 pound post advice: "Don't be content living in your dreams without trying to make them real." Yeah huh.


Tonight's Dinner:

Shelly's Quick Chili

Serve with the following fixings: sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, green onions, sliced avocado, and more hot sauce to taste.

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 large yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 14.5 oz can beef broth
2-3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 small can mild green chilies, diced
Hot sauce to taste
2 15.5 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over moderate heat, cook ground beef, breaking up large pieces with a spoon, until it's no longer pink. Drain and set aside. Add the onion and cook until it is golden. Throw in the garlic and cook for a minute or so. Add meat back to onions and garlic. Stir in the broth, scrapping up any brown bits on the bottom of your pot. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, tomatoes with their juices, green chilies and hot sauce to taste. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low and cover, simmering for about 10 minutes. Add the beans. Simmer, uncovered, for another 10-15 minutes.

Highlights of the day:

* Slept in
* Chit chat with my buddy Sarah
* SF Cinnamon Dolce Soy Latte

Listening to: "Stolen" Dashboard Confessional

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Food Dreams

I just had my first food dream the other night and now someone on OH just posted about her's... she dreamt about a hot fudge sundae so
I looked it up for her:

To dream that you are eating ice cream, denotes pleasure and satisfaction with your life. It is also an indicative of good luck and success in love.

I dreamt I was eating a slice of NY Giant Pizza... a pizza joint near where I used to live... my analysis is not as good:

To see or eat pizza in your dream, represents abundance, choices, and variety. It may also indicate that you are lacking or feeling deprived of something.

LOL. Yeah thanks I knew that.

Post WLS friends: Have you had a food dream yet?

Visual DNA

Way cool. Try this (TY Jay for this link)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Greetings!


I have decided to make my blog public... I figure if I'm gonna get a cyber stalker I just hope he's cute and single ;) So welcome new friends! I love meeting new people. If you are here you are probably thinking of having weight loss surgery or have had it. I had my RNY in Ensenada, Mexico (June 2006) and I usually meet a lot of people who are considering going South of the Border for surgery I'm happy to share my experience but remember there are good and bad doctors in every country I encourage you to do your research and set-up something for after care. I have two degrees (Political Science and Child & Family Studies) I tell you this to let you know that I am not a Doctor, Nutritionist, Dietician, Therapist, etc. etc. please don't get your medical advice from a blog or messageboard. When in doubt call your Dr. I love to cook (I do some part time catering) I post a lot of recipes and I hope you enjoy them... remember though the stuff I write here worked/s for me and is ok in my plan. Everyone is different so YMMV. End of disclaimer.

I feel blessed to have been given this awesome second chance and I'm glad to share my experiences I hope it eases someone's journey.

~Michelle

P.S. Stalkers please submit your most recent picture to socalshell@aol.com

My Favorite Protein Shake Recipes

Here's some protein tips for those of you who are having problems with shakes.

BTW: Please note in the recipes below you could use certainly use regular milk, water, almond milk, water/milk combo. I'm just a soy milk girl.

All of the recipes below also make great Protein Popsicles or Protein Ice Cream.

My Favorite Protein Shake Recipes:

Chocolate Monkey

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop chocolate protein
1/2 a banana

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.


Strawberry Banana Smoothie

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop vanilla protein
1/2 banana
3 whole frozen strawberries

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Banana Split

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1/2 banana
1/4 cup chopped pineapple
2 frozen strawberries

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Blueberry Bonanza Smoothie

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Chocolate Covered Cherry

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop chocolate protein
10-12 frozen or fresh cherries
optional: 1 tsp. of SF Cherry Torani Syrup or a drop of cherry extract

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Silky Latte

4 oz. Silk brand Mocha soy milk
4 oz. water
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Silky Mocha

4 oz. Silk brand Mocha soy milk
4 oz. water
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Mint Chocolate Chip Protein Smoothie

4 oz. Vitasoy Peppermint Chocolate soy milk
4 oz. water
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup canned pumpkin (chilled)
Dash of pumpkin pie spice

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Berry Berry Good Smoothie

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup frozen or fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Mochachinno

8 oz. cold coffee
1 scoop chocolate protein
2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Egg Nog Protein Shake

4 oz. Silk Nog soy milk
4 oz. water
1 scoop vanilla protein
Dash of nutmeg

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder. Blend on low then high till well blended. Dash of nutmeg on top.

Pina Colada

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup pineapple
1 Tbs. SF Coconut Torani Syrup (I've also used 2 T. of unsweetened coconut from the health food store or Baker's catalog)

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Peanut Butter Cup

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 Tbs. peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
2-3 ice cubes

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Cherry Vanilla Smoothie

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop vanilla protein
5-6 maraschino cherries
1 Tbs. SF French Vanilla Torani Syrup

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Chocolate Caramel Protein Shake

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 Tbs. SF Caramel Torani Syrup
3 Ice Cubes

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Blueberry Banana Protein Smoothie

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop vanilla protein
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 banana

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Strawberry Smoothie

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop vanilla protein
3-4 Frozen Whole Strawberries

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Lemon Meringue Smoothie

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 T. SF Jello Lemon Pudding Powder
2 Ice Cubes

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Green Giant

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 T. SF Jello Pistachio Pudding Powder
2 Ice Cubes

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Butterscotch Shake

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 T. SF Jello Butterscotch Pudding Powder
2 Ice Cubes

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Strawberry Cheesecake Shake

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 T. SF Jello Cheesecake Pudding Powder
3-4 Frozen or Fresh Strawberries

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Vanilla Spice Protein Shake

4 oz. Silk Spice soy milk
4 oz. water
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Dash Cinnamon
Dash Nutmeg
2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Chocolate Almond Protein Smoothie

4 oz. vanilla soy milk
4 oz. water
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 T. Almond Butter
2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Mango Madness Protein Smoothie

4 oz. water
4 oz. vanilla soy milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Banana Joe Protein Shake

4 oz. water
4 oz. vanilla soy milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 banana
1/2 shot of espresso or 1/4 cup fresh coffee or 1 tsp instant coffee
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Carrot Cake Protein Shake

4 oz. water
4 oz. Silk Spice soy milk (if you use Vanilla or Plain Milk add more cinnamon and nutmeg)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup frozen sliced carrots
1 Tablespoon Cream Cheese
Dash Cinnamon
Dash Nutmeg

Place liquids in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Mango Banana Protein Lassi

4 oz. vanilla soy milk
4 oz. water
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 Tbs. SF Vanilla Torani Syrup
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 Banana (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Banana Protein Smoothie

4 oz. water
4 oz. vanilla soy milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 Banana (fresh or frozen)
Dash Cinnamon
Dash Nutmeg
2-3 Ice Cubes

2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Mocha Banana Joe Protein Shake

4 oz. water
4 oz. vanilla soy milk
1 scoop Chocolate protein powder
1/2 banana
1 tsp instant espresso powder
2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Mocha Joe Protein Shake

4 oz. water
4 oz. vanilla soy milk
1 scoop Chocolate protein powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder
2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Peach Cobbler Protein Shake

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup frozen sliced peaches
dash cinnamon
dash nutmeg
2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended

Mango Banana Protein Smoothie

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 a banana
2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Gingersnap Protein Smoothie

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1/2-3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon Starbuck's SF Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
dash of cinnamon
2-3 ice cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Strawberry Mango Protein Smoothie

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop vanilla protein
1/4 cup frozen mango chunks
3 whole strawberries

Place water in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Banana Bread Protein Smoothie

8 oz. water or 4 oz. soy milk/4 oz. water
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1 T. SF Jello Banana Pudding Mix, dry
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
dash Nutmeg
dash Ground Cloves
1/2 Banana, frozen
2-3 Ice Cubes

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended. Top with another dash of nutmeg.

Shelly's Cherry Berry Banana Protein Smoothie (for 2)

8 oz. Vanilla Soy Milk
8 oz. Water
2 scoops Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 Banana
4-5 whole Frozen Strawberries
1/2 cup Frozen Cherries
2-3 Tablespoons Sugar Free Black Cherry Torani Syrup

Place liquid in the blender first, then powder, then additions. Blend on low then high till well blended.

Shelly's Banana Protein Mochacchino

1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk (you can use ANY milk or milk/water combo. I'm a soy girl)
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I use SF Vanilla)
1/2 a Banana
1 scoop Click Espresso Protein Powder
1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
3-4 Ice Cubes

Add liquid, then powders, then additions and blend on high. I serve it with a squirt of SF Land o Lakes Whipped Cream.

Shelly's Tiramisu Protein Shake

1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk (you can use ANY milk or milk/water combo. I'm a soy girl)
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free DaVinci Kahlua Syrup
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Jello Cheesecake Pudding Mix, dry
1 scoop Click Espresso Protein Powder
1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
3-4 Ice Cubes

Add liquid, then powders and blend on high. I serve it with a squirt of SF Land o Lakes Whipped Cream and a dusting of unsweetened Cocoa.

Shelly's Pistachio Banana Protein Shake

1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk (you can use ANY milk or milk/water combo. I'm a soy girl)
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Vanilla)
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Jello Pistachio Pudding Mix, dry
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 a Banana
3-4 Ice Cubes

Add liquid, then powders, then banana and ice. Blend on high. I served it with a squirt of SF Land o Lakes Whipped Cream and a few chopped pistachios.

Shelly's Cherry Berry Cottage Smoothie

1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk (you can use any milk)
1/2 cup Frozen Pitted Cherries
2-3 Frozen Strawberries
1/4 cup Cottage Cheese (I used storebought Pineapple Cottage Cheese)
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Black Cherry Torani Syrup

Whiz in blender till smooth. Top with Sugar Free Land o Lakes Whipped Cream, optional.

Shelly's PB&J Protein Shake

1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk (you can use ANY milk or milk/water combo. I'm a soy girl)
1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Raspberry Syrup (on sale now)
1 Tablespoon Sugar Free Strawberry Jam (I used Smucker's Simply Fruit)
1 Tablespoon PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter (or regular Peanut Butter)
3-4 Ice Cubes

Whiz in blender till smooth. Top with No Sugar Added Homemade Whipped Cream, optional.


Shelly's Café Biscotti Protein Shake

8 oz. Vanilla Soy Milk (or Milk/Water Combo)
1 scoop of Max/Ultimate Cookies & Cream Protein Powder
1 packet of Instant Coffee Crystals
2 Tablespoons Sugar Free Vanilla Torani Syrup (on sale now)
a couple of Ice Cubes
Optional topping: SF Land o Lakes Whipped Cream

Whiz in blender till smooth. Top with Sugar Free Land o Lakes Whipped Cream, optional.

I'll add more to this list as I taste test them. Enjoy!

My sources for SF Syrups: Smart & Final, Cost Plus World Market, BevMo Beverages & More and online at amazon.com

Friday, June 1, 2007

Currently obsessing on...

Crunchy Baked Cheese
The World's Healthiest Foods
Silk Mocha Soy milk (4 oz. Silk Mocha Soymilk, 4 oz. water, 1 scoop protein powder, 3 ice cubes. Blend)
Foster Farms Homestyle Turkey Meatballs (Costco Big Bag 3 meatballs are 18 g. protein)
Life Savers SF Fruit Tarts - The purple tin
Maximum Protein
Gardening (I have 5 feet tall tomato plants)
Tall SF Cinnamon Dolce Soy Lattes (get them while you can Starbucks is discontinuing SF Cinnamon Dolce Syrup)
Sundessa Blender Bottle
Hiking
Spa Pedicures (too much hiking LOL)
Dinner on the patio
White peaches and strawberries
Chakra meditation
Capri Jeans
OPI Pear Juicie Lotion