Friday, December 31, 2010

Sweet Cinnamon "Sugar" Apples

I kept my great niece and nephews last night (just 3 of em--there's 8 total).  We had fun--went to the last night of Christmas at the Zoo with a friend of mine and her family. My plan was to just take Gauge b/c yesterday was his 12th birthday. But, when the other two heard about my plans to take him, suddenly that plan was void and they were coming!  It turned out to be a pretty fun night! 

This morning I woke up before them (which is not the norm) and decided to make them some breakfast.  I made some scrambled eggs topped with cheese along with some chorizo sausage.  I bought some chorizo sausage the other day at Aldi. I've been hearing about it for some time now and have kind of been interested in trying it.  I've made it a couple times now and personally, I don't care for it.  It's really greasy and has a high fat content so it's not really worth it to me...and it has a weird texture that I just can't deal with.  The kids liked it.  I was really surprised by that b/c I did not think they would...but expect the unexpected, right?  So, anyway.  I also had some apples sittin on the counter that have been there for a while now and needed to be used.  So, I made some sweet cinnamon "sugar" apples.  I used:

4 apples, chopped (I kept the peels on, which gave some 'crunch', but you can peel it off if you want)
1/2 cup Davinci Sugar Free Pancake syrup (caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, whatever you like will work)
3/4 cup calorie free sweetener (I used kroger brand splenda--use whatever kind works for you)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Stir everything together and heat over medium heat until apples are tender.  Verdict:  They are gooood! The kids loved them. :-)

Now for the pics:
Breakfast basics:

On the stove cooking away

Close up of the apples cooking...

Our plates...yes, the small batman plate is what I used! 

Gauge, Hunter, & EJ...eatin the yumminess right off their plates!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Protein Drinks, Shakes, Smoothies

For this post I am just gonna show ya'll some of the protein drinks I've enjoyed recently.  In the future I will document and photograph each protein drink and post individually. :-)

First, allow me to show you my protein drink ingredients collection.  I've got a pretty good stock of SF syrups, SF jello, SF pudding, spices, etc. These things all make protein drinks yummy and enjoyable.  Nik was so right when she said there is no excuse for drinking a nasty protein drink. Ever.

I get a lot of ideas from Nik and Jen over at Bariatric Foodie for protein.  Here are some examples of them:

This one in the red mug is Jen's Pumpkin Caramel Smoothie.  It is fricken delish! I warmed it up and it tasted like warm pumpkin pie.

The white mug is Nik's Hot Apple Pie a la mode protein cider.  Again, warm, smooth and crazy good.

The black mug is Peppermint Vanilla Click Latte.  I honestly can not remember if I got this from one of the blogs that I follow ( or or if I created this one...I don't think I created it, but I can not find where I got it from. Either way it was good!

This one was me.  I was in the mood for strawberry and banana something...So, I threw this Super Strawberry Banana Smoothie together with 8 oz milk, 1 scoop strawberry protein, 1/2 tsp SF jello powder, 1 tbsp SF banana pudding powder, 1 tbsp SF strawberry syrup, 1 tbsp SF banana syrup, 3 ice cubes.  Put everything in the blender and whiz away.  About 2-3 minutes I'd say. Top with SF, FF whippage and SF banana syrup.  Good!

This one was inspired by Eggface, but I changed up some of the ingredients and made it my own Warm Banana Bread Protein Smoothie...this one was quite possibly my most favorite, ever!  For my version I used: 8 oz milk
1 scoop vanilla protein
1 tbsp SF banana pudding powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 medium banana
2-3 ice cubes
dash of nutmeg
dash of ground cloves
2 tbsp SF banana syrup

Put everything in the blender and whiz together, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to the mug and nuke for 60 seconds.  Top with whippage and enjoy~! I'm tellin you it was so good.  It literally tasted like a warm slice of banana bread fresh from the oven.  Next time I think I will top it with some chopped walnuts!

Wha-la!  Have I mentioned how GOOD this one was....?  Mmmm-mmmm-mmmm!

Couple of notes:  I know, I know, I are probably thinking what the heck is the point of using ice if you are just gonna warm it up, right?  Well, the ice helps make it thick and gives it a great texture. 

Ah, the blender.  Some bariatric programs are highly against using a blender to make protein drinks.  Mine certainly is.  Why? Because the blender creates a substantial amount of air in the drink and getting air in your pouch, especially as a newbee can SUCK.  The air can cause you pain and make you miserable. So, be cautious and use whatever method for making protein drinks that works best for you!  Using the blender doesn't bother my pouch in the least so I roll with it!

Easy Peezy Cheesy Texas Chicken Pockets

Last week I was at my part time job and stumbled across this little recipe card.  I work in the office and we often get recipes attached to the coupons.  It was a recipe for Chicken Parmesan Turnovers.  It calls for: rotisserie chicken (shredded), canned diced Italian tomatoes, shredded mozz cheese, shredded parm cheese, and refrigerated crescent roll dough.  Easy as 1-2-3 to throw together.  Shred chicken, drain tomatoes, unroll crescent dough (keeping in squares).  Top each square with chicken, tomatoes, and cheese.  Fold over and seal on all sides.  Bake according to crescent roll directions (9-11 minutes at 375).  Could not be easier.

So, I went to the store to get the things necessary to make the chicken parm turnovers, but I ended up going a slightly different route. Instead of diced Italian tomatoes I picked up a can of fire-roasted tex mex tomatoes.  I got reduced fat crescent dough, an Italian cheese blend, and the chicken.  Followed the same basic steps for putting them together and baking them.   Verdict: they are good.  and filling.  Changing the tomatoes definitely changed the taste and this version is not chicken parm-y.  They have a nice kick to them from the tex mex tomatoes, full of juicy chicken, and warm gooey cheesy goodness!

Note: The crescent roll dough may not be 100% bariatric friendly.  However, my pouch is okay with it.  A better option would be to make some pocket dough using carbquick or the atkins baking mix.  I was just too lazy to do that happens...

The ingredients...

 One of em filled me right up!  I just stored the remaining tomatoes in a tupper ware bowl, the dough is in a baggie and the chicken will come in handy later in the week for some quick go-to lunches!!

Quick and yummy lunch

I am on vacation this week so I am in leisure mode! Just got back from the gym and needed to eat.  So, I had a beef and bacon filet and some salad mix in the fridge.  Threw the salad together with a bit of shredded cheese, sliced roma tomato, S&P, garlic powder, and fat free french dressing.  Pulled out the good ole "George Foreman" grille (mine is a Hamilton Beach, but it works just the same) and grilled up the filet in five minutes and wha-la!  This is a beef filet and it is good, but does have a higher fat content than the turkey and bacon filets. Normally, I get the turkey filets, but I couldn't find any the other day during my grocery trip.  Nonetheless, this was a super yummy, protein packed under 10 minutes!  That's my kinda cookin!!! :-)

Before and After

Woke up this morning and thought, I should put some before and after pics up for everyone to see how far I've come.  When I look at my before pics, I dont hardly recognize myself.  I never realized how big I was until I looked at the pictures.  I am so greatful to have been given the gift of bariatric surgery. It is an amazing tool and it has helped me so much. 

This is the before pic that was take by the center April 2009.  I weighed 412 lbs. I will NEVER go back...

 This is at my one year check up in April 2010.  At that point I think I had lost about 160lbs or something. Can't remember for sure...

This was me in October 2010...

Still have about 60-70 more lbs to lose, progress is slow these days, but I will get there.

Till next time...

Lots of love,


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Another thank you

During my cardio at the gym tonight I had TONS of thoughts flying thru my head, as usual.  Sometimes its hard for me to keep up with myself! I was watching food network (love food network) and just kept thinking of so many things I want to blog about. More importantly, I thought of something that I should have mentioned in my "getting started" post, the part where I said my thank yous.  I owe a big fat juicy thank you to my trainers, but before I get to that, allow me to share some background about this... 

I was REALLY nervous to get started at the gym when I was fresh post-op.  I was the fat girl and going to the gym was not something I looked forward to b/c I knew I'd be judged.  But, I knew I had to go. I knew I had to have exercise as part of my plan to be successful now and long-term. So, I dragged my self to a gym about 4 miles or less from my house. I was nervous, but I did it & I joined that day.  A few days later I went back for my "free personal training session".  It was not a good experience.  The trainer that I saw answered his phone, I kid you not, probably 12 times or more in the hour I was in front of him for my "session".  He pretended to be interested, but he could not have cared less.  I was very turned off from that gym.  I did not go back. 

Instead, I decided to drive 17 miles away to another location.  That's where I met them. Marques and Steve.  They immediately made me feel welcomed and they did not judge me. Instead they listened and trained me and accepted me for me.  So, to you guys I say thank you.  You guys have been amazing to me and have helped me in my journey more than you will ever know.  Thank you for pushing me, even when I give you a hard time. Thank you for helping me realize my ability and my strength.  Thank you for helping me become stronger with each workout.  Thank you for not ever letting me give up.  Thank you for helping me keep the gym as such an important part of my life.  Thank you for making me feel so comfortable in the gym, something I never thought I'd be able to do. Thank you for not only being my incredibly talented trainers, but also my friends.  You guys are the best and I will forever appreciate everything you have done for me.  I still have a lot of work to do and I am so grateful to have you helping me in my journey.

Autumn's Italian Chicken

This is a recipe I've had for a while--I just kinda threw it together a few years back and it stuck. My little sister loves it and asked me to make some for dinner the other night.  There isn't much to it really.  Anyone can do it.  Recipe calls for:

Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenders (amount depends on how much you want to make--I used about 2lbs for this batch b/c my sister wanted to take left overs home with her)
2 cans of diced Italian tomatoes (any brand will work, I used Walmart's great value brand)
2 cans of rotel style tomatoes
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 can water
S&P to taste
cooking spray

Spray glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Place chicken tenders into dish, sprinkle with S&P and stir around well.  Add all tomatoes and water.  Stir it all together.  This time, I did all of this the night before and let it all marinade for 24 hours.  You don't have to do that, but trust me, it made the chicken incredibly moist and the flavor was powerful~!

Whenever you're ready to make it, bake the chicken at 350 for 45 minutes.  Then,  without removing the chicken, crank the oven up to 425 and bake for 30 more minutes.  It is soooo good.  Cortney, my sister, took a huge bowl home and I still have a bowl left in the fridge for dinner tonight!

Pancake Bites

These little bites of yummy-ness were inspired by Eggface. Check her out at

I used the remaining pancake batter from the other morning.

Pour the batter into a mini muffin tin. Top with whatever you'd like.  I topped 3of em with chocolate chips, 3 of em with diced apple, cinnamon, and splenda, and 6 of em with the Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles.  Shelly has used bacon crumbles, blueberries, bananas, etc.  Use whatever you like. Be creative.  Make them your own!  Bake them at 350 for 13 minutes. They come out moist and warm and they are soooo good!
 Serve them up with a bit of sugar free maple syrup and you've got yourself a pretty yummy breakfast!

Eggs Rosettes

Inspired by Nik over at I made a version of her eggs rosettes.
My recipe includes:

2 eggs
1 oz feta cheese
1 oz reduced fat cream cheese
splash of milk
10 thin slices of virginia baked ham
Diced veggies (I used orange bell pepper, onion, and roma tomato)
cooking spray
S & P to taste

Chop veggies up.  Spray pan with cooking spray.  Saute peppers and onions till translucent and then add tomato. 
 Meanwhile, crack eggs into bowl and add milk and cream cheese. Whisk away!  The cream cheese is a bit difficult to get incorporated into the egg, so you really gotta whisk it, whisk it real good!  Once you have it all whisked up, add the feta cheese and the veggies into the egg mixture.

 Once that's done, shape two slices of ham together and form into muffin pan to for a "rosette" shape.  Fill each rosette with egg mixture (well fill them about 3/4 full).
 Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes and wha-la!
These things are crazy good.  The egg mixture is super creamy and smooth and the ham gives the most delish flavor! I had a good amount of egg mixture left (I think one egg would be enough  for the recipe) so I nuked it for a couple minutes and had the scramble along with one of the rosettes! Yuuuuuuuummm-O! 

Pancakes, Sausage & Eggs!

The other day I mentioned that I had some yummy pancakes for breakfast.  Finally, I'll share! I bought a bag of the Atkins Baking Mix a few weeks back from  Been kinda experimenting with it.  I tried to try to cookie recipe...that did not go well.  So, I almost gave up with the stuff that quick, but then I saw on Bariatric Foodie that Jen has been experimenting with it as well and Dee shared some of her pancakes with us...  So, I tried the pancakes as well.

The recipe on the baking mix bag calls:
                              - 1 cup of All Purpose Baking Mix (Atkins)
                              - 1 splenda packet (I like sweet, so I used 2)
                              - 2 teaspoons baking powder
                              - 1/4 teaspoon salt
                              - 1 cup half & half (I used 1% milk)
                              - 1 whole egg

Blend the dry ingredients in bowl.  Add egg and milk.  Whisk batter very well and let sit for 5 minutes.
Coat pan with cooking spray and pour batter into pan to make small pancakes like this...
Brown pancakes on each side until done.  Final Product will look like this...
The recipe makes a lot of batter. So, I just made these three pancakes (two of which are still in the fridge!) and saved the rest. I used it to make some pancake bites (inspired by Eggface) this morning--post coming soon on that!

I wanted to get some good protein in with my breakfast so I also made a sausage & egg scramble to go with my pancake.  I used the new Jimmy Dean sausage crumbles and one egg with a splash of milk.  I added a bit of shredded cheese and scrambled it all together in a pan. It was goooooooood!
 The sausage n' egg scramble cooking...
  My final breakfast plate looked like so...I topped the pancake with some sugar free maple syrup and snuggled up on the couch and enjoyed every single bite!

Getting Started

Over the past few days, I've been working on putting things together to get my blog up and running. I've got a handful of recipes (with pics) to post.  Hoping to get those up as the week goes on. 

First, I've got some things  to say...!!

A big ole fat thank you to all of the people who have helped me in this journey...

-to Nik and Jen over at The two of them have helped me so much in my journey and are part of my inspiration to start my own blog.  Not to mention Shelly over at  Shelly's tips, advice, and creative recipes are incredible!  Thank you to each of you!!!

-to ALL of my friends and family.  There aren't many of you, but even still, I appreciate you all.  You have supported me and encouraged me and have always been there for me. When I first considered having the surgery done, I was extremely fearful to tell my family and my friends.  I didn't know if I would have support, but you guys never doubted my decision and you were there for me from day one.  You may never know how much that meant to me.  Some of my friends still don't know that I had the surgery done and finding out by this blog may surprise may have assumed, but I may have never told you.  Well, now you know!  This is a HUGE part of my life and I am proud to now share it with everyone!

-Last, but certainly not least. A GYNOURMOUS thank you to my friends and support system thru St.Vincent Bariatric Center of Excellence, both at the center and in the support groups.  Thank you for all of your support, advice, tips, and listening.  All of you are a major factor in my journey and I look forward to continuing this journey with all of you in my corner!

With all of that said, this blog will be my own personal outlet for everything from A-Z.  I will use it to share ideas about food, recipes, working out, emotional struggles, mental struggles, and on and on and on.  I am really looking for this blog to help me continue on my journey and be successful with my weight loss.  Even after having RNY done and losing 170lbs, I have an immense fear every single day that I am going to fail at this; that I am going to gain all of my weight back and that I will never be able to beat my battle against obesity.  I DO NOT WANT to fail at this.  It is a battle every day for me to over come my weight and not let it beat me. 

The hardest part, I love food & I love to eat.  Food is comfort, food is good, food is my release; my escape.  It releases me from stress and anxiety and sadness and anger and everything in between.  It is usually the center of social gatherings with friends and family.  It is everywhere.  BUT.  A big, big, big BUT... Thankfully, I have learned a thing or two since starting my journey two years ago!! I have learned that I can still eat lots of great, super yummy and delicious food everyday!!!  I can eat things that are good and good for me & I can still lose weight & maintain my weight loss.  I have the ability to choose to make good choices in food and give myself better health and finally beat MY battle against obesity.  I can be creative in the kitchen and enjoy the fruits of my labor.  I have learned that I must be active.  Being active, being at the gym, and getting daily exercise has become a huge part of my life and it is a MUST to maintain my weight loss and continue to lose.  I have another 70 lbs to lose (yes, even having already lost 170lbs) and working out, along with eating right is a great big factor in that equation. 

So, in summary, I have learned that I have the tools and the knowledge and the support to beat this battle, lose weight, and be healthy and happy.  I know I will still have ups and downs, good moments and bad moments, struggle and success.  I am not perfect.  I am still learning how to make all of this work.  Now, thru this blog, I can share all of this with all of you.  Just because the things I post are going to be "bariatric friendly" doesn't mean that you have to have had surgery to follow this blog and/or use the information in it.  Everyone, bariatric patient or not, is welcome to use the info, try the recipes, share thoughts, opinions, feedback, etc.  I hope that all of you enjoy this blog and thank you for taking time to take a peek!

Lots of Luv,

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Starting fresh

This morning for breakfast I had yummy pankcake with SF syrup and an egg/sausage scramble! It was yuuumm-o~!  Pics and blog coming soon!