One Year Later!

I can't believe that 1 whole year has gone by since having my RNY.  Everyday I thank God, my family and my wonderful surgeon for supporting my decision.  I am in the best shape of my life.  Not even as a teenager did I feel as good as I do nowadays. 
I have lost 110 lbs. so far and am hoping to lose another 22 lbs. in the next couple of months in order to reach my goal of 160 lbs.
There are days that I look at myself in the mirror and still see this "Fat" girl.  Those are the days I sit down in front of my computer and start looking at old pictures of myself and really realize that I may not be "skinny" (then again that was never my goal) but I have come a long way to becoming healthy and much more comfortable with the way I look.  I know that I may not be completely satisfied with how I look until I'm able to get rid of all the extra skin around my abdomen.  I hope that will be something that I can have done in the next few years.
Here are pictures of my Before and After.
I hope that those of you looking to better your health and the way you feel, really give this surgery some consideration.  This is a life changing decision and by no means is this an easy way out.  You will have to continue a healthy diet in order to maintain your weightloss.  And an exercise routine is always something great to have as well.
I want to wish every one of you that follow my blog a Happy and Healthy New Year full of many good good things!

Cheesy Turkey Sweet Potato Hash


1/2 lb. Ground Turkey
2 Medium Sweet Potatoes (diced 1/2" cubes)
2/3 cups Baby Carrots (halved)
1 1/2 cups Sliced Mushrooms
1/2 Sweet Onion (diced)
1 cup Frozen Corn Kernels
2 cloves Garlic
1 cup Sharp Shredded Cheddar
2 tbsp. Water
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1/4 tsp. Sweet Paprika
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. Cayenne
1 tsp. fine Sea Salt
Pepper to taste
Cooking Spray

Spray your pan with nonstick cooking spray and place over high heat.  Add the ground turkey.  Season  it with 1/2 tsp. of salt, paprika and cumin.  Cook for 5 minutes breaking the meat up really well and deglaze the pan with the water.  Once water has evaporated, transfer the meat to a plate.  Now heat the olive oil in the pan and add the carrots and mushrooms.  Cook for 2 to 4 minutes then add the sweet potatoes, cover and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.  Now season with the remaining salt, cayenne and pepper to taste.  Also add the garlic, onions and corn, cook until the onions are translucent and the potatoes are fork tender.  Turn the heat off and stir in the meat.  Divide evenly among 4, 8 oz. ramekins that have been sprayed with nonstick spray.  Top each with a 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese.  Place the ramekins in the toaster oven at 350° for 10 or until the cheese is nicely melted and slightly browned.
 Makes 4 to 8 post-op servings

Low Carb Seafood Corn Chowder


2- 6 oz. cans of Crab Meat
6 oz. Sea Scallops (diced)
1 lb. Extra Large Shrimp 18/20's (tails off, roughly chopped)
1- 8 oz. pkg. Louis Kemp Lobster Delights
4 slices Low Sodium Bacon (chopped in 1/2" pieces)
1- 12 oz. bag of Steamfresh Frozen Garlic Cauliflower (chopped)
1 1/2 cups Frozen Corn Kernels
1/2 Sweet Onion (diced)
2 stalks Celery (finely diced)
4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
2 cups Milk (I used Lactaid)
2 cups Heavy Cream
1 to 2 tbsp Xanthan Gum (depending how thick you like it, I used 2)
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
2 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
2 tsp Sea Salt
2 tbsp Diced Pimentos
2 tbsp Chopped Parsley
1 tbsp Butter *optional
Pepper to taste

Let's first start by cooking our bacon in the soup pot.  Once bacon is crisp remove it with a slotted spoon to some paper towel.  Depending on how fatty your bacon was you'll want to drain off all but 1 tbsp of the drippings.  Add your celery and onions to the bacon fat and saute over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile season all your seafood with the salt and pepper to taste. Once your onions are translucent add your milk, heavy cream, broth, thyme and Old Bay to the pot and raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.  When soup is simmering you are ready to thicken it with the xanthan gum. (I like to use a small strainer and sift it in while whisking to avoid any clumping.)  Now add your frozen corn and cauliflower (which will help loosen the soup a little more.)  Simmer for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to medium-low and add all your seafood, bacon pieces and pimentos.  Continue to simmer for 10 minutes or until seafood is cooked through.  Now off the heat add your parsley, butter and season with pepper to taste.
This is a very comforting creamy chowder recipe for those cooler fall days.
Recipe makes A LOT of chowder (which is great if you have a large family like me.)

Serving size 1 cup
Makes about 10 servings

Low Carb Shrimp & Mushroom Pad Thai


12 oz. Small Shrimp (deveined, tails off)
2- Pkgs. Miracle Noodle Shirataki Fettuccine
1- 8 oz. Pkg. Fresh Mung Bean Sprouts
1- 15 oz. can Straw Mushrooms (rinsed and dried)
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 cup Carrot matchsticks
1 Green Onion (sliced)
2 tbsp Cilantro (chopped)
Nonstick cooking spray

1 tbsp + 1 tsp Fish Sauce
1/4 cup Tamarind Paste
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp + 1 tsp Smart Balance Chunky Peanut Butter
1 tsp Sriracha
1 tbsp Splenda
1/2 tsp Lime juice

First combine all the ingredients for the sauce.  Add 3 tablespoons of the sauce to the shrimp and let marinade for 10 to 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare your veggies.  Prepare your noodles by rinsing them under cold water for a few minutes then placing them in a bowl and heating them for 2 minutes in the microwave.  Then pat the noodles completely dry.  Next add the eggs to a small skillet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to make an omelette.  Once eggs are done, transfer to a cutting board and slice into strips.
Now heat a wok on high heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes then add the shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes or until almost cooked through.  Now add all the remaining ingredients (except for green onions and cilantro) including the sauce.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and toss in the green onions and cilantro.
Serve with a wedge of lime and top with some fresh chopped cilantro for garnish.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Chimichurri-style Grilled Chicken


4 Chicken Tenderloins
1 cup Cilantro
1 tbsp. Dried Parsley
1 tsp. Dried Whole Oregano
Juice of 1 Lime
5 Garlic Cloves
1 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
3 tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
Pepper to taste

Add all ingredients, except the chicken tenderloins to the bowl of your food processor.  Pulse a few times until garlic is completely minced and everything is an even consistency.
Place chicken tenderloins in a ziploc bag with the sauce and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Once chicken has marinated, preheat your indoor grill to it's highest setting.  Add the chicken tenderloins to the grill, cook and cover for 5 minutes then flip chicken and cook on the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes covered.  Once tenders are cooked through, remove from heat and let them rest covered for 2 or 3 minutes.
Serve with a nice salad or topped with a little homemade guacamole and sour cream.

Serves 2 to 4

Shrimp Jap Chae (Low Carb)


1 lb. Large shrimp (21-25) Cleaned, tails off
2 pkgs. Miracle Noodle Shirataki Angel Hair
1 cup Carrot matchsticks
5 Green Onions (cut to 1" pieces)
1- 6 oz. bag of Baby Spinach (torn)
8 Dried Shitake Mushroom caps (reconstituted and sliced)
1- 15 oz. can Straw mushrooms
1 cup Sliced Baby Portobello mushrooms
1 small Sweet Onion (sliced)
2 Eggs (beaten)
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
1 tbsp. Fish Sauce
2 tbsp. Splenda
1 tsp. Toasted Sesame oil
2 tsp. Sesame seeds
Nonstick spray
Pepper to taste

Let us first make the sauce/marinade for our jap chae.  Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, garlic, splenda, 1/4 cup of the water used to reconstitute your shitake mushrooms and 1/4 tsp of the sesame oil.  Add a 1/4 cup of the sauce to the shrimp and marinade for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile prepare your noodles according to package instructions.  Drain and rinse the straw mushrooms and pat them dry.  Make an omelette with the beaten eggs and set aside to cool slightly in order to slice it into strips.
Now heat your wok with some nonstick spray and add all your mushrooms.  Saute for 5 minutes then add 1 tbsp of the sauce.  Now add the carrots and onions and saute for another 5 minutes.  Once onions and carrots have slightly softened add the noodles and the remaining sauce.  Toss for 5 minutes then remove from the wok.  Wipe your wok clean and spray it again.  Get the wok very hot and then add the shrimp.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes then return the noodle vegetable mixture to the wok.  Add the remaining sesame oil, sliced omelette, green onions and sesame seeds.  Add pepper to taste and toss together for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8

Balsamic-Basil Shrimp with Caprese Salad


Shrimp Marinade
6 to 8 Basil Leaves (chopped)
2 tbsp. Aged Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 tbsp. Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 lb. Large Shrimp (cleaned)
Nonstick Olive oil spray

Caprese Salad
1 Vine Ripe Tomato (sliced)
4 Slices Fresh Mozarella
4 to 6 Large Basil Leaves (chiffonade)
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all the marinade ingredients and add the shrimp.  Let the shrimp marinade for at least 15 minutes.  Meanwhile prepare the caprese salad by alternating slices of mozarella and tomato.  Sprinkle with the basil chiffonade then drizzle with balsamic and olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Heat a large saute pan with olive oil spray.  Add shrimp in a single layer and cook for 2 minutes on each side.
Serve shrimp with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar along with a side of the caprese salad.

Serves 2 to 4

7 Months Post-Op!!!

It is unbelievable to me that 7 months have gone by already and that the person you see in the picture above is ME!  I have lost 90 lbs. so far and I still want to lose at least another 40 to 45 pounds more.
I continue to eat small amounts of food 5 to 6 times a day.  I still drink my protein shakes at least once a day.  Sometimes as my morning snack, but mostly as my bedtime snack.  I haven't incorporated many new foods to my diet yet, but now that I am almost a year out I plan to start trying new things.
I have to say that I have been drinking socially and it so far has had no ill effects.  I do try not to over do it.  I have stuck to drinking flavored rum with fruit juice, which seems to work well for me.  (Drinking is not something I plan to do everyday or very often.)
I plan to start exercising again with the additional motivation from my husband! :)
Here is a before and right now picture to show you just how much you can change in 7 months!

Creamy Shrimp with Mushrooms

Since having my surgery almost 7 months ago I find that shrimp is one of the foods I tolerate best.  This recipe for shrimp with mushrooms reminds me a lot of a stroganoff.  It's creamy tangy and delicious.
20 Large Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
6 White Mushrooms (sliced thin)
1/4 cup Onion (sliced)
1/2 tsp. Goya Adobo seasoning
1/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (you can substitute with sour cream)
1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup Shredded 6 Cheese Italian blend
1 tbsp. Fresh Parsley (*optional)
Black Pepper to taste
Nonstick Olive Oil spray

Preheat a large skillet with nonstick spray.  Add sliced mushrooms and onions and 1/8 tsp. of the Goya Adobo seasoning.  Reduce heat to medium and saute for 5 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.  Meanwhile toss the shrimp with the remaining seasoning and add pepper to taste.  Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the shrimp.  Saute for 2 minutes then add the water to help deglaze the pan.  Cook for another 2 minutes or until shrimp are just cooked through.  Turn off the heat and stir in the yogurt, cheese and parsley.  Serve on top of some low carb pasta noodles or as is with a side salad.  Enjoy!

Cheesy French Onion Bacon Rice

This is a remake of one of my favorite dishes that my mom makes.  She always makes it with white rice, which I no longer eat since having my gastric bypass.  So since I was making some of this for the family using my mom's recipe I decided I should come up with a way to make it WLS friendly.  I've substituted the white rice in my mom's recipe with instant brown rice plus I added a little extra protein by topping the whole thing with some gooey swiss cheese.

1 can Campbell's French Onion Soup + 1/4 cup Water
8 slices Reduced Fat Center Cut Bacon (cut in 1" pieces)
1/4 cup Chopped Onion
2 slices Swiss Cheese
Pepper to taste

Heat a small saucepan.  Add bacon pieces and cook until nice and crisp.  Move bacon to a plate lined with paper towel to remove excess fat.  Drain bacon fat from pan reserving 1 tbsp.  Add onions to the pan and saute for 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat.  Add soup and water to the pan and bring to a boil.  Once boiling add the rice, bacon and pepper to taste.  Stir, cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let it sit covered for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile preheat your broiler or toaster oven.  Now divide the rice between two 4 oz. ramekins.
Top each ramekin with a slice of swiss cheese.
Place them under the broiler for 5 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

Serves 2

34th Birthday!

My husband & I

Wow! I can't believe how quickly time has gone by.  Today I celebrated my 34th birthday at a weight I never thought I would see again (before having this wonderfully miraculous surgery!)  I am currently 6 months post-op and weighing 208 lbs. for a total weight loss so far of 84 lbs.
Before having this surgery I never knew that I could be this happy with myself again.  With every passing day I know that having my RNY was the best decision I could have ever made for myself and my family.  I have been quite lucky since having my surgery.  I am able to eat almost everything I use to without getting sick.  I cannot do sugar in high quantities, but that is something I am thankful for.  I try to avoid simple carbs as much as possible (about the only one I do on occassion is potato.)  And I try to keep a diet high in protein with lots of fruits and vegetables and some complex carbs.
I had set myself a short term goal to reach onederland before my birthday, but unfortunately I didn't quite make it.  Even though I didn't make the goal I am SUPER happy with where I am right now.  I know that if I had been exercising like I'm suppose to I could have made my goal.  And that is something that I'm going to work hard at doing.
Any way you put it though this has been one of the best birthdays I've had in a long time!  I am loving the new me and how everything in my life is going.

Chicken Japchae (Chap Chae)

If there is one korean dish that I absolutely love and can't live without it has to be Japchae!  Unfortunately the original dish has quite a bit of carbs since it uses cellophane noodles, which are made of sweet potato flour.  But I have come up with a way to continue enjoying my beloved Japchae without all those nasty carbs!  I hope you all enjoy this one!!!


1 Chicken Breast (sliced very thin)
1-package Miracle Noodle Shirataki Angel Hair (prepared per pkg. directions, then cut)
1 cup Fresh Spinach Leaves (sliced thin)
1 Green Onion (sliced)
2 heads Baby Bok Choy (sliced thin)
1/2 Onion (sliced)
1/2 cup Carrot Matchsticks
8 Whole Dry Shitake Mushrooms (reconstituted and sliced thin)
1 Egg (optional)
Sesame oil
Nonstick cooking spray
1 tbsp. Toasted Sesame Seeds


2 tsp. Splenda
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 clove Garlic (grated)
1/2 tsp. Sesame oil
1/2 tsp. White Pepper

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce/marinade.  You should have about a 1/2 cup.  Reserve 1/4 cup for use as the sauce for the noodles and vegetables.  Add the thin sliced chicken to the rest of the marinade and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.  Meanwhile prep all your vegetables.
 Now heat your wok on high heat and spray it.  Drain your chicken of the marinade and add it to the wok.  Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden, then remove.
 Now spray your wok again and add the carrots and onions.  Add 1 tbsp. of the reserved marinade.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until slightly softened.  Move to a plate.
Spray your wok again and add the mushrooms.  Cook for 3 minutes then add the spinach,  bok choy and 1 tbsp. of the marinade.  Cook for another 2 minutes then remove.
Spray again and crack your egg into the wok.  Scramble the egg in the wok then push to the side and add your noodles.  Cook the noodles for 2 minutes with the remaining sauce then add the chicken and vegetables back to the wok.  Cook for an additional 2 minutes then turn off the heat and add the green onions, sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil.  Toss everything together and serve.  Enjoy!

Just Desserts!!!

Lately I've been having the urge to make some WLS friendly desserts.  Since I don't want to feel like I'm neglecting myself all the foodie pleasures I once over-indulged in.  So I think it's time for me to start coming up with some sugar-free tasty treats. 
I recently purchased an ice cream maker that I have been experimenting with, but unfortunately I still haven't come across any results that I have been completely satisfied with.  I also got this cotton candy maker, which is GREAT!  I have been able to make sugar-free cotton candy!!! How awesome is that?  I bought a container of Crystal Light Sugar-free candies, which I crush up and turn into cotton candy.
Anyhow, expect to see some tasty treats coming in the very near future.
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