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Friday, April 28, 2017

Recipe: Italian Vegetable Egg Custard

Are you looking for a new weekend breakfast recipe? This is one of my favorites, particularly in the spring and summer months. It does take some preparation, but it is most certainly worth the effort! It is early for summer squash in most gardening zones, but you can find a nice selection of fresh squash at the Farmer's markets and some supermarkets.

Featured recipe from Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test, page 144.
Shared with permission, LivingAfterWLS, LLC (C) 2012.

Summer Squash
Custard doesn't have to be sweet to be delicious. This savory brunch custard makes gr  eat use of fresh summer vegetables. After you have tried it with squash and tomatoes, experiment with other fresh vegetables like peppers, mushrooms, and even diced or shredded winter squash. Explore your creative Receptiveness! See page 74 of Day 6: Beyond the 5DPT.

Italian Vegetable Egg Custard

Cooking spray
4 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups summer squash, shredded
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup black olives, sliced, divided
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
1 bunch green onions, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 450°F and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl beat the eggs and flour until smooth. Stir in summer squash, zucchini and 1/4 cup olives; mix well. Spread in prepared baking pan. Place in center of oven and bake until custard is set, about 10 minutes. (see note). Remove to a warm trivet.

Mix the Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning blend and garlic salt together and sprinkle evenly over the baked custard. Top evenly with tomato slices, remaining olives, sliced green onion and mozzarella cheese. Divide into four equal portions and serve warm.

Learn More: Health Benefits of Eggs

Note: To determine that the custard is done insert a wooden skewer or toothpick into the center about two-thirds down. If it comes out clean the custard is done. If the custard is almost done turn the oven off and leave the oven door slightly ajar so the custard will finish cooking

Serves 4. Per serving: 232 Calories; 12g Fat; 13g Protein; 19g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber.

 Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test
Sale $19.95
Thousands of people around the world use Kaye Bailey’s 5 Day Pouch Test to stop weight gain after weight loss surgery and return to the basics prescribed by their bariatric center.  But what happens on Day 6? Kaye Bailey answers that question sharing her generous spirit of compassion and belief in others as she shares her secrets for working with the surgical weight management tool for lifetime weight maintenance. Readers quickly learn that working with the tool, not against it, brings optimum success and healthy long-term weight management. No gimmicks. No quick fixes. Just profound sensibility delivered in the powerful “you can do this” style we have come to expect from Ms. Bailey. The 66 recipes will put delicious guilt-free food on your table as you nurture your best life and health with weight loss surgery. Kaye’s Day 6 lifestyle is suitable for all bariatric procedures including gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding, gastric sleeve and others.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

USDA FoodKeeper App - A Tool You Must Use!

I have not been compensated for this post: This is information that we all need as part of our healthy lifestyle program and I'm tickled to share with you the valuable resources from USDA that I've come to count upon in my kitchen and home.

Hello Dear Readers, thanks for joining me here today and happy Spring to you all.

If you've been with me for very long you know one of my nag-topics is food safety and kitchen hygiene. For myself, and for so many of you, I know having a bariatric surgery was not only a means to weight loss and healthy weight management: it was an opportunity for a new start in the pursuit of living better, healthier lives. That includes becoming schooled in matters of food handling safety, proper food preparation and storage, and protecting myself and family from foodborne illness.

The USDA is my go-to source for current and meaningful information that promotes, "kitchen confidence" -- simply the confidence in your ability to safely prepare delicious meals for your loved ones and yourself. Food safety and kitchen confidence is no trivial matter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year approximately 48 million Americans suffer from foodborne illnesses, leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. The CDC says "Many of these illnesses can be prevented by changing behaviors in the kitchen and gaining a little kitchen confidence."

FoodKeeper Mobile App
Earlier this month the USDA invited home cooks to improve their kitchen confidence by visiting their remarkably user-friendly website and making use of their go-to quick reference guide to food safety with the free and friendly app: FoodKeeper for iOS and Android.

"The FoodKeeper helps you understand food and beverages storage. It will help you maximize the freshness and quality of items. By doing so you will be able to keep items fresh longer than if they were not stored properly. It was developed by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, with Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute. It is also available as a mobile application for Android and Apple devices."
Find the app at FoodKeeper or get it directly from your App store on your favorite mobile device.

This image shows the information on storing and consuming shredded cheese. Notice how clean and concise the information is presented - no lengthy explanation, just the simple facts. The clean presentation makes sense because the question "I wonder if this is still good?" is usually asked when we are engaged and lack the time for lengthy reading and research. A couple of quick clicks and we are in the know, good to go!


I hope you will check out the FoodKeeper App and the website to build your kitchen confidence and keep your family healthy and happy as you enjoy meals together.

Safety Tips to Prevent Food Borne Illness This Summer 

What's for Breakfast? Protein First!

Recipe: Spring Eggs
We know the first rule of weight loss surgery is to eat protein first. That means we must eat protein at every meal. The high protein or protein first diet is prescribed for all bariatric procedures and is the dietary guideline patients are instructed to follow for life. The bulk of our calories at any meal should come from animal, dairy, or vegetable protein. This includes breakfast. By eating protein first thing in the morning we instantly raise our metabolism, we promote feelings of satiation and reduce cravings for snacks or simple carbohydrates.

Eating a high protein breakfast effectively staves hunger cravings and snacking binges later in the day because it reduces the circulating levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger. So not only are we raising our metabolism with high protein nutrition, we are managing the brain chemistry that often gets the blame for head hunger and snacking binges. The earlier in the day we eat protein the more likely we are to stick with our high protein diet plan without annoying cravings or sluggishness.

Dietary Protein: Quick List and Recipe Links

Try starting your day with 35 grams of high quality protein including eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish or fish, Greek yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, vegetarian protein, or protein supplementation such as protein shakes or protein bars. I keep hard-cooked eggs on hand for a quick-grab breakfast and more often than not mix my ready-to-drink protein shake with hot coffee (use it like coffee creamer) for a steady supply of morning protein.

For more protein breakfast ideas check out Protein First: Living the First Rule of WLS

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Rule #2 is Lots of Water -- But it's so boring! Help!

Don't like water - what else can I have?
Drink lots of water is the universal golden rule for dieters. But even the most devoted water sippers become bored with the flat unexciting taste of water. Fortunately there are many health-supportive was we can spruce up plain water creating a refreshing beverage with added vitamins and nutrients. Online there are countless recipes for making infused water, a fancy word for water that blended with fruits, vegetables, herbs, and/or tea. Here are a few of my go-to blends that both refresh and promote good health with an energy boost.

Using the formulas below you will make a 2-4 quart batch of refreshing infused water. Using a large pitcher or gallon jar prepare the infusion ingredients. Top the ingredients with 6 cups ice, fill the jar with water, and stir. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let flavors infuse. Best used within two days of making, but don't expect it to last that long. These refreshing beverages are delicious!

Green Tea
We've long known that green tea is beneficial to our weight loss efforts. It continues to provide health promoting benefits to those with surgery and is a pleasant alternative to water. Most nutritionists agree that herbal teas can be counted the same as water when monitoring our daily water intake. Remember our WLS rule #2 is Lots of Water. To change up your green tea (or freshen your water) try these recipes to make two quarts of refreshing flavor-infused water. 

Basic recipe: Brew two quarts of green tea using 4-6 tea bags following package directions. While it brews add the flavor ingredients to a gallon jug, top with 6-8 cups ice, add brewed tea, mix well and chill for two hours or overnight before serving. Enjoy several refreshing servings throughout the day.

Iced Peppermint Tea
Mint is known to refresh, soothe stomach aches, and suppress appetite. In place of green tea bags use peppermint tea. Add 1/4 cup chopped mint and one lemon, sliced. Mix well and chill as directed above.
Berry-Fresh Kiwi Cooler
In the gallon jug combine 3 cups halved fresh strawberries, three thinly sliced kiwis, and two thinly sliced lemons. Gently muddle all of the ingredients together. Add ice and tea, mix, chill, serve.

Sunshine Cleanse
Combine two thinly sliced lemons, two thinly sliced limes, two thinly sliced grapefruits, and two thinly sliced oranges. Gently muddle with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Add ice and tea, mix, chill, serve. (This is also good prepared with peppermint tea.)

Minty-Cuke Thirst Quencher
Scrunch 1/4-cup fresh mint leaves in the bottom of gallon jug to release flavor and aromatics (I love this refreshing fragrance!). Add two thinly sliced cucumbers (peeled if desired). Half two limes and squeeze juice into jug, discard halves. Thinly slice two limes and add to jug. Top with ice and tea and mix well. Chill and serve adding more ice as desired.