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Old 07-26-2013, 05:18 PM   #1
kimsuenew
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High Protein, low carb/sugar economical meals?

Hi! I am going through my 6 month insurance mandate to prepare for Bariatric surgery. This is relatively new to me so trying to eat well, in an economical fashion, is a challenge.

I have seen "Dis-friends" post on here before about the eating @ WDW in a thrifty way since their own weight loss surgeries. We are not planning a WDW trip but I do want to begin eating now in the same way I will be eating after December surgery!

I wanted to ask those of you that have had WLS, or spouse/partner has had it, how do you cook in a healthy, economical way that still tastes good enough the whole family will eat?

I look forward to being healthier, hopefully cutting the amount of medical problems and medications down, and potentially living longer so I am willing to do whatever it takes!

I was just hoping for recipes, pointers, links, information... anything that my wonderful Dis-friends feel like sharing!

It is a huge difference already in the way we eat (a lot less going out to eat and/or fast foods) as a family however I really would love ideas for healthy high protein meals that have no (very low) sugar, fats, and carbs. It would be an awesome bonus if they were cheaper and easy to prepare (I am not much of a cook, LOL and on a tight budget)!

Thank you!
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:42 PM   #2
southlakejr
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Well, neither DH nor I have had WLS, but we do eat a fairly high protein, lower carb diet without a lot of sugar. I'm not sure if all of these will work for you or not, but, here are some of our easy and cheap favs.

Tuna salad is a fun one- we add just a little bit of mayo (or avocado for hubby, I can't stand it) then we add in chopped onions, peppers, and hardboiled eggs. The more colorful the veggies, the more satisfying it seems to be. Some times we will switch it up and stuff the little mini sweet peppers with it. We can get those pretty cheap here at costco. We have also done this with canned salmon or shredded chicken.

Sandwich roll ups- roll some lunchmeat around whatever you would normally put on a sandwich- little bit of mustard, spinach, peppercinis, tomato, olives, sometimes cheese, onions, etc.

Crockpots are fantastic- we will put chicken or pork in with green enchilada sauce for some nice mexican flavor. We have also tried marinara sauce and low sugar bbq sauces. We also make a fantastic chili- use whatever cooked ground meat of your choice, add in drained canned veggies of your choice, with tomato sauce, and seasonings. We like carrots, french style green beans, beets, fresh zucchini or squash, etc.

We live in CA so we do a lot of BBQ- grilled chicken, bunless burgers, sausages, skewers, etc.

One of our favorite sides is a light broccoli slaw- mix up broccoli slaw with thinly sliced apples and red onions. Dressing is dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and a little bit of honey or splenda for sweetness. Frequently requested at bbqs.

We have found a lot of great recipes through paleo, primal, or south beach diet resources. (I have found that "low carb" tends to produce a bunch of icky foods made with synthetic sounding ingredients) The paleo and primal recipes can end up higher in fat, but are usually easy to tweak. Pinterest is definitely your friend for recipes. Find a few boards you like to follow and you should have a nearly endless source of delicious sounding recipes.

The bets tip I have is to learn to love vegetables, and lots of different kinds. As a bonus tip, almost every single vegetable is better roasted or grilled (grilled brussel sprouts... yum!!) We usually do two different kinds of veggies with dinner, a protein, and completely skip the starch.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:46 PM   #3
rnorwo1
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I am currently doing a Whole30, which is a 30 day plan where you completely eliminate sugar (except a small amount of fruit), dairy, grains, legumes, and soy, among a few other things. All natural/whole foods, nothing processed. Im doing it to learn to eat more vegetables and see if it'll help me with my senseless snacking. It is very hard to find products that are soy and sugar free. You can google either paleo recipes or whole30 recipes and you will find tons of websites with recipes, and blogs/forums with support as you try to change your diet. One of my favorites is http://nomnompaleo.com. To avoid everything on this plan you have to buy things like ghee and coconut oil, which are very expensive, but you may not want to go that extreme. But you will find tons of high protein/low carb ideas.

I've been cooking things like vegetable beef soup (used an organic all natural beef broth b/c even bouillon cubes have sugar!), shrimp scampi with ghee and chicken stock instead of butter/cream and spaghetti squash instead of pasta, grilled meats and fish with assorted vegetables, etc. Flavor your vegetables really well and rotate them for variety and to make sure you're getting a balance in nutrients. I add veggies to everything now, including eggs in the morning. And I could not stand vegetables and could barely tolerate eggs before I started this, now I eat so much more!

Just look at some of the foods you love now and see where you can modify it... Turn your sandwich into a salad (or a whole grain wrap, if you don't want to give all grains up), substitute pasta with spaghetti squash, kale noodles, etc. use really healthy fats in the place of the carbs, etc and you won't get hungry in between meals.

Lots of luck with the surgery... Making changes now will help you to succeed with it. I have an aunt and a co-worker who each had it and they have gained so much weight back by continuing to eat the things you're cutting out now, so you should do really well with it!
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:39 PM   #4
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I do not have pointers for food. I do feel like i need to say something, as I know several people who have had Bariatric Surgery, including my husband. If my husband had to do it again, he would never have the surgery. I have a friend who almost died due to malnutrition after the surgery. She had to have 18! other procedures before ahe began to feel better. My husband had 2 follow up procedures that really didn't help. Both my friend and husband suffered from subtance abuse problems after the surgery. One stat out there says those who have surgery are twice as likely to become alcoholics afterwards. They are both doing better now, it was a tough road. My marriage which was great before the surgery, almost ended. Some stats have the divorce rate as high as 80 percent after surgery. My husband is finally doing better 3 yrs after surgery. He never got as thin as he would have liked and is gaining some weight back. Most I know have put weight back on. I have one piece of advise I hope you take. Most who get in this situation are addicted to food. My husband was required to have only 1 appt with a therapist and that was an evaluation that was easily manipulated. I recommend you take these 6 months to also prepare your mind for surgery, if food is your comfort or addiction, get to the root of it. That is how you will have a successful surgery. Also, please research the darkside of the surgery. It is very eye opening. Good luck to you!
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Old 07-26-2013, 07:50 PM   #5
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http://peaceloveandlowcarb.blogspot.com/

The recipes on there are awesome. They're all in the cookbook, too.

http://www.genaw.com/lowcarb/

Pretty basic stuff, but a good resource.

BTW, generally low carb is a high fat diet, not high protein. This isn't a bad thing. Fat is good for you. In fact, the higher the percentage of fat in your diet, the more weight you will lose.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:34 PM   #6
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No weight loss surgery here...but, We use comfybelly.com for a lot of great recipes! Mostly full of flavor and sugar, lactose, grain free.

Open any cookbook and find recipes that do not contain fillers or processed food. Using "real" food takes a little more work but you can make so many great things! The convenience foods are not cheap, they are just quick and easy.

Go on Pinterest and look up SCD recipes (specific carbohydrate diet). We have found so many great recipes there.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:27 PM   #7
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My mil had gastric bypass just over a year ago. She went from around 250 (boarder line diabetic, high blood pressure, cholesterol) to 160 (and only on vitamins).

Her surgery was making a "pouch" for the stomach and bypass part of the intestine.

Her biggest complaint is not being able to drink and eat together. She has to space drinks an hour before or 2 hours after eating. No more sipping with dinner. Not one sip is allowed.

She also can't tolerate rice or pasta. It comes right back up, and forget McDonald's!!! She is vomiting before her husband even finishes his meal. It just doesn't settle with her. It took her months to be able to hold down eggs. The amount of food she can eat is minimal. No kidding its like 5-10 bites an she is full. Drs push high protein because you can eat so little. She drinks a lot of protein shakes! Nectar brand by vitamin shoppe (they let u exchange any flavor u don't like).

Good luck, I would definitely recommend trying to live by the "rules" basically how u will be able to eat and not eat after the surgery. My mil says she would do it over if she had the choice because her health greatly improved but she has her days when she wishes eating was normal again.
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:10 PM   #8
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Which type surgery are you having? With the RNY you will never be able to take NSAIDs. This is a problem if you ever have arthritis of any kind. Also you have to be committed to taking vitamins, usually double the amt of normal, for ever You also have to have complete blood work done every year. After a few years of the 'honeymoon' you will be able to eat quite a bit more than at first and you will gain weight. Then it's back to the dieting as before.
I'm not trying to talk you out of it I just think you need all sides to consider. Obesity help . com is a good site to read good and bad of each kind of the surgery. Try to read some posts of the ones that are few years out not just the ones a year or so out as they are still losing no matter what. Good luck with what ever way you go.
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:38 PM   #9
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I hesitated to post in here because what the discussion has been is not what OP asked, but I do agree with what others have said.

OP, absolutely awesome that you're trying to make a change. I am too, but through Weight Watchers. I've known 4 people that have had WLS, and 3 of them are relatives. All of them are glad to have lost the weight. My relatives had tried all sorts of methods to lose weight and for them it was a last ditch effort but all have said they never expected what has come after. The other person is a co worker I don't know well and she is under the impression that she'll be able to work her way up to eating like she used to and that her vomiting is just her body getting used to it. She's in her early twenties and from my understanding only gained the weight in her late teens, it wasn't a life long issue.

Coming from an outsider to surgery but an insider with losing weight, I know it's great to think "I finally found a way to do this" but like others have said, just make sure you go about this in a well rounded way.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:26 AM   #10
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I am pre-diabetic due to gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy. So, I have to eat low-carb, high protein, very little sugar as my main diet. I am also on a VERY tight food budget since we are a family of 6 and I'm a stay-at-home mom. It does seem that the least expensive foods are the ones I'm not allowed (potatoes, high carb veggies, rice, pasta, oatmeal, etc.)

I've found that buying chicken and ground turkey in bulk and freezing it is a huge cost-savings. I also eat turkey bacon on occasion (it's high in sodium so I try to eat it only a few times a month). One 12-ounce package makes 3-4 servings, and a package is about $2 at my local grocery stores. I also eat eggs and tuna for protein.

When I want something sweet I buy the Atkins shakes and bars or sugar-free jello. These things do not cause sugar-spikes because they are low in carbs (2-3 carbs per shake and bar) and they have about 9g of protein so they are very filling and VERY delicious - no weird taste or texture like some meal replacements out there. Walmart sells the Atkins shakes in 4-packs for less than $6 - so if you use one as a meal replacement, it costs about $1.50 for your meal. Plus, you can find coupons online to bring the costs down even more.

I don't really care for most seafood, and seafood I DO like is pretty pricey so I don't buy it too often. Plus, I'm not the best cook, and if I burn or otherwise ruin a $8 tuna steak I'd be pretty angry LOL. I sometimes buy the already seasoned plain frozen fish filets (not breaded) if they are on sale. They are very simple to cook.

For veggies I eat brussel sprouts, spinach, lettuce and green peppers, and throw in small amounts of tomatoes. All are relatively inexpensive. I flavor them with no-salt spices, butter or vinegar.

Like previous posters mentioned, Pinterest and a google search for low-carb simple recipes are helpful. But, pay close attention to the carb counts. I've found some of the recipes have way more carbs than what is acceptable for my diet restrictions.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:18 AM   #11
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I am on a low carb diet to lose weight. I have insulin resistance and low carb helps with that as well.

I eat a big breakfast each morning--usually an Atkins shake first thing and then eggs, bacon and sometimes sausage. For snacks, I like things like green apples with peanut butter or strawberries with almonds. When I eat fruit, I always pair it with a protein. I avoid high sugar fruits like bananas and pineapple.

As far as lunch and dinner, I do things like ranch chicken. I just marinade the chicken with ranch dressing and bake it. Beef stir fry is good. I use a low carb teriyaki sauce, beef, brocolli and onions, but you could add other things you like. I found a low carb bbq sauce, so we have BBQ chicken. We also do broiled or grilled steaks or pork chops, hamburgers without the buns, shrimp and brocolli in garlic butter. Sometimes I will fry chicken tenders without any coating or with almond flour and dip it in cheesy ranch dressing--yum. I always make extra for lunch.

Now, sometimes we do eat fast food. I always get a double cheeseburger and then don't eat the bread. I get a side salad to go with it. Most restaurants have a grilled chicken option. I just get vegetables or a salad with it.
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:24 PM   #12
kimsuenew
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Thank you ALL for the links, food ideas, pointers and concerns!

I had seen "Paleo" before on Pinterest but had no idea what is was... I plan to look into that more.

Just to clarify as to why I ask for ideas in the way I did is because after surgery it will be eating every 3 hours and what is eaten must be high protein/low carbs & sugar because my body can only have 3 ounces at a time (and no eating and drinking together).

I am not a big veggie eater but know that I must begin to eat things that I have not eaten/eaten frequently before. I also know that making my own food and not eating fast food is a must. I want to succeed so beginning now is also a must... I know that there is a need for retraining not only myself but my family!

From the farmer's market today I have a plethora of fresh veggies that I have never tried (eggplant, squash, zucchini) as well as cucumbers, tomatoes, hot peppers and green peppers. Tomorrow after Church there is no eating out. I am prepping eggplant, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, onions and green peppers to grill tomorrow with boneless/skinless chicken breasts! I am excited to enter this "new world".

I know there are a lot of negative stories about WLS and many that gain it back. Prayerfully I do not have complications. I researched doctors and facilities until I found one that has a good strong program and accountability of the patient (e.g. I must keep food logs and must show weight loss before the surgery). I also must see him monthly and undergo many tests and exams. My hopes are to lose weight, become healthier and to reduce the # of meds that I take daily for conditions caused or made worse by my weight.

Thank you again for your replies!
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:36 PM   #13
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Best of luck to you, my uncle had the lapband and has kept at least 50 pounds off for many, many years. I find chicken with veggies, (very economical!) low fat cuts of beef and center cut pork with various veggies are high protein foods/meals we enjoy.
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
curious3069
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimsuenew View Post
Thank you ALL for the links, food ideas, pointers and concerns!

I had seen "Paleo" before on Pinterest but had no idea what is was... I plan to look into that more.

Just to clarify as to why I ask for ideas in the way I did is because after surgery it will be eating every 3 hours and what is eaten must be high protein/low carbs & sugar because my body can only have 3 ounces at a time (and no eating and drinking together).

I am not a big veggie eater but know that I must begin to eat things that I have not eaten/eaten frequently before. I also know that making my own food and not eating fast food is a must. I want to succeed so beginning now is also a must... I know that there is a need for retraining not only myself but my family!

From the farmer's market today I have a plethora of fresh veggies that I have never tried (eggplant, squash, zucchini) as well as cucumbers, tomatoes, hot peppers and green peppers. Tomorrow after Church there is no eating out. I am prepping eggplant, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, onions and green peppers to grill tomorrow with boneless/skinless chicken breasts! I am excited to enter this "new world".

I know there are a lot of negative stories about WLS and many that gain it back. Prayerfully I do not have complications. I researched doctors and facilities until I found one that has a good strong program and accountability of the patient (e.g. I must keep food logs and must show weight loss before the surgery). I also must see him monthly and undergo many tests and exams. My hopes are to lose weight, become healthier and to reduce the # of meds that I take daily for conditions caused or made worse by my weight.

Thank you again for your replies!

You've gotten some great resources! And I know the 6 month wait seems long, mine was 12 months and it seemed like FOREVER. Looking back at it now it was a really good thing because I was mentally and physically prepared by the time of surgery. Sounds like you found a great Dr too..good luck on your journey!

PS: Take pictures of yourself now and once a month after. That is the one thing I wish I had done.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:06 PM   #15
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Three cheers for farmers markets! Seriously, you can't beat the variety, quality and price.

As one last tip- check out the book "Well Fed" if you can. It is a paleo recipe book (no potatoes, rice, grains, dairy, etc) Her recipes are fabulous, but I really recommend it because of her strategies. She focuses a lot of information around "cook ups" and hot or cold plates- basically ways to prep easily and eat well for a week without minimal fuss and effort. I'm still trying to incorporate all of it into my own weekly planning - but it is a fantastic starting point to help make this an easy transition.

I know that there are a lot of WLS horror stories- but it seems like you are approaching this the right way, this is a new lifestyle! It isn't easier that losing weight in a more traditional manner, it's just as much, if not more, work. Just a different kind of work. Congrats and good luck!
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