Prepping Delicious and Healthy Bariatric-Friendly Food for The Week

May 30, 2017

Eating properly day-in and day-out is hard. Even harder is finding the time to cook a delicious, healthful, homemade meal while managing your busy schedule. To help you get through the week and still enjoy what you eat, you may want to consider prepping food for the entire week the weekend before. Of course, this is easier said than done; but once you realize how much time you save during the week, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

Before we get started, it’s important to remember that the key to making this work is solid planning and preparing a variety of foods. Eating the same old thing every day, even if it is something you like, gets old very fast. Prepping a few staples that can either be eaten as a meal, a side dish, or a snack will not only save you time, but may become your new normal once you see how easy and efficient it can be.

Tip #1: Make Your Own Salad Dressing

In fact, make three salad dressings and keep them in separate small containers or old jelly jars. If you are a salad lover make enough so you can enjoy each for a couple days in the coming week. The nice thing about most salad dressings is that they last a long time, and if you don’t feel like having the same salad dressing twice in a week, you’ll have some for the week after. The easiest way to create some variety in your salad dressing is to keep the same basic recipe but change one or two ingredients. For example, you can try different kinds of oils, vinegars or citrus. Dip into the spice rack and use garlic powder, lemon pepper or a zing of cayenne. You’ll quickly find out your favorite combinations and have fun trying experimenting along the way.

Tip #2: Rediscover Eggs

Dieters have had a love-hate relationship with eggs over the years as research has both built up and torn down this versatile food. Eggs are great source of protein and no preparation is healthier or easier than boiling. Boiled eggs can be enjoyed in so many ways. You can eat them whole or crumble them on top of a salad. Devil them up or slice them on avocado toast. You can also top them with your favorite low-fat dip or spread to give them a different flavor. Cook a half dozen all at once and you’ve got your eggs for the week…and in record time! Here’s a quick tip for better boiled eggs – start your eggs in the water before it begins to boil, not after it starts boiling. When done to your preferred doneness, drop them into a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking.

Tip #3: Roast Some Vegetables

Roasting is a delicious way to get the nutrients from a multitude of vegetables, not to mention bring out a natural caramelized sweetness that turns veggies into addictive snacks and sides. A little bit of oil and salt on broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, root vegetables and kale before roasting gives turn the ordinary into extraordinary and can complement just about any meal. Experiment with how long you cook the vegetables. Some people enjoy them crispy while others like them slightly undercooked. Add sliced garlic before roasting, or sprinkle with parmesan cheese after. Replace high-starch potatoes and other less healthy side dishes with roasted vegetables and you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried them before!

Tip #4: Try Some Lentils

Lentils are protein-rich and low in all the “stuff” that we want to avoid after bariatric surgery. Lentils can be turned into soup, stew, a crunchy topping for salad, and can even be eaten on their own as a meal or a side dish. The great part about lentils is that there are several different varieties that have unique tastes and textures. Brown, green, red, and black lentils all have unique flavor profiles with which you can experiment. Some lentils are harder than others which will vary cook time, but if you’re in a real pinch, lentils are often sold pre-cooked and ready to eat at stores such as Trader Joe’s. But don’t be intimidated by these tiny powerhouses – cooking is simple and can be done in no time.

Do you have any other foods you like to prepare in advance? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know. Your tips are always appreciated!!

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Advanced Surgical Associates is one of the first exclusively surgical groups practicing in Union County New Jersey. And that is just the first of many firsts for ASA. For over 40 years, we have pioneered breakthrough surgical patient care in North Jersey in both general and weight loss surgery. ASA also offers gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and gastric banding to those suffering from obesity in New Jersey.
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