7 Healthy Diet Tips You Need to Know Before Bariatric Surgery

The health benefits of weight loss surgery depend on how well you commit to making healthy lifestyle changes. These changes begin ahead of the procedure, as many bariatric surgeons require their patients to switch to a very low-calorie diet. Making this change helps to shrink the size of your liver, reduce the risk of surgery complications, and improve your overall health.

Switching to a very low-calorie diet can be challenging, as can obtaining enough nutrients such as protein. Implementing the following tips can help you make the change:

  1. Invest in a protein shaker bottle. Protein shakes are a simple and tasty way to consume enough protein while on a very low-calorie diet. However, using a traditional blender for every single drink is tedious, and basic spoons yield a clumpy texture.
  2. Use zero-calorie syrups and powders to add flavor. Protein shakes can be a sweet treat, but you’ll get bored of them quickly if you don’t diversify the flavor. While you can buy protein powders in a variety of flavors, this isn’t always cost-effective. Mixing zero-calorie syrups or -powders into your shake is an affordable alternative. You can make twists on your staple protein powders, such as adding mint or strawberry flavoring to chocolate shakes.
  3. Make it a milkshake. Blending your protein shake with ice will provide a milkshake consistency without all the calories. With the summer months rapidly approaching, this is also a great way to keep cool.
  4. Opt for smart coffee substitutes. You likely won’t be able to handle caffeine directly after surgery, and making the switch now can help ease you through the transition. Not only that, but many traditional coffee drinks are sugar- and calorie-heavy. However, this doesn’t mean you have to give up the coffee flavor. Try mixing instant decaf coffee into your protein drinks to get the coffee taste without the caffeine and calorie punch.
  5. Snack on protein chips. Eating a very low-calorie diet doesn’t have to be boring or an endless rotation of salads. Protein chips can satisfy your salty cravings while providing a crunchy texture.
  6. Learn to read food labels. Reading a food label isn’t always a straightforward experience. Some labels can be deceiving about their nutrition information if the portion size is small compared to the contents. For example, a label may indicate the food is low-fat if it provides less than 5% of the recommended daily value for fat. However, that is per serving. If the package contains five tiny servings, you might eat all of it without realizing you just consumed 25% of your daily fat in one sitting.
  7. Eat on a schedule. Sticking to a very low-calorie diet is challenging. If you consume over half your daily calories by the end of breakfast, that challenge becomes near impossible. Planning out your meals and snack times can help you stick to the diet and avoid breaking the calorie bank early in the day.

Preparing for a bariatric procedure can be daunting, but it’s excellent practice for your diet after your surgery. To learn more about preparing for weight loss surgery, contact us.

 

3 Questions You May Have After Bariatric Surgery

You’re likely to have many questions for your doctor before surgery. Even so, you’ll likely develop new questions as you progress through your recovery. Some of the most common questions revolve around food, exercise, and recovery time. While your questions may seem like they have simple answers, that isn’t always the case. The following are some common questions that arise after bariatric surgery.

When Can I Drink Coffee Again?

The quick answer is at least 30 days, but it’s more complicated than that in practice. Caffeine is problematic for post-op bariatric patients as it can reduce nutrient absorption. Bariatric patients consume fewer nutrients through food as is, so it’s best to avoid anything that reduces this further. Caffeine is also dehydrating. Given that insufficient hydration is the most common reason for rehospitalization after surgery, it’s best to avoid caffeine during the first month post-op.

After 30 days, you will still need to be cautious when it comes to coffee. Most commercial coffee options are a poor choice for bariatric patients. They’re often packed with sugar, fat, and excessive calories. Some smart swaps for a healthier coffee include:

  • Using low-fat or non-fat creamer
  • Using skim milk or almond milk
  • Ordering a smaller size
  • Skipping the whipped topping and syrups

When Can I Go to the Gym?

Your doctor will likely tell you to exercise in the weeks leading up to your surgery. If you’re used to hitting the gym or working out at home, you’ll likely feel the itch to jump back into it after surgery. Of course, overdoing it is a significant concern while your incisions and body are still healing.

You should limit your exercise to walking the first month after bariatric surgery. The eventual goal should be 30 minutes of walking without stopping, but you can start in increments and build up your stamina.

Most doctors will green light going to the gym two to three months after surgery. However, stick with cardio machines at this stage, as lifting weights may cause injuries. The elliptical, stationary bike, and water aerobics (assuming your incisions are healed) are good options as they are low impact. Using a variety of machines can help prevent boredom as well.

You can begin light resistance training around four to six months after surgery. You will want to start slow and use low weights to build up your strength. You will also want to pay attention to the changes happening to your body, as weight loss can affect your balance and coordination.

You’ll be able to perform all regular weight training and cardio by 6-12 months post-op. Focus on increasing frequency before increasing intensity. As your strength and stamina improve, you’ll be able to push your body a little harder. After a year, you can increase the intensity for better strength gains. You’ll also be able to incorporate core exercises so long as your surgeon approves them.

What Can I Have for Snacks?

Diet is a huge component to weight loss success after bariatric surgery. As many bariatric recipes cater to meals, it can be challenging to find easy snack options. Some healthy snack ideas include:

  • Hummus with carrot sticks
  • Peanut butter with celery sticks
  • Low-calorie protein chips
  • Low fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with fruit
  • Deli meat roll-ups (you can add ingredients to the rolls for more flavor, such as thinly sliced apples or a bit of cheese)
  • Popcorn (with some caveats)

Popcorn is a tricky snack as it can be a low-calorie option, but most people don’t eat it that way. Butter, powdered cheese, and other toppings can quickly transform popcorn into a poor snack choice. Another thing to keep in mind is that popcorn expands in the stomach, which can lead to dumping syndrome. To avoid this, opt for a single serving, pre-packaged bag of popcorn without high-fat toppings.

Some snacks to avoid include:

  • Chips
  • Baked goods (i.e., donuts, muffins, cookies, etc.)
  • Sugary breakfast cereals
  • Poptarts and other sugary pastries
  • Spicy foods
  • Fried foods

A good rule of thumb when making diet and exercise choices is to ask yourself if it will help or hinder your long-term success. Bariatric surgery isn’t an overnight solution for weight loss, and it requires you to commit to a healthy lifestyle. For more information about the health benefits of bariatric surgery, contact us.

 

6 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight After Bariatric Surgery

The primary goal of bariatric surgery is significant weight loss to improve your health. However, a persistent myth that you’ll lose a substantial amount of weight immediately after surgery gives bariatric patients unrealistic expectations. While it’s true that bariatric surgery expedites weight loss, it still happens at a gradual and safe rate. Most patients lose 1-2 pounds per week. However, if you’re not losing weight at all, one of the following issues could be the culprit:

  1. You just had the surgery. Many patients begin losing weight immediately after surgery. However, some may not experience any weight loss for several weeks. You may retain water, and you will likely find it challenging to move around during the first couple of weeks following surgery. These issues resolve with time, and then weight loss begins in earnest.
  2. You’re eating too much. Your doctor will discuss your new dietary regimen for weight loss success. If you’re not tracking your calories or deviate from your diet frequently, you’re likely eating too many calories. Downloading a food diary app and following portion sizes can help you stick to your calorie goal.
  3. You’re indulging too often. While bariatric surgery doesn’t mean a lifetime of salads, you will have to curb unhealthy eating habits. Sugary foods are empty calories as they lack adequate nutrition. They also trigger cravings for more sugar, which will show up on the scale if you eat sweets too often.
  4. You’re not minding your beverages. Hydration is a critical component to weight loss success after bariatric surgery. Your primary source of hydration should be water rather than sugary sports drinks. Soda is also a poor choice as it doesn’t contribute to hydration, it’s high in sugar, and the carbonation may upset your stomach. If plain water bores you, you can infuse it with citrus or other fruit flavors.
  5. You’re not taking your vitamins. Consuming adequate nutrients after bariatric surgery is challenging, which is why your surgeon will recommend a multivitamin and supplements. If you forget to take your vitamins, your body may take longer to heal. You may also feel tired and weak. Without proper nutrition, you will struggle to lose weight.
  6. You’re not working out. You may have struggled to workout before bariatric surgery due to joint pain. However, you will find it’s much easier to be active as you begin to lose weight. Regular exercise is essential to long-term weight loss success. You will lose some weight initially due to dietary changes, but you will still need to exercise to continue and maintain your weight loss. You should start slow and aim to increase your exercise duration to 30 minutes a day, five days a week. For the best weight loss results, your eventual goal should be 60 minutes a day, five days a week.

Calorie intake and exercise are the primary factors that will influence your weight loss after bariatric surgery. However, several other things can affect the number on the scale as well. If you’re not losing weight after bariatric surgery, your dietary habits or lifestyle may be a contributing factor. To learn more about weight loss surgery, contact us.

 

3 Bariatric-Friendly Birthday Dessert Recipes

If you’re considering a bariatric procedure, you may have concerns about your dietary options after surgery. Your diet will change, but this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy desserts on special occasions. While typical desserts are high in sugar and carbs, these recipes are bariatric-friendly, so you can have your cake and eat it, too!

Decadent Chocolate Cake

When making bariatric desserts, you should keep the number of servings in mind. Even if your dessert is bariatric-friendly, the likelihood of overindulging is high if you have 24 servings at your disposal. At just six servings, this protein-packed chocolate cake is a great option to satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking your new diet. This recipe will yield two six-inch cakes or a single 9-inch cake.

Ingredients

  • 2 C chocolate whey protein powder
  • ½ C cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ C unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix your ingredients.
  3. Line two six-inch round cake pans (or one 9-inch pan) with parchment paper. You can also use low-fat, non-stick cooking spray if you prefer.
  4. Divide the batter between your cake pans and bake for 15-18 minutes until the cake is firm. Cook time is similar for a single 9-inch pan.

Tip: Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake at the 15-minute mark. If it comes away clean, your cake is ready.

Top your cake with a fat-free cool whip, add some fruit, or try a bariatric-friendly icing!

Nutrition

This recipe yields six servings. The following nutrition information is for a single serving:

  • Calories: 177
  • Fat: 2g
  • Protein: 24g
  • Carbs: 17g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 10g

How to Select the Best Protein Powder

Protein powders vary widely between brands when it comes to protein and total calories. Avoid protein powders marketed as mass builders, gainers, or for bulking. These powders are high in protein but calories as well.

A good protein powder will provide 20-25g of protein per serving. Every gram of protein contains four calories, so 20-25g of protein equates to 80-100 calories. Aim for powders that have a high protein per calorie ratio. For example, if your powder has 20g of protein and 100 calories per serving, only 80% of its calorie content is from the protein. A higher protein ratio is important in a bariatric diet, as every calorie counts.

Birthday Skillet Cookie

If birthday cake isn’t your thing, you can give this birthday skillet cookie a try instead! Rainbow sprinkles give this cookie a fun flare without adding excessive calories.

Ingredients

  • 2 scoops of vanilla or cake-flavored protein powder
  • ½ C almond flour (blanched)
  • ⅓ C light butter (light butter typically has half the calories of regular butter and less fat)
  • ¼ C granulated zero-calorie sweetener
  • ¼ C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tbsp rainbow sprinkles
  • ¼ tsp cake batter extract or vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a 6.5-inch cast iron skillet with non-stick spray. You can also use an oven-safe pan if you don’t have a skillet.
  3. Soften your butter and mix with the applesauce and extract.
  4. Mix your dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until well-combined, and it forms a dough.
  6. Use a rubber spatula to distribute the dough evenly on the bottom of your skillet. Bake for 18-22 minutes.

Nutrition

This recipe yields four servings. Each serving includes the following nutrition information:

  • Calories: 230
  • Fat: 17g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbs: 7.5g

Low-Carb Carrot Cake

If you’re craving the decadence of cream cheese frosting, this low-carb carrot cake is a great option. This cake has the taste and texture of traditional carrot cake without the carbs and excessive calories.

Cake Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 C shredded carrots
  • ½ C shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 ½ C almond flour (blanched)*
  • 7 oz light butter (1 and ¾ sticks)
  • 3+ tbsp granulated zero-calorie sweetener (start with three and adjust to your preferred level of sweetness)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice or pumpkin pie spice

* Almond flour absorbency varies between brands. If your batter seems too thin, you may need to add more almond flour.

Frosting Ingredients

  • 7 oz fat-free cream cheese
  • 1-2 tbsp granulated zero-calorie sweetener

Cake Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Melt your butter. Beat your eggs, melted butter, sweetener, and vanilla.
  3. Combine your shredded carrots and shredded coconut with the mixture.
  4. Mix in your remaining dry cake ingredients. Adjust your sweetener to taste.
  5. Line an 8- or 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper or use non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes. Allow it to cool before applying the frosting.

Frosting Directions

  1. Soften your cream cheese in the microwave for approximately 15 seconds.
  2. Mix in your sweetener until thoroughly combined.
  3. Once your cake cools, apply your frosting.

Nutrition

This cake yields 10 slices. Each slice contains the following nutrition information.

  • Calories: 194
  • Fat: 15g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Carbs: 7g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 2g

Bariatric diets don’t have to be boring or overly restrictive. You can still enjoy desserts for special occasions so long as you make smart substitutes, such as using low-fat, fat-free, or sugar-free ingredients. To learn more about life after bariatric surgery, contact us.

 

6 Bariatric-Friendly Fast-Food Takeout Options

Between the isolation, stress, and COVID-19 fatigue, diet planning during a pandemic is challenging. Staying well-stocked on healthy staples is critical to staying on track with your bariatric diet. Having healthy proteins and sides on hand can help you avoid making unhealthy meal choices when you’re short on time and ideas.

Some good options include frozen veggie burgers, tuna, canned beans, precooked chicken, and hard-boiled eggs. Frozen veggies and canned fruit are good, quick side options when you don’t have the motivation to make complicated meals. Prepping food ahead and batch cooking can also give you dinner options throughout the week.

However, some nights don’t always go according to plan. Work may run late, or you may be tired of your typical menu items. While most fast-food meals aren’t bariatric friendly, many of these restaurants are offering healthier options. If you’re short on time, ideas, or motivation to make a healthy meal, the following fast-food options won’t break your diet.

Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A’s grilled chicken nuggets come with a whopping 25g of protein per serving while only having 140 calories and 3.5g of fat. Compared to the original nuggets with 260 calories and 12g of fat, the grilled option is a much friendlier choice for bariatric patients. The grilled nuggets also have half the sodium of the original nuggets. Adding on a superfood side salad is great for filling your Vitamin C needs as well.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell’s power veggie bowl is a great choice for bariatric patients so long as they forego the rice. This brings the meal to 310 calories, 11g of protein, and 12g of fiber. Taco Bell also offers a “Fresco Style” option, which swaps out mayo, sour cream, cheese, and guacamole with pico de gallo. This brings down the fat content of meals by up to 25%.

McDonald’s

McDonald’s has a couple of options that are bariatric friendly for breakfast and dinner. The egg white delight packs 18g of protein into the breakfast sandwich. If you swap out the eggs for egg whites and the bacon for Canadian ham, this sandwich comes in just under 300 calories.

The grilled chicken snack wrap is great for lunch or dinner on the go. At 300 calories and 21g of protein, it’s a good option for bariatric patients. If you nix the ranch dressing, you cut out 50 calories and 110mg of sodium.

Burger King

If you’re craving a burger, Burger King’s veggie burger with no mayo is a good option. At just 310 calories and 2.5g of saturated fat, this burger provides 21g of protein. This meatless burger is also a healthier option for your heart while tasting like an indulgence.

Wendy’s

If you’re craving savory comfort food, Wendy’s large black bean chili is a great option. This menu item is high in protein and fiber, which helps you feel fuller for longer. This chili comes in at 250 calories, 23g of protein, 5g of fiber, and a fifth of your daily iron needs.

Chipotle

You can build a bariatric-friendly burrito bowl by choosing barbacoa beef, black beans, fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa, Monterey jack cheese, and romaine. You can divide this bowl in half to have leftovers for later and have a bariatric-friendly takeout meal. Half of the bowl provides 19.5g of protein with 8g of fat and 230 calories.

If you prefer chicken, another option is a burrito bowl with chicken, black beans, fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa, and Monterey jack cheese. For half the bowl, this meal comes in around 235 calories, 23.5g of protein, and 8g of fat.

Helpful Tip

When browsing a fast-food menu, look at the descriptor for the proteins. Grilled, steamed, or roasted are usually leaner meats. Items listed as breaded, crispy, crunchy, or fried usually have extra fat, carbs, and calories. Contact us to learn more about life after bariatric surgery and how it can improve your health.

 

6 Tips to Avoid Pandemic Weight Gain During the Winter

As COVID-19 continues to keep people at home, you may start to notice your weight creeping up on the scale. Several factors contribute to this including stress eating, leading more sedentary lives (i.e. telecommuting), and accessibility. Many people stormed the grocery stores when the pandemic first made waves in the United States, buying up staple foods, exotic ingredients, and everything in between. With more stress, less mobility, and stockpiles of food, it’s harder than ever for bariatric patients to stick to their diet. The holidays aren’t helping matters either, as food often plays an integral role.

The following are several tips to help you avoid gaining weight during the pandemic this winter:

  1. Establish a new routine. Many complained of cabin fever over the spring and summer months, but it’s likely to get worse as cold weather eliminates the outdoors as an option. If you’ve become reliant on daily outdoor activities, now is the time to establish a new routine. Swap out your morning walk with yoga, meditation, or a quiet cup of coffee. Join an online workout class if you prefer lively engagement. Be sure to incorporate self-care into your routine as well to help yourself unwind at the end of the day. The last thing you want is for all the days to begin to blur together or for your entire schedule to revolve around food.
  2. Make a mini-bucket list. People set out to complete lofty goals at the start of the pandemic. Some wanted to learn another language, while others wanted to write a novel. Many soon discovered those things aren’t so easy to achieve. This is because we are overstressed, which stunts creativity, learning, and more. However, that isn’t to say you can’t set and achieve more realistic goals. With more time on our hands and less to do with it, it’s best to find ways to keep busy. Draw up a list of short-term goals or desires you haven’t been able to achieve and start working through them. Some examples include reading more books, catching up on your favorite shows, or finishing up a craft project that’s been sitting half-finished for too long.
  3. Get serious about food prep. Your family is going to be home with you a lot more than usual. You’re going to be home a lot more than usual as well. This is much more time spent around food. The temptation to eat when you’re not hungry will be high because of stress, fear, and boredom. If you make dishes and snacks ahead of time, you’ll find it’s much easier to stick to your diet. When you go to reach for a snack, you’ll know you’re making a smart choice.
  4. Stay active. This will be harder during the winter months. Create a workout space in your home. If you’re tight on space, focus on clearing a small area that is simple to put back together after exercise. For example, moving an ottoman or coffee table to the side of the room can clear enough floor space to allow you to exercise. Exercise can help keep your mind off food, and it releases hormones to help improve your mood. Regardless of whether you were an avid exercise enthusiast prior to COVID or not, you’re moving less now than you did before the pandemic. You will need to find ways to incorporate more moving into your day to combat the increase in sedentary behavior.
  5. Manage your stress. Stress can lead to overeating, mindless grazing, or eating for comfort. Stress hormones trigger the desire to eat, increase belly fat, and slow the metabolism. However, reducing stress during a pandemic is a tall order. Thankfully, you can download one of many free apps that focus on managing stress. Some examples include Headspace, Breathe, and Calm. Other techniques for reducing stress include meditation, yoga, and practicing mindfulness.
  6. Set a sleep schedule. Sleeping too much is just as bad for your health as not sleeping enough. Both contribute to increased appetite, weight gain, and poor blood sugar control. You should aim to go to bed and rise around the same time every day for optimum health. If you find yourself wide awake at night but exhausted in the morning, you may need to reexamine your routine. B vitamins can boost your energy levels, so it’s best to take those earlier in the day. Blue lights from phones, tablets, and televisions can also disrupt sleep cycles. Invest in blue light reducing glasses, turn your devices onto night mode, or unplug from electronics an hour or so before bed. Making these changes can improve your sleep cycle.

Having a plan in place can help you stay on track with your bariatric diet during the winter months. The situation may not be ideal, but you can still experience weight loss success. Contact us to learn more about achieving long-term weight loss with bariatric surgery.

 

3 Bariatric Dessert Recipes You Need to Try

Meal planning is a huge factor for successful weight loss after bariatric surgery. However, researching healthy meals that work with your new diet can be challenging. It’s even harder to find options to indulge your sweet tooth. While it’s true that your diet will look significantly different after bariatric surgery, you won’t succeed if you don’t enjoy the food you eat. If you limit yourself to a strict, bland diet every day, it’s not likely to last. To ensure long term success, you need a variety of healthy food options that are also flavorful to keep you satisfied.

Many people are afraid to incorporate desserts into their bariatric diet out of fear that they will derail their progress. However, planning for a dessert every now and then can give you something to look forward to and help you stick to your meal planning. In addition, dessert doesn’t always have to mean unhealthy. The following details several bariatric-diet-friendly desserts:

Slow Cooker Triple Berry Cobbler

With the fall season well underway, a satisfying berry cobbler is the perfect seasonal treat. This is a great way to enjoy Thanksgiving dessert with your family without overindulging. While most cobbler recipes call for buckets of butter and sugar, this version uses healthier substitutes. This recipe also takes all the work out of making cobbler by letting your slow cooker handle the task.

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 21 oz can blueberry pie filling
  • 14 oz bag of frozen berry mix
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 5 oz blueberry muffin mix
  • 1/3 C water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Spray the interior of the slow cooker with the nonstick spray and set it aside.
  2. Combine the berries, pie filling, and sugar inside the slow cooker.
  3. Cover the cobbler and cook it on low heat for three hours. After the time is up, combine the muffin mix, water, and oil in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well to combine all the ingredients and spoon the mixture over the berries in the slow cooker.
  4. Turn the heat up to high on the slow cooker, cover, and cook for an additional hour or until you can insert a wooden toothpick and pull it out clean from the muffin mixture.
  5. Turn off the cooker and allow the cobbler to cool uncovered for 30-45 minutes.

Nutrition Information

This cobbler recipe yields 12 servings. The nutrition information below is for one serving.

 

Calories: 162

Total fat: 4g

Saturated fat: 1g

Sodium: 116mg

Carbs: 31g

Fiber: 3g

Sugar: 14g

Protein: 1g

 

Skinny Brownie in a Mug

The challenge with many desserts after bariatric surgery is that most recipes leave a lot of leftovers. Baking an entire pan of brownies for just one brownie puts even the strongest of wills to the test. It’s also wasteful if no one else is around to eat them. Having the option to make a single brownie eliminates both of those issues. As an added bonus, this recipe only requires four ingredients and is ready in under two minutes!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 packets of Truvia or any other sugar substitute
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour*
  • 3 tbsp almond milk, regular milk, or yogurt

*Can substitute with almond flour

Directions

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a microwave-safe mug and mix with a fork or small whisk.
  2. Microwave on high for one minute

Nutrition Information

 

Calories: 96.6

Total fat: 2.2g

Saturated fat: 1g

Sodium: 33.8mg

Carbs: 9.2g

Fiber: 2.2g

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 1.2

 

Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries

These cheesecake-stuffed strawberries provide all the decadence of cheesecake without the caloric punch. With less than 17 calories per strawberry, you can savor the sweetness without breaking your diet. These sweet treats only require five ingredients, which is convenient for pulling together a quick and simple dessert.

Ingredients

  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 graham cracker (low-fat), crushed in a small bowl
  • 3 tsp Truvia/sugar substitute
  • 4 tbsp cream cheese (fat-free), softened to room temperature
  • 12 strawberries

Directions

  1. Cut the tops off the strawberries. Using a sharp knife, cut an X into the top of the strawberries taking care not to cut through them. Gently remove the centers.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, Truvia, and vanilla extract in a small bowl.
  3. Fill a pastry bag or plastic bag with the tip cut off with the mixture. Pipe the filling into the strawberries taking care to distribute it evenly.
  4. Roll the tops of the strawberries and exposed filling in the graham cracker crumbs

Nutrition Information

This recipe creates six servings. Each serving (two strawberries) contains the following:

 

Calories: 34

Fat: 0g

Sodium: 22mg

Carbs: 8g

Fiber: 0g

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 1g

 

Adjusting to a bariatric diet is challenging for many people, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what you eat! The goal of bariatric surgery is to improve your health so you can enjoy life to the fullest—this includes great-tasting food. Using recipes like the above can help you stay committed to your bariatric diet while enjoying delicious food. Contact us to learn more about bariatric surgery.