Ingredients
¼ Cup Chia Seeds
1 Tsp Cinnamon
3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 Tbsp Real Maple Syrup
1 Apple
Whipped Topping
Fresh Raspberries


Recipe
Chocolate Peanut Butter “Ice Cream”
Mix chia seeds, cinnamon, and cocoa powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix maple syrup and unsweetened almond milk. Add liquid to dry chia seed mixture. Stir until smoothly blended. Slice apple. Layer apple with chia pudding and refrigerate for 4 hours. Top with healthy whipped topping and fresh raspberries! Delicious and nutritious!

Megan Says
“Chia seeds are a good source of healthy fats, protein and fiber! What a combination! This recipe is a wonderful option for a snack or a sweet snack after dinner.”

Ingredients
Sesame Oil
1 White Onion
1 Head of Cauliflower
Frozen Mixed Vegetables (Corn, Carrots, Peas)
Olive Oil


Recipe
Chocolate Peanut Butter “Ice Cream”
Add sesame oil to saucepan over medium heat. Dice onion and add to pan. Cut and rinse head of cauliflower. Grind cauliflower in food processor or blender until pieces are roughly the size of rice. This cauliflower has ten times fewer calories than rice! Add to pan and stir with onion. Splash in a few drops of water. Add 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables to pan. Drizzle soy sauce over mixture. Clear an empty space in the pan, add a drop of olive oil, and crack egg onto pan. Stir the egg into the mixture. Plate fried “rice” and top with diced green onion. We love the taste of fried rice at a fraction of the calories!

Megan Says
“Cauliflower rice is one of my favorite healthy swaps – it really tastes like rice and it’s so versatile you can make it in any recipe you like. Because cauliflower is so low in calories, you’re able to have a nice big portion!”

This is a loaded question.  “Are smoothies healthy?” This is a question we get asked all the time in our office.  In theory, yes, smoothies should be healthy – they’re packed with fruits, maybe vegetables, perhaps some healthy fats, maybe yogurt, water or milk, maybe ice. “But then how do they go wrong?”  Let me explain…

My golden rule for smoothies includes this question – if you placed each of the items on a table in front of you, would you sit down and eat them all in one sitting?  If the answer is no, then your smoothie is likely going to be too calorically dense.  Have you ever ordered a smoothie at a juice bar only to see them add huge amounts of peanut butter, frozen yogurt and sugar sweetened frozen fruit? While smoothies might be touted as health foods, you really have to think twice, especially before ordering them off a menu.

It’s a lot easier (and faster!) to drink 500 calories than it is to eat 500 calories, but is it as satisfying?  Definitely not.  Chewing foods sends a particular message to your brain that drinking does not.  This is especially important for bariatric patients who need to watch their intake closely.

But the good news is, you can keep smoothies healthy by following a few easy rules:

  1. Make it at home
    • as with many things, it’s easier to control what’s going into your body when you prepare the ingredients yourself
  2. Start with 1/2 cup of a low calorie liquid base
    • water or unsweetened almond milk are our picks
  3. Add 1/2 cup of a lean protein
  4. Pick no more than 1/2 cup of fruit
    • this could be 1/2 cup of berries or 1/4 cup berries and 1/4 of a banana
  5. Make it green
    • adding 1/2 raw baby spinach only changes the color, not the flavor
  6. Chill out
    • if you like things really cold, add a handful of ice
  7. Get blending
    • whir the smoothie until it’s very well incorporated – especially if you’ve added spinach
  8. Enjoy!

I really like green smoothies – they pack a bit of extra nutrition and really don’t taste much different (trust me!) than non-green smoothies.  But if that’s too much for you to start with, omit the spinach and just keep things simple.  If you stick to my suggestions above, your smoothie will be healthy, portion controlled and delicious!

We love hearing from you! What are you favorite smoothie recipes? Please share them with us in the comments below.

Happy nourishing!

Bariatric surgery does not mean a bariatric diet. In fact, we don’t even like the word diet at Weight Zen. Diet = Failure. Whatever surgery you have had or will have, be it the sleeve, the band, a bypass or more, we’re going to help you succeed by hooking you up with one of New York Cities premier bariatric weight loss nutritionists.

At Weight Zen, Dr. Rosen is committed to lasting lifelong change in each and every single one of our patients. This is why we have added a new team member to the Weight Zen family, Megan Wolf. Megan is our in-house nutritionist who sees patients primarily for weight loss and weight management counseling and medical nutrition therapy. She will work with you directly to help meet your nutritional needs!  

She’ll give you the best tips and tricks on how to enjoy food. For Bariatric patients food is part friend part frenimy, but what if we flip the script with Megan and help guide you to seeing food as your new BFF.

She offers in-home pantry makeovers, supermarket tours, group nutrition classes and cooking classes. And the good news is, you do not have to be a bariatric patient in order to see her, anyone can sign up to work with Megan!

We are so excited for you to meet her in person and we think you’ll love her video tips coming soon!

 

Make it your rule of thumb: put things in our body only as nature intended. That means: no preservatives, no additives and ‘no’ to most packages drinks!

If knowing New York City has the some of the best drinking quality tap water in the world still doesn’t do it for you, we’ve got some other recommendations.

Whatever you do, come hell or high soda – do not go for the drinks high in calories. In fact, let’s take a look at our top 4 zero calorie drinks.

Honest

Iced tea

If you’ve got a passion for dashin’ keep an eye out for Honest Tea’s Passion Fruit Green Tea. The company is committed to bottling up great-tasting, healthy and organic beverages and this tasty number is made from organic tea leaves that are free from pesticides, brewed with stevia (a plant-based sweetener with zero calories) and infused with exotic passionfruit and tangy hibiscus. It’s also Fair Trade Certified, Gluten Free and free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Psst – they also have a zero-calorie lemonade too!

Sticking with the passion party, you can also as go for the Teavana® Shaken Iced Passion Tango™ Tea at Starbucks – also with zero calories.

San Pellegrino

Sparkling water

Fancy AND fun, sparkling water is the champagne of H2O. For some people, it pays to pop when you have an unwavering carbonated craving. For the true bare bones beverage… water wins!  (For our post-bariatric patients, go slow when it comes to carbonated beverages! Some people find that it causes discomfort, don’t drink carbonated drinks if it upsets your stomach!)

Keep an eye out for the Perrier, San Pellegrino and Poland Springs varieties.

Hint

Drink Hint

The creators of his new water product that has John Legend as an investor started out with a simple vision: just water, a hint of fruit flavour, nothing else. These drinks have no sugar, no diet sweeteners, no preservative, and no additives – none of that stuff you can’t pronounce. Take the Hint?

This can be your best solution if you’re on the go – even though our frugal friends may have other ideas… Just keep a pitcher of water in your fridge and squeeze your own fruit into it! Take “skinny” and “naked” drinks into your own hands.

Zevia

Carbonated Beverages

Sodas, can be so-dangerous. Luckily these options boast a sugar-free zero-calorie resume.

Zevia uses stevia as its sweetener to bring you healthier alternatives to household flavors favorites such as Cola, Ginger Ale, Mountain Zevia and Dr. Zevia.  (Again, if the bubbles bother you, stay away!)

Polar Seltzer has been quenching America’s thirst for over 130 years and their rule of thumb is: water, bubbles, natural flavour – nothing else. This means calories, sodium, caffeine, sugar and carbs have been canned and taken out of your diet.

Sparkling Ice has 11 different flavors on offer made up of water, natural juices and Splenda whilst supplemented with vitamins and antioxidants. As we’ve said before though – read the fine print! These beverages do pack a punch when it comes to offering vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), vitamin D3, plus vitamin B12 in each bottle – but they also contain potassium benzoate (a preservative), coloring agents and Splenda is an artificial sweetener.

This July 4th holiday, plan where you can get the best view – because we’ve got your healthy recipes sorted!

EatingWell has a great selection of low calorie, low carb and diabetes appropriate dishes everyone can enjoy from appetizers through to desserts.

The New You When Eating Red, White and Blue

Patriotic appetizers.

With just some crumbled cotija cheese, blue corn tortilla chips and fresh salsa, you can create your own mini red, white and blue edible flags to get the party started.

For something hearty, prepare a red, white and blue potato salad the night before. While the fireworks may be a feast for the eyes, this dish boasts a pop of natural flavours. Make your own lemon vinaigrette and serve with a dash of peppers, scallions and mint.

Then satisfy the summer sweet tooth with red, white and blue popsicles. You’ll just need limeade, blueberries, raspberries (though cherries and strawberries work too) and a freezer-pop mould to create a cool twist to serving fruits to end a meal.

 

A few ingredients and even less minutes.

A few ingredients and even less minutes.

PopSugar has a different take on things and we’ve found an easy-to-share watermelon and feta skewers recipe that’s quick to shop for and even faster to make. Simply stack chopped watermelon, feta cheese and Kalamata olives on the skewers and drizzle with basil oil.

Unlike jokes, your entrée can be cheesy and still enjoyable. This patriotic frittata is made with sweet cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, black beans and purple basil. It’ll pack a protein punch with less than 200 calories per piece.

Finally, you can thank us later when you’re singing the praises of these frozen yogurt cupcakes. Made with Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries, and bananas, these sweet treats are low in calories, fat, and cholesterol yet are still lusciously sweet and smooth. At just 30 calories per cupcake, you still get three grams of protein!

You keep your smartphone fully charged and your Facebook constantly updated for successful pantry planning – now it’s time to keep your pantry roaring and ready to go too, no matter the situation. Choosing to have Bariatric Surgery is a commitment to making permanent lifestyle changes and includes a new approach to breakfast, lunch, dinner and all the sneaky snacks in between. Don’t get caught between a trans-fat and a hard place!

Tofu scramble

Tofu scramble

Breakfast

Ditch the greasy burritos and syrup-stacked pancakes and dive into a breakfast that gives you a nutritional boost to start your day. Go for lettuce wraps, tofu scrambles, egg whites and oatmeal pancakes for healthier choices. Compare the 450 calories and 31 grams of fat in a fast-food biscuit with egg and bacon to the 130 calories and 5 grams of fat in a scramble with four egg whites and 1 ounce of cooked turkey bacon. Fill a lettuce wrap with black beans, egg whites and chopped bell peppers or energize your juice with beets, carrots apples and mint sprigs.

Tip: Keep your pantry stocked with oatmeal as a go-to breakfast option if all else fails. It’ll help you manage cholesterol, prevent heart disease and the high fiber will keep you fuller for longer.

Chicken breast lettuce wrap

Lunch

A fast food lunch of burgers, fries or fish ‘n’ chips might be convenient and ‘save time’, but you’ll end up feeling more drained and

tired just after eating it! A fast food double burger has more than 942 calories and 58 grams of fat; to compare, a 3-ounce turkey burger on a whole-wheat pita has 169 calories and 2 grams of fat. Opt for tomato soup, steamed fish with spinach or a chicken breast lettuce wrap with avocado instead. If you have time to prepare your lunch meals from home, keep it in an insulated lunch box with ice packs to keep your food cold or a thermos to keep soup warm.

Tip: Everyone ‘can’ be healthy! Canned tuna is a cheap and convenient way to keep up with your protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid levels. Canned tomatoes are not only rich in flavor, but they’re packed with cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene. Just make sure you go for the low-salt or low-sodium options.

Oven-baked chicken

Oven-baked chicken

Dinner

Instead of greasy pizza, create a homemade Margherita pizza, swap fried chicken for oven-baked chicken and have a salad with whole-grain bread instead of a deli sandwich.  Otherwise, grab your favorite veggies and make your own hearty soup or stir-fry and pair it with whole-wheat pasta. Replacing two pieces of fast food fried chicken, which has more than 431 calories and 26 grams of fat, with 3 ounces of chicken breast for less than 100 calories and around 2 grams of fat instantly makes dinner healthier. If you’re strapped for time, put it all in a slow cooker before you leave for work and you’ll have your dinner ready as soon as you’re home!

Tip: Whole-wheat pasta has three times as much fiber as regular spaghetti while brown rice is a healthier alternative to its white counterpart because it retains the bran and the germ, which have an abundance of nutrients. For more sides to accompany your veggies and lean meats, keep quinoa and lentils in your panty too. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids, it provides a boost of energy and will satisfy hunger the same way meat would, without the fat or cholesterol. A lentil is a healthy legume low in fat and packed with protein and fiber.

Walnuts

Walnuts

Snacks

Put down the chips, French fries and popcorn with confidence. Nuts not only give you protein, fiber and calcium – they’re an energizing snack. Look out for walnuts which have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. All natural peanut butter is filled with protein and monosaturated (the good!) fats. Look out for those with just two ingredients (nuts and salt) and pair it up with a slice of wholemeal bread. If you’re out and about when hunger strikes, satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh fruit and fat-free and low-sugar yogurt.