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!
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.
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.
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.
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.