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This tag is associated with 10 posts

Thanks for the Memories or How I Survived a PB-Free Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canadia which is always a challenging time for this luscious lapband patient. It’s a weekend of alcohol overindulgence and too much turkey.

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For the past 3+ years since I had my surgery, any kind of turkey day has always been the source of some dismay. I can never quite get through a Thanksgiving (or Christmas) dinner featuring the famous foul without finding myself sharing half my harvest-celebration dinner with the porcelain gods.

Well, I’m happy to report that not one bite of my fancy feast with fabulous friends yesterday, or my family today, was sacrificed in the satisfying of this appetite. What was the source of my success in holding down the dinner I hold so dear? Chewing. Lots of chewing. Very, very slowly. I was also very conservative in the quantity of turkey that was piled on my plate.

The secret for me this year really is that I kept my limits in mind and stopped when I felt even slightly full. Granted, I’m a touch on the hungry side right now but I’d much rather be hungry before bed than suffering from the dreaded gastric reflux! Score one PB-Free feast for this lapbandster!

Happy Thanksgiving!

How did you make sure you didn’t lose your lunch? 

Mixed Mushroom Pasta

This Mixed Mushroom Pasta looks amazeballs. I’m not supposed to eat much pasta what with my lap-band and the tiny tummy but when I do want pasta, I want it to look/taste like this!

Small servings recommended.

We eat less healthy than we think [infographic]

Uhhh, duh. I saw this pretty cool infographic and like it so much I thought I’d share it here. I gotta say, it’s filled with some pretty obvious points about perception. Primarily the fact that, when we eat foods that we know are ‘bad’ for us, we have a tendency to minimize the damage we’re doing to ourselves so that we don’t have to face the food-guilt that creeps up on us after a ‘bad food’ binging session.

Source: We eat less healthy than we think [infographic].

Fish-ing for compliments

After finishing up a fantastic Friday morning at my great new social media job, I thought I’d go out and explore the city that all my Toronto tweeps are tweeting about.

As it’s a gorgeous day today, I headed on down to The corner of Queen and Jarvis to sample some of the amazing food from Toronto’s Food Truck community.

For my first foray into gourmet food truck eats, I visited Buster’s Sea Cove. I opted for the Fish Tacos cause I know I love me some fish tacos. For two of the most tasty fried white fish tacos I’ve ever eaten, I paid $8.

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When I first saw my plate I instantly felt that although the portion size is bandster friendly indeed, my friends with average-size tums might be disappointed.. That is, until I took a bite.

They are worth every single penny for these (somewhat) tiny-portioned tasty tacos! They’re fresh, not greasy, with just the right amount of filling for stuffing in your face like food truck eats should. The salsa/slaw was full of crunchy veg, a bit of heat and the hint of lime. The batter on the gorgeous white (cod?) fish was light and fluffy and with texture more like breading than topping…like it was actually part of the fish than an add-on. The small white tortilla was even nice.

I was more than satisfied. The texture and portion-size are perfect for a bandster on the go and leave just enough room left over to test your resolve at the Curbside Bliss Cupcake truck right next door…I will most certainly return to Buster’s Sea Cove.

Do you have a favorite Toronto Food Truck? How does it stack up for the bandster on the go?

Fish Tacos

I’ve been looking for a good at home Fish Taco recipe and I think this could be the one. I found it on Maggie’s One Butt Kitchen and it looks amazing!

Generally speaking, if you use the smallest soft tortilla size, two Fish Tacos is a perfect bandster portion. I’m sure that would also be true of these.

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Fish Tacos

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Chipotle Salsa:

2 cups seeded and diced Roma tomatoes

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

1 canned chipotle pepper,minced

salt, to taste

2 tablespoons cilantro,chopped

Picante Slaw:

2 cups finely shredded cabbage

2 tsp. lime juice

2 tsp. honey

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

2 tsp. chopped cilantro

salt, to taste

Fish:

2 lbs. tilapia

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons lime juice

5 tsp. chili powder

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 tsp minced garlic

salt, to taste

Lime Crema:

1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream

zest from one lime

juice from 1 lime

8- 8 inch diameter flour tortillas

Salsa:

Combine all ingredients; toss and set aside.

Slaw:

Combine all ingredients; toss and set aside.

Crema:

Combine all ingredients; stir to combine and set aside.

Tortillas:

On a grill pan…

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Something I cooked tonight

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This is my attempt at an amazing recipe for Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes I pinned from a friend on my Pinterest Boards. My god, I do love that site for stuff like this.

Of course, I scaled down the recipe since this chef is only cooking for one. This will do me well for dinner for the next couple of days. Yum!

One chicken thigh, a few pieces of chorizo and a few baby potatoes halves are the perfect portion for the bandster belly. With maybe a tiny bit of room left for dessert…

Recipe: Stuffed Mushrooms with Tomato Sauce

Mmmm. These look particularly bandster-friendly and I fully intend to test that theory! Perhaps a good option for my/my roommate’s upcoming housewarming party. Yum!

nade in the kitchen

The weather is making me crazy. School a little bit, too. But that doesn’t matter. As long as you have lovely friends and family, everything’s good. And food, of course. Good food.

Yesterday I found some white mushrooms my mum had bought for me, uncertain if I’d be overjoyed or if I’d scold her for buying things nobody eats. But obviously, I was very happy to find them and decided to stuff them. The problem was that we hadn’t really anything very special at home, so I had to fill them with the most basic stuff you can imagine: onions and potatoes. But have you got an idea how delicious it tasted?

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Salted Caramel Buttercream Chocolate Cake

My goodness! I know that baking this would not be conducive to weight loss or achieving my Slimband goals but I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a chocolate cake more than this beauty.

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The wedding madness has passed. And my little sister is now a married woman. My heart is crazy happy for her. The wedding was absolutely beautiful. And I am absolutely pooped (in the best possible way). In true fashion, we bit off more than we could chew. But we got it done.

With 30 minutes to spare before leaving for the wedding. I’m still not sure why I picked one of the hardest cake recipes I’ve ever made for the groom’s cake. Caramel is my arch nemesis. Ganache is super finicky in the icing stage. And more often than not, I overcook the egg whites when making a swiss meringue buttercream and have to start over  (I’m an italian meringue buttercream girl). For some reason, I still thought I could easily make this cake on a large scale. For a wedding. For my sister’s wedding, no less.

But sometimes crazy…

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I Was Baking Life or How Baking Cakes Cures Almost Everything

I’ve baked for most of my life. To pass the time, to find something to focus on, to calm my creative urges or simply because it was the fastest way to score something sweet for myself without having to leave the comfort of my home.

Last summer, before I started at my current job, I went through a phase of baking and decorating cupcakes. I’d follow every recipe to the letter and spend hours trying new ways to make them pretty. I loved it. It felt good to be creative. But it was like waving a liquor bottle under the nose of an alcoholic because I couldn’t actually eat them (at that point I was still adjusting to life after lap-band and could only manage to eat just one of my pretty presents in a day without a huge sugar rush and a very full tummy.)

So, instead of eating them or throwing them in the bin, I started baking batches of cupcakes and giving them away to friends and family instead. And I found that it felt great. I was happy baking, they were happy eating and I had no guilt whatsoever.

Yesterday was a hard day. One of the hardest I’ve had since I’ve been in Ottawa. To say I felt hopeless would be an understatement. And all I wanted to do was numb the pain. Normally I would eat or drink and I really didn’t want to do to much of either of those things because a) I was on my own and b) the guilt would simply add to the situation and I’d just end up in some kind of food-fueled self-destructive slump the next day.

So, in a strong effort to not allow myself to numb my pain with food, I decided to sip the recommended ‘one glass’ of red wine whilst baking my project team a pumpkin cheesecake. It kept me busy and shifted my focus away from eating and towards creating something special for some people I care about. And I felt a whole lot better.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

It wasn’t until a friend asked me if I considered baking to be a coping mechanism that I actually realised it is. And it occurred to me that it always has been. Funny what a few things from a pantry can do for a heavy heart. Even if I don’t eat them myself.

Soup-er Happy

Wow, what an improvement today has been! Today is Day 6 and officially the day I move on to ‘full liquids’. Full liquids includes things like strained soups, smoothies and my beloved coffee. In other words, I’m allowed to consume cuisine with flavour.strong old woman

So, in celebration of reaching the next stage in this edible adventure I went to Sobey’s and picked up all the ingredients I needed to make the four smoothie recipes and both of the soups provided in my Slimband aftercare binder plus one more I got from the good people and BBC Good Food.

I spent the afternoon remembering the joy of cooking with my Gam and made each and every recipe. They were absolutely AMAZING!! I honestly had no idea how happy eating (drinking) soup could make me. And the smoothies are a such a treat I can’t believe they’re good for me. I’d like to publish one or two here but I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed.

I also picked up a small tub of Half the Fat Coffee Haagen-Dazs.

I know, I should’t be eating it and it goes against everything I’m doing. But I learned that lesson when I could only eat 3 teaspoons of it before I was full. Now I know better. I’m sure I’ll try pushing the boundaries again but not for a while.

On the health side of things, I didn’t eat much throughout the day nor did I drink nearly enough water. I could only get down about 3/4 cup of two of the soups. I was full very quickly but I definitely felt satisfied. In fact, I still do so that’s a good sign. And as a result of the new additions to my seasonal menu, my traffic jam has also cleared up. Yay!

The only negative health issue was how very weak I was all day. Today was my first day out of the house since my surgery and my muscles have been depleting so I had very little strength whilst walking around. And even less trying to move around the kitchen like normal. I actually had to sit on a chair while doing the prep for most of the recipes. My back, stomach and arms just couldn’t take it standing up. But I managed and I’m glad I did.

It’s a pretty strange feeling to need help to lift what are usually the simplest things. I’ve always been the strong one of all my friends and family but today my grandmother had to load the bags in the car cause I almost fainted. AND she had to bring them in the house and unpack them. Not normal. But I’m sure that will improve with my tasty new additions.

So, my future doesn’t feel so bleak anymore. I’m happy to be back to living a semi-normal existence. Seriously, words can’t describe the relief I’m feeling. If I was a church going girl I’d be thanking the big man upstairs for getting me this far. Since I’m not, I’ll just thank all my loved ones for their support and for hanging in there with me. It’s a big help!

PS: Since I had my surgery I’m down an astounding 6 lbs…this makes a total of 12 lbs in two weeks. Shocking but pleasing.

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