BariatricPal Store Blog — comfort food

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Warming Protein Entrees for Cool Nights

Warming Protein Entrees for Cool Nights 0

On Sunday morning, Daylight Savings Time ended and Standard Time returned for most of the country. That means it will now be good and dark at dinner-time, and, as winter nears, chilly or downright cold. Warming dinners may be just what the doctor ordered, but not if those meals are high-carb and high-calorie.

The BariatricPal Store has tons of instant Protein Entrees that are portion and calorie-controlled, plus high in protein. They are shelf-stable, ready in minutes, and great-tasting. Here are four entrees that can make weight loss easier this season.

Five Bean Casserole

Casseroles can be as warm and comforting as anything, but they are less satisfying when they leave a side of guilt from heavy ingredients or they take too long to bake. Five Bean Casserole is made with wholesome ingredients and it can warm you up without filling you out. 

Five Bean Casserole has lentils, red, white, garbanzo, and black beans, along with onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and spices for great taste and hearty textures throughout. Each single-serving entree has a moderate 240 calories and 11 grams of protein to stave off hunger. It also has 10 grams of fiber, which can lower cholesterol and blood sugar, but is often hard to find while losing weight.

Vegetable Lasagna

Lasagna takes comfort food to a new level as it combines with starchy pasta and cheesy goodness. That comforting effect can come at a cost of 1,000 calories and 50 grams each of carbohydrates and fat, which could leave you tossing and turning all night. 

BariatricPal Vegetable Lasagna has only 250 calories, 39 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fat. It has no artery clogging red meat, but it has full flavor with real parmesan and romano cheeses, and tons of spices. Each serving of Vegetable Lasagna has 11 grams of protein and is a good source of calcium and iron.

Vegetable Stew with Beef

Meat and potatoes are the combination that hits home for so many people. Put them in a stew, and there is nothing not to love, except the nutrition in red meat and starchy potatoes. Have your stew and eat it, too, with Vegetable Stew with Beef.

Made with real beef and potatoes, Vegetable Stew with Beef has only 170 calories in the whole thing. It has carrots, onions, and peas, in short, everything you might want in beef stew, and only 21 grams of carbohydrates compared to 14 grams of protein. For extra protein, top it with fat-free greek yogurt or cheddar cheese.

Beef Stroganoff with Noodles

Creamy sauce, starchy noodles, and fatty beef are the classic components of beef stroganoff, but that is not so comforting! Enter BariatricPal Beef Stroganoff with Noodles for those same flavors and textures without the same diet-breaking stats. 

Beef Stroganoff with Noodles has 260 calories and 21 grams of protein, along with 8 grams of fat and 23 grams of carbs. It has real beef, noodles, tomato paste, and sour cream, so your mind can be at ease knowing the ingredients are wholesome. 

Check The BariatricStore for these and plenty more Protein Entrees to make weight loss easier and more delicious. Our selections are for lunch and dinner, and we also have hot and cold protein breakfasts to make your weight loss day complete.

Don’t Let the Pounds Creep on This Halloween

Don’t Let the Pounds Creep on This Halloween 0

Halloween is coming. What will that mean for you? Will you be tricked into sugar highs and weeks of regret? Or will you treat yourself to a moderate holiday filled with fun and without guilt? There is still time to browse The BariatricPal Store and get your fill of Halloween fun without the pitfalls.

Workplace Witchcraft

Does your Halloween start weeks before October 31 as your workplace fills up with candy and decorated cookies, cupcakes, and other baked goods? If so, you may be interested in low-sugar Baking Mixes so you can have your own fresh-baked treats without guilt. Brownies, Cookies, and Cakes are all ready within minutes so you can say no to the sugary fare at work.

Quick Dinner

Did you know that Halloween is the third busiest day of the year for pizza delivery drivers? Quick, kid-friendly dinners such as pizza, boxed macaroni and cheese, and PB and J are attractive on this night as the family rushes out the door to go trick-or-treating. Do you fall prey to the extra calories, fat, and carbs that can be wolfed down before even seeing any candy?

There are plenty of options that are faster than take-out or delivery, and with more protein and fewer carbs. For example:

Candy Cravings

Finally it is time for Halloween proper, whether you are trick-or-treating, handing out candy, or going to a party. How can you pass up the sugar while still having fun? The strategies here are to find something else to focus on, and to have a substitute ready in case cravings hit hard.

  • Carry a glass or bottle of water around with you so your hands are busy.
  • Get involved in something besides eating, such as helping children with their costumes, hiding as kids come to your door to trick-or-treat, or helping the host and hostess serve and clean up.
  • Stash your own bariatric-friendly, low-sugar and high-protein, Chocolates and Candies to munch on instead of going for the sugary candy. The BariatricPal Store has dark, milk, and white chocolate with or without peanuts, almonds, and caramel - in short, any flavor to match the candy bars.

Halloween may be a scary holiday, but it does not need to be scary for your waistline. Just be prepared with a plan and a few treats from The BariatricPal Store, and there will be no need to feel guilty when November comes.

December Comfort Food

December Comfort Food 0

Comfort food is on the mind as December starts. That can mean only one thing: weight loss. Well, that is true if you choose smart. Here are our top picks for comfort food that is warming, hearty, satisfying, and good for weight loss.

Mac and Cheese

We cannot help but start the list with Mac and Cheese. It is ooey, gooey, and tops for comforting, but it can have There is something wrong with diving into a bowl of carbs, fat, and calories when you can get those same flavors without penalty. BariatricPal Protein Entrees: Cheesy Mac has romano, parmesan, and cheddar cheese and real pasta, with none of the excess of regular mac and cheese.

Each serving has 220 calories and 12 grams of protein to help lower the glycemic index and keep you full for longer after the meal. You do not even need to follow a recipe or order the dish. Just heat the entrée and enjoy your meal in minutes

Chili Your Way

A bowl of chili may have a lot of protein, but it also has enough serious carbs, fat, and calories to make it more discomforting than comforting. Instead of ordering or serving up a bowl with 300 to (gasp!) over 1,000 calories, serve yourself Protein Chili instead. You can choose single-serve Turkey Chili with Beans that you can heat and eat for a complete meal with 220 calories and 21 grams of protein. Another idea is to opt for a packet of Vegetable Chili with Beans with 120 calories and 12 grams of protein. All of our protein chili choices taste great and are ready in minutes for a guilt-free lunch or dinner.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Broccoli cheese soup is creamy, cheesy, warming, and oh-so-bad for you. Can you really feel comforted when you know that you are essentially sipping protein-less fat that sticks to your hips? Make these problems vanish with Broccoli Cheddar Protein Soup with real broccoli. It has 15 grams of protein and only 1 gram of fat. The single-serving packet has 100 calories that you can make within minutes on the stove or using the microwave.

Skip the 100 to 200 calories’ worth of bread or croutons that may come with your soup and deliver an extra 25 or more grams of carbs. Instead, crumble low-carb Protein Cheese Snacks into your soup for an extra cheesy flavor with added crunch.

Chocolate with Chocolate and Chocolate

No way can a list of comfort foods be complete without something seriously chocolatey. Chocolate chip cookies are a nice start, but you can do better. Why stop at chocolate chips when you can bury them in a chocolate cookie and drizzle the whole thing with chocolate icing? Why would you add fat and sugar to your day when you can get a dose of protein instead?

BariatricPal Triple Chocolate Protein Cookies are chocolate cookies with chocolate chunks and chocolate drizzle. Each has 15 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar, and 150 calories. They lend themselves to dessert, but we’ve been known to have them for snacks and even for breakfast. They go so well with peanut butter or with fat-free cream cheese and strawberries!

Stay warm and comforted this winter with soups, stews, chilis, and more. The BariatricPal Store has the high-protein, low-carb selections you need to stay on your diet, with the great flavors you need to stay satisfied. Happy eating!

Warm and Cozy Treats for Weight Loss

Warm and Cozy Treats for Weight Loss 0

Mid-January calls for comfort food since the season can get you down if you are craving the warmth of the sun and the longer days in spring. Still, there is no reason to deviate from your weight loss plan or your New Year’s resolutions already. Instead, opt for filling, comforting fare that is low in carbs and high in protein, just like the rest of your diet.

Macaroni and Cheese

It is hard to think about comfort food without mentioning macaroni and cheese, but it is hard to fit it into your weight loss plan if you talk about the standard mixture. A typical serving can have 200 to 300 calories, with most from fat and carbs, and it is hard to stick to a single serving.

Have your bowl and eat it, too, when you whip up Protein Cheese Steak Macaroni in minutes. Just add water, and enjoy knowing you are getting three real kinds of cheese and 12 grams of protein, with only 130 calories. Or, make your own variation with Protein Pasta mixed with non-fat cream cheese, low-fat cheddar, and broccoli florets.

Tomato Soup

Rewind the clock back to the days when your favorite lunch was tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. Those were carefree days when someone who loved you was happy to serve you a hot, delicious meal. You can still enjoy creamy tomato soup made with tomatoes, though.

The main difference with this Creamy Tomato Protein Soup is that it fits into your weight loss diet. It has 100 calories and a minuscule 1.5 grams of fat, along with 15 grams of protein to keep hunger down for hours. It makes a great snack or lunch, and you can feel even better knowing you are getting a range of essential vitamins and minerals.

Pancakes

Something about pancakes recalls long weekends and relaxed weekend mornings when the most important business of the day was having a delicious breakfast with your family. Those pancakes may have been laden with carbs and calories, with enough of each for couple meals or even a day.

Our answer to the dilemma is Protein Pancakes. Choose from classic Golden Delicious, or flavors such as Blueberry or Chocolate Chip. You only need to add water to get your low-carb, high-protein treat. Serve it alone, make it a breakfast sandwich with a tablespoon of peanut butter or cooked egg whites, or create a breakfast platter with cottage cheese, blueberries, and walnuts.

Banana Pudding

It may not be warm in temperature, but banana pudding warms the soul. Banana Protein Pudding

is sweet, but low in sugar, and has 15 grams of protein to keep you full for hours. It has the distinct taste of ripe bananas, without the load of carbs they deliver.

Mix it with 4 ounces of water for a thick pudding. You can also make it with more water to turn it into a creamy shake that fits on a liquid diet. You can even use it as a meal replacement, since it has vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, and antioxidants.

Whatever warm and cozy comfort foods you choose, make sure they fit on your diet and are delicious enough to satisfy your cravings. After all, we have while left before winter is over, and we all need all the cheer we can get.

Farewell to National Vegetarian Month – Lessons to Carry Forward!

Farewell to National Vegetarian Month – Lessons to Carry Forward! 0

 

October is National Vegetarian Month. It may be over, but you can still benefit from learning from it and adapting some of your recipes to be more plant-based. You can still get plenty of protein on a vegetarian diet, even if you are on a high-protein diet. Plus, you do not hae to give up taste or satisfaction when you cut back on meat. Here are some ideas for high-protein meals without meat – you might find yourself going meatless more often than just on Mondays.

Breakfast: Bacon and Cheese Omelet

BariatricPal Bacon and Cheese Omelet has the great taste to get carnivores out of bed, but none of the dangerous preservatives or other ingredients in bacon. Instead, it has vegetarian bacon, and real eggs and cheese in an energizing, 100-calorie package with 15 grams of protein. That’s worth waking up for!

Lunch: Protein Chili

Sit down to a hearty bowl of chili with beans, tomatoes, and beefy chunks – hold the beef! Actually, hold everything that’s bad about chili: the saturated fat and calories, and the long hours needed to cook it. Instead, BariatricPal Protein Chili has 15 grams of soy-based protein, no saturated fat, 130 calories, and a prep time of 2 minutes. You could:

  • Have it plain.
  • Top it with low-fat cheese or fat-free sour cream.
  • Pour it over Protein Potato Chips to make nachos.

Dinner: Five Bean Casserole

You’re asking for trouble if your casserole is based on ground beef or sausage. Those are calorie bombs that will make your waistline explode, especially if portions are too big coming out of a baking pan. BariatricPal Five Bean Casserole can provide quick comfort at dinner without any animals being harmed in the process. Comfort may come from:

  • Knowing you can eat the whole thing for 240 calories.
  • Great taste of real beans, which are known to improve heart health.
  • Satisfaction of 10 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein.

Keep the flavor and protein, but toss the meat, and you could be doing your heart a favor. There’s no need to cut out the protein, either; just choose protein entrees and know you are getting high-quality protein without the cholesterol.

Beat the Winter Blues Weight Loss Style

Beat the Winter Blues Weight Loss Style 0

Late January can be a rough time of year. The holidays seem so far behind us, while spring still has not yet sprung. A little comfort food can help cheer you up, but it can come at a cost – the kind of price that shows up on the scale.

Still, there are plenty of healthier ways to cheer up during the winter. The BariatricPal Store has tips from food swaps to healthy boosts to get you through the end of the winter in a cheerier manner.

Comfort Food Swaps

Never say never. Instead of depriving yourself of your favorite comfort foods, choose high-protein alternatives that are just as healthy and great-tasting. Go for Protein Entrees such as Vegetable Chili, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Chicken Parmesan, or opt for Protein Pancakes when you need a decadent breakfast.

The choices don’t stop with meals. Crunch on Protein Cereal or Protein Chips when you get the munchies, or snack on a Chocolate Bar when you need a sweet treat after dinner or between meals. The BariatricPal Store has no shortage of Protein Desserts including Protein Pudding, Protein Brownies, and Protein Cookies.

Vitamins for Mood

Did you know that deficiencies of certain vitamins can lead to depression? If you are suffering from winter blues, talk to your doctor about whether you may need to take vitamin supplements. Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 are vitamins that are linked to depression, and they are commonly deficient among weight loss surgery patients.

Exercise to Boost Mood

Exercise can boost endorphins, which are chemicals in your brain that increase feelings of well-being. Put another way, exercise cheers you up! It does not have to be intense exercise. Instead, just focus on getting out there and moving.

For a bonus, exercise outside in the sun when you can. Sunlight increases levels of a brain chemical called serotonin, which is linked to better mood. Even if the sun is not warm because you are in a cold environment in the winter time, the light from the sun can make you happier. Getting outside for some natural sunlight can also help you sleep better so you feel better overall.

Celebrate Your Home

Make the most of the situation if you find yourself indoors too much. Clean your home to make it a more pleasant place to be. Consider changing the curtains or seat cushion covers to make them cheerier, or set up some candles for another source of warming light. You can even decorate the house for upcoming holidays such as Valentine’s Day.

As a bonus, celebrating your home helps with weight loss, too. For one thing, you burn calories when you are cleaning house – that’s why sweeping, vacuuming, and scrubbing the floors are so tiring. For another, it is easier to make good eating decisions when your home is clean. A tidy kitchen lets you think straight at meal and snack times so you can choose healthy foods instead of being distracted by less nutritious items.

Stock up Your Kitchen

Food shopping can actually be fun, especially when you are shopping for great-tasting, guilt-free Protein Meals and Protein Snacks that are ready to eat or take only minutes to prepare. The BariatricPal Store has meals, snacks, desserts, and protein supplements for most weight loss diets and every stage of the post-op weight loss surgery diet.

Don’t let a long winter get you down. Use it as an opportunity to cheer up and lose weight! There are tons of ways to feel happier as you get through the winter.

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