Author name: Julie Gomes

This is an in-person outdoor event.

In order to meet in person and maintain social distancing, we will be holding the Bariatric Support Group meeting outside in the parking lot at 465 Cranbury Rd, East Brunswick, NJ 08816.

  • Individualized weight loss & maintenance plans with on-going support
  • Nutrition and lifestyle guidelines pre and post bariatric surgery: achieving your weight loss/health goals for the long run
  • Nutrition counseling for all ages: pediatric to geriatric
  • Meal plans and recipes
  • Grocery store tours
  • Weekly weigh-ins​
  • ​Support groups​
  • Disease management using proper nutrition: diabetes, high cholesterol, thyroid conditions, kidney disease, and othersFood sensitivity testing:  learn which foods/additives could be making you sick
  • Nutrition counseling for the whole family
  • Worksite/corporate wellness
  • Body composition analysis

Do not go into this holiday thinking you cannot enjoy some festive desserts while keeping up your momentum!

Try some of these delicious (and balanced) picks…

Baked Apples:

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Core 8 medium apples without cutting all the way through to the bottom — leave about a ½-inch of uncut apple at the bottom — then cut away a little bit extra so there’s a well in each apple about ¾-inch thick. Put the apples on a lined baking sheet, then sprinkle each apple with cinnamon and 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and top with 1 teaspoon unsalted butter. Bake until the apple is very soft, 30–35 minutes. Serve warm, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with your favorite maple granola.

Flourless Brownies- Warning: 3 ingredients ONLY

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Ingredients:

3 medium, overripe bananas

1/2 cup smooth almond butter (or use any other nut/seed butter)

2 T- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (more=richer flavor)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven the 350 degrees, grease a small cake pan or loaf pan and set aside.

In a small microwave-safe bowl or stovetop, melt your nut butter. In a large mixing bowl, add the banana, nut butter and cocoa powder and mix very well.

Pour the mixture into the greased pan and bake for around 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing into pieces.

Pomegranate Clusters

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Makes: 20

Ingredients:

1 cup CHOCOLATE CHIPS (Enjoy Life® are gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free)

1 POMEGRANATE (I used POM Wonderful®)

Directions:

  1. Slice pomegranate in half and then into quarters. Place in large bowl of water and soak 5 minutes. Begin to break pomegranate apart under water, allowing arils to fall to bottom of bowl. Remove rind and membranes. Remove seeds from bowl, picking out any debris. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and blot gently with more paper towels. Arils must be completely dry. Let me stress that again, completely dry. To ensure this, I leave them out to air dry further for a couple hours or place them on a plate in a barely heated oven (that has been turned off). Any residual moisture will prevent the chocolate from binding to the arils and the clusters will fall apart.
  2. Line a mini muffin pan with 20 mini muffin cups/liners.
  3. Pour chocolate chips into a heavy-duty zip top bag, shake down into one corner. Place in microwave and heat in 15-20 second intervals, removing each time to knead. Continue until chocolate is smooth and viscous. Squeeze chocolate down into one corner. Snip off a tiny corner to make a makeshift piping bag.
  4. Drizzle chocolate into bottom of cups. Add a layer of pomegranate arils to each cup. Drizzle with more chocolate. Repeat so that you have four layers of chocolate and three layers of arils.
  5. Allow to harden in a cool, dry place.

Not so sweet- but still a fun treat

Pita Hummus Trees

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Ingredients:

Whole Wheat Pita (sliced into triangles)

Avocado Hummus

Sliced Tomato/red pepper

Pretzel sticks

Instructions:

Cut pita into triangles. Spread avocado hummus, sliced peppers/tomato and any other vegetables of choice. Stick a pretzel stick into pita.

Fruit snowman pops

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Slice up banana, apple, and grapes. Assemble to make a cute snowman. The buttons can be made from dark chocolate chips or raisins. Enjoy!!

For nutrition facts, you can add recipes into myfitnesspal or email us at [email protected]. Happy Holidays!

Think cooking fish is daunting? This recipe practically makes itself.  Top this simple stir-fry   top with a  protein-packed  sauce  for a flavourful entrée in minutes.

Ingredients:
1 pound skinless salmon fillets, rinsed and sliced into cubes
1 small onion, finely diced
2 gloves garlic, minced
6 ounce bag of baby spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Season the salmon cubes with pepper and add them to a pan in a single layer.  Sauté the salmon on both sides until golden brown about 3-4 minutes per side.  Transfer salmon to a platter and keep warm.
  2. Lower the heat to medium and add  the onion to the sauté pan.  Cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more
  3. Add the wine to the pan and cook until it is almost completely evaporated.  Add the chicken broth and cook until it is reduced by half.  Whisk in the mustard, yogurt, and half the dill  and stir until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the salmon and the spinach to the sauce to heat them for a minute or two longer (until the spinach wilts).  Transfer the salmon and spinach to a platter, sprinkle with dill  and serve.

**You can substitute salmon for any fish of choice such as tilapia, red snapper, halibut, sole, and flounder.  Bake at 400 degrees and estimate a 10 minute cooking time per inch of thickness. Cooked fish will easily flake when pierced with a fork.

Makes 4 servings.  Serving size: 4 ounce salmon with spinach and sauce.

Per serving: 305 calories, 33 grams protein. Cook time 15 minutes.

Courtesy of Sari Greaves, RDN, co-author of The Cardiac Recovery Cookbook.

Courtesy of Baritrack (www.baritrackapp.com/bari-recipes)
Servings: 2

¼ cup oats
½ banana, mashed
1 egg white
1 tbsp almond milk
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 scoop Baritrack vanilla protein powder

Using a fork, combine all ingredients into a paste, adding milk as necessary to get desired consistency. Cool non stick pan with cooking spray, pour batter and heat for 2 minutes per side or until cooked.

Each pancake= 16 g protein, 3 g fiber, 155 calories

Servings: 2

1/2 cup raw oats
5.3 ounces vanilla Siggi’s yogurt (or other Greek)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop Renew Life fiber powder
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts

In a bowl, combine the oats, yogurt, milk, fiber powder , and walnuts. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Sprinkle berries on top and enjoy!
Per serving: 183 calories, 12.4 g protein, 4.5 g fiber

The traditional burger melt gets a makeover with a creamy ricotta cheese blend. Trust us, you won’t be missing the bun! You can substitute ground chicken or ground sirloin, if you prefer.

Ingredients:
¼ cup part skim ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 pound 90- 93% lean ground turkey breast
1 large egg
Cooking spray
4 1-ounce slices sharp Cheddar cheese, cut into 8 halves
8 dark green lettuce leaves
8 slices of avocado (1 small avocado)
Choice of topping: Dijon mustard, hummus, refried beans, salsa

1. Combine ricotta cheese and next 4 ingredients (through egg). Divide turkey mixture into 8 equal parts (each slider should weigh 2 ounces), shaping each into a ½ inch thick patty.

2. Coat pan or grill with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook 6-7 minutes per side, until turkey is cooked through. Top each patty with ½ slice of cheese and avocado slice.

3. Wrap each slider in a lettuce leaf and serve with one of the toppings above.

Makes 8 sliders
180 calories, 17 g protein per slider

New trendy weight loss bread! Low carb, gluten free and tasty. We swapped out traditional cream cheese in favor of ricotta or cottage cheese for a protein packed flavor punch! With 6 simple Ingredients, this soft, airy bread can be prepared from start to finish in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients:
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar*
2 ounces low fat cottage cheese or part skim ricotta
1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic or onion powder
For an antioxidant boost, use cinnamon instead of herbs for a sweet touch.
* You can find cream of tartar in most grocery stores or Walmart.
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. If possible,
set oven to convection bake to speed up baking time.
2. Separate the egg whites and the yolks. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and with a hand or stand mixer, beat on high until the froth turns into firm meringue peaks.
3. Place the cheese in a seperate bowl. Add the egg yolks and beat in one at a time. Scrape the bowl and beat until the mixture is nice and smooth. Then beat in the herb seasoning, salt, and garlic powder.
4. Gently (very gently!) fold the firm meringue into the yolk mixture. Spoon 1/4 cup portions of the foam onto the baking sheets and spread into even 4 inch circles, 3/4 inch high. Leave a little space around each circle.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, and check on bread. The bread should be golden on the outside and firm. The center should not jiggle when shaken. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes if needed. Cool for several minutes and serve!
Cloud bread can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.
Toppings: hummus, natural peanut butter, tuna fish, egg salad, beans and grated cheese, mashed avocado, diced berries with balsamic vinegar

Per piece: 35 calories, 3.3 grams protein, 0 g carbs​

This recipe is adapted and modified from www.aspicyperspetice.com

It’s that time of year again! The holidays are rapidly approaching, along with feelings of anticipation, warmth, and maybe even some anxiety. You may feel like you have made progress and have been doing well on your weight management journey, but now the holiday season has you surrendering. Many of you think that the holiday season is an excuse to give into temptation, because its just a few days, right? Others are biting their nails in fear that their hard work is going out the window.

Have no fear! We are here to help!

The holidays should be a time of laughter, positivity, family, and friends. It should not be a time to count calories, carbohydrates, or hide away from people in an effort to continue with your meal plan.

Remember: You have total, absolute control. Balancing family, friends, and health IS possible, and essential in life-long weight management.

We collected some tips for you to stay healthy and happy through the holidays, while balancing your goals and enjoyment. Yes, it really is possible!

1. Make a plan and keep yourself accountable

Try to avoid the “all or nothing mentality.” You can indulge in something without throwing away your whole day or week. Remember, you can’t gain 1 lb of fat overnight.

Enjoy all your favorite foods on one plate.  If you have second helpings, aim to make it consist of vegetables & lean protein. Have the stuffing and the pie on the first plate!

You can start and end the day on a positive note. Typically, holidays consist of a few special meals. This leaves room for a balanced breakfast packed with protein and fiber in the morning, and trying to end on a good note by avoiding food 2-3 hours prior to going to bed.

Have a game plan for after the celebration. Plan the day after so that you don’t get pulled into continuing all the indulgences. If you set yourself up with a plan, you’ll be more likely to stick to it. Sometimes the plan may be throwing away some of the temptations or making sure guests take it with them.  This way, out of site, out of mind.

Stay accountable! Show up to your appointments and try to track what you’re eating as much as you can. Don’t let your accountability slip through the cracks. There is no reason to feel badly if you had a few days of over doing it. Just try to stay motivated and move forward, that is why following up with your Registered Dietitians during this time can be very helpful!

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2. Don’t restrict meals prior to the big holiday gathering

A lot of people plan on eating extra calories for a big holiday meal, so they restrict calories before they go.

Don’t do this!!!!

This results in a mentality where you feel that you deserve to pig out because you “saved your calories.” This will inevitably result in eating more than you would have if you had eaten beforehand.

Eat, remain satisfied, and make sure to hydrate. It can be difficult with all of the snacks and foods to pick on, but remember not to force yourself to eat just because its there. Sometimes try asking yourself, “am I hungry or just tempted?” Hydration is also very important, because the feeling of thirst can feel really similar to hunger. Plus, all of the extra salt is dehydrating. So don’t neglect your water. If you’re drinking alcohol, make sure you drink water or seltzer in between cocktails as well!

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3. Try to do some sort of moving/exercise 

This can be fun and a great way to get the family and friends involved! Everyone will feel better after doing it, including you. You’ll feel less guilty and it will help in digesting the food. For people who have diabetes, it is also that best way to lower your blood sugar following a big meal. Remember too, your body doesn’t want to digest while you’re sleeping, as it can lead to gastric reflux or a stomach ache. Layer up and go for that stroll around the neighborhood. You ( and your stomach) will be happy you did! It doesn’t have to be hours long, 10-15 minutes is better than nothing.

The morning of the holiday meal, strength training is key. This helps to keep burning fat while you’re eating. Score! If your gym is closed, remember there are tons of exercises you can do using your own body weight at home. And, something is better than nothing, so fit in what you can!

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4. Try some new menu alternatives

There are some easy ways to incorporate extra veggies and fiber into the holiday meal that actually taste great (and keep you full!)  Here are some ideas:

  • Mashed or riced cauliflower
  • Mashed sweet potato
  • Roasted root vegetables
  • Roasted brussels sprouts
  • Collard greens, spinach, or kale
  • Baked apples
  • Use high fiber bread
  • Quinoa or barley with veggies
  • Soups (a great way to sneak in a ton of veggies)

5. Don’t rely on January 1st as your savior

A lot of people go into the holidays with the mentality that January 1st will be the day they pick their goals back up. There’s no reason to drop them in the first place!

Just maintaining your weight is a great accomplishment in itself. Reframe your goals during the holiday season, and see the positive aspects of what you have accomplished.

Too much of a “new year, new you” mentality will wear off quickly. You have all year to establish new goals, and to accomplish them.

Don’t rely on January 1st to be your savior! Keep your balanced habits alive as much as possible, and add a few more once the new year begins. Small changes add up! No reason to set yourself up with huge, intimidating goals

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6. Enjoy and stay positive

Most importantly, enjoy this time spent with loved ones and stay positive. No one is perfect and mistakes happen– it is how you bounce back that counts. Too much guilt and not enough positive reinforcement will result in less weight loss and weight maintenance.  So if you ate a few extra bites of something you weren’t planning on, think about tomorrow being a new day. And of course, your LBS Nutrition Dietitians are here to support you and motivate you when you need it! Just an phone call or email away.

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Here’s a 5 minute recipe to eat clean, go green, and amp up your protein and fiber intake!
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp mayonnaise (made from canola or olive oil)
1 Tbsp oil: flaxseed oil, grapeseed oil, extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2-3 cups baby spinach
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 boiled egg, sliced
4 tablespoons dry roasted edamame (Seapoint farms)

1. In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mayonnaise, oil, and mustard.
2. Toss the spinach with the dressing.
3. Mix in the quinoa, egg, and sprinkle with edamame. Can add shredded carrots and/or grated cheese on top

Makes 2 servings. Per 1.5 cup serving: 285 calories, 14 g protein, 8 g fiber!

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