Category Archives: Recipes

High Protein Tuna Salad

tuna

What’s the hardest thing after having gastric sleeve surgery? Getting enough protein. Yep, it’s not a problem keeping portion size small – that’s a mistake I’ve only made on rare occasions. Full + one bite = miserable.  I have three small meals a day. But I’m trying to pack 60 grams of protein into a day, and that’s incredibly hard to do. Yes, there are shakes I can drink, but I’m lactose intolerant and I like to chew my food. After a month on liquids postop I literally begged my doctor for celery. She told me I was the bright spot in her day 🙂 Clearly she didn’t realize that if she’d said no I was probably going to take a bite out of her arm.

Thankfully, she freed me up to advance to solid foods. In the months since my idea of a “healthy meal” has changed dramatically. I was raised on the old “food pyramid” most of you may remember – the one with grains at the bottom and oils at the top. I was a cardiac nurse for my entire career, so it was all about fat grams. If you eat less than ten grams of fat a day you’re doing great! (Yeah, not so much.) I love my fresh veggies, and I’ll even break my only-three-meals-a-day rule for garden-fresh tomatoes, asparagus in season, or when broccoli calls to me. But if I don’t get enough protein I will start losing my hair, and that’s pretty motivational.

So without further delay here’s the tuna salad that’s flying out of my fridge faster than Michael and I can make it!

2 cans tuna, drained
4 large hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
avocado (on the side for the picky eaters)

I seriously can’t even call this a recipe. You don’t need to write it down or print it out. BET: beans, eggs, tuna. Those are the essentials, and anything you add after that is up to you. It can go on a sandwich, in a pita, on a plate with fresh tomatoes. Mayo is not needed to hold this together!

The Perfect Salad

I can’t really even call this a recipe. It’s more like an equation or a rule of thumb. All credit goes to Dianna Kennedy, who was the first to ever introduce me to this idea. It’s been my go-to for salads ever since.
perfect salad
By greens I mean Romaine, or spinach, or even iceberg if you really must (I’m anti-iceberg). Whatever greenery you like, or whatever’s growing in your garden. For fruits I like whatever’s in season: strawberries, blueberries, apple chunks. You can always use canned mandarin oranges if nothing in the produce aisle looks tasty. I like crumbly cheeses, like Feta or Bleu, but you could go with chunks of Gouda, bits of Mozzarella, or whatever’s in the fridge. Nuts are pretty much “anything goes” as far as I’m concerned. If you have a nut allergy get some more protein in there another way: chunks of chicken, grilled tofu, maybe leftover roast beef. I do think it’s important to use a vinaigrette for a little “bite”, but there are dozens of options from savory (balsamic vinaigrette) to sweet (raspberry vinaigrette). I always put a bit of fresh coarse-ground black pepper on mine, too, but I put pepper on everything. I’ll leave that to your judgement 😉
first salad
Here’s my very first salad after I was allowed to advance from mushy food to real food after my gastric sleeve surgery. I’d been dying for something crunchy, and this salad was just perfect. I put a picture on Instagram and shared it on Facebook and Twitter and you’d have thought I’d sculpted a masterpiece or something. My first comment was from one of the top dogs at Nerium, who was at a huge conference in Dallas, waiting backstage to be called out and presented with a huge check! They must not have had enough snacks backstage – LOL!

My New Crack: Ancestry.com

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213

— 1 —

I couldn’t write this last night because I was so involved in Ancestry.com. I started a 14-day free trial in the early evening, switched from my computer to my tablet when the pain got too bad, and kept going until I fell asleep, drooling on my family tree. Those little leaves – it’s worse than Farmville. There are very few pictures, but lots of census records. Let me just say that legible handwriting was obviously not a job requirement for census takers. And the forms themselves – wow. And not in a good way. In 1910 someone could actually be legalled classified as a mulatto idiot. Yes, mulatto and idiot were boxes that could be checked. And boarders were present in most homes. People just rented out spare rooms to strangers. I can’t imagine anyone doing that in this day and age.

— 2 —

 The other excitement this week has involved making financial decisions. Lots of things are up in the air, and ever since our lawyer told a big ‘ole lie right in front of us during a hearing (about a minor detail, but still!) I don’t trust a word that comes out of his mouth. I mean, yes, we’ve all heard about the stereotypical dishonest lawyer, but this guy doesn’t even lie well. Every time he lies he does it very enthusiastically. If he says something calmly chances are it’s the truth. But when he gets all earnest and gives great weight to what he’s saying he’s totally lying. And since he never gives a short answer to anything, so every interaction is exhausting. Thankfully, his paralegal is wonderful, helpful, and honest. But she’s also very pregnant, so I’m dreading her maternity leave.

— 3 —

I made Oreo balls for a Nerium party. They were supposed to look like this:
briana oreos
But mine looked like this:
my oreos
It’s obviously a technique issue, since only three ingredients are involved. You mix a box of crushed Oreos with a softened 8-oz block of cream cheese, refrigerate, and then dip in melted almond bark. Maybe I was supposed to freeze them instead. Or maybe I should have used the smaller scoop. Oh, well. They taste fabulous even if they do look pretty awful.

— 4 —

My son wanted some extra T-shirts for band camp, so we went to a thrift store I hadn’t been to for a while. He wanted shirts that could be stained, ripped, or lost since that’s pretty much the destiny of all band camp T-shirts. I was pretty excited. A chance to go thrift store shopping with a valid excuse! I took him to the men’s medium T-shirt section, and by the time I’d walked to the women’s section of the store, before I had even touched a single garment – there he was, a half-dozen shirts in hand. Thankfully one of them didn’t have a price tag so that delayed him long enough for me to find dog toys, but that was all. He very thoughtfully offered to hang with me while I browsed, but we really did have other things to do. It made me really miss my mother-in-law, Pat. She and I would spend all day thrift store shopping. It was awesome.

— 5 —

Band camp, by the way, starts Monday. I feel like John’s had no summer. He dome some of the PSAT prep book I got him, but hasn’t even cracked the copy of The Slight Edge for Teens I wanted him to read over the summer. It’s short, maybe he can read it at the pool tomorrow if we can get a day without rain.

— 6 —

I could really use some time at the pool, and tomorrow’s our last day with my father-in-law’s borrowed pool key. He gets back from vacation Sunday. The storm front moving in have been killing my neck, and the week’s other activities haven’t helped. I waited for two hours in an exam room Wednesday for my doctor to get to me. Of course, by the time he got there I was curled into a ball on the exam table with a pillow wadded up to support my neck. I had pre-op and disability forms for him to sign, and I may or may not have been a real bitch about it. I don’t even remember driving home.

— 7 —

I spent the morning running errands in the rain, and now that everyone has the paperwork they need I’m just waiting for calls about disability, surgery, and financial assistance. I’d like a large YES with a side of IMMEDIATELY, but I’d settle for a optomistic maybe soon across the board.

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