High Protein Tuna Salad


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!

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4 thoughts on “High Protein Tuna Salad”

    1. Oh, no! And I thought I had it tough 🙁 I’d probably HAVE to do the powdered protein if I were in your situation. Bleh! I’m currently searching for my aunt’s recipe for Senate Bean Soup – gonna blame the gas on the dogs – LOL!

      1. Generic Lactaid is my friend.

        I also find that I can tolerate whole milk or 2% while nonfat milk makes me incredibly ill. (A diabetic friend of mine has said that this is because the lactose content goes down as the fat content goes up???) Cheese is hit or miss and I can’t have a hot latté — the warmed-up milk makes me incredibly ill, even with Lactaid.

        1. That’s good to know – I’d never have guessed! I’m the same way with cheeses and other milk products. I can handle enough Greek yogurt to hold my Kashi cereal together, and blue cheese crumbles on a salad, but God forbid I try a slice of cheese on a burger!

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