Posted in bariatric diet, bariatric eating, gastric bypass diet, gastric bypass protein, healthy grocery guide, healthy grocery list, healthy summer snacks, product review

New Product Review-Enlightened Crisps

This past weekend I picked up a pack of Enlightened Broad Bean Crisps.  I was pretty skeptical at first…seriously a crunchy salty snack with only 100 calories and 7g protein?  Probably tastes like cardboard right?

Enlightened crisps

No!!!  They were delicious!!  OMG it was hard not to devour the entire bag!

I threw them in our pool bag, and had our whole group trying to grab a few more.  Everyone that tried them loved them!  I found this bag in our local grocery store, but there are several other flavors out there, which I plan to order online.

If you’re looking for a crunchy, yummy snack to take with you anywhere, I promise you will fall in love with these roasted broad bean’s!


Enlightened garlic and onion    enlightened mesquite BBQ  Enlightened siracha



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Posted in healthy grocery guide, healthy grocery list, healthy summer snacks

Healthy Summer Snacking When On The Move


When school lets out for the summer, most families are out and about all day long.  Camps, swimming, beach, hiking…you get the idea.  It can make snacking a bit of a challenge without a little bit of planning ahead of time.  When we’re heading to the pool, I’m normally good about packing a cooler full of healthy snacks.  If we’re out running from practices or to the park, sometimes that’s a little more challenging if I’m not dragging a cooler around.  Hopefully you’ll find some ideas on here that will appeal to you and your family!

If you have a cooler…

  1.  Frozen grapes
  2. cheese sticks (we love Cracker Barrel 2% cheddar)
  3. Chobani Greek yogurt tubes…freeze for a yummy treat
  4. Frozen yogurt bark (get the recipe here)
  5. Olive or pickle snack packs
  6. Veggies with hummus (the single serving cups are great)
  7. Watermelon slices
  8. Deli roll-ups


For your bag…

  1.  Nuts or trail mix (we love Back to Nature Cashew Almond Pistachio mix!)
  2. Popcorn
  3. Protein bars (for kids, my boys love CLIF Kid Zbars)
  4. Roasted chick peas (click here for recipe)
  5. Apple chips
  6. StarKist tuna salad pouch
  7. Natural apple sauce pouches
  8. Pirates Booty aged white cheddar 
  9. Protein waters
  10. Jerky (we all love Ostrim snack sticks)
  11. Crackers with your fav nut butter
  12. Hilshire snack boxes

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Let me know your favorite on the go snacks for your family!

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Posted in after gastric bypass surgery, bariatric diet, bariatric eating, gastric bypass diet, gastric bypass protein

The Beginner’s Guide to Macro and Micronutrients

Today’s guest post comes from Monica Nichols…see her bio at the end of post!

The two most-used terms in nutrition nowadays are probably micronutrients and macronutrients. And it’s no surprise, since they’re one of the most important aspects of building a healthy diet and promoting a healthy lifestyle. When you know a sufficient amount about micro and macronutrients, it becomes much easier to plan a perfect meal that will give your body everything that it requires on a daily basis. Simply put, a “nutrient” is any organic or inorganic molecule that the body requires in order to properly maintain all the processes inside of our cells. It could be a vitamin, a protein or just about anything else. One of the most popular classifications of nutrients is based on how much of them our body needs. Hence, we get the following classification comprising of macronutrients (molecules that our bodies need a lot of) and micronutrients (those that we need in smaller quantities).

This article is going to be a quick guide to the most basic macro and micronutrients, precisely why our bodies require them and why it’s a really bad idea to let yourself become deficient in any of them.


As I already mentioned, macronutrients are molecules that our bodies require in large quantities. There are three types of macronutrients out there: proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates (or carbs, as they’re regularly abbreviated) have a singular function within our organism – to provide energy. When food that contains carbohydrates is ingested, these molecules are metabolized into a more simple form of sugar called glucose. Glucose is incredibly important in our bodies, as it is the bread and butter of our body’s energy supply. Our brain needs it in ample doses to keep functioning properly, which is why people on low-carb diets can sometimes feel that their mental functions are somewhat impaired – their brains simply don’t have enough glucose to continue operating at 100% efficiency.

Carbs are somewhat of a double-edged sword, however; because they’re almost pure energy, over the centuries our bodies have adapted to respond really well to them by releasing large amounts of the feel-good hormone dopamine into our bloodstream. In other words, carbs are always welcome in our bodies and we don’t always know when we’ve had enough, which means that it’s really easy to overeat with carbs – much more so than with fats and proteins.


Continue reading “The Beginner’s Guide to Macro and Micronutrients”

Posted in bariatric diet, bariatric eating, healthy dessert at grocery store, healthy grocery guide, healthy grocery list, protein recipies

Why Grocery Shopping Doesn’t Have to Be a Nutritional Nightmare

Today’s guest post is by Cassie…you can find her on Twitter @ehealth_inform.


The pursuit of a strong, healthy body is a noble goal we all desire. However, those of us willing to chase the dream have many hurdles to overcome along the way. And while physical fitness is its own challenge, getting hold of the right foods for your diet can sometimes feel daunting.

Arguments in the scientific community don’t make things any easier on us either. While researchers debate about heart attacks and prevention both in terms of lifestyle and diet, we’re faced with having to find and choose foods that are the best for our health today.

Thankfully, though, technology is making the struggle much simpler. With the help of the internet, some well-designed apps and several health-oriented communities (each with their own inspiring stories, we can turn the disorganized and sometimes haphazard practice of grocery shopping into a pleasure far removed from uncertainty and aggravation.

You Can Become an Amateur Researcher

One of the greatest tools at your disposal is the internet. Thanks to the hard work of nutritionists, clinicians and food enthusiasts, you can find out what foods best suit your personal needs. For example, take the diet of someone that does a lot of aerobic work.

Aerobic workouts chew through both your short-term and long-term energy storage relatively quickly. They use up your glycogen first and then tap into fat. Because of this hierarchy, runners and similar athletes need a diet higher in carbohydrates than might be required by power lifters.

Their protein requirements are also slightly lower because there is less tissue damage to repair from a workout. Armed with this knowledge, you can look up different foods you enjoy to start planning out your meals before you even head to the store.

One of my favorite resources for healthy foods is This site goes into all the details regarding vitamins and minerals and how to get them. It also makes a good companion to sites such as, which focuses more on facts and figures relating to ingredients and nutritional facts.

the real food grocery guide

There are So Many Apps to Help You

With so many mobile apps tailored towards making your trips to the supermarket more efficient and less stressful, one of the most powerful tools for making grocery shopping easier, your smartphone, is never far from your fingertips.

To begin with, you will want to make use of one of the many “list” making apps to keep track of what you need to buy and where you can buy it. One well-known app (and not without good reason) is Out of Milk. It allows you to create lists, scan items at the store and keep track of what’s running out at home (US users are also notified of deals while at the store).

Once you’re in the store, there are a variety of apps you can use to check up on foods and research ingredients. For example, Fooducate is an app where you can scan barcodes to get detailed information about ingredients and nutritional facts. However, when you’re in the store, mobile reception can be poor. Many places offer free WiFi, which can be a life saver at times, but also a tad risky if you aren’t using security software. It’s a good idea to utilize a Virtual Private Network with mobile devices if you plan to use the WiFi (a VPN is a type of internet security app). You’d be surprised how many problems can originate from unprotected connections.

On the other hand, if you aren’t a big fan of stores and prefer to shop at local farmer’s markets or at actual farms, you may want to consider apps such as Farmstand. Designed to help you find local produce, Farmstand integrates the locations of small time sellers and helps you figure out where to buy the freshest produce.

Of course, none of this would be possible without a strong community.

menut planner

You Are Not Alone—Join the Community

Besides doing searches online, preparing your shopping list and locating local sellers, you may also want to consider joining social media groups focused on nutrition and on the kind of exercises you enjoy the most.

Numerous Facebook groups exist to share meal ideas and advocate for different diets to help reach specific goals. In the same way you might find yourself exercising with community members at the gym or in the park, you can also get assistance coordinating your meals with real people online, especially when it comes to diets with special needs.

Pinterest can be great for this. Users will post photos of foods they’ve cooked complete with recipes, how-to instructions and commentary. You can use these pages to generate meal ideas and then coordinate with your list apps to make the trip much easier.

Due to the ease of running a social media page, you’ll also find healthy communities based around vendors that participate in your local farmer’s market. Here you can post your feedback and talk to other shoppers or sellers to further refine your shopping habits and meal plans.

grocery basket

Enjoy the Ride

When it comes down to it, if you utilize the numerous tools available to you, shopping is quite a pleasure. There’s no shortage of good food in the markets and eating right is sure to compliment a healthy lifestyle.

With the help of apps, various internet resources and thriving online communities, you can decide more easily what’s worth buying and what should be passed over. Combine all of this with cooking, and you’re well on your way to a positive relationship with grocery shopping.

Will you make your next trip to the store a treat? Tell us how you shop or plan your meals in the comments.

About the Author: Cassie enjoys blogging about food and nutrition, but she also writes regularly about internet technology and security. When she’s not discussing health or technology online, she enjoys casual bike rides around town.

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Posted in after gastric bypass surgery, bariatric diet, bariatric eating, bariatric recipies, benefits to bariatric surgery, gastric bypass diet, protein ice cream, Protein supplements, weight loss surgery experiences

A Different Way to Get Your Protein

Tired of protein shakes?  Try protein ice cream!  What a fantastic sweet treat to get your 75g a day.  This recipe uses Nectar Grab ‘n Go…to try all their 17 fantastic flavors, try getting a variety pack here…

Nectar Grab ‘N Go variety pack

nectar variety pack

Twisted Chocolate Cherry Protein Ice Cream


Recipe by Better Bariatric, LLCA little sweet and a little tart make this protein ice cream the perfect frozen protein treat! Makes two servings.


  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 packet Nectar Twisted Cherry protein powder
  • 1 single serving container Dannon Fit & Light Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 1 oz extra dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Cooking Directions

  1. Using a fork or whisk, mix milk and protein powder together in a small bowl.
  2. Gradually mix in yogurt, until throughly blended.
  3. Following your ice cream makers directions, add mixture to ice cream machine.
  4. During last two minutes, add in chopped dark chocolate.
  5. Enjoy soft serve or store in airtight container in freezer for up to 3 days.

185 calories, 4g fat, 23g protein, 12g sugars (from dairy)

Posted in how to spend valentine day single, valentines for singles, what to do on valentines day when your single

Show Yourself Some Valentines Love


Valentine’s Day is just for couples right?  Nope!  Quite frankly, it’s always been one of my least favorite holidays.  Heck, I don’t really even consider it a holiday!  It’s another excuse for stores to stock obscene amounts of candy that will derail my good eating intentions, a good way for single gals and guys to feel lonely, a good excuse for florists to mark up flowers 400%…well you get the idea.

But I started thinking it’s also a good excuse to stop and take time to pamper ourselves.  Show our own bodies and minds that we love US and we are important enough to treat like the special someone we are!  Here are a few ways to show yourself some very much deserved love and TLC!

  • Ridiculously frou-frou bath bombs…like these totally yummy chocolate ones
  • Book yourself for a relaxing facial
  • Volunteer somewhere.  Walk dogs, sign up for a Big Brothers/Big Sisters event, sort clothes at a local thrift store…whatever your passion is, you can find someone in need who would sure love to have some of your time!
  • Turn off the phone, dim the lights, and settle in with that movie you’ve had on your watch list, or marathon watch that show you’re 10 episodes behind in.
  • Treat yourself to a gourmet tea or hot cocoa and settle in with a good book.

gourmet-te                                 cocoa

  • Get a mani-pedi…and pick a color that really stands out.
  • For men, treat yourself to a traditional shave at a barber or salon.
  • Catch a flick you’ve been wanting to see.
  • Sign up for a class.  If you’ve wanted to take dance lessons, learn a new language or check out a new workout, go for it!
  • Do a paint night.  Lots of painting studios have walk in nights…its the perfect time to do something fun and meet new people.
  • Buy yourself that pair of jeans or leather handbag you’ve been eyeing up but didn’t want to splurge on.


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Posted in sleep help remedies, sleep help stress, Sleep problems, Uncategorized

Catching some Zzzz’s


Everyone has sleeping trouble now and then.  If you’re stressed, worried, over exhausted, or not eating right, these can all make a good night sleep seem impossible.  I’ve struggled my whole life with insomnia, and sometimes resort to taking OTC sleep aids.  While these are helpful, I’m not one that feels like taking something forever, so I’ve been spending more and more time researching good sleep habits.

Not getting enough zzzz’s have some serious drawbacks.  In addition to not being as productive during the day, it also leads to weight gain, a weak immune system, even a higher chance of having a car accident!  Here are sleep makeovers that have helped me out so far.


  • Keep away from the electronics at least an hour before bed.  I was guilty of playing candy crush on nights I couldn’t fall asleep, and it sure wasn’t helping the problem.
  • Keep the bedroom clean, dark and cool.  I have found having nice clean, crisp sheets on my bed is very relaxing; even if it means changing the sheets more often and extra laundry, it’s worth it!
  • Set up a relaxing bedtime ritual for yourself, whether it’s taking a warm shower, drinking a cup of tea, or reading (my way to relax before bed), make it something you find soothing.
  • Don’t eat a big meal right before bed, but don’t go to bed starving either.  Both can really interfere with falling asleep.  If you had an early dinner, have a light, healthy snack before hitting the hay.
  • Use relaxing scented oils in an oil diffuser.  I like cedarwood, citrus and lavender.
  • Keep the TV off.  Falling asleep with the TV on is a big mistake I used to make in my early 20’s, and I’d wake up off and on all night long.  Plus, once you’re in the habit, it’s a really hard habit to break.  Use a fan, white noise machine (there are some great apps out there!), or humidifier if the room seems too quiet.
  • You’ll always here go to sleep and get up at the same time, even on weekends.  We all know that advice gets a big “yeah right!”.  However, I’ve found trying to go to bed by midnight and up by 830am even on weekends does really help.  I’m an early bird anyway, so adjust to an hour or two each direction for your normal weekday schedule.

Hopefully you’ll find a tip or two to help you get some much needed shut-eye, and if you have any tips, please share!



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