Recipe Adapting Post Gastric Bypass- how I change up recipes for good WLS eating

What I love about spending time in the kitchen, apart from making food – duh!, is trying new things – flavour combinations, foods from different regions and even techniques. For the first 30 years of my life, and even the first couple of months post weight loss surgery, I wasn’t very original in my meal combinations however my confidence has grown and my knowledge of flavour – both contrasting and complimentary – expands monthly with each new dish.

If you have been reading along for a wee while, you’ll know that prior to weight loss surgery we were following a mostly Paleo diet.  Part of the reason is that my partner Ken is a Type 1 diabetic and so it suits his blood sugar management (and the other reason is that I love meat!).
I’ve written about how Paleo works best for me post gastric bypass and how the Whole 30 program helps my meal planning so I thought it was about time I showed how these two lifestyle tools help me look at delicious recipes and adapt them for great weight loss surgery patient meal choices.

Over the last 12 months I’ve found that I could quite easily find ways of creating paleo or WLS friendly versions of KFC, Pizza Hut and Wendy’s meals if I really wanted to. This type of adapting is known as paleofying. I like that its possible however its also a little scary even 1 year out from my gastric bypass.
It makes me wonder, and partially question my progress, when I’m out and about and need to find something to eat, (or get that bloody head hunger), who’s drive through would I find myself in? As far as I am concerned, right now, this is just going to harm me and my new lifestyle creation. I need to retrain myself to think of other choices first otherwise I’m not using the benefits of my surgery and basically just going backwards in my new lifestyle plus I’m consuming foods and liquids that aren’t increasing my health or adding any nutrition beyond calories and essential energy into my body’s fuel equation. Yes I totally get that the truth of this lifestyle change needs to include proving to myself that I CAN find healthy and delicious alternatives to foods I thought I loved, and thought I could never give up, and that becoming a ‘normal’ eater is the KEY to making long-term changes.
I count myself super lucky that I never really had a big sweet tooth. In eating baking and desserts, I’d be eating larger amounts of things that we would normally eat smaller amounts of. And where’s the protein and leafy greens in a muffin or a chocolate brownie? If I really got into paleofying my foods, I’d find a way of eating that brownie and bugger the protein.

So instead I’ve spent time learning a lot about my new diet and a little about nutrition and I’ve started to build up a list of the substitutions that are I find available, and thus adapting recipes becomes quite easy. And there are so many delicious recipes out there! I’m going through a wee bit of a recipe book collection phase …

Photo 22-07-16 18 30 15

My Basic Substitutes List
Standard Recipe Item WLS Friendly Item
 Rice Cauliflower Rice
 Pasta Vegetable Noodles or Konjac Noodles or Mung Bean and Edamame Fettucine or Black Bean Spaghetti
 Soy Sauce Tamari Sauce or Coconut Aminos
 Flour (for sauces) Arrowroot or Tapioca Flour
 Added Sugars (honey/maple syrup/agave) Stevia or dates
 Chocolate Cacao (100% cocoa)
 Butter Coconut Oil
 Wine Broth
 Mayonnaise make your own or Greek Yoghurt or Lite Sour Cream

Aside from my (awesome) collection of Recipe Books, my recipe inspiration comes from all sorts of different places.  I pick up those $15 meal cards at Countdown, subscribe to free recipe emails from My Food Bag, and I often read the Bite magazine liftout when I’m in the lunchroom making tea.

An Easy Recipe Example – Countdown Feed Four for $15 Moroccan Chicken

Now this is a great little recipe – aside from the flavours, you can biff it in the slow cooker and walk out the door and once you get home, dinners ready!

Countdown Moroccan Chicken - Recipe Adapting post Weight Loss Surgery - Allergic to Sugar

The recipe calls for the following ingredients:
Onion, garlic, chicken drumsticks, turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, chicken stock, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, chopped pumpkin, couscous, coriander, oil and brown sugar.

My ingredients list would be:
Onion, garlic, chicken thighs (boneless/skinless0, turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, chicken stock, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, chopped pumpkin, coriander and oil.  I’d use cauliflower rice instead of couscous and if you saute it in a little coconut oil and coconut aminos first, it will be a little sweet and nutty.

See – adapting recipes can be quite easy!  I’ll be posting one a week for the next wee while.  If you’d like any suggestions on something that you have found, leave me a comment below.

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