Meal prepping is a great way to save you time, money and the stress of cooking after weight loss surgery. But eating the same foods week after week can leave you feeling bored and uninspired about sticking to your diet plan. This can cause you to backtrack on your weight loss journey and fall back into bad eating habits. To prevent this, here are four lunch meal prep ideas that are quick and easy to prepare:
Salmon is a great lean meat to add into your meals because it contains a high level of protein. Pairing it with sweet potatoes will satisfy the craving for something sweet without adding a lot of sugar to the meal.
- 12 ounces of salmon fillets
- 2 sweet potatoes cut into cubes
- ½ teaspoon of cumin
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 cups of broccolini
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon of thyme and/or red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Place diced sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin. Place the broccolini on another sheet and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes. Set the broccolini aside.
- In a small bowl, add the lemon juice, garlic powder, pepper flakes, thyme, salt and pepper. Place a sheet of foil on a small baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Place the salmon filets on top and coat them with the prepared lemon sauce.
- When the potatoes are done, remove and toss. Place back in the oven with the broccolini and salmon to bake for 12-15 minutes. Salmon should be firm to the touch when it’s done.
- Portion the vegetables and salmon into containers for each day of the week. Slightly cool food before putting it into the refrigerator.
Chicken is another lean meat suggested for a bariatric patient’s diet. Along with this lunch meal prep’s great source of protein, it also includes asparagus and tomatoes. Both are low in carbohydrates which can help with weight loss after surgery.
- Two tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 pound of boneless and skinless chicken thigh strips
- ⅓ cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes
- 1 pound of asparagus cut in half
- ¼ cup of basic pesto
- 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
- Heat a large skillet on medium heat.
- Add olive oil, sliced chicken thighs and half of the chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
- Cook all on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, flip until the chicken is completely cooked through.
- Remove the chicken and sun-dried from the skillet, leaving oil in.
- Add asparagus, remaining half of sun-dried tomatoes and cook for 5-10 minutes.
- Add chicken back to the skillet, add pesto, stir to coat on low-medium heat until chicken is reheated.
- Add halved cherry tomatoes, mix with the pesto and the chicken.
- Remove from heat and portion mix into containers for each day of the week.
This low carb, high protein recipe is sure to be quick, easy and stress-free to make. It doesn’t require any cooking time and consists of only a few simple, but healthy, ingredients.
- 3 medium sized cucumbers
- ¼ cup of basil pesto
- 6 ounces of shredded turkey breasts
- 1 sliced bell pepper
- ½ cup of spinach
- Slice the cucumbers lengthwise with a vegetable peeler. Each cucumber should make about six slices.
- Place slices on parchment paper and pat dry.
- Spread one teaspoon of pesto along each cucumber slice and evenly distribute the meat, peppers and spinach.
- Roll up and place stem down.
- Portion into airtight containers for each day of the week.
Quinoa Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
This is an essential recipe for vegetarian weight loss surgery patients. It contains no meat but still satisfies the suggested amount of protein needed for a bariatric-friendly diet.
- 6 bell peppers
- 1 cup of uncooked, rinsed quinoa
- 1¼ cup of black beans
- 1¼ cup of refried beans
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- ½ teaspoon of garlic salt
- Toppings of choice: avocado, cilantro, ect.
- Cut the tops off of the peppers and empty the inside out until hollow.
- In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, beans and spices.
- Fill each pepper with the quinoa mixture.
- Pour 1/2 cup water into the bottom of a crockpot and place the peppers in.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
- Top with desired add ons and portion into containers for each day of the week.
These recipes not only have the ability to help you with your post-op weight loss journey, but they’re also easy to prepare for the week. No matter what your unique recommended post-op diet is, you can make these recipes to get the nutrition you need. Mixing and matching these meals, along with so many others is a great way to get inspired and successfully lose weight after bariatric surgery.
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