Category Archives: Tips for Success

The Well Stocked Pantry

The following is a list of staples that ideally should be kept on hand for clean bariatric eating that your family will love. If these were the only things in your kitchen, you’d be able to make many excellent dishes.

Check back often …we’re always looking for wonderful goodies we can’t live without! Items marked with a *  are most easily found at

Soups and Canned Goods

Beans (kidney, pinto, black, refried, etc) Black Olives

Progresso Lentil, Minestrone, Black Bean, French Onion soups (varieties that don’t feature pasta or rice) Libby’s Pure Pumpkin

Lite Coconut Milk Evaporated  Skim Milk

Chefs Cut or Diced Tomatoes

Packaged Foods and Cookies

Jell-0 Sugar-free Instant Pudding Mix

Jell-0 Sugar Free Gelatin

Jell-0 Sugar Free Pudding Snacks (the new Rice Pudding is tasty!) Kozy Shack No Sugar Added Rice Pudding & Tapioca Pudding Murray Sugar Free Cookies

Pepperidge Farms Sugar Free Milano Cookies

Voortmann Sugar Free Cookies

Progresso Italian flavored Panko Breadcrumbs



Aquafina & Dasani flavored water, FUSE, Sugar Free

Glaceau Fruit Water SoBe, Sugar Free

Splenda Sweetened Ocean Spray Cranberry

Crystal Light, Wyler’s, Lipton, Arizona – sugar-free powdered drink mixes – Swiss Miss Sugar Free Hot Cocoa Mix


Sauces, Dressings, Condiments, and Spreads

Balsamic Vinegar

*BellyCheer BBQ Sauce

Bottled salad dressings (Maries Creamy Garlic, Newman’s Own Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette or Caesar)

Soy sauce

Chicken & Beef broth (in closable juice box-type containers)

*DaVinci sugar-free syrups (German Chocolate Cake, Caramel, Malibu Rum, Raspberry)

Frank’s Wing Sauce

Mayonnaise (Hellman’s Light)

Olive Oil

Pasta sauce (Gia Russa Spicy Sicilian or Classico Marinara)

Peanut Butter

Pickles (Mount Olive Splenda Sweetened, and/or Dill)

Salsa (Frontera, Newman’s Own)

Sesame Seed Oil

Rice Wine Vinegar

 *Nature’s Hollow sugar-free jam/jelly

Tabasco sauce

Mustards – spicy brown, whole seed, NOT honey mustard




Special K protein cereal

Quaker Weight Control Oatmeal packets

* Kay’s Naturals Protein Cereal


Meat & Seafood

Canned tuna in water Pouch tuna and salmon

Boar’s Head Deli sliced turkey Boar’s Head Deli sliced ham Pre-cooked Rotisserie Chicken Bacon (regular or turkey)

Chicken breast, skinless, boneless – Perdue Fit & Easy Chicken Breasts are individually wrapped Chicken thighs, skinless boneless

Ground chicken breast – fresh Turkey Tenderloins

Turkey Burger Patties – fresh Turkey Breast, ground – fresh Turkey Pepperoni

Salmon filets – fresh or frozen Scallops

Shrimp – fresh or frozen Tilapia filets – fresh or frozen Flounder filets – fresh or frozen

Crab – lump crab (Costco has superb real crabmeat – imitation crab has carbs and often sugar) Meatballs (Celantano, prepared frozen Italian style)



Baby salad greens

Butternut squash (winter squash) Carrots

Frozen Stouffer’s Creamed Spinach

Frozen steam-in-bag vegetables – Birds Eye Garlic Cauliflower, Broccoli, Mixed Vegetables Garlic

Lemons Onions

Romaine lettuce Scallions

Tomatoes – Roma, grape, and cherry tomatoes Zucchini and Yellow squash (summer squash)


Applesauce, homemade no-sugar-added – Mott’s Healthy Harvest Blackberries

Frozen fruit with no added sugar – strawberries, mixed berries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries Honeydew Melon

* Libby’s Splenda sweetened canned pineapple

 *Libby’s Splenda sweetened canned mandarin oranges

  *Libby’s Splenda sweetened canned tropical fruit salad




Dairy and Eggs


Cheese, Low Fat (cheddar, mozzarella, Muenster, Swiss)

Coffee-Mate Sugar Free French Vanilla or Hazelnut (powdered creamer)

Cool Whip, Sugar Free (in the freezer aisle)

Cottage cheese, low fat

Cream cheese, reduced fat

Dannon Light & Fit Smoothies

Half & Half (fat-free)

Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges Eggs

Egg Beaters

Mozzarella string cheese

Parmesan cheese (usually found in the pasta aisle or buy a wedge and grate your own!)

Reddi-Whipp, light whipped cream

Ricotta, part-skim Skim Milk

Sour cream, reduced fat

Yogurt – Yoplait Light, Dannon Light & Fit, Weight Watchers, Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt

Soy Slender – Splenda sweetened soy milk, Vanilla, Chocolate, and Cappuccino flavors (located with the non-refrigerated soymilks)

Almond Breeze non-dairy beverage, Unsweetened Vanilla and Unsweetened Chocolate (located with the non-refrigerated soymilks)

Baking Items and Spices

Black pepper

Chili powder


Kosher salt

Nutmeg, whole

Sesame Seeds


Taco seasoning Vanilla extract

*Almond flour Baking powder Baking soda Cornstarch

* Nature Sweet  Powdered Crystals

 * Susan Maria’s Cancun Chili Blend

Quaker Oats, Old Fashioned

Splenda Granular

All-Purpose flour

Unsweetened cocoa

Favorite Go-To Meals


  • Plain yogurt w/ raw rolled oats, cinnamon, banana or blueberries, & dates
  • Pan sautéed mushrooms, onions, spinach, eggs & Pico de Gallo
  • 2 poached eggs, quinoa, pesto or saracha & orange wedges
  • Eggs, onion, zucchini, mushroom in microwave
  • Cottage cheese w/sugar free jello
  • Cottage cheese w/salt & pepper
  • Baked oatmeal with steel cut oats
  • Frittata in silicone cupcake tins or Pam sprayed cupcake tins
  • Quinoa, hard boiled or poached egg, saracha or pesto
  • Steel cut oats with sugar free hazelnut creamer
  • Scrambled eggs with sliced tomatoes & avocado



  • Home-made 3 bean salad, cottage cheese & red potato
  • Persian cucumbers w/seasoning, pepper jack cheese, brown rice, broccoli
  • Aonami Sushi (restaurant in Chico)
  • Pintos or black beans, diced cucumber cilantro & onion
  • Sliced meat wrapped around Havarti cheese & pickled asparagus (homemade pickling: blanch veggies first, the soak in 50% water and 50% vinegar brine, keep in refrigerator)
  • Trader Joes Meats
  • String Cheese wrapped in sliced meats
  • Tuna, cilantro, lemon, tomato in lettuce wrap
  • “Split pea” soup made with green beans and cauliflower instead of peas
  • Soups thickened with pureed veggies



  • Salmon patties
  • Spaghetti squash w/ pesto
  • Spaghetti squash primavera
  • Garlic shrimp & artichokes
  • Chicken thigh, roasted veggies & new potato
  • Zucchini w/marinara sauce
  • Spaghetti sauce w/ ground beef, no pasta
  • Spaghetti Squash Primavera
  • Ruth’s Mozzarella Meatballs
  • Baked Chicken fajitas
  • Black bean soup
  • Grilled fish
  • Tuna in lettuce wraps
  • Costco Meatballs with sauce
  • Curried vegetables over cauliflower
  • Cauliflower “Fried Rice”
  • Eggplant, zucchini, ricotta cheese, marinara sauce lasagna


Helpful Kitchen Tools


  • Mandolin
  • Citrus Squeezer
  • Veggetti
  • Good knives
  • Pretty, small bowls, plates, silver ware
  • Opaque Tupperware
  • Iron skillet
  • Food scales or measuring cups, spoons
  • Condiments
  • Steamer
  • Snack size zip lock bags
  • Freezer space
  • Variety of sizes of freezer containers
  • Stackable freezer containers
  • Permanent marker for labeling containers (can be erased w/rubbing alcohol)
  • Hydro flask for insulating beverages hot or cold (
  • Blue Apple, keeps veggies crisp in the veggie draw of refidgerator, lasts approximately 3 months (Amazon)
  • Zip baggies w/ measurement amounts printed on outside of bag
  • Omelet dish (Dollar Store)
  • Strawberry slicer
  • Sectioned baby good shaker for formula, to be used for protein powders (Dollar Store or Target)
  • Laptop Bento Box lunch container (Amazon)
  • Arctic Zone Ultra Lite Cooler (Collapsible, @ Costco)
  • Squeezable individual sized dressing container (Bed, Bath & Beyond)
  • Sharp set of knives; Raley’s will sharpen knives for free if taken to meat department; Hinkle knives (X means lower quality knives, XX means higher quality knives)
  • Micro planes for zesting
  • Wire whisks in a variety of sizes
  • Dutch oven
  • Crock pots
  • Olive oil spray pump bottle for fine misting spray like Pam Spray
  • Emersion stick blender
  • Food processor
  • Apple slicer
  • Muffin tins, multiple sizes
  • Silicon muffin cups
  • Kitchen shears
  • Infuser for water bottles




Recent research indicates the use of Probiotics by bariatric patients can contribute to a 20 % increase in weight loss when compared to patients who do not take Probiotics on a regular basis.probiotic-benefits

  • Bariatric Advantage Chewable Probiotic is designed to assist in the maintenance of healthy normal flora in the digestive system as well as to support overall digestive health and wellbeing. This once a day, strawberry flavored chewable Probiotic is available in the doctor’s office or on-line at
  • Probiotics alter a person’s bacterial flora
  • A Probiotic effect can also be aided by increasing the consumption of certain foods
    • garlic
    • onions
    • leeks
    • pickling veggies
    • sauerkraut
    • kim chee

How to Increase Vegetable Intake


How to Increase Vegetable Intake

For bariatric patients, cooked vegetables provide a better source of essential nutritional vitamins and minerals than raw vegetables.  Due to the bulk of raw vegetables and the limited size of a bariatric patient’s stomach, it becomes difficult to eat an adequate amount of vegetables. Listed below are suggestions for increasing vegetable intake.

  • Juicing vegetables rather than eating raw
  • Add veggies to protein drinks prepared in the blender
  • Use pureed veggies as thickeners for sauces and soups
  • Add small amounts of fruits to protein drinks, i.e., bananas and strawberries to chocolate drinks
  • Subscribe to weekly deliveries of fresh veggies from local farms, i.e., CSA; subscriptions for the season can be split with friends; search for veggie deliveries on line, i.e., GRUB Farms; average costs for 6 months of fresh veggies approximately $18-20 per week
  • Visit local farmers’ markets weeklyincrease vegetables

Planning & Prep


  • Plan menus for the week, cook meals for the week on one day and then freeze in small containers
  • Cut up fruit for the week
  • Cut up veggies for the week
  • Store cut up veggies or fruits at eye level in frig, so it’s the first thing you see when you open the door
  • Cook grain (oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice) during dishes after meals
  • Roast veggies during clean up
  • Hard boil eggs
  • Make deviled eggs for snacks
  • Make flavored water
  • Freeze individual portions in zip lock bags, label with dates and content
  • Store cooked steel cut oats in zip bags
  • Store trigger foods in opaque containers so you can’t see what is inside
  • Prepare individual sized portions of food that come in large containers so you can easily keep track of the amounts you are eating

bento boxes