No, I’m not talking about keeping office supplies in the kitchen. Staples, when it comes to cooking are those things that you just always seem to keep on hand. Salt, pepper, milk, butter, sugar, etc. Well, post WLS that list shifts a bit. I’m not going to touch on those basics, instead there’s a few things that have become items that I want to make sure I always have on hand… they’re all low in fat, decently low in calories and sugars, and high in protein.
First up… yogurt. Yea, all WLS sites extoll the virtues of yogurt. Some folks really prefer the majorly Greek style ones that are super thick, and yea, they are usually super-high in protein. But they’re also expensive. I’m going through 4-6 cups a week, so I’m willing to sacrifice a bit on the protein side if I can find one that won’t cost me $15+ a week. (Hey, I am Scottish after all.) I’ve tried a few of the major brands here, Dannon, Old Home, and Yoplait, and I’ve decided Yoplait is going to be my brand of choice.
I can usually get the 32oz container (four cups) of the plain flavored, fat-free for under $3 at the local chain grocery stores. It has a really creamy texture that works great for adding to protein shakes, using in dressings, and while it’s thinner than sour cream I have used it for topping refried beans along with a bit of salsa.
For each 1 cup serving there’s 130 calories, 0 fat, 15g of protein, and a 17g of sugars. The sugars seem a bit high, bit typically the most I ever have of this at any given time is 1/2 cup when in a protein shake, and I haven’t had any issues with it.
Next is soy milk. I was buying one of the shelf-stable brands, and I probably will pick up a container to keep on hand for times (like over the weekend) when I ran out of the stuff in the fridge. While I like the idea of not having to refrigerate it until I open it… the high cost of over $3 for just 4 cups was bugging me. I tried the cheaper brands and didn’t like them. So I tried the half-gallon sizes that are in the fridge and found one I like… and it’s bout the same cost as the 4cup ones, so bonus!
The one I’ve settled on is Silk Soy Natural Unsweetened.
Now, I’m not quite to the point of liking it enough to drink straight. I use it primarily in my protein shakes, a lil bit when making scrambled eggs or my protein pancakes.
For a 1 cup serving, you’ll get 80 calories, 4g of fat (35 calories), 1g of sugars, and a respectable 7g of protein. Compare that to 1% milk, which is about 110 calories, 2g of fat, 12g of sugars and 8g of protein. Yea, it’s more fat… especially if you compare to Skim milk at 0g. So soy vs cows milk is one of these that could be a personal choice and the overall stats will likely balance out.
My third is is my protein powder. I’ve been trying a number of different ones…and I’ll likely keep trying a few different ones, but the first one I tried is one I got lucky with and continue to like.
Champion Pure Whey Low Carb. I have only tried the vanillia, but I’ve been using it in shakes, pancakes, ice cream and even with some apple sauce and it’s been working great for me.
The “one scoop” serving is a bit over 3oz and has just 120 calories (15 from fat), 1.5g of fat, 1g of sugars and 26g of protein.
I haven’t found a single protein powder that I could handle on a regular basis just mixed with water. Yea, in a pinch… I could do it, but most of the time I’m doing a protein shake with milk, yogurt and some fruit or adding some to other foods that won’t freak if you add a bit of vanillia flavor to them.
I haven’t tried the chocolate, but I imagine it will be good. Second runner up might be the Chike! stuff I recently got samples of… so I’ll be throwing up some info on them soon.
This next one is something I tried at my sister’s recently. My newphew loves them too… so no, it’s not just me.
Boca Nuggets. Boca Original Chik’n Nuggets are made with soy and wheat proteins and have no artificial flavors or preservatives. While there are a couple of Boca products made with organic soy, these aren’t one of them.
What they do have is 180 calories, 7g of fat (60 calories worth) in each 4 nugget serving along with just 2g of sugars and 14g of protein. That’s almost 4g of protein per nugget.
Now, I contend that everything “tastes like chicken” because chicken has no real taste of it’s own. That said, these do have a decent taste, and a nice texture. And technically, the ones my sister served were Morningstar Farms, but the Boca brand is a bit cheaper, and remember, I’m Scottish. I don’t know that I could tell you the difference in a side-by-side taste test. The boxes are 10oz, or bout 14 nuggets for about $350-4.50 depending on the store. So no, they’re not cheap… but they will have a permanent place in the freezer for those times I’m not sure what I wanna cook for dinner.
I did some of these just last night and tossed them in some buffalo sauce. Good stuff. Oh, but pop them in the toaster oven, don’t nuke them. I haven’t actually tried them… but it takes just 10 minutes, why risk getting some rubber chik’n vs something you can enjoy when you eat them.
Lastly is something that I just tried for the first time tonight and so this list right now is five instead of four items. Someone told me about this and I stopped by Super Target to check it out… and from the first bite I’m hooked.
Archer Farms Cinnamon Start with Protein cereal. Yea, it’s a mouthful. And being Archer Farms, you’ll only find it at Target, and at about $4.50-4.99, it’s not the cheapest cereal out there, but it’s worth it.
It’s a low fat mix of soy and corn flakes and nuggets, flavored with honey and cinnamon. It’s got a great crunch, the cinnamon taste is nice, and it’s not super-sweet. When I got home I mixed about 1/4 cup with some yogurt… this is going to not only become a regular breakfast for me, but the ceral itself could be a nice snack for times I’m looking for that crunch.
A serving is 3/4 cup and has 190 calories, 2g of fat (20 calories), 14g of sugars and 15g of protein. I’ve heard Kashi has a high-protein cereal, but not sure how it compares…. and from some things I’ve read while digging up this image, I guess this is supposed to taste a lot like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but with a different texture.
So… these are five things that are going to be main-stays in my kitchen, those things I would rather not run out of. There are likely going to be more added to this list as I keep trying different things out, but I would have no problem recommending to any of you making these part of your post-WLS life style.