Archive for the ‘Bariatric Foodie’ Category

Check out my Quest for Low-Carb Noodles at Bariatric Foodie!

Quest Pasta Review | Sesame Shrimp, Steamed Asparagus, with Roma Tomatoes & Basil

By Traci McGowan

OBLIGATORY “FED” DISCLAIMER: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Bariatric Foodie discloses that the product being reviewed was provided free of charge. All of Bariatric Foodie’s reviews are fair and unbiased. The information contained therein has not been reviewed by the US Food & Drug Administration and is not meant to replace professional nutritional advice. Always seek the consultation of a nutritional or medical professional to address any questions or concerns you have about a food product! 

I got a package of Quest Pasta (formerly “Pastabilities”) from Nik a little over a month ago. To be honest: I wasn’t entirely thrilled with the thought of another review of a non-noodle…noodle. The first brand I tried tasted like Gummy Bears in marinara. I’ve also had a pouty pouch – certain foods are touch or “urp”.

To get motivated, I recruited my friend Anne as note taker/photography assistant (test subject). I tossed out a few ideas of what could be cooked up with the Quest Pasta Spaghetti Noodles, none brought excitement to my tiny kitchen space. Finally…I opted to wing it.

Traci’s Sesame Shrimp, Steamed Asparagus & Roma Tomatoes & Basil


  • 1   Package Quest Pasta Spaghetti Noodles
  • 12 Mid-sized Shrimp (deveined & devoid of tails) – I used Vannamei White Shrimp
  • 10 Fresh Asparagus Spears
  • 8   Pearl Onions
  • 2   TSP Sesame Seeds
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2   Firm Roma Tomatoes
  • Dried Basil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Small Steamer Pot
  • Skillet
  • Food Processor (I used my Ninja)
  • Test Subject (optional)


Snip the tops and root bottoms off the pearl onions and peel the skins. Rinse the asparagus spears, cut into quarters. Place the onions and spears in a steamer pot. Lightly sprinkle the pieces with garlic powder (not garlic salt) and cracked black pepper. Place the lid over the steamer pot and on the stove over low to medium heat.

Rinse the shrimp under cool water in a colander, remove tails, and then set the shrimp aside.

Open the Quest Pasta Spaghetti Noodles over a strainer. They smell fishy, don’t freak out! Rinse them well in cool water for three to five minutes until the odor has gone away, be sure to pull them apart while you’re rinsing them. Suggestion: After the noodles have been rinsed and pulled apart, put them in a food processor (i.e. Ninja) and give it two or three quick pulses. The noodles will resemble rice. Trust me, THIS is an awesome option for Foodies who can’t handle 100 feet of pasta.

Next, sauté the sesame seeds with 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper in a skillet with olive oil for 1-2 minutes until most of the seeds are brown. Important: The seeds cannot be left unattended, they’ll jump from brown to burnt before you know it. Lower the heat, add the shrimp, and sauté for another 3-5 minutes, and lastly add the Quest Pasta noodles. Turn the heat up on the steamer pot while you cook the items in the skillet. The water will evaporate away from the noodles and their color will change from translucent to something like dirty rice. Once you’ve arrived at a place which resembles the picture, turn off the heat and cover the skillet with a lid. Turn the heat off on the steamer pot, do not remove the lid until you’re ready to serve.

Chop one Roma tomato, place in a bowl and add one teaspoon of olive oil and mix well. They should look wet, NOT soppy (too much oil will create sop). Lightly sprinkle dried basil leaves over them and mix again.

Next, plate your meal.

I served Anne first, but she would not partake until I had prepared my plate. This is by far the best thing I have ever cooked. The noodles are terrific, they absorbed the flavors of what they were cooked with (kinda like tofu). The Ninja was an act of genius (no pride here) – I had no problems with them after a few quick pulses. They didn’t get stuck, nor did I feel the meal for the next five hours.

Everything together became a wonderful flavorful explosion of…wow! Even the steamed asparagus and pearl onions were incredible.

Quest – you totally nailed it (can I get a box for free??). I didn’t know it, but this is what I’ve been looking for in my meal plans.

Foodies – you’ll love them! Cook the noodles with something light and fun! This meal was approximately 170 calories and 22 grams of protien

Vegan/Vegetarians – GREAT option, would go well with tofu for you.

If I had ten thumbs, they’d all be up!

Hey, if you want to try them for yourself AND help out Bariatric Foodie, order yourself a bag from here. And next month look for the Foodie Review of their Spinach Fettucine noodles by our resident “Foodie Guy,” Dana!

OBLIGATORY “FED” DISCLAIMER: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Bariatric Foodie discloses that the product being reviewed was provided free of charge. All of Bariatric Foodie’s reviews are fair and unbiased. The information contained therein has not been reviewed by the US Food & Drug Administration and is not meant to replace professional nutritional advice. Always seek the consultation of a nutritional or medical professional to address any questions or concerns you have about a food product! 

vegansugarWhen I saw “Vegan Cane Sugar” on a bag of…well…sugar…at Whole Foods, I thought it must have been a joke (or a really cheesy marketing tactic). A handful of people I mentioned this bag to looked at me like I lost my marbles…like a whole jar of ’em.

So, what the heck is “Vegan Sugar”? It’s sugar not refined with bone char.

So, what the heck is “Bone Char”, you ask? A cow filter.


Sugar is refined (you know this is true NOT because it’s on the internet, but because the bag says “refined sugar”). Cane sugar is refined through bone char (carbo animalis…animal bones…moo). The bones are torched to temperatures ranging from 752-932 F, “in an oxygen depleted environment” (no O2). The chemical explanations for this process are long and boring, so I’ll give you the SPD version:

  • Bone char is used to remove fluoride from water (and to filter Shark Bait’s tank).
  • It’s known as calcium triphosphate, or tricalcium phosphate – a food additive in items like: table salt, dried milk, egg mixes, sugar products, flours, and cheese products. Keeps them from becoming lumpy
  • It’s used in sugar refining, makes cane sugar white. Cane sugar is not naturally white, it is tan/light brown.
  • Brown sugar is refined sugar with molasses.
  • Confectioner’s sugar is refined sugar with corn starch.
  • Fructose may be refined through bone char, but it’s unlikely.
  • Squirrel.
  • Bone char is also used to refine crude oil to make…wait for it…petroleum jelly.
  • One cow could produce nine pounds of bone char.

Vegan sugar is, according to what I’ve discovered, is not refined by bone char, which lends validity to the “Vegan Cane Sugar” in black print on the bag. In other words, it’s not a joke (or a really cheesy marketing tactic). But I’m left with one very puzzling question:

If cane sugar is naturally tan/light brown, and refined cane sugar is white via bone char (moo), then…why is vegan cane sugar still white? My inquiring mind wants to know, and I’m going to dig a little deeper into this.

Stay tuned for part two…


If you got time to watch all the shows you DVR’d for the past week, cuddle a hangover, eat pancakes, watch cartoons, play video games, catch a movie, have kids to corral or dogs to herd, you got time to workout. I know this to be true…I used to weigh almost 400 pounds.

One day the excuses will run out…or you’ll get tired of the shrill sound of my voice. It’s a lot easier to chase your grandchildren, nieces or nephews, or your own babies when you aren’t tied to a 300 pound brick.

Today I had Boot Camp Solo. I invited 42 people, 1 said “yes”, nobody showed. Yay. 😦

My “gym” of choice was at Butler Elementary in Huntington Woods. A small spot with two baseball fields, short bleachers, a little play park, a track, trees, a water park (I did not go there). It was the perfect morning: sun out, in the high 60’s. Best part was when I rode my bike out into the middle of the baseball field. I didn’t see the sign about no bikes for a good 20 minutes.

Saturday Workout:

Road Cycle: 6.05 miles round trip w/10lb pack (72.2 & 98.4 gains)
Bleachers (run up & down): 25 reps x 5 (125 total)
Push Ups: 25 reps x 5 (125 total)
Squats: 25 reps x 4 (100 total)
Mountain Climbers (I used the bleachers for handles): 60 reps x 4 (240 total)
Track: jogged/walked 4x

According to my little body monitor: I moved 6,797 steps for 3.5 miles (not including the bike ride); I was active for one hour and fifty-six minutes, I was idle for 8 minutes. I burned 2,326 calories | active burn was 1,736 calories | resting burn is 590 calories.


huuuuuhI love to share my unexpected moments of shame with the world. Like the day my pants fell down at the gym; or the day I slid seven feet to the floor off a Stair Master (twice); or the day my water bottle fell off the spin bike and exploded on the floor (that was my first spin class…my second was seven months later); or the day I had an all out brawl at Kohl’s in the lingerie (long-er-ay) section with Spanx (you know those were meant to be stepped into, not pulled over like a super big compression wrap?).

So I thought to invite you- the readers of Sneaker Porn Diaries, those who follow, and those who would never admit to following but they do – what’s your silly weight loss story?

The deadline for the Silliest Story…Like…Ever contest is July 15th, 2013. Submit your stories to using the following format:

Please put “SNP Silly Story Contest” in the subject line of your email.
Please keep your stories to no more than 700 words, check spelling and punctuation.
Be sure to include your before & after picture, and a picture of your favorite pair of sneakers.
Share your starting & current weight, age, city & state where you live.
First names and the first letter of your last name will be shared on the blog if your story is chosen.
If you have a blog, please include the blog address so your journey can be viewed by other readers!

Deadline for submissions is July 15th, 2013. The Silliest Story winners will be announced on July 20th, 2013. And yes, there will be a PRIZE!

Somewhere across the country there’s a secret collective of post-op dairy farmers. They haven’t been clear on their target market, or the cost of their product to consumers when it officially hits store shelves. One thing is clear: confidential sources have revealed they’re milking it for all it is worth.


Piece of advice: if you fell off the post-op salad truck, STOP posting, ‘What do I DO???” all over the internet. If you are a weight loss surgery post op for any length of time (two seconds, two months, two years, two decades), you know what you are supposed to do…unless of course you were hit on the head with fried Twinkies. Then you could be suffering from WLSPOA (weight loss surgery post op amnesia).

To avoid becoming a POW, try the following steps:

1. Talk to someone. You have a primary care doctor, you have a surgeon, you have a nutritionist. If any of these professionals have mysteriously vanished out of your life (alien abduction?)…FIND SOMEONE NEW. If you’re unable to do so then my assumption would be you reside on an island in total solitude, which means you have no access to communications and will not read this anyway.

2. If you know you’re eating habits are bad, and you know you have consumed that which you probably are not supposed to (like a container of crispy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe’s), get over it. It’s summer. You can grow stuff. Even better, you can pay someone who grew it already.

3. If you have the phrase “I can’t afford to” flashing behind your eyelids in reference to item #2, hold your tongue. Chances are incredulously high you have, oh let’s see: all the cable channels, all the movie channels, a smart phone and a big ol’ plan.

I whine to a select few of my friends, none of whom give me one ounce of slack because they’ve been privy to my weight loss changes. I don’t complain online all that often. Usually I will talk to someone who puts me in my place. I also yell at people. Ask my friend Anne. I chased her bum back across the football field at boot camp a few weeks ago for short-cutting the track, later I made her do half leap frogs. My trainer gives me no slack at all-and it has nothing to do my picture he put on his car advertisement. It’s because he remembers when I was the fattest woman in the gym, how my stomach drug the ground during push ups, or how 40lbs made a world of difference in climbing 17 steps.

God, you have so much to celebrate. Don’t be a POW. Don’t focus on the prison and the chains…neither hold you anymore.

If that doesn’t encourage you, get stuck somewhere. I got wedged in that little space there between the bed and nightstand over the weekend to fix the carpet. I hadn’t laughed that hard at myself in a long, long time.