⇒Please note that while there is a recipe on this post, there are also many links to various information sources regarding the current happenings surrounding Coronoavirus-19/Covid-19.⇐
If you are only looking for the recipe, please feel free to scroll to the bottom of the article where it will be posted as per usual.
There is also a bullet pointed list of shelf stable product suggestions prior to the recipe, if that’s something you’d like to read through.
At this point, it’s no secret that we’re all in a bit of a bind. With Covid-19 quickly spreading around the globe in what is officially being called a pandemic, most of us are a little on edge right now. Whether there are confirmed cases nearby or not, many local governments are putting [what may seem like] extreme precautions into effect, ranging from the suggestion of social distancing, to the mandatory isolation and quarantine.
Here in Central New York, many counties have enacted a State of Emergency and have announced that what exactly that means for the average citizen is evolving along with the situation. Because of this, people have gone absolutely insane with buying things. Being a northern state known for their snowy season, many locals have been stocking up as they would if there were a blizzard coming our way. That may not seem like a bad thing, but it is right now. The things you need in the event of a weather related emergency, you need things like batteries, candles, a clean source of water and possibly even a fuel source for a generator. While our current situation could easily become more dire than a blizzard, most of these items are not going to be necessary for the time being. Given that this is a health related issue, things like utilities and services should not be effected. Thanks to modern technology, many of things can actually be run remotely by trained technicians, thus alleviating the need for them to be in the physical workplace.
In reality, what most of us need to focus on as far as emergency preparedness is food and basic hygiene and medical items. According to the Red Cross’s guide for Emergency Preparedness with The Coronavirus:
- Have a supply of food staples and household supplies like laundry detergent and bathroom items, and diapers if you have small children.
- Check to make sure you have at least a 30-day supply of your prescription medications, and have other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
Being bariatric patients, that means something entirely different than it does for the average person. What we need to stock up on is more focused on vitamins, medicines and proteins. Unfortunately, these things are much more expensive than the every day non-perishable foods. On the plus side, since most of us only have a bowel movement once a week or so, we don’t need to worry about buying all the toilet paper that can fit in our cars! But seriously, cut it out. Only buy what your household needs for the next couple of weeks. Hoarding items that everyone needs is only going to cause more problems than there already are.
Anyway, back to the problem at hand; how do we, as bariatric patients, meet our own needs with the limits that are being put on us? The answer is easier (and possibly less expensive) than you may think.
- First of all, most RTD protein shakes are shelf stable and have months (if not a year) of shelf life. These are a great alternative to regular milk, as are other milk substitutes like almond, oat, cashew, etc.
- While it’s not ideal, we can use shelf stable meat proteins as well. Canned chicken, tuna, salmon and (to a lesser extent) sausages. Obviously, if you have issues with salt, try your best to find the lower sodium versions. These aren’t great for the long term due to the additives, but for the 14-30 day timeline we’re currently being given, they will work. And, of course, if you have perishable protein sources currently on hand, use those first.
- Protein bars are an expensive option, but still an option. Most of us have nutritionists that tell us to ween ourselves off of these protein sources by a year out from surgery. However, most of the bariatric patients I know still keep them around to a certain extent. And if you aren’t one of those people, they are not one of the items that the average person is buying stores of, so you should be able to order some online without much issue. If you aren’t sure which ones fit best into your diet, try contacting your nutritionist for suggestions. My favorites include Quest, Powercrunch, One bars and Built Bars.
- Jello, pudding, protein powders, bone broth, dehydrated vegetables, herbs and spices. These are all good things to have on hand. They can take a not so nutrition meal from cans to a well rounded meal fit for a bariatric patient. You can also find shelf stable tofu, tempeh, hempeh and TVP as well to add protein and nutrition to soups, stir frys and casseroles. If you have any eggs on hand, you could make a great frittata or mini quiche cups!
These are just some of the options that we, as bariatric patients have in this situation. And instead of just suggesting products you could use, I figured I could post some example recipes. Show you some yummy ways you can use up any perishables you may need to use. Tonight, I decided to experiment with a protein pudding. Using 90% shelf stable products with a few perishables added in (but could be done without them), I came up with a yummy Piña Colada inspired protein pudding/mousse. Dense and fluffy, sweet and tangy all in one dish.
I think that, at this point, you’re probably tired of my rambling, so without further ado, a new recipe to try during these trying times!
Protein Piña Colada Pudding
- 2 pkgs. sugar free banana pudding mix
- 1 14oz protein shake in flavor of choice
- 1/4 cup coconut cream
- 1/2 cup 1% Fairlife milk (or additional 4oz of shake)
- 8oz smooth cottage cheese*
- 1 scoop protein powder of choice
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple in juice, drained well
- 1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)
- Using either a blender or a large mixing bowl, combine protein shake, coconut cream and milk (if using). Whisk (or pulse in blender) to combine. Slowly whisk in pudding mix and protein powder until fully combined.
- Continue whisking (or pulsing) for approximately 2 minutes or until mixture has thickened.
- Stir in smooth cottage cheese, pineapple and coconut extract.
- Place mixture in fridge for at least one hour to allow it to fully thicken.
Serving suggestion: top with a tablespoon of whipped topping or whipped cream, a teaspoon of toasted coconut or some chopped up banana. Keep in mind that all additions and substitutions will change the nutritional info. Make sure you account for this if you track nutrition.
Serving Size: Approximately 3.5 oz
*You can either buy this already smooth, or you can simply put regular cottage cheese into a small blender or food processor for 30-60 seconds or until smooth.
- You can easily turn this into pie filling. Simply don’t add the milk (or extra protein shake). Before placing in the fridge, pour into your crust of choice. Once refrigerated, top with toasted coconut and whipped topping/whipped cream. A coconut flour crust would be perfect with this.
- This is a great recipe for the full liquid/puree stages post op. Simply portion out into containers and refrigerate until it’s time to eat. Just make sure you don’t add any coconut to the top since your tummy will not be happy with you if you do.
- Turn it into a banana split protein treat! Top your pudding with 1 tbsp diced banana, 1 tbsp drained crushed pineapple and 1 tbsp no sugar added cherry pie filling. Drizzle with sugar free chocolate sauce/hot fudge and top with whipped topping/whipped cream!