Dinner is the most important meal of the day. Not because anyone says it is, but because that is how the majority of my patients eat. Here is a good basis for dinner if you decide you wish to follow a Mediterranean Plan. We have designed it for the Lap-Band patient in mind.
Think of their pyramid: it is heavily favored for fruits and vegetables, next up is fish – which they say one should have twice a week, next up is poultry and eggs, and finally red meat is fairly far up the pyramid.
In terms of menu planning let’s start with planning some great food:
Fish Twice A Week
Fish is an important part of the Mediterranean diet. Consider the name- Mediterranean, the sea. Even the American Heart Association recommends having a diet rich in fish because of the higher content of omega-3 fatty acid provides good heart health.
For both the Lap-Band patient and the Gastric Sleeve patient a diet that has fish as the central protein is easy to digest, and never gives a problem. Since you will be eating 3-4 ounces (after cooking) you can purchase a wide variety of fish to try – and find your favorite.
When you go to a restaurant you should not smell salmon- but when you cook at home always buy fresh salmon and cook it that day.. Wild is more expensive, and seasonal. But you can get great farm raised salmon which is sustainable and provides the same health benefits. Some people will disagree based on OLD and bad data – but today’s farmed salmon has been shown to be every bit as delicious as wild (I’m picky about salmon, I was raised in Ketchikan, Alaska – the salmon capital of the world).
|Freshly baked salmon with olive oil, herbs, and lemon|
This is a simple recipe for salmon, a great seafood that provides a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. For the recipe see my recipe here.
|Sous Vide is a great way to make salmon. Some like it because you don’t have to heat your house, you can get great results all the time.|
If you have Sous Vide this is a great way to make salmon. Safer than pouched salmon, this is not overcooked.
|Ceviche is one of the easiest ways to make fish. Instead of cooking it you use citrus fruit to cook it instead of heat.|
Ceviche is really from the America’s – in Italy and Greece they use raw fish with olive oil- called Crudo – but Ceviche provides the same healthy ingredients for a dinner.
Vegetarian Meal Twice A Week
This isn’t that difficult when you think about it. Meatless Monday is a “thing,” now, but including more vegetables by having two meals where the protein is a vegetable decreases calorie count and increases the effect of the vegetables.
Pasta has ten times the calories and one tenth the fiber of Spaghetti Squash. So learn how to make this simple dish (it is easier than making pasta). This makes a simple delicious Pasta – just add your favorite sauce to the dish and you have a great and fast meal. You can make your own sauce – or there are some great ones you can purchase (depends on how fast you want the meal).
I take the squash – use a fork to poke holes into it on all sides, then zap it in the microwave for nine minutes. After nine minutes take it out – let it rest – then use a serrated knife to cut it open- use oven mitts, it will be hot. Use tongs to get out the great squash.
To add a bit of crispness I heat up a non-stick pan on the stove – til it is hot (medium high heat for a couple of minutes). Toss some of the spaghetti squash in it and fry it in there for a minute – dries it out and makes it a bit more firm.
Vegetarian Chili works also for a great meal at night- and provides some great future meals when you need to prepare it.
What About Chicken?
I don’t think most chicken is worth it. The chicken breast is relatively tasteless, something people like to force into you by saying it is healthy. If you want chicken there is only one way to fix it – Sous Vide Style. This should only be once a week.
Besides the Meals – Other Vegetables, Grains, and Olive Oil — did I forget wine?
The side dishes of vegetables for your meals should be filling and plenty. This is the basis of the meal. Remember you want to get in at least 1/2 cup of vegetables in at night – hearty ones, like broccoli, asparagus, or even green beans.
Grains are at the base of the pyramid – and for that there is the bread and olive oil. Make it a hearty bread- one that will stick with you.
Wine is always a plus- and a single glass of red wine – a five ounce pour – is all you need. More doesn’t help.
The best desserts in the Mediterranean are the fruits. Not ice cream, not pastry, not gelato. This is a simple way to get some sweetness in at night and few calories.
Dr Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson is a Phoenix weight loss surgeon. He encourages his lap-band surgery patients to learn to cook and adopt healthier lifestyles. His goal is to use culinary medicine to keep patients out of his operating room. in 2017, Dr. Simpson became a Certified Culinary Medicine Specialist.