Whenever Cora would see her high school Homecoming Queen sash, crown and photos displayed at her parents’ house, she would feel nostalgic and at the same time depressed. Who would have thought that the after over 20 years, the once petite cheerleader would turn out fat?
When she started gaining weight after having her kids, she avoided going back to her hometown. She would have brief visits on Christmas and Thanksgiving but the rest of the year, she preferred having her parents visit. One reason was she did not really like having the shocked reaction of her neighbors and high school friends whenever they realize that it’s her.
Her mom would tell her to just ignore them saying that everybody gains weight anyway. But for Cora, she knew that people’s expectations of the Homecoming Queen are different. From the look on the faces of the people she encountered after gaining weight, she just knew that they somehow expected her to remain slim forever.
It was not as if Cora did not try to lose the weight. She did try several diets but none were successful in keeping the weight down on the long term. When the option of having weight loss surgery was introduced to Cora, she was attracted to the option not just because of the aesthetic results, but also the effect it will have on her overall health. As a former cheerleader, she also missed being active and she wished she had more energy to spend time with her kids.
Cora’s surgery was a success. It has now been three years since the surgery and consistent exercise and body weight training amazingly kept her toned and fit! She told me that the surgery served to jump start her healthy journey. She even started cooking more and experimenting with different recipes in the kitchen. The recipe below is one of her favorite recipes that she cooks especially when her parents are visiting because her dad just loves artichokes!
In a few months, Cora will be attending her high school’s 25th year reunion and she was pleased to tell me that she will not be missing it this time, in fact she is even in the planning committee!
Spinach Artichoke Mini Soufflés
6 large eggs
¾ cup Grated Parmesean Cheese
¼ cup fat-free mayo
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
½ tsp pepper
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained & chopped
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
feta cheese optional for topping
Heat oven to 350 F.
Get spinach thawed. Put in a deep saucepan and cover with water. Boil until broken up then put in a colander/salad spinner to get drained.
Whisk together eggs, parm cheese, fat-free mayo, dijon mustard and pepper.
Add remaining ingredients.
Spoon 1 1/2 tbsp of the mixture into a mini muffin pan (spray pan first). Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Optional: serve with crumbled feta cheese on top!