As a registered dietitian who specializes in client support, I am used to receiving different types of phone calls and inquiries from patients about their diet dilemmas and food issues. One particular phone call that I thought was very endearing was one I received from a daughter of a previous patient.
Chelsea is 24 years old and her mom, Anne had bariatric surgery last summer.
Let me tell you about Anne. She is only 44 years old and raised Chelsea as a single parent. I remember from previous consultations how Anne used to tell me that her double job plus night school did not really allow her to cook at home for her daughter and for years, they would depend on the frozen dinner clichés a lot of Americans consume.
Anne shared that she is still thankful that Chelsea was a naturally athletic kid and would join every sport in school. This prevented her daughter from putting on the pounds and up until now, Chelsea is still fit and loves to cycle and attend Pilates classes. The same cannot be true for Anne. When Chelsea finally went off to college, Anne’s eating habits worsened. Being alone in the house made her depressed and eat more. When she used to be just slightly overweight, those years made her balloon to 250 pounds. Her size made her self-conscious to go out on dates and attend family gatherings like weddings and reunions.
Anne recalled how Chelsea would worry about her and would often say that maybe if she did not move out, then she would be able to take care of her mom more. So when Chelsea graduated from college two years ago, she moved back with her mom. But just last year, Chelsea’s high school sweetheart proposed and they planned to get married this year.
Anne told me that her daughter’s engagement was her wakeup call. She realized that she did not want her daughter to keep worrying about her health and she joked that the best gift to her daughter was not to look so massive in the wedding photos. During Anne’s treatment journey, I met Chelsea several times. She was always there with her mom. It quite amazed me because for someone who is supposed to be planning her wedding, she chose to be beside her mother during consultations.
Fast forward to Chelsea’s phone call to me. Chelsea shared that ever since her mom lost weight, she became more outgoing and started attending events she was invited to. However, one challenge when attending get-togethers is that the food served is not really healthy and appropriate for bariatric post-op patients. The tables are often brimming with cupcakes, sugary desserts and unhealthy carb choices. Chelsea said that Anne would end up skipping the food altogether and would just eat at home after.
Chelsea told me that on her wedding day, she already made sure that the catering would offer healthy options for her mom, but her wedding shower is proving to be more difficult. Her bridesmaids are arranging the small shower at their home and are planning to prepare the canapés and appetizer style food for the guests. Chelsea did not want her mom to feel left out so she was asking me what I can suggest.
I shared with her a recipe for Cloud Bread which is actually perfect to use as a base for canapés. The best thing about it is it only needs 3 ingredients: eggs, cream of tartar and cream cheese.
It is a healthy alternative and for sure, the fluffy, light texture will also delight all the other guests.
Cloud Bread Canapés
- 3 eggs
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 3 tbsp of cream cheese
Add ½ tsp of cream of tartar to 3 egg whites. Whip into stiff peaks using a hand mixer.
In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese into the 3 egg yolks, then gently fold the mixture into the egg whites.
Place a dollop into a parchment lined baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes, 150 C, or until golden brown.
You can top this with savory ingredients like cheese, smoked salmon, diced chicken breast or fruits like berries and avocadoes.