Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Low Fat Kitchen and Beyond: Things You Need for Low Fat Cooking

A List of Invaluable Stuff You Need After 
Lap Band Surgery

Thought I'd make a list of things I've found out about during my lap band research. Some things are for low fat cooking, some are for exercise, and some things are just for fun.
The Low Fat Kitchen - A Dream List 
It can cost a bit of money to get things set up, but you'll find that you use many of these items all the time, and you are saving your whole family from eating extra fat and calories when you cook using these products.
  •  Non-Stick Pans. Non-Stick is the only way to go if you are trying to save on fat. And after trying lots of brands, I've settled on Calphalon One . These are the best pans I've found for any kind of cooking, but especially low fat. Calphalon has several lines of cookware, and this is a mid-line product. I'm sure any of their lines will work for the purpose of using less fat when cooking. 
I thought long and hard before I bought this set, and I'm glad I decided to go ahead and spring for it. It was expensive, so I kept hinting around near Christmas, and my husband got them for me. 

Since then I've discovered that they put pieces on sale all the time at a discounted price, and I've used these promotions to add my collection. If you are doing family cooking, you need a set of cookware. If you only cook for yourself, you can get a grill, a small pot with a lid, and a medium or small fry pan and that's all you need. This is a lifetime set of pots if you treat them right, so though they're expensive, use them properly and they will serve you well. 
  •  Wilton Easy Flex Silicone Spatula 3 Piece Set  If you get the lap band, you're going to need spatulas. They are the only thing that will get the various things you blend and puree out of the blender. I like silicone spatulas because they are heat resistant. (What a wonderful invention!) This means you can use them to scramble eggs, too. A great, inexpensive addition to your low fat kitchen. 
  • Tovolo Standz Avocado Slicer If you're like me, you'll be eating a lot of avocados after your lap band. A great little tool that slices your avocado for salads. Makes a messy chore very easy, and helps you get your "good fats."
  •  Oster BPST02-B Professional Series Blender Any blender will do, but this is a great one. You'll need this to blend foods right after surgery, and later to make sauces and protein drinks.
  • Chinese Chef's Cleaver This is an inexpensive Chef's cleaver; you might want to get a more expensive one. I cooked for years without good knives and I don't really know why. I just didn't think they were necessary. If you only have one good knife, this is the one to get. You can chop anything with it, it's great for slicing veggies, you can use the top to tenderize meat, and even use the handle as a pestle to grind spices. A wonderful tool.
  • Oxo Good Grips Ice Cube Tray You can use this to freeze low fat milk to put into your protein drinks.
  • KitchenAid Cook For The Cure Measuring Tool Set, Pink Gotta measure things to make sure you're eating the right amount of things. This is a nice set.
  • Progressive International Microwavable Fish and Veggie Steamer Cook your fish and veggies in the microwave using this nifty set. Easy, clean way to fix fish.
  • Nordic Ware Microwave Tender Cooker 2.5 Quart Everything you eat, post banding, goes down easier if it is tender and juicy. This little gadget makes tender foods super quickly.
  • Progressive International Microwavable Mini Steamer About the size of a cereal bowl, this little steamer works great for making a couple of servings of veggies. 
  • Oxo Good Grips 8-Inch Double Rod Strainer Perfect way to strain soups and broths during the pre-op diet. Later, it helps with making soups and more. Doubles as a colander, too.
  • Nordic Ware Microwave Plate Cover 11 Inch Diameter This is a must! You'll be using your microwave a lot, and this will keep it remarkably clean.
  • Pyrex Storage 10-Piece Set, Clear with Blue Lids Gotta have storage! You'll be making soup a lot, and you'll have leftovers. This set is great, because you can store the soup in the bowl, and then heat it and eat it from that same bowl. A great set I can't live without.
  • Misto Gourmet Brushed Aluminum Olive Oil Sprayer Wonderful way to use the least amount of oil possible. This mister stays by my stove, and I use it all the time.
  • Oxo Good Grips Fat Separator, 4-Cup Use this with broths and gravies to remove as much fat as possible before serving. This is great for dieters, but really for everyone, because no one should be eating all that fat!
  • Oxo Good Grips 3-Piece Funnel and Strainer Set Two different size funnels, and a little screen that strains liquids as they are poured through. They nest for storage. You will need a funnel to make bottles of Crystal Light to drink, and for many other things
  • Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender Great thing to have to make the all-important protein drinks. Allows you to blend in your cup, rather than messing up the blender.
  • Emsa Perfect Beaker Measuring Beaker Provides measurments of all types. Has a top so you can shake ingredients in it. Pours with no dripping. You'll use it all the time. 
  • Escali Primo Digital Multifunctional Scale Cool scale! Measures small amounts, which makes it perfect for dieters. It comes in all sorts of cool colors. Very accurate, and its small size makes it so easy to store.
  • Norpro 4-Piece Silicone Mini Flexible Pinch Bowl Set, MulticoloredCool little bowls that can be pinched to make a spout. Great for assembling ingredients before you start cooking. 
  • Norpro Egg Rite Egg Timer If you don't have a timer, this one is great. You'll find that eggs will probably become a big part of your diet after the band. This timer can be put into the water, and it will tell you exactly how cooked the eggs are, from soft to medium to hard and all stages in between. This thing rocks!!!!!
  • Fusionbrands Poach Pods, Set of 2 Another invaluable egg tool. If you like eggs, you'll want to eat them often after banding. You just crack the egg into the pod and put into a pan with 2 inches of water. Cover and cook until they are done to your taste. Take out the pod, pour any water off the top of the egg, and slide a knife around the edge to loosen egg, and slide into bowl. Yum yum!
Exercise Stuff 
  • Wii Fit The Wii Fit is a super cool new way to exercise. My daughter has the Wii game, so my husband, at my request, got this for me for my birthday. You have to buy the Wii game to use the Wii Fit console, so this is a pricey buy. What you get with the Wii Fit is a balance console. When you set it up it helps you figure your BMI (Body Mass Index). You give it certain information and it makes a profile for you that includes your Wii Fit age. This is the age you really are, with your weight and other information added in.  There are 4 categories of activities, strength training, aerobics, yoga and balance games. The console keeps track of your progress, and lets you know as your BMI improves. Your private information (like your weight) is lockable. Up to 8 people can set up their own profiles. This is fun way to get in shape in the privacy of your living room. The Wii Fit rocks!
  • Malibu Pilates Chair The Malibu Pilates Chair helps you sculpt long and lean muscles in the privacy of your own home. Like most exercise machines, it works if you use it. This one works really well, and offers both cardio and weight training in the same machine. Great for balance. This chair, at Amazon, is a better price than on TV or on their web site, and includes 4 workout DVDs, a manual and an eating guide.
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