Recipes for maintaining after weight loss....special needs young lady


9 Years
Jul 9, 2010
Delaware, Arkansas
My daughter is 25 years old and special needs. Last year I took her off all her meds and she has done wonderfully without medication. She has lost 75 pounds. What an accomplishment for a special needs person. She still walks, speed walks, for 30 minutes everyday and is still being careful what she eats. She lives in independent living and does her own cooking. She has staff (someone who lives with her and helps her) but we are looking for easy, simple recipes for healthy foods she can cook that will help her maintain her weight.

With the holidays coming she is being really careful but wanting to slowly add things to her diet. She weighs everyday so she can watch for small weight gains while she is adding new foods. She will not add pasta, rice or potatoes until she makes it through the holidays. OH, and cheese....she is not eating cheese at all.

Any recipes you have experience with would be helpful. Right now for meats she mostly eats pork chops, pork roast, tuna and chicken.....ground turkey also. We are just a little bit at a loss right now on recipes and looking for a change. Just to be able to find recipes for things we have not thought of would help us get through the next couple of months!!

Thanks for any help you can give.....
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I think my favorite diet food is roasted veggies. The key is to make sure you cut the veggies so they all cook in the same amount of time. For example I will use carrot cut into sticks 1/8-1/4 inch diameter, with halved brussel sprouts and whole button mushrooms. You just spritz them w/ olive oil (I use extra virgin olive oil in one of those pump sprayers) and sprinkle with pepper and traditional Mrs. Dash, and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. You can use all kinds of veggies, cabbage cubes, zucchini cut in 1 inch rounds, yellow squash 1 inch rounds, eggplant in 2 inch cubes, onion can be sliced and sprinkled on top or cubed ect... Just about any veggie that can be boiled can be roasted.

I am having a hard time thinking of a lot of diet recipes because I usually just make a lot of simple things like stir fry w/ low sodium sauce, small portions of meat and lots of veggies.
Broth, tomato paste, a few seasonings, mixed vegetables make an easy soup. It sounds like you are cutting out carbs. Look at some of those diet books for recipe ideas but don't go too heavy on the protein. It is not good for the kidneys. I would look at some websites for easy recipes by doing a search. When you say special needs, does she have any health problems that diet would affect? I am a nurse so I always get nosy about health..
I make a great meat loaf with ground turkey. a few tablespoons of ketchup, onion, green pepper, salt and pepper, parsley, couple tablespoons of bread crumbs. my kids love it and its very healthy if you make sure the get the lower fat ground turkey. Serve with steamed or roasted veggies. Even just a chicken breast marinaded in light italian dressing is delicious. And remember some starches are good, like a small baked potato. Try looking for diabetic recipes, for the most part it sounds a lot like what your looking for. OH and is a free diet website like weight watchers with recipes, tracking, etc.
I have been looking online....I just need real people.

She loves the roasted veggies but don't think she has had eggplant and will add that too.

Stir Fry is her friend.

She does eat double fiber bread. Just not pasta, potatoes or rice yet. Will be added later. However, I am thinking of going ahead and adding sweet potatoes because they are so good for her and especially in the roasted veggies she would love it.

She has yogurt once a day. Always an apple. She carries tuna salad or peanut butter sandwich for lunch.

She looks so good and feels so good and is so very proud of herself.

All the huge cocktail of meds her doctor had her on caused her to sleep all the time and slowed down her digestive system. (there were four trips to the ER in a year where they discovered she was impacted) She ate unchecked and only what she wanted and as much as she wanted. I was out of town working for six months and my husband was hurt on the job so trips back home were impossible during that time. When I came home and saw her I was sick. There are times when you know it is your child and you know it is not right......So, called and got a step down plan off her meds....and the doctor did not like it. But we had the support of a very savvy MD that checked her on a regular basis.

OH, and we have taught her that a serving size of meat is the palm of her hand.....she understand and lives by it. Veggies she can have all she wants.

It is just so scary to start adding new foods and she weighs daily so that helps as you add foods. I think the holidays are the hardest thing for her to get through. Plus, the longer she keeps the weight off the better her body handles it.

Thanks for any input.....have just run out of ideas.
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Great idea for the meatloaf...she uses the ground turkey for many things already and likes it. Remember she is special needs....the potato was a problem for many reasons. She ate them daily. They let her pile on the butter, sour cream and cheese! And if that tasted good she had another! So that is the reason we have stayed away from potatoes. But we will be adding the sweet potatoes now I think. Her biggest problem was self satisfaction that went unchecked and staff that would not explain to her what it did to her body and offer her other choices. Plus, being special needs taking her to the grocery store and letting her pick out her own groceries...well it was all visual to her.

She is outstanding in many ways. She is the cleanest human on earth. Takes a shower in the morning and one at night also. She never misses brushing her teeth. She is the best house cleaner I have ever seen and I still miss her! lol....She has a dog she takes care and does really well with. And she can cook. She just does not have good sense in portion size. But she is learning that and wants to know. Now with the success of losing weight she wants to keep it off. It is just that myself and her staff have to be creative enough to help her.

Every little thing ya'll say helps. I am making a folder for her now with recipes and grocery lists. Staff keep a folder with everything she eats in it. And with weighing daily and the weight being written down we can watch and see what makes her gain weight and tweek it when we need to. Some thing will make you gain weight temporarily and it will come back off in a couple of days. So keeping a chart really helps.
I see she eats veggies. Does she like salads? A big salad topped with just a bit of meat or poultry is very filling and satisfying. And they can be quite varied.

Greens are so important. They are so good for you and are very cleansing for the system.
Look for recipes for broth-based soups. She can start a meal with a bowl of soup; it starts filling you up, takes time to eat, and there are an infinite variety of them, so the flavor can change. It's also easy to spot on a menu. When I go to an all-you-can-eat buffet, I start with a big bowl of broth soup, follow that with a huge green salad, and then get down to the other stuff. By then I have little or no room left for the higher calorie things.
Spaghetti! Use spaghetti squash rather than regular noodles. Ground turkey is yummy in spaghetti. The key to not getting bored with food is to use spices for flavor rather than fats and oils. i just lost a bunch of weight too, and am maintaining nicely by substituting healthier things for the things I already love. I use lemon juice instead of salt in most of my recipes now too.
ALL good ideas. I am going to print out everything and put it in her book.

Anything to make it easier on everyone involved.

And spaghetti squash....I just said that to her staff yesterday! I have eaten it in place of pasta and you can use it under spaghetti sauce or chili....both with ground turkey.

After weight loss is so much harder than during weight loss. I should know, I have always gained my weight back and I sure don't want that for her!

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