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The 5 Pledgers Getting a "Second Chance" at the Grand Prize are...


Before I make that announcement I want to just say a word of thanks. Or several.

THANK YOU for taking the time, week-to-week, to double check the pledge, check-in and standings lists. I run the Pledge with free technology and checking the lists is the only protection I can give against tech wonkyness.

THANK YOU especially to those people who checked the last standings list to make sure I have you recorded accurately.

THANK YOU to the people who notified me that they were missing things. While that didn't always result your standings changing, everyone handled the information with grace and class. So THANK YOU.

Now, if you've been following along this week we are picking FIVE (5) Pledgers who are only missing one week's worth of pledges and/or check-ins. Those five people will go through to next week's "Winner Takes All" Grand Prize competition. After the names below there's a bit more information about the grand prize competition you may want to read!

Congratulations to:
  • Jodi Beggarly
  • Cheryl H
  • Anne B.  Karen B.***
  • Eleni H.
  • Leslie D.
*** Turns out that Anne B. had pledged and checked in all three weeks so far. I'm sorry - I'm human! Even I miss things. But that's why it is SO important to check the lists to make sure you are on them. It makes a difference. This week I'll be posting a standings list after check-ins close. PLEASE take a moment to look at it! Please and thank you!

You all are now grand prize pledgers, alongside all the folks who have pledged and checked-in all four weeks! REMEMBER: You must still check in your week 4 goal this weekend to remain eligible to compete. I've emailed the above five people to notify them (at the email address they provided with pledges and check-ins). They don't need to respond or "claim" that spot. They simply need to check in their week 4 goals and then follow the directions for the grand prize competition.

Speaking of...a few tips/pieces of information about the grand prize competition:
  1. Information about the grand prize competition goes up the evening of Sunday, March 1. I may have said noon. I reserve the right to do it a bit later to make sure I've got it right. Please note, however, this is a competition not simply a drawing. In that regard...
  2. I know reading a bunch of stuff is a drag, but please read everything carefully! Failure to follow the instructions given can eliminate you from the grand prize competition. I try to make every word count, so read it please!
  3. If you have any questions at any time, I am here for you! Just like I have been throughout this whole Pledge. I can be reached most quickly via email bariatricfoodie@yahoo.com. Folks who have emailed me can attest I answer very quickly.
With that, good luck with the final few days of your regular pledging and good luck to all the folks who go on to the grand prize competition next week!

The Next Bariatric Foodie Pledge Grand Prize Bonus Item is...


Maaaaaaan, you all just need to know I am not good at keeping secrets and it was not easy keeping this one!

But I had to. So I did. I'm proud of myself.



If you're viewing this on a computer, you'll see the COMPLETE grand prize list on the right menu! On it, you'll see that in addition to winning one of every weekly prize awarded (for my mobile peeps that's prize packs from CLICK Espresso Protein, BariMelts, Squeaky Cheeks, Celebrate Vitamins, BiProUSA, Torani and Quest Nutrition), and in addition to winning a set of Livliga Home dishes, in addition to winning a full-set of Bariatric Foodie books and the book "Slim By Design," by author Brian Wansink, the grand prize winner will also win a Nutri-Ninja blending system!!!!

I'm so excited and I'm not even in the darn running.

About the Nutri-Ninja

You all might remember that I got to experience the power of the Ninja Kitchen System first hand when I attended an annual conference called Fitbloggin (where Nik goes to learn to be a better blogger for YOU!)

There I got to sample a bunch of all-natural fruit and vegetable drink blends made with the Nutri-Ninja, which is a smaller, cup-style blending system with the power of the NINJA! (Ok I will admit maybe I'm having a bit too much fun with this). After the conference I decided to connect with the folks at Ninja to see if I could hook a Foodie up - and they were game!

So what's so special about this blender. Well, several things I'll list here but you can learn even more on their website:
  • Nutrient extraction: The powerful blades and motor on this blender are super efficient at breaking down whole foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc.) so that the vitamins are more accessible to your body. (NOTE: Folks with malabsorptive procedures, this applies even to you. Just because you can't absorb all your nutrients doesn't mean the ones you do absorb can't be good!)
  • Speed: All that nutrient extraction? Happens in mere seconds!
  • Convenience: The Nutri-Ninja cup is portable, making nutrition on the go a snap!
I've been testing out my Nutri-Ninja and will post my review this week (I keep meaning to but I want to use my own pictures and I keep missing the good light) along with some of the yummy things I've created. 

Are you excited about the grand prize competition? I'm glad! If you're read this far I will give you a little head start on the competition. It begins on Sunday, March 1. (That we already knew.) Those competing for the prize will actually have to DO stuff in order to win. I've asked several Foodies not competing this year to help decide some of the things to do but I will tell you that everything is...well, do-able. And you should have plenty of time to get it done. 

So that's all I'm saying for now. Good luck to you all with your last Pledge week!

Why Bariatric Foodie Hearts Torani

These are my "most frequently used" flavors. There are more in my kitchen though!
There are three questions I get asked pretty often about sugar-free syrups:
  1. What do you use them for?
  2. What’s the difference between Torani, Davinci, and other syrups?
  3. If I’m gonna try Torani syrups, what flavor should I try first?
Call me ambitious…but I’m going to try to answer all these questions in one (hopefully not too long) blog post!

What do I (Nik) use sugar-free syrups for?

Left: Mocha Toffee Twist Hot Protein Drink, Top: Crustless Pumpkin Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Pecan Topping, Bottom: S'mores Protein Pudding Pie 
The better question is what don’t I use them for. And the answer to that would be very few things! I use them in protein shakes, in yogurt, in pudding, in coffee, in baked stuff, in dessert. They can even be used as an addition to savory sauces! (Sorry I haven’t memorialized those recipes yet but soon!)

Here are a few helpful tips when using sugar-free syrups in general:
  • If you are baking using sugar-free syrups, remember that it would be considered a wet ingredient and, thus, you’d need to either adjust your other wet ingredients accordingly OR adjust your cook time (usually longer cook time, possibly lower temperature depending on what it is). In general, the syrups don’t have a big impact on the final texture of a baked product. 
  • Be sure to use a flavor that stands out from whatever you are using. So if you are making…say…chocolate protein pudding, a nice Salted Caramel or S’mores flavored syrup would work well with that. Don’t use flavors that blend into each other. You won’t taste them and it will seem like a waste!

What’s the difference between Torani, Davinci and other syrups?

The main difference is their flavor offerings. Davinci makes some flavors that Torani does not (like sugar-free Kahlua and sugar-free Buttered Rum) and Torani makes some flavors Davinci does not (such as my absolute FAVORITE, sugar-free S’mores and sugar-free Salted Caramel). There are many other brands of sugar-free syrups, including those carried at your local Starbucks. There can also be differences in how syrups are sweetened. Both Torani and Davinci are generally sweetened with Sucralose (the main ingredient in Splenda). There are other syrups sweetened with other things such as aspartame, xylitol and stevia. 

If I’m gonna try Torani syrups, what flavor should I try first?

Valid question. Many of us don’t have the budget for an unlimited supply (but we can dream…sigh…) so investing in the right bottle is important. Here are a few suggestions (all sugar-free flavors):


Bariatric Foodie Pledge Week 3 Winners! (And Grand Prize Standings)


Hey friends! I hope your Pledge Week is getting off to an awesome start. Before I announce the Week 3 winners, I want to post the standings list.

Second Chance Contest

I just wanted to remind you about the "Second Chance Contest." This week all the Pledgers who are only missing one week's worth of pledges and/or check-ins  will be placed into a drawing. I will draw FIVE names of folks from that group who will then go on to the grand prize competition next week (along with the folks already in the competition - those who have pledged/checked in all the weeks). Here are the important things to know:

  1. If you've pledged/checked in all the weeks so far (have X's straight across) you are already in the grand prize competition. This does not apply to you. So long as you pledged a week 4 goal and check in this weekend, you are in the grand prize competition!
  2. This is for people who are missing (within a single week) one pledge, one check-in or both. I've marked your names on the list with both asterisks and bold type (WARNING: When I tested this on mobile phones sometimes neither showed up if I didn't use Chrome so if all else fails you can try viewing from a desktop computer OR just look at the "X's." If you're only missing "X's" in one week, I've got you down for the drawing!)
  3. As always if you feel like I am missing any of your pledges/check-ins please email me. Additionally, if you feel you should be eligible for this drawing but I have you missing more than one of your weeks, please email me before Wednesday at 6 p.m. EST

I'll announce the five people who will move on to grand prize week on Thursday afternoon on Facebook and Twitter, but I'll also email the five people to notify them. So watch your inboxes!

Also please let me know sometime this week if I'm missing you for anything before this standings list closes. Once the list closes I can't make changes to it!

Week 3 Winners

Once again, many thanks to Celebrate Vitamins and BiPro USA for sponsoring this week's prizes. Congratulations go out to:
  • Eileen P.  whose goal was to continue getting exercise! (Thanks, Eileen for already claiming your prize!)
  • Laura M., whose goal was to get 10,000 steps every day last week (Thanks, Laura, for already claiming your prize!)
  • Patti R., whose goal was to journal her food and get 64 oz. of fluids daily (I still need to hear from you, Patti! You have until 11:59 p.m. EST Tuesday, February 24 to claim your prize! Email me at bariatricfoodie@yahoo.com - I also emailed you so you can look for that as well.)
Here's a run-down of the rest of this week:
  • Thursday: I'll announce the five people from the "missing one week" group who will move on to the grand prize competition.
  • Saturday: Week 4 check-ins begin at noon EST.
  • Sunday: Week 4 check-ins close at noon EST.
  • Sunday evening: The grand prize competition begins for those who qualify to compete (don't worry...you'll have plenty of time to compete so long as you check out the competition at some point between Sunday and Monday.)
Have a great pledge week everyone!

Bariatric Foodie Pledge - Week Four - Time to Pledge!

Just joining us for the first time? Might want to read up on the Pledge before you dive in!

Foodies, we are at Week Four. Can you believe it? You've been pledging goals and being accountable all month. You. Are. AWESOME!

Before we get to pledging, a few IMPORTANT notes about this week.
  1. PLEASE be sure to pay particular attention to the standings list for this week (which will go up tomorrow, Monday, February 23rd). It will be particularly important because...
  2. As is our customs once the first Pledge in 2011 this week I will draw FIVE names of people who are only missing pledges or check-ins within one pledge week to go on to the grand prize competition. 
I just want to make sure you understand how this works:
  • If you pledged/checked in all the weeks so far you are already eligible to compete for the grand prize. This does not apply to you. You're good. Just make sure to pledge/check in this week to stay eligible!
  • People who will be entered into this drawing: If you are missing one pledge OR one check in OR both within the same week. (TIP: I'll mark your names on the standings list tomorrow if you are eligible.)
  • If you know you already you are only missing things in one week, be sure to check this week's standings list (will be posted tomorrow) to make sure I have you down for everything else. 
  • If you are one of the five selected, you still have to pledge/check in for week 4 in order to stay eligible.
  • The drawing will happen on Thursday and the names drawn will be posted here on the blog and on Facebook and Twitter. I will also email you to let you know your name has been drawn.
Got it? If not, feel free to email me at bariatricfoodie@yahoo.com or leave a blog comment. 

Onward...

This Week's Sponsors

Once again we have two sponsors this week. As usual, there will be three weekly winners. Read about the prizes up for grabs.

Quest Protein



You all know them. Most of you love them. Quest Nutrition is once again a Bariatric Foodie Pledge Sponsor. Quest encourages you to #CheatClean with products that deliver mega-protein and mega-flavor. Check out their iconic protein bars, protein chips and now protein powders! This week's winners will get a full box of Quest Bars!

Torani Syrups


Another brand I love! Torani Syrups makes a BUNCH of sugar-free syrups to satisfy nearly any taste.(My personal favorite is Sugar-Free S'mores). You can use it in your coffee, protein shakes, even desserts! (More on that later this week). This week's winners will win a prize pack of sugar-free syrups from Torani! Check out their website to browse their selections.

You have until NOON EST tomorrow, Monday February 23 to submit your pledge using the form below. After that pledging will close and you will no longer be able to submit your pledge.

How to Submit Your Pledge
  1. Fill out the form below completely. If you don't see the form, that means your device can't read it. Please find a device that can! (Desktop computers and laptops are always a winner.)
  2. Press Submit. You may get a confirmation screen after you press submit. If you do, you're good to go. If not, see #3.
  3. Check the pledge list. This is the link to the Week 4 pledge list. Check to make sure your name is on there. The list updates every 2-3 minutes, so if you don't see your name right away, check back in a few minutes.
If you have ANY trouble, email me at bariatricfoodie@yahoo.com

What Happens Next?
  • Monday: 12 p.m. EST Week 4 pledging closes
  • Tuesday - Friday: Work hard on your goal. Stay tuned to BF on Facebook and Twitter for special Pledge support discussions and announcements.
  • Thursday: I'll announce the FIVE people who won their way into the grand prize competition!
  • Saturday: 12 p.m. EST Week 4 check-ins begin. 
  • Sunday: 12 p.m. EST Week 4 check-ins close, 6 p.m. The grand prize competition starts! (Don't worry you'll have plenty of time to compete so if you are out, working, working out, whatever, it will be ok. Just check the blog sometime Sunday to get the deets, k? No freaking out!)
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