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New Jersey Bariatric Center® Support Group Hosts “Recipe Makeovers with Chef Julie Harrington”

SPRINGFIELD, New Jersey (5/30/13) - Chef and cookbook author Julie Harrington was recently featured as the special guest at New Jersey Bariatric Center®'s Weight Loss Surgery Support Groups for Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve and LAP-BAND patients, which was held at the practice’s Springfield, NJ, and Somerset, NJ, offices.

Held twice monthly, the New Jersey Bariatric Center®’s Weight Loss Surgery Support group allows people who’ve had weight loss surgery to find support and guidance from registered dietitians, physicians, psychologists and other experts in weight loss and healthy lifestyles. Patients who attend the group have undergone gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy (also known as Gastric Sleeve) or Gastric Band (also known as LAP-BAND or Realize Band).

The LAP-BAND procedure recently gained the national spotlight when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced that he had undergone the surgery in February. (See “Dr. Ajay Goyal on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” explaining the LAP-BAND procedure).

Chef Harrington, who specializes in recipe makeovers, taught the weight loss surgery support group members how to take old high-fat, calorie-laden standards, such as chocolate pudding and pizza and trim calories and fat by substituting ingredients in new and interesting ways.  Download Recipes

“I’d never thought about using cottage cheese to make pudding!” said one support group member. “I’m going to try that one at home.”

New Jersey Bariatric Center® Clinical Coordinator Kim Manzo, MS, RD, said some people who’ve had Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve or LAP-BAND surgeries have a hard time breaking old eating habits, so finding ways to have the comfort foods they love without the fat and calories is important.

“It’s really just about reconditioning yourself to think about food in different ways,” said Manzo. “You can still enjoy food. You just have to learn how to prepare it differently. That can be as simple as using non-fat dairy products instead of full-fat ones or as innovative as making a pizza crust out of cauliflower.”

In addition to learning some new recipes, the group discussed the importance of consuming enough protein after weight loss surgery and learned about different ways to hold in moisture and flavor during food preparation. Chef Harrington discussed healthy baking alternatives and gave great tips on portion control.

"Studies have found that attending a support group improves weight loss surgery patients’ success rate," said Ajay Goyal, MD, FACS, founder of the New Jersey Bariatric Center®.  “Weight loss surgery is just a tool that assists in weight loss and allows patients to have a better chance at keeping the weight off for the long haul. But patients still face many of the same challenges that caused them to put in weight in the first place,” he said. “It helps to surround yourself with others who understand what you’re going through.”

About Chef Julie Harrington

Chef Harrington is the senior chef and co-author of Meal Simple, available at

About New Jersey Bariatric Center®

The New Jersey Bariatric Center®, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerset and Hoboken, New Jersey, helps patients achieve long-term weight loss success through the most advanced bariatric surgery procedures, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, LAP-BAND  and REALIZE Band procedures. Led by the team of Drs. Ajay Goyal, Glenn Forrester and Angela Jack Glasnapp and Leigh Montes, the New Jersey Bariatric Center®’s approach to patient care has resulted in zero mortalities and a complication rate that is lower than the national average. For more information about bariatric surgery, visit

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