Sheet pan BBQ chicken & sweet potatoes

I’ve been working on slimming down and getting healthier the past year but I hit a plateau over the holidays and was getting discouraged. To add to it, I wasn’t feeling the greatest – likely due to the fact that my gallbladder had gone rogue and needed to go.

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My brother thought the surgery might help get me over the hump with my weight-loss goal. “How big is a gallbladder?” he asked shortly before the procedure. “I bet you’ll lose some weight. Hey, you should see what else they can remove while they’re in there. Like your appendix. And do you really need both kidneys?”

“You’re suggesting they unload any unnecessary cargo to keep the ship afloat as long as possible?” I asked.

“Exactly.” Brothers are helpful.

He was right, sort of. The post-surgical diet kicked my metabolism up a notch. Or maybe it was the missing pile of rocks in my gallbladder that had been weighing me down.

Regardless, I recently hit the 65-pound mark in my weight-loss journey, and I’m pretty proud of that. I still have a few more to go to reach my goal. It’s been a long – yet fairly steady – process, and I’m hoping that reinforces that this is a lifestyle change rather than a fad diet or a quick fix.

My body is still healing from the surgery; I’m not yet able to do high-impact workouts and my body is getting used to food again – especially red meat and dairy. (It’s also rejecting my absorbable sutures, which is super creepy in an “Alien” movie chest-burster sort of way. Except with a twine-like material, not aliens ... I think.) 

Luckily spice doesn’t seem to be a problem so even though my diet has looked a bit blander than usual, my food still has plenty of flavor and kick.

This sheet pan supper is one of my new favorites. Roasting the potatoes brings out their natural sweetness, and the chicken – which is shredded after it’s cooked – is reminiscent of pulled pork.

It’s a surprisingly filling meal that won’t weigh you down. Unlike those pesky gallbladders.