Wednesday, July 29, 2009

5 Day Pouch Test Support

New addition to our beautiful LivingAfterWLS Store: 5 Day Pouch Test Support -- All you need to succeed with 5 Day Pouch Test. No gimmick products here. Everything for purchase is something I use regularly and know to be beneficial to our best health LivingAfterWLS. I want YOU to succeed.
Go Here

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nearly 10% of health spending for obesity

What are your thoughts? Share them here in the Neighborhood:
http://www.livingafterwls.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=11944

By LAURAN NEERGAARD
AP Medical Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Obesity's not just dangerous, it's expensive. New research shows medical spending averages $1,400 more a year for an obese person than for someone who's normal weight. Overall obesity-related health spending reaches $147 billion, double what it was nearly a decade ago, says the study published Monday by the journal Health Affairs.

The higher expense reflects the costs of treating diabetes, heart disease and other ailments far more common for the overweight, concluded the study by government scientists and the nonprofit research group RTI International.

RTI health economist Eric Finkelstein offers a blunt message for lawmakers trying to revamp the health care system: "Unless you address obesity, you're never going to address rising health care costs."

Two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese, and the average American today is 23 pounds overweight, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Obesity and with it diabetes are the only major health problems that are getting worse in this country, and they're getting worse rapidly," Frieden said Monday at the CDC's first major conference on the obesity crisis.

It's not an individual problem but a societal problem - as the nation's health bill illustrates - that will take society-wide efforts to reverse, Frieden stressed. His agency last week released a list of strategies it wants communities to try. They include: increasing healthy foods and drinks in schools and other public venues; building more supermarkets in poor neighborhoods; encouraging more mothers to breast-feed, which protects against childhood obesity; and discouraging consumption of sodas and other sweetened beverages.

The average American consumes 250 more daily calories today than two or three decades ago, 120 of them from those kinds of drinks, Frieden said. Science suggests that while eating a candy bar before dinner will spoil your appetite, liquid calories don't - you won't cut back on dinner if you have a sugary soda first.

He said there's some evidence that adding a tax to those drinks might help curb consumption, although he stressed that wasn't a view of the Obama administration.

The new Health Affairs study found obesity-related conditions now account for 9.1 percent of all medical spending, up from 6.5 percent in 1998. During that time, the obesity rate rose 37 percent.

On average, health bills for a normal-weight person are about $3,400 a year, but that rises to $4,870 for someone who's obese, Finkelstein said. Prescription drugs are the biggest driver of those costs: Medicare spends about $600 more per year on medications for an obese beneficiary than a normal-weight one.

Health economists have long warned that obesity is a driving force behind the rise in health spending. For example, diabetes costs the nation $190 billion a year to treat, and excess weight is the single biggest risk factor for developing diabetes. Moreover, obese diabetics are the hardest to treat, with higher rates of foot ulcers and amputations, among other things.

The new study's look at per-capita spending may offer a shock to the wallets of people who haven't yet heeded health warnings.

"Health care costs are dramatically higher for people who are obese and it doesn't have to be that way," said Jeff Levi of the nonprofit Trust for America's Health, who wasn't involved in the new research.

"We have ways of changing behavior and changing those health outcomes so that we don't have to deal with the medical consequences of obesity," added Levi, who advocates community-based programs that promote physical activity and better nutrition.

2009 Neighborhood Postcard Swap

Here is Kaye's other assistant Keeper Kitty with her postcards from the 2008 swap

(As posted by my new assistant Camie in the Neighborhood)

Hello.

This is my first post to the Neighborhood and my first Neighborhood assignment as Kayes assistant.

You are invited to join the second annual Neighborhood Postcard Swap and travel the world without leaving home. How it works:

Select 5 postcards from your local area, write a greeting on them signing your Neighborhood name and apply postage. (.28/cents domestic postage). Do not address the postcards, I will do that for you. Place the postcards in an envelope and mail to me at address below. Include a note with your name and postal address so I will know where to send your swap postcards. When we have received all the postcards I will address and send out postcards to all participants. So in exchange for your five postcards you will receive 5 postcards from your neighbors! Your name and address will only be seen by me and/or Kaye and never sold or used for solicitatin. International participants are encouraged to join the swap. And post on this thread so we know who is playing.

Deadline: August 20th!!!

Send postcards to:
LivingAfterWLS
Attn: Camie
PO Box 311
Evanston, wY 82931

Savory Provence Grilled Leg of Lamb

Hello Neighbors!

Tonight it is happy grilling at our place. I've got a butterflied leg of lamb on the gas grill over indirect heat.

Did you know that lamb is the most widely consumed animal protein in the world? In fact humans have spent the last 1,000 years getting the seasonings and cooking technique just right. Lamb is a staple in the southern hemisphere -- my grandkids tell me the best lamb they have enjoyed was last year when they traveled to New Zealand. Africa, India and the Mediterranean countries all have signature methods of preparing and enjoying lamb.

According to George Mateljan at The World's Healthiest Food, "Americans eat a fraction of the amount of lamb consumed in many other countries in the world. And that's too bad since this red meat is very healthful and extremely delicious, having a very tender and buttery quality." Read more about lamb at World's Healthiest foods.

Today I prepared the leg of lamb in the Mediterranean tradition with a marinade of our own You Have Arrived Savory Provence herb blend and olive oil. This sodium-free blend with contains rosemary, thyme, savory, lavender, & other herbs. I combined 2 tablespoons of Savory Provence with 1/4 cup of olive oil and rubbed the lamb with it this morning, then wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated until grilling time. I have tossed chunks of onion and summer squash (zucchini) with the same mix of olive oil and Savory Provence to grill after the lamb is done while it is resting.

Get the Savory Provence blend in our General Store

A 4-ounce serving of lamb and 3-4 bites of grilled veggies will be more than enough to keep me full and happy for the evening. A 4-ounce (114 grams) serving of lamb contains 229 calories and 30grams of protein. Lamb is a rich source of tryptophan, a valuable amino acid most famous for inducing sleep. More importantly, lamb is a terrific source of selenium, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc and phosphorus.

The USDA recommends for safety reasons that lamb is cooked until it is medium rare indicated by an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Old school cooks generally overcooked lamb which is frequently called "gray lamb". Lamb tastes best when it is hot as this tames the "lamby" or fatty taste that is often off-putting to the palate. A sweet fruit chutney or sauce or the classic mint jelly is a welcome accompaniment to lamb.

For more great protein happy recipes visit the LivingAfterWLS Kitchen.

Have a great evening! I'm off to check the grill!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Stretching After Walking

Walking Guide $4.65 in the General Store

Hello Neighbors!

As you may remember I did the 5 Day Pouch Test during the week of June 22 and incorporated our new LivingAfterWLS Walking program into my daily routine. This is week 4 of the program and includes a 20 minute walk each day for 6 of 7 days. Twenty minutes is such a great number! We can do ANYTHING for 20 minutes! This morning my walk included taking puppy for a big loop around the pond and back up the hill. He circled me twice but I kept plugging along at a steady pace and all was right with the world.

As our Walking Guide & Daily Log instructs us, warm-up and stretching are a vital part to any walking program. As the guide tells us on page 29,

"The RIGHT way to Stretch:
  • Relax into the stretch
  • Never force the stretch, and never bounce
  • Hold the stretch 5-10 seconds, ease off the stretch, then relax into the stretch once again for another 5-10 seconds
  • Take a relaxing breath as you start each stretch. Inhale through the nose, exhale slowly through the mouth
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed at all times
Most injuries during stretching occur due to improper stretching technique. Remember to be gentle, relax, and never force a stretch."

How is your walking program going this week?

Smart Fitness - Walking
by Kaye Bailey - LivingAfterWLS Library

"Step for step, mile for mile, walking is the best cardiovascular activity you can include as part of your weight loss surgery success story. Walking is easy, accessible, inexpensive, individual and effective. It is the gold-star sport for real people with real lives. Formerly stigmatized as cheap transportation and a senior citizens’ sport it is now a credible and fashionable form of exercise. And it’s been around for a long time – anthropoids stood upright and put one foot in front of the other thousands of years ago and we haven’t looked back since."

Read the Full Article

5 Day Pouch Test Dangerous: Kaye Answers

by Kaye Bailey
Since the 5 Day Pouch Test was introduced thousands of people have taken control of their surgical weight loss tool by following this basic 5-day plan. The plan, which started as a simple blog post in 2007, now has a website, a blog, and over 2,000 copies of the "Owner's Manual" have been sold to people around the world. The plan and book have received positive acclaim and I am thrilled that so many people have benefited from the program.

Every now and then criticism comes along and as a researcher and writer I expect that. Recently the criticism is that the plan is dangerous and nothing more than a fad diet. Today I will put your mind at rest that you can safely and smartly use this plan to accomplish the goals and lifestyle changes that inspired you to have weight loss surgery in the first place.

Order the 5DPT Owner's Manual - $22.95

The plan, when followed as written, is not dangerous. Often patients who have gained weight or feel like their pouch is no longer working are told by their medical professionals, "You just need to get back to basics." The patient, who is already suffering feelings of failure or frustration, leaves the office feeling even worse. So they jump, cold turkey, back to high protein eating without a transitional phase from a carbohydrate cycle. This is physiological disaster not unlike a smoker going cold turkey off nicotine. When the carb cravings become unbearable we, out of necessity, reach for the comfort food and feel physically better but mentally tormented at our lack of will power.

Read More

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Easy Chicken Chasseur

(At left, Tarragon is widely used in classic French cooking for a variety of dishes including chicken, fish and vegetables, as well as many sauces, the best known being Bernaise.)

I love the flavors of tarragon and cooking sherry together - so Continental! And can we ever get enough chicken recipes? This "Easy Chicken Chasseur" comes from Taste of Home Healthy Cooking April-May 2009 issue. After trying it last night I can happily report it is delicious! For the starch eaters in your family serve with rice. But for the tiny-tummies enjoy as is. I can assure you a nutritionally balanced meal and a happy pouch. CHEERS!

From Food Dictionary.com:
chasseur sauce
[shah-SUR]
1. French for "hunter," chasseur sauce is a hunter-style brown sauce consisting of mushrooms, shallots and white wine (sometimes tomatoes and parsley). It's most often served with game and other meats. 2. Dishes prepared in a chasseur style are garnished with sautéed mushrooms and shallots.

Easy Chicken Chasseur
Serves 4 -- Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup sherry or reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 medium tomatoes cut into wedges and seeded

Directions:
Place cornstarch in a large resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, brown chicken in 2 teaspoons oil. Remove and set aside.

In the same skillet, cook and stir mushrooms and onions in remaining oil until tender. Add the broth, sherry and seasonings; bring to a boil. Carefully return chicken to the pan; simmer uncovered, for 4-6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in tomatoes; heat through. Serve with rice if desired.

Serves 4. Per serving (without rice): 260 calories, 25g protein, 7g fat (1 saturated), 18g carbohydrate.
Diabetic Exchanges: 3 very lean meat. 1 starch. 1 vegetable. 1 fat.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Mugs Have Arrived

Hello Neighbors!

The much anticipated "You Have Arrived" 16-ounce Bistro mugs have arrived at LivingAfterWLS headquarters and they are ready for shipping today! Sale priced at just $10.25 these gorgeous mugs are a terrific at-your-fingertips reminder to celebrate every day of this wonderful journey. Now is everything and the "You Have Arrived" motto is a constant reminder to live in the now. Jump over to the LivingAfterWLS General Store and get your mug today! Free "You Have Arrived" postcard with our full motto with every order.

"Whatever else you have on your mind,
Wherever else you think you're going,
Stop for a moment and look where you are:
You Have Arrived!"

CHEERS!

Click Here to Get Your Mug

Spices & Herbs to Soothe Indigestion

Hello Neighbors!

It is not uncommon, after surgical weight loss, to experience frequent bouts of indigestion or mild stomach discomfort. We simply do not have enough digestive enzymes. Foods that may cause indigestion tend to be processed simple carbohydrates or high in fat. Often we turn to over-the-counter digestive aids that may or may not help. Some actually do more harm because they are time released made for people with a full intestinal tract and our short-circuit systems cannot handle them either.

But what I've learned over the last 10 years of tending my tiny stomach pouch is that food mindfully prepared with limited fat and processed ingredients, and rich in protein seasoned and flavored with herbs and spices seldom results in stomach upset.

Recently we cooked pork ribs over the charcoal grill, seasoned with the You Have Arrived Grilling Blend. The Grilling Blend marries the smoky flavor of paprika with garlic, onion and a hint of cinnamon and ginger for a flavorful but not overtly spicy blend. We trimmed the fat and dry-rubbed the ribs with the Grilling blend, covered and allowed them to sit overnight refrigerated. Then we slow cooked them over low heat to 160F internal temperature. They were delicious. My stepson said he liked the Grilling blend but wasn't sure he understood or liked the flavor of cinnamon and ginger that makes this seasoning special. I explained to him:

"Cinnamon and Ginger are carminative herbs that contain compounds that can soothe the stomach and prevent gas. They are ideal for preventing and treating indigestion. That is the reason we included them in our seasoning blends: to give our tiny pouches a boost when it comes to digestion and prevent stomach upset that might otherwise occur."
In reviewing the culinary history of the world we learn that ginger has been the herb of choice for seasoning fish and seafood. Recipes date back thousands of years in China's history, to when fish and seafood weren't always fresh and often caused indigestion or worse. James A. Duke in "The Green Pharmacy" tells us, "Ancient Chinese cooks discovered that if they flavored their fish with ginger, it was less likely to cause stomach upset. Ginger has been the spice of choice for fish ever since." (Rodale Copyright 2001 - Page 103).

I think as people recovering from morbid obesity we owe it to ourselves to take advantage of the best natural remedies whenever possible. I believe this with all my heart. I learned so much about using herbs and spices as natural healers while researching and developing the You Have Arrived seasoning line. And that research taught me it is possible to achieve nutritional balance, in most cases, with the inclusion of the best ingredients in mindfully prepared meals. Don't you agree?

In addition to cinnamon and ginger the following carminative herbs can be included in the diet to avoid and/or relieve stomach distress:
anise, cardamom, chamomile, cilantro, coriander, lavender, lemon balm, licorice, peppermint, red pepper, and spearmint.
Peppermint may very well be the best digestive herb available. It is antibacterial and will fight-off food borne bugs. It promotes gastric secretions so you digest food more efficiently. It is antispasmodic, helping to prevent and relieve abdominal cramps and it is carminative to settle the stomach and prevent gas. Try a nice cup of peppermint tea one hour before meals and see how it works for you.

Visit the LivingAfterWLS General Store for a full selection of our Seasoning Blends

Monday, July 06, 2009

Dumping Syndrome Revisited

Recently Ky, author of Turtle + Butterfly = Turtlefly Adventures left this comment on the LivingAfterWLS General Store post:

"Hello. I found your blog tonight after reading your article, "Dumping Syndrome: The Dirty Secret Gastric Bypass Patients Keep". I found your article doing a google search on dumping syndrome. I am 2 years 1 month post op (Gastric Bypass) and lost 205 lbs which I have also kept off. I haven't however been able to avoid dumping and your description of how you dump almost mirrors mine. I have become very frustrated, and just wanted to say that when I read your article I didn't feel so isolated or alone. Thank you for sharing your journey and helping me to know that there isn't something wrong with me - but rather that I need to focus on the basics in order to avoid this very uncomfortable and distressing consequence of WLS. Anyway - thank you again."
It has been a long time since we talked about Dumping Syndrome on this Blog so it seems appropriate to drag out this old article from my syndication library. This is the article to which Ky refers. I still dump occasionally, still don't know why all the time. But the more I follow the Four Rules the less it happens. Take a look at this article and let me know about your experience with dumping syndrome.

Dumping Syndrome: The Dirty Secret Gastric Bypass Patients Keep
By Kaye Bailey

Dumping syndrome is an effective result of the gastric bypass system which alerts the body of inappropriate eating. Dumping syndrome is described as a shock-like state when small, easily absorbed food particles rapidly dump into the digestive system. This results in a very unpleasant feeling with symptoms such as a cold clammy sweat, pallor, butterflies in the stomach and a pounding pulse. These symptoms may be followed by cramps and diarrhea. This state can last for 30-60 minutes and is quite uncomfortable.

That was the clinical description of dumping.

This is what I experience when I dump: shortly after eating a food I don’t tolerate (sugar, milk, sugary milk products or starchy carbs) I begin to feel a bit disoriented, maybe dizzy and then an overall sense of confusion or panic takes over my mind and body. This is a mild state of delirium. Then I begin sweating. Profuse sweating that can completely soak my hair, my clothes; it drips and glistens on my skin. During this state of sweaty panic I feel like I’m out of my mind! A few times during extremely dramatic dumping episodes I literally thought I was dying, the state of distress was that severe.

At this point during a dumping episode I have learned it is best to lie down on my side and let it nature take its course. The body is efficiently, albeit painfully, correcting a chemical imbalance in the cell system. It takes great presence of mind to calm myself and lay down, but even in a state of near-delirium I now know this is the only action to be taken. I know the event is passing when the sense of panic is replaced by exhaustion and cold chills instead of sweating. Occasionally I have suffered diarrhea at this point. If I have the luxury I’ll try to take a nap or go to bed after dumping. If it is in the evening I’ll sleep through the night, and wake feeling like I’ve been run over by a truck.

The mild delirium associated with dumping is the result of an interruption of nerve impulses affecting cerebral metabolism. The interruptions are caused by metabolic disturbances such as fluid or electrolyte imbalance. When the incorrect foods are consumed and dumped into the digestive system the electrolytes get out of balance. Dehydration will also cause an electrolyte imbalance. This mild delirium is characterized by a reduced ability to maintain attention to surroundings or disorganized thinking. The daily routine can become confusing. In extreme cases a person who is dumping may experience rambling, irrelevant or incoherent speech.

After the dump passes the interrogation begins: what caused that dump? I have dumped on yogurt, sugar cookies, lobster bisque and blackberry sorbet. I have dumped after one margarita. A particularly impressive dump followed a love-fest with a piece of pecan pie. Salty potato chips that should have never crossed my lips knocked me flat quicker than a prize-winning boxer could have. I have dumped a few times for which I never determined a cause. In most cases eating the inappropriate food for my gastric bypass system is the culprit. Through trial and error I can predict most things that make me dump and I avoid them contemptuously.

The most efficient way to avoid dumping is to maintain the strict regimen practiced during bariatric infancy: follow the four rules. Eat protein first making sure it comprises one-half of every meal. Avoid snacking. Avoid all sources of simple sugar; and yes, this includes cookies, cakes, candy, sodas, ice cream and sorbet. Sip water throughout the day. When you practice this eating behavior your blood sugar will not fluctuate and you will not dump. Most patients, who crave a taste of something sweet, have learned they can tolerate a bite of fruit at the end of the meal. Proceed with caution and discover what works for you.

The first reaction when dumping begins is to try and make it stop. There is a feeling of helplessness – like trying to stop an earthquake. I have tried eating myself out of it. I have tried flushing it away by drinking water. I have tried physical motion – pacing – to get myself out of it. I have not successfully stopped a dumping episode. I don’t know anyone who can successfully halt a dumping episode. Sipping a sports drink like Gatorade will relieve my symptoms, although my surgical weight loss specialists do not recommended this practice. If you find something to bring relief during a dump, and it causes no further harm, then do it.

It is important to note that the dumping experience is different for every person. Some will always have extreme dumps and others more mild episodes. Individuals will notice dumping episodes will vary by incident. No two people dump the same and no two dumps are alike.

Dumping is a bittersweet fact of life after weight loss surgery. Because we must fuel our bodies by eating we will experience dumping. Adherence to the four rules will prevent dumping in most cases. However, every now and again we will be blindsided by a dump caused by a food never suspected. Keeping a list of poorly tolerated foods will help you avoid them. The acutely dramatic event of dumping is a convincing motivator to follow the rules and avoid the foods that have triggered a dumping episode.

More articles on the First Year Post-Weight Loss Surgery

Friday, July 03, 2009

Fun Friday Independence Day 2009

Happy Fun Friday Everyone! I wish everyone a healthy & happy Independence Day weekend! Before you take off to celebrate be sure to share your favorite July 4th Memory & Recipe on Fun Friday in the Neighborhood! Let Freedom Ring!

Fun Friday July 4th

Check out these Hot Topics in the Neighborhood!

Summer Sizzler Accountability Challenge, Beat the heat but move yer feet!
Thanks, once again John and Jean for your wisdom. Its been a whole month yesterday with eating by the rules and licking tongue0011.gif the carb monster. Sweets and carbs are an addiction for me and I need to remember this always. So that is it, I am offically back on the wagon. angel-smiley-002.gif No regrets, no looking back, I'm looking forward to my goal love0028.gif I so need the support of this hood, you always come through for me love0034.gif
---Beverley - July 3, 2009
Pesto Turkey Meatballs
1.5 lbs ground turkey
1/4 cup pesto
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 small white onion
1/2 tsp salt

Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 mins

I love these too!!!!
--- Mandy
Day 6 -- What I Learned from the 5 Day Pouch Test

I did it! My pouch is back! I learned that if you eat protein and don't drink anything for 30 mins. before and 30 mins. after eating--you stay satiated for hours!! I also learned that I never would have made it during the first 2 days if I hadn't made the "carbmonster" soups. Finally, I learned that there are a lot of friends here that I never knew I had!

Thank you for your help & support!
I will continue to be a regular...!
--Jynx
There's Something for Everyone in the Neighborhood!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Another Upgrade to the General Store

Hey Neighbors! Wondering where I've been? Let me say -- we introduced the "new" store on June 8 and with that launch released a storm of 1000 screaming HTML rats. cool-smiley-013.gif The utility our reputable hosting company provided was clumsy, unreliable, inconsistent and so 1998. It was taking our small staff of 4 (5 if I could sucker Jim into helping) 7 hours a day just to process and fulfill orders -- and we hope we got them right. UGH!

Jump ahead 3 weeks later ----

Tonight, after many long hours, (Thanks Scoop) we've launched a new store utility. At first glance it appears to be much cleaner and our test transactions have gone through 100% flawlessly. And it's pretty. nature-smiley-008.gif I think Nancy will like it! Take a look and let me know what you think. I honestly have my hand on the HTML Bible with hopes that this is significantly improved over what we have put-up with for the last few weeks. I've missed everyone and I don't want to spend this kind of time building a perfect storm of frustration any longer!

I want to offer a big hug of thanks to those who have supported LivingAfterWLS through our store. It was never my dream or vision to become an online merchant (still isn't my dream - I want to go back to writing one of these days!) But LivingAfterWLS has taken a life of its own and you can be assured that when LAWLS offers products it is with my 100% endorsement. So far merchandising hasn't made me or LAWLS rich -- but it has made a lot of people happy. (Check out Fun Stuff to pre-order your You Have Arrived coffee mug that begins shipping July 8!)

Thanks Everyone. And thanks to all you special people who have kept the Neighborhood chugging along when there are days I cannot be here. You are one super special group of Neighbors.


LivingAfterWLS NEW-NEW General Store