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Monday, August 23, 2010

Feta Chicken Salad

Refreshing Summer Fare For Healthy Diets

Cooked chicken tossed with fresh vegetables and dressing topped with pungent feta cheese and served over mixed salad greens is an excellent way to enjoy a healthy high protein meal full of flavor and nutrients. Use left-over roast chicken from a previous meal or take advantage of deli rotisserie chicken being careful to remove all skin and bones.

Look for fresh feta cheese in the chilled deli section of most supermarkets. Originating from Greece feta was made by peasants on the lower Balkan peninsula from sheep or goats milk. Feta is salted and cured in a brine solution for several months. It is a crumbly cheese and has a slightly grainy texture. Once removed from the brine it dries out rapidly. For many feta is an acquired taste and the aroma of it has been likened to the smell of bad feet.

It has only been since about 2002 that feta cheese became commonly available in the United States. It is used as a table cheese, as well as in salads, pastries and baking. The classic Greek dish, spanakopita, is a phyllo-crusted spinach pie that features feta cheese combined with olive oil and vegetables and baked. The rich flavor and saltiness of feta helps make a little bit of cheese go a long way.

Nutritionally, feta is a good source of protein, riboflavin, vitamin B12, calcium and phosphorus. A wedge-size serving (1.3 ounces) provides 100 calories, 5 grams protein, 8 grams fat and 424mg of sodium. Feta is high in cholesterol and sodium and very high in saturated fat. It may be included as part of a healthy diet when used in moderation.

Feta Chicken Salad Traditional chicken salad pumped-up with the flavor of feta cheese. This is satisfyingly delicious made with freshly cooked chicken, store-bought rotisserie chicken or canned chicken. Enjoy on a bed of lettuce.

3 cups diced cooked chicken
2 large stalks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
6 tablespoons sour cream
1 (4 ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
6 cups mixed salad greens

In a serving bowl, mix together the chicken, celery, and red onion. In a separate bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, feta cheese, and dill. Pour over the chicken mixture, and stir to blend. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving. Serve over crispy chilled mixed salad greens.

Kaye Bailey (c) - All Rights Reserved

For more terrific weight loss surgery friendly recipes link to LivingAfterWLS Kitchen

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Magnesium Deficiency & WLS Patients

One nutrient we often overlook is magnesium. A magnesium deficiency can cause personality change manifest by confusion, apprehensiveness and depression. In the old days they put people in mental institutions because they were so nutty from the deficiency. Acute sensitivity to sound is another indication of deficiency -- read to learn more.

Magnesium Deficiency Causes Personality Change and WLS Patients are at Risk
By Kaye Bailey

Have you ever felt like you were completely losing your mind? Like the world was swallowing you up and little things were out of your control and unmanageable? Like you were confused, tired, out of sorts and simply wanted to collapse? Has everyday noise become intolerably loud in your head?

That's how I was feeling a few months ago. I was confident I'd lost my mind and suffered a serious change of personality (for the worse, I may add).

My husband noticed my personality change too. He's a good and wise man and quietly did some research. This is what we learned and how we set about correcting my "problem."

As we know the gastric-bypass patient is at risk for vitamin and mineral deficiency. I religiously take my supplements.  However, I was not taking the RDI of Magnesium which is 400 milligrams/day. Magnesium rich foods are raw rice bran, raw wheat germ, yellow cornmeal, corn, soybeans, soy milk, tofu, raw seeds and nuts, leafy greens, yellow vegetables and fruits, whole cereal grains, milk products & seafood. Meat and poultry are not particularly good sources of magnesium.  Clearly, a weight loss surgery patient will not meet their magnesium requirements through diet.

From Dr. Bernard Jensen's Guide to Body Chemistry & Nutrition" I quote:

 "I want to point out here that the classical deficiency symptoms for magnesium include neuromuscular signs, such as tremors, weakness, muscle spasms and irregular heartbeat; gastrointestinal signs such as nausea and vomiting; and personality changes that display confusion, apprehensiveness and depression. In the "old days" people with magnesium deficiency were often (mistakenly) taken to mental institutions because they acted so radically different that they literally seemed to be mentally ill."

In other reading we learned magnesium deficiency leads to a hyper-sensitivity to sound:

 "It is well established that nutritional effects may result in hypersensitive hearing. Many individuals who are deficient in magnesium suffer from sound sensitivity, and they often experience an improvement after receiving magnesium supplements. A suggested 20 milligrams per each 10 pounds of body weight per day, is an appropriate amount of magnesium. Improvement would occur within a few days if the cause of the sensitivity is a magnesium deficiency." This statement appeared in The Sound Connection, 1998, Vol. 5, No. 3.

I started immediately taking a magnesium supplement  and within a few weeks I felt like a new woman back to my old self again. The hyper-sensitivity to sound diminished and life did not seem so overwhelming. Case in point - exactly two weeks after beginning the magnesium supplement my stepsons and their children arrived unexpectedly at our home for dinner. To make matters worse, we had the kitchen disassembled for a minor remodel project.  I happily adapted and cooked dinner for 7 without having a breakdown. That's when I knew the magnesium was working.

Patients should talk with their bariatric center if they experience these conditions or concerns. Annual blood tests will indicate if a patient is deficient in magnesium and other essential vitamins and minerals.

© 2005 Kaye Bailey - All Rights Reserved

Three Red Flag Warnings Leading to Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery

By Kaye Bailey

Before undergoing bariatric surgery for weight loss it is hard to imagine that we could possibly ever become one of "those people" who gain weight after losing it with the help of surgery. Sadly, at some point most patients who have gastric surgery as their last hope for weight loss eventually regain some weight back. It can happen quickly and without fanfare. Here are three red flags to watch for that may lead to weight regain:

Snacking on Soft Carbs
. Over the last 10 years countless bariatric patients have told me, "It seemed harmless at first to eat a few pretzels (crackers, chips, cookies, etc.) but pretty soon I was eating them all day and the weight started coming back." This is a common mistake made by weight loss surgery patients that eventually leads to regaining some weight previously lost with weight loss surgery. We turn to soft carbohydrates because, in most cases, they are comfortable in the stomach pouch, they taste good, and they are readily available. Unfortunately, soft carbohydrates defeat the function of the stomach pouch. When we eat a meal of lean protein and vegetable carbohydrates the food stays in our stomach pouch and we feel a sense of fullness or tightness that signals us to stop eating. Soft carbohydrates on the other hand pass quickly through the pouch and the sensation of fullness is not achieved, therefore we can eat soft carbohydrates seemingly all day. The first rule of weight loss surgery is "Protein First" and rule number three is "No Snacking." Remembering these rules will help us refrain from snacking on soft processed carbs, a habit that may lead to weight gain for bariatric patients.

Drinking Liquid with Meals.
Generally speaking bariatric patients are instructed to cease consumption of liquids 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after eating. In addition they are told to refrain from drinking beverages with meals. The liquid restrictions are intended to keep mealtime focus on a high protein diet of lean animal, dairy and vegetable protein. The high protein food fills the gastric pouch and sustains satiation best when liquid is absent. When we consume beverages with our lean protein meal the food is washed through the gastric pouch before fully digested. Nutrients are lost as food is washed away and hunger returns more quickly. As we advance following weight loss surgery we tend to relax the liquid restrictions because it is not comfortable to eat food without liquid and dinner conversation is difficult with a dry mouth. An occasional small sip of water with meals may be acceptable and is unlikely to cause weight gain. However the return to full drinking with meals almost always leads to a weight loss plateau or eventually weight gain.

Avoiding the Scale. During the early weeks and months following weight loss surgery patients find themselves weighing frequently because it is exciting to measure our weight loss on the bathroom scale. In fact, for some patients in the phase of weight loss the relationship with the scale becomes a near-obsession. Sadly as life-long dieters bariatric patients intuitively know when the pendulum has swung from losing weight to gaining weight. Avoiding the bathroom scale is a loud red flag warning that weight gain is imminent. This is understandable, we have worked hard for weight loss and avoiding the scale allows us to deny or ignore what we already know: we are gaining weight. Patients who establish a weekly ritual of weighing on the same day of each week at the same time and place tend to be more accountable for weight gain and more likely to correct behaviors leading to weight gain at an early stage. Patients who find them self avoiding the scale are encouraged to engage in self-assessment to identify the cause of weight gain and correct behaviors quickly.

Before weight loss surgery we are told that gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding (lap-band), or gastric sleeve procedures are only a tool for weight loss. We are instructed to adopt a lifestyle that includes dietary and physical activity modifications. This new lifestyle is to be followed for the rest of our life in order to maintain weight loss and achieve improved health. As much as the surgery is a tool, so are we human prone to the ups and downs we call life. Red flags are also tools -warning tools- that when observed give us opportunity to make a correction and move forward in a favorable direction.

Article Source:  Three Red Flag Warnings Leading to Weight Gain After Bariatric Surgery

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Its Back To School Time-do You Have Your Tools Ready?

Good Morning & Happy August Neighbors!

Did you thrive in July or did you just survive? I'm on the "survival" list & happy to turn a page on the new month today! August & September are my favorite months of the year; I especially love the excitement of a new school year! fresh notebooks, pens & pencils. Tons... of new things to learn & experience! How about you - are you excited for a new month & new chance to learn? We are all students of life & learning is fun! LivingAfterWLS has several post-Weight Loss Surgery checklists & journaling tools to download for FREE! Now's a great time for a fresh start-Let's get Learning! http://www.livingafterwls.com/downloads.html



Tools you can download for FREE:
Quarterly Personal Self Assessment Worksheet
5 Day Pouch Test Journal
Day 6 Daily Checklist
Day 6 Menu Planner
Fit is It Workout Chart



From my EzineArticles Collection: Here are three reasons why checklists are helpful to us in our SUCCESSFUL weight management with #WLS! Take a look, then go to the LivingAfterWLS download page to get your FREE checklist & journaling tools designed to help us all in weight management with weight loss surgery! LivingAfterWLS.com/downloads.html

Three Benefits of Checklists in Successful Weight Management With Weight Loss Surgery
By Kaye Bailey

People who undergo surgery for weight loss are often tempted to simply let the surgery do the work for weight loss without making an effort to adapt new healthier diet and fitness habits. But the surgical bariatric patients who wish to achieve weight loss and maintain a healthy weight for years to come will use the surgery as an opportunity to form new habits creating a new healthier way of life. Using checklists to set goals, make a plan, and promote accountability is a key way for weight loss surgery patients to make the most of their surgical opportunity to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight long-term. Here are three benefits checklists provide:

Map a Plan. We have all been heard saying things like, "I need to lose some weight" or "I need to plan my meals and eat better" or "I really should start exercising." And we know that saying these things seldom puts in motion the actions to accomplish results. The use of checklists can change words to results because they give us a place in which to map a plan. A good checklist will provide an opportunity to set a goal and then outline the steps required to achieve that goal. Just like a well-planned road trip a good check list maps the route for the journey to ensure the destination is reached.

Establish Accountability. We may not like to admit it as adults, but the simple fact is we perform better when we are held accountable. That includes being personally and possibly privately accountable to our self when pursing goals that are important to us. A good checklist holds us accountable with milestones and deadlines. Saying "I'd like to sign-up for a 5K race," doesn't hold the punch that writing down on a checklist, "Participate in benefit 5K three weeks from today" does. Seeing the goal written down keeps it present in our thoughts and actions. And the best part is that little check box in which we can put a great big X when the goal is accomplished. Accountability with checklists can be a private action, or it may be shared by like-minded people. People with shared goals may wish to share their checklists adding another layer of accountability that is both motivating and empowering.

Tactile Action. The literal act of holding a checklist, filling-in the blanks, and marking boxes is physically rewarding. But more importantly the act of writing a checklist, marking progress and accomplishing tasks or goals with a it gives us a pause to consider our goals and assess our progress. Effective time management strategies call for small blocks of time set aside to focus exclusively on making checklists, marking progress and noting accomplishment. For effective weight loss and weight management time should be dedicated each day to make and review checklists all the while keeping an eye on our big goals and the route we will take to achieve them.

Checklists can be as simple or as complicated you make them. When the goal is as important as long-term health and weight management the investment of time and thought in a well executed checklist nets great benefits.

Kaye Bailey © 2010 - All Rights Reserved

Article Source: Three Benefits of Checklists in Successful Weight Management With Weight Loss Surgery

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