Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Your Brain on Sugar

It gives you a rush, messes with your mind, and always leaves you wanting more - and now researchers are calling for the government to regulate the sweet stuff like a drug.
 
Is sugar worse for you than, say, cocaine? According to a 2012 article in the journal Nature, it's a toxic substance that should be regulated like tobacco and alcohol. Researchers point to studies that show that too much sugar (both in the form of natural sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup) not only makes us fat, it also wreaks havoc on our liver, mucks up our metabolism, impairs brain function, and may leave us susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, even cancer. So far, no federal action has been taken (advocates blame industry lobbyists), and experts say simply raising awareness isn't enough, especially when 80 percent of our food choices contain sugar. "It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion," says coauthor Laura Schmidt, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco.
 Nevertheless, after the shock of hearing the news, many of us shrugged and turned back to our cupcakes. Yet, truth is, women in their 20s and 30s may already be feeling the effects of too much sugar without even realizing it. Here, the most common sugar-induced issues and how to beat them to prevent long-term damage—and feel your best right now.

STRESS EATING For a pick-me-up, you may feel the urge to inhale a bag of M&M's or scarf down a box of cookies. But the impulse goes deeper. To examine the hold sugar can have over us, substance-abuse researchers have performed brain scans on subjects eating something sweet. What they've seen resembles the mind of a drug addict: When tasting sugar, the brain lights up in the same regions as it would in an alcoholic with a bottle of gin. Dopamine—the so-called reward chemical—spikes and reinforces the desire to have more. (Sugar also fuels the calming hormone serotonin.)
THE FIX In times of stress, dieters are more likely to binge, studies conclude. That said, a cookie once in a while (say, twice a week) is fine, but on most days go for oatmeal with brown sugar, suggests Jeffrey Fortuna, Ph.D., a health and behavior lecturer at California State University, Fullerton. The whole grains fill you up and the sweetness is just enough to release serotonin.

INEXPLICABLE WEIGHT GAIN You stay away from burgers and drink diet soda. But sugar—both real and artificial—is the secret saboteur. When the pancreas senses sugar, the body releases insulin, which causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen for energy. Eat too much at once, though, and insulin levels spike, then drop. The aftermath? You feel tired, then crave more sustenance to perk up. Faux sugars don't help. "Artificial sweeteners travel to the part of the brain associated with desire but not to the part responsible for reward," says Dr. Gene-Jack Wang, a researcher at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. Nor do they trigger the release of the satiety hormones that real sugar does, so you're more likely to consume more calories.
THE FIX Feed sweet cravings with fruit (the fiber will help keep insulin in check), and sub in sparkling water for diet soda. If you must indulge, go for a small snack made with real sugar, and eat slowly. Add fruit or yogurt to feel fuller and prevent a crash.

BRAIN FOG Blanking out in the middle of a meeting? Research out of the University of California, Los Angeles, suggests that sugar forms free radicals in the brain's membrane and compromises nerve cells' ability to communicate. This could have repercussions in how well we remember instructions, process ideas, and handle our moods, says Fernando Gómez-Pinilla, Ph.D., author of the UCLA study.
THE FIX Stay under the USDA limit of 10 teaspoons (40 grams) of added sugar a day. Read labels and available nutrition information at chains: A 16-ounce Starbucks vanilla latte and Einstein Bros. bagel will max out your day's allotment! A wiser choice: black coffee and plain yogurt with antioxidant-rich blueberries and walnuts, sweetened with honey.

AGING SKIN Sugar causes premature aging, just as cigarettes and UV rays do. With young skin (generally under 35), when skin support structures collagen and elastin break down from sun or other free-radical exposure, cells repair themselves. But when sugar travels into the skin, its components cause nearby amino acids to form cross-links. These cross-links jam the repair mechanism and, over time, leave you with premature wrinkles.
THE FIX Once cross-links form, they won't unhitch, so keep sugar intake to as close to zero as you can. "It's the enemy," says Dr. William Danby, a dermatologist with Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire. Avoid soda and processed pastries and trade sugar packets for cinnamon—it slows down cross-linking, as do cloves, oregano, ginger, and garlic.

A SLUGGISH WORKOUT Muscles need sugar for fuel, so carbs (which break up into glucose, a type of sim-ple sugar) can kick-start your morning jog. But fruit or prepackaged snacks touting "natural sweeteners" contain just fructose, which is metabolized in the liver, not the muscles. The result: bloat, or even the runs.
THE FIX A glucose-packed snack with just 4 to 8 grams of fructose—it'll help increase glucose absorption, says Dr. Richard Johnson, professor of medicine at the University of Colorado, Denver. Try a sports drink like Gatorade or trail mix with dried fruit an hour before your workout.
 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Sale - Save at LivingAfterWLS General Store

Current Coupon Code: FALL2012
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Recipe Archive: Chicken with Apple Stuffing

From our Recipe of the Week Archive: October 21, 2007

There is no question that boneless skinless chicken breasts play a leading role on the post-weight loss surgery plate. It is easy to rely on this ubiquitous food for clean lean protein that is healthy and quick to prepare. It is also easy for this food to become monotonous. Often we find ways to pretty up the outside using fresh herbs, spices and vegetables to add flavor and variety. Today's Recipe of the Week takes a different approach: moist and healthy fillings tucked inside the breasts to improve flavor and texture while adding variety to our menus. Give these recipes a try and enjoy your lean clean protein in a whole new way.

Chicken Breasts with Curried Apple Stuffing

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
1 3/4 cups chopped peeled Granny Smith apple (about 3/4 pound)
1 3/4 teaspoons curry powder, divided
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (10 1/2-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth, divided
4 (4-ounce) skinned, boned, chicken breast halves
3/4 cup apple juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Directions:
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add apple and 1 teaspoon curry powder; sauté 3 minutes or until apple is tender. Stir in raisins, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, and 1/3 cup broth; cook 4 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Spoon apple mixture into a small bowl; set aside.

Cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each breast half to form a pocket. Stuff about 1/4 cup apple mixture into each pocket.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from skillet; set aside.

Add 3/4 teaspoon curry powder, remaining broth, apple juice, and garlic to skillet. Bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup.

Combine cornstarch and water; stir well. Add to broth mixture in skillet; stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return chicken to skillet; cover and simmer 2 minutes or until heated. Serve sauce with chicken.

Serving Size: 1 chicken breast half and 1/4 cup sauce. Per serving: 240 calories; 30 grams protein, 5 grams fat (1 saturated), 22 grams carbohydrate and 2 grams dietary fiber.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You, Your Mood, and the Scale

Thank you for joining me for this Weekly Digest. We hope you enjoy the new lighter look of our weekly newsletter. This new look is part of an overall redesign of the LivingAfterWLS web suite including the 5 Day Pouch Test and the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood. As our new design unfolds I look forward to introducing you to new features and easier navigation that I hope will improve your LivingAfterWLS experience.

The new weekly digest will include a Feature Article, a column In the News, a new Featured Recipe, and informative briefs and Quick Notes along the left sidebar. You can expect to see a similar format in our Cooking with Kaye and 5 Day Pouch Test newsletters.

Today's featured article looks at the emotions we invest when monitoring our WLS progress exclusively by bathroom scale. Our news article looks at a new study that indicates WLS supports long-term improved health (hopefully most of us knew that already from our own experience). And don't miss today's Featured Recipe: Chicken and White Bean Soup! It is easy and Delicious and will most certainly tame any carb monster!  Thank you again for joining me, remember, We are ALL in this together.

Cheers!
Kaye Bailey

View the complete Weekly Digest in our Archive: Oct 16 Weekly Digest

Another Study Implicates WLS in Substance Abuse

Weight Loss Surgery Boosts Risk For Substance Abuse

Patients who have had bariatric weight loss surgery could be at an elevated risk of substance use (alcohol, cigarette smoking, drug use) following surgery, especially those who underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, who seemed to be at a higher risk for alcohol use after surgery.

This report, published in Archives of Surgery, describes previous studies that relates bariatric weight loss surgery candidates to individuals addicted to other substances such as nicotine and alcohol. These candidates suffer from binge-eating disorder and display addictive personalities, therefore after their weight loss surgery (WLS), they may replace overeating with a different substance. Patients have been advised to explore these effects before undergoing surgery

Alexis Conason, Psy.D., of New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center, and colleagues, examined survey responses from 155 patients (132 women) who underwent weight loss surgery, and signed up after an informative session at a bariatric surgery center.

The participants underwent laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (100) or laparoscopic gastric band surgery (55). All patients answered questionnaires to evaluate eating behaviors and substance use before their operation, and at one, three, six, twelve, and 24 months following surgery.

Patients documented noteworthy increases in the amount of substance use (a combination of drug use, alcohol use, and cigarette smoking) 24 months after surgery. Specifically, the authors saw that participants reported a meaningful increase in the prevalence of substance use from the time of the surgery to 24 months after surgery. Also seen was significant increases from one, three, and six months to 24 months following their operation.

Furthermore, those who had laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (LRYGB) reported a meaningful jump in the frequency of alcohol use from the period before surgery to 24 months afterwards.

The authors concluded:


"Based on the present study, undergoing RYGB surgery appears to increase the risk for alcohol use following WLS. Risks and benefits should be weighted when recommending LRYGB surgery to patients who may be at increased risk of developing problems with alcohol after WLS, such as those with a personal or family history of alcohol abuse or dependence."


Written by Kelly Fitzgerald
Copyright: Medical News Today

Monday, October 15, 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Soup | Dashrecipes.com

Did you guys see this recipe yesterday in the Parade Magazine? Another terrific Pumpkin Soup recipe. I'm going to try it and add some shredded leftover roast turkey. I will keep you posted! The nutritional on this (without added turkey) are 110 calories; 6grams protein; 15grams carb; 2.5 grams fat. 



Spiced Pumpkin Soup | Dashrecipes.com

Here is the link to the very popular 5 Day Pouch Test Pumpkin Sausage Soup.



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Free Shipping Flash Sale - Act Quick & Save!

Greetings!


Happy 10-11-12!!

In celebration of consecutive numbers in today's date we are pleased to offer FREE SHIPPING on all orders placed in the LivingAfterWLS General Store for the next 48 hours. Just like consecutively numbered dates our FREE SHIPPING happens only rarely - Take Advantage Now! 

--No Coupon Needed
--No Minimum Offer

It's as easy as 1-2-3 or 10-11-12 to enjoy this exclusive offer for our loyal customers as we celebrate LIVING after WLS!  Enjoy!

Kaye

*Regretfully, we are no longer able to ship orders outside of the US.  Please see this change to our shipping policy here.

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Sale begins noon eastern time 10/11/2012 and ends noon eastern time 10/13/2012.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

5DPT Forms - Working Now

Have you experienced a technical error trying to download our new 5 Day Pouch Test Journal forms? Sorry about that. The web guys have it fixed and it you can click the link and get the PDF of our all new 2012 5DPT form. The original form is
still there as well, if you prefer. As always, all off our downloads are free for your personal use. Let me know if you like the old form or the new form. You Can Do This!!
This new and improved journal is a companion tool to the brand new 5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual - 2nd Edition published July 2012.  
All New 2nd Edition- July 2012
5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual 5DPT Manual 2nd EditionThe complete 5 Day Pouch Test plan including inspiration, instructions, and recipes in Kaye Bailey's classic empowering style. 180-page easy to read paperback with hints, tips and encouragement that enables you to take charge of your weight loss surgery tool. 2nd Edition includes new guidelines from the FDA, USDA, and the ASMBS. 16 new 5DPT recipes; more FAQ’s; more inspiration from Kaye. Improved format. Same great plan shared with Kaye's encouragement and enthusiasm. Same low first edition price $22.95. Get back on track with Kaye! You Can Do This!
View Table of Contents

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