LAWLS Bookstore

Monday, January 30, 2006

Final Two Days: Buy 2 Get 3 Free

Puritan's Pride Vitamin Sale

Got Calcium?
Three Ways To Get Your RDI

Most Americans do not get enough calcium in their diets; the average daily intake is 500 milligrams shy of the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) of 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams.

Gastric bypass patients are even more unlikely to intake adequate dietary calcium and without supplementation they may become calcium deficient which ultimately results in osteoporosis. Weight loss surgery patients are limited by the volume of calcium rich foods they may consume. In addition, the malabsorption issue resulting from gastric bypass presents another problem. Since the bowel does not readily absorb calcium and the stomach is drastically shortened there is limited opportunity for the calcium to be absorbed in the body.

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body – we have two or three pounds of it, most of which is located in the bones and teeth. In addition to building bones and teeth, calcium is an electrolyte required for transmitting nerve signals, water balance, acid/alkaline balance and maintaining osmotic pressure. It helps the blood to clot and is necessary for the heart muscle function. It’s long been known that calcium will aid in the prevention of osteoporosis, but new studies are identifying calcium for it’s anticancer actions within the colon.

Most dietary calcium comes from dairy products but can also be found in sardines, canned salmon, green leafy vegetables and tofu. The National Academy of Sciences has raised the calcium guideline to 1,000 milligrams a day for people under 51, and to 1,200-1,500 milligrams a day for people over 51.

Gastric bypass patients can do three things to better assimilate calcium in the

First, take a calcium citrate supplement twice daily.

Second, exercise consistently.

Third, enjoy sunshine every day.

Chewable supplements taken twice daily will more rapidly dissolve and assimilate into the body than hard pills. They should be 500 milligrams each; the body cannot absorb more than 500 milligrams at a time. The recommended form for WLS patients is calcium citrate.

Next, studies show that people who exercise regularly better assimilate calcium into the body than sedentary individuals. Even though US Astronauts take calcium supplements in orbit, they return to Earth calcium deficient; NASA believes lack of physical activity prevents their bodies from assimilating the calcium.

Finally, get some sunshine. Twenty minutes a day of direct or indirect sunlight will give the body plenty of natural vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin”, which is necessary for calcium assimilation.

Doing these three things will make you feel great today and will contribute to healthier aging. Osteoporosis is an epidemic in this country and is directly attributed to calcium deficiency. We all know that when an elderly person falls and breaks a hip death is imminent. Osteoporosis is nearly always the reason why hipbones break when older people fall. In the case of osteoporosis there is nothing the body can do to defend itself from the loss of calcium associated with aging. Supplementation is necessary throughout adulthood to prevent chronic calcium deficiency.

Friday, January 27, 2006

LAWLS: Email Subscriptions

Have you enjoyed our new email services this week? On Sunday we launched the "Recipe of the Week" and on Wednesday our first "You Have Arrived Postcard Club" was emailed. We sent both of these mailings to the full LivingAfterWLS subscriber list. But to receive them in the future you need to log-on to your subscription and update your interest categories. To do that, simply click the link below and enter the email address at which you receive LivingAfterWLS newsletters. You will then have opportunity to hand select the mailings you wish to receive. (This link is always available in the blog header box).

LivingAfterWLS Newsletter Catalog

You Have Arrived Newsletter: Twice monthly newsletter focused on topics of interest to living after WLS.

You Have Arrived Postcard Club: Once weekly email postcard with inspirational quote for living after WLS.

Weekly LivingAfterWLS Recipe: Each Sunday a new recipe delivered to your inbox. Protein & nutrient dense recipes suitable for our community.

LAWLS Leader Helpers: Once a month agenda & articles for use in group meetings.

Coming issues:
We hope you continue to enjoy our LivingAfterWLS Newsletters! The next Recipe of the Week delivers Sunday and Wednesday's Postcard Club has a very special message from our contributor Kim Stover. On February 1st the You Have Arrived newsletter will be delivered - it's all about long-term success with WLS - don't miss it!

Email your newsletter ideas to Kaye

Have a Great Weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Slow Cooker Red and White Chili

Have you ever come across a product you thought was beyond brilliant? Well that's how I feel about the Reynolds slow cooker liners. An idea whose time has come. Slow cooker recipes are ideal for WLS folks, they infuse the meat protein with moisture, can be left unattended and provide tons of great leftovers. But don't you hate the crockpot mess? These new liners literally eliminate the mess! Have you tried them? I found this recipe for Slow Cooker Red & White Chili right on the ReynoldsKitchen website. It's a great recipe. A little rich in carbs - a WLS person in the rapid weight loss phase may wish to elminate one or both cans of the navy beans. Otherwise this is great for LivingAfterWLS - - and clean-up is a breeze! Enjoy!


PS - LivingAfterWLS is not affiliated with ReynoldsKitchen so it's safe for me to tell you they are having a great contest right now: "Win a Slow Cooker Full of Cash"! Click over there to enter!

1 Reynolds® Slow Cooker Liner
6 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
2 cans (15.5 oz.) navy beans, drained
1 cup chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon each salt and cayenne pepper

OPEN slow cooker liner and place it inside a 5- to 6 ½ -quart slow cooker bowl. Fit liner snugly against the bottom and sides of bowl; pull top of liner over rim of bowl.

PLACE all ingredients in the lined-slow cooker; stir gently to mix. Place lid on slow cooker.

COOK on LOW for 6 to 7 hours OR on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours until hot and sauce thickens slightly.

CAREFULLY remove lid to allow steam to escape. Serve food directly from slow cooker. Do not lift or transport liner with food inside. Cool slow cooker completely; remove liner and toss.

Number of Servings: 6-8

Nutrition Information: calories 342
grams fat 5
% calories from fat 12
milligrams cholesterol 76
milligrams sodium 1184
grams carbohydrates 35
grams fiber 9
grams protein 40

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Judy's Fit Is It Update:

Originally uploaded by Roweun.
(Photo from Flickr - OK, that's not Judy but I think it's a cool photo of Barbie in her 1980's Jane Fonda workout clothes!)

I am so excited to share Judy's Fit Is It update! When I read it I wanted to get up and put my walking shoes on! She is truly an inspiration - remember - Judy is almost 20 YEARS POST-OP and successfully maintaining her goal weight! It can be done!

"Hi, Kaye! I'm proud to report to you that I have worked out every day this month so far. Last week (15th through 21st) was my best week; I logged 422 minutes. My total through today, 1/25, is 1374 minutes, and I think that's better than I did the entire month of December! I did work out every day in December, but it was a busy month. I was still able to surpass 300 minutes each week."

I do video workouts each morning. My favorite is step aerobics; I have some dance aerobics that I'm also quite fond of. I try to get in strength training and/or Pilates at least 3 times a week, but my favorite workouts incorporate cardio in with the toning. We've had a really mild winter, so I get the outdoor walks on the weekend if I can. I enjoy variety in my workouts. My step and stability ball are my favorite "toys". I have various hand-weights ankle weights and resistance bands/tubing as well. When I work out, I love wearing cute workout clothing (even though nobody sees me).

That's my update. I hope you get all your minutes in, and that you enjoy every one of them!"


Thanks Judy for Sharing & Inspiring!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Final Week Puritan's Pride Fabulous Vitamin Sale!
Buy 2: Get 3 Free

Just a reminder - this is the final week of this great sale. Be sure to stock up on your vitamins and supplements and enjoy the great savings from our affiliate Puritan's Pride Vitamins.

Puritan's Pride Vitamin Sale

Fit Is It Challenge - Week 3

Email Me The Challenge

We just finished Week 3 of the Fit Is IT Challenge - 180 minutes of exercise a week - -that's the challenge, 30 minutes a day 6 days a week? How did you do? It's been a real quiet week, I haven't heard from many of you. Drop me an email, let me know how you are doing!

I fell 20-minutes short of my personal challenge for 240 minutes of exercise during the week. Even falling short I feel healthy and well from moving my body. I logged 140 minutes cardio, 45 minutes strength training and 35 minutes flexibility training.

New research published today confirms what fitness enthusiasts have long believed: brisk exercise is an effective pick-me-up in the face of depression. As reported by the Associated Press:

Exercise gets you off depression's treadmill
AUSTIN, Texas: Thirty minutes of brisk walking can immediately boost the mood of depressed patients, giving them the same quick pick-me-up they may seek from cigarettes, caffeine or binge eating, a small study found.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that people suffering from depression who walked on a treadmill for 30 minutes reported feeling more vigorous and had a greater sense of psychological well-being for up to an hour after the workout.

Those patients and another group that sat quietly for 30 minutes both reported reductions in negative feelings such as tension, depression, anger and fatigue. But only the group that exercised said they felt good after the session, according to the study published in the December issue of the journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Lead researcher John Bartholomew said the study reinforced past research that had found consistent exercise, along with medication and counseling, can help people overcome depression.

However, it is among the first studies to show that exercise can have a positive effect right away.

"It's not something you have to do for 10 weeks and it's not something you have to do at a high intensity," said Mr. Bartholomew, an associate professor of kinesiology and health education. "You should derive a benefit very early on in the process, and hopefully that is the kind of thing that will motivate them to continue to engage in the behavior."

The study involved 40 people between the ages of 18 and 55. All were recently diagnosed with major depressive disorder, were not taking anti-depressants and did not regularly exercise.

Twenty patients were assigned to exercise for 30 minutes, while the others sat quietly for the same amount of time.

For mildly to moderately depressed patients, exercise may lessen feelings of helplessness and isolation, said Erik Nelson, an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Monday, January 23, 2006

One LAWLS Member's Strategy

I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for a new trick to keep me focused on living by the WLS rules so that I can stay healthy and at goal weight. One of our members, Rachael, recently sent me this trick she devised and it's terrific. Here's what she wrote:

"I am two and a half years out and still at my goal weight, and chugging along. I did gain back about 15 pounds, and then got right on the bandwagon again. I found my "cheating with an excuse" problem...PEANUT BUTTER. I did the whole, "but it is protein!" and before you knew it I was licken’ down at least 2-3 tablespoons a day. I quit that real quick and went back to no snacking and lean protein and veggies. I came up with this little bit for a reminder for myself:






It helps me out a lot! Every time I look at my plate to eat, or when I have a craving. Its not a "cure-all" but neither is this surgery right?!"

Thanks Rachael for sharing.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Body Image: Helping the Next Generation

MG 4441-2
Originally uploaded by arenalabs.
One of the biggest mental struggles we have, before and after WLS, is body image. It's not uncommon for a person to reach goal weight with WLS and upon receiving a compliment they say back, "Yeah, but my [fill in blank] is a real mess, ugly, still fat" etc. Have you heard yourself respond that way to a compliment? It is a painful challenge to nurture a healthy body image because often a negative body image originates in childhood.

I recently learned of a 9-year-old girl who refuses to wear her coat this winter. Why? "It makes me look fat." She is not alone. According to Linda Smolak a psychologist and Kenyon College 40% of elementary school girls and 25% of elementary school boys report dissatisfaction with their bodies. Dr. Smolak said, "These unhappy and self-conscious kids report more frequent feelings of depression, insecurity and anxiety."

That describes how I often felt as an overweight child and teen. Can you relate?

It occurred to me that while I work on my body issues (and yes, there are many, just ask Hillary!) perhaps it would be a valuable time to actively engage in encouraging the young people I know to accept their bodies. Perhaps if I modeled positive habits for them they may be spared years of torment and insecurity.

Prevention Magazine suggests these ways to instill a healthy body image in children:

Uncover media myths:
Media images present an unrealistic message about what is beautiful and desirable. Adults should look for opportunities to explain that ultra thin young actresses or super muscular athletes are not realistic for most of us. Focus on healthy eating and active living.

Give Alternatives:
When hearing children criticize someone's body as fat adults should respond by explaining that although overweight can be unhealthy "dieting" usually isn't the solution. A solution to build a healthy body is eating nutritious foods and being physically active each day.

Listen to yourself:
It has been said children learn not from what you say but what you do. Listen to yourself - are you saying "I look fat today" or "My thighs are enormous" or "Look at this ugly excess skin"? Children have observed our weight loss, probably with great curiosity. If we can learn to say, "Wow! I love the power of my healthy weight body" or "This healthy dinner was just the ticket to boost my energy" then we are sending a positive message. Healthy bodies are good. Rather than focus on the flaws we are celebrating good health. And so may our children.

Wouldn't it be awesome if we became the last generation of self-loathing people? We can do it, one child at a time.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Technology is BEAUTIFUL!

Hi Everyone – hope you received and enjoyed the latest “You Have Arrived” newsletter. You may have noticed it has a new look – this week we moved the newsletter and subscriber utility to Constant Contact – a state of the art utility that will serve us well in delivering quality information to you in a timely, spam free manner.

Since opening LivingAfterWLS I have personally hand-managed every subscription and every newsletter mailing. With our community growing so rapidly this had become a full-time job. It is my expectation that this utility will allow me to spend more time writing articles, talking with our community members and answering your emails. I hope you enjoyed the new look of You Have Arrived.

a little ooops!
Now, we all know technology is only as good as the user. And such is the case today. I submitted our mailing and it went flawlessly. We had a rush of new subscribers (Thanks Josie at OH) and I proudly used the function I thought would email them the current newsletter. Well, it went to them and everyone else – again. Sorry about that! I hope you’ll forgive my little “oops” as I learn a new a better way of doing things!

Weekly LAWLS Recipe
Part of our new and improved service here at LivingAfterWLS is a new mailing, The LivingAfterWLS Recipe of the Week. Each Sunday a new WLS friendly, nutrient rich recipe will be emailed to you – if you click the option at Constant Contact. To do this, open your newsletter email, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link “Update Profile/Email Address”. Then click the Interest Category titled “Weekly LivingAfterWLS Recipe”. Easy as that. You can also click the “LAWLS Leader Helpers” category to receive support group help from our public relations director, Julie Hullinger. We believe these new functions will enhance your LivingAfterWLS lifestyle!

Best wishes,

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Window of Opportunity

Do you feel your window of opportunity closing? Do others in your support group feel the same way? How about using that topic for your next support group meeting? The new January LEADER HELPER is focused on how you can keep your "window of opportunity" open as long as you choose! If you haven't already received the January LEADER HELPER Unit 5: Window of Opportunity: Fact or Fiction? just Email Julieand request yours today.

The Fit Is IT Challenge - Week 2

Email Me The Challenge

We just finished Week 2 of the Fit Is IT Challenge - 180 minutes of exercise a week - -that's the challenge, 30 minutes a day 6 days a week? How did you do? If you recall, last week I made excuses and fell short of the 180 minutes logging only 160 minutes. I am pleased to report this week I logged 250 minutes of exercise! And I feel GREAT about myself! Imagine that - feelings of accomplishment vs. the self-loathing I felt last week. I hope you are feeling the same way!

Remember Dawn, our friend whose treadmill sat in her entryway for a year unopened? Well, she took the Fit Is It Challenge and read what she wrote, "Just a quick note to let you know that my biking has been successful thus far. Amazingly enough, I have found that getting on the bike just before I retire for the night has been great! You wouldn't think that exercising at the end of the day would be optimum, but it truly has prepared me for a good night's sleep."

"Initially, I watched the 11pm news while cycling. With that method, I found myself watching the clock to see how long I had been on the bike, pushing to get 30 minutes in before I gave up. A few days into the 'new training,' I decided to put on the earphones and use the new iPod my daughters gave me for Christmas, grooving to the oldies I love. It has been FABULOUS! The workout is effortless and I find that I have to make myself get off the bike after 1 hour! I scroll through the tunes to find something upbeat that gives me the pace that I need to achieve on the bike and before I know it, I have worked up a small sweat and I am just 'dancing' if you will on my bike!"

Way to GO DAWN!!!

I love getting letters like that. Another one of our community members, Rachael, wrote, " I am taking up your fit is it challenge and will try to put in 200 minutes a week. I've found I really love swimming and joined a gym so I can do laps." By the way, Rachel has lost more than 130 pounds in the 8 months since her surgery.

Way to Go RACHEL!!!!

Kim Stover, our frequent contributor, is a dedicated come rain-come shine fitness fanatic. Kim is intent on shedding a few pounds that snuck-up on her. I asked how her week went and for some brilliant words of wisdom. This is what she said, "Who Am I To Talk About Fitness??? I've worked my ass off all week and gained weight. My mantra has always been, "It is what it is". In this case, I'm saying, "Some things can't be explained". In spite of the weight gain I'm confident Kim is still chugging along with her fitness routine. As so many of us are learning, Kim KNOWS that long-term weight-loss, health and fitness requires constant effort.

Way to Go KIM!!!

This week my personal challenge is 240 minutes of exercise. That means six 40-minute workouts for me this week. Like Kim and everyone else, it's about constantly challenging the body. When we reach goal weight it is essential to make new goals and add new challenges so we always have something to work toward. If we don't have something to work toward it becomes easy to slide backwards.

Have a great challenge this week!

Monday, January 16, 2006

January 16: Kaye's Monday Message

Martin Luther King JR. Day
"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."
--Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Stockholm, Sweden, December 11, 1964.

Warm Wishes:

Our community member, Lori, is having her WLS today - please send her kind thoughts and warm wishes as she begins her new life.

Blogging Friends:
A big congratulations goes to our blogging friend Jenn over at Plow Hazard - She reached the 100 pounds lost milestone on Saturday! Way to go Jenn. She is a shining example of making the WLS work for her - in spite of life's ups and downs. Keep up the good work!

For some interesting and hilarious entertainment be sure to check in with TriMom217 over at Who Moved My Cheese? She is documenting her story of WLS, her adventures as a mom and her husband's recent (last week) WLS. TriMom217 says, "I am a 40-something, married with (almost grown) children and ready to reclaim my life."

And for the perspective of someone a bit further out in their WLS adventure please read MayaBlue's Starting Over After WLS. She's a married mother of three, down about 120 pounds and gifted with words and observations. Recently she wrote poignantly of the excess skin after weight loss, "So now every time I bust out those exercise tapes I have to think about how nice I would look if I didn't look like I melted. So in case you were never warned about this be prepared."

You Have Arrived: New Intimacy After WLS

LivingAfterWLS Subscribers: Watch your inbox Thursday, January 19. The latest special issue of our newsletter You Have Arrived is on the way! This newsletter is devoted to the sensitive issue of new intimacy after weight loss surgery, new intimacy after massive weight loss, new intimacy after living so long as obese people. We have examples - good and bad - of how newly thin people respond to attention they never received as obese people. Also some great strategies for "coming out" in the social scene.

Not a subscriber? LINK to the subscription page - the newsletter is published twice a month an emailed free to the LivingAfterWLS subscribers.

If you are new to our community and missed the 2005 You Have Arrived newsletters you can purchase the complete year on CD. The CD includes all 16 newsletters, 3 recipe supplements (over 40 recipes) and a topical index to quickly find articles of interest. The cost is $12 and that includes shipping - you can order through the secure PayPal link.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Better Buffalo Chicken Wings

(Previously published in the Dec. 15, 2005 You Have Arrived)
I cringe when I hear WLS people talk about eating Buffalo Wings – no offense Buffalo – but the average serving of Buffalo Wings is 68% fat. Nobody loses weight eating 68% fat, no matter how small the portion. In addition to the fat, wing sauce has a high sugar content. Considering the fat and sugar traditional wings are a recipe for dumping disaster and guaranteed weight gain!

Well, my wing-loving friends, here is an alternative to the high fat version that increases the protein and drops the fat below 30% per serving. Try this next time you have a craving for the wings!

Buffalo Chicken with Warm Blue Cheese Dip:

Non-stick cooking spray
4 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup wing sauce (preferably low-fat, low-sugar like Wing-it)

1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1/2 cup dry white wine (white wine vinegar may be substituted)
¼ cup 1% low-fat milk
1 (8 ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, cubed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. With a meat mallet pound to ½ inch thickness. Place on a baking sheet coated with non-stick spray and brush sparingly with wing sauce. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, turn and brush sparingly with wing sauce. Return to oven and bake additional five minutes. Remove from oven, turn again and brush sparingly with wing sauce. Bake 5 minutes and remove from oven. Check to be certain chicken is cooked completely (no pink).

Allow chicken to cool. When cool cut into 1”x 1” pieces. Place on platter.

While chicken is cooking place sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat over medium high stirring frequently to combine. Serve sauce in a warm chafing dish or fondue pot. Have toothpicks or skewers handy to use for dipping “wings” in warm blue cheese sauce.

Nutritional data per 2 ounces chicken and ¼ cup blue cheese dip: 282 calories, 10 grams fat (27%), 28 grams protein and 34 grams carbohydrates.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday the 13th
13 Ways to Treat Yourself Good

1. Take deep breaths to oxygenate your cells. Breathe in through your nose filling your lungs completely. Hold it. Breathe out through your mouth. Repeat 13 times.

2. Stretch your body. Reach hands high over head as far as you can, then slowly bend and reach for your toes 13 times.

3. Make a list of 13 personal accomplishments since your WLS.

4. Make a list of 13 Fun-To-Do's that your WLS makes possible.

5. Take a 13 minute walking break and enjoy the power of your new body.

6. Give yourself a $13 treat - a nice hand cream or a specialty tea - something you don't normally buy for yourself.

7. Make a salad using 13 different vegetables. If you prefer, make a 13-veggie soup.

8. Eat 13 almonds, one at a time, chewing and enjoying.

9. Divide the number of pounds you have lost by 13 and call the result your lucky number of the day.

10. Smile at 13 different people today.

11. Give yourself a 13-second hand massage using an aromatic lotion. Your hands will appreciate the break from the keyboard.

12. Kiss and/or hug someone 13 times. (Pets count too!)

13. Take a 13-minute time out and just be.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Eat Lemons For Your Health

Not many of us would instinctively reach for a lemon as a snack, but when used in cooking a savory dish, lemons are a flavor powerhouse and an exceptional source of healthy nutrients. Just ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice contains 45% Daily Value of Vitamin C - all that for a mere 15 fat-free calories.

The Vitamin C in lemons is a natural source of antioxidant - the good warrior that fights the free radicals in the body. Free radicals are the bad guys in the body because they mess with the cells, cause inflammation and arthritis and plug-up the artery walls with plaque leading to diabetic heart disease. The more natural Vitamin C we can include in our daily diet the more antioxidants we have to fight cell deterioration and disease.

You may picture a childhood lemonade stand when I mention lemons. Those were the days! But now a healthier way to enjoy lemon in the diet is to use it as an ingredient for savory dishes and avoid the high-sugar drinks and desserts.

Serving Ideas for Lemons
The World's Healthiest Foods has these quick easy serving ideas for including lemon in the diet:

Place thinly sliced lemons, peel and all, underneath and around fish before cooking. Baking or broiling will soften the slices so that they can be eaten along with the fish.

Combine lemon juice with olive or flax oil, freshly crushed garlic and pepper to make a light and refreshing salad dressing.

If you are watching your salt intake (and even if you are not), serve lemon wedges with meals as their tartness makes a great salt substitute.

Lemon Recipes for LivingAfterWLS

Seared Halibut with Green Salad

Poached Eggs Over Sautéed Spinach Greens

Lemon Herbed Chicken Breasts

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tragedy in Our Community

Our community member, Sandi - the voice behind the beautiful blog Sandi's RNY Journey, received word at midnight that her sister was killed by a drunk driver. Sandi's sister was 39 years old.

Please take a moment to offer your sympathies to Sandi by commenting on her blog.

I am attempting to get her US Mail address. If you wish to send Sandi a card please email me; I will forward the information when I get it.

On behalf of the LivingAfterWLS community I extend my deepest sympathy to Sandi and her family. I pray she may find comfort at this time of tragic loss.

Thank you,

Monday, January 09, 2006

A Review: Snacking & Grazing

Since we are earnest into the New Year I thought it was a great time to review some thoughts about snacking after WLS. We know the rule is "no-snacking" but it's just not as easy as that. We also know that snacking and grazing are the leading causes of weight regain for WLS patients.

If I Must Snack Then Let Me Snack Well
Excerpted from "You Have Arrived" July 18, 2005

On most days I can talk myself down from a need-to-snack crisis. I use that great motivator, fear - fear of dumping, vomiting or weight regain to not snack. But on those days when I really need something, not head hunger, but genuine feel-it-in-the-gut hunger, let me snack and let me snack well.

For myself I must remind, "Snack ONLY if you are hungry. DON'T make snacking a habit!" By the same token, if I am hungry, select wisely a snack to meet my nutritional needs; I avoid self-loathing and disgust or snackers remorse. I supply good nutrition to my body. Wise snacking will feed my body, fuel my soul.

A disclaimer here – please, PLEASE! PLEASE!! Follow the very specific guidelines of your bariatric center while in the phase of rapid weight loss. Tweeking of the rules is only acceptable once goal weight is achieved and you adjust into living after weight loss surgery. Thanks!

Here are the top best and worst snacks for LivingAfterWLS. If you must snack then snack well!

Enjoy Wise Snack Choices

* Protein bars/shakes
* Lean deli meat (turkey, chicken)
* Shimp, tuna or seafood flakes
* Low fat cottage cheese or mozzarella cheese
* Melons, apple slices, berries or any tolerated fruit
* Jerky
* Sugar-free Jell-O
* Hard-cooked eggs
* Nonfat, unsweetened yogurt
* Peanut butter w/apples

The wise snack list includes items that are high in protein, low in simple carbohydrates (sugars) and are fairly basic or unprocessed. You will also notice foods rich in calcium, vitamins and minerals to feed the body well. In addition most of these foods will satiate the pouch and it is unlikely one will engage in prolonged snacking on any of these items. In other words, make a good choice, enjoy it and move on with your life. No more grazing.

You will notice sugar-free Jell-O is on the wise food list, but sugar free items are on the poor choice list. Sugar free Jell-O is a good source of protein and when combined with other ingredients such as yogurt or cottage cheese can be a nutritional snack unlike many sugar-free sweets that are nutrionally void. The sugar-free sweets to avoid are candy, puddings and baked items as they lack nutritional value. They waste pouch space and simply add calories to the diet.

Avoid These Poor Snack Choices

* Pretzels, potato chips, corn chips
* Crackers - sweet or savory
* Trail mix, sunflower seeds, nuts
* Cookies, cakes, pies, pastries
* Popcorn
* Sugar-Free Sweets (except Jell-o)
* Granola
* Full-fat, full-sugar frozen desserts (ice cream, frozen yogurt, frozen custard)
* Things containing butter or mayonnaise

What you will notice about the poor snack choices is that most are nutritionally void foods – they do nothing to feed your body the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs to function well. In addition when grazed upon many of these foods can be consumed in large quantities by gastric bypass patients. It’s called the "soft foods phenomena". When WLS patients eat soft foods (think crackers) which mix with stomach fluids a slurry results. This mixture passes through the pouch into the bypassed intestine allowing for steady intake without satiation. In addition, these foods may cause dumping or vomiting.

You may be surprised to see trail mix and granola on the foods to avoid list as they are well known "health foods." It's true trail mix and granla are nutritionally dense but most bariatric patients report a low tolerance for nuts, seeds and raisins. In addition many of these foods contain hidden sugars.

Warm Wishes

Please send your warmest wishes to Kathie and Judy who both had their weight loss surgery today.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Weight Loss Surgery Window of Opportunity; Fact or Fiction?
To receive this LEADER HELPER Email Julie

Fit Is It Challenge
How did you do?

Email Me The Challenge

At right, LivingAfterWLS contributor Kim Stover completes her first 5K race. Read her inspiring account of this accomplishment.

Fit Is It Challenge – How did you do?
We’ve completed the first week of the Fit Is It Challenge – How did you do? I am not proud to report that I did NOT meet the challenge this last week falling short by 20 minutes. I only logged 160 minutes of formal exercise. My excuses? Twice I elected not to exercise because of the New Year’s Day holiday and my female cycle. Not a very good start to the Challenge and I apologize for not being a better example for you. This week I will do better! As I’ve said so often, a mistake is not a catastrophe, it’s simply a bump in the road.

Exercise – Is it really that important with WLS?
Many of you know I push the daily exercise rule pretty hard around here. I push it on myself and on our community. We understand more and more that if we wish to sustain long-term weight loss, even with WLS, we have to exercise. To be honest, I do not love working out and I fight my inner Little Fat Girl prior to each exercise session. She doesn’t want to go to the workout room, move, sweat and strain. And while she makes some compelling arguments she can’t win over the fact that I do love my strong fit body. I do love sustaining a healthy weight. And I do respect myself when I honor the exercise commitment.

20-Year WLS Veteran Credits Exercise for Her Success
I’ve been inspired by one community member, Judy, who had her surgery TWENTY years ago. To this day she sustains a healthy weight. Judy told me, “For the past 4 years, I have been doing 45 minutes to an hour, seven days a week. At age 56, I'm in better physical condition than many of my younger peers who have never experienced obesity! I get up at 4:30am on workdays to get my exercise in. The house is quiet and it's my special "me" time where I can feel the joy of movement and of a healthy life!”

“If I didn't work out consistently, I'm sure at least some of the weight would come back. And my flexibility and muscles would surely deteriorate! Another Denise Austin saying -- "If you rest, you rust." I believe it.”

Judy hasn’t always been physically active. She said, “I was a life-long couch potato, or maybe pumpkin would be a better word, considering my size. I never dreamed the sweat-bug would bite! I know if people would force themselves for a time to move, they would eventually find the joy in it!”

Exceeding the Challenge: Kim Stover
You know another of our community members who exercises regularly, Kim Stover. She joined the Fit Is It Challenge and set for herself a higher goal than them minimum 180 minutes a week. This last week she logged over 500 minutes of activity – that’s more than one workday spent moving her body. It also resulted in a favorable weight loss and an improved enjoyment of her new body. I expect we will read about Kim’s long-term success with WLS 20 years from now.

Malu’s Advice: Exercise Early After Surgery
Our friend, Malu Fernandez from the Philippines is another LAWLS community member who has made exercise a priority. She encourages us to begin exercise as soon as possible after surgery. Don’t fall in the “I’ll exercise after I lose the weight trap.”

Malu, who works in the fashion industry said, “Just recently one of my regular size 28 customers is now a size 12 also from gastric bypass. I felt so bad for her because she had no support. I saw how her body looked after losing 130lbs and I was aghast because she never even bothered to exercise. I don't understand why people think that the surgery alone is a panacea for all their problems.”

Malu exercises three times a week doing boxing, Wushu (martial arts) and strength training. She said, “The lady in my store is ashamed to work out until she reaches her goal weight. My advice to everyone is please don't do that! Exercise as soon as your body is adjusted to your new stomach. It will help tighten up your legs and arms and may prevent you from doing further surgery. At the least exercise to improve your health.”

Have you included exercise in your LivingAfterWLS lifestyle? How did you do this first week of the Fit Is It Challenge? Post your experience, tips, hints and comments here – we can all learn from one another.

Have a great week!

Silica Vitamin Helps Slow Hair Loss

Hair loss is a sad result of the rapid weight loss we enjoy after weight loss surgery. Some patients have found a silica supplement will help retard or stop the transient hair loss as we lose weight. I've brought this article forward at this time because our vitamin affiliate, Puritan's Pride Vitamins is running a terrific sale - buy 2 get 3 free. Please consider the silica supplement if you are experiencing hair loss. A survey on the LivingAfterWLS site indicates 50 percent of respondents experienced hair loss 3-5 months after surgery.

Silica Supplement Buy 2:Get 3 Free

The question of hair loss comes up all the time in the LivingAfterWLS community. Is there anything we can do to prevent hair loss or at least decrease the severity of it?

Some bariatric centers say there is nothing to be done, that patients have to just live with the hair loss as part of the gastric bypass experience. Other centers say a diet of 70g. protein a day will prevent hair loss. Still other centers recommend taking a daily multi-vitamin and supplemental vitamins intended to improve hair health. I believe in taking a supplemental vitamin that contains silica which is known to improve the health, texture and volume of hair.

Hair loss usually occurs in the fourth of fifth month following weight loss surgery. During the phase of rapid weight loss, caloric intake is marginal. This puts the body in a state of panic called starvation. A healthy body normally sheds ten percent of hair follicles at any given time. When a body is starving roughly thirty to forty percent of hair follicles are sacrificed as the body channels nutrition to more vital areas. During this phase hair loss is dramatic, often patients find clumps of hair on the shower floor. Remaining hair becomes drab and lifeless.

I knew hair loss was a potential result of weight loss surgery, but because I’m a “cup-half-full” person, I didn’t believe that hair loss would happen to me! That just happens to other people, I told myself! Imagine my surprise when my blonde locks were littering the bathroom floor like hair saloon

The hair loss is a transient effect of your gastric bypass surgery and will be resolved when nutrition and weight stabilize. Many patients report favorable results from taking a silica tablet that contains calcium, magnesium, zinc, boron, betaine and horsetail extract. Usually this vitamin and mineral supplement is marketed under the “healthy skin, hair and nails” category at vitamin stores and discount stores.

This is a large vitamin - I call it "the big ugly" and for new post-ops it will be nearly impossible to swallow. The pill can be split with a sharp kitchen knife or purchase a pill splitter at the drugstore. As always, check with your bariatric center if you are newly post-op before taking any nutritional supplement or medication.

Kaye Bailey © 2005 - All Rights Reserved

Smart WLS Smoothies

WLS patients are always looking for a tasty smoothie type drink, particularly during the liquid diet stage in early post-op. Traditionally smoothies are high in sugar and should be avoided by the WLS patient. In addition, many are high in calories and low in protein. With some clever substitutions a smart WLS smoothie can be created and enjoyed knowing it is high protein, low-sugar, low-fat and nutrient dense.

One of the best foundations for a WLS healthy smoothie is tofu – don’t stop reading – I know we hear the word tofu and think ICK! But when used with other ingredients it cleverly takes on different flavors and disguises itself as a healthy indulgence, not a freaky ingredient. If you can’t bring yourself to use tofu try using plain non-fat yogurt in place of tofu.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil in his book The Healthy Kitchen “There are a number of advantages to learning how to cook with tofu. Not only is it extremely versatile, it is a healthful alternative to protein foods of animal origin, because it has hardly any saturated fat, and the fat it does contain is relatively good for us. In addition, tofu provides isoflavones, compounds that reduce risks of heart disease and cancer (especially breast and prostate cancer). And tofu is quite inexpensive compared with meat and poultry.”

What to look for when buying tofu: Always check the expiration date and use as soon as possible. Tofu should have a mild pleasant taste and smell. It should never appear discolored or smell sour. Purchase low-fat silken tofu for these smoothie recipes.

The Healthy Chocolate Smoothie recipe calls for protein powder. You can add protein powder to any of these recipes to increase the protein grams in a single serving.


Orange Dream Smoothie

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

Healthy Chocolate Smoothie

To learn more about healthy eating read Dr. Weil's book:

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Dating Dilemma!
It's All About The Food

Hello LivingAfterWLS Friends;

Our terrific contributor and my friend Diane Shields went on her first post-WLS blind date last weekend. The date: dinner & a movie. Diane didn't want to blurt her WLS history on the first date - who would? Yet her date reported back to their mutual friend that she ordered food strangely and declined popcorn and dessert at the movie. Of course she did! Diane is a woman of strong commitment to her healthy WLS lifestyle and she's an expert on low-carb, low-fat cooking and eating.

Diane said, "I guess what I really want is some alternative to the dinner and movie thing. Something that does not require eating. Remember, I live in the south. Everything revolves around food."

So you dating dynamos out there - What fun dates are you enjoying that don't involve dinner and a movie? Let's help Diane and the other singles out there. And married friends - join in too - what are you and your mate doing for dates that does not involve food and a movie?

Post your comments here or Email Meme if you require a private medium. The January 18th "You Have Arrived" is all about New Intimacy after WLS - Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Huge Vitamin Sale!
Buy 2 - Get 3 FREE!!!!

To promote good health this new year our LivingAfterWLS vitamin affiliate, Puritan's Pride, is offering a fabulous opportuinty to stock-up on vitamin supplements - BUY TWO GET THREE FREE! That means when you order your supplements through the link on this site you get FIVE bottles for the price of TWO!

As many of you know I personally selected and endorse the Puritan's Pride vitamins & supplements. I have been taking Puritan’s Pride vitamins since my gastric bypass in 1999. My husband has taken Puritan’s Pride vitamins exclusively for many years. Prices are reasonable and service is consistently efficient. I am a believer in the Puritan’s Pride product and attribute my state of balanced nutrition in part to my Puritan’s Pride supplements. For quality, consistency and value you can’t beat Puritan’s Pride.

Secondly, the affiliation with Puritan’s Pride generates revenue for the site making it possible to provide the website and Newsletters free of charge to our community.

Finally, vitamin supplementation is key to our life-long health after WLS. For more information on Vitamins & Nutrition link to the LivingAfterWLS Website.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Warm Wishes!

Please extend your warm wishes and thoughts to our LivingAfterWLS community members Susanna, Cindy, Pamela, Marla and Sandra who are starting their new lives this week with WLS! We wish you the best and look forward to hearing your progress!

Are You Joining the Challenge?

We are three days into the New Year – Have you resolved to join the LivingAfterWLS community in the “Fit Is It!” Challenge? All it takes is 30 minutes a day – a total of 180 minutes organized physical activity a week (one day off for rest). I’ve committed to doing my 180 minutes and I’ll keep you posted. Another community member, Dawn, has joined the challenge. Her letter inspired me – I think it will inspire you too!

Email Me The Challenge!

I accept your challenge: “Keep The Kovenant”

Hi Kaye,

This is Dawn... you may remember I am the Mom with 2 full time jobs in the process of putting 2 daughters through Medical School.

So, as you said, pre-op I acknowledged that I would keep the WLS covenant and exercise post op, but I just have not done that whatsoever; making the lame excuse that working 2 jobs just does not allow me the time to do it. Yea, whatever... I do have a hectic schedule and my personal time is virtually nil - but this was a forever life change and I simply need to prioritize. I know that for the exercise routine to work for me, I must do it at home. I simply cannot go to a gym, although I have a membership that I had frozen quite some years ago when my knees were as big as honeydews! Back in the spring, cognizant that I must exercise, I took the initiative to order a nice recumbent bike from Costco - they type that takes your pulse, that you can adjust the tension, you know the Mercedes of recumbent bikes! Costco graciously delivered it right to my front door... why the UPS man even slid all 120 pounds of it into the foyer - where it safely rests to this day! It has been adorned throughout the months with all sorts of foyer decor - from flip flops to ice remover! What a lovely item the gigantic cardboard box has been to greet my guests, but alas, your Jan 06 newsletter has inspired me to redecorate the foyer! That lovely cardboard will be shed and I will have my hubby to assemble the said bike in the abandoned bedroom of my youngest daughter! Yes, the time has come to see what is inside the magic box!

I recently went to my surgeon for my 1-year check-up after WLS. The nurse, Doc & nutritionist asked me about exercise... they of course received the same standard answer I gave them before, I just didn't have the time. I did tell them that my intentions were good and that I had actually ordered and paid for the lovely recumbent bike, but it was serving as an accent table in my foyer, still encased in the deluxe brown cardboard box as delivered by the reliable brown truck. They all laughed and reminded me that in order to reap the benefits of the bike, I had to take it out of the box!!

Hopefully with a skilful assembly by the hubby (along with a few choice words for the assembly directions, I am certain) I will be peddling within hours. I have printed the "Fit Is It" Chart to place in the room with the lovely bike, who I have so aptly named "K." I also have printed a sign that says "Keep the Kovenant." Little poetic license there with the use of the letter K, but it works for me since you were my inspiration.

I will keep you informed on my progress and as always - many, many thanks for your inspirational newsletters. They never cease to amaze me! I love the Virtual Fitness Trainer website! So, Kaye, Happy New Year to you & many thanks for all you do!

Almost half the person I used to be,

Thanks Dawn for the laugh and inspiration! If you are ready to join the challenge write to me – tell me your plan! And if you need the newsletter or worksheet write to me and I’ll send it along! This is the year that FIT IS IT!

Write to Kaye

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year 2006!
Message from Kaye

As we begin this New Year I can’t help but take a moment and reflect on 2005. Last January I had a dream to gather a group of people together and share our experience “Living After WLS.” I had come to the harsh realization that WLS requires constant life-long support and commitment and I felt alone. I wanted to find others who were a few years out of surgery, learn what they were doing that works and find ways to keep my commitment to healthy fit living with WLS.

It started with a simple little blog in February. In April the website was online with 5 pages. On June 1, 2005 the premier issue “You Have Arrived” was published and emailed to 51 subscribers. Early on we enjoyed the wit and wisdom of Kim Stover, a frequent contributor. Other community members shared their success stories as well. By August the website was 20 pages. More and more people wrote to me to join our growing community often expressing the same sentiment, “I feel so alone in this.” Turns out we need each other for long-term support and fellowship.

Sixteen issues of “You Have Arrived” were published in 2005 – the last issue was emailed to more than 1,500 subscribers. What a community we have become.

I personally enjoy the sense of community because I interact with so many of you. But I was profoundly touched in December when Anna Doubblestein, one of our community members, was very ill and needed our support and compassion. We rallied together and many of you mailed her cards and letters. Her husband, Tim wrote, “First, thank you so much for all the support you have given to me and my family. The notes, the prayers, and well wishes have meant more than you can possibly imagine. Anna has received many cards and letters from the LAWLS community and with each one of them she has come to know that she is not alone.”

This kindness you showed to Anna represents the community spirit I hope will thrive here at LAWLS.

To make that happen LAWLS has several things planned for the next few months. First, we are in the process of adding a community forum so that we may talk and interact with one another. Our goal is to have this online and active in the first quarter 2006. The next thing will be a database for our members to track their food intake, exercise output and nutritional information. It is proven that WLS patients who track these things enjoy long-term weight loss success. There will also be an online journal option for those who find journalizing an effective tool in their daily life. Finally, we have an exciting editorial agenda for “You Have Arrived” and 24 newsletters will be published in 2006. The blog content will support the newsletter themes.

Oh, and one last thing – the LivingAfterWLS Cookbook will be published in the third quarter!

Sounds like an ambitious year – I hope you’ll stick with us through the growth and changes as we become a stronger community of support, understanding and nurturing.

I wish you the best in the coming year and as always, I love to hear from you! Email me!

Happy New Year & Happy New Life!
Kaye Bailey

December 31, 2005
Letter from Fr. Tim Doubblestein, Anna’s Husband

I wanted to write on this eve of the New Year to express my gratitude and to give you an update on Anna. First, thank you so much for all the support you have given to me and my family. The notes, the prayers, and well wishes have meant more than you can possibly imagine. Anna has received many cards and letters from the WLS community and with each one of them she has come to know that she is not alone. It's become a source of great curiosity for the kids to see how far away some of these cards have come. Whether it's from Pennsylvania or California, we pull down the atlas and the girls have me show them where these wonderful people live.

Anna has been home now since Christmas Eve. She had returned a couple of days earlier but there was a problem with the gastric tube she had so she returned to the hospital for a couple of days to have that fixed. The doctors decided that she would not need the tube feedings and would only use the tube to drain excess fluid. Anna is resting now and focusing on making sure that she eats every two hours and gets up to walk around the house frequently. She is still very weak and the gastric tube is causing her a lot of pain. The goal is to have that tube clamped off for 48 hours at a time. If she can do that the doctors will remove the tube. So far she has been able to keep it clamped for about 10 hours at a time.

Again, thank you and the whole community for all you have done. I know Anna will write personally when she is stronger but for now please accept my appreciation on her behalf. God bless and keep you all.

Fr. Tim Doubblestein (and Anna, Grace, and Hope)

NOTE: If you would like to send Anna a card by US Mail please Email me privately and I will send you her paper address. I am certain she would appreciate our continued support. Thanks, Kaye

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Skinny Jeans and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Posted by Julie Hullinger
LivingAfterWLS Public Relations

The day has come! It's finally here! I reached to the top shelf of my closet, pulled down the jeans I've been saving since college - - slowly put my legs in, stood up, pulled them up and buttoned them with room to spare. You'd think this would be the most glorious day of the year - a perfect way to start 2006. But to my surprise several thoughts ran through my mind.

First thought: These jeans are so high-waisted they practically reach my bra!
Second thought: These jeans are forest green and have a button fly. hmmmm.
Third thought: These jeans are a non-flattering tapered leg. Nasty.
Final thought: Why on earth - did I ever keep these UGLY jeans?

As I have reached the holy grail that we all call the "skinny jeans" I realized that I never need to keep "skinny jeans" again. We should celebrate our milestones with something new and trendy. I was so set on clinging to the sacred skinny jeans that I didn't realize moving beyond would be a far more positive approach and better yet - within my grasp.

A metaphor for life I tell you! Never look back. Don't cling to things or mindsets that confine us to a certain time or identity. Don't keep reminders of things that "used to be"... Move on. Move on my friends, move on!! And for goodness sake, put those jeans in the donation box. :)