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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Intuitive Eating:
Another WLS Tool

We all know that WLS is only one tool in our pursuit of a healthy body and mind. To that end we must constantly educate ourselves and indeed arm ourselves with other tools to work in tandem with the WLS so that we achieve our health and wellness goals.

One of the latest buzzwords is "Intuitive Eating". "Intuitive eating teaches a philosophy of making peace with food preferences and choices, with the understanding that balance and wisdom regarding nutrition will emerge." Elyse Resch, co-author of "Intuitive Eating: A revolutionary Program that Works" was quoted in this month's "Food & Fitness Advisor" from Cornell University. She claims that many of us label certain foods "good" or "bad" in a process of deprivation, which ultimately leads to bingeing and sabotage efforts at healthful eating. She counsels to quit judging food and take an intuitive approach to eating.

"Lifting the ban on so-called "bad" foods eliminates associated feelings of deprivation and guilt. Over time, intuitive eaters taper off from eating excessive amounts of these items and become more able to enjoy them in quantities good for maintaining a normal weight and healthy lifestyle."

So how can this philosophy work with the WLS lifestyle? Certainly in the malabsorptive-restrictive procedures (gastric bypass) certain foods must be banned or illness results. In addition, as you have heard me say so often, "If you eat the foods that caused obesity before surgery, they will surely cause obesity after surgery." So in a sense we in the WLS lifestyle do assign judgment to foods: crackers = bad, lean deli-turkey = good.

What I suggest and am in personal pursuit of is "learned intuitive eating." To that end I am approaching my food selections with the question, "Will this food choice give me energy, satiate my hunger, satisfy my taste and sustain my healthy weight?" By engaging in this dialog I'm becoming more skilled at intuitive choices because I want energy, satiation, satisfaction while staying a healthy weight.

What about you - - How can you apply the concept of intuitive eating in your WLS lifestyle?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Controversial Cauliflower

Recently at the LAWLS Neighborhood we had a lively discussion about using cauliflower for a recipe called mock fried rice. The recipe, provided by our good neighbor Keri:), sounds very good. However, cauliflower is one of the "controversial" foods bariatric dieticians debate, sometimes quite passionately, as a post-WLS do or don't.

Cauliflower is from the cruciferous vegetable group (broccoli, cabbage & Brussels sprouts) and contains high amounts of digestive enzymes that often cause gas, bloating and gastric distress. In some gastric bypass patients these symptoms are severe when cruciferous vegetables are consumed. It is believed that there is not enough stomach acid to neutralize the enzymes, thus the gas/bloating result. Some bariatric dieticians/nutritionists ban these vegetables, others say enjoy in moderation and yet others say learn what works for you.

So - there you have it! Who knew cauliflower could be so controversial?

I enjoy cauliflower occasionally if it is lightly steamed and eaten with protein. But because of the confusion surrounding these vegetables I have elected to not include them very often in the LAWLS recipes/menus.

What foods have you heard of post-wls that are controversial?

Read the Great Cauliflower Debate

Friday, June 02, 2006

Basics of Low-Carb Eating

Recently at LivingAfterWLS we've been focused on finding ways to beat the Carb-Monster. Most WLS post-ops, me included, learn the hard way that a return to processed carbs starts a wicked cycle of binge eating, grazing and ultimately weight gain. Sometimes we feel totally mired in the carb trap without means or will to find our way out.

I suppose the easiest advice to give a pre-op WLS candidate is "Never ever taste another processed carb again. Just don't go there." But in our carb-happy world that's tough advice to follow. Some of the best advice I've found comes from the low-carb diet camp (think Adkins). Here's an abreviated list of low-carb basics that not only expains why we get trapped in the carb cycle, but the benefits of getting out of the cycle.

Low-Carb Basics

Many people cannot eat large amounts of carbohydrate foods – sugars and starches – without making and storing body fat.

All carbohydrates, except for dietary fiber, are ultimately broken down into simple sugar molecules by the digestive processes.

The body will not burn fat for fuel as long as there is a steady supply of quick-to-burn sugar. Inversely, without sugar, the body will be forced to use body fat for energy.

The breakdown of body fat will produce energy for the body and ketones, which are eliminated in the urine.

Insulin levels are stabilized because the pancreas no longer has to pump out large amounts in response to sugary, starchy meals or snacks.

Without surges and dips in insulin levels, your blood sugar remains stable.

Ultimately a steady low-carbohydrate diet eliminates cravings and blood sugar swings. The presence of ketones helps control hunger. You lose fat and lose weight.