LAWLS Bookstore

Monday, December 29, 2008

A few more words about Oprah

On December 18 I wrote about Oprah and her very public battle with weight maintenance. Since then I’ve had the benefit of reading January 2009 O Magazine to glean more of the story than was captured by TV Guide. On page 190 in her regular column, “what I know for sure” Oprah reveals herself to be not so different from the rest of us. She writes,

“My personal philosophy and the philosophy of this magazine is all about living well, filling your own cup so you always have bounty to share with others. And the price I’ve paid for losing sight of that is more weight. No balance. Less joy. Everything I know for sure about maintaining a sense of balance and well being, I allowed to be pushed aside to make room for whatever was masquerading as a priority. I took myself off my to-do list; whatever time was left over is what I gave myself.”

If you are nodding your head yes saying to yourself, “I understand” you are not alone. If someone like Oprah with gobs of money and a highly devoted team engaged in working for her purpose can, as she says “fall off the wagon” by way of self-neglect, then how can we ordinary folks expect to walk the fine path of balanced living at all times?

With typical Oprah resiliency she has faced the public and shared her pain of weight gain, thyroid imbalance and simple self-neglect. As public as my life is in the WLS community I still don’t know if I have the same courage as Oprah to live life in full view. I applaud her.

Her plan for 2009 is basic. She says, “My focus this year will be on how to achieve optimum health, deepen my spiritual connection – and have some fun.” I think that about says it all.

Be sure and visit us in the Neighborhood for an insightful look at this fascinating topic. Oprah’s Ups and Downs

LivingAfterWLS New Office

The opportunity presented itself at 4:15 pm Friday December 26 and as of a few moments ago the dirty work is done!

I've moved out!!!

No, silly Neighbors, not moved out from my beloved Jim, I've moved LivingAfterWLS to a bona fide office!!! Hip Hip Hurray!!! Since the beginning of LivingAfterWLS I have worked from our home. As things have grown LAWLS took on a parasitic life of it's own invading and commandeering four rooms of our home and a major section of garage where the book inventory is stored. Those of you who work from home know how this can happen (I hope I'm not the only one that has been over run by a home business!) For me, I started resenting LAWLS. It was everywhere. In addition, a separation of work and home ceased to exist. There were no boundaries. I have been really frustrated the last few months, to say the least. And when a person starts to resent the very thing love doing it is time for a change.

So we learned of a vacancy in a very nice office building, just 9 miles from home (that's a very short commute in Wyoming -- action-smiley-065.gif Vivian). We wrote the check immediately and yesterday Jim, Barker "Big Stud" and me made three trips moving equipment, my research library and all the accoutrements of a working office! Today I finished organizing and tidying up and I'm set to put in a full day tomorrow. I still need to get a couple of comfy chairs and a filing cabinet - then I'm all set.

Now don't worry, I'll still lug a laptop home and keep an eye on things from home - which will soon look like a home again! My greatest desire with this change is that I will be better organized, implement some stricter time management strategies and continue to improve the business of LivingAfterWLS!


Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Advantages of Losing Weight

I picked up a magazine "Diet 2009" published by Better Homes and Gardens a few days ago to read-up and ready myself for the New Year, New Resolve, New Hope. On page 56 there is a short article and checklist to identify good reasons for weight loss (or -my addition- healthy weight management.) The list is the work of one of my favorite experts, Judith Beck.She is the director of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research. According to this article the "Advantages List" provides powerful motivation for a dieter to stay on track and avoid temptation." Her sample Advantages List appears below. Check the items that are most important to you or add your own, then write them on a note card to review often.


I want to lose weight because:
__ I'll look better
__ I'll be more attractive to others
__ I'll be able to wear a smaller size
__ I'll be able to wear more stylish clothes
__ I'll be happier when I look in the mirror
__ I'll get joy out of shopping for clothes
__ I won't feel so self-conscious
__ I'll get more compliments
__ I'll be in better health
__ I'll be able to exercise without discomfort or embarrassment
__ I'll live longer
__ I'll feel better physically
__ I'll have more energy
__ I'll be more physically fit
__ I'll enjoy sexual intimacy more
__ I'll like myself more
__ I'll feel more in control
__ I'll feel as if I've accomplished something important
__ I'll have more confidence
__ I'll increase my self-esteem
__ I'll be less self-critical
__ I'll feel more outgoing
__ I won't have to listen to comments about what I eat
__ I won't mind eating in front of others
__ I won't have anyone bugging me about my weight

I think this is a great list and together we can add more to create a collective Neighborhood Advantages List. So please add your Advantage here.... I am ready to be inspired. Go to the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Red Dress: Melinda's Christmas Story

Our own Melinda "Melsreturn" who lends inspiration and support to the Neighborhood and the greater weight loss surgery community is the featured author in the December 2008 issue of Obesity Help's WLS Lifestyle magazine!!!! Her story, "The Dress of Christmas YET TO COME" is a poignant journey through obesity recovery to the picture you see above. It is inspiring and truthful and beautiful.

MEL! I am so proud of you I'm just bursting!!!
Your contribution to the WLS community is profound.
I'm sure this is not the last we will see of your words.


Mel shared her story with us here:
The Red Dress: A Christmas Reflection

Visit her website here:
Recovering Fatty

Read her blog here:
Recovering Fatty Blog

And let her know how proud of you are here on this thread.

Way to go Melinda!!!!

Happy Holidays from LivingAfterWLS

Dear Neighbors:
As we find ourselves in the heart of another holiday season I wish you joy, health and wellness as you are LivingAfterWLS. Thank you for your dedication to making this your best life after surgical weight loss. Words may never be enough to say how much I am inspired by each of you, each and every day. Your inspiration propels me forward with the LivingAfterWLS project because I understand I am not alone. Thank you for being part of this safe haven circle of friends.

I look forward to sharing the journey with you in 2009 and offering the best of LivingAfterWLS to you as, together, we thrive in this very curious weight loss surgery way of life. May your holidays sparkle and shine with the joy of the season.

All the best to you and your family,
Kaye Bailey

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Oprah’s Ups and Downs

Over the last few days in the Neighborhood I've read several posts about self-loathing, shame, disappointment, disgrace and simple sadness from our Neighbors. All this related to weight gain, weight loss, weight gain, and Heaven forbid: opting to help control our weight with surgical intervention. How in the world is it possible we invest so much of our personal worth in the size of our bodies? The TV Guide (Dec. 22-Jan.4) came in the mail today and I normally don't even look at it. But a headline caught my eye: "Oprah Confesses: I Weigh 200 Pounds!" My first thought, "Why is this a confession? I've seen her recent shows and I see that she is on the upswing of the scale. So what? She's Oprah." My next thought, "SHE's OPRAH! The most successful woman EVER." What in the world does the size of her skirt or the number on the scale matter to anyone? She's Oprah.

On Page 16 of the TV Guide there is a pictorial, beginning with her 1987 Emmy win, that details not her humanitarian, professional, personal, or public accomplishments. Nope. It chronicles her ups and downs with body weight. This is Oprah: the most powerful woman in the worldwide media. The most generous humanitarian who herself rose from the adverse odds of poverty to the generosity of unprecedented compassion. And we care if she is in her 1987 size 10 Calvin Klein jeans or pushing 200 pounds today? This is Oprah.

Her magazine "O", headlines her recent weight gain in the January 2009 issue. The headline reads, "How did I let this happen again?" It features twin Oprah's: one athletic and thin, one voluptuous and curvy.

It sickens me that Oprah has to go public and explain her struggle with weight control. It sickens me that this overshadows her more important work. It sickens me that I'm curious enough about this that I want to know, "Please Oprah, why did you let this happen again?"

Could it be, dear Oprah, that you are human?

You, my Neighbors, are not so unlike Oprah. The TV Guide reports that when she accepted her 5th and 6th Emmy's in 1992 weighing her heaviest she said, "Everyone was cheering. I wanted to cry. I felt so much like a loser. I was the fattest woman in the room." This is Oprah, winning Emmy's, feeling like a loser.

I am very proud of the 5 Day Pouch Test and how it has helped literally thousands of people reconnect with their pouch. I am proud of those who are doing their very best with weight loss surgery and weight control. But I am highly sympathetic to those, like myself, who will struggle today, tomorrow, and every day of our lives with weight control.

If there were one gift I would give to others, or to Oprah, or to myself, it would be the disassociation of weight and worth.

Bless Oprah for being so honest about her struggle with weight control. Bless Oprah for making her life about more than fat or thin: so much more.

And my dear Neighbors: Bless you too. None of us live our size in the public eye like Oprah does, but we are all equals when it comes to feeling vulnerable, shame, self-loathing, disappointment and perhaps disgust. I suspect that for you, for me, and for Oprah, at the end of the day what truly matters is how we treat our fellow person, about the truth we feel in our heart, about doing our best to keep on doing when, really, nothing in this life and in this living is ever easy.

Oprah is going to talk about her weight battle on her January 5th, 2009 talk show. I'll be tuned in and giving a big bunch of love back to someone who has been so publicly brave in sharing her own personal and lifelong struggle. Because I understand there is a little "Oprah" in all of us.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is There Chocolate After Weight Loss Surgery?

by Kaye Bailey

If there is one food people are emotional about it’s chocolate. We love it, want it, crave it, fear it. Thoughts of chocolate evoke tender feelings of comfort and self-pampering. We associate chocolate with happy times and consider it a must-have tonic in times of stress and anxiety. With Valentine’s Day next week the store shelves are loaded with the “guilty pleasure.” Let’s take a look at the latest scientific beliefs and establish the facts before we let chocolate be part of our LivingAfterWLS diet.

Chocolate comes from roasted cacao beans, which are mashed into a thick paste, heated to liquid state and then tempered before being shaped into bars. Sugar and vanilla are added during the mashing phase. The result of this process is cocoa butter, chocolate liquor or cocoa.

The cocoa butter in chocolate is a saturated fat. According to recent studies the body is able to turn the cocoa butter fat into monounsaturated fat in a process similar to pressing olive oil. According to Dr. Andrew Weil chocolate appears to be neutral in regard to cardiovascular health and may actually lower serum cholesterol. In addition it contains strong antioxidant activity, equivalent to that of red wine and green tea.

Dr. David Katz, a nutrition expert with the Yale School of Medicine agrees with Dr. Weil. "There are some unique health benefits in chocolate," said Katz. “These include an array of antioxidants that have been shown to give some protection against cancer. In fact, cocoa has more flavanoids — an important antioxidant — than green tea. It's probably the richest source of flavanoids in our diet," he said.

Is this carte blanche to indulge in chocolate? Probably not. Dr. Katz warned “chocolate will never help you lose weight. While chocolate may be high in nutrients, it is also high in calories. Even a new sugar-free chocolate introduced by Godiva doesn't give people a free pass to go overboard.”

What is the best chocolate in respect for the WLS?

From a health standpoint for LivingAfterWLS the best choice is high-quality, plain, dark chocolate. Dr. Weil suggests, “Cheaper brands contain less actual chocolate, often replacing expensive cocoa butter with unhealthful hydrogenated vegetable oils. The first ingredient on a bar of high-quality chocolate should be chocolate (also called chocolate liquor, cacao or cocoa. It should never be sugar.”

Quality chocolate will bear a “percent” of cocoa. Bitter baking chocolate is 100% cocoa. Most people enjoy and are satisfied by 70 percent cocoa and 80 percent is too bitter than most people enjoy. Remarkably, most people who enjoy an occasional treat of quality chocolate report being satisfied with a very small one-once serving.

Many health oriented stores carry quality organic chocolate. A commonly available organic chocolate, Dagoba New Moon contains 74% dark chocolate. A one-ounce serving contains 159 calories, 7 grams fat, 13 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams protein, 8 grams sugar and 4 grams fiber.

In comparison, a 1-ounce serving of Hershey’s Dark chocolate contains 152 calories, 8.6 grams fat (4.6 grams saturated) 2 grams protein, 17 g grams carbohydrate, 15 grams sugar. And the Hershey’s Dark Chocolate is only 35% cocoa, which means the flavanoids, and antioxidants are not dense.

Either choice is a gamble. Considering the fat and sugar content of both examples even one ounce of chocolate is a potential dumping disaster for the gastric bypass patient. For the lap-band patient who doesn’t fear dumping the potential to eat more than a one ounce serving is a potential weight-gain disaster.

Dr. Katz said dark chocolate is the best choice because it is rich in fiber, magnesium and antioxidants. Moderation is the key. "It's an indulgence," said Katz. "But if you choose wisely, you can get some health benefits."

Holiday Pies: What Every WLS Patient Should Know

We all know we shouldn’t reach for the holiday pie after Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) – it’s against the rules and the potential to make us sick is very high. If that’s not enough to motivate restraint how about considering the nutrient analysis of some favorite American pies. Take a look and see if it is really worth it to taste that full-fat, full-sugar dessert:

(Based on a 1/8 slice of the pie)

Pumpkin Pie: 461 calories, 21 grams fat, 9 grams protein and 60 grams carbs

Pecan Pie: 436 calories, 17.2 grams fat, 3 grams protein and 67 grams carbs.

Apple, Blueberry or Cherry: 340 Calories, 16 grams fat, 3 grams protein, 46 grams carbs.

Coconut Cream Pie: 485 Calories, 25 grams fat, 6 grams protein, 48 grams carbs.

Chocolate Cream Pie: 401 calories, 21 grams fat, 6 grams protein, 50 grams carbs.

Top that slice o’pie with real whipped cream – add another 104 calories, 11 grams fat, 41 grams cholesterol and a gram each of protein and carbs.

I’m laying down my pie fork right now! It’s just not worth a taste of pie to risk being sick, uncomfortable or worse weight gain. (I know – you can’t gain weight with one taste of pie – but I have never been able to restrain myself to one taste. What about you?)

Still don’t want to go without pie this holiday season? Here are two sugarless and relatively safe dessert recipes for celebrating LivingAfterWLS style. Indulge with caution – though they do not contain sugar they are sweetened with artificial sweetener and contain high amounts of fat, calories and carbs.

Pumpkin Pie
Pastry for single-crust 9-inch pie
1 can (16 ounces) pumpkin
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated skim milk
3 eggs
5-1/2 teaspoons Equal® for Recipes or 18 packets Equal® sweetener or 3/4 cup Equal® Spoonful™
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Roll pastry on floured surface into circle 1 inch larger than inverted 9-inch pie pan. Ease into pan; trim and flute edge.

Beat pumpkin, evaporated milk and eggs in medium bowl; beat in remaining ingredients. Pour into pastry shell. Bake in preheated 425°F oven 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350°F and bake until knife inserted near center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Nutrition (1/8 slice of pie): 175 calories; 8 grams protein; 22 grams carbs; 7 grams fat

Chocolate Cream Pie
Pastry for single-crust 9-inch pie
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 to 1/3 cup European or Dutch-process cocoa
10-3/4 teaspoons Equal® for Recipes or 36 packets Equal® sweetener or 1-1/2 cups Equal® Spoonful™
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups skim milk
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons thawed frozen light whipped topping

Equal® sweetener can be substituted with other sweetener products. Nutrition contents might be different from those listed below.

Roll pastry on lightly floured surface into circle 1 inch larger than inverted 9-inch pie pan. Ease pastry into pan; trim and flute edge. Pierce bottom and side of pastry with fork. Bake in preheated 425oF oven until crust is browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Combine cornstarch, cocoa, Equal® and salt in medium saucepan; stir in milk. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Boil until thickened, about 1 minute.

Beat eggs and egg whites in small bowl; whisk about 1 cup chocolate mixture into eggs. Whisk egg mixture into chocolate mixture in saucepan. Cook over very low heat, whisking constantly, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

Spread hot filling in baked crust; refrigerate until chilled and set, about 6 hours. Cut into wedges and place on serving plates; garnish each serving with dollop of whipped topping, if desired.

Nutrition (1/8 slice of pie): 188 calories; 7 grams protein; 25 grams carbs; 7 grams fat.

5 Day Pouch Test Manual: The Reviews

OMG'SH WHAT A GREAT BOOK. I love the part about getting back the rediscovering the storm of enthusiasm. I got the book yesterday and was already prepared and ready to start today. After reading the book and it being 2:00 here and I don't feel to bad. I do know that the thought about it only being 5 days is making it easier. I made up a sign with the 4 rules on it and like a contract signed and dated it and its going on my refrigerator at home so my family can help keep me in line. I'm grateful I found this neighborhood and that Kaye wrote the book. I'm a book and in print kinda gal'.

Order Here

Congratulations Kaye!
I just received my book and read it cover to cover.
It is so friendly and so well written.
It is inspiring too. Your encouragement has opened my eyes to go back to the bare bones basics.
-- N A

Lovely. I have my book in hand and it is lovely. I am sure that many will be greatly inspired by this additional "tool". Kaye, thank you for including me in the acknowledgments, I'm touched. If Oprah calls and wants the Sarge to make an appearance, please be sure to let her know that I'm available.

For Newbies. Got mine today also! I've only just opened it, but even though I'm just getting started it looks like there information in there that I can use. Thanks and congratulations Kaye!
--Papa John

Oh my goodness you guys I've only thumbed through it and it's WONDERFUL!! WOW Wouldjya just look at all the new recipes?? How cool. Kaye, this is fantastic. It's something that has been a long time comin' and it's a really WONDERFUL thing!! You've done such a marvelous job and I'm proud to be one'a your "subjects". Very proud!
-- ~Jane~

I got my book, I got my book, I got my book. I feel like I now have a plan to get myself back under control. I have just about read it all. So professional looking and so full of great information. I am going to get my list ready. Thank you to everyone that worked on it. I feel so much hope versus the shame I have felt about gaining.
-- Diamond Girl

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Winter Wonderland Awareness Challenge

Has Winter hit your neck of the woods yet? I know our Southern-Hemi Neighbors are enjoying a sweet summer but baby, up North it's cold outside. But that doesn't mean we should forsake our healthy LivingAfterWLS way of life. Over in the Neighborhood Kristy photonut2727 is leading the Winter Wonderland Awareness Challenge so that we can be accountable to one another and stay on track. Here's what she says:

"Winter can be so hard on some of us: the lack of sunlight, the cold and lack of energy keeps us in doors or at least away from our fitness/nutrition goals. So, I wanted to do a cross post from the Autumn Awareness Challenge since there were more than 2400 views to check us out and see what was going on there!! Since Autumn is now a fond memory, I wanted to stay focused and on task through the winter months so that I am not wandering around not getting anything accomplished instead I want a wonderful winter full of amazing moments. What will your amazing moments be?

Check in every day to say a little bit about some one thing you've done to make today a stepping stone toward that amazing moment.We'll be reading intently and following along, offering our support and asking your support for our efforts as well. Will you journal your weight? your nutrition?

Will you journal your exercise even on days you don't get to it

Will you commit to checking in to just let us know how you're feeling? I sure hope many of us will do some of these things
in this thread as well as just stopping by to cheer others on!

Are you ready??

I am looking forward to an Amazing Winter! Here we Go--------->"

Join us! Don't navigate the dark winter alone.

Winter Wonderland Awareness Challenge

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fun Friday! Celebrating Kindness

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Fun Friday Neighbors!

Today our weekly Fun Friday game celebrates one of the great joys of the season: kindness. Our soon-to-arrive Neighbor Papa John asks you to share your experiences as you have received kindness from others, particularly strangers. There is so much dark and dismal news in our world these days. What a blessing to take respite from the gloom and celebrate goodness, hope, and the goodwill of mankind. Please join us and put a little FUN in your Friday! Go here: Fun Friday December 12. And for more inspiration be sure and read Papa John's Blog: Musing & Meanderings. Special thanks goes to our vivacious Fun Friday Hostess SongBirdDiane. She tirelessly gathers questions, posts the topics and ensures winners get fabulous prizes provided by our Neighbors. Thanks Diane!

There Christmas Treeare some other great topics in the Neighborhood during this busy time of year. Whether you are struggling or thriving or just hanging in there you have a friend you understand in the Neighborhood. Take a look at some of these hot topics:

Protein Drinks & the 30-Minute Rule

Poll: Christmas Music - Love it or Hate it?

Struggling with evening munchies? Visit Kitchen is Closed

Body Image issues? Go here: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall....., Who the heck is that woman looking back at me????

Holiday Ornament Swap - Have you sent your swap yet?

Share the journey: LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood Blogs

Holiday Traditions: The Christmas Tree

Struggling with Protein intake? You are not alone.

Ladies & Iron Infusions

5 Day Pouch Test: Approved Recipes

5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual - Have you received yours yet?

Please join us in the Neighborhood today and every day. Remember, you are never alone in this journey and the Neighborhood is your safe haven circle of friends.

Happy Holiday Cheers!


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

5 Day Pouch Test: Approved Recipes

Hey Neighbors! Many of you have included our Collection of Neighborhood Recipes in your weight loss surgery tool box. We have finished testing and now offer you the official list of approved 5 Day Pouch Test Recipes from this wonderful community cookbook. Here you go:

5 Day Pouch Test: Approved Recipes

Days 1 & 2: Liquids
P.3 – Fortified Milk, P.6 – Mocha Smoothie, P.21 - Sunrise Morning Protein Shake, P.47 – Unjury Hi-Protein Pudding, P.66 – Diane's Head Hunger Soup.

Day 3: Soft Protein
P.13 – Bed & Breakfast Baked Eggs, P.17 – Newbie Coddled Egg for One, P.26 – Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars, P.29 – Parmesan Tuna Patties, P.113 – Deviled Egg Salad.

Day 4: Firm Protein
P. 98 – Baked Halibut with Herbs, P.102 – Broiled Peppered Salmon, P.15 – Family Meat Loaf, P.117 – Grilled Rosemary Garlic Shrimp, P.120 – Herbed Scallops.

Day 5: Solid Protein
P.96 – Apricot Chicken, P. 116 – Florentine Steak, P. 121 – Jerk Chicken Thighs, P.131 – Pork Au Poivre with Mustard & Sage, P.132 – Roast Beef with Horseradish Sauce

If you don't have the cookbook yet you can order it HERE

Let me know if any of these are your favorites. Happy Living!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Cheesy Shrimp-Stuffed Mushrooms

I love a savory stuffed mushroom! This is where I go first when I hit the holiday buffet. The other day at the deli in my supermarket I came across a freebie recipe card for these Cheesy Shrimp-Stuffed Mushrooms. They have bacon, shrimp, and cheese in them. I'm in love! You get 5 grams of protein to 1 gram of carbohydrate and only 3 grams fat. Here is the recipe. Send me your pictures if you make these and happy munching! I think the filling would make a great meal when stuffed in a portobello mushroom.

Cheesy Shrimp-Stuffed Mushrooms

6 slices bacon (try turkey bacon to lower the fat)
12 large fresh button mushrooms
1/4 pound peeled and deveined cooked shrimp
1/2 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground thyme leaves

In a large skillet cook bacon on medium-high heat 4 minutes; turn and cook 4 minutes more. Bacon should be cooked but not crisp. Remove bacon from skillet and drain on paper towels. Pour off excess fat from skillet, set aside.

Cut 4 of the bacon slices into 3 equal pieces for garnish. Chop the remaining 2 slices of bacon; set aside. Clean mushrooms; remove stems. Reserve mushroom caps. Chop stems; set aside. Chop shrimp; set aside.

Combine chopped bacon, chopped mushroom stems and chopped shrimp with cheese, garlic, cayenne pepper and thyme in large bowl. Fill each mushroom cap with bacon-shrimp mixture.

Reheat skillet over medium-high heat. Top each filled mushroom cap with 1 bacon piece; place stuffed mushrooms in hot skillet. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook unitl mushrooms are tender, about 15 minutes. (You could also bake these in a preheated 350F oven for 20-25 minutes).

Serve warm.

1 stuffed mushroom is 51 calories, 5g protein, 3g fat, 1g carbohydrate.

More Great Recipes

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

5 Day Pouch Test Manual: Tickled Pink

I am tickled pink to say we received the full print run of the 5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual on Tuesday (November 25). We immediately began shipping the pre-ordered books to you! If you ordered your book between October 8-31st your shipment is on the way to you! I hope you enjoy it. For those who ordered your books between November 1 and the present: these orders will be processed and in the US Mail today and tomorrow. Starting on Monday we will provide same day shipping on all orders. (US First Class Mail takes 2-5 days for delivery depending upon location.)

In celebration of this happy moment I am pleased to give you free shipping on all First Class Mail Orders.

Yesterday was the feasting day here in the United States. How did you do? Did you follow the Four Rules and Liquid Restrictions and avoid the Slider Foods? Or did you get a bit of track. I wasn't stellar but I know that today is a new day and I can, using the ideals of the 5 Day Pouch Test, get back on track before I go too far off track. Remember, you are never alone. When you receive your 5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual be sure to read these chapters:
  • Fixing Broken Windows After Weight Loss Surgery (page 13)
  • The Plan to Work the 5 Day Pouch Test Plan (page 18)
  • Key Learning Points (page 26)
  • Understanding Hunger (page 55)
  • After The Pouch Test: Day 6 and Beyond (page 95)
And be sure to go over the recipe selection carefully and make your menu plan in advance. I think you will enjoy how good eating and living well makes you feel.



As part of your successful 5 Day Pouch Test please take advantage of information and friendship here: 5 Day Pouch Test in the Neighborhood. You are never alone. Never.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Today is the day we play our favorite Neighborhood Quiz game and have the chance to win fabulous prizes and learn something about your Neighbors! Our ever charming hostess SongBirdDiane presents this week's challenging question: Two Truths & a Lie. That question was penned by our favorite pre-op writer PapaJohn. And our South Dakota friend, Florabelle has promised fabuous holiday gift baskets for this week's lucky winners.

Please join us - there is always fun in the Neighborhood!

Tell two true things about yourself and one lie. The next person who posts tries to guess the lie and adds two truths and a lie of their own. This could get interesting.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lemon: The Healthy Healing Fruit

Hello Neighbors!

Today in the 5 Day Pouch Test Bulletin I presented a recipe for Lemon-Ginger Healing Tonic. This is a warm cleansing beverage to be enjoyed first thing in the morning as part of the 5 Day Pouch Test. The tonic works because lemon is an astringent that helps remove toxins from our bodies and we soon feel energy and we feel clean. This can be said of most citrus fruit. I think there are many cleaning products that have been sold on their "lemon fresh" claims.

Lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits are all antioxidant rich. And they are low-glycemic. That means they won't disrupt our high-protein diet with a sugar surge. Of course we all know that citrus is rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant with properties that protects both the cells and the blood from free-radical damage. Vitamin C helps restore and regenerate the cells. Adequate intake of Vitamin C can decrease the incidence of colds and infection. It improves the skin, hair and nails.

To include Vitamin C from citrus in your diet add a squeeze of fresh juice to your water or tea. Season grilled protein with citrus. Add orange sections to your salads or main course meals. And of course, give the Lemon-Ginger Tonic a try. You'll love how clean you feel!

Lemon-Ginger Tonic
Begin each morning of the 5 Day Pouch Test with this comforting and cleansing lemon-ginger tonic. The lemon-ginger tonic will increase your energy and work to detoxify your stressed digestive system. In addition, this tonic has a cleansing affect on the liver, and increases the production of bile to clear any backlog in the common bile duct. Using this tonic as part of your 5 Day Pouch Test will leave you feeling cleansed and powerful with an eagerness to take full control of your pouch.

2 lemons, washed and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
3 cups boiling water
honey or artificial sweetener to taste

In a teapot or saucepot combine lemon slices, grated ginger and boiling water. Cover let steep 10 minutes. Pour tonic through strainer to remove solids. Drink warm adding sweetener to taste. Garnish with lemon slices if desired. Be sure to drink all three cups. This is best first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything else. If you are on Days 1 & 2 (liquid days) you do not need to wait 30 minutes after your last sip of tonic to have your liquid meal.

I like to start my day with this tonic even if I'm not on the 5DPT. Getting the day off to a clean start helps keep me on track.

Friday, November 14, 2008

5DPT Owner's Manual: Good & Bad News

Hello Neighbors!

Just a quick update on my forthcoming book, "5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual" that I have been telling you about for several weeks. First, the BAD NEWS: We have experienced a minor production delay and the books will not be available for shipment until December 1. I am so sorry - I am told these things happen in publishing. If I could turn the wheel of the printing press myself I would because I know how important this is to so many of you.

Here's the GOOD NEWS: we are extending our Free First Class Shipping offer on all pre-orders!!! This offer is good through November 30th. Free shipping on all books to all destinations, including outside of the United States. And don't forget - all pre-orders come with 2 FREE GIFTS.

Go Here to Reserve YOUR Copy

Please take advantage of our pre-order sale and receive free shipping and 2 free gifts: the 5DPT Wallet Card & 2-Page 5DPT Journal.

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Participant Request: Your Personal WLS Experience

Hello Neighbors!

I am appealing to you for help with a book being developed by Tricia Greaves, owner/president of "Be Totally Free". She is the founder of a program to address issues of weight control, weight loss and eating disorders. Her work is very good and very much aligned with our LivingAfterWLS Empowerment Philosophy. As part of her growing body of work and support network she is researching weight loss surgery.

You are invited to participate in the survey and contribute to this exciting project. I have done the survey and I trust that Ms. Greaves will treat our topic with utmost sensitivity, accuracy, and kindness.

Click here: Weight Loss Surgery: Your Personal Experience

Neither myself or LivingAfterWLS is affiliated with Be Totally Free, or Ms. Greaves and we will not receive compensation for your participation. However, I do ask that you mention the LAWLS Neighborhood as part of your response to Question 8 about your support network. I do not think we can ever over-emphasize the value of support in this life long journey.

Thanks for taking a moment from your busy day to help build on the growing body of information about our very unique way of life.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Weight Loss Surgery is Easy, Right? WRONG!

This is one of my syndicated articles with Ezine Articles. Just this morning I listened to another news story about how surgical weight loss is easy, and a cop-out. Those who take this path are weak and too lazy to do it the "old fashioned way" (diet & exercise). Who says we don't follow a diet and exercise? Reports like this anger me! Nine years after getting "gut whacked" I'm still working to control my health by maintaining my weight, exercising and following a mindful diet. How about You? Has weight loss surgery been easy for you?

I hope you enjoy this article - Please leave your feedback.


Gastric Bypass: The Easy Way Out of Fat Land - Right?
By Kaye Bailey

If you listen, even for a moment, to the talk in overweight communities you will almost always hear that gastric bypass weight loss surgery is the “easy way out” of Fat Land. People with weak spirits and good insurance get a lucky break, have their stomachs whacked and stapled and lose weight the easy way. Weight Loss Surgery: seen by pious public to be surgical baptism for the guilty gluttonous slothful.

But those of us who step in the water to be cleansed of our fatty sins know better. Weight loss surgery is NOT the easy way out, a simple dunking of the repentant, the sins atoned, and the price paid, the soul and body healed. We know the atonement is paid every day for the rest of our lives when we set our healthy house in order with gastric bypass.

We understand that WLS is not easy. Why, then, does the public think it’s redemption to weight loss?

First: what the public sees is a rapidly diminishing person recently repaired by gastric bypass. The pounds melt away seemingly in a plain sight. What hides behind the curtain are the ugly demons. Dumping? We don’t talk about it. Vomiting? We don’t tell our regurgitating stories. Head games driving you insane? Who you going to tell? Who is listening? Exercising? Nobody wants to hear about the “E” word. So what the public sees front and center stage is a person consistently succeeding at massive weight loss; a person glowing in their own rebirth and betraying the fat and hopeless around them. How else can it be explained? WLS must be the magic pill, the easy-way-out of obesity hell.

Second: the WLS grass-roots public relations machine tells the public gastric bypass is easy, thus we become our own worst enemy. Tell me if this doesn’t sound familiar: “I can still eat the same things, just less of them! ha ha ha!” or how about, “I lost 145 pounds and never had to do a moments exercise – WLS is fabulous that way – no exercise required.” And so the popular belief perpetuates that fat glutton slobs can lose weight just by eating less of the same foods and never exercising. Brilliant! How easy is that?

Let me tell you what weight loss surgery is really like for me.

I am six years post-op. Two nights ago I vomited my dinner (bacon-seared sea scallops and green beans) because it was just a bit too greasy for my sensitive stomach. A week before that I became deathly ill, it’s called dumping, from snacking mindlessly on Chinese chow mein noodles. Disorientation, hot sweats and then cold chills – dumping – a dire consequence of eating the wrong foods with the malabsorptive system. This morning, just like most mornings, I walked two brisk miles on the treadmill to begin my day. This evening I spent 25 minutes strength training to maintain my muscle tone, keep my metabolism running high and making damn sure I don’t regain one single pound.

And this is how it will be for the rest of my life. I will vomit, dump, exercise and be vigilant day in and day out if I want this easy weight loss surgery to work for me.

My body does not take weekends off from weight loss surgery. I don’t get chocolate cake just because it’s my birthday. I do not have a double-cheeseburger with fries and a shake just because I’ve had a stressful day and I deserve it. My body is on the gastric-bypass plan 24-7.

Do you think that’s easy?

Weight Loss Surgery post-ops understand what I’m talking about. Many of us go through a phase of fighting the gastric bypass and engage in snacking or grazing. We out-eat the stomach pouch and regain weight and we become self-loathing. We vomit and dump and do it all over again thinking we can somehow trick the body. Eventually we learn and we get it: WLS is for life.

Weight loss surgery pre-op patients want badly to understand this, but the dieting culture has taught us to be strict for X-number days and then we get a free day. The culture has taught us if we can stick to a plan for X-weeks and lose X-pounds then we can “get back to normal”. We are all expert dieters by the time we elect to have gastric bypass surgery.

There is no back to normal after WLS – it is a lifetime lifestyle commitment.

Kaye Bailey © 2005 - All Rights Reserved

Article Source:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sexuality, Obesity & Weight Loss

There is a recurring topic in weight loss surgery communities about how weight loss affects our sexual health and sex life. Right now we are talking about it again in the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood, read here: Obesity, Weight Loss & Sexuality. Here is one of my previously published articles on this topic:

Sex Is Better After Weight Loss Surgery
By Kaye Bailey

There is no question that obesity affects all aspects of our lives, including our sexuality. A Duke University study concluded that 65 percent of obese people seeking treatment reported an impaired sex life. Physical causes exist that impair sexual function in the overweight. Obesity can alter testosterone levels in men and increase their risk of impotence. Morbid obesity can result in back pain and depression - both of which reduce sex drive. And the obvious, obese men and women can have difficulty positioning for sexual intercourse.

In addition to physical impairments we have social and emotional impairments. Sexy is seldom depicted as obese and never as morbidly obese. Because we compare ourselves with the social ideal of sexy we feel body conscious, self-loathing and undesirable. One community member, Jan*, said, "Most of us have been obese all our lives and never experienced the normal teenage years of sexual tension. We were often never asked out on dates, never flirted with or only offered sex by people who did not love us, but we misunderstood their intentions due to our insecurities."

Weight Loss Improves Sex Lives for Many
Recent studies indicate that even modest weight loss may improve the sex lives of many obese people. Participants in a study conducted by the Obesity Society in Vancouver, Canada reported that participants who lost on average 17.5 percent of their body weight reported improved sex lives.

Mike*, one of our LivingAfterWLS community members, said he enjoyed a loving and devoted relationship with his wife of 26 years, but they did not have a sexually intimate relationship. "The reason was clear," he said, "I had ballooned to 368 pounds and was embarrassed to even attempt to be intimate with my 5'3" 109 pound wife. I was sure she had no interest in having sex with a ‘fatty' like me. My self-esteem was shot. I lost all confidence in myself. Needless to say, our sex life was zero."

In February Mike underwent WLS to improve his health and lost 110 pounds in seven months. He said, "I decided to make the plunge and indicate to my wife my 'intentions'. It was a bit awkward at first but then WOW! We had the best sex we have ever had in our marriage. It's been amazing." He says their relationship changed over night and they are making up for lost time. "I feel so guilty now that my wife stayed with me all this time, not being able to enjoy a good sex life. Besides the obvious benefits of health improvement I have more incentive to continue on my new lifestyle. And believe me, it's worth it!"

Mike's weight loss and improved sex drive resulted in a favorable change to his marriage. But that isn't always the case after weight loss. Maryann is married to a man with a heart condition that is treated with medications that cause sexually dysfunction. She said, "As I lost weight my sex drive went to overdrive. He couldn't perform. At the same time I was receiving more and more attention from men. It led to an affair." Maryann recently ended the affair and said, "I love my husband very much and cannot believe I allowed myself to stray. I found out the grass is not greener on the other side."

*Name changed per request of the subject.

Article Source:

Update: 5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual

Hello Neighbors!

Just a quick update on my forthcoming book, "5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual" that I have been telling you about for several weeks. We are still on track to receive the books next week (November 12) and we will begin shipping all of the pre-orders immediately. The response to the pre-order sale has been overwhelming and I am deeply humbled by the interest in this publication and the potential for so many of you to have new hope and belief in your surgical weight loss tool. Thank you very much for your interest. If you pre-ordered the book please keep an eye on your inbox for notification that your book and free gifts are on the way. You will also find a USPS tracking number in the email.

And if you haven't ordered yet please take advantage of our pre-order sale and receive free shipping and 2 free gifts.



From the back cover:
There is nothing more discouraging to a person who has undergone surgical weight loss than gaining weight. Feelings of failure, shame, embarrassment and self-loathing lead to anxiety and often more weight gain. Sadly, many lose hope believing their surgical pouch is no longer functioning properly. But there is hope.

Hundreds of people have taken control of their surgical pouch by following the 5 Day Pouch Test. At the end of Day 5 many who were sad and hopeless at the beginning of the week report euphoria knowing their pouch is functioning properly. Hopelessness is replaced with confidence. Five days. That is all it takes to turn things around.

If you are one of the many people struggling with regain after surgical weight loss I invite you to give yourself the power of the 5 Day Pouch Test. I believe that success with weight loss surgery, and in life, can be found when we focus on inner strength rather than inner weakness.

You Can Do This!

Kaye Bailey is an internationally recognized advocate for patients of weight loss surgery. Her vast collection of articles is widely syndicated in several languages. She is the founder and chairman of LivingAfterWLS, LLC: the parent company of the premier websites and The LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood, billed, "A safe haven circle of friends" is a compassion driven online community that is internationally recommended by bariatric centers as the best online resource for surgical weight loss support. Ms. Bailey is a dynamic speaker with a generous spirit of acceptance, compassion, and motivation that has touched many audiences. She makes her home in Wyoming with her husband Jim and several cherished pets.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Food Pushers and 5 Day Pouch Testers

Hello Neighbors!

Today's 5 Day Pouch Test Bulletin - the free email about the back-to-basics program for weight loss surgery post-ops - gave fair warning for the food pushing season that starts in October with all the Halloween sweets and doesn't end until the ball drops on the first day of 2009. From now through the December we will face food temptations and food pushers around every corner. "Today's Bulletin looks at one of the rough patches in the weeks and months ahead: the Food Pushing Season. Yes it is upon us and we will encounter many temptations in our daily lives to detour from the course of healthy living. The Food Pushers, some well-meaning and some just mean, will be out in force."

In the Neighborhood wee are discussing how to Push-Back the Food Pushers. Come on over and let us know your strategy for staying on track in this season of temptations and detractors. Patrece is leading a similar discussion about food pushers: Why don't they get it?

And since it is Monday and we all know Monday is the best day of the week there are several Neighbors joining together in the 5 Day Pouch Test! The best part of these 5DPT teams is that we learn the value of support and we learn that we are never-ever-never alone.

Jana "OneTallMama" up in Alaska made soup for day one. Follow the plan and take the chill off the day. Read here

Marianna, a 5DPT veteran, is taking another go at it. She has quite a group of fans joining her in the adventure: read here. And speaking of fans - how about a big standing O for our singing Diva: go here and celebrate this fantastic moment with her. Talk about a WOW moment.

Join us in the Neighborhood - There is something for everyone, no matter the stage of your journey!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Shout-Out for Mel's Recovering Fatty Website

Hello Neighbors!

One of our good Neighbors here, Melinda, has put together a beautiful website and she is enjoying a growing community over at Recovering Fatty. Like the Neighborhood, her site is a licensed IPB board (so it works just like the Neighborhood), it is secure from spammers and flamers, and it is advertising free. Melinda is a special person with a kind heart and giving spirit. She writes beautifully and you will enjoy her many articles and her blogs. Mel is doing good work for the weight loss surgery community. And as far as I'm concerned we can never get too much support in this way of life.

Best to you Mel & your community.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Taking Early Orders on the 5 Pouch Test Manual!

The 5 Day Pouch Test Owner’s Manual
by Kaye Bailey
Available November 10, 2008

The Complete Plan
Information - Encouragement
52 Proven Recipes
5 Day Sample Menu & Snack Ideas
Testimonials from people just like you, taking
control of their weight loss surgery tool.
You can work your pouch again!

SAVE $4.00 OFF cover Price!!

Total Price: $24.95 for a $32.95 Value!!!!

Link now to order - Reserve your copy today!!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Carbohydrate Withdrawal & Nausea

Carbohydrate Withdrawal and Nausea
(from the forthcoming 5 Day Pouch Test Handbook)
If you notice symptoms of carbohydrate withdrawal you can eat a small piece of melon, some berries, an apple or orange. Any low-glycemic fruit or vegetable will reduce the symptoms of carbohydrate withdrawal.

You may also try a dose of Emergen-C, which should reduce headache, dizziness or cramping from carbohydrate withdrawal.

Feeling nauseated? Try sipping some freshly brewed warm green tea. You can add fresh ginger juice to further ease the symptoms of stomach distress and nausea. The nausea may be the result of a switch from carbohydrate slider foods to richer proteins and the ingredients in the protein shakes.

Include: Low-Glycemic Fresh Fruit: apple, avocado, banana, blueberries cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, lemon, lime, mango, orange, peach, pear, plum, raspberries, and strawberries.

Avoid these fruits: fresh apricots, cherries, papaya, pineapple, rhubarb, and watermelon.

Include Low-Glycemic Dried Fruit: apple, apricots, dates, and prunes.

Include: Low-Glycemic Fresh Vegetables: alfalfa sprouts, artichokes, arugula, asparagus, bean sprouts, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chili peppers, chives, corn, cucumber, eggplant, endive, fennel, garlic, ginger, green beans, herbs, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, peppers, radishes, scallions, shallots, snow pea sprouts, spinach, squash, Swiss chard, tomato, turnip, watercress, and zucchini.

Avoid these vegetables: Beets, fava beans, parsnips, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams.

Trick or Treat Neighborhood Swap

Are you ready for some Tricks or Treats?

Join the Neighborhood Halloween Trick'n Treat Swap!

Add your name to this thread and you get a treat for your trick!
And we are not talking candy corn here!

Learn More Here: LivingAfterWLS Trick or Treat Swap!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mrs.Dash Baked Chicken Siciliano

Hello Neighbors!
I am a big fan of Mrs. Dash seasoning blends because they are no-salt, no-MSG and they are tasty! The Mrs.Dash website has some terrific recipes and ideas for using the seasoning blends to punch-up ordinary meals. This recipe for Baked Chicken Siciliano comes from there and it is quick and delicious. Give it a try! For you 5 Day Pouch Testers this week save it for Day 5 or Day 6 forward. CHEERS!

Baked Chicken Siciliano

  • 4 tsp (20mL) Mrs. Dash® Classic Italiano Seasoning Blend, divided
  • 15 Oz. (420g) can low sodium tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60mL) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 lb (908g) boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Combine tomato sauce, 1 Tbsp. (15mL) Mrs. Dash® Classic Italiano, and 2 Tbsp. (30mL) Parmesan cheese in small bowl.
  3. Coat chicken with mixture.
  4. Place chicken in baking dish; sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsp. (30mL) Parmesan cheese and 1 tsp (5mL) Mrs. Dash® Classic Italiano over coated chicken.
  5. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until chicken reaches 170°F (77°C).
Recipe Summary:

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 35 min to 40 min

Nutritional Information:
Calories:152 % of Calories from Fat:12 % Total Fat:2 g Low Fat Recipe! Saturated Fat:1 g Unsaturated Fat:1 g Trans Fat:0 g Cholesterol:68 mg Sodium:126 mg Low Sodium Recipe! Potassium:489 mg Carbohydrates:4 g Low Carb Recipe! Fiber:1 g Protein:28 g

low fat low fat
low sodium low sodium
low carb low carb

Recipe Rating:

12 Ratings / 6 Reviews

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hot Topics in The Neighborhood

Here are a few of our active conversations in the LivingAfterWLS Neighbor - your online safe haven circle of friends who are LIVING after Weight Loss Surgery:

Autumn Awareness Challenge

JohnnyBGood Down 100 Pounds!

5 Day Pouch Test Book: Coming November 5th!

Tell Us Your Nickname at Fun Friday

Exercise and Accountability Challenge

On-going Topic: Men and Weight Loss Surgery

Tricks for eating out with the "normal" eaters

Stop on over for a visit, sit and stay a spell. We always have room for new friends in our Neighborhood. Hope to see you soon!


25-Years After WLS & the 5 Day Pouch Test

5 Day Pouch Test Website

One of the questions I often receive in emails: "Is it too late for me to do the 5 Day Pouch Test?" and usually it is from someone who is three to five years post-op weight loss surgery. Last week Stardust53 joined the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood to do the 5DPT and she is 25-years post-op. She successfully completed the five days and here is what she had to say:

Last week was life changing for me! LIFE CHANGING!!! It became a week in my life that I will NEVER forget. Through the process of the 5DPT, I was able to dropped 5-lbs! But more important than that, I regained an awareness of my pouch once again! My plans are to now take time figuring out why I eat the way I do. I use protein shakes as my nutrition, they have never been used as a supplement. But I get the feeling that, that is not common. I see that most of you use protein shakes only as a supplement. My next venture in here is to figure that out.

So alrightie, on to this week! It is time for me to give back! One thing that was most helpful last week was the encouragement that came in from others who are solid members inside the neighborhood! Oh, how I appreciated each one of you coming in to see us throughout the entire 5-days! Your words cheering us on kept us going through the whole process. Thanks a bunch!

My thoughts are though I am done with the 5DPT, I want to stay on in here with those who desire to use this thread as they go through their own journey with the 5DPT. I want to emulate my cheerleaders and become another one who can be counted on to be back to see how it is going for others who are now going through this same process. Last week, during times that I felt my weakest, I'd pop back in here and someone would have a post written out encouraging us along. This became the backbone of support we all needed!

If I am not mistaken, I think I know of three who are in their middle of their 5DPT. This would be shauna, DEBS2, and Deez. If I have missed anyone, please let me know that you are here too. My intention is not to overlook you, but I was gone yesterday and I am trying to get back on the same page. For those of you who are going through their 5-days, be sure to come in and post every single day letting us know how you are doing and what you are eating. I will be watching for your post. I hope your day is going well. It all goes so fast, so stay strong!

Read the entire conversation

Learn more about the 5 Day Pouch Test

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Refresher Course: 5 Day Pouch Test Soups

We get a lot of questions about the soups for the 5 Day Pouch Test. Here is an explanation directly from our forthcoming book: The 5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual. Many who have done the 5DPT and used the soups swear by them. Another question that I get frequently is, "Can I have the soups when I'm not doing the 5DPT?" The answer is a big resounding YES!

Link to the Soup Recipes

Soup Alternatives to Protein Shakes

The 5 Day Pouch Test calls for two days of protein rich liquids. Normally we think of ready-to-drink protein beverages or homemade concoctions using fruit, yogurt and protein powders. This is quite typical of the early post-op diet prescribed by many surgical weight loss centers. The 5DPT begins with two days of protein liquids in order to baby the pouch, much as we did immediately post-op. In addition, the liquids are useful in breaking a processed carbohydrate snacking habit or slider food addiction.

Ideally one would spend Days 1 and 2 drinking only protein drinks, clear broth, tea and water. However, depending on your food habits leading into the 5DPT this can be quite drastic causing hunger, dizziness and frustration. As I developed this plan I learned that more substantial soups made of animal protein, legumes, beans and low-glycemic vegetables work well to alleviate the discomfort of a liquid diet.

These satisfying soup recipes are made of foods low on the Glycemic Index: a measure of how your blood glucose levels are affected by food. That means they will stick with you without causing a rapid rise (and then drop) in blood glucose. These great comfort soups will help keep you feeling full longer, help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and provide you with more consistent energy throughout the day.

It is easy to confuse soup with slider foods since both are liquids that flow more rapidly through the stoma than solid protein. But the thing to remember is the soup recipes we recommend are nutrient dense. Slider foods such as crackers or pretzels washed down with liquids have no nutritional value.

A final note, the soup recipes we offer are less expensive than processed protein beverages and they are family friendly making the 5 Day Pouch Test more practical to incorporate into our busy schedules.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's all happening in the Neighborhood

Autumn has arrived in the Northern Hemi and for me that means cool morning walks, beautiful colors as the leaves change and late-night tea in front of the fireplace. How are things in your neck of the woods? Our little calico, KeepHerKitty, is quite interested in the big round pumpkins just waiting to be carved.

In the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood the weather is always just right for over-the-fence chats and Neighborly friendship and support. Take a look at what is happening with your safe haven circle of friends:

Autumn Awareness Challenge

25-Year Post-Op does the 5DPT

A Pre-Op asks about Anger After WLS

Nutritionally Challenged? Check out the Six Must-Haves for Bariatric Patients

Ready to dig-deep on obesity? Read Of Monsters and Other Mind Games

Join us in the Neighborhood! There is always room at the fireplace and in the conversation for one more.

Friday, September 19, 2008

20gram Protein Drink! Refreshing!

action-smiley-066.gif Hello Neighbors!

Will we ever get tired of talking about protein drinks?

I have a new cocktail that is really tasty! And it is non-dairy. One reason I don't care much for most protein drinks is the texture of dairy and the digestive upset sick0022.gif I get from dairy based food. Yesterday I came across Kellogg's "SpecialK2O Protein Water" that promises to take the edge off hunger. I purchased a 4-pack of tropical blend flavor. It cost $5.76 at Wal-Mart for the 4-Pack ($1.44/bottle). This morning I added 1 serving of the Bariceutical Total Protein to the Protein Water and served it over ice. All total it contained 20g protein and it was refreshingly delicious! It took about an hour to sip through beverage as it was 18 fluid ounces. But I don't feel hungry or thirsty and I have good energy.

Give it a try! Something new and tasty and good-for-me is always welcome in my kitchen! cool0010.gif

Learn more about Bariceutical Liquid Vitamins for Weight Loss Surgery Patients

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Clean Eating: It Works for Us

Every now and then a new product comes along and I think, "Wow! What a great idea." Well, just this week I held in hand my first copy of the Oxygen publication "Clean Eating" magazine. The subtitle: Improving your life one meal at a time.

Finally! A mainstream magazine we can use to support, benefit and enhance our post surgical weight loss surgery way of life.

Have you seen it yet?

I have in hand the Fall 2008 issue. Food TV star Robin Miller whips up a quick and healthy Balsamic-Glazed Cracked Pepper Salmon (page 29). Delicious. There is a week's worth of dinners for the budgeted minded "clean eater" that truly look fit for a queen or king -- or at least a princess. Got kids in school? There is a great selection of 15-minute school night meals that are healthy AND delicious! See page 69. And if you think we (WLSers) are the only ones in the emotional eating trap think again. Read Peggy Hall's article (page 86) titled "Quit Fighting with Food." I sure learned a lot there.

Great magazine. I subscribed and then sent out several gift subscriptions. After all, we can all do a little clean eating to improve our health, nurture our families and give a little back to the planet. I hope you will take a look - this one is a keeper.

PS-- This is an unpaid and unsolicited endorsement. My only motivation here is sharing a treasure with you. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Men and Weight Loss Surgery: Social Stigma?

We are having an interesting discussion on the Men & Weight Loss Surgery Message Board in the Neighborhood. Our new member ScottL, who is considering surgical weight loss. He presented statistics from the American Obesity Association that indicate men are not necessarily less obese than women, yet a significantly smaller population of men than women have obesity surgery. Scott asks the question, "I am somewhat curious to know more about why men seem so much more reluctant to pursue WLS treatment even though they often suffer from all of the same co-morbidities that women do. Men aren't less obese than women so what's the deal?"

Visit the conversation in the Neighborhood and let us know what you think!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

After WLS: Not What I Was Expecting

I read and write a lot about weight loss surgery, and more importantly, LIVING after weight loss surgery. Recently I received an email from a disappointed post-surgical weight loss patient. This patient had only lost 10 (ten) pounds. She was discouraged and anxious. And she was 7 (seven) days post surgery ready to give the 5 Day Pouch Test a try since "the surgery did not work for her." How sad and frustrating for her and me. She does not need to feel like a failure and my words of "be patient, let the surgery work" felt trite. There are many misconceptions about weight loss surgery that lead to disappointment. This is one of my syndicated articles that addresses this topic:

Misconceptions About Weight Loss Surgery Cause Disappointment for Patients
As weight loss surgery becomes an increasingly popular treatment for morbid obesity misconceptions abound. Patients who undergo gastric bypass or gastric banding surgeries are often depressed and disappointed after surgery because they believed the popular misconceptions.

Some common misconceptions about WLS:

Surgery brings joy and boundless energy instantaneously
Laparoscopic surgery is painless
WLS is an easy fix and permanent fix to obesity
WLS guarantees happiness
Others will support the WLS decision
After reaching goal weight patients can go "back to normal"

Because patients read about the joy and boundless energy enjoyed by others after surgery they assume these feelings occur immediately. Joy is felt after massive weight loss, not after surgery. In fact, for many patients the first six weeks out of surgery are emotionally draining as they grieve for food and feel fatigued and disoriented.

We read that the laparoscopic technique used for 85 percent of all surgical weight loss procedures is minimally invasive requiring little recovery time. In truth this technique bruises the intestines, liver and ribs. The surgery is painful and recovery is not as rapid as most patients expect. Patients express feelings of failure when they are sore and exhausted from surgery.

For most patients weight loss happens quickly and easily. True to dieting tradition when patients reach goal weight they tend to go back to “normal” disregarding the high-protein low-volume diet. Weight gain results. Unless patients follow the strict WLS rules daily they regain weight.

Surgical weight loss does not guarantee happiness. In fact, patients commonly describe feelings of anger, bitterness, resentment, panic and self-loathing as they lose weight. They also express happiness, satisfaction, pleasure, delight and self-love. The pendulum of emotions swings wide.

Having WLS exposes one to attacks from others who feel entitled to criticize the gluttonous sloth that we could not lose weight by eating less and exercising more. Not all people, including spouses, siblings, parents and friends will support the decision for WLS.

Read more about emotions and weight loss

Weight loss surgery is a lifetime commitment to an extremely restrictive lifestyle that if used successfully will enable a former morbidly obese person to maintain a healthy weight and diminish the co-morbidities of obesity. It should never be considered the “easy way out” or a “quick fix.” It is a lifetime commitment with no returning to normal.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

9 Years Post Weight Loss Surgery

Hello Neighbors!

Today marks nine years since I was gut-whacked; uh, I mean had laporoscopic gastric bypass surgery in San Diego, California. Nine years. You know, some times I do not remember what it was like to be morbidly obese. Then again, most of the time I never forget what being overweight was like.

A couple of days ago I bought a new pair of denium jeans: size 8. I was pretty disgusted with myself since at my lowest weight I could wiggle into a size 4 and at my best and most consistent weight I was quite comfy in a size 6. "How could you let yourself go like this?" I asked myself. Do we ever get over being our own worst critic?

Size 8 isn't so bad. In fact, on September 13, 1999 if you told me in nine years you will be a healthy and fit size 8 I would have thought I won the lottery. Size 8 wasn't imaginable: I was wearing a size 26-28 the day I arrived.

I'm still learning to work my tool and still have struggles. I dumped a few weeks ago after eating onion rings: 3 of them. I know greasy food makes me dump. I ate them anyway. On Wednesday I ate my breakfast too quickly and did not chew-chew-chew. You guessed it: I gave it up minutes later.

But for every struggle there are successes. I can run and play with my new puppy and not get winded. I can walk three miles on the treadmill in under 40 minutes, and still have energy to clean the house or work in the gardens. I can walk past the bakery counter without even noticing my former mistress: the glazed doughnut. More often than not I need to remember to eat rather than remember not to eat. I feel good. I feel healthy: both mentally and physically.

Sure, I would love to be back in my size 6 clothes and trust me I have a small boutique full of size sixes. But, maybe size 8 isn't so bad afterall.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Meet Charvie: My New Puppy

I try to focus this blog on weight loss surgery. But you know? I'm human and here is a really cool thing. We have brought home a new puppy and he is a sweetheart bundle of love. The following is from my personal journal September 3:

The lights of our dog kennel building have been dark for two years, one month and two days. At twilight, on July 31, 2006 I shut the door to the building, not long after we buried our departed Howard, the Old English Sheepdog, of extraordinary joy and sensitive spirit.

Another dog? No. I could not imagine opening my heart to another canine love. Howard was my one and only.

When is the right time to find new love? How do we know when the heart has healed and we give ourselves permission to love again?

We turned the kennel lights on yesterday and swept away the cobwebs. Reminiscing, I washed the grooming brushes and the combs and the feeding bowls. I found new play toys and a couple training collars. We secured the fence and made the space ready.

And my heart opened, and Charvie came home to me.

Charvie, born May 25, 2008, is a show-quality Australian Shepherd pup born in a litter of four, proudly presented by his dame and sire to our good friends, the buffalo ranchers, Rex and Rhonda. Rhonda has been saving Charvie for me since he opened his eyes: you see, he is walleyed just like my beloved Howard: one blue eye; one brown eye.

"But the time is not right, Rhonda, I am too busy for a puppy," I told her over and over again. And she replied, persistently, "But this puppy is RIGHT for YOU. Open your heart, come meet him. You belong to him."

And so it was, love at first sight.
Charvie came home with me.

How do we know when the time is right for new love?
How do we keep an open heart?

I don't know the answers. But what I do know is that when I finally had the courage and gave Charvie the chance, I fell in love. And it was time to turn on the lights of that kennel building and let my heart love again.

Welcome home Charvie – You Have Arrived. And I am so happy you are here.

PS: The name Charvie is a derivative of Charlie and Harvey: my husband's two best friends who left this earth much too young. Wherever you are Charlie and Harvey, hold the faith: you are riding shotgun again.

Delicious Wine Reductions for Cool Autumn Nights

So we've had weight loss surgery and are happily losing weight with a restricted diet and the improved ability to exercise. But you know, we didn't have taste bud surgery! We still have taste buds that crave delicious foods - we just want the foods we eat to be satiating and good for us.

Let me tell you a culinary secret - it's in the wine! I'm not talking about wine in the glass, I'm talking about wine in a recipe. Wine reductions are wonderfully simply to make, rich in flavor and can be low in fat. Most recipes for wine reductions call for added fat (butter) but should be adjusted to use about 1/3 the fat called for.

We know that most gravies are fat laden, heavy with starch and lacking nutritional value. Simply put gravy is empty fat calories we do not need in our LivingAfterWLS diet. Anyone watching their weight is wise to avoid gravies (particularly mass-produced gravies served in restaurants).

For a better flavor and health select or make a wine reduction. A reduction contains the wine's antioxidants, called flavonoids which are proven to reduce the production of LDL (bad) cholesterol and boost the HDL (good) cholesterol. Scientists now believe these flavonoids may also inhibit tumor development in some cancers and may also be helpful in the treatment of neurological diseases.

Not an alcohol drinker? Not to worry, the alcohol cooks out of the reduction leaving nothing but the good stuff behind. If you are not familiar with wine ask your wine merchant to recommend a good bottle of reasonably priced cooking wine (don't buy the kind on the supermarket shelf - it has too much sodium). Your wine steward can also offer suggestions for re-corking the wine as seldom will you use a full bottle for any single recipe.

For five delicious wine reduction recipes visit the LivingAfterWLS Kitchen

Chicken with White Wine and Mushrooms
Seared Halibut with Green Beans, Scallions and White Wine Sauce
Salmon with Mushrooms and Red Wine Sauce
Beef Medallions in Red Wine Sauce
Cornish Game Hen with Raspberry Red Wine Sauce

I've personally tried and adapted these recipes to have lower fat while preserving the delicious flavor and texture of a reduction. I hope you will incorporate a wine reduction recipe in your lifestyle. Also - these are all very quick to fix - you'll be surprised how much flavor you get for so little effort! Cheers!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

DishNetwork & DirectTV Suffer Service Standards

Hello Neighbors!

Normally I do not use this space to voice my concerns or complaints about commerce.

However: I am fed up! I am exasperated with "customer support" and "call centers" to be exact. Where o'where has the service gone?

We have recently been Dish Network customers: disappointed by their highly inferior customer service and disinterest in customer satisfaction. Calls for help are put on hold or answered by non-English speaking people: or worse? Dropped. Call for help? Go talk to the boy who cried wolf - he has better advice. I get the message, "Screw you, you stupid paying customer."

In June we changed to Direct TV, our experience with Dish Network so disappointing. A sweetheart in the Midwest promised (with a drawl) "Oh honey: we never outsource our support calls." Oh honey? What is it in the south that makes your blatant lies so convincing?

So tonight we are having technical difficulty with DirectTV: we have a signal on one receiver; snowy signal on the other. I held the phone for more than 27 minutes listening to trashy low-rent porn music when calling the proudly provided "customer service" number. Minute 28? The call was dropped. Funny thing? I tried calling the same number with another phone, one not on the account. Go figure? Got transferred to a "sales representative" within 30 seconds. When I explained my technical difficulty with a paying account a surprising thing happened: the call got dropped. "Can you hear me now?"

They dropped the call from a paying (friggin' PAYING) customer.

DishNetwork or DirectTV? One in the same. Great sales staff. Technical problems: goodbye consumer! Just send us your check and then go to the black hole.

Fix it folks. Dish and Direct: get your crap together.

American Consumers! Take it to Congress. Sue the crap out of corporate America.
I'm sick of it. Don't transfer my damn call. Give me what I'm paying for.

Fix it. Put a sensible person on your desk and teach them to answer calls. Don't put me on hold. Let me know that my reliable payment is worth more than a hope and a prayer your service is going to work for me.

Do you have problems with paid television? Let's hear about it.