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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Salt, Soda and Obesity

Salty snacks equal soda-guzzling, heavier kids
Study suggests cutting back on salt, even a pinch, could curb obesity
The Associated Press
updated 3:12 p.m. MT, Wed., Feb. 20, 2008

DALLAS - Kids who load up on salty meals and snacks get thirsty, and too often they turn to calorie-filled sodas. So maybe cutting back on the salt is a good way to cut the calories.

That is the idea coming from a British study published Wednesday in an American Heart Association journal.

Salt is "a hidden factor in the obesity epidemic," said Graham MacGregor, a co-author of the study by researchers at St. George's University of London.

And researchers say all that salt is not coming from the salt shaker: About 80 percent comes from manufactured food.

"Most people think that sodium comes from the salt shaker. The salt shaker contributes less than 10 to 15 percent," said Dr. Myron Weinberger, a professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.

"Fast foods, for example, are just loaded with sodium. Processed foods are all very high in sodium," said Weinberger, who wrote an editorial related to the study published in the online journal Hypertension.

Benefits go on
Not only could less salt translate to fewer soft drinks and therefore fewer calories, but a modest reduction in salt has already been shown to lower blood pressure, which increases the risk of later-in-life heart attack and stroke, researchers say.

Also, several studies have shown a link between sugary soft drinks and obesity in children.

Reducing salt in manufactured foods can be done gradually, without the public even noticing, said Dr. Feng He, lead author of the study and cardiovascular research fellow at St. George's. She said a 10 to 20 percent reduction in salt is not even detectable.

"It's important for the food industry to make a reduction," she said.

The study suggested that cutting in half the amount of salt British children consume — a decrease of about half a teaspoon a day — would lead to an average reduction of about 18 ounces of sugar-sweetened soft drinks per week.

The study was based on diet data from Great Britain's National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Researchers looked at 1,688 British boys and girls — ages 4 to 18 — over a seven-day period in 1997.

They noted that the amount of salt eaten might be underestimated in the study because it did not include salt added during cooking or at the table. The researchers also found that more than half the fluids drunk by the children were soft drinks, and more than half of those were sugar-sweetened.

The United Kingdom began a government-led campaign to cut salt consumption in 1996 and researchers say more recent studies show that salt intake has already decreased.

Proposal to cut back on salt
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is taking public comment until March 28 on a consumer group's proposal to restrict the amount of salt in processed foods, among other options. And the American Medical Association has urged the government to require strong labeling of high-salt foods because if salt's connection to high blood pressure and heart problems.

MacGregor said that parents should look at food labels. And they should make sure children eat more fresh fruits and vegetables without adding salt, which stimulates the brain to want more fluid.

"Thirst is one of the most basic instincts. When you get thirsty, you have to drink," MacGregor said.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Jicama Slaw

Recently in the Neighborhood Community Kitchen our new Food Editor, Celadon, taught us about tuber vegetables. I was curious about the Jicima and excited to find one at a vegetable market last week. Here is more information about the Jicama:

Jicama is a relative of the potato family. It is a popular dietary staple in Latin America and widely grown in Mexico and Central America. There are many names for Jicama including: the Mexican potato, Mexican yam bean, ahipa, saa got, Chinese turnip, lo bok, and the Chinese potato.

Jicama looks similar to a turnip or a large radish, and it can be used as an alternative to the water chestnut. Its skin is thin and can be gray, tan, or brown in color. Additionally, it has a short root and contains white flesh. The skin is typically peeled before eating it raw. Raw jicama tastes similar to a pear or apple. It also does not discolor when exposed to the open air for awhile. Because of this, raw jicama is often used as an accompaniment to raw vegetable platters. When jicama is used in cooking it tends to take on the flavors of the ingredients that it is being combined with. Therefore, jicama is a nice complement to various stir-fry dishes because it blends well with many vegetables and seasonings.

Jicama is a very versatile vegetable that contains a high amount of vitamin C, is low in sodium, and has no fat. One adult serving of jicama, which is equal to approximately 1 cup of cubed jicama or 120 grams, also contains only 45 calories.

I tried this recipe for Jicama Slaw and it was a huge hit with the family. For those doing the 5 Day Pouch Test try adding 2 tablespoons of slaw to a can of drained, water packed tuna. The dressing will add moisture and flavor to your Day 3 Meals.

Jicama Slaw
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 large jicama -- peeled and finely shredded
1/2 Napa cabbage -- finely shredded
2 carrots -- shredded
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons chili powder -- ancho or chipotle
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cilantro -- finely chopped

Place jicama, cabbage, and carrots in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, ancho powder, honey, and oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the dressing over the jicama mixture and toss to coat well. Fold in the cilantro. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 190 Calories; 14g Fat (63.7% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 17g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 31mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 3 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Click for more healthy & delicious jicama recipes

New Features for WLS Cooks


Our new LivingAfterWLS Food Editor, Celadon (aka Barbara Gibbons) has been busy improving the functionality and content of our Community Kitchen Forum. Keeping with the LivingAfterWLS core value of education and understanding Celadon has established several informative conversations:

Celadon's Product Reviews

Ask Celadon: Expert Advice for your Cooking Quandries

Vegetable of the Month

Fruit of the Month

Please stop over in the Neighborhood and take advantage of the Community Kitchen and the good things our Food Editor has to share!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

February 7: Seven Fat Fighting Facts

1. Do not skip meals. Missing a meal lowers metabolism, drops blood sugar and results in unnecessary hunger and possible binging.

2. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to water. It boosts Vitamin C intake and the acid helps with internal cleansing.

3. Replace sedentary TV time with an activity or a hobby to avoid mindless snacking commonly associated with television viewing.

4. Consume only quality foods that serve your nutritional needs and reward your body with high grade fuel.

5. Drink green tea which is full of antioxidants and boosts energy. Green tea counts in your water intake!!

6. Keep a journal. Record your food intake, exercise output, daily moods and energy levels. You will learn a great deal about yourself by keeping a journal.

7. Give up the all or nothing mentality. Make small changes that lead to long-term success, not short-term false fix quicks.

My Bad: Gender Bender

Sorry Jerry --- I did a bit of gender-bending when I mentioned our WLS-"sister" of the blog Unsaved Loved Ones. my bad. Jerry is a dude with a great take on WLS from the masculine point of view. Check out this post today regarding WLS and Booze:

So I’m not having a Saul on the road to Damascus paradigm shift here…I never say never, but I really do feel at this point that the responsible thing to do is keep an eye on it, because a couple of drinks after a long week is something that is SO easy to rationalize. I’ve never been an AA candidate (unless of course I’m in that famous state of denial they use to sell you on the program), but if you are reading this and you have partied with me “back in the day”, you have at least one story from my well stocked resume of “antics” that you still tell. With that in mind, combined with the limited capacity for food, the elation over feeling and looking better, the prospect of nice clothes and even nicer women…..I’d be a complete FOOL if I didn’t admit that it is, at the very least, something to monitor closely and always make it a point to bring it up during my therapy visits.
Sorry about that Jerry - but boy or girl - you have it going on writing about reality and WLS!


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Visit These Blogs!!


As you know, at LivingAfterWLS we celebrate the WHOLE person, not just the person who happens to have undergone surgical weight loss treatment. Apparently we are not alone - check out these blogs from real life, real people who are fighting morbid obesity and LIVING! That's what I'm talking about! Take a click - you won't be disappointed!

To inspire and motivate your creativity! by Jana in Alaska
Don't kid yourself, Jana doesn't just stamp, she cooks, she inspires and she motivates. Bookmark her today! BTW, in the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood she's earned the title, "OneHOTMama" but you'll see her posts by OneTallMama. You be the judge: I think she is pretty darn hot!

Fairly new to blogging, this WLS Sister just joined the century club (100+ pound weight loss). She is blunt and honest and darn right funny. Click to read Unsaved Loved Ones and feel the love! She doesn't mince words and softly mocks "the hills are alive" PollyAnna mentality of some blogs ( included) but she is the real deal. She gets the weight loss surgery gig and is worth your bandwidth in a good time reading.

Meet Jodi Klucher: WLS hero and champion of that little talked about topic: Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome after Childbirth. A must read for all moms and moms-to-be out there. Don't miss it. Jodi is one of only a handful talking about PTSD after childhood: I see a book in her future. Who else can talk about these two topics with personal experience, knowledge and compassion. Again, we learn from her, you never need to walk alone.

Blog on my friends! You are a valued part of our WLS growing body of knowledge even as our own bodies shrink! I am proud of each of you!!

Super Bowl Meatballs

Last minute recipe for your Super Bowl Bash: Appetizer Meatballs from page 1 of the Neighborhood Cookbook. Great for Day 4 of the 5 Day Pouch Test.

Appetizer Meatballs
Page 1: A Neighborhood Collection of Recipes
by BamaGal

2 lbs extra lean ground beef or turkey
1/2 cup minced onion
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed

1 cup low carb catsup
1/3 cup DaVinci sugar free syrup, grape flavor

In a large bowl mix well all meatball ingredients.

Note: use a grater to mince the onions - it is quicker. Shape in 32 1-ounce meatballs, about 1-inch diameter and place on an ungreased rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 425F oven for about 10-15 minutes, until meat is cooked through, but still tender.

In a small bowl, blend catsup and grape syrup well. Place meatballs in large pot or slow cooker. Pour sauce over them and stir to coat. Simmer, covered, on low heat about 2 hours, stirring occasionaly. The sauce is so easy to throw together and is slightly sweet and quite tangy.

Per 1-ounce meatball with sauce: 71 calories, 6 grams protein, 5 grams fat, trace carbohydrate.

Kaye's note: If you can't find DaVinci syrup substitute sugar-free grape jelly. Nobody will know the difference!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Seattle Bash-Splash: Kaye Featured Speaker

LivingAfterWLS founder and friend, Kaye Bailey will be a featured speaker at the Sixth Annual Bandster Bash & Splash on Saturday, February 16. The conference will be at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport Marriott. Kaye's topic is, Fixing Broken Windows in the Surgical Weight Loss House. The conference fee is $150, but the coordinator will discount it to $100 for those who mention the LivingAfterWLS site or Kaye's name. Although the primary focus is onBandits there will be discussion on the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass from a panel of highly respected surgeons.

Link here for more details: Seattle Splash & Bash

View the full agenda - Kaye speaks at 9:15 Saturday Morning.

Link Now to learn about scholarship opportunities to attend this conference. Kaye will be available to meet her Neighbors at the designated times - stop by the LivingAfterWLS vendor booth and say hello.