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Monday, March 31, 2008

Bring on the Cookie Monster!

Hello and Happy Monday Everyone!

I hope you received your You Have Arrived Newsletter today and found some delicious and nutritious cookie recipes you could use. If you aren't a subscriber yet simply click HERE to learn more about our free email publications.

Do you want to make that cookie snack even more nutritious? Here are few "throw-in" ideas for adding more nutrition to the recipes:

Add 1-2 teaspoons of ground flaxseed (flaxmeal) for added fiber and Omega-3 vitamins.

Walnuts are a super food and go great with oatmeal. Add chopped walnuts and dried cranberries for a chewy-good designer oatmeal cookie.

Change-out some of the all-purpose flour for wheat flour, wheat germ, soy flour (go easy with this one) or quick-cook oatmeal. The more whole grain the better, but don't go all the way. You need about 2/3's all-purpose flour to 1/3 whole grain swap-out to keep the cookies light and tasty.

Add a pinch of cinnamon and/or nutmeg to the oatmeal cookies. Both cinnamon and nutmeg have nutritional benefits and they add great aroma and taste to your treat.

Prefer milk to the protein shake? Great! Fortify your milk with a spoonful of dried milk product or vanilla flavored protein powder. Try soy milk for a refreshing and lactose-free option. 8 ounces of soy milk has 6 grams of protein and is believed to help lower cholesterol.

Remember, your life after weight loss surgery is not about denial and deprivation. It's about consistently making wise choices to improve your health, wellness and longevity.

Have a GREAT day!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Coddler Fever & Fun Friday

Greetings Neighbors!

Coddler Fever? Have you caught it yet? Link Here

Has Spring Sprung in your part of the world or perhaps a nip of fall is in the air for our Down'Under friends. Either way, the weather is always perfect at the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood!

Today is the final Fun Friday of March 2008 and it puts a song in my heart to invite you to participate in our weekly get-to-know-one-another contest. All you need to do is click that link above and you'll see our Fun Friday Hostess Marla's smiling face. Answer the question and watch the drama unfold! In last week's contest Neighbors shared pictures of their fabulous kitchens: take a look - Fun Friday March 21

Speaking of kitchens - have you entered the Neighborhood Community Kitchen Recipe Contest yet? Our Food Editor, Barbara Gibbons, is conducting this contest and offering three fabulous prizes to the winners! Jump over and check out the "Pot of Yum" recipes!

Be sure and keep an eye on your email inbox this coming week for the Recipe of the Week: Healthy Grains, the April 5 Day Pouch Test Bulletin (Day 6 & Beyond the 5DPT) and our April issue of You Have Arrived! To learn more about our newsletters, link here: Email Newsletters

Have a great day and remember, It's always a beautiful day in the Neighborhood!



Sunday, March 09, 2008

Coping with Daylight Savings Time

Today most states in North America "sprang forward" advancing our clocks for longer hours of afternoon and evening daylight. If this has you feeling sluggish you are not alone. According to research in "Current Biology" our internal daily rhythms, known as the circadian clocks, get a little testy with this time tinkering. Studies indicate it is light and darkness that keeps our internal clock ticking on time.

A spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests taking up to 6 milligrams of melatonin one hour before bedtime for four to seven days before time change and the same dose each night for a week after the time change. Another rhythm booster is a dose of bright natural light in the mornings and 2-hours of low light before bedtime each night.

Adequate rest plays a key role in weight loss and weight maintenance. The sooner your body adjusts to a time change, including traveling to different time zones, the more quickly it will return to a weight loss or weight maintenance metabolism.

In the meantime - enjoy those long afternoons of natural sunshine!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Power to the Protein

We've been told since before our weight loss surgery that we must follow a high protein diet for life. Recommendations vary from center to center on how much protein is adequate for weight loss and weight maintenance. You will generally hear anything from 70 grams a day to 100 grams a day. High protein intake is particularly important during the early days and weeks following surgery (any surgery) because the amino acids facilitate healing. Many patients turn to protein drinks or protein energy bars to ensure they are consuming adequate amounts of protein.

One ounce of animal or dairy protein generally has 6-7 grams of protein per ounce and soy protein has about 8 grams of protein per ounce. Sometimes getting the recommended protein requirements while regarding of the rules is a bit daunting, particularly considering the small capacity of the gastric pouch. Many post-surgical weight loss patients turn to protein drinks to boost their protein intake while keeping fat and carbohydrate intake at appropriate levels. In the photo above I'm enjoy a Berrilicious Protein Shake.

Following a high protein diet helps us lose weight because protein has the highest thermic effect of any food item: it requires more energy (calories) to metabolize than it contains. Simple carbohydrates require very little energy to process thus a caloric surplus occurs resulting in stalled weight loss or weight gain. In addition to boosting metabolism a high protein diet controls the metabolic hormones: insulin and glucagon. When these hormones are in balance we don't have swings in blood sugar that cause energy levels to surge and then plummet.

Often we as patients tend to relax the "protein first" rule the further out we get from our surgery. Commonly this results in a weight loss plateau or weight gain. We often desire to "get back to normal" but in order to maintain weight loss and work with the surgical tool it is necessary to adhere to the very basic guidelines outlined by our surgical centers. This is not a punishment, however. When we are in metabolic hormone balance we feel so good, mentally shape, physically strong and well and emotionally stable. Talk about a great payoff.