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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.