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Friday, February 27, 2009

Weird Fun Friday - Play to Win Prizes

Happy Fun Friday!! Is this weird or what? I'm sending out this Fun Friday reminder after the sun has set... and we all know weird things happen after dark!! Sorry about that good Neighbors. I was on the road today and out of bandwidth. But oddly enough our effervescent Neighbor Kim poses some weird questions for YOU in this weekly Neighborhood game. Take a look:

Weird Fun Friday February 27, 2009

As you know, Fun Friday is our weekly get-to-know-you game: This is your chance to share something lighthearted about yourself and learn a little bit more about your Neighbors. Each week the person asking the question selects two winners who receive FAME and FABULOUS Prizes! So come on over and join us! By The Way -- Did you play Fun Friday last week, February 20, 2009? Guess who won? JaniceFromNJ and April Joy --- Be sure to PM (Personal Message) your postal address to SongBirdDiane -- She has prizes ready to ship out to YOU!!! Congratulations!!

Today's Question is brought to us by the charming and always friendly Kim. And the prizes are fantastic!!!

Link Here To Play Fun Friday

As always, SongBirdDiane is our Fun Friday hostess with the mostess and she does a great job of keeping things going! If you have a question you would like to see in a future Fun Friday give her a jingle (Use the Neighborhood Personal Message system) and I'm sure she will work you into the rotation.

Prize this week are coming from Kim and I will add a little something special myself to your package. Two lucky winners will receive gift packages - Stay Tuned!

Check out our past winners in the Fun Friday Hall of Fame.

Fun Friday February 20, 2009

Have a Fantastic WEEKEND and I'll see YOU in the Neighborhood!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rumbly-Grumbly Tummy

Recently I was asked about the "inactive stomach" that is separated from the pouch in a gastric bypass surgery. Here is one of my syndicated articles that addresses the issue of the rumbly-grumbly tummy:

If you’ve been enjoying life after gastric bypass surgery you will know exactly what I’m talking about. That rumbly-tumbly stomach growl that’s more bark than bite. It’s the inactive tummy talking, the lower part of the stomach that was bypassed. And it growls at the oddest moments seldom accompanied by hunger pains. My inactive tummy is particularly talkative at bedtime, I think it remembers the refrigerator front bedtime binges from my previously life.

Remember the surgical diagrams you studied before surgery: a tiny stomach portion we call the pouch was separated from a larger portion, which is the inactive or bypassed stomach. In the gastric bypass procedure the stomach is left in place with blood supply – it is still and active organ yet no longer a reservoir for food. In some cases it may shrink slightly and the muscles may atrophy, but for the most part it remains unchanged. In fact, the “inactive” tummy is quite active. The inactive tummy is an around-the-clock chemical factory keeping your body in balance.

And for all it’s hard work what do we do? We don’t feed it. No wonder it’s talking!

The lower stomach still contributes to the function of the intestines even though it does not receive or process food - it makes intrinsic factor, necessary to absorb Vitamin B12 and contributes to hormone balance and motility of the intestines in ways that are not entirely known. So when you hear that rumbly-tumbly stomach growl you can smile happily knowing your body is hard at work keeping you chemically healthy and well.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Protein Quickies: Recipes for Real Life

In today’s You Have Arrived Newsletter (subscribe here) we presented five “Protein Quickies: Recipes for Real Life.” The recipes are so terrific, all taken from Women’s Health Magazine, that I’m sharing three more recipes here in the LivingAfterWLS Blog. They are all protein dense with a reasonable serving of nutritious complex carbohydrates. Enjoy!

Chicken Braised in Soy Sauce and Lemon
Brown bone-in chicken pieces in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Remove from pan. In same pan, stir in some chopped garlic. Add 1/2 tablespoon minced lemon zest, a pinch of cayenne, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/3 cup water; stir. Add the chicken, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes, turning the pieces once. Add lemon juice and more soy sauce to taste.

Grilled Cod with Basil Dipping Sauce
For sauce: Combine 2 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 Thai chili (seeded and thinly sliced), and 1/2 cup sliced fresh basil. Season 1 pound of cod with salt and pepper. Cook, turning once, until cooked through (8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness). Serve with the sauce.

Baked Eggs with Spinach
Preheat oven to 350°F. In boiling salted water, cook 2 pounds of spinach for 1 minute. Drain, cool, squeeze out excess liquid and chop. Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a baking dish, and add spinach, and toss to coat. Spread out spinach, making 8 nests. Crack 1 egg into each and top with salt, pepper, Parmesan, and breadcrumbs. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until yolks are just set and whites are solidified.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Taking Supplements: Tough Pill to Swallow

Kaye Bailey syndicated articles

We have all been told to take our vitamins after gastric bypass weight loss surgery. In order to be nutritionally healthy we must supplement because the malabsorptive system prevents key nutrients from being absorbed by the body. But new patients report difficulty swallowing pills because of liquid restriction and tightness in the new stomach pouch.

Here are some strategies for getting those all important supplements down:

Applesauce: Try coating the bottom of a spoon with applesauce. Place the pill (either whole or crushed) on top of the applesauce and add another dollop of applesauce to the spoon. Simply swallow the spoonful of applesauce.

Yogurt: You can use the method above substituting yogurt (unsweetened, low-fat) for the applesauce.

Back of the throat: Place the tablet or capsule on the tongue at the very back of the throat. Take a small sip of water, lean your head back and swallow. Take one pill at a time pausing for two-three minutes between each one to allow the tiny pouch to settle.

Some patients report never having trouble taking vitamins or medications after weight loss surgery. This is perfectly fine and does not mean the stomach pouch is enlarged or not working. Just like before surgery, some people have more difficulty swallowing pills than others. It is quite personal.

The universal thing is to remember to take the vitamin supplements and other medications daily on schedule. Consistency results in the best health of the weight loss surgery patient. For a list of recommended supplements for weight loss surgery patients visit LivingAfterWLS.

Rule 2: Lots of Water

Greetings Neighbors!

Last week we talked about the first golden rule of weight loss surgery: Protein First. This week we are going to look at rule #2: Lots of Water. Below is the article from our LivingAfterWLS Library about water. It is pretty straight forward. What I'd like to add is "Yes! It all counts." You see, I am often asked, "Does flavored (Crystal Light) water count? Does coffee count? Does tea count?" I say yes to all of those. Now when asked, "Does diet soda count?" I cringe a bit. I mean, here we are gut-whacked and testing the system with diet soda? Really! Diet soda has no nutritional value and ingesting it makes our bodies work overtime just to filter out the junk to get the H2O we need to fuel our metabolic processes. Why drink it?

Take a moment to review our second golden rule: Lots of Water. I'm sure at the end you'll be ready for a big refreshing drink of mean clean clear liquid hydration. Enjoy!

Rule #2: Drink Lots and LOTS of Water!
by Kaye Bailey

Dieters are often told – drink water. Drink a minimum of 64 ounces a day – eight glasses a day. Gastric-bypass patients don’t have a choice: they must drink lots water. Other beverages including coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks and alcohol are forbidden. Water is the essential fluid for living. Water is one of the most important nutrients the body needs to stay healthy, vibrant and energetic. A tell-tell sign of a gastric bypass patient is the ever-present water bottle.

The human body is a magnificent vessel full of water. The brain is more than 75 percent water and 80 percent of blood is water. In fact, water plays a critical role in every system of the human body. Water regulates body temperature, removes wastes, carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells, cushions the joints, prevents constipation, flushes toxins from the kidneys and liver and dissolves vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for the body’s use.

Nutritionists say a precise measure of the body’s need for water is to divide body weight (pounds) in half and drink that many ounces every day. That number could well exceed 200 ounces a day for morbidly obese people actively engaged in weight loss.

The body will panic if actual water intake is significantly less than required. Blood cannot flow, waste processes are disrupted and the electrolytes become imbalanced. Proper hydration prevents inflammation, promotes osmosis and moistens lung surfaces for gas diffusion. It helps the body regulate temperature, irrigate the cells and organs and promotes all functions of elimination. Certainly by drinking plenty of water many people could resolve inflammation and elimination problems that result from insufficient water intake. Adequate water facilitates weight loss.

Neighborhood News: February 23, 2009

Have you visited The Neighborhood lately? We have lots of hot discussions going on and lots of good friendship and support for one another as we do our best to live this LAWLS lifestyle. Take a look at a few of our active topics:

Kitten is getting back on track here: OK It's time

Nancy - our resident funny girl and graphics guru - is celebrating here: 4 Years Out

Pen is new and pre-op! And she's the mother of three little ones -- give her your support and advice here: Hello - Newbie Here

Cincygal has decided to take control of her habits by eating by the clock. Give her a hand here.

We have lots of birthdays this last week of February. Emarie took time to post them here: February 22-28 Birthdays

And one of our new members from Kiwiland, Mushroom, has a unique problem. She needs to gain weight following her weight loss surgery: take a look here.

And least we forget the guys, JohnnyBGood is getting a bit weary of the rotten weather. Got rain? Join him here and share your pain.

That's your Monday update Neighbors! If you are looking for me you will find me in The Neighborhood!


Friday, February 20, 2009

Kaye's Top 10 Healthy LivingTips

Like many of you I have spent a lifetime collecting tips and hints for living a healthier life. "Take the stairs instead of the elevator" or "Park far from the entrance of the mall." We have heard them all. Well, to refresh my memory and yours, here is a list of my top ten favorite healthy lifestyle hints. I'd love to hear from you and find out what hint inspires you. Come to the Neighborhood and share your helpful hint here:

1. Talk positively to yourself. Thoughts are self-fulfilling prophecies and the more positive spin we put on our thoughts the greater potential we have for a favorable outcome. Instead of saying, "I have to workout today" say, "I am thrilled I get to move my body today to improve my strength, stamina and flexibility."

2. Use walking for entertainment. Visit a zoo, a garden, or an amusement park and walk as you enjoy and learn. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and enjoy your healthy body.

3. Join a weight conscious group, such as the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood. The studies have proven time and again that people who attend support groups as part of a comprehensive weight loss program lose more weight than those who go it alone. In the Neighborhood we share the common bond of having undergone surgical weight loss and we understand one another very well. Don't go it alone.

4. Walk with a friend. For some reason we have better success keeping commitments to our friends than we do ourselves. If we sign on with a friend for a daily walk date we are most likely to keep that date. If your friend is long-distance make a cell-phone date and walk and talk together.

Smart Fitness: Walking

5. Remember the Four Rules: commit to them for life.
Protein First
Lots of Water
No Snacking
Daily Exercise

6. Forgive goof-ups. Remember the classic dieting allegory: If you drop an egg on the floor you don't throw the entire carton of eggs on the floor and give up. You clean up the broken egg and you move on. Forgive yourself. Be kind to yourself.

7. Keep a food diary. If you don't know why you are gaining weight or struggling with a plateau keep a food diary for one week and be totally honest. Most of us can quickly identify problem areas when we see it on paper. And more importantly, when we have to write it down we may be less likely to take those little bites, licks and tastes that get us in trouble.

8. Protein First. Never waver from this rule. Eating enough protein will help ensure that your body sheds fat, not muscle. Protein is slower to digest and helps us absorb nutrients from complex carbohydrates. Clean lean protein does not measurably increase blood sugar levels and it curbs hunger between meals.

9. Be fearless. Try new food: fruits and vegetables from all over the world are now readily available. Try new exercise and avoid the boring same 'ole same 'ole rut. Explore new places. Meet new friends. You had surgical weight loss so you could LIVE so live fearlessly. Visit the Celebration Forum to meet others living fearlessly.

LivingAfterWLS Recipes

10. Get rest. Studies clearly prove that when previously sleep deprived individuals cultivate a normal and adequate sleep routine they are healthier mentally and physically.

Visit the LivingAfterWLS Library

Fun Friday in the Neighborhood

Happy Fun Friday!!

Today in the Neighborhood we celebrate our weekly get-to-know-you game: This is your chance to share something lighthearted about yourself and learn a little bit more about your Neighbors. Each week the person asking the question selects two winners who receive FAME and FABULOUS Prizes! So come on over and join us! Today's Question is brought to us by the charming and always friendly Songbirddiane. Following Part 1 of our Fun Friday Survey (February 6, 2009) She asks ten more short & sweet questions so we can get to know each and everything wonderful and quirky about our Neighbors.

Link Here To Play Fun Friday

As always, SongBirdDiane is our Fun Friday hostess with the mostess and she does a great job of keeping things going! If you have a question you would like to see in a future Fun Friday give her a jingle (Use the Neighborhood Personal Message system) and I'm sure she will work you into the rotation.

Prize this week are coming from an secret Neighbor. Two lucky winners will receive Photo Coasters. Songbirddiane will announce the winners on February 24 - Stay Tuned!

Check out our past winners in the Fun Friday Hall of Fame.

Fun Friday February 20, 2009

Have a Fantastic WEEKEND and I'll see YOU in the Neighborhood!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vitamin D: Miracle Vitamin?

As recipients of surgical weight loss we need to be vigilant about our nutritional intake and nutrient balance in our bodies. Lately the headliner vitamin in mainstream media is Vitamin D. The jury is still out on the impact of vitamin D deficiency in surgical weight loss patients so we are left to make sense out of data presented for people without WLS. I found this article in Clean Eating which succinctly brings to focus our need for vitamin D. Take a look:

As Reported in Clean Eating (March/April 2009: Page 86)

Is vitamin D really the "miracle vitamin" I keep hearing about?
by Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

"It's pretty darned close. Research has shown a link between vitamin D and lower levels of both breast and colon cancer, higher measures of physical strength and performance in older adults, mood enhancement and stronger bones. In the famous Framingham Heart Study, those with low levels of vitamin D doubled their risk for heart disease. And in the follow-up study, men who were vitamin D deficient were twice as likely to have heart attacks. If that weren't enough, a recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that the individuals taking vitamin D were seven percent less likely to die of life threatening conditions including cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. You might think we get plenty of vitaminD, but we don't. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics is suggesting that we double the recommended daily allowance for children and infants. The current recommended daily allowance (RDA) is between 200 to 600 IUs. Vitamin D is inexpensive and comes in a tiny little soft gel that's very easy to swallow. I believe we'd all benefit from supplementing with 1,000 IUs a day. Foods that contain high levels of vitamin D are cheese, egg yolks, milk, certain fish and cod liver oil."

Have you played Question of the Day?

Our Neighborhood crazy girl ~Jane~ has introduced us to a fun new daily diversion: Question of the Day! In her usual "Hokey Fright" manner she tosses out a random question for discussion: sometimes weight loss related, sometimes simply random. There are no rules, no prizes, and the conversations can last for days. How fun is that?

The Neighbors have picked up on this bit 'o fun and there is always something new to learn about our friends and Neighbors. Take a look:

QOTD - February 18, 2009: When you were very first beginning to lose weight soon after your WLS, what was the first thing that you bought out of sheer joy that you wouldn't have fit into before wls? Go Here

QOTD - February 17, 2009: What are you good at doing? I mean really, really good?

QOTD - February 16, 2009: When you were a kid did you want to grow up to be the president? In all of your years, childhood up to today, have you ever been president of anything? If so, what? Find out more here

QOTD - February 15: When you've got company (yeah like your folk's and neice or somethin') and everyone agrees to go to a restaurant that really hasn't got much that's good for you... we're talking sauces, gravies, fried stuff, bready greasy things, all admittedly very delicious but major no-nos in probably everybody's diet, but especially yours... and you don't have any "emergency rations" with you, (because you used them at lunchtime when they ate subs) you're not going to see food again for about 4 hours and you're really honestly hungry. What do you do? What do you order? Get ideas here

Thanks ~Jane~ for a great fun time and for making the Neighborhood a well rounded community about so much more than just weight loss surgery.

The Four Rules: Protein First

Weight loss surgery patients are no strangers to the miracle of a high protein diet. In fact, the first rule of the post-gastric surgery lifestyle is "Protein First". The Protein First rule works not just during the phase of weight loss, but is essential to our ongoing weight management with weight loss surgery including gastric bypass and gastric banding procedures. The reasons for this are metabolic: protein increases our metabolism and requires more energy to digest than simple carbohydrates or fat. Furthermore, when we eat protein first there is little room for slider foods or starch in our downsized gastric pouches.

Mainstream weight loss and weight management programs continue to find good reasons to go high protein. Read Paul Kramer's well written article below:

Protein Weight Loss - Your Friend in Your Hour of Need

By Paul Kramer

The overwhelming majority of dieting plans and gimmicky eating regimes (and it should be noted that such plans are also the most likely to fail) all focus on demonizing certain types of foods, be it carbohydrates, refined sugars or saturated fats, bemoaning the risk they pose to the efforts of hard working dieters everywhere.

This is a sad turn of events, because whilst yes, it is necessary to reduce our intake of certain food stuffs if we wish to lose weight, we should also be aware that certain types of foods can also help us lose weight more quickly, more effectively and more efficiently.

Protein weight loss may sound like yet another fad diet, but believe me, the results are very real and very potent indeed and it should be noted that protein is a vital component of our diet because it is used in the production of various chemical reactions throughout the body, as well as the repairing of damaged tissue as well as the production of new tissue.

Protein when consumed, helps to raise the body's temperature by a very small amount (in most instances not even a full degree). However this marginal increase in the body's temperature is enough to have a significant impact and effect upon the metabolism of the body, greatly accelerating the calorie burning process.

Protein is also an essential component in the development of muscles, and it should be noted that the body has to metabolize calories quicker in order to actively sustain muscles. Therefore, the greater the percentage of your body which is pure muscle, the quicker you will burn that fat off, and the harder it is to retain fat.

Increased consumption of protein will also help to safely and effectively suppress hunger pangs as well, meaning that you will snack out far less.

Want More Information On The Top 3 Weight Loss Products That Really Works? All You Have To Do Is Click Now!

Article Source:

Review the Four Rules

Monday, February 09, 2009

Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash

Did you know that here in the Northern Hemisphere you can still find farm-fresh spaghetti squash for a reasonable price? In many cases it can be substituted for pasta as a low-carb alternative with greater nutritional value. And it is one of our LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood favorites!

Spaghetti Squash Taken from What's 4 Dinner?

Sauce Recipes & Techniques

How do you make spaghetti squash?

And from the LAWLS Library scroll down to read this article: Vegetables are not White Carbs

I came across a great article today for preparing spaghetti squash - take a look:

There are Many Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash

By Laura Dolson,

You've heard spaghetti squash is a great substitute for pasta, and you've lugged one home from the store. Now what do you do?

Just about any way you can think of to apply heat can be used to cook spaghetti squash. The big question is: to cut or not to cut before cooking? You can do it either way. Here are the pros and cons of each.

Advantages to cutting the spaghetti squash up before cooking: It cooks faster.
Disadvantages: Like any winter squash, hacking it up takes muscle and a sharp knife or cleaver. It's also a bit more work to scrape out the seeds and pulp when they are raw.

Method: Just get in there and cut it in half (lengthwise) or quarters. You don't want to cut it up too small unless you want short strands. Scrape out the seeds and pulp as you would with any squash or pumpkin.

Bake rind side up about 30 to 40 minutes at 375 F.
Microwave 6 to 8 minutes (let stand for a few minutes afterwards)
Boil 20 minutes or so.

Separate strands by running a fork through in the "from stem to stern" direction.
Cooking Spaghetti Squash Whole
Advantages to cooking the squash whole: It's easier.
Disadvantages: It takes longer to cook, and you need to watch out for burns when removing the pulp and seeds.

Method: Pierce the squash several times with a sharp knife. (Do this especially if you're microwaving it, or you may end up with a "Squash Explosion.")

Bake about an hour in the oven at 375 F.
Microwave 10 to 12 minutes, then let stand for 5 minutes or so afterwards to finish steaming.
Boil for half an hour or so.
Slow Cooker/Crock Pot: Put it in with a cup of water and let it go on low all day (8 to 10 hours).

When done, cut open "at the equator", remove seeds and pulp (I use tongs and an oven mitt -- it is HOT) and separate strands with a fork.

Did You Know? Any squash seeds can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds (pumpkin is a kind of squash). They are low-carb, nutritious, and delicious: How To Roast Pumpkin or Squash Seeds
Spaghetti Squash Storage Tip
Like pumpkin and other winter squashes, whole uncooked spaghetti squash is best stored between 50 to 60 degrees, and will last up to six months this way. If you have a room in your home that isn't well-heated, maybe you can use some space in it as a "root cellar" to store onions, squash, apples, and the like. Our guest room often has vegetables on the bed in the cooler months of the year. On the other hand, spaghetti squash will keep several weeks at room temperature.

Proper Walking Form

Hi Neighbors!

A few posts ago I wrote about good reasons for starting a walking program. I think that universally walking is the favorite exercise or sport of most weight loss surgery patients. I know I love a good walk just about as much as anyone. So, from the previously cited "Walk it Off" publication from Reader's Digest I am sharing tips for proper walking form. To keep me focused I photocopied this page and have it on the data-deck of my treadmill.

"Walk Tall" Page 15.

Walking feels easier and is less likely to lead to injury when you use good form. follow these tips.

-- Keep your shoulders relaxed, down, and slightly back.
-- Stand up straight, not hunched forward.
-- Stride length should feel natural, not strained. Longer isn't better.
-- Keep your elbows bent at about 90-degree angles. Pump them forward and back; they shouldn't cross in front of your body.
-- Land first on your heel, then roll forward across the ball of your foot and push off with your toes.

For more helpful information on walking and weight loss surgery visit the LivingAfterWLS Library.

Healthier Walking

Kim's First 5K after WLS

Weight Loss Through Walking

Start a Walking Program