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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cheesy Sausage Mushroom Appetizers

Hints & Tips for navigating the holidays - check out this quick read:
The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

Protein: The "Power" Nutrient
"No matter if you're young, old or somewhere in-between, eating enough protein plays an important role in good health at every age and life stage."
Protein: Power Nutrient

Cheesy Sausage Mushroom Appetizers

A classic appetizer to make, share, and enjoy this holiday season. Taking a cue from the classic Jimmy Dean® cheesy sausage meatballs, this version employs mushroom caps to hold the meaty goodness in a tidy bite-size portion. Adjust the recipe to taste using any variety of Jimmy Dean® roll sausage being mindful of the fat content. 

1 (16-ounce) package Jimmy Dean® Premium Pork Reduced Fat Roll Sausage
3/4 cup all-purpose baking mix
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded medium Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
pinch teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
18 medium-large button mushrooms, stems and gills removed

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Gently mix all ingredients except mushrooms in a large bowl just until blended. Stuff 1 1/2-tablespoons of sausage mixture into each mushroom cap, mounding sausage and pressing into a dome shape. Bake 18-24 minutes or until done (internal temperature 160°F). Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

18 servings (1 stuffed mushroom each)

Mound sausage in mushroom caps as shown above.

Leftovers Hint: Breakfast Skillet
Chop or slice any leftover stuffed mushrooms and warm in a skillet. Add eggs, lightly mixed, to sausage mixture and cook until eggs are done. Serve warm and enjoy a protein power start to your day!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Free Shipping Sale: $5.95 Value

Now is a great time to get your LivingAfterWLS supplies for the New Year - it is our Annual FREE SHIPPING Sale in the General Store. All orders ship USPS Priority Mail and you pay nothing for shipping! No minimum order. Don't delay: This offer only lasts a few days. Shop now and enjoy our gift to you.

Coupon Code: SHIPFREE
Expires midnight 12/15/2014

LivingAfterWLS General Store

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Caution: Don't Overreact to the Scale

Learn clever ways to measure food intake:
The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

"Measuring food portions is as important in our weight management as measuring body weight. They are intrinsically related."
Kaye Bailey

How many times do you invest your emotions for the day in one data point - the number on the bathroom scale?  I know it is very easy for me to be disappointed and self critical when the bathroom scale reports a bad number and equally happy when it tells me I've been "good." A rational mind knows better than to surrender emotions to the scale.  But when you have battled obesity your entire life emotions are intrinsically interwoven with every measure of our body size including weight, BMI, and dress size. It seems few of us ever escape the emotional attachment, no matter how much we understand it doesn't make sense.

But Mayo Clinic health and wellness specialist Paula Ricke says, "Weighting yourself regularly can help in weight loss, but don't let daily variations in your weight upset you. They may be just fluid changes. You have better control over what you eat and what you do than over numbers on the scale, so make it your goal to concentrate on those activities."

One area where I can improve is measuring food portions and taking better control over what I eat. In talking with others I know that many of us find measuring portions, and keeping a food journal, is a low priority. But how can we expect different results on the bathroom scale if we cannot be bothered to monitor and make changes in other measurable areas that impact our weight and health management? I address this very topic in my forthcoming book, Cooking with Kaye, and present an excerpt here:

"Small Measured Quantities:  This is key. I know it is annoying to measure portions. It is for me and I've heard from enough people in our WLS Neighborhood to know we all find it a hassle. The best way I can state this is that  if we cannot be bothered to measure our food serving tonight, then tomorrow morning when we step on the bathroom scale we should not be bothered when the results are not what we hoped for.  Measuring food portions is as important in our weight management as measuring body weight. They are intrinsically related.

"We tend to be polarized by one measurement (body weight) and ambivalent to the other measurement (food portions) when in fact one directly affects the other. Weight loss surgery patients are pro-active people by nature. We took pro-active measures to alter the course of our illness, morbid obesity, by having gastric surgery. We can achieve the best results - the results that motivated us to pursue a surgical option - when we routinely measure and monitor our food intake. A hyper-awareness of what and how much we eat will certainly give us the results we desire on that other revered symbol of measurement: the bathroom scale," Kaye Bailey.

Lunch Recipe: Light Fresh Turkey Salad

Great tips for navigating a world full of challenges: 
The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

"Always practice kindness. Be kind to yourself, our ongoing theme. Express gratitude for your weight loss tool and for your personal empowerment. Celebrate doing the best you could to find a middle ground to respect yourself and your traditions and your new WLS body. This you deserve."
~ Kaye Bailey

From our newsletter archives:
Turkey Salad with Oranges and Honey-Dijon Dressing
Freeway Chef*, light and refreshing, no cooking, quick preparation 
Shared with permission from Cooking with Kaye: page 44.
Copyright LivingAfterWLS 2012 (C) All Rights Reserved

image from eating well The fresh orange sections featured in this full-meal salad brighten the turkey and enhance overall feelings of satiation. Consider this for your day-after lunch following a feasting holiday like Thanksgiving. You'll welcome the lightened change of plate.

8 cups baby salad greens, ready-to-eat
12 ounces cooked turkey, chopped
1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into strips
4 oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/2 cup commercial honey-Dijon dressing, reduced calorie
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Directions: In a large bowl toss together the salad greens, turkey, and red pepper. Divide salad mixture among four chilled salad plates. Top each salad with orange sections, 2 tablespoons of dressing and 1 tablespoon of slivered almonds.

Nutrition: Serves 4. Each serving provides 281 calories, 28 grams protein, 8 grams fat, 25 grams carbohydrate and 5 grams dietary fiber.

Try This: Turkey is such a versatile protein; it lends itself to many flavors. Try including fresh berries, chopped apples or stone fruit such as peaches or nectarines in this salad. ~ For an added boost of dairy protein and calcium add one ounce of shredded or cubed cheese per serving. ~ No oranges? In a pinch 1 (11-ounce) can of mandarin oranges, drained, may be used in place of fresh oranges.

*Freeway Chef Defined:
Like the swift-moving divided highway, Freeway Chef recipes are an efficient way to get from preparation to meal without relentless starts, stops, and side trips. Use these recipes for their efficiency in preparation: enjoy them for their hunger-taming deliciousness and nutritional power. Most of the recipes in Methods to Meals are graded Freeway Chef.

Cooking with Kaye: Methods to Meals
Available in hard-back comb bound format and eBook format.
Learn More

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Value Priced eBooks: Quick Inspiration to Keep You on Track

LivingAfterWLS Quick Reads: Powerful Knowledge
LivingAfterWLS is pleased to introduce the first two volumes in our new eight volume series of eBook "Shorts" - Quick portable reads full of knowledge, inspiration, recipes, and tools to support your successful weight loss, and long-term weight maintenance with weight loss surgery. Our "Shorts" are available exclusively through Amazon Kindle at guaranteed low prices. The Free Kindle reader app is available for Apple, Android, Windows, and Blackberry through Amazon or your App store. Digital products in your Kindle library are yours for life: enjoy on any computer or device.
This quick study provides the basics of the 5 Day Pouch Test plan to get you back on track with your weight loss or weight maintenance goals with weight loss surgery. The Express Study Guide includes the plan summary broken down by day; 32 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about the plan; and 10 sample recipes to get you started.
Approx. 45 pages
$3.95 Instant Download

Check out these 5-Star Reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars  Simply the Best
September 24, 2014
"Kaye Bailey has done it again. This express guide is just what I needed with my busy life. It is short and to the point. It will be great to take my Kindle into the grocery store and shop for 5DOT items easily. The recipes look delicious too!"

5.0 out of 5 stars back on track
September 27, 2014
By Kindle Customer
"This is the encouragement that I needed to get back on track. The author answers your questions that you have to get started and to completed your 5 days with getting back on track."

5.0 out of 5 stars simple, easy to follow plan October 12, 2014
By T.
"I desperately needed to get back on track after slipping into old habits and this plan made it easy to do! Thank you Kaye!"

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
November 9, 2014
"Everything that has Kaye's name on it is AWESOME..........."

This complete collection of 5 Day Pouch Test approved recipes is a handy companion for getting back to the basics of weight loss surgery using the 5DPT as a tool.What's in it: A summary review of the 5 Day Pouch Test and review of the basic tenets of weight loss surgery, 60 tried and tested 5DPT approved recipes, and numerous informational tips to promote your successful weight loss and weight management with bariatric surgery.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars December 9, 2014
By kh  "Easy tasty recipes"
Approx. 85 pages
$5.95 Instant digital download
Learn More

LivingAfterWLS Shorts
Exclusively Available on Amazon Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? No problem. The Kindle eReader app is available in your APP store or the Kindle Store for free. Benefit: manage your entire digital library in one place, your library transfers when you upgrade your device and may also be viewed on tablet, laptop or computer. Brilliant!
Learn More: Get Your Free Kindle Reading App
Apple ~ Android ~ Blackberry ~ Windows

Holiday Holding Pattern: Minimize the Damage

There are many tips and useful strategies in the 5 Day Pouch Test plan that support our goals, even while in a holding pattern. Check out this quick read: The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

Kindness: Above all else, be kind to yourself. Express gratitude for your weight loss tool and for your personal empowerment. Celebrate doing the best you could to find a middle ground to respect yourself and your traditions.

Can you believe we are in the midst of the winter high holidays? It sure feels like it crept up on me this year and I'm not ready for it. While this is a joyful time of year it is also, I believe, the most challenging time of the year when it comes to meeting and reaching our health goals. The food temptations are many and our schedules are full leaving little time for exercise or self-care. Something is bound to give.
Lately I've found myself thinking if I can just get through the holidays without doing too much damage to my diet and fitness routine, if I can just maintain a "holding pattern," then I can begin the new year renewed and enthusiastic.

In aviation a holding pattern is a maneuver that delays aircraft in flight from landing. The planes are held in a specific airspace flying a racetrack shaped pattern until it is safe to land. A holding pattern may be enforced because of traffic congestion, poor weather, or runway unavailability. While a holding pattern is inconvenient for travelers the objective is to ensure a safe landing.

For the next several days I'm going to put myself in a "holding pattern" using the principals of the 5 Day Pouch Test to define my airspace and designate my flight pattern. Doing so will keep me safe for landing come January 1st.  I hope this gives you the tools and desire to prepare for your safe landing in the New Year.

Principals to Build Your Holding Pattern
Here are some 5 Day Pouch Test strategies to help you build a holding pattern and prepare for a safe landing:

Breakfast: Eat a protein breakfast first thing. Use recipes for Day 3 including Breakfast Bakes. A protein dense meal will kick-start your metabolism: it will also provide a feeling of fullness. Have a second serving of your breakfast bake three hours later to stave hunger while yummy holiday smells fill the air.

Water & Beverages: Drink 24 ounces of water between breakfast and your mid-morning snack. A well-hydrated body works efficiently and reduces hunger cravings. Continue to drink water throughout the day: at least 64 ounces. Avoid high-calorie punch or mixed drinks. Drink alcohol only at meals. Read more about liquid restrictions.

Appetizer Buffet: Practice the 2 Bite-1 Bite Rhythm and liquid restrictions while cruising the appetizer buffet. Specifically, eat two bites of protein for every bite of fruit or vegetable carbohydrate. If you are eating from the buffet avoid liquids until you have finished your appetizers. Best bet - wait 30 minutes before and after the appetizer buffet for liquids. (This is tough - even a 10-minute liquid pause before and after will help). Make sure buffet food is presented safely, learn more what to look for.

Slider Foods: Remember that crackers, pretzels, cookies and white breads are non-nutritional slider foods. If you give yourself permission to enjoy some of your favorites remember the liquid restrictions (above) to avoid sliding your way up the scale. Even slider foods will help you feel full when observing the liquid restrictions. Learn more about slider foods.

The Big Feast: Get greedy with the protein; be stingy with the side dishes. I'm a sucker for the ubiquitous green bean casserole so I'll indulge with a bite or two on this special day. Treat yourself to a favorite and then let it go. It is just food. Remember your liquid restrictions, but celebrate too. It is okay to sip a bit with the big meal. A moist mouth facilitates conversation and surgical weight loss does not exempt us from sharing a toast with our loved ones. When the meal is over, it is over. Remove your plate and avoid post-meal nibbles during kitchen duty. Better yet, let someone else do clean up. Go for a long walk: assign kitchen duty to the kid table. (Go ahead and say, "My doctor prescribed that I must walk after every meal, I'd love to help but it is important that I take care of my health.")

Use these recipes to support your weight management goals:
The 5 Day Pouch Test: Complete Recipe Collection

Dessert: After dinner sweets are neither good nor bad: they are just desserts. If you have a perennial favorite take a bite or two and savor the moment. Then let it go. Toss the rest (you may have to be crafty about this to avoid hurting Aunt Edna's feelings, but it is ok to throw away a chunk of pie). Being in control of your fork always feels better than pie tastes.

Kindness: Above all else, be kind to yourself. Express gratitude for your weight loss tool and for your personal empowerment. Celebrate doing the best you could to find a middle ground to respect yourself and your traditions.

Day After: Follow the food plan for Day 3. Again, start your day with a protein dense breakfast. Day 3 is a "soft protein" day and the food plan is gentle with your little tummy. Drink lots of water. Avoid slider foods. Take your vitamins and exercise (shopping counts!). Plan your meals and snacks: do not eat leftovers standing at the refrigerator. Pat yourself on the back! You have the power to celebrate an eating day without allowing it to become the launching pad for a 6-week feast.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Obesity is Taking Years Off Our Lives

"The pattern is clear. The more an individual weighs and the younger their age, the greater the effect on their health, as they have many years ahead of them during which the increased health risks associated with obesity can negatively impact their lives," Dr. Steven Grover

In writing about weight loss surgery I generally call our task weight management rather than weight loss. If all goes well with WLS the first few years following surgery are about weight loss, then we enter a phase of weight management which can be much more difficult than weight loss. A body with the metabolic disorder obesity wants to store excess body fat, that's what the disorder is. So our task is to manage body weight and avoid or limit weight gain.

A new study shared today by Medical News Today suggests there is good reason to work at weight management: Obesity reduces life expectancy and can diminish quality of life causing a loss of 19 years of healthy life. We know from our own struggle to find a healthy weight that excess body weight does indeed diminish quality of life. This study, first published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, examines the issue closely and puts tangible numbers on the true toll obesity takes.

"The researchers behind the study analyzed data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), creating a disease-simulation model to estimate the risk of adults of different body weight developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease," reports Medical News Today. "From this, the researchers then calculated the extent to which overweight and obesity may contribute to both years of life lost and years of healthy life lost in American adults aged between 20 and 79 years old, in comparison to people of normal weight."
  • They found that people who were overweight (BMI 25-30 kg/m2) were estimated to lose up to 3 years of life, depending on age and gender. Individuals classed as obese (BMI 30-35 kg/m2) were calculated to lose up to 6 years, and people classed as very obese (BMI 35 kg/m2 or more) could lose up to 8 years of life.
  • According to the study, excess weight had the greatest impact on lost years of life among the young and dropped with increasing age.
  •  Obesity can cause the loss of up to 19 'healthy life-years'
Dr. Steven Grover, lead author and professor of medicine at McGill University and a clinical epidemiologist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Canada, explains the findings:

"The pattern is clear. The more an individual weighs and the younger their age, the greater the effect on their health, as they have many years ahead of them during which the increased health risks associated with obesity can negatively impact their lives," Dr. Steven Grover

These clinically meaningful calculations should prove useful for obese individuals and health professionals to better appreciate the scale of the problem and the substantial benefits of a healthier lifestyle, including changes to diet and regular physical activity."

Read the full article on Medical News Today: Obesity Can Reduce Life Up To 8 Years

This information is valuable motivation to continue weight loss efforts after surgery and practice vigilant weight management for life. After WLS do the following:
  • Follow the Four Rules of weight loss surgery: Protein First, Lots of Water, No Snacking, Daily Exercise.
  • Observe the liquid restrictions to maximize pouch space by eating nutrient dense food.
  • Avoid eating empty calorie slider foods.
  • Make healthy eating a way of life for the entire family.
  • Consider healthy eating a gift of life, never a punishment.

Are you off track with your weight loss and weight management goals? Use the 5 Day Pouch Test to get back in focus and live your best healthy life. Check out this value priced quick study guide to learn more about the plan and how it will change your life:
The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

Monday, December 08, 2014

Exquisite Cranberry-Pomegranate Compote

The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

I have been making variations of cranberry sauce for many years now and never quite landed on my "this is it" ideal that I sought in making a cranberry sauce to serve at holiday meals in compliment of the turkey protein. I was looking for something not too sweet, not too spicy, but bursting with fresh wow-in-the-mouth flavor.  This year I think I've achieved my goal thanks to the addition of the "Jewel of Autumn" -- the pomegranate. From the Pom Council:
"You see those glistening red jewels inside? They’re called arils, and they’re full of delicious, nutritious sweet-tart juice surrounding a small white crunchy seed. You can eat the whole arils including the fiber-rich seeds, or spit out the seeds if you prefer- it’s your choice! The rind and the white membranes surrounding the arils are bitter and we don’t suggest eating them- although some say even that part of the pomegranate has medicinal value!" Pom Council

 Here is the recipe as I made my cranberry sauce this year. It may be a bit tart for some tastes, which can be corrected with the addition of more sugar or even honey. Everyone at our Thanksgiving dinner complimented the sauce and I appreciated a few requests for the recipe.  I hope you'll give this delicious condiment a try and include it in many of your high protein meals.

Kaye's Exquisite
Cranberry-Pomegranate Compote

Makes 3 1/2 - 4 cups  


1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
1/2 cup pomegranate arils (the seeds)
1/3 cup celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup mild white onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup 100% orange juice
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 sprig fresh thyme
pinch kosher salt
pinch red pepper flakes
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 or 2 star anise

Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pot and gently warm over medium heat. Increase heat slightly and allow compote to simmer 40 minutes until cranberries burst and ingredients are a soft thick mixture. Remove from heat and discard thyme leaf, cinnamon stick, and star anise. Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If added sugar is necessary return to heat and cook until added sugar is dissolved and incorporated.

Serve at room temperature with poultry, pork, or cheese. Store refrigerated up to two weeks.

Recipe Idea:  For a delightful cheese ball mix 1 part Cranberry-Pomegranate Compote with two parts cream cheese and serve on crackers or toast points. 

Weight Gain is Not Unavoidable: Holiday News You Can Use!

Need more tips to keep you on track this holiday season?
Get the The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide - Just $3.95 Instant Download on Amazon!

Tis the season to be gaining weight! Not so fast. We have control of our own fork and it does not have to be the gaining season. It's easier than you might think!

Remember, nobody ever gained 5-7 pounds in 6 weeks from enjoying a few wisely selected holiday traditions."

I am pleased to tell you that the mainstream media is wrong when they say every one of us will gain five to seven pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It simply doesn't have to be that way. Over the years I've learned a few things about working the WLS tool in harmony with the act and pleasure of celebrating the season with food, family and friends. Take a look and see if you can work these tips into your holidays and prove the weight gain wardens wrong.

Protein First is our WLS Rule #1 and our best friend during the holiday season. When we keep our protein intake above 80grams a day, spread throughout the day, we fuel our metabolism into high burn; we have increased energy and fewer cravings. Gastric bypass patients avoid dumping.

Protein First: Why it works and how to get enough

Get your protein from real food as much as possible in order to experience the process of eating and digestion. Protein shakes and protein bars are fine in a pinch, but they should be no more than 1/3 of your daily protein intake.

For a quick protein fix try tuna with hard cooked eggs; chopped lean chicken or meat tossed with a small amount of salad greens and dressed in low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese, chilled ready-to-eat shrimp, vegetables with humus dip, or a measured portion of dry roasted nuts.

Enjoy your favorite holiday classic appetizer, starchy side dish or dessert only after eating three to four bites of lean clean protein. In so doing we decrease the amount of treat we are able to consume thus maximizing our pouch space. The few bites we are able to comfortably eat are that much more delicious. We avoid glycemic overload and in the long run the dreaded holiday weight gain. This is a powerful way to work the bariatric pouch so that it works for us.

Coping: When guilt gets us down

Have dessert within 15 minutes of your meal. Waiting any longer results in a larger serving and the satiation factor of your healthy high-protein meal is lost. Do you remember back in our morbidly obese days when we enjoyed our hearty meal, took a nap and enjoyed a second hearty meal starring dessert(s)? That's a tradition we don't need to bring back because we all know what comes with it.

Be mindful of your liquid restrictions. While it is often necessary to sip during meals where conversation is enjoyed pay attention to avoid turning sips into gulps. Gulps with food will wash the food through your pouch before any of the nutrients are absorbed. You will be able to eat more and will not reach that comfortable satisfied feeling that comes with a properly fed pouch. Learn more: Liquid Restrictions

Chose your indulgences carefully and proceed to enjoy them wisely. Give yourself a pat on the back when you do well. Be rational about events when you stray from your eating plan. Forgive yourself, learn from the event, and consider your next meal an Opportunity for Improvement.

Helpful Activity: Do a status check before the holidays are in full swing using the LivingAfterWLS Self-Assessment worksheet. "This worksheet should be used as a private tool with the intent to keep your eye on the goal. It is a contract with yourself; a contract of honor and self-respect because you deserve to treat yourself well and engage in appropriate long-term behaviors in pursuit of your healthiest life." ~Kaye Bailey

Food Safety at the Office

"Over the years I've heard from so many weight loss surgery patients that their sensitivity to food illness increased after surgery. The best way to prevent food illness is to ensure the proper safe food handling steps are taken with all the food we prepare and eat." Kaye Bailey

Today we continue our series on food safety with a focus on  food and events that are most common during the winter holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Years. 

Improperly prepared, served, and stored food can harbor bacteria that leads to food borne illness. Over the years I've heard from so many weight loss surgery patients that their sensitivity to food illness increased after surgery. The best way to prevent food illness is to ensure the proper safe food handling steps are taken with all the food we prepare and eat. Extra caution should be used when eating foods away from home that might include picnics, buffets, box lunches, dinner parties, etc. We cannot always control the way our food is handled or served, but we can pay close attention to the details and avoid food that is served at the wrong temperature or has been sitting too long on the buffet table.

The Office Holiday Party: Keeping Food Safe

Today's article in our food safety series takes a look at the office holiday party. Often the holiday party is potluck with everyone contributing a dish to the meal. Few offices are equipped for food service so keeping the food in the proper environment may be difficult. Here are tips from the blog by Amelia Kermis, MPH CHES, Food Safety Education Staff, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA. Link to original article.

"Keep Hot Food Hot. Hot items are best served immediately after cooking or reheating. If you plan on serving a hot item at the office party, take it straight from the oven and either place it in an insulated bag or hot food carrier. If you can’t serve it as soon as you arrive, return it to the oven. Alternatively, you can completely chill the item and transport it according to Tip 2. Once you arrive at the office reheat it using a microwave, stove, or oven to 165 °F.

Keep Cold Food Cold. Cold items should remain in the refrigerator for as long as possible. When transporting cold dishes, place items in a cooler with plenty of ice or frozen gel packs. A refrigerator thermometer in the cooler is a useful way to make sure items remain at proper chill temperature of 40 °F or below.

Use Several Small Platters. For both hot and cold items, arrange and serve food on several small platters rather than on large platter. This way you can hold food at safe temperatures (cold foods below 40 °F and hot foods above 140 °F) until party-goers are ready to eat it.

Keep Track of Time. Keep track of how long items have been sitting on the buffet table and discard anything out longer than two hours. You never want to leave perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs and casseroles in the “Danger Zone” over two hours. The danger zone is between 40 and 140 °F where bacteria multiply rapidly. After two hours, enough bacteria may have grown in your food to make party-goers sick. Exceptions to the danger zone include ready-to-eat items like cookies, crackers, bread and whole fruit."

After: Don't Lose Food in the Fridge

After the party take home or discard the left over food you provided and encourage others to do so as well. We have all see the office refrigerator become a no-man's land of containers harboring relics of the past. In fact, OSHA often cites the office refrigerator as one of the most hazardous places in the office. Workers in California found out the hard way that a refrigerator used as a receptacle for unwanted and forgotten food can be hazardous to their health. In May 2009 the AT&T call center in San Jose was evacuated of 325 employees. Fifty firefighters with 18 emergency vehicles responded to the call. Twenty-eight sickened employees received first aid or were transported to the emergency room. The cause? Unidentifiable left-overs gone rogue in the office refrigerator.

Food safety isn't just for your home kitchen. Take it to work with you as well!

For more great food safety tips check out these previous articles:
Clean Your Refrigerator DayThanksgiving Food Safety
Thaw Turkey Safely
Keeping Buffet Food Safe

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Speaking Back: Reply to Bariatric Foodie

Before you review the plan get the facts: 
The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

Hello LivingAfterWLS Friends!

Today I'm taking a turn to speak out. Over a year ago, Nik at Bariatric Foodie (whose blog I follow here and refer you to on occasion) "Reviewed" the 5 Day Pouch Test on her blog in this post:
The 5-Day Pouch Test, The Cottage Cheese Test (and other destructive things we do to ourselves...)

"So here we are. I’m going to be 100% raw and honest about why I hate, hate, HATE these two so-called methods of “getting back on track.”  Nik - Bariatric Foodie

I put the word "Reviewed" in quotes because the irony here is that Nik has clearly not read the 5 Day Pouch Test plan, she admits she will not visit, and her knowledge of the plan is based solely on anecdotal reports from people who have done the plan. I like Nik and I enjoy her website and recipes. However, her willingness to review something based on hearsay gravely discredits her and her body of work. I am lost to understand how one can "hate, hate, HATE" something based on second hand information? Because this post has been messaged to me so often in the last year I have elected now to address her criticism. Primarily because her "review" does a disservice to her own credibility and misleads readers who could truly benefit from the authentic 5 Day Pouch Test. 

The following is the full text of my response, which I posted in abbreviated form to her blog:

Hello Nik - Kaye Bailey here from LivingAfterWLS and author of the 5 Day Pouch Test. I bet you didn't know I'm a fan of yours, and in fact, link to your site from my blog. I think you do good work.

However, I feel you are quite unjust in this review of the 5 Day Pouch Test. I have been sent this post link numerous times and elected to ignore it, but that isn't fair to me, my work, or the people who may be mislead by your lack of familiarity with the plan, so today I am responding. I am especially crestfallen that you would undermine your own credibility by "reviewing" a program that you obviously have not read, not visited the website, and are going on hearsay from Heaven knows where. I won't address all your criticism, but I do wish to take advantage of your comments section here to present my position.

Point #1: Credibility
No, I am not a medical professional and I have never presented myself as such. I am a professional research journalist  who happens to also be a RNY post-op of 15 years. When I was told by my surgeon (Dr. Alan Wittgrove, past president American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons) to "go back to basics" I didn't know how to get there and he didn't give me a plan. So I did what research professionals do and I studied the topic. I read thousands of pages, interviewed over 30 medical professionals including surgeons, nutritionists, and mental healthcare providers. In the 5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual you will find a 2-page bibliography with over 60 citations. The book is also footnoted. In addition, I own the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood (currently shuttered) in which I collected data from over 2,500 WLS post ops who were more inclined to be honest about their experience and habits in the safe haven Neighborhood than they would be with their health care team (as you say-a trip to the principals office.) My professional research background gave me the methodology to collect a vast amount of data. My experience as a WLS patient gave me knowledge of the questions and feelings that are common after WLS. If you had read the book you would find a treasure trove of information that addresses the physical, mental, environmental, and social factors that affect weight management. In addition you would find page after page of hints for managing these factors in support of healthy weight management. Finally, you would find compassionate empowering encouragement that comes from the heart of someone who really understands how difficult this life after weight loss surgery truly is.

Point #2: DisclaimerYes, all of the LivingAfterWLS properties and publications carry this boilerplate disclaimer, "The health content in the LivingAfterWLS website is intended to inform, not prescribe, and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice and care of a qualified health-care professional." It surprises me you don't have a disclaimer on your website, did you not work with a legal-media consultant in creating your web space? If you take a look at they have a similar disclaimer to the one on my properties. "The WebMD Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the WebMD Site!"

You might give some consideration to a similar disclaimer, it is industry standard.

Point #3: "It deals with regain/overeating in terms of FOOD not your MENTALITY TOWARD FOOD: this is important."
The 5 Day Pouch Test deals extensively with all aspects of weight management including food, activity/exercise, mental issues, the physicality of the pouch, environmental, social, economic, and historic. People who say it is a simple eating regimen have not taken the time to learn the plan fully, to journal the 5 days, to revisit past goals and make new goals and map a plan. I often see people using the 5DPT to knock off a few pounds and go right back to doing what they were doing before that caused weight gain. Contrary to your review, the plan does address how to avoid the bounce back and how to use the momentum and enthusiasm of the 5 Days to keep us focused. Few people can sustain the post-op euphoria day in and day out for years. I know this personally after 15 years. I have confirmed this with the experts I consulted and the countless WLS individuals I interacted with in developing this plan.

I have to wonder, what you think is wrong with a plan that renews a person's sense of empowerment and capability, while also breaking a snacky-simple carb eating habit, and returns them to a mental state of prioritizing their own health?

Point #4: The role of the bariatric team
Throughout the 5DPT Manual, the newsletters, and blog I constantly encourage folks to stick with their bariatric centers and use the center as their first line of defense. The sad reality is, and bariatric surgeons will admit this, that their role is to build the tool - the WLS. Most surgeons have not struggled with obesity or had wLS (Less than 2% of ASMBS certified surgeons in 2013 have undergone WLS). Surgeons and their nutritional support experts are good for 18-months post surgery follow-up. The numbers drop off drastically after that from patient withdrawal from support groups (It seems like they are all for pre-ops or newbies many post-ops report), and lack of resources in the bariatric center to serve the ever increasing number of post-op patients.  And of course, insurance plays a role in this as well.  I want people to stick with their bariatric team long-term. But sadly, this is more the exception than the rule.

Point #5: Shrinks the Pouch
There is no place where I claim the 5DPT will shrink the pouch. In fact, there is no conclusive evidence that the pouch stretches or shrinks - several studies are conflicting on this. What I do claim is that systematically returning to our prescribed diet of protein first, no slider foods, observing the liquid restrictions, restores the sense of pouch tightness we enjoyed in the early weeks and months after WLS. We get away from those rules because pouch tightness is uncomfortable and eating soft slider foods while drinking liquid eliminates pouch discomfort, the very signal that our pouch is working and it is time to stop eating. So many times people say, "I don't think my pouch is working any more." What is wrong with giving them a plan to learn for themselves that yes, the tool is still there and when used properly it works as it is intended? As your commenter Nora B said, "This program stopped me in my tracks and made me realize what all I had been doing wrong without even realizing it. It took me back to the mindset where I was at early out and got me motivated again."

As you said, there isn't enough room here to address all the issues. I am sorry you have taken such a strong dislike of what you think the 5 Day Pouch Test is, and I'm extremely sorry the facts you present do not represent the 5DPT in the least. Perhaps if you were to read the plan or even visit the website you may take away a different impression than the one you contrived through anecdote.

I wish you the best and if you don't mind I'll keep you linked up on my blog.

Thanks for your time,

Thanks for taking time to listen to my side of the story.  I welcome your comments.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Deals Week Sale on Amazon- Save $5 per Title!!

All of our LivingAfterWLS Book Titles are marked $5.00 off in the Amazon Store for Cyber Shopping Deals Week. Regularly $24.95 get the 5 Day Pouch Test Owner's Manual; Day 6-Beyond 5DPT; and Cooking with Kaye for just $19.95 each! Hurry this deal ends on December 5, 2014. Take advantage of the lowest price ever offered on our LivingAfterWLS Publications! Link to our Amazon Store:

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4.9 stars over the past 12 months
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About LivingAfterWLS

LivingAfterWLS, founded by Kaye Bailey, has been serving the weight loss surgery community since 2005. Abiding the core values of personal responsibility and empowerment we strive to provide people battling obesity with bariatric surgery the tools and encouragement they need beyond initial weight loss. We understand that healthy weight management is the challenge of a lifetime requiring ongoing effort, continuing education, and empowering support. Founder Kaye Bailey is the voice of LivingAfterWLS and the author of three books, thousands of syndicated articles, and countless newsletters. She sets the positive tone that LivingAfterWLS is best known for.

What is the 5 Day Pouch Test? Get the Express Study Guide eBook for just $3.95 and get back on track with your weight loss surgery!  Learn more:  The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Holiday Buffet: Food Safety Tips!

The countdown to Thanksgiving is now hours, not days. Here for a quick refresher I share the basics of a safe holiday party food buffet as instructed by USDA Food Safety and Instruction Service. These are the highlights, link to the full article here: Buffet Food Safety.

Holiday or Party Buffets

A popular way to celebrate holidays or any party occasion is to invite friends and family to a buffet. However, this type of food service where foods are left out for long periods leave the door open for uninvited guests — bacteria that cause foodborne illness. Festive times for giving and sharing should not include sharing foodborne illness. Here are some tips from the USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline to help you have a SAFE holiday party. 
Safe Food Handling
Always wash your hands before and after handling food. Keep your kitchen, dishes and utensils clean also. Always serve food on clean plates — not those previously holding raw meat and poultry. Otherwise, bacteria which may have been present in raw meat juices can cross contaminate the food to be served.

Cook Thoroughly
If you are cooking foods ahead of time for your party, be sure to cook foods thoroughly to safe minimum internal temperatures.
  • Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.
  • Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F as measured with a food thermometer.
  • Cook all poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.
Use Shallow Containers
Divide cooked foods into shallow containers to store in the refrigerator or freezer until serving. This encourages rapid, even cooling. Reheat hot foods to 165 °F. Arrange and serve food on several small platters rather than on one large platter. Keep the rest of the food hot in the oven (set at 200-250 °F) or cold in the refrigerator until serving time. This way foods will be held at a safe temperature for a longer period of time. REPLACE empty platters rather than adding fresh food to a dish that already had food in it. Many people's hands may have been taking food from the dish, which has also been sitting out at room temperature.

The Two-Hour Rule
Foods should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours. Keep track of how long foods have been sitting on the buffet table and discard anything there two hours or more.
Keep Hot Foods HOT And Cold Foods COLD
Hot foods should be held at 140 °F or warmer. On the buffet table you can keep hot foods hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. Cold foods should be held at 40 °F or colder. Keep foods cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice. Otherwise, use small serving trays and replace them.

Foodborne Bacteria
Bacteria are everywhere but a few types especially like to crash parties. Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens and Listeria monocytogenes frequent people's hands and steam tables. And unlike microorganisms that cause food to spoil, harmful or pathogenic bacteria cannot be smelled or tasted. Prevention is safe food handling.

If illness occurs, however, contact a health professional and describe the symptoms.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Big Thaw: Safe Turkey Thawing

The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

"You know what Disneyland is known for? The Big Turkey Leg. People walk around with enormous deep-fried turkey legs. Like little kids, three-year-old kids eating these five-pound turkey legs."  Steve Carell
(This is my niece, Abby, when she was about 5 years old and joined us for Thanksgiving. This little sweetie was thrilled to have a whole turkey leg all to herself! She's a teenager now and will probably faint knowing I posted this image of her - - but it's my favorite! Love ya, Abby!)

Turkey Basics: Safe Thawing

This is the most current safety information when thawing poultry provided by the United States Department of Agriculture.  You will find terrific information at USDA Food Safety Education online.  Follow this link to get information on Turkey Preparation and Safe Handling.

"The Big Thaw"
Turkeys must be kept at a safe temperature during "the big thaw." While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely. However, as soon as it begins to thaw, any bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to grow again.
A package of frozen meat or poultry left thawing on the counter more than 2 hours is not at a safe temperature. Even though the center of the package may still be frozen, the outer layer of the food is in the "Danger Zone" between 40 and 140 °F — at a temperature where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly.
There are three safe ways to thaw food: in the refrigerator, in cold water, and in the microwave oven.

Safe Methods for Thawing
Immediately after grocery store checkout, take the frozen turkey home and store it in the freezer.
Frozen turkeys should not be left on the back porch, in the car trunk, in the basement, or any place else where temperatures cannot be constantly monitored.

Refrigerator Thawing
When thawing a turkey in the refrigerator:

    Plan ahead: allow approximately 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds in a refrigerator set at 40 °F or below.
    Place the turkey in a container to prevent the juices from dripping on other foods.

Refrigerator Thawing Times
Whole turkey:
    4 to 12 pounds — 1 to 3 days
    12 to 16 pounds — 3 to 4 days
    16 to 20 pounds — 4 to 5 days
    20 to 24 pounds —5 to 6 days
A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days before cooking. Foods thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen without cooking but there may be some loss of quality.

Cold Water Thawing
Allow about 30 minutes per pound.
First be sure the turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination and to prevent the turkey from absorbing water, resulting in a watery product.
Submerge the wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed.

Cold Water Thawing Times
    4 to 12 pounds — 2 to 6 hours
    12 to 16 pounds — 6 to 8 hours
    16 to 20 pounds — 8 to 10 hours
    20 to 24 pounds — 10 to 12 hours

A turkey thawed by the cold water method should be cooked immediately. After cooking, meat from the turkey can be refrozen.

Microwave Thawing
Follow the microwave oven manufacturer's instruction when defrosting a turkey. Plan to cook it immediately after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during microwaving. Holding partially cooked food is not recommended because any bacteria present wouldn't have been destroyed.

A turkey thawed in the microwave must be cooked immediately.

Cooking with Kaye: Thanksgiving Recipes

Cooking with Kaye Newsletter:
Thanksgiving Recipes
View in our online Archive

"I hope this message finds you well and excited about pursuing a healthier way of life with weight loss surgery. Thank you for taking time to join me here: I know your Inbox is as full as mine with many things asking for your time and attention.

With Thanksgiving upon us this week, I share some recipe classics and few new favorites that I hope will find a place on your table. Each year about this time we get dozens of requests for our classic recipe, Creamy Butternut Squash Bake. It's included here along with a new take on the old favorite green bean casserole. And I just know you are going to love my Jasmine Rice with Pomegranate and Scallions. I cannot get enough of this fresh aromatic side dish. We've also include some great hints and tips for navigating the feasting days of this season - I hope you find them useful and supportive of your weight management goals. Above all else, enjoy the day and the gratitude that is Thanksgiving.
Featured Recipes:
Moist Tender Traditional Turkey
Article: Holiday Grazing
Jasmine Rice with Pomegranate & Scallions
Creamy Butternut Squash Bake
Green Beans with Turkey & Bacon
Link to the Newsletter

Quick read to help you stay on track during the holidays:  The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Turkey is good for Weight Loss! Eat Up!!!

Great hints for navigating the holidays with WLS:
The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

“TURKEY, n. A large bird whose flesh when eaten on certain religious anniversaries has the peculiar property of attesting piety and gratitude. Incidentally, it is pretty good eating.”
Ambrose Bierce, ‘The Devil's Dictionary’ (1911)

Are you looking forward to Thanksgiving turkey and days of leftovers? Did you know turkey is one of the best animal proteins WLS patients can include in their diet in support of weight loss and weight maintenance? Next week when you stare down the big bird consider these things:

3 Ounces of Roast Turkey (mix of light & dark meat) Contains:
  • 145 Calories
  • 25 grams protein
  • 4.2 grams fat
  • 23% daily value of Niacin
  • 20% daily value Vitamin B6
  • 17% daily value zinc
  • 11% daily value iron

  • I know there are tons of “disguise your leftover turkey” recipes out there. But you know, in a sentimental moment I’m willing to slice off three ounces from the T-Day carcass, enjoy it plain and simple paying homage big bird! “Thank you turkey, for making me a lean-mean-healthy machine!”

    Enjoy the big bird - it's good for you!

    Nutrition 101:

    Niacin: Helps maintain healthy functions of the nervous system, digestive system and skin.

    Vitamin B6: Aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins to produce vital energy for the body.

    Zinc: An essential mineral to human nutrition and body processes involved with physical and mental development and protection. Zinc is found in every cell in the body and involved in the synthesis of protein and the action of many enzymes.

    Iron: a mineral that aids in the formation of red corpuscles and is a necessary component of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrier in the blood, and is also important for energy utilization. 
    Do you have questions about what kind of turkey to buy? I learned new things on today's Blog:
    Turkey Tips Step 1: Shopping for Your Feast
    by Chris Bernstein, Food Safety Education Staff, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA

    "The first step to hosting a safe holiday feast is choosing your bird. Picking out the perfect turkey doesn’t mean just choosing the plumpest one in your grocery store. To find the perfect turkey for you and your guests, read the labels." Link to Blog

    Need WLS Recipes for the Holidays? Check-out Cooking with Kaye

    "Are you in search of terrific seasonal recipes that you can enjoy as a WLS patient and your family will love too? Look no further than the 5-Star rated Cooking with Kaye by Kaye Bailey. Choose from over 130 recipes and methods to create masterful dishes the whole family will enjoy without asking 'Do we have to eat your diet food?'  Be a 5-Star cook this holiday season and get in the kitchen Cooking with Kaye!"  ~ Alyce Pittaway
    "Everything that has Kaye's name on it is AWESOME............"
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars November 9, 2014
    By C.G.

    Cooking with Kaye on Amazon Sale $22.95
    Kaye Bailey's 5-Star customer rated cookbook Published Nov. 20, 2012. Written for the weight loss surgery patient and the people they cook for, this hard-back comb bound cookbook features 134 all new recipes and detailed techniques to take you beyond the meal to create recipes you and your family will love. Must have for any WLS household. Introducing Kaye's new "Pace of Preparation" to identify recipes that meet your time schedule and serve your dietary needs. Meals for the blended household (WLS and non-WLS eaters), couples, singles, all of us. Recipe categories include soups, salads, crunchy protein, savory skillet meals, oven baking and roasting, braising and slow cooking. Enjoy something delicious today: get Cooking with Kaye. Cooking with Kaye is suitable for all bariatric procedures including gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding, gastric sleeve and others.

    Learn More: Cooking with Kaye Methods to Meals: Protein First Recipes You Will Love

    Customer Reviews: From Kindle Edition:

    Cooking with Kaye: Methods to Meals on Kindle

    5.0 out of 5 stars A must have! May 19, 2014
    By K.G.
    "This book is a must have for anyone that has undergone weight loss surgery. Not only does it have wonderful healthy recipes, but it explains in detail a lot of things that we need to know. The author Kate Bailey is a true advocate for those of us that have undergone weight loss surgery."
    5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Kaye Bailey! September 5, 2014
    By Tammy
    "Very tasty low carb and high in protein meal"

    From Cooking with Kaye page 94
    Rack-Roasted Wings to Fly For
    Freeway Chef, one step preparation, crowd friendly, no deep-frying
    When a guest declared “these wings are to die for” I had to play on those words naming them my Wings to Fly For. They are lighter that the traditional wings served at pubs and they are very good. While there is no coating step to this recipe they are baked using the rack-roasting method which produces a crisp skin and golden finish.

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon pepper
    1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning blend
    hot sauce
    16 to 20 chicken wing pieces (wing drumettes and flat wing tips) thawed
    1 tablespoon white vinegar

    Directions: Thaw wings if frozen. Place wings in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil; add salt, pepper, seasoning blend, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Toss well making certain oil and seasoning is evenly distributed, let marinate at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes, tossing one more time. Ten minutes before cooking position oven rack in middle of oven and preheat to 425°F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, shiny side up, and place baking rack on top; coat with cooking spray. Douse wings with white vinegar and toss one more time; arrange on prepared baking rack and transfer to oven. Bake for 25 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake 10 more minutes. Serve warm, with dipping sauce of choice, page 96.

    Nutrition: Each 4 wing serving provides 327 calories, 26 grams protein, 23 grams fat, 0 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams dietary fiber.

    Try This: Frozen chicken wings are affordable and easy to keep on hand. Sold in large packages they are labeled ready-to-eat and include an equal portion of ice glazed first and second wing sections. Remove the amount needed for a meal counting 4 per person and thaw as directed.