Saturday, October 25, 2014

WLS High Protein Recipes with Fruits & Veggies

On Friday's LivingAfterWLS Blog we discussed the importance of vegetables in the weight loss surgery diet, as these complex carbohydrates provide nutrients and minerals in support of the high protein weight loss and weight maintenance diet. Including veggies and fruit as part of a diet that involves low-volume capacity (tiny stomach don't ya know?) is challenging. I've pulled some of our top recipes from this blog for you to use in meal planning and as examples to spark ideas for including fruit and veggies on your plate. Take a look at some of these favorites!
"So our task, once we have adjusted to the high protein diet, is to include plant carbohydrates as ingredients in our meal preparations; snacks when appropriate, and side dishes when possible." ~ Kaye Bailey

Holiday Side Dishes:  Check out our Cooking with Kaye newsletter from last November for these terrific Vegetable Side Dishes.  Link to our Archive: Cooking with Kaye

Chicken with Apple Stuffing
Take you boneless skinless chicken breast up a notch with moist and healthy fillings tucked inside the breasts to improve flavor and texture while adding variety to our menus. Give these recipes a try and enjoy your lean clean protein in a whole new way.

Egg-Broccoli Custard Bake
This is intended to be a side-dish for most people. But in our WLS world I think it is a perfect main dish. Protein, dairy and veggies. Not to mention delicious flavor. We added salt and pepper at the table, and my husband gave a few shakes of Tabasco sauce. Delicious recipe - and easy!

Warm Soup: Perfect for Autumn Supper
When post-WLS patients discover soup it often becomes their go-to comfort food. Soup is a very effective tool for calming carb cravings and satisfying our emotional need for comfort with food.

Low-Carb Pumpkin & Sausage Soup
A delicious autumnal soup. Use a butternut squash puree if you prefer. You probably want to hide the leftovers of this soup if you are including it in your pouch test - or your spouse and kids will gobble it up when you are not looking.  (Page 126 of the 5DPT Owner's Manual or online here: 5DPT Recipes).

Chile-Rubbed Grilled Scallop Salad
This recipe, which can be cooked on the outdoor grill, really turns up the heat and the flavor. If you prefer use large shrimp in place of the scallops. Or better ySeared Sea Scallops over Wilted Spinach et, cook both scallops and shrimp for a seafood extravaganza. We found the scallops were just as good the second day, served at room temperature atop the salad.

Baked Tangerine Salmon & Asparagus
Can you think of a better or more delicious spring weeknight meal than Baked Salmon and Asparagus? The health benefits of salmon are well-known: health-wise antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids delivered in a succulent meaty high protein serving. Salmon is available year round fresh or frozen, sold whole or cut into steaks or fillets. Salmon is also available flash frozen: look for packages with each portion individually wrapped making it easy to thaw and prepare the precise number of servings. On the side serve asparagus, rich in folate, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. Garnish the plate with a delicious slice or two of tangerine. If you find asparagus difficult-to-digest use a potato peeler to remove the tough stringy outer layer and cook only the tender inside of the stalk.
Check out my popular cookbook for more suggestions: Cooking with Kaye on Amazon in hard-cover or eBook for your convenience!!

LivingAfterWLS on Amazon

Friday, October 24, 2014

WLS, Fruits, and Vegetables: Our Healthy Balanced Diet

The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

"Your good health lies at the end of a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. There is an abundant array of colors, shapes, sizes and textures in the fruit and vegetable world. Crunchy apples and celery, creamy bananas and butternut squash, crispy jicama and radishes—an endless variety of produce is out there!" American Heart Association.

After WLS we follow a high protein diet, often forsaking fruits and vegetables for no more reason than practicality - there isn't room in the reduced stomach pouch for fruits and vegetables after we eat our protein course.  In so doing we lose the minerals, phytonutrients, and vitamins plants provide.

So our task, once we have adjusted to the high protein diet, is to include plant carbohydrates as ingredients in our meal preparations; snacks when appropriate, and side dishes when possible.

The American Heart Association, a long time proponent of the well-balanced diet, provides this infographic to guide us in purchasing seasonal fruits and vegetables to benefit our overall health and wellness. (Click the image to get the infographic in printable format directly from AHA).  The following is an article from AHA with more valuable information to include vitamins from fruit and vegetables in our diet:

For a change-up on your egg salad that includes heart healthy vegetables pop over to Bariatric Foodie and try this contest winner: Margaret's Avocado Egg Salad.  It will change your life!


The Natural Beauty of Fruits and Vegetables
Article copyright © 2014 American Heart Association

Your good health lies at the end of a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. There is an abundant array of colors, shapes, sizes and textures in the fruit and vegetable world. Crunchy apples and celery, creamy bananas and butternut squash, crispy jicama and radishes—an endless variety of produce is out there!

And they're so good for us! Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in fat and calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and your blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends eating eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day. An average adult consuming 2,000 calories daily should aim for 4.5 cups (9 servings) of fruits and vegetables a day.

Choosing Fruit and Vegetables
When shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, let your senses be your guide. Select those that look fresh and appealing. Leafy greens should be vibrant, with no hints of yellowing or wilting. Root vegetables like carrots, turnips and beets should be hard.

Ripe fruit ought to be plump and wrinkle free. As a general rule, naturally hard fruits and vegetables will keep longer than naturally soft ones.

Use your nose to tell if a pineapple is ripe-there should be a strong sweet smell at its base. A ripe cantaloupe or honeydew will also have a sweet smell at its base and will be slightly soft. Citrus fruits should feel heavy.

Fruits and vegetables that are deeply colored throughout - such as spinach, carrots, peaches and berries - tend to be higher in vitamins and minerals than paler ones, such as potatoes and corn.

Optimize taste and nutrition by buying fresh fruits and vegetables when they're in season. The price will be the lowest then, too. But remember, you can enjoy the taste and nutrition of fruit and veggies any time of year-canned, frozen, dried - it all counts!

Choose canned fruits packed in water, not sugary syrup, and look for canned vegetables without salt. Frozen fruits and veggies should be without added sauces and sweeteners.

Article copyright © 2014 American Heart Association. This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Simple Cooking with Heart © Program. For more articles and simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bloglovin: A Great Way to Follow Us!

Are you looking for a way to follow the LivingAfterWLS and catch-up on all the great posts in a quick and efficient manner? Check out our feed on Bloglovin' - the best syndicated blog feed app out there. Here's our page: LivingAfterWLS on Bloglovin

You can view us in your browser or download an app for your computer or device. This is how I keep track of the blogs I follow - cannot live without it! Below is the view of latest LivingAfterWLS Blog posts: 

 Why you don't want to miss a day of the LivingAfterWLS Blog:

On Tuesday we featured a 3-part series about the health benefits of including omega-3 fish in the diet after WLS. For people concerned about nutrient absorption (such as gastric bypass patients) this is must-read information. Take a look:

Consumption of fatty fish may improve patient response to Depression Meds
"It may be quite some time before a definitive study such as this is made of weight loss surgery patients. In the meantime we can actively increase our intake of omega-3 fatty acids by increasing our fish intake. At present the American Heart Association provides approved guidelines and suggestions for including fish in a healthy diet. See this article:  FAQ's: Fish and the Heart Healthy Diet. And check out this recipe: Mediterranean Sea Bass.
This terrific series not only broke the news on this new research, it gave you good 411-Information on how much fish to include in your regular diet and how to do it, with a terrific recipe: Mediterranean Seas Bass.

That's why you need to subscribe and that's what you can expect. The LivingAfterWLS blog is now 10-years old, one of the oldest and most consistent WLS blogs in the Blogsphere. And we intend to keep on providing great information you can use to support your healthiest life after WLS.

While you are checking out Bloglovin on the LivingAfterWLS Blog page click the tab to the right of latest posts that says "Similar Blogs."  Here's what you'll get:

Two of the best known WLS blogs, Eggface and Bariatric Foodie are at the top of the list. Subscribe to them as well and enjoy all your quality WLS reading in one daily feed that you can access by email or by app.  There's a reason they call it Bloglovin!

(This is my own enthusiasm and not a compensated post. I am just thrilled to share this tool with you and hope you find it as useful as I do! Thanks for reading along the last 10 years! Kaye).

One more time: the link to LivingAfterWLS Blog on Blog Lovin'!

Just for fun you can catch my off-the-job blog, Crafting with KeepHer and Kaye at this Bloglovin page: KeepHer & Kaye.

Are you on Bloglovin? Post your Bloglovin address to the comments so KeepHer and I and our terrific LivingAfterWLS readers can join you!  I'd love to see what is happening in your world, WLS related or other! As we always say, we are all in this together!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Depression Meds & Fish: Potential to Improve Patient Response

The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

Weight loss surgery patients must always be concerned about dietary nutrition and how our surgically altered digestive systems are responding to and absorbing nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and medications. A new study, though not specific to WLS patients, finds in general people who take antidepressants (SSRI) and regularly include fatty fish in their diet have a better response to the medication than those who eat little or no fish. The findings were shared in a news release October 20, 2014 by European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. The following is an abstract of the study prepared by David McNamee and published on Medical News Today

Could eating more fish make antidepressants work better?

The participants who ate the least fish tended to have the weakest response to antidepressants, whereas patients who had the most fish in their diet had the strongest response.

New research finds that increasing fatty fish intake may be one way to improve the response rate among depressed patients who do not find antidepressants beneficial.

Up to half of patients with depression do not respond to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants.

Previous studies have suggested there may be an underlying genetic reason why up to 42% of cases do not respond to antidepressants. And in 2013, the journal Biological Psychiatry published an online risk calculator that estimated the likelihood of antidepressant response, based on the findings of a large antidepressant trial.

The researchers behind the new study were investigating factors that influence antidepressant non-response when they hit upon an association between improved effectiveness and fish intake. Lead researcher Roel Mocking explains the team's findings:
"We were looking for biological alterations that could explain depression and antidepressant non-response, so we combined two apparently unrelated measures: metabolism of fatty acids and stress hormone regulation. Interestingly, we saw that depressed patients had an altered metabolism of fatty acids, and that this changed metabolism was regulated in a different way by stress hormones."
The patients with depression were then administered a 20 mg dose of an SSRI every day for 6 weeks. Patients who did not respond to the SSRIs were provided with a gradually increased dose of up to 50 mg per day. Non-responding patients tended to have 'abnormal fatty acid metabolism'

Taking measurements of fatty acid and cortisol levels throughout the trial, the researchers found that the depressed patients who did not respond to the antidepressants tended to have abnormal fatty acid metabolism.

American Heart Association Fish Intake FAQ's

Because fatty fish is rich in fatty acids, such as omega-3 DHA, the researchers examined the fish intake in the diet of the participants. They found that the participants who ate the least fish tended to have the weakest response to antidepressants, whereas patients who had the most fish in their diet had the strongest response.

The team reports that participants who ate fatty fish at least once a week had a 75% chance of responding to antidepressants, while participants who never ate fatty fish had only a 23% chance of responding to them. "This means that the alterations in fatty acid metabolism (and their relationship with stress hormone regulation) were associated with future antidepressant response," says Mocking.

McNamee, David. "Could eating more fish make antidepressants work better?." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 20 Oct. 2014. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.

It may be quite some time before a definitive study such as this is made of weight loss surgery patients. In the meantime we can actively increase our intake of omega-3 fatty acids by increasing our fish intake. At present the American Heart Association provides approved guidelines and suggestions for including fish in a healthy diet. See this article:  FAQ's: Fish and the Heart Healthy Diet. And check out this recipe: Mediterranean Sea Bass.

FAQ's: Fish and the Heart Healthy Diet

The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

The American Heart Association is a terrific source of dietary information for improved heart health. While keeping in mind the traditionally prescribed high protein diet for weight loss surgery patients we most certainly can benefit from the generalized information from the AHA. Here I've pulled some questions and answers regarding fish intake in the heart healthy diet:
"Enjoy fish baked or grilled, not fried.  Choose low-sodium, low-fat seasonings such as spices, herbs, lemon juice and other flavorings in cooking and at the table." AHA

How often should I eat fish?
The American Heart Association recommends that consumers without documented coronary heart disease (CHD) eat a variety of fish, preferably oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout), at least twice a week.

Remember: Two Fish Meals a Week
When we talk about the advantages of eating fish, we’re talking about over the long term – which comes from eating it twice a week," said Alice Lichtenstein, D.Sc., former chair of the American Heart Association's Nutrition Committee. Remember the adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away? “Eat fish twice a week” isn’t quite as catchy, but Dr. Lichtenstein believes it could have the same effect.“This is not new advice,” she adds. “The problem is people don’t seem to embrace it.” American Heart Association

Try This Recipe: Mediterranean Sea Bass

Are there differences in omega-3 fatty acid content between wild fish and farm-raised fish?
Some farmed fish can have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acid than wild fish, and vice versa.  The omega-3 fatty acid content of wild fish can vary by the temperature of their environment (i.e., higher during the summer than winter), while the omega-3 fatty acid content of farmed fish can vary based on what they are fed.

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week, especially species high in omega-3 fatty acid such as salmon, mackerel, herring and trout, regardless of whether they are wild or farmed.
If I eat fish at least twice a week, should I worry about contamination?
For middle-aged men and for post-menopausal women, the benefits of eating fish a few times per week far outweigh the potential risks.

As fish consumption increases, the number of fatal cardiovascular events decreases and the cardiovascular benefit increases.
Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids may help decrease the risk of arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and may help slow the growth rate of artery-clogging plaque.  Scientific evidence shows that eating fish is associated with reduced cardiovascular risks and increased health.  Based on these benefits, and the fact that most people do not eat recommended amounts of fish, it seems reasonable to recommend that people eat more fish.

Pregnancy: For women who are or may become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children, the benefits of eating fish twice per week are also greater than the potential risks.  However, four specific fish species (shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish) should be avoided to minimize exposure to mercury.  In addition, albacore tuna can be eaten but should be limited to six ounces (one average meal) per week.

The potential risks from other contaminants (such as PCBs or dioxins, which are also found in trace amounts in many foods) are exceedingly small relative to the benefits of eating fish, so you don’t need to be concerned about eating fish because of this potential issue.  (If you eat a lot of sports-caught freshwater fish from local waters, check your local advisories.)  Consumers should remove the skin and surface fat before cooking to reduce the risk of eating contaminants.

Should I take fish oil supplements?
Fish intake has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease.  The American Heart Association recommends that consumers without documented coronary heart disease (CHD) eat a variety of fish, preferably oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout), at least twice a week.  Consuming fish oil supplements should only be considered by people with heart disease or high levels of triglycerides who consult with their physicians.

People with documented CHD are advised to consume about 1 gram per day of the fish oils EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids), preferably from oily fish, although EPA+DHA supplements could be considered in consultation with their physicians.

People who have elevated triglycerides may need two to four grams of EPA and DHA per day provided as capsules under a physician’s care.  Very high intake (greater than three grams of EPA+DHA per day) could theoretically cause excessive bleeding in some people.

For more healthy heart and lifestyle information visit AHA: Getting Healthy

Recipe: Mediterranean Sea Bass

The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

"By all accounts fish is good for us. In fact, the American Heart Association tells us to eat fish twice a week, particularly cold water fatty fish."  (See this post for FAQ's about fish and Omega-3 consumption by the AHA).

Weight loss surgery patients are instructed to eat a diet of rich lean protein cooked without frying or breading. Grilled fish fits that order with ease! And by all accounts fish is good for us. In fact, the American Heart Association tells us to eat fish twice a week, particularly cold water fatty fish. Fatty fish including mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon, and some shellfish are high in two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to help lower triglycerides and may also fight cancer and reduce inflammation. Additionally fish is rich in B vitamins including B12, Niacin, and B6. It is readily available fresh at the meat counter or flash-frozen in the freezer section of most major supermarkets.

Fish cooks quickly and should be tended closely to avoid overcooking. Fish is done when it turns opaque in the thickest portion and flakes into sections. Scallops, a shellfish, are done when they are opaque and another shellfish, shrimp, are done when they turn pink. When cooking over the direct heat of the grill turn steaks, whole fish, shrimp and scallops halfway through grilling time. Avoid moving the fish protein too much on the grill because it tends to break-up. Thin fillets generally do not need to be turned. Some frequent fish grillers find baskets made specifically to hold fish on the grill are useful.

Try this simple flavorful recipe for grilled fish and I think you will be hooked!

Mediterranean Sea Bass

This Provence-style recipe infuses the clean flavor of olive oil with fresh herbs and garlic for a light and flavorful lean protein main dish. Keep it simple and enjoy. (Suitable fish substitutes: red snapper, striped bass, halibut.)

For the paste:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons dried lavender
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 skinless Chilean sea bass fillets, about 6 ounces each and 1 inch thick
Lemon or lime wedges (optional)

To make the paste: In a small bowl whisk together the paste ingredients. Spread the paste evenly on both sides of the fish fillets. Grill over Direct High heat until the flesh is opaque throughout and starting to flake, 5 to 7 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Serve warm and garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

Kaye Bailey (c) - All Rights Reserved
Article Source:  Make Grilled Fish a Healthy Part of Your Weight Loss Surgery Diet

Monday, October 20, 2014

Weight Regain: A fact, not a moral failure

The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

"A person is not good if they lose weight and bad if they gain weight. Gained weight is a symptom of the metabolic disorder called obesity. When weight is lost and managed the disease is in remission; when weight gain occurs the disease is in relapse." Kaye Bailey
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Lately the bulk of the email I have received is about weight regain: from people who have put on weight after losing it with surgery and people who are afraid they will gain weight after working so hard to lose it. As I think about it I have never met a WLS patient who is not concerned about the weight coming back. When you think about it, it makes sense. By the time we are morbidly obese we have probably lost and gained the same pounds many times over. We live in a world where being overweight and staying overweight is easy -- Losing weight is the opposite. Losing weight and keeping it off is akin to swimming upstream in a swift current.

There are a few things I hope you will remember about weight regain which may help you face it rationally with kind and gentle compassion:

Weight regain is not a moral issue. A person is not good if they lose weight and bad if they gain weight. Gained weight is a symptom of the metabolic disorder called obesity. When weight is lost and managed the disease is in remission; when weight gain occurs the disease is in relapse. Managing the disease is our responsibility and we are served well when seeking the support of others including our bariatric team, friends, family and WLS community. (Read: Four Truths About Weight Gain After WLS)

Knowledge is power. Not long ago I heard a bariatric surgeon say that patients regain weight because they were not fully educated before surgery. The fact is, life after surgery is quite overwhelming. I'm positive I retained only scant bits of information taught during my pre-op and early post-op recovery. What I know now is the pursuit of new information day in and day out is mandatory if I'm going to stay focused and enthused about weight management. The best place to learn about life after WLS is from other patients who are doing their best -- just like you -- to make this weight management experience healthy and effective.

It is never too late. If we have allowed our health problem to become a moral problem it is easy to suffer feelings of hopelessness. But it is never too late to make little changes which bring about a big difference in our life. Each new day, each new meal, each new step we take is an opportunity to nurture our body and being. It is never too late.

Last week's LivingAfterWLS Digest offered several resources addressing the topic of weight regain after surgery. Take a moment to find something meaningful to you, and pass the word on to a friend who may be feeling down and discouraged. Remember, we are all in this together!

And while you're in the retrospective mode please consider taking a moment to complete our LivingAfterWLS Personal Self-Assessment. This is a proven tool to help you stay on track with weight loss surgery. 

Express Study: Don't Leave Your 5DPT to Chance!

The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

Free Kindle Reader App for all computers and devices makes this $3.95 Guide a top bargain. Get the 5DPT plan and take it anywhere.
Are you starting the 5 Day Pouch Test today with only a little knowledge of the plan? Don't just wing it! Get our low-cost Express Study Guide eBook on Kindle and do the plan the right way! Get the best results possible for your effort. Learn more:

5 Day Pouch Test Owner’s Express Study Guide eBook, available exclusively through Amazon Kindle. 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. What’s in it: 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.

Who it’s for: The 5 Day Pouch Test Express Study Guide is for those who want to learn a little more about the plan without investing in the manual; for people anxious to do the 5DPT and want a quick overview; for those who know the plan and have used it successfully who want a quick reference at their fingertips; and for people who want to succeed long term with their weight loss surgery tool.

The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Trick or Treat, Sugar is Sweet, But what about my WLS?

FAQ's on Sugar

by Kaye Bailey
There is so much confusing and conflicting data available about the health benefits or damages of sugar. Let's take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about sugar and try to answer them reasonably without the hype or fear mongering that is commonly associated with foods of questionable nutritional value. Taking the best information we have available and using our personal experience I believe we can make the best food decisions for ourselves -- and save the drama for another topic.

Is Sugar Addictive?

Sugar taps into a powerful human preference for sweet taste, says Marcia Pelchat, PhD, a scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a basic research institute in Philadelphia.  "We're born to like sugar," she says. Scientists aren't sure if people can become physically dependent on sugar, although some animal studies suggest that such a thing is possible, she says. "There are the same kinds of changes in brain dopamine, in these animals given intermittent access to sugar, as in drug addicts."

Are some type of sugar better than others?

Celebrities and high-profile chefs have touted the benefits of replacing refined white sugar with purportedly more natural, healthier sugars, such as honey, maple syrup, or molasses. But, according to Rachel K. Johnson, RD, MPH, PhD, a professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association (AHA) there's no truth to these common misconceptions,  "In terms of something being inherently better about those sweeteners as opposed to table sugar or sucrose -- no." The bottom line: All are simple sugars. "A calorie of sugar is a calorie of sugar, so whether you're getting it from white sugar or some other type of sweetener, you're still adding empty calories to your diet," Johnson says. 

However, there may be one redeeming quality, she says. "Some of those sweeteners -- like maple syrup, molasses, honey -- may have a stronger taste, so you might be able to get the sweetness that you want with less of it, using less calories."

Does sugar cause weight gain?

Several current studies suggest a relationship between sugar intake and weight gain. What the studies do not determine is if the sugar causes the weight gain or the extra calories sugary foods provide that cause the weight gain. Seems like a moot point to me. As people with obesity - in whatever stage we are in - we know what foods we ate that contributed to our personal weight gain. For me sweets and pasta were dietary staples at the height of my morbid obesity. What was on your menu when your disease was at its worst? I suspect we all blame our "sweet tooth" for a certain amount of weight gain. Studies on infants confirm that it is human nature to prefer sweets over foods like vegetables which are an acquired taste. According to registered dietician, Kathleen M. Zelman, "We love sweets because they not only taste good, but make us feel good. Consuming simple carbohydrates (like sweets) boosts the brain chemical serotonin, which can help improve mood. Stress reduces serotonin levels, which may help explain why some people reach for sweets when they're feeling stressed."

Simple Ways to Cut Sugar Calories

According to Zelman, the bottom line is that if you want to control calories, you should limit added sugars of all kinds, including high-fructose corn syrup. She suggests five simple ways to cut back on sugar calories:

  •     Drink fewer sweetened soft drinks.
  •     Satisfy your sweet tooth with naturally sweet fruits, fresh or canned in fruit juice.
  •     Buy only 100% fruit juice that is not sweetened.
  •     Instead of sweetened beverages, enjoy sparkling water with lime and/or a splash of fruit juice.
  •     Choose unsweetened, whole-grain cereals and cereal bar
WLS Patients: Sugar and Dumping Syndrome 

Artificial Sweeteners: What you need to know today!

The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

With Halloween just around the corner and the feasting holidays coming right behind now is a good time to look at sugar, artificial sweeteners and the role they play in our weight loss surgery diets. I am always nervous about the "sugar" issue because if there is one thing health conscious people have strong opinions about it is sweet foods and how they get to be sweet. There is so much information (and mis-information) about sweets in the American diet that we can find "studies" or "proof" to support just about any position we want to take. Today let's look at what the American Diabetes Association says about artificial sweeteners:

Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial SweetenersPublished with permission from American Diabetes Association
Are you struggling to control your sweet tooth?

When you have diabetes, including sweets in your diet requires careful planning. However, it can be hard to just save sweets for special occasions.

Curb Your Cravings
Foods and drinks that use artificial sweeteners are another option that may help curb your cravings for something sweet.

Sometimes artificial sweeteners are also called low-calorie sweeteners, sugar substitutes, or non-nutritive sweeteners. They can be used to sweeten food and drinks for less calories and carbohydrate when they replace sugar.

However, many foods containing artificial sweeteners still have calories and carbs, so be sure to check the nutrition facts label.

Their sweetening power is at least 100 times more intense than regular sugar, so only a small amount is needed when you use these sugar substitutes.

Also, with the exception of aspartame, all of the sweeteners listed below cannot be broken down by the body. They pass through our systems without being digested so they provide no extra calories.

FDA Approved
There are five artificial sweeteners that have been tested and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
  • acesulfame potassium (Brand Names: Sunett, Sweet One)
  • aspartame (Brand Names: Nutrasweet, Equal)
  • saccharin (Brand Names: Sweet 'N Low, Sweet Twin, Sugar Twin:
  • sucralose (Brand Name: Splenda)
  • neotame (Brand Names: Best of All, A Sweet Leaf, Sun Crystals, Steviva, Truvia, PureVia)

These sweeteners are used by food companies to make diet drinks, baked goods, frozen desserts, candy, light yogurt, and chewing gum. You can buy them to use as table top sweeteners. Add them to coffee, tea, or sprinkle them on top of fruit. Some are also available in "granular" versions which can be used in cooking and baking.

What's The Deal With Stevia?
Stevia (sometimes called Rebaudioside A or rebiana) is now generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA as a food additive and table top sweetener. When something is generally recognized as safe by the FDA, it means that experts have agreed that it is safe for use by the public in appropriate amounts.

Stevia is several hundred times sweeter than sugar. It comes from the sweetest part of the stevia plant and is an ingredient in many foods that you can buy at the store.
Sugar Substitutes in the Store.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Are you due for a Post-WLS Check-up? Use this tool!

The 5 Day Pouch Test: Express Study Guide

The LivingAfterWLS Self-Assessment is a proven tool to enhance and motivate your ongoing efforts with WLS.
The LivingAfterWLS “Quarterly Personal Self-Assessment” tool is a worksheet of questions we can ask ourselves in a sincere effort to assess our present state and make an action plan for the next three months. 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. Please accept this invitation to join me in the Quarterly Personal Self-Assessment. Take some quiet time to evaluate where you are and where you are going. Put your WLS goal back in sight. Pre-ops, Newbies and Old-timers can all use this tool. You can do this.

First Step in Self-Compassion: The Self-Assessment Worksheet

Download Free LivingAfterWLS Self-Assessment

In our LivingAfterWLS Weekly Digest delivered yesterday to your email Inbox and available HERE in our archives we encouraged our community members to take some time to exercise self-compassion as a positive step toward improving our health and weight loss surgery experience. As part of your self-compassion we invited you to download and complete our LivingAfterWLS Self-Assessment worksheet. Stats from the  newsletter show that many of you clicked the link to the download worksheet! This is exciting because we know that the LivingAfterWLS Self-Assessment is a proven tool to enhance and motivate your ongoing efforts with WLS. It has been part of the LivingAfterWLS curriculum for over eight years and still one of our most requested documents.

Use this tool to recall your original goals, find out where you are today, and map a plan for the future. Do this every three months, make a date with yourself to pause and reflect. When you know where you come from and where you are, then defining where you want to go is invigorating.

You can find this worksheet and more free downloads on our website:
LivingAfterWLS Downloads  and also on our Project 2014 webpage.