The Seasonal Survivor Guide

How to stay healthy on the run up to Christmas.

Who doesn’t get overwhelmed with all we have to do at Christmas and the entire “run up” to it?  Who doesn’t end up feeling absolutely stressed and worn out ? which leads to over-consumption of calories, mostly because we need more energy.  Another issue is that there is food piled high everywhere we turn – boxes of chocolates in the office room or festive cookies in the staff room.  All these sorts of temptations and the fact that they are enormously high in sugar can be the contributor to a 5lb weight gain which can be really hard to lose.  Wouldn’t it be terrific if we could avoid the inevitable “Detox January” ?

How can we keep on track both with our nutrition and with our stress levels without depriving ourselves ?

Plan In Advance:  If we can do ourselves the favor of getting our list making and shopping done in early December or even in late November, you are going to feel much less pressure as Christmas looms.  If you like to send out Christmas cards, then write them during the end of November – that’s one less job to take care of in December!  If you are going to entertain your friends or family and you have decided to have people stay over at your place for Christmas please remember that YOU TOO much enjoy yourself and not just be looking over everybody else.  This is your celebration also so please enjoy yourself.  Make a solid plan of what you are cooking and serving to your guests with plenty of time to spare.  You can even get your ingredients online wherever possible.  Also get your invites on board to arrive with some of the food items and also to participate with the food prep and setting of the table and clearing the table and cleaning up – this way you are not doing it all by yourself.

Pay Attention To What You Are Eating:  If you are going out to a party, remember not to go hungry and to always eat a protein source with a healthy fat in order to feel satisfied and not to arrive and immediately overindulge.  Prior to leaving the house, have yourself a boiled egg with some butter or some natural yogurt with a handful of seeds.  You can put some natural nuts in your purse in the car on the way to the party and this will help you not over-do the carb-rich canapés which will be circulating the room or on offer.  Take advantage of the protein, vegetables and salads and if the party is held at a restaurant.  You can get a soup to start with (no bread please) and if you want to have dessert, share one with a friend.

What Shall I Drink :  Unfortunately, alcohol is a recipe for re-gain so always drink in moderation.  When we are buried under stress it is easy to reach for some wine at home and when we are out and not having to drive home, it’s easy to sip sip sip the wine of cocktails instead of the glasses of water.  If you are having trouble with moderation, have a long drink like a weak vodka and soda or a whisky and soda and they are not sugary carbs.  If you choose to have wine, spritz it down with soda and skip the cocktails and sugary spirits.  Try to match your alcohol drinks with water – one to one – one alcohol drink and one glass of water.  It really helps to dilute the effects of the alcohol once it hits your bloodstream.  Do this at home too !  It sounds so simple but it really helps.

How To Eat On Any Festive Day:  Here’s some ideas to get you on the right track.

– Don’t skip your breakfast just stay away from carb heavy breakfasts which will make you feel even more hungry when the dinner is served.  Have some eggs cooked in butter or some salmon with cream cheese.  

– If you are snacking, choose low sugar fruits such as berries and nuts and small chunks of cheese.

– During the main meal, fill up on the roast or turkey and ad lots of vegetables like red cabbage, peas, brussel sprouts, broccoli etc.  You can have some potatoes but make it a spoonful or maximum two.

– Have dessert but have “two bites” or share with a friend.

Keep Active and Move:  Try to not stay busy in the house and get outdoors for 30 minutes each day.  You don’t need to do anything fancy.  Walk.  This will relax the body and clear the mind and help keep the stress at bay.  

Look After Yourself:  It’s easier said than done but don’t make those unrealistic goals for yourself.  This also will apply to exercising, socializing, shopping and preparing meals.  Festive times are not just for overindulging.  It’s also not the best time for dieting.  Just be aware and stay vigilant by limiting your carbs and sugars and give your body what it needs.  Be sensible but relax and enjoy your friends and family.

Allow the bariatric experts to help you if you need support. Please reach out every opportunity you get with every question that you have – it’s not just our work to assist you.  We celebrate in seeing you succeed.

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Nutritionist and Bariatric Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery patients for 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric patients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens.

If you have a re-gain or a stall, you can reach out to the “Bariatric Food Experts” for the Bariatric Reset Program.

Time for a “bariatric expert” multivitamin ?  Here is a perfect way for bariatric patients to get it now on Amazon:  Bariatric Expert MultiVitamins

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

Feel free to share your victories and struggles in our Facebook Group. I would love to connect with you.

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !

Make December 2017 YOUR Month!

Creating a Stress-Free Holiday – Bariatric Edition

The holidays are among us – a time of year that’s known for its busy nature that can lead to quite the load of stress.  After all, you likely have several invitations to gatherings collecting on your counter, a long list of people you need to send holiday cards to, and the daunting task of braving the shopping mall crowds to find the gifts for your loved ones.  All of this, on top of your normal every day life.  It can be overwhelming to say the least. 

I wanted to share with you some of my personal favorite ways to navigate this busy, stressful time of year and make this season a lot more enjoyable, less stressful and a time you will remember with fond memories. 

These secret weapons of mine include…

Put forth great effort to be present.  It can be difficult, I understand.  It’s almost a reflex to pick up our phones and scroll through Facebook or our email when we have a free moment – do you do the same?  One way I like to dodge this is to leave my electronics in another room.  Don’t even allow yourself the temptation to pick up your phone and disengage from communicating with your gathered love ones.  When I’m feeling particularly scatter-brained, what really helps ground me is focusing on my senses.  What do I smell?  What do I hear?  What do I feel?  Stopping and thinking through what’s going on around you at that very moment really brings you into the present moment unlike anything else.  It’s a wonderful tool to use to dial in and be present – and is a great tool to use year-round, not just during the holidays! 

Give up those expectations.  A lot of the stress we put on ourselves this season lies in the notion that we expect things to be perfect.  That’d be lovely, of course – but putting your entire extended family in one house is bound to have something go awry.  Therefore, dropping the expectations of perfection will allow you to be prepared for when something may spring up.  There is joy to be found in each situation, so even when things don’t go exactly as planned – spend your energy finding gratitude in your circumstances and enjoying as much of your time as you possibly can.  Tis the season!

Find time to move.  It’s incredibly important to keep movement in your schedule, no matter how busy you may feel.  Even if it’s just a brisk walk after lunch or dinner – make it a habit to bundle up in your favorite scarf and winter coat to go for a walk alone to clear your mind, or with someone you enjoy being around.  Be sure that you are getting your time outside in nature, breathing in fresh air, while burning off some calories and keeping your heart rate up.  

Allow the bariatric experts to help you if you need support. Please reach out every opportunity you get with every question that you have – it’s not just our work to assist you.  We celebrate in seeing you succeed.

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Nutritionist and Bariatric Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery patients for 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric patients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens.

If you have a re-gain or a stall, you can reach out to the “Bariatric Food Experts” for the Bariatric Reset Program.

Time for a “bariatric expert” multivitamin ?  Here is a perfect way for bariatric patients to get it now on Amazon:  Bariatric Expert MultiVitamins

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

Feel free to share your victories and struggles in our Facebook Group. I would love to connect with you.

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !

Make November 2017 YOUR Month!

Overcome a WLS Stall or Plateau

Everything is going great post bariatric surgery and then out of the blue the numbers on the scale don’t seem to be moving any more ?   I am not discussing the very “early days” where your body is trying to re-calibrate, but longer term when you start to doubt that the losses will begin again.  What’s up with that?

When we are actively trying to lose the weight in the early days and we feel almost like we are invincible (the tool is working!) and we are doing all the right things too !  We drink only water and we drink sufficient water, we exercise and we eat like champions – cutting out the snacks and grazing. We don’t drink water a half hour before or a half hour after we eat.  Then,,, all of a sudden the losses slow right down or that number on the scale doesn’t seem to move – or GASP, it moves up a bit.  MASS PANIC sets in !  We start believing we need to exercise more or do a total restriction in calories in hopes that we can start that scale moving again.

Weight Loss Plateau ?  what the heck does that even mean ?  that term refers to when your are not responding to your current exercise and diet plan.  The body develops a sort of tolerance and this tolerance is your plateau.  A plateau will allow your body to adjust to the stresses it is undergoing and slow it down and even stop the effects and results.  If you are experiencing one of these stalls or plateaus have a check for some common signs.

Your scale is just not moving in any direction – not north or south.

You continue to do the same things but the results are just not there any longer.

The foods you are eating bore you now and you are eating the same things over and over plus you are fed up with your exercise regime.

Your exercise plan is just a bit easy and you are not having a proper workout now.

You are lacking motivation and aren’t worried about meals any longer.

Does any of this sound familiar to you ?  Then this is what you can do ….. 

THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU HIT A STALL OR PLATEAU:

GET OFF THE SCALE WHEN MONITORING WEIGHT LOSS:

Take a few weeks to track your progress instead of your weight loss.  Do a side-by-side photo to see how far you have come.  Take some measurements to record your transformation up to this stage.  By doing this you will take away the stress of getting on the scale for a bit of time and you will have a new appreciation for what is happening with your body and your mind.  Do this for four weeks and you will break your stall by yourself and be happier in the process.

PROTEIN INSTEAD OF REFINED CARBOHYDRATES:

A good idea is to replace the refined carbohydrate calories you are eating with protein calories.  Protein and fat helps because it always requires more energy in order to break down in the stomach.  The protein and fat is going to help suppress the hormones that stimulate appetite and you are going to feel fuller for longer.  Don’t eat your protein all at the same time.  Aim for about 20 to 25 grams per meal.  You can get 20 to 25 grams with a small chicken breast for example.

CHANGE UP YOUR EXERCISE AND WORKOUTS:

Muscles have a memory and can become familiar with the same workouts day in and day out.  This makes your regular workout less effective.  Get out of your comfort zone and do something different or make a change and introduce something that has a slightly higher intensity. 

WATCH YOUR PORTION CONTROL AND SNACKING:

Be sure that your portions are correct.  If you snack, make sure to add up the amount you are snacking on.  It’s easy to forget about that protein bar you had in the morning or the greek yogurt with almonds you ate while watching TV.  Do a calorie count and use an app like myfitnesspal to track your calories and macros.  It’s very easy to eat 1500 calories and if you add some slider foods, it’s easy to hit 2000 calories.  This will make your weight loss slow down to a crawl.  

Before just giving in to the Plateau, see what’s making it occur and see if you can switch things up to get the scales moving in the right direction.  Stalls are normal and last 4 to 6 weeks but if your stall is lasting longer than this, there are probably things that you can do to get back on track again.  The honeymoon period may be over but the sleeve is with you for life !  Work together with it to accomplish your goals.

Allow the bariatric experts to help you if you need support. Please reach out every opportunity you get with every question that you have – it’s not just our work to assist you.  We celebrate in seeing you succeed.

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Nutritionist and Bariatric Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery patients for 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric patients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens.

If you have a re-gain or a stall, you can reach out to the “Bariatric Food Experts” for the Bariatric Reset Program.

Time for a “bariatric expert” multivitamin ?  Here is a perfect way for bariatric patients to get it now on Amazon:  Bariatric Expert MultiVitamins

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

Feel free to share your victories and struggles in our Facebook Group. I would love to connect with you.

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !

Make November 2017 YOUR Month!

3 Ways to Support Eye Health as You Age

Age has a way of provoking unwanted changes. For many of us, our vision is one of the first indicators that we are getting older. The bad news is that our biology naturally changes with time. The good news is that there are strategies that can be implemented to reduce the effects of aging. Here, we discuss a few simple ways that you can support optimal eye health as you age

National Diabetes Month: Your Eye Care Matters

Diabetes is a concerning health condition that affects nearly half of the adults in our country. When diabetes is a known health problem, proper eye care needs to take a place of priority. The fluctuations in blood sugar have a direct effect on overall eye health, affecting the integrity of ocular structures such as the retina and the eye’s lens

WLS People ! Halloween Candy Still In Your House ?

How’s it going with all of that Halloween candy that’s still in your house ?

I want all our bariatric peeps to think about that candy as cheap and very bad for you – full of palm oil garbage (P.O.G. for short) but even the strongest of us have fallen prey to a KitKat here and there … 

Why not try these more healthy peanut butter cups instead ? 

Don’t take it the wrong way because these yummy cups are little calorie BOMBS.

But ,,, if you are going to indulge – get your hand out of the cheap trick or treat bag.  That stuff is full of hydrogenated oils, horrible emulsifiers and funky sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Why don’t you whip up some healthy fats and antioxidants as a treat ?

Healthier Peanut Butter Cups For My Lovelies 

Ingredients

3 tablespoons melted unrefined coconut oil, divided

3/4 cup organic creamy peanut butter

160 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Line a muffin tin or mini muffin tin with paper cupcake liners and set aside
  2. Using a double boiler, gently melt two tablespoons of the coconut oil with chopped dark chocolate until  smooth in texture and completely melted
  3. Set chocolate aside to keep warm while you mix peanut butter
  4. Mix together the remaining coconut oil with creamy peanut butter until completely incorporated. You want this mixture to be nice and runny. If not, gently warm up peanut butter and coconut oil together.
  5. Pour a heaping tablespoon of chocolate into the base of each lined tins. Place in the freezer and allow to set for about five minutes
  6. Remove from freezer and add a heaping one to two tablespoons of the peanut butter mixture into the centre of each cup
  7. Place PB cups back in the freezer to set for five minutes more.
  8. Scoop the remaining melted chocolate to cover the top of each peanut butter cup, about one to two tablespoons
  9. Place PB cups back in the freezer to set a final time, about 15-20 minutes
  10. Remove peanut butter cups from liner if desired and store in an airtight container.
  11. If I am making them for me, I would totally sprinkle some sea salt on them.

Allow the bariatric experts to help you if you need support. Please reach out every opportunity you get with every question that you have – it’s not just our work to assist you.  We celebrate in seeing you succeed.

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Nutritionist and Bariatric Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery patients for 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric patients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens.

If you have a re-gain or a stall, you can reach out to the “Bariatric Food Experts” for the Bariatric Reset Program.

Time for a “bariatric expert” multivitamin ?  Here is a perfect way for bariatric patients to get it now on Amazon:  Bariatric Expert MultiVitamins

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

Feel free to share your victories and struggles in our Facebook Group. I would love to connect with you.

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands – post your results online !

Make November 2017 YOUR Month!

Chia and Hemp and Bariatric Patients

Are Chia and Hemp Seeds Worth the Hype to Bariatric Patients ?

There always seems to be a new “It” food – have you noticed ?

Over the past few years we have all listened a lot to the magic powers of quinoa, kale, turmeric – and the list goes on and on.

So what exactly are 2017’s IT FOODS ?

What I have come to believe in 2017 is that the “it foods” among our bariatric patients seem to be chia and hemp seeds !

These super foods are most of the times foods which the rest of the world have been eating for centuries but only just now are they being marketed in North America.  And, they are always advertised as “perfect for you” foods with the promise of curing every woe and making you happier and healthier than you have ever been.  These sorts of marketing campaigns make you feel like you have been missing out on this precious ingredients and that you need to include this perfect food in your diet every single day.

As nutritionists, we are trained to be skeptical of these sorts of general promises.

So a lot of our patients in 2017 have been just loading up on chia and hemp seeds.  Some of them don’t know why they are doing it other than all the “hype” they have heard and others are trying to meet their protein goals.  Bariatric post ops are sharing how they sprinkle the stuff on everything – such as on their yogurt, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, sandwiches and soups and smoothies.

These seeds are pretty awesome but are they being misrepresented as being high in protein ?  Yikes, you may have been thinking that they were higher in protein than most foods.  It’s time to talk about these seeds and their “protein to calorie” ratio.

16 grams of Hemp Seeds = 6 grams of protein and 95 calories
35 grams of Chia Seeds = 6 grams of protein and 176 calories
8.5 grams of Whey Powder = 6 grams of protein and 30 calories.

Can you see what this is telling us ?

This is telling us that whey protein powder can give you the same amount of protein for much less calories.

DOES THIS MEAN IS SHOULD STOP USING CHIA AND SEEDS ?
THE ANSWER IS NO !

Chia and hemp seeds have so many beneficial reasons to consume them !  Just don’t use them to grab that additional 20 grams of protein that you are missing from your day.  If you are to add 20 grams of protein using chia seeds, that would add a HUGE 585 calories to your day also.

Eat 1 serving of seeds per day (see the serving sizes above).
Chia and Hemp Seeds are:
High in fibre, high in several macronutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin , omega 3’s and omega 6’s.

The bottom line is that super healthy eating is not only determined by one “IT” food or super seed – As always the solution is moderation and variety.

Allow the bariatric experts to help you if you need support. Please reach out every opportunity you get with every question that you have – it’s not just our work to assist you.  We celebrate in seeing you succeed.

If you have a regain or a stall, you can reach out to the “Bariatric Food Experts” for the BARIATRIC RESET PROGRAM.

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Nutritionist and Bariatric Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery patients for 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric patients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens.

Time for a “bariatric expert” multivitamin ?  Here is a perfect way for bariatric patients to get it now on Amazon:

Bariatric Expert MultiVitamins

Eat Like a Bariatric Expert with our Nutrition Plans.

 

Feel free to share your victories and struggles in our Facebook Group. I would love to connect with you.

Stay motivated with Bariatric Wristbands– post your results online !

Make November 2017 YOUR Month!

 

Price List for Bariatric Procedures in Tijuana and Cancun