Carbs and Stress are Sneaky Buggers Edition

I love my job as a bariatric nutritionist and surgery coordinator.
 
What a fun topic this is for me – I have had the opportunity to work side by side with weight loss surgery clients for 13 years now – what a wonderful job I have.  I mean, I get to see people THRIVE and not only SURVIVE. 
  
What a rewarding career  – Every single client is special and unique.  They all have a story to tell.  I get to join their journey to wellness and I get to share their triumphs with them.  I am humbled by their FB posts, emails, and text messages.  They thank me for helping them find their way through the pre.op diet, surgery and the post-op guidelines.  When they reach milestones, they tag me in their posts and allow me to celebrate their victories.  
 
What I want to be sure they understand is that THEY did all the hard work.  I may have been there for advice and accountability but what it all comes down to is their willingness to step out of their comfort zone and to board a flight to Mexico for bariatric surgery and that’s just the beginning…
 
The real work begins AFTER surgery.  That’s the time when they start taking nutrition seriously.  They weigh and measure and log their food intake.  They track how many ounces of water they drink each day.  They religiously take their supplements. They look to add more movement into their lives. They explain their surgery decision to friends, family members, and co-workers.
 
 They are ROCKSTARS.
 
My bariatric clients are my partners. We partner together in order to be a stronger team.  We set clear goals to accomplish. We fight for those short and long term achievements.
 
BUT, sometimes LIFE HAPPENS.  
 
Stress sneaks upon us. Carbs sneak upon us. Weight regain can occur. 
 
When this happens, don’t give up.  Please reach out to me and together we can find a solution.  It may involve changing up your food plan or adding more movement or both.  You may need encouragement or a shoulder to cry on.  I am all of those things.
 
I am now more sensitive to my clients emotional requirements.  I have sharpened my listening skills.  I am a “zero”-judgment zone. When they have something to celebrate, we do exactly that – celebrate them.  When they are having a rough time, we sit down for a chat and a heart-to-heart. 
 
This is not just “have a surgery and be done”.  This is a lifelong event.  There are stumbles along the way.  There are little speed bumps that we need to take into account.  My goal is to always be there for you and to provide you the education and the information that you require to turn your short term accomplishments into long term accomplishments.  
 
Together we are better.  Team YOU and ME. 
 
 

 

 

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

For bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Amazon Line

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!

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Gastric Sleeve Throw Blanket $19.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

Comparison Is The Thief of Joy – Bariatric Edition

 
This is a BIG topic because we ALL experience it.  
 
Who doesn’t compare their bariatric journey with their neighbor?
 
Who doesn’t compare their losses to the other people in their FB support group or the bariatric forums that most of us are a member of?
 
Who doesn’t wonder “why the heck did THEY lose so much weight so quickly”? 
 
Who doesn’t feel slight envious because “so and so” lost X amount of pounds in 6 days? 
 
We ALL experience these feelings and we all wonder, “how the heck did they do it” ??? 
 
I answer emails and text messages and phone calls about this exact topic every day.  There is a lot more to it.  Let’s dig in.
 
Susan texts me on messenger and she asks me, “Why did Betty lose 25 pounds during her pre-op diet and I only lost 10 pounds…  And that is how it starts.  
 
Susan and Betty are best friends and they have surgery on the same day.  Susan is 45 and she weighs 220 pounds.  Betty is 37 and she weighs 266.  I could give you a lot more information about each case but let’s just keep it simple to start with.  
 
Susan and Betty are both consuming the same pre-op diet – same food, same calories and they eat at the same time and sleep the same hours each night.  They have the same stress levels …. See where this is going?  It’s MORE than just calories in and calories out.  It has to do with sleep patterns and hormones and so much more.  It is all connected.
 
What do you think I tell Susan?  
 
I tell Susan to stop comparing her journey to Betty.  Susan and Betty are on the same journey but it is THEIR journey.  This is not a sprint to the finish line?  This is your path to your personal, improved health and wellness.  This is so important for your mental health.  
 
DO. NOT. COMPARE.
 
This type of comparison will make you miserable and frustrated.  There will always be somebody who loses weight more quickly.  There will always be somebody that loses MORE weight.  Can you see where this is going? 
 
You do you boo.
 
Let’s talk about our “starting point”.  All of us start at a different weight.  Some of us are 210 pounds when we make the decision to have bariatric surgery and others start at 500 pounds.  If during the pre-op diet, we all follow the same rules, and we consume an average of 1200 calories per day, the person starting at 500 pounds is going to release their weight more quickly.  It takes more calories to maintain their body mass at 500 pounds so they will have a bigger caloric deficiency and their scale will have a more dramatic drop.
 
The heavier we are to start with, the more weight we will lose in the beginning.  This is how it works.
 
Males generally lose weight more quickly than females.  They have more muscle mass.  They have a  higher metabolic rate.  
 
Another issue we need to discuss is activity level.  Some of my clients are super active and they will expend more energy than others.  More energy expenditure means faster weight loss IF we are all consuming the same 1200 calories per day. 
 
Some of my clients are on medications which makes it more difficult to lose weight.
 
Some of my clients are 16 and others are 60.  You cannot compare the two when it comes to weight loss.  
 
Some of my clients have health conditions that make weight loss more difficult.
 
Let’s try something different.  Let’s try a more “forward-thinking” when it comes to weight loss – instead of only “looking down” towards the scale.  
 
When we become obsessed with the numbers on the scale, it is very stressful.  It affects our moods and stress levels.  Stress can make us hold onto the weight we so desperately want to lose.  It raises our cortisol levels.  It is a giant cascade and it is all connected.
 
Sometimes an attitude adjustment is required.  We need to find a more graceful place.  A place where we feel gratitude about the progress we have made so far and a place where we are not continuously looking over our shoulders and comparing our losses.
 
Comparison is the thief of joy.  This is not a race.  This is a lifestyle and you will lose the weight you need to lose by following the bariatric rules and your post-operative guidelines.  Let’s focus on looking forward and not behind us.  
 
Remember Your Bariatric Rules:
  • Eat protein first
  • Drink your water
  • Please move your gorgeous body
  • Sleep Hygiene – aim for 8 hours a night
  • Stop stressing
You are on the right track and you WILL get there.  Eyes looking forward please. Stay focused on YOUR journey 
 
Love and Light and Weight Loss,
Sheri xo
 

FaceBook LIVE  Friday, October 25th at 3 pm EST.

 

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

For bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Amazon Line

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!

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Gastric Sleeve Throw Blanket $19.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

Predictor of Re-Gain – Bariatric Edition

I hope that you all had a terrific week last week and that you are geared up for another spectacular one.
 
I make it my business each week to help you to make good choices.  I want you to succeed.  I root for you every day.  I cheer you on and I care about you.  When you reach out to me, I reach back out to you.  If you need help, please reach out.  Don’t just read my emails and walk away if you are struggling.  Talk to me.
 
I celebrated my birthday last weekend.  I have a twin sister so we celebrated turning 49 together.  We have a big birthday coming up next year.  Holy Smokes!  The BIG 5-0!  I don’t know how I feel about it.  I know that age is only a number, but 50?  I still feel like I am 25 (in my brain).  I am going to set some BIG goals as I move through my 49th year.  I want to hit 50 with strength, vigor and tons of energy.  When I have my plan in place, I will share it with you.
 
Here is a menu that I prepared for myself last week.  I had a great time in California with my two teens when I went to the National ObesityHelp Convention BUT, I ate ALL of the Mexican Food in LA.  (OMG).  Anyways, I knew what I was doing and I came back home and got prepared for a clean eating week. This is the menu which I followed ….. 
 
Sure, food happens but when it does, I am not going to let it completely derail my efforts to maintain my weight and stay healthy.
 
Today I wanted to talk about something that I discuss each day with my clients.  I have been working with bariatric clients for 13 years now and I keep in touch with almost all of my clients.  As long as they want to keep in touch with me, I am 100% here for them.  
 
Regain is real folks.  I think that back five and ten years ago, we all had the idea that we would have surgery and that it would solve a problem and we could move on with our lives never to worry about weight gain.  BAM – this is just not true. Surgery is the first step in a lifelong journey and learning process.
 
The weight loss surgery tool is a key to our success but success also belongs on our shoulders.  If we continue to have the same patterns post surgery as we had pre-surgery, our results will only last to a certain point and regain will occur.  How can we prevent the dreaded regain? 
 
By understanding the tool we have been given, we can prevent over-eating but we need to feed our tool the correct foods.  Does that make sense?  The pouch can get filled with cookies and ice cream or it can get filled with chicken and broccoli.  The choice is yours.
 
What is the biggest predictor of regain in my option?  I think that it is the “carb-creep”.  It starts with a bite of mashed potatoes, and a few potato chips and the next thing we know we are tucked into a plate of enchiladas with refried beans and a side of rice.  Know what I mean?  Sure, Mexican food happens but it’s what you do the next day that prevents the regain from occurring.  
 
No sticking your head in the sand, please.  Face it head-on like I did last week.  Make the next meal better.  Get a plan and don’t let a few meals derail all of your efforts.  In my eyes, you are a ROCK STAR.  If you fall off your throne, get back up, straighten your crown and get back on the plan again.
 
Love, Light and, Low-Carbs lol

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

For bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Amazon Line

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!

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Gastric Sleeve Throw Blanket $19.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

My Meal Plan This Week Bariatric Edition

I am starting my week by writing this blog. You see, I’ve been in California (Disneyland and Universal Studios) for the past few days.  I am from Ottawa, Canada so it’s a pretty big trip for myself and my two teens.  I spoke at a National Bariatric Convention called ObesityHelp #OH2019 last Friday.  My topic was “adapting to a ketogenic lifestyle post-bariatric surgery”.  There were 700 attendees at the convention and I got to spend time with my “peeps” and discuss what was on their minds as they continued along their journey.

 Regain was a real issue and “how should I eat” was a big topic also.  There is so much involved in this journey.  It’s not just surgery and then it’s over.  That’s where it begins.  It’s the first step. 

When traveling I try to make good food choices.  I always start out with prepping my cheese and nuts/ seed and high-quality deli meats.  I may get a salad in the airport, or a soup (depending on how long my travel day will be).  But then, it goes downhill from there.

It’s so hard to eat properly when you are at Theme Parks.  There is ice-cream, popcorn, donuts and french fries on every corner.  As soon as I eat “the carbs”, I am back on the sugar merry-go-round and I know myself…. It’s hard to come back off again.

At least I walked 15,000 steps 4 days in a row!!  That’s a lot of steps!  I always wear my Fitbit when traveling because I am thoroughly impressed by how much one has to walk at airports and tourist attractions. It’s the geek in me lol.

I am traveling back today – back to reality and I am setting up an eating challenge for myself for the next few days and I invite you to join me.  I need to kick the carbs to the curb and I would like it very much if you would challenge yourself to do the same.

This is a super easy meal plan.  I will follow it for 4 days (zero cheating).  I will relax a bit on the weekend because we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada Oct. 12th and 13th!  Yes, it’s 6 weeks before the US Thanksgiving as our harvest is earlier than it is for all of you in the US.

Record your weight tomorrow morning and then check it again on Saturday morning. Reply to this email and let me know what your results were!

Sheri’s Clean Eating Carb Crushing Plan

Day 1

  • Breakfast: 1-2 eggs, sautéed vegetables, 1/4 avocado
  • Lunch: green salad, 3 ounces steak, olive oil, and lemon
  • Dinner: 4 ounces fish, asparagus and mushrooms, a handful of pecans 

Day 2

  • Breakfast: 2 egg omelet, spinach, 3 ounces of cheese
  • Lunch: arugula salad, 3 ounces tuna, 6 large olives
  • Dinner: beef burger (no bun), steamed cabbage, 1 teaspoon almond butter

Day 3

  • Breakfast: 1-2 poached eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, 1/4 avocado
  • Lunch: 3 ounces of chicken, grilled veggies, 3 ounces brie cheese
  • Dinner: 3 ounces shrimp, steamed veggies, 1/4 cup almond slices

Day 4 – repeat one of the days above.

No Snacking Please!!  Drink lots of water and only one cup of coffee per day, please.  Sleep 8 hours a night and make sure to get a bit of exercise each day.

See how easy that was?  I hate complicated meal planning and recipes.  I like to cook but I also I like to keep things simple and my whole family can eat this same way.  If they want quinoa or brown rice, I make a pot and they can eat it while I keep away from it.  I also serve them beans and I choose not to eat them.  There is no “making of two meals” at my house. 

Let’s do this.  I can’t wait to hear how your results were from my carb-crushing 4-day meal plan.

Here is to a healthy week!

 

FaceBook LIVE  Friday, October 11th at 3 pm EST.

 

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

For bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Amazon Line

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!

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Gastric Sleeve Throw Blanket $19.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

Sexy Kitchen Boss Babe – Bariatric Edition

When I talk about “self-care”, you often hear me discussing manicures vs workouts OR salons vs kitchens.

I used to feel that self-care occurred in the nail salon as I went for my manis and pedis.  I used to feel that self-care belonged in the hands of my hairstylist.  My life is so busy today that going for a mani-pedi or having my hair done is no longer the “fun” it used to be, (unless I am with my best gal pals at the nail salon, sipping on champs).

Getting this type of pampering “self-care”, feels like more of a “chore” for me today.  It’s something that goes on my calendar and needs to get done.  What did the heck happen to me? 

When I think “self-care” today, I think about preparing lovely, healthy food (among other things).  But, for the purpose of this article, I want to discuss food.  Food equals self-care for me, at this stage in my life.  I am sure it may change in the future and I am open to that but right now, I want to love myself enough to feed myself healthily.  No matter how busy I am, I am going to take the time to prepare healthful meals.

Let’s be realistic – it’s not going to happen 100 out of 100 days!  That would be hard to manage and I do like to go out for lunches or good brunches BUT, the main stage for my food intake comes from my OWN kitchen.

I am a Sexy, Badass, Kitchen, Boss, Babe.  Uh Huh… and I want you to be one too.

I am not talking about spending hours in your kitchen prepping and cooking and cleaning and being a slave.  I am talking about creating simple, inexpensive, healthy meals for you and your family, and then having THEM clean up afterward. HA.

Why do so many of my lovely clients talk to me about how they hate cooking two meals – one for them and one for their family?  I hate to hear how they complicate meal times. It makes me sad because it can be so much easier than this.  Why not make ONE meal for the WHOLE family?  

For example – ever hear about the “sheet pan meal”?  Throw your lovely food on a cooking sheet, season, stick in the oven and serve.  BOOM – dinner for a family of 4 or 5 or 6 and one pan for clean up.

What about the “crockpot hero”?  Stick all ingredients in the crockpot, cook low and slow all day and serve.  BOOM – dinner for a family of 4 or 5 WITH leftovers for tomorrows lunch.

I NEVER cook a separate meal for myself.  I eat what I cook for my family with a few omissions.  If I add potatoes or carrots in the sheet pan or crockpot, I avoid them when serving my plate.  I don’t demonize these vegetables BUT I cannot eat them today.  They raise my glucose and insulin levels and this leads to a very hungry lady an hour later.  

Going back to the “sheet pan meals”…. 

Choose your protein first. You can use sausage, or pork or chicken or fish or turkey or whatever protein you have handy.  

Next comes your beautiful vegetables.  Choose your favorites and add the ones which your family love.  I hate onions.  When I add onions, I just add them to the corner because what would happen if the onion juice rolled onto my food LOL.  See, even us nutritionists can have our “hangups”!

Season, Season, and then Season a bit more.  There are so many options out there to give your meal that “original, and special flavor”.  

Grab some healthy oils to drizzle over your sheet pan meal.  Don’t go crazy here.  Just add sufficient olive oil to elevate all the flavors and bring that meal to the next level.

Get the oven to a nice hot temperature to start with. This is the way to sear in all that flavor.  Drop the temp and let it cook for about 25 minutes.

Set the table. Eat with the family and have them clear away the dishes.  One-pan is a win/win for all of us.

See how easy that was?  Isn’t that easier than hitting the drive-thru and sitting there feeling guilty and paying too much hard-earned money for a meal that tastes like fake food – because it is fake food.

It’s the same deal with the crockpot meal or the insta-pot meal or even the stovetop meals.  If I cook a rice or beans with protein and veg, I choose to eat the protein and the veg.  I don’t serve myself the rice or beans.  Once again, it is not the devil reincarnated but it’s the carbs in those food items that make my blood sugar and insulin levels soar.  I am not the spring chicken which I used to be.  I need to take care of myself today.

This brings it back to the “self-care” which I was discussing at the beginning of this article.  Planning meals like this for myself and my family is my way of honoring us.  I want to be healthy for a long time to come and I don’t want to riddle my family with poor eating habits.

Sure, if I was feeding them chicken nuggets with french fries, I might think about making myself a separate meal but we don’t eat like this on the daily.  My life is more simple through the use of real, whole, live, fresh, natural, good quality FOOD.

Here’s to you being a Sexy Kitchen Boss Babe!!  I bet you already are.

 

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

For bariatric patients Bariatric Expert Amazon Line

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!

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Gastric Sleeve Throw Blanket $19.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd