Sheri’s Vanilla Coconut Cups

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Sheri's Vanilla Coconut Cups
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, add 1/4 of the coconut milk mixture and then sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not mix.
  2. In a small pot over medium-low heat, add the remaining coconut milk and honey. Whisk to combine. Allow it to heat through for 2 to 3 minutes or until warm. Do not let it boil.
  3. Add the warm coconut milk to the gelatin mix and use a whisk to mix as you pour. Add the vanilla and sea salt and stir to combine.
  4. Place a sieve over the top of your jars and pour the mixture into the jars through the sieve. This will ensure there are no clumps of gelatin remaining. Store the jars in the fridge for two hours to set. Serve with berries and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Leftovers: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days.

No Honey: Use maple syrup or another sweetener of your choice.

No Berries: Use another type of fruit instead.

 

NUTRTION

amount per serving

 

Calories......202
Fat................14g
Carbs...........13g
Fiber................3g
Sugar...............8g
Protein............5g

Bariatric Friendly Soups and Stews – Bariatric Edition

I am writing this blog from Quebec, Canada. Here in my neck of the woods, the temperatures are cooling down and there is a chill in the air. The leaves are changing colors and soon we will be outside with a rake in hand battling them.
 
A funny thing happens to me in September. I don’t want to eat lettuce? From May until the end of August, gimme all the greens!! Lettuce, spinach, and arugula are my main squeeze. I can eat this every day, topped with baby cucumbers and cherry tomatoes!
 
With the arrival of Fall, I don’t want anything to do with greens anymore? My palate starts to crave things like warm veggies. I believe in “eating with the seasons”. My ancestors came from Germany and Ireland and they arrived in Canada to huge plots of land, covered in snow. They had to know what to eat and how to store those foods during our long winters. I don’t think they ever got to eat fresh pineapple in February or fresh cherries in March. They ate root veggies which they gathered in early/ mid-fall and stored all winter long in a “root cellar”. They ate all the carrots, turnips, and potatoes. They ate all the soups and stews.
 
Soups and Stews! Get out the crockpot, turn on the oven, and gather some new ideas along with tried and true recipes. It’s Fall and it’s time to start cooking low and slow, blending all those wonderful flavors. 
 
I wanted to share some gorgeous Fall recipes with you. These are the kinds of meals that are served up in my home during October, November, and December. They are easy to make, economical, and oh so healthy! Remember, if you see “potato” and you are eating “low-carb or ketogenic”, omit the potato and add cauliflower instead. You can always make substitutions to keep your meals low-carb and bariatric friendly.
 
Do you know what happens to me in April? I don’t want to see any soups or stews – I start to crave greens again! I want the grill open and I want gorgeous salads and fruit. I think that our body knows what it is doing. We just need to listen to it.
 
DOWNLOAD MY BARIATRIC FRIENDLY LIST OF SOUPS AND STEWS HERE
 
Buen Provecho!
Sheri Burke
Your RHN, Specializing in Bariatric Friendly Meal Planning.
 

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.

 

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

September Slim Down – Bariatric Edition.

 Below you will find the link to my free “5-day September Slim Down” menu plan with all the bells and whistles.
 
You know how in March when most of us are freezing our butts off and eating things like stews, soups, and chilis … You know how we gain a few lbs in winter from all the starchy foods and all the Netflix binging?  How we move less and eat more?  How inactivity becomes the “norm” because “who wants to go outside in the rain and snow and wind”?  
 
You know how we all believe that we will lose those extra 5 lbs because during summer we will move more and eat better?  We will live on salads and fresh fruit?  
 
Ya, well this year it’s been different for me.  2020 is just a lot different in MANY ways.  I didn’t lose 5 lbs lol?  Hands up if you lost 5 lbs (not fair those of you who had surgery this summer lol)
 
This summer was full of salads and fresh fruit but it was also full of unnecessary alcohol and potato salads.  The bread basket makes it’s way back onto my table some nights.  Chips and salsa – NO COMMENT.
 
It’s September guys – the long weekend is now behind us and we need to get back to a more “normal” routine (if that’s even possible in 2020).  My normal routine will include longer work hours.  It will include longer workouts.  I will incorporate more low carb alternatives and healthier meals all around.  
 
I want you to join me and I have prepared us a fantabulous low carb menu to get started with.  It’s a 5-day plan to get ALL of us BACK on TRACK and prepping for healthier overall choices, options, and meals.  It includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one snack.  
 
Now, if you’ve already incorporated intermittent fasting into your lives, all you need to do is drop one of the meals and break your fast with my breakfast OR lunch option.  Heck, you can even eat all 3 meals in your eating window if you want to but that is kind of defeating the purpose.  Besides, if you are following a low carb lifestyle, you won’t be hungry enough to eat 3 times in a shorter eating window.  
 
I have included 5 different breakfasts, 5 different lunches, 5 different dinners, and 5 different snacks.  Doesn’t mean that you need to follow my meal plan each day.  You can pick and choose. I just wanted to offer you these ideas in order to expand your food repertoire.  Sometimes we get in a food rut and eat the same things over and over again. If I offer you lots of suggestions, something may jump off of the menu and onto your plate.
 
The portions are tinier than a regular portion.  I have given you recipes for ONE person but you can easily double, triple, or quadruple the recipe so that your whole family can enjoy them.  Every recipe is low carb, moderate protein, and fat.  I hope you find some new recipes to add to your life.
 
Let’s get our September Slim-Down on!  Download it for free HERE!
 
Sheri

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.

 

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

Acid Reflux and Hair Loss – Bariatric Edition

Most of you know me and you’ve been reading my articles for some time now. If you are new to my writing, you will understand pretty quickly that I am an RHN, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and I believe in a diet of whole, live, fresh, natural, good quality food. I believe that food comes BEFORE supplements and that our bodies know exactly what to do with the “real food source” as opposed to the “lab manufactured version”.
If you continue to browse my blogs, you will also know that I am NOT a huge fan of PPIs. PPI stands for proton pump inhibitors. They come in lots of different names. It’s the most popular over-the-counter remedy for acid reflux.
Now, what the heck does acid reflux and PPIs have to do with hair loss?? Here is what I think about the topic and I suggest that if you are experiencing hair loss and you take a PPI, do your research into the topic. It is quite eye-opening.
Let’s backtrack and start with acid reflux. 
Question for you now; Is acid reflux the disease or the symptom? I believe it to be the symptom of a deeper, underlying issue. Acid reflux doesn’t happen for no reason at all. We need to dig a bit deeper. Why do we get acid reflux? I don’t want to talk for everybody out there so I will share my personal experience.
I am almost 50. I know that as we age, the hydrochloric acid in our stomach becomes weaker. It doesn’t just happen to me. It happens to ALL of us. When I was 30, I could eat an entire pizza and fall asleep without any issues whatsoever. Today if I eat one slice of pizza in the afternoon, I will get acid reflux less than an hour afterward. By the time I am in the car, on my way home from the pizzeria, I will start having acid reflux.
I know my acid reflux triggers today. Cheese and tomato sauce combined are a wicked combination for me. Some of my other acid reflux triggers are caffeine, fried foods, and sometimes pork can give me reflux. 
Now, will I stop eating pizza or drinking coffee for the rest of my life – of course not? So what can I do to improve my digestion to prevent acid reflux and what does this have to do with hair loss?
Let’s dig into the cascade of events now.
If acid reflux rears its ugly head after I eat the pizza, I can take a proton pump inhibitor. They come under the names such as Prilosec, Nexium, Zantac, and a million other names. The idea is that the active ingredient will put out the acid in my stomach and give me some relief from “Mr. Pizza”.
Okay, so if PPI puts out my stomach acid, I feel better in the interim BUT the next time I try and eat, I have no stomach acid (HCI Hydrochloric Acid) and the food in my stomach will regurgitate back into my throat – ACID REFLUX AGAIN UGGGGGGG
So what’s a girl to do? Well, I can pop another PPI and feel better again (for a while). Then I go to eat and once again the food cannot be properly digested and once again ACID REFLUX REARS ITS UGLY HEAD.
Around and Around and Around We Go …. 
This is exactly why people are addicted to PPIs. It’s because they cannot get off of them. Please take a moment to research PPIs and long term health consequences. What I worry about is Nutritional Deficiencies. 
So if I am unable to digest my food properly due to the LOW HCI in my stomach, this also means that I am unable to absorb and assimilate my nutrients. BINGO!!!
 …. I’ve had weight loss surgery. My hair is starting to fall out. I am eating over 60 grams of protein a day (not only using shake supplements). I am taking my supplements such as biotin and hair vitamin. I have started using hair products that don’t contain harmful chemicals that are drying and damaging to my hair. My hair is still falling out AND I am taking a PPI.
Taking a PPI can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Don’t believe me? Research it a bit and you will see for yourself. This is why I am not a huge fan of PPI’s. I want you to be able to DIGEST, ABSORB, and ASSIMILATE all those beautiful foods you are eating to prevent nutrient deficiencies. 
If you are taking a PPI and you want to get off of it, there are a few things you can do starting with IMPROVING DIGESTION. 
This means that your digestive system, with the right coaxing, can begin to strengthen. It can begin to properly digest your foods with the correct amount of HCI to help it out. I suggest taking a good quality probiotic, eating probiotic foods, taking a swig of apple cider vinegar in the morning (or an apple cider vinegar supplement). Take small bites. Eat slowly and focus on your food. Don’t overfill the pouch. Don’t eat when you are stressed. Put your fork down between bites. Don’t drink water with your food. Do what it takes to help your digestion.
PPIs have their place. I am not saying that everybody with acid reflux needs to stop immediately taking their PPIs. What I am saying is that I want you to get more involved and start to research your PPI. Start to learn things that you can do to try to get off of it. 
How can you improve digestion? This is a good starting point. Get interested in your health and start to move away from the mentality of “I have a symptom, I take a pill”. WHY do you have that symptom? This is the starting point. We need to draw conclusions and make the decision to dig a bit deeper.
For example; I have a headache. I take a Tylenol and I feel better. The headache comes back. I take another Tylenol. A week goes by, I still have a headache. Do I just keep taking Tylenol? Or, do I try to figure out WHY I have a headache? 
Oh, I know. I am not drinking any water throughout the day. Maybe my headache is coming from dehydration. Could that be the source? I will add more water to my diet tomorrow and see what happens. Maybe my headache will disappear and I can stop taking Tylenol.
It is the cascade of events that I am interested in and it is this cascade of events that I want you to get interested in too.
I take a PPI. I have continuous acid reflux if I do not take a PPI. Dig Dig Dig … My hair is falling out. Dig Dig Dig …I am doing all the right things. Maybe my PPI is preventing good digestion and my poor digestion is causing nutrient deficiencies and I am not digesting my protein sources correctly.
AH HA – I may be eating 60 grams of protein a day but how much of that protein am I absorbing and assimilating? BAMMMM – I think I need to improve my digestion to prevent acid reflux and to better digest my foods!!
This is the kind of cascade of events I am talking about.
  • I have a headache. I drink some more water each day. My headache goes away. BAMMMM -I figured it out.

  • I drink coffee. I get acid reflux. I stop drinking coffee and my acid reflux improves and I didn’t even need to take any medications. 

  • I eat tomato sauce, I get acid reflux. I stop eating the tomato sauce and my acid reflux improves. Wow, that was easy. 

  • I believe that we all need to continuously look for ways to improve our digestion. I also believe that we need to explore a bit more before we give into a daily habit of taking a PPI – days turn into months and months turn into years and before we know it, we have a big PPI habit. We feel stuck and we don’t know what to do.
Improving digestion can help with so many issues, not only acid reflux. It’s a great starting point.
Do I want you to throw away your PPI forever?  No.  I just want you to know that ALL medications come with some sort of side-effects.  This is just one of the side-effects of taking a PPI.  Sometimes the side-effects are worth it and other times they are not worth it.  Only you can decide with is right or wrong for YOUR body.  You are a biochemical, beautiful individual.
So, that’s how I combine PPIs and hair loss. It’s a possible cascade of events. Do some digging.
 
 
Here’s to you and your healthy digestive system.
 
Sheri

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.

 

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

How to prepare for your post op visits – Bariatric Edition

How to get the most out of your post-op calls with me 🙂
 
It’s been a super busy summer bariatric season for us (even during a pandemic). The summer months are always busy with surgery scheduling. Our patients have summer vacations and they use their vacation time to have their surgery performed. 
 
At first, I thought that we would slow down a bit due to the pandemic but it has been extremely busy. This time of year we slow down a bit as students return to class (online or in-person) and as the holidays wind down once again.
 
Being busy means that I am also busy with post-op follow up calls Monday to Friday. This is how I spend a lot of my days, on the phone with you making sure that you are hitting your water goals, protein goals, and weight loss goals, etc.
 
I enjoy speaking with you and I especially enjoy adding back food to your life post-surgery! It makes me happy when I ask you if you are ready to try an egg and you respond “yayyyyyyy” 🙂
 
So what is the best way for you to prepare for our calls so that you can get the most out of them? 
 
I want to be sure that you are getting exactly what you need and that your weight loss is right on track. The best way to make sure that I have the right tools to best assist you is to keep a simple log. It doesn’t have to be a fancy app. It can be a simple piece of paper. It can be an email. Use the format that is easiest for you to use.
 
Please send me your food log the day of or the day before our set appointment. Make sure to jot down the things you are eating but also the things which you are drinking. You can also add your sleeping patterns and how you are feeling throughout the day. How are your stress levels? If you have started exercising, jot it down. If you take supplements, jot them down also. Note your protein intake. The more you can send me, the better idea I have as to where you are in your journey and what improvements you can make. 
 
If you’ve had recent labs, you can also send me a copy to keep on file. This helps me to see if you are experiencing any nutrient deficiencies which we can correct through food and supplementation.
 
Weigh yourself on the day of your appointment with me. I want to help you stay accountable as the scale moves in the right direction.
 
Make sure that you stay close to me during your first-year post-op. This is when we want to work HARD to reach your goals. If it takes a bit longer than a year to get there, that’s fine also. Make sure you are constantly setting new goals. If you’ve reached your goal weight, then what’s next? How does maintenance look? What does your activity level look like? What are you doing to try to reduce stress? 
 
I guess what I want to say that the journey to health and wellness doesn’t have an expiry date. It is a constant project. Let’s make it fun and enjoyable. If you need to touch base or to make an appointment, feel free to do so at this LINK
 
If you’ve had surgery and it’s been a while and you would like to get back on track – you are welcome to join my 1-on-1 Bariatric Nutrition Coaching  This is just you and me getting down to business, 1-on1, getting work done. 
 
Sheri

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.

 

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

Hair Loss Fight Back – Bariatric Edition

Let’s use my 3 tiered system to fight back against hair loss post-bariatric surgery.
 
Hair Loss – Yes, we know, we know … it is to be expected after weight loss surgery? But why? Why does our hair fall out and what can we do to prevent hair loss? Sure, some hair loss is to be expected, but there are things that we can do to help minimize this hair loss. Let’s FIGHT BACK … 
 
Many of you have had surgery and you lost a lot of hair at about 4 months post-op and it started growing back at approximately 8 months post-surgery. That is 4 very scary months where your scale is moving in the right direction but your poor hair strands are falling out in handfuls in the shower or your brush… faster than you can keep up.
 
As your body makes adjustments to the changes it is going through, the hair loss will decrease and finally, come to a stop (of course regular shedding still occurs – approximately 100 strands each day). Your hair is going to go back to normal as long as there are no nutrient deficiencies and you are consuming sufficient protein each day.
 
What gives and what can we do to slow this hair loss down dramatically? My clients tell me that they “have done everything” to prevent hair loss … but have they done everything? Are there a few other tricks that we can add to get our hair strands to STAY IN PLACE. Let’s go over my 3 tops suggestions to slow down hair loss during those 4 months where it feels like no matter what you do, your hair is still falling out.
 
1/ Protein 2/ Supplementation 3/ The right hair products
 
1/ Protein. Yes, I know, I know. You are so darn tired of hearing “eat more protein, eat more protein, eat more protein”. It almost becomes a joke and you hear yourself recommending this to other people also. Where my clients go wrong is when they think that they can “replace their food protein” with protein powders, waters, and bars, etc. 
 
What they don’t realize is that those protein shakes will NEVER measure up to the real protein source. Protein powders are chemically isolated. It is changed from its natural state and our body will never know how to isolate it and utilize it in the best way possible. 
 
These powders also have a high protein content in proportion to their fat content. Protein cannot be properly used by the body without the added fat content to go along with the protein. These powders are not “real food”. They are manufactured in a laboratory and they will never have the same effect on and in the body overeating “real food”. 
 
Some of my post-bariatric clients make the mistake of believing that their protein shake which states 30 grams per serving on the label means that they are going to digest, absorb and assimilate all 30 grams of that shake in their bodies. Unfortunately, today we know that the impact of protein shakes is not the same as the impact of real food. 
 
This is something positive because we can start to put more importance on real protein food sources which in turn will prevent hair loss!! Instead of having a shake in the morning at breakfast, have a serving of cottage cheese, or a boiled egg with a piece of avocado on the side. It may look like “fewer grams of protein” but in fact, your body knows what to do with real protein food sources and it will in turn be MORE protein over your regular morning shake. We need to swap out the shakes with yogurt, cottage cheese, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, and so on. Your hair will thank you!
 
2/ Supplementation. We cannot supplement ourselves out of a bad diet. If we are not eating sufficient protein, then taking the proper supplements are not going to save our luscious locks. Protein first, and supplements second. Biotin is the B vitamin for hair, skin, and nails. We need to make sure to add biotin to our supplement regimen. It is shown to improve hair help and help with inflammation. The hair follicle, skin, and nails will all benefit with a daily hit of biotin! Here are two supplements that are packed with biotin, taste great, and are of high quality which means they are easier to digest, absorb, and assimilate.
 
 
 
3/ Hair Products. We’ve discussed what to do for the “inside out” to help save our hair from falling down the drain. Now let’s talk about what we can do from the “outside”. Let’s use the right hair products to promote a healthy scalp and hair. Ever checked the back label of your shampoo and conditioner? Do you know what it is that you are putting onto your scalp? I had NO IDEA what a LONG list of TERRIBLE ingredients my shampoo and conditioner contained. I never thought that the ingredients in my shampoo were stripping my hair of the natural oils and drying my hair out from the very roots. I no longer use “regular hair products”. They are way too drying and I want to use products that don’t contain the “baddie” ingredients. Here are a shampoo and conditioner designed just for US. They are made by the line “Bariatric Expert” and they don’t contain the harsh ingredients that most shampoos and conditioners contain. A little goes a long way and they smell wonderful – #WINNING
 
 
 
So in closing, yes, hair loss is considered to be a normal part of weight loss surgery BUT there are still things we can do to minimize hair loss. Let’s get proactive by 1/ EATING our protein sources 2/ taking the right, high-quality supplements, and 3/ using the right hair products to promote a healthy scalp. 
 
Here’s to you and your luscious long locks!
Sheri

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.

 

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

Bariatric Fantasy – Bariatric Edition.

Susan has bariatric surgery, loses 100 pounds, and tells the world on her social media account how wonderful her experience has been. The only thing she regrets is not doing it sooner.
 
Bob has bariatric surgery, loses 150 pounds, and lets his family and friends know that he no longer takes the 12 medications he was taking before surgery.
 
Elaine has bariatric surgery, loses 75 pounds, and gets her mobility back. She can move without the excruciating pain she was experiencing before surgery.
 
We read about these testimonials every day. We want what they have. We also want to be pain-free, 100 pounds lighter, and not have to take medications.
 
These types of testimonials are not coerced. This is what they truly feel and they are grateful and thrilled to be able to share their stories.
 
There is something that I wish to discuss with this blog today. I want to discuss what Susan, Bob, and Elaine are not talking about….they have left out a few things. We see them before and after pics but what we don’t see is the middle bit. That’s the part between their surgery and the after pic.
 
What are they not talking about? What did they fail to mention? 
 
Sometimes when I read the issues which people discuss online in various bariatric support groups, I feel like stating the obvious … Sure, you may have hair loss BUT you’ve also lost 100 pounds and probably saved your life. Sure, you may have difficulty eating some foods but you’ve lost 75 pounds and you are off your medications. Sure, you may have acid reflux in the beginning but you’ve lost 150 pounds and you can walk without pain.
 
I think that the bariatric-fantasy is that “before and after pic” and it fails to mention the struggles to get from point A to point B. We just see that Susan, Bob, and Elaine are over-the-moon happy. They want you to feel as good as they feel. They forget how hard the “middle bit” can be.
 
Any surgery has a recovery period. That recovery period can be uncomfortable. Any laparoscopic surgery can be painful due to trapped air. Not everyone experiences terrible gas pains but many do. 
 
I work closely with my clients as they work through the post-op guidelines. It’s hard, really hard. First, they need to be consuming sufficient liquids. Next, they need to add back foods slowly and they need to balance their water intake with their new food intake. Their energy levels are low. They are sore. They are a bit sad because their “food crutch” has been taken away. They try to lie on their side but they are uncomfortable and so their sleeping has been disrupted.
 
Once the pain from the actual surgery has disappeared, there can be a painful time learning what foods work and what foods do not work. Our tastes change. What we once loved now tastes strangely sweet or bitter. There is a sadness that comes with this also. We need to work through all these feelings. We can also feel alone at times because our loved ones cannot truly understand what we are going through. 
 
Bariatric support groups become very important to us. These are our people and they “get us” and what we are experiencing. People discuss their aches and pains. They discuss their worries and their achievements. We can relate to others and what they are going through. 
 
These groups can show us that bariatric surgery is not a fantasy-land where we go into the operating room and come out with a new and improved version of ourselves. We have the battle to win – we’ve been given the weapon to fight but there is still a battle laid out in front of us. We have a lot of work to do to get to the end picture. 
 
Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!! It is worth it but there will be lots of challenges along the way. There are the post-surgery aches and pains to deal with. We need to deal with traveling stress. I travel a lot and I HATE to fly. I am a nervous flier and I am not the only one. Many of my clients feel that same way. Today we are dealing with COVID-stress on top of the regular traveling stressors.
 
While our new tummies are healing, there will be a recovery period where our stomach needs to regulate the HCI (hydrochloric acid) and while we are going through this, acid reflux can become an issue. Acid reflux is no fun and even a cup of coffee or tea can trigger symptoms.
 
What about surgical complications? This a real thing and they can happen. This is surgery. It is not a walk in the local park. A percentage of us will have post-surgical complications. We are altering our anatomy, removing a large portion of our stomachs. Nobody plans on having a complication but we need to be very aware that it sometimes happens.
 
What about those of us who love going to restaurants? What will become of us when we can only eat 2 to 4 ounces of creamy vegetable soup at a time? Will we still go to restaurants? Will we still enjoy this activity? This can be painful emotionally because we can see how everyone else is enjoying their time and now we feel like a bit of a freak not being able to take more than 3 bites of anything.
 
Rest assured. All of this is temporary. It gets better. It gets easier. We can eat larger portions and we become accustomed to our new stomaches. But, I feel that we need to also remember all the work that goes into those first stages. How we need to compromise with ourselves daily as we gain strength, knowledge, and the tools to deal with our “new normal”.
 
We also need to stay super positive as we work through the post-op stages. We are regaining our health and every food decision we make supports our new lifestyle. To get from point A to point B – to get the “after” pic to place beside our “before” pic,,, there is a whole lot of work in the middle. 
 
This is not to say that it’s not worth it! It is worth it and you are worth it and we are all worth it but I never want you or anybody to think that it was an easy journey. This is not fantasy land. This is a really hard battle that you’ve fought and you need to know how proud your community is of you. 
 
Take your before and after pics and post them PROUDLY. Your bariatric community knows all about that “middle bit”. You are a ROCK STAR.
 
Healthy Hugs xoxo
 
Sheri Burke RHN specializing in bariatric nutrition.

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.

 

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

5 Years Post Op – Bariatric Edition

I spend a lot of time writing for the bariatric newbie. My newbies are seeking information. They are getting ready for the important pre-op diet. They are working through the post-op guidelines. They are on the rapid weight loss phase and there are seeing fluffy pink clouds in the sky. They are getting closer to their goal. It’s a happy, exciting phase.
 
What happens 5 years post-op? Where are all my experienced bariatric clients? What are their challenges and how do they differ when compared to the first year post-op?
 
I want to address my experienced sleevers today. Hands up if that is YOU!!
 
I have a lot of contact with clients who have had bariatric surgery and they are still on their journey because GUESS WHAT … The bariatric journey doesn’t just END. It changes. It gets more challenging. 
 
We need to work hard during the first year or two to instill new, healthy habits because it is exactly these habits that will take us to our goals and help us maintain those goals for a long time to come. 
 
Please remember that if we go back to the same unhealthy habits we had before surgery, we have a very big possibility of gaining back the weight which we lost during the first few years post-surgery. I see the struggles. I know the challenges. I try to teach my clients about the importance of using the sleeve as a tool and putting good habits into place NOW.
 
If you are 5 years post-op and maintaining – Here’s to YOU! You are my hero and you’ve worked very hard to remain in maintenance. I know just how hard you have worked. I know how you’ve incorporated exercise into your life. I know that you are making wise food decisions almost every day.
 
Hands up if you are 5 years post-op and have experienced a re-gain.
Guess what … it’s not “all lost”. Your tool is still intact and you can use it to lose the re-gain again but you will need to do things a bit differently this time. You will need to ditch all the processed and refined carbohydrates and sugar from your diet. You will need to drink plain water, black tea, or coffee and eliminate the artificial sweeteners from your diet.
 
Prioritize Protein/ Fill with Fat/ Reduce Carbs – this is the equation to get the ball rolling again. Eat until you are full and then stop eating. Don’t snack between meals. Get some activity throughout the day and make a sleep schedule.
 
Once we get back to “bad habits”, it’s really hard to break them but it’s not impossible. I have seen many of my clients have a re-gain and then grab a hold of it and get the weight off again. 
 
Regain occurs because we choose to eat the wrong food. Regain does not occur from eating chicken and broccoli. It comes from eating cookies, chips, and ice-cream. The sleeve doesn’t fail us. We fail our sleeves. We begin to “eat around” the sleeve and we start to graze. We find ways to trick our tool. We eat mashed potatoes before we eat steak. We eat the tortilla chips and dip before we eat our main course. We allow slider foods to stall our weight loss. 
 
To all my experienced sleevers out there – if you’ve had a regain, please understand that you CAN get the weight off again. It needs to start with some motivation and a plan. Your plan should include 3 small meals a day of protein with vegetables. You should stick to drinking plain water and you should incorporate some movement into your life. 
 
The sleeve doesn’t just stop working one day. It is with us for life. If you have stretched out your sleeve and you can eat large portions again, this didn’t happen overnight. This happened from constantly overeating day after day after day. You can look into revision surgery – like having the sleeve redone or having it converted to mini-gastric bypass surgery.
 
The one thing I don’t want you to do is to just “give up”. That is not a possibility. I want you to reach out to me for assistance. I have plans in place to help you get back to the place you need to be. Start by logging your food and activity. Be accountable. Don’t hide from your weight gain. Talk about it. Don’t feel like you have failed. You have just made some bad food decisions and it’s time to look them straight on and fix some things.
 
The key phrase here – LifeLong Journey! We are in this for the long-haul. 
 
I am encouraging you to continue down your path if you are at your goal weight and to stay vigilant with the daily food choices you make. If the number on the scale is bigger than you would like, attack it head-on! Don’t settle. 
 
Sheri Burke RHN specializing in bariatric nutrition.

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.

 

 

Gastric Sleeve Plush Toy Keychain $11.99usd

Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

Sheri’s 2 Ingredient Crackers Bariatric Recipe


Print Recipe


Sheri's 2 Ingredient Crackers Bariatric Recipe

Cook Time 2 minutes

Servings


Ingredients

Cook Time 2 minutes

Servings


Ingredients


Instructions
  1. Place ingredients into a food processor and pulse until small balls form -approximately 30 seconds

  2. Form a ball of dough with your hands and then place onto a piece of parchment paper. Place a 2nd piece of parchment paper on top.

  3. Roll out dough until very thin. The thinner the dough, the crunchier the cracker.

  4. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the cracker shapes but do not separate them from the one large cracker.

  5. Place in microwave for one minute. Let it rest and then microwave it for another 45 seconds. Let it rest for a few minutes and then separate the crackers. The cooler the get, the crispier they will get.

  6. Store remaining crackers in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!

  7. Optional - spray the crackers with a vegetable spray and then sprinkle on top "everything but the bagel" seasoning or your favorite seasoning.


Recipe Notes

Nutrition

 

Amount per serving

Calories.....108

Fat...............9g

Carbs.........2g

Fiber..........1g

Sugar..........0g

Protein......6g

Sheri’s Savory Breakfast Biscuits Bariatric Edition

Print Recipe
Sheri's Savory Breakfast Biscuits Bariatric Edition
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375oF (191oC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, add the sausage and peppers. Cook until the sausage is browned and the peppers are softened. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, add the almond flour, baking powder, thyme and salt. Whisk to combine.
  4. In a small bowl, add the eggs and whisk. Then add half of the cheese and stir to combine. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and then add the cooled sausage and peppers. Stir to combine until a sticky dough has formed.
  5. Place roughly 3 tbsp of the mix onto the parchment-lined paper and press down gently to flatten. The mixture will be a little sticky. Repeat until the dough is used up. Top each biscuit with the remaining cheese.
  6. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until the biscuits are cooked through and slightly browned on the bottom. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Leftovers: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days. Freeze for up to two months.

Serving Size: One serving is one biscuit.

Nut-Free: Use gluten-free flour or brown rice flour instead of almond flour.

More Flavor: Add chili flakes, onion and/or minced garlic.

 

Nutrition

Amount per Serving

Calories......169

Fat.................14g

Carbs............3g

Fiber..............1g

Sugar.............1g

Protein..........8g