Too Much Chicken? – Bariatric Edition

Bariatric Chicken Rut – How to stay motivated with chicken, chicken, and more chicken?
 
Are you sick of chicken? Do you get bored with eating the same things over and over again? When we eat how we are supposed to eat – with a diet of whole, live, fresh, natural, good quality food, it can at times seem like “all we eat is chicken and veg”. When this happens, it’s a slippery slope because we start to long for foods that are not considered “our best options” while actively trying to lose weight, maintain weight or maintain our healthy blood glucose levels and insulin levels.
 
 it triggers insulin to respond and to flood your body to grab a hold of that excess glucose and to get it into your cells where it needs to be. This creates rising and falling blood sugar and insulin. Up and down and up and down and hunger follows the same trajectory. 
 
This was just the super “easy to understand” science behind why we need to limit processed carbs and sugar. It was just meant as a simple reminder.
 
Back to chicken lol 
 
I teach my bariatric clients to PRIORITIZE PROTEIN. Chicken is a handy protein. It is one of those foods at the top of the list for most of my clients. How much chicken can one person eat? When I get into a “check rut”, I try to get into other protein options like beef, eggs, fish, seafood, greek yogurt, and cottage cheese. Still, chicken is going to be high up there on the list so let’s get our “chicken game on”!!
 
I am going to give you 10 amazing recipes that you can rotate through that are high in protein (chicken) and full of flavor and pizazz! I dare you to tell me that you are bored with chicken. What happens is that we get bored with how we prepare chicken. Chicken can take on the flavor of whatever we want it to so getting some new recipes with some big bold flavors and really up the ante and make chicken a fun food again.
 
Another idea is to swap out the chicken in these recipes for shrimp, salmon, seafood, or beef. You can mix and match. Trust me, the chicken version of these recipes are low carb, flavourful and delicious and you can make the recipes for your entire family.
 
If you do make one of my recipes, make sure to tag me on Facebook with a picture of your recipe or share it with our “closed support group”.
 
Download the 10 chicken recipes HERE
 
I hope you enjoy the plan and meals.
 
Healthy Hugs, 
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.

 

 

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Plush Toy Gastric Sleeve Recovery Fun Pillow $13.99usd

 

Coconut Almond Cups – Bariatric Edition


Print Recipe


Coconut Almond Cups - Bariatric Edition

Cook Time 1.15

Servings


Ingredients

Cook Time 1.15

Servings


Ingredients


Instructions
  1. Arrange paper baking cups on a plate or a small baking sheet. Set aside.

  2. In a mixing bowl, stir the almond butter with half of the melted coconut oil
    together until smooth. Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon and salt. The mixture will
    stiffen.

  3. In a second small mixing bowl, combine the remaining melted coconut oil and
    coconut butter together and stir until runny.

  4. Fold the coconut butter mixture into the almond butter mixture until just
    combined.

  5. Divide into the prepared baking cups. Freeze for at least one hour or until solid.
    Enjoy!


Recipe Notes

Leftovers: Keep in an airtight container or zipper-lock bag in the freezer for up to one

Month: Best to eat from frozen.

Serving Size: One serving is one piece.

Likes it Sweet: Add liquid stevia drops to taste.

 

Nutrition

Amount per serving

Calories.....179

Fat................17g

Carbs..........5g

Fiber............3g

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

Protein.......3g

 

Summer Intermittent Fasting Bariatric Edition

 
I have a gift for you. I am so excited to share this. I love simplicity in the summer months. The days are long and the weather is hot and nobody wants to be chained to a hot kitchen. Salads, smoothies, and quick recipes are where it’s at for me during these months.
 
Introducing my “Summer Intermittent Fasting Bariatric Program. This program includes a 7-day meal plan, itemized grocery list, recipes, recipe picture, and a prep guide. The focus is on simple meals that use summer produce. Each recipe takes less than 30 minutes to minimize the time in the kitchen and maximize time enjoying the great outdoors. 
 
I’ve designed this plan so that there are three small meals each day. Some of the meals are repeated for your convenience.
 
I’ve also included the nutritional breakdown in each meal. You can see how many calories/ carbs/ protein and fat are in each meal.
 
This bariatric intermittent program provides balanced nutrition without frequent meals and snacks. I’ve prepared it with the “tinier tummy” in mind. The recipes are for 1 person but you can easily double them or triple them. I personally make a bit more for my family and I am sure to have leftovers so I don’t need to be constantly cooking.
 
It doesn’t matter the hours you choose to do your intermittent fast. I personally eat from noon until 7 pm and the rest of the time I am fasting which means I am drinking water and tea.
 
If you choose to eat from 9 am until 5 pm, that’s fine. This is your personal preference and your personal plan. Do what works best for you and your lifestyle. 
 
The calories are between 750 and 950 each day. If you are hungry, add a bit more food – I’ve left you some space to do that.
 
If you don’t like a recipe, swap it out for another one. If you are not into “fish”, change the protein to chicken. Don’t get too caught up in the details and follow one of my main rules for all my clients, “don’t eat anything you don’t like” – and I mean that. I don’t like onions, so I don’t eat them. 
 
This plan I put together for you provides balanced nutrition without frequent meals and snacks. Calories are distributed between three meals per day, which are intended to be consumed within a restricted eating window of approximately 6 to 8 hours. 
 
Download the plan HERE! 
 
I hope you enjoy the plan and meals.
 
Healthy Hugs, 
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

 

Creamy Cilantro Dressing


Print Recipe


Creamy Cilantro Dressing

Add yogurt, cilantro, lime juice, stevia and sea salt to the bowl of a food
processor. Blend until smooth. Add water to thin the consistency of the
dressing if necessary.

Season with additional salt or lime juice if needed. Transfer to an airtight jar or
container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prep Time 5 minutes

Servings
people


Ingredients

Prep Time 5 minutes

Servings
people


Ingredients


Recipe Notes

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

Serving Size: One serving is approximately two tablespoons of dressing.

More Flavor: Add roughly chopped jalapeno pepper for a spicy dressing.

Make Vegan: Use coconut or cashew based yogurt instead of Greek yogurt.

 

 

Calories...16

Fat..............0g

Carbs........2g

Fiber......... 0g

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

Protein......2g

Reinventing My Summer Salad – Bariatric Edition

Last week I talked about hamburgers and sabotage.   I hope you got the chance to read that blog and if you didn’t, here is the link for it https://international-patient-facilitators.com/hamburgers-and-sabotage-bariatric-edition
 
This week I am sort of staying along the same lines of how we can sabotage ourselves with the food choices we make. Each season has food landmines.  When I think about Summer and the gorgeous ways we eat and entertain while the weather is nice and the sun is shining bright, one main dish that comes to mind is the “Summer Salad”.
 
There are so many ways to incorporate fresh vegetables and fruit into our diets during the Summer months.  Remember, I am from Quebec, Canada so our summers are very short and very hot and humid.  We don’t want to be slaving away in the kitchen over a hot stove or oven.  We grill outdoors at least 4 times a week.  We cook up perfect sources of protein along with tons of veggies on the grill.  It’s mid-June and I am not at all tired of smelling the food on the grill.
 
Another typical Summer meal for me is a big salad.  Gosh, so many ways to make the perfect salad.  You’ve got your typical Greek Salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, feta cheese, and olives topped with olive oil and salt.  
 
You’ve got the Caprese Salad with fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese, topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
 
You’ve got the Cobb Salad that is loaded with eggs, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a creamy dressing.
 
So that is where I am going with this blog.  Salad dressing … and all the ways to reinvent it.
 
Why would we want to reinvent our salad dressing?  Well, this is where it can go “all wrong” very quickly.  We have a beautiful bowl full of fresh veg, fruit, and protein, and then we top it with some salad dressing we buy at our local grocery store. The picture on the front of the label shows onion, garlic, cilantro, and a few other perfect foods.  What the front label doesn’t show is canola oil or any of the sugars, artificial flavors, colors, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and the list goes on and on.
 
For today’s purpose, let’s just talk about canola oil.  It is almost ALWAYS the first ingredient in your salad dressing.  It doesn’t matter if your dressing says “made with avocado oil or olive oil”… the first ingredient will be canola oil and then further down the list you will find the avocado or olive oil added.  
 
What’s canola oil? Canola oil is a vegetable oil derived from the canola plant.  Canola oil is not a good source of nutrients and it can contain small amounts of trans fats that are harmful to your health.  Trans fats, something like you will find in canola oil,  is not good for you.  They are associated with heart disease, obesity, and even memory loss.
 
So if your salad dressing contains canola oil, what can you use as a replacement?  My favorites are avocado oil and olive oil.  I don’t use them often but other healthy oils include walnut oil and pumpkin seed oil.  
 
Some of my Summer salads will have healthy oils added but what about a creamy dressing? How can you replace your favorite ranch dressing or your favorite creamy dill?  I’ve been experimenting with different salad dressings this summer and I want to share some ideas with you.
 
This recipe contains no added oils and it is high in protein and super healthy for you!  It is also packed with flavor.
 
SHERI’S CREAMY CILANTRO OR DILL / LIME SALAD DRESSING
 
*I use my food processor and I add:
 
  • 3 tablespoons of high-quality greek yogurt, 
  • 1 freshly squeezed lime or lemon
  • Splash of vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro or dill
  • Lots of seasonings like salt and pepper
  • A tiny amount of stevia
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if you would like it thinner
 
*blend for a minute and serve immediately or store in a glass container in the fridge for a few days.
 
Sheri’s Creamy Dressing is high in protein and low in calories!  I am not an obsessive calorie counter but I don’t feel like consuming 400 calories in salad dressing (if ya know what I mean). 
 
How easy was that?  Yes, I know it would be easier to just pour some pre-made salad dressing onto my salad but I am trying to stay away from the canola oils and my other worry is the amount of dressing I like to use.  The serving size on the back label of the dressing says 1 tablespoon.  Hello, who eats 1 tablespoon of dressing?  I use more like 3 big tablespoons.  That’s adding a whopping amount of calories and canola oil to my salad.
 
If you are not into cilantro or dill, you can just make the greek yogurt base and add whatever flavors you like. You can use my recipe or reinvent it to your taste.  Another option is taking one tablespoon of your favorite pre-made salad dressing as a base and to that, you add the greek yogurt and additional seasonings.  
 
When I was younger, I didn’t eat so many salads.  I didn’t worry much about a bit of salad dressing.  Now that I am eating salads every day, the amount of dressing I eat is going to make a difference in my overall health.  This is why I’ve started taking my salad dressing seriously.  I am reinventing it and finding ways to introduce different flavors to my salads.  I feel better about using greek yogurt as a base and I’ve also experimented with using cottage cheese as a base.
 
Let me know if you decide to try my recipe for your summer salads.  Give it a try.  You may like it!
 
Here’s to you and your health!
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

 

Hamburgers and Sabotage – Bariatric Edition

Another week flies by. We are almost in full-blown summer and the grills have been fired up. We are starting to have people in our backyards even if we may be social distancing. Something got me thinking about the ways we sabotage ourselves and that “thing” was hamburgers! 
 
You know how it goes … the hamburgers are on the grill. They are smelling perfect. Oh, the delicious smells of Summer. The grill chef (your husband) asks if you want cheese on your burger. “Why of course I want cheese”, you say! “Would you like a slice of bacon on your burger”, he responds. “Yes, Yes, Yes, Please”, is your answer. Ketchup? “yes please”!
 
Notice how he never asked me if I want the bun because he knows that I won’t eat it. Heat a bun for me”, I say. That’s exactly how I have started to sabotage myself. 
 
I mean, how bad can the bun be? IT’S NOT, if you just eat the small bun one time and then move on. For me, just that small bun can put me on a downward spiral. Accepting the bun means that I am also going to grab a handful of chips to place beside my PERFECT burger. I am also going to take a spoonful of potato salad because if I am going to do carbs, I am going to do them RIGHT. 
 
If you eat just the tiny bun and that’s it, then ignore my little rant but if you are like me, and you allow the tiny bun to seriously side-rail you then you need to do what I am going to do,,, just cut it out and get real and stop asking for a tiny, heated bun and make yourself a chaffle bun, or buy yourself a bag of low carb buns to keep in the freezer or eat the darn burger without the bun OR use a bunch of lettuce to make the bun. 
 
Just cut it out if you are making the same errors that I’ve started making … nobody needed bariatric surgery because they ate one hamburger bun. Nobody needed bariatric surgery because they love to eat only protein with veggies. Look, one of the reasons why we gain tons of weight is because we don’t know how to do refined and processed carbs correctly and we just overdo it. 
 
How bad is the rice? BAD if you do the rice with the sweet Chinese chicken balls.
How bad is the bread? BAD if it sits on your plate beside the big plate of pasta covered in Alfredo sauce.
How bad can the hamburger bun be? BAD if it’s sitting on the plate with the chips or fries and potato salad.
 
Now, if you do a meal like this “once” and move back to protein and veg, then forget about this blog post BUT if it puts you on a downward spiral then let’s have a good look at what’s happening and just cut it out.
 
I’ve fallen into a bit of a “salad dressing trap” a few times over the last few weeks. I make a gorgeous salad. My plate looks amazing and you know what would go perfectly with that salad? Ranch dressing! Of course, we all have a gorgeous bottle of ranch dressing in our fridge, right? 
 
Who eats one tablespoon of ranch dressing? I don’t see any hands up. You know why? It’s because we eat a lot more than a tablespoon of ranch at a time. We eat more like 4 tablespoons of ranch minimum. All my hard work of trying to eat correctly has just been sabotaged by ranch dressing. Don’t believe me? Turn over the bottle of ranch and see what is in it. It is full of sugar and it is also full of canola oil. That’s the bad stuff that does really bad stuff inside your body.
 
There are tons of examples that I can give of what I do in my journey to wellness that sabotages me. I want you to try to identify yours and then take some steps to make things better. 
 
This week I am going to do a few things to help myself along the way. First up… ever hear of a chaffle? You probably have and it takes about two minutes to make two of them and they are the perfect replacement for the hamburger bun. Instead of having that burger with cheese and bacon and ketchup, I can do the following: skip the processed cheese on the burger because it is not real cheese and it’s loaded with junk. I can make a chaffle which is a small amount of mozzarella cheese and an egg. This chaffle-bun holds up perfectly against my juicy hamburger and I can add some sugar-free ketchup on top. I have just taken my burger to a new level. 
 
What about that ranch dressing? Well, I got in my kitchen last weekend and created a ranch dressing that tastes superb and is high in protein and healthy for me. I took my food processor and I added a couple of spoonfuls of cottage cheese. My Greek yogurt had gone bad so I needed to throw it out but the Greek yogurt would have been perfect also. To that base I added my favorite seasonings, a touch of stevia, a big squeeze of lime and I blended it up – it turned out AMAZING. I will do some more experimenting with some different salad dressings this week and I will share them with you. You can put them in a small container in the fridge and they stay good for about 5 days. I will add some avocado, cilantro, etc, and share them with you. 
 
So, I guess in closing today I want to say that I don’t want to vilify hamburger buns. I don’t want to vilify ranch dressing. I do want to look closely at my personal habits and see if I can find a way to healthify them. Remember, it’s not just the darn hamburger bun for me. It’s a spiral that happens and the bun turns into French fries and ice-cream and gimme gimme gimme all the carbs. Before I know it, I am watching Netflix and chowing down on gummy bears and not the healthy ones I make in my kitchen.
 
Why don’t you take a look at your habits and if you have something that is derailing you, and you don’t have a good replacement for it, reach out to me, and together we can find something that may work to replace “said” item for you.
 
Healthy Hugs Minus the Bun!

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

 

Dark Chocolate Almond Mousse – Bariatric Recipe


Print Recipe


Dark Chocolate Almond Mousse - Bariatric Recipe

a great bariatric breakfast or snack

Passive Time 3

Servings


Ingredients

Passive Time 3

Servings


Ingredients


Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend for 2 to 3 minutes until thickened, smooth and creamy.

  2. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours. Enjoy!


Recipe Notes

Leftovers: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to five days. Stir well before serving.

Serving Size: One serving is roughly 1/2 cup.

coconut.

Additional Toppings: Extra cocoa powder, chopped nuts, fresh berries and/or shredded

No Almond Butter: Use another nut or seed butter instead.

 

NUTRITION

Amount per Serving

 

Calories.....206

Fat................16g

Carbs..........23g

Fiber............10g

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

Protein........8g

The Easy Way Out – Bariatric Edition

Did you see how I did that? How I titled this blog “The Easy Way Out”. What I forgot to post was the “?” at the end of that statement. It should have read “The Easy Way Out?”.
 
I might have a bit of a RANT today 🙂
 
I hear this often because I’ve been working with bariatric clients for 13 years now. I also see this statement on social media because for some reason my clients believe that others may think that they have decided to take “the easy way out”. So let’s just talk about this statement for a bit and why people think this.
 
Bill – “Did you see Bob? He lost sooooo much weight! He must have lost like over 100 pounds”.
 
Karen – “Ya, but he had the bariatric surgery so it doesn’t count. He took the easy way out”.
 
Hey Karen, you’ve got this all wrong.  
What Karen didn’t see (sorry to use the name Karen for all my Karen’s on my emailing list), is that Bob had to make the decision to take his health into his own hands. 
 
Bob was sick. He was taking 5 different medications for 5 different ailments. He had a continuous sore back. His feet were achy every day. He was depressed and suffered from high blood pressure, high blood sugars, high triglycerides, and COPD. 
 
Bob heard of a friend who went to Mexico and he lost weight and regained his health back. Bob was sick and tired of being sick and tired. He found out from his friend that there was a great place to go in Mexico and it cost a lot less and the results were nothing less than amazing.
 
Bob began his research. He spent months talking to different bariatric centers in Mexico. He spent months on forums researching. He gathered a ton of information.
 
He spoke with his bank and took out a small personal loan to pay for his surgery and the flights for himself and his wife. 
 
Bob was nervous but he was even more nervous about the condition of his health and he wanted to be around to see his kids graduate. His doctor had been telling him for years that he needed to lose weight. 
 
In the past, Bob tried EVERY DIET known to man-kind. He managed to lose 100 pounds on his own 5 years ago but the weight came right back on when he stopped going to the gym for two hours a day. Bob followed his wife’s weight watchers plan. He tried to stay away from fast food. He tried to eat the low carb way. He still kept gaining weight.
 
Bob was embarrassed about having to shop at “Big and Tall” stores. Shopping for clothes had become a chore.
 
Bob felt embarrassed at restaurants because the booths would squeeze his stomach and made him feel self-conscious. 
 
Bob felt that his employer looked at him differently and he feared for his job at times.
 
Bob was fed up with all the pill bottles and medications that he needed to take each day.
 
Bob made the decision that it was “his time” and that he was taking his health into his own hands and traveling to Mexico for his surgery. Bob booked his surgery, booked his flights, paid his deposit, and spoke with his bariatric nutritionist to get ready for his pre-op diet.
 
Bob followed the pre-op diet to a T. He lost the first 10 pounds and was already feeling better.
 
Bob boarded his flight and made his way to Mexico. He had his surgery and went through his recovery for 48 hours at the hospital. He had some painful gas pains post-op and his hand swelled up from the IV and all the medications but he passed his post-op testing with flying colors and made his way back across the border, boarded his flight, and made his way home.
 
He was excited about his new life and the possibilities of weight loss and getting off his meds.
 
Bob learned pretty quickly that he could no longer binge eat. He learned that if he ate too much or too quickly, he would experience pain and vomiting. He figured out that his new tummy didn’t like his old way of eating or any of his old bad habits.
 
Bob had to learn a whole new way to eat. He had to take his surgery seriously and the hard work of making lifestyle changes to maintain his weight loss. 
 
Bob started exercising again. He didn’t go all crazy and spend hours at the gym. He got into a more realistic way of exercising 4 times a week for 40 minutes at a time.
 
Eventually, it all paid off. He did his pre-op diet. He made the trip to Mexico. He paid for his surgery. He learned how to eat correctly. He started exercising again. He regained his health and got off his meds.
 
Sorry, Karen… which part of this was EASY? How did Bob take the “easy way out”? 
 
This is just such an unfair thing to say and an unfair way to think about bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery is a huge commitment and it is not “just have the surgery” and “be done”. 
 
Surgery is only the beginning because what comes AFTER the surgery is really hard work. Oh, and the surgery is also not so “easy”. Heck, it’s a surgery! It is the removal of 80% of your stomach. Hello. How is that considered “easy”?
 
Gas pains … have you ever had serious gas pains. It’s not fun. It’s also not fun having pre-op labs and post-op labs. It’s also not fun having a drain removed. Who thinks flying is fun? I hate flying. I do it because “I have to”…not because “it’s fun”.
 
I guess that bariatric patients will always have to deal with the “Karen’s” of the world. We will have to be criticized by our friends and family members behind our backs or even to our faces. What I want you to realize is that you did NOT take the easy way out. You took one road to wellness and this just happened to be the bariatric surgery road. Who cares how you got your health back. Always celebrate the fact that you decided to get healthy. It doesn’t matter which road you took to get to “healthy”. 
 
If you want to argue with others about bariatric surgery – go for it. I don’t argue about it anymore. 
 
I remember when I was in school studying nutrition. There was a class where we discussed bariatric surgery. My classmates were so against it. They had NO idea. They were not living in a body that was overweight. Some of them believed that a good “diet” would get my clients to lose weight and keep it off. Oh, how naive they sounded. Did they believe that my clients hadn’t tried a “diet” before? Did they think that a healthy diet was a new concept? Or that exercise was a new concept. I argued but soon realized that there was no convincing my healthy classmates of any pre-conceived notions they held in their heads.
 
Maybe it’s a bit like politics. 
 
I don’t try to change anybody’s mind anymore. I also don’t care what others think. I care that my clients get healthy and get back to living their life and feeling good about themselves. 
 
So guess what, if you’ve had bariatric surgery CONGRATULATIONS. I salute you for taking the important steps for getting healthy and also for all the work you have done and all the changes you have made to your existing lifestyle.
 
I know how hard you have worked!! (Who cares what Karen thinks lol)
 
Healthy Hugs xo
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

 

My Exercise Journey – Bariatric Edition

What about Exercise? 
My Journey to Enjoying Exercise – Bariatric Edition
 
I cannot stand “braggy exercise social media posts”. Yes, we all know that you exercised today Karen. Can you shut up about it please? You know who I am talking about right? It’s sooooo annoying. This is not a braggy blog. This is a blog that explains “why” I am talking about exercise and I hope it is encouraging. I know that deep down you are an athlete. In my dreams, I run marathons. But, it’s only in my dreams. I have never run a 5K …. 
 
So, what about exercise? A lot of our bariatric journey focuses on food. How much should we eat? When should we eat? What kinds of foods should we eat? What kind of foods shouldn’t we eat? What kinds of supplements should we take now that our diets have changed? 
 
We spend a lot of time talking about food – I get that. Now that we have learned so darn much about food, wouldn’t this be the perfect time to talk a bit about exercise?
 
So who am I to talk about exercise? I mean, I am not your Zumba instructor and we don’t meet in the gym for weekly workouts but, I am a certified personal trainer and I have been teaching yoga, aerobics, water aerobics, weight training, and spin classes since I was 18 years old. Teaching exercise classes was my second job ever (my first job was working at Wendy’s lol – true story).
 
I was hired by a huge local gym (way back in the day when I was 18 – loooooong time ago) and I was responsible for making appointments for customers, keeping the gym area clean, and showing customers how to use the gym equipment without hurting themselves or hurting our equipment. This is how I got started in the “gym business”.
 
From that job I took an interest in teaching and so I got my certification through the YMCA and through that same organization, I learned how to teach aerobics, low impact aerobics, and water aerobics. Fast forward a year and I was teaching all of these classes in my hometown, Ottawa Ontario. 
 
This job is also the reason why I started traveling around the world. I applied and was hired by a Swiss-German company called Club Intersport. They placed instructors and expensive equipment in hotels in Europe and the Caribbean. We were a match so off I went to the Dominican Republic, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, and Cyprus and finally I ended up in Mexico.  
 
It was a whirlwind of FUN!! This company also taught me how to teach archery, lead mountain biking groups and I got my Rescue Diver Certification through PADI. This was a period in my life that is hard to describe. I never “planned” on traveling so much. It just “happened”. I was open to the concept and the opportunities were there. 
 
I finally settled down in Mexico when I was 30 years old. I was working full time in a very nice health club and I was focused on my personal training program. I had Valentina when I was 31 (she is now 19 years old), and I went back to teaching a few low impact aerobic classes when she was 5 months old in 2001. 
 
When I was pregnant with Sebastian, I was 32 years old and I took a bit of time off from the gym and focused on my Valentina and my pregnancy. After Sebastian was born (he is now 17), I was 33 years old and I decided that I wanted to learn how to teach Spinning. I flew to Miami and got certified with a Spinning company called “Mad Dogg”. 
 
For the next 10 years I taught classes off and on. 
 
Wow, that was a huge part of my life. I taught exercise classes for over 20 years. 
 
I went back to school to study in Canada to become a nutritionist. It was the next important step in my goal of helping people to get healthy and stay healthy. It was also an important part of my career because I was a patient coordinator and I wanted to help my clients improve their diets and improve their results post-surgery. I felt that it was a natural move to make and it blended so well into my already established career path.
 
Fast forward to today and this blog that I am writing…. exercise. I know what I am talking about when it comes to exercise. I no longer have the desire to teach classes. Been there, done that. What I do now is encouraging people to get active. I want to see my clients develop a system that works for them. I want them to see how consistent exercise can help them reach their goals.
 
Exercise …. Ho Hum. I used to exercise because I wanted to look good. I used to exercise to try to maintain my weight. I used to exercise because I wanted to wear specific clothing. Today my reasons for exercise are very different.
 
Exercise was my job for so many years. Did I truly enjoy it back then? Well, I had a pretty terrific job but it was still a job. It didn’t matter if I “wanted” to exercise because I “got paid” to do it. It wasn’t until I stopped teaching classes that I had to take a step back and see what I truly enjoyed – not just for the sake of teaching it. Now I had to “want to exercise for me”. It is very different than HAVING to teach back to back classes. When you take away the “have to”, you start to ask yourself, “do you WANT to”?? 
 
I feel that if I want to remain healthy, I must continue down the exercise path. I know what inactivity feels like also. My back hurts, my neck hurts, my knees hurt, my hips hurt … I am sad and down and depressed … I don’t like feeling like that.
 
I have taught myself to NOT step on the scale before I exercise. Exercise is no longer about weight loss for me. Exercise is a chance for me to get STRONGER. It is my daily chance to keep diabetes at bay. It is my daily way to keep my triglycerides “in check”. It makes it possible to have a lower blood pressure than most of my family and friends. 
 
Exercise is my secret weapon. Yes, it is so powerful. It is my daily dose of endorphins. It keeps depression away – BE GONE DEPRESSION. No matter how crappy I feel going into a workout, I am going come out of that workout feeling a gazillion times better. Exercise is my HAPPY PILL.
 
Now, I am not going to beat you over the head with exercise. You need to know the right time for you. I always say that consistency trumps intensity. You Do You Boo. Find something that makes you happy today. Tomorrow that may change. That’s fine. Go with it. 
 
Today you may want to ride a bike. Tomorrow you may want to go on a walk. Friday might be your day for playing softball and Sunday might be your day to garden. 
 
I used to look at exercise as a chore. Today I see it as my way to get my darn head screwed on right. I promise you, if you just get up and do it, you will feel so much better. 
 
Earlier I mentioned how I never weigh before I exercise. Wanna know why? I separate weight loss and exercise today. If I step on the scale and I am heavier than the day before or two days before that, what happens in my head? I am going to angry at myself. I am not going to enjoy my workout because I “messed up” and I am now fat and bad. 
 
See how I did that? I compared my weight with who I am. I allowed my weight to dictate how I feel about myself. It is a fast spiral downwards. Sometimes if my weight is not on target, I even skip my workout because “obviously working out doesn’t work if I am heavier today than I was yesterday”. Who out there has had this same conversation in their head?
 
This is how I approach exercise today …. 
I am bigger than a smaller size of jeans.  Yes, that’s right. I am not going to allow some number on the scale to dictate whether I work out today or not. My legs are powerful and I am going to use them to release some endorphins. 
 
Exercise is a magic piece to this bariatric puzzle and I also feel it is something that we all should try to incorporate into our lives. 
 
If you are not already exercising, I challenge you here and now. I challenge you to put together a plan to start. It can be a small plan. It can be a walking plan or a stretching plan. It doesn’t need to hurt. I just want you to incorporate something into your already busy lifestyle that is JUST FOR YOU. It is your time to be “greedy”. 
 
Mamacita, if you don’t take some time for YOU, how are you going to keep giving and giving and giving and giving. 
 
I used to feel guilty about taking time out of my day to exercise. I am now fiercely protective of MY TIME when I get sweaty and do something to keep me healthy and happy. I want to share this with you. If I could package endorphins and legally sell them I would and I would be RICH. Come and join me for a tablet of legal endorphins. Let’s exercise – you and me. Let’s stay healthy and happy for a long time.
 
The exercise journey never ends. It evolves with time and it becomes an integral part of who you are.
 
Love yourself enough to beat yourself up just a tiny bit xoxo
 
If you need help coming up with an exercise plan, reach out to me, and let’s put one together just for you.

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.

 

 

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8 2 Much Challenge – Bariatric Edition

Let’s do this!!

I was going to blog today about apple cider vinegar and it’s amazing benefits but then I got to thinking … Who ate too much last weekend? Who ate too much last month? Who ate too much this entire time we’ve been staying at home and social distancing ourselves from the world?

It seems like we are starting to open up slowly again. We are crawling out of our houses and starting to think about getting back to some sort of normalcy again. It will take time. Some of us are recovering more quickly than others. Some of us will stay in our homes longer because we are not ready to go out yet. Let’s be kind to each other. It’s hard enough without bashing each other online and trying to force our thoughts and feelings upon each other.

BUT GUYS – we all have something in common. WE ALL 8 2 MUCH!! I am pretty sure that the majority of us used this time to feel very stressed, pressured, concerned, worried and we ate all the carbs and candy, sugar and pies, chips, and pretzels. We overdid it and now we need to take a good hard look at what we have done and make some changes to our diets. 

I have seen your FB feed. You’ve seen mine. Who bakes cookies and cakes every week? I have seen more beautiful loaves of freshly baked bread on Instagram. I have also tried to buy flour and the supermarkets have been completely out of these types of ingredients. Why? Because we are all baking ourselves into a frenzy of cookies and pies and gorgeous buns. 

Now tell me how you baked cookies three times last week and never ate even one of them. LOL

(I don’t believe you)

So what are we going to do? Just give up and bake ourselves into oblivion? Of course not. I know that you are going to get back on the proverbial horse and join me in this next challenge.

I posted a nutritional plan a few weeks ago and some of you followed it and got some pretty awesome results. Let’s add this nutritional plan to that last one and build onto it. A few weeks ago I challenged you to a 6-day plan where we did some intermittent fasting and where we ate real, whole, live, natural, good quality food.

This week we are going to continue with the intermittent fasting. If you are not comfortable with intermittent fasting, that’s fine. What I am trying to create is a window of “eating” and a window of “not eating” each day. What I am trying to avoid is the constant grazing all day long and late into the evening. This is a habit that I find a lot of us have and when we sit back and see how much we consume this way, it can be a SHOCKER. 

If you are a breakfast person, great, eat breakfast. When breakfast is over, clean the kitchen and don’t eat again until lunch, please. Once lunch is finished, then clean up the area and no snacking your way to dinner. Now it’s time for dinner and we will eat dinner and then no snacking after dinner. This is the same basic principles for intermittent fasting. When we eat, we eat and when we don’t eat, we don’t eat. See what I mean? 

I am not forcing you into fasting mode. What I want you to do is to stop with the constant snacking here and snacking there.

Now, why do we snack all the time? I’ll tell you why … it’s because we are not using the bariatric tool as it was meant to be used. The sleeve or pouch needs to be filled up so that you feel satisfied. If you never fill your pouch, you will always feel hungry and you will want to snack or graze all the time.

I’ve seen my clients go for lunch and order the regular sized taco salad. Of course, the regular-sized taco salad sounds like it is meant for one person but when it comes it’s the size of a football. It’s a HUGE portion of food. It is for 8 servings. I see this all the time and wonder how restaurants make any money when they serve this GIANT sized plates.

Anyways, the taco salad comes and you eat some of the salad but you get full pretty quickly so you get a “to-go box” and head home. The box sits on your kitchen counter and between lunch and dinner you finish off that salad. You keep going back to it and grabbing a bite here and a bite there. Just one more bite. 

Then it’s time for dinner and you are not that hungry (because you have eaten a salad plate that was enough for 8 people) and then you proceed to get something for dinner. You don’t finish but a few bites of dinner but you manage to polish it off between dinner and 9 pm.

Can you see what has happened? You have bypassed your tool or your restriction and you just keep on feeding and feeding and feeding. 

Wouldn’t it be better to eat until you are truly full? It would be excellent if when that plate came, you chose one bit of solid protein and one bite of veg and ate until you were ready to stop. The fork goes down and then it doesn’t come up again until you are ready to eat again.

My clients are so afraid of stretching out their tool that they never eat enough to feel satisfied BUT they graze throughout the day and night so they are not going to make any progress this way. Plus that grazing … well, it’s an easy habit to get into and a HARD habit to break. 


So here is our plan on the 8 2 Much Challenge

We will …. 


Make a list of what we need, head to the grocery store, and get started with an easy and super effective plan. Let’s break that sugar addiction and get off the carb-crazy merry-go-round!!

Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
Weigh yourself on day one in the morning/ Weigh again at the end of the challenge
Add a bit of apple cider vinegar to the first glass of water of the day
One cup of tea or coffee is allowed
1/2 an hour of exercise per day please (walk, jog, bike, swim, do whatever you like)
Get 8 hours of sleep per night
Stress BE GONE – try to not allow yourself to do the COVID-spiral outta control …


What are we going to eat?? We will eat 3 meals a day for 6 days. No snacking, please.


Breakfast Choices

1 to 2 scrambled eggs with sautéed veggies 
1/2 a cup of greek yogurt with frozen strawberries (blended in the food processor)
1/2 a cup of cottage cheese with frozen berries (blended in the food processor) 
1 boiled egg, hummus, and veggie sticks


Lunch Choices

Lettuce wrap – tuna and a bit of mayo wrapped up in a large lettuce leaf
Chicken cesar salad
Chicken veggie soup
Beef burger with a lettuce bun


Dinner Choices

 small steak with green beans and a side salad
 4 ounces of grilled salmon, broccoli and a side salad
 4 ounces of baked chicken, cauliflower and a side salad
 saute shrimp with veggies of choice

How easy was that? You can pick and choose between the four different options and create your daily menus. You can eat the same thing two days in a row or even three days in a row. You can mix and match however you like.

If you want to make changes to my meals, go for it. If you want to grill the chicken instead of baking it, great. If you want to put the shrimp on the barbie – awesome! Feel free to make those healthy swaps in and out without any fear.

What do all of the days and meals have in common? They are all low in refined and processed carbohydrates. They are all low in sugar. They are all high in fiber and protein. They have a moderate amount of healthy fat.

Let’s get make a list of what we need, head to the grocery store, and get started with the easy and super effective plan. Let’s break that sugar addiction and get off the carb-crazy merry-go-round!!


Here’s to a healthier YOU!

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