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Do I Need to Exercise? – Bariatric Edition

Exercise and Weight Loss – Bariatric Edition
 
Did you think that by having surgery, you could escape from the dreaded exercise routine? Think again. It may not be for the reasons that you currently believe though.
 
Most of us believe that when we exercise, we burn calories and we lose weight faster. We’ve had it drilled into us for most of our lives. We need to exercise to lose weight. We need to continually exercise. Exercise and then exercise some more.
 
Exercising accounts only for a small amount of daily calorie burn.
 
Turns out that all that exercising doesn’t help us lose weight. That one-hour calorie-burn session on the treadmill can be undone in 5 minutes of eating. It also turns out that we have been seriously over-calculating the number of calories that we burn while in a Zumba class or on the elliptical machine. We now know that those machines can over-calculate by up to 50%!! So you can’t have that extra cookie Karen! 
 
Our bodies are super smart. They figure out how we are trying to torch calories and they want to hang onto them so the internal battle begins and once our bodies are used to a particular form of exercise, they don’t burn as many calories while doing that exercise. 
 
I know people who run marathons and are not particularly thin. How can you run for exercise every single day and still be overweight? The evidence is clear. Exercise is great for so many things but weight loss is just not one of them.
 
I tend to be heavier when I am working out the most. Why is that? Well, in my specific case, I am hungrier! Sure,I exercise but I also eat more when I work out. “I deserve it” right? That’s what I tell myself anyway. 
 
Some people exercise and they tend to do less throughout the day because they’ve exercised. Some people are tired after their sweat-session and lie down for a few hours. Other’s fidget less and burn fewer calories post-exercise.
 
I teach my clients to separate exercise and diet. We cannot exercise our way out of a bad diet AND besides that, weight loss occurs in the KITCHEN, and not in the GYM. We cannot eat chocolate cake and then hit the treadmill for an hour to burn it off. Well, we can but if we try to play that game, we will start to HATE the gym and we can become prone to injuries also.
 
My time for exercise needs to be fun and for me. It needs to lift my spirits. I don’t want to “punish” myself during my workout. I want to “ elevate” myself and enjoy the things that my body can do. That’s the only way that exercise is going to become a permanent fixture in my life.
 
If I try to exercise off the chocolate cake, then I am angry at myself for eating the cake. We need to stop it with this thinking. I’ve stopped weighing myself before my workouts because I want to detach from the mentality of “if I gain a pound”, I have to kill myself to burn it off. 
 
We need to EAT for weight loss and WORKOUT for self-care. 
 
So, if we are going to exercise NOT to lose weight, then why bother with it at all?
 
Exercise does so much more. We need to reframe the way that we think about exercise. It’s not about weight loss. It’s about lowering our cholesterol levels. It’s about lowering our blood pressure. It helps to lower blood sugar. It strengthens our cardiovascular system. It prevents muscle loss. It strengthens our muscles, tendons, ligaments. It helps with depression. It reduces stress levels and my TOP reason to exercise …. It releases ENDORPHINS!!  Yay for those endorphins. I am a total endorphin JUNKIE. Gimme all the endorphins. 
 
Now, if the above reasons are not enough of a reason to convince you to exercise, there are a hundred other reasons that I have not mentioned yet. You need to find your reason to exercise.  When I exercise, I am a happier person. I know that now as I go into my 50th year on this planet. If I am in a crappy mood, a workout can turn it all around for me. I use my workout as a time to celebrate me. It is my time for self-care. If my phone rings, I won’t answer it and if my email notifications come on, I ignore them. This is my time to get my head on straight and I won’t jeopardize that for anything.
 
Please find your reason to love yourself enough to move in a way that increases your heart rate and makes you sweat. I really, really, really want this for you. I want you to release endorphins and feel happy. If I could do it for you, I would. I can’t so you need to do it for you.
 
Healthy Hugs,
Sheri,
Your RHN – Bariatric Nutritionist and Surgery Coordinator 
 

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 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.

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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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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.

 

 

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10 Low Carb Savory Snacks – Bariatric Edition

I had a hard time narrowing it down to only 10 recipes. I have so many to share with you.
 
Who loves a snack? Who loves to have a snack instead of a full meal? I am guilty of this. My snacks turn into meals. Especially when I am busy working… I have a hard time breaking for a real sit down meal. I think for most of us we have a “grab and go” mentality and we sit down for a proper meal maybe one time a day. For most of us, this is at dinner time
 
What if we could take a snack and turn it into a healthy meal? Wouldn’t that make life a whole lot easier? 
 
Depending on where you are on your bariatric journey, it may be easier to just prepare a few snacks with the idea that they have the nutrients of a proper meal. Let’s call it a “full-sized snack”. This is one that replaces your regular meal and is more on the “snacky-side”. You can eat it sitting at your desk or in the break-room or sitting in your car. As long as it fills you up.
 
Post-bariatric surgery, you need to be using your tool. I know a lot of clients who never eat until they are full. I call this “eating around your sleeve”. What this turns into is full-on GRAZING and this is a bad habit to get into. The bariatric tool is meant to be filled until you are satisfied. I see a whole lot of bariatric clients walking around not feeling satisfied because they do not eat enough food for the stomach to signal the brain to say “stop, I am FULL”. The food needs to push against the stomach walls for the stomach to send the signal to the brain to “stop eating”.
 
If I am grazing all day long, I am never full. It looks like this – a protein shake for breakfast, some almonds in the car while on the way to work, some cheese cubes at my desk, some hummus and veggie sticks for an additional snack, a half low carb wrap that I packed for lunch, a coffee shortly after lunch, a protein bar for mid-afternoon, some cheese sticks, and olives while prepping dinner, a glass of wine while cooking dinner, a dinner of a small piece of fish and some pureed sweet potatoes, a chocolate avocado pudding as a snack, some berries and cottage cheese before bed ….. on and on and on and on it goes.
 
I teach my clients to eat/stop/ eat. NO GRAZING PLEASE. We can get into so much trouble if we are following the grazing patterns from above and so many of us are guilty of this. I find myself doing this all the time. Then I wonder why my weight loss stalls? It is stalling because I am overeating. It’s hard to calculate the amount I am eating because I never feel full. My hunger signal is out of whack when I have this eating pattern.
 
I aim now to eat my meal or a large snack. I stop eating and then drink fluids between meals. I don’t “snack” but when I eat I will eat enough to compensate for a meal. Instead of just a handful of nuts, I will have a handful of nuts, a half avocado, some cucumber slices and I will feel FULL. I won’t play around with the “just a bite here and there” any longer. It gets me into trouble.
 
 
They can turn into a full meal instead of just a snack. Don’t just eat the avocado, add some low carb veggies and a handful of nuts and you have a “full meal deal”. 
 
Here’s to the long days of summer still upon us!
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.

 

 

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Do The Hard Stuff – Bariatric Edition

I am pondering this question today. Why do we struggle post-surgery? Why do we get to a place where the weight loss stalls out? What is the missing link here? What insight do I have after working with bariatric clients for over a decade? What can I do or say to make their journey easier? 
 
Here is what I have come up with for you to help you along the way.
 
DO THE HARD STUFF.
 
What does that mean Sheri? Well, we are all good at some things and bad at others. 
 
Some of us have a perfect diet Monday to Friday and then we go NUTS on Saturday and Sunday.
 
Some of us are terrific at adding exercise to our lives but our diet is not on point.
 
Some of us are great at staying away from sugar but we sure love those crunchy chips, pretzels, and crackers.
 
Some of use have a perfect diet most of the time but the sugar-monster rears it’s ugly head at midnight.
 
Some of us eat a perfect breakfast but have the hardest time staying away from the drive-thru windows for dinner.
 
Some of us have a big glass of water in the morning but make a pit-stop at Starbucks for the Frappuccino at noon. 
 
 
None of us are perfect but why not try something different? We have made the brave decision of having bariatric surgery in Mexico. We have boarded that plane and made that trip across the border to try and change our lives for the better. Why do we sell ourselves short and just stop there? That for sure wasn’t an “easy” thing to do. 
 
In the beginning, the weight WILL and DOES come off. I see the most amazing results during that first year. But, there comes a time where we need to “pick up our game” if we want to see those last few pounds come off AND we need to really “pick up our game” if we want to maintain our weight loss.
 
It is not “one surgery and be done” with obesity for the rest of our lives. It is more like “have surgery to get started” and then DO THE HARD STUFF to make it a long-lasting lifelong decision to stay at our desired weight. Most of us are willing to get uncomfortable for a short period but we tend to go back to our “creature comforts”. 
 
If we lived a sedentary life before surgery, we need to make big changes during that first-year post-op to move into more active life.
 
If we had terrible eating habits before surgery, we need to learn how to eat properly post-surgery. We need to fill our pouch with food that will give us the nutrients we require to live a healthy life. If we go back to drive-thru windows and keep our pantries stocked with the goodies that got us into trouble in the first place, then we will go back to where we were before surgery.
 
THIS IS NOT EASY 
 
We are trying to change a lifetime of bad habits in a period of one to two years. Those eating habits are deeply ingrained. Our likes and dislikes are also deeply ingrained. 
 
Exercise is hard. Exercise “motivation” only takes us so far. We all get excited at the possibilities when we join a new gym or get a new bike or a new piece of equipment for our homes. But then what happens? The “excitement” or wave of motivation dies out pretty quickly. 
 
Some of us are night owls. We stay up until late at night watching TV and snacking. How hard is it to turn off the TV and put down the snacks? It’s HARD, really HARD. It is a habit that keeps us from reaching our goals. We wake up tired and lethargic yet when 10 pm rolls around, we are craving another hour of TV and a snack on top of it.
 
So, this is what I recommend – DO THE HARD STUFF. And, just keep doing the hard stuff until it becomes easier. That’s how we make real long-lasting change.
 
Let’s use the exercise analogy as an example. We are psyched to join that new gym and take that new yoga class. We show up, and it’s hard (really hard). But, we keep on going to that class for the first week and then into the second week. By the third week, our excitement is just not the same as it was the first two weeks but, we keep going. The fourth week approaches and it’s still hard but it’s now manageable. We understand the instructors’ cues and we have made some friends in the class and we can see how far our bodies have come and how much more flexible we are.
 
KEEP GOING 
 
This is a point where a lot (and I mean A LOT) of people lose their motivation. Sure, they know how good it is for them and how it makes them feel better but they miss a few classes and then those few classes turn into a few months and they are back to their sedentary lifestyle – and then the cycle starts all over again.
 
The only way to make a real change is to DO THE HARD STUFF and just rinse and repeat and get back to that class. Maybe switch the yoga class to a weight lifting class or a running class. Pick something and get back to it. How will we ever see how great we can be if we just give up before a month is up? 
 
Now take the yoga class analogy and this time use “diet” as an example. We have a “so so” diet. What if we choose to have a really good diet that is filled with protein, healthy fats, veggies, and fruits? What if we just keep going and stick to this healthy diet. What if we say “NO” to the drive-thru windows and “NO” to the late-night snacking? What if we turn the lights out and just go to sleep at 10m without the snack? 
 
Do you know what would happen? We would AMAZE ourselves with how great we would feel. Why do we give in and not do the hard stuff? I think that we all need to think about it and find our reasons to keep pushing forward. When we get to the top of our hill, do we just let go of all the resistance and cruise to the bottom? Nah, I think we need to up the resistance and look for a bigger hill to climb.
 
Let’s climb a bigger hill folks. Let’s take this to a whole other level of greatness. I am on your team and I have my hand gently resting on your back. We can do this.
 
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