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Tag Archives: eating

Greek Chicken Salad

Posted on August 24, 2018 by

An abundance of flavor and beautiful too! 

Ingredients

Salad:
4 (1 lb) chicken breast halves – shredded or chopped
1 avocado – sliced
½ red onion – thinly sliced
½ cup kalamata olives – pitted and quartered
6 oz. jar (oil packed) sun dried tomatoes – drained & sliced
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup pine nuts

Dressing:Greek Chicken Salad
1/3 cup olive oil
½ cup Greek yogurt – plain & 0% fat
¼ cup reduced fat mayo
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried dill or ¼ cup fresh dill – chopped
1 Tbls white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon

Directions

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients. Whisk well and set aside.
  2. Combine all salad ingredients in large bowl. Pour dressing over the top and toss well to combine. If preparing in advance, add avocado just prior to serving.

 

Makes 8 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories                                 316
Total Fat                                22g
Total Carbohydrates          7g
Dietary Fiber                        5g
Protein                  28g

Print Recipe Greek Chicken Salad

 

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Will I Need to Take Vitamins and Supplements After Weight Loss Surgery?

Posted on June 11, 2018 by

I Can & I WillYes, you will need to take vitamins.  Supplements are helpful but not a requirement.  Actually, whether or not you have weight loss surgery, you should be taking vitamins.  Supplements can be helpful as well, especially if you are trying to lose weight.  You should also make sure your vitamins/supplements are pharmaceutical grade so that the quality of their content is monitored and guaranteed.  The nutritional store at the Center for Weight Loss Success only carries such vitamins and supplements and our patients love them.  (www.cfwls.com)

The common vitamins that will likely be recommended for you (may vary depending upon the surgeon) include the following:

Multivitamins: Taking vitamins will be a lifelong commitment for all patients who have had weight loss surgery.  In the beginning, you should take two chewable complete multivitamins each day.  At one month after surgery, you may be able to progress to taking two regular vitamins daily.  We recommend two vitamins each day during the first year when your weight loss is most rapid.  After the first year, you should continue to take one multivitamin a day.  Women may want to consider a prenatal vitamin if pre-menopausal.

B-Complex: Usually around 1 month after surgery, we recommend that you also add one B-Complex vitamin each day (or even 2 per day).  The B vitamins assist in muscle and nerve functioning and have been shown to increase a person’s energy level over time.  You cannot overdose on B vitamins.  If you take in more than you need, you will simply rid yourself of any excess through your urine.  It is common for B vitamins to cause your urine to be darker or a brighter yellow.  This is normal.  If you prefer, B-Complex is also available as an injection at the office as appropriate.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s):  Take them – they’re just good for you.  By taking fish oil supplements, Omega-3 fatty acids are ingested in their biologically active form.  They can be directly used to support cardiovascular, brain, nervous system, and immune function.  The mini-soft gels are smaller and have a natural lemon flavor to prevent a “fishy” after taste.  Our product is ultra-filtered to guarantee removal of mercury and other possible contaminants.  Most people should take 2-4 soft gels per day.  They are also helpful to prevent constipation.

Magnesium-Potassium: During weight loss your body will tend to waste both magnesium and potassium.  Both of these minerals are essential to normal muscular and cardiovascular function.  Magnesium is involved in over 300 biological reactions throughout the body.  It can help prevent/treat fatigue.  If you are prone to muscle cramps – you need to add this supplement.  Typical doses are 1-4 tablets daily with food.

What if I Lose Too Much Weight After Weight Loss Surgery?

Posted on May 28, 2018 by

mind over matterYou wouldn’t think this would be a commonly asked question but it is.  You may have heard a horror story about a “person who had weight loss surgery and lost so much weight that they look pale, weak and all of their skin sags”.   This is by far the exception and not the norm.

Weight loss after weight loss surgery is consistent and rapid (primarily with the gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy procedures and not as rapid with the laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding procedure).  Eventually, the body recognizes this rapid weight loss and as a protective mechanism, will slow down your metabolism and you will experience a plateau.  By following your prescribed eating plan (we make it as simple as possible) and incorporating fitness, you can work through these plateaus.  Once you get closer to your goal weight, the body naturally stabilizes at an appropriate weight even if you continue with a lower food intake (if it is the right combination of macronutrients and overall calories).  The industry commonly calls this the “set point”.  If you did continue to lose weight and appear as if you were dropping below your ideal body weight (rare), we can teach you how to use your “tool” to gain weight as well.

If you looked like the person described previously, you would need to be sure you were following up with your experienced bariatric surgeon.  Some things that can contribute to such a situation include poor nutrition, lack of an adequate amount of protein, not taking your daily vitamin, iron deficiency, smoking, depression or a physical malabsorption problem.  Again, this is a rare situation.  If you follow the prescribed post-operative comprehensive program set forth by your experienced bariatric surgeon/center this would be avoided.

CFWLS-Rhonda-04

Rhonda’s Opinion:  I actually did lose a little too much weight but worked with Dr. Clark and a trainer to gain back muscle.  The great thing is that now YOU have CONTROL!!!

Will I be Able to Enjoy my Favorite Foods Again after Weight Loss Surgery?

Posted on May 14, 2018 by

you chooseLife after weight loss surgery is not all about deprivation.  In fact, life after surgery is quite the contrary.  It’s about having an extra reinforcement so that you are better equipped to lose weight and keep it off long term.  As we have said over and over, surgery is a tool but you really need to know how best to use this tool for optimal long-term results.  Our society is focused on the here and now.  You will have an excellent tool that will help you quickly in the here and now after surgery.  More importantly it will serve you well for the long haul so you can fully experience your life in a rewarding and active way.  I see dreams come true each and every day!

Sure, there will be changes and I would be lying if we said they were all going to be simple. I am not trying to be vague here but the answer to the question “Will I ever be able to enjoy my favorite foods again after weight loss surgery?” depends upon a number of things.  These include the type of surgery you have and what is included in your favorite food list.   Not knowing exactly what those favorite foods are, I will include those that you will need to avoid altogether or enjoy in small quantities (we always like to focus on what you can have rather than what you can’t have).

The first category you will want to avoid or enjoy in small quantities is sugary sweets.  This can be in solid (i.e. candy) or liquid form (i.e. sweet tea).  After weight loss surgery, you should avoid food with >8 grams of sugar (5 grams if you are diabetic) because they can cause a negative reaction in your system, particularly if you have had a gastric bypass.  These foods can cause what is commonly called “dumping syndrome”.  Dumping syndrome occurs when there is a rapid passage of food into the small intestines causing a shift of fluid to the small intestine.  This usually occurs when you ingest foods that are too high in sugar or fat.  Symptoms include diarrhea, sweating, nausea, cold/clammy skin, dizziness, weakness, flushed appearance, and occasionally headaches.  You will need to stop and rest until the symptoms subside.  Remember to remain hydrated (water is best).  Take note of the food/foods that caused these symptoms so that you can avoid them in the future.

The second category you will want to avoid is alcohol.  Alcohol is full of empty calories, dehydrates the body, and has negative effects on the kidneys and liver.  In addition, because of the small size of your new pouch and the fact that food/liquid now empties more rapidly into the intestines, alcohol will be more toxic and cause a higher blood alcohol level than before surgery.  For these reasons, ingestion of alcohol should be avoided after surgery.  If you choose to have weight loss surgery and then ingest alcohol, please be aware that a small amount can affect you to a MUCH greater degree than prior to surgery.

After you are a month or so out from surgery, you can begin to experiment more with various foods.  Introduce raw fruits and vegetables cautiously.  Although many people do just fine, certain foods may be difficult to tolerate because your digestive system cannot n handle them.  The following may cause problems for you and may need to be avoided:

  • Tough meats, especially hamburger. Even after grinding, the gristle in hamburger is hard to digest.
  • Membranes of oranges or grapefruit
  • Cores, seeds, or skins of fruits or vegetables
  • Fibrous vegetables such as corn and celery
  • Hulls, popcorn
  • Breads – Fresh breads “ball up” in your stomach and can block your pouch. Try to avoid breads/crackers/cereals as much as possible.
  • Fried foods
  • Milk – If you are lactose intolerant you may use “Lactaid” products or soybean milk
  • Rice – tends to expand further once in your stomach and can cause pain

This list may seem daunting but realize that the further you are out from surgery, the more tolerant your system tends to be.  However, it is very important that especially throughout the first year you participate in a comprehensive program which should be available with any experienced bariatric surgeon/center.  A comprehensive program should include:

  • Follow-up visits with your surgeon
  • Individualized coaching with a nutrition specialist who understands the needs of the weight loss surgery patient
  • Personal trainer/fitness center that eases you into appropriate exercise activities in a safe and comfortable environment
  • Access to delicious nutritional products that support your need for 90+ grams of protein each day
  • An ongoing support group for you and your family/significant others.

All of this is provided on-site or online at the Center for Weight Loss Success and truly impacts the short and long-term outcomes of our awesome patients.  For those that live farther away, most services are very effectively provided online, via Skype, via webinars and other engaging ways.  Short and long-term comprehensive support is essential for optimal success.

CFWLS-Rhonda-09-

 

Rhonda’s Opinion:  Absolutely!  I enjoy food in moderation even more than before because it tastes so much better when you slow down to enjoy it.

Why is Protein so Important After Weight Loss Surgery?

Posted on May 07, 2018 by

can-eat-blueberries-182x300Protein is essential with any weight loss plan.  Protein is essential for muscle and tissue growth and repair.  If you reduce your caloric intake without consuming the necessary amount of protein, your weight loss will be a combination of lean body mass and fat loss.  With adequate protein intake (and exercise), you should be able to preserve your muscle mass, allowing the majority of your weight loss to come from fat stores.  If, over time, you do not meet your daily protein needs, you may experience fatigue, loss of lean body mass, and possible hair loss.

You will need to check with your surgeon, but we recommend that our patients take in at least 90-100 grams of protein every day.  As your weight loss continues, your body will still prefer using your lean muscle as a source of energy.  Therefore, consuming 90-100 grams of protein daily will be a goal throughout your weight loss journey, not just during the beginning phases.

Once your weight has stabilized and you are in a maintenance phase then protein requirements may decrease somewhat into the 60-90 range depending on your weight and overall muscle mass.  The higher your weight the more protein you may require in order to maintain Lean Body Mass.  Men typically require more protein due to their higher total Lean Body Mass.

People seeking medical or surgical weight loss often have many questions surrounding protein intake since it is important for both situations.  How many kinds of protein are there?  Where can I find it?  How much do I need?  What is the best time to have it?  Let’s try to give some straight forward answers to these questions.

The word protein is derived from the Greek word proteios, meaning “of the first quality”.  Protein is essential for life (i.e. we can NOT survive without it!!!) because it contains sulfur and nitrogen, two vital elements for every cell in your body.  Protein also helps produce enzymes and hormones, maintain fluid balance, and regulate numerous vital functions, from building antibodies to building muscle.  The body maintains roughly 50,000 different protein containing compounds, forming the building blocks of muscle, bone, cartilage, skin, hair and blood.

As far at your diet is concerned, there are numerous kinds of proteins, each with their own set of advantages.  The right kinds can make all the difference, especially if you are trying to lose weight and build muscle.  Some of the best protein comes from food. Meat has about 7 grams of protein/oz., large eggs about 7 grams of protein, and milk about 8 grams of protein/8oz.  In a weight loss plan, you have to watch all the extra calories (fat, carbs) that come with food sources of protein.

  • Whey Protein: Whey protein is derived from milk (remember Little Miss Muffet and her curds and whey?).  Many whey protein supplements have had most of the excess fat, cholesterol and lactose removed.  Whey proteins are undoubtedly the most commonly used and most popular protein used in sports nutrition and with good reason.  They are the highest quality protein available with an excellent balance of essential amino acids.  Whey proteins are very efficiently absorbed and this is extremely important but this is also a potential problem.  Because whey protein is so efficiently absorbed (i.e. absorbed quickly) it tends to not keep you feeling full or satisfied for any extended period of time.  For this reason, it also tends to work better if used in small doses (10-20 gms) taken multiple times throughout the day.  Your hunger can potentially return faster than with other proteins.  This brings us to Casein protein.
  • Casein Protein: Casein protein is also derived from milk (the curds part of curds and whey) and is essentially whey’s counterpart.  It also is a very high quality protein with all the essential amino acids.  While whey is absorbed very rapidly, casein forms a slow digesting gel in your stomach.  This in turn promotes a feeling of fullness that can stave off hunger for longer periods of time.  This steady stream of amino acids helps to protect against muscle breakdown.  A good casein based protein supplement made specifically for weight loss is Weight and Inches (29gm protein/serving) which can be obtained from CFWLS.
  • Egg Proteins: Egg proteins digest at a moderate pace.  Eggs are an excellent protein source and mimic the amino acid profile of muscle quite nicely.  Unfortunately, eggs do have a relatively high amount of cholesterol and also arachodonic acid (mainly in the yolks).  Some people are very sensitive to arachodonic acid worsening inflammatory processes.  Egg proteins in supplement form (usually as albumin) have had most of the cholesterol and arachodonic acid removed.
  • Soy Protein: Soy protein is also digested at a moderate pace.  Soy protein contains all of the essential amino acids, but since soy is a plant, it tends to not have quite as good of a ratio of essential amino acids as dairy or egg based protein.  Therefore, it does not tend to protect muscle mass quite as well.  It can still be a good alternative for those who do not tolerate dairy based proteins.

As far as timing goes, ideally you should use smaller doses of protein multiple times throughout the day.  This is especially important after weight loss surgery so even these recommendations will need to be altered somewhat during the phase immediately following surgery.  Starting the day off with a good dose is always a good idea (i.e. that protein shake in the morning).  An example would be 20-30 grams at breakfast, 20-30 grams at lunch and 20-30 grams at dinner.  Then add two 10-20 gram snacks, appropriately spaced between meals.  Positioning a protein snack prior to and immediately after strenuous exercise works extremely well to build/preserve muscle mass.

After surgery, your new stomach pouch will initially only be able to hold about 1-2 tablespoons (15-30cc) of fluid at a time.  This is approximately ½-1 medicine cup.  Your new stomach should eventually stretch to accommodate 6-8 ounces (3/4 to 1 cup) within the first 1-2 years after surgery.  Because your new stomach pouch is so small, you need to follow the guidelines provided by your surgeon to ensure the fluid/food you put in your stomach is the most nutritious possible and does not overfill your small stomach, causing you pain and/or nausea/vomiting.

For delicious recipes that provide adequate protein and are low carb, visit us on Pinterest at: CFWLSVA

What is Life Like After Weight Loss Surgery?

Posted on April 30, 2018 by

necessaryYour feelings regarding life after surgery will likely vary depending upon how far out you are from surgery, your level of preparation prior to surgery, your ability to manage change and your overall attitude/mindset.  Rest assured, there is often not a dry eye in the office as goals are met/exceeded throughout the first year after surgery and beyond.  It’s extremely rewarding for you and everyone involved and you hear more often than not “I wish I would have done this sooner”.  As a generalization, at the Center for Weight Loss Success, we have found that most people go through a few expected phases and the timeframe for each varies:

  • Phase 1: What have I done?
  • Phase 2: I can do this.
  • Phase 3: I am glad I did this.
  • Phase 4: I wish I would have done this sooner!
  • Phase 5: I need to stay on track (especially if necessary long term success habits throughout the first year after surgery weren’t developed)

At the time of this publication, the primary surgery performed by Dr. Clark at the Center for Weight Loss Success is the sleeve gastrectomy.  In fact, most of these patients go home the same day of surgery since you generally recover better in your own home environment.  You go through a thorough pre-operative program and your post-operative program begins right away.

When you first go home from the hospital, here are some general guidelines for what to expect.  Of course, each surgeon has their own particular orders so be sure to follow whatever he/she recommends.

  • With regards to your diet, you will want to make sure you are staying hydrated by sipping all day. You will usually continue with a liquid diet until you are seen by your surgeon 10-14 days after surgery.  You should not have any carbonated beverages – refer to your the liquid diet instructions set forth by your surgeon.  You need to stay hydrated and do your best to try to get about 80-100 grams of protein in per day with high quality protein shakes (again, follow your surgeons specific orders).
  • You will want to be up and walking as tolerated and rest when you are tired. You are usually permitted to shower.  Common sense comes into play here.  If anything is hurting you then you probably should not be doing it yet.  At the Center for Weight Loss Success, we restrict lifting to no more than 20 pounds for the first two weeks and restrict driving for 3-4 days after surgery as long as you are off of your pain medication.  Getting up and moving is a good thing.  Not only for your body but for your emotional state as well.
  • Your surgeon will have specific instructions for wound care and medications. Follow these as instructed.
  • It is not unusual for you to question “What did I do?” the first days after surgery. It is a big adjustment and although you won’t likely feel hungry, just drinking liquids is a big change and can be difficult to get used to.  The first few days tend to be the worst and then you get used to it.  It helps to focus on your goals.  This will all be worth it.
  • Make sure you go to all of your scheduled follow-up appointments and call your surgeon if you have any questions/concerns.

After the first two weeks, you will generally be able to begin “mushy” foods.  At the Center for Weight Loss Success, we have a thorough educational program that guides you through exactly what to do/eat which is beyond the scope of this book.  Your experienced bariatric surgeon/center will likely have similar resources for you.

At approximately one month after surgery, you will begin eating more regular foods.  You will want to focus on getting in an adequate amount of quality protein (at least 90 grams), staying hydrated (sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger) and easing into a regular exercise regimen.  Your experienced bariatric surgeon/center will have an entire plan set to help guide you through each phase after surgery.  Remember, it is never too early to begin your habits for success.  As a general rule, these include:

  • Eating – Don’t skip meals. Food choices should be low fat and low sugar.  Think “Protein First”.  Eating should be approached as “how little can I eat and be satisfied”, NOT “how much can I fit into my new smaller stomach”.  You will want to cut your food up into small pieces, use a smaller plate, put your fork/spoon down in between bites and chew slowly.  It is best to eat at a table and not “on the run” so you will avoid eating too fast, overfilling your pouch and end up with unnecessary pain or difficulty.
  • Drinking – Try to avoid drinking with your meals since it “washes” the food through quicker and decreases your ability to stay fuller longer. Beverages should be non-caloric and non-carbonated.  Drinking 8 glasses of water each day is a good idea with any weight loss plan.  Avoid alcoholic beverages.
  • Vitamins – Multivitamins should be taken daily – Forever. Other vitamins and/or supplements may be needed depending upon individual needs.
  • Sleeping – Make sure you are well rested. You will be most successful if you sleep an average of 7 hours each night.
  • Exercise – Regular exercise is extremely important and should be done at least 3-4 times per week for at least 30-40 minutes.
  • Personal Responsibility – Successful patients take personal responsibility for weight loss/weight control. It’s up to you!!  No one else can lose the weight for you.  The surgery is only a “tool”.  You have to use this tool appropriately.

Every person recovers at a different rate.  It is important to take it one day, one week, and one month at a time.  Be involved in your pre-operative and post-operative educational program and try to attend a support group once a month.  Being around others who are experiencing the same thing or who have a long-term success story to share is very helpful.  When you get to that point, be sure to share your success as well.  Celebrate your accomplishments along the way and reward yourself with something non-food related such as a massage, manicure, pedicure, golf club, fitness center membership, new piece of exercise equipment or a great piece of clothing.  You will not want to invest a large amount of money in clothing because of rapid weight loss.  Joining a clothing exchange with other weight loss surgery patients is helpful too.

Finally, surround yourself with like-minded successful people who support you and your goals.  There are plenty of saboteurs in this world – they may even be your closest family or friends.  This is a topic we could write an entire book about!  In short, ask them for their support and explain the changes you want and need to make (use “I” statements and own your goals).  If they continue to be unsupportive, you may need to limit your time with them.  I know this is easier said than done but it is ok for you to be selfish – this is your time to shine!  Go for it!

Two Things to Remember About Eating and Weight Loss

Posted on October 09, 2017 by

2017-03-29_17.13.23_smaller squareI’m going to talk about my two favorite eating rules. Eating rules can help you keep on your dietary plan. They don’t make it easier to do, but they’re fairly simple.

The first one is always sit down at a specific location to eat. It doesn’t matter if it’s a snack or a meal.  Always sit down and always have it be a specific location. Eat at a specific location in your home. It gets rid of that eating on the run or eating over the kitchen sink. There are some specific decisions that have to be made.  You’re physically going to get the food, sit down, and eat it in a specific location. That’s the first eating rule.

Number two is always use utensils. This requires more decisions.  Even if it is finger food (which typically isn’t what I call eating clean), you still have to use utensils.  If it’s an Oreo or chips, you have to sit down at a certain place, and you have to use utensils. If you can do this, they’re very simple rules. Simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy. If you can do this, you’ll find it easier to stick to your dietary plan. Multiple decisions have to be made in order to get there. So when you are potentially “straying”, you’ve got multiple decisions points that you can actually change your mind.

Number one, sit in a specific location. 

Number two, always use utensils. 

Weight Maintenance Strategies

Posted on August 29, 2016 by

“It’s ironic that we foinspiredcus on weight loss, when the longest phase of your journey is maintenance!”  

Your road to weight loss was challenging and required tremendous discipline.  Now, you’ve reached the Maintenance Phase.  This phase is a bit different than weight loss and requires some different skills. Here are a few weight maintenance strategies to help keep that weight off for good!

The 6 Keys to Long-Term Weight Control:

EATING:

*Think PROTEIN first because it’s satisfying and harder to digest. Protein also increases the release of hormones that promote weight loss:  growth hormone (helps to preserve lean body mass and keep metabolism up) and glucagon (tells the body to mobilize fat).

*Follow a structured pattern of eating:  Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper with small snacks in between.

*Don’t swear off dessert entirely.  Use the 3-bite rule.

*Avoid banking calories:  It’s ineffective to starve all day so you indulge at your favorite restaurant for supper.  This is a recipe for disaster because going hungry for several hours sets you up for a pig-out.

*The Scale:  Weight yourself twice a week.

*Go back to basics:  If you’ve put on weight, try doing a mini jump start (Weight & Inches shakes).

*Remember the CONCEPT of eating:  “How little can I eat and still be satisfied?”

DRINKING:

*We can’t survive without water and should be drinking throughout the day.  Surgical patients, however, shouldn’t drink and eat simultaneously. Staying hydrated with water can prevent mindless snacking/overeating. Carbohydrates and calories in alcoholic drinks add up quickly. Drink in moderation.

VITAMINS:

*Everyone should take pharmaceutical grade vitamins, especially if you’re restricting your calories.

*1st Tier Vitamins:  Multivitamin and Essential Fatty Acid (EFA’s.)

2nd Tier Vitamins:  B-Complex, magnesium, and Vit. D (about half the population is deficient).

SLEEPING:

*The most successful patients who have lost weight and maintained get 7 or more hours a sleep every night.

*Sleep is needed to recover from the day.

*Cortisol levels will remain elevated from sleep deprivation and make weight loss even more difficult.

EXERCISE:

*Exercise becomes even more essential during the maintenance phase of weight loss.

*It helps you preserve lean body mass and keep metabolism up (especially resistance training).

* Concentrate your workouts:  quality is more important than quantity.  Even 15 minutes of out-of-your-comfort-zone exercising can help maintain your fitness level.

*Pick activities you enjoy:  If dancing to Latin music in a zumba class sounds nightmarish, choose another format like Boot Camp or a High Intensity Interval class (HITT).  If you’re an avid outdoors person, find good running/walking trails, go hiking, or biking.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY:

*Make a conscious decision every morning to stay on track and focus on staying healthy.

*Surround yourself with supportive people.

*Reward Yourself:  It’s fun to set personal goals and reward yourself along the way. But, it’s too risky to reward yourself with food.  For every 3 months of weight maintenance, you could go to the movies, buy a new outfit, or take a little vacation.

Weight maintenance is often more challenging than weight loss.  Ultimately, no one can do this but you.  We will help you and support you, but we can’t do the work for you.  If you’re continuing to struggle, call and set an appointment with one of the CFWLS counselors to get back on track.

Fajita Kabobs with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Sauce

Posted on August 05, 2016 by

chicken fajita kabobsIngredients
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 sweet peppers
1 large onion
½ cup lime juice
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Bamboo or metal skewers

Creamy cilantro sauce:
1 cup light sour cream
3 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 teaspoons lime juice

Directions
1. Cut chicken into 1” pieces.
2. Cut peppers and onion into 1” chunks.
3. In a large re-sealable bag, combine seasonings and lime juice. Add chicken breasts, onion and peppers and allow to marinate in refrigerator for at least an hour.
4. Thread chicken, peppers, and onion onto skewers.
3. Place each skewer onto grill. Allow each to sear and flip to other side. Brush each skewer with any remaining marinade.
4. Grill over high heat for 5 minutes, flip, and let cook for an additional 3 minutes or until done.
5. In a bowl, combine all creamy cilantro sauce ingredients. Stir well to combine.
6. Top with the creamy cilantro sauce, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 250
Total Fat 6g
Total Carbohydrates 13g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Protein 39g

Print Recipe Chicken Fajita Kabobs with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Sauce

Ditch the Sweet Stuff

Posted on July 18, 2016 by

Ditch the Sweet StuffWhat’s Hiding in Your Pantry? Go ahead – open the door.  It’s in there and you won’t have to look too far. Take the first package you see and turn it around. Find the nutrition label and look about two-thirds of the way down the list.  What do you see?  Total Carbohydrates – eeeek!  Sugar is hiding in places that you would least expect and may be the prime culprit in your battle of the bulge.

Carbohydrates tend to be mostly empty calories and leave us wanting for more almost as soon as we’ve finished whatever was in the package.  These sugars cause an excess blood sugar surge and trigger an insulin release in your body. Insulin, also being a fat-storage hormone, promptly sends these calories packing – right where you don’t want them – around the mid-section (aka Belly Fat!)

Cutting back on carbohydrates may help you do more than just lose weight.  Studies show that there are dozens of additional health benefits when eliminating extra sugar from your diet.  Here are 10 of our favorites!

1. It lowers your chance of diabetes

Just 2 sodas a day increase your chance of becoming one of the millions with Type 2 diabetes by 26%.  Steady sugar intake can result in insulin resistance. Easy decision – drink water!

2. It reduces your risk of certain cancers

Research suggests that risk of certain cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, can be attributed to excess sugar intake. Why take chances?

3. It may lower your blood pressure

Excess weight has long been considered the major factor in hypertension. New studies indicate that sugary foods can also increase blood pressure. When the heart and arteries are taxed over long periods of time, damage can occur in the whole circulatory system.  This can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, kidney damage, artery disease and other coronary conditions.

4. It promotes healthy skin

Added sugar can leave the skin looking dull and wrinkled. Sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins, a process called glycation, that results in damage to your collagen and elastin. It may also leave your skin more prone to sun damage.

5. It improves brain function

Sugar can eat away at your brain cells much like it does your tooth enamel! Research shows a correlation between impaired cognitive function and excessive sugar intake. It has also shown to reduce the proteins that are necessary for memory and responsiveness.

6. It decreases your bad cholesterol

Consuming too many carbohydrates may lead to lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and higher levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) as well as higher triglycerides (blood fats).  Clogged arteries can lead to heart disease!

7. It may help you avoid fatty liver disease

Fatty liver disease is very common in this country and is directly related to the excess sugar in the American diet.  High blood sugar results in excess insulin in the system that drives fat into the liver cells. This disease can increase your risk of diabetes, heart attacks and even cancer.

8. It makes for easy breathing

Those that partake in a high carbohydrate diet may be more likely to suffer from asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  COPD is the third leading cause of death in the country!

9. You’ll have more energy

Carbohydrates give you energy – right?  Wrong!  Excess sugar actually decreases the activity in our orexin cells. These cells help keep us awake and lift our metabolism – that could explain the need for a nap after a carb-filled lunch.

10. You’ll have more $$ to spend on the fun things in life!

We recently talked with a surgical patient who had added up the cost of all the sodas and junk food he had been buying compared to what he was now spending on good food.  Even we were amazed!  You can save hundreds of dollars each month – and spend it on something to celebrate your healthy life!