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Tag Archives: protein

Pumpkin Sausage Soup

Posted on November 01, 2019 by

Perfect for a chilly Fall evening!

Ingredients
1 lb. pork sausage
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
¼ cup half & half
Salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Brown sausage with onion and garlic. Drain excess fat and set aside.
  2. In medium saucepan, whisk together chicken broth and pumpkin puree.
  3. Add sausage mixture and stir. Heat over medium high heat until hot and turn down heat to simmer. Add half & half and season to taste.
  4. Garnish with pepitas or toasted pumpkin seeds.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories                       224
Total Fat                       12g
Total Carbohydrates       9g
Dietary Fiber                   3g
Protein                          20g

Print Recipe: Pumpkin Sausage Soup

Note: You may substitute turkey sausage for the pork.

Crustless Spinach Quiche

Posted on September 13, 2019 by

A brunch favorite filled with flavor! 

Ingredients
6 eggs
10 oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed & drained
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbls butter
½ green olives, sliced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups shredded cheddar (I use the Mexican blend)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray large (9”) quiche dish with cooking spray.
  2. Saute onions & garlic in butter until softened. Stir in spinach and cook until heated through. Remove from heat.
  3. Add olives and pepper flakes.
  4. Whisk eggs and stir into spinach mixture.
  5. Stir in cheese and pour into baking dish. Sprinkle a little more cheese on top if desired.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until eggs are set and edges turn slightly brown.
  7. Remove and allow to cool before serving.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories                       171
Total Fat                      10g
Total Carbohydrates      5g
Dietary Fiber               1.5g
Protein                         17g

Print Recipe: Spinach Crustless Quiche

Golden Mahi Mahi with Citrus Slaw

Posted on June 28, 2019 by

A delicious blen of sweet & savory that’s bound to become a favorite!

Ingredients
Fish:
1 lb mahi mahi filets
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp oregano
Salt & pepper to taste
1 Tbls olive oil

Slaw:
1 6 oz. package cole slaw mix with carrots
¼ red pepper, sliced thin
½ cup green onions, sliced
2 Tbls lime juice + zest
1 Tbls honey
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbls olive oil
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

  1. Combine spices & sugar in shallow dish and mix thoroughly.
  2. Coat both sides of mahi filets.
  3. Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet to medium-high heat.
  4. Add fish and allow to cook until golden on one side, then turn gently.
  5. Fish is done when it flakes easily. Remove from heat and plate.
  6. Combine slaw mix, pepper & onion together.
  7. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to mix.
  8. Pour over slaw mix and toss. Serve next to fish.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories                       285
Total Fat                      12g
Total Carbohydrates    16g
Dietary Fiber                3g
Protein                        36g

Print Recipe:  Golden Mahi Mahi with Citrus Slaw

Low Carb Pineapple Whip with Protein!

Posted on June 21, 2019 by

A fresh and sunny summer treat!

Ingredients
1 pkg vanilla protein pudding & shake mix
1 pkg pineapple protein drink mix
¾ cup half & half
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk

Directions

  1. Fill quart sized Ziploc bag with protein mixes, half & half and almond milk – seal tightly.
  2. Squeeze/knead to mix.
  3. Fill gallon sized Ziploc bag with 4-6 cups of ice and a tablespoon of rock salt.
  4. Place smaller bag inside the larger and seal tightly.
  5. Wrap a dish towel around the bag and shake for about 5 minutes. Examine mix at that point and continue to shake if the mix is not yet the consistency that you’re looking for.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories                                 103
Total Fat                                  6g
Total Carbohydrates               4g
Dietary Fiber                           1g
Protein                                     9g

Print Recipe: low carb pineapple whip

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.

Will I Have to Exercise After Weight Loss Surgery?

Posted on June 04, 2018 by

fit for lifeThe short answer is “Yes”.  Exercise is extremely important following weight loss surgery because you will be losing weight at a rapid pace.  Your body will try to fight this weight loss by attempting to store fat for this perceived starvation.  Your body does this by burning muscle mass and storing fat.  This is undesirable.  To combat this effect, it is important to exercise regularly so that your metabolism is increased and your body burns fat rather than muscle mass.

If you decide to have weight loss surgery, you should seize this opportunity after surgery and integrate activity/exercise into your daily routine. This will not only help you through any plateaus, it will help you build muscle, enhance your metabolism and overall energy, and greatly influence your overall success.

I encourage walking beginning the day of surgery to improve circulation.  Early walking forces the heart to pump blood throughout the body and prevents it from pooling in your legs which could cause clots that are potentially life threatening.    The more walking you can do, the better.  We ask that you avoid lifting heavy weights or doing sit-ups/abdominal crunches until you are at least 4 weeks from your surgery.  Prior to that time, you may ride an exercise bike, or swim (not until 2 weeks from your surgery).  When you choose your particular exercise program, make sure it incorporates weight training along with some form of aerobic/cardiovascular exercise.

Most everyone knows the benefits of exercise – it’s just doing it that is difficult.  We all can find excuses (not enough time, not enjoyable/boring, inconvenient, lack of resources, don’t know how, etc…).  The bottom line is that you must make time for exercise and make it a priority.  This is easy to say, but hard to do.

The benefits of exercise are many.  Some of these benefits include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decreased stress level
  • Reduced risk for development of heart disease
  • Reduced risk for colon and other cancers
  • Reduced depression and anxiety
  • Improved balance and independent living
  • Improved digestion
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Improved flexibility
  • Improved energy levels
  • Improved sleep pattern
  • Improved sexual satisfaction
  • Improved overall quality of life

So you may logically understand the benefits of exercise.  If you still choose not to exercise, you must ask yourself “why?”  Determine your roadblocks to exercise and then identify solutions to the roadblock.  Once you “get the fever” for exercise after doing some form on a regular basis, you will wonder why you didn’t do it earlier.  If you choose weight loss surgery, you are making a life changing decision.  Maximize the benefits of this decision and commit to a regular exercise program.  You will not regret it.  Your weight loss will be enhanced and your overall quality of life improved.

It does take time and effort to get started.  In addition, after you have had surgery, you may have some feelings of fatigue for the first one to three months after surgery.  Until you can begin a more vigorous exercise program (4 weeks after surgery), walk as much as possible.  If you are unable to walk due to a health problem/disability, perform as much upper body exercise as you can tolerate using light weights (until 4 weeks after surgery).  If you have cardiac/respiratory problems, be sure to obtain clearance for starting an exercise program from your primary care physician and/or specialist.

Choose a fitness program that will work for you.  It should be tailored to your specific needs, abilities, preferences and activities that you will enjoy.  Otherwise, you will be tempted to quit.

Remember that at the Center for Weight Loss Success, we love making fitness fun and specialize in starting wherever you are.  We work privately with our patients and offer three personal training sessions as a part of their Weight Management University for Weight Loss Surgery™ program.  Our certified trainers love working with clients at all levels of fitness.  You can also participate in our Group Fitness classes as a part of your program.  Remember, you are not alone.  Please use these resources available with your experienced bariatric surgeon/center to enhance your weight loss and improve your overall health and metabolism.

walking_feetWhen starting a workout program, take it easy.  Be sure to gradually work up to at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise three or more times a week.  Stick to it and strive to make exercise a habit (usually considered a habit once performed regularly for at least three months)!  You won’t see dramatic changes overnight but you will see dramatic changes over time.

When you exercise, be sure to warm-up prior to the activity and cool down/stretch after the activity.  Do not lift too much weight (increase weight gradually), and remain hydrated – be sure to drink water before and after your workout.

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