In This Issue
*Are You Listening?
* Back on Track with Barbara
* Research Article: Sleeve Gastrectomy
* Inspiration to Lose
* Recipe: Spicy Beef with Shrimp and Bok Choy
Story: Angela Alberti
Are You Listening?
One of the hardest things to do is to
listen to your body, and try to discover if you are interpreting
the messages correctly. If you get a feeling about something,
for instance if you have a craving for a food, is it your body
telling you that you need that food, or are you having an
emotional eating craving?
Something happened to me this weekend that
really started me thinking about that question. My husband and I
were in Asheville, NC at their huge and wonderful annual arts
and food festival called Bele Chere. It was wonderful. It went
on street after street with art vendors, food vendors, bands and
very friendly people. If you have never experienced it, I
highly recommend it.
Like the rest of the country, Asheville was
very hot this weekend, and we were there in the afternoon.
Despite our attention to staying hydrated, I suddenly became
very shaky and dizzy. I sat down on a step and asked Frank to
get me some bottles of water, because I was sure I was
He soon returned with some water which I
downed quickly. I rested awhile and felt much better. Suddenly,
without even thinking, I said, “I want a funnel cake.” Those
words rarely pass my lips, but that is what I wanted. We found
a funnel cake stand and I actually ended up getting a much
lighter version with a little powdered sugar on it. I shared it
with Frank and felt good.
The next day, I was watching Dr. Sanjay
Gupta on CNN who described side effects of heat, which included a
drop in blood sugar that described my symptoms exactly. So, did
my announcement that I wanted a funnel cake mean that I had a
craving and was indulging myself, or was I giving my body what
it physically needed at that point in time? The big question is,
how do you know the difference?
Well, I don’t know the difference, but I
can take a guess that it was a message from my body, and here is
||I don’t usually eat funnel cakes;
therefore I don’t have a strong association of wonderful
fairs and the fun of eating funnel cakes. This was really
my biggest clue.
||When I got to the booth, I chose a light
flaky-pastry stick with just a little powdered sugar on
it. I was not looking to binge on goodies.
||I had absolutely no sense of guilt about
the whole process. It just seemed like the natural thing
||I physically felt better after I ate the
pastry, and did not experience dumping syndrome as I am likely to
after eating something sweet.
We assume that all eating, except
the healthiest food is bad. That is not necessarily true. And
this of course is not an endorsement to eat anything you want
because your body tells you to. But one of the most important
things we need to do on our journey to healthy eating and living, is to
really listen to what our bodies tell us, and to respond
appropriately. If you really want a banana, possibly you are
deficient in potassium. Or if you really want a salad, perhaps
you are deficient in vitamins A, D, E, or K. That interpretive
skill when you get the thought that you want to eat something,
can mean the difference between deficiency and health.
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
A Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) is a weight
loss surgery in which 85% of the stomach is removed leaving a long
tubular stomach. The 15% of the stomach that remains is the firmer part
of the stomach that is very resistant to stretching. Patients lose
weight because they are able to eat far less.
The surgery was formerly performed as the first
part of a two step surgery for people who were too heavy to have gastric
bypass surgery. The patient would have the VSG surgery, and wait until
their weight dropped to a safe enough level to have the gastric bypass
surgery performed. It was found however that the surgery was successful
enough for the surgery to be the only weight loss surgery that a patient
In the success story below, Angela Alberti lost 130
pounds after having a sleeve gastrectomy. The surgery is becoming more
and more popular, because the sleeve gastrectomy has several advantages:
||The pyloric valve which is left in place,
determines when to empty food into the small intestines. This
means that a stoma does not have to be formed which can stretch
overtime as in gastric bypass surgery. It also means that food
won’t get stuck, and that we won ‘t experience dumping syndrome.
||No intestines are bypassed so patients are much
less susceptible to nutritional deficiencies.
||Patients tend to lose a very respectable 55% of
their excess weight.
||The portion of the stomach that is removed is
where the hormone ghrelin is secreted. Ghrelin is the hormone that
||Recovery time is less.
||Because the stomach is removed, it is thrown away.
The surgery cannot be reversed.
||Because it is the newest surgery, some insurance
companies still consider it experimental and won’t cover the surgery.
||Many bariatric surgeons are not experienced
performing this surgery so there is a bit of a learning curve to
||Patients tend to lose a little less weight on the
sleeve gastrectomy than gastric bypass.
The more surgeries for us to chose from the better, so that we can
select the surgery that suits us the best, in conjunction with our
Inspiration to Lose Weight
Weekly Email Messages that Will Keep
You Motivated to Lose Weight and Stay Healthy
Staying in the proper frame of mind to
continue losing weight can be hard when life's challenges always
lead you astray. Weekly messages will keep you on a steady
track to lose weight.
weekly motivational messages today
to stay on track with your weight loss.
for more information
Spicy Beef with Shrimp and Bok Choy
This is a great recipe from
www.EatingWell.com. I have used Bok Choy in many recipes and love
it. Combining it with beef, shrimp and oyster sauce reminds me a little
of Happy Family, a dish I often order at Chinese restaurants. This is
also a recipe that cooks up fats, perfect for making after work.
- 1/4 cup rice wine
- 1 1/2 tablespoons oyster-flavored sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 3/4 pound sirloin steak, trimmed of fat, cut in
half lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 10 raw shrimp, (21-25 per pound), peeled,
deveined and chopped
- 1 pound Bok Choy, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch
- Whisk rice wine, oyster sauce and cornstarch in
a small bowl until the cornstarch is dissolved.
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet
or wok over medium-high heat. Add beef and crushed red pepper to
taste; cook, stirring, until the beef begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add shrimp and continue to cook, stirring, until the shrimp is opaque
and pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the beef, shrimp and any juices to
- Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over
medium-high heat in the same pan. Add Bok Choy and cook, stirring,
until it begins to wilt, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch
mixture. Return the beef-shrimp mixture to the pan and cook, stirring,
until heated through and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 1
servings, about 1 cup each.
Per serving :
204 Calories; 8 grams Fat; 6 grams Carbohydrates; 22 grams Protein; 1
If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of
this newsletter, please send it to me at
I want to offer a special thanks
to Angela Alberti for sharing her success with us.
Here is her story:
My name is Angela Alberti and I am a year and 3
months post-op. On April 29, 2009 I had a Sleeve Gastrectomy
(please see the article above).
I have been overweight ever since I can
remember. I was 8 years old the first time I heard the word
“obese”. I didn’t know what it meant but I could tell from
the way my mother was whispering it to my father, that it
was bad. That was the day I went on my first diet. From then
on, I spent the next several decades trying countless diet
plans hoping to finally succeed, only to fail over and over
again. Eventually I managed to “diet” my way to well over
Finally in September 2008, I decided
that I was tired of the pain, both physical and emotional. I
was tired of the silent stares, the not-so-silent snickers
and the misery I felt at being me. After years of
over-compensating by pretending I didn't care, I made an
appointment with Dr. Houman Solomon of the Association of
Southbay Surgeons. I weighed in at a hefty 304 pounds. I was
also diabetic and had sleep apnea. After completing a series
of medical tests and losing 39 pre-op pounds, 9 pounds more
than I was required, my surgery was scheduled for April 29th
To say that my life has changed is a
gross understatement! To date I have lost a total of 164
pounds and have gone from a size 26 to a size 4. My diabetes
and sleep apnea have been completely resolved, and I am now
more active than I ever thought possible. I went from a 300
pound sedentary woman to a person who runs an average of 10
to 12 miles per week! My self-esteem and confidence have
soared, and I am loving life once again. I also managed to
give up a 30-year smoking habit!
I am forever grateful to the wonderful
friends and family that have walked me through this journey,
and so thankful for Dr. Solomon and the Association of
Southbay Surgeons. I don’t believe I would have had the same
level of success without these components in my life. The
kindness and support received from friends and family is
beyond measure, and the Association of Southbay Surgeons has
provided me with an incredible program geared toward my
success, offering not only great medical care but also
comprehensive pre-op and post-op support.
But weight loss surgery is not a magic
wand. When I asked Dr. Solomon how much the individual
patient contributes to the success of the program, he
emphasized that “each surgery serves as a tool” and that
“long term success in losing and maintaining weight loss is
largely dependent on how well the patient is able to use
their procedure as a tool.” My success was built on that
premise. I carefully followed my surgeon’s post-op program,
and I know that if I am to maintain this weight loss, I will
need to be accountable for every morsel of food I put in my
mouth, and continue a regular exercise program. I’ve also had
to do some emotional work figuring out why I got to be 300
pounds in the first place, and committing to a complete
change in life style. There have been some very difficult
moments and a lot of hard work, but I finally understood
that life is a series of choices and I am in control of most
of those choices, and yes, that includes food. The rewards
of that realization have been nothing short of amazing.
Weight loss surgery is the single
greatest thing I have ever done for myself. For the first
time in many years I am once again fully engaged in life.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine how good I would
feel- confident, secure and in control of my life and my
future! Change is absolutely possible! Oh yeah!!
|The OAC is the ONLY non
profit organization whose sole focus is helping those affected
by obesity. The OAC is a great place to turn if you are
looking for a way to get involved and give back to the cause of
There are a variety of ways
you can make a difference, but the first step is to become an
OAC Member. The great thing about OAC Membership is that
you can be as involved as you would like. Simply being a
member contributes to the cause of obesity.
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