Issue #189 July 1, 2010

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In This Issue

* Cleanse What???
* Inspiration to Lose
* Tofu: Yucky or Yummy?
* Recipe: Oven Roasted Tofu
* Success Story: Patricia King

Cleanse What???

Dear Barbara,
I have written to you a couple of times and have always found you to be very straight forward.  I really love your book about weight loss surgery.  Even 4 years after, I still find myself turning to it occasionally for advice and as a reference tool.

I also enjoy your monthly newsletter.  It is very informative. 

Also, someone suggested that weight loss surgery people need to cleanse their colons on a regular basis.  Is this something that you recommend and if so, what do you suggest.

Thank you,

Hi Pamela,
Since I am not a medical professional, I turn to many sources to help me answer questions such as these. One of the sources that I sometimes turn to is Web MD

First of all, the colon is not involved in any of the weight loss surgery procedures being performed. The lap band and the gastric sleeve don’t go anywhere near the colon and deal only with the stomach. The gastric bypass and the duodenal switch deal with the upper part of the small intestines, which are not near the colon. So any benefit from the use of a colon cleanser would be the same for a weight loss surgery patient as well as for any other person. In that respect, we are no different from anyone else. We do not have any special needs for colon cleansing.

That being said, there are many questions whether colon cleansing does anyone any good, mainly because colon cleansing has never been researched.  So any opinions about it are not research-based. Physicians just consider what makes sense regarding it.

There are 2 ways to have a colon cleansed.  The first is by ingesting something that will make you remove all matter from your bowels.  This could be something that you drink or that you take through the rectum. Some are laxatives, enemas, powders, and strong teas. There are many brands and I don’t have enough experience with them to recommend one over the other.

The other way to have a colon cleansed is to have a high colonic or a colon irrigation performed by a colonic hygienist or by a colon therapist.  In general, 20 gallons of water is pumped into you and flushed out.  It may require a few tries to have a clean flush.

Why Have a Colon Cleansing?
Most people have a colon cleansed because they believe that undigested food, particularly meat, lie dormant in the colon causing mucous to form and line the colon.  They believe that the mucous releases toxins into the blood stream which are reabsorbed by the body. They believe that the side effects of these toxins include fatigue, weight gain, headaches and low energy. They also believe that getting rid of this undigested waste clinging to the colon walls results in an improvement of your mental condition, and improvement of your immune system, a loss of weight and a reduced risk of colon cancer. 

Here is What Critics Say
Critics agree that there is little scientific evidence to support any benefits of colon cleansing.  The digestive system naturally eliminates all of this and special cleansing isn’t necessary. One major concern is dehydration. Also, some of the products containing sodium phosphate can increase your electrolytes and potentially damage your heart or kidneys if you have problems with these.  

If you are going ahead with this, offers these cautions:
Check with your doctor first
If you are having the cleansing done by a colonic hygienist or therapist, be sure that they use brand new equipment each time.
Find out the specific ingredients used and research each one to find out the health risks of each
Beware of fantastic health claims
Be careful not to become dehydrated by drinking lots of water.

We each make personal decisions about what we do to and for our bodies. It is good that you asked the question. Do more research and talk with your doctor. This article will at least get you started on thinking about the pros and cons of colon cleansing.

Barbara Thompson's

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. 

Now you can have weekly motivation to stay on track with your weight loss.

Click for more information

Tofu: Yucky or Yummy?

Dear Barbara,
How do you fix tofu so it is eatable for its high protein?


Hi Sheri,
Tofu, which has its origin in China, is made from soy milk that is allowed to coagulate and is then pressed into blocks. It comes in different textures: silken or soft tofu and firm tofu.

Tofu has little or no taste and takes on the taste of the dish to which it is added. It is especially good when it is marinated. It is low in calories and fat, and high in protein, calcium, iron and magnesium. One cup of tofu has 40 grams of protein, 365 calories, 11 grams of carbohydrates, and 22 grams of fat.

Many tofu recipes call for pressed tofu.  This is something that you do yourself.  Pressing tofu removes excess moisture so the tofu will absorb more of the marinade or sauce in which it is being cooked. To press tofu, place the tofu on a cutting board on top of paper towels. Put a couple of sheets of paper towels on top of the tofu and press down gently. Change the paper towels and this time, put a weight on top of the tofu and let it sit for 15 minutes.  You can repeat this again if you like.

Many weight loss surgery patients are vegetarians, and it is often a challenge to get in a lot of protein while sticking to a vegetarian diet. Several years ago, one of our readers, Gerald Grennell, shared his experience with us regarding eating vegetarian after surgery. He included some information on tofu. Please see his article in the following newsletter: called, “Please Pass the Veggies.” Be sure to click on the link in the article to finish reading what Gerry has to say.

  Oven Roasted Tofu

I thought this would be a good time to include a tofu recipe in case any of you would like to give tofu a try.

Oven Roasted Tofu


16 ounces extra firm tofu, drained
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons soybean (vegetable) oil
2 Tablespoons sugar (substitute Splenda if sensitive)
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt
1 sweet red pepper, quartered
1 medium onion, quartered
4 mushrooms, quartered
chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

1. Cut tofu in half vertically, then horizontally. Drain on several layers of paper towels to remove as much liquid as possible. If desired, score surfaces to allow more marinade to penetrate tofu.

2. Combine vinegar, oil, sugar, garlic, oregano and salt; mix well.

3. Place tofu and vegetables in a shallow baking pan leaving enough space between the pieces for even roasting; brush with vinegar mixture. Let stand 30 minutes, brush again and let stand 30 minutes longer.

4. Bake tofu, pepper and onion mixture at 500° F for 30 to 35 minutes. Turn once halfway through baking time. Add mushrooms during the last half of roasting time. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Information per serving:
138 calories, 9.5 grams protein, 15.5 carbohydrates, 4.6 grams fat, 1.3 grams fiber.

If you have a recipe that you would like to share in future issues of this newsletter, please send it to me at

Success Story:
  Patricia King

My supply of success stories is EMPTY.

Please support this newsletter by sending your story.

If you have reached your goal weight (or close to it), you have a success story to tell. But you also have a story to tell even if you aren’t at goal weight. You may not think of yourself as a “success,” but if you are able to do things that you couldn’t before, if you are able to play on the floor with your children or grandchildren, or if you have thrown away medications, then YOU ARE A SUCCESS. Let us rejoice with you. Be proud of your wonderful achievement and let the world celebrate with you.

If you are one of the many support group leaders who use my newsletters in your discussion groups, please encourage your members to submit their stories.

Send your success story with before and after photo files to me at and I will include your story in a future newsletter.

I want to offer a special thanks to Patricia King for sharing her success with us.  Unfortunately Patricia was not able to provide her before and after pictures, but we very much appreciate having her story.   

Dear Barbara,

My name is Patricia King and I am a 3 year post-op gastric bypass patient. I have had great success with my surgery and was so happy that I was able to find Dr. Walter Chlysta when I did. I weighed 379 pounds, and was in very poor health. 

I am a mother of three and a loving wife, who was an emotional foodaholic. I would eat anytime, and I ate mostly junk food. I had no health insurance, but I had a goal. I wanted to be me again. I wanted a better me, not only for myself, but for my husband and my children. I wanted to be more active. I wanted to do the kid-friendly things like going to Disney World and camping.

I have a wonderful family, and that holiday season when my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I guess I did some soul searching. I told him I had researched gastric bypass surgery and in my heart I believed this was for me. My heart was aching because I knew I did not have insurance, and I was only working seasonally at HR Block at the time as an office manager. My family supported me.

I contacted Dr. Chlystas office, and I requested the surgery as soon as possible. It was like a miracle that it was scheduled for just 2 weeks later, December 18, 2006 to be exact. I drove 4 ½   hours each visit to see Dr. Chlysta. A good doctor is worth the drive.

While I was in Akron, my hometown, I was offered a job by a local hospital as a dietary supervisor, so I accepted. I was to start the first day of the new year. This was a bit unnerving for me, because it gave me only 2 weeks to heal after my surgery, but gave me a fighting goal to start the new year.

At 4 months, I had lost over 100 pounds, and it only kept going from there. I have gone from a size 30 to a size 4/6 although I have caught myself slipping. However, I catch back up, and realize I never want to go back to where I was before.

I have taken my kids to Disney World twice since my surgery, and I look forward to losing my last 25 to 30 pounds even though it is now a battle. I have found it is harder to lose this last bit than the 200 pounds I have already lost.

I will go on a Disney Cruise; because that is a goal I have set for my family. I recently lost my job at the hospital, and I will not let it bring me down. I am staying positive. I will continue to share my story with patients I meet along the way, and let them see that with the help of Dr. Chlysta, I have accomplished so much in the last three years.

I thank Dr. Chlysta from the bottom of my heart for being my guide, for treating me as a person, and having faith in me. He has never looked down at me because I was out of shape. For so long I looked at my life as “round,” referring to my shape. Now “round” is what I hope others come to. I hope they come “round” to the thought that their life can be better if they want it for themselves.

Thank you,
Patricia King
Proctorville, OH

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 obesity.

There are a variety of ways you can make a difference, but the first step is to become and 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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