Issue #188 June 15, 2010

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In This Issue

* Nutritional Analysis
* Not All Yogurts Are Created Equal
* Food Triggers
* Recipe: Grilled Halibut with Jicama Salsa
* Future Success Story: Molly Bixler

Nutritional Analysis

I have some recipes that I feel are low fat, high protein and would like to get a nutritional analysis of them.  I have tried Spark Recipes, but I find that it is difficult to use.  Do you have a program that is user friendly that you would suggest?  I would even be willing to purchase it.  Thank you!


Hi Deana,
The best software that I have found is Fit Day . There is a free online version, or you can download the software for $29.95. Fit Day allows you to track and analyze all of your food and activities.  You not only get nutritional information for thousands of foods, but you can enter ingredients for your favorite recipes, and find out the nutritional value of those.

I’m sure there are other programs out there, but I have used Fit Day for years and love it. You can try the free online version first to see if you like it, and then decide if you want to purchase it.

Not All Yogurts Are Created Equal

I have had some questions through this newsletter and discussions on my Back on Track Program regarding Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt can be found in most grocery stores next to regular yogurt. People are curious what Greek yogurt is, and how it differs from regular yogurt.

Here is an article from US News and World Report Health that explains the differences

Greek Yogurt Vs. Regular Yogurt: Which Is More Healthful?

Registered Dietician Heather Bauer lists these advantages of Greek yogurt over regular yogurt:

  1. TextureGreek yogurt has a smooth, rich and thick consistency that tastes too good to be true! Part of what makes Greek yogurt different than regular yogurt is that it is strained to remove the whey, giving it a dense texture.
  2. VersatilityGreek yogurt can be used for both savory and sweet dishes. Due to its thick texture and rich taste, many people use it as a substitute for milk, sour cream and even crème fraiche when cooking or baking.
  3. More ProteinWith more protein than the average American yogurt, Greek yogurt is a protein powerhouse. Since it is strained, the protein content is concentrated, providing an average of 20g per cup as opposed to 13g per cup for the American style.
  4. Easier to DigestGreek yogurt contains less carbs than regular yogurt and therefore less lactose, the sugar in dairy products that can sometimes upset people’s stomachs.
  5. Fullness FactorGreek yogurt is dense, and so high in protein that it keeps you feeling full and satisfied

However, if you are not a fan of yogurt, you probably won’t like either.

Food Triggers

I remember spending summers with my Grandmother. She lived in the country where I had room to explore and play during endless carefree days.  And when dinner came, I knew I was always in for a treat.  She was a great cook, and even more so, she was a great baker! She would make pies and cookies, and I loved them. 

We all have childhood memories that we cherish, and often they are associated with food.  I can smell those cookies and pies baking. Even now as I write this article, those memories make my mouth water. 

But the problem comes when I see a cookie, I am inclined to grab the cookie, because I associate it with carefree childhood memories of my Grandmother. If I stop with the cookie, it is OK.  But if that leads me to eat more cookies, and then I turn to potato chips, pizza, etc., then that is a dangerous food trigger,

Food triggers can come from emotional attachments and memories, and we often associate them with that. Sometimes they are good memories and sometimes they are bad.  If a food calls to you, you can’t resist it, and it leads to overindulging and very bad food choices, then you need to put thought into why that is. It is not enough to say that a particular food reminds you of your grandmother so that explains it.  It doesn’t. A particular food reminds you how you felt. If it is a good feeling, are you eating and eating a particular food, hoping that you will feel that way again? Are you really craving that feeling of security, of being loved, or of being carefree that is lacking in your life? These are things to explore.

And although food triggers can come from emotions, they may also come from other causes. For instance:
Artificial sweeteners can trigger cravings for sweets. Your mind is set to receive sugar, and when it doesn’t, the cravings for sweets can start.
You may have a craving for a food, and are addicted to that food because of a type of allergy.  It has been found that if you abstain from that food, after a period of time that craving will disappear.
You may have poor nutrition. Processed foods are so low in vitamins and nutrients that your body may produce cravings to eat enough food so you will consume the nutrients your body is lacking.
Stress can be a trigger.  You may be so stressed that you eat to relieve the stress that builds up.

Why we eat is very complex, and it takes observation and introspection to understand why we eat the way we do.  But it is worth the effort to find out.  Remember that our surgery cannot do all the work to accomplish our weight loss.  We have to face up to many issues along our journey to find health and happiness.

On Wednesday night, my Back on Track with Barbara Internet Mentoring Group will be discussing food triggers as well as gazing and emotional eating.  Become a member and you can join us!

Back on Track with Barbara

Internet Mentoring Program

Are you:

Suffering from emotional eating and can’t stop?
Grazing on carbohydrates and can’t control it?
Lacking inspiration to lose the weight you have regained?
Feel you don’t know what to do now that you have had surgery?
Dying to be in better shape`?

 Then you are in luck! My Back on Track Internet
Mentoring Program is just what you need!


View a FREE Lesson and Listen to a FREE Telephone Seminar by
clicking here and scrolling down to the bottom of the page.

  Grilled Halibut with Jicama Salsa

Grilled Halibut with Jicama Salsa

Jicama Salsa (see recipe below)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried basil or ½ tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1/8 teaspoon dried Rosemary
6 (6-ounce) halibut filets

Prepare Jicama salsa (see below).

Place halibut filets into a zip lock plastic bag. Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice and the seasonings. Pour over the fish in the plastic bag and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no more than 4 hours.

Remove halibut from the marinade and discard the marinade.  Grill the halibut approximately 5 minutes per side.  A meat thermometer should register 140° F in the thickest part of the fish. It is preferable to use a fish rack that has been oiled so that turning the fish on the grill is easier.

Remove the fish and serve with the salsa.

Jicama Salsa
2 cups peeled and chopped jicama
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, or fresh parsley if preferred
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 medium orange, peeled and chopped

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 2 hours.  Serve over fish.

Makes 6 servings
Nutritional information for each serving:
211 calories; 30 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrate

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

Future Success Story:
  Molly Bixler

If you have ever hesitated writing your success story, please read the following letter.  It is the success stories from this newsletter that helped Molly to keep fighting for her surgery.  She just wouldn’t give up.  Good for her!

I am out of success stories.  Please send yours in along with before and after pictures so that you can personally continue to inspire people just like Molly.

Dear Barbara,
About 6 years ago, I went to a seminar you were giving here in Tulsa, OK. My co-worker and I both bought your book and started the paperwork to become RNY patients. Her appointment was one week before me, and she was approved and had surgery. The week I had my appointment, the insurance changed their guidelines, and I was not able to have the surgery. For years I have even changed employers just to try and get insurance that would cover weight loss surgery. Twice I had insurance that stopped covering weight loss surgery just as I was enrolled.

Finally, 18 months ago, I started a new job with insurance that covered weight loss surgery. I jumped through all their hoops, including the 6 month diet, and waited for 2 months for an answer. Today, I am in shock as I have been approved.

I just wanted to thank you for your newsletter. It has given me hope so many times when I was about to give up. There were even times I thought I should unsubscribe because you basically direct it to post-op patients, and for a long time, it looked like I would never be one.

But the success stories kept me plugging along, researching and hoping.

God willing, I hope to send you my success story next year.

Thank you,

Molly Bixler


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