In This Issue
* Our New Look
* Chew Then Spit
* Obesity Action Coalition: Survey Results
* Insurance Woes
* CD Special
* Recipe: Grilled Flank Steak and Vegetable Salad
Story: Stevie Blair
Our New Look
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Chew Then Spit
I had surgery a month ago and experienced dumping twice. I am in Phase
II. I am terrified of that happening again, so now I have been chewing some
foods and spitting it out. This seems to be a practice that others in
my support group do also. Is that wrong?
I am so sorry to say that yes, it is wrong on many levels. By chewing
food and spitting it out, you are not getting the nutrients and the
calories that you need. You can become malnourished. If you continue,
very shortly your body will go into starvation mode and you will stop
losing weight because your body will hold onto every calorie that it
You are also starting a dangerous pattern. What you are doing is
suggestive of bulimia, the act of eating and then throwing it up. That
is a behavior that I am sure you don’t want to mimic.
Dumping can be terrible, but you need to learn to eat so that you do
not dump. You didn’t mention in your question what it was that made
you dump. Most often it is something sweet. However, patients will
also dump because of eating simple carbohydrates, high fat food or
especially at your stage, milk products. Many people become lactose
intolerant following surgery. This condition often resolves itself
after a few months.
When eating a particular food, check the number of grams of sugar that
it contains. In general, most people can tolerate 15 grams of sugar,
but that does not mean that you can tolerate that amount. You can
start eating little or no grams, and then increase the number of grams
to determine your tolerance level.
I am not recommending that you eat sugar, but there are many foods
that are very healthy and good for you that do contain grams of
sugar. These are foods that are naturally sweet as opposed to those
with added sugar.
I am so glad that you asked that question. I am sure that there are
people who are eating and spitting out their food and you gave me an
opportunity to address this practice. I wish you the very best.
Obesity Action Coalition:
A big “thank you” to all of the people who
responded to the survey about the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC). It was
really enlightening. What we discovered is that most of you do not
understand what the Obesity Action Coalition is all about. You found
that the membership fee of $20 is just about right. But you made it
clear that without understanding how the Obesity Action Coalition
affects you, you are not going to join.
So let me just reiterate what the OAC is
all about and what you receive.
Our advocacy work is focused on increasing
access to obesity treatments, working on the federal and state levels on
obesity legislation and policy, battling obesity stigma and
discrimination and encouraging others to be proactive advocates
Membership fee also includes
Free Educational pamphlets and Poster
I am 9 months out from Roux-n-Y surgery and have lost 100 pounds. I
feel great, I’ve had no complications, and my co-morbidities are
disappearing. I no longer need medication for cholesterol and high
blood pressure. And I am down to 1 pill per day to control my
diabetes, and probably won't need that soon.
My Cobra insurance expires Oct. 1st and I am told I am
uninsurable by the major insurance companies. It doesn't seem to
matter that I'm already much healthier than I have ever been in my
adult life. The underwriters won't come near me. My only offers are
for a $5,000 deductible with an $1,100 monthly premium.
Are others experiencing this same situation and are there any
Thanks so much for your help.
One month ago, I reported on a study that showed
the complication rate following weight loss surgery had dropped
by a considerable amount. The rate previously showed a 40%
complication rate. The study was done examining rates from surgeries
done in 2001 and 2002. This was a very widely read study and was one
that the insurance industry has latched onto.
You are suffering from the results of that survey. The insurance
industry does not care about you as an individual. They see you as
someone who had gastric bypass surgery and has a 40% chance of
developing a complication that they will have to pay for.
This new study found that complications have dropped by more that 50%,
but it will take awhile for the insurance industry to become aware of
this study and start to base their decisions on it.
In the meantime, many of us who buy private insurance have to suffer
with the very high deductibles and premiums.
To see the article concerning this new study, click
Grilled Flank Steak
This is the perfect time of the year to fire up your grill. This recipe
includes all of the vegetables that are now in season, for a delicious
and healthy meal.
7 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound well trimmed flank steak
1 ¾ pounds small red potatoes, thickly sliced
½ pound green beans cut into 2-inch lengths
2 bell peppers (1 red and 1 yellow or orange) halved lengthwise and
2 Tablespoons coarse-grained mustard
¼ cup apple juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt
4 cups torn leaf lettuce
1. Place ¼ cup of the vinegar, 2 Tablespoons of the
Worcestershire sauce, the garlic, and thyme in a sturdy plastic bag. Add
the steak, squeeze the air out of the bag, seal, and marinate at room
temperature for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the potatoes for
4 minutes. Add the green beans and cook until the potatoes are
firm-tender, about 6 more minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water; set
3. Preheat the grill to a medium heat. Spray the rack – off the
grill-with nonstick cooking spray. Grill the steak and bell peppers,
covered, turning occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the steak is
medium rare. Be sure not to cook the steak beyond medium rare, as it
tends to become tough.
4. Let the steak stand for 10 minutes before thinly slicing. For the
tenderest slices, cut the steak across the grain, holding the knife at a
sharp angle to the cutting board.
5. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3 Tablespoons
vinegar, remaining 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, the mustard, apple
juice, oil, and the salt. Add the potatoes, beans, and lettuce to the
dressing, tossing to coat. Cut the peppers into 1-inch wide strips and
add to the salad bowl, tossing to coat. Divide the steak and salad among
4 plates and serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 4 servings. Nutritional information for each serving:
389 calories, 24 grams protein, 49 grams carbohydrates
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 Stevie
Blair for sharing her inspiring story:
I come from a large family of six girls. Being the youngest
and last chance for a boy, I ended up with the name Stevie. My
sisters and I were blessed with my mother's genes and eventually all
of us had a weight problem.
Thinking back, I started to gain weight around
the 3rd or 4th grade. I had watched my sisters
try every crazy diet around, and eventually I had tried pretty much
all of them as well. Weight loss was a monkey on my back for most of
my young adult life.
After the birth of my daughter, I knew I had to
make a change. I had lost my mother when I was 22 and vowed that I
would not do the same to my daughter. I decided to have weight loss
surgery to help me deal with my increasingly serious weight problem.
I gave careful consideration when choosing my
procedure. Knowing my eating style and patterns, I decided that the
best tool for me would be one that provided portion control as well
as a consequence if I abused sugar. I had RNY gastric bypass surgery
on July 10th, 2006.
My starting weight was 310 pounds and I have
since lost 126 pounds. It has been wonderful to finally have
physical freedom from my weight. Having worked for a bariatric
clinic before, I was well prepared for and informed about the surgery I
chose. I had 5 years experience taking patients from informational
seminars to surgery. What I learned after having my procedure was
that there was so much the post-op community needed as far as
support and education!
After my surgery I sought work in another
bariatric program. I was so blessed to find this small specialty
hospital not far from where I lived! Their program was almost 2
years old. I immediately pushed open the door and said "Hi, my name
is Stevie Blair, and I would like to work in your bariatric
program." Plain as that! Having never really had the guts to sell
myself before, I was so passionate about this that I transformed
into a very confident, almost pushy gal!
After being hired on a temporary basis, I was
determined to show my worth! I grew their support groups from 12 in
attendance once a month to 20-40 attendees twice a month! I welcome
all pre and post-op patients regardless of where they had their
I started a monthly newsletter in February 2008
for our post-op population and am currently working on my 19th
issue. I took the back on track certification program and look
forward to launching a 12-week program for my patients sometime this
fall. I am also currently taking a course to be a certified
Bariatric Life Coach. I am positive this will help our post-op
program! I hope one day to be a counselor for post-op patients.
We recently hosted our first Walk from Obesity
here in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca and had the pleasure of hosting
the walk in Beverly Hills, Ca. I work out with my trainer, Janet
Bannowsky at Anytime Fitness here in Rancho Cucamonga and have been
so delighted to see most of my support group join the gym as well!
Since my weight loss, my sister Casey (funny
how we have boy's names) was inspired to have weight loss surgery. I
told her not to worry, that I would take care of her, and I fought her
insurance for approval. On June 30th, 2008 she had gastric bypass
surgery here at my hospital. I served her first protein shake in a
champagne glass and am happy to report that she has lost over 100
pounds so far. We are working on getting insurance approval for her
My passion is to teach balance to our bariatric
community. We must give equal attention to nutrition, supplements
and fitness to succeed long term. I am hoping to plan a retreat for
the near future with a cooking class, physical trainer, and life
coaching exercises. I will let you know how that comes out. Cross
your fingers for me!
Barbara, I hope to be as successful as you one
day. I am working hard to get funding for my "Bariatric Gym." If all
goes well, it will be your one-stop post-op shop! Physical trainers
would be on hand to show patients the correct way to work out and
there would be an area where we can have support group meetings and
workshops. I also want to have a protein shake bar and supplement
shop. I want to do so much and understand that it takes time and
money, but I have such a strong feeling deep in my soul that something
big is coming. I will be able to help the bariatric community, and be
a successful provider and mentor for my beautiful daughter.
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