Monday, December 30, 2013

Holiday Party 2013

Thank you to all our patients and their families who joined us for the December Support Group & Annual Holiday Party! Dr. Santa Peterson and his team of elves and reindeer were joined by 90+ people in our Marriott Courtyard meeting room for some lovely food, holiday cheer, and of course - pictures with Santa!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ditching the "D" word


What does that word even really mean?

Well if you ask a medical professional, they will tell you the noun definition of the word. They will tell you a diet is a way that a person habitually eats or that it is a way of eating that is prescribed for optimal health. It usually has a ‘should’ attached to it.

“Your diet should include lots of fruits and vegetables.”

If you ask a person considering bariatric surgery what the word means, they will tell use the word in its verb definition. It is spoken of as if it was a light switch that can be turned on and then off.

“I’ve been dieting since I was in high school but I just can’t stick with it.”

To a person who has struggled with their weight for years, dieting is seen as a negative thing; a thing that restricted them from eating their favorite foods and something that they have failed at again and again.

Whether you are a medical professional or someone who is working toward reaching your weight & health goals – its due time to ditch the word “diet” altogether!

When describing a way that a person eats or a prescriptive way of eating, the phrase meal plan does the job very well without all the emotional baggage tied to it.

“Following this meal plan will support your health.”

Challenge yourself to see the beauty of your food,
seek out colors & variety, and identify the reasons
why you choose to eat healthy.
When describing our own ways of eating, it may be more helpful to describe your choice in the process of deciding what foods you eat and ditch the language of restriction and deprivation.

“I’m choosing to eat more vegetables and lean proteins for my health.”

Language describes the way we see the world and can impact our psychological wellbeing. Rather than using words that carry emotional baggage, change your language to positive or neutral terms that can motivate you to pick to your health goals rather than get in your way.

Wishing you a nutritious day!

Anna Macnak, RDN, LD
Bariatric Program Nutritionist

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fashion Show 2013

We are priviledged to see transformations in our practice everyday, but our patients are actually the ones experiencing these transformations - watching their bodies change, feeling their confidence grow, and gaining the desire to share their successes with others so that others may too find hope in reaching their health goals.

A group of seven of our patients took to the runway at North Star Mall on May 8th, 2013 to do just that! Sharing their successes with their families and onlookers outside of Dillard's, sporting the summer's new fashions! Ranging from 6 months to 18 months after bariatric surgery, our participants shared with the onlookers what health goal they had obtained. For some it was resolution of diabetes, for others it was an increased sense of happiness, and for all a weight removed from their bodies allowing for increased energy and fitness level.

Andrea talking with MC (Dr. Peterson!) after busting through
her "before" picture and walking the runway!
We are so proud of all of our patients, we feel honored to have shared in a piece of their lives as they navigate their path to a healthier way of life. Many struggle, as is the human experience, but with a support system in place (clinic follow-up, psychological counseling, nutrition counseling, & support groups), all have the opportunity to make this transformation a rewarding one!!

After each participant had the opportunity to walk the runway independently,
all participants came out together with the Dillard's models to
greet the roaring crowd for the final runway walk!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hair Loss after Bariatric Surgery

Hair loss can be a frustrating side affect after bariatric surgery and is a concern that many patients bring up during at their 3 or 6 month follow-up clinic appointments.

What is going on?

In general, the hair follicles may go into a "resting phase" that may last 3-6 months while the protein and nutrient you consume go to your vital organs and tissues. Hair loss may occur for several reasons, some reasons that are preventable and treatable and some that out of your control.
  • Stress of surgery
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Inadequate protein intake
  • Inadequate micronutrient intake
  • Hormone or thyroid imbalance
While you cannot take back the surgery and rapid weight loss is the nature of surgery, you can address your nutrition status and you can have a positive attitude while embracing the changes your body is undergoing!

What can you do?

First of all, record your protein intake using a phone app, online tool, or ol' pen and paper. Are you getting in your surgeon's recommended daily intake? If not, bump it up!

Then take a close look at your vitamin and mineral supplementation regime, discuss with your bariatric dietitian or surgeon if the regime is appropriate for you and review you most recent nutrition labs with them.

Check with your primary care provider regarding treatment of any hormonal or thyroid imbalances you may have.

And finally, know that if you are following these steps the hair will grow back!! It's just resting. Embrace the changing you and pamper yourself with these tips from hair stylist, Samantha, who shared them at our last support group:
  • Get a fabulous hair cut! By adding layers to long hair or sporting a shorter style may make your hair look fuller.
  • Get a head massage! This feels great and stimulates the hair folicles.
  • Scientific hair brushing! "Marsha, Marsha, Marsh!" Brushing your hair stimulates hair growth.
  • Have fun with wigs! Talk about saving time in the morning - just put it on and have as many new looks as you'd like to accent the new you.
  • Don't be shy with products, these can work for you with creating a fuller look.
  • Caution with bleaching as this may make thinner hair.
Hair loss can be frustrating, but don't let it hold you back from feeling awesome! A positive attitude and good nutrition will get you through this potentially difficult time.

Anna Macnak, RDN, LD
UT Weight Loss & CHRISTUS Weight Loss Institute

Trying on wigs at support group!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Anna’s Easy Sauerkraut Recipe

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the presentation on "Probiotics & Prebiotics - Supporting a Healthy Gut After Weight Loss Surgery" at our March support group!! Due to the overwhelming interest in the sauerkraut taster - we have posted the recipe for all to see and try!!  Enjoy!
·  1 head of organic green or purple cabbage, outer leaves removed
·  1 tablespoon sea salt
·  1 tablespoon fennel or caraway seeds (optional)
·  1 or 2 quart mason jar(s)

·  Highly recommended: Pickl-it fermentation lids
1.      Thinly slice cabbage and put into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and mix with your hands, squeezing the salt into the cabbage to release the juices from the cabbage. Add the fennel or caraway seeds in if desired. Let the mixture sit on counter for 30-60 minutes.
2.     Pack the cabbage into the mason jar(s) and press down firmly with your hand. Leave two inches of room about the top of the cabbage layer. Pour in any juice from the mixing bowl over the cabbage. If the juice does not cover the cabbage, add non-chlorinated water until the cabbage is submerged, leaving an inch of air at the top of the jar.
3.      Screw the Pickl-it lid on the jar per the company’s instructions, cover the jar (but not the Pickl-it) with a kitchen towel, and leave your ‘kraut alone on your counter for at least four days. It should be ready to open in four to seven days.
4.     When the desired tanginess is reached, remove the Pickl-it lid and replace with a standard mason jar lid. Refrigerate until ready to enjoy.
*I let my ‘kraut ferment 7-14 days on the counter, then transfer to the fridge for 1 week.  Enjoy with chicken sausage, stir-fry, corned beef, or straight out of the jar!
*Sauerkraut is a traditional source of probiotics (aka: friendly bacteria), supporting good digestion and a strong immune system!

by Anna Macnak, RD, LD

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year - New Opportunities for Success!

It is a new year, full of possibility and fresh ideas for reaching our health goals!

I had recently heard someone say that it is useful to think of yourself as a computer software program, always building upon the previous versions of yourself to create an updated version.

In this way of thinking, one is always striving for betterment but without judgment of the past versions, for without them, you would not have a platform for improvement!

So here we come, version 20.13, and we are going to ROCK IT!!

And remember...

You are the key to your success!!

Habits that are the key for long-term success:

3 meals plus 2-3 planned snacks
Adequate water (at least 8 glasses per day)
Daily supplements (multivitamin, calcium, B-12)
 7-8 hours of sleep every night
Stress management
Regular Exercise
Personal responsibility

Behaviors that are red flags for less than optimal weight loss and/or weight regain:

                                 Starting to eat sweets                                  
Eating Fast Food often
Skipping meals
Eating after your stomach is full
Eating rapidly
Grazing mindlessly
Eating when you are bored, upset, angry, or depressed
Clinging to the couch and not exercising
Choosing favorite carbohydrates first
Snacking from vending machines

The choice is yours.

Best wishes to you on this new year's day from all of us at UT Weight Loss & CHRISTUS Weight Loss Institute!