5 Day Pouch Test Bulletin
Mini-Moments Make for
Magical Healthy Holidays

Use the 5 Day Pouch Test Principles to Shine Like the Star You Are! 
December 8, 2011  

Losing weight and staying sane in a world where
 it's easy to be fat.

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Quick Tips
The BLT's That Cause Weight Gain
Let's do the 5DPT Together!
Easy Lemon Ice Cubes
Not so good conventional advice
Quick Tips

Breakfast: Eat a protein breakfast first thing. Use recipes for Day 3 including Breakfast Bakes. A protein dense meal will kick-start your metabolism: it will also provide a feeling of fullness. Have a second serving of your breakfast bake three hours later to stave hunger while yummy holiday smells fill the air.

Water & Beverages: Drink 24 ounces of water between breakfast and your mid-morning snack. A well-hydrated body works efficiently and reduces hunger cravings. Continue to drink water throughout the day: at least 64 ounces. Avoid high-calorie punch or mixed drinks. Drink alcohol only at meals. Read more about liquid restrictions.

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Appetizer Buffet: Practice the 2 Bite-1 Bite Rhythm and liquid restrictions while cruising the appetizer buffet. Specifically, eat two bites of protein for every bite of fruit or vegetable carbohydrate. If you are eating from the buffet avoid liquids until you have finished your appetizers. Best bet - wait 30 minutes before and after the appetizer buffet for liquids. (This is tough - even a 10-minute liquid pause before and after will help).

Slider Foods: Remember that crackers, pretzels, cookies and white breads are non-nutritional slider foods. If you give yourself permission to enjoy some of your favorites remember the liquid restrictions (above) to avoid sliding your way up the scale. Even slider foods will help you feel full when observing the liquid restrictions. Learn more about slider foods.

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The Big Feast:
Get greedy with the protein; be stingy with the side dishes. I'm a sucker for the ubiquitous green bean casserole so I'll indulge with a bite or two on this special day. Treat yourself to a favorite and then let it go. It is just food. Remember your liquid restrictions, but celebrate too. It is OK to sip a bit with the big meal. A moist mouth facilitates conversation and surgical weight loss does not exempt us from sharing a toast with our loved ones. When the meal is over, it is over. Remove your plate and avoid post-meal nibbles during kitchen duty. Better yet, let someone else do clean up. Go for a long walk: assign kitchen duty to the kid table. (Go ahead and say, "My doctor prescribed that I must walk after every meal, I'd love to help but it is important that I take care of my health.")

Refresher: Protein First

Dessert: After dinner sweets are neither good nor bad: they are just desserts. If you have a perennial favorite take a bite or two and savor the moment. Then let it go. Toss the rest (you may have to be crafty about this to avoid hurting Aunt Edna's feelings, but it is ok to throw away a chunk of pie). Being in control of your fork always feels better than pie tastes.

Kindness: Above all else, be kind to yourself. Express gratitude for your weight loss tool and for your personal empowerment. Celebrate doing the best you could to find a middle ground to respect yourself and your traditions.

Day After: Follow the food plan for Day 3. Again, start your day with a protein dense breakfast. Day 3 is a "soft protein" day and the food plan is gentle with your little tummy. Drink lots of water. Avoid slider foods. Take your vitamins and exercise (shopping counts!). Plan your meals and snacks: do not eat leftovers standing at the refrigerator. Pat yourself on the back! You have the power to celebrate an eating day without allowing it to become the launching pad for a 6-week feast.


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Greetings Neighbors!

It is early December and surprisingly, many of you are doing the 5 Day Pouch Test this week! I am so proud of you. It is much easier to jump to the hasty conclusion that December is a lost cause when it comes to nutritional wellness and dietary control so we might as well make merry until midnight New Years Eve and suffer the consequences of our merriment after that. But not the case with the LivingAfterWLS Neighbors. Many of you have made public your resolve to eat, drink, and be wise this holiday season! I applaud you and thank you for being fine examples to me!

While it may not be practical to do the 5 Day Pouch Test for many of us this month, there are things we can take from it and apply to our daily living in the hopes of making healthy choices that support our weight management efforts with gastric surgery. I've collected a few of my favorite tips here for you and also pointed to some key online-destinations where we can connect and continue learning from one another. Any of us who have undergone weight loss surgery know it is not the easy way out -- but knowing we are not alone does make the road a little bit easier for traveling, don't you think!

For more informative and inspiring reading please visit
our 5 Day Pouch Test Articles Collection.

You Can Do This!
Coupon Be sure to take advantage of our December promotion in the LivingAfterWLS General Store to get your 5 Day Pouch Test Supplies. Use Coupon Code: MERRY2011 to save $4 off your order and receive a free sample of Safely Slim: our gift to you.

May we recommend:
5DPT Protein Bundle
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For more details on Safely Slim and Designer Whey PROTEIN2GO link here.

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It is not the big meals that cause weight gain...
Holiday Barbie Party It's the BLTs!
This time of year it is very typical to read the calorie count of traditional holiday meals. The Thanksgiving Day Turkey Feast easily comes in at 1,400 calories and the Christmas Day Prime Rib Extravaganza packs in a whopping 1,800 calories. Experts warn us that weight gain from holiday eating is inevitable. But I dare say that, especially for those of us who have undergone gastric surgery for weight management, it is not the big meals that do us in: it is the BLT's: Bites, Licks, and Tastes. I wish I knew which diet program or person coined the BLT's so I could give them credit, it has been in my diet-talk for as long as I can remember. You have probably heard it it too.

The Bites, Licks, and Tastes will do us more harm than any big meal because even with our little tummy pouches there is always room for another Bite, Lick or Taste. When we sit down to a big meal our pouch fills quickly and when we are full discomfort occurs and further eating adds to that discomfort, so we stop eating. That is how the pouch is supposed to work. But standing in the kitchen stirring a sauce or baking cookies it seems we always have room for little Bites, Licks and Tastes. I've talked to many people who are in the BLT boat with me, maybe you are there too. So here are a few tricks I've learned to help me avoid caloric uptick and weight gain that comes from unchecked BLTs:

Eating vs. Tasting: A skinny professional chef taught me this trick. When preparing sauces, reductions and gravies it is necessary he taste-test the mixture for seasoning and texture. As a home cook my inclination is to use a soup spoon to take full spoonful of the sauce for my culinary taste taste. "You are using the wrong end of the spoon!" he scolded. The skinny chef demonstrated that by using the handle end of the spoon and just dipping the tip in the gravy for a taste on the tongue he could quickly discern any seasoning adjustments required at the cost of very few calories. "The objective is to taste mindfully and deliberately in order to make an informed decision about the sauce. You, on the other hand," he said, "were eating, not tasting." What an awakening moment! He was correct. In fact, I am certain that in many cases I have eaten a meal's worth of calories in the guise of "testing" while I cook.

Picky Taster: Some things simply do not require a taste test like pasta, rice, potatoes or other starchy side-dishes. Face it: we already know how pasta or rice taste so when we taste-test pasta or rice we are either tasting to check doneness or we are eating. For me, most of the time I am eating. Skinny chef said he learned to test pasta and rice for doneness by taking two samples: one he would chew and the other he would cut with a fork on a cutting board. The simultaneous action of chewing and cutting taught him the feel of doneness with utensils so he no longer needs to taste for doneness. Now he only tests doneness with the fork and cutting board method. As he told me, "I'm in the kitchen for 10 or 12 hours a day. If I tasted a sample from every pot of pasta this kitchen puts out it would add up to hundreds of calories a day eating something that I already know how it tastes. Why take on those calories?"

Spit like a lady. One of the most elegant sophisticated women I know has a job that requires her to taste test food for a commercial retailer. On a given day she may be required to taste 12 cheesecakes and a dozen different cupcakes. Some job for a person recovering from morbid obesity with weight loss surgery! This classy woman has no qualms about tasting and spitting. She tastes, chews and spits. And then offers her informed, low-calorie opinion on the products at hand. There is no shame in spitting, she has taught me. If you must taste but do not have it in your caloric budget or dietary plan then spit: just spit like a lady and carry-on.

Do the Twist! One danger that befalls us this time of year is indulgent eating that leads to corrective eating. By that I mean indulging in sweet offerings leads us to correct the flavor balance by eating something salty and a cycle of corrective eating begins. Sweet-Salty, Sweet-Salty. Are you familiar with this cycle? It took me a very long time to figure this out and I can recall that as a child my dad would often say he needed something sweet to chase the salty taste away. After gastric surgery this eating cycle can be damaging to our sensitive system throwing our blood-glucose levels out of balance, possibly causing dumping syndrome. As well as I understand our nutritional needs following weight loss surgery occasionally I find myself caught-up in this cycle.  It happens easily this time of year. Recently I have taken a lesson from the French  who for generations have relied upon the palate cleanser between menu courses to remove lingering flavors in the mouth and improve digestion. A palate cleanser effectively stops a sweet-salty cycle of corrective eating. It is a simple and effective fix. Try iced water with a pinch of lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice stirred in with a little honey for sweetness. Or try green tea or mint tea, warm or iced, to break an eating cycle. For a sophisticated treat try lemon ice cubes blended in a slushie as a reset when your holiday eating feels out of control. (See the recipe below.)

Food Counter Books
Food Values:
Food & Protein Counter
is perhaps the greatest weapon we have in the ongoing face of temptation by way of Bites, Licks and Tastes: Awareness that BLTs do contain calories and lead to weight gain; Awareness that weight management for those of us battling morbid obesity is literally a matter of life-and-death; Awareness that we deserve nutritional wellness that can only be achieved by the choices we make with our fork.

5 Day Pouch Test Articles
Let's Do the 5 Day Pouch Test Together

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The LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood is your compassion-driven online social space for sharing your weight loss surgery and learning about others with weight loss surgery. We welcome Neighbors with any surgical procedure (or not) and at any stage in their weight management. This is our safe haven circle of friends. Below are quick links to some great destinations in the Neighborhood:

5 Day Pouch Test Forum

5DPT: Ask a Question

Secrets of Day 6 and Beyond

Easy Lemon
Ice Cubes

Quick Palate Cleanser
Make a batch of lemon ice to keep on hand so you are ready when a cycle of "corrective eating" begins. Instead of falling into the sweet-salty cycle break out the lemon ice and freshen your tastebuds.

1 cup boiling water
1 package (4-serving size) Jell-O Lemon Flavor sugar-free gelatin mix
12-ounces diet lemon-lime soda
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Stir boiling water into dry gelatin mix in medium bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Add diet soda, lemon zest and juice. Stir well to release the carbonation bubbles. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.

When cubes are completely frozen remove from trays and place in resealable plastic bag. Serve 2-3 lemon ice cubes with cold water for a refreshing palate cleanse.

Alternatively, blend cubes with cold water or sugar-free lemon flavored drink mix for a refreshing slushie.

LivingAfterWLS Recipes

Not so good conventional advice...
Eat a small meal before the party
I'm sure you are familiar with this holiday tip - eat a small meal before the party so you do not overeat at the party. Since all of our WLS meals are small this is ineffective for us - it just means we double-up on small meals that day. What works better is to have an all-protein meal earlier in the day, before the party.

For example, if the party is at 7pm have an all-protein lunch of grilled chicken breast at 4pm; about 3 ounces of broiled boneless chicken breast gives you 110 calories (energy) and 25 grams of protein with only 2 grams of fat. This is important because it temporarily raises your metabolism by making your body work harder to digest the food. Protein also satiates appetite for a longer time than carbohydrates. In addition, with protein you have not caused a drop or spike to your blood glucose levels which for many triggers snacky carbohydrate cravings. On a more delicate note, clean lean protein is unlikely to cause digestive distress such as uncomfortable bloating or gas - two things we do not want to wear to the party!

Keep in mind as you are preparing for the party that the goal is to arrive at the party in the very best state of biochemical balance possible so you can enjoy the people, the setting, the entertainment, and the total party experience. You can best do this by following the Four Rules and Liquid Restrictions in the days and hours leading up to the party. It is a privilege to attend a party in a state of balance and good health, a privilege worth the effort, a privilege you deserve to enjoy!

After giving your body the delicious protein-only lunch allow it time to digest the nutrients before partaking of liquids. A good hour following eating is beneficial to allow your body adequate time to metabolize the fuel you have just provided it. After digestion hydrate your body with a nutrient enhanced beverage. This could be herbal tea or iced water with a squeeze of fresh citrus juice. Perhaps you prefer an energy booster such as Emergen-C (my favorite). Avoid beverages sweetened with sugar alcohols because they are prone to cause uncomfortable gas and bloating.

OK! You've done great getting your body ready for an evening out celebrating the holidays. But do you realize what else has occurred by doing these simple things? You have created a storm of empowerment where anything is possible! Think about it. Instead of spending the day of the party making poor dietary choices  for which you are feeling self-critical, you have done the right thing! You have been true to yourself and your health!  Nothing is impossible for you on this day! So go that party and shine like a diamond. Accept the compliments you receive - relish in your new life - Celebrate! This is your moment - You Have Arrived!

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The health content provided by LivingAfterWLS is intended to inform, not prescribe, and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice and care of a qualified health-care professional.

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