Enjoy a perfect WLS day by doing these four easy things this morning.
Do These Four Simple Things Today!
Broken eggs and a perfect day
by Kaye Bailey

The old wisdom warns that trouble comes in threes and I've found it to be more true than not. It seems if my day gets off to a rocky start things are unlikely to improve as one problem leads to the next. Maybe, like me, you have all the desire in the world to get your day off to a great start doing what is necessary to support your WLS goals and then, as the saying goes, life happens and off track we go. In the 5 Day Pouch Test we use the metaphor of broken eggs: if we drop one egg from the carton and it breaks we don't discard the rest of the eggs. We clean the mess and move forward understanding that broken eggs happen but one broken egg is not worth spoiling the whole dozen. In the day-to-day of living we can apply the metaphor and rationalize that one oops in a day doesn't mean the entire day is a disaster. But sometimes it is easier said than done, at least for me.

What if we had a sure-fire strategy to start the day with four easy actions that support our big picture goals of weight loss and weight management using the WLS tool? If we've already accomplished four simple actions in favor of a good day won't those help shield us from the bumps and bruises of the daily "broken eggs" we are bound to encounter?

Today's Inspired Reminders Bulletin offers four easy, quick, and affordable things we can all do to prepare the way for a perfect WLS day. I invite you to try these four little actions every day for one week and just see what a wonderful world of success opens for you as you pursue the best life, Living INSPIRED After WLS.
One: Breathe & Stretch
When was the last time you treated yourself to a good stretch upon waking? Are you like me, hit the alarm and hit the ground running to get to your busy day? Try this tomorrow morning as you wake to greet the day. Before rising take some big inhales and slow exhales: Oxygen is the energy of life. Studies suggest that deep breathing contributes to a longer life, and improved mood, stress reduction, and the release of harmful toxins. With deep breathing the blood becomes oxygenated which improves all functions in the body including the metabolism of nutrients and vitamins: So very important after WLS. Further studies suggest that extra oxygen from deep breathing burns excess body fat more efficiently thus leading to improved weight loss. What a great benefit from a free and painless task!

Next stretch your limbs and body to loosen the muscles and open the cells to receive this healthy oxygen. Our cats already know that a good leisurely stretch is the best way to wake from sleep, we can learn by their example. A good morning stretch does not have to be the formal stretching that comes after exercise class. Think back to kindergarten when we stretched tall to touch the sky and bent low to touch our toes. Now sway left to right, right to left like a tree in the wind. Rotate your head and stretch your neck and spine. By now your good mood morning is underway and you've barely stepped out of bed! It's not just your imagination either: Stretching encourages the release of endorphins, providing a sense of tranquility and euphoria. You are now chemically predisposed to having a good day!

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Two: Drink warm lemon water
Make no mistake, I love my morning coffee. But I know that my best days start with a warm cup of lemon water. Warm lemon water is an energy booster; provides hydrating electrolytes in the form of potassium, calcium and magnesium; reduces inflammation; improves digestion; helps regulate bowel movements; strengthens immune system; improves mood while reducing depression and anxiety associated with potassium deficiency; and improves weight loss by suppressing hunger cravings. Is it any wonder that  cleanse programs prescribe warm lemon water first thing each day?

Warm Lemon Water is easy to prepare. Add 8 ounces warm (not boiling) water to a mug, add 1-2 tablespoons 100% pure lemon juice* and sweeten as desired with honey, agave syrup, or preferred beverage sweetener. Drink warm.

*I use ReaLemon 100% Juice from concentrate most of the time. While freshly squeezed lemon juice is delightful it takes an extra step in squeezing the juice vs. a quick pour from the bottle. For me this extra step can be a barrier causing me to skip this beneficial tonic so I opt for the easy bottled solution and accept no excuses. Do what works for you!
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Three: Eat protein
We know the first rule of weight loss surgery is to eat protein first. That means we must eat protein at every meal. The high protein or protein first diet is prescribed for all bariatric procedures and is the dietary guideline patients are instructed to follow for life. The bulk of our calories at any meal should come from animal, dairy, or vegetable protein. This includes breakfast. By eating protein first thing in the morning we instantly raise our metabolism, we promote feelings of satiation and reduce cravings for snacks or simple carbohydrates.

Eating a high protein breakfast effectively staves hunger cravings and snacking binges later in the day because it reduces the circulating levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger. So not only are we raising our metabolism with high protein nutrition, we are managing the brain chemistry that often gets the blame for head hunger and snacking binges. The earlier in the day we eat protein the more likely we are to stick with our high protein diet plan without annoying cravings or sluggishness.

Try starting your day with 35 grams of high quality protein including eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish or fish, Greek yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, vegetarian protein, or protein supplementation such as protein shakes or protein bars. I keep hard-cooked eggs on hand for a quick-grab breakfast and more often than not mix my ready-to-drink protein shake with hot coffee (use it like coffee creamer) for a steady supply of morning protein. For more protein breakfast ideas check out Breakfast Basics:

Breakfast Basics of WLS: Why you must eat a high protein breakfast every day. (LivingAfterWLS eBook Shorts 4)
by Kaye Bailey by LivingAfterWLS, LLC
Kindle Edition ~ Release Date: 2015-04-21
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Four: Plan a treat
In a perfect world we all make a weekly menu, do the shopping and preparation, and stick to our plan like NASA scientists. Then there are the rest of us! Sometimes my best effort is to plan the next meal and even getting that done is a chore. But on my best days, if nothing else, I plan a meal (or an appropriate snack) that I can look forward to when thoughts of food sneak uninvited into my day. For example earlier this summer when our raspberry bushes were heavy with berries I looked forward to an afternoon snack of raspberries and vanilla Greek yogurt. In knowing this was on my plate that day I avoided feelings of tedium or deprivation that so often come when maintaining a dietary program. The anticipation of the berries and creamy yogurt served to deflect other temptations.

Shrimp Cocktail Salad
So much of our food psychology is looking forward to a meal or treat in association with an occasion. By providing a meal or treat to look forward to we acknowledge that core human desire to anticipate sustenance beyond the act of taking in nutrition. We provide opportunity to feed the psyche and soul as well as the biological necessity for nutrition. When I was obese I spent a great deal of time daydreaming about the next delicious meal or morsel I would eat. Now, with the help of weight loss surgery, I can still daydream about the next delicious food I'll eat but I must be more mindful  of my choices so that they support the health goals to which I am committed in order to keep my obesity in remission. It is a matter or re-allocating those basic human behaviors in a manner that supports our greater goals. And by starting each day with a plan for one meal --one moment of reward and enjoyment-- we can easily harness those behaviors to benefit our health rather than contribute to our illness (obesity). Here are a few of my favorite look-forward-to morsels:
  • Fruit and/or berries with dairy protein (yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese)
  • Ready-to-eat shrimp and cocktail sauce
  • Pickles with Cheddar cheese
  • Avocado with chopped hard-cooked egg and diced tomato. Add salad greens or seasonal vegetables for a full meal. Article: The Avocado Advantage
  • Turkey Roll-ups (Layer two turkey slices, smear with cream cheese and jelly, roll-up and refrigerate for a wonderful handy snack! Delicious beyond compare!)
  • Cooking with Kaye favorite recipe: Light Fresh Turkey Salad 
  • Protein Pudding (Whisk together 1 package sugar-free instant pudding with 1 can ready-to-drink protein drink. Chill and enjoy. Use serving size recommendations on pudding mix).
  • Seasonal Favorite: Heart Healthy Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
  • Warm herbal tea or chilled ice tea infused with lemon, berries, fruit, herbs or other seasonal flavor boosters.
For more ideas visit the official LivingAfterWLS Blog:
LivingAfterWLS Blog by Kaye Bailey 

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