Can You Benefit From Being an EARLY RISER?

Can you benefit from being an EARLY RISER?

When you start you day with purpose, using mornings to get a jumpstart, you set yourself up to be highly productive. Many vastly successful people site the importance of their morning routine. And, no matter how you define success, starting your day out right is a step in the right direction.

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“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”  –Ben Franklin

The peace and quiet of morning gives you an opportunity to reflect, meditate, plan, and prioritize without the interruptions of the day. In fact, early risers are more likely to set and achieve goals—feeling more in control and content with life. There are many ways to spend the first part of the day to help you get more out of life. Here are some to consider:

Plan your day. Start with a look at your goals. Next plan and schedule the steps you’ll take that day that will bring closer to reaching them. Spend a few minutes visualizing yourself both completing those steps and the satisfaction of reaching your goals.

Express gratitude. Start your day with a perspective of gratitude your interactions with others will be enhanced. You’ll experience more joy and happiness. Simply write down all of the people and things in your life that you’re grateful for or state them quietly to yourself or out loud. Seek out opportunities to let others know how grateful you are for them.

Practice meditation or deep breathing exercises. Starting your day this way can focus your thoughts, reduce anxiety and depression, and help you enter your day calm and confident.

Spend more quality time with family– eat together, read a devotional, go for a walk, finish up homework, and talk about your upcoming day.

Morning exercise rocks. You’ll feel more energized all day, sleep better, make better food choices, all well working towards your weight and fitness goals.

Eat a healthy breakfast. High protein foods, like eggs, protein drinks, smoothies, yogurt or even meat rolled around string cheese are great options.

Spend time in prayer connecting with your higher power.

Learn, grow, and be inspired by reading or listening to something positive.

Write, blog, journal—get your thoughts and feeling on paper or into a document. Morning is the most productive and creative time for most.

Getting up early with a routine helps set the stage for the day. The routine can be anything you want it to be. Base it on those things you are passionate about—your values and your goals. See how a little extra morning time can help you get the most out of each day.

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Accident Proof!

Urinary incontinence resolves for 2/3 after weight loss surgery.

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Put the Odds in Your Favor

3% are able to keep weight off lost through diet and exercise.

90% are able to keep of 50% of excess weight with bariatric surgery.

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What Will They Think?

What Will They Think?

Weight loss surgery is exciting. You’ve done your research, met your surgeon, thought through the pros and cons, made your decision, jumped through medical clearances and the insurance approval process, and now you’ve got a date! You’re a little nervous, but super pumped, looking forward to the prospect of positive change.

Who do you share your decision with? Do you keep it to yourself, share it with family members only, or shout it from the rooftops? There is no right or wrong answer—we all have different life experiences; different families, friends and co-workers; and different comfort levels—so the decision isn’t the same for everyone.  Your health and your weight are very personal issues and you have the right to disclose and discuss as much or as little as you want to—just as with any other medical matter.

What will they think? It can be anxiety producing just thinking about talking to friends and family about weight loss surgery. What will they think? What will they say? When is the right time–once the decision is made or after the procedure? If you do decide to tell others, doing some prep work can help to ease anxiety, set boundaries and provide you with the support you need from those who you are closest to.

Put yourself in their shoes. Think through how others may respond. What will their concerns be? How will the changes in you affect them? Once you’ve put yourself in their shoes, prepare to discuss your decision with them.

State your case. Consider what you want to include in your conversation. What will weight loss surgery do for you that you cannot achieve without it? This is your why. Have some facts ready to back up your why. Here are some examples:

I have decided to have gastric bypass surgery because it improves type 2 diabetes in 90% of people–78% no longer need medication. I do not want to suffer from the terrible side-effects that come with diabetes.

I have decided to have gastric sleeve surgery. The surgeon tells me that I can expect to lose 50% or more of my excess weight in the first year. I’ll be able to ride on rollercoasters again, buy clothing in normal stores, and easily walk up a flight of steps. I’ve tried every diet out there—they don’t work. I’m tired of fighting a losing battle on my own—I need a tool that will help me.

I am considering weight loss surgery. I need a tool that will help me reclaim my health. I would like you to go to the consultation with me so you can learn more about the procedures and better understand why I am considering this.

Ask for support. After you share the news, ask for their support. In most cases, people will want to help, but will not know what you need. Try to be specific about what you need from them. I’d like to prepare healthier meals. I’d love for you to take walks with me. It’s important that I don’t have tempting foods in the house; can you keep your sweet snacks at work? I can sure use your encouragement, but please don’t police every bite that I put in my mouth.

Strengthen your support team. Support can come from all sorts of places: spouses, family members, co-workers, friends, your bariatric surgery team, support groups, and online resources. For many, it is helpful to develop support from more than one source–you’ll often get different kinds of support from each source. For example, your children may hop on board with healthier snacks and meal selections; your co-workers may provide fresh fruit in place of (or in addition to) cake for birthday celebrations; and a good friend may go for walks with you. Take a look at the different places where support may be available to and think through a strategy to strengthen the support in as many areas as you need.

Reassure. Change, even good change, is hard. Use positive words to help them see the benefits to you and to them like:

  • I am doing this to improve my health, make life easier, and to live a longer and happier life with you.
  • I will be able to participate in more activities. Just think, next year we will be able to….
  • I won’t be tired all of the time.
  • I will feel better about myself.

Stay calm and strong. You may or may not get the response you expect. Listen to the feelings behind the words that are said. When people don’t understand the futility of diets alone (especially those who have not struggled with excess weight) and the benefits of weight loss surgery, they may just focus on their fear of you having surgery. Helping them to learn more about the procedure may increase their comfort level.


Surround yourself with supportive people. No one understands what you are going through like someone who has been there. Get connected to others through the Barix Clinics private Facebook Page ( Sometimes all you need to know is that what you are feeling or experiencing is normal—this is a great place to get that kind of feedback as well as information and inspiration.

Do you want to talk about it? How much do you want to talk about your surgery and weight loss? The way you answer that question my help you decide who to tell. If you tell, be prepared to provide updates about how you are doing. You can set limits on how much information you share. It may be exciting to talk about how much you are losing in the beginning, but what about during a plateau? Instead of providing a pound-by-pound update, you may decide to say, “My doctor says I am progressing as expected.”

How to respond without lying. Whether you tell or not, people are going to notice that you are shrinking. If you have not told them, they may ask what you are doing to lose weight. If you don’t want to share your weight loss surgery, you can simply say something to the effect of, “I’m really watching what I eat and I’ve started a walking program.”

Bottom line. To tell or not to tell is a very personal decision that often needs to be made on a person-by-person basis. You may want to consider these questions as part of your decision. Is this person going to be supportive? Is this person going to nag? Will I want to talk about this in 6 months or a year with this person? Can I trust this person not to share this information without my permission? Be confident in your decision to have weight loss surgery and when you decide to share, state your why, back it up with facts, and ask for support.

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How Do You Get Protein From Plants?

How Do You Get Protein from Plants?

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The Basics

Protein is a powerhouse used for the building, maintenance, and repair of almost all the tissues in the body. It keeps the immune system strong. It supplies energy and a sense of fullness long after eating.

The body doesn’t store protein the same way it does fat and carbohydrates, so it needs a fairly steady dietary source. Protein is made up of 21 amino acids—the body can make 12 of them, but it needs to get nine amino acids directly from foods and beverages.

Protein from animal sources is considered “complete,” meaning that it contains all nine essential amino acids that the body can disassemble and reassemble into the specific proteins it needs. Most plant-based protein sources are missing one or more essential amino acids, therefore are referred to as “incomplete.” No worries, as long you eat a variety of foods and enough overall protein is consumed, the wondrous body is able to keep enough “spare parts” or essential amino acids around to build whatever protein is needed.

 Why Plant-Based?

Animal proteins (meat, fish, poultry and dairy) are concentrated complete proteins. They are the only dietary source of vitamin B12. Vitamin D is found in oily fish, eggs and dairy. Heme iron, the form best used by the body, is found in red meats. In general, smaller quantities of food or beverages, important to consider after weight loss surgery, are needed to meet protein goals. Why would anyone consider getting all or part of their protein from plant based sources? There are some potential downsides to animal proteins:

  • Diets that rely heavily on animal sources of protein are typically higher in saturated fat, cholesterol, unwanted hormones, antibiotics, and potential carcinogens.
  • Processing meat, similar to many other foods, enhances its disease potential. Processed red meat, in particular, has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and early death.

On the other hand, studies show, diets that get the majority of protein from plants are linked with many health benefits:

  • Those who avoid animal products, vegetarians, tend to have lower body weights, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels. They also have a lower risk of stroke, cancer and death from heart disease.
  • Eating a lower- carb, higher-fat plant-based diet may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure more than a higher-carb, lower-fat plant-based diet.
  • Replacing 2 servings of red meat with legumes 3 times a week may improve cholesterol and blood sugar.
  • Plants are rich sources of fiber, vitamin and minerals.

Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.   –Michael Pollan

Balance is the Key

Eating a balanced diet of fresh, wholesome, unprocessed foods that provide adequate protein is key to a healthy body. You may decide to focus on animal sources, plant sources, or a combination of the two to meet your daily protein goal.

Plant-Based Protein Sources

Food Serving  Size Calories Protein (gm) Fat (gm) Carbs (gm)
Seitan 1/3 cup 118 21 2 4
Tempeh 2 oz. 109 11 6 5
Peanuts ¼ c. 204 10 17 6
Almonds ¼ c. 207 8 18 8
Powdered Peanut Butter 2 T. 60 6 1.5 5
Lentils, cooked ¼ c. 56 5 0 10
Tofu 2 oz. 35 4 1.5 1
Black beans, organic canned ¼ c. 60 4 0 11
Spirulina, dried 1 T. 20 4 0.5 2
Walnuts ¼ c. 164 4 16 3
Edamame ¼ c. 32 3 1 2
Hemp Seeds 1 T. 55 3 5 1
Chickpeas, organic canned ¼ c. 53 3 1 8
Sunflower Seeds 1 T. 51 2 5 2
Quinoa, cooked ¼ c. 56 2 1 10
Chia seeds 1 T. 58 2 4 5
Flaxseed 1 T. 55 2 4 3
Broccoli ½ c. 15 1 0 3
Kale, raw ½ c. 16 1 0 3
Mushrooms ½ c. 7 1 0 1


Soy is a plant-based protein source available in different forms such as tofu, edamame, tempeh, and soy milk. In contrast to most plant-based protein, soy contains all 9 essential amino acids.

Tofu (soybean curds) is a very versatile food, taking on the flavor of the seasonings and foods it is prepared with. Extra firm tofu is best for baking, grilling and stir-fries, while soft tofu is suitable for sauces, desserts, shakes and salad dressings.

Edamame (young soybeans often still in the pod) are soft and can be cooked or eaten directly from the pod (note: the pod itself is not edible). You can also find fresh edamame that has been removed from the pod—great in salads, rice dishes, Japanese recipes, or just popped in your mouth. If you’re looking for a crunchy snack, edamame can be roasted or baked with a little seasoning.

Tempeh (fermented soybeans) has a firm, dense cake-like texture. It may also contain grains, beans and flavorings. It has a strong, nutty flavor, but also tends to absorb the flavor of foods it is mixed with. It can make tasty chili, soup, sandwiches, stir-fry, breakfast dishes, and tacos.

Soy Milk is a comparable alternative to cow’s milk providing 7 grams of protein and 300 mg of calcium per cup. It’s also a rich source of iron and B-vitamins. Look for no-added-sugar versions.

Beans, Peas, and Lentils

Lentils contain almost 9 grams of protein per ½ cup serving. They are also a good source of fiber, iron and potassium. They are often added to soup, stew, curry dishes, and rice.

Chickpeas can be eaten hot or cold. You can process them into hummus, add them to a salad, roast in the oven or add to stews.

Black beans are a favorite for any south of the border dishes or black bean soup. Buy organic canned beans if you’re looking for convenience without unwanted added ingredients.

If you keep good food in your fridge, you’ll eat good food.   –Errick McAdams

Nuts and Seeds

Peanuts are protein-rich and full of healthy fats. Keep portions in check with 100 calorie packs—from the store or measure out your own.  Powdered peanut butter is a low calorie option to use in recipes, make a fruit dip or add to a smoothie.

Almonds are not only a good protein source, but also a rich-source of vitamin E—great for the skin and eyes.

Chia seeds have complete protein and are rich in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Sprinkle on a salad, add to a smoothie or make chia pudding. They only have 2 grams of protein per tablespoon, but are easy to add to different foods throughout the day.

Chia Pudding

1 1/2 cups soy milk, no added sugar (no added sugar nut milks can be used too)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1-2 Tbsp. sugar free maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional: serve with fresh fruit

Whisk all ingredients (except optional fruit) together to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. The pudding should be thick and creamy. If not, add more chia seeds, stir, and refrigerate for another hour. Keep uneaten portion covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Hemp seeds are a complete protein powerhouse at 5 grams of protein per tablespoon. Add to smoothies and sprinkle on salads or other foods.

Overnight Smoothie

1/4 cup rolled oats
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
2 Tbsp. shelled hemp seeds
¾ cup soy milk, no added sugar
1 Tbsp. sugar free maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Add all ingredients to blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. In the morning, you have a delicious protein drink ready to go!

Spirulina is dried blue or green algae. It contains 8 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons. It is also a good source of iron, B vitamins, and manganese. Find it online and add to smoothies, or sprinkle on food to boost protein content.

Quinoa is a high-protein grain that contains all of the essential amino acids. When cooked, it contains 8 grams of protein per cup. It is also a good source of magnesium, iron, fiber, and manganese. Quinoa can fill in for pasta in soups and stews, substitute for meat in many dishes, and boost the protein of salads.

Vegetables, especially those that are dark green and leafy contain protein. Alone, they are not enough to meet protein goals– pair them with quinoa, beans, soy or other rich-protein sources. Broccoli has 4 grams of protein per stalk, kale has 2 grams per cup, and 5 mushrooms have 3 grams of protein.

Seitan is made from mixing wheat gluten with various spices. It is used as a meat substitute. Just one serving provides 21 grams of protein. Seitan can be marinated, baked and cut into slices like meat; used as a ground beef substitute; sliced into strips for fajitas or stir-fries; or threaded onto skewers and baked or grilled.

Plant-based protein powders and drinks are a good option if you’re cutting more animal protein out of your diet. They are often made from soy or a variety of plant proteins combined to provide all essential amino acids.

Bottom Line

You’ve taken a big step to improving your health with weight loss surgery. Reducing your dependence on animal products—one meal a week or all the time may help you take your health to the next level. It’s fun to experiment with new foods and learn how the foods you are eating impact your health and well-being.


Marinated Tempeh
Adapted from the

8 oz. tempeh
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1½ Tbsp.  sesame oil
2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. lime juice
3 Tbsp. sugar free maple syrup

Fill a saucepan with 1 inch of water. Add tempeh and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Steam for 5 minutes, flip and steam for an additional 5 minutes. Rinse tempeh, pat dry and cut into thin bite-sized pieces.

Mix together all other ingredients. Add tempeh and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2-24 hours. Stir occasionally to make sure tempeh is evenly coated.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay tempeh out evenly on baking sheet. Reserve any leftover marinade. Just before baking, drizzle with a little more sugar free maple syrup and soy sauce. Bake for 22-30 minutes or until caramelized and a deep golden brown color. Remove from oven and brush with any leftover marinade. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 213 calories, 13 grams protein, 15 grams fat, 13 grams carbohydrate, 208 mg sodium.

Vegetarian Chili

2  medium zucchini (chopped)
1  medium onion (chopped)
1 cup green pepper (chopped)
1 cup sweet red pepper (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 (28 ounces) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can organic pinto beans (drained)
1 (15 ounce) can organic black beans (drained)
1  jalapeno pepper (seeded and chopped)
¼ cup fresh cilantro (minced)
¼ cup fresh parsley (minced)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cumin

In a large pot, saute zucchini, onion, peppers and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or longer, stirring occasionally. Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 185 calories, 8 grams protein, 5 grams fat, 31 grams carbohydrate, 262 mg sodium.




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