Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gaines Burgers AKA Brown Rice Power Patties

Remember Gaines Burgers?  That's the name I'm giving to  Brown Rice Power Patties, a fantastic recipe my mother sent me to combat the afternoon sugar cravings.  They are delicious.  Heres' the recipe so you can make your own Gaines Burgers Brown Rice Power Patties:

Brown Rice Power Patties
231 Kcals, 10 grams protein each.

2 cups cooked brown rice
4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese -----grated
1 1/2 cups finely-grated carrots
1/2 cup raw sunflower seed
1/2 cup raw or toasted sesame seeds
3 eggs
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups toasted slivered almonds or dry roasted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mist a baking sheet with non-stick spray.  In a mixing bowl, combine cooked rice, grated cheese, carrots and seeds.  Combine the eggs and seasonings in the food processor and blend for about 5 seconds. Add nuts and process another 5 seconds. if using dry roasted peanuts you may need to process them an extra 5 seconds. Don't over-process the nuts; their texture is important. Add to rice mixture and mix thoroughly.

Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop mixture onto baking sheet, and form into plump patties about 3/4 inch thick. I pack the measuring cup firmly and rinse it between scoops so that the mixture drops out more or less cleanly formed, ready to be patted our a bit more and shaped the rest of the way. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn patties over and bake 10 minutes more. Transfer patties to rack, flipping them so their toastier side show.

If you're not eating them the same day, keep in the refrigerator. They will easily last at least a week if kept cold and stored in an airtight container.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Monitor Measure Manage

Today:  I will
*  Monitor my hunger signals
*  Measure my Kcals & protein
*  Manage my stress.

Off for a walk around Greenlake (2.8 miles) ...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

4th Fill, NSVs and Compulsive Eating

I'm riding the ferry back from my 4th fill appointment and have some time to reflect on what's been going on this last two weeks. 

First, a couple of NSVs (non-scale victories). 
  • I'm getting the hang of smaller bites, slower eating and stopping eating without needing that "full feeling".  I found it I don't wait until I'm ravenously hungry, I can manage these new eating techniques, which, with continued practice will become my usual eating habits.

  • I have a couple of tops and dresses that are getting big.  Or, am I getting smaller? 
  • Significantly less knee pain and stiffness. 
Second, the 4th fill:  The fill technician predicted I'm likely getting close to the "sweet spot" that might hold me for the next 6-8 months.  I'll still need to check in monthly, but I may not need as many fills in the next several months as these first three months.  In the last two weeks, I certainly did feel hungrier sooner (1.5-2 hours instead of 3-4 hours) after eating.  I found myself ruminating and over-planning meals last week as well..a near-certain precursor to compulsive eating.  And, a little sugar craving has popped up between meals, especially towards the end of the day.  Game plan:  After these next two days of liquids (always mandatory after a fill to allow the stomach to heal and settle), I'm going to increase protein in the afternoons with some really great fiber (almonds, apples) to see if I can kick the sugar cravings in the evenings.

Third, and speaking of compulsive eating, I was trading stories with the fill technician about our greatest feats of compulsive eating.  We both agreed that sometimes, for whatever reason, one's brain is wired to just EAT.  Whatever and whenever, with no signals or guidance from other parts of the body.  Silly brain.  So competent in some areas and so defective in others.  It will likely always be this way.  Just like managing a disease or a birth defect.  There are work-arounds and scripts and practices that can help make up for the deficit.  It reminds me of advice adult Aspergian John Robison gives to parents of young children diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome:  "Give them the social scripts they need to be successful in the world.  It doesn't matter if you don't understand why you need to look someone in the eye and say hello when you enter a room.  You just do it and it makes life easier for you."  So I suppose the script for us compulsive eaters is:  "Slow down, taste your food, stop when you feel just barely full but in no way stuffed.  Take little bites.  Eat small meals and make sure they are nutritionally dense so you'll stay satisfied for 3-4 hours.  Deal with stress and feel emotions instead of smothering them with anesthetizing food.  It doesn't matter if you don't understand why.  Just do it.  Your life will be easier".

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"You Cannot Manage What You Do Not Measure"

This is a quote from Dr. Simpson's Book "Lose the Last 30 lbs" .  This is the same bariatric surgeon who wrote the excellent article on appetite suppression vs restriction

The most successful gastric band patients learn how to be satisfied with a cup of food.  They learn to walk away, regardless of being able to "eat more".  The let their bands "fool their brains" into thinking they had more food and thus, get appetite suppressant for several hours on just a cup of food.

"The band goes around your stomach, not your lips and not your brain".

Dr. Simpson's recommendation is to track volume and measure what you want to manage.  I've been measuring calories and protein, but not necessarily volume.  I'll make that my next 4-day win beginning tomorrow and track when my hunger returns after eating a cup of volume.

(I wonder:  If one is used to large volumes of food, likes large volumes of food and thoroughly enjoys that "stuffed feeling", I wonder what the process was like getting used to 1 cup of food at meal times?  Is there grieving at that big lifestyle change?  I've heard some WLS patients will take up other addictions (drinking, gambling, shopping, etc..) to fill up what is now missing.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Excellent Article on Using the Band Successfully

It's not about fullness and restriction, it's about appetite supression. 


Thank you, Heather for posting this link!!  Visit Heather here:  http://heatherslapband.blogspot.com/

Open Door

Something has changed in the last two days.  The tightness of my band from the fill last week seems to have loosened significantly.  The first thing I noticed was a return of hunger about an 60 - 90 minutes earlier than I'd expect and the ability to eat a greater quantity at once.  Secondarily, food seems to "slide through" more easily instead of remaining in the upper stomach, creating stretch, fullness and satiety.

So.  What to do?  When the door is open, should you step through?  When the band is feeling quite restrictive, it's impossible.  The door is locked.  Now that the door is open (about 1/4 way), it obvious that it's time to engage the brain.  Those that have gone before me talk about the band being a tool but not the solution.  The solution is me.  I get to choose what, when and how much to eat.  The band gets to be the band.  The bumpers in the bowling lane gutter.  It can't throw the ball for me. 

Strategies for the next 4 days:
(Why 4 days?  Check out the 4 day win )

1.  Watch and hunger and fullness cues carefully.  Be careful of getting too hungry and then over-nourishing as a result.

2.  Focus on primary rather than secondary foods (this is based on integrative, holistic nutrition.  Check out http://www.integrativenutrition.com/primaryfood  or http://primarynourishment.com/my-approach

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Bus

You ticket to incidental exercise!  Getting an extra 2 mile walk in today since I'm bussing from Phinney to Capital Hill.  That's good.  Ever notice how can smell what the person sitting next to you last ate?  That's bad.  What is that smell?  KFC?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Analogies & Experiences

Having too loose of a band, or, how I know I need a fill right away:
  • This feels much like driving with a very loose parking break on:  You feel something kinda dragging on you, but you can pretty much drive as fast as you want.
  • You over-plan eating and ruminate about the next meal.  Thoughts of food dominate your consciousness.
  • You feel like you need to satisfy your hunger as soon as you feel it.
  • Letting your hunger build also makes your anxiety build.
  • Easy to eat over 2000 Kcals a day.
The green zone, sweet spot, or perfect fill level
  • Weirdly satisfied with about 1/4 or 1/2 of what you'd normally eat.  (This is still novel and on occasion, I still over-fill my plate.
  • Little rumination about food between meal times.
  • No physical need and less emotional need to graze and snack.
  • 1200 - 1500 Kcals feel about right.  It might be difficult to eat too much over 2000 Kcals.
  • Feel like bowling with bumpers:  You still have to throw the ball straight to get a strike, but the bumpers will prevent you from rolling a gutter ball (or totally blowing it by over-eating).
Band too-tight
  • Hurts to drink water.
  • Takes an hour or more to finish 20 ounces of protein drink
  • Hard to get 900 - 1000 Kcals
  • Feel like there's a parking boot on your car.  You're not going anywhere and if you try to drive, you're going to damage your car.