MountainStar Health - August 04, 2020

LILI Newsletter July 2020

The Ogden Regional Medical Center / Heart Center, “Losing It and Loving It” weight loss class and support group newsletter


If you can read this, you are having a good day. Number one, you are literate. Number two, you are healthy enough to read it, not lying in an ICU fighting for your life. So, off to a good start. August…good Lord, what a new reality we are all living. Mother Nature is carrying on as usual, and visiting Her as often as possible seems to be the right thing to do. I encourage you to turn off the blasted news and go for a walk. No holidays to observe this month, just kiddies going back to school, one way or another.

In good health,

Jennifer James

Success story

We have someone this month who lost a significant amount of weight, even during the pandemic. Amazing work.

R.C. writes…

“Recently, I attended the “Losing It and Loving It” class at Ogden Regional because I was overweight and wanted to lose weight to maintain my health as I was getting older. My exercise routine did include weights, walking, and swimming. However, the pounds did not come off as I had hoped. For some time, I wondered if my eating habits were a reason for my inability to lose weight and maintain a weight good for my health.

The class was limited to only 12 students. This was essential so the class instructor—Jennifer James—was able to provide individual attention to each student. She set up calorie intake (1600-1800) for my height (5’9”) and body type (medium). Also, all students had to maintain a food diary for our individual calorie intake. This diary is an essential tool. It really opened my eyes as to what I was eating and how many calories I was consuming. In fact, I am continuing to maintain a diary as a visible tool for my calorie consumption. Also, very important, the diary showed how my snacking was impacting my caloric intake. Further, for main meals—breakfast, lunch, dinner—I had to really look at the size (portion) of these meals, and how many ounces I was consuming. When this information was right before me, I became disciplined to adhere to the guidelines (calories, portion size, ounces consumed) set up for me. As a result, I was able to lose 20-25 pounds.

All necessary reference material was provided. This included very interesting information regarding exercising, psychology of eating, sleeping habits, easy to use charts, and many other handouts. The material showed the many effects our personal lives and activities have on our eating habits (an important word). How to read food labels correctly is a very important handout. This material will remain a reference source well into the future.

I am very happy with the results and believe I now have the discipline to maintain healthy eating habits and a healthy weight. I discovered that I didn’t need to consume the amount of food that I had previously consumed. I feel better than I have in many years, and, most importantly, I like how I look.

If you are having difficulty with maintaining a healthy weight, I would recommend attending this class. It is well worth the time to participate.” —Good job RC, way to go!

Pesticide myths

You may be familiar with the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists of produce that are updated annually by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. This group tracks the amount of pesticide residue on produce. The Dirty Dozen are the “dirtiest” produce, and the Clean 15 are the “cleanest”. You can check the lists at However, the pesticide residue on produce may not be as high as you think, even on the Dirty Dozen. The USDA has the pesticide data program (PDP), which was set up in the early 90’s. This program manages the sampling, testing and reporting of pesticide residue on all US produce, including imports. The EPA sets the safe limits for pesticide residue on produce. Ninety-nine percent of the time pesticide residue are well below the safe limits established, and 50% of the time no residue at all is detected. In fact, these limits are generally 100 times lower than what is considered safe consumption _over a human lifetime. _Interestingly, organic farming uses pesticides as well, usually derived from natural sources such as pepper, neem oil and diatomaceous earth. There are around 25 synthetic pesticides that have been approved for use on organic produce in special circumstances, such as alcohols, copper sulfate and hydrogen peroxide. Conversely, 900 synthetic pesticides are used in conventional farming. Regardless of which produce contains which pesticides, the residue can be removed using cold running water and a vegetable brush.

The implicit problem here is that we might think we are eating large amounts of pesticide residue on Dirty Dozen and conventionally-farmed produce. This is not the case. Most of us, from what I see with patients, don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. The health benefits to eating produce far outweigh the minute quantities of pesticides present. To get a better feel for this, check out this pesticide residue calculator at You will be astonished! I was.

So my friends, if you like buying organic produce, buy it. Some research has shown advantages, others not. But it’s not as squeaky clean as you might have thought, and conventional produce is not as tainted.

Amidor, Toby, Pesticides and produce, Today’s Dietitian, p.10, January 2020.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7: Agriculture, Part 205 National Organic program, viewed at:

Roseboro, Ken, (01 March 2017) Debunking “alternative facts’ about pesticides and organic farming, viewed at:

What motivates you

Here is something to consider…one of the support group participants decided to track her reasons for eating at the end of each day for a week. What she discovered about herself was very enlightening. I applaud her. She came up with nine different reasons for eating, only one being hunger. With her permission, I am sharing with you her other reasons for eating. I am sure we can all relate!

  • Not to waste food another family member did not eat
  • A family member was visiting
  • It was a holiday
  • So she wouldn’t miss out on the candy another family member was polishing off
  • It was enjoyable
  • Out of habit
  • Just wanted something
  • Was actually thirsty but ate instead
  • To make sure each batch of popcorn she made for the movies tasted like it should

The week before, when she only ate with physical hunger, she lost five pounds! So….in the classes, I do spend quite a bit of time discussing our motivation for eating. One of the best quotes I have ever heard, thanks to a class member from several years ago is this: “If the problem isn’t hunger, the solution isn’t food.” Track your motivation for eating as she did. The truth will set you free…

The art of resiliency

With the march toward world domination by the V-word, we may notice that some of us are handling the uncertainty, fear and general upheaval better than others. What gives? Resiliency is the ability to endure traumatic, unexpected events, bounce back from these, and even experience some growth in the process. It enables a person to recover and even thrive after negative experiences. They realize they don’t know what is going to happen, and are ok with that. We can plan and strategize, such as taking good care of our health, saving money, and doing things that bring us joy as safeguards against unexpected trying events, which will come.

But other factors are at play here. A person’s resilience is influenced by genetics, but only a little. Upbringing, personality and life experiences are relevant. The most critical factor, research has found, is the quality of our personal relationships. Particularly when we were children. If we had a secure and loving childhood, we are more likely to bounce back after a traumatic event. Optimism, spiritual beliefs, good relationships with others, and looking for the “gift” in the situation are traits seen in resilient folks. The resilient ones understand which factors are beyond their control, and those they can control. They also have a clear sense of morality and believe in a power greater than themselves. They are caring people who help others for no personal gain, and tend to have a purpose in life. For example, during the pandemic, if you have taken up a new hobby, volunteered, engaged in a daily spiritual practice, checked up on your friends and family, and stayed optimistic about the current situation, you will be more resilient than your unfriendly neighbor, the hermit, who refuses to help anyone and yells at the neighborhood kids. So my pandemic friends, how resilient are you? What can you change to increase your resiliency?

Zimmerman, Eilene, What makes some people more resilient than others. New York Times, updated June 21, 2020. Viewed at:

Baked Japanese eggplant parmesan

One of our support group attendees, Elaine, was kind enough to share this recipe. She has a garden and grows Japanese eggplant. This recipe is hers, adapted from the It can be modified for vegans and those who eat a gluten-free diet. You can also prepare pasta to serve on the side if you like.

  • 5 Japanese eggplants, cut vertically in half
  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or gluten-free)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (or gluten-free)
  • 2 Tbsp. parmesan (vegan or regular), or 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or 2 tsp fresh)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or other neutral milk)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Marinara sauce, optional

Cut three crosswise slits in each eggplant half.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil and spritz with nonstick spray.

Dipping stations: Prepare your dipping stations by placing flour in one bowl, almond milk + cornstarch in another bowl, and bread crumbs + sea salt + oregano + parmesan (or nutritional yeast) in another bowl. Dip eggplants in flour, then milk mixture, then breadcrumbs. Arrange on the baking sheet and pop in oven to bake for a total of 20-30 minutes.

To serve: place eggplant slices and marinara in a dish as a dipping sauce. Additional parmesan cheese makes an excellent topper. Leftovers don’t really reheat well, so it’s best when fresh.

Calories: difficult to determine, as not all of the breadcrumbs, milk, flour will be used. Estimate ~575-600 per recipe.

Fall classes and summer support groups

Our support groups have gone remote! The groups will meet as usual on Mondays and Tuesdays. You still have the option of attending in person. If you are interested in joining a support group remotely, please send an email to Jennifer James.

I will send you an invitation. Let me know which meeting you prefer, as two different email invitations are sent. Hope to see you soon!!

Mondays, 2 – 3 pm
Tuesdays, 4:30 – 5:30 pm

Losing It & Loving It Weight Loss/Wellness Class

September 15 – December 8, Tuesdays
6 – 7 pm, first class 6 – 7:30 pm
Aspen Room, Lower Level ORMC
Register at or call (866) 887-3999
Info: 801-479-2133 or email Jennifer James
Social distancing and face masks enforced

We must be willing to let go of the life.

We planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

—Jon Kabat-Zinn