MountainStar Health - January 06, 2020

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

January 2020,

A new start. A new attitude. A new decade to boot. A civil rights hero’s birthday observed. I feel like looking over the past decade of my life, not just the past year. How is your life different from 10 years ago? Personally, I was working for the US Army, living in El Paso, riding my bicycle, and complaining about the heat. I did not envision my life to be what it is today. But it is a good life, albeit a surprising one. How about you? How would you like your life to be 10 years from now? What do you need to set in motion NOW to make that a reality in 10 years? When I write, and you read, my last LILI Letter?

In good health,
Jennifer James

Success story

A married couple, “S” and “D” are our Success Story this month.

“S” writes…

“My wife and I recently completed the LILI class. We both wanted to lose weight but found diets to be complicated and unsustainable. We saw an ad for the LILI class on the hospital’s marquee and looked up the class description. We liked what we saw and decided to take the plunge. We both had success* during the course and enjoyed the class. My personal perspective is this is a life class, not a diet class which I really liked. While keeping track of what you eat is important, it is more important to make good decisions. Meal planning, mindful eating, stress and life balance are all important topics when trying to lose weight and be healthy. All were covered well during the class. I feel the course helped us keep perspective in life, rather than some crazy fad diet that we may lose a bunch of weight doing, but would never be able to sustain. We tried things we have never done, such as yoga and meditation and found these relaxing and enjoyable. We have more to accomplish on our weight loss goals, and now have a helpful life plan to get us there.”

* (They are being modest, “S” lost 16 pounds and 2.7% body fat, “D” lost 7 pounds and 3.4% body fat.) Great job you two!


“Bowling” is a quick way to put a healthy meal together in one bowl, without a lot of fuss or dishes to wash. You can buy bowls already prepped, such as these two. They include chopped vegetables, rice and a sauce packet. A quick 3 minutes in the microwave and voilá! I added my own chopped egg and some peanuts to the version on the far left. It made a light, tasty supper. The sauces can be high in sodium, so I used only half of the packet. You can also make your own. Check out the recipe below for a DIY bowl.


Here is a topic that is near and dear to my heart….NOT. If you have struggled with being patient, read on. One of the hardest lessons in my life has been patience: with myself, with others, with just about everything. I read an article on patience and they saw it not as a virtue, but as a skill that can be learned. Anytime I feel myself wanting to force things, I have to practice being patient. (Understand I said practice….I don't have this down yet). One approach that comes to mind is detachment. When traffic is moving slowly, when we encounter delay after delay in some area of our lives, when the weight is not coming off…you get the picture. Detaching when we feel impatient can work. Let it go, as the Frozen characters sing. Hurrying and pushing things or others along, faster than their pace, is generally not helpful. Making ourselves aggravated and unhappy because we don’t get our way…well, our inner 2-year old is running the show. Patience can allow things to come to fruition or transpire in the best time and place possible, without our grubby fingerprints all over it. I know, this is tough, we live in an instant gratification culture. When we are impatient, we are in resistance to the present moment. Relax, lighten up, turn our attention to the task at hand, and let the things we can’t control go as they go.

My last gray hair

I am often told by patients, who are repeating what a friend, other health care provider, the internet, who or whatever have told them: don’t eat bananas, don’t eat roasted sweet potatoes, don’t eat more than 4 nuts a day or 2 tablespoons of cottage cheese; don’t eat after 5 pm, don’t eat any carbs, don’t eat dinosaur eggs, blah, blah, blah. I think when my last hair turns gray from all this BS, it will be time to retire. We need to understand that nutrition is a lot more flexible and facile than many of the self-styled nutrition “experts” would have us believe. Do you know how many indigenous cultures there are, and that all of their diets can be healthy? How could we have possibly survived this long on planet earth without eating the Paleo-Keto-Alkaline-5:2-Macro-Fill-in-The-Blank diet?? The Inuit eat mostly marine animal products, and can be quite healthy. Obesity is less common in Sweden than here, yet they eat a lot of potatoes and rye bread. Huh?? We are so rigid in this country with our approach to food. It has nothing to do with enjoyment, and everything to do with health parameters, particularly weight loss. Which is not a bad thing necessarily, but our focus is so distorted and narrow compared to many European countries, that I have to scratch my head. How did this come about? Profit and desperate people my friends. If you can't come up with some funky angle on what to eat, you won’t sell any diet books or bogus supplements to these desperados. You won’t film a documentary blasting everything other than your narrow way of eating. You won't make money! People who take my weight loss class are amazed that there isn’t a gimmicky meal plan to follow. And you know why? Because it's unnecessary! We’ve been brainwashed my friends. Just eat a whole foods, mostly plant-based diet of colorful meals, cooked at home from scratch. The occasional ice cream cone, cheese burger or gummy bear is not going to kill you….unless you choke on it! Or have an allergic reaction/intolerance to it! And we can choke on black beans or lettuce just as easily. Yep. Thanks for reading!

Exercise your options

Nobody likes to be cold, or wet, or slip on the ice. Or breathe nasty air. Exercising in the winter months can be challenging. The early darkness makes us want to go home and curl up on the couch with a hot cup of something. I remember speaking with one of the regulars, at a gym in Texas where I went, who commented on how there were always a lot of people that went to the gym in January, but within a month or two, the numbers went back down to the “regulars”. So, what made us go the gym all the time, but not the others? For myself, I have to be a good example, I feel and look better, and I get to check out the hot guys J. If you enjoy snowshoeing, ice skating, skiing or hockey, you’re lucky! If you don’t, you will need to find another way. Do not neglect your physical needs during the winter. It will be that much more difficult to squeeze into that bikini (or shorts) in June. A cheap, indoor approach is to walk the mall or the “big box” stores, like the Super Target or Walmart. And yes, consider joining a gym. Many in the area only charge $10 a month. If you have the bucks, consider buying a treadmill or elliptical machine. There are exercise apps you can download to your phone, exercise videos you can watch, personal trainers you can hire, exercise classes you can join, dances you can attend, swimming pools you can swim in….just do something! I have lived in some diverse environments, and always find a way to exercise regularly, even if it’s just walking. Do you like to do laundry, pay taxes, clean your house, and go to the dentist?? No? But you do it. If you have the desire, you can make it happen. Remember that many of us just move from one chair to another throughout the day, especially this time of year. Let’s be adults, and do the right thing. This includes being active, even in the winter. Your entire body and future good-weather-self will thank you.

This is one idea I can get excited about. Thanks to my coworker Juliane who inspired me with her new “Bowls” cookbook, I am putting a bowls recipe in the newsletter this month. Include a high-protein food, vegetables, a grain or starchy food, a dressing or sauce, and some add ins. You can vary this based on what you have on hand, or what sounds good to you. I chose to use black-eyed peas for a New Year’s Day twist.


  • ½ cup canned, rinsed and drained black eyed peas or other legume
  • ~1/3 cup of each chopped into uniform pieces: red bell pepper, carrot, pea pods, celery
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
  • Dried red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dressing: whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 1/8 tsp. oregano, 1 Tbsp. stone ground mustard, ½ heaping tsp. smoked paprika, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, 2 Tbsp. honey, ½ tsp. garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste (makes ~6, 2-Tbsp. servings)


Place all ingredients in a medium bowl in separate sections. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water, cover with a plate, and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Let steam for a bit for crisp tender vegetables. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. of the dressing, and sprinkle with the peanuts and a few red pepper flakes. Dig in while you contemplate the year ahead.

I created the bowl recipe, and the vinaigrette recipe is adapted from one found at on

Calories: Bowl ~385 without dressing

Dressing ~50 calories/tablespoon

January classes and support groups

LILI beginner class

Losing It & Loving It Weight Loss/Wellness Class
January 14th-March 31st
Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00pm (first class 12-1:30 pm)
Heart Center Conference Room
Register/pay at or call 866-887-3999
Information: Contact Jennifer at (801) 479-2133 or via email.

Support groups

Mondays, 2:00pm-3:00pm
Tuesdays, 4:30pm-5:30pm
Heart Center Conference Room
Free to LILI graduates

“How poor are they that have not patience!”
“What wound did ever heal but by degrees?”

William Shakespeare