MountainStar Health - September 17, 2019

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


I always breathe a sigh of relief when this month rolls around. I am not a big fan of the heat, so the cooler days and nights are so welcome. We are now entering autumn, and a good time to take stock of what is important. Are we living the lives we want to live? What needs to change to make that happen? The fall equinox and the first day of fall, in addition to Labor Day are observed this month.

In good health,
Jennifer James

Success Story

No Success Story, but I need to write about this.

Expectations...they can poison the well of our existence. In a way, we are predicting the future OUR way. This way of thinking sets us up for a lot of misery. It is future-based, not present-based. Take weight loss...when someone in the one of the classes tells me they only lost 10 pounds, not the 20 they had hoped for, it diminishes what DID happen. It is still a success! Taking life as it comes, letting it present itself to us as it is, not how we think it should be, is really the way to go for a happy life. If we expect to lose X amount of weight by such-and-such a date, have a certain type of house in a certain neighborhood, have our spouse behave a certain way, well you get the idea. All of these expectations that have not been met create unhappiness. Why not look at what you DO have? And be at peace with how your life is currently? Sure, we can always make positive changes, I am not saying to be complacent. This life we judge and try to control can be snatched away in an instant. Humans are funny creatures. We want what we want, when we want it. Sounds like a 2-year old, eh? Yes, we can practice healthy habits. Maybe the way our body handles those healthy habits will be different from what we envision. Lighten up! Any success in any area is wonderful, even if it doesn’t fit the rigid mold of our expectations. Give yourself some credit folks! And enjoy your life for pity’s sake, even if it is your Plan B, or C or D! Ok, I’m done.

Have you Tried...Harissa Paste?

Harissa is a hot pepper paste and condiment used in North African and Middle Eastern cooking. The recipe varies by region, but is basically made from hot chili peppers, garlic, cumin, coriander, olive oil and other herbs and spices. It is not the easiest product to find, (I found this at Trader Joe’s), but you can make your own. It is not just hot and spicy, but also very flavorful. High in vitamins A and C, it deserves a try.

Mr. Oliver

If you have never heard of Jamie Oliver, you are in for a treat. He is an English chef, restaurateur and author. I recently watched a cooking show of his, based on dishes with only 5 ingredients, “Jamie’s Quick and Easy Food”, which is a series. I was mesmerized. He is so passionate about cooking good, fresh food. Even if you don’t cook much, he is very entertaining to watch. I ordered his cookbook, ‘Five Ingredients”, after reading that 70 percent of the recipes were healthy. He does include some dessert recipes, and yes, we can eat dessert occasionally. I am very excited about all this. I am always looking for ways to get people to cook at home more. How can we go wrong with 5 ingredients and 30 minutes or less to put dinner on the table? I have prepared several recipes out of the cookbook, I even gave it to my sister for her birthday. Check him out and consider buying the cookbook for yourself. Jamie Oliver's website, has cooking videos, a run-down of all vegetables, and just a lot of good cooking tips and information. He uses sustainably sourced foods and some exotic ingredients that are fun to try. You can thank (or blame) him for the featured food this month, harissa paste.

Oliver, Jamie, 5 Ingredients, Quick and Easy Food, Flatiron Books, New York, 2017

See Jane Run

I think most of us know that calorie restriction is what causes weight loss. A big “duh”. There is an interesting study done in Taiwan that found some types of exercise were more apt to help those with a higher BMI lose weight. These folks were predisposed to obesity, along with the frustration that goes along with it I’m sure. Swimming and bicycling were not on the list. The six types of exercise that worked the best were: mountain climbing, walking, power walking, regular jogging, dancing and extended sessions of yoga. All of these engage the large muscle groups and are for extended periods of time. They also work against gravity, where swimming and bicycling do not. Three 30-minute sessions of jogging per week seemed to confer the most benefit (weight lost). I know most of us reading this are not Han Chinese, as the study participants were. And the older folks reading this are not likely to jog three times per week. But most of us can go for a walk, the longer the better, and pump those arms! Yes, calorie restriction does produce weight loss, but these types of exercise may help hurry it along. We are quickly losing our “It’s too hot” excuse to avoid walking outside, with fall just around the corner. Double duh.

Nield, David, These six specific exercises can cut body weight, even if you're predisposed to obesity, viewed 07 August 2019

R and R

I teach mindfulness and meditation to our cardiac rehab and cancer patients. If we don’t have time to relax, or take time to relax (there’s a difference J), we are setting ourselves up for all kinds of suffering in the future. There is even a thing called “rest shame”, particularly with women. Where women are shamed (usually self-directed) into staying frenetic and busy, busy, busy to justify their worth. Taking a nap or time off feels like the ultimate sin. Since I try to keep things positive, why not look at WHY it’s good to relax and rest? Even Bill Gates sees the value in it. If we don’t get adequate rest and relaxation, depression can rear its ugly head and the Piper will have to paid at some point. Yes, back to positive...If we calm ourselves on a regular basis, such as listening to music, taking a walk in nature, meditating, and taking time off, here are the things that will come of it:

Increased creativity
Increased happiness
Better relationships
Increased motivation
More energy

Improved memory
Healthier immune system
Lower cortisol level
Lower blood pressure

Increased dopamine
Increased melatonin
Better sleep
Lower blood sugar

What’s not to like? If you find yourself running at full tilt for most of your waking hours, I am talking to YOU. Why not set up a regular, short appointment every day with yourself to chill? Better yet, take vacations! Whatever does it for you. Please.

10 Incredible Things That Happen to Your Body When You Relax
Brody, Karen, Daring to Rest: Lying Down to Wake Up, Wisdom of the Body Summit, online presentation, August 2019, viewed at Sound True
Why Bill Gates Changed His Mind About Taking Time Off

Zippy Butternut Squash

I made this last night. It will wake up your taste buds and get your attention. You can use half the harissa it calls for if you like it milder. If you cut the harissa in half, double the olive oil. I added the raisins to give it a bit more sweetness. It is hot folks, just warning you! Have a little plain yogurt on the side to dampen the heat.



2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-1-1/4 inch chunks 1
harissa paste 1-2 tablespoons
oil 1-2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
raisins, optional 3 tablespoons

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Use parchment paper to line a large baking sheet, or use a stone baking pan.
Toss the butternut squash with the harissa paste, oil and salt. Spread onto the pan.
Pop in the oven for 15 minutes, stir or turn to evenly brown the squash. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown and softens.
Remove from oven and add the raisins if you like. Let cool a bit and serve. Enjoy!

1/8 recipe: ~70 calories, with raisins ~ 80 calories

September Classes and Support Groups

“Losing It and Loving It” Weight Loss/Wellness Class

September 17 - December 10, 2019
Tuesdays, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Heart Center Conference Room
To register, call 1-866-887-3999 or at our calendar

“Losing It and Loving It Part 2”

For graduates of the "beginner" class
September 17 - December 10, 2019
Tuesdays, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Heart Center Conference Room
To register, email Jennifer or call at (801) 479-2133

Support Groups

Mondays, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Tuesdays, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Free to graduates of LILI
Heart Center Conference Room
We will not meet Labor Day, September 3, 9, or 10, 2019

"Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax." —Mark Black