MountainStar Health - July 09, 2019

July 2019 LILI News

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


The wheel in the sky keeps turning, and here we are in July. Sun, heat and the great outdoors beckon us outside to play. We can look forward to Independence Day with the parades, barbeques and fireworks. Familiar things.

What is something new you can challenge yourself with this month? A new hobby? A new attitude? In Mary Oliver's poem, "A Summer's Day," she asks us, "Tell me, what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Indeed. What do YOU plan to do?

In good health,

Jennifer James

Success story

The folks that offered to write about their Success Story are sick with a cold L, so look forward to them in a future LILI.

Instead I get to expound on a topic I find interesting, and one that needs to be drilled into our heads. Often, when people tell me what they have eaten, they describe it as "I was bad, I ate the whole bag of chips." Or "I was good, I passed up the cake at the birthday party."

Food and morality don't go together. Exceptions might be if you use food as a weapon, such as starving someone, which is obviously bad, or help as a food bank providing food to hungry people, which is obviously good.

So folks, please don't equate your "goodness" or "badness" with your food choices.

Supporting the health of our bodies is a sacred endeavor, and eating healthy food can help us accomplish that. Maybe look at it this way: instead of saying, "I was bad, I ate the entire bag of pretzels," instead say, "I chose to eat the entire bag of pretzels." See? It's neutral.

And while I am on this soapbox, our weight does not equal our worth. We are not superior to others if we are at a healthy weight. We are not inferior to others if we are packing some extra pounds. One thing I learned long ago was to leave judgment out of my interactions with patients. Eating too many donuts is better than murder, and often our coping mechanisms originate as small children enduring traumatic childhoods.

Food addictions are worn for the world to see. If you are disgusted with obese people, imagine how they feel about themselves. So everyone, let's be kind to ourselves and others, withhold judgement because we don't know the battles they are fighting, and try to eat a healthy diet to take good care of the amazing body we were issued at birth. Amen.

Little and big

Here is something to ponder. A coworker of mine, who takes caffeine pills to keep it going, accidentally took too much. It took her nearly a week to feel normal again.

In the meantime, she was able to go to bed at a reasonable hour and wake up at a reasonable hour, consistently. I switched out my water bottles for two with a different design, and I have noticed that I am actually drinking more water. These are a lot easier to drink from than the other two I normally use.

Another friend of mine twisted her ankle and fell while jogging, chipping one tooth and cracking another. Consequently, she will need a root canal. The point I am angling towards, with these examples, is how a small change can create a huge difference in our lives.

No caffeine pills, better sleeping habits and a more stable mood. Different water bottle, increased water intake. One wrong step, expensive dental bill. Even though we may think that the big, dramatic moments in our lives have the most lasting impacts, the small decisions and events can have far-reaching effects as well.

So my friends, is there one small, simple change you can make in your life (or steps you can take to prevent an expensive mistake), that will make your life more enjoyable? I'll bet there is at least one small thing you can do, and reap the big rewards. Go for it!

Mix it up

I finally rode my bicycle the other night on the river path, avoiding the flooded parts, and when I finished I felt great! It has been months since I have ridden my bike. I miss it! I normally golf, hike, walk and lift weights.

The happiness I experienced from changing my routine and riding that bike proved a point. Exercising can be fun. Changing up our workout routine is recommended for a number of reasons. If we do the same thing routinely, several things happen.

Our bodies get very efficient with the same routine, and ultimately burn less energy. Personally, boredom sets in for me, and it becomes like pulling teeth to exercise. Life is constant change, and our workouts should be no exception. Why is this better? We can prevent injuries from overuse, it challenges our brains to learn a new task or hobby, improves our balance by engaging different core muscles, help us break through a weight-loss plateau, make some new friends, and exercise can remain enjoyable.

Staying with the same routine locks us into a rut: physically, socially, mentally and emotionally. By doing the same thing over and over, many people drop exercise all together. Research shows that adding variety to an exercise routine improves adherence. With the many possibilities for staying fit in this area, I challenge you to try something new: pickle ball, square dancing, kayaking, tai chi, Zumba, outdoor MeetUp groups, a new machine at the gym... even changing the intensity of your workout counts. Now go outside and play, already!

Death and carbs

For those of you who know me well, you know my feelings about the Keto Diet. Alas, another reason NOT to follow it. Sara Seidelmann, a cardiologist and nutrition researcher at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, with her research team, followed over 15k people from four diverse locations in the US, tracking carbohydrate intake and all-cause mortality.

This study was called "Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities" (ARIC). The results of Dr. Seidelmann's research were combined with the results of carbohydrate intake and mortality from seven multi-national prospective studies (more than 400,000 participants). They evaluated this association in a meta-analysis (a meta-analysis studies a "group" of studies). They also looked at whether substituting plant or animal-derived fats and proteins for the carbohydrates made a difference in mortality. They followed up with the study participants 25 years later, on average. So what did they find?

Those who consumed extremes in carbohydrate (low, less than 40 percent of total calories, or high, greater than 70 percent), had higher rates of mortality. The "sweet spot" was 50 to 55 percet carbohydrate for the lowest mortality rate. Also, when animal-based protein and fats were substituted for carbs, the mortality rate was higher than substituting plant-based versions of protein and fat.

Losing weight is tough, and people become so desperate they will try anything. The Keto Diet has been very popular because its followers do lose weight, quickly, sometimes a lot of it. I understand this. But, is it worth shortening your precious life? I have seen several patients in my office who have lost an average of 80 pounds on this diet. But, they are sick and tired of it! You know what we then discussed? Calorie restriction.

You can eat a wider variety of healthy foods, including carbs, such as whole grains, fruit and dried beans. Nothing is off limits. If you are following a low-carb diet, I beg you to consider the findings of this study.

This video interview on the same topic with Dr. Kim Williams, the former president of the American College of Cardiology, is also worth watching.

Recipe: Tri-colored popcorn and nutritional yeast

Speaking of carbs, we all love popcorn. But it is a challenge to season it without a lot of fat and salt. I popped this up last week, and the yeast makes it really tasty. Feel free to add other seasonings as well, but I liked it with just the "nooch."



Tri-colored corn (or regular popping corn... boring!) 2 tablespoons
Powdered nutritional yeast 1 tablespoon
Cooking spray or oil spray As needed

Place kernels in a brown paper bag and fold over end. Microwave on high for approximately 2 minutes, or until the popping starts to subside. Leave in paper bag, spritz with cooking spray or other oil spray and shake, add nutritional yeast powder, shake vigorously. Enjoy!

Calories: 120 for the kernels and nutritional yeast (additional for cooking spray or oil spray, varies).

Summer support groups

Mondays, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Tuesdays, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Heart Center Conference Room Free to all LILI graduates

"The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want." -Ben Stein