MountainStar Health - June 04, 2019

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


Summer has finally made her appearance. After all that rain I was beginning to have my doubts. We all expect our seasons to follow a particular format, don't we? A surgeon told me once that, "Mother Nature bats last". True words indeed. No amount of hoping and wishing will make a bit of difference on our part. It looks like our collective wish will come true for some sunny days in the 80's this month. A Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there. We also observe Flag Day and the first day of summer. Yea!

In good health,
Jennifer James

Success story

This is a Success Story from a heart disease angle. I am very indebted to "JS" for writing this up for us. A large number of people were involved with his care in our cardiac rehab department and cardiology services here at Ogden Regional.

J.S. writes:

Wow! Never saw it coming, 48 years old. Massive heart attack, 100% blockage of right coronary artery, 40 minutes from rescue and desperate to survive. After three days of intensive care it dawned on me; what I need are the shoulders of a giant. That is when I was introduced to the Cardiac Wellness Center (Cardiac, Pulmonary, and Cancer Rehabilitation) at Ogden Regional hospital.

I remember my first day with the team: scared, confused, and insecure. I received comfort, confidence, assurance, knowledge and most importantly friendship. We will all travel separate paths on our recovery. Some will need an understanding of mindfulness, exercise, risk factors or more. What I needed most was an emphasis on nutrition knowledge. I found my giant in the Wellness Center team and Jennifer James (Nutritionist/Dietitian). My wife and I worked closely with Jennifer and the team to gain that understanding. With the tutelage I received, I have since lost 30+ lbs. and I am making a strong recovery. Because you taught me to see the world differently, I have learned to treat the world differently.

I am forever indebted to Dr. Ansari, MD (Cardiologist) and her team for saving my life, and I owe my eternal gratitude to the Wellness center team for inspiring me to live with eyes wide open.

Whatever your need, stand on their shoulders. They are all giants.

You've got this,

Good job JS, beautifully written! We are all so impressed by how you have turned your life around. Good on ya!

Have you tried a cast-iron skillet?

A cast-iron skillet is a culinary workhorse. If you have never cooked with one, give it a go! They need to be seasoned before first use (heat the pan and wipe with a small amount of oil). After cooking, clean it with soap and water and scrub it out, but don't let it sit in water. Season it again after washing. You can use it on the stove top, in the oven and over a campfire or on a grill. Yes, it is heavy. But it retains heat very well. Use your oven mitts and hotpot holders when handling it, as the handles will be hot. You can roast a chicken, make cornbread, beans and sear meat in it. It is very durable and can last for many decades. The old, well-used ones have a lovely satin finish. The hot oil during seasoning actually bonds to the metal, and after many uses takes on a non-stick quality.


The itch

The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, or ITCZ, often referred to as the "itch", is an area near the equator where there is little surface wind. Sailors refer to this area, as "The Doldrums". No movement. Feeling like one is in the doldrums, with little movement or progress in weight loss, and quite frankly in life, can beset all of us from time to time. It is a frustrating, disheartening place to be. As I write this, I can enthusiastically say that I have been is such phases myself. It feels like being in a little boat that circles around and around in the same spot. Nothing seems to change! But my friends, things do change, and can turn on a dime when we least expect it. How to extract one's self from the dreaded doldrums? Realize life (and weight loss) are not a smooth, straight road. We take unintentional detours and intentional dirt side roads that seem to lead nowhere. Maybe we need to change some things, rethink some things, recommit to what we want out of life. Give ourselves a rest and a break. Have compassion for ourselves when we seem to not make any progress. But weight loss and life encompass so many things on so many levels. If we let one aspect of our life drive us crazy, and become our ENTIRE life, than we need to reset that compass. If our entire life revolves around the beastly number on the scale, than we need to get more out of life. Our body does what it does based on what we do to it (genetics and age are also at work, admittedly). So if we are not getting the results we want, we need to do things differently, when we are ready.

As we all know, this too shall pass.


The little tool ! That works

Over the many years I have been a dietitian, one very reliable weight loss tool has endured the test of time. Whenever I get off track and need to drop a few pounds, this is my one tried-and-true method. What is it? you may ask. Well, if you have taken the weight loss class here at ORMC, you have been asked to do this, every week for 12 weeks. Ring any bells? My friends, it is the food diary. I can hear a silent collective moan coming through cyberspace from y'all. Yes, I know it is not on your list of favorite things to do. I also know it takes courage, honesty and facing reality head-on to keep one. Sometimes we can't handle the truth. We resist and defy keeping a food diary. We want to lose weight our way. And maybe your way works. But for the vast majority of people, tracking our food intake, hunger cues and eating behavior with this little tool, it IS what works. Even research shows that those who keep a food diary are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off. It doesn't require huge amounts of time according to the study cited below. The authors found it was not the time spent or details that mattered, but the act of self-monitoring that determined success or failure. You can access electronic versions, create your own spreadsheet, use a paper diary or notebook, what have you. But do it. If you are really serious about losing weight, humble thyself and do it! One of my most successful class and support group attendees keeps a food diary religiously, even on vacation. And said person has lost 80 pounds in the past 17 months. Do you want to follow a budget? Than you need to track what you spend, otherwise what's the point? If you want to lose weight, track your food intake. Can you spare 15-20 minutes a day to get the healthy, hot body you want? Simple, simple, simple and doable. What are you waiting for?


Oh baby!

A young man took the weight loss class last year with the intention of losing weight and becoming healthier, before he and his wife conceived. A very wise move that will likely save him and his family a lot of preventable misery. Read on…

When it comes to pregnancy, a woman's pre-pregnant weight can have dramatic effects on her and her infant's future well-being. The excess weight carries more "weight" than previously thought, and seems to have a greater impact than weight gained during pregnancy. Obesity and overweight increase her risk for gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, caesarean delivery, pre-term birth, and a too-small or too-large baby at birth. Her future risk for type 2 diabetes jumps as well. An obese woman (BMI 30+) prior to conception increases the risk of her child becoming obese by 2.69 times. An overweight woman (BMI 25-29) increases this risk by 1.65 times. With a higher weight, the child's risk for a myriad of health problems, along with bullying and poor self-esteem increases. Sadly, most of the pregnant women I see in my office were already obese before conception. Regarding that old adage of "eating for two" during pregnancy, it is a big misconception. Not until the third trimester does a pregnant woman need to eat an appreciably higher amount of calories. And that is only around 400 extra per day, easily consumed in one sandwich.

Bringing a child into the world involves tremendous responsibility, which includes pre-delivery preparation. A child is born into the same environment his or her parents live in, created by their socioeconomic status, stress management, eating and activity patterns. This environment also influences their future weight, obviously. A child is not doomed to poor health if the mother is obese, but it underscores the need for women to be at a healthy weight before they conceive. So, if you are planning on conceiving, establish healthy habits with your partner, with the mother-to-be at a healthy weight especially. Then proceed to go about the business of creating your little bundle of joy. ☺️


Skillet cornmeal hoecakes

This is a Southern creation. They are like a cornbread pancake. I made them for this newsletter, and intended to eat one. I ate two they were so good. So be forewarned, they are pretty tasty. You can omit the sugar if you like. They can be topped with a variety of things, or eaten plain. I toasted the leftovers like a slice of bread. A good alternative food for breakfast, and fun to make with a cast-iron skillet. I topped mine with a little lite sour cream and my sister's homemade apple butter.

I tweaked the recipe found online from Bonappetit.

Bob�??s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour 1 Cup
Bob�??s Red Mill whole grain medium grind cornmeal 2/3 Cup
Sugar 1-2 Tbsp.
Salt 1/2 Tsp.
large eggs 2
Skim milk 1-1/4 Cups
Oil or melted butter 2-1/2 Tbsp.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the dry ingredients together. Whisk the eggs and skim milk together.
  2. Incorporate the egg mixture with the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in the oil or butter. (I used 2/3 oil, 1/3 butter)
  3. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tsp. or more of oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Let it heat for a minute or two.
  4. Pour in half of the batter. Cook until bubbles come to the top, similar to cooking pancakes, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Place skillet in hot oven (use the oven mitt!). Bake for 3 minutes.
  6. Place skillet back on burner over medium heat. Flip hoecake over. Cook for 2-3 more minutes until firm to touch.
  7. Repeat with remaining half of batter. Serve warm plain or with toppings.

Calories: 1/12 of recipe = 125 calories

June support groups

Mondays, 2:00 -3:00 pm
Tuesdays, 4:30-5:30 pm

Free to Lili graduates
Heart Center Conference Room

Energy and persistence conquer all things.
---Benjamin Franklin