MountainStar Health - November 08, 2022
by Jennifer James

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


This month is often a serious time of reflection for me. The coming winter, with the brilliance of October giving way to the somber hues of November, is the perfect time for going inward. A good time to contemplate our many blessings. If you have indoor plumbing and air conditioning, you are indeed wealthy, as the majority of our global neighbors do not. This month we observe Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Remember to vote and turn your clocks back an hour on the 6th.

Success story

We have a cardiac rehab patient this month with a Success Story.

M writes… “My goal, at Ogden Regional Cardiac Rehab, was to build strength and lose weight. I was able to accomplish these goals by making small changes weekly. These changes included reading labels, parking further away from stores, walking my children to school, being mindful, and not giving up. The staff at Ogden Regional has helped me tremendously. I am grateful I had the chance to work with them!”.

This is Jennifer…this person is being very modest. She lost 8 pounds, her stomach feels better, her food choices improved and she has more energy. Parenting small children and taking care of herself has been a juggling act, but she has done a beautiful job. Great work M!

Have you tried…garbanzo beans?

Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, were domesticated 10,000 years ago in Turkey. “Garbanzo” is a Basque-derived name. They are eaten worldwide, but most are grown in India. They are the most cultivated legume, after soybeans. High in protein, fiber, folate and phosphorus, they are very versatile and a main ingredient in hummus. Try the recipe below.

Scam on

Years ago, I had heard of people ingesting tape worm eggs to lose weight. I kid you not. Here is another “miraculous” product, Oprah’s Keto Weight Loss Gummies. It is a complete scam. Oprah is not associated with it in any way. Weight Watchers, who she has legitimately partnered with, did not create this product. There was not an article in Time magazine about it. The ingredients in this product do not miraculously make us lose weight.

Let’s use our noggins here folks. If something sounds too good to be true, IT IS. Rather than spending money on another weight loss gimmick, spend it on healthy food, or better yet, donate it to the local food bank.

For reputable nutrition information resources, check out these websites:


Keep calm

I attended a seminar recently presented by the psychologist/comedian Dr. Brian King, “Calming an Overactive Brain”, sponsored by the Institute for Brain Potential. He described how our stress response is incredibly powerful and can keep us alive, the “fight or flight” response. The problem is that we engage this powerful response for mundane things, such as being stuck in traffic. We live very fortunate lives for the most part, with all we have in the United States. We are very rarely fighting off wild animals or running for our lives.

I have met with patients who live in this heightened state most of their waking hours. Their bodies are dumping all its resources into this response. Imagine a monster trying to break into your house…all members of the family are pushing back on the front door as it tries to break it down. This goes on for hours, then days. In the meantime, the laundry isn’t getting done, no one buys groceries or cooks, dust accumulates, the plants aren’t watered and the pets go hungry.

It is very similar in our body…when it diverts all resources to running or fighting for its life, the other organs and systems in the body aren’t maintained with the normal care and attention. This is why stress is so detrimental to our health: our digestive system, brain, immune system, joints and muscles, fertility, etc. are not maintained. Chronic diseases develop, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

I ask you, my friends, is it really necessary to engage this powerful survival response simply because we are running late, disagree with someone or wait longer for our meal than expected? Probably not.

Grocery store struggles

All of us have noticed an increase in the price we pay for groceries. I have worked with patients who are on a limited budget, and need to be careful how much they spend on groceries. Several years ago, I allotted myself $27 for one week of food, which a person on food stamps was getting at the time. I have always been frugal, but I did learn some things through my food stamps experience which I thought might be useful to revisit. I was able to eat a healthy diet for the week, but it involved some careful planning and tracking of my spending.

  • Plan meals and shop with a grocery list each week.
  • Read the grocery store circulars every week, and plan meals using these. Use coupons, but only for items we would actually eat or use.
  • Buying in bulk isn’t wise if the food will spoil before its consumed.
  • Check the cost per ounce or portion noted on the grocery store shelf next to the product. A larger container isn’t always cheaper per ounce.
  • Buy store brands, which are usually cheaper than name brands
  • Consider making more meals from dried beans, peas and lentils, which are cheaper than meat, chicken or fish.
  • Shop for produce in season, or better yet grow a garden and can.
  • Estimate how much produce to buy weekly, so it’s not wasted. Figure at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit daily.
  • Cook most of the time at home. Eating out is even more expensive.
  • Shop the bulk food section, which is often cheaper.
  • The federal government offers different meal plans based on a family of four’s income. The Thrifty Food Plan is the cheapest and can be found at Click on the FoodPlansRecipeBook.pdf.

Classic hummus

Hummus is a classic Middle Eastern/Mediterranean dip or condiment. You can add a variety of other ingredients to this basic recipe. One option I like is to add sundried tomato halves and ¼ teaspoon of smoked paprika. It can be used as a vegetarian high-protein option at meals, sandwich spread, or baked potato topping. Its uses are only limited by our imagination.

  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced, seeds removed
  • 1 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans
  • ¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ heaping teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. Drain the liquid from the garbanzo beans and reserve. Rinse the beans in a strainer.
  1. Combine the garlic, lemon juice, garbanzo beans, tahini, salt and cumin in a food processor with 2-3 tablespoons of reserved liquid. Process until smooth for a few minutes, scraping down the sides if needed.
  1. With the food processor running, drizzle the olive oil into the hummus until well-blended. Serve topped with sesame seeds, minced parsley or paprika. Enjoy!

Calories per ¼ cup: 135

November support groups

Mondays, 2-3 pm, Heart Center Conference Room
Thursdays, 4:30-5:30 pm via Webex.

Contact Jennifer for an invitation to the Thursday group

Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges.

Bryant McGill