Aspirus Bariatrics

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This year celebrate your new body, your new life and most of all your health.

Avoiding the Holiday Hijacks

Whether you have had surgery or are in the long process of gaining insurance approval for surgery, the holidays are going to be different for you this year.  Holidays are a time to celebrate, and celebrate you will.   Celebrate your success over the past year!  Here are some ideas to help make your celebration different even better than years past. 

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukah are joyous occasions, but also bring hidden sources of stress.  Let’s begin with the food.  During the holidays a great deal of high carbohydrate, high fat and sugar-laden food will be available.  This food will not only be available at celebrations, but also in the workplace where it will remain visible for long periods of time.  Whenever possible try to move the food out of your direct line of vision and smell. 

Parties can be even more difficult than work situations.  At work there is a job to distract you, at parties there is not.  Set up a different kind of party mood this year.  Do not fall into the temptations of “treating yourself to every temptation” as you may have one in the past.  Try looking into the mirror before you leave for a party and remind yourself how happy you are with the decisions you will make this evening.  Instead of hanging around the kitchen helping with food preparation, work with the festivities that do not center on food like karaoke, dancing or games.  

Remember there are other ways to pamper yourself for the holidays like getting a manicure or pedicure, buying a new outfit for that special party, or a new hair cut.  When picking out an outfit you may want to go with the belt and buttons as opposed to the stretch sweaters or comfort band pants.  These can help you keep mindful of your eating throughout the evening.

Simple Holiday Tips:
· Eat a protein snack or supplement prior to the event to avoid overeating when you are there.
· Use a small plate to control portions.
· No matter the event, there should be turkey, chicken or ham along with vegetables and fruit.  Eat lean protein first.
· Choose beverages wisely.  Watch for hidden calories, and refrain from drinking 45 minutes prior to and after eating if you have had surgery.
· Avoid alcohol.  Remember alcohol is not only out of compliancy with your program, it is loaded with calories and can lead to binge eating.  Gastric bypass surgery alters the rate that alcohol is absorbed and metabolized.  Alcohol consumption can lead to liver disease, loss of muscle strength, cognitive deficits, gastritis and vitamin deficiency.   
· Avoid indulging when your pre-holiday days become hectic.  Preplan several quick healthy meals for fast meals before shopping or busy evenings.  Foods like chicken breasts, hard-boiled eggs and low fat cheese can be readily available.
· If things are continuing to feel out of control, it may be helpful to schedule a visit with your surgeon, counselor or dietitian to regain control.  They are a wonderful source of support to stay focused on your goal.

Remember, these special holidays are a time to celebrate and to give thanks.  The year will soon be over and you have so much to celebrate and give thanks for.

Our support group is facilitated by a certified Bariatric Support Group Leader and Success Habits Instructor as well as a Registered and Certified Dietitian.  Meetings are a free service provided by Aspirus Bariatrics.  Join Us!!

Night Time Support Group:
· Third Tuesday every month
· 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
· Medallion Room

Day Time Support Group:
· First Thursday every month
· 12:00-1:00
· On-line via the internet
· Call to register 847-2380
      24 hours in advance

Upcoming Topics:
December 18th  :  Tiny Bubbles:  The Dangers of Carbonation and Alcohol.  Come for a fun demonstration to learn the dangers of carbonation and alcohol consumption post surgery.

January 22nd  :  The Six success habits of Gastric Bypass surgery Patients.  There are certain habits that successful surgery patients have in common.  Come and learn the secrets of their success.

February 19th  :  Grocery Shopping 101.  Come and learn the basics that should be in every successful gastric bypass surgery patients refrigerator and pantry.

March 18th:  General Questions and Answers and Meet and Greet.  Tonight will be a night for sharing success stories and asking and answering general questions regarding gastric bypass surgery. 

***Weather Alert***  Please remember if after school or evening programs are cancelled in Wausau due to inclement weather, support group will be cancelled.  If there is any question please call the hospital switchboard at: (715) 847-2121. 

Previous Support Group Topics:
Here is a review of our previous support group topics. 

August– We had a Protein Party with lots of free samples.

September– Dr. Weiland and one of his beautiful daughters joined us to answer pre and post surgery questions.

October–  We had a good time adding some extra exercise to our routine and talking about exercise motivations.

November-  We discussed some holiday Tips and Tricks for a successful holiday season.
Thanks to Janette B, a patient who contributed this quick, but hearty winter meal.  Add a vegetable or fruit, and you have a complete meal.  If you are interested in submitting a recipe please send to

Beef slow cooked for hours until it falls apart in a delicious gravy.

2 lb. LEAN beef stew meat (5 or less grams of fat per ounce)
1 can (10 ½ ounce) 98% fat free cream of celery soup
1 can (10 ½ ounce) 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup

Pour soups into slow cooker and whisk together.  Add the stew meat and stir well.  Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Serve over SMALL amount (1/4 cup per serving) cooked whole grain noodles or brown rice.

Serving size:  ½ cup meat
Nutritional value:  14 grams protein, 7 grams fat


Support group members work together and help each other on the journey which gastric bypass surgery takes us.  We welcome your comments on this communiqué.  To share a recipe or suggest a topic, talk to either Kristi or Margee.

Both of us are available by phone or e-mail.  Phone:  (715) 847-0024 or 1-800-283-2881, extension 70024 or e-mail or

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