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21 graphs that show America’s health-care prices are ludicrous

21 graphs that show America’s health-care prices are ludicrous.

…and they wonder why we go to Spain for surgery….

DS-Friendly Eating: Cabbage Roll Soup

When it looks like this…

…on the local forecast, my thoughts turn instantly to SOUP!

Lately, one soup in particular has won my affection.

It’s beefy, tomato-y, cabbag-y, has a robust spice blend that just makes your tummy happy.

What’s not to love?

Cabbage Roll Soup (ß-click hyperlink to go to PDF of the recipe.)

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 head cabbage, rough chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
4 cups beef stock
4 HerbOx beef bouillon cubes
2 to 3 cups tomato juice

Just like with any soup, I like to start off with a bit of olive oil (or butter, your preference) in the bottom of the pan, and then the onion, cooking over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes before I add the minced garlic.

When the onion is somewhat translucent, I add in the ground beef and spices. Make sure to cook until there is no more pink left in the ground beef.

Once the ground beef is cooked through, add in the chopped cabbage.

You want to mix the cabbage thoroughly with the other ingredients in the pan. The heat and steam will begin to braise the cabbage pretty quickly. Note the timestamp on the photo above and the photo below. Only 4 minutes between the two!

Next, add the diced tomatoes. Make sure to let the acid from the tomatoes to do their part to deglaze the pan. Using your spatula or spoon, make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so that all of the yummy little stuck on bits get loosened up.

Now it’s time to add the beef broth, rice, and bouillon cubes. I make a point to use a no-MSG bouillon cube. And – I don’t want to give any DS’ers a stroke or anything – but yes, I put rice in! Here’s the great thing about cooking – if it doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. If you feel better about brown rice, use that. Or maybe consider barley or quinoa. Or a bean of some sort – Cannellini or navy beans maybe? The options are dizzying.

Then lastly, add in the tomato juice. I love tomato juice. Not to drink it – but to cook with it. AMAZING stuff.

Now – mix up your soup, turn the heat down to low, put a lid on it, and go start the laundry or something. Just make sure to check back every 20 minutes or so to stir. You’ll want to be certain to make sure that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot, so make a point to stir all the way to the bottom of the pot.

About 30 minutes after I put the lid on this pot I came back for a taste test. I decided it was a little bland for my mood today, so I added an additional teaspoon of black pepper and paprika, as well as an additional teaspoon of Kosher salt. Then I stirred it up once again, and put the lid back on.

A while later, it was lunch time! Yay!

It turned out PERFECTLY. You better believe I’ll be nibbling on this for the majority of the afternoon!

That was pretty easy, huh? See? You could be a pro at making all sorts of scratch-made soups in no time at all!

And now for the nutrition.

One serving of this fabulous soup will get you:

About 160 calories

21 grams of protein

3 grams of dietary fiber (which you could totally boost with a brown rice or some other grain option)

And 60% of your Vitamin C recommendation for the day!

Perfect for a cold, windy, rainy day!

Probiotics and a Healthy Gut Ecology

Probiotics seem to be the new “in” thing to say you’re doing. Problem being that most of us don’t really even understand what they are – much less where to get them – or how to keep them – in your gut!

Or – for that matter – why you would even want them in your gut!

Here’s why:

Probiotics – the “good” or “beneficial” bacteria in your gut do all sorts of things, like:

  • Boost your immunities.
  • Inhibit or destroy toxins released by certain “bad” bacteria that can make you sick.
  • Prevent harmful bacteria from attaching to the gut wall and growing there.
  • Produce B vitamins necessary for metabolizing the food you eat, warding off anemia caused by deficiencies in B-6 and B-12, and maintaining healthy skin and a healthy nervous system.
  • Produce substances that help prevent infection.
  • Promote digestive health overall.
  • Regulate the movement of food through your system.
  • Send signals to your cells to strengthen the mucus in your intestine and help it act as a barrier against infection.
  • Even prevent allergies.

Amazing, right?!

In your intestine there are actually LOTS of bacteria that have set up house. The goal is to have a balance between the good bacteria (probiotics) and the “bad” bacteria/yeast. And just so you know – it is entirely possible for the bad bacteria and yeast to basically overtake the world and bring things crashing down all around you. It can go from being an inconvenience on one end of the severity scale to actually becoming life threatening on the other end of the severity scale. It’s nothing to be trifled with.

So how do you get probiotics in your body? How do you get them to do all of that good stuff for you?

The best way to establish a probiotic rich environment in your gut and to get that probiotic colony to thrive is to incorporate probiotic-rich foods into your diet DAILY. They include things like:

  • Fermented foods – you want the stuff that’s in the refrigerator section of the grocery store.
    • i.e., the stuff like sauerkraut (I like OlyKraut here in the PNW – OR – make your own! So easy – and SO yummy! We’ll cover how to do that later in the spring when the cabbage in my garden comes in, okay?);
    • Kim chi;
    • Pickles – again, the kind that you find in the refrigerator section of the store.

Remember – you do not want the shelf stable stuff that’s been heat processed (pasteurized) – because, of course, heat processed = sterile – no more probiotics alive!

  • Quite a few dairy products have live cultures of probiotics in them:
    • Bulgarian buttermilk (which has the probiotics Streptocococcus Lactis and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus added to it) – I seriously love this stuff – I use it to make ranch dressing, dips, etc.
    • Organic Yogurt and Greek yogurt – have you tried making Dill Weed Dip with a plain Greek Yogurt in place of the Sour Cream if you’re trying to boost your protein intake?
      • Look for trusted brands like Nancy’s, Organic Valley, Stonyfield, Mountain High, etc.
      • Look for yogurt with live, active cultures. In the U.S., yogurt is required to be produced by fermentation with Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, two starter cultures. As long as the yogurt is not heat treated after fermentation, the yogurt should contain high numbers of both of these bacteria.
    • Cultured Sour Cream, Cultured Butter, and Cultured Cottage Cheese – the possibilities are fabulous with cultured dairy – and these are just a few of the options! Believe me – if you love butter, you NEED to get your hands on some cultured butter! Plus – it’s not that hard to learn how to culture these things yourself.
  • Miso (soup, paste, etc.) is also a nice probiotic rich food;
  • Soft fermented cheeses – like cream cheese, Gouda, chevre, etc.
  • When you make Home Made Mayo – guess what?  Probiotics can be introduced there, too!  (What good DS’er doesn’t love mayo?!)
  • Kefir and kombucha both are very probiotic rich drinks that you can find to purchase, but are also very easily made – and tailored to your particular tastes – at home;
  • REAL sourdough bread – i.e., the stuff made with a starter;
  • And tempeh – although if you have thyroid issues, beware the soy based items.

Also good to know – prebiotics help feed probiotics – the good bacteria – they include things like honey, asparagus, legumes, bananas, etc. Look for products that contain both pre and probiotics. When prebiotics are added to foods, you’ll see the following terms on the ingredient label: fructooligosacchariedes (FOS), inulin (a type of FOS) or galactooligosaccharides.

So what’s trick to getting them to work?

What makes it all “work” or “not work” really has to do with whether or not you’re giving those probiotics a place to live where they can settle in and make themselves to feel at home – like they want to stay. If you’re not, it’ll be sort of like inviting guests over for a month, but then kicking them out after 24 hours.

And of course, the part that post-ops don’t want to (a) hear, (b) held responsible for, or (c) deal with – is the fact that the bad bacteria can take over the world (of your gut/life) if there is chronic dehydration going on, heavy reliance on sugars – yes, even artificial sweeteners, too much yeast, some preservatives, alcohol, excessive stress, etc.

Building a probiotic friendly gut means getting adequately hydrated (120 oz non-sweetened fluids daily) and getting your gut a chance to – really, this is what it boils down to – heal up from the damage that the bad bacteria do.

It means getting honest about your dependence on sweeteners – and the fact that they do you NO benefit nutritionally – and in fact, are fighting against you on so many levels – but primarily by promoting the bad bacteria in your gut.

And little side note here…. Having out of control simple carb cravings? Chances are that robust colonies of bad bacteria in your gut are demanding to be fed! Want to kick that simple carb – seeming primal need – to the curb? Get serious about rebuilding your gut ecology!

There are, of course, pill based probiotics that you can purchase. It’s certainly appropriate to go that route if you’ve been on a round of antibiotics – wrap those up and THEN introduce the pill-form antibiotic, as well as continuing to keep those probiotic-rich foods in your daily routine. (See: http://livingthedslife.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/probiotics/ )

Some important things to know…

There are different types of probiotics.

There are different strains of probiotics.

And it’s not a given that any particular strain will work for YOU. AND – different strains have better benefit for different types of needs. For instance Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus GG seem to be the most effective for treating antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Montezuma’s revenge? Then reach for S. boulardii, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacteria bifidum – probiotics that are most effective against traveler’s diarrhea.
And there are other mitigating factors -
i.e., there’s even a theorem out there about how if you were C-section born and bottle fed it’ll be much harder to get things balanced than if you were vaginally born and breast fed as an infant. Crazy, right? See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813130714.htm

Primal Defense Ultra (PDU) is a soil based probiotic – those of us in the US definitely will benefit from that since industrialized farming has pretty much obliterated the soil probiotics here. BUT – If you eat a pretty clean (i.e., not processed/chemical) organic diet, then maybe not!

The dairy based probiotics are much more readily available – and consequently have a wider variety – going from total crap to worth their weight in gold. I personally love Reuteri – here’s a link: http://www.naturesway.com/Products/Probiotics/14240-Primadophilus-Reuteri.aspx

Ultimately, this is one of those topics that you can’t just ignore. Evidence is building that probiotics can help with:

You have to decide. Are you willing to get honest with yourself and make the adjustments necessary?

The thing that keeps people from taking these easy steps to bring healing to their gut is typically the fact that they’re just really not miserable enough yet to be willing to get out of the rut that has gotten them to where they are. Convenience is a horrible task master – demanding oftentimes a huge toll on our overall health. The arguments I hear most from post-ops who talk about WANTING to make the shift to a healthier, more holistic approach to eating – but can’t quite bring themselves to do the things that will break that crazy cycle:

Giving up sugars. (Sugar is the FAVORITE food of those bad bacteria and yeast in your gut.) It scary to give up an addiction. I know. I totally get that. I’ve been there, boy have I done that!

Committing to getting adequately hydrated – and I’ll give you this – as a post-op it’s harder to be adequately hydrated – more than half of our GI system is excluded from ingested fluids now.

Choosing to embrace a philosophy/culture of S-L-O-W (sustainable, local, organic, whole) food/eating. (If we’re going to be honest – we have to admit that it’s not as easy as picking up a pre-packaged, chemically laden, prepared food). I’m not going to lie to you – it takes more thought, effort, and time to eat healthfully.

But there is nothing like it. There is an incredible thing that happens once you choose to make your health enough of a priority to go there – it’s called balance. And it’s not just about not falling over – it’s about realizing all of a sudden that your body is not just okay – but is robustly healthy, and your vitamins are being absorbed at a higher rate, and that your immunities are stronger than they’ve ever been, and your brain is clearer than it’s been in ages. It’s difficult to explain adequately – but ultimately – it’s bringing a healing to your body that it has so desperately needed for maybe even decades.

So the question has to be this: are you willing to go there?

I can’t make the decision for you. You have to decide if you’re worth the effort. You have to decide if you’re committed enough to your health to do the – admittedly – harder work.

I honestly do not know a single person who regrets going there.

Now you’ve got to ask yourself – are you gonna do it?

Here are some helpful resources that I particularly appreciate:

Summer Bock, Fermentationist: Gut Rebuilding

Cultures for Health: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/

Nourished Kitchen: http://nourishedkitchen.com/recipe-index/ferments-cultured-food/

Cheeseslave: http://www.cheeseslave.com/got-bacteria-10-reasons-to-eat-fermented-foods/

Food Renegade: http://www.foodrenegade.com/

So you’re feeling too fat to be photographed . . . – My Friend Teresa Photography

So you’re feeling too fat to be photographed . . . – My Friend Teresa Photography.

I’m not going to say anything but this:  GO READ THIS.  NOW.

DS Friendly Eating: Spinach Artichoke Crustless Quiche

I push eggs a lot to post-ops.

They are, after all, the perfect protein delivery when fully cooked.

The fact that I have hens in the backyard mean that I have the most nutritious eggs at my disposal, as well!

I happen to adore quiche. I noticed something a few years ago when eating a quiche that was served to me. I ate it all – except the crust. Cause the crust was kinda grody. And – well – why waste the space? So, I decided why not just embrace the crustless quiche?

It’s SO easy to make. Seriously – it takes about 10 minutes to mix it up. The baking, though, that’s where the time investment is. You want to give it the time it needs in the oven – without burning it – because, as we all know – burnt eggs are NOT okay.

The other beautiful thing about this? It’s so versatile. You can add so many amazing ingredients to mix it up. Plus, it reheats in the microwave in a scant minute. Talk about convenient!

Okay – so easy – you won’t believe it. Let’s get started!

Spinach Artichoke Crustless Quiche (ß-click hyperlink to go to PDF of the recipe.)

Here’s what you’ll need:

8 farm fresh eggs
8 ounces heavy whipping cream
2 cups Jarlsberg, shredded
2 cups Spinach Artichoke dip

That’s it.

Wild, right?

(Okay – I fudged a bit – I threw in an extra egg. The pullets are coming into lay and some of them are laying mongo huge eggs. There were a few that were too big to git in the egg carton, so I used those.)

If you have a hard time finding Jarlsberg, any old Swiss cheese will work, but the Jarlsberg – it’s so yummy. By the way, I’m able to get it so much less expensively at Costco – i.e., $4.98 a pound, versus $6.99 a pound at the grocery store. I buy a big wedge, then shred it up in the Cuisinart, and then freeze the balance until I need it.

Do you have a stick blender? They are the BEST. I may not use it every day – but I use it regularly. (Seriously – if you want to do your own refried beans, you want a stick blender!) If you don’t have one, pull out the hand mixer, it’ll work. As it so happens, my stick blender came with this super fab beaker that works perfectly for making quiche!

First – the eggs:

Next – add the heavy cream:

Just for reference. It’s about 16 oz of eggs and 8 ounces of heavy cream.

Now, I put the Jarlsberg in the bottom of the pie plate:

There’s nothing magical about this order of events, by the way. It’s just how I always do it. I find that letting the eggs sit for a few minutes makes the blending go a little better.

Now – use the fabulous stick blender and blend the eggs and cream until smooth. Voila! You have custard!

Okay – so now I put a couple of cups of the fabulous Spinach Artichoke dip in a bowl and then add the custard:

Using a fork, gently break up the big clumps of dip. Mix until it’s evenly combined:

Now – add the spinach/custard mixture to the pie plate with the Jarlsberg in it:

Once again, gently distribute the custard/spinach dip mixture through the cheese. Here’s what it looks like when it’s all mixed in:

Now – set it in your preheated oven. I put mine on the pizza stone that lives in my oven most of the time, and the super nice part about that is that the bottom of the quiche does not brown. Yay!

I set the timer for 30 minutes. Here’s what it looks like at 30 minutes in:

I now tent it with aluminum foil for the remainder of the cooking time.

It doesn’t have to be super tight or beautiful – just covered. I HATE burnt eggs – so I protect it from browning too much. This is very important to my enjoyment factor of the quiche!

The wild card in all of this is how long it will take for it to be finished from this point in time. Normally, another 30 minutes will do it. Today? It actually took another 50 minutes – and I’m blaming that on the pizza stone underneath it. I’m happy to give it the extra time, though – in exchange for no browning on the bottom!.

The key is to make sure the center is set. How do you tell? Simply nudge the pie plate a bit. If it jiggles in the middle – it’s not set. It’s amazing how quickly it can go from not set to perfect – honestly – in just a minute or two. I typically set a timer in 5 minute increments once it looks MOSTLY set.

And here it is fresh out of the oven:

Pretty, huh?

I usually let it sit for 20 minutes or so to let it settle before cutting it. As you can see from the time stamp on the photos, more like 30 minutes passed before I served myself this piece. It was still piping hot, by the way.

And it was delectable.

The great thing about the spinach artichoke dip that I used is that it’s got some garlic in it, too – but it’s subtle. Nothing too overpowering.

Okay – important things you need to know.

  1. This will keep nicely in the fridge for a week. I wait for it to cool to room temperature, cover it in plastic wrap, and then pop it in the fridge.
  2. You can reheat a slice of this in the microwave in just one minute. Shorter and it won’t be heated through. Longer, you’ll burn the eggs – and as we all know, burnt eggs are NOT okay.
  3. I love to sprinkle a little bit of Mediterranean sea salt and freshly ground black pepper on top. Add a little shredded cheddar on top, and serve it with some diced ham, crumbled sausage, or a couple of slices of bacon.
  4. The fresher the eggs, the more fabulous this will taste. I’m totally telling you the truth. It’s like night and day. If you don’t have hens in the backyard – find someone who does, or a farm nearby who sells their fresh eggs. If you haven’t found them yet – check out Local Harvest.

One serving of this delectable-ness has:

Protein: 43 grams
Fat: 67 grams (yay! We love our DS!)
Carbs: 4 grams

Now – go make one – it’s super yummy!

DS Friendly Eating: Dina’s Favorite French Salad Dressing

I must make a confession to you.

I know as a community – a group of people who have lived a portion of their lives as morbidly obese – that we’re supposed to DREAD salads. I mean, they’re supposed to stand for all that’s wrong with the whole “dieting” state, right? EVIL salads. (Imagine a really stern frowny face there.) The bane of our pre-DS existence!

I’m sorry.

I know – it seems disloyal – but if I’m gonna be honest with you – I gotta confess.

I adore salad.

Now – let me clarify.

Not that leaf lettuce dressed with a bit of flaked albacore and a cherry tomato, maybe two, and if you’re lucky, a slice of cucumber – fork tines dipped into the salad dressing as you go, choking the horribly dry thing down kind of salad.

:shudder:

YUCK.

Here’s my idea of a GREAT salad – the kind I can (and will) eat daily:

A head of lettuce
A diced tomato
A sliced or chunked cucumber
½ a cup of pickled beets
¼ cup of olives
2 or 3 egg yolks, crumbled up
2 or 3 oz of turkey breast, diced up
2 or 3 oz of Jarlsberg and/or cheddar and/or CoJack
1 sliced up green onion or two
A chunked up avocado
Some sunflower seeds
Maybe some bacon bits, if I have leftovers
And LOTS of salad dressing.

None of the dipping the tines of your folk in your salad dressing crap with DS territory! Bring it on!

And the longer I’m a DS’er, the more I love a salad dressing with PRESENCE. I LOVE robust flavors!

Hence, my love affair with this stuff… It’s a little something that I did some experimenting with this fall, and well – I’m hooked. It’s easy as can be to put together – give it a whirl, you’ll be glad you did!

Dina’s Favorite French Salad Dressing (ß-click hyperlink to go to PDF of the recipe.)

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 1/4 cups Extra Light, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Raw Local Honey
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
2 to 3 cloves Garlic
1/2 Large Onion, roughly chopped

Again – this will require no culinary degree. It’s basically a dump it in the blender and blend kinda thing. SO MUCH better than anything you can buy in the store. Plus – look! Prebiotics galore! Yay!

Here’s a picture of what you’ll need:

I pull out my favorite Pyrex 2 cup glass measuring cup and get right started. First the olive oil… I use the Extra Light, Extra Virgin – for basically everything. I put it in a Misto for cooking spray, I use it for baking. I use it for cooking. I use it for making mayo. I use it for basically everything. It’s awesome!

Next, you need some vinegar. I use a mix of Apple Cider Vinegar and White Wine Vinegar – you could go all one or all the other – but I LOVE the tang that the ACV gives and have been known to use it for all of the vinegar.

Next – you’ll need some sweet to balance the pow. I’m using half honey and half sugar – but I like it with all of one or the other, too. Of course, use local raw honey – not the horrible pasteurized crap.

Next up – ketchup. Yep – I know, I should probably make my own. But I just didn’t grow enough tomatoes to do that this year, so I will next year. Next best, is the stuff with no HFCS in it. At this point in the game I just dump the Worcestershire sauce…

…and the remaining spices…

Now dump them into the blender.

Last up – the onion and garlic. I used three decent sized cloves of garlic and ½ of a rough chopped sweet yellow onion.

Throw those into the blender now, too:

Now you blend. Start on the lowest setting for about a minute:

You want to make sure that you don’t see any big chunks left. Next, turn the speed to high:

Blend on the highest speed for about 3 minutes. (See? Look at the time stamp on the photos – I always just go by look – but it never fails. Three minutes really does it.)

And Voila!

You now have 4 cups of completely delectable French dressing. I will admit to slurping some up right out of the blender. But wait – it’s about 500 times better once it’s had a chance to sit in the fridge and ruminate some. YUMMMMM!

Now THAT’s a salad. J

DS Friendly Eating: Dina’s Favorite Tartar Sauce

One of the things that we figure out fairly early in on this crazy DS journey is – let’s say it together – it’s all about the sauces!

When you’re a pre-op or a normie – you worry about the fats, right?

When you’re a post-op – yeah, totally unfair to the rest of the world – but for us – they’re really part of what makes eating oh, so much the better!

We preach protein, protein, protein – and rightly so. But when we’re baby post-ops and trying to figure it all out – we sometimes get overwhelmed with the – well, blah of it all.

And if you’re like a lot of post-ops I know – you suddenly develop this NEED – nearly primal in nature – for fish.

Seriously? I could eat it three meals a day and be a happy camper.

What’s not to love about it – seriously intense, flavorful, wonderful protein!

But – if we’re honest, it can get pretty blah pretty quick.

Time to kiss the blah goodbye, sweetheart!

I will just confess right here and now – I love a good tartar sauce. I’ve had a LOT of tartar sauces that I still get a shiver over – and not a good shiver. :BLECH: Some seriously grody stuff out there masquerading as tartar sauce – the most heinous of them all – the stuff on the grocery store shelves. Yucky pooh!

Over the years I’d tried a number of tartar sauce recipes, but always with just – :eh: – underwhelming results.

Why waste the space on kinda gross, you know?

So – I played around, and FINALLY – a few years ago – this little tartar sauce recipe came about. It’s a staple at our house. I make it about once a week or so. The world does in fact, come to a screeching halt if we’re out. Just being honest here.

And this is a SUPER basic, super simple little recipe, and I feel a little embarrassed featuring it this week – but, well, I’d hate to keep the goodness to myself if all you need is a good, basic tartar sauce recipe to make YOUR DS life a happier place. J

Dina’s Favorite Tartar Sauce (-click hyperlink to go to PDF of the recipe.)

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup of mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons green onions, finely sliced
1/4 cup dill pickle relish (or diced dill pickles if you’re out – like I am, today!)
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried Tarragon
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

I will interject here – if you are able to – use homemade mayo here. Seriously – YUM.

This is pretty much a dump it all in the bowl and mix type of recipe, but I’ll show you step-by-step, just to prove to you how very easy it is to make.

Here’s my mixing bowl with the 1 cup of mayonnaise (yes, I used the store bought this time – I’m making mayo tonight – so sue me!), 3 Tablespoons of sliced green onion (fresh out of the garden – in November! Go figure!), and 1 Tablespoon of fresh parsley. Of note – I happen to love the flat leaf parsley in this – but the girls have eaten it all – so it’s the curly leaf parsley today. You can grow parsley on your kitchen window ledge so easily! It’s worth doing!

Next, I add in 2 teaspoons of lemon juice – more or less. I take half of a small fresh lemon; pull out as many of the seeds as I can see, squeeze it into my hand to catch any additional seeds – basically just eyeballing it for the measurement. Then just dump it in!

Next, the ½ teaspoon of dry Tarragon. I make sure to measure it into my hand, and then use my fingers to break it up into finer sized pieces.

And finally – 1/2 a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.

(Nice blurry picture, huh?!)

That’s it! Ridiculously easy, isn’t it?

Now you just mix it up…

And there you have it!

It makes just a little less than 2 cups of sauce.

You’ll want to refrigerate it for a couple of hours before using it to give the flavors a chance to marry.

Of course, keep it in the fridge. It will last for a good week or two… you know, if you don’t eat it all first. J

Now – go make fish for dinner!

DS Friendly Eating: The BEST Egg Salad Ever

I get a lot of questions about “DS Friendly Eating.”

You gotta admit – it kind of flies in the face of convention.

Convention insisting that a lot of protein can be bad and fat is evil incarnate.

When you’re a DS post-op – we want you to focus on protein (but balance, people – please!) – as in 90 to 120 grams of protein a day.

And fat isn’t evil at all – it actually helps the DS work. Again – balance is important. We don’t want you dealing with a bunch of bathroom issues if you go overboard here!

So – in an effort to help a little, I’ve decided to start blogging a bit more about DS Friendly Eating, and try to post a DS Friendly Recipe on a regular basis.

Today – let me introduce you to The BEST Egg Salad Ever. (ß-click hyperlink to go to PDF of the recipe.)

Hello?!

Eggs – PERFECT DS post-op food. A fully cooked egg is the optimal delivery of protein to a post-op body. Yay!

That’s a little tricky for me because I’m technically allergic to egg whites. So I’ve got this little trick that I do to try and sneak eggs in as much as possible. I can actually eat *some* egg whites, just as long as I don’t do so too often, or get too much. This egg salad seems to work – hallelujah! – which is great, because I actually LOVE it. Thanks, by the way, to my sweet Mommy who taught me how to make it this way – it was her way to make it a little more Dina-friendly, back in the day when I was just a kid.

So let’s get started!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 dozen eggs, hard boiled
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup diced dill pickle (use dill pickle relish if you prefer)
1 cup diced celery
1/3 cup sliced green onion
Black pepper

I should also tell you that I’m notorious for not measuring stuff – but for you – I broke down and measured! I usually just throw stuff together for the most part – and if there’s an option to add pickles, celery, onions – you know I’m gonna add more, not less! Just thought I’d get that out there on the table!

So here’s the thing – you need a grater for your eggs. You got a box grater? I have two – that’s how much I love ‘em! In this picture, you can see the “big” side of the grater.

For egg salad (well, anything requiring grated eggs), I use the “tiny” side of the grater – see?

And this is what it looks like when you use that tiny side for the eggs:

That’s how I can handle the eggs – they basically can’t be chunky or I’m gonna have a reaction to them. So this is how I do it!

My trick with my egg salad? Out of my dozen eggs, I’m going to do six whole eggs, and six egg yolks.

This was my Mom’s trick, really – it’s sorta deviled egg-ish. And it’s YUMMY.

Next, add the green onion (these came fresh out of the garden – so good!), diced dill pickle, and diced celery:

Now – with the fabulousness of the DS factored in: add mayonnaise to your preference!

I add a little mayo at a time and mix it in – making sure it doesn’t get too goupy, but isn’t too dry, either. Once you get the consistency you’re looking for, add some seasonings. I add coarse ground black pepper, and sometimes I throw in some chives, or a little tarragon, or even a little dill. The sky is the limit here!

Then – once you’ve got your spices all mixed in – you’re done! J This batch made just a smidge more than 4 cups.

And made a fabulous DS Friendly snack! One slice of Oroweat Winter Wheat bread and egg salad on top, sprinkled with a bit of kosher salt. YUM!

So – let’s talk nutrition.

My one slice of bread:
Protein: 3 grams
Dietary Fiber: 2 grams
Fat: 2 grams

About 1/3-ish cup of egg salad:
Protein: 10 grams
Dietary Fiber: 1 gram
Fat: 22 grams

Not bad, huh? And – just to share the love a bit – probably my favorite way to eat this egg salad? On Kettle’s Salt and Pepper chips. YUM.

So there you have it. Go make some egg salad, you’ll thank me!

J

E-Weekly: Patients Value Personal Interactions

I’m always shocked when those who manage healthcare find this so surprising!

“Congenial nurses carry more weight than cutting-edge surgical technologies and fancy facilities when it comes to satisfying patients, according to a survey of healthcare consumers.”

Read the rest of the article here:  E-Weekly: Breaking News in Surgery (September 11, 2012)#1#1.

For those of us who have gone to Spain for surgery with Dr. Baltasar the one thing that consistently gets talked about – up to a decade later – isn’t the hospital, the flora and fauna, or the color of the paint on the walls.  It’s all about the fact that people are blown away – years later – that Dr. Baltasar sat down – in no rush whatsoever – and simply took the time to listen, answer questions, inquire about family, laugh over a joke, and impart a sense of calm and peace.  All without a sense of the attention being somewhere else, or a looming deadline that kept him looking at a watch or clock on the wall.  Always with a message that comes across clearly:  YOU are more important than the other things that may seem pressing to others.

Wonder why it’s so hard for healthcare – as an industry – to clue into that?!

How about you?  What do YOU remember most about your encounters with healthcare providers?

Obesity Action Coalition » Dear Doctor – Can Bariatric Surgery Treat Type 2 Diabetes?

Obesity Action Coalition » Dear Doctor – Can Bariatric Surgery Treat Type 2 Diabetes?.

For those of us who are DS post-ops, we’re trying hard not to yell out loud, “DUH!  Yes!  It can!  Hello?!”

I think what we sometimes forget is that other people don’t necessarily know that the DS has AMAZING results with the elimination of metabolic syndrome.  (This article refers to a study that showed “98 percent of the biliopancreatic diversion patients achieved complete remission of their T2D.”  That’s phenomenal, by the way.  NOTHING else shows that type of result.  As in NOTHING.)

Hence our love of Dr. B and his foresight in embracing just the “switch” part of the DS for severe metabolic syndrome – and specifically, Type II Diabetics.  The studies out of Europe support the same type of results as that referenced in this article.  Dr. B’s results?  Better.

So amazingly cool.

I – for one – do NOT miss diabetes.

That recognition is finally coming out here in the States about the validity of the DS as a mighty weapon against Type II Diabetes is nothing short of phenomenal!

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