Walk with the Doc

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Article: “Weight Loss Surgery Benefits for Gut Microbiome Last at Least a Decade”



“Two types of bariatric surgeries, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and vertical banded gastroplasty, result in similar microbiome remodeling changes that are maintained a decade later in a group of women, a new study shows. Transfer of the microbiota from the bariatric surgery patients was shown to decrease fat mass and increase carbohydrate use in mice.” (Cell Metabolism, Aug 4, 2015)



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Baby Announcement

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Nutritionist Ashley and her family have an announcement:

Sadie Grace was born today, July 22, 2015 at 9:27am. She is 9.5 pounds and measures 23.5 inches. The mom and baby are happy and healthy!

On behalf of Healthy Steps, congratulations to the new family of 4! May you all be blessed with this new season and wonderful addition to your family, we couldn’t be happier for you!



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Weight-loss surgery better than diet and exercise in treating type 2 diabetes, study finds – JAMA + Fox News

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Fox News’ recent article stated that, “A growing body of evidence suggests that weight-loss surgery is more effective than diet and exercise at getting rid of Type 2 diabetes.

A small but rigorous randomized trial published Wednesday in JAMA Surgery provides the latest evidence showing the superiority of bariatric surgery over lifestyle changes in resolving the chronic condition involving high blood sugar.

In the trial, 61 obese adults with diabetes were randomly assigned to one of two surgical procedures or intensive lifestyle intervention and followed for three years. Forty percent of those who had received a gastric bypass procedure and 29% who received a gastric band were considered in remission from diabetes and no longer needed to take medication after three years. In comparison, no one in the group who received intensive lifestyle intervention resolved their diabetes.” (Fox News)

Read the Fox News FULL ARTICLE HERE.

Read the JAMA Trial HERE.

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Article from Sharon McKenzie + Back On Track Class 8/11

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Recently I attended a 4 day music festival, which involved camping with hundreds of people. The women’s bathing facility was a 3 stall, door-less, shower house, with an attached ante-room where you were expected to get buck naked, wrap yourself in a towel (or not) and wait in line for your 5 minutes in the shower. Getting naked with a bunch of other women allowed me the opportunity to listen to how women of all shapes, sizes, and ages spoke of their precious selves.

It was painful to hear. I heard women causally refer to themselves as “fat pig”, “ugly”, “stupid”, and “hopeless”. I heard women who had survived cancer or physical violence, who lost breasts or limbs, refer to themselves as “hideous & deformed” – I saw women shower in t-shirts because they could not bear the thought of their scars or saggy breasts being seen. I saw beautiful women with bodies I considered perfect avoid looking at themselves in the mirror because they judged themselves to be too fat or skinny, ugly, flabby, too muscular or weak, too tall or short. I saw women like me, who had lost massive amounts of weight, and cringed as they made sarcastic and unkind comments about sagging skin and body parts. I cringed, because I heard them make some of the same loathsome remarks about themselves that I have thought about myself.

It made me sad that we judge ourselves so harshly… that it’s socially acceptable to speak hatefully of ourselves and is, in fact, the norm. Shifting self-talk from abusive & shaming to loving and affirming is necessary – non-negotiable actually – if we are to live healthy lives in healthy bodies.

Making this shift is challenging, requiring us to question long held truths and beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. It demands that we are honest about what we really want and what we are both willing and unwilling to do in our pursuit of health and happiness. It necessitates that we be accountable for our behavior and how we show up in the world. It requires us to take 100% ownership of who and where we are, accepting that we alone are responsible for our happiness and our suffering. The journey itself teaches us to be brave, to make kind and loving choices for ourselves, to choose peace instead of drama and fear. And it takes practice. Lots and lots of practice. Years of it.

Our other option? To continue to chase elusive fixes to ease our suffering. Doing what we’ve always done and getting the same results.

So these last two weeks I’ve been questioning some long held beliefs and pushing myself to step beyond them. Small shifts which increased my happiness and freedom:

1) I have never been sleeveless in public, believing my upper arms were too hideous to reveal, no matter how hot it was. It was 107 in Laytonville and I opted to go sleeveless for 7 days. I was insanely uncomfortable the first 3 days. But the truth is; no one stared or made comments, no small children screamed in terror, and I was much cooler. Handsome strangers asked me to dance and as I danced I did not give my angel wings a second thought.

2) Sometimes it’s hard for me to take in compliments, as I often don’t believe them. After my experience in the showers I decided that I would shower sincere compliments at every opportunity and that I would consciously accept as truth any that came my way. When I received a complement, I paused, took a deep breath and took it in as I looked the giver in the eye to say thank you. It felt good to see the best in people and it also felt good to be seen.

3) I am an introvert and shy by nature. I chose to hear music that my friends weren’t interested in and made a point of talking to everyone I sat next to at the different stages. Without exception everyone I made an open hearted effort to talk to, engaged in conversation and later approached me at other events. Crowds don’t feel so scary to me anymore.

What I know for sure is this – doing the work is worth it.

Every time you catch yourself thinking self-loathing thoughts or calling yourself names; pause, take a deep breath, and replace the negative thought with one that is positive and affirming. You don’t have to believe it when you say it. Your goal is to interrupt the self-depreciating, negative yammering in your brain and replace it with words reflecting self-respect and love. Empowering you to stop reinforcing what you don’t want and start affirming what you DO want in your life. Every time you make a conscious choice and own it, it gets easier. As you shift your attention from what’s “wrong” with you, to what’s “right” with you, your choices become kinder and healthier. With practice, both your self-respect and esteem grow, and you fall in love with your perfectly imperfect self. And the world itself becomes a happier and better place.

Sharon McKenzie, RN is a licensed BSCI Bariatric Educator who facilitates Back on Track, a 6 week course designed to support those experiencing plateaus or weight regain as they get back on track and kick-start their weight loss. Classes start August 18th.





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Why Fermented Foods Matter Q&A – Goop


“Historically, fermented foods played a significant role in our ancestors’ diets. And according to registered nutritionist and clean-eating coach, Shira Lenchewski, the food world’s recent rediscovery of kimchi, sauerkraut, and even kefir is kind of a big deal. “Nostalgia aside, I’m really hoping this fermentation resurgence sticks because it’s actually really good for us.” In simple terms, fermentation means that the sugars and carbohydrates in a food have been broken down by beneficial (or “good”) bacteria, resulting in the formation of lactic acid, which our taste buds recognize as a complex, pungent burst of flavor. “Fermentation also yields a crucial benefit, far more important than an enhanced flavor profile—a healthy gut.” In fact, that might be part of the reason why food allergies (gluten, lactose, etc.) were nowhere near as prevalent in our grandparents’ days as they are now. Here, Lenchewski breaks down the basics of gut health, its affects on overall wellbeing, and the far-reaching benefits of fermented foods. (For more on gut health from Dr. Junger, click here.)” (Goop)


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“Nuts and Peanuts May Protect Against Major Causes of Death” – Article


“A paper published today in the International Journal of Epidemiology confirms a link between peanut and nut intake and lower mortality rates, but finds no protective effect for peanut butter. Men and women who eat at least 10 grams of nuts or peanuts per day have a lower risk of dying from several major causes of death than people who don’t consume nuts or peanuts. The reduction in mortality was strongest for respiratory disease, neurodegenerative disease, and diabetes, followed by cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The effects are equal in men and women. Peanuts show at least as strong reductions in mortality as tree nuts, but peanut butter is not associated with mortality, researchers from Maastricht University found.”




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CNN: “FDA orders food manufacturers to stop using trans fat within three years”

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 4.31.12 PM“In many ways, trans fat is a real tragic story for the American diet,” Nissen said. “In the 1950s and ’60s, we mistakenly told Americans that butter and eggs were bad for them and pushed people to margarine, which is basically trans fat. What we’ve learned now is that saturated fat is relatively neutral — it is the trans fat that is really harmful and we had made the dietary situation worse.” (Dr. Steven Nissen, chair of cardiovascular medicine at Cleveland Clinic)

Get the full article here!

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“This is your body on SODA” Article

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Experience Life Staff wrote, “The effects of soda consumption are dramatic — and speedy. Minutes after you take the first swig, the assault begins, and your body goes into a sugar-induced upward — and then downward — spiral. Here’s what happens.”

Get the full story HERE on what happens 10 minutes, 20 minutes….60 minutes after drinking soda. This may just make you think twice when consuming this sugary, caffeinated beverage.

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BACK ON TRACK with Sharon McKenzie – AUGUST 2015

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