Eight Words

Greetings!Real Food Pic

I know that a lot of nutritional advice can be contradictory, confusing and at times downright wrong!!  After all, I am a bariatric surgeon who looks at a lot of nutritional information for a living and sometimes even I find it confusing!!  I can imagine what it is like for patients trying to sift through it all.  For that reason I am going to distill all nutritional advice down to 8 simple words (betcha didn't think that was possible, did you…)

Think of these eight words as sort of the "North Star"…they may not get you exactly where you want to go, but if you follow them they will definitely keep you headed in the overall right direction. I also have to give a little disclaimer first, these eight words weren't my idea, (but I know a good idea when I steal one :)).   I heard them on a radio interview about a month ago but since I was driving at the time I couldn't write down the name of the person being interviewed.  Anyway, what are these eight words that should act as the guiding light of common sense nutritional advice?

Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants

Ok, so lets analyze this and figure out what is really being said.  The first phrase is the one that I suspect most people would find puzzling… "Eat Real Food"…what do you mean, of course I eat real food!!  Do you?  Do you really?

First off, what is "real food"?  Real food is something that grows directly out of the earth or swims in water or walks on the earth.  (For example a potato or a salmon or a chicken would all be "real food"). Most of the food that the average American eats is highly processed (it is actually not "real food" it is more like edible food-like substances).  The advantage of processing is it allows food to be stored on a shelf or refrigerator longer but the disadvantage is that the more processed a food is the less nutritious it becomes.

Here is a very general and easy to remember rule of thumb: Almost every step in the processing of food will process out something healthy and nutritious and process in something something less healthy and less nutritious (like more fat or sugar or artificial colors or preservatives etc).  Lets give a concrete example, earlier I mentioned that a potato is real food, lets see how it can get processed into something far less nutritious.

It is possible to pull a potato out of the ground, brush off the dirt, rinse it off and put it in an oven for an hour or so at 350 or 400 degrees and then eat it.  If you leave the skin on it is fairly well balanced and nutritious.  It goes from farm to fork with literally no processing.

So, how does it get processed into something far less nutritious?  Walk around any supermarket or go into any fast food outlet.  What form do you see potatoes in? Mostly what you will see is potato chips, or french fries or hash browns etc.  The first thing that is done is the skin (the most nutritious part) is stripped off (again the healthy stuff is processed out) and then what is left is sliced and diced and then deep fried, adding significant amounts of fat.  Just a simple example but it clearly shows how the processing takes out the good stuff and replaces it with something worse.

Another example, one of my pet peeves…fruit juice.  As any regular readers know I think fruit juices should be banned!!  Ok, maybe that is a little excessive, but I will say this, they have no place in the diet of a bariatric patient.  Fruit juice takes a food that his delicious, healthy and nutritious (a piece of fruit) and then removes almost everything that is healthy and nutritious about it and leaves behind all the sugar!  A perfect example of how processing makes food less nutritious.  One last example, chicken off the bone…real food.  Chicken McNugget..not even close to being real food,  more like, "McFood"!

Ok, what about the second phrase "Not too much"..that should be pretty obvious. Losing weight (and then maintaining it once you've lost it) is about reducing the number of calories that you take into your body.  At the end of the day it is still calories in and calories out.  Even if you've had bariatric surgery that basic fact hasn't been changed.  What the surgery does is make it easier to reduce the calories that you take in by a variety of different mechanisms depending on what surgery you have

So we've covered the first two parts of our eight words of nutritional advice..it seems I've rambled on a little longer than I wanted to so I will cover the last part "Mostly plants" in my next newsletter.  There are significant advantages to a plant based diet and we'll discuss them next week.  Until then…..

From the Gut... by Glynn Fluitt
Mr. Fluitt is a patient that has graciously offered to contribute to the newsletter – his column is a welcomed addition to the GSBWC newsletter and its readers!


Getting skunked …


My dog got skunked one winter's night. He got out of the house after dark and was running around the neighborhood. We could smell the skunk before we knew that Owen was the ill-fated trespasser that brought the stink upon us.


Oh my, the stench was horrid. He's an indoor dog, and though it was a mild winter night, we were not prepared to have him shackled outside to suffer his own misfortune. He brought the funk into our home and we were miserable!!


My son grabbed the waterless dog shampoo and tackled the fur. My wife lit the scented candles and brought out the Febreeze. I put Vicks Vap-o-rub in my nostrils. There were a lot of "quick fixes" we took to address what proved to be a miserable night.

Gastric Bypass is NOT a quick fix.


Got your attention? Morbid obesity is not something you can cover up with a quick alteration of the plumbing.


I spent years getting to the 46 BMI level. It didn't happen "at dinner last night". It happened progressively through my eating, sleeping, exercising, and living habits. I call them my "trigger points".


In order for my RNY bypass
surgery (4/09) to be successful, I needed to know what those triggers were and to attempt to master them. Have I eliminated all those triggers? No. Have I stopped longing for "comfort"

food when stress, depression, or chaos seem to take hold of my daily life?

By no means!! Do I still want to sleep to noon on a rainy Saturday? Who doesn't?!


However, I understand the triggers better. I channel them more appropriately. I pull protein snacks from my desk instead of going to the vending machine. I put a treadmill in my "man room" in front of the TV instead of a couch. I joined a Twitter peer group where I can get constant support. I don't always win, BUT I'm no longer defeated!! Eventually, these new tricks have become my lifestyle — the "norm".


And I cleared out the bushes where the skunks would gather.


Follow me @BariatricDude


Understand your triggers




Who says you can't have a little cream cheese, mixed with a few great veggies and the ever popular turkey breast slices to make an easy and nutritious main dish – your taste buds will sing with this easy recipe.

Creamy Garden Turkey Roll-Ups

Serves 6


    One 8-ounce package of Fat-Free Cream Cheese
    1/4 cup of finely shredded carrots
    1/4 cup of finely shredded zucchini
    1 tablespoon of Dried NO SUGAR cranberries – chopped well
    1/2 teaspoon dill weed
    pinch of garlic powder
    kosher salt and black pepper to taste
    6 ounces of roasted turkey breast, deli sliced (very thin)


    In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, carrots, zucchini, dill weed and garlic powder
    Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
    place 2 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture onto each slice of turkey.
    Roll up tightly and wrap in plastic wrap
    Allow to chill for 2 hours


Click Here for More Recipes to Enjoy!


Upcoming Free Seminars
The next Free Informational seminar in our Millburn office is Wednesday April 25th 2012. To Find out more, simply click here for Dates and Locations of Seminars!  We welcome your guests and anyone that wants to know more about the benefits of bariatric surgery.

Also we are having a free seminar for our South Jersey patients in Lakewood, NJ on Thursday May 3rd.  The link above will give you the time and place

In This Issue Eight WordsFrom the Gut…Marisol's Nutritional CornerEnd Quote

This Seal is the 1st line of Defense for All Patients when looking for a Certified Center of Excellence Bariatric Surgeon.  GSBWC has proudly been  Certified since we began our practice.

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GSBWC Office Happenings

As Dominga settles in to her new position as Office Manager of our Millburn Office, we welcome Wendy Mora as our new Surgical Coordinator! Dominga will be working closely with Wendy to ensure a seamless hand-off and we look forward to everyone meeting Wendy!
May is upon us and Sharons' Birthday is 'for the entire month'! For Sharon it is a month of celebration – be sure to wish her Happy Month!

Upcoming Dates and Locations of Support Group in Your Area

End Quote:

In case you don't believe me about this whole "Eat Real Food" thing let me end with a quote from a guy who knew a thing or two about nutrition and maintaining a healthy body…

"If man makes it, don't eat it"
Jack Lalann

Now you might ask, why should I listen to Jack Lalanne?  What does he know?  Personally, I don't know much about his formal education but let me give you some examples of things Jack Lalanne accomplished: (from the Huffington Post)

"When he turned 43 in 1957, he performed more than 1,000 push-ups in 23 minutes on the "You Asked For It" television show. At 60, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco – handcuffed, shackled and towing a boat. Ten years later, he performed a similar feat in Long Beach harbor"

Pretty impressive, eh?  Anyone who can accomplish those sorts of feats with his body is someone who has learned a thing or two about nutrition and health and is probably worth listening to. Type "Jack Lalanne quotes" into Googles search engine for some more quotes….good stuff!

Thanks For Trusting Us with Your Health!


Yours in Good Health,
Michael Bilof, MD
Basil Yurcisin, MD

Contact Information

Garden State Bariatrics & Wellness Center
Michael Bilof, MD

Basil Yurcisin, MD

P: 973.218.1990  F: 973.629.1274
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