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Spring is Here 
Let's shake the wiggles out!   


Thank you for your time as you join me in this Inspired Reminders bulletin from LivingAfterWLS. I just love this image of a wild zebra rolling with abandon stirring up dust. Without scruples the zebra rolls and kicks and shakes for one reason: it feels good. Truthfully, I'm just a little bit jealous of that free-spirited feeling evoked by a simple act from one of nature's most beautiful creatures.

To satisfy my jealousy in today's newsletter we take a look at ways we can add the joy of motion to our day and drink up the joy with pure abandon. After surgery when we talk about exercise there is often perception and expectation that exercise means a full-out effort in a structured manner or it doesn't count. But the truth is, little bouts of motion and energy bursts have tremendous positive effect on our health, our weight loss, and our mental well being. Featured today is a look at Wiggle Therapy (one of my favorites!), a review of beneficial stretching, and an easy walking guide. You will also find a terrific weeknight recipe for Tuna Pasta Primavera and a link-summary of popular posts from the LivingAfterWLS Blog.

Thank you for your time and I wish you good feelings when you take time to shake the wiggles out!

Kaye Bailey

Quick Refresher: Walking
Studies show that even small amounts of brisk walking can improve health.

    18 minutes of brisk walking reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by 36%.
    21 minutes of brisk walking reduces the risk of stroke by 43%.
    30 minutes of brisk walking reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 30%.

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Improve Mood: In addition to the physical and mental health benefits of walking, spending time in nature has also been associated with stress-relieving and mood-boosting benefits. A 2010 University of Rochester study even showed that just 20 minutes spent in nature was enough to make people feel more alive. Nature is fuel for the soul, often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.

To improve your mood walk every day. Daily walkers report feeling four times more positive about their bodies and their abilities to get through the day, even when walks come in small bursts and at a leisurely pace. The feelings of wellness far outlasted the temporary boost found in a cup of coffee, according to research. Spring is upon us, now is the ideal time to include walking as part of our self-nurturing daily routine.

wigglesShake the wiggles out!
Shared with permission from Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test by Kaye Bailey pp. 93-94.

"Wiggle Therapy: They taught us wiggle therapy in Kindergarten and it worked wonders on our tiny little bodies and developing brains. And then we got all grown up and sophisticated and forgot all about it.

It is time to bring it back and I love it! Let me refresh your memory, but first put yourself back in kindergarten: maybe you are sitting on the rug and story time has just concluded. Your teacher, the one you just adore, says, "It's time to shake the wiggles out!" And at once 25 little kids jump up from the rug in crazy wiggly-jiggly-giggly good time fun. Remember that? Why in the world did we give that up? We put our arms above our heads and reached for the sky. We bent down and touched our toes. We hopped, skipped, wiggled and jumped. There was not a self-conscious wallflower among us. We were silly wiggle worms.

I suppose wiggle therapy takes about a minute, maybe less. But the effects are lingering. Better than a chocolate buzz, the wiggle thrill lasts for quite a while. Our thoughts become clear and our focus sharper because we have joyously told our metabolic workers inside, "There is a party going on outside!" Our heart rate is elevated and our blood oxygen levels increase. And the needful ping we may have perceived to be hunger is gone.

Now, realistically, in a grown-up society I know in many cases it would be frowned upon to leap up from our work-a-day to gyrate about in wiggle therapy. No doubt we would be committed to another kind of therapy. However, in a more subtle fashion we can stretch, flex and bend our bodies delivering respectable doses of oxygen to the cells while causing a meaningful rise in heart rate. And if all else fails, make haste to the rest room and lock the door. Then go crazy and shake the wiggles out.

By the way, if you are an office worker tethered to your desk all day there is a legitimate health reason to practice wiggle therapy. Extended time seated in an office chair increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis, a condition that causes swelling, pain, and potentially fatal blood vessel damage. Inactivity slows circulation, which can lead to a blood clot. Protect yourself with a session or two of wiggle therapy each day."

Day 6: Beyond the 5 Day Pouch Test by Kaye Bailey
stretchReach for the sky -- Literally!

One of the most basic human actions we can take -stretching and bending- has essentially been lost to our sedentary lifestyle consequently our physical and mental tension has increased along with increased body aches, fatigue, and an overall sense of listlessness. But how simple it is to correct this lifestyle deficiency. Stretching improves blood circulation to your muscles. This circulation helps heal the body and soothes away aches and pains. The more often you stretch the better able we are to think clearly, release built-up tension, and reinvigorate our body during the traditional mid-day slumps.

Exercise and health guru Denise Austin says, "For optimal energy, flexibility, sleep, and overall results, try to stretch at least three times a day. Start the morning as soon as you wake. Take time mid-day for a stretch break, and then cap off the day with an evening stretch to calm the body and mind thus promoting restful sleep."

"When you stretch and relax, you elongate your muscles, which will make you appear up to 5 pound thinner and an inch taller in just a few minutes!" Denise Austin

Don't forget to breathe. Including mindful breathing during stretching allows the mind to relax and works in tandem with the stretch to oxygenate the body. Austin advises, "Try to breathe slowly and deeply moving with your breath. This will help to make your stretching practice more mindful, allowing you to relax your mind with your body. It will also infuse your body with energizing oxygen."

Denise Austin's "Reach-for-the-Sky Stretch"
"Stand with your feet aligned under your hips and your hands by your sides. Take a deep breath and raise your arms out to the sides, with your palms facing up. Press your hands as far apart as you can to open your chest and upper back.

"Exhale and continue to raise your arms overhead reaching for the sky as you rise onto the balls of your feet. Breathe deeply as you stretch out your entire body, holding until you feel your spine lengthen and warm. Then come to center and repeat. As you reach your hands toward the sky, keep your neck long and your shoulder blades down. Try not to hunch your shoulders toward your ears."
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walkingThe Easiest of All: Walking
The simple act of walking is great for your health; research has linked it to a host of benefits, from a healthier weight to reduced fatigue to relief from stress and mild depression symptoms. As we lose weight after WLS we find that walking, which was before an unbearable discomfort and burden, becomes a fun joyful activity.

Here are a few simple suggestions to inspire your next health promoting stroll.

All walking is good.
All walking contributes to health, even short bursts of walking. Squeeze a walk in wherever and whenever you're able. "People have no time, and most think they have to go somewhere to exercise," says Sue Parks, CEO of WalkStyles, Inc., and co-author of iCount: 10 Simple Steps To A Healthy Life. "That becomes the daunting thing."

Ultimately, according to Parks, any walk is a good walk -- and the exercise will provide a number of physical and mental health benefits. Whether it means parking a little further from your office or taking an afternoon break to walk twice around the block, increasing your step count will always pay off, and it's easier for most people than finding the time and energy for a longer workout.

Walk through a green space.
In addition to the physical and mental health benefits of walking, spending time in nature has also been associated with stress-relieving and mood-boosting benefits. A 2010 University of Rochester study even showed that just 20 minutes spent in nature was enough to make people feel more alive.

"Nature is fuel for the soul," University of Rochester psychology professor and lead author of the study, Richard Ryan, said in a press release. "Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature."

Stuck in the city? Even a little greenery at your local public park could do the trick. A recent UK study found that walking through urban green spaces could put the brain into a state of meditation.

Participation Helps! It cannot be overstated the value that comes from following a 5DPT participant group that uses the plan to get back to the basics they've forgotten. New patients can learn and benefit from the mistakes of others and be well-equipped to quickly spot behaviors that may take us off track from the basics. Don't wait to find yourself well into the danger zone to start learning from others. It is the shared experience of the group that makes the individual strong.

Inspired Protein First Recipe
Tuna Pasta Primavera
recipeTuna Pasta Primavera
Shared with permission from Protein First: Understanding and Living the First Rule of WLS by Kaye Bailey pp. 74-75.

"I have found this is a mindful way to get a pasta-fix without going overboard. The recipe comes together quickly with affordable ingredients that can be substituted to take advantage of fresh seasonal produce. Served as a cold salad this makes a great take-to-work lunch. To streamline cooking cook the peas and asparagus with the pasta and avoid using a steamer basket over another pan of boiling water. The vegetables could also be steamed in the microwave oven. To decrease the simple carbs use only 4 ounces of bow tie pasta, I've tried this and the salad is just as delicious as with 8 ounces of pasta.

8 ounces bow tie pasta, uncooked
1 pound fresh asparagus
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup seeded, chopped tomato
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 (6-ounce) cans low-sodium tuna packed in water, drained and coarsely flaked
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions: Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat, timing carefully. During the first five minutes while pasta cooks snap off tough ends of asparagus. Remove scales from stalks, if desired. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces. During final 3 minutes as pasta cooks add asparagus and peas to pasta and continue cooking until pasta is done and vegetables are tender. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water and drain pasta and vegetables. Place pasta and vegetables in a large bowl and toss with green onions, salt, olive oil, chopped tomato and lemon juice. Flake tuna and toss in salad; add pasta water as needed for desired consistency. Season with ground pepper.  Serve warm or chilled.

Nutrition: Serves 6. Per serving: 153 Calories; 21g Protein, 2g Fat (.5g saturated) 18g Carbohydrate.

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