Friday, March 28, 2014

Farm to Fork - Why Buy Fresh & Local Food?

Board-certified bariatric surgeon Dr. Michael Feiz frequently counsels his patients on healthy eating, and then they often become experts in what is healthy food. One thing patients sometimes ask Dr. Feiz is, "should I buy local food?" Here's his take on local food and healthy eating!

Local food is more sustainable because it is grown on a community farm with different kinds of crops and animals. Because it travels a shorter distance, it doesn't need to be processed to enhance freshness before it reaches your plate. The farms which are local and sustainable aren't owned by big agribusiness companies which strive for a profit above all else. What makes a farm sustainable is the fact that it doesn't rely on artificial fertilizer, pesticides, heavy machinery, antibiotics, feedlots, and processing plants. Sustainable food isn't an industrial machine which relies on massive amounts of fossil fuel to deliver its product. 

Dr. Feiz, a renowned Southern California bariatric surgeon, recommends patients looking to support fresh, local food by the employing the following practices:

           CSA – Community Supported Agriculture
A CSA provides an opportunity for a family to support a local farm for a few hundred dollars a year, and in return they receive a weekly box of fresh produce. By paying in advance, the cost of seeds and planting crops are covered by the consumers. Members are also encouraged to visit the farm and volunteer there to see how their food is grown. 
 Farmers Market
If you’re interested in supporting the local economy, look no further than your neighborhood farmers market. Farmers markets enable farmers to keep up to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer. Farmers markets are comprised of a number of local producers who gather together to sell their wares to residents of the community. By patronizing farmers markets, you help keep small family farms in business, while benefitting both the farmer and yourself. While at the farmers market, you can ask the farmer specifics about their farm and how produce is grown and animals are raised. You can ask include what kind of pest control methods are used, which fertilizers are used, how many different types of produce are grown, and if the farm is certified organic, biodynamic, or naturally grown.
 “Pick your own” Farm
Some farms which offer fruits allow members of the public to come and pick their own produce at farms such as an apple orchard, berry growers, or a pumpkin patch. Usually the producer will set a price for a bushel or pint, and families can go into the fields and pick their own food. Some farms also allow consumers to choose the animal they would like to purchase for consumption before it is slaughtered.
  Food Co-ops -- Co-operative Grocery Stores
These voluntary organizations are controlled by members to provide low cost, healthy food both to members and the public, while individuals belonging to the co-op have a say in decision-making of business practices. Most of these food co-ops are organic or produced with a minimum of processing.
Food buying clubs
By organizing a group of people to buy food in bulk, members can expect to get discounts. Usually the groups are either friends or members of a group, such as a church organization, who share the chores of collecting money and placing orders with the distributor. Regional distributors also provide food to co-op stores.
Home delivery service
Similar to a CSA, this service is a burgeoning industry which takes local food and sends boxes of fresh meat and produce to members. The box’s contents change weekly as seasonal produce changes. Members can choose the type of produce, ready-made items, or meat they want. Boxes can contain fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, fish, poultry, bread, pasta, and dry goods.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Welcome Nicole Jones, Our Patient Advocate and "the Boss of Food"

We just wanted to take a moment today to congratulate Nicole Jones, one of Dr. Feiz's most impressive alums, who will be acting as our Patient Advocate. Nicole, who lost 90 pounds and an enormous number of dress sizes with a gastric sleeve procedure, will be going on all types of social media and explaining how, for many people, bariatric procedures may be the best and only answer to the ongoing obesity epidemic.

Just talking to Nicole, you can tell she's a serious person and not one to give up on anything at all. However, even she found that defeating obesity and the threat of health problems like type 2 diabetes was too much to take on without some surgical assistance. Like the vast majority of people struggling with their weight, the constant distraction of feelings of hunger made it just too difficult for her to lose weight over the long haul. Fortunately, of course, her gastric sleeve changed all that.

As she puts it:
A lot of what I'll be doing is just sharing the good experience I had with Dr. Feiz and talking about how different things are now. Before, food was kind of ruling my life. Now I feel like I am the boss of food.
We know Nicole is going to do an amazing job helping people to explore the possibilities in terms of approaches to, well, becoming the boss of food. If you would like to look into the possibility weight loss surgery in Los Angeles or elsewhere in Southern California with Dr. Feiz and Associates, feel free to contact us at 310-855-8058.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Teaching Children Healthy Eating Habits Early in Life

You've probably heard phrases such as "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" or "like father, like son." Well, that's true for many things when it comes to child rearing, including how children will learn their eating habits from their parents. Los Angeles bariatric surgeon Dr. Michael Feiz has even treated entire families who are severely obese and one of the things he often hears from these patients in the same family is that they have had poor eating habits since childhood.

The good news is, parents can guide their children who live at home into better eating habits. Likewise, Dr. Feiz would encourage couples planning to have a family to learn more about nutrition before they welcome home a little one. Are you the type of parent who keeps plenty of sugary snacks around the house, and never sits down to a home-cooked meal with the family; or do you regularly schedule sit-down family dinners at home and encourage your children to play? Whichever one it is, children will often grow up thinking however they were raised is not only normal, but it becomes ingrained in their lifestyle habits for a lifetime, and as we all know, it is incredibly hard to break a habit.

Even for those who have had incredible difficulty losing weight later in life, there is hope to get your life back on track and learn new, healthy eating habits. As the foremost expert in bariatric surgery in Southern California (also called weight loss/obesity surgery), Dr. Feiz has aided many individuals as well as families in getting their lives back on track while regaining their health as they lose significant weight. If you're ready to get started on your weight loss journey, call 310-855-8058 today to get in touch with the offices of Dr. Feiz & Associates.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Portions, Portions, Portions! How Much to Eat of Each Food Group

Los Angeles bariatric Surgeon Dr. Michael Feiz knows just how frustrating it can be when you want to lose weight, but you get conflicting advice about what healthy eating entails. With all of the diet fads out there, it's easy to get sucked in to a plan that promises quick, easy results. However, Dr. Feiz knows that no sustainable weight loss plan is ever as simple or quick as snapping your fingers.

To take some of the guesswork out of what is a healthy portion size, and how much you should eat of each food group, Dr. Feiz recommends reading up on the Harvard Medical School "Healthy Eating Plate" photo. With the easy-to-understand visual of splitting up your plate into sections, you won't have to be a mathematician or meticulously count out calories to follow it.

Here's some simple pointers:

  1. Eat plenty of produce, and the greater variety of colors, the better.  Make most of your vegetable choices non-starchy, which usually means dark green or leafy vegetables, including but not limited to romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, or  cauliflower. Most of the vegetables which aren't leafy or green are starchy - think potatoes, corn and  squash, and others. 
  2. Choose whole grains: brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and whole-grain pasta. These keep you fuller longer than refined grains like white rice and white bread. 
  3. Choose healthy sources of protein, such as fish, poultry (not the skin), beans, and nuts. Limit processed meats and red meats, such as bacon or cold cuts. 
  4. Use healthy oils for cooking, like olive or canola oil, and limit butter, and avoid trans fat.
  5. Drink plenty of water, and when drinking other beverages, use little or no sugar and avoid sugary beverages in general.
Interested in learning more about weight loss in Los Angeles with Dr. Michael Feiz? Call his offices today at 310-817-6911!