Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vivian's Acupuncture Update

Ok, so last week our Acupuncturist Tara Fernalld put some ear seeds on Vivian's ear. During the next few days Vivian could apply pressure to these ear seeds for decreasing hunger, increasing metabolism and increasing elimination. They only last a few days but for Vivian that lasted about 4-5 days. She really noticed a difference in her hunger and a differences in her elimination proces. She has become quite regular. Tara met her today and put more ear seeds. She still had a stressful week due to her son's school giving some problems even though this was taken care of awhile back. So needless to say she didn't lose weight but she has noticed her pants are bigger on her. I will be calling Vivian often this week and hopefully I can help her keep a good diet. During stressfull times this can be really hard to eat healthy. When your body is stressed you will desire more sugar and salty foods so it is a good idea to have a good trainer or friend to help you out with this.

Good Luck Vivian!

Tip of the Day: Try to learn what glycemic foods are and eat low glycemic foods as they will help maintain your blood sugar. Start with looking up low glycemic veggies and fruits.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vivian gets help from our acupuncturist Tara!

As Vivian's life has been a little hectic the past couple of weeks she was interested in acquiring a little help controlling her appetite since stress can increase one's appetite or trigger unhealthy eating. Here at Advanced Integrative Medicine we have a variety of weight loss options and one of them is acupuncture. Our acupuncturist Tara Fernalld was eager to help. Tara also does acupuncture for pain and a variety of illnesses. Check out our website at for more information on Tara.

In this video, Tara takes an ear probe to apply pressure to Vivian’s many trigger points on her ears to see which ones are the most sensitive. Once she finds the most sensitive ones Tara will then apply ear seeds to them to help guide Vivian where to apply pressure when she wants to decrease her hunger. Tara will look at these weekly as these sensitive areas can change from week to week. So we will be back next week to see how this helps Vivian during her stressful time. Plus Tara will check to see if any of the ear seeds needs to be moved. Good luck Vivian and thanks Tara!

Tip of the week:

Eating small meals/snack every 3-4 hours can help keep you from feeling really hungry. Snacks should consist of a carbohydrate and protein with some healthy fats. The protein and healthy fats help you feel full. Also fiber rich foods can help you feel fuller longer as well. A few examples are: small apple with 1/4 cup of nuts, small banana cut up and mixed with creamy natural peanut butter, a few plain rice cakes with a healthy hummus blend spread on top (read the ingredients, hummus should conain garbanzo beans and spices like garlic, peppers, etc...). Good Luck!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vivian's Weight Loss Journey Week 6

Wow, it's been almost 6 weeks already! Vivian is a trooper. She didn't lose any weight this past week but that is ok b/c she has been doing so well. She's lost a total of 7.5 pounds, so that is over a pound per week. :) So Vivian don't get discouraged! Vivian was taking some temporarily prescribed appetite suppresents to help her out since she was so busy but it affected her sleep and that has made her feel worn down. So she stopped taking that and now wants to try acupuncture. We have a great Acupuncturist in our office and her name is Tara. Tara will work with Vivian next week and has ways to help her control her appetite. We will video this for you if anyone is curious to see how this works. I haven't tried it yet but I've heard so many great things about acupuncture for many different ailments. Dr. Oz actually had an acupuncturist on his show and they helped a woman on the show control her appetite, it was so cool. I'm glad that Dr. Oz supports alternative medicine. :)

Ok, well I hope you enjoyed this weeks video and next week we'll show you the acupuncture treatment with Tara!

Tip of the Week:

When you feel hungry drink an 8oz glass of water (I prefer mine ice cold) and then wait 20 minutes to see if you really needed that snack. It really works! Also, if I have the chance, I brush my teeth after drinking the water because I don't like to mix the taste of my snack with minty fresh breath and I will usually change my mind (especially if I'm just sitting around and I want to eat because I'm bored). Good Luck! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vivian Week 5

Alright, Vivian is getting ready to begin week 5! She weighed in at 238.5 and lost another 1.5 pounds this past week. Woo Hoo! She is really doing great! This past week we went over some more healthy choices to make on the go. She has been really busy with going to work then picking up her son Brandon and then bringing him to a variety of therapies he attends throughout the week for his autism. Brandon actually joined us on our visit to Bahama Breeze we talked about last week. He has a beautiful yellow lab that goes with Brandon where ever he goes to help protect him and also help him calm down when Brandon gets really anxious. Brandon did very well at the restaurant, I was really impressed with him but he does keep Vivian very busy because she has to make sure he doesn't get really anxious too. Luckily our friend Katie was with us who is really great with kids and adores Brandon and she played with Brandon so Vivian and I could take a moment to look over the menu and pick out items that were safe choices no matter what restaurant we go to, in the event we can't look up the nutrional info before going to the restaurant.

She is still having a hard time getting in some exercise since she is soooo busy. So we set up her work station up with a stability ball to sit on. It is really great on your back. I love it myself, I can not sit in a regular chair for very long but I can sit on the stability very long and get some nice stretches and exercises on it while I'm working. Next week we will sit down and figure out a way to incorporate exercises at home.

Like Vivian said, we are hoping Dr. Green will be there next week to discuss her part of Vivians' weight loss journey. We have several weight loss programs. For patients that don't have a lot to lose and are looking to get healthier as well then we will talk to them about our 28 day elimination diet in which you eliminate foods that are hard to digest or create an inflammotory response. It takes 28 days for something to be rid of in the body. So while we eliminate certain foods, then we tell you what you can eat that are mild to the digestive system and do not create an inflammotory response. Along with this we have a vitamin shake to go with it to help make sure your body is getting the right amounts of good vitamins, minerals and some herbal supplements geared toward easing your stomach and liver processes. If patients come in who have dieted for many years and just can't succeed, then their first appointment is a complete physical with Dr. Green as well as taking blood to run a number of tests that will tell us of any potential risks the patients might have. This will tell us if the patient is ready to exercise and be a part of a diet program. For the patients that have a really hard time losing weight and they have tried and failed many times, then Dr. Green may prescribe an appetite suppressment just to help out in the first 1-6 weeks to help them while they learn healthy choices. Then they are weined off the medication and they are equipped with the knowledge of living a healthy life. In NO way do we encourage fast weight loss or try to get patients stuck on medication. It is monitored very closely by Dr. Green.

If you are in the Atlanta area and really want to lose weight and keep it off the healthy way then give our office a call at 678-867-7200. We give a 15 minute free consultation with no obligations and no harrassement, I promise. Come on in and we can help you get stared like we did with Vivian. Vivian has never understood what it meant to eat healthy because she comes from a Spanish background where they cooked a lot of foods and food is an integral part of the family. Remember the first week? She had decided to do the 28 day elimination diet along with starting her lifelong changes. By day 3 she was really hungry and really miserable. So I immediatley told her to stop the elimination diet and just focus on learning healthier options. She has been doing much better since then and she does not feel deprived.

I did suggest to Vivian to make a list of places that she likes to go on a regular basis and then we can look at each places nutritional information and pick which items would be best to get at each place. Then we can make a final list for her to carry around in her purse and when she needs to stop she will pull out her list and be able to order something healthy. I also told her to write down if she liked it and was it fullfilling. Then we can tweek it here and there. We also discussed having a list of items she needs from the store and then stick to that list and to not go shopping while she is hungry. Going to the store right after you had a big, filling meal is the best time to go.

Ok, that is all we have for now...we will see you all next week!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vivian Week 4

Ok, we are getting ready to begin week 4! Vivian weighed in at 240 for a loss of 3 pounds! That's awesome Vivian! This past week I decided to take Vivian out to eat at one of her favorite restaurants, Bahama Breeze. I had Vivian go to the restaurants website to check out the nutrition information and then decide what she was going to eat before we even left to go. She was eager to see what her favorite dish faired on the nutritional side, which was the Grilled Fresh Salmon Tostada Salad w/chimichurri sauce. She was extremely surprised (and disappointed) to see that it was 1,045 calories with 57 grams of fat! So she looked at all the other lunch items and had decided she would like the appetizer crab, shrimp, mango, avocado stack which was 250 calories and 6 grams of fat. When she told me that was what she wanted I was a little concerned that it was too small and that she would not be very full and that she may not feel satisfied. I told her that the grilled chicken kabob over yellow rice is a nice size meal and only 385 calories and 6 grams of fat. She agreed that she would get that, however when we got to the restaurant she said she really didn't want the kabobs and she wanted the crab, shrimp, mango, avocado stack but was afraid to tell me, ha, ha. I said don't be afraid to tell me that, I was just concerned that it would not fill her up. So she asked if she could get the black bean soup with her appetizer making her total lunch 570 calories and 10 grams of fat. I said that was a great idea, that she would get something she really wanted and still within a reasonable calorie range. She also had her "fresh lemonade" which is water with lemon (0 calories!). Since she had a light breakfast and didn't have snacks then that was a great lunch for her. The next day she told me she was full until dinner (even had a lite dinner!) and her lunch choice was very satisfying.

Imagine how many people think that a salmon salad would be a healthy lunch item not realizing it was over 1000 calories! Many salads are really high in calories but people do not realize it. Cheese, croutons, dressings and portion sizes of meat on the salad can add up to a whole days worth of calories.

Vivian was getting used to finding time for her cardio exercise, which includes a video dance game she can do with her son, so I felt it was time to add some strength training. We went over some simple exercises she can do at home that used some light dumbbells and a stability ball. We also went over some foam rolling flexibility exercises. If you haven't tried foam rolling you need too! Most clients I introduce this to fall in love with it. My kids love it and we normally do it at the end of the day while watching TV. It is like giving yourself a massage without hurting your hands. I sent Vivian home with the foam roll so we will see how she enjoyed it. See you next week!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Vivian Week 3

Vivian lost 2 pounds this week! Woo-hoo! As Vivian stated we focused on calories this past week. Really just making her aware of how much calories she is about to eat and if it is too many then how can we change that. We didn't focus on how much protein, fat and carbs her foods were this week because we really need to take this in baby steps so she will really learn and retain the information. If I throw it all at her at once then she will be confused and when we are confused we are overwhelmed and don't want to learn anymore. So this morning she was running late and called the office and wanted to know if we wanted her to pick up anything while she was out. I asked her what she was getting and she was hesitant, she wanted to go to Chick-fil-A, so I pulled up a calorie list of their food items and she really wanted an egg and a bagel, so that came out to 320 calories which was a great range for her for breakfast. It did have 42g of carbohydrates and the bagel, even though multi-grain, was still processed so I suggested next time we get this also get a large fruit cup with it and remove half of the bagel from the sandwich.

We discussed how we were going to implement exercise into her busy life. Having an autistic son makes it really hard to find time so what I suggested to get started was to find a physical game or a kids workout dvd that her son would like and they both do them together. She ended up getting a dance, dance, revolution type game and she and her son like to play it. So I said for this week to do it at least 3 tiimes per week for 20 minutes. I don't want to wear herself out in one week and have her quitting it all together (baby steps). Next week she is getting some 3-5 pound dumbbells and a stability ball. I will show her some exercises for each body part for her to do 2 times per week to start. We are also going to go out to lunch and I'm going to let her choose the place we go and then I'm going to have her figure out what they serve and what the calories are and we are going to figure out what we want before we even get there. I do this all the time myself. A website that I like to utilize is and they have all grocery items and most fast food places with some restaurants. If you can't find what you're looking for then you can go to that restaurants website for their nutritional info. If they don't have it then choose another restaurant. Places like the Cheesecake Factory do not publish their calories and serve portions that are 2, 3 or 4 times a serving! It's been said that one of their dishes is over 3000 calories! Once slice of cheesecake is around 800 calories! So that one slice of cheesecake is about half of your total daily calories, not to mention the amount of fat in it.

Ok Vivian, I'm looking forward to exercising with you and going out to lunch. Be prepared! Good Luck! I know you can do it!

Ok guys, don't forget to tune in next week to see clips of our restaurant outing and exercise teaching.

Tip of the week: Look up the restaurants before you go out to eat so you can find out how much calories are in certain dishes. Sometimes what you think is healthy is not healthy at all. Until nextweek! Bye! Kristina

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Vivian Week 2

Vivian weighed in today at 245.5 pounds. She lost one pound this week. Way to go Vivian! Last week Vivian decided she wanted to do our medical weight loss program and our 28 day detox. Our 28 day detox consists of a modified elimination diet which is very restricting, eliminating food items such as gluten, dairy, caffeine, red meat, sugar, coffee and more. Last Sunday Vivian emailed me to let me know she was doing the detox but she felt very hungry and that she was extremely tired due to the fact her son was sick all weekend and wouldn’t sleep. She really sounded down and unmotivated. I told her that she should not feel deprived and hungry and that if she lost weight feeling that way she probably wouldn’t keep it off because who wants to feel like that? I suggested we postpone the detox plan for now and focus on learning how to make healthy choices and that I am not putting her on a diet, I am teaching her life long skills. For someone like Vivian (who has never been exposed to reading food labels, watching portions or understanding which ingredients are good for you and bad for you) beginning a restrictive diet will most certainly lead to failure. Eating healthy does not mean you have to go hungry and never having your favorite foods again. We need to take baby steps and it is going to take time to learn good eating habits. Going slow will give you a better chance for success.

Vivian told me how hard it was to pass up Chick-fil-A and not get a chicken biscuit. I told her that she can still have a breakfast sandwich that tastes good with less calories and fat. See below for the recipe and calorie information. Knowing I would never eat pizza, cookies or macaroni and cheese ever again would unmotivate me so what do you do? The key is to learn how to make healthy substitutes and watch your portions and that takes time to do. I will share one of the tips each week that I discuss with Vivian.

Tip: Use a salad plate as your dinner plate and don’t go back for seconds unless you are getting more green leafy vegetables. Thanks to restaurants people are under the impression that a normal size meal comes on a dinner plate (or bigger, like a pasta bowl) and that you fill it high and wide. When I am stressed (which can be often) I tend to want to eat a lot, so before I fix my salad plate with my dinner I will take a Tupperware container and fill it with fresh spinach leaves, diced cucumbers, mushrooms, and 2 tbsps. of balsamic vinaigrette (without high fructose corn syrup or added sugar), put the lid on and shake it up so the dressing gets on everything and eat that before dinner. You can eat a whole bag of fresh spinach because it is so low in calories and really good for you. You can use iceberg or romaine lettuce but it doesn’t have any nutrients in it and spinach does. This helps fill me up before dinner so I will eat less.

See you next week Vivian!

Egg, Turkey and Cheese Bagel Breakfast Sandwich: Toast one 100% whole wheat mini bagel, scramble one egg with 1 tbsp. of nonfat milk, 2 thin slices of mesquite smoked turkey grilled a little on the stove and sprinkle a tbsp. of finely shredded cheddar cheese (use low fat mozzarella for even less calories and fat). 271 calories, 23g protein, 26g carbohydrates, 12g fat

By eating this instead of the Chick-fil-a biscuit Vivian saved 149 calories, 18g carbohydrates and 7g of fat!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Vivian Week 1

Vivian Week 1
Click her for Vivian's video blog on her weigh in day!  She weighed in at 246.5 pounds and we did a body composition on her and 56% of her body is fat (that includes internal fat, not just fat close to the skin).  Wow, thanks for sharing this with us Vivian, it was very brave of you and because of that you will help encourage other people to lose weight.  We are really going to help her on her weight loss journy and we are hoping for great success!  It is really hard for her being a wife and mother plus working and going to school to find time to focus on herself.  So having people to help her and encourage her can put her on the right path to success.  You must have a support group somewhere and sometimes it is hard to find at home so that is where we come in.  If you'd like to be a part of Vivians Support Group go to our link below:  Advanced Integrative Medicine and give us a call. Good Luck Vivian and we will see you next week!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Meet Vivian

Vivian is a 37 year old wife and mother who has been struggling to lose weight.  Vivian is the mother of an adorable 7 year old boy who is autistic which is a full time job in itself but she also works part time and is working on her Master's Degree.  Wow, is she busy!  With that kind of busy schedule how can she find time to focus on eating healthy and exercising?  That is where we come in.  Here at AIM we have set up a medical weight loss program that can help people like Vivian get on the right track to weight loss and great health!  After getting your medical background information we will perform our own diagnostic tests to see what we are starting out with and where we need to go.  You will meet with our medical doctor, Dr. Kimberly Green for a thorough physical examination.  Then you will meet with me to discuss meal plans and exercise plans to get you started on your weight loss journey.  We also have additional resources available for those who need additional help such as meal replacement shakes and supplements.  Vivian has just gone through her first appointment and is eager to get started.  She has decided to add on our 28 day detox plan to help boost her metabolism, lower her cholesterol and pre-diabetes.  Vivian will officially weigh in on Wednesday, September 9, 2009, so check back in for her first day on our program.  Good luck Vivian!