All posts by Dee Anne Agonis

Gift Ideas for a Bariatric Patient


With the holidays coming up, many of our patients have been asking for gift ideas that will be helpful in their bariatric journey. We have created a list of great present ideas that will provide support and assistance towards weight loss success. Many of these ideas came directly from our patients, who first hand, know what will be the most helpful!



  • Kitchen
    • Digital Kitchen Scale
    • Portable Food Scale
    • Portion Control Plate 
    • Tupperware for Meal Preps
    • Measuring Cups
    • Water Bottle (with ounces labeled on it)
    • Gastric Sleeve/ Gastric Bypass Cookbook
  • Nutrition/Health
    • Bariatric Vitamins/Supplements –
    • Gift Card to GNC or Local Health Food Store
    • Vitamin Case/Organizer
    • Gym Membership
    • Bathroom Weight Scale
    • Workout Clothes
    • Protein Shakes
    • An Activity Tracker
      • Fit-bit/Apple Watch/Garmin/etc.
    • Workout equipment for home
      • Weights
      • Yoga Mat
      • Workout Videos/Program
  • Clothes/Comfort
    • Gift Card to buy new clothes
    • Leggings
    • Sweaters
    • Abdominal Binder
    • Fuzzy Socks
    • Slippers
    • Robe
    • Good Walking Shoes
    • Heated Blanket
    • Insulated Hat and Gloves
  • Give the Gift of Support
    • Attend the gym with your signification other/ friend/ family/ etc.
    • Make healthy food choices with your signification other/ friend/ family/ etc.
    • Support his/her choice to have surgery
    • Be patient with your signification other/ friend/ family/ etc.
    • Help out around the house more than usual during their healing process


Linda’s Journey To A Healthy, Happy Life

We would like to introduce you to Linda. Linda had Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery with Dr. Hoehn in December of 2014. Her highest weight was 300 pounds and her current weight, as of December 2018, is 163 pounds. She has dropped 8 pants sizes! Linda has had an amazing journey towards success, health, and life overall. She is here to share her journey!  

“When I was asked to talk about my weight loss journey, I felt compelled to explain the good along with the bad. I want anyone who is reading this to understand that I’ve walked in your shoes my entire life! I feel your pain and I know the hurt; but along with these things comes a light at the end of the tunnel. And if your anything like I was, you are at the crossroad I was. I want you to know there is hope when you feel hopeless and defeated! I’m absolute proof! If anyone would have told me I would be a size 10 at almost fifty I’d called them a liar. Maybe by reading my story you can see what might feel impossible is actually possible!

In 2014, I was forced at the age of 45 to retire from police work. Being a police officer was my life and all I’ve known since I was twenty-two years old. The realization that I had topped the scale at a whopping 300 lbs was almost more than I could bear. My professional life was a complete wreck, no one took me seriously any longer, it seemed I had lost my credibility with every pound packed on. I guess in reality seeing an obese female police officer really isn’t very intimidating after all, right! Nevertheless, regardless of appearances, I was no longer safe. I physically wasn’t able to hold my own any longer much less protect another human life. My health was quickly deteriorating! My personal life and health were spiraling downward. I’d felt like I’d lost my identity as a human being.

Then the most bizarre thing happened as my physical stature increased, I actually became more and more invisible to people. Doors were no longer held open for me as a courtesy and people would walk right past me in line as if I wasn’t there. I became visible when our family went out to eat, I always felt paranoid about how much food I’d put on my plate, because I watched as people judged me. I also very visible at a Bar–Que. Their intentions, as innocent as they may have been, were noticed. I could see friends moving the plastic chairs aside to give me the larger sturdier chair. It started out gradually but I noticed! And when going to a place with a booth, I was always pushing the table away from me so I could fit inside the booth.

Finally, my only respite from life was my precious beloved horse “Dancer”. We could ride for hours and find peace from the world; find my Zen! The very last time I rode my precious Dancer was the day we came off the mountain into the campground, as we rode past several adults sitting by their camp fire one older gentleman loudly asked me the name of my horse, I replied “Dancer”, he responded to me that I should rename my horse to “Dozer” because he can move mountains; I never rode Dancer again. I felt awful! Being so heavy and subjecting him to my weight. That thought hadn’t occurred to me prior to that day. The reality of my mortality had set in. My sleep apnea was so bad I never knew from night to night if I would wake up the next day. My body ached in every single joint. I was perpetually exhausted. Simple everyday tasks were overwhelming. I was a spectator in my own life. Watching my kids play; my granddaughter play. I planned my outings around places to sit down or how much walking was involved. My husband took our kids to events alone. Either I simply couldn’t walk it or couldn’t fit on a ride. Sadly, that is all lost time with my family I’ll never be able to get back; memories that were stolen from me by obesity. I thought I had no options, that being obese was just my fate; the hand I was dealt. Every single diet I tried only left me gaining the weight back plus additional pounds.

Then, I found out about weight loss surgery years prior to actually getting serious about having it done. A friend had gastric bypass and had incredible success. But at that time, I had the mindset that it was the easy way out and the lazy persons way out. Blah Blah Blah! Finally, however once faced with my own mortality I couldn’t look my family in the face and give up without just trying ONE MORE TIME! I Googled weight loss surgery options; started reading options and about different surgeons and the odds of insurance covering the procedure. I just assumed my insurance wouldn’t cover the procedure. I signed up for the consultation at The Bariatric Center of Kansas City! My husband and I discussed the options and decided on the sleeve for me. Once I filled out the paperwork Dr. Hoehn’s staff took care of all the insurance issues. I simply followed their instructions. They literally walked me through a process that I thought was impossible; and they made it possible.

My surgery was December 12, 2014. I’m not going to lie to anyone, this was not easy, and if anyone tells you it is, they are lying. The surgery is exactly what they say it is- a tool! The surgery does not change
your behaviors or the way your brain works. What it does do however is offer you a better then fighting chance to make permanent changes. I think the key to my success has been I’ve followed the main rule and that is always always always PROTEIN FIRST! No matter what. Proteins fill you up fast and keep you full. Plus, another one of the best tools I have is my Fitness Pal app. It’s a life saver. Use it faithfully! And take lots and lots of progress pictures; they are awesome when you hit plateaus. And you will! Keep your course. I thought a few times “Ok this must be it; all the weight I’m going to loose.” But nope just keep your focus and you will get back on track. Stand your ground and watch your body kick into high gear again. Drink tons and tons of water. Let me repeat this! Drink TONS AND TONS OF WATER!! I’m saying this about water because I’ve spent a couple weeks in the hospital for dehydration. Every complication I’ve had with the surgery has been self-inflicted. I got lazy or decided I didn’t need to follow doctor’s orders. Don’t be me! Do what you’re told the first time. Like I said when I started this I was going to give you the good with the bad. Now, I want to tell you about life after Bariatric Surgery! 

The first day I noticed I could move without pain was about at my fifty-pound loss. I woke up and went to the bathroom tossed my jams off, got dressed headed down the stairs and I froze in my tracks midway down the stairs. I felt like I was missing something; like I’d left the oven on at home kind of feeling. And it occurred to me that I had just got out of bed and got dressed with no pain; I wasn’t short of breath. I felt good! It was as foreign to me as learning a new language. My first thought was ok this is a good day. And the next day and the next, every day I noticed something else I could do. I tied my shoes without catching my breath. I wasn’t dragging my feet when I walked anymore. And the list just goes on and on. You will have your own “First days of.” And you will feel like a million bucks. Every goal you reach and every day you are actually participating in your life and are no longer a spectator. My husband and I go on adventures all the time now. But now he’s the one who needs to catch up. I play with my grown kids and our precious granddaughter. Life is beyond anything I’d ever hoped for. I feel absolutely fantastic. Plus, I think I’m looking pretty darn spiffy for a fifty-year-old grandma! Vanity aside my health is fantastic. I have no medical issues to speak of. I have so much I want to tell everyone! I want everyone to feel as good as I do now. But most of all if I could just let everyone know one thing it is to never give up!

Just a little update on my career, well I no longer have the desire to be a patrol officer. But I did get a job as a contractor for the Department of Defense. Guess what folks? I had to take a Navy physical agility test to qualify. I ran against men younger then my kids and I kicked butt! Not bad for an old gal! : )”

Thank you so much for sharing Linda! We are happy for all of the success you have had and we love seeing your confident smile! 🙂 If you are considering or interested in weight loss surgery click this link to sign up for our free no obligation weight loss seminar.  

December 4th, 2018 – Medications After Bariatric Surgery

Whitney Venegoni is one of our Nurse Practitioners who serves as a Primary Care Provider as well. She sees patients before and after surgery, and does medication management for many of our patients after surgery. We have 2 Nurse Practitioners: Whitney works full time and Lori Reckrey, APRN, works part time in the office on the 3rd floor (Suite 305 in Building A).

Whitney talked about medications following surgery. She shared with us questions that most commonly come up about different types of medications.

• Extended Release or Slow Release: Whitney will often switch medications that end in XR or SR, as they are designed to be released slowly throughout the day. After surgery, they may not remain in the gut long enough to work that way, so she will often switch the medication to an immediate release medication given more frequently. If the drug is a heart medication, she will defer to a patient’s cardiologist and follow their recommendations.

• Diabetes medication is complicated. Because there are so many different types of medications for diabetes and they all work a little differently, she has to look at each patient and medication very individually.

  • Usually she will stop Metformin, Invokana, and Farzxiga after surgery.
  • She avoids using glipizide and glimepiride as they can lead to low blood sugars more often.
  • Some patients won’t be able to stop their medications immediately, but everyone goes home on a lower dose than before surgery.
  • If a patient is on insulin, she will usually stop all the short acting insulin and leave patients on a much lower dose of long acting insulin.
  • She tries to switch patients from insulin to an oral agent as soon as possible. It can take a few weeks of adjustments to make sure patients are either completely off medication or managed well on a lower dose.

• Some medications have the side effect of causing weight gain, and she stops those. She can switch patients to a medication with similar action that does not result in weight gain.

• Blood pressure medication is usually stopped if the patient is only taking 1 or 2 medications. If someone is currently on 4 or 5 medications for BP, she will usually eliminate 2 or 3, and then work on reducing the dosages as weight loss occurs. Some BP medications are called beta-blockers, and are used for heart rhythm problems. These may need to be continued.

• Diuretics (water pills) are usually stopped completely the first week, as they could cause dehydration. If swelling occurs in the legs and feet, she may add a lower dose back to help decrease the swelling, especially if it is related to heart failure.

• Cholesterol medications are almost always stopped right after surgery, and the body is given time to adjust to the surgery. Frequently they will no longer be needed after surgery.

• Medications that adjust moods are not usually changed as long as they are working well and don’t cause weight gain. Some antidepressants can cause weight gain, so she will work with patients to switch them to another drug with similar action that doesn’t cause weight gain. This may take some time to adjust.

• Medications for overactive bladder may cause dryness, and it is important for patients to make sure they are drinking enough fluids.

• What antibiotics can I take or not? Erythromycin is very hard on your stomach, so you should not take it. Cefalexin and Macrobid (Nitrofurantoin) should not be used as they don’t absorb well after surgery. Augmentin is fine and all antibiotics should be taken after eating and NOT on an empty stomach.

• I have trouble knowing when to take omeprazole. I am still on it for GERD: Try taking it 30 – 60 minutes before breakfast and dinner to see if that helps. If not, there are acid reducers that are stronger we can try.

• Are there any medications you can take if you are a couple of years out from surgery and have a little weight regain? Yes. There medications that can help with cravings, and some that can boost your metabolism. Whitney can prescribe medications based on the problem you are having.

Our next support group will be January 8 of 2019 at 5:30 pm. We will continue to have support groups twice a month. The 1st Tuesday of every month will be at 5:30. During odd number months, we will meet again on the 3rd Tuesday at 5:30. On even numbered months, we will have the second group on Saturdays at 10 am. Hope to see you there.

November 29th, 2019 – Gallstone and Kidney Stone Information

Dustin Huff is Dr. Hamilton’s Physician Assistant.  He assists Dr. Hamilton in surgery and also sees patients in the clinic before and after surgery.  

One of the side effects of having bariatric surgery can be gallstones.  The liver produces bile to help in breaking down fat and cholesterol.  It stores this bile in the gallbladder which can then release it when you eat.  The more fat you eat, the more bile you need to help break it down during digestion.   

Gallbladders can become a problem in 3 ways:

  • You can develop a gallstone, which is a hardened deposit of bile – this may or may not cause pain and nausea
  • You can develop sludge in your gallbladder, which is thickened bile, which makes it harder for the body to excrete when you need it, making your nauseated
  • Biliary dyskinesia is a condition where your gallbladder is no longer as flexible as it was and loses its ability to squeeze out the bile

If you develop any of these conditions, you may develop nausea and pain in the upper right side of your abdomen.  It usually occurs at the very end of a meal or about 10 – 15 minutes after a meal. 

If the surgeon suspects you are having trouble with your gallbladder, he will usually order an ultrasound of the gallbladder to look for stones or sludge.  If none are seen, he may order a heptatobiliary scan to see if the gallbladder is no longer able to squeeze out the bile.  About 5 % of patients who have bariatric surgery develop gall stones or gallbladder problems in the first 12 – 24 months after surgery.  This usually occurs during the most rapid weight loss phase after surgery as the body is breaking down fatty tissue.  This causes the liver to secrete a lot of extra cholesterol into the bile which can then cause gallstones.  To prevent gallstones, it is important to keep yourself hydrated, and avoid fatty, fried food.  This will cause less stress on the gallbladder as you are breaking down body fat. 

Kidney stones happen very rarely, and patients are usually seen by their Primary Care Provider or a Urologist for treatment.  Most stones are made up of calcium oxalate.  As your body is metabolizing fat, it excretes calcium along with it, so you are losing calcium during weight loss.  In order to make up for the lost calcium, your body will dissolve bone in order to get more calcium if you are not taking enough in.  This is why taking calcium citrate tablets is so important to our patients after surgery.  Your blood work may not show a low calcium when the body is leaching it out of the bones. The only way to truly know you are getting enough calcium is to get a bone density scan.  The nurse practitioners can order that for you.  It is a very quick and easy test to ensure your bones are strong.

Other questions:

I think I am dehydrated:  symptoms of dehydration are dizziness, nausea, and darkened urine.  If you think you are dehydrated, call the office.  We have an outpatient infusion clinic where we can give you some extra IV fluids to get you hydrated again.

Why am I having leg cramps:  It can be from dehydration, and or it can be from a deficiency in some vitamins or minerals.   You can try a small magnesium supplement daily to see if it helps.  If you have numbness or tinging in your feet, please call the office so we can check for vitamin B deficiency.

I feel constipated, what can I take:   Not getting enough fluids can cause constipation after bariatric surgery.  Make sure you are getting 64 ounces a day of water or clear fluids.  Pain medication also can slow down the bowels.  We recommend stirring a spoonful of Miralax into your fluids daily, or using a couple of tablespoons of milk of magnesia when this occurs.  If you are really constipated, you can use a Dulcolax or Glycerin suppository.  Please don’t take a strong laxative.  Supplementing your diet with flax seeds or magnesium can also help.   Do not take a fiber supplement until you are taking in 65 ounces of fluid every day consistently.    

A Bariatric Guide to Thanksgiving

Mashed Potatoes! Apple Crisp! Stuffing! Holiday food can either inspire excitement or anxiety – or both – depending on your mind-set. Carb heavy meals and sweet treats are the root of many holiday meals, office parties, and events over the upcoming months. No one wants to feel deprived during the happiest time of year, so we are here to offer some insight on how to make it through the holidays without binge-eating, stressing out, or getting off track!

First and foremost, as long as you stay within your post-op guidelines you can allow yourself to indulge in the “real thing” over thanksgiving within reason. One of our Registered Dietitians, Annie, says that “the thanksgiving meal itself is not the problem, it’s the leftovers from thanksgiving that we continue to eat for the next week that are the true problem. Don’t make it a week long feast, make it a one meal indulgence.” Her recommendation: send the leftovers home with family and friends so they are not in the house for temptation.

Another rule would be to start with smaller portions. Grab half of what you think you would eat and truly enjoy each and every bite you take. Eat slow and chew slow so your body can cue fullness and satiety. As always, start with your protein and non-starchy vegetables and then move on to the carbohydrates and dessert. Eating this way will allow you to fill up on your healthier leaner food items so you will only need a few bites of the remaining items to be satisfied. 

Finally, try to refocus the main objective of thanksgiving away from eating. Enjoy the company you are around and the family and friends you do not get to see often! Be thankful to be able to spend quality time with your loved ones! 

We have listed some bariatric friendly thanksgiving dishes approved by our dietitians below: 

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  1. Heat a large stock pot (with steamer attachment) over high heat until boiling.
  2. Add the cauliflower and garlic cloves to a steaming basket and place over boiling water. Cover and steam until cauliflower is soft when poked with a fork, about 6-8 minutes. (Tip: If you let the cauliflower cool down a bit after it’s done steaming, it’ll dry out a bit, which makes it much easier to get a good texture on the mash. It also lets you add other flavorful liquids to balance out the moisture content.)
  3. Add the steamed cauliflower and garlic to a food processor (or, if you’d prefer, mix in a large bowl with an immersion blender or a potato masher). Add the parmesan, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pulse the food processor until all contents are mostly smooth. You want some texture here, but not a lot. You may need to scrape the sides of the blender or to move around the cauliflower to make sure it all gets mashed. Use the almond milk, tbsp. by tbsp., as needed to bring the mixture together. Try not to use too much as this will cause the mixture to get soupy. You want to keep it as thick as possible (like mashed potatoes).
  5. Serve hot. Garnish with fresh chives or whatever you like on your mashed potatoes

Serves: 4 | Calories: 103 | Fat: 3g | Carbs: 13.9 | Protein: 7.5g |


Low Carb Stuffing


  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp .minced garlic
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  2. To skillet, add onion, carrot and celery and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower, mushrooms, salt, and pepper and sauté until tender, breaking apart cauliflower florets as they soften, about 12 minutes.
  4. Add sage, rosemary and parsley and stir until well-combined.
  5. Pour in chicken broth, cover and cook until liquid is fully absorbed, about 13-15 minutes.

Serves: 6| Calories: 108 | Fat: 7.5g | Carbs: 8.1 | Protein: 2.8g |


Healthy Chicken Gravy


  • 12 cup finely chopped onion
  • 12 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium fat-free chicken broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 pinch pepper


  1. In a saucepan, saute onion, mushrooms and parsley in ¼ cup broth until vegetables are tender.
  2. Combine cornstarch, pepper, and ½ cup of broth; stir until smooth.
  3. Add to pan with the remaining broth.
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; boil for 2 minutes.

Serves: 6 | Calories: 17.2 | Fat: 0g | Carbs: 4g | Protein: 0.4g |


Healthy Green Bean Casserole


  • 6 slices bacon chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 28 oz. frozen green beans
  • 1/2 cup crushed pork rinds
  • 1 tsp. dried onions


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add the bacon to a medium skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until bacon is beginning to brown. 
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the bacon and continue cooking and stirring until bacon is crisp and onion is soft.
  4. Drain all but 1 tbsp. of grease from the skillet.
  5. Add the cream cheese and chicken broth to the skillet and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the cream cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy. 
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add the green beans to a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle the top with the pork rinds and dried minced onion. 
  8. Bake for 30 minutes and serve immediately! 

Serves: 8 | Calories: 250 | Fat: 17g | Carbs: 5g | Protein: 15g |


Healthy Cranberry Sauce


  • 8 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 40 drops liquid stevia


  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the cranberries and water. Allow to reduce until you achieve consistency.
  2. The cranberries will burst and the should take about 8-10 minutes. 
  3. Once fully reduced and thickened to liking, remove from heat, and stir in the chia seeds and liquid stevia.
  4. Serve immediately. 

Serves: 8 | Calories: 30 | Fat: 0.75g | Carbs: 4.8g | Protein: 0.75g |


Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse


  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 – 15 ounce can unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup confectioners erythritol
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and pumpkin puree. Using a hand mixer, cream the two together until there are no visible clumps and the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the erythritol, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice and heavy cream. Mix until all ingredients are will incorporated.
  3. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Serves: 10 | Calories: 215 | Fat: 18g | Carbs: 3g | Protein: 3g |

We hope you enjoy these recipes over Thanksgiving and, even more importantly, enjoy that special time with your friends and family. Happy Thanksgiving!

If you have any specific questions related to this information provided or would like to make an appointment with us, feel free to contact The Bariatric Center of Kansas City, 913-677-6319. Our specialists can assist you with information and bariatric support. 

If you’re interested in starting a bariatric journey soon, sign up to attend a free informational seminar today by registering at:


Bariatric Friendly Frozen Meals

While frozen dinners are not the best and healthiest meal option, we understand that many of our patients are busy and need meals that are convenient. Most frozen meals are lacking in nutrition, have a high carbohydrate count, and can leave you feeling unsatisfied. We have compiled a list of healthy bariatric friendly frozen meal options that are okay to occasionally incorporate into your diet when turning on the oven isn’t an option. We based this on three key nutritional rules. A meal that has 15-20 grams of protein, is less than 30 grams of carbs, and has less than 10-15 grams of fat. 


Per our dietitian’s recommendation, always eat your protein first, vegetables second, and carbohydrates last. If you choose a meal with a higher carbohydrate content you can knock that down by simply eating less of the carbohydrate source in that meal. If you choose a meal that is lacking in vegetables it is okay to pair that frozen meal with a healthy portion of non-starchy vegetables to have a well-rounded nutritious meal. It is also important that this isn’t a frequent meal option in your diet because most frozen meals exceed the 10-15 grams of carbs we recommend our patients have per meal. Our dietitians advised that frozen meals should be eaten 2-3 times a week at most. We focused on three main frozen dinner brands that all have a healthy reputation: Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, and Smart Ones by Weight Watchers. While there are other options for healthy frozen meals, we thought it would be most helpful to do common brands found at most grocery stores.


Lean Cuisine 

  • Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes: Calories: 240 | Fat: 7g | Fiber: 3g | Protein: 20g | Carbs: 25g
  • Pomegranate Chicken: Calories: 180 | Fat: 3g | Fiber: 3g | Protein: 17g | Carbs: 20g
  • Sweet Sriracha Braised Beef: Calories: 180 | Fat: 5g | Fiber: 3g | Protein: 15g | Carbs: 18g
  • Grilled Chicken Caesar: Calories: 240 | Fat: 6g | Fiber: 2g | Protein: 19g | Carbs: 28g
  • Chicken Marsala: Calories: 220 | Fat: 6g | Fiber: 1g | Protein: 17g | Carbs: 24g
  • Creamy Basil Chicken with Tortellini: Calories: 240 | Fat: 6g | Fiber: 2g | Protein: 19g | Carbs: 28g
  • Cheddar Bacon Chicken: Calories: 220 | Fat: 8g | Fiber: 2g | Protein: 19g | Carbs: 17g
  • Herb Roasted Chicken: Calories: 160 | Fat: 3g | Fiber: 3g | Protein: 16g | Carbs: 18g

Healthy Choice

  • Turkey Sausage & Egg White Scramble: Calories: 190 | Fat: 6g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 15g | Carbs: 18g
  • Beef Merlot: Calories: 180 | Fat: 4g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 15g | Carbs: 20g
  • Home-style Chicken and Potatoes: Calories: 200 | Fat: 4.5g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 16g | Carbs: 24g
  • Grilled Basil Chicken: Calories: 230 | Fat: 6g | Fiber: 5g | Protein: 19g | Carbs: 25g
  • Grilled Chicken Marsala: Calories: 200 | Fat: 4.5g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 16g | Carbs: 24g
  • Honey Balsamic Chicken: Calories: 210 | Fat: 2.5g | Fiber: 6g | Protein: 19g | Carbs: 28g
  • Grilled Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo: Calories: 190 | Fat: 5g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 28g | Carbs: 8g
  • Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry: Calories: 190 | Fat: 4g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 23g | Carbs: 15g
  • Beef Chimichurri: Calories: 220 | Fat: 6g | Fiber: 5g | Protein: 16g | Carbs: 24g

Smart Ones

  • Slow Roasted Turkey Breast: Calories: 210 | Fat: 3.5g | Fiber: 2g | Protein: 22g | Carbs: 22g
  • Ham and Cheese Scramble: Calories: 180 | Fat: 6g | Fiber: 2g | Protein: 19g | Carbs: 13g
  • Salisbury Steak: Calories: 250 | Fat: 7g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 21g | Carbs: 25g
  • Crustless Chicken Pot Pie: Calories: 200 | Fat: 4.5g | Fiber: 3g | Protein: 18g | Carbs: 21g
  • Cheesy Scramble w/ Hash Browns: Calories: 210 | Fat: 7g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 14g | Carbs: 22g
  • Creamy Basil Chicken w/ Broccoli: Calories: 180| Fat: 4.5g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 18g | Carbs: 18g
  • Roast Beef Mashed Potatoes and Gravy: Calories: 170 | Fat: 4g | Fiber: 2g | Protein: 18g | Carbs: 17g
  • Chicken w/ Spinach Fettuccine: Calories: 200 | Fat: 5g | Fiber: 2g | Protein: 19g | Carbs: 19g
  • White Wine Chicken and Couscous: Calories: 190 | Fat: 2.5g | Fiber: 3g | Protein: 16g | Carbs: 23g
  • Roasted Chicken with Herb Gravy: Calories: 170 | Fat: 3.5g | Fiber: 3g | Protein: 16g | Carbs: 19g
  • Chicken Santa Fe: Calories: 160 | Fat: 3g | Fiber: 3g | Protein: 19g | Carbs: 13g
  • Tomato Basil Chicken w/ Spinach: Calories: 160 | Fat: 4.5g | Fiber: 3g | Protein: 18g | Carbs: 13g
  • Chipotle Lime Chicken: Calories: 170 | Fat: 2g | Fiber: 4g | Protein: 18g | Carbs: 19g

If you have any specific questions related to this information provided or would like to make an appointment with us, feel free to contact The Bariatric Center of Kansas City, 913-677-6319. Our specialists can assist you with information and bariatric support. 

If you’re interested in starting a bariatric journey soon, sign up to attend a free informational seminar today by registering at:

November 6th, 2018 – The “Gifts” Bariatric Surgery Gave Kim

Kim is a patient of the Bariatric Center of KC, having had her surgery 2 ½ years ago.  She leads a support group in Harrisonville where she lives,  and was recently certified as a personal trainer. She is passionate about working with people going through this journey. 

Kim talked first about why she first decided to have surgery; she talked about wanting to never go to the “dark place” she went to emotionally whenever she would go on a diet and lose weight, and then regain it.  She didn’t ever want to feel that way again. She came to a seminar to hear about getting the band, and left knowing she wanted to have a sleeve instead.  She met a lot of resistance from family, but was determined never to feel that same feeling again.  She has not only maintained her weight loss, but even in the last year lost 20 lbs by focusing on getting her personal trainer certification in order to help people work out who were intimidated by going to a gym to begin working out.

She brought a “gift box” with her to talk about all the gifts that surgery has given her over the last couple of years.  She brought them each out and shared what they represented:

  • A remote control symbolized her sense of regaining control of her life and her appetite after surgery
  • A sports bra was representative of all the support she has received from support groups, the clinicians she has worked with at the office, in the hospital, and friends and family
  • A camera represented her running away from having her picture taken before surgery, to being comfortable having her picture posted by her girls
  • A crown represented her feel special – before surgery she was “special” because of the things she couldn’t do, and now feels special because she can
  • A light bulb represented the energy she now has for all the things she wants to do with her family and how much energy she has for working out, which she loves
  • And last was an hour glass which represented the gift of more time with her family since she is much healthier and has added years to her life.

We then got into small groups and each person shared the gifts they have received from surgery on their journey or what gifts they still hope to receive if they are just starting it.  There were wonderful and uplifting stories shared by all.  Thank you, Kim, for sharing your journey and positivity with everyone!

Before and After Surgery Advice from Our Patients

For many patients, opting for an elective procedure can come with a lot of questions and a fear of the unknown. It is always helpful to take into consideration what the process will be like before and after surgery. We reached out to our veteran patients and asked them what their best piece of advice was for new patients. Listed below are helpful tips and tricks from our very own patients to prepare you for your surgery and help you have a successful bariatric journey after surgery!



Before Surgery:

  • Prepare your kitchen – get rid of things you will no longer be able to eat and have smaller sized containers for servings. – Lauren
  • Exercise. – Robyn
  • Stop the bad habits now…at least as much as you can. Give up the soda, chips, candy well before your surgery date. Get in the habit of eating your protein first. Don’t wait until after the surgery. Change your eating habits now. – Becky
  • If you have any kind of food addiction, work it out BEFORE surgery. – Mindy
  • Quit the caffeine and carbonation asap and never go back. – Kathy
  • Prepare your home and family for your lifestyle changes. Attend a few support group meeting pre-op and ask questions. – Stephanie
  • Come to terms with your unhealthy relationship with food. – Shana
  • Don’t bring a bunch of things with you to the center when you have your procedure, you need very little! Remember, everything you bring will need to be dragged back home and put away. The staff will give you what you need. – Traci
  • Start exercising well before surgery…. even if it’s walking. – Sheryl
  • Make sure you’re ready and your family is ready. It’s a lifestyle change for sure. – Jennifer
  • Start your habits before your surgery so it makes transition easier. – Leslie
  • Two or three days into the liquid diet, you will think there is no possible way you can do it for 2 weeks. Hang in there…by day 4 it gets better and by day 5 you got this! – Tracy
  • Mental health mental health mental health……..lots of us are addicted to food and this doesn’t go away just because you have surgery……get your head right. – Heather
  • Liquid diet… you’ll get sick of sweet stuff. Buy a lot of chicken broth. It really helps. – Joyce
  • Don’t be in a hurry, make sure you are mentally ready for what your body is going to go through! -Erica
  • Don’t think you can cheat on your liquid diet. Find a good homemade broth recipe on Pinterest. You will be amazed at how satiated you get after a cup of broth. – Zondi
  • Watch plenty of YouTube vids and be sure you are ready to make this journey. One thing that stuck with me during my preop liquid diet, “those that cheat the preop will be less successful after surgery”. Stick to it. -Andrea
  • I was so mad when my insurance company made me do 6 months of supervised weight loss with the dietitian. I am so glad they did!! Recommend it to everyone. So much better to have the plan in your head before surgery so you know where you are going afterwards. – Cindy

After Surgery:

  • Follow the tried and true guidelines closely. Call the office if in doubt. Be patient with your adjustment back to “foods”. Use your tool! Enjoy your new life! – Lauren
  • Use the first 12-18months to lose the absolute most you can by sticking to the eating plan. – Sharon
  • Measure everything. It really helps you know how much food you’re eating. Log it. All kinds of free food apps. I like Baritastic. And finally, sit up straight when you eat and drink. Don’t lean or slouch over. Let your food and water have a nice straight path down. – Linn
  • Exercise. – Robyn
  • Take advantage of time to heal and walk when you can. – Traci
  • Follow your post op guidelines for each stage. If in doubt call the office and ask. Be patient with yourself because your body is changing. Have realistic expectations! Remember surgery is a tool but you still have to do the work. – Stephanie
  • Follow the rules! They know what they are talking about. It’s not always fun but it is healthy and leads to a freedom you never thought you’d have again. The rules are there for a reason! Eating, drinking, supplements….follow all the rules! – Charlotte
  • Don’t beat yourself up because your progress is different than others. Everyone is different. Do not drink your calories unless it is in the form of a protein shake and do not drink carbonated beverages. – Leah
  • Follow the diet! I had zero problems because I followed the diet plan every week. It works! – Danny
  • Start walking now. Walk as soon as you’re steady after surgery and continue walking. Take your vitamins – don’t go cheap on your vitamins!! Listen to the experts at the center. You are paying them to take out a part of your body respect the second chance you’re getting! – Kathy
  • Do not smoke after surgery – Shana
  • Food will always be there. Lose as much weight as you can the first year. Focus! This is your second chance at life..make the most of it. – Andrea
  • Shop and stock up on protein & supplements and whatever food you’re allowed! – Jennifer
  • Don’t expect too much, too soon. It is a slow recovery, but well worth it. Also, as you are learning how to eat again(with your new pouch), remember that your mind and taste buds may tell you to keep eating, but trust me….stop before you are full – Marcia
  • After surgery exercise as soon as you can, get back to that exercise routine. It’s a matter of success -Sheryl
  • Surgery isn’t a miracle. You have to do the work too. It’s a tool to assist you but if you eat bad food and don’t exercise you will stall or gain weight back. Find a good support group. Learn from mistakes. Also you may get weird taste aversions. For awhile I could not tolerate cold water but room temp water was fine. Carbonated stuff will hurt – don’t push it there. Can’t drink beer anymore. – Laura
  • Take your vitamins! -Kristina 
  • Be patient and work the process. – Suzie
  • Follow the plan as is! Don’t try to cheat the rules. There is a reason there is a plan, don’t re-create it or adjust it for yourself. This is a new life, make the changes to be the best you!  – Jennifer
  • DON’T cheat ever! You might not gain weight at first, but if you continue it will catch up with you… so save yourself and just don’t do it. If you notice you are eating more than before, try and scale back as soon as possible. Take your vitamins everyday. If you get to the point where you’re having problems taking them… try a different kind or type. Don’t stop them though! Start your habits before your surgery so it makes transition easier. Drink water as often as you can. Always carry a drink with you whenever you go. I didn’t loose as much in the beginning, which I was worried about but it eventually sped up, so don’t give up! and lastly… (this is my opinion only) if you are a single woman when you loose weight.. you will get a lot more attention, so stay true to yourself and keep those standards high! You deserve the best! Do not settle! -Leslie
  • Be patient with yourself. – Joyce
  • Eat very slowly as you readjust to solids then follow the rules. Protein first! Stop the carbonation and don’t cheat on it. Definitely wait 30 minutes after eating before you drink anything. If you feel hungry when you shouldn’t be, stop, take a breath, and realize it might just be nerves or old habits. -Marilyn
  • Have faith, you will have your up and downs! Try to make the support groups! -Charity
  • Take it slow and only get on the scale once per week. -Joyce
  • Listen to the doctor and don’t rush things. It happens in its time. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone’s journey is their own. -Karen
  • Ask for help and listen to it. – Sandy
  • Above all else, stick to the plan. – William

If you have any specific questions related to this information provided or would like to make an appointment with us, feel free to contact The Bariatric Center of Kansas City, 913-677-6319. Our specialists can assist you with information and bariatric support. 

If you’re interested in starting a bariatric journey soon, sign up to attend a free informational seminar today by registering at:

October, 20th 2018 – Superfoods

Annie, one of our dietitians, did a presentation on “Superfoods,” which are foods that are extra healthy for us to eat. Some examples of superfoods are:

  • Tumeric
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Green tea
  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Eggs (with bright yolks)
  • Garlic
  •  Salmon
  • Ginger
  • Acai

1. Superfoods are those that are high in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories.
2. They also contain beneficial compounds that are called antioxidants. Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radicals to prevent cell damage and inflammation
3. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause cell damage, which cause disease and inflammation
4. They also strengthen the immune system by protecting white blood cells from damage

The superfood Annie brought was Pitaya, or Dragon Fruit. It contains prebiotics, which feed the probiotics or good bacteria in your gut. The two main types of healthy bacteria it feeds are lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria. These bacteria limit the risk of intestinal infection and diarrhea, improve digestion of lactose (the sugar in dairy products) and helps control serum cholesterol levels.

It also contains 8% of the recommended daily intake of iron per cup. We use iron to transport oxygen and break food down into energy. Pitaya is also a good source of Vitamin C, which helps the body to absorb iron. And it contains 18% of the recommended daily intake of Magnesium, which is involved in metabolism, muscle contraction and bone formation.

Annie showed how to pitaya into a high protein smoothie bowl. Here’s the recipe:

Mix together:

• 8 oz light coconut milk
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1 packet of pitaya plus (pureed pitaya fruit)
• ½ scoop protein powder
• 2 packets of Splenda
• Ice and chia seeds as desired
• Top with blueberries or blackberries and coconut flakes as desired

Nutrition information:
250 calories
10 gm protein
17 gm carbs
16 gms fat

Tips and Tricks to Get Back on Track

Along your journey I’m sure you have all heard “weight loss surgery is just a tool”. This is such a common phrase because it is exactly that. The surgery itself is just one small piece in a very large and complex puzzle. Bariatric surgery will not be as effective if you don’t make health conscious decisions with your food, activity levels, and day-to-day lifestyle. Changing habits is not an easy thing to do and even when you begin to create those new healthy habits the old ones are always wanting to creep back into your life. Whether you are 2 months out, 6 months out, a year out, or five+ years out, falling off track can happen to anyone. What is important to do is to recognize that you are getting off track and find a way to get yourself back on the pathway to success. Here are 7 tips to get your life, health, and habits back in your control!


Be mindful of what you eat and drink.

It is very common to eat and drink without paying attention to how much we are actually consuming. Portion control is so important to your success. In fact, most people underestimate how much they eat in a day. If you have found that you are stalled at a certain weight or are regaining, a good start would be to track and log what you are eating over a week. There are many apps that make this fast and easy to do, we recommend using Baritastic. When you become aware of what you are consuming on a daily basis it is easier to make better healthier choices.

Are you eating enough protein?

 At the very center of the bariatric diet is protein. Protein helps you feel full longer, slows down digestion to make you feel more satisfied, maintains muscle as you lose fat, and much more. Overall, protein is an essential part of your weight loss success. This is the reason you should always eat your protein first before any other part of your meal. If you feel like you have been less focused on getting your daily protein intake try to center your mind back to having 60 – 80 grams of protein a day. Protein sources include: meat, eggs, low fat cheese, low fat or fat free yogurt, beans, fish/seafood, and poultry. For more details about how to get the right amount of protein per day call 913-677-6319 to schedule an appointment with one of our registered dietitians.

Are you drinking enough water and at the right time?

It is easy to replace water with other drinks during the day that are high in carbs including juices, coffee drinks, soda, and sweet tea, but that can be a main source of weight regain. Everyone, especially bariatric patients, need to drink at least 64 ounces of water to stay properly hydrated. In addition to drinking enough water you need to make sure you are not drinking water during/with your meals. When you drink with your meals the food gets flushed through your pouch so you have minimal satiety. This will make you hungry within a short period of time. Focus on drinking water when you wake up and between meals for best results.

You might not be getting enough physical activity.

Exercise plays a critical role in losing weight and also keeping it off. Getting enough physical activity will help you be successful in meeting your weight loss goal, improve your energy, improve your mood, and help you sleep better. If you are someone that struggles to get yourself to the gym or “hates working out”, we have a solution for you. There are so many different ways to get physical activity that “hating working out” can no longer be an excuse. You can take your dog on a walk, take a Zumba class, try water aerobics classes, do group fitness activities, do yoga, the list is endless. Focus on finding something you love and make small goals along the way until you reach your final end goal.

Are you getting enough sleep?

I think we can all agree that there’s not enough time in the day to get everything we want to get done. It is tough to balance working out, eating healthy, work, social life, sleep, family, etc. It is unrealistic to get 10 hours of sleep a night for most of us, but try to aim for 7-9 hours. Sleep impacts both your impulse control and decision making. When you have gotten a full night of sleep you are likely to be more active during the day and make healthy food choices. With sleep, exercise, and food all impacting one another and all being vital for weight loss success it is important to put an equal focus on all three.

Make sure you set realistic goals for yourself.

Sometimes looking at the big picture can be extremely overwhelming, but if you can break down your ultimate goal into small realistic goals the big picture looks much less frightening. Every time you reach a new goal you will be more driven to meet then next one. This can be a great cycle and habit to get into. Goals allow us to believe in ourselves, give us inspiration, and hold ourselves accountable.

Be active within the bariatric community.

 A great way to add to your support system is by attending support group meetings. Everyone there has been in your shoes and knows the experiences surrounding weight loss surgery. Each member has a different journey to share and understands the emotions involved and the dedication required for a successful bariatric surgery. Another way to get extra support is by being active in online support groups. There you can ask for support but also give your support to others, so it is the best of both worlds. The Bariatric Center of Kansas City has a closed support group on Facebook that in very interactive. Click here for the link to join: Support Group Link.

Most of you reading this are probably doing so because you’re ready to get your bariatric journey back on track.  We want you to know that our support is always here for you.  We hope that these tips and tricks will help you while you travel your pathway to success! If you have any specific questions related to this information provided or would like to make an appointment with us, feel free to contact The Bariatric Center of Kansas City, 913-677-6319. Our specialists can assist you with information and bariatric support. 

If you’re interested in starting a bariatric journey soon, sign up to attend a free informational seminar today by registering at: