Bariatric Support Group

Facilitator:  Diane Doolin, RN, CYT

Diane Doolin is a nurse in the GI Lab at Shawnee Mission and also works as a yoga instructor.  In addition, she spends a lot of time studying healthy nutrition and does health retreats around the area.  She came to talk about healthy vs unhealthy fats and show us a few recipes that incorporate them in order to improve our health.

The handouts are self-explanatory, but there were questions that helped clarify some of the information:

  • How long is olive oil good for?  About a year – should be in a dark glass bottle and the less refined it is, the better, which is why some is called extra-extra virgin olive oil vs extra virgin olive oil.  The best are found at the Tasteful Olive in downtown Overland Park; or California Olive Ranch in         the store
  • Animal fat is fine if it is grass fed – avoid grain fed meats and fats. Kerrygold butter is made from grass fed cows
  • Olive oil cannot be heated to over 350 degrees without smoking, so for high heat, use coconut oil or avocado oil – these can be heated to 500 degrees
  • Seed and nut oils, such as peanut oil, sesame oil – must be refrigerated
  • The word “Natural” means nothing. Look for organic or at least partially organic when shopping for foods.
  • The best source of omega 3’s – the good oils- are smaller fish, such as sockeye salmon, sardines, anchovies, skipjack tuna. They are less likely to contain contaminants.
  • The least refined sweeteners are raw honey and stevia leaves. Powdered stevia is acceptable, but is more refined than just using the leaves.

Additional Information Provided by Diane Doolin . . .

Fats; Good, Bad and Ugly

 Fats have gotten a bad reputation over the past few decades, but it turns out that getting some of the right kinds of fat is absolutely necessary for good health.  Fat helps protect the brain, nervous system and organs of the body (yes, even the heart), enhances cell function, metabolism and hormone function, and just plain makes food taste good!  The key is to consume the right kind and in small quantities.  The healthiest fats are found in their most natural forms (a fish, nut or seed), and then in the least processed (cold-pressed, expeller pressed, extra virgin, unrefined etc) oils.

We need a balance of different types of natural fat, which we can achieve if we prepare our own meals using high quality ingredients.  The “Standard American Diet” (convenience foods, restaurant foods) is high in fat overall, but is extremely high in Omega 6s and processed, refined fats, while being extremely deficient in health-promoting Omega 3 fats. 

Can you make one dietary change today to positively influence the rest of your life?

Diane’s  Favorite Recipes

Overnight Omega Porridge

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1 Tbsp flax seeds

¼ c old fashioned rolled oats

1 Tbsp walnuts, chopped

½ c blueberries (or other berries)

Few drops vanilla

Pinch of cinnamon

Sweetener of choice if needed

½ c hot water

½ c Hemp milk (or other milk) or more to thin porridge to desired consistency

Combine seeds, oats, cinnamon and vanilla in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Pour in hot water and shake to combine. Let sit a moment, then add other ingredients and place in refrigerator overnight (or for a few hours).  This can also be cooked like oatmeal and enjoyed as a hot breakfast.


Hemp Milk (or any nut/seed milk)

½ c hemp seeds (also try almonds or cashews)

2 c water

Optional- few drops vanilla, pinch of cinnamon, drop or two of stevia/sweetener

Combine everything in a blender and blend until seeds are pulverized (30-60 seconds).  Store in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator up to 5 days.  Seed residue will settle to bottom of container.  If preferred, may strain milk through a cheesecloth (thin towel) to remove sediment completely.


Lemony Garlic Dressing

1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

¼ c lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp salt (to taste)

Pinch of pepper

Place all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake before serving.  This is a great salad dressing, but is also good over steamed veggies, chicken or fish.


Creamy Non-dairy “Ranch” Dressing

½ c extra virgin olive oil

¼ c lemon juice

1/2 c raw cashews, sunflower seeds or combination of both

1 avocado

½ c fresh herbs (parsley, dill, green onion tops are my favorites)

3 cloves garlic

½ tsp salt

Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and puree.  Store in refrigerator for 3 days.  Freezes well too!


Orange Dressing

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Juice of one large orange

1 tsp mustard

1-2 tsp chia seeds (optional)

Place all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake to combine.  Let set for 10 minutes or more before serving (so the chia can swell).


Salmon with Veggies

1 fillet of wild Sockeye Salmon

½ medium squash (zucchini or yellow), diced

½ bunch asparagus, ends trimmed

¼ c leeks or red onion slices

¼ tsp dill (or any herbs you like)

½ tsp butter

Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small casserole dish, place salmon (skin side down) and veggies.  Add butter, drizzle with a bit of olive oil.  Cover with foil (or wrap in parchment) and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes (until salmon temp reaches 145).  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.  Double the recipe and you will have a great lunch the next day!


Simple Sardine Salad Wraps

2 can sardines (or 1 can sardines and 1 can skipjack tuna)

1 ripe avocado, mashed

1-2 tsp lemon juice (or to taste)

1 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp dill

1 Tbsp red onion, finely chopped (or sub green onion)

¼ c celery, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Romaine or leaf lettuce leaves

In a medium size bowl, mash the sardines (and combine with tuna if using).  Add all other ingredients except lettuce; stir until well combined.  Chill.  Serve on lettuce leaves.


Crispy Walnuts (try other nuts too!)

4 c raw walnuts

2-3 tsp sea salt

Place walnuts in a large jar or bowl and cover with water.  Add salt and stir.  Cover the jar/bowl and let it set on the counter overnight (or at least 5 hours- this improves the digestibility of the nuts).  In the morning, preheat oven to lowest setting (usually 175 degrees).  Drain the nuts (do not rinse if you like them salty).  Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet(s).  Roast for 4-6 hours or until nuts are dry and crispy (ovens vary greatly). Taste-test hourly after 4 hours. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use as a topping for salads, on Omega Porridge, or as a filling snack.