Bananas & Creme

The milkshake-like taste of our 14oz. OhYeah! Ready-To-Drink (RTD) shakes deliver 32 grams of portable, muscle-building protein with an incredible, unmatched taste. Made with fresh diafiltered milk, OhYeah! shakes are extremely low in carbs, sugar, and 100% lactose-free. The OhYeah! RTD is available in 5 award winning flavors and was recently awarded the #1 Nutritional Shake in America by the American Masters of Taste Foundation. Whether you’re an extreme athlete, carb-conscious dieter or you simply want to maintain lean muscle mass, OhYeah! ready–to–drink shakes exceed expectations in every possible way.

Now, full disclosure — I’ve had an ISS shake before at a gym — the Cookies and Cream shake.  I’ll “review” it later, when I get back around to them again.  So knowing I liked that flavor, I was shocked into absolute bliss (really, ask Sam) when I saw that my Harris Teeter (grocery chain down here in the South) had these, and had them on for a really good price.  I mean, a case was $29.99!  That’s $5 less than Netrition’s price, and no shipping?  WIN!  I mean, TOTAL SHINY WIN.

But would I like the other flavors?  Well, HT also had some onesies for sale so I could try them.  How nice and convenient!  I like that.  So I picked up some — they had them all except Vanilla.

Now, I preface this by saying I like the fake banana flavorings found in shakes usually.  In fact, I have BSN Lean Dessert Banana Nut and Banana Cream in my pantry as we speak.  So I expected this to be the same.. and I wasn’t disappointed.  Although “shake” isn’t what I’d call it — it was much thinner than the name implies (and from having had the Cookies and Cream which was a bit thicker) a bit surprising..

Now, I may not have shaken the bottle SUPER well, but I think I did.  I did not shake throughout my “drinking experience,” but I noticed towards the last, oh 1/2″ of the bottle, the consistency went from nice and smooth to very gritty.  A nice pleasant drink to “igh, I need to just take a big gulp and get the rest of this down cause I’m sure that’s where all the protein is and gagh it tastes like banana flavored sand!”  And of course, I was at work, and trying to prove to my non-op coworkers that not all protein shakes are gag-worthy so I had to put a great face on it.  This was not an ideal place to do a taste test in retrospect.  I’ll keep that in mind for future tests.. or at least make sure I’m alone for the entire experience next time.  I mean, it did start out so well…

The stats are quite lovely..

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 14 fl oz (414 mL)
Servings Per Container: 1
Amount Per Serving % DV*
Calories 220
Calories from Fat 80
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 350mg 15%
Potassium 490mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 3g
Protein 32g 64%
Vitamin A 25%
Vitamin C 25%
Calcium 70%
Iron 25%
Vitamin D 25%
Vitamin E 25%
Vitamin K 25%
Thiamine 25%
Riboflavin 25%
Niacin 25%
Vitamin B6 25%
Folate 25%
Vitamin B12 25%
Biotin 25%
Pantothenic Acid 25%
Phosphorus 45%
Iodine 25%
Magnesium 25%
Zinc 25%
Selenium 25%
Copper 25%
Manganese 25%
Chromium 25%
Molybdenum 25%
*   Percent Daily Values Based On A 2,000 Calorie Diet.
Ingredients: Filtered Water, Diafiltered Skim Milk, OhYeah!� Proprietary Protein Blend (Milk Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Concentrate, Calcium Caseinate), And Less Than 2% Of: Sunflower, Safflower and/or Canola Oil, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Sucralose, Salt, Vitamin & Mineral Blend (Potassium Citrate, Magnesium Phosphate, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbate, Ferric Orthophosphate, Zinc Amino Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Biotin, Vitamin A Palmitate, Niacinamide, Phytomenadione, Potassium Iodide, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Chromium Chloride, Copper Amino Acid, Cyanocobalamin, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid, Cholecalciferol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamine, Manganese Sulfate), Lactase, Xanthan Gum, Acesulfame Potassium, Datem, Yellow 5, Yellow 6.

Contains: Milk

While these contain milk, they are clearly marked lactose free for those postop that suffer from lactose-intolerance (oh where, where where were you ISS when I was fresh out?).  And of course, a bit large for early postop tummies.  No worries, y’all — ISS makes a smaller version as well that is 8oz and 18g protein.

Could the gunk at the bottom have been a side effect of user error?  Sure it could have.  Easily.  But when it came down to putting a Bananas and Creme case in my cart last night before the sale ended at Harris Teeter (I mean, really, $29.99?  I can’t pass that up..) I did not put a Banana in there.  I have two other banana shakes that I like without the possible gunkiness that I can get my craving kicked with.

Available at for generally the best price.

Building Blocks Sample?

On November 29, 2009, in Vitamins, by Andrea

Ironic that I got this link after I did a review on some calcium citrate by BB.  FREE SAMPLE, folks — free.

Right here!

Go.  What are you waiting for?  An engraved invitation?

Building Blocks Chewable Calcium Orange

On November 29, 2009, in Minerals, Reviews, by Andrea


New formula and great new orange taste! BuildingBlocks Chewable Calcium Citrate contains 600 IU vitamin D and 200 mg of Magnesium for enhanced absorption. Daily serving size contains 1000 mg of elemental calcium in four great tasting chewable orange flavored tablets. BuildingBlocks Chewable Calcium is formulated as calcium citrate with Vitamin D and Magnesium included in the supplement for optimal calcium absorption. Calcium deficiencies occur with gastric bypass because the main area of the gut responsible for calcium absorption is bypassed by the surgery. Deficiencies also occur because the small gastric pouch no longer produces sufficient amounts of stomach acid required for optimal calcium absorption. Because of negligible production of gastric acid, calcium citrate, rather than calcium carbonate, is required for optimal absorption. Formulated in four great tasting chewable orange flavored tablets.

I’m digging out stuff from my OH ATL swag bag for reviews cause the babies are asleep and I’m avoiding the laundry that needs to be done and the dishes in the sink.  This is only the first of many that we got for free from the vendors at the show.

One of the things we got was a chewable calcium from Building Blocks, orange flavor.  This isn’t as tart as many chewable vitamin C’s, but it’s quite tasty, and I could totally see using this as a supplement.  The downside?  They have a limited amount of calcium per chewable, so many doses per day if you want to reach the ASMBS recommendations of 1200-1500mg of calcium for AGB and VSG, 1500-2000mg for RNY, or 1800-2400mg for DS.

Each tablet contains 250mg of calcium citrate, 150iu of D, and 50mg of magnesium.  So for those who don’t want to whip out a calculator, for 1500mg for RNYers — that would be 6 tablets, 2000mg for DSers would be 8 tablets, and 1250mg for AGB’s would be 5 tablets.

So yeah, it tastes great — but it’s a bit pricey for 6 tablets a day — and for those of us taking 2000mg — 8 tablets a day.

12o tablets from Building Blocks runs $15.95, and 360 tablets runs $38.28.

Metabolic Surgery Statistics — 2008

On November 29, 2009, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

This morning, I came across this article by Buchwald and Oien (thanks Bonamy) outlining worldwide WLS statistics for 2008.  According to the authors, the last evaluation was done in 2003 and this evaluation was done by sending a survey to 39 nations or national groupings (of which 36 responded).  Given this was a survey, it will be somewhat biased based on the person answering the survey, as well as the fact that the numbers are worldwide — some procedures are done in other parts of the world that are not performed in the US routinely (such as Vertical Banded Gastroplasty {VBG}) or the Scopinaro Biliopancreatic procedure.  Of course, I am a numbers girl and wish that all numbers are exact figures, but let’s face it — it’s not realitySo given that, I have to concede that these are not going to be 100% exact.

Some direct quotes and figures from the report:

  • In 2008, 344, 221 bariatric surgery operations were performed by 4,680 bariatric surgeons, 220,000 of these operations were performed in USA/Canada by 1,625 surgeons
  • Seven other countries or national groupings with more than 100 bariatric surgeons: Australia/New Zealand (118), Brazil (700), Chile (100), France (310), Italy (300), Mexico (150), and Spain (400)
  • 91.4% of world bariatric surgery was performed laparoscopically
  • Considering all gastric bypasses together (distal and prox, open and lap), number of RNY exceeds AGB’s.
  • In Europe, relative percent of AGB decreased from 63.7% to 43.2% from 2003 to 2008, while RYGB increased from 11.1% to 39%.  In USA, AGB increased from 9% to 44% and RYGB decreased from 85% to 51%.  In both Europe and USA, VSG went from 0% in 2003 to 4%.
  • Most common type of procedures were purely restrictive (AGB, VSG, VBG) (48.6%), restrictive/malabsorptive (RNY) (49.0%), and primarily malabsorptive (BPD/DS) (2%).

Surgical types by breakdown (Lap and Open combined)

  1. Proximal RNY – 45.4%
  2. AGB – 42.4%
  3. VSG – 5.4%
  4. VBG – 1.1%
  5. BPD and DS procedures combined – 1.1%
  6. Other – 0.1%

The authors make a few conclusions about the numbers they received in this survey — some of which bother me.  There is quite a disenchantment of AGB in Europe, where there is quite a long history of it’s use there, and a growing trend towards VSG and RYGB there.  USA and Canada, where we want newer and better (and have marketing via TV commercials?  WTF?) is moving away RYGB (which we have a longer history) and are moving towards AGB and VSG.  In no cases are we moving closer to DS — which in many ways to ME seems to be an excellent choice and not given any credit or opportunity to shine.  The authors also clearly bring up the fact that many people would presumably want metabolic surgery if they could get their paws on it — would even, I dunnow, self-pay for it, or change jobs for it, or go work part-time at the Buxx for it?  For those of us in the community, we’ve seen and heard this time and time again so nice to see the professionals recognize it in a published article.  Additionally — patients are getting smarter, using the interwebz and understanding a bit more about what we are doing to our guts when we go and get chopped up — and it’s all for the betterment:

Further involved factors may be the predictable craving for something regionally newer, the imposition of payer mandates, media-derived prejudices and and biases, advertisement campaigns by the bariatric surgery industry, increased patient sophistication and use of websites, and, of course, relative regional economic advantages for bariatric surgeons.

I have to say the thing I’m most concerned about is the complete lack of yeast in the DS numbers.  This is a wonderful surgery — doesn’t have many of the RNY pitfalls (and let me tell you, I know several of them first hand), doesn’t require all that much more work than far-out RNY patients (despite what some may tell you — it’s not all roses and rainbows and unicorns) and just isn’t getting the recognition or the opportunity to shine and show it’s stuff.  I wish more surgeons would learn how to perform it.  I wish more people would learn the stats.  I wish more people would stop spreading misinformation crap about it in hopes of making their own surgery look better.  And I wish many of the surgeons that don’t perform it would also stop this practice — it’s unprofessional as all hell and only perpetuates the problems as their patients then do the exact same thing and continues to spread the misinformation, fear, and, eventually, hatred, around.

Europe at least is performing the DS a bit more than we are -0-  they had a 58.7% increase of surgeries from 03 to 08 — but still that increase only comprised 4.9% of the total surgery population in 08 which is an actual decrease from 6.1% surgical population in 03.  Comparatively, the US went from 4.5% surgical population in 03 to 1%?!? in 08?  with a 52.5% decrease.  WHY? I don’t get it.  There is too much good in the DS for this statistic.  At least the US wasn’t as abysmal as Asia and the Pacific.. those numbers were too depressing to even type out.

So what does all of this mean?  WLS is on the rise, but not as much as it was in 03.  Considering how quickly the rate of obesity is climbing, this isn’t quite proportionate as some critics claim (including many private payers who don’t want to cover WLS as it would “cost too much”) — and given how diabetes costs are going to triple by 2023? This is a way to go to help avoid these ballooning costs.  Some surgeries are growing by leaps and bounds regionally — some are growing regardless (VSG, anyone?)  and some are still performed in areas while considered completely antiquated in others (VBG in the US).

Very interesting.  Somewhat sad.  But very interesting.

Yet another reason to get WLS..

On November 27, 2009, in Uncategorized, by Andrea


(CNN) — The number of Americans with diabetes will nearly double in the next 25 years, and the costs of treating them will triple, according to a new report.

The figures, in a University of Chicago report released Friday, add fuel to the congressional debate regarding reining in the cost of health care.

By 2034, 44.1 million Americans will be living with diabetes — nearly twice the current number of 23.7 million, according to the report, published in the December issue of the journal Diabetes Care. About 90 percent of those with diabetes have type 2, a version of the condition that develops over time.

Accounting for inflation, the direct medical cost of treating them will rise from $113 billion annually to $336 billion, the report says.

Keep in mind that the number one cause — the number one cause of Type 2 diabetes is obesity.  Even modest changes in diet and exercise can stave off diabetes.

Also keep in mind that the DS has a 98% CURE rate — not remission, but CURE rate — of diabetes.  RNY can pretty much throw it into remission immediately for most folks, and the band and sleeve can throw it into remission after enough weight loss.  All forms of WLS are helpful for diabetes.

Chalk it up for the home team, folks.

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