November is National Diabetes Month – making it the perfect time to set the record straight about CARBS.

Carb-phobia came in like a wrecking ball replacing the previous diet monster fat-phobia. No wonder this is confusing, modern science can drive you crazy with conflicting messages.

Did you know someone in the world dies from complications associated with diabetes every 10 seconds?  Diabetes is one of the top ten leading causes of U.S. deaths. One out of ten health care dollars is attributed to diabetes. We need to take this seriously. Diabetes is a condition where the body either does not produce, or cannot properly use, insulin.

For thousands of years, grains have been healthfully eaten by much of the world’s populations, including diabetics. Getting healthy is never about deprivation; the secret is not in elimination but quality and moderation.  Traditional whole grains and quality carbs contribute to a good night’s sleep, create a balanced feeling in the body, reduce inflammation, satisfy hunger, improve digestion & promote smooth bowel movements, improve mental clarity & cognitive functioning, support metabolism, and help regulate blood sugar levels. Yes, you heard me, eating high quality carbohydrates in moderation actually helps regulate blood sugar levels.  American eating habits tend to include over-indulging in large portions of highly refined sugar carbs. But, this doesn’t make all carbs bad.

Here are some things you can do to help manage or heal your diabetes:

Limit the amount and frequency of consuming sugary treats (such as cakes, candies and soda).
Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes, whole grains; these foods are rich in fiber which helps regulate blood sugar levels (such as  beans, lentils, carrots, cabbage, parsnip, sweet potato, squash, popcorn, leafy greens, whole grain breads, barley, quinoa, oats, polenta, and wild rice).
Drink primarily water.
Do something active everyday.
Eat fermented foods to help support and rebuild gut health.
Chew your food well, digestion begins in the mouth.
Reduce stress.

Do you want to learn more about the best foods to nourish the body if you have diabetes? Schedule an appointment with one of our dietitians who can help you learn to love and respect your body with real food.


Chaundra Evans, RD, LDN, CEDRD-S is a certified eating disorder registered dietitian and recognized by the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals as an expert dietitian who can supervise other dietitians pursuing the credential. Additionally, Chaundra is certified in adult weight management and a member of the American Society of Metabolic and Baratric Surgery. 

The National Eating Disorder Association coined today, May 6, the first No Diet Day and we are happy to participate in rejecting diet culture!

Do you feel inundated with food and diet recommendations?  Should I eat small frequent meals to keep my metabolism going or should I consider intermittent fasting?

Are you confused with conflicting messages about what to eat?  Should I choose a primarily plant-based diet or jump on the low-carb band wagon eating large portions of meat?


Consider getting away from these confusing messages, black and white rules, and the latest restrictive diet that is likely not based on scientific fact.  Learning to become a more mindful eater and taking the non-diet approach can take time, perhaps professional support, and a new language.  Let’s take a closer look at what this new language looks like….


Common words circulated in diet-oriented thoughts include: calories, points, temptations, rules, rigid, portion size, willpower, fear, guilt, deprivation, skinny, failing, and feeling in or out of control.

Mindful eating thoughts include: nourishment, flexibility, hunger, learning, trusting, freedom, pleasure, aware, insightful, experimenting, quality, fuel, nourishment, and feeling in charge.


Our bodies have an incredible ability to communicate with us and self-regulate; I encourage you to turn inward to listen to how your body is communicating with you.  You can learn to trust yourself. Our bodies may ache for movement and stretching… honor this. Our bodies have internal cues of hunger and satiety, thus allowing you to determine when and how much to eat.  Listen to your body and how it feels after eating certain foods, be curious rather than judgmental.  Use nutrition information as a tool rather than a weapon.  Being perfect isn’t necessary, learn from your choices.  Discover ways that your body talks to you.  Crave feeling good and be willing to take small steps in that direction.

Compassion, love and kindness are essential in any healthy relationship; bring them to the relationship your building with food and your body. Then, you’re on the track to a non-diet approach.


Chaundra Evans, RD, LDN, CEDRD-S is a certified eating disorder registered dietitian who specializes in mindful eating, a non-diet approach to weight management, and helping people find a healthy relationship with food. 

Endless to-do lists, financial strain, dreading family functions, feeling lonely, fear of holiday weight gain, experiencing mental and emotional exhaustion with a full calendar can rob us from our happiness during the holidays.  Mindfulness is a century old Eastern concept that is well known to gift us with more peace.  Mindful eating means paying closer attention to your body, habits and triggers.  I’d like to share a few tips to find more joy and treat your body with respect this year.

Gracefully arrive to the meal.  Food represents the gift of energy, effort and life.  No matter what personal or faith-based beliefs you have, find some words to cultivate gratitude either silently or aloud prior to eating. Before diving into the meal, pause and reflect both inward and outward.  Enjoy the food with attention and appreciation.  It has a powerful ability to nourish your body while you experience pleasure.

Let go of the rules.  It’s OK to get seconds and it’s OK to leave food on your plate.  Using your sense of appreciation and gratitude for the food, reflect inward to your stomach cues with intention to eat an amount that gets you comfortably full.  Make food decisions from a place of wisdom and acceptance rather than habit or obligation.  Listen to what your stomach tells you.  Find what works for YOU rather than doing what you think you “should” do.

Stay present.  Appreciate the holiday food by recognizing the taste, flavor, texture and smells.  Become aware of your choices without judgement.  Compassion and empathy are the remedy for judgment.  Mindful eating can mean eating with a deep awareness of what we are eating and why we are eating.  Be curious of what comes to surface, it may be worth investigating later.  Allow yourself to have a thought or experience an emotion without having to react to it.  Be aware of your surroundings, urges to eat out of obligation as well as emotionally driven cravings.  Be aware of various degrees of hunger; mindfulness works best when we avoid the ravenous stage of hunger.

Practicing mindfulness brings an opportunity to experience food as an enjoyable source of nourishment, something to welcome and celebrate.  Consciousness is an essential ingredient to your well-being.  Eating mindfully is a journey and takes practice; expect yourself self to slip up from time to time.  The key is not giving up when you stumble.  Be kind to yourself and keep learning; progress no perfection. I challenge you to be more mindful this holiday season and you may just feel more merry.


Chaundra Evans, RD, LDN, CEDRD-S is a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian and an approved supervisor for the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals. She helps her clients build a healthy relationship with food and improve their eating habits using a non-diet approach. If you’re looking for this type of nutritional support from a nutrition professional, call our office at (910) 790-9500  today to schedule your appointment. 

Did you know your genetic make-up has a significant role in the body’s ability to maintain, lose or even gain weight? Your body’s distinctive DNA profile has a strong influence on your ability to respond to specific diets. Each person’s unique body metabolizes foods differently and now you can learn more about your genetic influences. A universal break down of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein & fats) may work for your neighbor but not for you. This cutting-edge science-based approach squashes the old school mindset of one size fits all.

Chrysalis is thrilled to announce that we are now offering genetic testing to aid in weight management. Personalized testing allows your dietitian to be more precise in making detailed recommendations on what YOU need to eat to feel your best! While this cannot take the place of making reasonably smart choices, learning to portion, listening to your body, incorporating variety and eating intuitively, these results will certainly give you confidence that you are focusing on a plan designed specifically for you.  To learn more, check out this link from Psychology Today:

Our test kits focus solely on those genes that are related to your body’s ability to process food, nutrients and respond to exercise. If you are eager to learn more about this, call Chrysalis @ (910) 790-9500 to schedule an appointment with one of our registered dietitians. If you’re an existing client, just stop by the front desk to order a kit to take home, then you’ll collect your DNA via a cheek swab and send it off in a pre-paid package. The certified lab will analyze 48 genetic markers, finally you will schedule an appointment with a dietitian to review your report in depth.

It’s that simple!  Let us help you better understand your unique body and develop an eating & exercise plan ideal for you!


Hopefully it’s coming to an end but flu activity this season is the worst we’ve seen in over a decade, The flu vaccine is less than 20% effective against the current strain of flu. So what can we do to protect ourselves in effort to prevent? What can we do to support our bodies and boost our immune system if good ol’ influenza comes knocking at your door?

Proper nutrition can help ward off the flu or during a bout of the flu can help to limit the severity and duration of the illness, which helps to prevent the flu from escalating. One way to boost the immune system is to maintain a vitamin C regimen. 1,000-2,000 mg of vitamin C/day may reduce severity of symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness. Consuming adequate produce is another simple way to boost immunity since they are loaded with Vit C and other antioxidants. A few favorites to add are citrus fruit, cabbage, broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potato, and spinach.

Include in your meal planning a healthy level of good bacteria. Incorporating probiotics is valuable in restoring levels of these healthy bacteria in our body to protect us from infection. A quality probiotic supplement is recommended but remember to always take after antibiotic use. A few fermented foods to include are kefir, yogurt (make sure the label says it contains “live active culture”) and sauerkraut.

We experience fevers because the body’s defense mechanism is heating up in effort to kill the virus. This can cause loses of vital fluids, especially if you experience vomiting and diarrhea, so it’s crucial to rehydrate. Keeping the kidneys hydrated will naturally support the immune and lymphatic system. Our lymphatic system filters out foreign invaders and it’s comprised of mostly water. Since our lymphatic system and immune system work synergistically, it’s imperative to keep drinking those fluids which will keep everything moving smoothly.

Try sipping on this tea to prevent the flu but if already contracted, it will help you recover more quickly.

Mulled Apple Cider
Serves: 4 cups
4 cups apple cider
3-4 cups water
1 tbsp. dried ginger
star anise pods
3 whole cinnamon sticks
2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. allspice
Put all ingredients into a soup pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to simmer.
Cover and simmer for one hour.

Physical exhaustion is a common symptom of the flu. Light meals such as chicken or veggie soup with homemade bone broth let the body divert it’s energy to the healing process rather than straining to digest a large meal. Let yourself rest and sleep to allow your body to recuperate. Good sleep cycles help the immune system work well.

When you have yellow or green phlegm, reach for garlic. It helps your body suppress infection. Garlic is an antibiotic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial and can work wonders.

When you have clear phlegm, reach for ginger. It is a muscle relaxant and may have the power to reduce coughing and inflammation. Adding 1-2 tsp of raw honey to ginger tea. A cough can be a good thing; your body is trying to get rid of mucus that may be collecting in your lungs. However, a persistent cough may be annoying if it keeps you up at night. Ginger can help with nausea too.

Herbs to include: Oregano is a powerhouse of flu-fighting properties since it’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, and an antioxidant. Rosemary is highly antiviral and antibacterial. Thyme is a powerful antimicrobial remedy. Echinacea acts as an anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce bronchial symptoms of the flu.

Keep your immune system strong throughout the year!

It’s holiday time again where we were flooded with excessive goodies, tempting aromas and multiple food-focused commitments.  Let’s brainstorm a few ways to make this wonderful time a year pleasurable and nutritious!

Choose to focus your attention on friends and family; they are some of the most important gifts in our lives.

Choose to socialize away from the sight of food.  This will help you not graze and avoid mindlessly munching during the event.  Change your environment by stepping outside, putting your napkin on your finished plate or sitting with your back to the food table.

Choose to bring a healthy dish to the gathering; it can still be seasonal and fun such as pumpkin dip made with yogurt, shrimp cocktail or a veggie tray arranged as a turkey or Christmas tree. Pinterest has ample ideas to help you be creative.

Choose to be mindful.  Appreciate the smells, textures and flavors; savor each bite.  Pay close attention to your body’s signals.  Our holiday foods are special, eat them that way.

Choose to say “No thank you” to food pushers.  Eat the type and portion of food that makes you feel good physically.  Don’t feel obligated to eat it because it’s left on your plate or someone made it for you.

Choose to keep your normal routine with eating before and after events.  This will help you feel more in charge of portioning and getting the right amount that makes your pouch feel comfortably full. It will also help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and metabolic function.

Most importantly, choose to embrace your body through the holidays.  Celebrate all your successes, non-scale victories and the best gift of all, your health!

“The moment you start acting like life is a blessing, it starts feeling like one.”


So what’s the big deal about having  a cocktail after WLS?    WLS has been shown to drastically lower alcohol tolerance – to the point that some post-surgery patients have a blood alcohol content above the legal driving limit after just one drink.  Alcohol is absorbed more rapidly into the blood and small intestines due to the reduction of hydrochloric acid in addition to the alteration of shape & size of the stomach.  Bariatric patients will be more sensitive to the affects due to their low caloric intake, metabolic changes and hypoglycemia is more likely to occur.

As far as cooking with alcohol, people believe once heat is added all the alcohol burns off and only the flavor is left.  This is a myth.  The US Dept of Agriculture shares that if alcohol is added to boiling water and quickly removed from a flame, 85% of the alcohol is retained in that dish.  Simmering a meal with alcohol can take as long as 2 hours or more to burn off.

The American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery recommends high-risk groups (those with any history of psychiatric illness, substance abuse or addiction) who have had gastric bypass should completely eliminate alcohol consumption due to impaired alcohol metabolism and risk of alcohol abuse post-operatively.

Remember you’ve had a surgery that puts you at risk for malnutrition.  Alcohol inhibits the absorption of thiamin which is a vitamin that can already be deficient in many bariatric patients due to malabsorption. B1 depletes quickly with chronic vomiting or increased alcohol intake because B1 is essential for glucose metabolism.  Regular alcohol consumption is strongly correlated with thiamine deficiency.  Symptoms of thiamine deficiency may include headaches, brain fog, nausea, muscle aches and pains.  It can progress to worse symptoms such as depression, amnesia, unstable gait, motor weakness, peripheral edema, hallucinations and even congestive heart failure.  If anyone is experiencing these symptoms, please check that your multivitamin includes at least 1.2 mg of thiamine.  Share your symptoms with your doctor immediately.  Early diagnosis is extremely important.

If you still choose to consume alcohol after WLS, wait until after the first year during the most rapid weight loss period.  Find a designated driver. It is apparent that alcohol affects people very quickly after their procedure. Be cautious and keep your low sugar drinks to a minimum as you learn how alcohol will affect you and to prevent dumping syndrome. If you are drinking to cope with emotions and feel it may be an issue, seek professional support to address the underlying issues.  The Chrysalis Center offers a Bariatric Recovery Group if you are struggling with alcohol addiction or dependency.


How much weight should I be losing?
Am I losing weight fast enough?
Questions similar to these are asked everyday in my office.
Let’s dive into some research for realistic expectations and mathematics to answer this question for each of you.

So here’s the research:
RNYGB patients are predicted to lose 70-80% of their excess weight by 18 months post-op.  By 15 years post-op, maintaining the loss of 60-65% of excess weight is considered successful.  Most people do not maintain the lowest weight they achieve; it’s normal to gain a small amount of weight typically between 3-5 yrs post-op.

SG patients are predicted to lose 55-60% of their excess weight by 5 years post-op.

Another marker of success is to stabilize in an overweight BMI category.  Most of you want to get to your dream weight and be in a normal BMI category but WLS does not get rid of 100% of your excess weight.  Unrealistic expectations can lead to feeling like a failure or sabotaging your success.  Remember to also measure your success by how much better you feel physically and how you’re able to move more comfortably in your body.

You’ll need a few numbers to answer “how much weight will I lose after bariatric surgery” including your pre-op weight, ideal weight and excess weight.

Pre-Op Weight – Ideal Weight = Excess Weight
Excess Weight x 65% = Expected Weight Loss
Pre-Op Weight – Expected Wt Loss = Expected Goal Weight

Patient is 5’8″ with pre-op wt of  375 lbs.
On a BMI chart, his ideal wt at a 24 would be 158 lbs.  Subtracting 158 lbs from 375 lbs determines he’s carrying 220 lbs of excess weight.
Multiple 220 by 65% and this patient can expect to loose a total of 143 lbs.
Subtract 143 lbs from starting weight of 375 lbs gives patient a goal weight of 232 lbs.

Check out this resource via Obesity Help; it calculates expected weight loss for you:

Keep in mind, these calculations are averages, not guarantees.  Lifestyle habits such as meal planning, reading labels, food tracking, staying hydrated, vitamin compliance and moving your body are all significant factors in improving your health and maximizing your weight loss.  Use your bariatric dietitian for education, support and accountability!



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