Physically, I'm half the woman I used to be, but as a result of my journey with gastric bypass surgery I've gained a lot. I'm Julia, and this blog is about the miles I've traveled in transforming my body, soul, and spirit while shedding more than 160 of the 300-plus pounds I carried before surgery. 

I'll share my personal experiences of restoring my health and changing my lifestyle, and I'll offer spiritual encouragement, social and emotional tools, nutritious recipes, health information, and more.

I've had a few challenges along the way, but through all the struggles I've grown stronger and regained my health and my life. I had my surgery on Easter Monday, 2006, which I call my personal resurrection day. Because of my transformation, I now look forward to many more "miles to go", and I invite you to travel with me on the road to a happier, healthier lifestyle....yes you can...I just did!

fish in the slow cooker

I love to cook in my slow cooker. It's so easy and over the years I've found lots of fast and delicious recipes that I can make ahead. Easy to cook, easy to clean. Thats my motto! But fish in a slow cooker? Who ever thought that would work? But it does!

In fact, it's fast, simple and it's delicious and best of all it's loaded with healthy protein. It suddenly became a family favorite—they raved about it for days!

The serving size for this recipe is 4ounces of sea bass fish fillets—which has 22grams of protein. However, I have used tilapia and salmon, and the cooking time is approximately the same.  

Pecan-crusted Fish Packets

  • 4  4ounce fresh skinless sea bass or salmon fillets, about an inch think. (talipia is thinner, but it works well).
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 TBsp ghee (clarified butter or coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp snipped fresh basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 4 lemon wedges

1. Rinse fish, pat dry.

2. In a small bowl combine the next five ingredients. 

3. Cut four 12-inch squares of parchment paper. For each packet, place 1 cup of spinach in the center of the square.

4. Top with a fish fillet, spread fish with 1/4 of the pecan mixture. 

5. Bring up the opposite sides of the parchment paper and fold several times over the fish. Fold remaining ends and tuck underneath packet. 

6. Place packets in a 4 to 5 qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2 to 1/3/4 hours or until fish flakes easily. 

7. Serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings. For sea bass: 216 calories, 13g fat. 3g carbs, 2g fiber, 1g sugar, 22g protein. (revised from Better Homes and Gardens recipe)

Look for more recipes on Miles to Go in the recipe section.

Posted on Friday, March 23, 2018 at 11:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman in , , | Comments Off

just lose it

Studies show that folks who keep a food diary lose more weight. What have you got to lose?

Does keeping track of foods, exercise, weight, and goals seem too complicated? Wouldn't it be great if you could just click a button and it would be done for you?

What if there was an app on your iphone that would keep track of it all for you?  What if you could see exactly how much more protein you needed before the end of the day. Wouldn't you like to know how many carbs a certain food item has and how much you can have, before you eat it, or better yet before you purchase it at the store, or order it from a restaurant menu?

Now you can…. It’s fast and easy.  

One app that I have used for years is "LOSE IT" but there are many others - just choose one that fits your needs. 

I like LOSE IT because, you plug in your food item and adjust the portion size and it will figure your totals. This online food tracker will give you the current count of protein, fats and carbs for each day, as well as percentages and it allows you to scan in your own food nutritional labels. That takes the guess work out of making selections at the grocery store. 

Set up your nutritional goals including measurements. You can enter your own guidelines and track your personal boundaries for calorie counts, fat, carbs, fiber, protein, and water for each day. Then you can see at a glance how your progressing.

When you enter your weight under the “weight” section, then your target weight and the deadline, it breaks down your weight to tell you how long it will take and how many pounds you have to lose to accomplish your goal. That way you can tell if your goal is realistic. It makes it easy and fun to record your progress and see your accomplishments.

The app even calculates your daily “activities”, has an online community and challenges if you want to connect with others that are on the same journey to success. 

One of the other advantages to LOSE IT is that it instantly syncs to your computer from your iphone. The computer version allows you a little more in-depth information about your weight, health and progress.

Keeping a food diary is more than just a daily help for keeping track of what you eat, having a food diary allows me to see forward in meal planning. I plan my meals on the app and they set them on a clock -it's as easy as touching a button. It already calculates the food in waiting into my daily counts, and allows me to see them, as they wait for me to include them in my menu.  Keeping a food diary was really helpful when I first began to struggle with low blood sugar. I could go back and review my menus and foods eaten to figure out what was causing the most problems and what foods were helpful in helping me remain stable. 

So Check it out and — Lose it! 

Yes you can, you have many more miles to go !

spelt: naturally delicious 

Recently, I have begun to replace many of the wheat items in my diet with other kinds of flour, such as spelt, almond, rice and coconut.

Spelt is among one of the oldest cultivated grains in the ancient grain world. Like quinoa, millet, amaranth, or other grains, spelt has not been manipulated to meet manufacturing needs.

Spelt is one of the foods that our body recognizes as real food. Keeping many of its original characteristics it provides a broader spectrum of nutrients than wheat, and along with its easy digestibility, it even holds anti-inflammatory qualities.

Spelt is an excellent source of vitamin B2, manganese, niacin, thiamin, and copper. This particular combination of nutrients may make it a helpful food for persons with migraine headache, atherosclerosis, or diabetes.

For those who suffer from health issues such as digestive problems, arthritis, Lyme’s disease, migraines, behavioral issues, skin irritations, irritable bowel syndrome, and others report that they feel better eating spelt rather than common wheat. I know, I do.

Spelt flour has been a great replacement in my diet and I have found that it doesn't affect my blood sugar like wheat. I generally feel better and have more energy and less tummy issues when I eat spelt rather than wheat. 

Spelt does have gluten, so it is not appropriate for people with celiac.

Spelt’s fragile gluten is easily broken apart during the chewing process which allows the enzymes and acid secreted during the digestive process to work on the surface of the food. During the digestive process, wheat forms a bolus which remains in a ball making it harder to digest.

I'm always hesitant about trying new recipes using ingredients I'm not familiar with, but after tweaking this one a bit, these muffins were a winner. Definitely worth the effort. A perfect companion for an egg, they make a wonderful breakfast treat. Quick and easy to make, they are delicious and freeze well, too. 

*To make these muffins a little less dense, I have also baked them with 1 cup spelt flour, 1.5 cup almond flour, and 1 cup coconut flour.

Spelt Flour: Julia's Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

  • 3 1/2 cups spelt flour*
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups mashed ripe bananas
  • 2/3 cup Truvia Nectar (honey blend)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup canola or coconut oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Line muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

In another bowl, beat egg. Add bananas, honey, vanilla, oil, nuts and chocolate chips. Mix well. 

Fold wet mixture into flour mixture and combine well. 

Spoon batter into tins and bake for about 20 mins. Makes 24 muffins.

Look for more recipes on Miles to Go in the recipe section.

prevention magazine features weight loss success


Prevention magazine recently featured 8 women over 50 who have been successful at losing weight and keeping it off.

Guess who was featured as one of those success stories. 

Yep, you guessed it.

Congratulation to all of you who are successful. 

Prevention Magazine Weight Loss Stories

march support meeting -- miles

Miles Support Group Meeting

Tuesday, March 6, 2018  —  6:30 pm

NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital (formerly Cape Fear Hospital)

3rd Floor Education Room North


Guest Speaker:  Catherine Miller, LPCA

TOPIC:  Strategies for Less Anxiety and More Happiness

Facilitator:  Kim Joyner, RN, CNOR


Posted on Friday, March 2, 2018 at 11:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman | Comments Off