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!

too far in the ripe direction? freeze it!

I love avocados. They are healthy and delicious. A great addition to salads, homemade dressings, and even on a sandwich. But I found myself wasting a lot of avocados because eating such small portions, I couldn't eat them before they went bad.

Just like bananas, avocados are one of those things that go too far in the ripe direction in a hurry. And even when stored in the fridge, they turn brown quickly.

But then I found a solution. Freeze! By that I don't mean stop eating them. I mean literally put them in the freezer. Yes, you can freeze avocados! 

  • Just remove the peel and the skin.
  • Freeze, whole, cubed or mashed or make quacamole.
  • Add lime or lemon juice if desired.
  • Place in bags or jars and freeze. 

Remember, when freezing long-term in glass, make sure its tempered (the type used for canning) or specifically labeled for freezing purposes. Freezer safe glass can crack as food expands, so always leave about 1-inch of space between the top of the food and the lid.

Any way you freeze them, it works. No browning. Just thaw and enjoy. 

Yes, you can eat them. It's true that avocados are higher in fat, but it's the healthier plant kind, so with small portions you can still enjoy them. Keeping fats to around 5 grams per meal will help eliminate dumping. For example, 1/3 of an avocado equals 8 fat grams. Eating the right portion of plant based fats is good for you. Avocados have tremendous health benefits. (On the left hand side bar you can search my post for the benefits of eating the 5 healthy fats.) 

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

Posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 10:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman in , , | Comments Off

local support group -june - dr. miles

Miles Support Group Meeting

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

6:30 pm

NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital (formerly Cape Fear Hospital)

3rd Floor Education Room North

TOPIC: Head Hunger

 Special Guest Speaker: Chaundra Evans, RD, LDN,  CEDRD

Facilitator:  Kim Joyner, RN, CNOR

Posted on Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 10:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman | Comments Off

have a spring fling


If you want to shake things up, you've come to the right place.

This is my basic shake recipe. Add your favorite springtime ingredients such as strawberries or blueberris and have yourself a spring fling.

 Basic Shake Recipe

½  cup skim milk,  or 2 %, soy milk or water
1 to 2 scoops protein powder
1 cup ice cubes
Sugar substitute to taste
Add any flavoring ingredients 

still hungry?

I realized before I made the decision to have weight loss surgery, that there had to be more to success than just the surgery itself. I realized there was more that needed to be "fixed" than a tiny tummy, a healthier diet and more exercise. There is more to the issue of obesity than what you eat. I found that it's also about what was eating me. I just didn't know what that "something" was. But it didn't take long before I figured it out.

It was only a few weeks as a matter of fact, that I came face to face with this "missing link" and I began to experience the impact it would have on my success.  

The problem, however, is our appetite. BUT, Not just the appetite for food. I began to recognize the fact that we are created with different appetites. These appetites have a value and purpose.

We are made with an appetite and desire for food, sex, authority and power, pleasure, work, gaining wisdom, companionship, love, acceptance, to be wanted, needed, understood, cared for, appreciated, trusted, and to fellowship with God. That's a lot of appetites, no wonder we are still hungry.

To satisfy an appetite, you must use the actual thing being desired to fill it. This is where we get off track.  We begin to use the wrong thing to fill the appetite desire.  We begin to substitute by trying to fill our needs with something else. You may have discovered already, that our appetites don't like to be ignored. That is when they begin to "rage" out of control.   

I encourage you to consider your appetites. Do you recognize your body's different desires? What are you really hungry for?  Are you filling every desire with food instead of what you really want or need? 

You can read more about appetites and how I worked through "what was eating me" in my book, Out of Obesity and into the Promised Land. Click on title to purchase.

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

lean and green

Before surgery, most everyone is asked or required to go on some kind of "diet."  Whether it's a grueling fast, a traditional diet that requires measuring and calculating or just a casual lean and green. Dropping pounds is the whole point behind losing weight before surgery.

It may sound crazy, but it does have a purpose—and the purpose of losing weight before surgery is to help shrink your liver. And it is extremely important for the safety of you and your surgery team. A fatty liver not only slows down your metabolism, but is gets in the way of the operating procedure. 

Before my weight loss surgery in April of 2006, I started losing weight on my own, a month or two before my first Dr. visits. I know it sounds crazy, I viewed surgery as the light at the end of the tunnel. But my biggest motivation—I had two upcoming weddings that year. I couldn't waste any time getting into mother-of-the bride dresses, I had to get going fast.

Once I began my series of visits with my surgeon, I had lost some weight. Those few pounds made a big difference in reducing my liver. I was told at that point to keep going by eating "lean and green". What does that mean exactly. Just what it sounds make green vegetables and lean meats the majority of my eating plan. It helped to keep the weight off while I waited for my surgery date. 

There was one consolation. I love veggies. My pick of the crop is the long, thin, french variety of green beans.   We are talking fresh or frozen here, not canned.   

These extra fine variety of beans are my favs! They are called "French" not to be confused with "french style" which refers to the cut. French beans are the long thin variety of bean. I was introduced to these beans years ago when my neighbors grew some in their garden, they were the real thing —  from France. 

With careful attention to detail, you can find them in the frozen section of our grocery store. I usually sauté them in the skillet with a little water, olive oil, salt and pepper. Sometimes I add a little garlic or herbs, such as thyme or even a little squeeze of lemon. Cook until they are as tender as you like. 

My favorite way to serve them is to chop them up and add a little vinegar and cucumbers on top!

I usually fix a huge skillet early in the day and store them in the fridge for those "hungry" moments when I have to grab something quick. Yes, I love them that much! 

My second favorite veggie is collards, which you can also sauté or steam in the skillet in a much shorter time that boiling for hours in a pot of water. If you don't like collards then maybe you'll prefer my third runner up in the green vegetable dept—broccoli. My favorite way to eat broccoli is steamed in a Ziplock steaming bag. Three to 4 minutes tops and you're on your way to healthy, lean and green.

So if you're looking to make those scales go down even before surgery, consider going lean and green. 

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