Welcome East Lyme Public Schools-Teams lose together better!

Welcome to POP Weight Loss worksite wellness for the East Lyme Public Schools.  We are happy to bring you a  customized nutrition and weight loss weekly seminar series with Kara and guest Donna

Kara Ganssle MS
Old Saybrook
Dear Teachers,
Hope you enjoy this new website that we have designed specifically for you.  Remember, if you need to directly ask me a question or talk to me about something please reach out.  We hope this will make it easier for you to access recipes and review what we discussed. For those who may miss our meeting, please reach out so I can send you the attachments of the handouts.  Follow your personal EL Pintrest page: https://www.pinterest.com/POPConnecticut/
Donna Nucci RN MS
Donna Nucci RN MS
2/14/2017  Review of this week’s seminar.

Session 1 lost 15.2 lbs this week (51.6 lbs total).

Session 2 lost 37.2 this week (132.2 lbs total)

183.8 pounds have disappeared from East Lyme! That is 144 basketballs!

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is the cornerstone of the body’s healing response. Redness, swelling and pain associated with a cut or illness is a good response for a short term.  Continuous inflammation persisting over time has been studied in connection with heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, Alzheimer’s and many cancers.  Chronic inflammation related to diet, stress, toxin exposure and genetic factors can change your cells, contributing to disease and cell death.

How do we know if we are inflamed? 

Chronic, low-grade inflammation often does not have symptoms, but doctors can test for C-reactive protein levels (CRP), which increase when the body is inflamed. Scientists are still working to understand all the implications of chronic inflammation on the body’s health, but it is clear that it affects the body in myriad ways. Some of them may be: Arthritis, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, asthma, depression, some cancers and Alzheimer’s. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider high blood pressure, high cholesterol as heart disease risk factors and indicative of inflammation. If you are one of the 47% of Americans with risk factors for heart disease or inflammation related illnesses, C – reactive protein test results might help you better monitor your health.  In addition fat tissue (also called adipose tissue) produces excess amounts of estrogen, high levels of which have been associated with inflammation and increased risks of breast, endometrial, ovarian, and some other cancers.   http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/c-reactive-protein-test-to-screen-for-heart-disease  http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/c-reactive-protein/basics/why-its-done/prc-20014480  https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/  https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/obesity/obesity-fact-sheet#q4

A fact sheet that summarizes the evidence linking overweight and obesity to the risk of various cancers and to cancer survivorship.


The terms “overweight” and “obesity” refer to body weight that’s greater than what is considered healthy for a certain height. The most useful measure of overweight …


The predictive powers of a cholesterol test only go so far. If your LDL is low, your C-reactive protein may be a better sign of impending heart trouble.


C-reactive protein test — Overview covers what to expect and results from this blood test.


How do we decrease inflammation? http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthy-eating/fighting-inflammation-at-the-meal-table

Gut bacteria, which are influenced by an individual’s diet, play a role in inflammation. An eating plan based on unprocessed plant-based foods—fruits,…


Lifestyle plays a large roll in decreasing systemic inflammation.  Diet, exercise, and stress management can all help decrease inflammation.

Foods to help decrease inflammation

Foods that contribute to inflammation

Olive oil (as a condiment)


Salmon, tuna, sardines and other seafood

Fried foods

Variety of vegetables

Overly processed foods/foods high in preservatives

Lean proteins

Large amounts of red meat

Spices (ginger, turmeric, cinnamon)

Artificial sweeteners


Our nutritionist and nurses provide tools that encourage a natural anti-inflammatory protective meal plan that is sustainable over the long term. You are already taking the first step to reduce your overall systemic inflammation. Stress management is a large part, so partaking in yoga or meditation is recommended.


Week Re-cap:  Very impressive!  Exercise is still lacking a bit, so this weekend try to do something that gets your heart rate up!  I’m also very impressed at how many of you are cooking more in your homes.  There will be good meals, and some fails.  Hang in there because you’re building a strong healthy repertoire of recipes.  Remember to keep the variety high.  Do not eat the same thing every day.  Remember Donna’s sample lunch?  You can do that too if you take the time to prep. She cooked a large batch of those stuffed mushrooms and has been eating them all week.  Make sure you’re eating enough mid-day to prevent hunger later.  In addition, work on water intake.  I want to see everyone with a water bottle next week.  I also need to see more journals.  Right now weight loss has been easy for many of you, but at some point it will become more challenging.  I need to see the journals if that’s the case.  If someone is going to miss the meeting, feel free to e-mail me your journal ahead of time.  Overall I am very pleased with the progress and the feed back I’m getting from you.  Keep it up!

2/7/2017 Happy snow day Thursday- Batch cook away!
Group total 117 lbs lost! 
  • Session 1 lost a total of 32.4 lbs
  • Session 2 lost a total of 84.6

Common themes

  • Breakfast is a challenge
  • Snacks can get boring
  • Planning and make a-head meals can be challenged by busy weekends and weeknights

2/7/2017  Everyone did well in their first 2 weeks, and for those who did not see the scale move as much as they had hoped, hang in there.  Some people’s bodies can be more stubborn than others. Excellent job everyone!  Next week, we will be discussing inflammation.

My thoughts and areas to work on for everyone:

1. Journal.  As Donna had mentioned, those who journal will be more successful.  It’s the accountability to yourself as well as being mindful of everything you’re eating.  Write everything down, and be honest with yourself.

2. Plan.  Many of you struggle with timing and activities that require you to be many places at once.  That is why planning is so important.  Take some time every week, twice a week, three times if need be to plan out what you’re going to eat.  Remember we talked about going through your freezer and defrosting food ahead of time.  Don’t wait till the last minute to plan a meal.  With snacks, prepare many at once.  It will save time in the long run.
Snack Ideas:
Low sodium turkey + Celery
Nuts (24) + berries
turkey meatballs + apple
omelette muffins (2) + berries
1/4 c seeds/chickpeas/edamame + fruit
peppers + hummus (2 tbsp)
3. Exercise.  15 minutes is better than nothing.  If 30 minutes is too much, commit to 15.  https://www.fitnessblender.com/
This weeks recipes: http://popweightloss.com/turkey-eggplant-casserole/
 Omelette Muffins
4 Whole eggs,  1 quart egg whites (you may need to add more depending on how many you are making)
Mix-ins: (Diced)
Peppers                        Spinach                        Squash             Broccoli
Onion                          Kale                              Zucchini           Artichoke Hearts (not marinated)
Mushrooms                  Sun Dried tomatoes     Cauliflower      
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously grease the bottoms and sides of the muffin pan. Use Palm olive oil. If muffin tin is old or nonstick, use foil liners
-Beat eggs and add salt and pepper
-Fill bottoms of muffin pan (about 1/3 of the tin) with the different mix-ins
-Fill the tins with eggs. The omelets will puff up when baked; make sure to leave space at the top of each tin
-Bake for 18-20 min, or until knife comes out clean
-Let them sit and cool before removing
-Place in container and store in the fridge. 3-4 omelet muffins are 1 serving

Donna’s Chicken Soup and try our other version: http://popweightloss.com/spicy-chicken-soup/

Grocery list:

  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Can white beans (optional)

Gentle boil an entire rotisserie chicken in stock pot covered for about 20 min.  Take out and skim out skin or bones that may be left behind.  Add diced celery, onions about 1-2 cups each, 1/2 c carrots and 2-8 cloves garlic (when we have a cold I add 8-10) normally about 2-3 cloves.  Gentle boil about 20 min or until tender.  Take off heat add beans, can of fire roasted tomatoes (both optional). At the very end add bag of kale, swiss chard or spinach chopped and the chicken from the rotisserie diced.

You lost a dresser and a tire! WOW!  Gone for good!


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