In this episode I talk with Elizabeth Anderson MA, RD, LD. Elizabeth has been a Registered Dietitian for more than 16 years and has worked in community nutrition, industry, and clinical settings. She began her own counseling practice, lovingly called CrackerJack Nutrition in 2013 as a way to work exclusively with people on a bariatric surgery journey.

Elizabeth has a master’s degree in Nutrition Science from Syracuse University and is a member of the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), the American Society of Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics’ Bariatric Subunit.

She is a regular contributor to several online blogs including, and and presents at national meetings including most recently, WLSFA Sparkle and Shine in Portland, OR.

Elizabeth sees clients in her New Hampshire office and online. She also offers luxury bariatric retreats to help post-ops reboot their WLS goals. Her philosophy mixes science-based research with plenty of love to make the world taste good.

Discussed in this episode:

  • Elizabeth’s path to become a registered dietician in general and deciding to focus her career on bariatric surgery.
  • Why her business is called CrackerJack Nutrition.
  • Her personal history of having an eating disorder and how this has helped her become a better Register Dietician.
  • Learning to let go of a dieting mindset is a process and takes not only support but tremendous courage.
  • The influence of the writings of author Geneen Roth in helping her heal her relationship with food.
  • The tug-of-war and prison of dieting.
  • What “Food Rules” does she have, if any.
  • Common fears people encounter starting around 6 months post bariatric surgery.
  • The importance of Mindfullness when eating.
  • Working with Pre and Post-Op patients.
  • What services does she offer based on state licensure whether in-person or virtual.
  • An upcoming retreat in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
  • Our chit-chat after Skype dropped the call and we picked back up the conversation but were not formally in interview-interviewee mode. We talked about vulnerability of putting content out in the world, Elizabeth’s thoughts on creating individualized treatment plans, and our thoughts on the power of service and how we define that.
  • Bariatric Reboot online DIY program.
  • The importance of getting regular labs completed and taking regular supplements.
  • Resistance starches, aka, complex carbohydrates.
  • Why Elizabeth loves for people to have a lot of frozen vegetables in their freezer.
  • Organic foods: Yes and why.
  • Protein: Different types and answers to the question is all Protein created equally.
  • An important detail about pea-based proteins.
  • Reeger’s concluding thought.

Connecting with Elizabeth:
CrackerJack Nutrition

Connecting with Reeger
Facebook WLSP

In kindness,




Obesity, Metabolic Disorders, and Bariatric Surgery as a Friend

In this episode I have a conversation with Dr Samer Mattar. Dr Mattar is a bariatric surgeon and director of bariatric surgery at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. Additionally, he is the president-elect of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

In this episode Dr Mattar shares thoughts on:

  • Why he chose to become a surgeon in general and bariatric surgeon specifically.
  • The future of bariatric surgery.
  • Considerations when trying to help patients navigate their surgical options.
  • Why obesity is more a symptom than a disease.
  • Why a person develops metabolic disorders resulting in obesity.
  • How to help optimize a person prior to bariatric surgery.
  • Insurance-mandated medical weight management as pre-requisite for approval of bariatric surgery.
  • The reason for the gap between those who could benefit from bariatric surgery and those who actually have bariatric surgery.
  • The courage of someone seeking bariatric surgery.
  • The work that remains to be done in helping referring providers establish trust in bariatric surgery and in bariatric surgery programs.
  • Then: Reeger offers some concluding thoughts

Connecting with Reeger: 

WLSP Facebook

In Kindness,


083 Reeger Rambles

by reeger on May 21, 2017


Episode 083

This episode is unique in that I follow a free-form monologue method. I had some thoughts I wanted to share with you and so I decided to simply open the mic and start talking to you. Let me know what you think.
Discussed in this episode:

  • Gratitude to my new Patreon Super Fans
  • Happenings over the past month (photos of the arrow head I found are posted)
  • Thoughts on Obesity Medicine and Bariatric Surgery: Building bridges in care
  • History of Bariatric Surgery and how we’ve come a long way in the quality of our care.
  • WLSFA Conference
  • Does Facebook make us lonelier?
  • A new WLS Friendly Cookbook by Wendy Campbell and Sandi Henderson
  • Elizabeth Anderson, RD (she needs to be a guest on this podcast)
  • Dr Duc Vuong, Bariatric surgeon
  • Is there one Bariatric Program to rule them all?
  • Dr Samer Mattar, Bariatric surgeon (he needs to be a guest on this podcast)
  • Is Obesity a Disease or a Symptom?
  • Should we stop calling obesity a disease and start calling it a Disease of Metabolism instead?
  • Is bariatric surgery similar to organ transplant surgery, gender reassignment surgery, neither, or both?
  • If it is similar to gender reassignment surgery, can we call it Metabolic Reassignment surgery? Or should we call it Opportunity Reassignment surgery?
  • Tell me what you think.

Two jokes exchanged for pocket change

 Connecting with me
WLSP Facebook

In kindness,





082 Understanding Post-Bariatric Surgery Reactive Hypoglycemia

April 16, 2017

In this episode I talk with Jerry Ross about his experiences with post-bariatric surgery reactive hypoglycemia. Jerry had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in 2002 when he was in his early thirties. Although the fact that Jerry had RYGB is central to this story, gastric bypass alone is not the reason Jerry and I recorded this conversation. […]

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081 Moving Forward with Laura Van Tuyl

March 19, 2017

In this episode I have a conversation with Laura Van Tuyl. April, 2017 is Laura’s 14th Barisurgaversary for having Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. We talk about many aspects of her journey but some of the highlights include her thoughts of how being a very picky eater as a child contributed in part to her eating habits as […]

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080 They Didn’t Staple My Brain- A conversation with Dr Janine Kyrillos

February 13, 2017

In this episode I have a conversation with Dr Janine Kyrillos. Dr Kyrillos is Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and she is Director of Jefferson Comprehensive Weight Management Program at Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. She is also someone who herself is affected by obesity and has undergone Roux-en-Y Gastric […]

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079 Bariatric Surgery Seminar as a Podcast

January 9, 2017

Happy New Year everyone! In this episode I bring you a podcast version of the bariatric surgery seminar I give twice monthly at Southern Oregon Bariatric Center. This version is more generic to bariatric surgery in general because my intent is not to tell you specifics about SOBC, but rather introduce you to important concepts […]

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078 Gathering Knowledge with Amy Swayzee

December 11, 2016

In this episode I talk with Amy Swayzee who had gastric sleeve in May of 2015. We talk about her life before bariatric surgery, how she came to the realization that bariatric surgery was not cheating or the easy way, and that if she was finally going to bring her weight under control perhaps she […]

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076 What to Eat with Sarah Muntel, RD

October 16, 2016

In this episode I bring you my conversation with registered dietician, Sarah Muntel. Sarah has been a registered dietician in bariatric surgery for over 17 years. She brings a wealth of information and education to you in this episode. Covered in this episode: Sarah’s role as a registered dietician and program coordinator Pre-surgery nutrition plans […]

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075 Bariatric Surgery Rules? A talk with Dr Walter Medlin

September 11, 2016

In this episode I have a conversation with Dr. Walter Medlin about bariatric surgery rules. You may remember Dr. Medlin from episode 53. He is a bariatric surgeon at the Bariatric Medicine Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is also a bariatric surgery patient having had sleeve gastrectomy. During this conversation Dr Medlin and I […]

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074 (Unedited) Set Point, Biology, Environment & Obesity: An Interview with Dr Randy Seeley

August 8, 2016

What you are about to hear is the unedited version of my most popular episode to date: Episode 34, titled “Set Point, Biology, Environment & Obesity: An Interview with Dr Randy Seeley.” I first published the edited version of this conversation on August 17th 2014. Over the past two years that episode has had the […]

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073 How to Choose a Bariatric Surgery Program with John Bukenas

July 12, 2016

In this episode I welcome back John Bukenas. We explore how to choose a bariatric surgery program. If you are new to the podcast, John and I have talked about his obesity and the possibility of bariatric surgery in episodes 26 and 45. Topics discussed in the episode John’s struggles and declining health First Step: […]

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072 “Hey Reeger..,” A Letter from a Listener

June 17, 2016

Welcome to the weight loss surgery podcast where we talk about obesity and bariatric surgery one episode at a time. I’m your host, family nurse practitioner, Reeger Cortell. This episode is brought to you by you, my listeners. I am so touched by the love you show me, whether that is iTunes rates, sharing the […]

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071 Jeff Newell: On Gaining a New Life

May 31, 2016

In this episode Jeff Newell returns to the podcast to catch us up on his life since having Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass on 12/1/2014. Jeff has been on the podcast before on episodes 055, 049, 043, and 042. He is now 18 month out from his surgery and 300 pounds down from his pre-surgery weight of […]

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070 Reeger Cortell FNP: An Interview by Rob Portinga

May 9, 2016

Presenting Your Host, Reeger Cortell, FNP Over the last 18 months or so, I, Rob Portinga, have had the pleasure of going from being a guest, to being a contributing host on the Weight Loss Surgery Podcast (WLSP). It was started by Reeger Cortel, FNP nearly three years ago now. One of the driving themes, and […]

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069 Talking about the Fear Factors of Bariatric Surgery with Dr Raul Rosenthal

April 17, 2016

My guest today is Dr Raul Rosenthal. Dr Rosenthal works at the Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston Florida, where he is a bariatric surgeon, chief of surgery, chief of staff, and the director of the Cleveland Clinic Florida Metabolic and Bariatric Institute. In addition to all those good works, he is also the current president of […]

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068 Understanding Lipedema with Sarah Bramblette and Karen Herbst, MD, PhD

March 15, 2016

In this episode I bring you my conversation with Sarah Bramblette. As you are about to hear, Sarah is many things but above all she is an inspirational mix of hardwork, intelligence, grit, compassion, and determination. She is everything you would want in a loved one, a friend, a daughter, and an obesity advocate. Sarah’s […]

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067 The Bariatric Surgeon Episode

February 20, 2016

In this episode I bring you my interviews with six different bariatric surgeons. I conducted these interviews while I was at ObesityWeek in Los Angeles, CA in November 2015. I asked each surgeon one or two of the following questions: How do you help people decide which surgery to choose? And, If you could wave […]

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066 Connie Stapleton, PhD- Healing Your Relationship with Yourself

January 25, 2016

In this episode I bring you my conversation with clinical psychologist, Connie Stapleton, PhD. Dr Stapleton has been working in the field of bariatric surgery for 11 years and as you would image, and are about to hear, she has a wealth of information and insight and information to share with you. Discussed in this […]

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065 After the After with Nikki Massie

January 2, 2016

In this episode, I bring you my conversation with Nikki Massie. Nikki is many things within the bariatric surgery community including a bariatric surgery patient who had Roux-enY Gastric Bypass in 2008, the creator of the ever popular website Bariatric Foodie where she encourages you to “play with your food,” a prolific blogger, a storyteller, a […]

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