Author: Brenda Sue

Fat and Your Future

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Evolution of a Society

I started working in long term care facilities, or nursing homes, many years ago. At that time almost all of our residents were elderly people with medical problems. In recent years I worked in two other nursing homes and guess what. A large number of the residents were relatively young, but obese, so obese that they simply could not care for themselves at home. I work in a different environment now, assisted living, where our residents do not have medical problems significant enough to require skilled nursing care. I do not have a single young, obese resident. When a young person becomes morbidly obese they may just skip over assisted living and go straight to a nursing home if their medical problems skyrocket out of control to the point that they require skilled nursing care. Even if you maintain good health into old age, if you are morbidly obese, the day is most likely coming that a nursing home is your only option. Simple tasks of daily living become all but impossible for the morbidly obese if they have medical problems that are even slightly debilitating. Excess weight can make the difference in remaining in your home for your golden years or living in a nursing home. While I do believe that nursing homes are a blessing for those that need them, if I had to choose, I would always choose to live in my home.

The Simple Things

There has been a ill-informed mindset for many years that advanced age always means dependency on others for your personal needs. This is not true. We have accepted this as the norm and it simply is not. We become debilitated by our choices more than anything else. We decide what we will eat and how much exercise and sleep that we get. We may have some genetics that work against us, but even those can be managed in a positive manner. I have known Type 1 diabetics who managed their diabetes well, taking only minimum amounts of insulin. I have also known Type 2 diabetics who managed their diabetes so well with good nutrition and exercise that they took no medications whatsoever. I have also personally known diabetics who ate cake frosting by the tub and spent a lot of their life in ICU. If the latter group lives to old age, they will almost certainly develop medical problems that will make it necessary to live in a nursing home. Some of these people are very young and some of them will be young when they arrive in their home away from home, a long-term care facility. As the amputations begin and mobility begins to slip away, the simple act of taking a shower will require assistance or even complete care. Going to the bathroom may become treacherous, putting the individual at great risk for falls, so even that previously private moment will require someone else to accomplish and that last shred of pride can be taken away. While caregivers are supposed to always protect an individuals dignity, the mere act of requiring help in the bathroom is humbling, to say the least. If you require assistance, then you may not be able to stay in the bathroom alone for your bowel movement. At least you won’t be lonely, right?

Recent Developments

In the year 2000, the percentage of those entering American nursing homes who were moderately to severely obese was 14.7 percent. In 2010, it was 25 percent. In 2018, 28 percent. The most significant increase was among women and the most severely obese residents were among the youngest. The most severely obese residents also suffered more chronic medical conditions. Special equipment is required to handle some of these residents which adds to medical costs. Things that we never consider are routine requirements for the morbidly obese. They even need longer needles and larger blood pressure cuffs. Obesity is expensive. About 30-40 referrals are usually involved in placement for the morbidly obese.

Wisdom

I’ve heard it said that all we’ve got is time. I’ve also heard that time will pass either way. In this context, I take that to mean that as time passes, we will make choices that will create our bodies and lives. So, if we create a bit of our bodies and our lives every day then let’s create something good. I’ll never forget when I first began lifting heavy weights with David training me. I asked him, “How long will “it” take?” … (let that soak in a minute…) He kindly responded, “The rest of your life.” and it will. Every day, living my life at my optimum, healthiest level to build muscle and health will be a lifetime project. Time will pass. I intend to be independent until the day I die at a very old age. That is a goal.

Nutrition

We write at length about avoiding empty calories, which are fattening, nutritional bombs. They pack on the pounds and do not repair your body or provide the nutrients that you need. David wrote an article entitled Obese Yet Malnourished that describes this type of eating. It’s deadly. You will starve and develop all kinds of illness if you live this way. Eat nutrient dense food and be healthy. This is just whole foods, nothing magical. Eat meat and vegetables and avoid added sugars. Simple.

Exercise

Go to your doctor and get approved to exercise. He can also tell you what exercise is best for you. If you sit on your behind for the rest of your life, there will be way too much behind and not nearly enough life.

Rest

Find a way to get some sleep. You can tell if you’re getting enough. When you’re rested, life makes more sense, even the hard times, and you are better able to get through those times. In the good times, you will be able to enjoy them. You will find yourself smiling more and things will just be easier. Catch some ZZZ’s.

Destress

With all the troubles that can confront us, this is a tough one. The best way to destress is to have good health habits. They will make you stronger and more confident. Confidence is necessary to get through the hard times. You will have a feeling of control that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Even if you can’t control whatever is bothering you, you can think well enough to make strategic plans when you are well-rested. Exercise changes your chemistry to naturally center you in difficult times.

The Rest of Your Life

If you are reading this and you are overweight, with your doctor’s approval, lose the weight. Your mobility and overall health is at risk. In order to remain independent and self-sufficient, you must be healthy. Do you really want to live in a nursing home and depend on others for your most personal needs? I have discovered that life really does get better with age. The trick to that is simply that YOU have to get better with age. When you get better, life gets better. Start today, it’s the first day of the rest of your life.

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Healthy Habits

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Trade the 6-Pack for a Six-Pack

Just today I was perusing a popular fitness website and saw a woman who was eating one meal a day to try to get her eating under control. The problem is that, according to her, she is so hungry when she finally decides to eat her one meal, that she eats everything in sight. I’m sure that you have heard it said that “Abs are made in the kitchen.” No truer words have ever been spoken. We all have six-pack abs! They are usually hiding underneath fat. By eating a specified number of calories that are right for your body and avoiding empty calories, we can shed that fat with no fad diets or weird changes to our daily lives. This woman is still overeating although she is going for long periods of time without eating. We seem to think that we have to suffer to be healthy. We don’t. While discipline and perseverance are required, we can eat healthy food and stay full and satisfied almost all of the time if we always eat nutritionally dense foods. These are simply foods that are high in nutrition with no empty calories. A breakfast of oats and eggs will sustain you with dense nutrition while a honeybun and coffee won’t make the grade. As soon as the simple carbs from that pastry quickly begin to fade from your bloodstream, you’ll be desperately hungry for real food but, if you don’t have a real food habit, you will just continue to self-medicate with garbage and the cycle will continue. Make good nutrition your number one healthy habit. Go to the Calorie Counter Pro to determine how many calories that you need to eat. Always get your doctor’s approval before beginning any weight loss program. We usually advise aiming for about a one pound loss per week.

Are You Serious?

DON’T SMOKE. While I like to tell people what actions they can take to try to be healthy, this is one time that I must tell you something that you should NOT do. There is an endless list of the ways that smoking negatively affects your health. You are lying to yourself if you say that you are trying to be healthy and continue in this profoundly negative behaviour. Excessive alcohol consumption has to be on this list also. I don’t drink alcohol because it’s a source of empty calories and simple carbohydrates.  I want excellent nutrition for every calorie consumed and alcohol does not have it. Get real and get clean and sober.

Get Active!

The minimum amount of exercise that is necessary to be healthy is generally considered to be about 3.5 hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week. Exercise helps control your weight, reduces your risk of heart disease, helps your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels, improves your mood and helps keep your mind sharp as you age. Always get your doctor’s approval before you get active. Exercise can even help you quit smoking by reducing the cravings associated with smoking cessation. It will also help you burn some of the extra calories that you may eat when you quit and help you to keep your weight under control at a time when many people pack on the pounds and think that it is excused because they quit smoking. Exercise will also strengthen your bones and muscles and reduce your risk of falls. It will improve your sleep and increase your chances of living longer. A key component of finding a successful exercise for your self is to do something that is convenient and that you like or at least tolerate well. If you hate gyms, for God’s sake, don’t join one! Exercise at home.

Seek Stability

Maintain a normal, healthy weight. If you eat nutritionally dense foods in the amounts needed to provide the number of calories that your body needs, this will happen naturally. Fad diets and stringently imposed rules that make you miserable and starve your body of much needed energy and nutrients will not give you a stable weight. You may lose a lot of weight with this voodoo but you will most likely gain it back with a few pounds to go with it. As you have heard, “You didn’t gain it in a week, you’re not going to lose it in a week.” Be patient and work hard. It will happen. There are no shortcuts. Most fads are merely ways to keep overeating your trigger foods. In the case of the One Meal A Day plan, you starve for about 20 hours and binge for 4. Now seriously, do you think that you will binge on lean protein and veggies? Probably not. Odds are that you will feel deprived and also entitled to eat whatever you fancy because, after all, you’re SUFFERING, right?

Chill

I don’t know if it’s too much reality T.V. or all those fat cells making too much estrogen, but dear Lord, nowadays people do love their drama. Stop it. Life is dramatic enough without you adding extra stress into the equation. Stress, whether real or imagined, causes a release of cortisol. Cortisol contributes to belly fat and insulin resistance and raises your blood pressure. It also makes you act like an idiot. Seek peace. At David’s Way we teach you to “Make Your World Small” (David Yochim) This simply means to cut out excess people and events that are not positive. Only allow supportive people into you life. Avoid other people’s drama and make your world as positive and productive as possible. Some might say, “Cut the dead wood.” If it’s not doing anything for you, remove it from your life, especially remove anything negative. Your stress level will plummet. I don’t answer texts or phone calls that have a negative impact on my mind. You truly have the power to create your life, so create something beautiful.

Pull That Sweet Tooth!

Added sugars cause inflammation throughout your body and pack on the pounds. Inflammation is the beginning of almost all disease. Excess weight exacerbates and aggravates disease and dysfunction throughout your body. We have recipes that will satisfy any sweet craving that you may have. Just search for your favorite dessert and you very well may find a “No Sugar Added” version here on the website. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, leave a comment and we’ll find what you want. You can also contact us through the “Contact” tab and we’ll get back to you. There is no fee for this service.  We do what we do because we want to change the world to be a healthier place to live. Our habits create our world. Make them good.

 

Sugar Free Buttercream Easter Eggs

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Ingredients

Nutritional Info

Serving size 1 egg

Servings 12

Calories 160

Protein 1 gram

Net Carbs 4 grams

Fat 15 grams

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup Swerve Confectioners

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or extract of choice)

Natural food coloring

4 ounces sugar-free dark chocolate, chopped (Hershey’s makes Miniatures that work great!)

3/4 ounce cocoa butter or 1 1/2 Tablespoon coconut oil

Instructions

Beat butter and cream cheese til smooth.

Add sweetener and beat til well combined. The mixture will be very thick.

Add the cream and beat til smooth.

Add extract of choice and a little food coloring, if desired.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and scoop about 2 Tablespoons of the mixture onto the sheet and shape with your hands into an egg shape about 2 inches long. If it’s too sticky, dust with a little Swerve Confectioners. Do all of the mixture like this.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler with the cocoa butter or coconut oil and dip the eggs one at a time, tossing to coat. Lift out with a fork and tap to remove excess chocolate. Place on waxed paper.

Drizzle with remaining chocolate and let set til firm.

Fat and Immunity

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We Lie to Ourselves

As much as we might like to deceive ourselves that we are “healthy” when the scale goes up, that isn’t usually the truth. Just because we may feel good in the moment does not mean that various systems of our bodies are not struggling to provide status quo. We are mysteriously and wonderfully made. Our bodies are profoundly complex and designed to prevail under almost any circumstance. We can take a lot of abuse and neglect before we begin to break down, but I can assure you of this, if you are deceiving yourself into believing that you are “getting away” with overweight and obesity, you are wrong. Not only are your musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and endocrine systems suffering, so is your immunity. Right now, in the midst of the Corona virus pandemic, might be a good time to consider your ways.

Fatal Distraction

Every cell in our bodies has a link to the immune system. That’s how the immune system works. It’s the police force of our bodies so it has to be everywhere, all the time. Otherwise, invaders will come in and destroy us. A chronic, inflammatory process begins in these links between fat cells and the immune system. Since inflammation is known to be the beginning of most, if not all, disease processes, then this constantly inflamed state is conducive to disease. This is how fat impairs your immunity. Although you may not be sick now, your body is on high alert trying to fight invaders while also dealing with the inflammation. You might say that it can’t focus entirely on the invaders at hand because it is distracted by the inflammation. Believe me, with all of the microbial assaults that we are subjected to in our environment, this is not good. We need our immune system focused on the attackers from the outside. We should do everything in our power to keep our body running efficiently so that it can do just that with no distractions.

Sad But True

While no one is sure exactly how the immune response impairment develops, we do know that it is real. Obesity changes both white cell number and the way that they respond. Obesity increases the production of leptin, which is inflammatory and also reduces adiponectin, which is anti-inflammatory. A particularly disturbing fact that I discovered while researching this topic is that hypoxia, or a lack of enough oxygen to sustain function, occurs in hypertrophied fat tissue and causes inflammation. I mean, think about that. Living human cells require oxygen. If a state of hypoxia exists in these fat deposits, then we’re talking about tissue that is dying. That’s scary. Is there any wonder that this dying tissue can affect our immunity? While brilliant scientists are hard at work determining exactly how this process occurs, just knowing that hypertrophied fat tissue can develop hypoxia is enough to keep me counting my calories.

 Do Your Part

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Increased numbers of inflammatory cytokines circulate throughout the body of overweight and obese individuals and abdominal fat is considered the most dangerous. This is a key component in the development of insulin resistance, metabolic disorders and an increased risk of heart disease.  (1) David has written an excellent article, Re-Evaluating Healthy Living Yet? that discusses the health risks associated with overweight and obesity and how they impact our chances of contracting the Corona virus. At a time like this it serves us well to take a critical look at our lives and see how we can better care for ourselves. Underlying illness is a critical factor in contracting Corona and in the  prognosis for the patient. As a result, poor health habits affect the world at large. If we become a world of sickly, overweight and obese people then we are predisposing ourselves and everyone around us to more of the same as we become incubators for the world’s deadliest diseases. Taking care of ourselves is also taking care of those around us in this sense. If you are not inclined to do it for you then do it for your grandchildren. Get and stay healthy and instead of increasing the number of cases of Corona, and other diseases that thrive in unhealthy bodies, be one who helps flatten the curve.

Lifestyle 

Physical activity may help counteract the negative impact of body fat. Studies have shown that leptin and other inflammatory markers decrease when the test subjects increase their levels of physical fitness and activity. With your doctor’s permission and guidance, make a plan to get more active to improve your health.

Incriminating Evidence

All types of malnutrition are associated with impaired immune function. Strangely enough, obesity is considered a type of malnutrition because there is such an imbalance of nutrients available to the body. A high calorie diet of foods with little nutritional value will result in malnutrition and malnutrition negatively impacts immunity. This is evidenced in overweight and obese individuals, including children, who receive immunizations but do not develop proper antibodies to the disease. Their immune response is just not adequate to do so in some cases. Nothing in the body will work right when that body exists on a diet of empty calories with inadequate nutrients present for repair and maintenance of the human body. This is about the most compelling evidence that is easy for an average person to understand that I found in my research. If overweight and obesity can keep an immunization from working, then we know that it is messing up our immunity. 

We truly are what we eat. Make it healthy.

 

(1) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22429824/

 

 

10 Ways To Stay Focused During Stressful Times

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Temporary First-Aid

Until I adopted a lifestyle of wellness, I allowed stress to derail my health and fitness incentive. I would be chugging away towards extreme wellness and there would be a blip on the radar and I would slowly but surely go off the tracks and lose all the ground that I had fought for and won in the battle of the bulge. The key to the problem was that I was viewing the battle as temporary, something that I had to get done. My good behaviors that I adapted to struggle along towards my goals were forced, against the grain, and any additional stress would cause me to ditch these good behaviors. As long as I viewed these new habits as temporary actions to accomplish a specific thing, it was easy to let them go when the normal stresses of everyday living turned the heat up on my efforts. If a truly serious event occurred, I would not only lose the newly won ground, I would backtrack and add extra pounds as I stress ate my way into unconsciousness every night and shunned workouts because it was “just too much”.

New Life

The last two years  have presented unique challenges as I have created my life anew. I escaped a psychologically abusive environment the night that my home was destroyed by tornadoes. After 24 years of raising my special needs son, including 14 years of home schooling and then getting him through college, I was pretty burnt out. I reinstated my nursing license and began working a 12 hour shift in a nursing home that was not exactly an ideal place to work. The residents care was good but the working conditions for the employees could have been better and I was working from 7PM until 7AM. During this time, I was getting acquainted with “The Iron”. I had plenty of reasons to skip workouts or stress eat but instead, I made the decision to press into hard things to create the life that I wanted. At 61, I could not afford to let this opportunity for a great life get away from me. My window of opportunity for learning new job skills and getting really good at a job was getting dangerously close to closing. I had to decide if I wanted to do what seemed easier and live in Hell or do the hard thing and reap the life that I knew that I could have. I chose to do the hard thing. Today, I have peace in my home and a good job. I finally know what it’s like to look forward to going home. The reason that I have been able to find this peace is that I chose to stay focused on my goals.

Time Will Pass Either Way

A key to my success has been to realize that time will pass regardless of whether I am building towards my goals or destroying them. By choosing to focus on a positive outcome, day in and day out, I am seeing an increase in strength, definition and overall confidence. When stressful events occur, I don’t have that feeling of instability that trying times can bring. I already know what I am going to do. I am going to lift weights, eat well, track my food and get as much rest as I can work into my tight schedule. A rogue virus doesn’t change that. I have put some weights into my car so if I get quarantined somewhere, I have some Iron to work with. I am carrying extra protein and regardless of where I find myself, I will be doing the same things that I do now. My goals and focus will not change.

Simple Steps

There’s a method to my madness that anyone can learn. It’s not easy but it’s easier than being manipulated by circumstances and losing your health or living in a terrible situation. Unless you take care of yourself, you will suffer. Nobody else can do this for you. It’s a personal choice.

1-Decide what you want. Do you want to be healthy? Do you want to have a good fat to muscle ratio? Do you like your living situation now? Be truthful with yourself. Pretense and posturing are not your friend. Time is running out. Your health is at stake.

2-Analyze your habits and motives. Are they in line with your goals? If not, change them.

3-Decide what changes you need to make to achieve your goals. At my darkest hour, I realized that I had to make drastic, scary changes if I was to ever have the life that I wanted.

4-Make plans. You will need immediate plans that work into long range plans. Begin to live with purpose and don’t waste time complaining and feeling sorry for yourself.

5-Commit to HARD work. Great things are hard fought and won. If you want a mediocre life then you will exert mediocre effort. If you want a spectacular life, you will have to exert spectacular effort. You will have to make spectacular leaps of faith and sacrifices. Awesome does not come easy.

6-Work it…and keep working it. I had to get over wanting ANYTHING to ever be easy. It won’t be. A diamond is made under great pressure, otherwise it will remain a lump of coal. Coal is fine if that’s what you like, but I like shiny things.

7-Take care of yourself. Learn to say “No.” to other people’s ideas, demands, opinions and manipulation. If someone can upset you with a text, don’t read it. Plan your work and work your plan and let the rest of the world pass by. Focus on your health and well-being and anything that has a negative impact on that must fall away. If there is a stressful element that you cannot escape, learn to make it work for, not against, you.

8-Glory in your victories. Be proud of your success and finesse your lifestyle to create more of the same.

9-Enjoy your off days. Yes, you should have days off of everything except eating well. Good nutrition should just be a part of who you are.

10- Do it all again.

That’s focus.

 

 

Sleep Apnea

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Not a Good Night

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which breathing stops and starts. Loud snoring and daytime tiredness are signs that you may have sleep apnea. There are different types.

Different Causes

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax. Since they support the soft palate, uvula, tonsils and sides of your throat and tongue, when they relax, these tissues tend to push inward and occlude the airway. Excess weight increases the risk for sleep apnea. When fat deposits around the upper airway, breathing can be obstructed. A large neck measurement may mean that you are more inclined to have sleep apnea due to this fat hidden around the upper airway. Occasionally a narrow airway is inherited and sometimes swollen tonsils or adenoids can block the airway. Children are particularly prone to obstruction due to swollen tonsils and adenoids. Men are more likely than women to have obstructive sleep apnea but women’s risk rises if they become overweight. Aging also raises the likelihood of having this type of sleep apnea. Alcohol, tranquilizers and other sedating drugs also increase the risk due to the relaxation of the muscles in the throat. Smoking increases your risk three times greater than that for someone who has never smoked due to the inflammation that is caused by smoking. If you have nasal congestion you are also more prone to have obstructive sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain simply does not send the proper signals to breath.

It is also possible to have a combination of both of these types of sleep apnea which is called complex sleep apnea.

Symptoms

The symptoms of these different types tend to overlap. In order to know what type you have, it’s necessary to see your doctor for testing. Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring, episodes of stopping breathing, gasping during sleep, awakening with a dry mouth, morning headache, difficulty staying asleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, attention problems and irritability.

Complications

High blood pressure and heart problems can be caused by sudden drops in blood oxygen levels brought on by sleep apnea. Stroke and atrial fibrillation can also be associated with this disorder. If you have heart disease, this disorder can lead to sudden death from irregular heartbeat. (1) Sleep apnea also raises your risk for Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and complications with medications and surgery. Strangely enough, your sleep apnea can also affect the health of your partner who sleeps with you becsuse your loud snoring may prevent them from getting adequate sleep. I have known more than one person who slept with a snorer and went without sleep until they developed serious health problems of their own.

Incentive to Lose the Fat!

The list of health problems caused by overweight and obesity is almost endless. Some of those disorders are more serious than others. This particular one is deadly. While central sleep apnea is not weight related, obstructive and complex sleep apnea are usually related to the amount of fat on your body. This is just one more reason to create a new, healthy lifestyle that is based on good health with a good body fat percentage. Always consult your medical doctor before beginning any weight loss program. With his permission, you can go to our Calorie Counter Pro and discover how many calories you need to eat to lose 1 or 2 pounds per week. We always suggest shooting for 1 pound per week. It’s easier and healthier to lose slowly and you are more likely to stick with your program. Losing slowly enables you to create a new lifestyle rather than just trying to “get it over with”. You won’t “get it over with”. These new behaviors should become a part of your daily habits and help you finally master the balance that creates a healthy lifestyle.

Extra Issues

See your doctor today if you think that you may have this deadly disorder. Poor sleep quality has the ability to affect every area of our lives in a negative way. Our job performance is impacted. Our relationships can suffer. Driving skills are impaired and academic pursuits can be difficult without a good night’s sleep. When we deceive ourselves that we are “getting away with” the excess fat that can contribute to obstructive or complex sleep apnea, we are setting ourselves up for destruction. Rationalization will not change reality. What we say we believe to be true does not change the truth. As my Grandmother often said, “The Truth will stand when the world’s on fire.” Embrace reality and start getting healthy today.

(1) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20377631

Sugar Free Snickerdoodle Pancakes

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Nutritional Info

Servings 12

Calories 120

Protein 5 grams

Fat 10 grams

Net Carbs 1 gram

Ingredients

1 cup almond flour

1/3 coconut flour

1/4 cup Swerve, Granular

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon “Sugar”

2 teaspoons Swerve, Granular

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

Whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, Swerve, cinnamon, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Stir in eggs, almond milk, melted butter and vanilla extract until well combined.

Grease a skillet with butter or coconut oil. Use about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake and spread into 4 inch circles. Cook until bubbles begin to appear on top and bottom is set and golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.

Gently flip and continue to cook until the second side is golden brown.

Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle on pancakes before serving.

Serve with sugar free maple syrup.

The “F” Word

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Shut Your Mouth!

There is no word in the world that evokes such strong emotions as this three letter word that begins with “F”. Yes, you read me right, three letter word. The word is the dreaded adjective that almost everyone fears and holds in disdain, FAT. However, there are different types of fat in our bodies and visceral fat is a killer.

Childhood Crush

I grew up with a boy named Jeremy who was a delightful child. He was my crush in the third grade. As Jeremy grew up, he turned into quite the handsome man. He married a woman who became morbidly obese and Jeremy gained slowly, right along with her. While she gained much more than he did, he finally became obese enough that his doctors told him that his fat was crushing his internal organs.  He was muscular and he had so much visceral fat that, as he gained weight, this stealthy fat that wraps around your internal organs, was slowly exerting more and more force inside his body. Jeremy had a gastric bypass to lose weight, and did lose weight, but as is the case in many weight loss surgeries, he gained it all back. Jeremy died in his 50’s from complications of the visceral fat that had literally squeezed the life out of him. Visceral fat also contributes to diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even dementia.  Visceral fat contributes to belly fat and leptin, a hormone which plays a part in learning and memory, is produced by belly fat so there is a possible link to dementia from visceral and belly fat. Since I work with dementia patients, this is not a risk that I want to take.

Big Belly Is Spelled T-R-O-U-B-L-E

Belly fat is both visceral and subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat is found just under the skin. It’s the fat that is measured with a caliper or that you pinch up to see how fat you are. While subcutaneous fat on the thighs and butt is not considered dangerous, when this fat deposits on the belly it contributes to all of the problems associated with belly fat such as insulin resistance, diabetes, poor blood lipid profiles and also increasing risks for both stroke and heart attack. A “beer belly” is a warning sign that you need to take control of your appetite. A protruding belly and large waist are signs that you may have excess visceral fat. A woman should have a waist measurement of less than 35 inches and a man should keep his waistline at less than 40 inches. A bigger measurement indicates that you are at increased disease risk because visceral fat is associated with an increase in inflammation in the body which is associated with chronic disease including heart disease, insulin resistance and diabetes among many other deadly diseases, including cancer.

What To Do?

Low carb diets like we promote at David’s Way are more effective at reducing visceral fat than low-fat diets.  Regular aerobic exercise is also effective in reducing this deadly tissue. All heavy weight lifters know that heavy weights produce aerobic exercise. If my heart beat any harder or my breathing got any heavier during exercise, I don’t believe that I would remain conscious. Choose your aerobic activity and burn, Baby, burn. Soluble fiber such as the fiber found in flaxseeds, sweet potatoes, legumes and grains also contribute to visceral fat loss. Soluble fiber supplements are also available. Increasing your soluble fiber intake to 10 grams per day may help you shed visceral fat by helping suppress your appetite and contributing to healthy gut bacteria which produce short-chain fatty acids. Fatty acids help increase satiety so you may eat less. We also promote a high protein diet which has been found to fend off hunger by increasing the levels of the hormones that make you feel full. Protein can also boost your metabolism and studies show that people who eat more protein have less visceral fat. Limiting your sugar intake will help you to lose this deadly fat. We advocate eating absolutely no added sugars. In one study where the simple sugar, fructose, was replaced by starch in 41 children’s diet, visceral fat was reduced by 10.6% in only 10 days. (1) Limit your alcohol intake. The empty calories will pack on the pounds and increase your visceral fat stores. Trans fats which are found in some processed foods are also linked to increased visceral fat. If you eat processed foods, read labels carefully to avoid them. Get enough sleep. Inadequate sleep increases visceral fat by causing an increase in cortisol production. Excess cortisol will always increase your belly fat. Increased stress also cause an increase in cortisol production so find a way to create a calm life. As we always say at David’s Way, “Keep your world small.” Cut excess drama and strife and reap the benefits in your waistline. Probiotics may help reduce visceral fat by increasing good bacteria in your gut that is associated with a reduction in abdominal fat. We also promote intermittent fasting with your doctor’s approval. Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce visceral fat by 4-7% over a 6-24 week period. (2) Intermittent fasting is simply the way that people ate before we had access to 24 hour food. You eat all of your food in a 8, 10 or 12 hour window and then you just don’t eat again for the remainder of that 24 hour period. It’s not new but it is effective.

White Death

White fat is the type of fat that we tend to put on when we gain excess weight. White fat inhibits the production of the good hormone, adiponectin, which makes our liver and muscles sensitive to insulin. This sensitivity makes us less likely to develop diabetes and heart disease. When the scale goes down, we are losing white fat.

Mystery Morphing Fat

We have small stores of brown fat which is being researched extensively to understand it’s function in our bodies. Lean people tend to have more brown fat than others and children have more than adults. When brown fat is activated, it burns white fat. This area of research may lead to medical interventions to help with obesity.

David’s Way

As you see here, David’s Way of eating is exactly what helps reduce visceral fat. This is a free website. Go to our Home Page and read about how to get started on your healthy journey. What have you got to lose? Always have your doctor’s permission before starting any weight loss program.

(1), (2) https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-truth-about-fat#1

 

 

Low Carb Lemon Poppyseed Cake

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Nutritional Info

Serves 12

Calories 230

Net Carbs 3 grams

Fat 21 grams

Protein 5 grams

Ingredients

1 box Swerve Vanilla Cake Mix

3 eggs

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

2 Tablespoons lemon zest

2 Tablespoons poppyseeds

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Icing

3 oz. softened cream cheese

1/4 cup softened butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup Swerve Confectioner’s

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 F. and line an 8 inch round cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter.

In a large mixing bowl mix together the cake mix, eggs, coconut oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract and poppyseeds.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and transfer to the oven to  bake for 25-30 minutes until the center is set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack.

While the cake is cooling make the  icing by beating together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla til light and fluffy. Slowly incorporate the Swerve Confectioner’s.

Ice the cake with an offset spatula and store in the refrigerator til ready to serve. Remove from refrigerator about 20 minutes before serving.

Realgood Low Carb Pizzas and Poppers Review

Disclaimer

I must begin this review by stating the obvious. My opinion may not be yours. If a low carb, chicken crust pizza snack interests you, you might want to try these for yourself. Personally, I had to wrangle with the idea that “If you can’t say anyting good, say nothing at all.” before writing this review. Even my autistic son,who normally doesn’t struggle with trying to spare my feelings about anything, was less than enthusiastic where these products were concerned.

Late Night Discovery

As I rambled through the aisles of frozen food looking for frozen peas, the various new pizza inventions caught my eye. Always looking for new products to review, I was thrilled when my eyes fell on these pizzas. Wow! Low carb, no sugar added and high protein all rolled up into pizza and pizza rolls. The crust is made from chicken so they looked promising. I hurriedly threw them in my cart, checked out and drove home. They only take a few minutes to prepare in the microwave and I was preparing food for two so in about 15 minutes, I had both boxes ready. I had a lot of calories left for the day so I was able to sample both products. The sad thing was that I didn’t fix anything else and after one bite, I had eaten all of these products that I wanted. Had I not been hungry, which is pretty rare, I would have thrown them out and started over. At only $5.67 per box, the “dinner” was cheap enough but so is dogfood. I think that I might have liked that better.

Pizza?

If you absolutely LOVE salty chicken then you might really go for these processed foods but remember, I said SALTY. One serving of the Snack Size Pizzas contain 750 mg. of sodium which is 31% of the Daily Value of what our government recommends that we should eat. There are 2 servings in a box. Although the poppers contain 10%, you must realize that is for only 3 poppers. There’s 9 in a box. There was nothing about this salty, processed chicken concoction that reminded me of pizza. The texture was rubbery and seemed to chew back. The flavor was just chicken. When I asked my son how he liked them, with as much tact as an autistic man can muster, he said, “Uh, they’re a little bland.” The boy loves pizza… all pizza. This was not pizza to him.

Binge Food?

I understand that sometimes we may look for a substitute for a “trigger food”. If you are craving pizza and you don’t trust yourself with the real thing then you might find a use for these products, but what you should do is try our  pizza casserole recipe. It’s quick and easy to make and guaranteed to satisfy your craving. You control the ingredients so sodium is your choice. While the recipe calls for turkey pepperoni, you can modify that with any meat or other protein that you like. I frequently make it with ground beef which has only 306 mg for an entire pound of meat. You can serve this to your family with confidence that they will like it. My son loves for me to make this delectable recipe. Sometimes I modify it to make a Mexican inspired taco casserole with taco sauce and Mexican spices instead of tomato sauce and Italian seasonings. It’s your choice! The recipe is quite versatile. If you actually binge on these Realgood products, you’re going to ingest a lot of salt.

Overall Impression

I will not buy any of these products again. I buy very few processed foods to begin with and these will not make that list. While I was full and the high protein kept me satisfied, it was like taking bad medicine to choke that stuff down. I kept thinking that it “would get better’. It didn’t. I know we’re always looking for something that’s quick to fix but still meets the low-carb, high protein, no sugar added criteria but this ain’t it for me. I think I’ll fire up my crock pot so that supper will be waiting when I get here. Hopefully, I’ll get good reviews from my son on that. I think he may lock the door if he knows I’m coming in with this stuff. Again, you may like these products. If so, go for it if you can tolerate the salt. Personally, when I want pizza, I’m making my own with the aforementioned recipe. If there’s any recipe that you would like to see featured here on David’s Way, comment here or drop us an email on the “Contact” tab. We will find one just for you!

Sodium

Wow! I wanted to give you a good, online photo of the nutritional information of these products, but the full label for the Snack Size Pizza is incredibly difficult to find! I can’t help but wonder if it’s because of the massive amount of sodium in this product. Even Walmart has a limited label available on their website. It doesn’t show the sodium, so I fished this box out of the garbage. See for yourself.