Author: Brenda Sue

Glazed Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders

Serves 8

Calories 210

Net Carbs 0

Protein 26 grams

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders (12-16 tenders)

Salt and pepper

6-8 slices bacon cut into pieces

1/2 cup Brown Swerve

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 and pat tenders dry

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and wrap in bacon.

Lay in pan in a single layer.

Sprinkle with Brown Swerve and press to adhere. Bake 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Broil a few minutes a few inches from broiler to crisp bacon.

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Sugar Free Oven Baked Teriyaki Chicken Wings

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Serves 6

Calories 470

Net Carbs 2 grams

Protein 37 grams

Ingredients

1/3 cup soy sauce or liquid aminos

1/4 cup water

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

3 Tablespoons Swerve Confectioners

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Wings

3 pounds chicken wings

2 Tablespoons baking powder

Instructions

Combine soy sauce or aminos, water, vinegar, garlic, ginger and hot sauce in a pan over low heat and bring to boil and reduce heat and simmer five minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in Swerve Confectioners.

Sprinkle surface with xanthan gum and whisk briskly to combine.

Cool.

Wings

Preheat oven to 250F and line a baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack over the sheet.

Pat wings dry and put in a ziploc bag. Add baking powder and shake to coat.

Arrange on wire rack.

Bake 30 minutes then increase temperature to 425F and bake another 20 minutes.

Remove and brush both sides of wings with about half the sauce and return to oven.

Bake another 10-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and toss or brush with remaining sauce.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot.

Eating Out Successfully

The Best Intentions
How many times have you started out for the evening with the intention of staying on your program only to succumb to the party atmosphere in the restaurant and order too much food? Almost everyone has dealt with this. It’s not just you. Why do we allow other people to make or break our health for us? Those choices that you make on the spur of the moment in social situations are critical..
Why?
In 15 studies that were reviewed in 2013 it was indicated that we tend to behave in the manner that we believe to be acceptable or normal. If we associate with unhealthy people who possess unhealthy habits, we will pick up those poor habits. Strangely enough, the behavior continues when we are alone, not only with those people. While we are not going to abandon Aunt Sally whose trying to push her latest bakery concoction on us, we can avoid some people and situations that are bad for us. I once had a “frienemy” who openly stated that she could not tolerate me being smaller than her and left home-baked goodies on my doorstep frequently. I did gain weight, but when I realized what was happening, I lost the weight along with about 250 pounds of ugly fat, the “frienemy”.
Feel-Good Neuros
Many of foods that we tend to binge on are high carbohydrate and tend to boost our serotonin which is a party neurotransmitter. Many anti-depressants build serotonin, so when we binge on these foods, we are self-medicating.
Sugar lights up dopamine receptors all over the brain so when we have finished the high carb pizza and pasta and go for the chocolate cake that was meant for the table to share… we are boosting serotonin and dopamine. These foods are activating the same circuits as cocaine. They are addictive, and we crave them almost all the time if we make a habit of eating them. When one rush wears off, we will look for the hit again. When we continue this behavior, our health will suffer from excess carbohydrate, sodium, sugar and overall caloric intake.
1- How to Navigate Social Situations
When we eat out, we need to set the pace of the evening. Don’t let others who have bad habits take control. It’s all about choices. Make good ones.
1- PLAN I found out years ago that I could make much better choices if I was not blind-sided by the Menu. Nowadays it’s easier than ever to Google a restaurant and peruse the Menu beforehand. You will not be affected by the choices of those around you. Decide what you will order and as soon as the waiter shows up at your table, tell him that you know what you want and order. You have set the mood for the meal uninfluenced by the poor choices of those around you.

2- ORDER BETTER While you may not be able to prevent the bread basket or the tortilla chips from coming to the table, you can order your own healthy appetizer. Order some fresh veggies, such as celery sticks to go with a healthy dip choice. While others are stuffing their faces with high-carb bread and tortilla chips, you can be filling up on healthy foods.
3-AVOID cream based soups, creamy dressings, au gratin, crispy, battered, golden (it usually means fried), tempura, smothered, fritters, crunchy and en croute. En croute is wrapped in pastry!
4- TAKE CONTROL When you order, tell the waiter to bring half of your entree to the table and put half of it in a go-box or just order off of the appetizer menu if you can order small quantities.
5-SNACK The absolute worst thing that you can do is go all day without eating so that you can eat a lot when you go out. I have known many people who do this. This applies to eating with relatives at their homes or yours. Always eat well during the day and have a healthy snack before you go.
6-AVOID “ALL YOU CAN EAT” This is a no-brainer. You know better.
7- DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES Drink water. Avoid alcohol if at all possible. If you are determined to drink alcohol, order small without added sugar based mixers. Don’t drink “sweet tea”. I’m from the South and I witness this abomination frequently. Just don’t.
8- FOCUS If you have a favorite dish that you just can’t do without, have it. Have ONLY that, no bread basket, no tortilla chips, no alcohol, no dessert. Get what you came for, eat it and enjoy. Just because you are not eating at home, you don’t have a license to eat everything in the house. Get one thing that you love and focus on that.
Recovery
So, what do you do if you go overboard despite your best intentions? Remember, it’s one meal. Take it in stride and go on. Before you go to bed , be sure to hydrate with water. Be as active as you possibly can be for the rest of the day and the next day. Avoid anymore excess carbs and sugar and excess sodium. In a day or so, you can mitigate the effects of one meal if you get back on your program quickly
Consider Your Associates
While we are not likely to ditch family, there are some people in our lives that are toxic. Surround yourself with health-minded individuals who will inspire you and help you live a healthy lifestyle. Check in with us at David’s Way frequently. We post almost daily and have great tools here to help you along your way. If you have not downloaded the Calorie Counter, do so today. We are always available to answer questions and encourage comments. We will both get back to you and you have the unique advantage of a male and a female perspective here at David’s Way.

Sugar Free Blueberry Cobbler

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Serves 8

Calories 210

Net Carbs 8 grams

Protein 4 grams

Ingredients

Filling

3 1/2 Cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1/3 cup Swerve Granular

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Topping

1 1/3 cup almond flour

1/3 cup butter (cold and cut into small squares or grated with a cheese grater)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup Brown Swerve

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions

1. Place oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 375

2. Combine blueberries, xanthan gum, Swerve Granular and lemon juice and mix well til the blueberries are coated.

3. Add the blueberry mixture to a 9×9 pan ( or smaller ramekins)

4. Mix almond flour, Brown Swerve, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest together. With a pastry/biscuit cutter or fork, cut butter into dry mixture. Dough will feel like cookie dough.

5. Spread the dough evenly over the blueberry mixture.

6. Bake in 375 degree (F) oven for about 22 minutes (for the large pan) or 16-18 minutes in smaller ramekins – or until the crust is golden brown and the blueberries are bubbling. Serve warm or cold.

Sugar Free 3 Ingredient Vanilla Coffee Creamer

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Serves 32

Serving size 2 Tablespoons

Calories 40

Net Carbs 1 gram

Protein 1 gram

Ingredients

1 quart (4 cups) Half and Half

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup Swerve Confectioners

Instructions

Whisk Half and Half and vanilla extract til well combined.

Using a fine mesh sieve, sift the Swerve Confectioners into bowl with Half and Half.

Whisk until well combined and store in fridge.

Cancer Fighters

Phytochemicals are the compounds found in plants that have potential to help prevent chronic diseases like cancer. They can potentially strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, prevent DNA damage and help DNA repair, slow cancer cell growth, regulate hormones and prevent damaged cells from reproducing. (1) The American Cancer Society recommends eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables. If you eat a lot of fruits and veggies you are eating a lot of phytochemicals.

Carotenoids

Beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin are all carotenoids. They inhibit cancer growth, improve immunity, support vision and improve your skin. Broccoli, carrots, cooked tomatoes, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, winter squash, apricots, cantaloupe, oranges and watermelon are all good sources of carotenoids. It’s not just carrots anymore!

Polyphenols

These compounds can prevent the formation of cancer and also prevent inflammation. They are found in green tea, grapes, berries, citrus fruits, apples, whole grains and peanuts. These foods contain ellagic acid and resveratrol. Although wine is a source of resveratrol, we don’t recommend wine because of the huge number of calories and large amounts of sugars that you can drink if you have the habit of drinking wine. There is always a potential for addiction to alcohol and with these factors in mind, you have to consider long and hard if you want to drink wine or just eat good whole, healthy fruits and vegetables for your resveratrol fix.

Flavonoids

Apples, onions, soybeans, coffee, tea and citrus fruits are sources of flavonoids. They are known to inhibit tumor growth, reduce inflammation and boost immunity. They contain anthocyanins, quercitin and catechins. I had a Great Aunt who always ate the white, fibrous covering on citrus fruits that’s just underneath the peeling. She said it was for the quercitin. She lived to be almost 100 in good health almost every day of her life.

Isoflavones

These powerhouse compounds inhibit tumor growth and limit the production of cancer-related hormones. They’re found in soybeans and other soy products. I eat a lot of soy. It helps me retain some curves while I cut body fat.

Indoles and Glucosinolates

These chemicals can help lower your cancer risk by preventing tumor growth and decreasing production of cancer-causing hormones. They are found in broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprounts. I have read great reports on cauliflower for years. Nowadays it is being used for everything from pizza crust to mashed “potatoes”. Give this cancer fighter a try. It has a mild flavor and is quite versatile in recipes.

Inositol

There are different types of inositols and phytic acid is available in bran from corn, oats, rice, rye and wheat. Nuts and soybeans are also good sources of phytic acid. It prevents damage to cells so that when they replicate they reproduce a healthy cell.

Phytochemicals are found in all plant foods, not just fruits and vegetables. It’s best to get your phytos from whole foods instead of supplements. The best way to insure that you are getting enough is to always have a colorful plate. Like Mom said, “Eat your vegetables…(fruits and grains.)

(1) https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/phytochemicals-and-cancer-what-you-should-know.h10-1591413.html

Hungry All the Time?

Stealthy Invader

The first day that I began eating David’s Way, I quit being hungry all the time. Although I wasn’t eating large amounts of sugar , I had not totally removed it from my diet. As soon as I began David’s Way I examined everything that I ate for hidden sugar. Sometimes the sources will surprise you. It works it’s way into almost everything unless we diligently seek it out like a phantom in the night.

Return of Hunger

Several months ago I began a job where I am blessed to have free meals. I carefully avoided all sweet foods and anything that seemed like it might possibly contain any trace of sugar. Soon after beginning this job, however, I began to feel hunger like I had not felt it in a long time. I was mystified. I ate good whole foods and avoided processed foods which are a huge source of sugar. Still, the hunger haunted me.

Revelation

When I considered the menu tonight, I realized that every item on the menu contained added sugar. I had asked for the coleslaw recipe and guess what, hidden sugar. The succulent roasted pork tenderloin was slathered in sweet barbecue sauce. The beans served on the side contained a significant amount of sugar because other employees were talking about how sweet they were. And then, of course, there was cake, which I never eat. Suddenly I realized that many of the seemingly harmless foods that I had been so thrilled to have free were the culprit in my around-the-clock hunger that was coming and going at random, waking me up at night and causing me to examine my diet in intricate detail.

Cultural

There are cultures that put sugar in almost everything. I worked in a private home providing nursing care many years ago and because I was there so much, I became great friends with the cooks. Although their food was incredibly delicious, both of those sweet women literally put sugar into everything they cooked if there was any way possible. The colorful potato salad with finely diced carrots, celery, onions and bell pepper was doused liberally with sugar. So were the green beans,yes, green beans! So were the pinto beans and fried potatoes… Everyone in the house was either overweight or obese and I could not keep my weight under control unless I carried all of my food and ate none of theirs. The added sugar kept me hungry around the clock, just like the hunger that I have been experiencing on occasion since coming to work at my present place of employment.

How?

When we eat sugar, our body responds by secreting insulin to help metabolize it. When the offending molecule is dismantled there is still enough insulin in our bloodstream to be actively seeking a sugar molecule so the natural response of our body is to secrete ghrelin which makes us hungry so that we can balance the insulin. As this cycle continues, we eat at times that we shouldn’t and in larger amounts. Unless we realize what is happening by meticulously tracking every bite of food that we eat, weight gain is soon to follow. I am actively “cutting” right now, trying to get my 18% body fat to about 14%, and I have been struggling to cut without excessive hunger. The hidden sugars in some of the home cooked meals that I have been eating have made my cut more difficult than it had to be. Although this cycle of eating sugar and getting hungry is a bit more complex than I have stated here, this is the gist of it. Eating sugar makes you hungry. You don’t have to be eating desserts and sugary snacks for this effect. Examine your food. Don’t be lazy and just assume that those green beans or that cornbread does not contain sugar. They just may.

Sugar Free Cold Brew Coffee Popsicles

Serves 6

Calories 70

Net Carbs 1 gram

Protein 1 gram

1/2 cup whipping cream

6 Tablespoons Swerve Confectioners

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup cold brew coffee, chilled

Instructions

Beat cream, sweetener and vanilla to stiff peaks.

Stir in coffee and taste for sweetness and adjust as needed.

Divide into 6 popsicle molds.

Freeze 1 hour.

Insert sticks 2/3 of the way into popsicles.

Continue to freeze until solid, about 4 hours.

Unmold by running hot water over each for 5-10 seconds then gently tug on stick.

Decrease Your Chances of Alzheimer’s

Overwhelming Statistics

There is an overwhelming number of new cases of Alzheimer’s every year. Between 2017 and 2025 every state is expected to have a 14% rise in this horrifying disease. There has been an 89% increase in deaths due to Alzheimer’s between 2000 and 2014 and more than 5,000,000 Americans live with this destroyer of worlds. (1) I work with these precious souls every day and see firsthand the grief and loss that is caused by this devastating disease. Believe me, if you can do anything to decrease your chances of developing Alzheimer’s and other dementias, you really want to do that and the sooner, the better.

Development

Science has searched for the cause of dementia for many years as the incidence of dementia and the accompanying cost for care of these patients has increased. With ever increasing evidence, these disabling diseases have begun to be looked upon as a lifelong or lifestyle disease with many factors affecting it’s development. Of course there are types that have a specific cause such as injury to the brain by trauma or other diseases. That is not the topic of discussion here.

Oh, You’re Not Diabetic?

According to Harvard Health Publishing (2), above normal blood sugar has been linked to dementia. High blood sugar damages arteries through inflammation. At one time, the blood sugar levels of diabetes were considered the “danger zone” for increased risks of dementia but now the evidence supports the idea that elevated blood sugars that are not in the diabetic range can also up your odds. Any incremental increase in blood sugar was associated with increased risk. Prediabetes, blood sugar between 100 and 126 after an 8 hour fast, is in the danger zone. Don’t think that because you are not diabetic that you are immune to the ravages of high blood sugar on your brain.

How Many Times Do We Have To Say This ?

Harvard advises getting 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week and cutting back on your intake of highly refined carbohydrates, particularly foods that contain added sugars such as sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, cane sugar, corn sweetener, raw sugar, honey or fruit juice. At David’s Way, we advise this every day. We tell you to avoid sugar and neither David nor I eat the stuff. I don’t bring it into my house. In all of the research that I have done, I have never uncovered a health benefit of sugar but I have discovered many negative implications.

Other Trouble Makers

Alzheimers.net advises against eating processed foods such as processed cheeses due to the proteins found in them that have been associated with Alzheimer’s. Processed meats and beer contain nitrites which also present a problem. Microwave popcorn contains diacetyl, a chemical that may increase amyloid plaques in the brain. Amyloid plaques are linked to Alzheimer’s Disease. Just as Harvard, this organization also advises against refined carbohydrates including white pasta, cakes, sugar, white rice and white bread. These foods cause insulin spikes in your body which increases inflammation throughout your body and sets you up for all kinds of diseases and dementias. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. (3) Obesity triggers vascular dementia which increases the risk of Alzheimer’s. It also increases fat cells which damage the brain white matter and leads to cognitive and intellectual behavior changes. We always advise you to maintain a healthy body fat for optimum health throughout your body.

What Do I Do?

There are some steps that you can take today to decrease your chances of developing this disease. Balance your blood sugar with whole, real foods that are low on the glycemic index chart. Remove refined carbs including sugar from your diet. Eat brain healthy fats such as fatty fish, coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, tree nuts and lean protein. Exercise every day with your doctor’s permission. Studies clearly support the idea that exercise is good for your brain. Control stress. Excess cortisol produced by chronic stress is destructive to your brain and get 8 hours of sleep every night. At David’s Way we teach you to “Make your world small.” by removing people and activities that are merely clutter and have no positive impact on your life. This helps to control stress. We address you as a whole person and controlling stress is paramount to your physical and mental health. Become proactive today and make every effort to preserve your mental health.

(1) https://ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3385589/

(2) https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/above-normal-blood-sugar-linked-to-dementia-201308076596

(3) https://ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6054325/

Cancer and Nutrition

Cause or Prevention?

There are many factors involved in the development of cancer, some over which we can exert control and others that we cannot. Genetics and environmental hazards are considered beyond our control while our diet is almost completely within our control. While the science is not there to say that any particular foods definitely cause or prevent cancer, there are relationships between diet and cancer which research has revealed. (1)

Calcium

There is evidence that higher calcium intake can lower the risk of cancer, specifically colorectal cancer. It is believed to bind to acids in the body and thereby protect the lining of the GI tract from damage. Above 2,000 mg per day however, is considered to increase the risk of prostate cancer. Most doctors agree that a daily intake of 500-1000 mg. is a good level to optimize calcium’s good effects on the development of cancer. One cup of Cabot Greek Plain Yogurt, made with whole milk, contains 400 mg. This yogurt also has 16 mg. of protein per cup. Fage Plain Greek Yogurt has more protein and less calcium. Choose the one that you like the best. There are many excellent brands available. I prefer the full fat versions because they do not have the tangy taste that’s associated with yogurt. Bone-in fish such as sardines are also a rich source of calcium. One small Atlantic sardine, 2-2/3 x 1/2 x 1/4 inches, has 46 mg. and if you eat sardines, you know that you eat a lot more than one.

Glycemic Index

A 2016 study revealed that foods with a high GI, 70 or above, are associated with an 88% increased risk for prostate cancer. These foods include sugar-sweetened soft drinks, fruit juices and processed foods such as pizza. Foods that are low on the GI such as beans, are linked with a 32% lower risk of both prostate and colorectal cancers. In March of 2015 a study showed a 50% increased risk for lung cancer among people who ate a high GI diet. At David’s Way we always promote a low GI diet.

Processed Meats and Red Meat

Studies consistently show that eating around 2 ounces of processed meat per day increases the risk of colorectal cancer. There is a similar risk for red meat, believed to be associated with the heme iron that is in all red meat.

Weight Gain

In 2014 a study found that a higher BMI increases the risk of developing many of the most common cancers. A 34 pound gain is linked to a 10%, or higher, risk of developing gallbladder, kidney and liver cancers. The hormones and inflammatory proteins produced by fat cells can promote the growth of cancer. We advocate knowing your body fat percentage and keeping it in a healthy range. The number on the scale is not as important as the number of fat cells in your body since they are the trouble makers.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are known cancer fighters. The problem is that sometimes people take supplemental antioxidants for periods of time but across the span of their lifetime, they go lacking in nutritional sources for these nutritional superheroes. It is generally accepted that it’s wise to get your antioxidants from a wide array of colorful fruits and vegetables. Try to include bright colors like dark green, orange, purple and red fruits and vegetables for the most protection.

Get Active

According to a study in the Journal of American Medical Association in 2016, good nutrition combined with other healthy habits offers the most protection from cancer. Low risk groups presented as those who do not smoke, drank no more than two servings per day of alcohol, and had a BMI of 18.5-27.5 and engaged in 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. At David’s Way, we always tell you to ask your doctor to suggest an exercise program for you to follow. You are a powerful influence in your likelihood of developing cancer. You can increase your risk astronomically by poor nutritional habits and inactivity or you can take control and raise the odds of living into old age cancer free. What will you decide?

(1) https://www.health.harvard.edu/cancer/cancer-and-diet-whats-the-connection