Author: Brenda Sue

Senior Nutrition and Activity

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

In this article I will discuss the nutritional and activity needs for an individual over 50 to live well.  There is a difference in survival and thriving.  We at David’s Way are always thinking about thriving.  Food and activity are the core of our existence.  These two components must be well balanced for optimum health and fulfillment.  We promote nutritionally dense foods with zero added sugars and processed foods.  We promote an active lifestyle.  We will investigate various sources for some baseline recommendations for a full life over 50.

As we begin our day, it’s easy to fall into the sugar trap.  Sugar gives us the dopamine jolt in our brains that is associated with motivation.¹ This same circuit is lit up by cocaine and heroin.  When this circuit is activated, we naturally crave that feeling again.  A major problem with triggering this circuit first thing in the morning is that we will reach for that feeling again and again during the day and ingest massive amounts of calories and pack on the pounds as we eat sugar all day long.  If we activate that reward center first thing, we will continue to need that reward all during our waking hours. Vending machines, bakery racks, drive-throughs and food brought into work will all call our name.  In an attempt to get that sugar rush we will find excuses to eat cake, cookies and candy, sometimes even hiding that fact from others.  Does this behavior sound familiar? It sounds like an addictive behavior because it is.  Sugar is implicated as a cause of inflammation in our bodies.²  Chronic inflammation can eventually cause several diseases and conditions, including some cancers and rheumatoid arthritis.³ Be sure to include plenty of complex carbs in your diet for overall health and mental well-being. Carbs help your body to produce serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter. I especially like oats, apples and sweet potatoes. If you get enough complex carbs, you won’t crave simple carbs after your initial withdrawal from sugar.

 It’s important to begin our day with protein.  I like eggs with 6 grams of protein each.  I have them in a protein shake but I know that is not for most people and I am not necessarily recommending that.  Get your protein any way that you like, but make sure that you get it. Eggs are a quick, easy and inexpensive protein source.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

The Institute for Health recommends 0.8 grams of protein/kilogram of body weight however there is evidence that this is about half of what is needed in older adults.∞  Researchers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences gave one group 0.8 gram/kilogram of body weight and gave 1.5 grams to another group.  After only four days, the group who received the larger amount were building muscle more efficiently. ∞  Muscle is critical to our well being as we age.  It is the fuel that stokes our metabolism which is the Bunsen burner for every chemical reaction in our bodies.  If you want to get stoked, eat some protein.

Muscle is also critical to our mobility and stability.  Try getting up from a deep chair without strong thigh and abdominal muscles.  You will be struggling, leaning to one side, pushing on the arms of the chair and grunting.  With strong muscles, that chair is a non-factor.  You rise easily.  Muscle stabilizes us.  A good strong muscular system holds us upright and makes us stable when we’re moving from one position to another.  As we age and muscle declines, falls become all too common.

Photo by Dániel Göndör on Unsplash

There are many exercises that are good for older adults.  Always get permission from your physician before beginning any exercise program.  “Walking is the best restorative exercise.” (David Yochim) unless it is contraindicated by an existing medical condition.  Exercise for older adults is usually based on stretching and balance, but strength training to increase muscle mass can be beneficial. At 64, I am an avid power lifter, lifting heavy weights to build strength and shapely muscle.  While this is not for everyone, there are other ways to build some muscle.  Body weight exercises such as push-ups, jumping jacks, sit-ups and squats using only the body are examples of calesthenics.  Our military still uses calesthenics as the main form of strengthening.  They are an excellent and usually safe way to build muscle and increase overall strength. There are small hand weights, resistance bands and tubing of all sorts, dumbbells and barbells. There is always someway to add weight to your day.  There are instructional videos online to show you how to use these items.  I have collected weights for years and I will always strength train.  There is a confidence that comes with strength that nothing else can imitate.  Strength creates independence and what more creates a full, vital, thriving life than independence?

If we are blessed, we will age.  The alternative is an early death.  The question is, how will we age, slowly becoming weaker and developing various complications associated with weakness and debilitation or lighting up the darkness in a time that is feared by many.  In most cases, the choice is ours.  We hold the keys to vibrant golden years in our hands.  What will we do with them? Will we lay them on the coffee table beside the cake or take those golden keys of nutrition and activity and unlock years of our lives that were worth waiting on?  Quite often, the choice is entirely ours.

Aging well is an art.  I challenge you.  Be an artist.

¹https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201302/why-our-brains-love-sugar-and-why-our-bodies-dont

²https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sugar-and-inflammation

³https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423.php

∞https://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2015/02/13/older-adults-double-your-protein-intake-for-better-health

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Beginning

Physical Activity Scorecard

How physically active are you?  For each answer choice or question answered yes, give yourself the number of points indicated.  Then total your points to determine your score.

I participate in active recreational sports such as tennis or racquetball for an hour or more a. about once a week (2 points) b. about twice a week (4 points) c. three times a week (6 points) d. four times a week (8 points) e. not at all (0 points)

I participate in vigorous fitness activities like aerobic dancing, roller blading, jogging or swimming (at least 20 minutes per session) a. about once a week (three points) b. about twice a week (6 points) c. three times a week (nine points) d.four times/week (12 points) e. not at all (0 points)

At least 2 times/week I work out with weights at least 10 minutes a. 2X/week (2 pts.) b.3X/week (3 pts) c.4X/week (4 pts) d. not at all (0 pts.)

At least 2X/week I perform floor workouts (sit-ups, push-ups) a.2X/week (2 pts) b.3X/week (3 pts) c. 4X/week (4 pts) d. none at all (0 pts)

At least 2X/week I perform yoga/stretching. a. 2X/week (2pts) b.3X/week(3 pts) c. 4X/week(4pts.) d.not at all (0 pts.)

I walk to/from school/work 2X/week (1 pt)

I climb stairs rather than use elevators every other day or more. (1 pt)

My school/work/home routine involves activity that fits the following category a. light (1 pt) b. moderate, farm work, walking or similar activities (4 pts) c. several hours of heavy physical activity such as shoveling  (2 pts/day/week)

I do several hours of lawn, garden or similar hobby work/week (1 pt)

At least 1/week I dance vigorously for an hour or more.(1 pt.)

In season, I play 9-18 holes of golf at least once/week and do not use a power cart. (2 pts)

I walk for physical fitness or recreation a. 1-2 hours/week (1 pt) b. 3-4 hours/week (2 pts.) c.5 or more hours/week (3 pts) d. not at all (0 pts)

In addition to the above, I engage in  other physical activity a.1-2 hours/week (1 pt) b.3-4 hours/week (2 pts) c.5 hours (3 pts)

SCORING: 0-5 INACTIVE  6-11 MODERATE  12-20 ACTIVE  21+ VERY ACTIVE If your score relegates you to INACTIVE or MODERATE think of activities that can raise you to ACTIVE¹ ¹https://ng.cengage.com/static/nb/ui/evo/index.html?elISBN=9781305396418&nbld=320412&snapshotld=320412&

Two and a half  years ago, I deadlifted 50#.  Now, December 2020 I deadlift 205 for reps, 225 PR.  Two and a half years ago I squatted 35#.  Now I squat 130# for reps, 145 PR.  I fall into the “Athletic” Body Fat Percentage  according to the U.S. Navy Body Fat Calculator.   I began at “Obese”, moved through “Overweight”, “Average” and “Fit” and now have arrived in “Athletic”.

I had lifted and swam and walked and ran and did all kinds of exercise for most of my life but the sad truth is, I had been working for a major weight loss company for about a year and had begun to take meetings that required me to travel, a lot, and was spending long hours behind the wheel of my car and sitting more and more.  At 60, this could have been a deadly decision on my part.  My fitness was failing.  I was missing an occasional workout.  That, along with the travel was destroying me fast.  I was also living in a psychologically abusive environment.  It’s hard to convey the speed with which my utter demise was approaching.  I was changing rapidly and there seemed to be no solution.

A Decision

In January 2018 I decided that my entire life needed a drastic overhaul.  I was a miserable person who had created a miserable life for myself.  Although I had always been fun-loving, I had created a life for myself that was anything but.  I began to remake my life with the basics.  My physical fitness was the first issue to address.  I knew that I had changed since I began traveling but oh my goodness! I had no idea how much! Strength and physical fitness had been my icon for years. I swam laps 2 hours a day for 10 years! I lifted!  The problem was, “I didn’t know, what I didn’t know.” (David)   As David began to train me, he laid down some pretty serious ground rules concerning my dedication to the process.  I had to be 100% on board.  He would accept nothing less.  I accepted the challenge and began eating David’s Way, including Intermittent Fasting, to lose the excess weight that he said that I needed to lose.  I also began strength training.  I had been at my weight goal for about 2 years and had no idea that I needed to lose any more weight.  David told me to lose 20#, which was a shock, but it was his way or no way, that was the agreement, so I did just that in record time and my fitness began to accelerate.  I started gaining strength and feeling so much better.  My confidence soared.  I began to look better.  I was fast becoming a new person.

Epiphany

After tornadoes destroyed my home while I was in it on March 19, 2018, I pushed for more changes in my life.  I extricated myself from the abusive situation that I was living in and reinstated my nursing license that had lapsed over a 25 year stint as a stay-at-home-mom.  The strength and health gains that I was experiencing was carrying over into every aspect of my life.  I have never looked back.  My choice was to be strong and healthy or to be abused.  Thank God for David’s Way.  It took strong “medicine” to recreate me physically and mentally after years of abuse and that’s just what I got.  My M.D. had told me that I wasn’t “really overweight” and did not encourage me to make any changes.  I cannot imagine the rest of my life like I was. Now, I have no limitations.  Now, I am physically fit and pressing on towards super fitness.  Now, I have a full-time job with almost unlimited earning potential.  Now, I come home to peace.  Life is good.

The Food

The first question that I am asked by so many people is “What do you eat?”  The first rule here is what I DON”T eat, added sugar.  NO SUGAR.  Some sugars are naturally occurring such as those found in dairy products.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking snack cakes here.  You know the difference.  I eat David’s Way, low carb, (NOT no carb!!!), high protein.  For me, that is about 100 grams of carbohydrates and 140+ grams of protein/day.  There is the great debate about how much is too much protein and I understand the concerns because this is a long debated discussion.  At this time, the official recommendations are 0.8 grams/2.2 lbs. of body weight for an average person and 1.2-2 grams/2.2 lbs. of body weight for a strength athlete.  I push myself as hard as I possibly can and it’s getting harder so I eat a LOT.  I build muscle easily now and have no bad effects from the amount of protein that I eat.  I stay satiated.  I don’t have cravings and my lab work makes my M.D. envious.  I am 64. I am doing an Advanced strength training program that takes all I’ve got, so I eat extra protein.  The upper limit for me is about 150 grams.  I eat a lot of eggs and meat and have great cholesterol levels.  You decide what is best for you along with your M.D.  This is what works for me.  If we do not eat carbohydrates at all, our bodies quickly go into ketosis and our energy levels fall and every area of our life can be negatively impacted.  I’ve lived that life.  I simply won’t EVER do that again.  Eat some carbs, you need them, but make those healthy, complex carbs.  Simple sugar is a carbohydrate and breakfast pastries and cookies will sabotage your efforts to be healthy.  Let your carbs be complex sources of energy like beans and baked potatoes.  Whole grain bread is a good choice on occasion and maybe a little fruit.  Don’t go overboard with fruit though because it is a source of sugar that you really don’t need.  Too much fruit can stall your weight loss efforts.

The Workout

You can be slim and healthy without aggressive strength training, but it only takes a minute of googling this subject for you to learn that some type of strength training is integral to a complete, comprehensive exercise program.  It can simply be body weight, like good old fashioned calesthenics, but if you have your M.D.’s approval, I strongly encourage you to find the strength training that works for you.  I absolutely cannot live without it and for me, it has to be pretty intense.

I began my strength training on the Starting Strength program.  It is simple, easy to learn and very effective.  Even though it is “Starting” Strength, it is still demanding.  The Iron is a commitment that demands dedication and commitment.  It is not to be taken lightly…(Oh my goodness, did I say “lightly”?)  I progressed as far as it seemed that I could, beginning to stall, and David moved me to Mad Cow.  It is Intermediate and OMG, it felt like it.  I began to drop inches in my waist and hips again.  After working that program for a while, I moved to 531 and now, I am doing Hepburn, a very demanding Advanced program.  “Can’t never could do nuthin”.  There is no turning back.  There is no stopping point.  Age is not relevant to this process except to cause you to work HARDER.  Everything is still possible that was possible when you were younger if you want to work hard ENOUGH.  The decision is yours.  Age is not an excuse for mediocre. You may not want this and if you  don’t, that’s fine.  You find your activity and do it religiously.  You will reap the benefits that your particular activity can reward you with.  I like to be strong and compact so strength training is my first love.  I also hike as far as I possibly can according to time limitations.  My most recent hike was 8.6 miles. It was a hot day but we got through and I can feel a unique type of strengthening from that kind of hiking. I use trekking poles that work the upper body as well as the lower and it turns the hike into a very enjoyable day.  The poles increase calorie burn and safety margins on the trail.  They give me more sure footing and catch me if I slip and are a type of weapon if that should be necessary.  I love my poles!

Sleep

Ah…this is still a challenge for me but as the Iron works it’s magic, sleep is naturally taking it’s rightful place.  We cannot build muscle if we only spend time using it and tearing it down.  Eight hours is the Golden Standard and I actually got about 7 and 3/4 hours last night.  Get your sleep.

In Closing

The true “secret” of health is making it a priority.  If it is our ultimate priority, we will arrange our lives so that we will naturally gravitate towards healthy choices.  When we make healthy choices, our lives will show it.  We will take care of ourselves and enrich the lives of those around us.  So, in all things, take care!

 

 

 

Tools of The Trade

(This article was written and published two years ago and chronicles my beginning in power lifting. Since then, I HAVE advanced to an Olympic barbell and I love it. My weights for all of my lifts have increased. I have a power rack now which I strongly advise anyone who lifts without a spotter to buy. It looks like a cage and you have safety pins that prevent you from being crushed by the weight as long as you use your power rack correctly.)

As I began my Journey into the serious side of weight training I was somewhat apprehensive because I knew that it was going to be hard…not difficult…hard. I expected blood, sweat and tears but I didn’t expect that the equipment was going to present problems, much less that I would encounter one piece that I would swear was trying to kill me.

I bought my kettlebell first and was able to get a good workout with it but soon I wanted more. I downloaded a free app, Kettlebell by Fitify, from Google Play and I was off! The kettlebell really worked my core which increased my overall strength. I never missed a workout because my trainer, David, told me in the beginning that he would not fool with me unless I was serious. He would not accept mediocre effort and I knew it. He doesn’t mind someone choosing to be mediocre, if that’s what they want, but he was not going to help me do that. I could do that all by myself. I knew that he would only help me be excellent. I bought the Fitness Gear Adjustable Kettlebell from Dick’s. It cost $49.99 and could be loaded with varying weight from 20#-50#. If you cannot work with 20#, it’s not for you. It doesn’t matter where you are at this point. What matters is where you’re going. If you want to swing a bell, get one that won’t hurt you. Talk to your doctor before you start any exercise program.

When I wanted to move to the barbell, David was more than supportive of that decision. He knew that I had drive and I was willing to work. Again, I went to Dick’s. There is a store close by and it seemed like the fastest way to get this party started. I could actually see what I was getting and I was so excited! It turned out that they had the barbell set that I wanted in-store. I bought the Fitness Gear 135# Barbell Set for $149.99. Now, to get it home!

The salesman wheeled the set to my car and looked a little puzzled because I drive a Hyundai Sonata…not exactly a truck. We wrangled that box of Iron through the passenger’s side window into the back seat at about a 45 degree angle. It looked like my adult son would have to sit in the back seat but we kept wrangling and got it sitting at an angle that allowed the front seat to be occupied and actually moved the entire box inside the car. It didn’t seem possible, but we did it!

I got my Iron home and I was so excited! Problem is, nobody else that I lived with at the time was excited. You will discover that the Iron has power that you can’t imagine until you start lifting, should you choose this path. It is a great diviner of character, yours and those around you. It will push you to your absolute limit in every sense of the word. It will test you physically by pure weight. It will test you emotionally by forcing you to be true to yourself. It will test you mentally because you will hit walls, lose progress, have near death experiences and arrive at crossroads time after time where you have to decide if you are committed to the Iron. If not, you’d better quit. There is no room for half-ass. It takes your entire being, everything in you, to rise from that squat and sometimes, you won’t make it. Again, how much do you want it? If you don’t want it with everything in you, do something else, because the challenge with yourself is only the beginning. Weak people in your life will not want you to get strong and they will make it hard for you. It is necessary to be especially diligent and dedicated while they are being broken by the Iron. Otherwise, they will think that they are breaking your resolve and increase their efforts to waylay you. Three tornadoes that destroyed my house just made me more determined than ever to lift. I salvaged my Iron and continued in the motel for a few weeks.

I have told the tornado story many times but new readers don’t know about it so I will refer to it from time to time. Before the tornadoes, I was doing my squats in my Dungeon by stacking totes. It made a perfect squat rack! I didn’t have familial support in my lifting so I couldn’t just go out and buy everything that I needed to begin with, even though we had the money. I had to make do and improvise but that was good, I think, because in those times I learned just how dedicated I was. I knew that I loved the Iron and I would have a relationship with it no matter what it took. Stacking a few totes and waiting until I could score real equipment was an insignificant sacrifice to my newfound love. It strengthened me in other ways. It strengthened my commitment. It made me realize just how much I needed this. The drive to succeed, to be my best self, to be so strong that people would say, “Damn!” as they got out of my way and let me pass were intoxicating. After you begin to go a little heavy, your confidence just skyrockets!

After the tornadoes and being relocated to a lease house for the rebuilding of my home, I decided that I was going to purchase a squat rack. I went online, yep, you guessed it, Dick’s…and no, I do not work for them, I just want to pass along information that might help you. I got the Body Camp Olympic Squat Rack. This is tricky. I like to have never found this squat rack! At that time, I did not want an Olympic rack. As a matter of fact, I thought that I had found a great deal on a rack at a church based thrift store. It was solid and fierce and I loved it. The price on it was $100.00 but they had it in the store for a long time and were willing to lower the price to $50. Boy, was I pumped! I paid for it and set about finding a way to get it to my house when I realized that it was an Olympic rack. The problem is that an Olympic rack is wider than a standard and my barbell wouldn’t work in that rack. I asked for a refund and the store flat refused. I’m pretty fierce but you can’t change posted rules and they had “No Refunds” signs everywhere so I lost that $50. Honestly, I strongly advise you to buy your equipment new from a chain store. They have good refund/ return policies and when you begin a new program you may not be certain of what you’re buying. A $50 rack that I can’t use isn’t a bargain. I never picked it up. Who wants that clutter? Clutter will hurt your focus and focus is everything when you lift heavy.

This rack says Olympic because it is an unusual size that will accommodate both standard and Olympic bars. If you buy most bars that say Olympic, you will get a HUGE bar that may be quite intimidating for you in the beginning. I’m making pretty good progress and I still have no desire for an Olympic bar.

Ahhh…you MUST have a 5 gallon bucket, absolutely must. David has me touch that orange bucket that you see in the picture of my rack with my butt when I try to skimp on depth of my squat. It works. Just get that first because you’re gonna need it.

Sawhorses are necessary, but not standard issue because they are for protecting you if you have to ditch the Iron in a squat, you know, get out from under it. They have to be an inch or two less than your squat. I pushed the Iron backwards and lunged forward and it was fine. If you ever have to do this, you will be thankful for your horses. Mine are just under two feet tall. I went to Lowe’s, had them cut the lumber and nailed the horses together with a metal bracket at the top. I need to rework them with screws. I’ve ditched on them twice and they worked well. I had ditched once without them and you can usually do that, but this is much safer. The horses require ongoing maintenance.

You will have clips for your dumbbells, locks for your plates, multiple sizes of plates and you will change those plates constantly. Unless you go to a gym where everything is neatly organized, you will have clutter and a bit of chaos. It’s not meant to be pretty but it creates beauty in every way. It reconstructs our bodies, souls and minds. I have ditched an abuser since beginning the Iron. The Iron made me realize that I really DON’T have to take that.

One last word of caution, beware of the “Safety Hooks”. They came with my barbell set. They are intended to keep the bar on the rack while you’re not working with it. If a curious child wandered by and you had left weight on the bar then, theoretically, if that child was strong enough…he could get the bar off and hurt himself. I don’t know if that’s ever happened but I do know that I nearly killed myself with those things more than once. If you leave them on the rack while you’re lifting, they will hinder you when you lift. Nothing, nowhere tells you to remove them or what can happen if you don’t. More than once when I loaded the Iron onto my back, 115#, those damn things grabbed it. It was dangerous but the worst thing that they did was during a bench press. I had 70# on and they grabbed the bar. While 70# may not be a problem for some, it was my max bench press and folks, by the Grace of God, I avoided smashing my head with that barbell. You should always have a spotter. There, I said it. I never do, so I sure didn’t need those things trying to kill me.

Is power lifting a lot of work? Yes. Can it be dangerous? Yes. Is it worth it? You better believe it. While it’s a lot of work, it’s not nearly as much work as some of the ailments and mental disability that I believe that it prevents in me. Being sick, broke down and crazy is a lot of trouble. While it can be dangerous, so is driving to work, while texting and putting on make-up, but some of us have been known to engage in such activity. We take huge risks, that don’t pay dividends, with our health and welfare daily. I have no qualms about the risks associated with the Iron. I get stronger and stronger and more agile as i progress. If anything goes wrong, I should be able to recover and escape unscathed. Nothing has ever benefited me like this and nothing will ever make me give it up. We have a thing.

Social Contagion

Photo by AllGo – An App For Plus Size People on Unsplash

In chemistry there is a system of balance known as Osmosis wherein water seeks balance. A little known fact is that another definition of osmosis is “the process of gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas, knowledge, etc.” This can be a wonderful process or it can destroy us. It all depends on who and what we allow close to us. If we associate with unhealthy people with unhealthy habits, we will most likely pick up their habits. If we surround ourselves with health seeking people who have our best interest at heart, we will reap the benefits. If we allow abusers into our lives, we will be hurt.

There is a phenomenon known as “social contagion” (https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/news/20180123/is-obesity-contagious#1) wherein we become like the group of people that surround us. If we live in an area where obesity is common, we are more likely to become obese. Think about it. If we go to a friends home who pushes sugar and other simple carbs on us, we are put under pressure to “be social”, to “relax a little”…after all, it’s just one day, right? The problem is, when we are surrounded by this behavior all the time, those days become the norm and our health suffers. I had a “frienemy” who made cheesecake that took her 8, yes, EIGHT hours to make. She would bring this heavenly concoction to my house and leave it on the doorstep. I gained 45# in 6 months, dumped the “frienemy”, and lost the weight. She actually told me that she didn’t want me to be smaller than her after we went our separate ways.

If we spend the afternoon talking with a fit friend, going for a brisk walk, focusing on health, we naturally up our game. We become what we think about. If we spend our waking moments immersed in the health/wellness culture, reading about ways to be healthy, talking with like-minded people we naturally get healthier. The habits and ideas instilled in us during our exposure to health and fitness media and conversations will naturally change our habits for the better. Our direction has been set and all we have to do is accelerate. The sky is the limit.

There is an even darker side to “social contagion”, abuse. If we begin to associate with a charismatic individual who has the ability to shape our ideas and the ideas of others, who is devoid of moral responsibility and who has a personal agenda, we can be manipulated into bad behaviors and self-loathing. Along with decreased self esteem comes the urge to binge and seek comfort in sugar and other simple carbohydrates. Usually the abuser will encourage bad habits in a subtle way, telling you “Don’t be too hard on yourself”. The result is unstable weight fluctuations. As your self-esteem plummets, you will be more easily controlled. That is his intention. Kick him to the curb. He does not have your best interest in mind.

Make sure to visit David’s Way frequently. We’re here for you…and we have your best interest at heart.

Sugar-Free Fudge Pie

 

Photo by Pratiksha Mohanty on Unsplash

Nutritional  Info

Serves 8

Calories 193

Net Carbs 3.8 grams

Fat 11 grams

Protein 7.8 grams

*Preheat oven to 350F*

Ingredients

1 stick butter, softened (1/2 cup) (NOT MELTED)

3/4 cup Swerve Granular

1 teaspoon sugar-free syrup

4 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

5 Tablespoons cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 Tablespoons almond flour

1 Tablespoon coconut flour

1 1/2 Tablespoons Whey Protein Isolate

Swerve Confectioner’s for dusting (optional)

Instructions

Soften butter and  add Swerve and syrup.

Add eggs and vanilla and mix until creamy. DO NOT OVER MIX.

Stir in cinnamon, cocoa, salt, flours and whey until well combined.

Grease an 8 inch glass pie plate and pour into plate. (NOT A 9 INCH)

Bake 18 minutes until center is set but check at 17 minutes. It should still jiggle in the middle.

You may dust with Swerve Confectioner’s if you desire.

 

 

Women and Aging

Ladies, Ladies, Ladies… If I see one more of you beautiful, articulate, intelligent, sparkly, sweet women referring to how old you are and how it’s all down hill from here I think I’ll scream…wait… I already have…repeatedly.

There is a time in our lives when we change rapidly, that’s why it’s called “The Change”. Sometimes it’s a relief if we have had a lifetime of dangling at the end of an emotional string, like a marionette, controlled by the merciless marionettist called horrormones…uh…did I say HORRORmones? Yes, I did. Problem is, they ALL seem to just get up and leave at the same time and leave us empty, devoid of life, grasping at shreds and straws of our former selves. It ain’t pretty. I’ve walked this walk and all the way back and I can truthfully tell you that if you press in, hard, you can be the best you have ever been, in EVERY respect after the change. There’s so much stuff that doesn’t matter that we give time and credence to before menopause. After you claw your way out of that Hell, determined to have a personality and every thing that you never took the time to have before…you are able to focus on what’s important. If you are not there yet, please, remember my words. Regardless of what happens during that time, if you bust your butt to come back stronger and better, the person that you can become will blow your mind. She is awesome…strong, determined and fearless, truly a force to be reckoned with, sporting a confident beauty that defies her age.

But…”Oh!”, you’re saying, “I’ll be OLD!” … whatever… I’ve gotta tell ya…if you work out as hard as you can, eat well and get your rest, your face and body will still be quite attractive. Nobody’s perfect and you won’t be either, but guess what…you weren’t when you were younger either. Do you know how many supermodels and celebrities have killed themselves because of imagined flaws? Beauty truly is in the eye of the Beholder. I’ve had people share pictures with me of themselves, or someone else they thought was stunning, and I didn’t see what they saw. I have thought that I looked the worst that I’ve ever looked my life in and received tons of compliments. We obsess. What makes a truly good looking woman, or man, is confidence that comes from knowing that we are the very best that we can be. We’ve done our homework. We’ve put in the work. “This is as good as it gets and Baby, if it’s not good enough, then just don’t look. ” seems to pour from us when we have worked and honed ourselves to our best form.

There is one “Fountain of Youth” known to man…strength training. [1] Researchers put the “Exercise is the fountain of youth.” vs: “Strength Training is the fountain of youth.” debate to the test and strength training won, hands down. In study participants who already had plaque lesions in the brain associated with aging, the lesions were reduced in the strength training group after the study. This did not happen in the group who performed other types of exercise with no strength training.

Strength Training is also the fountain of youth for muscles. [2] In this study, samples of muscle tissue were taken from the thighs of older adults to reveal that even the genetic expression of the genes of the participants had reverted to a younger state. What this means is that strength training actually changed the formation of new muscle cells. The cells began to be young again. Strength training in older adults did not produce “old” muscles. It produced young muscles and Ladies…please pause here for a moment to consider the fact that we have a LOT of muscle that is not seen…but we need it…for all kinds of things. Strength Training uses all of that also. If you’ve ever stood from a squat with weight across your shoulders that was trying to crush you, you know exactly what I’m talking about…it leaves NO muscle unused…just imagine…new equipment.

Strength Training is also the fountain of youth for skin. [3] All exercise improves the skin to some degree but only strength training boosts human growth hormone enough to cause the skin to adhere to the muscle more tightly which means that your skin will be smoother and tighter, very similar to your skin when you were much younger. In this same study, samples of butt skin, (because it’s not usually exposed to light so it hasn’t aged from sun damage.) were taken from subjects of all ages up to 65, and the butt skin of those who worked out, (not necessarily strength training here), was very similar to the skin of those in their 20’s and 30’s.

Now, I ask you, Ladies…”How bad do you want it?” How do you want to age? Do you want a brain, a butt, muscles all over (and under…) and a face that is quite similar to your youthful self or do you want to just let whatever happens, happen? The choice is yours. There is another little issue that must be dealt with here, however. It’s the process of glycation. It’s the process where sugar burns up in your system and bonds to a protein molecule. In other words, it’s the trash that sugar leaves in your skin resulting in wrinkles and dullness. Just don’t eat sugar. Cigarettes will age you so fast there’s not even a need to discuss that. It’s a duh. They destroy your collagen. Too much sun and alcohol will do the same.

Strength Training, good food in the right amounts, and rest can restore the years that turmoil and strife have taken from you. I track Calories, Net Carbs, Protein, Rest, Hydration and state of mind. It’s all important. Success is in the details. Whatever exercise that you and your doctor choose, get with it. Practice excellent self-care and don’t let me see or hear you talking about how old you are and being pitiful. You can be formidable. Now get your Badass on. I’m waiting to see.

1 https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/strength-training-true-fountain-youth-according-science/

2 https://abcnews.go.com./Health/Healthday/story?id=4507348&page=1

3 https://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/a19921172/how-working-out-can-help-your-skin-look-younger/

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.  An imbalance of leptin 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

 

 

10 Tips to Avoid Self Sabotage

 

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Don’t Lose Ground!

Many times we work so hard to improve our lives only to undo all of our work with habits that seem harmless. Small tweaks in our routine can make all of the difference!

1-Boost your self esteem with activity, with your doctor’s permission of course. Exercise is one of the very best anti-depressants. When we feel good about our accomplishments we are more likely to behave in a manner that will reinforce the lifestyle that created our newfound happiness.

2-Develop a supportive social network and avoid negative people with negative input into your life. There are some people whom you believe have your best interest at heart who do not. They will try to influence you to be like them and forget about your new lifestyle. Don’t allow this to happen.

3- Get yourself a new wardrobe and dispose of all clothing in larger sizes. If we don’t have bigger clothes, we’re more likely to try to stay in the new smaller sizes that we worked so hard to wear.

4-After reaching your weight loss goal, continue eating the same way.  Add just enough calories to stop your loss and make this way of eating your lifestyle. Let it become your normal.

5-Minimize clutter to help control stress. A cluttered environment leads to a cluttered mind which leads to anxiety. Anxiety produces a strong desire for comfort foods, alcohol or drugs. Stop anxiety in it’s tracks at all possible venues.

6-Guard your overall health and energy. Get a physical with blood labs. There are some physical conditions that can cause depression and lethargy. If left unchecked, they may cause the desire to overeat to become overwhelming.

7-Avoid alcohol. Alcohol contains excess empty calories. It lowers your inhibitions which can lead to uncontrolled binge eating. It also interferes with leptin production which lets you know when you are full.

8-Avoid sugar. It’s high in empty calories and causes spikes in blood sugar and insulin which drive cravings for more of the same, and an endless cycle of cravings and weight gain will ensue.

9-Remember that you are choosing to be healthy. It has not been imposed on you. This is something that you chose for yourself. There is no struggle for power or competition.

10- Set an achievable long term goal with many short term goals along the way. This will keep you focused on making progress.

Now, celebrate the difference in the way that you feel with less weight to carry. Enjoy your newfound energy and the physical abilities that come with it and carry on. Remember, it’s a lifestyle that will see you into old age and beyond with strength and energy. Don’t grow old gracefully. Grow old with style.

Why Am I Always Hungry?

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Common Complaint

I can remember, many years ago before I started eating David’s Way, trying to control my eating and being so hungry so much of the time. Frequently I hear people complain that they might try to lose weight but they are NOT going hungry. I don’t blame them. I’m not either and you don’t have to go hungry to manage your waistline. As a matter of fact, allowing yourself to get hungry and stay hungry will undermine your efforts at weight loss. You will automatically binge if you let your blood sugar get too low for too long. Always have healthy meals and snacks available.

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This was my breakfast today. Birchbender’s Keto Pancakes , scrambled eggs with homemade cheese sauce, Hormel Black Label Thick Slice Bacon, Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Syrup and watermelon, 573 calories of paradise. I eat well and I am NEVER hungry.

There are common, known reasons for chronic hunger.  Address these basic needs and watch your hunger disappear.

1-You’re not eating enough protein. Read David’s article, Protein Supplements to discover how much protein you should be eating. Sometimes I am appalled when I look at someone’s diet and find they are eating almost no protein. You will never be satisfied if you are skimping on protein. It’s the basic building blocks that our bodies use to build and repair everything. If you aren’t eating enough, your body will provoke you to eat  until you are. Protein is involved in regulating the hormones that signal hunger and fullness. Make sure to include a protein source in every meal and snack.

2-You’re eating too many refined carbohydrates. Refined carbs are lacking in fiber so you digest them too quickly to provide a sense of satisfaction. They just don’t “stick to your ribs”. This may cause sudden spikes in your blood sugar which can stimulate an insulin release. As the insulin does it’s job to remove sugar from your bloodstream, your blood sugar falls and you may feel hungry again very quickly. Just think about how much cake you can eat and never get full! It’s not just because you like it. It’s also because all that sugar demands a lot of insulin which metabolizes the sugar and you just keep on eating in this vicious circle, but always feel hungry. Do yourself a favor and dump the simple carbs.

3- You avoid fat. I remember the low-fat fad of years ago. We had a terrible time trying to control our weight. We could drop it pretty fast because when we quit eating most fat, our caloric intake dropped. The problem was, we were never satisfied and ate way too much to compensate for giving up fat. We also felt justified to over-indulge because everything tasted like cardboard and we were constantly looking for something that tasted good. Healthy high-fat foods include, but are not limited to, coconut oil, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna, walnuts, avocados, olive oil, eggs, flaxseeds and full-fat yogurt.

4- You’re not getting enough sleep. Sleep is necessary to help regulate the appetite-stimulating hormone, ghrelin. If you skimp on sleep, you will produce more ghrelin and be hungry all the time. Catch some zzz’s.

5-You’re not drinking enough water. Water is necessary for you to feel full and quite often thirst is mistaken for hunger, provoking you to eat when you are not hungry. Read David’s article How Much Water Do I Need?  for a good, quick reference concerning hydration. There’s no need to get on the possibly dangerous bandwagon of drinking X amount of water per day. Some of those programs are deadly. David breaks it down very well in the aforementioned article. Consult your physician for recommendations on hydration if you have any health issues whatsoever. Some medications require a specific fluid balance in the body to work properly and some medical conditions require careful measuring of your fluid intake.

6-You work out, a LOT! David and I are both avid exercisers and we record every bite that we eat because we eat all the calories that we need every day. Use the Calorie Counter Pro to determine your caloric needs and eat those calories! Starvation diets never work  in the long run. We advise losing no more than a pound a week for comfort and practical application. If you try to lose too fast, you will give up due to being miserable all the time. Always consult your physician before beginning any weight loss program.

7- You drink alcohol. Alcohol has been shown to possibly inhibit the hormone, leptin, when it is drank before or with meals. Leptin is one of the hormones that tells you when to stop eating. Along with alcohol stimulating hunger, it also lowers your inhibitions and impairs your judgement so it’s much easier to overeat. Avoid alcohol if you want to be truly fit.

8-You drink too many of your calories. The smoothie craze did not produce healthy, lean people. Think about it. Most of the people at a smoothie bar are overweight. There’s a reason for that. When we drink our calories, they pass through our stomachs so fast, we don’t even have time to register satiety. We finish those calories quickly, before our brain has time to register fullness and we  get hungry again very soon, but we are out of calories for that meal and we have just ingested tons of carbs with little to no fiber to slow their absorption into our system, so next is the insulin dump. Make sure to chew your calories by eating solid, whole foods.

9-You have chronic, acute stress. Stress causes you to have more cortisol in your body and cortisol is a “fight or flight” hormone that makes you crave food. Here at David’s Way we teach and live, “Make Your Life Small”, which means to cut away excess stress and everything and everybody that is a negative force in your life. It’s amazing how quickly this lowers stress levels. I have recreated my life entirely and continually work on this concept of “tossing out the garbage”. It’s amazing how much this lifestyle helps with major stressors.

10-You eat too fast! Fast eaters are more likely to be overweight. When we wolf down our food, we don’t chew it well. Chewing our food slowly allows our brain to have time to send out signals to stop eating. Try calming down before you eat with a few breathing exercises and pause between bites to allow yourself time to chew your food. If your brain never signals that you are full, you will always be hungry. Learn to slow down.

While hunger is real, and can be a huge stumbling block when we’re trying to lose weight or even maintain our weight, it can be managed. There was a time in my life when I felt like I was never full and it seemed that I was always hungry. These are the strategies that worked for me then and the same ones that I still use today. I have a motto: “NO EMPTY CALORIES!!!” That one thing alone can fix your hunger. I employed all of these tactics at one time or another but if I eat NO empty calories, calories devoid of good nutrition, I am never hungry. Oh, yeah…did I tell you?

11-Don’t eat added sugars. This is the base for avoiding hunger. It is the ultimate simple carb. Avoid sugar and automatically stabilize so many biochemical responses involved in hunger.

You CAN win in this struggle. Be proactive and never quit trying to improve your health and you will see that hunger is merely your body’s way to let you know that you need good nutrition. It’s not your enemy. Use it to improve your health and fitness and it will become a tool in your arsenal to create a long and vital life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

 

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Sometimes when we think that we have made a mess of our lives we think that there’s nothing that we can do to fix it. There’s an old saying, ” You’ve made your bed, now lay in it.” It’s the cruelest advice. It’s absurd. If you’ve made your bed in an uncomfortable fashion, rip those covers off and start from scratch. You may even need to just throw those covers away and get brand new ones. You may need a brand new bed. You may need to move that bed into a brand new house. You may not need covers at all. Whatever you do, DON’T LAY IN IT! The choice is yours. Create a lifestyle of health and fitness and begin today.

If we have been overweight for a long time, fighting that battle year in and year out, it’s easy to say, “I’m just tired of the struggle, tired of dieting, to Hell with it all!” and let nature take it’s course. Oh, believe me, it will. Even if you have never had a weight problem in your life, sooner or later, most likely, you will. Some of the most extreme cases of middle-age weight gain that I have seen have been in people who never had a weight problem in their youth. Since they never dealt with monitoring their food intake or ever considered how much they exercised, as mid-life approached their waistline began to expand and they had no tools to fight back. What we often miss in this dilemma is that there is a fight, meaning that we have options. Obesity and poor health are not a normal part of aging. They are a normal part of negligence and abuse of the body. You can turn this around today if you so choose.

Notice the “D” word, dieting. DIET is the four letter “D” word in my world. Dieting is horrible. It is an forced state of deprivation that is usually intended to result in a fast weight loss. There’s so much wrong with this. Nothing right, but SO MUCH wrong. For starters, it’s forced. Nobody wants to be miserable and hungry so to begin a program where that is the norm is just absurd. It will always be forced. We rebel against force. It’s what we do as humans. We resist. Don’t DIET. Develop a healthy relationship with food by eliminating simple carbohydrates, especially added sugars, that are calorie laden and offer little to no nutrition. When you eat these foods, you are “wasting” your calories. You are also setting yourself up for extreme hunger because the simple carbs are quickly turned into sugar in your body and then you get an insulin dump and then your blood sugar drops and you’re hungry all over again. Ever notice how that 400 calorie piece of cake that covers a dessert plate at 10AM doesn’t keep you from starving before lunch? It caused you to dump a boatload of insulin and now you need more food to regulate that insulin dump. You would have been so much better off to have eaten an apple and a couple of string cheese sticks for half the calories, some protein and some fiber that would keep you satisfied until lunchtime. When you get ready for work today, or tomorrow, begin to implement this strategy. Take this matter into your hands today and change it.

You don’t have to be at the mercy of the “Food Fairies” that gift you with enough sugar and calories to take down a Brahma bull. If that trash food is bothering you at work, do what I do, throw it in the trash. I do one more call to see if anyone wants something and then it goes into the trash. I get tired of my work space being taken over by doughnuts. I have a high stress job that requires accuracy. I will not fight for space with food poisons. A well-meaning, lovely lady blessed us with several pizzas recently. They were right beside my computer for hours and the smell actually began to nauseate me. I alerted my staff that I was moving them to another location. I had graciously thanked the kind lady who donated them to us. She truly meant well, but then the ball was in my court to deal with them. You can protect your rights and your health without being offensive to others. You have the right to refuse food and to remove it from your environment. Do not be bullied by group-think. Your health matters. You are a person too. You have rights. I must add here, that is the first time in my life that the smell of pizza bothered me, but it did. If people are offended because you are protecting your health, that is their problem, not yours. You will be strong and healthy when they are broken down with old people issues. Today is the time to decide to stand up for yourself.

Oh yes, then there’s the issue of exercise! OMG, I have taken more verbal abuse over this one issue than anything else, and that’s saying a lot. I lived in an abusive situation for a long time before I changed my entire life for the sake of self-preservation. You need to realize that here at David’s Way, we live what we teach. We teach making your health your number one priority. That includes removing negativism from your life, or as David says, “Make your world small.” Remove negative input and superfluous people and events that don’t move you closer to your goals. Before I made radical changes that made my physical and mental health my number one priority, I was constantly ridiculed by more than one person concerning exercise. On the one hand, they would agree that I needed to exercise but then they would try to pick and choose how and when that happened. Let me tell you, as we age there is no wiggle room here. We have to make health and fitness our main focus or it either simply won’t get done or will be done with a half-hearted effort. I lift heavy and it’s barely enough to give me ongoing improvements in my health and appearance. I suppose that some would say that constant degradation in both health and appearance is inevitable and that may be true to a small degree, but believe me, almost all of the effects of aging on our appearance and our health is a result of our choices. In almost all cases, you don’t have to look bad or be sick all the time. There are terminal illnesses that can come to us all that affect everything, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about that mindset that says, “Well, you know, I’m not as young as I used to be…” and using that as an excuse to neglect and abuse ourselves quite literally to death and look terrible doing it. When those days come, and they come to us all, then it’s time to double-up on self-care. You’d be surprised at how much control you can exert over aging with a whole lot of hard work. Again, begin today. The sooner you start, the better.

While I understand that heavy lifting is not for everybody, it’s my drug of choice. It has benefited me more than anything else in my life. David recently wrote that we need to choose an activity that we enjoy to insure that we will continue with it. That is so true. Strength training is very hard and demanding in all areas of my life. It is the focus of my life. It is the center of everything. I arrange my life around it as much as possible. This is necessary because of the demanding nature of this form of physical fitness. Unless you are ready to focus that intently on your exercise, it may not be for you. Find something that you can and will do. While I am, necessarily, a fanatic where this is concerned, you may want something that you can work into your daily schedule with ease. Lifting requires great attention to detail in all areas of my life. That, in itself, is one reason that I love it. You may like something that just fits in seamlessly with your daily activities. Whatever you do, discuss your options with your doctor and find a suitable form of exercise. Until you can discuss this with your doctor, begin studying various forms of exercise and how you could integrate them into your life. Would you need to go to classes? Would you join a gym or buy equipment for home? Maybe you could just find free videos on YouTube for your activity. Think about these things and when you see your doctor for his approval, you will have something to discuss. How much money can you spend to be fit? You don’t have to spend a cent to go for a brisk walk or work out along with a YouTube video. You can still buy cheap workout DVD’s and exercise bands for lighter strength training. Commit today to be healthier this time next year.

While we spend a great deal of time talking about what we CAN do today to begin to improve our health and appearance, this article would be incomplete without saying that if you smoke, drink alcohol in excess, do drugs to get high or spend too much unprotected time in the sun you are creating a nearly impossible environment to improve your health and/or your appearance. I must also reiterate, the same goes for sugar. It creates inflammation in your body and inflammation is credited with being the source of so many health problems. Glucose and sucrose are a part of the process of glycation in which sugar attaches to proteins and fats in our bodies. This process is associated with many diseases and aging. If you do one thing today to begin to improve your health, begin to get these habits under control.

And that is the crux of the matter, begin today. Today truly is the first day of the rest of your life. Your lifestyle will decide what that life will be like. While we live what we teach, we are always learning, practicing, researching and implementing everything that we teach because we know that the quality of our lives is mostly in our hands. We never tell you to do anything that we don’t do. We are our own lab rats. Our methodology is tested on us and it’s always free. Before making ANY dietary or exercise changes always consult your physician. We are Certified Nutritional and Wellness Consultants. We are also certifiable health freaks and live the life. We welcome comments, and contacts through our “Contact” function on the Menu. We will answer you. Be sure to check out the Calorie Counter Pro to determine your caloric needs. This information is free and totally private. Take advantage of all of the free articles and recipes and begin to build your new, healthy lifestyle TODAY.