Author: Brenda Sue

Low Carb Peanut Butter Pie

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Nutritional Info

Serves 16

Calories 530

Net Carbs 7 grams

Fat 49 grams

Protein 15 grams

Crust

2 cups almond flour

1 cup chopped peanuts

1/3 cup Swerve, Confectioner’s

6 Tablespoons butter

Filling

16 oz. cream cheese

2 cups unsweetened peanut butter

1 1/4 cup Swerve, Confectioner’s

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 Tablespoon vanilla flavoring

1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Crust

Preheat oven to 325F

Chop peanuts in processor for a few seconds to create chunks and add almond flour, Swerve and melted butter. Mix with fork til moist.

Press into 9 inch spring form pan.

Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven and cool at least 30 minutes.

Filling

Beat cream cheese, peanut butter and Swerve together til well combined and beat in whipping cream and vanilla til smooth.

Place into crust and smooth with spatula.

Cover and place in fridge for at least 4 hours til very firm and spring form pan can pop off easily.

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10 Tips to Break Through Your Weight Loss Plateau

screenshot_20200604-194035353685265998776960.pngWHAT?!?

We all know the feeling. We’re chugging along, committed to getting healthy and looking good doing it, and BAM! Suddenly, the scale stops measuring our progress. If you are committed to a good nutritional program and tracking your food intake religiously, you are making progress. The scale won’t always be the only indication of your success, but it is still an important tool. If it has stopped in it’s tracks, here’s a few ways to get it going again.

1-If you have managed to lose some weight but you are still eating simple carbohydrates, stop it! Simple carbs cause fluid retention and even the carbs that do not contain sugar as an ingredient, will degrade into sugar in your body. Our bodies hold onto extra water to dilute sugar in our bloodstream. Cut out all simple carbohydrates to see a little drop on the scale.

2-Increase your exercise intensity, with your doctor’s permission. Always consult your medical doctor before beginning, or intensifying, any weight loss program. As you lose weight, the number of calories that you need to stay alive drops, and you can’t eat as many calories and still lose weight. If you increase the intensity of your exercise, you can offset this change.

3-TRACK EVERY BITE THAT GOES INTO YOUR MOUTH. I heard a saying years ago that sums this up, “If you bite it, write it.” Don’t think for one minute that you will remember what you ate and “keep track of it in your head”. You won’t. Be accountable and honest with yourself. You are the beneficiary of accurate record keeping and you are doing this for YOU.

4-Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is not your friend. It will lower your inhibitions and increase your appetite. It will also keep you from accurate record keeping. Once you get buzzed, all of your good intentions will fly out the window. It is also a source of empty calories and sugar. If you are serious about getting to a healthy weight just leave it alone.

5-Make sure to get enough fiber when you eat. Fiber will slow the absorption of your food, giving you a feeling of fullness much longer.

6-Stay well hydrated. Water is a catalyst and jumpstarts metabolic processes in your body. If you are well hydrated, your metabolism will perform smoother and better. You will get more benefit from your food and stay full and satisfied longer. One study showed that people who drink a serving of water before meals lost 44% more weight. (1)

7-Get your sleep! One study found that sleeping only 4-5 hours for 5 nights in a row caused a 2.6% decrease in the resting metabolic rate. (2) This drop was rectified by 12 hours of good restorative sleep. Less sleep also means an increase in cortisol, your stress hormone. This hormone will cause an increase in hunger and fat storage, and cause major problems for your weight control program.

8-Make sure to get protein at every meal and snack. Protein increases your metabolism because it’s harder to digest than carbs or fat. It will keep you from being hungry longer than carbs or fat also, and help to preserve and build muscle. You need muscle to be slim, toned, strong and healthy.

9-“Make your world small.” (David Yochim) Remove negative people and circumstances from your life. Cut out the dead wood. These situations raise cortisol levels just like lack of sleep and can make you stress eat and store more fat. Walk away from stress and you may see the benefit at the scale.

10-Plan your work and work your plan. Always have healthy food available and never skip meals. If you allow yourself to get too hungry, you will almost always overeat the first chance you get. By planning your meals and snacks, you can even pretrack your calories, carbs and protein and have more control of your nutrition throughout the day.

Never Give Up!

The only difference in a winner and a loser is that the winner got up, one more time. Don’t quit and you will win.

(1) (2) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/weight-loss-plateau

Low Carb Frozen Yogurt Pops

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Nutritional Info

Serves 12

Calories 69

Net Carbs 6.4 grams

Fat 3.7 grams

Protein 1.7 grams

Ingredients

8 oz. frozen mango

8 oz. frozen strawberries

1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

Directions

Let mango and strawberries thaw for 10-15 minutes.

Put all ingredients in a blender til smooth.

Serve as soft serve ice cream or pour into popsicles forms and let freeze for a couple of hours. It can also be frozen in an ice cream freezer.

 

Healthy “Fast Food”

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The Deception 

You know how it goes, you get off work, hungry and tired. Dinner is looming on the horizon and the last thing that you want to do is cook. As you drive past the local fast food chains, you think that you could just zip through there, grab something wonderful and go! Problem solved. Maybe not.

Tick-Tock 

The first sign of trouble is the endless wait to order. While drive-thru windows are supposed to be quick, it’s not unusual to sit at that menu sign for several minutes. Then the person on the other side of that sign can’t seem to understand what you’re trying to order. After several exchanges that take more time, you proceed to the window to, hopefully, retrieve your food only to sit there for a few more minutes.

Score!

The server finally locates your bag and takes your debit card and you are on your way. All you can think about is how slick you are because you managed dinner without cooking. As you unwrap the goodies, you realize that you must have someone else’s order because this is not what anyone in your family eats.

Reality Check

After you spend all this time trying to save time, you almost run out of time to eat. In less time than it took to buy bad food, you could have easily prepared a good, home cooked meal. This strategy works for every meal, not just dinner. A lot of people run out of the house without eating breakfast, thinking that they will “grab something at the drive-thru”. What usually happens here is you either have to pull away without your food to avoid being late for work or you just don’t stop and by noon you’re famished and eat everything in sight. Avoiding packing a lunch to carry is also a mistake. Then the office doughnuts and cupcakes are way too appealing. If this sounds familiar, you might want to change your ways to avoid blood sugar lows and the ensuing binge eating that very well may follow.

Breakfast

I just posted a review on Cabot Greek Yogurt. You can add in any number of mix-ins  to make this a very quick, nutritious breakfast. Read the article for ideas to make this great yogurt rock. You can use any full-fat, no sugar added, Greek yogurt to make an excellent breakfast.

Oatmeal has been a breakfast staple for a long time. You can use the quick oats or the old fashioned variety. They both cook quickly and have no added sugars. The flavored instant oatmeals quite often contain added sugars and come in small servings that don’t satisfy. Cook your own in about the same amount of time and add sugar-free toppings to create a breakfast  that will hold you until mid-morning at a price that you can easily afford. Add nuts, sugar-free syrup or Swerve Brown Sugar Replacement for a taste sensation from your childhood.

Eggs are quite versatile and easy to cook in a flash. Scramble them for a fast dose of protein or boil them on an off day and keep them in the fridge and just toss them in your bag in the morning.

A protein bar can be a quick start in the morning. There are many to choose from. David reviewed Built Bars and honestly, they just may be the best. You have to order them, so if that’s a hindrance for you, you can find several in-store that you might like. “One” bars are readily available and come in several flavors that are good. You can read a review of these bars here.

I like to have a protein shake in the mornings. You can choose any protein powder and milk combination that you like as long as it’s sugar-free. Be careful to read labels on these products. When I first began using protein powder, I found a vanilla flavored powder that I liked. To my horror, I  soon discovered that it contained 27 grams of added sugars! Read those labels! You can add peanut butter powder if you like peanut butter. It will thicken your shake nicely. A Tablespoon of coconut oil will give your shake a great consistency and will also add a healthy punch to your oatmeal. It contains MCT’s, medium-chain triglycerides which have been found to give you an energy boost and increase athletic endurance. They are also believed to help with weight loss by reducing the appetite and providing a sense of fullness.

Lunch

I always have a bag of food with me at work. I’m known for eating all the time. I’m rarely hungry for more than a few minutes. I carry home-cooked roast beef that cooked overnight in my crock pot and a microwaved sweet potato, red beans and ground beef turned into sugar-free baked beans or tuna salad made with boiled eggs, mayonnaise and an apple. I also carry individual servings of mixed nuts, string cheese, yogurt, apples or berries and protein bars. I never go hungry and I’m not ravenous when I  get off work. If I’m a bit hungry, I  always have a snack in my bag to see me home without being tempted by the drive-thru. I carry coffee or grab a cup from the urn that my boss leaves for us, always black, and I don’t have to walk into the snack minefield of a convenience store just to get a caffeine fix.

Dinner

One of the quickest dinners around is a hamburger steak and a baked potato with canned green beans. You can have this filling and nutritious meal ready as quickly as you can sit in any drive-thru. David once fixed a sirloin steak, from frozen, a baked potato and green beans in 12 minutes. There’s almost no way that you can get out of a drive-thru in less than 12 minutes. He placed the steak in a cast iron skillet, seared it, covered it and let it simmer with just a little water added until it was done. By the time it was ready, so were the baked potato and green beans. You can thaw salmon under cold running water and pan sear it in about 20 minutes. You can cook pork chops on an off day or put a roast in the crock pot along with some veggies for a hot meal sitting on your counter when you walk in the door. Canned veggies and potatoes cooked in the microwave will round out any meal. Frozen, unbreaded chicken tenders will cook in a cast iron skillet in about 20 minutes and they’re much better than the tenders that you get in a fast food restaurant that are coated with high carbohydrate breading.

Your Choice

Don’t be misled by the group-think that healthy food has to be time consuming to prepare. Never go hungry because you are short on time. There’s always a way to eat healthy if you just make it a priority. Plan ahead anduy what you need at the grocery store to cook at home. Take advantage of your off days and prepare what you can to have something ready to carry with you. Nutrition is the foundation of your overall health. As Mom said, “You are what you eat.”

Cabot Greek Yogurt Whole Milk Plain Yogurt Review

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Simply The Best

Years ago, I started eating Greek yogurt because I read about a study that said that it would increase fat metabolism. The problem was, the yogurt that I was eating was pretty bad. It tasted like spoiled milk. It was only about two years ago that I discovered that whole milk, full fat, Greek yogurt tasted a whole lot like cream cheese, without the sour taste of spoiled milk.

Texture and Consistency

This yogurt not only tastes like cream cheese, it has the consistency of cream cheese. It’s thick and creamy and smooth as silk. I always stir yogurt and stirring this one takes some muscle. When you get it stirred, it’s a creamy delight.

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Add-Ins

Because this yogurt is quite neutral in flavor, you can use your choice of add-ins. I love peanut butter powder and nuts with a zero calorie sweetener. If you add Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Pancake Syrup, Saigon Cinnamon and nuts, you get a delicious take on a wet-nut sundae. You can even add Swerve Brown if you like, for a richer sweet taste. Crystal Light will give it a fruity flavor in any number of flavor combinations. One of my favorites is Raspberry Lemonade. With all of the Crystal Light flavors available, you can have a different sundae every day. I love lemon flavors for about everything and Crystal Light has more than one lemon flavor. You can add fresh fruit or berries with or without the Crystal Light and bulk the yogurt up and add a good dose of fiber, just as the nuts will do. I have also added a zero calorie sweetener and lemon juice for a mock lemon pie. Liquid Vanilla Splenda can give it a good flavor in a flash.

Nutrition

With only 230 calories for a 3/4 cup serving, 9 grams of carbohydrates and 14 grams of protein this yogurt is a nutritional gold mine. It has 25% of the calcium that you need in a day and it’s filling and satisfying enough to keep you from eating for a couple of hours. Calcium actually boosts our core temperature, which may prompt our bodies to burn fat. (1) Just make sure to control the number of calories that you eat otherwise to get this thermogenic effect. Use the Calorie Counter Pro to determine your caloric needs. Always consult your doctor before beginning any nutritional program.

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Availability and Price

I buy this yogurt at Walmart for $3.98. Considering the high nutritional value and the 5 servings per container, it’s truly an affordable addition to your grocery list.

This is an item that I always have on hand. I hope that you give it a try.

 

 

(1) https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/calcium-weight-loss#1

 

 

 

dr. Praeger’s Gametime Buffalo Chick’n Tenders Review

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WOW!

I was pleasantly surprised by this Vegan offering! I am a carnivore. I eat a lot of meat, chicken and fish and am not easily impressed by vegetarian foods that mimic meat. This one had me at first bite.

Preparation

You can either prepare these in the oven or in a skillet. The “Preferred Method” is the oven so I went with that, wanting to give this product the best chance of a good review. You preheat the oven to 450 F, place the tenders in an ungreased baking dish and allow then to bake for 7 minutes on each side. When they came out of the oven they were a golden brown and wonderfully aromatic. The smell made me hungry, but I was still quite skeptical.

Crunch Time!

As soon as the tenders were cool enough to taste, I gingerly took a nibble just around the edge. The crunch was fantastic,  just hard enough for that perfect crunch. The first flavor note was a bit salty like authentic buffalo flavors that always tend to be a bit salty to me. The saltiness immediately dissipated into a mild to medium heat. The heat is mild to begin with but as you continue crunching away, it intensifies a little. It never gets too hot. The heat is perfect. The flavor is typical buffalo, again, perfectly done.

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Texture

This is where it got really interesting. Being a hard core carnivore, I truly expected a weird, soft, slightly yucky texture. Was I ever wrong! If I had not known that this was a plant-based food, I would have easily thought that it was a regular chicken tender. It’s appearance is darker than chicken tenders but the taste and texture was excellent, much better than some popular chicken nuggets that you can buy in some fast food restaurants. While I ate these without sauce for the sake of this review, with any of the commonly used sauces that people add to buffalo chicken tenders, it will easily surpass many other processed chicken products. I simply could not find anything wrong with this product.

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Nutrition

A serving is 3 tenders for 210 calories, 14 Net Grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of fat and 17 grams of protein. The label says there is NO ADDED SUGAR, which is excellent. Dextrose is listed in the ingredient list after salt, which means that there’s less dextrose than salt and since there’s 0 grams added sugars in the entire box, it’s not enough to measure. The only problem here is that as good as these things are, you might better plan on the nutrition for the whole box. You just might eat it. There’s 2 1/2 servings per box.

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Availability

I bought these for $4.00 at Publix Grocery which is a common grocery chain in the South. They are owned by Kroger like Ralph’s, Dillons, Smith’s, King Snooper’s, City Market, Fry’s, QFC and Harris Teeter. You should be able to find them almost anywhere in the U.S. ,  because these stores span 35 states. At $4.00 for 2 1/2 servings, you can also afford them. I think price is critical because no matter how good a food is, if you can’t afford it, it’s useless. dr. Praeger’s has produced a quality vegan offering at an affordable price.

Responsibility

It’s always fun to do a positive review, but we can’t always do that. We are as honest and as critical as we can be so that you can depend on us. You may find something wrong with these tenders, but I can’t. They are obviously a processed food and do not seem like a freshly prepared, home made chicken tender, but they are good. The taste, texture and price is great and that crunch is wonderful. dr. Praeger’s makes other products that I fully intend to investigate. If this is representative of their other products, I may get to do more positive reviews than I ever thought possible. 🙂

Losing “Friends” Because You Want To Be Healthy

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Bullied?

I think that we all know the drill by now. We seem to be getting along just fine with a group, or an individual, and then they offer you a food that you simply won’t eat and suddenly, you’re “that health freak”. Sometimes it comes when we have gone out to eat with them and they want to load up on alcohol or sugary desserts. Sometimes it’s doughnuts at the office, but when people who want everyone around them to be as unhealthy as they are,  they can be prone to target you as a problem. Guess what. I beat them to the punch and announce early on that “yes, I am a health freak”, and I’m proud of it. Over time, as they realize that I religiously stick to my guns with my nutritional habits, they back off. True, I’m not the one that they want to party with but then, that’s okay. I can assure you, they don’t want to party with me either at the bar that I patronize late at night. It’s heavy and I pick it up repeatedly. It makes me a royal badass and I love it. All their habits do is make them soft.

I have been ostracized from family groups, church groups and other small (minded) gatherings because of my healthy nutritional habits. I once worked for a large weight loss company and sadly remember how every week, members would often show up in tears talking about how they had lost a lifetime “friend” over their healthy habits. Trust me, no matter how long you have known these types who do not respect your healthy way of life,  you must realize they do not have your best interests in mind and they are probably not your  true “friends”.

Don’t Allow It

The fear of being ostracized, or left out, is such a strongly negative emotion for some people that they had rather remain stuck in mediocrity, never growing into their full potential, than risk being the odd man out. The question that I present to you is this. Do you really want to be a member of a group that specializes in mediocrity? If those people don’t want you to realize your maximum potential then they are attempting to control you on a micro-management level. The very fact that you might be successful in your weight management program and health initiative proves that it can be done, so, if it can be done, why aren’t they doing it? Your good habits shed light on the fact that they are just not that commited to their health, so they try to drag you down. Let’s face it. If everyone was morbidly obese and unhealthy then there would be no pressure to be anything else. That’s what they are after, a “dumbing down” of society as a whole where health is concerned. Resist this forced ignorance with all your heart.

Scared Stiff

While the fear of public speaking is sometimes feared more than death, many psychiatrists believe that this fear is based on the fear of ostracism. (1) This morbid fear of being an outcast can prevent you from seeking out answers to your problems. People fear being criticized so they tend to merely conform to their peers and environment. This causes us to live a life that is below what we have envisioned for ourselves. It causes us to resist change and accept the status quo. The problem is that when it comes to our health, the status quo is a life riddled with illness and disease that may have been prevented with a little backbone to stand up to these people who so desperately want to control us.

Conflict of The Ages

While we all want comfort, there is no comfort to be found when we are sick. We might always consider weight management as being strictly an issue of vanity, but vanity alone will not see you through the hard moments in your program. You must truly desire strength and health to be able to endure when the going gets tough. When your diabetic, alcoholic, obese “friends” try to pull you down into their pit of bad habits, remember what the outcome will be. If you live like them, you will become like them. If you are unhealthy now then remember, the definition of insanity has been considered to be doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you want change, you must change. Doing what appears to be easy does not give you an easy life. It causes you to fall short of your dreams and settle for mediocrity. Why would you allow people who you really don’t want to be like, to dictate the course of your life? Are they living the life of your dreams? If not, then why are you following their lead? I would guess that they are living at a level well below the desires of your heart.

Million Dollar Question

Is the life that you are living going to get you the life that you want? If not, then why are you living it? Analyze your behavior and see where you can make changes that are more in line with your goals. Notice that I said YOUR goals, not someone else’s.

How to Cope

If you find yourself in a restaurant with people who have different ideas about how to have a good time, instead of ordering the biggest, deep-fried entree on the menu, just look for simply prepared meats and vegetables. You can’t always ditch everyone that may have a negative influence on your behavior but you can take control of the situation. If they are ordering heavy appetizers, order simple salads and lean meats. Avoid cream sauces and fried entrees. Opt for broiled lean cuts of meat, chicken and un-breaded seafood. Don’t skimp on your protein. If you can order a larger portion of a good, clean and lean protein, do it. It will fill you up and make avoiding the tortilla chips, tortillas and bread basket all the easier. Many restaurants have fresh fruit on the menu. If you still want something after your main course, order fruit. Avoid alcohol. It will add empty calories and lower your inhibitions, it can easily steer you way off course, allowing you to fall back into old, destructive habits. Drink water or another zero calorie beverage such as unsweetened tea. Never resort to drinking your calories. Liquid calories don’t satisfy and go straight into your bloodstream to cause an imbalance in your blood sugar, which will send you into a vicious cycle of eating more and more before you feel satisfied.

If you find yourself with a group who want to sit endlessly, take the initiative to get up and go for a walk. As the rest of the group sits and goes brain dead in a high blood sugar fog, you can get outside and walk off some calories and refresh your mind and body with the invigorating effect of outside exercise. It will instantly lower stress and help you to refocus on your healthy initiatives.

On the job, always have healthy food with you. A co-worker actually left open bags of specialty pretzels around my computer. They went in the trash. I believe that they cost a lot of money so when she realized that I had trashed them, I was never bothered with that particular problem again. Stay full and energized and the doughnuts and cupcakes won’t be nearly as appealing. Let your lifestyle be known and stick to your guns. When people know that they can’t sway you, they are less likely to try, because they have to admit failure and nobody wants to do that. Accept that people will think you’re a bit crazy but when you look better than them and are not sick, they will rethink that issue.

Avoid the drive-thru. It’s not quicker than cooking at home. Get yourself some gadgets to assist your efforts in the kitchen and learn to use them. I recently bought a great griddle to make a huge batch of protein pancakes in a flash. Invest your money in your health program, not in fast food. When others try to influence you to stop at the drive-thru just keep going. Tell them that in the time that you sit in line, you can cook a healthy meal at home for a fraction of the cost.

When those people who try to ostracize you are planning a night out, begin to make your own plans. When they are planning a night at the buffet or the Tex-Mex restaurant, just start planning what you can eat there, if you want to go. A buffet has limitless healthy options. Skip the tortillas on the fajitas at the Tex-Mex place.

Plan your work and work your plan and be an example to the whole bunch. Before you know it, they will be asking you for pointers.

 

 

(1) https://medium.com/the-mission/the-fear-of-ostracism-keeps-people-stuck-in-mediocrity-20d26a1855f0

Enlightened Keto Collection Mint Chocolate Chip

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Good Product!

I love to find a product that will enable me to do a positive review. This was a joy! I simply can’t find anything wrong with this product. From the first taste, it was a winner.

Availability

I purchased these bars at Publix Grocery for $5.99. There’s four in the box so the price is good. I believe that you can find these wherever Enlightened products are sold because Enlightened products have been around for a while. I used to buy them at a Winn Dixie nearby that didn’t carry nearly as much variety as Publix.

Taste and Texture

The moment that I popped that bar in my mouth, I said “Oh, my goodness!” You instantly get a delicate rush of creamy mint. The bar is thick and satisfying. It feels like a sinful indulgence rather than something that you can work into a weight management program. The no sugar added chocolate chips are just present enough to give you a contrast of textures that’s sure to delight your senses. The chocolate chips do taste sweet and chocolaty, unlike some “chocolate” offerings in some “diet” products. They are very small and crunchy unless you let the bar melt a lot, and then they will begin to soften along with the ice cream.

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Notice the creaminess of the bar!

No Lost Ice Cream!

I loved the fact that I opened this bar in a hot car and took a few minutes to eat it and it still didn’t fall off of the stick. I don’t know how they managed that, but it enables you to make your treat last as long as you want, lingering over each creamy, sweet, cold lick. That quality alone turns these bars into a sensual experience. They appeal to every desire that we tend to associate with ice cream, flavor, texture and lingering moments of sheer bliss.

Fun Time

Ice cream is almost always associated with fun. Memories of childhood moments of abandon, before we became so conscious of every bite that went into our mouths and memories of escape from daily stress are frequently associated with this magical concoction. Enlightened builds on this idea with amusing messages written on the wrapper of each bar. While this may seem frivolous to some people, it is definitely in the spirit of ice cream! It sets the tone for eating the bar and helps you to realize that this is purely a treat, intended for joy without any guilt.

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Check out their happy messages. This alone will make this treat a child-friendly experience, teaching them that eating healthy can be fun and tasty.

Nutrition

Regardless of the quality of the product, if the nutrition was off, I would not recommend it. At 180 calories, 1 Net Gram of carbohydrates (Total Carbs-Fiber-Sugar Alcohols=Net Carbs) and 2 grams of protein, I see this as an acceptable treat. The sweeteners, erythritol and monk fruit extract are not known to cause gastric distress like some other sweeteners. The protein is low, but for a treat, that is just fine. I believe that Enlightened set out to create foods that will give us a sweet indulgence that won’t blow our program and I believe that they have done just that.

Are You Skinny-Fat?

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The Illusion

If you are one of those people who have never had to worry about the number on the scale and could almost always rock a swimsuit, you may consider your self very lucky indeed! The problem is, if you have never had to concern yourself with your weight, then you just might be skinny-fat, a condition that can make you as unhealthy as an obese person.

What?!?

This condition is sometimes called “normal-weight obesity” and it may affect up to 25% of normal weight individuals. These people look healthy but have bad health habits and when they were checked in a 2008 study, they were found to have high levels of body fat and inflammation. (1) These people are at high risk for diabetes and heart disease. We all know at least one or two of these people. They look good, but as time wears on, they become sick more often than others and just can’t seem to get well and stay well. In the South, we describe them as “sickly”. I have known many of these people and they are the most difficult to educate concerning good health habits because they don’t have that motivation of vanity. They look good.

Signs That You May Be Skinny-Fat

Muffin Top- I noticed many years ago that some of the women that I knew who had never had a weight problem had started wearing those loose, long tops with fitted pants or leggings. I have noticed that those tops quite often can cover a multitude of sins. If you are cleverly attempting to hide your muffin top, you just might be skinny fat. Fat around the middle is unhealthier than fat anywhere else. It is associated with earlier death, insulin resistance and inflammation. Inflammation is believed to be the source of most of the disease process in the human body.

Lack of physical strength- You can’t do a single push-up. Since these people have never had the incentive to work out that over weight people have, they tend to avoid it. As a result, over time, they begin to lose muscle mass earlier than others. As muscle declines, so does physical strength. Regular strength training of some type that is approved by your medical doctor can help to reverse this trend. Aerobic activity is necessary to maintain a healthy heart and lungs.

Family History- If you have family members who have developed diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease regardless of their size, you may be predisposed to these conditions. While a normal weight is to be desired, good nutrition and regular exercise can help you ward off what seems like a “generational curse”. You might want to read the article, The “Generational Curse”, What Is It? if you actually believe that you are doomed to get a disease or disorder just because someone in your family has it.

You Eat Poorly- Just because you can consume enough empty calories to fuel New York City, it does not mean that they are not hurting you. When you fill up on junk food you are robbing your body of the nutritionally dense foods that you need. You are also ingesting sugars that increase inflammation. Don’t think for a minute that just because the scale does not bear witness to your nutritional offences that you are getting away with it. I know a beautiful 40 year old woman, who is obviously skinny fat, who has had multiple brushes with death as she lay in a coma with her blood sugar around 1000, yes one thousand. There’s no explanation as to how she survived, and one day, she won’t. She is one of the sickliest people that I know and she is very attractive, at a lovely weight for her frame.

You are in an “at-risk” population- Older adults tend to pay less attention to their BMI’s. Because we lose muscle as we age, unless we actively do something to retain and build muscle, body fat percentages tend to be higher in older adults. We need to build muscle to offset this tendency. A 2011 study also revealed that those of South Asian descent are more likely to store fat around their internal organs, compared to Caucasian people who had the same BMI. (2)

What To Do?

The same thing that works for others, will work for you if you find yourself in this category. Eat a nutritionally sound diet, choosing foods that are nutritionally dense. Avoid empty calories, including added sugars. Talk to your physician about how you should get active. Get your rest. Sleep decreases cortisol levels in your body which lead to excessive belly fat. “Make your world small.” (David Yochim) by cutting out the negative influences in your life to decrease your stress. Stress will always raise cortisol levels, even if it comes from someone that you have known your whole life. Don’t be fooled by your good fortune of never having to weigh yourself or be concerned about how you look. If your inside gets unhealthy, it will show everywhere, including in the doctor’s office. Begin to reverse this trend today with your doctor’s help. You are never too young or too old to improve your health. All it takes is a desire and a bit of study. Make yourself a priority and begin to discover life in a healthier body.

(1) (2) https://www.health.com/condition/obesity/5-signs-you-might-be-skinny-fat

daiya (plant based) TEX-MEX BURRITO Review

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Convenience!

While we strongly encourage you to eat whole foods that you prepare at home, we are realistic in that we know that in our busy world, sometimes you might want to reach for a convenience food. With a renewed interest in plant-based foods, this burrito appears to fit the bill. There are a few details about this Tex-Mex offering that you need to know, however.

Preparation

You heat this burrito on high for 1 minute and 15 seconds in your microwave and then flip it over and do it again, anywhere from 1 minute, 15 seconds to 1 minute, 45 seconds and then crisp it on a griddle or in a frying pan. I heated it for 1 minute, 30 seconds on the second side and then sprayed a cast iron skillet with olive oil and crisped it up. It took a few minutes and it was nice and crispy, somewhat convenient and easy to prepare.

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Taste and Texture

If you don’t crisp this burrito, it will be very different from this one that I crisped. It had a very nice crunch and then a chewy, satisfying filling of pinto beans, brown rice, salsa with green onions, red bell peppers and jalapeno peppers along with “daiya Cutting Board Cheddar Style Shreds”. It is Dairy Free, Gluten Free and Soy Free and NON GMO Verified. While it has a nice heat, just a touch, it is a bit bland otherwise. It does fill that craving for a burrito, if you get those, but it could use an extra bit of seasoning for my liking. I also had my 26 year old son try this burrito and he also said that it “really didn’t taste like anything.” If it were not for the heat, I might not have finished it. I did eat the whole thing because I was hungry and the satiety factor of the burrito is actually pretty good, while you’re eating it. It gives you the illusion that it will fill you up.

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Nutrition

Ah, now here’s where I parted company with the burrito. It contains 410 calories, only 8 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat and a whopping 62 Net Grams of Carbohydrates (67 grams -5 grams of fiber). Oh, my goodness! I normally get my carbs from oats and sweet or white potatoes, or apples. Oats, apples and potatoes are good whole foods that nourish and fuel my body for a long time. This burrito is a processed food that actually left me a bit hungry and I had just “spent” 62 Net Grams of Carbs. I will never buy this again. For 480 calories and only 23 Net Grams of Carbs and a nourishing 46 grams of protein, I could have a half pound, lean ground beef steak and a 5 ounce baked potato and be satisfied and prepped for a good workout. Processed foods are almost never a good nutritional bargain and this one is no exception.

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Price

I bought this at Publix grocery store for $3.59. Again, for that price I could have fixed a hamburger steak dinner at home in a flash. There’s nothing much quicker than searing a hamburger steak and popping a potato in the microwave. Since I had to crisp this burrito for it to be palatable, the prep time would be about the same. We think that a “convenience” food is always quicker to prepare but that is sometimes an illusion. The price is acceptable until you consider the extra prep time of crisping and the glaring lack of protein. If I can buy 46 grams of protein for about the same price, I always will. When you consider that you probably won’t be satisfied after eating this thing, then the price goes up again as you plunder around, looking for some real food.

Overall

While this burrito is palatable, it’s not really good. It requires extra prep time to even be palatable. The lack of adequate protein and exorbitantly high carbs are a real problem for some of us and is not a good idea for almost anyone. You may like this Tex-Mex offering, I don’t. If you choose to eat it, you might want to add an additional protein source, especially if you are athletic. If you dressed it up with some extra salsa, it might help the taste, but for a review, I tried it as it comes, plain and lacking in the nutrition that I need on a daily basis. I can’t recommend this to anyone.