Author: Brenda Sue

Achieve Your Goals By Going All In

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There is a discrepancy  sometimes between  what people say and what people do. David has a saying, ” A lot of people want to look like a body builder but they don’t  want to do what a bodybuilder does.” If we really want to be successful we will commit fully. Until we fully commit we will never reach our goals.

A zealous person is described  as someone who is enthusiastic or passionate about something. The word describes keenness, eagerness, passion and an extreme commitment to work. Success in any lifelong pursuit such as extreme health and fitness for life requires this kind of commitment.

When we are totally committed to a project we can do the hardest work with a smile. We are working on our own goals. Nobody is making us commit. Why would we do any less than going all in?  Regardless of what we say that we want, unless we do what it takes to get to our goals, our words are meaningless. When I began lifting I secured equipment and changed my life to accommodate my commitment. While it’s  necessary to work at my places of employment, I do nothing else except lift. It is my life. I don’t feel sad or angry when I  forego social invitations  to work out. I chose this path.

When we go all in we will reap the rewards of our commitment. Even the most difficult  tasks will succumb to true dedication. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed but it can be transferred. When we expend our energy on a project the project will display the energy and attention that we put into it. If we are vigilant in our dedication our goals will be realized.

One way to measure your commitment to any given project is to look at where you spend your money. Do you waste money eating at expensive restaurants, buying those desserts as big as  your  head? Seriously? Invest in your goals. Don’t  work against them. Do you buy expensive processed food items when you’re in the grocery store? Why would you do that if you say that you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy? Shop the periphery of the store and leave the high calorie, high carb, high sodium items that contain sugar and various food additives on the shelf. One way that we work against ourselves financially is to buy clothes that accommodate an expanding waistline and then run out and buy again when even those become too small. This is the season of sweatpants. They can accommodate a multitude of sins. Get some tight leggings to work out and quit increasing the size of your sweatpants to allow for Swiss Rolls. Again, that kind of behaviour is working directly against  your goals.

A common way that we fall short is doing the bare necessities in any program or project. When I  worked for a major weight loss company I  witnessed a specific negative behavior every time that I attended a meeting of the members. They would chronically complain that they had only eaten the amount of food that the program allowed but had not lost weight, or even gained, but as the conversations continued, they would reveal that they had manipulated the program in every way possible in order to eat as much as possible throughout the week. This was not only a lack of commitment but a direct form of self-sabotage. After that, it was easier to just quit “because it doesn’t work.” They were setting the stage for failure rather than success.

True zeal for anything is manifested by action. Don’t kid yourself. Unless you are utilizing all of your skills and mental capacity towards a goal, you don’t really want it at all. Get committed and go all in.

When you are truly zealous for something, it will be contagious. People around  you will want to know your secret. You will be successful and success draws people to you. Passion is inspirational and people need inspiration.

By pursuing your goals with eagerness, you will become a master of the process. As you become more and more proficient at your task, your goals will come  into sharper focus and you will achieve them when you’re not expecting that kind of success, because you will be wrapped up in what you do best, pursuing your goals. Get zealous and achieve success.

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Get Some Sleep

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While we all hate a sleepless night, we are not always aware of the serious health issues that can be associated with  insomnia. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes  and depression are just a few of the problems that are linked to sleepless nights.

 The Women’s Health  Initiative Observational Study has shown a link between a higher risk of insomnia and a diet rich in refined carbohydrates. It is unclear whether eating refined carbs led to insomnia or if insomnia caused a craving for them. The link merely shows that people with insomnia were more likely to consume refined carbohydrates. At David’s  Way  we always advise  you to avoid simple, refined carbohydrates.

What we do know is that when we eat refined carbohydrates the blood sugar rises quickly and we release insulin which drops our blood sugar. As a result of the drop in blood sugar we may release cortisol and/or adrenaline which are hormones that can interfere with restful  sleep.

The sugars found in fruits and vegetables do not present  a problem because the fiber found in plants prevents the fast absorption of the sugars so there is no spike in blood sugar levels and therefore, no subsequent hormone release. A banana is a sweet treat that contains potassium  and magnesium which are natural muscle relaxants. They also contain L-tryptophan which is used to make serotonin and melatonin, all of which are helpful for restful sleep. Oats, cherries and milk also support good sleep. Low-fat proteins that are rich in vitamin B like fish, poultry and eggs help to regulate melatonin. A healthy diet like we advocate here at David’s  Way is your best sleep supporting nutrition.

While nutrition is important in managing your sleep, so is your body fat. Too much fat around your midsection can contribute to acid reflux, sleep apnea and overall restlessness. Get to a healthy body fat percentage and reap the benefits of more restful nights. This website is free. We have the Calorie Counter Pro that is completely  private and will tell you the number of calories that you need to achieve your weight management  goals. We have over 600 articles that will give you information about all things weight related along with hundreds of healthy recipes including your favorite desserts made over to be sugar-free and usually providing a healthy dose of protein.

While none of these methods are a “cure” for insomnia, all of these methods will help you rest. Sleep is important to your overall health and wellbeing. See your M.D. to treat insomnia when it is chronic because the long-term effects of chronic  insomnia include but are not limited to anxiety, fatigue, impaired memory, diabetes, heart disease and chronic pain. In your  quest for better health make certain that you find a way to catch some zzz’s.

 

Have What You Want

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Do you like the life that you have created? Most people do not. Most people, an estimated 57% (1), are not satisfied with their lives. It’s simply a matter of choice.

True, there are circumstances that can befall us that can drastically affect our happiness. Sickness of yourself and others, natural disasters, a difficult start in life,”bad” genetics for mental illness and abusive people in our environment can seem to destroy our level of happiness, but I know people who deal with all of these things successfully and are still able to live an extraordinary life. That’s the difference. They deal with it in the best way possible.

If you want an extraordinary life, you must make extraordinary decisions. How often do you try to just hit the”average” mark? If your goal is to be “average”, you will never be extraordinary or have an excellent life. You will have an average life and average is not happy, successful or fulfilled. Average is mediocre. Always make the decision that will move you towards your ultimate goals. Everything else is irrelevant. If you need more money and you get an opportunity to go to a better job, do it. Don’t lag behind out of misplaced loyalty, sentimentality or, worst of all, insecurity. Learn everything that you can about the new job. Focus on focusing on just that and go for it. How much better will your life be with more cash and better working conditions. Never make decisions based on insecurity. Always make decisions based on your ultimate goal.

If you want to be healthy and fit then make the decisions that will get you there. That momentary craving for sugar-laden trash food will pass if you avoid it long enough. It will take a while but if you keep your focus on your ultimate goal instead of your momentary craving, I promise you that the craving will pass. After a while, you will not crave sugar. Make an extraordinary decision to be healthy and then follow through with the actions that are necessary to accomplish that task. Imagine the day that you slip into your “skinny jeans” or go shopping for a swimsuit. Imagine the day that your doctor takes you off of some of your medications. Nothing tastes that good.

There is a common fallacy that some people are “lucky” or “Blessed” or just have “good genetics”. Let me tell you, no matter how “Blessed” that you are or how good your gene pool, unless you do your part, your life will be mediocre, and so will your health. There is no such thing as “lucky”. That’s just ridiculous. Everything that you have ever seen in the lives of others that you would like to emulate came from hard work. It might not have been that person’s hard work in the case of inherited wealth, but it was the result of somebody’s hard work. Amazing lives full of success don’t just materialize. They are wrought with blood, sweat and tears and tons of very hard work. The interesting thing is that no matter how hard the work, the victory is still sweet. I can testify to this.

Two years ago my life was literally turned upside down by a night of tornadoes that destroyed my home with my family in it. While we survived physically, it brought about major changes. I am happier than I have ever been. I work hard and have little time off but when I do, it’s sweet. I am faced with autism, sickness in the family and personal challenges that I face down every day. I win every single day. I fight for it. I make good choices. I eat well and work out hard. I do not tolerate abuse by anyone, family or otherwise. I will not be bullied. I made that decision the night of those tornadoes and changed everything in my life. It was well worth the battle. When I am at home now, I have peace. Life is good.

I challenge you to think big. Don’t limit yourself. When you decide what you want out of life then start making small daily choices that move you in that direction. Find someone who is living the life that you want and emulate them. Shun negative input. If anyone tells you that “You can’t do that!”, show them that you can. Don’t goof off. Make your time count for something. We spend way too much time avoiding the unpleasant tasks that are necessary for success. David and I have a running joke about procrastination at the barbell. When I first started lifting, I would sit and stare at that bar for long periods of time, dreading the weight pressing on me in the squat. It felt like it would surely crush me. As time passed, I learned that not only should I run out to meet that squat, I should just let it drop me to the floor. Quit fighting the inevitable crush of the weight on my body, just fall. Then all I had to do was get up. Sometimes we try so hard to avoid discomfort that we don’t get anything done. Wade in to whatever is crushing you, drop, get it done. Then stand up.

When I began my new life, walking away from a more financially secure situation, people thought that I was crazy. When I began lifting heavy they thought that I was crazier. Now, however, I’m much happier than they are and they call me if they need someone physically strong. Transformation doesn’t happen quickly but if you stay your course, it will happen. In creating the life that you want, you have to try new things. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “The Secret to Success”. That’s absurd. There is no secret. You create success by the choices that you make every moment of every day.

Take care of your health. Good health enables you to enjoy the fruits of your labors. Spend your time in worthwhile, creative endeavors. Most people spend way too much time being entertained and then wonder why the bank account is low and the scale is their sworn enemy. Again, work hard. Make money, work out, mind your nutrition. If you spend your time on these worth while projects, your bank account and your body will show the results. I have had more than one doctor who was younger than me say, “I wish my lab results looked like that.” I work at it. It didn’t just happen.

In order to move up higher, you have to step up. That can mean leaving the common and ordinary behind. Do you want a common or ordinary life? Probably not. Let go of the ropes and take a step up. Become responsible for your life, your present and your future. Stepping up also means stepping away from the familiar. Has the familiar served you well? The familiar is to stuff your face with unhealthy food and collapse into a sugar coma on the couch until it’s time to drag your lethargic carcass to bed. This lifestyle will destroy your health and ultimately your life. The costs of medical care are staggering. Get and stay healthy and save yourself a ton of money and live to enjoy it.

I have also heard the phrase, “Plan to succeed.” While the idea is good, all the planning and discussing in the world won’t do it. You do it. As Nike says, “Just Do It.” When I worked for a major weight loss company, I saw members come in and buy all the books, the kitchen gadgets, the snacks and even the wine glasses and come in a few weeks later and complain, “This just isn’t working for me. I don’t understand. I bought EVERYTHING!” True, they did. Their plan was good and it stopped there. They didn’t work it. It’s up to you. Will you work it? Decide, in favor of your health, today.

7 Ways To Avoid Mediocrity

 

Eat to Live

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Whether you are a caregiver to a senior citizen or you are living your golden years yourself, you need to be aware of the changing nutritional needs of our bodies as we age.

While we may need fewer calories, we need better, more nutrient dense foods. We still need the same amount of protein, vitamins and minerals. In special circumstances, we may need more. The skin doesn’t process sunlight as well as it did in past years to provide us with adequate vitamin D. Since vitamin D helps us absorb calcium, when our vitamin D levels are low, we will also be low on calcium. Calcium is then leached from the bones to provide us with the calcium that we need for other functions and bones become brittle. Neuromuscular dysfunction can also set in and falls can be eminent. Falls cause 11,000 deaths per year. It is possible that senior citizens may need vitamin D supplementation. (1) See your M.D. to determine if supplementation is necessary. Fatty fish, vitamin D fortified foods such as milk, some orange juice and some cereals, beef liver, cheese and egg yolks are dietary sources of this necessary vitamin.

Vitamin B-12 is supplied by the process of the stomach acid breaking B-12 down in our stomachs. After age 50, the stomach acid may be decreased and we may be deficient in B-12. B-12 helps keep our nerve and blood cells healthy and helps to synthesize DNA. It helps prevent megaloblastic anemia that causes exhaustion. Supplementation may be necessary. Your physician can make this determination. Good food sources are clams, beef liver, fortified yeast, wild rainbow trout and cooked sockeye salmon and fortified cereals. Synthetic supplemental vitamin B-12 and foods fortified with synthetic vitamin B-12 contain B-12 in a free form that doesn’t have to be broken down in the stomach like the B-12 in foods.

I am a heavy weight trainer. My first objective is strength and health and then I go after the look. I have discovered that I have to make every calorie count. There is no room in my diet for empty calories. I need a lot of protein and a significant number of calories each day. I limit my carbohydrates but absolutely do not advocate keto. In order to get the total package of strength, health and a lean, muscular physique, I have to seek out nutrient dense foods. Although I eat significant calories, I do control my calories. I count every single one. I “spend” those calories wisely, packing as much protein and fiber into each meal as I possibly can. The result is that I’m rarely hungry and in less than two years I have more than quadrupled my deadlift. As we age there is less wiggle room in our diet. If we are serious about fitness, we must eat like it. Decide what kind of life you want and make it happen. Most of your future will be decided by how you eat. If you remain strong, healthy and vital there is no limit to what you can do. If your health fails due to poor nutrition, your life will be centered around sickness and your activities will be limited.

Most adults over 50 need a little extra fiber to maintain bowel health. Fiber also helps prevent Type 2 diabetes and lowers your risk for heart disease. Whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, peas and fruits and veggies can supply all of your fiber needs.

Avoid transfats and eat saturated fat sparingly to help avoid heart disease. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil and fatty fish are your best choices for healthy fats. There is evidence that fatty fish will improve brain health which can possibly combat the onset of various brain disorders that are more common in senior citizens.

Carbohydrates are an excellent fuel source for our brain as long as they are complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates tend to have a negative effect on our brains. High intake of simple carbohydrates have been linked to mental decline in seniors.

Along with a healthy diet, exercise is critical for maintaining a healthy mind and body as we age. Consult your M.D. for a program that is suited to your needs. A good exercise regimen coupled with a healthy diet can extend your years and give you quality of life in those years. The decision is yours to make. Do you want to become dependent on others or do you want to remain independent and able to enjoy life to it’s fullest? Sometimes it takes a lifetime to work into doing the things that we’ve always wanted to do. At 62 I went ziplining for the first time. I had wanted to do that for years. Since I eat David’s Way and work out, it was a wonderful experience to finally create that moment in time to fly through the air, jumping off of a tower 200 feet into thin air.

Get healthy and truly live until you die. Make a bucket list and start checking things off. Fun is waiting.

https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/nutritional-needs-change-as-you-age

Deceptive “Healthy” Foods

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On a recent trip to a major grocery chain I was taken aback by the massive amounts of sugar laden trash food laying in wait for the unsuspecting shopper. From the moment that I walked under those massive, roaring fans at the entrance until the time I escaped the sugary onslaught, walking under those fans to exit this minefield, my senses were bombarded with “visions of sugarplums”. Promises of recreating the magic of a childhood Christmas hovered around each toxic offering, laden with artificial colorings and extra coarse sugar sprinkled on top. Is there any wonder that depression and exhaustion are at an all-time high during this holiday season?

The absurdity of the irony involved in this yearly ritual of stuffing ourselves with sugar became crystal clear. While all of these beautifully crafted foods promote a season of Peace, the contribution to ill health that these foods make is anything except Peaceful. When will Americans wake up to the wiles of the food industry?

Surviving this season with your health initiative intact doesn’t take willpower. That is a common fallacy. It takes a decision to do everything within your power to be healthy. It takes an commitment to yourself. Once that decision is made and you have committed to be the best that you can be, the difficulty of “eating right” is removed. There is no struggle. You simply choose wisely every time that you eat.

A problem for some, however, is the marketing that is designed to deceive you. There are many foods that are promoted and packaged as “healthy” that are anything except good for you.

Most yogurt is a good example of deceptive marketing. Full-fat, plain Greek yogurt has no added sugars. There is 7 grams of naturally occurring milk sugar in this yogurt. That is not a problem. With 23 grams of protein per cup, the 7 grams of naturally occurring sugar is insignificant. When you compare this healthy option to a mere 6 ounces of Yoplait Original Strawberry Yogurt with only 6 grams of protein and 19 grams of sugar, most of which are added cane sugar, you have a good example of the concept, “Things are not always  as they seem.” After all, yogurt is marketed as a “healthy” food.

Do you like granola? I remember when it got popular as a “health food”. Most people could not wrap their brains around the fact that there is nothing healthy about otherwise healthy foods that are smothered in sugar and produced in a package with earthy, healthy-looking pictures and warm colors deliberately designed to present a healthy image. While a lot of the ingredients in granola are healthy, the candies and syrups that are added to some granola recipes are not. Choose wisely, or better yet, make your own granola. I just mix nuts, oats and Maple Farms Sugar-free Pancake Syrup and Saigon cinnamon when I want a granola fix. If I want cereal, it’s wonderful with milk. I use soy milk because I eat soy products for the phytoestrogens.

One of the most deceptive food products available is the plethora of protein bars available in almost every convenience store, grocery store and pharmacy. While I do have a One bar occasionally, I steer clear of almost every other protein bar. One bars have one gram of sugar however, the PowerBar ProteinPlus Chocolate Brownie bar has 27 grams of sugar from a variety of sweeteners. A regular size Snickers candy bar only has 26.

Energy drinks are a common source of sugar in many diets. Rockstar Xdurance has 17 teaspoons of sugar which is 69 grams. There is no place in a health conscious diet for anything with that much added sugar, yet the phrase “energy drink” sounds like a healthy option over a carbonated cola. A regular canned Coke has 39 grams. While I don’t advocate drinking carbonated drinks, if I had to choose between those two options, I would choose the Coke. The word “energy” does not change the impact of 69 grams of sugar on your blood sugar and the cascade of biochemical reactions that occur when we pour that much sugar into our body at one time.

Breakfast cereals can be an abomination. Most people mistakenly believe that cereals are a better breakfast option than eggs. Cocoa Krispies have 16 grams of sugar and only 1.3 grams of protein per cup. If you want cereal, I strongly encourage you to eat oats which have 0 grams of added sugars and 5 grams of protein. Eat eggs, they really are a near perfect food.

If you are craving a dessert, please go to the search function on this website and enter the name of what you are craving. You very well may find a sugar-free version of your favorite dessert. Avoid the aisles of sugar filled options in your grocery store. Many of our dessert recipes are made with ingredients that also contain significant protein. Kill two birds with one stone and satisfy your sweet tooth and snatch a protein fix at the same time.

With just a little forethought and planning you can emerge from this Winter feasting season with a slim waistline. Read our articles and get informed. Go to the forum and start a discussion about food and recipes with like-minded people. We always answer questions  and comments that you post or email. Be proactive and enjoy a lifetime of good health.

Slow Cooker Low Carb Mexican Breakfast Casserole

Nutritional Info

Servings 10

Calories 284

Net Carbs 2 grams

Fat 23 grams

Protein 15 grams

Ingredients

12 ounces ground pork

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1 1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup salsa

10 eggs

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup pepper jack or Mexican blend cheese

Optional toppings: sour cream, avocado (not included in nutritional info)

Instructions

Brown pork til no longer pink.

Add seasonings and salsa.

In another bowl, whisk together eggs and cream.

Add pork to eggs, then add the cheese and stir.

Grease crock-pot and pour in mixture.

Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours or low for 5 hours.

Mexican Cornbread

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Nutritional Info

Calories 427

Net Carbs 18.6 grams

Fat 29.7 grams

Protein 21.1 grams

Ingredients

1 pound 93% lean ground beef

Taco Seasoning to taste

1 cup almond meal

1 cup yellow corn meal

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1/3 cup melted butter

1 large egg, beaten

2 green onions, chopped

1 jalapeno seeded and chopped

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Put the olive oil into a cast iron skillet and place in the oven to preheat to 425F.

Brown beef with taco seasoning.

Mix dry ingredients and in a separate bowl whisk together the milk, butter and egg and add to the dry ingredients just until blended. Stir in the onions, jalapeno and cheddar cheese.

Take the skillet out of the oven carefully. It will be hot! Pour in half of the cornbread mixture and add the ground beef and then top with remaining cornbread.

Put back into oven and bake to golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Makeover Your Menus to Lose Weight

 

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The question that I am asked most often is, “What can I eat to lose weight?” When I ask,”What are you eating now?” the answers have something in common. It seems that almost everyone who asks that question is eating a whole lot of simple carbohydrates, including large amounts of added sugars. As I began research for this article, I discovered that, of the mere 60-70%of Americans that eat breakfast, 31% eat cold cereal. (1) Unfortunately, cold pizza is also a recurring theme. I’ve got to tell you, if this is the way that you start your day, you have set yourself up for failure in weight loss. How do I know that? Because I did it for years. At my fattest, about a size 22, I was eating a ton of “healthy foods”, like whole grain cereals.

We need complex carbohydrates, but if we start our day with cereal alone, we feel justified to eat a LOT of it. The nutritional information on the side of the box is for 1 serving which can be as little as 1/2 cup, and occasionally lower. Put that 1/2 cup in your bowl and tell me if you want to run on that until noon. Even at 3/4 cup for Honey Nut Cheerios, which is an insanely popular cereal, how often do you stop with that? These cereals are designed to be so pleasing to the palate that we can’t stop eating them. They have sugar to attract and addict us and various flavor combinations so that everyone can have a favorite. Oh, and let’s not forget CRUNCH! They always have crunch.

Other than the obvious good taste and crunchiness of these morning staples, another serious problem here is that they have little to no protein. That’s one of the reasons that we just keep eating, and eating, and eating… Until our bodies get an adequate supply of protein we will continue to look for it because we will die without it. In 1981 many deaths occurred as a result of people trying to live on a diet of liquid protein alone (2), partially because they were still not getting enough high quality protein.

If you start your day with cereal and then opt for the traditional burger and fries and maybe pasta for dinner, have you tracked your protein? I have done that for a family member and I was terrified when I saw the paltry 35 grams that he was eating. Needless to say, he has significant health problems. He started his day with cold cereal. Two eggs alone pack 12 grams. A cup of milk has 8 grams. Add 3 ounces of ham at 14 grams, or salmon at 22 grams and you have as much, or more, protein at breakfast as he was eating in a day. When you eat a nutritionally balanced meal, you will stop eating sooner and stay more satisfied so that you are less likely to graze on junk food in your environment.

Speaking of junk food in your environment… I have a sure fire strategy for dealing with that, the garbage. Agreeably, during holiday festivities you probably can’t just empty the break room out but if someone tries to sabotage you, immediately carry the offending food to the garbage. They won’t keep wasting their kryptonite on you. I had someone buy a snack food that absolutely no one else in the facility would eat, open the bag and leave it by my computer. It was amazing how fast that went into the garbage, along with the other 4-5 bags that I found opened in various places around my work area. I was entirely justified. I work in the health care industry and an open bag with various hands run down in it throughout the day is just nasty. Be proactive. Take charge of your environment.

Instead of succumbing to the wiles of a saboteur, carry your own snacks. I eat all the time, while others around me go for long periods of time hungry and then usually eat a large meal laden with simple carbs and added sugars. I carry an ounce of nuts, apples, string cheese, full-fat Greek yogurt and an entree most days for an 8 hour shift. One of my favorite snacks is plain, full-fat Greek yogurt with various add-ins. One of my favorite add-ins is an ounce of Planter’s Deluxe Mixed Nuts with Sea Salt and Maple Grove Farms Syrup. It tastes like a Maple Nut Sundae only without the sugar and with at least 20 grams of protein. I eat 1 cup of yogurt at a time. It makes a huge “sundae”.

Considering my entree, I have recently discovered the tuna in a pouch. There is also chicken and salmon and a few other proteins. Oh, my goodness at the convenience and versatility here! This stuff leaves us with no excuse to be caught without portable protein. I can carry a Tablespoon (or two…) of Dukes Mayo, (always sugar free) and my apple and BAM! tuna or chicken salad in a minute. I avoid bread and get my carbs from whole foods, so I microwave a sweet potato and have a meal fit for a Queen. If you don’t like scrubbing potatoes, buy the ones that come pre-cleaned and wrapped, microwave ready. They leave you without excuse to carry a decent meal when coupled with a protein source. A white potato is fine. I eat them sometimes. You can open up that white potato and drizzle some olive oil on it and put your protein in there. It’s a great meal. A sweet potato seems like a decadent luxury though when I add some of the aforementioned syrup and Saigon cinnamon… Carrying your food keeps you from caving to the temptation of the drive-thru menu as you waste your lunch hour waiting in that insufferably long line gazing at milkshakes and other abominations designed to shorten your life.

Dinner, or supper in the South, was my downfall for most of my life. This is the meal where most Southerners pack in the carbohydrates and fried foods. No supper is considered complete in the South without cornbread. While there is lysine in cornmeal, which is a great protein, the carbohydrates make cornbread a bad habit. Especially when it’s coupled with other high carb foods like mashed potatoes, potato salad, sugary baked beans, macaroni and cheese and rice. I know a family who almost never puts an actual vegetable on the table. At supper, or any other “sit-down meal”, the table will be covered with those foods that I just listed along with a protein source and some sugary congealed salad or sugar-laden coleslaw. Sugar has worked it’s way into almost everything. Beware and be aware! I was eating a fabulous coleslaw at work only to discover that it contained sugar. I don’t eat that anymore.

After work, instead of hitting the drive-thru on the pretense that I worked and I shouldn’t have to go home and stand up and cook… I walk straight into my kitchen, put a thawed protein, usually fish, into a hot, oiled, cast iron skillet. I top it with either lemon pepper seasoning or chili lime. While it’s searing, I pop one of those pre-cleaned, wrapped potatoes into the microwave and open a can of green beans. BAM! Supper faster than the long line at the drive-thru with no simple carbs. I get a whole lot more protein this way also. A bag of frozen, wild-caught salmon at Walmart costs about $4/pound and has 2-4 servings, depending on how much  you eat. I eat a lot of protein to build muscle. If you are not a lifter, this is ridiculously cheap compared to the price of fast food. Let’s not even get into the cost of sit-down restaurant food. It’s insane. Even though I eat a whole lot of protein, this is still a fraction of the price of eating out. With my nutritional needs as a strength trainer I would definitely go broke trying to get enough protein in a restaurant.

Women, and some men, tend to burn the candle at both ends and rush around and eat without giving thought to what’s going into our mouths. Stop it. You give thought to other things and other people. Start looking out for yourself. There’s plenty of good healthy food options. Go to your grocery store and look beyond the foods that got you unhealthy. Read labels and when you find a healthy option, buy it. So often I’ve heard women say, “Oh, that’s too expensive!” in a grocery store and stop at the drive-thru on the way home and pay $6 for one hamburger. How about the price of coffee drinks? Don’t lie to yourself about why you don’t buy healthy food. The main reason that we don’t is simply that we want to eat out. It’s your life.You have only one. It’s your decision. Make it a good one.

 

 

(1) https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/PollVault/story?id=762685

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7275462

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avoid a Stroke!

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What Is A Stroke?

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced. The lack of oxygen carrying blood causes the death of brain cells in mere minutes. A stroke is a medical emergency and immediate treatment is mandatory. Early treatment may reduce brain damage and increase your chance of survival.

Who Is Vulnerable?

Anyone can have a stroke. Never think that because you are young or at a perfect weight that you are safe from this destroyer.

Symptoms You May Experience

1-Trouble speaking or understanding what others are saying to you.

2-Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg. This often affects only one side of your body.

3-Problems seeing in one or both eyes. You may have reduced vision or you may see double.

4-Headache- A sudden severe headache that may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness may indicate you are having a stroke.

5-Trouble walking.

Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any signs or symptoms of a stroke.

If you think someone else is having a stroke remember the acronyme “F.A.S.T” and do this:

F.ace-Ask the person to smile. Does one side if the face droop?

A.rms-Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Is one arm unable to rise?

S.peech-Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is his speech slurred or strange?

T.ime-If you observe ANY of these signs, call 911 right away.

There are five different types of stroke but the end result of all of them is death of brain cells. Quick medical attention may limit the number of brain cells lost.

Lifestyle Risk Factors

1-Being overweight or obese

2-Physical inactivity

3-Heavy or binge drinking

4-Use of illegal drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine

Here at David’s Way we teach a healthy lifestyle that is designed to alleviate overweight and physical inactivity. We always discourage you from drinking alcohol because of the empty calories and the tendency that it has to lower inhibitions and enable you to binge eat and drink after just a small amount. Illegal drugs are never part of a healthy lifestyle.

Medical Risk Factors

1-High blood pressure

2-Cigarette smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke

3-High cholesterol

4-Diabetes

5-Obstructive sleep apnea

6-Cardiovascular disease

7-Personal or family history of stroke, heart attack or transient ischemic attack

David’s Way is diabetic friendly and since we discourage sodium laden processed foods, it may help you with high blood pressure. Obstructive sleep apnea can be caused by excess tissue, quite often fat, pressing in on your airway. Lose the weight and see if that helps your sleep apnea. Excess weight and inactivity can exacerbate cardiovascular disease and make it worse. If you have a personal history of, or genetic tendency towards, stroke talk to your doctor about weight loss and exercise.

People over age 55 have a higher risk of stroke. Get healthy early in life and practice good health habits for the rest of your life to take the edge off of this risk factor. Men, African Americans and women who use birth control or hormone therapies that contain estrogen are also at greater risk.

In order to decrease your risk of stroke it’s mandatory that you control high blood pressure and lower the amount of saturated fat in your diet. Quit smoking and get your diabetes under control. Some people can eventually come off of diabetic medications, with their doctor’s approval, when they lose weight and become attentive to their diet, while adding in some doctor approved activity. If you have sleep apnea, do whatever you have to do to fix that. Weight loss will help. Your doctor may prescribe a device that delivers positive airway pressure to keep your airway open while you sleep. Your doctor may also prescribe medications that can help with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

We always encourage you to be proactive concerning your health. Be vigilant in your efforts to decrease your risk of stroke. I recently read about a 38 year old female who was an avid runner who had a devastating stroke. She had always been careful to eat a healthy diet to fuel her running but at a point, she said that she let her nutrition slip, a little. She believed that this decision was crucial to the devastating event that changed her life forever, a stroke. She has made a good recovery and her former high level of fitness is believed to have enabled her to come back much quicker and stronger than most people. The moral of the story here is get healthy and STAY healthy. Don’t give a stroke a chance. Be a fanatic about your health. Don’t let anyone sway you. Make every effort to avoid this life stealing thief in the night.

As a result of trying to be healthy to avoid a stroke, you just might build the healthiest body that you’ve ever lived in, and look good doing it. That, my friends, is a win/win situation.