Author: David Yochim

Sugar Free Apple Cream Cheese Cake

This is a pretty awesome sugar free cake recipe my life long, good friend Wendy shared with me. It is a great time of year for recipes that include apples, I hope you enjoy this one.

Serves: 12

Calories: 309

Carbs: 9.1g

Fat: 27g

Protein: 7.4g

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Swerve Vanilla Cake mix
  • 1/3 cup oil (coconut or vegetable, I love solid coconut oil for baking)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 box neufchatel cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can, no sugar added, apple pie filling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13×9 baking dish.
  2. Using a mixer, mix together cake mix, oil, water, and eggs. Add in vanilla extract and cream cheese, mix until well blended. Add in pie filling and mix long enough to make sure it is well incorporated into the batter. Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes (depending on your pan) or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. Remove cake from oven and let cool. Cut into squares and serve.

Note: I swapped out the sugar free vanilla cake mix for the Swerve brand vanilla cake mix in order to bring down the total carbohydrates while increasing the fiber and protein content. By using the sugar free cake mix, the carbs came in at about 22 grams per serving, Our intent is to always try to keep our dessert recipes diabetic friendly.

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New Mexican Pumpkin Seed Dip

This thick southwest inspired pumpkin seed dip is a unique, delicious and healthy alternative to guacamole if you desire something a little different for your family and friends. The toasted pumpkin seeds give it a smokey flavor. Try it out with raw bell pepper chunks or sliced jicama for scooping this dip. It’s pretty darn good too when rolled up in an Ole high fiber, low carb tortilla.

Makes 10 servings at 2 tablespoons

Calories: 79

Carbohydrates: 9g

Fat: 4g

Protein: 3g

Fiber: 2g

  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 tsp minced, fresh red chili pepper
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seed kernals, coarsely chopped (add more to taste)
  1. In a skillet, combine 1 tsp oil, garlic, and cumin. Cover over low heat for 1 minute, or until sizzling and fragrant. Do not brown the garlic. Add the chickpeas, 1/2 cup broth, and 1 tsp chili pepper. Cook, smashing the chickpeas occasionally with a fork, for about 8 minutes, or until scant liquid remains.
  2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor or into a blender. Add the lime juice, salt and remaining 1 tbsp oil. Process for about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is the consistency of peanut butter. Add up to 1/4 cup more broth and process to make a moist, but not runny consistency. Taste, and add more chili pepper if desired.
  3. Transfer to a serving dish and spread to smooth. Scatter the seeds evenly across the top, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or as long as 1 day) to allow the flavors to develop.

Makes a great party dip for game days too! Enjoy

Thanks to one of our kind readers, I went back and edited the opening to clear up some wording I had missed when transcribing this recipe a dear friend had shared with me to share with you.

 

Hyperinsulinemia and Your Heart

In the same light as our children can drive us crazy with less than intelligent life decisions and defiance, I bet our doctors must go stark raving mad with many of their patients. Think about this; every doctors office across this vast country gets inundated every day with waiting rooms packed full of patients who are ill with self induced maladies that can be prevented through proper nutrition and a little bit of regular exercise.

Joey Bagofdonuts visits his physician’s office on a regular basis with obesity related health issues, and no matter how much his doctor tries to explain how a healthier lifestyle will help Mr. Bagofdonuts, poor Joey continues on with his poor lifestyle choices, hoping his doctor will always be able to fix his health mistakes for him with medicines. Mr. Bagofdonuts, despite being an adult, is little different than a petulant child who always demands that his mother pick up his broken pieces when the game goes bad for him. Mommy then rewards Little Joey with a sweet treat instead of holding him accountable and he has learned nothing, he will go on making poor choices regarding his health. As long as there is a pill to make him feel better, Joey will never be accountable to himself. Folks, if your doctor informs you with information to straighten out your health, it is incumbent that you take the advice to heart instead of being like that petulant child. Medicines and medical procedures are not sweet treats to make you feel good in the moment only to go on about your normal business. No, they are about getting you better so you can go on with a healthier life.once you get better. As what happens to millions of adults every day, Mr. Bagofdonuts eventually ends up with life threatening heart issues or any of many other ailments tied to poor nutrition. It is a damn shame that with all the information in the world available to us in the palm of our hands, as a nation we are the fattest and least healthy of any of our preceding generations. And this, all despite our advances in medical technology.

What is Hyperinsulinemia?

Hyperinsulinemia, is a condition tied to obesity in which there are excess levels of insulin  circulating in the blood relative to the level of glucose. While it is often mistaken for diabetes, hyperinsulinemia can result from a variety of metabolic diseases and conditions. Hyperinsulinemia is also associated with hypertension, glucose intolerance and dyslipidemia. Collectively, these conditions are   known as Metabolic Syndrome. Treatment is typically achieved via diet and exercise, if only the patient will actually do it. Metformin, a diabetes drug, may be used to reduce insulin  levels in some obese patients (typically where obesity is present). However, a healthy diet that is low in simple sugars and processed carbohydrates, high in fiber, and protein is often recommended. Again, as with exercise, this treatment is only good if the patient is compliant.

Hyperinsulinemia and Heart Disease

There are two different diseases which get called “heart disease”. One is Coronary Artery Disease which involves damage to your arteries which lead out of the chambers of your heart, and that feed the muscle of the walls of your heart. The other condition is Coronary Heart Disease which involves damage to the heart itself. It is also known as Ischemic Heart Disease.

Most of the time, Coronary Artery Disease will occur before Coronary Heart disease. The good news is that Coronary Artery Disease can be halted and reversed before your heart itself becomes diseased.

Coronary Artery Disease 

From Mayoclinic.org

Coronary artery disease develops when the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients (coronary arteries) become damaged or diseased. Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque) in your arteries and inflammation are usually to blame for coronary artery disease.

When plaque builds up, it narrows your coronary arteries, decreasing blood flow to your heart. Eventually, the decreased blood flow may cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, or other coronary artery disease signs and symptoms. A complete blockage can cause a heart attack.

Because coronary artery disease often develops over decades, you might not notice a problem until you have a significant blockage or a heart attack. 

There are methods you can do for yourself to prevent yourself from getting Coronary Artery Disease in the first place. Each of these methods are in your hands at zero cost if only you choose to make the commitment to yourself:

Quit smoking.

Eat healthy foods.

Exercise regularly.

Lose excess weight.

Reduce stress.

If you need to, but choose not to make healthy lifestyle decisions, Coronary Artery Disease will involve three critical changes.

“Change 1” will be the thickening and narrowing of your arteries. Arteriosclerosis will begin when fatty streaks begin to appear on the walls of your arteries. As the artery walls thicken, the inside diameter of your arteries will become reduced which will have a direct impact on the flow of your blood. This thickening of your arteries is a result of an accumulation of cholesterol and other fats that form plaque.

If you believe that because you are not diabetic, therefore you have no worries about insulin, guess again.

Insulin signals the arterial walls to absorb cholesterol from your blood. When you eat a bunch of sugar laden crap that spikes your insulin and keeps it high all day, every day, you suffer great risk of heart disease and or heart attack. When your blood sugar and insulin levels are out of whack, your body has a more difficult time in healing itself. Sometimes, arteries narrow as a result of your body’s attempt to repair tiny blood vessel injuries. Sometimes, small spontaneous hemorrhages can occur as a result of high insulin. As a result, small fibrous plaques may begin to form. If these become calcified, you then have Hardening of the Arteries, or Arteriosclerosis. To compound this problem, insulin will stimulate cell growth. When your insulin levels are high, the walls of your blood vessels are continually bathed with this excess, the resultant cell growth reduces the inside diameter of your blood vessels where your blood flows through your body. Think of the difference in how well a skinny straw works as opposed to a big straw when trying to drink a thick milkshake. Do you want this happening inside of your blood vessels?

“Change 2” happens when your liver produces more cholesterol as a result of high levels of insulin. Many people do not realize his, but 75% of the cholesterol in your blood is produced by your liver (endogenous cholesterol) and only 25% comes from the foods in your diet (exogenous cholesterol). The type produced by your own liver is much more dangerous to your health than the cholesterol you pick up from eating eggs and such. As insulin prompts your liver to produce an excess of cholesterol extra material for plaque formation within your blood vessels is provided. As this cholesterol produced plaque grows, your arteries continue to become more and more choked off.

“Change 3” The third change which occurs from hyperinsulinemia, or high levels of insulin production, is your body reduces its ability to destroy a cement like substance called fibrin which holds the arterial plaque together in much the same way Portland Cement bonds sand and gravel together to create concrete. When you exercise and consume a healthy diet, your body naturally destroys fibrin. With little to no fibrin, your blood will flow freely throughout your body.

When you eat a nutritionally poor diet and are sedentary, the high levels of insulin present in your body will help create greater levels of fibrin. The result is you will have an increased risk now of your blood forming a clot that will not be able to pass through your narrowed and plaque choked blood vessels. As blood flow becomes reduced to your heart, it will not receive the nourishment and oxygen it requires in order to thrive. At this point, you have now entered into Coronary Heart Disease. Sadly you could have prevented this from ever occurring in the first place if you had only made smarter decisions regarding your dietary habits and made it a point to exercise at least a little bit on a regular basis. Once you have reached this “point of no return” the damage is done and no one is going to be able to pick up the broken pieces for you.

Face it, when we eat a poor diet of calorie dense, low nutrition foods every day, we are doing ourselves harm. Indirectly, we are also causing harm to all of our loved ones too. When we choose to be lazy and to eat foods that are laden with added sugar, simple carbohydrates, preservatives, high levels of sodium and unhealthy fats, we are living in the moment like a child who cannot see past the end of their nose, much less twenty to thirty years into their future, if even that long. When see and hear commercials for this gluttonous lifestyle where portions are constantly growing with our mid sections, we never see the end results often until it is far too late. You can prevent the occurrence of Coronary Artery Disease and even reverse the effects through making a personal choice to be healthy. Once this disease has progressed to Coronary Heart Disease, you are living on borrowed time, where a heart attack can  be likely to occur at an given time. We all know that when a heart attack happens, their will be no need for seeing into tomorrow. There will no longer be a need for medicines or medical procedures. While your family is feeling the pain of grieving and making your funeral plans, you will never have a bad day again to worry about.

Make wise decisions with your health and turn your ship around before it is too late.

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Living With GERD

Do you suffer from heartburn or GERD? Have you ever been awakened from a deep slumber in the middle of the night, feeling terrified that you’re drowning in stomach acid as it painfully forces it way up your throat? Have antacids or proton pump inhibitor medications become a regular staple on your weekly grocery list? If so, you are far from alone in this. This is evident by the plethora of over the counter medications available for heartburn and GERD. If this problem was not so prevalent in western society, there would not be so many of these medicines available to you.

What is GERD?

Heartburn, also called GERD (gastroesophagael reflux disease), happens when the acid in your stomach flows back up and into your esophagus. Heartburn symptoms often occur shortly after eating and can last for a few minutes or even hours. GERD causes a mild to painful burning sensation in your chest or throat, can result in a sour or bitter taste in the mouth, or even cough and or sinus symptoms such as post nasal drip. Your risk of GERD will increase when you have excess belly fat which causes pressure on the stomach that causes a back flow of stomach acid

Obesity causes us far too many avoidable problems. Those problems which arise as a result of being fat are far greater than hoping to be able to get a seat belt around yourself or having to buy new clothes every so often as your girth increases. The fatter you become, the more pressure your belly fat places onto your stomach which causes more GERD,

But, I can always take a Zantac or Previcid to prevent this, why worry?

Well, besides the unpleasant sensation of re-tasting your food which is now mixed with caustic stomach acid, GERD also burns the hell out of your esophagus – no different than how battery acid will burn your skin on the outside of your body. Once your esophagus has been burned by the stomach acid, it can take a couple days before it is healed. The risk of allowing this burning of your esophagus to continue is you become more likely to develop cancer of the esophagus. GERD is nothing you should take lightly just because you do not need to see your physician in order to get medications to alleviate some of the painful symptoms. GERD can potentially kill you.

From ObesityAction.org
As acid flows back into the esophagus, it can cause irritation and inflammation. Throughout time, complications can develop. The esophagus can narrow, leading to a stricture and swallowing problems. A sore or ulcer can develop which can bleed, be painful and make swallowing difficult. Additionally, precancerous changes can occur to the esophagus, called Barrett’s esophagus, which is the main risk factor for developing esophageal cancer.

It turns out that obesity is associated with three related esophageal disorders: GERD, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal adenocarcinoma. The risk for these disorders seems to progressively increase with increasing weight. The goal of treating GERD is not only to decrease bothersome GERD symptoms but also to decrease one’s risks of developing these other, more serious esophageal conditions.

What can you do?
The most effective action you can personally take is to make the decision to lose weight and then carry through with this plan. Create a lifestyle that involves healthy eating by cutting out added sugars, simple carbohydrates and processed foods. This change to a healthy lifestyle is much more affordable than high priced over the counter medications, and or, visits to your doctor. Losing weight is certainly more of an attractive option that letting the condition go until you have developed esophageal adenocarcinoma. You need to know that if you reach this point, adenocarcinoma’s are very aggressive and hard to treat cancers that can and will take your life with a swiftness. I watched my healthy, younger sister, lose her life in only 18 months after diagnosis with adenocarcinoma, even after very aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments. This disease is no joke.
In a 2012 study published in the journal Obesity; The majority of individuals who were overweight or affected by obesity who enrolled in a structured weight-loss program including dietary, physical activity and behavioral changes, experienced complete resolution of their GERD symptoms. The relationship between weight-loss and resolution of symptoms was dependent on the amount of weight lost, such that the more weight subjects lost, the greater improvement they saw in symptoms. Whereas women saw improvement in GERD symptoms after losing 5 to 10 percent of their weight, men experienced improvement after losing 10 percent of their weight.

If you think it is perfectly fine to remain obese and to continue just treating your GERD with medications, remember this; Like all medications, GERD medications can have side effects and can interact with other drugs. The only goal you should have through using medication as a therapy is to relieve GERD symptoms, in order to allow the healing of the esophagus, and  to prevent GERD complications while you are actively losing weight to achieve a healthy level of body fat. GERD medications should be a temporary necessity, and not become a permanent item you keep stored in your medicine cabinet.

While the risks of taking GERD medications long term are minimal as compared to living with the condition, there is still risk for some. From Web.MD; People who use common heartburn drugs for months to years may face heightened risks of dying from heart disease, kidney failure or stomach cancer, a new study suggests.

The study included more than 200,000 U.S. veterans. It’s the latest to raise concerns over drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). They include prescription and over-the-counter drugs like Prilosec (omeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole) and Nexium (esomeprazole). And they rank among the top-selling medications in the United States.

Research in recent years has linked prolonged PPI use to increased risks of various diseases and premature death.

In today’s world, health care is extremely expensive and the expense is only going to keep rising no matter what any politician on Capital Hill might tell you when promoting their latest Heath Care Plan. Some think eating healthy is too expensive as well. However, what you always have to take into consideration is that, even if some of your healthy grocery store items might cost a bit more, it is and always will be cheaper for you to manage your weight through healthy nutrition over spending any extra hard earned dollars you may have on unnecessary health care treatments that can all be traced back to unhealthy personal habits.

Pasta Zero and House Foods Brand Shiratake Noodle Review

One of the toughest foods for many on a weight loss journey to give up is their pasta. Many of us who have lived on tight budgets have made spaghetti such a large part of our subsistence that it is hard to even begin to imagine a life without it. However, eating a spaghetti dinner, or one consisting of any other pastas can cause a huge downfall in our weight management, especially for the carb addicted.

What’s not to love? Pasta is full of simple carbs and is such an excellent carrier of tomato, cream and cheese sauces which are often also loaded up with added sugars. These delicious meals are easy on our budgets and also create an instant endorphin rush as we eat them. Meals high in simple carbohydrates are quite enjoyable, but are the devil for one trying to lose weight. After all, who eats just one serving of spaghetti? I never could…

Having family members who cannot stand the thought of giving up pasta in order to lose weight has been a catalyst for me to find a type that is suitable by not being high in simple carbohydrates. This seems to be an almost impossible task, despite the many which are marketed as lower carb, rice pasta, gluten free pasta, along with others made from black beans and lentils. I have scoured the shelves in all of my local grocery stores to no avail, and then began a search upon the internet to see if there is anything out there to fill the bill of a truly low carb pasta. Enter Pasta Zero.

What is Pasta Zero ?

This food product doesn’t contain any wheat, making it gluten-free. The low calorie spaghetti is made from the root of the konjac plant, which is sometimes called a konnyaku potato. It’s a soluble fiber food that’s packed with calcium, fiber and folic acid. This gluten-free spaghetti also doesn’t contain any fat, egg or dairy. It’s just 15 calories per serving and has a slightly firmer texture than traditional wheat pasta. This pack of noodles pairs deliciously with your favorite pesto, red or white sauces. Each 8 oz Bag of Nasoya Pasta Zero Shirataki Spaghetti is easy to prepare. Simply heat, serve and enjoy. Have this spaghetti along with side dishes and meat for a fulfilling meal. It’s vegan and can be stocked in a cabinet until needed.

Ingredients: WATER, KONJAC FLOUR, CHICKPEA FLOUR, POTATO STARCH, CALCIUM HYDROXIDE, REDUCED IRON.

As you can see from the nutritional information, despite Pasta Zero being very low in carbs and calories, it is not any different than any other pasta as there is almost no nutritional value to the product. The only nutritional plus is there are 3 grams of fiber per serving. Other than that, this product is a nutritionally empty vessel to carry your pasta sauce of choice. While this product is maybe a better choice than regular pasta being as it is not full of simple carbs, I simply do not advocate eating any foods that are lacking nutritional values.

When you first open a bag of Pasta Zero, you will notice a mild earthy smell. I have read reviews where it was reported the odor was a bit fishy, but that was not my experience. Once I drained and rinsed the product as per the instructions, I tasted it plain, without sauce. I found the flavor to be mild and somewhat earthy, but it was not too bad. I then transferred the pasta to a pan and heated it with a tomato basil pasta sauce and plated it. The product looked like any other spaghetti in appearance, some might not know the difference if they are not paying close attention.Once heated, I thought the earthy flavor came through with a bit more prominence, but is was not anything over powering. I honestly cannot think of anything I have ever eaten to compare the flavor too. It tastes different than anything I have ever consumed.

We all have different tastes when it comes to what we like and dislike. You may love this product, you might hate it. I was kind of indifferent in that I would eat it if it was prepared for me by a friend, but I would never go out of my way to buy it again. At $2.28 for a 8 ounce package, the price is steep when compared to regular pasta, yet still cheap per serving when you can have a plate of it with your favorite sauce for under $5.00 If you feel you must have pasta in your life, I would say Pasta Zero is worth trying at least once. While I did not care for it too much, one of my family members thought is was pretty good despite being chewy in texture. Taste is all subjective to the individual.

House Foods Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti is almost identical to Pasta Zero with only minor differences. It is made from a blend of tofu and konnyaku (or konjac), an Asian yam, Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti contains 20 calories and only 6g of carbs for the whole package.

Ingredients: water, soybeans, yam flour, calcium hydroxide, glucono delta lactone, calcium sulfate.

Upon opening this product packaging, I found the odor to be no different that that of Pasta Zero. Slightly earthy, but not overwhelming as I had been lead to believe from some of the reviews I have read. I had read that these types of noodles are better with Asian sauces over tomato or cream based sauces and since I had a good spicy peanut sauce recipe in my head, that is how I prepared it.

I found this product to look like regular spaghetti much like Pasta Zero, and the texture had the same chewiness too. The difference was in the flavor. The earthy flavor was a bit much for my personal taste. After consuming about half of what I prepared, I chucked the rest in my garbage disposal. I could eat this to be polite if someone served it to me, but I’m not sure I could pretend to enjoy it. Again, taste is subjective to each individual, you might love them. I found the flavor to be the same as that of Pasta Zero, only it was stronger. The price point was about the same as Pasta Zero at about $2.50 a package. While this is an inexpensive meal choice, to me the cheapness is also reflected in the lack of good nutritional value. I personally believe in making every bite of my food count towards making a positive contribution to my nutritional needs. I find this product to be lacking in this area. While I’m not bursting at the seams to buy either product again, I would recommend going with the Pasta Zero over House Foods brand. But hey, you might just think the opposite.

Remember this about pasta, it releases endorphins in your body which make you feel better in the moment. These two products are not going to do this. If you just have to have pasta in your life but know you need to cut it out in order to control your weight, I would make a comparison to non-alcoholic beer to a serious beer drinker. While an O’Douls might taste kind of good, it will just be enough to get a serious drinker to put it down and go get the alcoholic version which are much better in taste and how they make you feel. Fake pasta is the non-alcoholic beer version of pasta, it is the decaffeinated cup of coffee in the morning that brings no satisfaction to a coffee drinker. You may very well think differently, these are just my opinions. If there was no one who actually liked these products, they would not be found on the shelves of your local grocery store.

Losing That Last 20 Pounds

I was doing a little reading today to find a little inspiration for something to write about, and came upon this question within a weight loss forum where the individual asked if anyone else decided that losing the last few pounds was just not worth it.

If you have ever followed any weight loss social media sights, you know this mindset of quitting is actually quite prevalent, even among those who have had great success at losing a good amount of body fat. It seems it is almost always that last 20 pounds that people have the most difficulty with losing.

And there is no good reason for anyone to just give up on their weight loss journey, especially when they are so close to their goal weight.

Excuses!

When you follow any of these weight loss social media sights, you will see a myriad of excuses why some cannot lose weight, or why some have done well and then cannot get past a plateau.

I just cannot lose these last pounds!

Is it that you cannot lose those final pounds or is it that you simply do not want to remain committed to doing what it takes in order to obtain your goal weight?

It’s too hard!

Too hard? What is going to be harder in your life, losing a few more pounds or living a life that has you less than healthy. A life that involves regular doctors visits for unnecessary ailments that are almost always going to be related to your nutritional habits.

I Just can’t eat any less than I do now.

Really? Do you think you need to eat less in order to lose unwanted weight? If you have quit eating sugar and processed foods and only eat healthy whole foods that meet all of your nutritional needs, you will have a difficult time managing to actually eat enough to not lose weight.

I’m missing out on all the fun my family and friends are having.

Is a few moments of bliss worth the life that comes from gluttonous eating of poor food choices? Is that momentary fun worth the disgust you feel when you peer upon yourself in the mirror? Is that ice cream sundae worth the expense of new clothing because even though you are at an age where your body should have quit growing, it is anyhow? Is the fun on Friday nights out having pizza and beer worth it when you are worried that you might not fit in your wedding dress you recently purchased upon getting engaged? When you have to take readings of your blood sugar and then take your diabetic drugs or insulin, is it really worth having it to join in with your co-workers when one brings donuts to the office?

I’m miserable, I feel so deprived, I’m too depressed all the time.

This is a common problem for those who know that simple carbohydrates and sugar are a problem for them, yet they refuse to quit eating it. Being miserable, feeling deprived and depressed is part and parcel to an addiction to sugar and simple carbohydrates. As long as you keep feeding the addiction, even just a little bit, you are going to feel this way. Quit sugar, quit simple carbs such as breads and pastas, and quit processed foods and soon your mood will improve as the cravings you get from simple carbs and sugar will soon subside entirely as your hormones will come back into balance.

Just one more binge with the junk food and I swear I will be over it, or, I just cannot imagine life without my favorite junk food.

No, you will not be over it. You will not be over it until you actually get it in your mind to get through the first couple of weeks after quitting sugar and simple carbs.

I’m not good at exercise and I have never really liked it anyhow.

So what? Despite the fact I encourage all who are capable of exercise to do so, it is not necessary in order to bring your weight down. Exercise is about strengthening your body and improving your quality of life, however, losing weight is still simply a matter of not consuming more calories than your body burns in a day. If you cannot lose weight, no matter what you think or believe, you are eating more calories than your body requires. Exercise just allows you to eat a few more calories than you would be able to otherwise. But truth be told, most people do not burn as many calories with their exercise routines as they believe they do. Most of the calories you burn every day are a result of body functions you do not even have to think about. It takes energy for you to breathe, and sleep, and for all of your internal organs to function. Only about 15 to 30 percent of your calories burned through the course of the day are through intentional physical activity such as walking, jogging or maybe while doing the Funky Chicken when your favorite song comes on the radio. No matter what you might think, your exercise is not your primary pathway to burning fat, it is only a fraction of it.

You don’t understand, my body is comfortable at this weight. My metabolism will not let me lose more, it’s not my fault.

Really, is it that your body is comfortable being over weight, or is it just all in your own mind? Your metabolism can be revved up through proper nutritional habits and exercise. Odds are you have a larger problem in between your ears than you do with your metabolism. Your metabolism is a dynamic element, it is not static , meaning it cannot be changed.

My hormones are out of whack, therefore I have no hope.

Have you been to a doctor and had blood work to know this for fact? If not, you are just making an assumption that is not well founded. If your hormones are not in balance or being produced in the adequate amount, your doctor can prescribe you medicines to assist with this. However, most of this can be remedied through healthy eating and exercise. You have 9 hormones that tell you to eat, and 14 hormones that are supposed to tell you when to stop. By taking responsibility to consume all the nutrients you need for proper hormonal balance most of these imbalances can and will sort themselves out. However, we do recognize your body may have a genetic glitch such as not producing enough leptin, or maybe it makes too much cortisol. Maybe none of your satiety related hormones are working at all. If that is the case, no amount of willpower is going to overcome this problem. If this is the case, then between you and your doctor, you will need to reprogram your hormonal circuitry. This is going to possibly require medications, but it is definitely going to take you making a choice to begin eating responsibly for your health. The more body fat you lose while adding lean muscle mass, the more your hormonal balance will get back into sync with your body’s needs.

I have done everything right, and now I do not know what to do in order to lose my final 20.

You probably have done everything correctly if you have successfully lost a good amount of weight over time. You may have all the keys in your hand to lose that final 20 pounds, but are overlooking an important step. That step is to continuously evaluate your caloric needs as the calories required in order for you to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week were spot on at 300 pounds, that same total might be what is required to maintain at your current weight. Worse yet, that caloric total might actually be enough for you to begin gaining weight again. You have to make continuous adjustments during your weight loss, and even once you have met your goals. For instance, the total amount of calories you burn during the summer may be significantly higher than those you burn in the winter months. Consider, 1 pound of body fat equals 3500 calories. It takes a deficit of 500 per day in order for you to lose 1 pound of fat per week. Now, let’s assume that while your body requires 2000 calories per day in order to maintain during the active months of the summer, it may only need 1750 calories per day during the winter when you are more likely to be in your home and sedentary. If you have not adjusted your intake down, you will find the fat coming back on at a rate of 1/2 pound per week with only an excess 250 calories per day over your needs. Weight management is truly a management issue. It is not difficult, but it does require constant attention and adjustments along the way. Here at David’s Way, we can help you with this. We have 600 articles and healthy recipes now which have always been, and always will be free to you. If you have questions or comments, then please do so in the comments section, or you can contact us through e-mail through our Contact Menu tab.

Remaining Athletic as We Age

Sometimes as our bodies age, it becomes necessary to change up our physical fitness routines and methodologies in order to continue our pursuits in physical fitness. And this is completely fine. I personally have switched up from dead lifting with a straight barbell to dead lifting with a hex bar as not only have I suffered a spinal injury in the past, my age can still play a role in my flexibility and mobility, the lack of which can prevent me from being able to place my body into the optimal position for pulling in excess of 300 pounds off the floor for multiple repetitions. The important message I want to convey is it is far better to modify your physical fitness routine rather than just quitting once it becomes difficult to accomplish. Do not quit because your ego is hurt solely because your form and abilities are no longer that of the twenty somethings you see in your gym. If you are over the age of 50, it is now even more imperative that you keep your body fit and strong. The alternative is to find yourself prematurely living in a nursing home because you might now lack the ability to get yourself on and off the toilet by yourself, or you might find yourself lacking in any of your other basic functions of life.

Cold, Hard Facts of Life as We Age

  • As we get older and grayer, it is a simple fact our body composition will begin to change due to an increase in fat and a decrease in lean muscle mass if you are not proactive in preventing this occurrence from happening in the first place. Beginning at the young age of 30, you can lose about a half a pound of your lean muscle tissue with each passing year. If you are a yo-yo dieter, this loss is going to be even higher. The amount of muscle you lose is going to be dependent on the quality of your nutrition, your level of fitness and activity, and to an extent, on your gender. Every year that you allow yourself to lose lean muscle mass, you are causing your metabolism to become slower and slower. I want to emphasize the words “you are causing” as the choice to eat right and exercise is entirely yours to make.
  • The less muscle you have, the weaker you can count on becoming. When you lose muscle, you are losing power and strength. This might not matter to you today, but imagine how it will feel when you need assistance with your daily functions of life. You have to take your health and fitness serious, and do so early on in life. Your skeletal muscle is going to produce less force, and the mechanical characteristics of your muscles are going to degrade. You will find that once you are over the age of 50, it can take longer for your muscles to respond than they did when you were just a youngster.
  • Your flexibility will become reduced as you age, and with that comes the risk of injuries as your tendons are not as elastic as they once were. Without this elasticity, your muscle tissues are less able to take being stressed.
  • Cardiac function becomes reduced as we age. Your heart can become less able to pump large quantities of blood throughout your body. This problem is compounded when you allow yourself to become over weight or obese. The higher blood pressure will reduce the amount of blood ejected with each heart beat. You may even see a decline in your heart rate due to changes in your electrical conduction system and to hormonal changes. Again, if you have allowed yourself to become over weight or obese, whether you want to admit it or not, you have made the poor life choices which has resulted into these health issues.
  • Your metabolism is going to decrease as you age. Metabolically, aerobic enzymes appear to decline, your aerobic capacity will be reduced about 10% per decade after the age of 25. That is, unless you are proactive in preventing these occurrences through proper nutrition and exercise.

You Can Remedy These Health Issues Yourself

You do not have to suffer the consequences of reduced muscle mass nor the subsequent loss of function if you make intelligent choices in regards to living your life. Many, if not most of the issues we face as we age in our musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems are a direct result of poor nutrition and laziness.

  • The loss of lean muscle mass can be minimized or prevented by cardiovascular and or strength training.
  • By  maintaining a regular exercise regimen while eating a wholesome and healthy diet, where you are controlling the intake of energy (calories) older athletes can maintain the same levels of body fat as they had when they were much younger. (I maintain at 9% body fat at 56 years old) Not only is regular exercise going to help in maintaining your lean muscle mass, it is going to help keep your body fat percentage down at healthy levels. By doing this you will mitigate the premature occurrence of age related ailments.
  • It is a myth that muscle mass and strength cannot be built on as we age. It is entirely possible to build strength and muscle over the age of 50, I’m still training with heavy weights at 56 years old, and still going strong. No matter your age, you will benefit by beginning a strength training program of some sort. It does not have to be heavy, nor does it require special equipment or expensive gym memberships. Nope, you can do all that you require to strengthen your body simply through a few body weight exercises, rather calisthenics.

The bottom line is to eat right and get your body moving at least 3 to 4 times per week with strength or cardiovascular exercise. Regular exercise has been proven to slow the hands of Father Time.

Savory Protein Power Bar

In further appreciation to our dear reader Dr. Tanya, here is a great savory protein bar recipe as requested. We hope you enjoy this one too!

We truly care for and value our readers at David’s Way. If you have a special request for a recipe or a topic you would like to see covered, please let us know in the comments or you can send us an e-mail through our contact link. Our mission is to help as many people around the world as we can to live healthier lives. If you enjoy and derive benefit from what you read on my blog, then please share it with all your family and friends.

Savory Protein Power Bar

This recipe yields 10 bars

Calories: 144    Carbs: 14g    Fat: 5g    Protein: 6g

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten free if desired)
  • 1/2 cup unflavored (plain) pea protein powder
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup roasted, chopped pistachios
  • 1/3 cup roasted, chopped almonds
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • Optional:  tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  1.  Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or spray an 8 inch square baking pan.
  2. Process the oats in a food processor until it is a fine flour. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add the pea protein powder, cooked quinoa, chia seeds, pistachios, almonds, salt and milk. Also add optional pepper and or Parmesan cheese if desired. Stir until well blended.
  4. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes , until golden brown on top and firmly set in the center. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely in the pan.
  6. Remove bars from the pan and cut into 10 bars. Individually wrap the bars in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 4 days. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 2 months.

To increase the protein content; Omit the oats and increase the protein powder by 1 cup. Or substitute any given amount of omitted oats with equal measure of protein powder. The total elimination of the oats and addition of 1 cup of protein powder will result in 158 calories per bar, carbs: 0g  fat: 8g and protein: 13g

Fruit, Nut and Seed Protein Bars

By special request, from a special reader, Dr. Tanya here is a good protein bar that is loaded with nuts, seeds and fruit. You can mix and match the nuts, fruits and seeds to your own favorite flavor combinations. I hope you enjoy this simple, yet delicious and healthy recipe!

Yields: 18 bars

168 calories,   10.6g carbs,   13g fat,   4.7g protein

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup assorted nuts, chopped (walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar free maple syrup, (optional honey)
  • 2 scoops (62g) vanilla protein powder (whey or soy)
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups assorted dried fruits, chopped (figs, cranberries, cherries, apples, raisins, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame)
  1.  Place nuts and oats on a baking sheet and bake in a 425 degree oven for 7 minutes to toast.
  2. Transfer oat/nut mix into food processor with syrup (or honey) peanut butter, vanilla protein powder, and salt and pulse to chop and combine.
  3. Add fruit, coconut and seeds and pulse to combine.
  4. Line a 9″ x 14″ baking pan with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray.
  5. Press mix firmly into pan. Compress and level surface.
  6. Bake 20 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. Allow to cool completely in pan.
  7. Remove from pan, lifting by holding edges of aluminum foil.
  8. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container with waxed paper between layers to prevent sticking.

Will You? Can You?

Here at David’s Way we get frequent requests through our blog contact menu from people who are needing help and or advice in how to lose and manage their weight in a healthy manner. While we have a long term goal of actually assisting clients on a full time basis, this is currently  not possible for a variety of reasons. That being said, we are always happy to still give advice to our readers when it is asked of us. Our goal is to help others in living healthier lives through proper nutrition and exercise.

If, or when you request our assistance or advice, we will always have a few standard questions we will ask of you. While the answers to these simple questions are important for us, they need to also be important to you in order for us to help you help yourself. Please understand that no matter your response to any of these questions, we cast no judgement. We actually understand your plight,  as we have been through the same struggles with weight as you.

  1. What brings you to us for advice?
    • Are you simply tired of how you look and feel?
    • Are you desperate? Have you tried everything under the sun only to have failed with each and every attempt at weight loss?
    • Is family or friends badgering you to lose weight?
    • Are you trying to appease these well meaning loved one? you have to do this for yourself, not for the sake of others.
    • Worse case scenario, as a result of you weight, are you now suffering the consequences of bad health as a result of your poor dietary habits?
    • Do you have another health condition where your weight is keeping you from receiving necessary medical procedures such as surgeries?
  2. Are you truly ready to make a healthy change with yourself?
    • This question ties in with number 1. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “not ready” and 10 being “ready”, any score less than a 7 seven means you are not likely to succeed in achieving your objective. We have found little to no success from those who do not truly approach their weight loss agenda feeling anything less than ready to make a change. Those who are not fully committed to a lifestyle change are doomed to failure.
    • Know that while we will still provide you with advice, taking it all on board and incorporating positive changes are on you to accomplish for yourself.
  3. On a scale of 1 to 10, are you going to adhere to your dietary goals?
    • With 1 being “never” and 10 being “always”.
    • If you are never going to adhere, please do not waste any of ours or your own time. Dietary goals must be kept, otherwise you will only have temporary success at best.
    • Here at David’s Way, we promote a high protein, low carbohydrate lifestyle where you do not eat simple carbs such as sugar, nor do we consume processed foods such as whole prepared meals you can toss into your oven for a half hour or so.
    • The fact we tell you to not eat sugar or processed foods is what separates us from some of the big weight loss businesses such as Weight Watchers where they tell you it is okay to still eat sugar as long as you track it. By telling one who is carb addicted they can still eat sugar, it is akin to Alcoholics Anonymous telling their members an occasional beer or drink will not hurt. If you have a weight problem as a result of a carb addiction, you are not likely to just be able to bring it under control by will power alone. A carb addiction is not a mental weakness, it comes as a chemical biological response within your body where your only control is by not eating that which drives your addiction.
  4. Are you confident in making a lifestyle change?
    • With 1 being “not ready” and 10 being “very ready”. Even if you are not confident, we can still work with you. We understand that a new healthy lifestyle may be an entirely new concept to you. Yet we also know that confidence can be built on over time with many small victories.
    • If you are confident in yourself, then there is no limit to where a healthy lifestyle can carry you.
  5. We will want to know lastly the degree of importance a healthy life style is to you.
    • With 1 being “not ready” and 10 being “very ready”
    • If there is little to no degree of importance in losing weight and getting healthy, then please take a hard look at yourself and consider a few things such as:
      1. Just how heavy are you comfortable in getting?
      2. Why are you comfortable being over weight, and where are you going to draw the line?
      3. Being obese will at some point cause you health issues, if not already. Are you okay with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart failure, high blood pressure, cancers, among many other weight and nutrition related ailments?
      4. Can you afford high medical bills that are a direct result of your poor habits? If not, you had better well reconsider your lifestyle.
      5. Is the sugar laden foods you enjoy for comfort worth your life?
      6. How much value do you place on your own life?

We are here for you and are happy to answer your comments or questions. Know that we are direct and to the point and will not sugar coat anything to spare your feelings. We believe the best path forward is paved with the truth. The gravity of your situation must be dealt with in order to best help you. Again, this is what separates us from the others. We have a desire to help our readers and to never use you as a perpetual income stream such as how the others will.

The blog information and articles will always be free to you. In the near future, we will have an app where all your nutrition and fitness activities can be tracked. At this point we will have a small fee for the app in order to cover our expenses. At some point also we will be taking on clients full time, this too will be a paid service. We will keep you posted of our progress towards these endeavors.

Thank you and God bless for reading.