Positivity

Every action we take is a matter of choice. We choose our attitude, good or bad. We choose to either be reactive or proactive to life circumstances.

Choosing positivity is always going to healthier than choosing negativity.

By making a choice to be negative, you will be taking what is on the surface, the easy route. The irony is, that easy path often leads to more misery.

A healthy lifestyle comes from positivity, it comes from a healthy attitude.

Make the right choices with a positive attitude and enjoy your life.

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Sugar Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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First, who does not like a good cookie? How about a tasty cookie that you can eat that is also not a threat to your waist line? That is unless you eat and entire batch, and maybe not even then…

I have heard it said that sugar free cookie, brownie and cake recipes do not translate well tasty snacks. Well, I beg to differ on this reason for a few reasons. First, I would never post a recipe that I do not enjoy. Next, I find that the sugar alcohol Erythitol which is sold under the brand name Swerve makes awesome desserts. While Swerve is about 60% as sweet as refined sugar, I find this to be a good thing as I actually find the sweetness of sugar to be rather sickening for me since I have been totally sugar free for well over a year now. What I love about desserts and treats made with Swerve is I can enjoy a cookie, brownie or slice of cake while never worrying about the sugar cravings which would come later if they had contained it. My blood sugar and insulin levels do not get out of whack and I find it much easier to use moderation when eating sweet treats made with Swerve.

This recipe makes 8 gooey, chewy, and delicious cookies:

Per cookie: 145 calories, 5g carbs, 11.5g fat, 2.75g fiber and 5.6g protein

  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp Unsweetened natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup Brown Swerve or Swerve granulated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar free chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. In a medium bowl mix melted butter, peanut butter, Swerve, and egg until very smooth, set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined.
  4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Add chocolate chips to combined mixture and stir until just incorporated.
  6. Roll dough into 8 large balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until browning around the edges. Allow cookies to cool completely before digging in.

 

Symptoms of Stress and Tips to Reduce It

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The picture above I took from on the road in my semi out somewhere in south western Kansas. The tranquility of the open road is great for easing a stressful mind. At David’s Way, our approach to wellness is so much more than weight loss alone, as we know there are other elements that need addressed for true healthy living. Physical fitness helps us in losing weight and stress reduction. Stress reduction helps us in losing weight as our bodies produce less of the stress hormone Cortisol. Weight loss helps us in getting more physically fit and helps to reduce the stress which comes from being obese. All these factors are tied into a lifestyle and are interwoven together. David’s Way is not a temporary diet or a short term solution, it is a lifestyle we live.

Symptoms of Stress

Physical Symptoms:  Muscular tension, Headaches, Insomnia, Twitching eyelid, Fatigue, Backaches, Neck/Shoulder pain, Digestive disorders, Teeth grinding, Changes in eating/sleep patterns, Sweaty palms

Emotional Symptoms:  Anxiety, Frequent crying, Irritability, Frustration, Depression, Worrying, Nervousness, Moodiness, Anger, Self doubt, Resentment

Mental Symptoms:  Short concentration, Forgetfulness, Lethargy, Pessimism, Low productivity, Confusion

Social Symptoms:  Loneliness, Nagging, Withdrawal from social contact, Isolation, Yelling at others, Reduced sex drive

Tips for Reducing Stress

  • Learn to say “no.” Do not over commit. Delegate work at home and work.
  • Organize your time. Use a daily planner. Prioritize your tasks. Make a list and a realistic timetable. Check off tasks as they are completed. This gives you a sense of control of overwhelming demands and reduces anxiety.
  • Be physically active. Big muscle activities, such as strength training or even walking, are the best for relieving tension.
  • Develop a positive attitude. Surround yourself with positive quotes, soothing music, and affirming people.
  • Relax or meditate. Schedule regular massages, use guided imagery tapes or just take ten minutes for quiet reflection time in a park.
  • Get enough sleep. Small problems can seem overwhelming when you are tired.
  • Eat properly. Be sure to eat a diet high in protein and low in carbs. Do not eat refined sugar or processed foods. Limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine.
  • To err is human. Do not treat a mistake as a catastrophe. Ask yourself what will be the worst thing that will happen.
  • Work at making friends and being a friend. Close relationships do not just happen. Compliment three people today. Send notes to those who did a good job.
  • Accept yourself. Appreciate your talents and your limitations. Everyone has them.
  • Laugh. Look at the irony of a difficult situation. Watch movies and plays and read stories that are humorous.
  • Take three deep breaths.
  • Forgive. Holding onto grudges only causes you more stress and pain.

 

 

De-Stress and Live a Full Life

My friends, besides being a health and fitness author, I am also a professional trucker. The picture above was the frozen landscape of southwestern Kansas this morning. Despite the bitterly cold wind, it was a beautiful morning which I wanted to share with you. I snapped this picture just a few miles east of Dodge City, Kansas. Yes, the wild west home of Marshall Matt Dillon, the rowdy cowtown people refer to when they say they are “getting the hell out of Dodge”.

I love this job for the solitude of being on the open road with no one to disturb my inner peace, although I do run teams with another driver. When one is driving, the other driver will be in the sleeper berth getting their much needed rest as we hammer down on the black top for a 935 mile trip on each outing, 3 nights per week.

One thing I love about the open road is it gives me time when I am behind the wheel of my big rig to work out topics for my blog. As I wind my way across the Kansas prairie during the middle of bright star lit nights, my mind seeks out and easily finds pure tranquility, the starlit sky brings back very fond memories of days past when I was a young “high speed, low drag” sailor in the US Navy, steaming across the Pacific and Indian Oceans at night aboard the pride of the fleet, my first ship, the mighty USS Enterprise CVN 65. Nights on the open road remind me of peaceful nights at the conclusion of flight operations when I could find a comforable place to kick back on a sponson or catwalk and stare off into the night sky so clear there would be no horizon, you could not tell where the sea ended and the sky began. During these calm nights on the road, I can begin piecing articles together in my mind before actually setting down to my lap top. Once I log out to my sleeper berth, I have time to study and research, and also to work on my blog pieces. A tremendous amount of time goes into bringing you, our faithful readers, quality topics. As I have told my co-author Brenda Sue, quality is always first and foremost over quantity in this endeavor.

At David’s Way, besides promoting a diet of low carbs and high protein combined with physical fitness, we are also strong advocates of stress reduction as another integral element of healthy living. Years ago, when I was a young man, I got into a little trouble in the Navy and had to complete a program where I was first introduced to The Serenity Prayer. Ever since, I have done my level best to live by the principals of this prayer in all of life’s endeavors. This prayer has helped me immensely through life, and even if you do not believe in God, the principles can still help you too. Here is the prayer with my breakdown of what it means to me:

Lord, grant me the Serenity to accept that which I can not change.

In life, there are always going to be circumstances beyond our control that we can do little about. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Those people might be ourselves, or a loved one. I am not saying it is easy in anyway, but in order to best get through a tough time, we must remain calm and keep our wits about us. By not letting our stressed emotions over ride common and practical sense, we can then think about applying the next part of the Serentiy Prayer.

Grant me the Courage to change that which I can.

Sometimes it takes courage to get through a tough time with a proactive approach to improve your situation. For an example from my own life, nine years ago I suffered a debilitating spinal injury at L5 S1. I blew the disk out like a jelly donut and it encapsulated my sciatic nerve. I was for all intents and purposes disabled at this time as I could no longer work. Treatment for this injury required a series of Epidural Steroid Injections to my spine which were totally non-effective. Then I underwent spinal surgery where all the herniated disk material was removed along with arthritis which had formed in my lower spine. Surgery was followed by two months of physical therapy. Despite the injections and surgery, my sciatic nerve was damaged and it subseqently scarred over which leaves me with daily chronic pain in my right leg, even all these years later. I will suffer chronic sciaitic pain for the rest of my life. Back to the Serenity, I have come to accept this chronic pain as a part of my life. But, it took a lot of courage in learning to walk normal again and then to return to the work force. It took me a year to train my leg to track normally instead of having my foot dragging off to the side. Every step was a conscious decision to make it track right. It was a lot of effort and more than a few tears were shed during the process. I have experienced unnbearable pain, yet, I knew that if I could get through the pain, I could once again lead a normal life. My family doctor recommended I go on permanant and full disability because I was so debilitated with pain and was relying on pain pills to just get through the day. I could have gave in to the pain and went on disability, instead I chose to face life without the numbing effects of pain meds and began doing everything within my power to regain normalcy. I had to face the fact that some of the therapy I had to endure to get better was going to bring tears of pain, and yet I still did it for myself and my family. I knew that I could make a change for the better, therefore I mustered up the courage and did everything in my power to get my full life back which I accomplished.

And the Wisdom to know the difference.

The wisdom to know the difference is important in that there will be circumstances you can not change no matter how courageous you may be. If you have more courage than common sense, you will only find yourself stressed in trying to acheive the unachievable. We are not all Superman or Wonderwoman, we are not super heros who are infallible. No, we are all human, with very real human problems. I believe in being proactive in making my own life better and encourage others to always do the same, yet once we have the serentiy to accept that which we can not change, we can make vast improvements in our quality of life by just letting things go and not being stressed. Conversely, if we have the courage to step up to life’s never ending challenges, we are also rewarded in that what may be difficult today, realistically can be made less bothersome each and everytime we confront adversity head on. To sum up the Serenity Prayer, it really amounts of learning to pick and choose your battles. Choosing which hill is worth dying on and which hill is worth walking away from. How you confront the stress of life is totally up to your own personal decisions, choose wisely.

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept that which I can not change.

The courage to change that which I can.

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Think about this, study this, and then live by these principles in all of lifes endeavors, your life will only be enriched by doing so.

Reuben Slaw Recipe

My lovely wife came up with the scrumptious recipe a few weeks ago. I thought is was so good, I would just have to share it with my readers. I am sure you folks are going to enjoy this one immensely!

This recipe serves 4: 449 calories, 15.9 carbs, 23.1g fat and 37.8g protein

  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 1 lb beef pastrami (I prefer Boars Head brand for less sodium)
  • 1/2 lb Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup horseradish sauce
  • 3/4 cup sweet cherry peppers
  • 1/2 cup dill pickles
  1. Cut the end off the head of cabbage and slice in half.
  2. Julienne cut the cabbage into roughly 1/4 inch thick strips. (slaw cut)
  3. Cut the pastrami into 1/4 in strips.
  4. Cut the Swiss cheese into 1/4 inch strips.
  5. Dice the sweet cherry peppers and dill pickles.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients with the half cup of horseradish sauce and toss to mix well.

My Experience with Weight Watchers

A little over a year and a half ago, my dear wife made the decision to join Weight Watchers. Me, being the thoughtful husband that I am, decided to join with her in order to be supportive of her journey. Truth be told, I was in need of losing weight too as I was a power lifter who could, and was, consuming everything under the sun to fuel my weight training. I truthfully needed to do this as much as she did, although I was strong as an ox, my blood pressure was beginning to get elevated, my cholesterol and triglycerides were jumping out of bounds, and I had a constant problem with acid reflux.

My lovely bride and I joined Weight Watchers under the Smart Points plan in place before Free Style was enacted. Before I go any further, I want to say, this article is not in any way, shape or manner meant to run down a program that I actually had great success under. If I had joined all by myself instead of with my wife, and if I had never interacted with any of the good folks on Weight Watchers social media “Connect”, I would have maybe one contrary issue with Free Style. I actually loved it when it first came out as the weight was just rolling off of my body. My only issue was even after reaching goal, I could not quit losing weight.

Now, despite my great success on this seemingly wonderful weight loss program, I was watching my dear wife flounder on it. As I watched her flounder, I was also reading sad posts daily on Connect, and realized that she was not alone in her struggles. There are a good many others out there, like her, who work totally within the parameters of Free Style, who have such issues with losing weight, they have a name for themselves. They refer to themselves as “Turtles”. So the question arises, if as a couple we are eating essentially the same foods during meal times, and we are both earning our Blue Dots, how is it I am easily losing while she was not losing anything at all? We are both faithfully following the guidelines as set forth by Weight Watchers in order to lose weight which should lead us both to healthier lives, except it was not working for her.

I know the first thing which probably comes to mind for at least a few of you is that I am an athletic male while she is not. While that sound reason could come into play to at least some extent, it is not enough of a reason for the difference in our ability to shed body fat. I weight train and hike, therefore, I eat a lot more than she does. This being the case, it could be easy for me to remain too heavy also. If your spoon moves faster to your mouth than your feet can carry you on a run, you are going to remain over weight. You can not outrun a bad diet.

After watching Loraine, and following hundreds of people on Connect who also follow the Weight Watchers dietary plan according to how it is laid out, the big difference between her and I, and the hundreds of “Turtles” I have watched on Connect, is they all still consume simple carbohydrates, and added refined sugar. While added sugars do not pass my lips into my digestive tract for any reason, the consumption of added refined sugar in meals and desserts is absolutely allowed under Weight Watchers Free Style program. Weight Watchers allows their members to eat poorly as long as they track their food and do not exceed their allowed points for the day.

From the Weight Watchers web site:

  • Our program also has over 200 Zero Point foods you never have to portion or track.
  • Spend your personalized Smart Points on any food you like.

Here in lies a huge problem, and those two, or at least similar, statements are made more than once by Weight Watchers. There are no zero calorie foods on their list of 200 plus zero point foods. There may be a few exceptions with artificial sweetners, but as for solid foods, all have a caloric value. To tell one they never have to portion or track is either mis-leading at best, or lying at worse.

No matter what you have been told, or believe, weight management is a matter of calories consumed verses calories burned. Some people can follow the Weight Watchers Free Style plan, earn their Blue Dots, and remain under the calories they need just to maintain weight. These people find success in weight loss. This is how it is supposed to work theoretically. However, many people earn their Blue Dots with poor food choices and then fill up on Zero Point foods which can very easily place them in a caloric surplus where they either can not lose weight, or they end up gaining weight. you can read about this every day on the Weight Watchers social media “Connect”.

Every human has a Basal Metabolic Rate which determines the total amount of calories their bodies require in a day just for basic functions. Activities other than basic human functions require even more calories to fuel the body. Let’s say the average woman requires 1800 calories a day to maintain her weight. A simple reduction of 500 calories a day, seven days a week will result in one pound of fat burned. One pound of fat equals 3500 calories, you must reduce your calories by this amount each week in order to lose one pound of fat per week, there is no way around it. Period.

Many people on the Weight Watchers program have serious eating disorders, such as “B.E.D or, Binge Eating Disorder”. Again, this is something commonly discussed on “Connect”. When one has a true eating disorder, does it make any sense to tell them they do not need to portion or track any type of food, even if it is a healthy one? I personally beg to differ with anyone who says they do not need to portion or track these foods. For example, it is easy to earn a Blue Dot each day by eating low nutrient, high calories treats. You can have people who do this by let’s say, Sally drove down to the local Dairy Queen and used her smart points on a soft serve ice cream dessert after consuming a meal of high carb, high fat, high calorie hamburger and fries with a large Coke. Sally could have easily have consumed 1800 calories which may be her total daily requirements and then fill up the rest of the day on zero point foods. This is totally within the scope of Free Style as it is laid out. This is how many, if not most, of their members understand it to work. They earned their Blue Dot and should still lose weight, right?

Did I mention I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn?

So, Sally ate junk as she is allowed to eat anything she wants under the plan per Weight Watchers own words. She earned her Blue Dot for the day and then because she got hungry a little later in the evening she decided to enjoy zero point foods such as 4 ounces of skinless boneless chicken breast for 110 calories. Then as a side dish, she had a half cup of pinto beans for another 103 calories, two boiled eggs with salad greens and vinegar for another 170 calories. And then for dessert, Sally decided to enjoy another zero point food, plain fat free greek yogurt, for an additional 80 per 5.3 ounce serving. These zero point foods total 463 addtional calories on top of the 1800 Sally consumed earlier during the day for a total of 2,263 calories for the day. Now, what if she had another serving of fat free greek yogurt and an apple between breakfast and lunch too? They are zero points and do not require to be portioned or tracked. yet could add an additional 160 calories for a total of 2,423 calories for the day. Seems she might be over her requirements a little bit, would you agree?

If Sally requires 1800 calories per day or 12,600 per week in order to maintain her current weight with no loss, how much over would she be if she ate junk for her 23 smart ponts a day and then filled up on zero point foods as in the example.? If this was her typical day, then her weekly total would arrive at 16,961 calories for the week which is 4361 calories over her BMR requirements. A single pound of fat equals 3500 calories, therefore Sally should expect that despite earning her Blue Dot and being faithful to how Free Style is laid out, she should gain about 1.25 pounds during that week. This is basic human biology and there is no way around it. The plan can be easily manipulated which keeps their members floundering.

Another major issue with Weight Watchers is their Fit Points and how they can be earned in order for the member to be able to eat additional food. You can earn Fit Points even by simply doing house work such as running your vacuum cleaner your carpet, etc… Listen here, I am no rocket scientist, but if you were not working your heart pushing that vacuum cleaner with enough intensity in order to burn fat before, you damn sure are not going to now, just because you can earn points in order to shovel down more food. If your activity is going to mean anything in regards to burning body fat, then it is a must that your heart rate become elevated for at least 20 minutes or more. It takes 20 minutes of moderate activity with an elevated heart rate in order to just burn through your glycogen stores before your body can or will begin to burn fat for energy. Fit points can be great for those who are athletic, but it makes zero sense to award someone the additional points to continue nothing more than they were doing while becoming obese in the first place. If house work did not get you fit and trim before, you had damn sure better not use it as a justification to eat more food now just because you “earned the points”. I challenge anyone to tell me where I am wrong in this fact of basic human biology which should have been learned in at least 8th grade Junior High School Biology.

I had great success with Weight Watchers FreeStyle. I am athletic and I am well versed in nutrition. However, this program attracts those who are not athletic, those who do not have a well rounded knowledge of nurition, and Weight Watchers panders to their sensitivities by allowing them to continue eating the foods which made them obese in the first place. You are not going to give a recovered alcoholic a beer, you are not going to give an ex-smoker a cigarette, why in the hell would you give someone with an eating disorder permission to still eat a jelly donut? Weight Watchers is a multi-million dollar, publicly traded entity, with the educated and trained staff who should know that this plan is unworkable for so many of their members while still collecting anywhere from $20 to about $45 a month from these individuals. This makes me wonder if they truly care about helping their members to a healthier life, or are they just another corporate entity getting rich off the weak.

Live Well, Be Well

My friends and faithful readers, live your life to be the best you can be. Try each and every day to be a little better tomorrow than you were today. By living in this manner, by being proactive in your own wellness, your body and soul will find inner peace and strength. The personal reward of physical and mental wellness is a priceless gift to be cherished.

Professional Weight Management Consultation is Coming!

Coming April 1, 2019 professional weight management consultation is going to be available to you through David’s Way!

Why choose David’s Way for weight management consultation? For starters, we are different from the other weight loss programs available to you in that having been there and done that with our own past weight issues, Brenda Sue and I can honestly relate to your weight management problems. We fully understand you, we have experienced the struggles. To better help you towards healthier living, we have both become certified through American Fitness Professionals and Associates as Nutritional and Wellness Consultants, you will be receiving online guidance from the both of us.

What sets us apart from other programs is we will first determine if you are truly ready for a change towards a healthy life. We will not take your hard earned money unless you are truly ready to commit. We will send you a form to first fill out where we can best understand your circumstances before any other actions take place. We want you to learn from us, and then be able to move on with your new found knowledge where weight management has become a way of life for you and the need for help is no longer there. We do not want to keep you coming to us perpetually as a money flow, we want to help you first and foremost. You are not a money machine for our benefit, you are a precious human being.

At David’s Way, we believe in clean eating of nutrient dense foods, period. This style of eating is what works permemently and does not bring on crazy binge eating as a result of carbohydrate cravings. We will figure your daily caloric needs based on your age, gender, height, weight and activity level. Your caloric needs will be based on an amount where you will lose between 1 to no more than 2 pounds per week. The caveat to this, is the first week or two, you will rapidly lose water weight as your body lets go of inflammation. You are going to lose weight under my plan as long as you are true to it.

Unlike one of the major weight loss programs available, we are not going to be vague in our instructions to you, nor will we assign a point value to foods that have no basis in calories, and are high for foods that contain healthy fats that our bodies require for the proper digestion of foods and the absorption of nutrients. We are not going to tell you that sugary desserts are ok as long as you track them. We will give you through the blog healthy and delicious sugar free alternative dessert recipes in order for you to still enjoy them on occasion.

We are not going to just give you a method of tracking your calories and macronutrients and then leave you to your own devices where you have no support as a couple of Web Apps do. What you are going to get is once we have completed our intake, you will begin a three month program with us. You will weigh in and together, you and we, will log your weight. Then you will receive communications from Brenda Sue and myself where we can answer any questions or concerns you may have. We will offer up supportive advice and encouragement. We will have provided you with a food diary where we can analyze your dietary habits to make total required calorie corrections as needed. In the middle of the week, each week for the three months, we will conduct a follow up with you, in addition to your weekly weigh in consultations. We truly want you to succeed!

It will be optional, but we would like for our records a before front and side picture for our records. This picture should be taken in form fitting clothing where your body shape is obvious without compromising your modesty. At the end of our time together, we would like another pair of front and side photos to highlight your success.

So, for three months, you will have a weekly weigh in with a middle of the week supportive follow up to ensure you do not go a full week with questions unanswered. We want you to feel supported and to ensure you are not left floundering with questions or concerns. At the end of the three months, you can then either proceed on with the knowledge you have gleaned from us with no further commitment, or we can begin a month to month maintenance program until such time as you no longer need us. This is truly our goal. We want you to succeed. We want you to be healthy. We want you to feel wonderful about yourself, and to face the world with a new found sense of confidence and self worth.

More information will be forth coming soon. April 1 2019 will be the launch date, and we will only take a set amount of clients in order that we do not become stretched too thin.

Regards,

David

New Forum Has Been Added!

Today, I am excited to put out there that we now have a forum on the blog where the free and respectful exchange of thoughts and ideas can take place! Any topic that has to do with nutrition, physical fitness, recipes and or life style wellness in general are most welcome and encouraged. All we ask is that everyone is respectful to one another no matter age, race, gender, sexuality etc. Please, lets keep it family friendly for all to enjoy.

On behalf of Brenda Sue and myself, I want to express our most sincere gratitude for all our loyal and to our new readers. We work very hard to bring you the best informationa and healthy recipes. We are still growing and working constantly at improvements for your pleasure.