Living Positive

It is now Spring and the earth is once again coming back to life. New Years resolutions have been made and many of these have already been forgotten. Be your own best friend and fulfill those promises you made to yourself. Bring about changes to live a healthier life, find something beautiful about every day, the power is within you.

If you want to make positive changes in your life:

Don’t sit on the couch and wait for it. Go out. Make a change.

Smile more. Be excited. Do new things.

Throw away what you have been cluttering.

Do not follow negative people on social media.

Go to bed early, get up early.

Be fierce. Do not gossip. Show more gratitude.

Do things that challenge you.

Be brave

Author Unknown

It is a new season and on behalf of Brenda Sue and myself, I want to thank each and every one of our readers from around the world for your kind support. We have now been read in 65 countries in just under one year. Friends, we want to be the best all round source of nutrition and fitness blog you can find, and have many projects in work to get us there.

We have a search function where you can search out topics with key nutrition or fitness words.

We have a calorie calculator where you can enter your personal information and learn exactly how many calories per day you need to achieve your weight management goals.

We have a new forum we would love to see grow. You can jump into a current topic or create a topic of your own. All that we ask is it remain respectful to all and please avoid political or religious topics. Not that we are not interested in either, it is just that they can become too divisive. Lets find common ground no matter our ages, genders, religions, political affiliations, or nationalities. We truly welcome all no matter who you are.

We have a chart where you can get calories burned for different exercises and activities. This chart is in work still with vast improvements coming, yet is still good for getting an estimate of how many calories you might burn for multiple activities.

I am in work on a calorie chart where you will be able to look up the calories of foods along with their macronutrients. The chart will be up soon and will contain well over 500 food and drink items. This chart will be added to on a consistent basis to eventually include the nutrition information even for popular restaurant menu items.

We work very hard to bring you the best information and try to address every aspect of good nutrition and fitness. If there is a topic we have not covered yet, and you would like to see, then by all means, contact us through email. The link to do this is in our main menu.

Again, we deeply appreciate all of our readers. It is humbling to have so many loyal followers, we aim to please.

David

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Exercise, To Get Your Mind Right

At David’s Way, we strongly encourage all who want to live a healthier lifestyle to incorporate a regular exercise regimen into their daily routines, or at a minimum three or four days per week for at least a half hour of activity. Just ensure you have your physicians approval before beginning any new physical fitness activities. If you have never been one to exercise, know that thirty minutes of moderate intensity, such as walking 3 days per week is sufficient to be a benefit to your health and well being. If thirty minutes is too much for you to begin with, then try three ten minute walks each day as they are equally useful as one thirty minute walk. In fact, if you have never exercised, you would be better served to do three ten minute walks and build into walking for a half hour straight at your own pace.

Having studied several popular weight loss/management programs, I have observed that many of them appear to only concentrate on two things, getting you to lose weight and taking your money. A glaring problem I have identified is that even if they encourage some exercise, the focus is aimed squarely at losing pounds, and reaching a number on the scale or maybe a smaller size article of clothing. The mental health aspect of why people might become overweight is almost never addressed. The programs are always aimed at getting your weight down and not at fixing your mind in order for you to understand why you might have an eating disorder and fail to address how regular exercise helps to clear your mind and how it can increase your self esteem and confidence. Regular exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. These improvements in mind are caused in part by the blood supply’s improved delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Inactive people usually experience cognitive inflexibility which keeps them repeating unhelpful behaviors and restricts their ability to process or to even acknowledge new information which reduces the ability to change their behaviors which contributed to their overweight or obese situation. Regular exercise will help to clear the mind in order to see new solutions to life’s problems.

For a large number of overweight or obese individuals, possibly even a majority, if you do not get your mind right as a part of a weight loss program, even if you do reach your goal weight, you are likely going to put that weight back on and likely even more than you lost in the first place. The mind has to be in the game too, or you will fail at your efforts. As a part of having your mind right, exercise has to be about more than causing a scale number to drop. Exercise has to also improve your mood along with increasing your lean muscle mass, or at a minimum be sufficient for you to maintain the lean muscle mass you currently possess. As a component of a healthy lifestyle, the health benefits of regular exercise that should be emphasized include the following:

  1. Improved sleep.
  2. Increased interest in sex.
  3. Better endurance.
  4. Stress relief.
  5. Improvement in mood.
  6. Increased energy and stamina.
  7. Reduce tiredness which can increase mental alertness.
  8. Weight reduction.
  9. Reduce cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness.

Friends, you do not have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits of regular exercise. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a huge difference in the quality of your life. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better in body and mind.

You Can, Only If You Will

Never let anyone tell you what you cannot do. And hey, this includes yourself too!

Do you have a significant other who tells you that you will never lose weight? Prove them wrong.

You can, only if you will.

You are over weight and want to join a gym, and are afraid of what other people might think? Their opinion does not matter.

You can, only if you will.

You want to eat healthy, but your best friend urges you to eat cupcakes after you told her you quit sugar? Stick to your agenda.

You can, only if you will.

You have never been one to run or hike, yet want to give it a try? Buy some good shoes and hit the trail anyhow.

You can, only if you will

In life, we will always have someone lurking around who will try to talk us out of bettering ourselves. We will always have a naysayer chattering away about how our lofty goals might be unrealistic. There will always be that friend who does not want to be left behind, so they will attempt to hold you back with them in a state of mediocrity. You can accept this, and then always be bound to a less than fullfilled life in order to meet the expectations of someone who either does not want you to live a better life, or who can not fathom the same vision of quality living as you might desire. Throw off these shackles and live your best life, eat healthy, exercise your body and mind. You can attempt to bring these people who are a drag on your life with you on your journey to quality living, but be prepared to move on without them if they will not join you.

You have but one life to live,

You can, if only you will.

David

Chipotle -Orange Carnitas Tacos

This wonderful recipe is going to be a family pleaser for sure. It is low in carbs and high in protein which will make meal a very satisfying meal. If you want, you could easily swap out the pork tenderloin for skinless chicken breast. Another option is to skip the tortillas and enjoy it over a bed of shredded romaine lettuce. Any way you go with this recipe, you will not be able to help smiling as you eat this meal. What is also great about this recipe is that you can simply add all of the ingredients into a crock pot, and walk away from it for 8 to 10 hours.

This recipe serves 6

399 calories, 7.4g net carbs, 13.4g fat and 56.9g protein

  • 2 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin, cut into 3 inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped, canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • (18) 6-inch low carb flour torillas, warmed
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup match-stick sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro

Orange Crema

  • 3/4 cup full fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 2 to 3 tbsp 2% milk
  1. In a 3 1/2 or 4 quart slow cooker, combine pork and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, cumin, chipotle pepper, oregano, salt and black pepper. Pour over pork and onion in cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Remove meat from cooker. Shred meat using forks. Stir in orange zest, vinegar and enough cooking liquid to moisten meat.
  3. Serve meat in tortillas with cabbage, radishes, cheese an cilantro. If desired, top each taco with Orange Crema.

Orange Crema

1. In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup plain full fat greek yogurt and 1/2 tsp range zest. Stir in 2 to 3 tbsp 2% milk to reach drizzling consistency. Yields about 3/4 cup.

Note: if you desire, you can use fat gree plain greek yogurt if you want a little more tartness to the Crema.

What You Need to Know About Hydration

Spring has now arrived and many of us physical fitness buffs will be taking out activities outside where we can enjoy nature as we go at our favorite outside recreational activities. Some will go for walks, while a good many of us will go at our activity vigorously enough to raise a sweat along with our heart rates. While it is my personal opinion that outside exercise is great for everyone, we have to be quite vigilant about our level of hydration as dehydration can not only hurt us, it can kill us.

Hydration might seem a boring topic, yet it is an important one as there are people who really do not understand the implications of both dehydration, nor the ill effects of over hydrating. It was through my following of Weight Watchers social media Connect where I really became aware of some of the crazy ideas which proliferate the internet, ideas which range from being mildly ill informed to down right dangerous. The mildly ill informed crowd would be the folks who make it a point to drink one to two gallons of water per day with no solid scientific evidence to back up their reasoning, it was just something they read on the internet they should do in order to lose weight easier. For most people, the worse aspect of this would be never being to get too far away from a bathroom during they day as they will be urinating on a frequent basis. When this practice becomes harmful is if the individual drinks enough to suffer a condition called hyponatremia, or water intoxication. Water intoxication is a result of drinking an extreme amount of water in a short time which will cause the level of salt, or sodium, in your blood to drop too low. This situation is serious and can be fatal.

For the downright dangerous idea I saw perpetuated on Connect was by a very popular male “Connector” who appears to have little else to do with his day than to flex his muscles for selfie pictures which he constantly posts every day. Many people who are struggling with weight loss and are new to physcial fitness hang on every word this gentleman writes on his page. This fellow who is a huge influence to a great many people once wrote about how he likes to workout while dehydrated. This is an old body builder trick for just before competition in order to make their muscles appear more “cut”, or, to have a clear separation between each muscle group. While this ignorant practice might be good for him, it is beyond the pale, that he would put this word out to people who for the most part do not know better than to workout while dehydrated. I called him out on this and was blocked not long afterwards. I sure hope this individual never put out dangerous word like that ever again.

Friends, before I get further into dehydration, refer to the chart below and remember this as a rule of thumb in regards to hydration; there is no magic amont of water you need to drink each day for your health. The amount you need is going to be unique to each individual based on not ony how much water is consumed, but how much water is taken in through other sources of liquid, including food. Look at the simple chart below and use that as a hydration guide. By the color of your urine, you can know if you are taking in too little or too much water. Note, the upper color is a light straw and does not represent entirely clear, like water, urine. If your urine can pass for drinking water, you have likely depleted a good amount of your body’s electrolytes and you will need to replenish them before partaking in vigorous exercise.

To get more into science of this topic, did you know that the human body is made up of about 60% water?

Water is crucial for healthy digestion of our foods, proper breathing, and damn near every basic function. When you are not taking in enough water, dehydration will happen which can lead into less than favorable side effects. Unfortunately, more than 70% of Americans may suffer from chronic dehydration according to doctors (1). And because it can come in the form of several different symptoms, many people fail to notice that they are dehydrated.

What is dehydration?

Your body requires adequate water intake for every function it performs. Dehydration can be mild, moderate, severe, or chronic depending on how much fluid your body is missing.

  • Dehydration is your body’s negative reaction to having a water deficiency.
  • Chronic dehydration is a condition where dehydration lasts for longer periods of time.

Again, without sufficient water intake, your body cannot perform its basic functions properly. No matter your age, dehydration can occur for several reasons. Babies and elderly people are more prone to fluid deficiencies than adolescents and adults.

Young children are most likely to experience diarrhea and vomiting which purges both electrolytes and water, which increase the chances of dehydration. Babies also do not have fully developed kidneys. This means they will retain less water than they store in thier tiny little bodies.

Older adults naturally have less water in their bodies and often times will not realize they are thirsty until dehydration has already set in. Additionally, elderly people are more susceptible to dehydration if they take certain medications like diuretics.

Causes of dehydration

The causes of dehydration can vary per individual depending on certain lifestyles, genetic, and environmental factors. Most people are prone to dehydration under specific circumstances such as exercising frequently, illness and exposure to heat.

Your body loses water every day just through breathing, sweating, going to the bathroom, and through saliva. If you have a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, you are excreting additional fluids that can worsen dehydration. People who are active, exercise frequently, and sweat a lot also have an increased risk of fluid difficiencies.

In addition, some digestive tract issues can make you more prone to diarrhea which is linked to dehydration. Some of these conditions include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Gluten sensitivity

Always, make it a habit to increase your water intake when you are releasing more water than you normaly would.

Signs you are dehydrated:

  • Not urinating enough, or your urine is dark yellow. A simple way to determine if you are dehydrated is by checking the frequency of your bathroom trips as well as the color of your urine. If you are not urinating frequently, and when you do it is a darker color of yellow, chances are you have moderate dehydration. The darker it is, and the less frequent you do urinate, the more likely it is you are dehydrated, period. Start drinking more water as soon as you see that your pee is a darker yellow.
  • Dry skin.Research shows that your skin contains 30% water which is responsible for elasticity and plumpness. Many people who show signs of dehydrating may sometimes appear sweaty but as you go through the stages of dehdration, from mild to severe, your skin will become drier.Your skin may also appear red and flushed if you are dehydrated. Applying moisturizing lotion can alleviate some skin problems externally, but drinking more water will help your internal bodily functions to maintain healthy, supple skin.
  • Bad breath comes from dehydration when you are prevented from creating enough saliva. And since saliva has antibacterial properties, the lack of production can cause bacteria growth in your mouth that can lead to bad breath. If you have “zoo breath” reaching for a glass of water may be more effective than a piece of gum.
  • Experiencing muscle cramps! Refer back to the idiot telling people he likes to be dehydrated when working out, and the harm this can cause people. Exercising frequently, or working in hot weather can make you dehydrated and cause muscle cramps. As your muscles work harder, they will stop functioning properly, especally in a hot environment. Excessive sweating from exericse or heat worsens dehydration and also causes you to excrete vital minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. If you are experiencing muscle cramps, consider bringing a sugar free electrolyte drink as well as a water bottle and sipping on both throughout your day.
  • Fever like symptoms, having the chills and other flu like symptoms is commonly associated with infection. But dehydration is another culprit to having fever. When your body does not have adequate fluid levels, it becomes difficult for your body to maintain a stable body temperature which can lead to hyperthermia and fever symptoms. If you are experiencing flu like symptoms, immediately stop all physical activity you are doing and drink more fluids as well as electrolytes while you rest.
  • Not consuming enough water may result in fatigue, dizziness, and lightheadedness. Your brain is composed of more than 70% water so it is crucial to stay hydrated for optimal brain and body functioning. Severe dehydration can come in the form of confusion and feeling like you may pass out any second. If this occurs, take a seat, slowly drink water and give your body a rest before attempting any physical activity. Ensure you consume a source of essential vitamins and minerals from water filled fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, apples and watermelon.
  • Craving sweets and sugary treats. When you are dehydrated, it is difficult for your body to release glycogen (which uses water) as your main source of energy. If you are experiencing sudden hunger cravings for something sweet or salty, there is a good chance that dehydration is making it difficult for your body to release glucose into the bloodstream to use as a fuel source.Instead of giving into this craving, drink a glass of water or two.

How to avoid dehydration and rejuvenate your body.

Here are some tips for bouncing back from dehydration and restoring your body’s proper fluid levels:

  • Keep a water bottle next to you at al times. If water is constantly in front of you and readily accessible, you will most likely get in the habit of sipping throughout the day without even noticing.
  • Add flavoring to your water if you do not like the blandness of water. Consider getting a zero calorie sweetner to satisfy your thirst and taste buds.
  • Eat more vegetables. Aim for large servings of vegetables in each one of your meals. Some fruits and vegetables are made up of 90% water such as watermelon, cucumber, celery, zucchini and lettuce.
  • Limit caffiene and alcohol.Both increase the frequency of your bathroom trips, resulting in a higher chance of dehydration.
  • Drink unsweetened tea. If you like tea, a few cups a day can help you reach proper fluid levels while benfitting from antioxidants. Avoid sweetened tea as the added sugar can worsen dehydration.
  • Workout less during extreme heat. It is hard enough to maintain proper fluid levels when you are working out in an air conditioned gym. If you are experiencing chronic dehydration, consider less intense exercises while it is hot out.
  • Drink a bottle of water first thing in the morning. When you are asleep, your body is still excreting fluids. More often than not, you are slightly dehydrated after a full nights rest. Drinking at least one glass of water as soon as you wake up is a great way to restore proper fluid levels.
  • Drink water before, during and after exercise. Whether you are a beginner, or advanced in fitness, water intake should be one of your top priorities. We encourage drinking at least a glass of water three hours before exercise, sip on a bottle of water during your workout, and immediately after you finish.

Staying hydrated is key for optimal health and longevity.

Drinking enough water to stay hydrated can be a struggle for many people. Ranging from babies to older adults, dehydration can negatively impact your health at any age.

Putting conscious effort towards maintaining proper fluid levels will help you stay healthy and prevent dehydration from rearing it’s ugly head. If you are experiencing any of the tell tale signs mentioned above, consider adopting a few strategies above into your daily activity. Whether you are an athlete, construction worker, or live a sedentary lifestyle, drinking more water can help you improve your health and well being.

(1) Claire Riley, AFPA Health, Nutrition & Fitness

Macronutrients, the Building Blocks of Life

Today was such a wonderfully beautiful day to just get out of the house and to enjoy the great outdoors with a good hike. I filled my Camel Back with fresh water, grabbed my trekking poles and took off for Weston Bend, a scenic park with most excellent trails on the bluffs over looking the Missouri River just north of Kansas City about twenty five miles.

Once I reached the park it was about 40*f, just a little cool, but since I was wearing a sweat shirt already, I tossed my hoodie back in the truck as I figured I would get plenty warm soon enough and did not feel like carrying a jacket along with my trekking poles that already occupyied my hands. I set my fitness tracker on my phone, put on my head set, and then turned on some good classic rock music as I set off down the first leg of the trail. What a glorius day to be alive, to be healthy, in top physical condition, and to be able to truly enjoy getting my heart rate up with a brisk pace going up and down the steep hills on the bluff’s trail. I thank God every day for my life, for my second chance at a normal life after blowing out my spine at L5 S1 ten years ago come August. Despite suffering chronic pain from a damaged sciatic nerve, I can walk trails for several miles at a time when it took me a year to learn to walk normal again after my spinal injury. As I hiked, I would also take a few brief moments to snap a few pictures and to absorb the sights of the various wildlife moving through the woods. At one point, I actually walked up on three white tail deer. I think it scared me as much as them because I was right on top of them when they bolted. The cool breeze was blowing in a direction to where I assume they never smelled me approaching.

Taking in the beauty of the trail and pondering the miracle of life, I thought about how much the role of good nutrition plays into my health and physical condition. How, good nutrition allows me to still do the things at 55 years old which I could do at 25 years old. I thought for a second that I am just lucky, but the reality is it is much more than luck. It is personal choices which allow me to live a good life. It is the choice to get up and exercise even when the couch looks more inviting. It is a matter of choice when I go down to my weight pit to lift the iron when I might rather take a nap. It is a matter of choice what I put into my body, to not eat sugar and processed foods. I do not have to settle for junk foods with ingredients I can not even pronounce, or have no clue what they might be. Think about these two common ingredients in commercial snack cakes; do you know what glycerides and sodium stearoyl lactylte might be without the aid of Google? Probably not…

We were blessed with one life, one body and we need to take care of nourishing ourselves with healthy foods. We were also blessed with the foods to do so. A good healthy diet is going to provide a good mix of the three macronutrients; protein, carbohydrates and fats. These are the building blocks for a healthy body. The nutrients which will help us to live longer lives with quality health over being all stoved up with ailments which used to only afflict the elderly in western society. There really is no excuse for not consuming healthy foods which provide us all the building blocks for a healthy life. Our grocery stores are full of good foods. You can use the excuse that healthy foods are too expensive, and I would counter that you probably spend more on extra fast and junk foods than what an increase in your grocery bill would be. Remember too that with a healthy diet, you will also be spending less on medical care as a healthy body does not require near as many doctor visits as a sickly body. Eating the wrong foods for too many years will indeed make you sickly at some point, you can take that to the bank.

So, what in the world are Macronutrients?

As the name suggests, macronutrients are nutritional compounds that your body requires in significant amounts to maintain good physical and mental health. You need sufficient quantities of all three macronutrients to be supplied with good energy to get through the day. These nutrients are proteins, fats and carbohydrates and they have different roles in the body while all playing a role together to optimize your health and well being.

Carbohydrates:

Formed of sugars and starches, carbs are the macronutrient that your system utilizes as it’s main source of fuel for energy. Your body breaks down most carbs pretty easily in order to use them as a vital energy source. While we do need carbs in our diets, and should consume 25% to 35% of our calories from complex carbohydrates, you really need to avoid simple carbs unless they are combined with a good source of fiber such as in fruits and vegetables. Without fiber, simple carbs dump too quickly into your blood stream which obviously affects your blood sugar and insulin levels. Fiber slows the absorption of simple carbs.

While fiber is also a carb called cellulose, it is not digestible. Cellulose, or dietary fiber is found in all fruits and vegetables. Besides playing a role in slowing the absorption of sugars into your blood stream, it also assists your body in waste removal from the large intestine, and keeps your bowels in good working order.

David’s Way is a diabetic friendly way to eat whether you are diabetic or not. For our readers who are diabetic or have a loved one who is, while excluding fiber, carbs are divided into either simple or complex. The science behind this identifies carbs by the length of the overall molecule. The shorter the molecule, the easier your body breaks it down, therefore these carbs are classified as simple carbs. Simple carbs, besides those which are provided by fruits and vegetables, come largely from sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Sadly, the Standard American Diet is unfortunately full of this garbage which is why we have an epidemic of obesity in our society. In contrast to simple carbs, complex carbohydrates are larger molecules that take longer for your body to break down. Despite the differences in simple and complex carbs, a carb is a carb in regards to your macros which means you can not just eat as many complex carbs as you want, especially if you are diabetic.

Protein:

Protein is the building block of the body. All proteins are comprised of combinations of twenty different amino acids, which your body breaks apart and combines to form different physical structures within your body. Your body utilizes amino acids in three ways; to build new proteins for cellular functioning, as an energy source, and as a building material. In other words, your body requires protein to support organ function, power enzymes reactions, and to form your hair, nails and other tissues.

Of the twenty amino acids, nine are classifies as essential, which means your body cannot produce them and they must come from your diet. To maintain your health, you must consume these nine amino acids or you can actually find yourself with damaged DNA over time, besides other maladies which come from incomplete nutrition. The good news is the other eleven amino acids can be synthesized by your liver if you do not consume them in your diet. If you are not a vegetarian, you will consume all the aminos your body requires through meat. If you are a vegetarian or considering becoming one, know that it is imperative that you eat a well balanced diet that also meets your needs for all the essential amino acids. This can be accomplished by eating multiple plant based sources of protein such as nuts, legumes, and whole grains.

Fats:

If you believe you need for everything you eat to be low fat or fat free, forget everything you think you know about fats. Despite years of bad press, we need fat in our diets. Despite the hype which caused their reputation to be damaged in the past, you need to be consuming fats in order to remain healthy. Eating sugar makes you fat, while actually eating fat does not cause obesity unless you are eating far too much and exceeding your caloric needs. You need to make sure that your daily calories are 20 to 35 percent fats.

Fat gets a bad rap because there 9 calories per gram, while carbs and protein only have 4 calories per gram. Despite the higher caloric value, your body still needs this macronutrient in order to remain healthy. Eating adequate amounts of fat ensures good hormone function, and promotes healthier skin and hair.

Fats are an energy reserve, as it is your body’s preferred method for storing unused calories. Your system only stores a limited amount of glucose in your tissues, while body fat allows you to store unlimited amounts of energy which are burned as a part of your basal metabolic rate function. This is also why it is critical to track your caloric intake as when we are not burning off enough glucose and fat, we then become obese. You cannot consume more calories than you burn and think you are not going to get fat.

When consuming fats, you need to ensure that you are supplying your body with the fatty acids it needs but cannot make, such as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. You can source omega 3 fatty acids in oily fish, walnuts, and eggs. You can get omega 6 fatty acids from most vegetable oils.

Dietary fat assists your body in absorbing fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Fat adds flavor and texture to your food. There are three primary types of dietary fats, saturated, unsaturated, and trans fat. Each have a different impact on your health.

  • Saturated Fat is found in meat, butter, cream and other animal sources.
  • Unsaturated Fats are found in olive oil, nuts, avocados, canola oil, and other plant sources.
  • Trans Fats are found in commercial products like snack foods, fast foods and margarine.

You really need to avoid Trans Fats as they can increase your risk of coronary heart disease and obesity. For this reason, at David’s Way we try to simplify things by never telling you specifically what to eat, we do tell you what not to eat; simple refined sugar and processed foods which are almost always full of added sugars and trans fats. David’s Way is not a diet plan, it is a life style which involves healthy eating of whole foods, exercising to your ability and with your doctors approval, and reduction of stress by doing everything in your power to “Make your word small”. In other words, make the personal choice to not let outside interferences have any control over your life as much as humanly possible. I am not saying it’s always easy, but the manner in which we live is still a personal choice. We can decide what we are going to eat. We can decide to exercise our bodies instead of vegetating in front of a television. We can decide to not get caught into the constant daily drama of others. We can make the choice to always be the best we can be, to be a little better today than were yesterday, and even better still tomorrow.

God bless and be wise in your lifestyle choices.

Exercise for Your Health

News flash! The more out of shape you are, the more you had better be considering getting yourself active on a frequent basis with some sort of physical exercise. If basic physical fitness exercises make you uncomfortable, you need to find a way to work yourself through it. Just be sure to always have your physicians approval first as we do not want you to aggravate or awaken any underlying conditions you may not be aware of.

Obviously if you are overweight and in poor physcal condition, fatigue and soreness is going to be a limiting factor to you beginning and then keeping up with a regular exercise regimen. This is the reason you need to move your body, and should not be your justification for not exercising. Your goal should be to build on your ability to exercise, taking baby steps while on the path to being able to go full stride, to work your tolerance up slowly where you will not feel like giving up because it hurts too much.

If you are brand new to exercise, walking is your friend. Walking is the best restorative exercise any of us can do, even if we are in top physical condition, It is low impact and can elevate your heart rate enough to begin burning fat for fuel after about twenty minutes. Get outside in the great outdoors and walk, do a few flights of stairs until you can not do anymore. Wait until your heart rate has come down, and then do the stairs some more before walking back home or to your car if you have gone to a park or athletic field. Athletic fields are great as they usually will have a smooth track to walk on and bleachers where you can climb the stairs.

The worse your physical fitness, the more trouble you wll have getting into shape. This should be the primary reason to move your body and never the excuse to continue being a couch potato. If you can not exercise for very long at a time, you need to understand that it is still beneficial to do what you can do even if for only a few minutes at a time, If a few minutes is all you can accomplish, then increase your frequency by exercising more than once a day. For instance, if you can only last ten minutes at best, then six 10 minute sessions equal one hour of exercise for the day. Be tenacious until you can actually do a solid hour with one session. Make up your mind that is is possible, and then make it happen. Know that if you commit yourself, then as time passes, you will be able to do more as your tolerence increases. Once you can complete an hour of exercise in a single session, then you can reasonably back off to only one session per day.

Once you have developed exercise as a habit along with healthy eating, you need to begin considering the incorporation of resistance training to retain or build on your lean muscle mass. You can burn calories, lower your blood sugar and melt away fat with aerobic exercise which is great, but a problem that some experience is when your caloric intake is too low, you are going to lose lean muscle as you are losing body fat. You do not want this to happen as losing that muscle tissue actually lowers your metabolism which makes it more difficult to keep the body fat down. At David’s Way, our emphasis is always going to be on a healthy body fat percentage over a number on the scale. The path to doing this is to consume a high protein low carb diet combined with a combination of aerobic and resistance training. By incorporting resistance exercise you will increase your muscle density which is going to help your body in metabolizing more calories. It is critical to increase your muscle density in order to normalize your metabolism. Ladies, you are not going to bulk with resistance exercise unless you do so intentionally, it is not going to happen as your body does not produce the testosterone to make this happen simply. In fact, it is hard work for men to bulk. Do not let possible buliking up be an excuse for not strength training in order to retain or build lean muscle.

A mistake often made by folks attempting to lose weight is when they consume far too few calories while going at it hard with aerobic exercise. You need to know what your caloric needs are based upon your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and then make sure that you are eating enough calories to support your activity. You can find your caloric needs simply by using our easy to use Calorie Calculator which can be found in our main blog menu. This is something you can take to the bank; If you lose body fat and lean muscle, and then if you regain to your former weight with body fat alone, your body fat percentage at any given weight can be greater than it was before you intitially lost weight. This is going to lower your metabolism. Repeat this process too many times and your metabolism is just going to get slower by the continuing decrease in your lean muscle as your body fat increases. For successful weight management, you must retain and or build on your lean muscle mass, no matter who you are. Skinny fat is no more healthy than just being fat to begin with.

What is skinny fat? This is when your weight may not have you in the overweight category, but you are soft and pudgy anyhow. Just achieving a goal number on the scale in itself is simply not enough in order to be healthy, this is the fallacy of most every other weight loss program you can find. At David’s Way, we are always going to emphasize body fat percentage being the priority over a random number on the scale.

But, what if I can not exercise is a question I have been asked plenty enough. Bear this in mind, exercise is important, but if your ability to do so is legitmately impaired, there is still hope for you. If you can not exercise, then diet is going to be more critical for you. You will need to know your daily caloric needs based on your BMR and then stick to them with modifications only in order to correct any miscalculations on your part. Usually a miscalculation would be in overestimating your activity level. If you are not paralyzed from the neck down, then there is about always something you can do though. Almost everyone can do something. Even those who can not walk can still do arm, abdominal and back exercises with light weight dumbells. You can listen to your favorite music and rythmically bounce up and down for a full song even if your body does not fully lift off the ground. Move your body for health and longevity. Exercise will facilitate the loss of body fat and make you healthier. Vigorous exercise has a powerful effect on promoting quality of life as you age. If you have the will, you will find a way. Start slow and gradually work yourself up to more. Immediately, begin moving your body more in order to live a more fullfilled life. Even when it is tough to do so, you will never have any regrets from exercise and achieving a healthy body fat percentage.

Low Carb Taco Bake

At David’s Way, we love to eat as much as we love to lose weight, or to maintain our bodies at a healthy level of body fat. Yes, we concentrate more on body fat percentage than we do a number on the scale, afterall, a low body weight means zilch if you are still skinny fat. Having a low body weight while also having too high a body fat percentage is still harmful to your health, made even more so as light people just assume they are healthier than the obese. This assumption is foolish and will cause you health problems later down the road if it has not already.

We love to create recipes and also to modify recipes to make them healthy. Once we know they are good, we then share them with you, our wonderfu readers. This low carb Taco Bake recipe is one I adapted from our low carb enchilada recipe. The beauty of any recipe is you can always modify any of them for an entire new creation with a few common ingredients and a touch of imagination. I hope you all enjoy this one.

This recipe serves 6 to 8, nutrition will be for 6.

560 calories, 3.7g carbs, 42.9g fat and 41.7g protein

Of course added personal toppings are going to affect these numbers.

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb lean hamburger (85/15)
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 cup taco sauce (anything with no added sugar)
  • 1 1/2 cup Mexican 4 cheese blend
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • lettuce, peppers, sour cream, guacamole or what ever toppings you might want to add
  1. Preheat oven to 350*f
  2. In a large bowl, mix eggs, cream cheese, heavy cream, and spices and mix until well blended.
  3. Sprinkle 1/2 cup Mexican cheese blend and 1 cup mozzarella cheese evenly over the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Pour the egg, cream cheese and spice mixture over the top and bake for 30 minutes or until it is slightly browned.
  4. Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown the ground beef, then add the taco seasoning, 1/2 cup water and 1 cup of taco sauce. Let simmer until sauce has reduced some.
  5. Once the crust is done and removed from the oven, spread the ground beef and sauce mixture over the crust, then add the remaining cheese blend evenly over the top. Replace in the oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is good and melted.
  6. Before cutting, let stand for about 5 minutes after removing from the oven. Cut into 6 or 8 portions and plate with any toppings you would normally enjoy on tacos, and then enjoy.

If you can find Spanish Gardens Taco Sauce, I highly recommend it as there are no added sugars and it has a delicious flavor to it. It is one of my favorites and manufactured locally in my community.

Unshackle Yourself

Never let the naysayers hold you back. Never be a slave to your own mind.

Make the personal choice today to get your body fat to a healthy percentage through consuming whole, healthy foods, exercise and stress reduction.

You can do this as long as you shut out the inner and outer voices of the nattering nabobs who say you can’t.

Cuban Tomato and Black Bean Soup

This is a very simple, delicious and hearty soup that is good year round whether the outside temperature is hot or cold.

This recipe feeds 6:

180 calories, 18.1 g net carbs, 4.4g fat, 14g protein and 9.6g fiber

Additional calories will count if you top this with either full fat plain greek yogurt or sour cream.

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans reduced sodium black beans drained
  • 1 32 ounce carton unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can no-salt diced tomatoes
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium, fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Plain yogurt or sour cream, sliced green oions, and lime wede to top with (optional)
  1. In a small bowl mash one can of beans until nearly smooth.
  2. In a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, combine the mashed beans, whole beans, broth, tomatoes, ham hock, onions, bell pepper, jalapeno, orange juice, garlic, vinegar, cumin, oregano, salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 9 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  3. Remove ham hock, remove meat from bone and return meat to soup.
  4. Top with optional toppings if desired and enjoy!