Sugar Free “Oreo” Truffles

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Nutritional Info

Servings 24 of 1 truffle each

Calories 80

Net Carbs 1 gram

Fat 8 grams

Protein 2 grams

Truffles

1 1/4 cups almond  flour

1/2 cup Swerve  Confectioner’s

1/3 cup extra dark  cocoa

1./4 teaspoon salt

6 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 Tablespoons water

Chocolate  Coating

4 ounces sugar-free dark  chocolate

1 Tablespoon solid coconut oil

Sugar-free sprinkles if desired

Directions

Mix dry ingredients and stir in melted  butter and vanilla extract then stir in water 1 Tablespoon at a time til dough holds together.

Scoop dough out by the rounded Tablespoon and squeeze in your palms til it sticks together and roll into balls. Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and freeze 1 hour.

Combine chopped chocolate and coconut oil in the  top of a double boiler and stir til smooth.

Drop a frozen truffle into the melted  chocolate and toss to coat thoroughly. Lift out with a fork and tap off the excess chocolate.

Return  to  the  cookie sheet to set. If using sprinkles,  add right away before chocolate hardens.

Set in fridge til chocolate is set.

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How to Prevent Regaining Lost Weight

There is a sad truth that 97% of dieters regain lost weight plus additional pounds within three years. Statistics vary based on the length of time that a group of people are studied but when they are followed for three years the regain rate is 97%.

I worked for a major weight loss company before coming to David’s Way and a common topic of discussion among employees was the disturbing trend that we witnessed frequently among members who had lost a significant amount of weight, usually at about 100 pounds, who began to recklessly indulge in the same way that had caused them to be morbidly obese. Before they knew what was happening, they were getting dangerously close to the original weight that had caused them to seek help to lose weight in the first place. These people talked about how they felt like they deserved “a break” for all of their hard work, a reward. The problem was that whenever they started eating like they had in the past, they couldn’t or wouldn’t stop. Large quantities of added sugar were always a part of their debauchery and it caused them to have terrible cravings for more. They seemed helpless in the onslaught. The problem was that they had never committed to a new lifestyle, they were conducting themselves as if they were on a “diet”, something temporary. Weight management is a permanent issue. It cannot be addressed through temporary means. Here at David’s Way, we give you the tools to address this issue for the rest of your life at no cost. This website will always be free.

I have been much heavier than I am now and so has David. I know what it’s like to sit in a dark kitchen at 3AM eating peanut butter straight out of the jar until I almost choke to death. I know what it’s like to do this without being hungry. I know what it’s like to cry because I can’t understand why “I’m doing this to myself…”.

I also know what it’s like to finally decide what I want the most, trash food in massive quantities or health, strength and feeling good about my appearance. The night that I made that decision for the last time was overwhelmingly emotional. I cried like a baby because I had just become accountable to myself for my health and well-being for the rest of my life. I knew that it all depended on the choices that I made. Shortly afterward I was blessed to find David’s Way. It has fixed the problem of craving and yo yo dieting for me. I stay full of wholesome, nutritional foods and never have cravings or angst about what I eat. I am never deprived. My only struggle is making sure that I eat enough. I want you to understand, my weight struggle began at the age of four years and continued my entire life until I found David’s Way at the age of sixty. That is why I write on this website. It’s the only thing that has ever worked for me.

Here is a list of tips that will help you maintain your weight loss or keep pushing whenever you plateau.

1- Commit to a lifestyle. Again, you cannot fix a permanent issue with temporary methods. Read our Home Page. It will educate you on David’s Way.

2- “Make your world small.” Cut out the dead wood that causes you to lose your focus on good health. People that hinder your progress need to be removed from your life. If there are some people who cannot be removed then avoid them as much as possible and never listen to their negative input. Continuing to associate with people who are not supportive of your health initiative will cause you to crash and burn.

3- Drop the habits that got you unhealthy. You may say that this is easier said than done. Oh, believe me, I know all about that. Yes, it is hard but not nearly as hard as dying younger than necessary and being sick until you do. I have watched close family members die at their own hand from bad habits. It was not fun or pretty and it was much harder than eating healthy. I have had some really bad habits in my life and I have thought that I could not live without them. The truth of the matter was, I could not live WITH them. The power of a simple decision to commit to health is immeasurable. It’s within your power and ability to make that decision. It all depends on what you want more, the trash food or life.

4-Get active, with your doctor’s permission. As we lose pounds it takes fewer calories to live. Getting a little exercise will boost your calorie burn and make it easier to shed pounds and maintain a loss. Research indicates that 300 minutes of exercise per week is a good goal to lose weight and maintain that loss. (1) The Mayo Clinic advises both strength training and aerobic activity. I’ve got to tell you, the way that I strength train, it becomes aerobic. I also hike and walk but my strength training works me hard.

5- Don’t get discouraged. David has a saying, “Trust the process.” Honestly, we all want instant results but take a long serious look at yourself, your overall health and physical condition. How long did it take to get there? In most cases, it’s been years of neglect and abuse that has brought about the current state of affairs. You cannot fix this quickly. Commit for the long haul knowing that there will be good days and hard days. Sometimes the scale will go up and sometimes it will come down. The day to day fluctuations are not significant. It’s the long term effect that matters. When I first began this program I was soft and overweight. That is not the case now but it’s about two years and a whole lot of weight lifting and meal planning later and I’m still not”there” yet. I will never “get there”. This is the rest of my life and my health and appearance will benefit indefinitely from good nutrition and good workouts.

6- Reassess your habits. Sometimes we get careless. It can be brought about by over confidence or just being busy but it will always show. When you have attained a measure of success and feel good about your progress, make sure to tighten up! We tend to do the opposite and when we do, the pounds will creep back on quickly. Don’t think for a minute that you can go back to binge eating and get away with it. Not only will you feel bad almost immediately, you will most likely spin out of control. Constantly analyze and reorganize your strategy for being in control of your health. Read our articles and try the recipes. Stay focused. Keep your eyes on the prize!

7- As you lose pounds reassess your caloric needs. You can use the Calorie Counter Pro found on our menu to do this and keep your calories at a level that will allow you to continue to lose weight. If you see the scale going up, quickly reassess and adjust.

8- Find a source of positive input concerning your goals. Just as negative input can hinder you, positive interactions with like minded people can encourage you to be healthy. Notice the people in your environment who are interested in being healthy and gravitate towards them. Read this website. We have over 600 articles and recipes to help you on your journey.

9- Realize that you are the most influential person in your life. Sometimes we give our power away to those who do not have our best interest at heart. Be the Master of your fate. It’s all up to you.

10- Don’t Quit. Regardless of what life throws at you or how discouraged you may get, always remember that “Can’t never could do anything.” If you quit fighting for your health, you will certainly lose it. Get in the battle for the long term benefits of healthy choices and a healthy lifestyle. Create the life that you desire. You have everything that you need, your ability to make a decision. Use it.

(1) https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-20057916

Choose What You Want Most

Are you in love with actually losing weight?

Or, are you actually more in love with just the idea of losing weight?

You might be wondering where am I going with this topic, obviously most people with obesity issues would appear to want to lose weight. But, do they really want to do what it takes to get their weight down, and then, to successfully maintain their body at a healthy body fat percentage? An example to make my point from the world of body building is there are multitudes of people who profess they want to look like a body builder, that is, until it is time to do what it is that body builders actually do. Body building is extremely hard work that takes disciplined commitment for life in order to achieve and maintain a finely chiseled physique. It takes working out when you might not really feel like it. It takes maintaining a healthy diet and recovery time for rest. It takes still hitting the iron when their friends who do not lift might be after them to just take a day off to go out bar hopping. It takes choosing between what you think you want now, and what you want most.

Weight loss and the subsequent management afterwards takes the exact same mentality as it is also a method of body re-composition. When people ask me for weight loss advice, I always have a set of standard questions which I will ask of them:

  1. Why do you want to lose weight? While it would seem the answer to this question should be obvious, it is important to know their “why”. Is it simply a matter of vanity? Wanting to look better? Or is it a health issue that weight loss will help to resolve? Have you become sick and tired of being sick and tired with the way you look and feel? I’m going to render assistance no matter the reason given, but the answers will give me an idea of how committed you will be towards achieving and then maintaining a healthy body fat percentage.
  2. Are you truly ready to lose weight? If you hedge on answering this question, odds are you are not going to be successful in anything beyond a temporary weight loss. As with the body builder, your body re-composition is going to take dedication and discipline on your part. If you are not ready to do what it takes, you need to revisit question number one.
  3. Do you feel that you are capable of losing weight? You may have struggled and failed in the past with weight loss. You might have watched others struggle and fail and thought if they cold not do it, then you could not either. I’m going to tell you, everyone, even the morbidly obese, are physically capable of losing weight. And it can be done in a healthy manner without feeling as if you are denying yourself anything. You can do it if you truly have the desire to do so. Despite there being a chemical/biological obstacle to weight loss, the most difficult obstacle you will encounter lies largely in your mind.
    • The chemical/biological obstacle is your addiction to sugar and other simple carbohydrates with the exception of fruit which have fiber that regulates how quickly sugar is passed into your bloodstream. You have to get your mind around quitting foods that contain added sugar, and processed foods to include most fast foods.
    • Losing weight in order to achieve a healthy percentage of body fat is going to take making up your mind to make the personal commitment to hold yourself to a higher standard of discipline once you begin your journey. Detailed instructions of our methodology can be found on our home page. We have written exhaustively about this topic in over 600 nutrition, fitness and health articles contained within this website.
    • You can still enjoy delicious sweet treats under our methodology. Under our website recipes section, we give you a plethora of sugar free dessert and treat recipes along with recipes for healthy meal ideas.
    • If you are of the mind that healthy eating is too expensive, ask yourself these questions:
      1. How expensive is type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and all other ailments directly attributed to obesity.
      2. How expensive are your trips to the doctor for ailments that are 100% preventable through a healthy diet and exercise?
      3. How much do you spend on junk foods and drive through garbage?
      4. You will find it is actually less expensive to eat healthy than it is to not. The extra you might spend on groceries will be more than made up for by giving up calorie dense, nutrient poor foods.
      5. If you feel you have too little time to prepare healthy foods at home, how much time do you have to run through the local fast food drive through’s in a week? How much time do you have to sit in a doctors office?
      6. How much is your life worth? Is your life worth more than poor food choices?

We understand that with being human life circumstances sometimes arise that can derail us. We also know that the longer you practice personal discipline, the easier it will come to you when bad things do happen in your life. When it seems everything has turned rotten for you, be proactive with your life rather than reactive. Take a breather and analyse your situation and make a plan to overcome. Be a fighter and fight for your well being, you are worth the battle. As with body building, if you want a healthy body, then you must be always ready to do what healthy people do. Be disciplined and work hard to achieve what you want most instead of what you want now.

Sugar-Free No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies

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Nutritional  Info

Serves 24

Calories 161

Carbs 4.9 grams

Fat 13.6 grams

Protein 3.7 grams

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup smooth, unsweetened peanut butter melted (plus more for drizzling)

1 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup packed Brown Swerve

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

2 cups sugar free dark chocolate

1 Tablespoon  coconut oil

Directions

Combine the peanut butter, coconut flour, brown Swerve, vanilla and salt and stir til smooth.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Using a small cookie scoop, form mixture into rounds then press down lightly to flatten slightly and place on baking sheet. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

Whisk together melted chocolate and coconut oil.

Dip cookie rounds into chocolate until fully coated then return to baking sheet. Drizzle with more peanut butter then freeze until chocolate  sets, about 10 minutes.

Serve cold. Store leftovers in freezer.

Sugar Free Cranberry Orange Coffee Cake

 

screenshot_20191112-214444~21178663943392384900..jpgServes 16

Calories 227

Net Carbs 4.7 grams

Fat 18 grams

Protein 7.38 grams

Ingredients

Cake

3 cups cranberries

1/3 cup granulated Swerve

1/4 cup water

2 1/2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 cup unflavored  whey protein powder

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup Swerve

4 large  eggs, room temperature

1 Tablespoon orange zest

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

2/3 cup almond milk, room temperature

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Optional Glaze

3 Tablespoons Swerve Confectioners

1 Tablespoon water

Instructions

Cake

Combine cranberries, 1/3 cup Swerve and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer til berries popand mash with a fork.

Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9 inch springform pan.

Whisk together the flours, protein powder, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, beat butter with 3/4 cup Swerve til smooth and beat in eggs, orange  zest and orange extract. Beat in half of the almond flour mixture and then beat in almond milk. Beat in remaining flour mixture until well combined.

Spread 2/3 of batter into prepared pan and spread  the cranberry sauce over. Stir pecans into remaining batter and spread  over  cranberry  sauce.

Bake 40-50 minutes until top is golden brown and firm to the touch and a tester inserted into the middle has no raw batter on it. Remove and let cool at least a half hour, then run a sharp knife around the inside of pan and remove sides.

Optional Glaze

Stir together Swerve Confectioners and water and drizzle over cake.

 

 

Foods That Kill Your Testosterone

I quite simply abhor sensationalist headlines, and the one for this piece is indeed one I would normally skip right over without even a glimmer of interest of what I might find should I decide to investigate further. Today was an exception.

My personal Facebook page has been deluged with advertisements from one whom I’m only going to refer to as The Shredded One. I have read the headline: “Eight Foods That Kill Your Testosterone” multiple times a day and despite the fact I keep blocking The Shredded One and his infomercial, it keeps coming back to my feed. Today, I said the hell with it and investigated just what The Shredded One is selling to my fellow man. After watching a short video presentation by The Shredded One, where he proclaimed to have backing for his work from Harvard, I then went on to watch the next 20 minute video he insists you watch where you will sit and listen to a huge amount of nonsense and fear mongering before the sales pitch goes into full effect for you to purchase the information you have just sat through about thirty total minutes of video presentations to receive. My friends, I am going to give you the information this huckster is trying to sell you about these foods for free.

That’s right, no charge to you at all!

For possible legal reasons, I am not using The Shredded Ones name, but I will say that if you are a weight trainer who follows Jeff Cavalier from AthleneX, you will know The Shredded One as the young guy who has directly copied Jeff’s video work to sell as his own creations. It actually may not make any legal difference if I use the guy’s name or not, but I will not since I do not want any legal hassles out of him.

What is testosterone and why do I care how food is impacting mine?

Testosterone is a hormone produced by the human body. It’s mainly produced in men by the testicles. Testosterone affects a man’s appearance and sexual development. It stimulates sperm production as well as a man’s sex drive. It also helps build muscle and bone mass.

Men can experience a range of symptoms if testosterone decreases more than it should. Low testosterone, or low T, is diagnosed when levels fall below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).

A normal range is typically 300 to 1,000 ng/dL, according to the Food and Drug Administration. A blood test called a serum testosterone test is used to determine your level of circulating testosterone. (1)

A good many men, especially young strength trainers and body builders completely freak out when they believe their body is not producing a sufficient quantity of testosterone which is why you can find “Low T” clinics in just about every major city across America today. The issue of “Low T” is a topic that can be easily found on every online strength training forum I have ever visited or have been active on, which is several to say the least.

Why the hell do I care about someone selling us a diet based on information about foods that might lower our testosterone levels? Face it fellas, as men we can be kind of dumb sometimes, especially those of us who pursue great strength and Schwarzenegger like body’s. If you do not believe you might be occasionally dumb, turn and ask any of the women in your life what their opinion might be on the topic. Too often, we might just jump on the latest information that might give us a competitive edge while never taking the time to actually research the information being put out. If you do not believe this is a problem, then consider the number of fools who take steroids and SARMS in order to get stronger, consider the idiots who are injection the synthetic oil Synthol into their muscle tissue in order to look more muscular without putting in the work to get there through the hard work that body building requires. And then, think about the crazy ass extreme diets that body builders and wannabe’s subject themselves to. Guys will do all of this stupidity without a care in the world about how they might just be shortening their very lives by doing so. Never mind if ones advice is sound or not, if it is coming from someone who looks to be stronger and better shape, gym rats will jump on it.

Eight foods that allegedly lower testosterone.

In the interest of saving you the expense of your hard earned money, here are the eight foods The Shredded One wants you to avoid in order to not lower your testosterone:

  • Soy and soy based products. Animal and human studies have found that certain compounds in soy-based foods may decrease testosterone levels, but research is still inconclusive. One study in 35 men found that drinking soy protein isolate for 54 days resulted in decreased testosterone levels. Soy foods are also high in phytoestrogens, which are plant-based substances that mimic the effects of estrogen in your body by altering hormone levels and potentially reducing testosterone. Though human-based research is limited, one rat study showed that consuming phytoestrogens significantly decreased testosterone levels and prostate weight.However, other research found conflicting results, suggesting that soy-based foods may not have as much of an impact as these isolated soy components. In fact, one large review of 15 studies found that soy foods had no effect on testosterone levels in men. (2)  Consumption of soy and soy products are indeed wonderful for women for their hormonal health. But guys, let’s be realistic, you do not need to completely shun these products being as the research is still inconclusive and if you believe an occasional soy protein shake or other soy product is going to hurt you, you probably have other nutritional issues causing yourself even more harm than a little soy once in a while.
  • Mint. Good lord, Jesus jumped a freight train! Just how much mint would you need to swallow to have an impact on your testosterone? Some studies show that spearmint and peppermint may cause a decrease in testosterone levels, but research has so far focused on the effects on women or animals . High-quality human studies focusing on both genders are needed to assess how mint affects testosterone levels in both men and women. Before you chuck your mint gum out the window, or your mint tea down the drain because it might lower your testosterone, how about finding a conclusive study first. It could be that you might need to drink 50 gallons of mint tea a week to have an impact on you.
  • Licorice root. Ok, first off, we are talking about the root, not the candy. Licorice root is a popular natural remedy in holistic medicine and often used to treat everything from chronic pain to persistent coughing. In recent years, several studies have found that licorice may also influence hormone levels, potentially leading to a decline in testosterone over time. In one study, 25 men consumed 7 grams of licorice root daily, which caused a 26% drop in testosterone levels after just one week. (2) Chances are that if you consume 7 grams per day of licorice root, you are doing it for a medicinal purpose and may not be too concerned with a temporary drop in testosterone anyhow. Because people can be kind of dumb, and run wild with little tidbits of information, I will say this; If you come to me and tell me you will not eat licorice candy because it will lower your “T” levels, I might just force feed you enough to get you good and sick, just for being that dumb. If you are using licorice root for relieving stomach discomfort, nausea, stomach pain, and heartburn, you are not going to have your testicles shrink up from a few days use.
  • Vegetable oil. If you are still eating foods fried in vegetable oil, you are likely not too interested in your waist line, nor your health in the first place. One study in 69 men showed that frequently consuming polyunsaturated fats was associated with significantly lower testosterone levels. (2) Would anyone care to wager that these men might also have had an obesity problem from consuming far too much vegetable oil in their fried foods? It is not rocket science that folks who eat a fair amount of fried foods have weight control issues, and men who are over weight or obese have low testosterone levels because of it. If you are disciplined in your dietary habits and exercise, a little vegetable oil is not going to drain your “T” levels.
  • Flaxseed. Flaxseed is packed with heart-healthy fats, fiber and various important vitamins and minerals. However, some research shows that it may cause a decrease in testosterone levels. This is because flaxseed is high in lignans, which are plant compounds that bind to testosterone and force it to be excreted from your body. Flaxseed is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may be linked to a decrease in testosterone as well. But consider this before discarding your flaxseed, or products which contain flaxseed, is the heart health benefit from the omega-3 fatty acids going to over ride any negative effect derived from the lignan component for you? If you are a strength athlete who might be concerned about your “T” levels, odds are you probably take fish oil pills to aid in keeping inflammation down in your body after hardcore workouts. Let’s use a little common sense when deciding to use, or not to use flaxseed. I would wager that if you consume enough flaxseed to have an impact on your testosterone, you will without a doubt be spending a tremendous amount of time on the toilet evacuating your bowels. 
  • Processed foods. Well duh! Processed foods are full of all kinds of garbage that is supposed to resemble actual food. They are high in sugar, unhealthy fats, sodium and preservatives. Part of the blame here is being laid on trans fats which are also to blame for heart disease, diabetes and inflammation. If you are a disciplined eater, you might get away with eating processed foods and not having your “T” levels impacted much. If you are not disciplined in your dietary habits, you are going to have a plethora of health issues related to obesity at some point anyhow. Fellas, if you are fat and out of shape, your testosterone is going to be lower no matter what the hell you are eating.
  • Alcohol. The evidence isn’t completely clear-cut when it comes to the effects of alcohol on testosterone. In fact, both human and animal studies have had mixed results, with some research indicating that alcohol could actually increase testosterone levels in certain cases. Further research is still needed to understand how different doses of alcohol affect testosterone levels in the general population. (2)
  • Nuts. Nuts are a great source of many important nutrients, including fiber, heart-healthy fats and minerals like folic acid, selenium  and magnesium. However, some studies suggest that certain types of nuts may decrease testosterone levels. Despite some findings, more research is needed to determine how certain types of nuts may impact testosterone levels.Do you really want to shun the health benefits that are known about nuts for vague research that has not been found to be conclusive? I hope not.

Cleaning up your dietary habits along with vigorous exercise is one of the most effective ways to maintaining healthy testosterone levels. Before you get caught up in any hype coming from a personal trainer, or internet fitness guru, be sure to do your own homework too. Sometimes, these people are trying so hard to be the best, or first to teach something new to others, they do not do their own due diligence first either.

 

(1) https://www.healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/warning-signs

(2) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

 

Caregivers Read This

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The stress of caregiving induces intense feelings of being overwhelmed, loneliness, isolation and a feeling  of being deserted  by others. The stress may manifest by sleeping too much or too little, gaining or losing weight, chronic exhaustion, losing interest in things that you normally enjoy and getting easily irritated or angered or feeling worried or sad. You may have headaches or body aches often.

While some may argue that these symptoms are within your control, that they are perception based, there are diagnosable, measurable health problems that accompany caregiving. Depression  and anxiety are common among caregivers and they can contribute to the development of heart disease and stroke. Caregivers frequently have weaker immune systems which may manifest by longer recovery times from colds or the flu. The longer the flu hangs onto you, the more likely  you are to develop complications. An estimated 80,000 people died from flu and it’s complications in 2017. A weakened immune sysytem can be deadly. Obesity is common among caregivers and obesity increases your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes as well as many other health problems. Without a doubt, caregivers are at a greater risk for developing short-term memory problems and problems  with focus. This can lead to a multitude of woes including accidents.

Take care to take care of yourself when you find yourself being a caregiver. Take full advantage  of any classes or home health care offered by hospitals or government agencies and lighten your load. There are sometimes adult daycare facilities that can give you a much needed break.

Make a list of ways that others can help you and if someone offers help, be quick to give them an assignment. There are support groups for almost all illnesses, that offer caregiver assistance. Find those groups and get involved to reap any benefits that they may have to offer.

Get organized. Chaos is stress-inducing. Make lists and set up a daily routine. Make sure to include time for yourself to take care of you in your scheduling. Do the things that you once enjoyed. Plan your meals and get enough sleep. Work out with your doctor’s permission. A good workout does wonders for stress. When you visit your doctor make sure to tell him that you are a caregiver and about any problems that  you  are  having. You might consider taking advantage of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act which, if you are eligible, ensures that you can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave of absence to care for relatives.

I strongly encourage you to give up added sugars and other simple carbohydrates. A little sugar makes you crave more sugar and all those empty calories will pack on the pounds and take your appetite away for healthy, whole foods which are your best source of good nutrition.

As always, we encourage  you to make  your  world  small. Cut out negative people and events that rob your time and make you feel bad. Surround yourself with positivity and focus on the things that make your life better. I frequently  say that “Lifting (weights) is my life.” That’s true. Choose what you love. Do it and do it to the best of your ability. Learn it. Live it. It will give you a much needed mental break. If someone or something makes you feel bad, don’t go around them. Why would you? Life’s too short for drama. If the person that you’re caregiving works against your best efforts to help them, let it be. There’s an old saying that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, and that’s true. After you have done all you can, if you see the patient working against himself, don’t stress over it. It’s his choice. You have done your part. Don’t be a martyr by stressing yourself into a heart attack trying to force someone to be healthy that is bound and determined to do otherwise.

I am a caregiver to an adult with autism and have been a caregiver to my elderly grandmother who is gone now. Although Maw Maw was a wonderfully selfless person for most of her life, when she became dependent on others, that changed. She made every effort to commandeer my time, including having me cancel my own doctor’s appointments. I had a few then because it was before I came to David’s Way and was able to lose fat and come off of all medications. Don’t let your loved ones do this to you. Stand up for yourself and tend to your needs first. You can’t help them if you’re dead. During that time, my weight soared and my blood pressure spiraled out of control. After coming to David’s Way, I realized exactly where I had gone wrong. I did not caregive myself first. I was an avid swimmer at the beginning of that time with her and I had abandoned the pool. My misery knew no end until I made up my mind to regain what was fast becoming my lost health. Now, I work three jobs, take no medications, pursue extreme health and fitness with a fury and make no apologies for taking care of myself. People all around me are dropping dead and developing serious health problems while I carry on with life as usual. I use the most powerful tool in the world to be fit and healthy, the choices that I make every day.

I challenge you to do the same and pursue health with a passion.

 

Why Rapid Weight Loss Can Be Bad

One of the things we often see and hear from our clients, and on weight loss social media sites, is the  strong desire to lose weight as rapidly as possible. This desire can come by way of a multitude of reasons, but for your own good, you must approach weight loss from a healthier perspective.

While under certain unique circumstances rapid weight loss is medically necessary, it is not healthy for the average overweight individual. Yet each and every day we are bombarded with quick weight loss schemes on every form of media we might use for information and entertainment.  Promises such as these slap us upside the head every time we look at a television, go online or pick up a magazine:

Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days!

Eat as Much as You Want — and Still Lose  Weight!

Drop One Dress Size a Day!

There is an old saying that comes to mind when I see these advertisements for quick weight loss gimmicks; A fool and his money are soon parted. Yet in this case I would replace fool with the desperate and their money are soon parted. If you believe the slick advertising claims we are constantly bombarded with, rapid weight loss can be quick and easy for you. Just send them your money today and sign the damn contract while ignoring the small print that you need a magnifying glass to read. That small print that actually tells you that the results advertised are not actually typical, individual results will vary. This statement always accompanies dieting and lifestyle advertising for a reason—it’s the only thing that guarantees them truth in advertising. Let that statement sink in for just a moment if your will; It is the only thing that guarantees them truth in advertising. Please, do yourself a favor and never let desperation override your common sense when it comes to quick weight loss schemes.

While many diets and “lifestyle” change plans might lead to some weight loss, it is rarely sustainable. Yet there is an over abundance of fad diets, gimmicks, and weight loss supplements that keep promising us a more attractive and slimmer body in a very short period of time. In the U.S. alone, consumers spend $33 billion each year on weight loss products, services and programs. Yet, the obesity epidemic across the country continues to expand faster than some of our waist lines. Always bear in mind, gimmicks, supplements and crash diets will very rarely help you achieve a sustained, healthy weight and body fat percentage. These schemes are often desired by the desperate as they do not approach weight loss as a life style change. Rather, far too many want to approach their diet as something to just get through. Almost all people with this way of thinking will undoubtedly put their weight right back on once they have completed their gimmick approach to weight loss.

What Are the Risks of Rapid Weight Loss?

Rapid weight loss creates physical demands on the body. Possible serious risks include:

  • Gallstones, which occur in 12% to 25% of people losing large amounts of weight over several months
  • Dehydration, which can be avoided by drinking plenty of fluids
  • Malnutrition, usually from not eating enough protein for weeks at a time
  • Electrolyte imbalances, which can be life threatening

Other less serious side effects from rapid weight loss are:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle loss

 Before laying down your hard earned cash on weight loss supplements, you need to know the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does regulate dietary supplements; however, it treats them like foods rather than medications.  Whether it lives up to the manufactures claims or not is irrelevant to them.

The FDA also does not regulate claims made by over-the-counter weight loss products. Unlike drug manufacturers, the makers of  supplements don’t have to show their products are safe or effective before selling them on the market. This means that dietary supplements do not need approval from FDA before they are marketed.

Aside from the very low-calorie diet and weight loss surgery, no other product, pill, or diet has been proven to work for fast weight loss. And even when they do bring rapid weight loss, the results usually vanish soon thereafter as the individual dieter almost always has the wrong mindset about actual weight management. Losing unwanted body fat requires a change of thinking that accepts the only true way to success is a permanent change of life style that revolves around personal accountability to self and healthy living.

In any legitimate weight loss program or lifestyle such as David’s Way, what really burns fat is not a pill, type of food, or gimmick. Our methodology gets back to the nutritional basics which involve a reduction of calories that meet your individual metabolic needs, combined with exercise that has first been cleared for you by your doctor. We promote weight loss and management in a holistic manner where we believe the path to successful weight management involves the mind, body and soul being in the game of achieving and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage rather than attempting to reach and hold a random number on your scale.

David’s Way

  • Get your mind wrapped around the idea of a permanent lifestyle change that focuses on a healthy body fat percentage.  You are doomed to fail if you think you can just go about this as a temporary challenge to get through. Good health needs to be a permanent focus.
  • Learn to make your world small. What this means is, make it a daily point to try to reduce your stress day each by only concentrating on issues of true importance that affect you and not the superfluous problems of others around you. Misery loves company and if you allow the crabs to pull you down, they most certainly will.
  • Live by principles of the Serenity Prayer in all endeavors. Lord, grant me the Serenity to accept that which I cannot change. The Courage to change that which I can. And the Wisdom to know the difference.
  • Exercise on a regular basis with the approval of your doctor. Exercise not only helps you to burn off body fat while increasing your strength and cardiovascular fitness. It also helps immensely with stress reduction which we all know can be a significant trigger to binge eating.
  • Figure your caloric needs for each day by visiting our Calorie Counter Pro. Simply fill in your basic information and hit calculate. This information is 100% private and cannot be seen by anyone other than whom you might share it with. We respect your privacy and comply with all HIPPA regulations to protect your privacy. We strongly recommend you choose the calories required to only lose one pound of body fat per week.
  • Be sure that you consume all your calories each day. If you go over one day and under the next, remember that what is really important is that the total caloric average at the end of the week should not exceed your daily needs. In other words, if you go over one day, this can be offset by going an equal amount under the next.
  • Quit eating and drinking refined sugar and simple carbs unless the simple carbs come with a fiber component such as fruit.
  • Quit eating processed foods that are usually heavy on added sugars, unhealthy fats, high in sodium and full of preservatives.
  • Do eat whole foods that pack plenty of nutritional value that meet all of your macro-nutrient needs of protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and healthy fats.
  • Do ensure you eat plenty of lean protein to ensure you are taking in all the nine essential amino acids required by your body to replace and repair all of your body’s tissues. Essential amino acids can only come from food sources and are not stored in your body. Therefore they must be replenished on a regular basis.
  • Eat 25 to 40 percent of your calories in lean protein, especially during your weight loss mode. This will help to protect you from losing lean muscle tissue along with your body fat, and will also help to keep you better satiated between meals. The rest of your caloric intake should come from complex carbohydrate foods and healthy fats such as found in fish, nuts and seeds etc.
  • Do not weigh yourself more than once a week. Your body weight fluctuates from day to day, hour by hour, simply by water retention. A focus on the overall trend of your weight and the way your clothing fits is more important than one slight increase in the number on the scale. If the trend is climbing after a month, simply reduce your daily calories by a couple hundred. One pound of body fat equals 3500 calories which is 500 per day when divided by 7 days in the week. If the monthly trend shows you are losing more than 4 pounds per month, increase your calories to where it slows to 1 pound per week on average. If the monthly trend shows you are gaining, simply reduce your calories by an appropriate amount to meet your needs.
  • If you decide to combine David’s Way with Intermittent Fasting, think about this; Intermittent Fasting, while being effective, is nothing new. It is how we used to eat back before the obesity epidemic became so bad. Once dinner was over and the dishes were cleaned and put away. the kitchen was closed until the next mornings breakfast. I recommend Intermittent Fasting for those who are on weight loss mode as it helps you to build upon your personal discipline to only eat when truly hungry, or during your time to feed. Be sure if you do “IF” to consume all of your daily calories during your feed time too.
  • Do visit our web site “Recipes” section and try our delicious and healthy recipes. We provide you with a plethora of sugar free dessert and treat recipes along with an abundance of hearty meal ideas. Going sugar free does not mean you can no longer enjoy an occasional treat.
  • Do not ever let yourself get caught up in gimmicks or paid weight loss plans that are vague in their instructions. Even some of the big name companies that have been around for years only care to string you along as a perpetual income source. At David’s Way, we will never charge you for our information that helps you live a healthier life. We charge nothing for you to access our articles and recipes. These will always be free to you. That is my pledge.
  • Do subscribe in order to get every article and recipe we publish straight to your email Again, this is also 100% free to you. Be sure to share us with your family, friends and anyone else whom you think might benefit from David’s Way.

We are here for you and can be contacted through comments or questions at the end of our articles in the Comments section. Or, you can contact us privately through our web site “Contact” menu. We promise to protect your privacy. Please bear in mind, Brenda Sue and I are certified Nutrition and Wellness consultants. We do not, nor can we make any medical diagnosis. We cannot provide any medical diet for people with a specific diagnosed health problem. For medical specific needs, please consult with your physician and follow their orders.

The Cost of “Comfort”

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Many years ago,  my Grandmother and I were talking about a family  member who really  needed to make some changes for her health, and my Grandmother said, “She’ll never lose weight or quit smoking because she’s  not  going to  do  anything  that  makes  her  uncomfortable.” No truer words have ever been  spoken.  Although my Grandmother is gone now, she was right. That person has continued her unhealthy habits and although she’s much younger than me, she has the health and life of a much older person than I do. She also looks much older. Her body has taken on the stereotypical “old lady” traits of bulging belly and huge, sagging breasts. She stays in the doctor’s  office  a lot and has serious health problems. She takes a lot of medication and still refuses to change her ways. The empty calories, cigarettes, alcohol and lack of fitness have changed her into someone who is barely reminiscent of her former self. She wouldn’t do the hard stuff like controlling her appetite or working out. She wanted comfort. Her medical bills are exorbitant.

Healthy habits can be learned and developed but there will always be a measure of discomfort when we push ourselves beyond our primal needs of a full belly and ease. I do not have any cravings now because I eat David’s Way. When I first quit eating  sugar, however, I  thought I would crack up for a few days. I was undoubtedly addicted. In a few days, however, the misery ended and now, years later, I’m the healthiest  and most fit that I have ever been. Without that struggle to kick sugar, I would not be where I am today. I was uncomfortable for a little while. One of the lessons that I had to learn is that good health and fitness take work and work is merely a skillset that can be learned.

In the case of my relative, she never would give up or limit any of her “comfort” foods. She thought it was just too hard. As a result, the pounds piled on over  the  years and her once beautiful figure became a burden to carry around with about 50 pounds of fat added to her frame. Her back, pelvis and neck gave way to injury and pain and she has had numerous surgeries in an attempt to be pain free. As a result of this ongoing pain issue, she has become addicted to opiates. Opiate addiction causes constipation and her belly is always huge and bloated. The extra weight and disproportionate distribution of her weight has furthur injured her back and the cascade of symptoms continues. It appears that she will live out her life as an opiate addict. Surely it would have been easier to have done without a few goodies. Her smoking has left her with ever worsening emphysema. A single breath comes hard. Was the eating with abandon and the momentary rush of the nicotine really worth the price?

There are methods to change our behaviors that really work but we must be willing to acknowledge that we need and want to change.

1-Clearly state what habits you truly want to change.  Be truthful  and focus on one habit at a time.

2- Analyze your bad behavior. Why are you doing it? At one time I asked myself that question and the sad answer was that I didn’t enjoy anything  else. I changed that.

3-Listen to your inner voice. We usually recognize our bad behaviors. Be truthful with yourself and allow that wisdom to guide you into better habits.

4-Every time you stop a bad behavior, replace it with a good one.

5-Remove triggers from your life. Whether it’s a person, a song, an old picture or simply a memory that you allows to ride roughshod through your brain, just say “NO!!!” Avoid negative triggers and be instantly happier and healthier.

6-Keep an ever upgraded visualization of yourself front and foremost in your mind. We can change the way our brain works and thinks with focus on the positive changes that we are willing to make.

7-Stop self talking yourself in a negative way. We tend to believe our thoughts. Make them good ones.

8- Break your goal down into manageable bits and pieces. When I began strength training I knew that I had to start small. I have lofty goals but they are not being obtained overnight. Build your good habits piece by piece. I had to decide where to lift and then what to buy. I had to commit to excellence in order to be safe. I had to be willing to work towards my goals slowly. I had to be willing  to work hard and then work harder. I had to make the decision to eat right. Making these practical decisions were a building block that had to go into the foundation of my program. If I had not done this first, I could have never successfully trained.

9-Give yourself Grace. Life happens. If you botch a workout or your nutrition one day, keep going. Stay committed and learn from your mistakes.

10-Remember, changing destructive habits takes time. You have to keep repeating the better behavior until the change is made in your brain. It won’t happen overnight but if you remain diligent, it will happen. I never crave sugar anymore. It may take several weeks to change some habits. Be patient. Your discomfort will pass and you will be free of the destructive behavior and free to create a better life.

Holiday Heart Attack Season

At this time of year as the weather cools down and the nights get longer, the holidays begin rapidly approaching until the next thing we know, they are right upon us. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day are supposed to be filled with love and joy with our family and friends. These days are supposed to be full of good times and cheer. A time of fellowship, a time of gift giving, a time to eat, drink and be merry. And for most of us, the holidays are exactly that. But, for anyone with heart disease—or who is at an increased risk of heart disease, the holidays instead may be a time of special risk. A joyful day may easily turn into a day of great tragedy.

Several studies have shown that during the winter holidays not only are heart problems more likely to occur but when they do, they are more likely to be fatal. The months of December and January are especially risky for people with heart disease. (1)

Imagine if you will, over the years you have been putting on weight and you have ignored your doctors admonition to lose weight simply because you feel like you are carrying it well for someone your size. You have not had any major health issues, so why worry about a little bulge at the belly, after all, you have more important things to worry about such as taking care of your family over your own needs.

It’s your life, who the hell is that doctor to tell you how to live when they are not the one paying your bills. All they need to do is shut up and give you your medicines to fix your ailments. All you wanted was medicine and not a judgmental opinion about your obesity. It’s your life, you will live it any way you see damn fit to. That is until you cannot…

Now imagine if you will, you have been working hard since sunrise, preparing  to give your family a wonderful Thanksgiving or Christmas Day meal. Your adult kids and the grandchildren have arrived a few hours ago to a warm home full of love and the aroma of a baking turkey in the oven. The smells that bring back happy memories of the past when you were a young child visiting your own grand parents. The kids are all catching up with each other in the living room while the grandchildren are running all around the house bringing joy to your heart despite the fat you are feeling a bit tired now and have a case of heartburn that you have not bee able to kill with antacids. And for some damn reason, your jaw aches too. But regardless of this, nothing is going to ruin your day.

You have worked hard all day in preparation of your family gathering. You awoke to a heavy, wet snow coming down, covering the ground in a thick, cold blanket. Once you got the turkey into the oven, you pulled on your snow boots, put on your heavy coat and shoveled the drive for your loved ones.  And the snow kept coming down, covering the drive about as fast as you could clear it. Once you finally removed the most of the snow and spread your ice melt, you return to the kitchen and finish the final meal preparation.

What a joyous day, surrounded by loved ones. The table has been set, the delicious and hearty food has all been put out and as you begin to carve the turkey with your youngest grand daughter at your side waiting in anticipation, as you slice into the turkey, you all of a sudden feel a crushing pain in your chest and everything goes black…

My friends, if this scenario ever happens to you, if you are lucky, you will be able to go home after from the hospital after a few days of tests and observations. If you are not so lucky, this may be the last day of your life.

Are your personal affairs in order?

Did you get a final chance to tell your family how much you loved them before you passed on?

Is your family going to ever live with guilt or regret that they signed a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order?

If you spend a few days in ICU, is your family going to go bankrupt trying to save your life? Even if you die, they could still go bankrupt…

Heart attack symptoms

  • Tightness, pressure, squeezing, stabbing, or dull pain, most often in the center of the chest
  • Pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, or arms
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • Cold sweat or clammy skin
  • Lightheadedness, weakness, or dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea, indigestion, and sometimes vomiting

Factors that contribute to heart attack.

  • Exposure to cold weather
  • Exposure to sudden and unusual levels of exertion, such as shoveling snow
  • Exposure to emotional stress, which is very common and is often fairly severe during the holidays
  • Obesity
  • Becoming sedentary over the winter months
  • Exposure to illness, especially influenza, which can produce inflammatory changes in the blood vessels
  • Over-indulging in food, alcohol and/or tobacco
  • Exposure to indoor pollution, such as cigarette smoke, or even a poorly-drafted log-burning fireplace
  • Reluctance to seek medical help during the holidays
  • Decreased exposure to light

What to expect if you have a heart attack.

For starters, always call 911 to be transported via ambulance rather than going by car. Contrary to what you might assume, speed isn’t the only rationale. “If you’re having a heart attack, there are two reasons why you want to be in an ambulance,” says Dr. Joshua Kosowsky, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School. One is that in the unlikely event of cardiac arrest, the ambulance has the equipment and trained personnel to restart your heart. Cardiac arrest, which results from an electrical malfunction that stops the heart’s pumping ability, is fatal without prompt treatment. However, most heart attacks do not cause cardiac arrest, Dr. Kosowsky stresses. “It’s rare, but it’s certainly not a risk you want to take while you’re driving or riding in a car.” (2)

The other reason to travel via ambulance is that in many places in the United States, if a person calls 911 complaining of chest pain, the dispatcher will send paramedics who are trained to perform an electrocardiogram (ECG). This simple, painless test records your heart’s electrical activity through 12 small electrodes placed on your chest, arms, and legs. A six-second recording can then be transmitted to the receiving emergency department, which can help speed up the process of getting you the care you need.

Some people don’t experience the typical symptom of crushing chest pain during a heart attack, however, so they may hesitate to call 911. People with pain that waxes and wanes or who have subtler symptoms (such as jaw pain or shortness of breath) may show up at the emergency room on their own. Even if you do this, you’re still likely to get rapid care. The person who greets you might be a receptionist rather than a doctor or nurse, but most emergency departments follow a specific protocol for a suspected heart attack. “If you mention any symptom that sounds like it might be a heart attack, the first thing they’ll do is to get you an ECG, ideally within 10 minutes of your arrival,” says Dr. Kosowsky.

A doctor then interprets the ECG, which will reveal if you’re having a major heart attack, in which an artery feeding your heart is blocked, choking off the blood supply to part of your heart muscle. This usually creates a distinct signature on the ECG and means you’ll quickly receive treatment to open the blocked artery. (2)

But not all heart attacks show up on the first ECG. So even if it looks normal, you’re still not out of the woods, says Dr. Kosowsky. The next step is an evaluation by a doctor or other clinician, who will ask about your medical history and details about the location, duration, and intensity of your symptoms. You’ll also have a blood test to measure troponin, a protein that rises in response to heart muscle damage. This blood test is very sensitive. But keep in mind that elevated levels don’t always show up right away. That’s why doctors sometimes have people stay for several hours to get a follow-up troponin measurement.

Other possible tests include a chest x-ray to look for alternative causes of chest discomfort, such as pneumonia or heart failure. A doctor also might give you a trial of medication to see whether it relieves your symptoms, and additional ECGs may be performed over time.

Often, if several troponin tests come back normal, the doctor may want to check your risk of a future heart attack with an exercise stress test. This test can reveal how your heart responds to the demands of increased blood flow needed during exercise. During a standard exercise test, you walk on a treadmill at progressively faster speeds, while trained staff monitors your heart’s electrical activity, your heart rate, and your blood pressure.

An imaging test may also be performed to quantify the degree of blood flow to the heart. One option is an echocardiogram, a noninvasive test that involves placing an ultrasound probe on your chest to create a moving image of your beating heart. Restricted blood flow in the heart’s arteries changes the movement of the heart, which an experienced echocardiographer can detect.

Another option is a nuclear perfusion test, which entails injecting a radioactive substance called a tracer into a vein. The tracer then travels through your blood to your heart. A special camera that records the radioactive particles emitted from the tracer circles around the heart, taking images from multiple angles. A computer then combines these images to create a detailed picture of the blood flow to the heart.

In certain situations, if the source of your symptoms remains unclear, a physician might order a computed tomography angiography (CTA) scan. For this test, you receive an injection of a contrast dye into your arm or hand. The dye “lights up” in an image to reveal a three-dimensional view of your heart’s arteries, courtesy of multiple rapid-fire x-rays taken during the scan.

Sometimes, even after all the testing, doctors don’t know for certain what’s causing your chest pain. “If that’s the case, it’s still worth asking the doctor what his or her best guess is, because that will help you determine what next steps to take,” says Dr. Kosowsky. (2)

Common treatment procedures for heart attack.

  • Angioplasty: Special tubing with an attached deflated balloon is threaded up to the coronary arteries.
  • Angioplasty, Laser: Similar to angioplasty except that the catheter has a laser tip that opens the blocked artery.
  • Artificial heart valve surgery: Replaces an abnormal or diseased heart valve with a healthy one.
  • Atherectomy: Similar to angioplasty except that the catheter has a rotating shaver on its tip to cut away plaque from the artery.
  • Bypass surgery: Treats blocked heart arteries by creating new passages for blood to flow to your heart muscle.
  • Cardiomyoplasty: An experimental procedure in which skeletal muscles are taken from a patient’s back or abdomen.
  • Heart transplant: Removes a diseased heart and replaces it with a donated healthy human heart.
  • Minimally invasive heart surgery: An alternative to standard bypass surgery.
  • Radiofrequency ablation: A catheter with an electrode at its tip is guided through the veins to the heart muscle to destroy carefully selected heart muscle cells in a very small area.
  • Stent procedure: A stent is a wire mesh tube used to prop open an artery during angioplasty.
  • Transmyocardial revascularization (TMR): A laser is used to drill a series of holes from the outside of the heart into the heart’s pumping chamber.

Reduce your risk of heart attack through healthy nutritional practices coupled with exercise that is approved by your doctor. Do it for yourself, do it for your loved ones. You might believe that your life is yours to live as you see fit. However, never forget that someone is going to have to pick up the broken pieces behind you when your health fails or when you pass on. Taking care of your health is only the right thing to do. Doing otherwise is a selfish act that only serves to cause pain and hurt in your loved ones at a later time and place. Be well, embrace your loved ones and love them like there is no tomorrow. You never know, there may be no tomorrow for you.

(1) verywellhealth.com

(2) health.harvard,edu