Sugar Free Blueberry Cobbler

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Serves 8

Calories 210

Net Carbs 8 grams

Protein 4 grams

Ingredients

Filling

3 1/2 Cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1/3 cup Swerve Granular

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Topping

1 1/3 cup almond flour

1/3 cup butter (cold and cut into small squares or grated with a cheese grater)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup Brown Swerve

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions

1. Place oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 375

2. Combine blueberries, xanthan gum, Swerve Granular and lemon juice and mix well til the blueberries are coated.

3. Add the blueberry mixture to a 9×9 pan ( or smaller ramekins)

4. Mix almond flour, Brown Swerve, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest together. With a pastry/biscuit cutter or fork, cut butter into dry mixture. Dough will feel like cookie dough.

5. Spread the dough evenly over the blueberry mixture.

6. Bake in 375 degree (F) oven for about 22 minutes (for the large pan) or 16-18 minutes in smaller ramekins – or until the crust is golden brown and the blueberries are bubbling. Serve warm or cold.

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Sugar Free 3 Ingredient Vanilla Coffee Creamer

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Serves 32

Serving size 2 Tablespoons

Calories 40

Net Carbs 1 gram

Protein 1 gram

Ingredients

1 quart (4 cups) Half and Half

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup Swerve Confectioners

Instructions

Whisk Half and Half and vanilla extract til well combined.

Using a fine mesh sieve, sift the Swerve Confectioners into bowl with Half and Half.

Whisk until well combined and store in fridge.

Loaded Gun, Ready Triggers

Even if you do not believe in God, you can still enrich your life through the principles of the Serenity prayer. Sadly, a lot people only think of the Serenity Prayer as something said by recovering alcoholics and junkies in their recovery meetings, or when trying to remain clean and sober. I personally try to use this principle in all that I encounter in life. Including control over my appetite and emotions. Like many people in western society, I too have had my own past issues with maintaining a healthy body fat percentage and control over food cravings. I know that Brenda Sue has too. All that we address in our writing has come about from our own unique life experiences, we are not types who will go on and on about what needs to be done about weight management while having never experienced what you are going through too.

Choices!

Friends, if you have been following me long enough, you know that I always place an emphasis on personal responsibility and choosing to do what is right for your health and wellness. When you take personal responsibility for yourself, you quickly learn there are some things you can change for your benefit, and there are some that you cannot. This is a simple fact of life for every single one of us. None of us are special in this regard, some of us just learn to navigate our way around obstacles in life. How this applies to weight management is the mistake many of you make in trying to lose weight is repeatedly attempt to change the things in which you cannot change, and you fail to change those things in which you can. In private communications with our clients, Brenda Sue and I see this insanity just about daily.

Loaded Guns

The big mistake that most people make in trying lose weight is they try to use will power over their cravings. You are not a special snowflake, and the failure of will power is not unique to you alone! If you think will power alone is enough to get through cravings that keep you obese, you are most certainly going to fail!

When in weight loss mode, most people believe they need to learn to overcome their weaknesses by strengthening their will power. While I agree people need to work on strengthening their will power, this in itself is not enough to over ride your cravings for food, nor does your will power do anything about decreasing your body’s ability to store fat. Intense and recurring carbohydrate cravings, as well as the body’s heightened ability to store fat, come from a physical cause.

Cravings and fat storage come from a physical cause!

This physical cause is a direct result of an excess of insulin in your body. Therefore, will power does not come into play in decreasing your cravings for high carbohydrate foods, loaded with bad fats and sodium. Will power does not change the physical workings of your body. While you may over ride your cravings for a short period, if you do not do anything about controlling insulin production in your body, your will power is bound to fail you. Your will power is no where near as strong as the powerful effects insulin has in your system.

Commonly, when people fail at their diets and weight loss because they thought it was a matter of willpower and self control over all else, they are only partially correct. Instead of evaluating why they failed and what they could have done in order instead, they will place the blame on their lack of willpower, or accept blame from others, and then they will simply give up.

An evaluation of self is in fact needed to understand why we fail at weight loss and successful management, but the evaluation must come from a base of knowledge. Without a good understanding of the reason why you fail at weight loss you are bound to begin the cycle of yo-yo dieting all over again. At David’s Way, we have placed a great amount of time into the study of why 98% of people fail at diets, and it is always obvious their futile battles are lost because they either lack the knowledge of how their body works, or they refuse to acknowledge their need to come at weight management from a better, more informed perspective.

Ready Triggers

You must accept what you can and cannot do about your body and the manner in which it handles your intake of food. Know that you are not helpless in this struggle!

Those of us who are addicted to carbohydrates are little different than alcoholics. We cannot change our body’s predisposition to release too much insulin. You might think of your predisposition as a loaded gun that comes literally from the genes you inherited from your parents. However, this genetic message is only a predisposition, or a loaded weapon just waiting on you to be the one who pulls the trigger.  It will not go off unless, or until you personally pull the trigger for it to do so. This is something you indeed have control over. While you are predisposed to release too much insulin, you can control that in which you eat. You can make the choice to quit eating added sugars entirely in order to not pull the trigger on your cravings. You can prevent your blood sugar and insulin spikes by not eating sugar. If you are carbohydrate addicted, you  have to change the way you eat. It may be difficult for the first couple of weeks, but it is not impossible. You have to take the same approach to your carbohydrate addiction the same as one who quits drinking, the same as one who quits smoking. You just have to quit, and not believe that you can ever have control over the substance you never had control over in the first place.

Get your finger off the trigger, damn it!

The biggest way you can derail yourself is by frequently consuming carbohydrate rich foods. Specifically, simple carbs! You have to understand that if you are predisposed to carb addiction, this is for life, just the same as alcoholism.

If you are born with this unfortunate predisposition, the more often you eat carbohydrate rich foods such as starches, snack foods, or sweets (including fruit juices) the more intense your insulin response will be. When you eat carbohydrate rich foods all day as many people with weight issues are prone to do, the high level of insulin will only serve to make you crave more and  more of them. This is a physical response, and is not one of a weak willed individual.

As you continue to eat these carbohydrate rich foods on a frequent basis, your muscles and organs will start to become insulin resistant. This is simple biology, you cannot change this. As you become insulin resistant, both the insulin and the blood sugar it escorts, will be steered away from the muscles and organs that require them, and will subsequently be stored away in your body fat.

In the first stages of insulin resistance, your body’s tendency is going to be weight gain. However, over time, even your fat cells will become insulin resistant which means the insulin and blood sugar remain trapped in your blood stream which will eventually lead to type 2 diabetes if you do not already have it. When you continue to eat carbohydrate rich foods, you are causing your body harm as this vicious cycle will continue repeating itself.

In many people who have been over weight or obese their entire lives, or those who find triggers such as pregnancy, stress, stopping smoking, and medications, will make them crave simple carbohydrates and gain weight easily. For others, we will see that although they might have been a normal weight in their younger years, the simple act of growing older changes their metabolism, which causes their bodies to become more insulin resistant. The damage that can occur from insulin and blood sugar being channeled into fat cells can be greatly mitigated by a low carb, high protein diet combined with vigorous exercise as we promote at David’s Way.

As a carbohydrate addiction progresses, the body releases more and more insulin in a valiant attempt to push through the resistance and force the insulin and blood sugar into the muscles and organs where they are much needed. When you continue to consume added sugar and excess carbohydrates, this extra insulin will lead to more severe carbohydrate cravings, or that feeling of being “hangry”. This is why we say to stop eating added sugars in all foods and to only eat whole foods that you have to prepare yourself. You cannot prevent your body from trying to protect itself from too many “insulin insults”, you cannot stop your body from becoming insulin resistant when you continue to eat too many carbs. This is why your willpower means little if you do not approach healthy eating with the right mindset and armed with knowledge.

Lets take an intelligent approach to our dietary habits.

Of course we still need carbohydrates in our daily diets, especially complex carbs that come from many vegetable sources and even simple carbs from whole fruits. The important point to remember is that when we do consume our carbohydrates, we do not use added sugars, and that we maintain a correct balance of protein and fiber in order to not set off and insulin imbalance which will set off our cravings for more carbs. You can maintain your blood sugar and insulin levels simply by enjoying well balanced meals that provide all the macro and micro-nutrients your body requires for good health. You have to know that all carbohydrate rich foods, including starches, snack foods, and sweet treats and drinks, and even some starchy vegetables when eaten frequently and without balance, can trigger your genetic loaded gun that makes it difficult for you to remain slim and healthy.

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Cancer Fighters

Phytochemicals are the compounds found in plants that have potential to help prevent chronic diseases like cancer. They can potentially strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, prevent DNA damage and help DNA repair, slow cancer cell growth, regulate hormones and prevent damaged cells from reproducing. (1) The American Cancer Society recommends eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables. If you eat a lot of fruits and veggies you are eating a lot of phytochemicals.

Carotenoids

Beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin are all carotenoids. They inhibit cancer growth, improve immunity, support vision and improve your skin. Broccoli, carrots, cooked tomatoes, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, winter squash, apricots, cantaloupe, oranges and watermelon are all good sources of carotenoids. It’s not just carrots anymore!

Polyphenols

These compounds can prevent the formation of cancer and also prevent inflammation. They are found in green tea, grapes, berries, citrus fruits, apples, whole grains and peanuts. These foods contain ellagic acid and resveratrol. Although wine is a source of resveratrol, we don’t recommend wine because of the huge number of calories and large amounts of sugars that you can drink if you have the habit of drinking wine. There is always a potential for addiction to alcohol and with these factors in mind, you have to consider long and hard if you want to drink wine or just eat good whole, healthy fruits and vegetables for your resveratrol fix.

Flavonoids

Apples, onions, soybeans, coffee, tea and citrus fruits are sources of flavonoids. They are known to inhibit tumor growth, reduce inflammation and boost immunity. They contain anthocyanins, quercitin and catechins. I had a Great Aunt who always ate the white, fibrous covering on citrus fruits that’s just underneath the peeling. She said it was for the quercitin. She lived to be almost 100 in good health almost every day of her life.

Isoflavones

These powerhouse compounds inhibit tumor growth and limit the production of cancer-related hormones. They’re found in soybeans and other soy products. I eat a lot of soy. It helps me retain some curves while I cut body fat.

Indoles and Glucosinolates

These chemicals can help lower your cancer risk by preventing tumor growth and decreasing production of cancer-causing hormones. They are found in broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprounts. I have read great reports on cauliflower for years. Nowadays it is being used for everything from pizza crust to mashed “potatoes”. Give this cancer fighter a try. It has a mild flavor and is quite versatile in recipes.

Inositol

There are different types of inositols and phytic acid is available in bran from corn, oats, rice, rye and wheat. Nuts and soybeans are also good sources of phytic acid. It prevents damage to cells so that when they replicate they reproduce a healthy cell.

Phytochemicals are found in all plant foods, not just fruits and vegetables. It’s best to get your phytos from whole foods instead of supplements. The best way to insure that you are getting enough is to always have a colorful plate. Like Mom said, “Eat your vegetables…(fruits and grains.)

(1) https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/phytochemicals-and-cancer-what-you-should-know.h10-1591413.html

Hungry All the Time?

Stealthy Invader

The first day that I began eating David’s Way, I quit being hungry all the time. Although I wasn’t eating large amounts of sugar , I had not totally removed it from my diet. As soon as I began David’s Way I examined everything that I ate for hidden sugar. Sometimes the sources will surprise you. It works it’s way into almost everything unless we diligently seek it out like a phantom in the night.

Return of Hunger

Several months ago I began a job where I am blessed to have free meals. I carefully avoided all sweet foods and anything that seemed like it might possibly contain any trace of sugar. Soon after beginning this job, however, I began to feel hunger like I had not felt it in a long time. I was mystified. I ate good whole foods and avoided processed foods which are a huge source of sugar. Still, the hunger haunted me.

Revelation

When I considered the menu tonight, I realized that every item on the menu contained added sugar. I had asked for the coleslaw recipe and guess what, hidden sugar. The succulent roasted pork tenderloin was slathered in sweet barbecue sauce. The beans served on the side contained a significant amount of sugar because other employees were talking about how sweet they were. And then, of course, there was cake, which I never eat. Suddenly I realized that many of the seemingly harmless foods that I had been so thrilled to have free were the culprit in my around-the-clock hunger that was coming and going at random, waking me up at night and causing me to examine my diet in intricate detail.

Cultural

There are cultures that put sugar in almost everything. I worked in a private home providing nursing care many years ago and because I was there so much, I became great friends with the cooks. Although their food was incredibly delicious, both of those sweet women literally put sugar into everything they cooked if there was any way possible. The colorful potato salad with finely diced carrots, celery, onions and bell pepper was doused liberally with sugar. So were the green beans,yes, green beans! So were the pinto beans and fried potatoes… Everyone in the house was either overweight or obese and I could not keep my weight under control unless I carried all of my food and ate none of theirs. The added sugar kept me hungry around the clock, just like the hunger that I have been experiencing on occasion since coming to work at my present place of employment.

How?

When we eat sugar, our body responds by secreting insulin to help metabolize it. When the offending molecule is dismantled there is still enough insulin in our bloodstream to be actively seeking a sugar molecule so the natural response of our body is to secrete ghrelin which makes us hungry so that we can balance the insulin. As this cycle continues, we eat at times that we shouldn’t and in larger amounts. Unless we realize what is happening by meticulously tracking every bite of food that we eat, weight gain is soon to follow. I am actively “cutting” right now, trying to get my 18% body fat to about 14%, and I have been struggling to cut without excessive hunger. The hidden sugars in some of the home cooked meals that I have been eating have made my cut more difficult than it had to be. Although this cycle of eating sugar and getting hungry is a bit more complex than I have stated here, this is the gist of it. Eating sugar makes you hungry. You don’t have to be eating desserts and sugary snacks for this effect. Examine your food. Don’t be lazy and just assume that those green beans or that cornbread does not contain sugar. They just may.

Sugar Free Cold Brew Coffee Popsicles

Serves 6

Calories 70

Net Carbs 1 gram

Protein 1 gram

1/2 cup whipping cream

6 Tablespoons Swerve Confectioners

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup cold brew coffee, chilled

Instructions

Beat cream, sweetener and vanilla to stiff peaks.

Stir in coffee and taste for sweetness and adjust as needed.

Divide into 6 popsicle molds.

Freeze 1 hour.

Insert sticks 2/3 of the way into popsicles.

Continue to freeze until solid, about 4 hours.

Unmold by running hot water over each for 5-10 seconds then gently tug on stick.

Decrease Your Chances of Alzheimer’s

Overwhelming Statistics

There is an overwhelming number of new cases of Alzheimer’s every year. Between 2017 and 2025 every state is expected to have a 14% rise in this horrifying disease. There has been an 89% increase in deaths due to Alzheimer’s between 2000 and 2014 and more than 5,000,000 Americans live with this destroyer of worlds. (1) I work with these precious souls every day and see firsthand the grief and loss that is caused by this devastating disease. Believe me, if you can do anything to decrease your chances of developing Alzheimer’s and other dementias, you really want to do that and the sooner, the better.

Development

Science has searched for the cause of dementia for many years as the incidence of dementia and the accompanying cost for care of these patients has increased. With ever increasing evidence, these disabling diseases have begun to be looked upon as a lifelong or lifestyle disease with many factors affecting it’s development. Of course there are types that have a specific cause such as injury to the brain by trauma or other diseases. That is not the topic of discussion here.

Oh, You’re Not Diabetic?

According to Harvard Health Publishing (2), above normal blood sugar has been linked to dementia. High blood sugar damages arteries through inflammation. At one time, the blood sugar levels of diabetes were considered the “danger zone” for increased risks of dementia but now the evidence supports the idea that elevated blood sugars that are not in the diabetic range can also up your odds. Any incremental increase in blood sugar was associated with increased risk. Prediabetes, blood sugar between 100 and 126 after an 8 hour fast, is in the danger zone. Don’t think that because you are not diabetic that you are immune to the ravages of high blood sugar on your brain.

How Many Times Do We Have To Say This ?

Harvard advises getting 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week and cutting back on your intake of highly refined carbohydrates, particularly foods that contain added sugars such as sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, cane sugar, corn sweetener, raw sugar, honey or fruit juice. At David’s Way, we advise this every day. We tell you to avoid sugar and neither David nor I eat the stuff. I don’t bring it into my house. In all of the research that I have done, I have never uncovered a health benefit of sugar but I have discovered many negative implications.

Other Trouble Makers

Alzheimers.net advises against eating processed foods such as processed cheeses due to the proteins found in them that have been associated with Alzheimer’s. Processed meats and beer contain nitrites which also present a problem. Microwave popcorn contains diacetyl, a chemical that may increase amyloid plaques in the brain. Amyloid plaques are linked to Alzheimer’s Disease. Just as Harvard, this organization also advises against refined carbohydrates including white pasta, cakes, sugar, white rice and white bread. These foods cause insulin spikes in your body which increases inflammation throughout your body and sets you up for all kinds of diseases and dementias. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. (3) Obesity triggers vascular dementia which increases the risk of Alzheimer’s. It also increases fat cells which damage the brain white matter and leads to cognitive and intellectual behavior changes. We always advise you to maintain a healthy body fat for optimum health throughout your body.

What Do I Do?

There are some steps that you can take today to decrease your chances of developing this disease. Balance your blood sugar with whole, real foods that are low on the glycemic index chart. Remove refined carbs including sugar from your diet. Eat brain healthy fats such as fatty fish, coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, tree nuts and lean protein. Exercise every day with your doctor’s permission. Studies clearly support the idea that exercise is good for your brain. Control stress. Excess cortisol produced by chronic stress is destructive to your brain and get 8 hours of sleep every night. At David’s Way we teach you to “Make your world small.” by removing people and activities that are merely clutter and have no positive impact on your life. This helps to control stress. We address you as a whole person and controlling stress is paramount to your physical and mental health. Become proactive today and make every effort to preserve your mental health.

(1) https://ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3385589/

(2) https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/above-normal-blood-sugar-linked-to-dementia-201308076596

(3) https://ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6054325/

Heart Health and Insulin

Often, when we think of heart issues we never consider insulin and it’s role in heart health. Usually, when we think of insulin the first thing that comes to mind is diabetes. And here in lies a huge problem, most people who are over weight or obese will not think of themselves as having a true health issue with their weight when they have not developed diabetes. This thinking is foolhardy and comes from a lack of knowledge. Besides the effect on your body with insulin and whether you have diabetes or not, the powerful role insulin plays in your body has great effects that can lead to high blood pressure, risk-related blood fat levels, weight gain, atherosclerosis, peripheral vascular disease, and heart disease in a great number of overweight or obese individuals who have never been diagnosed as being diabetic.

Insulin and Glucagon must be in balance!

In a healthy body, insulin does not like to be used up. It has been referred to as the “Saver Hormone”  This miserly nature of insulin is no easy task when you consider how some of us eat and live sedentary lifestyles. Insulin must meet multiple demands by the body such as appeals for energy to enable muscles to maintain their health and viability, to fuel our nervous system, and to keep our organs under constant repair to keep our body’s ability to function normally. Insulin will try to make your body store it’s energy stores, by converting carbohydrates into fat which is then stored inside of your cells, it must give up some of it’s food energy in order to get us through our basic daily living functions.

The second part of this equation which must be kept in balance with insulin is glucagon, or what is referred to as your body’s “Spending Hormone”. Most of us have heard of insulin, but I would guess that many, if not most of you, have never heard of glucagon. The balance between these two are just as insulin directs food energy into our cells, glucagon is what brings it back out of the cells in order to repair and fuel your body in between meals. This balance must be maintained and crappy dietary habits makes this task difficult.

A bad diet that does not meet all of our nutritional needs will quite obviously throw our hormonal balance out of whack. Although, as evident by the rampant obesity in our society, many will destroy their own health when there is a better choice to be made in living healthy with a good clean diet. It does not have to be this way, but many will still choose the lame way out with a diet of junk and fast foods and place their hormonal balance into a tail spin and then complain they cannot lose their weight.

If you choose to make good dietary habits a lifestyle that keeps your hormonal balance on an even keel, insulin and glucagon fully compliment each other and maintain a perfect harmony. Making this harmony occur is fully within your control, it will make you feel so much better. As insulin rises, it makes you want to eat, it helps with fueling your body. What energy is not used gets put away into your fat cells. Later, as your insulin levels fall off, glucagon begins to rise. The glucagon opens the fat cells up and the energy that is released is burned to keep your body running efficiently, as it was designed to do. After a period,  insulin once again begins to rise and the whole cycle repeats itself.

This natural balance is 100% within our control when we make the personal choice to make it so. Do not sell yourself short, ever!

When you make the lame choice for yourself to eat bad every day of your life, no matter your excuses, you are going to put this hormonal balance between insulin and glucagon out of kilter. The reasons why you eat a poor diet are not relevant to this reality. When you manage to get your hormonal balance off, there becomes a battle between the hormones that will put your heart health, or even your life at risk.

Although insulin and glucagon are to be in balance for good health, insulin is a more powerful hormone than it’s counterpart. Insulin will completely take over if you let it. When insulin is released into your blood, glucagon takes a submissive role and diminishes significantly. Glucagon will only rise back up once the insulin levels begin to fall again.

When you subsist on sweet treats and foods with added sugars, you insulin levels will always remain high! You do have control over what you eat! No excuse is going to fix your health. period.

Insulin’s dominance over glucagon is not all bad. In pre-historic times, when our ancestors had a surplus of food, insulin was needed in order to channel as much of the food in the fat cells as possible. Unlike us in the modern world, our ancestors did not always know where their next meal was coming from. And to make matters worse, their foods were not anywhere near as energy rich as our foods of today. Our ancestors had to fatten themselves up because they did not always know where or when their next meal would be coming to them. Insulin would get our ancestors to eat as much as they could so they could get the most out of the foods they were able to consume.

We no longer live in those times folks. Food is now abundant!

Now, on the other hand for our ancestors, food was not always available. In fact, famine can still be rampant in different parts of the world today. When our body requires energy, glucagon opens the fat cells and brings out the energy that has been stored. This energy fuels our muscles, brain and other organs to go out and get more nourishment. For our ancestors, when food was not readily available, insulin’s fat storing ability was not required. Our ancestors were not fat for the most part.

In days past, insulin kept us alive. In our modern world today where we might gorge and junk foods that keep our insulin levels high, this can actually kill us over time or even rapidly. 

Currently, we still have to keep our hormones in balance and we can do this through good dietary habits and exercise. However, many choose to eat bad food choices and to live sedentary lifestyles which causes a tug of war between insulin and glucagon. Insulin is usually winning this battle as we can see by all of the overweight or obese people that surround us. We can make a choice to control the outcome of our health we can choose to live a healthy life. Or we can sell ourselves short and not eat healthy, nor exercise. This can make the difference between a long and healthy life or one plagued by heart problems or cut short by heart disease.

Product Review, Beyond Meat

I consider myself to be nothing even close to being a vegetarian or vegan. I am a carnivore at heart, yet I do often enjoy vegan friendly foods such as vege-burgers. Not that I expect them to actually taste like a ground beef hamburger, I just happen to enjoy them because many of them are pleasing to my palate. If I am in the mood for a sandwich that is a little different, a Morning Star Southwest Black Bean Burger can hardly be beat as an alternative to ground beef. I have been seeing advertisements for a few months for Beyond Meat’s products and became intrigued with their Beyond Burger. I had no idea they also produced a vegan friendly hot Italian Sausage and Brats until I found their Beyond Burger in my local Dillon’s grocery store. I have now eaten the burgers and Italian sausages and once I try the Brats, I will do a review on them as well.

Beyond Burger

The picture on the left is from an advertisement for Beyond Burger, the picture on the right is one I snapped of the actual product. As you can see, the advertised picture appears to resemble ground beef patties much better than how the product actually appears. This reminded me of days gone by where hamburgers advertised for sell at movie concession stands appeared significantly better than the limp patty and soggy bun you actually received if you bought one. Curiosity still had me so I made my purchase despite the deception of the pictures I had seen in a multitude of adds.

What is a Beyond Burger?

From Beyond Meats website:

The Beyond Burger is the world’s first plant based burger that looks, cooks and satisfies like beef. It has all the juicy, meaty deliciousness of a traditional burger, but comes with the upside of a plant based meal. The Beyond Burger packs 20g of plant based protein and has no GMOs, soy or gluten.

Can this be true? And what is in them?

This might be spooky as the vegan meat substitute is advertised to even bleed out the same as a ground beef hamburger when you cook it. I’m not sure I get why a vegan friendly burger that seeps blood would ever appeal to a vegan though. But, here are the ingredients and nutritional values for a burger:

Pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, water, yeast extract, maltodextrin, natural flavors, gum arabic, sunflower oil, salt, succinic acid, acetic acid, non-GMO modified food starch, cellulose from bamboo, methylcellulose, potato starch, beet juice extract (for color)

Nutrition Values:

270 calories per burger

20g fat 5g sat)

380mg sodium

5g Carbohydrates

3g Fiber

0g Sugar

20g Protein

Just because of the difference of appearance between the advertisement and actual product, I was skeptical about if I would enjoy these burgers. I opened the package and instead of being red in color, the burgers were more of a brown color with specks of solid coconut oil interspersed to resemble beef fat. Instead of resembling beef patties, my initial impression from sight and smell was the patties appeared and smelled more akin to something resembling canned dog food, only not as strong in smell.

However, at $6.00 US and given the fact I have lived on worse food concoctions within military MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat), I was going to cook them and at least taste them despite the fact I damn near chucked them into my kitchen trash can. I sprayed a little olive oil into a non-stick skillet over medium heat and began browning them. This is the point where my mind began wondering if they might actually be good after all. The coconut oil specks began to dissolve, and low and behold, there appeared a liquid that resembled blood seeping from the burgers. As they browned, that vague smell of canned dog food was replaced by an odor that more closely resembled that of frying beef. My brother in law who lives with us, came into the kitchen and thought from the smell that I had changed my mind and was actually cooking beef. The trial is beginning to look up now.

Once I had browned the burgers on both sides (about 3 minutes per side) I served them up to my brother in law and myself. I had told Howard that if they were no good to not feel bad about chucking it into the trash if he did not care to finish his burger. (He is kind of picky and had turned his nose up about vege-burgers)

Howard had his on bread with ketchup and mustard, mine was on a low carbohydrate, high fiber tortilla with Heinz 57 sauce. I was pleasantly surprised by the first bite. The burger had a taste and texture remarkably like actual lean ground beef. The taste was such that I believe you could feed someone one of these burgers and they would never realize it was entirely vegetarian, it was that realistic. The burgers browned nicely and looked just like ground beef once cooked.

Will I try them again? Yes, the package in the picture is my second purchase. At first, Howard only said they were alright in a non-committed way. About an hour later, he fessed up that he also thought they were pretty darn good too.

Beyond Sausage, Hot Itallian

From Beyond Meat web site: The worlds first plant based sausage that looks, sizzles and satisfies like pork. Nope, I’m going to disagree, but it is not all bad.

Beyond Sausage Ingredients:

water, pea protein isolate, refined coconut oil, Sunflower oil, natural flavors, Contains 2% or less of: Rice protein, Faba Bean protein, potato starch, salt, fruit juice for color, vegetable juice for color, apple fiber, methlycellulose, citrus extract, calcium alginate casing

Nutrition

190 calories

12g fat

500mg sodium

230 mg potassium

5g total carbohydrate

3g fiber

16g protein

Well, I actually enjoyed the hot Italian sausages, yet I did not think they even remotely resembled a pork sausage during the cooking process. I sprayed a skillet with olive oil and began browning them all around. Being as there was no casing from an animal source, they did not brown the same as a sausage made from meat. In fact, they left the vege-casing material a little bit stuck in my frying pan. While their smell during cooking was pleasing to me, I never smelled anything resembling pork. There was a smell of spice and something else I could not describe as anything I ever cooked, yet it was certainly not a bad odor.

Once I had my sausage fully cooked, I was ready to taste it. I sliced into it with a knife and I was not disappointed to not see a bunch of fat pour out. It was almost like they were made with lean meat in the same way as the burger. The sausage was firm and not greasy at all. The taste was good, however, I thought it tasted much closer to that of a very mild Mexican Chorizo than Italian sausage. They are advertised as being hot, yet I did not think they were the least bit spicy. But be warned, I also go through a bottle of habanero pepper hot sauce about every two weeks.

While I did not find them to taste much like pork, I thoroughly enjoyed the Italian sausage as a sandwich. At $6.00 US for 4 links, I enjoyed them enough to try them again and look forward to trying Beyond Meat’s Brat product in the near future. I will do a review on them too.

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Cancer and Nutrition

Cause or Prevention?

There are many factors involved in the development of cancer, some over which we can exert control and others that we cannot. Genetics and environmental hazards are considered beyond our control while our diet is almost completely within our control. While the science is not there to say that any particular foods definitely cause or prevent cancer, there are relationships between diet and cancer which research has revealed. (1)

Calcium

There is evidence that higher calcium intake can lower the risk of cancer, specifically colorectal cancer. It is believed to bind to acids in the body and thereby protect the lining of the GI tract from damage. Above 2,000 mg per day however, is considered to increase the risk of prostate cancer. Most doctors agree that a daily intake of 500-1000 mg. is a good level to optimize calcium’s good effects on the development of cancer. One cup of Cabot Greek Plain Yogurt, made with whole milk, contains 400 mg. This yogurt also has 16 mg. of protein per cup. Fage Plain Greek Yogurt has more protein and less calcium. Choose the one that you like the best. There are many excellent brands available. I prefer the full fat versions because they do not have the tangy taste that’s associated with yogurt. Bone-in fish such as sardines are also a rich source of calcium. One small Atlantic sardine, 2-2/3 x 1/2 x 1/4 inches, has 46 mg. and if you eat sardines, you know that you eat a lot more than one.

Glycemic Index

A 2016 study revealed that foods with a high GI, 70 or above, are associated with an 88% increased risk for prostate cancer. These foods include sugar-sweetened soft drinks, fruit juices and processed foods such as pizza. Foods that are low on the GI such as beans, are linked with a 32% lower risk of both prostate and colorectal cancers. In March of 2015 a study showed a 50% increased risk for lung cancer among people who ate a high GI diet. At David’s Way we always promote a low GI diet.

Processed Meats and Red Meat

Studies consistently show that eating around 2 ounces of processed meat per day increases the risk of colorectal cancer. There is a similar risk for red meat, believed to be associated with the heme iron that is in all red meat.

Weight Gain

In 2014 a study found that a higher BMI increases the risk of developing many of the most common cancers. A 34 pound gain is linked to a 10%, or higher, risk of developing gallbladder, kidney and liver cancers. The hormones and inflammatory proteins produced by fat cells can promote the growth of cancer. We advocate knowing your body fat percentage and keeping it in a healthy range. The number on the scale is not as important as the number of fat cells in your body since they are the trouble makers.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are known cancer fighters. The problem is that sometimes people take supplemental antioxidants for periods of time but across the span of their lifetime, they go lacking in nutritional sources for these nutritional superheroes. It is generally accepted that it’s wise to get your antioxidants from a wide array of colorful fruits and vegetables. Try to include bright colors like dark green, orange, purple and red fruits and vegetables for the most protection.

Get Active

According to a study in the Journal of American Medical Association in 2016, good nutrition combined with other healthy habits offers the most protection from cancer. Low risk groups presented as those who do not smoke, drank no more than two servings per day of alcohol, and had a BMI of 18.5-27.5 and engaged in 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. At David’s Way, we always tell you to ask your doctor to suggest an exercise program for you to follow. You are a powerful influence in your likelihood of developing cancer. You can increase your risk astronomically by poor nutritional habits and inactivity or you can take control and raise the odds of living into old age cancer free. What will you decide?

(1) https://www.health.harvard.edu/cancer/cancer-and-diet-whats-the-connection