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Choose, Diet or Life Style

So, we often get asked by individuals how they can lose weight. My question is do you want to diet, or are you ready to make a true lifestyle change? Honestly, if all you want to do is go on a temporary diet, I am probably not the one you want to ask for advice as I do not believe in dieting. A diet is only a temporary measure with a stopping point. If most people who diet never regained their lost weight, we would not have the term “yo-yo dieting” in our lexicon, now would we?

Oh, there are a lot of diets out there where you can and will lose weight, but are you going to do them for the rest of your life? You also need to consider if these temporary diets are even good for your health. What good is it to go on a temporary diet if it is harmful to you? There are many crazy fad diets to be found on the internet. One of the most absurd I have seen involved swallowing cotton balls in order to make yourself full before consuming actual food. I’m not a rocket scientist, but this seems like a good way to jam up your digestive tract and cause an impaction. I can not fathom the thought of explaining to a doctor why the blockage in my colon was largely made of cotton balls. If you try a fad such as this, you might just deserve a very high medical bill in order to make you consider wiser choices in the future. I just hope the experiment does not kill you or cause lasting harm.

If you want to permenently lose weight and to live a healthy life, then it is imperative that you change your lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is what we promote at David’s Way, we are not a diet plan for good reason. Diets do not work for the long term. We want to help you to go forth in life a changed individual with a mindset of being health conscious both nutritionally and physically. The lifestyle we promote is really quite simple in concept and is easy to follow:

  1. Find out how many calories a day your body needs to either lose weight or to manage it as you see fit, We have a calorie calculator for you to utilize in our menu. Once you know your caloric needs which are based upon your basal metabolic rate, eat all of those calories, or as close as you can go without exceeding them.
  2. This is the biggie. Quit eating any and all products which contain added refined sugar and also quit processed foods. Only buy foods that you need to prepare from scratch. Processed foods contain far too much sugar, fat, sodium and preservatives that are crappy for your health. Once you have kicked simple sugars, your body will quit craving them after a couple of weeks, unless you find yourself cheating by feeding that sugar habit occasionally. If you are serious about your health and losing weight permenently, you will do this. The good news is we have lots of healthy sugar free dessert recipes here on the blog and you do not have to give up desserts at all. Our tried and true dessert recipes have either been entirely created by myself, or they are recipes I have modiied to cut out all simple carbs. We still enjoy desserts too, only without sugar.
  3. Eat a diet that is higher in protein and low in complex carbohydrates. Keep your complex carb intake between 20 to 30 percent of your calories, your protein about 45 to 55 percent, and the rest made up of healthy fats. Your body requires protein for a couple reasons, first to build or maintain your lean muscle mass which is important to assist in efficient body fat burning, and it also helps to keep you satiated. The fat is required for proper absorption of vitamins and minerals and besides making your foods taste better, healthy fats also help in keeping you satiated.
  4. Begin intermittent fasting on the 12:12 protocol, and build your way to the 16:8 protocol. 16:8 is where you fast for 16 hours and then consume all of your calories during your 8 hour feeding window. Having quit added sugars and simple carbs, fasting is quite simple as you will get hungry while never getting bad cravings as you would when still eating sugar. Sugar drives those feelings of being “hangry” where you could eat a bucket of salad and still not be satisfied until you have consumed those sugary foods. The benefits of fasting are; Fasting helps build personal dicipline with your appetite. Fasting initiates cellular repair processes and changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible for burning. Insulin levels drop. Human Growth Hormone increases. There are several beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease. Fasting will help you lose belly fat. By reducing yur insulin resistance, your risk of type 2 diabetes is also reduced. Fasting can reduce oxidative stress and inflamation in your body. Fasting is good for your brain and helps protect from damage due to strokes.
  5. Keep your weight loss at a healthy 1 to 2 pounds per week. One pound per week is preferrable as slow weight loss is much better for you than quick weight loss. You will find that by not eating sugar or processed foods, you are highly likely to find it difficult to eat all of your daily calories. Weight loss comes easy when you truthfully clean up your diet and comes even easier when you incorporate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle.
  6. With your doctors approval, begin some kind of exercise regimen on a regular basis. Make exercise a habit. Get outside and walk, move your body in some manner which is going to raise your heart rate into your aerobic fat burning zone for at least 30 minutes. Build up to 30 minutes if that is too much for you begin with. Take it up a notch and begin resistance exercise in order to increase your lean muscle mass. Not only will you look better, your body will burn fat more efficiently which means you will also look better.

There are some weight loss programs out there who will tell you to not deprive yourself of any foods. Just make sure you track them by points or macros and life will be just golden. This works in theory much better than in the real world when it comes to foods that contain sugar. As long as you keep sugar in your diet, the odds are that you will always turn to it at some point for any of a variety of reasons. Maybe you blew it by going out with friends and could not resist that sharable dessert your bestie just had to order for you to share together. Of course, a little cake is not going to hurt on a special occasion. Then the next day some tragedy strikes your life and you find yourself eating ice cream straight from the carton or maybe you have just finished a half package or more of your favorite cookies. Soon you realize its a good thing you have not thrown away your fat clothes as you have regained all of those pounds you had fought so hard to lose. I promise, you can go to Weight Watchers social media “Connect” and the social medias of My Fitness Pal, Spark People and others on any given day and find multiple examples of just what I am writing about. Like anyone with a substance abuse problem, if you do not completely quit that which got you fat and unhealthy in the first place, you are bound to return to those old habits. If you had no control over your consumption of sugar in the past, what makes you believe you will have control over it now? Be honest with yourself.

When you clean up your diet with healthy foods and incorpororate exercise as a permenent lifestyle and not a temporary means to temporary results, life will become leaps and bounds better with the improvements you experience with your health. Make healthy eating and exercise a habit that is not tied to a number on your bathroom scale, aim for a healthy body fat level. Stand your ground when others try to derail you from your healthy choices. If your health and well being means little to them, then you mean little to them as a person.

Once you have made healthy eating and exercise your habit, your lifestyle, you will find it comes with little to no stress and is just something you do both on good days and on bad. For a couple of examples from my personal life; We have a family member with severe health issues which are now complicated by liver cancer. It is a tough situation, but in order for me to do my part in taking care if this family member, it is paramount that I also take care of myself. Clean eating and exercise has been my lifestyle long enough that being derailed by junk food never enters my mind. I do not eat sugar or processed foods for any reason, and therefore I do not get the cravings associated with these foods when I am stressed. In fact, by not eating these foods and keeping on top of regular exercise, my levels of stress are much less than they could be otherwise. Currently I cannot exercise as I usually do because of a large kidney stone which I have to have surgically removed this coming Monday morning. Yet, despite constant pain and stress, I have reduced my caloric intake to compensate for the temporary lack of exercise. By not eating sugary or processed foods, this is not even an issue even though I have reduced my calories by 400 per day. I have not weight trained nor have I hiked since the stone began causing me problems a week ago, and I have managed to actually lose a couple of pounds this week with no effort. Since it is my lifestyle, fasting still comes easy and I actually have to make a conscious decision to ensure I do get in all of my calories for the day.

You have a personal choice to make. You can choose to clean up your diet and begin exercising as a permenent lifestyle change, or you can go on a temporary diet and experience temporary results. You can give up added sugar entirely, or you can keep it in your diet and then suffer the consequences of always derailing your own efforts when you are stressed, happy, melancholy, sad and or outright grieving. You can think I am too hardcore in this topic, that is fine. However, if you choose to go on a plan such as Weight Watchers where you are told you can continue to eat sweet treats in order to not deprive yourself, do yourself a huge favor and take the time to persue their social media “Connect”. I do not care if you look at new posts, trending posts, or posts of those you may begin to follow, you will be able to find multiple stories any day and or time of the week where people have been doing great, life happens, and all of a sudden thay have ate too much of the wrong foods and they are upset becuase their weight has gone back up. They fall back on those bad foods because the never truly gave them up. Like an alcoholic having an occasional beer, a junkie hitting a bump of dope, or an ex-smoker puffing on a smoke. We all know this does not work. Why would it work with an addictive food that also causes health problems and obesity?

The choice is yours to make, diet or lifestyle. Choose wisely my friends.

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The Importance Of Goal Setting

Sometimes the simplest of behaviors can make a huge difference! If we wander aimlessly down a country road, we may look up and be in an unknown destination. We need a map or Google to guide us. That’s how goal setting works. You decide on your destination and then do the things that you need to do to get there. You dress and find you car keys, leave your house and go get gas. As you head down the highway you may plan where you will have lunch or what shops or sights you want to enjoy. Without a plan, your day off could be wasted along with your gas money. Goal setting is imperative for the success of any venture.

There are good, practical reasons to set goals.

1-Goals trigger behavior. If we say that we want to be healthy that’s a fine goal, but it’s too vague. We need to set specific goals to motivate specific behaviors. Personally, I really want to be at 15-17% body fat. Since I have specified this goal, I know to curb the carbs because in order to continue to get more lean, I simply cannot go over about 100 grams of complex carbs in a day.

2-Goals sustain momentum. When we achieve a goal we have a release of the reward nerotransmitter, dopamine. Achievement is literally addictive. We get into flow, wanting more of that feeling and get that “I’m on a roll!” feeling. We naturally move from one goal to another in this blissful state.

3-Goals guide your focus. Whenever we set a goal, we naturally think ahead to the next step ahead of where we are. The body truly achieves what the mind believes. The body follows the mind. When I focus on being at 15-17% instead of 18%, I naturally try harder in my workouts.

4-Goal setting and achieving those goals continually guide us and define who we are. We become the person who masters. We master small pieces of our lives and then those pieces go together to make a beautiful picture of who we are and who we want to become.

Set goals today and become the one who not only tries, but the one who succeeds.

Sirloin Steak with Mexican Bean Salad

Game meats, such as carribou or venison, are also a great alternative to the beef, being as they are incredibly lean and packed with essential ingredients such as iron and zinc. This recipe is a good one to prepare and enjoy as a post work out meal.

This recipe serves 4

485 calories

47.8g total carbs, 11.5g fiber, 36.3g net carbs

25.7g fat

39.8g protein

Marinade for steak

  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 sirloin steaks, 4 ounces each (of course you can use any size you desire)

Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups dry black beans
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chile, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • olive oil spray
  • 8 spears asparagus
  • 1 ounce bourbon whiskey
  1. To marinade the steak: Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Put the steaks in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade, Squeeze out the excess air and seal the bag. MArinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, turning the steaks occasionally to ensure even marination.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the salad: Soak the beans over night in water. The next day, drain the beans and transfer to a sauce pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until al dente. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. Add the bell pepper, scallions, chile, oil and cayenne. Stir to mix. Cover and set aside.
  3. Heat a grill or frying pan. Coat with oil spray. Cook the asparagus for 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly browned. Remove and set aside.
  4. Remove the steaks from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and pat dry with paper towels. Cook on the grill for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until desired doneness. A thermometer inserted in the center of the steak registers 145* for medium rare, 160* for medium, and 165* for well done.
  5. Put the reserved marinade in a sauce pan and add the bourbon. Heat gently and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce.
  6. To serve, spoon a little of the sauce over the steaks and serve with the salad and grilled asparagus.

Health Sabotage

We have all had those “friends” who seemed to come out of the woodwork whenever we are doing our best with our health initiative. They seem like our best buddy. They can’t get close enough to us or do enough for us and then the moment of truth comes suddenly. They want us to go out and eat and eat what they’re having, usually a heavy dose of carbs and quite often alcohol. They will almost never tell us that they don’t want us to be smaller than them but the evidence is there. I had what I thought was the best friend that I had ever made who actually told me that she didn’t like me being the”skinny” one. Mind you that, at that time, I was 5’6″ and weighed 160#. She was quite a bit bigger. She would bring home made cheesecake, an 8 hour ordeal to make, and put it on my doorstep. I enjoyed every bite and gained weight fast. When I got control of myself and realized what was happening, I lost the weight and continued to lose more when I found David’s Way. This woman told me point blank that she doesn’t want to be my friend if I’m this size. Fine. I don’t need her anymore than I need cancer, heart disease or diabetes. Choose your friends wisely.There is a phenomenon called “social contagion” where we take on the habits of those around us.

Sometimes we encounter this behavior at work. Sometimes at social gatherings. There are some strategies for avoiding some of the land mines that these people lay for us. Recently I had an open bag of goodies left right beside my computer. It went into the trash, probably nasty anyway. How many dirty fingers had reached into that bag? If you’re really serious, after trashing the offending item(s), cover them with dish washing liquid. You won’t be bothered with them again.

Whenever you go somewhere that food is an issue, take your own healthy food.

Take healthy snacks for others.

If there is an active saboteur and there are fragile diabetics in the area, talk to the offending person directly about your health concerns for others.

Make just one day a week “Sweet Treat Day” and cut down on the volume of sugar in your environment and then carry great tasting sugar free options made from David’s Way recipes…brownies anyone?

Create social activities that don’t involve food like hiking or even something new and exciting…hmmm..zipline?

Change the clear containers of cookies and such to opaque. Out of sight, out of mind.

Be proactive. Create the world that you live in. It’s up to you. Don’t fall victim to the tricks and plots of people who are not willing to do the work that you are doing to be healthy. You only have one life. Make it a good one.

Be Careful of Who and What You Believe

This piece was inspired from both a little anger and exasperation from a conversation my dear wife and I had earlier as she was preparing to go to work. The anger and exasperation was not because of anything she has done, it was a result of something she was told by a “Nutritionist” while she was attending to one of her clients. Loraine is a personal care attendant who provides daily care to citizens in our community who are unable to care for themselves any longer, yet are still well enough to not be placed in a nursing home. As a personal care attendant, Loraine also interacts with other health care professionals who are a part of her clients care teams. Some of these professionals she speaks to on a frequent basis, some maybe only a few times at best. Some she will encounter multiple times a week with multiple clients, this “Nutritionist” being one of them. With this particular one, I am using the term “Nutritionist” very loosely as being a certified Nutrition Consultant myself, I am left scratching my damn head wondering just where in the hell this character received his training and certification from after the complete bullshit he told her this morning.

So what is it this “Nutritionist” said that has my britches in a twist?

As a lot of us do as we age, my dear, sweet wife gained a few pounds over the years, some of them as a result of a few health issues I am not going to get into here.

Life issues and weight gain happens.

Loraine made the wise and personal choice that she was going to do something about her weight gain and began doing Keto pretty strictly at first and has since been incorporating my methodology, David’s Way, by bringing in more complex carbs while still avoiding simple carbs and refined sugar. Loraine has lost just about 30 pounds now with a very healthy rate of loss, and I could not be any more proud of her. She looks and feels great. Yet, this “Nutritionist” told her that she is going all about her weight loss wrong.

Wrong! Despite her healthy rate of weight loss has been a consistent 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Wrong! Despite how she feels so much better physically and emotionally.

Wrong! Despite how she manages to stay on track even with the demanding schedule of her very demanding job.

And just what in the world is Loraine doing wrong in this “Nutritionist” mind? He said that she should not deprive herself of foods that she enjoys just because they contain sugar. She should not avoid foods that are comprised of simple carbohydrates. Apparently this fool believes the choice to cut out sugar and other simple carbs is not sustainable in the long run so you should just try to do a better job of managing your consumption of them.

Minimally, I find this to be poor advice coming from one who may not know any better.

Professionally, as this individual is a supposed professional, I find this advice to be absolutely contemptible.

Someone who is putting themselves out there as a professional should know this theory is complete bullshit. While it may be workable in theory, in a practical application, it is complete garbage spread by many who should know better.

Why is it bullshit?

Many, if not most over weight or obese individuals suffer an addiction to refined sugar and simple carbs. Refined sugar and simple carbs might make food taste really well, but it is a fact that most foods that are high in sugar are very low in nutritional value and very high in calories. It is not rocket science to figure out that too much high calorie low nutrient based foods are going to make you fat and be harmful to your over all health by increasing inflammation within your body, causing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, increased risk of cancer, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and more.

It is a fact that sugary foods cause your body to spike your serotonin. Sugary foods will increase your level of endorphins which make you temptorarily feel better. Sugar causes your dopamine to surge. All of this serves to make you feel better in the moment just like a drug. These facts are not even arguable. Think about this, have you ever craved a brussels sprout in the same manner as you craved a piece of chocolate cake with a scoop of ice cream? Unless you are some kind of outlier, the odds are high that you didn’t. Brussels Sprouts do not contain added sugars like cake and ice cream. Brussels sprouts do not make you feel good in the moment like a piece of cake, now does it?

I have written about this in the past and will say it again; Telling someone with a weight problem which has come from a poor diet high in sugary foods they should continue to have sugary foods in their diet is as irresponsible as telling an alcoholic they should continue having the occasional beer or glass of wine. It is as ignorant as telling an ex-smoker they should still enjoy an occasional cigarette. Nobody in their right mind would ever do those things, so why in the hell would someone who is a so-called nutritional professional tell a person who has battled obesity as a result of a carb addiction they should still eat sugar?

I get the theory that in a perfect world, we should not deprive ourselves of foods that bring us enjoyment. But, we do not live in a perfect world, do we? Having battled my own sugar demons, I know the addictive nature of this substance quite well. I also know from personal experience that going sugar free is both doable and sustainable in the long haul. I give you plenty of delicious sugar free dessert recipes on this blog in order for you to still enjoy desserts without the guilt or worry of cravings which come from sugar consumption. There truly is no reason for anyone to continue eating refined sugar if it is causing them health and weight problems. It drives me crazy to see or hear of a nutrionional professional or business such as Weight Watchers tell their clients that it is perfectly fine if they continue their consumption of sugar and simple carbs. I would like to ask these nutritionists, and the corporate folks of Weight Watchers, just how in the hell do they expect someone who has proven they had no control over sugar and simple carbs in their diet in the past, is going to have control in the present. I would like for each of them to look me in the eye, and with a straight face, explain to me their position on how this is supposed to work in the real world, with real people who have real nutritional based weight problems.

Be careful of who and what you believe! Hell, you can even question me. I am open to any and all questions and will answer all. When you take advice from any professional, consider the nuances of their advice and their motivations. While I do believe there are some out there who may have well placed intentions, they may not full well understand the problems they are attempting to address. If one has never had a problem with carb addiction, it may seem reasonable to direct another to continue eating sugar. However, there are others, such as Weight Watchers specifically, who I believe are not on the up and up when they say “Eat what you want and track it, nothing is off limits”. While many do find success with Weight Watchers FreeStyle program, I find the vagueness of their program instructions to be either poor management or possibly even nefarious. They tell you that you can continue eating all the foods you enjoy as long as you track them and do not exceed your points. So folks continue eating junk food to their point limit, and then continue filling up on zero point foods that are still full of calories for the rest of their day which causes them to exceed their caloric needs based on their basal metabolic rate. I followed their program very closely for almost two years. I interacted with many folks on their social media platform Connect, and there was always that underlying theme that people would continue to eat all the foods they have always enjoyed, and then could not figure out why they were not losing weight despite not exceeding their point allowance.

Seriously. telling people with a weight problem they can continue to eat all of their favorite foods is ludicrous. By having some people who do enjoy weight loss success, there messaging gives a false sense of hope to those who will be nothing more than an income stream to Weight Watchers for months or even many years to come. I find it to be good profit driven business sense while also being morally repugnant.

At David’s Way we will soon be providing online counciling for those who desire personal assistance with weight loss and improved health goals. We have had to set back our launch because of a few obligations outside of this blog. We are finishing up our legal forms and other legalities including insurance and we will soon launch our counciling. This blog of mine has grown pretty huge and it is only my most excellent co-author/business partner Brenda Sue and myself who have built this on top of working full time and demanding jobs. We also work together online from two far away geographical locations in the country.

Our main purpose is, and always has been, to help others in achieving their best in health and weight management. We are equal opportunity in that we will step up to assist anyone regardless of their age, gender, sexuality, religion, culture or nationality. Who and or what you are is of no concern to us, if you want and need our help, we will be here for you as long as we have openings available to accomodate you fully. Since we announced that we would be providing counciling, we have already been approached by many. It is just the two of us right now, we will do the absolute best we can to care for as many as possible without the quality of care suffering.

I pledge to you, that we will always have your best interest at heart. My desire is to help folks to learn and adopt healthy nutrional habits as a life style in order to achieve a healthy body fat percentage, and good health, instead of only concentrating on a random weight number on your bathroom scale. What makes David’s Way diferent from other weight loss business is we want to help you, and then have you move on without our help. I do not want you as an individual to be nothing more than a perpetual income stream as some of the other weight loss business would have you. I promise that as with our blog articles, all of our advice will be well researched and thoughtful for you as an individual and a person as a whole.

You are not just a number or statistic as you would be from others. We will give you advice which is straight forward. We honestly want to help you to be the best that you can be.

Curried Minced Meat with Peas (Keema Mattar)

Here is a delicious Indian recipe that your families will be sure to enjoy. I am using beef for the meat, but you could optionally use ground lamb, or even lentils as a meat substitute if you want to go the vegetarian route. The recipe calls to serve this on a flat Indian bread called Chapatis, but if you do not have access to an Indian grocery store, you can simply use a low carb tortilla such as Ole Extreme Wellness Tortillas. This recipe is going to require a little kitchen work, but is still going to be very easy on the family budget. If you already have the spices on hand, you will be able to prepare this recipe to feed a a family of 6 on about $12 to $14.

This recipe serves 6

333 calories

24.5g total carbs, 6.6g fiber, for 17.9g net carbs

20.3g fat

11.7g protein

  • 2 large onions
  • 2 medium potatoes, pared
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2 long thin green chili peppers, seeded
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb 95% lean ground beef (ground lamb or lentils as an option)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated, fresh ginger root
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
  1. Cut onions, potatoes, and tomato into small cubes. Cut chilies lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips.
  2. Cook and stir onions in oil in a dutch oven over medium heat until golden, about 15 minutes. Add potatoes and cook another 5 minutes.
  3. Add meat, cook and stir over medium heat, breaking meat into small pieces, until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add tomato paste, turmeric, ginger, salt, cardamon, and cinnamon to pan; saute over medium heat 30 seconds. Quickly stir in 1/2 cup water; simmer, covered over low heat 5 minutes.
  5. Add diced tomato, chilies, peas and corriander; mix well. Simmer, covered, over low heat 10 minutes. Stir in remaining water if mixture becomes too thick. Serve with chapatis or Extreme Wellness Tortillas.

You Decide, Daylight or Dark?

There are crucial decisions that we make every day that change our lives more than we can imagine. We know that choices like where we live or work or marry or don’t marry make a huge difference, but most of us don’t realize that small decisions can have as great an impact on our health as any of these…maybe more.

Sometimes we think that we are blindsided by unfortunate events but if we look closely we may discover that we set ourselves up for the hit by our decisions that we made every day. Did you go to the doctor for a sore throat and get told that you’re pre-diabetic? Were you surprised? Look back. How often did you opt for the honey bun and coffee at the convenience store instead of a healthy breakfast? How often do you eat dessert? Have you ever thought or been told by your doctor that you should lose weight? Sometimes we pass right by flashing red warning lights and then we are shocked when we plunge off the cliff.

We are programmed for instant gratification. We may set great health goals that involve delayed gratification but then when we are faced with the decision of what to have for lunch, we give into the quickest, easiest, tastiest thing that we can manage and usually plenty of it. What we call willpower is merely the ability to delay gratification. You have probably heard the saying, “Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.” That’s so true. The problem is that we can taste the ice cream now and we have to wait to see the benefits of not having it. We are not good at waiting. We want it now.

There are a few methods that are known to strengthen the ability to delay gratification:

1-Define your goals.

First determine your motivation, set the goal and then develop a plan to meet that goal. After thinking these things through you are more likely to pass by the temptation of the moment.

2-Find ways to escape whatever is distracting you.

Distract yourself from the distractor. Go for a walk. Have a cup of tea or coffee. Talk on the phone. Play a game…anything to take your mind off of the temptation of the moment. Challenge yourself to do something healthy before indulging. Odds are you will decide to leave it alone. Use a timer to simply stretch out your tolerance of doing without an immediate “fix”. Little by little your willpower will get stronger.

Hide the food or cigarette or whatever is calling your name. I have a foolproof method of delaying gratification. It’s called the Dawn Dishwashing Liquid Cure. I dump the offending food into the garbage and soak it with Dawn. Works every time.

Think about the negative results of giving into the moment. Imagine yourself 80 pounds heavier or in the hospital Intensive Care Unit for cancer treatment. It’s a strong deterrent.

3-Reward yourself.

As you develop strength in the area that you are focusing on, reward yourself when you are successful. Buy something just for you. Go somewhere special or take an afternoon to catch up with a dear friend. Indulge yourself. You have earned it. By rewarding yourself for your strengths, you will rewire your brain to think of reward as something that you work for, not something that just appears out of nowhere. You will begin to look forward to those well earned and deserved rewards because you will not only get the reward but you will also get the benefits of delayed gratification in a healthier life and body.

You can do this, begin today.

Why Can’t I Sleep?

At David ‘s Way we teach that there are three components that lay a foundation for good health. They are nutrition, activity and rest. You should read David’s article “Fitness Triad” for some good information concerning the details. America is known as the most sleep deprived nation on earth. Almost half of all Americans don’t get enough sleep. There are some common reasons for insomnia that can be remedied.

1-You check your phone before bed.Social media and email can be stressful and then you struggle to fall asleep. Another problem is that the light from your phone triggers your brain to believe that it’s daylight and time to wake up. Forego that last minute media check and turn in a few minutes earlier.

2- You have an irregular schedule and go to bed at different times throughout the week. This confuses your circadian rhythms and your brain doesn’t know when to shut down. Try to keep your sleep times as regular as possible, varying no more than 30-45 minutes if possible.

3-You drink caffeine too late in the day. Caffeine tricks your brain into thinking that it’s time to be awake. Try having your last serving at least 5 hours before bedtime.

4-You wind down with alcohol. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol interferes with sleep. You may nod off easy but you will not stay asleep. Stick to one drink per day if you drink and make sure that it’s at least 2 hours before you want to sleep.

5- Your bed is uncomfortable from a bad mattress or a pet in the bed or a partner who steals the covers or takes up too much room. Get a good mattress, put the pet out of the bed and buy a bigger bed if your partner is a bed hog.

6-Your bedroom is too warm or bright. A cool room triggers you to sleep and if the room is too warm, your body will not cool down like it needs to for sleep. If there is too much light, you won’t produce the melatonin needed to fall into a peaceful slumber. Keep your room at 68 degrees and use light blocking shades and sleep masks.

7-Stress keeps you awake. Get a relaxing pre-bed ritual that calms you down such as a relaxing hot shower or some form of mindfulness practice.

8-Your partner snores. Encourage your partner to see a sleep specialist. Snoring is a symptom of sleep apnea and can be detrimental to his/her health. Do both of you a favor and get this fixed.
https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/why-cant-i-sleep#1

White Beans with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Often I will hear people say that eating healthy is just too expensive. Or, they are always in too much of a time crunch to prepare a healthy meal at home for their family. This meal will feed a family of five for only a few dollars and your prep time is only about 10 minutes. This delicious bean recipe includes sun dried tomatoes which provide a robust flavor and a bit of chewiness. You could also add diced fresh tomatoes to the recipe if you wish.

This recipe serves 5

477 calories, 60.6g total carbs, 19.5g fiber for a net 41.1g of carbs.

23.9g of fat and 22.1g protein

  • 1 pound dried Great Northern (white) beans, sorted and rinced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 1 can (2 1/2 ounces) sliced ipe olives
  1. Mix all ingredients except tomatoes and olives in 3 1/2 to 6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on high heat setting for 4 to 5 hours, or until beans are tender.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and olives.

Health Benefits of Beans

  1. Protein source. Protein is a vital nutrient that plays a key role in virtually everything the body does. Beans are high in amino acids which are the building blocks of protein.
  2. Nutrient dense food source. Beans contain several vital nutrients, including folate. Folate can help prevent neural tube defects in a fetus during pregnancy. Dried beans contain nearly double the folate as canned beans, so cook dried when you can. Beans also are a great source for zinc, iron, magnesium and fiber.
  3. Antioxidant. Beans are rich in a type of antioxidant called polyphenols. Antioxidants fight the effects of free radicals, which are chemicals that affect a wide range of processes in the body, from physical aging to cancer and inflammation.
  4. Better heart health. People who consume beans may be less likely to die of a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular health problems. Research suggests the consumption of beans is also good for reducing cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and heart attack.
  5. Diabetes and glucose metabolism. Beans may help stabilize blood glucose levels or even prevent diabetes. Beans are high in fiber which helps reduce blood glucose.
  6. Contrlling appetite. The fiber and healthy starches in beans can help prevent food cravings. People may feel fuller after consuming beans, which may prevent over eating and assist in weight loss.
  7. Improving gut health. Research has shown that a variety of beans, especially black beans, enhance gut health by improving intestinal barrier function, and increasing the number of healthy bacteria. This may help prevent gut-associated diseases.

Metabolic Syndrome, The Hard Truth

As the years of our lives pass, it gets easier and easier to become a little over-weight, obese, or even morbidly obese. It may seem that just a few short years ago you were the high school star athlete or cheer leader. You were in top physical condition and a fine specimen to look at.

Then came the responsibilities of life, where you are raising a family and sometimes, no matter how hard you work, keeping the bills paid becomes a stressful focus. Sally has dance lessons, Johnny has his trumpet lessons, while the baby has colic and her constant crying is allowing no peace for anyone in the house.

Yesterday you were the picture of perfect health and fitness, today you look and feel like a busted can of biscuits. Your gut is hanging over your belt, unless you wear those stretchy pants where a belt is not required. You quit tucking in your shirts to hide said gut and you have also begun coordinating your clothing in order to not appear as fat as you have become. And yes, guys can be just as bad about this as the ladies. Well, guess what? You are not fooling anyone. If you are fat, you look fat no matter how you dress. But more importantly than your physical appearance, your health is what matters. Face it, if you continue your path to obesity with poor nutritional habits, your ability to care for your family and even yourself is going to become more difficult over time. You may find yourself making a choice between paying a utility bill this month or a co-pay at the doctors office in order for you to be seen for a condition that is 100% related to your poor dietary choices.

Metabolic Syndrome

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

In short, you are fat, out of shape and no longer a healthy individual.

Or for a longer explanation, you have a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. (1)

The term Metabolic Syndrome is a medical diagnosis. What you do about this diagnosis is going to be a matter of personal choice. You can choose to continue with your poor nutritional habits of convenience foods that are packed full of simple sugars, high in fat, sodium and preservatives. This weak choice is going to lead to taking out the time for more doctor visits with blood labs possible each time, along with having to take medications to control the issues you suffer from. Unnecessary money and time being expended away from the larger responsibility of your family and home.

Your other choice is to take personal responsibility for your health and to be proactive in doing something about it. If you are smart, you will clean up your diet and replace processed foods with healthy whole foods. You will eliminate simple sugar from your diet, and you will begin some form of exercise with your doctors approval. By cleaning up your dietary habits, your blood labs will normalize. By quitting refined sugar and other simple carbohydrates, your cravings for foods that contain them will subside. If you think eating healthy foods is too expensive, consider the reduction of monthly expenses when you no longer need to see your doctor regular and all of those monthly prescription refills you may have for blood pressure drug, statins, acid reflux etc… With the cost of medcal care today, you could likely pay for at least a weeks worth of groceries with the medical expense savings alone.

Is exercise necessary to become healthy? What if I am in a condition where my ability to do so has become impaired?

Well. if you either cannot, or simply do not want to exercise, then you had damn well better be much stricter about your diet. That is a simple and plain hard truth my friends. This point is not even arguable on any level. Here is another truth, if you can move your body in any fashion, then you can begin doing something, anything to become more mobile. Even if you cannot walk, you can still do arm. abdominal and back exercises. If you are still capable of walking, then you can do the following:

  1. Walk briskly. Or, briskly for you.
  2. Put on some music and move your body with dance, Move your body around, shift your weight from one leg to another, lift your arms to the beat of the music. Look like a young child again, have fun with it.
  3. If you cannot jump rope, make believe you are by skipping in place.
  4. Get up and down from your chair 50 to 100 times.
  5. If you have stairs in your home, then walk up and down them several times per day.
  6. Try doing jumping jacks.
  7. Hop in a circle around a room in your home. Get your kids involved, the young ones will have a blast. Try hopping on one foot at a time for 30 second intervals.
  8. Rise up and down on your toes to work your calves.
  9. Stand on one leg and hold onto a chair or a wall for balance. Extend your free leg in front of you so the heel stretches out about 12 inches in front of your standing leg. Now bend your standing leg knee so you lower your body about 6 inches, and then come back up. Do this 25 times and then switch legs.
  10. Jog in place, picking your knees up higher each time and also extending the time you do this.
  11. You can pick and choose any of these simple exercises and do them as you watch television and your program is interupted by a commercial.

Now of course if you are overweight and in poor condition, fatigue and soreness are going to be a limiting factor. But, these factors are only short term in nature. The objective is for you to work your way up with increased exercise. You may not be capable of running in a marathon next month, but you may find yourself at least able to walk in a 5k event. You can walk, do a few flights of stairs until you are fatigued. Take a rest and go at it again after a few hours. Build on the amount of time you can do this until you can go for a solid hour. The more out of shape you are, the more important it will be for you to exercise in short periods on a frequent basis. If you can only go at it for 5 minutes at a time, then plan your day to dedicate six five minute time frames to do your exercise. No excuses, just choose to plan and then commit. If you make regular exercise a habit, before you know it, you will find yourself far exceeding your original capabilities.

You can burn calories and fat with a variety of cardiovascular exercises, but if you want more bang for the buck, you must consider some form of strength training in order to increase your lean muscle mass. Some people will complain that they can not lose weight even when they have cut back on their food intake. Usually the problem is they are still consuming too many calories for their basal metabolic rate, still eating sugar and have very little lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass you have, the easier it is going to be for you to burn body fat. The way to address this is to go to our Calorie Calculator in our menu to find out your caloric needs and then consume a sugar free diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, along with performing strength building exercises. Your body needs the protein to not only maintain your lean muscle mass, but more importantly to increase it. As your body fat percentage comes down, you also need for your lean muscle mass percentage to rise. At David’s Way, we actually support working towards a healthy body fat percentage over a random number you might want to see on your bathroom scale.

Invariably, people who complain that their metabolic rate is slow and they have trouble losing weight no matter what they consume week to week have weak muscles and are poorly conditioned. When you perform strength building exercises, you are going to increase the density of your lean muscle mass which is going to raise your metabolism. Increasing your lean muscle mass can be done by anyone who makes the choice to do so. If you want to be healthy, this is imperative. This is why we encourage achieving a healthy body fat percentage over a number on the scale. You might lose 50 to 100 pounds, be thin and yet be what is referred to as “Skinny fat”. Your weight means little if your body fat percentage is still at an unhealthy level. If you are thin and also soft to the touch, then you are no healthier than you were when you were much heavier. You are only thinner, do not fool yourself that being able to wear smaller clothing now means you are in decent shape. Skinny fat is still bad for you.

Many, if not most who go about losing weight, lose lean muscle along with body fat. If you do not maintain what you have or build upon it, you can regain all of the weight you have lost and now have a higher body fat percentage than you had before losing weight. This is going to be detrimental to your metabolism. If you are a yo-yo dieter who does not build muscle too, then your metabolism is going to slow more and more with each weight gain. Exercise is going to facilitate your weight loss and make you healthier. Vigorous exercise is even better. Build up to it gradually, You have the rest of your life if you have made a decision to be healthy for the remainder of your life. Start slow and build yourself up, do not injure yourself. If you have the fortitude to begin living a healthy life, you will find the will to eat healthy and exercise.

Metabolic Syndrome may be a medical diagnosis, or maybe it is actually a politically correct and polite way of saying you are fat and out of shape. Either way, you can do something about it. And what you do, does not have to require expensive doctors visits and medications. If you make an intelligent choice, you will clean up your diet and begin an exercise regimen right away. This truly is a matter of personal choices and then sticking with it. You are likely to have a few saboteurs along the way who will try to derail you by getting you to “just eat a little cake” or what ever. People who will tell you how good you have done and then pester you to join them in poor food choices. When you stick to your decision to only eat healthy and remain committed to making time for exercise, some of the people close to you may get angry when you do not join them in unhealthy habits. Bear in mind, if these kind hearted folks really care about your health and well being, they will not try to sabotage you. Misery loves company and unhealthy people will try to drag you down to their level. Sometimes, being around a crowd that eats a lot of unhealthy foods and do not exercise is like finding yourself in a bucket full of crabs. Where the harder you try to climb out, the harder they are going to try to pull you back in. Do yourself a favor and avoid the crabs.

Life and how we live it is truly a matter of personal choices. Choose wisely, you only have one body and one life.

(1) www.MayoClinic.org