Cranberry Breakfast Bar

Nutritional Info

9 servings

Calories 174

Net Carbs 2.71 grams

Fat 15.5 grams

Protein 4.26 grams

Ingredients

1 cup fresh cranberries

6 Tablespoons Swerve Sweetener divided

1 cup almond flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

6 Tablespoons butter melted

2 Tablespoons heavy cream

2 Tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

More Swerve for sprinkling

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 8×8 glass or ceramic pan.

Toss berries with 2 Tablespoons sweetener.

Whisk together almond flour, remaining 4 Tablespoons of sweetener, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in eggs, melted butter, whipping cream, water and vanilla extract.

Pour almond flour mixture into the prepared baking pan and sprinkle with the sugared cranberries. Bake 30 minutes, or until the bars are a golden brown and just set in the middle.

Remove and sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons of sweetener, if desired. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

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The Clean 15

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The Environmental Working  Group  has listed these foods as being low in pesticide residues. While some people  choose to eat organic foods, these conventionally grown foods are considered to be healthy for everyone.

1-Avocados- The avocado is considered a fruit which is unusual in that it is not high in carbohydrates. It is high in healthy fats and contains 20 different vitamins and minerals for 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. It has 9 grams of carbs but 7 grams of fiber so the net carbs are only 2 grams.

2-Sweet Corn-Considered both a vegetable and a grain, 1 cup contains 177 calories, 36.4 grams of net carbs, 2.1 grams of fat and 5.4 grams of protein.It also contains 17% of the DV of vitamin  C.

3-Pineapple- While this fruit is low in calories, it is high in nutrition. One cup provides 82.5 calories, 1.7 grams  of fat, 19.3 grams of net carbs,1 gram of protein and 131% of the DV for vitamin C and 76% of the DV for manganese.

4-Sweet Peas-This popular vegetable is low in calories and high in protein. One half cup has 62 calories and 4 grams of protein which is much higher than most other vegetables. They have 7 grams of net carbs and 34% of the RDI for vitamin  A.

5-Onions-3.5 ounces of this pungent veggie contain only 40 calories and healthy soluble fibers called fructans which feed the beneficial bacteria  in your gut. People with sensitive digestive systems, such as those with IBS may have unpleasant effects from eating onions, however. These substances also help form short-chain fatty acids which may improve colon health.

6-Papaya-These delectable fruits are low in calories and pack a whopping 106.2% of the DV of vitamin C and 30% of the DV of vitamin  A.

7-Eggplants- One cup of eggplant provides only 20 calories and is rich in anthocyanins, especially nasunin which has been shown to protect cells from free radical damage.

8-Asparagus- Asparagus is very low calorie, only 20 for a half cup and contains anthocyanins, 57% of the RDI for vitamin K and 6% of the RDI for potassium.

9-Kiwis-This amazing fruit from New Zealand  packs a punch of 273 mg of vitamin C. They also contain high levels of zeaxanthin and lutein which help to prevent  macular  degeneration. Avoid these fruits if you are allergic to them.

10-Cabbage- This humble veggie is frequently overlooked. It contains 85% of the RDI for vitamin  K and 10% of the folate. It’s  high in fiber and contains sulfur compounds.

11-Cauliflower- Cauliflower contains some of almost every vitamin and mineral that you need including 77% of the vitamin C, 20% of the vitamin  K and 11% of the vitamin  B6.

12-Cantaloupe- This sweet melon is full of beta-carotene, containing about the same amount as carrots.

13-Broccoli- Higher in protein than most veggies, 3 grams per 1 cup, this veggie is still very low in calories at 31 per cup.

14-Mushrooms- This versatile vegetable contains antioxidants and  beta glucan which is believed to improve cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar. Oyster and shiitake are believed to have the most effective beta glucans.

15-Honeydew- Honeydew melons contain 12% of the RDI for potassium and may help regulate blood pressure.

Enjoy these foods at your leisure as part of a healthy diet. Along with being low in pesticide residue, they are delicious and very high in many nutrients that are necessary for good health.

 

 

Obese Children, What You Need to Know

I hate the fact childhood obesity is even a topic one could dream up for discussion. But in today’s world it is an issue that is growing from year to year. It is a sad fact that the problem has grown enough that weight loss/bariatric surgery is now a procedure being performed on pediatric and adolescent patients. In fact, as I was sipping on my first cup of coffee for the morning while watching the morning news, this was the first topic being discussed after I turned on my television.

How is it that in the United States where we have all the luxuries and technologies to allow us to live full lives with good health, why are we so ignorant as to allow such a childhood obesity problem to even occur in the first place? Can any of  us who are adults say with any hint of honesty that we do not know what causes this problem? Have we become so self absorbed that watching after the health of our own children is not even a priority any more? If you have an over weight or obese child in your home, ask yourself who actually controls the food for your child. Do you only provide them with healthy choices while educating them why? Or, do you give in to Little Johnny every time he throws a temper tantrum for sugary sweet treats instead?

Obesity has not always been the norm.

When I was a child, most kids were skinny as a rail and very active in outdoor play. In the last four decades, the prevalence of obesity in the United States has increased by at least threefold, with a disproportionate rise in low socioeconomic and minority populations. A factor which is making this trend worse is the significant increase in weight related medical complications that used to only be seen in adults.

Let this sink in a second.

Our children are now facing weight related medical complications that used to only be seen in adults!

In 2000, the overall cost of obesity in America was estimated at $117 billion, rivaling medical expenditures attributable to smoking. Expenses for obesity-related hospitalizations in children tripled from $35 million to $127 million from 1979 to 1999. (1) The problem of childhood obesity keeps getting larger with each passing year. Obese children are more likely to become obese adults at risk for increased morbidity and mortality. If your child is becoming or is already overweight or obese you should feel an urgency to get them onto an effective weight loss intervention. Otherwise, that child you love is in for a whole host of lifetime problems:

  • Psychological. Overweight children face discrimination, teasing, bullying, low self esteem, peer rejection and abnormal eating habits. These negative factors increase their risk of engaging in high-risk behaviors such as smoking, drug and alcohol abuse. In addition, accelerated growth and early maturation which is common in overweight children distorts societal expectations out of them. For example, a 12 year old who can pass for 16 will face increased pressures as people will expect more out of them by assuming they are older.
  • Being overweight during adolescence has been associated with negative social and economic consequences, especially for women. Statistically speaking, women who were overweight in early adolescence completed fewer years of advanced education, had a lower family income, higher poverty rate, and were less likely to get married by early adulthood, compared to women who had not been obese during adolescence. (1)
  • Obesity is associated with serious health consequences such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea cancer and osteoarthritis. You might not think there is much risk for your sensitive little girl who suffers from obesity, but you need to know that autopsy studies of overweight children and young adults who died of traumatic causes show early atherosclerotic lesions in the aorta and coronary arteries. Think about this deeply before the next time you give in to your child’s demands for a sweet treat. You may well be causing their early death by not intervening on their behalf when they are over weight. Be their parent, not their friend!
  • Childhood obesity is associated with early puberty. How about we ensure our children do not prematurely grow into adult body’s they do not have the maturity to deal with when it comes to sexual arousal.
  • Overweight children are at a higher risk for developing high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, abnormalities in endothelial function and glucose metabolism, along with high insulin levels and/or insulin resistance. These factors increase the likelihood of your precious child developing coronary heart disease! In a study, 61% of obese children, ages 5 though 10 years already had at least one cardiovascular risk factor. Think about this when you are allowing your child to be sedentary all day, every day, sitting with an electronic device playing video games instead of going outside to romp and play as children are meant to do.
  • Once consider and adult disease, type 2 diabetes is emerging as an epedemic among children, paralleling trends in obesity. In 2000, it was estimated that one in three children born would eventually develop type 2 diabetes. Here we are now in 2019, and the childhood obesity rate has risen significantly as well has the incidents of children developing type 2 diabetes.
  • As far back as the early 1980’s, liver damage similar to that found in alcoholics, but without exposure to alcohol, was reported almost exclusively in overweight children. Fatty liver, or Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) is now thought to be the most common cause of liver disease in children, and some researchers link it to metabolic syndrome of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes mellitus. Approximately 10 to 25 percent of overweight children have elevated liver enzymes, and a majority may have evidence of NASH on ultrasound or CT scans. While some kids with NASH present with an enlarged liver or right abdominal pain, the vast majority show no symptoms. Think about this, your child could have grave health problems beginning and since they are not showing any symptoms, you will not know until they have progressed to a more serious stage.

As parents, we owe it to our children to raise them with proper nutrition and to get them into physical activities that keep them in good physical condition. It is easier to do so before the problem arises than afterwards. Consider this, obesity interventions, even for children, can be dietary, physical activity, behavioral, pharmacologic, and surgical. Or, any combination of these factors. I can think of no one who would want to put their child through these interventions, especially pharmacological and surgical. I personally could never want my child or grandchildren to require undergoing surgery for a condition that could have been addressed at an early stage, if it was even allowed to occur in the first place. You know, bariatric surgery for a child would be a last ditch effort to save their young life when all else has failed and they are going to die you as a result of morbid obesity.

Take care of this problem early in their young lives. It has been shown that early interventions with children has resulted in long term results than adult obesity programs, Decrease your child’s sedentary times, increase their physical activity and ensure the entire family has adopted healthy dietary habits before you have allowed them to suffer the consequences of obesity. You would not want your child to ruin their health through tobacco, alcohol or drugs. Please do not allow them to ruin their life through bad a calorie dense, nutritionally poor diet.

(1) Obesity in Childhood and Adolescence, Ihuoma Eneli, Karah Daniels Mantinan

Sugar Free Chile Lime Wings

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Nutritional  Info

Calories 285

Net Carbs 0

Fat 11.6 grams

Protein 18 grams

Ingredients

2 1/2 pounds chicken wingettes, about 12 pieces

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Zest of 1 lime

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons chili powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Swerve granular

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450 F and spread oil onto 14 inch skillet or baking dish.

Wash and dry chicken and place into pan.

Bake chicken for 35 minutes, flip and then bake an additional 15 minutes.

While wings are baking mix butter, cilantro, lime zest and juice, salt, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and Swerve in a small pan. Stir on low heat until butter is melted and mix is well combined.

Place baked wings into a large bowl and coat with the sauce.

Serve warm.

Dealing With My Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

As many of you might already know, I am a retired military veteran with service spread between two separate branches. I began my military career September 1981 in the US Navy which I was separated from in 1997 during force reductions. Skip ahead to 2008, and I re-enlisted into the Kansas Army Reserve National Guard which I retired from October 2010 after suffering a bad spinal injury on my civilian job.

As a result of too many highly stressful years and events during my military career, I was left with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which I will only refer to going forward as PTS while intentionally leaving off the “disorder”. I do not feel I have a disorder with my PTS as what has happened in my brain is actually a natural reaction when one has been overwhelmed with stressful situations.

What is Post Traumatic Stress?

From National Center for PTSD

PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.

It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after a traumatic event. At first, it may be hard to do normal daily activities, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about. But most people start to feel better after a few weeks or months.

If it’s been longer than a few months and you’re still having symptoms, you may have PTSD. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later on, or they may come and go over time.

When you have PTSD, the world feels unsafe. You may have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping. You may also try to avoid things that remind you of your trauma — even things you used to enjoy.

Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control. For example, having a very intense or long-lasting traumatic event or getting injured during the event can make it more likely that a person will develop PTSD. PTSD is also more common after certain types of trauma, like combat and sexual assault.

From Mayo Clinic:

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may start within one month of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships. They can also interfere with your ability to go about your normal daily tasks.

PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms can vary over time or vary from person to person.

Intrusive memories

Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:

  • Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
  • Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
  • Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event
  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event

Avoidance

Symptoms of avoidance may include:

  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event

Negative changes in thinking and mood

Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may include:

  • Negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world
  • Hopelessness about the future
  • Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships
  • Feeling detached from family and friends
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
  • Feeling emotionally numb

Changes in physical and emotional reactions

Symptoms of changes in physical and emotional reactions (also called arousal symptoms) may include:

  • Being easily startled or frightened
  • Always being on guard for danger
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame

Intensity of symptoms

PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity over time. You may have more PTSD symptoms when you’re stressed in general, or when you come across reminders of what you went through. For example, you may hear a car backfire and relive combat experiences. Or you may see a report on the news about a sexual assault and feel overcome by memories of your own assault.

When to see a doctor

If you have disturbing thoughts and feelings about a traumatic event for more than a month, if they’re severe, or if you feel you’re having trouble getting your life back under control, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. Getting treatment as soon as possible can help prevent PTSD symptoms from getting worse.

If you have suicidal thoughts

If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, get help right away through one or more of these resources:

  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
  • Contact a minister, a spiritual leader or someone in your faith community.
  • Call a suicide hotline number — in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Use that same number and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
  • Make an appointment with your doctor or a mental health professional.

When to get emergency help

If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

If you know someone who’s in danger of attempting suicide or has made a suicide attempt, make sure someone stays with that person to keep him or her safe. Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Or, if you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.

In America, we have a national tragedy which has been unfolding for several years now. This tragedy is an average of 22 veterans per day are ending their own lives through suicide as a direct result of Post Traumatic Stress. I’m not going to get into all the details of all that has transpired for mine to occur, but still want to relate a portion of my experience.

In 1996, during my fourth tour of duty in the Navy, I was experiencing symptoms of PTS, although I had never heard this term used before. I knew I needed some help and reached out despite the fact it was taboo in the military to do so. Learning to embrace the suck, and drive on was the mentality, and heaven forbid you display any types of weakness.  I did begin receiving therapy, and lost my military career about a half a year later. After all, what kind of strong military leader ever needs to see a shrink. Right?

As with many veterans, I suffered in silence. I suffered in silence because I was first and foremost, embarrassed for my weakness,  secondly because I still had a family to support. Life goes on despite our personal issues. It’s not like it’s a merry go round we can just step off of when we tire of the ride.  And lastly, there was little actual available help from the Veterans Administration for Post Traumatic Stress until just a few years ago.

When you have family responsibilities, sometimes you feel you have to put aside your own problems in order to best take care of your loved ones. Getting help gets even tougher when you are viewed as a pillar of strength, the one who others go to for help. You try to put the PTS behind you, but then you always feel as if you are about to burst apart at the seams. Like a simmering pot of water about to boil over.

And despite the low simmering boil, you just do your best to mask it, to keep it contained and hidden from your family and friends. Pressure cookers at least have a vented lid to control the pressure, I’m no pressure cooker.

Who was the weak one?

My PTS has resulted in over 20 years of chronic insomnia and scary dreams. It has resulted in a mind that never shuts down, a mind that is always in deep thought. My mind often wakes me up in the middle of the night in deep thoughts over serious topics. This low simmering boil makes it difficult to deal with individuals who do not have a similar life experience. This low simmering boil makes it easier to say “fuck it” in the work place. After my life experience, who needs lame bullshit out of a boss. Who wants to work around a bunch of weak ass pussies when you are used to working and living with the toughest of the tough. I have had more jobs over the last 22 years than I am proud to admit. I am the one who had a problem, not my bosses or co-workers. I am the one who was not reacting in the best manner to what I perceived as weak foolishness. I had to accept that it is up to me in how I manage to deal with the world around me.

Back around 2000, give or take a year or so, I went to the VA for help. I had no clue as to where to begin so I filed a claim for benefits. As when I was on active duty, stepping out and asking for help was a huge deal for me. I went to the American Legion office at the Leavenworth VA and was treated really nice by the Legion folks managing this office. They were glad to help me file a claim since I had a previous diagnosed condition of major depressive disorder diagnosed before my separation from the Navy.

A few months went by and I finally received an envelope in the mail from the Veterans Administration. They had denied my claim. They said my case was resolved and was closed. It was also implied that my  major depressive disorder was actually nothing more than me being angry at my last command leadership. What a crock of bullshit, but I saw no hope in trying to fight the entrenched bureaucracy. I got on with life, but the insomnia and bad dreams never eased. The low boil irritations never settled. I never learned to quit seeing everything in black and white while never allowing any gray areas into my world. I never learned how to turn the military off in my mind. After all, while we are serving, we are trained to be the best in our jobs, but, we are never trained in how to come back home to normalcy. Our normalcy in the military is not so normal in the civilian world, and this makes adjustments tough. The toughness is made even greater when we no longer have our military brothers and sisters to lean on for support. Often, when veterans leave military service, we might lose our identity. My identity was that of an Aviation Ordnanceman. Once out in the civilian world, some cannot even spell Aviation Ordnanceman, much less give a damn what the hell one is. No one cares about the tremendous amounts of responsibility that begins riding on the shoulders of a young service member, that keeps building over the years until their retirement. Once you are out, you are just another number, another cog in the gears of life. Your military experience and exploits sound like nothing more than tall tails to those who have never experienced the same, so you learn to just be silent about a good amount of your past experiences. What was an important part of the shaping of your life means little to nothing to a lot of folks we veterans encounter once our careers are over.

Help is available at the VA now!

There are two main types of treatment, psychotherapy (sometimes called counseling or talk therapy) and medication. Sometimes people combine psychotherapy and medication.

Psychotherapy for PTSD

Psychotherapy, or counseling, involves meeting with a therapist.

Trauma-focused psychotherapy, which focuses on the memory of the traumatic event or its meaning, is the most effective treatment for PTSD. There are different types of trauma-focused psychotherapy, such as:

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) where you learn skills to understand how trauma changed your thoughts and feelings. Changing how you think about the trauma can change how you feel.
  • Prolonged Exposure (PE) where you talk about your trauma repeatedly until memories are no longer upsetting. This will help you get more control over your thoughts and feelings about the trauma. You also go to places or do things that are safe, but that you have been staying away from because they remind you of the trauma.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which involves focusing on sounds or hand movements while you talk about the trauma. This helps your brain work through the traumatic memories.

Actions you can take for yourself in addition to seeking help.

I only returned to using the VA last spring after suffering a kidney stone. Up to that point, I viewed the VA as a huge bureaucracy that was failing veterans daily. Therefore, over the course of several years, I learned to create some of my own coping mechanisms for Post Traumatic Stress which I believe are helpful, but not a replacement for professional care by a doctor. Please, do not attempt to go it alone when dealing with this issue. Twenty two veterans per day lose this fight when they take their own lives to escape it.

  • Learn to make your world small as best as possible. Do not allow yourself to get caught up in issues beyond your control, or that have no direct impact on your life.
  • Even if you do not believe in God, learn to live by the principles of the Serenity Prayer. 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.
  • Practice good nutritional habits. The foods we consume can and will have a direct impact on our health and how we feel each and every day. It is easier to have a better outlook on life when you actually feel healthy instead of suffering from preventable ailments as a result of poor nutritional habits.
  • Exercise on a regular basis. When your body is at its strongest and healthiest, you will feel better about life. Your self esteem is increased as well as your levels of confidence in taking on new challenges. regular exercise has a number of benefits. It can contribute to many positive physical health outcomes, such as improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, and greater flexibility and mobility. In addition to these physical health outcomes, regular exercise can also have a positive impact on your mental health by reducing anxiety and depression.

We can all help prevent suicide, but many people don’t know how to support the Veteran or Service member in their life who is going through a difficult time. A simple act of kindness can help someone feel less alone. If you are a veteran suffering from Post Traumatic Stress and are feeling suicidal, please reach out for help.

God bless and thank you for reading.

 

Body Fat Pictorial Estimator

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We promote a healthy body fat percentage rather than a number on the scale. If your M.D. has given you a specific number, then you need to heed your doctor’s advice. In other cases, we believe that focusing on the actual amount of fat on your body is more helpful than obsessing over a number that changes throughout the day and can fluctuate wildly based on many factors that are not relative to your body fat and overall health in general.  Here is a quick pictorial guide that can help you estimate your body fat.

10 Reasons You Are Worth It

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1-You are unique. There is no one on earth exactly like you. That makes you rare and precious, like gold or diamonds.

2-You have abilities that the world needs. They may not be apparent to you but trust me, someone can benefit from something that just comes naturally to you. Even the most seemingly insignificant gifts, callings and abilities are needed and appreciated by someone. If you are not appreciated, find a place where you are recognized as the unique, gifted individual that you are.

3-You deserve happiness. Nothing was put here to be miserable. It’s illogical. Life is a temporary, short-lived state that should be like a celebration. If your life is not supporting happiness, examine it and get creative with solutions. Sometimes the answers to this dilemma are tough but personally, I found that nothing was as tough as living in a situation that broke my heart every day, so I fixed it.

4-You cannot care for others unless you care for yourself first. You may for a while, but sooner or later, you will break. When you do, those people who depend on you will be in a desperate situation.

5-Every living thing has a best self. Organisms are designed to function at an optimum capacity. Don’t hinder your natural aptitude by neglecting yourself. The difference in performance and function is literally life and death.

6-You can set an example for those around you. I have written on what is perceived as a “Generational Curse”. That is a fallacy. It doesn’t exist. We have the responsibility to our families and others around us to break bad patterns and create new good habits.

7-The “Power of One” is astounding. You probably cannot comprehend how powerful your presence is in the world. Regardless of your place in life, you have a purpose, something that will alter the world you live in. Individuals are responsible for discoveries that rock the world. Do you.

8-Sadness not only destroys your psyche, it affects everyone around you. When we don’t care for ourselves, we get run down and ineffective in all areas of our lives. Sadness overtakes us and we carry this negativism into the world. Do everyone a favor, get happy.

9-Quality self-care creates an energy that enables you to do anything. You will do your job better, clean your house better, take care of your children better when you have this life-force pulsing through you. Get energized!

10-Because you just are! Quite often we have been negatively programmed by parents, teachers, spouses and other family members who want to keep us subservient so that they can control us. They deliberately undermine our self-esteem so that they appear bigger and better. It’s a lie. You are worth it. Stand up and take your place in your own life and let the neighsayers fall to the wayside. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Live it.

Sugar Free Barbecued Bacon Chicken Bake

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Calories 221

Carbs 3.1 grams

Fat 9.2 grams

Protein 31.2

Cooking spray

8 slices bacon

4 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

3/4 cup sugar free barbecue sauce (G.Hughes brand)

Preheat oven to 350 F

Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until the edges begin to crisp, about 5 minutes; drain bacon on paper towels. Wrap each chicken breast with 2 slices of bacon in an x-shaped pattern and place into the prepared baking sheet with bacon ends underneath.

Bake in the preheated oven until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Coat with barbecue sauce and bake about 5-10 more minutes.

 

 

The Downside to Keto

As I was typing the title to this piece I was nervously watching out my front window to see if I had anything oncoming which I would quickly need to duck from, as I was pretty sure there existed a possibility of a firestorm of criticism coming my way from the true Keto believers. If you already have your panties in a twist over the topic, hold your fire until you have at least read this article in it’s entirety. First, for those who may not know, I will address what Keto is:

From Healthline.com

The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low carb diets. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. It lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, and shifts the body’s metabolism away from carbs and towards fat and ketones.

What’s more, the diet is so filling that you can lose weight without counting calories or tracking your food intake.

There is nothing inherently wrong with Keto for a short duration to lose weight, it is actually a fairly healthy method to drop weight easily. However, I do not recommend it for either the short or long term unless there is a medical reason behind needing to resort to Keto. However, keep in mind that while there are many health benefits being attributed to a Keto diet, many of the studies are also far from conclusive at this point. This is a red flag for me as Keto has been around in one form or another for several years now. Long enough that all the studies should be conclusive by now. Take some of the health benefits with a grain of salt if you will…

Your weight loss with Keto is still a matter of caloric restriction.

The thing about a ketogenic diet is if you tell people to eat as much as they want, they might tend to eat slightly less than they would otherwise. It is only natural that you will eat less if you’re consuming foods that satiate you easier. You will have more fullness from vegetables, satiety from protein, feel fuller for longer from the fat. In a nutshell, it means that you will eat less food and therefore fewer calories than you were before. Your body will dip into your fat stores because you are restricting your caloric intake. Therefore you will lose weight. That is until you plateau.

How do I plateau on Keto?

No matter your nutritional habits, your weight loss or weight gain is always going to fall back on how many calories you have consumed verses the total amount of calories you have expended. If the equation is out of balance, you will either gain or lose weight, depending on which side of the equation is greater. You may not notice any significant weight change on a daily basis, but you will if you allow the equation to remain unbalanced over a period of a week or more. The weight you will gain is stored primarily as fat even if you are on Keto

Our body’s need healthy fats in order to get full benefit from other nutrients we consume each day. However, fats are calorie dense at 9 calories per gram as opposed to 4 calories per gram with protein and carbohydrates. Besides the obvious that eating too much fat can place you over your caloric needs based on your basal metabolic rate, consuming too much can increase your risk for a number of health threats.  It is not rocket science to understand that a diet rich in saturated fat (fatty cuts of meat and dairy foods) can raise the levels of cholesterol  in your blood. That increases the risk for heart disease.

Keto prioritizes fat over protein, with carbs being kept to under 50g per day.

But David’s Way advocates high protein too, right?

Yes, I advocate a diet higher in protein while on weight loss mode because it keeps you satiated longer when combined with fats than carbohydrates will. That being said, if you consume excess protein beyond what your body requires for your activity level, the surplus of amino acids is excreted with your body’s waste products. Even with high protein you will can gain body fat over time when you consume too many calories.

Weight management is dependent on calories consumed verses calories expended when you begin a diet of any kind, including Keto. For example, lets say a fairly sedentary 40 year old, 5′ 2″ 300 pound woman begins Keto. No matter what, her body will require 1881 calories per day in order to lose 1 pound of body fat per week. She will do this easily on Keto as she is likely to be satiated before reaching those 1881 calories with filling foods that keep her full. Once this woman has reached 200 pounds her basal metabolic rate to maintain her weight at 200 is going to require  1837 calories per day which means that no matter the diet, she is going to plateau and gain weight slowly again.

She could eat 1837 calories a day in bacon, be fully within how most interpret Keto, and not lose any more weight!

Keto is unnecessarily too restrictive.

Here is a list of foods that get eliminated on a ketogenic diet:

  • Sugary foods: Soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
  • Grains or starches: Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
  • Fruit: All fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries.
  • Beans or legumes: Peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
  • Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
  • Low-fat or diet products: These are highly processed and often high in carbs.
  • Some condiments or sauces: These often contain sugar and unhealthy fat.
  • Unhealthy fats: Limit your intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
  • Alcohol: Due to their carb content, many alcoholic beverages can throw you out of ketosis.
  • Sugar-free diet foods: These are often high in sugar alcohols, which can affect ketone levels in some cases. These foods also tend to be highly processed.

While I do agree with a good many foods on the list above, some of this is just plain ridiculous:

  • Fruit has too many good nutrients and are an excellent source of fiber for you to entirely exclude them from your diet. While they are a simple carbohydrate, they will not impact your blood sugar and insulin levels because of their fiber component. If you want to eat an apple or orange each day, then by all means do so.
  • Beans, legumes, root vegetables and tubers are also too good of a source of nutrients, fiber and protein to exclude them from your diet.

Guess what? You can and should eat these foods as a part of a nutritionally balanced diet. Your body needs carbohydrates as they are the most efficient source of fuel your body can consume. At David’s Way, we advocate eating complex carb foods while excluding simple carbs unless they are in the form of fruit which have fiber to regulate how the sugars are absorbed into your bloodstream.

What happens when I quit Keto?

First, when you begin Keto or any diet, you will very rapidly lose about 10 pounds of water weight in approximately your first week or two. After that, your weight loss will settle down.  Again, this rapid weight loss is going to happen no matter what type of diet plan you attempt which reduce your caloric intake.

We learn in junior high school biology that we’re full of water. Nearly as much as 70% of our bodies may be comprised of water. When we refer to “water weight”, specifically in the context of nutrition and physical fitness, we are talking about water stored in the cells of our body’s, which is joined to glycogen.

Glycogen is – more or less – a stored form of glucose which your body holds in your liver and muscle cells for when it needs a quick fuel source. Each glycogen molecule is made up of a protein core, surrounded by glucose sub-units. Each gram of glycogen stored in your body is bound to 3 or 4 grams of water.

Glycogen is what instigates sudden bouts of weight loss and weight gain during a diet. The reason you can lose 10 or more pounds of weight in the first week of a diet – especially a low carb one – is because you’re burning through your body’s glycogen stores and not replenishing them.

The reason why you can seem to gain a bunch of weight from one pasta and pizza binge is largely because you have “carbed up” and filled your body’s glycogen reserves. And here in lies a problem. Many, if not most people who begin Keto do not understand their weight loss and or maintenance is  still dependent on calories consumed verses calories expended. Once an individual reaches the point where their weight plateaus, they will often get frustrated and return to their old eating habits and subsequently regain all of their lost weight with a swiftness. You are far better off to learn to maintain well balanced nutritional habits over restricting yourself too far which Keto does for a good many people. We advocate dietary habits that are sustainable for life, not something temporary in nature only. We advocate a diet where protein, complex carbs and healthy fats are consumed in a balance that is right for your needs. We encourage protein as a priority simply because it is the macro-nutrient that repairs and builds upon our cellular structure. Protein keeps us satiated more so than carbohydrate foods which makes it easier to maintain a diet that does not exceed your daily caloric needs. Face it, steak and eggs is always going to keep you full and satisfied much longer than fruits and vegetables. But remember, that unlike Keto, we actually want you to eat your fruit, beans and vegetables, to include those baked potatoes that so many often unnecessarily believe they need to shun when dieting. In fact, if I have met my protein needs as a strength trainer, I will often have a baked potato drizzled in olive oil and seasoned with chili lime for a main course and still keep my body fat at 9 percent. If you are a strength trainer or endurance athlete, I recommend a good cup of oatmeal to fuel your activity as well. Keto does not allow for this amount of carbs, and for most, this kind of restriction is not sustainable for life, nor does it even make sense.

Do yourself a favor and make intelligent nutritional decisions. At David’s Way, we recommend a well balanced diet that only excludes refined sugar, simple carbs that have no fiber component, and most processed foods such as oven ready meals as an example. Our way is not a gimmick like some are, nor is our methodology something temporary in nature. David’s Way is a lifestyle of healthy nutrition and physical fitness.

We encourage you to be accountable to yourself and track all that you consume to both ensure you do not eat too many calories for your basal metabolic rate needs, nor to eat too few calories.

We want you to still enjoy foods, therefore under our recipes section, we provide numerous healthy recipes that include delicious sugar free cakes, cookies and pies. If you cannot find a particular recipe, let us know and we will either create or find what you are looking for that also falls within the parameters of healthy eating that we promote.

 

 

How to Accomplish Anything

 

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There are some people who finish what they start and there are others  who  give up  way too quickly. Everyone would love a quick fix but victory is not a quick win, and then moving on to something  else. When it comes to your health,  victory is a lifestyle of wise choices. There are ways to “keep on, keeping on” that work.

Make your goals clear.

Make your goals measurable. If you know where you start and measure your progress all along,  you are much more likely to  stay encouraged enough to progress.

Break your goals down into mini-goals. While I know where I want to go as a strength trainer, I also know that I won’t get there quickly. I have smaller goals that I can actually achieve along the way to my ultimate success. When I hit those goals it’s  a wonderful  day and I am renewed to go again.

Never forget  your ultimate goals. Don’t  “settle”. If you’re  not making progress, research and find out why. Staying after your best self will keep you inspired.

Surround  yourself with positive, motivated people. This includes media. Don’t waste time on negative nonsense. Use your online time wisely to research information that will propel you towards your goals.

Use any negative feelings that you may have as indicators of where you need to do the most work. I have  always known that I wanted to redefine aging and I have spent my entire life avoiding the stereotypical pattern of aging that is so prevalent in the U.S. I have avoided cigarettes because they destroy collagen and overall health. I do not drink alcohol because it dries the skin over time. I don’t  eat sugar because it causes inflammation  and glycation in the skin. I avoid the sun because it just ruins your skin period. I work out hard to build muscle rather than lose it with age and continually regroup my entire life and priorities to move closer to my goal of remaining vital. As a result of this lifestyle, at 63 I work full-time, scheduled part-time, work on this website, and then work out like a maniac while caring for a special needs family member. I am the sole supporter in my home. I feared becoming the typical 63 year old woman. I fueled my life with the adrenaline of that fear and became something  completely different.  I am not typical. Use your fear as fuel.

Keep going even when you  fail because if you stop, there’s nowhere to go except down.

Never focus on the negative. Be fully aware of your strengths, resources and capabilities and use them. Celebrate your  victories and thank people who have helped you. They will be more willing to help you again and no matter how far you have come, you may need them again.

Continue to keep meticulous records of your progress. David says that “What gets measured, gets done.” Keep records and don’t cut yourself any slack. With good records, progress is a natural occurrence.

And whatever you  do, DON’T QUIT.