High Fat Verses Low to Zero Fat

In the past few decades, there have been many high-profile claims made in academic literature and other media sources that allege the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960’s to downplay the link between sugar and heart disease. With this downplay of sugar being a culprit, the emphasis was instead directed towards the dangers of dietary fat in our diets.

There are some who stick by the veracity of this claim, while there are other well respected sources who have debunked this rumor as a myth that never occurred. Legend has it,  documents unearthed in historical archives regarding the sugar industry funding of Harvard nutrition scientists in the 1960’s, were identified as “smoking gun” evidence the sugar industry successfully meddled in science and “derailed” the course of governmental dietary policy. Essentially, it is claimed the sugar industry wanted the focus of obesity problems taken off their industry and placed more squarely on the risks of fats such as in butter and beef instead. Allegedly, this shift of focus was also to largely ward off new taxes that were going to be implemented by the government onto sugar sweetened foods and drinks as they were being identified as a part of our society’s early problems with obesity.

Is this conspiracy story about the sugar industry shifting focus to the health issues from fat true? I do not know, I can neither prove nor disprove the veracity of the claims against it. Are there really people in the sugar industry this diabolical? I am normally not one who buys into conspiracies. However, there does seem to be a correlation between the low to no fat craze and our rising obesity epidemic.

However, thinking people know that correlation does always mean causation.

Yet when it comes to thinking people, it seems we have far too many in our midst who have lost their collective minds when it comes to their nutritional habits. Look around you. Everywhere you go, you are now  in the minority if you are fit and trim. Sixty eight percent of our population in America are out of good physical condition by being overweight or obese. Twenty five percent of our population are prediabetic.  This is a sad state of affairs that needs to make a turn around before it gets worse.

Over the last few decades we have watched as our grocery store shelves filled up with many low fat or zero fat goodies for us to eat. We have low fat cookies, cakes, ice cream, yogurts and on and on and on. Low to no fat food items as far as the eye can see.  There has been a monumental push to get fat out of diets, yet people are fatter in America than ever. Even the government has been pushing this foolish idea of eliminating fats from our diets.  Because a diet low in fat has been deemed to be healthy, government policies have affected nutrition programs in schools, hospitals and the military. Yet, we keep getting fatter.

The American Dietetic Association replaced the four basic food groups with the food pyramid in the effort to reduce the consumption of fats. Their intentions were good, but intentions without good results mean jack squat nothing. There has been a tremendous amount of time and resources expended to get people to reduce their fat intake, yet the incidence of obesity and cardiovascular disease is not subsiding in the least. In fact, it is getting worse every damn day. Is it possible all the researchers missed some critical element to this problem?

Maybe not entirely.

There is nothing wrong about researchers and the government trying to get us as a nation to reduce our fat intake as there are many unhealthy fats in far too many foods available to us in this modern world we live in.

There has been a serious misinterpretation of the message to eat low fat.

It has been assumed by a vast swath of our population that if we adopted a low fat diet in order to prevent heart disease, this allowed us to eat as much as we wanted of foods that are low or zero fat. The food industry ran with this assumption and loaded our grocery store shelves full of low to zero fat options, yet people never considered the fact these products began having extra sugar added to them in order to improve the taste lost by fat removal. It has become the norm that instead of eating only a couple cookies they would eat an entire package of them.

What’s the harm? They are fat free!

News Flash!

Fat free is not calorie free!

You cannot just switch to a low fat food and eat with abandon to your hearts content. You still have to use common sense with your dietary habits, or your are doomed to a lifetime of obesity. In the past, I have seen on Weight Watchers social media where people will manipulate their diets to accommodate treats for every day consumption. They will justify their snacking because low or zero fat foods are low to zero points on the Weight Watchers program. This program takes the emphasis away from accountability to calories consumed, therefore a good many are always either struggling to lose weight or failing to lose altogether. At the end of the day, your weight loss or management depends on not consuming more calories than you expend each day. And this is regardless of the fat content or lack thereof.

Look, if you want to eat low fat or zero fat foods, then go right ahead and make yourself happy. But know that this is not helping your health in the least if you are not going to be personally accountable to yourself by managing your dietary habits. If you eat more calories than you burn off, especially if you are sedentary, you are going to be fat, It really is that plain and simple. You really cannot even intelligently argue the point.

The abundance and availability of low fat and zero fat foods has resulted in a fatter society not a thinner or fitter one. Eat healthy fats, your body needs them to better absorb nutrients that keep you healthy. Not only this, but full fat foods taste better and are usually more satiating than their low fat counterparts. Use your head and think about what you are doing the next time you are making food choices. Ask yourself if the choices you are making will actually improve your health or not. You owe this to yourself, you deserve to treat yourself better.

 

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Functional Foods

Functional foods.

This is a catch phrase that appears to be gaining in popularity now.

Is not all food functional? Would the function of a powder sugar donut not be to satisfy a craving?

Just what in the world is considered a functional food today anyhow?

A functional food is a food claimed to have an additional function (often one related to health-promotion or disease prevention) by adding new ingredients or more of existing ingredients. The term may also apply to traits purposely bred into existing edible plants, such as purple or gold potatoes having enriched anthocyanin or carotenoid contents, respectively. Functional foods may be “designed to have physiological benefits and/or reduce the risk of chronic disease beyond basic nutritional functions, and may be similar in appearance to conventional food and consumed as part of a regular diet”. (1)

The term “functional food” kind of grates on my nerves. Listen, let’s be real for a moment. All food that provides you a nutritional benefit is functional to your good health. Now days, there already seems to be too many with a lack of understanding as to what comprises good nutrition, and then someone creates a term that further exasperates this confusion. If our schools still taught nutrition and health, these kinds of fancy terms along with a lack of nutritional knowledge would be much more rare than they are today. I find it sad we have people here in America that do not understand, and some who do not care, it is bad for their health to live on cookies, cakes, potato chips and soda pop. That is until their weight has become out of their control or has caused them health issues. related to their dietary habits. This is when they begin looking for the latest trends, fads if you will, in losing weight.

I’m going to be a Vegan!

I’m going to start my Keto tomorrow!

Or, one I saw recently:

I’m going to try Keto Vegetarianism…

People who become desperate to lose weight will very often begin looking for the newest fads to get their weight down. Or conversely, they may begin researching how to best lose weight and fall for the plans that sound the most scholarly, hence the term “functional food”. By consuming “functional foods”, I must be going about weight loss or management in the most efficient manner, right?

No, not necessarily.

At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we promote keeping  your stress down by “making your world small”. I strongly believe in the KISS principle;

Keep It Simple Stupid

I do not condone fad diets, nor do I advocate weight loss plans that allow you to keep doing that which got you fat in the first place. And I find it not in the least helpful when people present plans to the average individual where their terms are getting a little too technical sounding, such as “functional food”.

Without rehashing David’s Way Plan/Methodology in the entirety, I will sum it up in a nutshell. (You can click on the link for my plan in it’s full glory.)

My methodology is simple.

I will not tell you what to eat, though I do tell you to quit eating all sugar, simple carbs, and processed foods that contain simple sugars, unhealthy fats, high sodium and preservatives.

While I am not going to make your food choices for you, I will say to shop around the perimeter of your grocery store and only buy whole foods which you have to prepare yourself.

Meats and fish

Vegetables of all types

Fruits

Dairy

I instruct to only consume the amount of calories your body needs in order to lose weight in a healthy manner at 1 pound per week, or to maintain your weight. You can find your caloric needs on our Calorie Counter Pro. You will find that when you only consume healthy foods, it can be quite difficult to actually eat enough calories to maintain your weight. Be accountable to yourself in what you eat every day. Make nutritional accountability your permanent lifestyle, not a temporary diet.

With each meal, ensure you get a good mix of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Protein repairs and rebuilds all of our cellular structure. Complex carbohydrates fuel our bodies. Healthy fats help your body absorb important nutrients and produce essential hormones too.

I personally go for 1 gram of protein for each pound of body weight. I have a target range of 100 to 150 net grams of complex carbohydrates with a minimum of 30 grams per day of fiber which offsets your total carb intake. (155g carbs – 30g fiber =125g net carbs) And the rest of my caloric intake is made up of healthy omega 3 fatty acid rich fats for 2200 calories per day.

If you get a good mix of these macro-nutrients with each meal and watch your calories, the macro-nutrient math will take care of itself.

My methodology is nothing new. It is how my generation grew up eating before our nation’s obesity epidemic came into being.  We had 3 nutritious meals per day with minimal snacking in between. When dinner was over in the evening, the kitchen was closed until breakfast time the following morning. Today, we often hear about another catch phrase, “Intermittent Fasting”, but it too is not new. When dinner was over and you did not eat until breakfast, that is “Intermittent Fasting”. I actually like “IF” on the 16:8 protocol and advocate it for those who are on weight loss mode. It is effective, but does not need the special name. You can just make this a part of your  new lifestyle without feeling as if you are doing something new and special.

“Functional Foods” is only a marketing tool. Do not get caught up in trying to only  consume foods with this label. As long as you make the smart choice to practice sound dietary habits where you eat foods that provide you with all your nutrients and macro-nutrient needs, your health and weight will take care of itself, unless you have let your health deteriorate too far. Even then, sound nutrition can still improve your quality of life. This is something junk foods will never accomplish for you.

 

 

(1) Wikipedia

What to Eat to Get Over Your Holiday Binge

I saw this headline in a local newspaper yesterday and seriously laughed out loud. This has got to be one of the most ridiculous headlines that I have ever seen.

The problem with this headline is that it buys into and perpetuates the gimmick mentality in health, wellness and weight management. There are no magical solutions to a season of overindulgence. We never promote a quick fix. The only way to “get over” a binge is to stop doing it. When you want to change your life from revolving around sugar and salt and into healthy eating, you do just that. Begin at the beginning, right now. Whatever came before this moment is irrelevant. Use our Calorie Counter Pro to determine your caloric needs and fill those calories with good, healthy, whole foods. There are no special foods for this simple program. It’s the way that humans have eaten since the beginning of time, until the advent of fast food and way too many over-priced fancy chain restaurants that serve little more than glorified frozen dinners. Have you ever noticed the peculiar uniformity of many pasta dinners and comfort food entrees in these restaurants? It’s because so many of them actually use pre-cooked, frozen food and serve it as a freshly prepared dinner. Is the equivalent of left-overs worth your health?

This particular article in the newspaper was talking about eggs. Well, duh. Yes, eggs are a good, healthy, whole food. Simply eating a meal of eggs after stuffing yourself for months on end is not going to change anything for you. Now, if you continue the trend of eating this type of food, it will make a difference. Change is not the result of one big act or behaviour. Change is the result of multiple smaller changes over a long period of time. David has a saying, “Trust the process.”. Unless we do exactly that, tweaking our program and working it religiously day in and day out, we will never see victory.

Our bodies are designed to maintain homeostasis, a tendency to seek stability between the systems in our body. Because we are constantly seeking stability, we resist sudden change. We have many biochemical processes that are supposed to do just that. Any sudden change can be dangerous for us so when we seek to make fast changes in our bodies, we are working against nature. Our health is maintained by stability. Knowing this, you can see how fad diets and gimmicks can and frequently do damage our health. They stress every system which causes adrenaline production. Adrenaline is in the cortisol circuit and cortisol is associated with belly fat. Is there any wonder that all those years of “Lose Weight Fast!” gimmicks have left you in the worst shape of your life?

The reason that people seek those fast-loss gimmicks is that they just “want to get it over with”. Guess what. If you are going to win in this weight management battle, it is never “over”. This is not something that you do like a performance or a set of exercises or activities that you check off of a numbered list. This is your life from now on. You have to refocus yourself to appreciate the wonderful feeling that succeeding at your health goals brings instead of the joy of a doughnut. Will that doughnut sustain your health, energy and mental acuity as you age? A healthy body will. The choice is all yours. There are ways to steer away from the instant gratification of the doughnut:

1-Know what you really want. Decide how and why. Is it a doughnut or is it health and rockin’ that bikini?

2-Identify possible obstacles. If Sally is always sabotaging you, ditch Sally. If you can’t resist the Blizzard at Dairy Queen, don’t drive by the building. Go around the block.

3-Have a strong support network. We’re open 24/7 at no charge to you. We answer all comments and questions.

4-Set clear boundaries. Instead of saying, “I’m going to try to do better.” say, “I’m changing my life to be healthy, regardless of what it takes. I will eat good, healthy, whole foods and avoid added sugars.”

5-Reward yourself in ways that won’t derail your progress. (1)

6-Always remember, YOU are in control.

7-Learn how to distract yourself from the temptations to give into instant gratification. Get in touch with your support system and think logically about your dilemma. Give it some time. To begin with, this will be extremely difficult but after successfully navigating this a few times, you will get the hang of it.

8-Get all temptations out of your house. Don’t temp fate.

9-Don’t try to justify bad behaviour.

10-Invest in the future that you want. In my case, I have acquired a decent home gym. I have too much invested to let it just set.

When all else is said, it comes back to what David has taught me, “Trust the process.” Good things take time.

(1) https://blog.iqmatrix.com/instant-gratification

No Hill For a Climber, What To Expect After Mastectomy

You might be the one actually facing the process of a mastectomy, or maybe you are a caregiver to a loved one. Either way, from my point of view as a loving husband and caregiver to my beautiful wife of 33 years, I’m not sure anything can fully prepare you for the impact of a mastectomy. You know the breasts are going to be removed, and maybe you have been told there will be drain tubes inserted for the healing process. You might have seen a picture such as the one above and thought “oh, that does not look too bad”. Those pictures give you an idea of what you will be facing, but they do not actually prepare you for the reality of seeing this up close and personal. The difference in the picture and real life is as stark as the difference between a very slight exposure to pepper spray available to  the civilian population and that of 4% OC pepper spray we utilized in the prison when I was a Correctional Officer.

On Sunday afternoon, the day before Loraine’s mastectomy, after I had come off the road from my trucking job I met Loraine at Target to buy her some new pajamas. We knew from her visit with her physical therapist that she would not be able to raise her arms above her head, and pajamas that button down the front would be the easiest for her to put on and remove by herself. We found a couple nice sets of soft button down pajamas and made our purchase. We got the same size as Loraine normally wears and did not foresee any problems with the fit being as her D-cup breasts were going to be removed. These pajamas should be a perfect fit, yet we found out yesterday after she was getting out of her hospital gown the size should have been a bit larger than normal.

Yesterday morning before Loraine’s discharge, her nurse navigator Melissa came by with instructions for going home. Part of these instructions consisted of how to care for the incision drains and suction bulbs. This instruction involved emptying them before the bulbs get over half full, and how to strip the lines should they become blocked by clotting blood. Before proceeding with these instructions, Melissa asked if I was squeamish at all. I’m not, but I can see where this needs to be asked. These drains are long tubes which the surgeon inserts into the breast area or armpit to collect excess fluid that can accumulate in the space where the tumor was. The tubes have plastic bulbs on the ends to create suction, which helps the fluid  and some blood to exit your body.

No problem! This is a pretty simple concept.

No hill for a climber!

And then it was time for her to check out of the hospital…

We packed all our belongings that we had brought with us for the overnight stay back into our bags, and left Loraine’s pretty new pajamas out for her to wear home. We wanted her to be comfortable for the ride. Yet, when I was trying to button her pajamas, we discovered that the drain bulbs which are kept in bags that were fastened to the lower sides of the ace bandage covering her chest were not allowing for full closure at her midsection.

Lesson learned ladies. If you are going to go through with a mastectomy, do yourself a favor and buy yourself pajamas that not only button down the front, but also pajamas that might be a size or two larger than you believe you might need in order to accommodate swelling, and the four drain tubes and their carry bags that will be necessary. You cannot leave the bulbs dangling by their tubes. Dangling drain bulbs would cause you problems you can be assured you will not want to experience anytime soon.

Melissa instructed us to monitor the amount of output from the four drains. She gave us a couple  of small measuring cups and syringes for doing this task along with a log sheet where we are to fill in the date, time and quantity of fluid from each drain. This record will be brought to follow-up office appointments to help determine when the drains can be removed. Drain removal could be as soon as one week, or as long as three weeks from the surgery.

We have discovered so far, that the drains can be emptied and logged at about 5 hour intervals when Loraine is due for her pain medication. Although your experience could be different, and Loraine’s could change. In order for the drains to work properly, the suction bulbs must be emptied before they become half way full as the fuller they become, the less suction they will provide. This would cause the fluids to not empty from the incision sites as they should. This can also lead to the drains becoming clogged with clotted blood.

Shortly after we got home from the hospital, we decided to try our hand, rather my hand, at draining the bulbs. This went easy enough for the first go round. I removed the bulbs individually from their carry bags, removed the stopper, squeezed the contents into a cup, measured it, and then made my log entry.

Too easy!

I then squeezed the bulbs to create a suction when I reinserted the stopper and put the bulb back in their bags. No problems. Then with the next cycle five hours later, I went about the same procedure, but noticed a little bit of clotted blood in each line. No problem, I have been shown how to strip the lines. This is too easy. Until I discovered to Loraine’s detriment, attention to being gentle is of upmost importance. I grasped the tube as instructed in one hand, squeezed it between my thumb and finger of the other and began pulling down. When you do this, you must take extra care to not allow tension on the drain tube to pass beyond the hand that you are grasping it with. Loraine cried out in pain as the tension from me stripping the line was creating a painful pulling sensation up inside her body. I discovered the best thing to do is to hold the line against the body in a non-painful site in order to keep from putting tension on the tube. By not holding my grip against her body, when I began stripping the line of blood clots, my grip hand had also moved down as the tube stretched downward.

You might feel overwhelmed by the amount of information you have to absorb as the patient or caretaker. However, it is critical that you still pay close attention to all of your instructions. Take notes, ask questions. The only dumb question is the question not asked.

We got through the night alright. At midnight we got up so Loraine could take her pain medication and for me to empty the drain bulbs, then we repeated this again at 5:00 a.m.  About 10:00 a.m., it was shower time. You have to steel yourself for the first shower. I thought I was better prepared since I had been doing the drain tubes with no issues other than when I accidentally put internal tension on one when stripping it. When you have had a mastectomy, you will be limited on being able to put your arms and hands above your head, yet this will be somewhat necessary in order to remove the inner compression top that is almost just like a 1970’s era tube top that was popular with all the girls back in the day.

I first unpinned the drain bulb bags from the outer ace bandage that is wrapped around her chest. Then after unwrapping the ace bandage, it was time to get the tube top bandage off. It caused Loraine some pain and discomfort during removal, but we managed without it getting too bad. This is not something you just pull off the body. Once it was removed, we both were able to see exactly what her chest now looks like. My dear wife will always be beautiful in my eyes, even without her breasts. She is the love of my life and the removal of her breasts is not an issue. But, what I found shocking, the sight that made me want to cry for her was how bruised her upper torso was. Where her breasts had been, the tissue is greatly discolored and bruised. It looks as if someone had used her chest for a professional boxers punching bag. It was all I could do to maintain my emotions for my sweet woman while assisting her with her shower. I know the bruising and discoloration is temporary, but feel it is necessary for people to know what they will see the first time you or your loved ones removes the bandages. Seeing my wife of almost 34 years like this was breaking my heart for her. It is things like this that makes me not too sympathetic to people who whine over the smallest of problems in their lives, especially when their petty issues are entirely self inflicted. My dear wife never asked for this to happen, but sometimes bad shit happens to the best of people.

 If you are undergoing a mastectomy, here are a few tips to help you during your healing and recovery at home:

  • Rest. When you get home from the hospital, you will probably be fatigued from the experience. Allow yourself to get extra rest in the first few weeks after surgery. Read more about managing  fatigue.
  • Take pain medication as needed. You will probably feel a mixture of numbness and pain around the breast incision and the chest wall (and the armpit incision, if you had axillary dissection). If you feel the need, take pain medication according to your doctor’s instructions. Learn more about managing  chest pain, armpit discomfort , and general pain. 
  • Take sponge baths until your doctor has removed your drains and/or sutures. You can take your first shower when your drains and any staples or sutures have been removed. A sponge bath can refresh you until showers or baths are approved by your doctor.
  • Continue doing arm exercises each day. It’s important to continue doing arm exercises on a regular basis to prevent stiffness and to keep your arm flexible.
  • Have friends and family pitch in around the house. Recovery from mastectomy can take time. Ask friends and family to help with meals, laundry, shopping, and childcare. As your body heals, don’t feel you should take on more than you can handle. (1)

If there is any positive that can come out of breast cancer, it has been the tremendous outpouring of love and support from family and friends. We are eternally grateful to all who have showed us how much they care. I am most humbly grateful to Loraine’s employers, Geri and Larry Martin of Prestige Home Care in Leavenworth, Kansas. This husband and wife team are committed to providing top quality  and compassionate home care to all their clients, and now they have stepped up to help Loraine and I during her recovery. Today, their Operations Supervisor Carolyn Clayton delivered a hearty beef and vegetable stew along with two trays of lasagna which Geri had prepared for us at home in order that we would not have to worry about cooking meals for the next few days of Loraine’s recovery. These are very kind and caring people, if you ever need care for a loved one in or around Leavenworth, Kansas, this is the only home care business I would recommend for the care of your loved one.

Carolyn, we love and cherish your friendship.

God bless and much love to all,

David

(1) https://breastcancer.org

 

No Hill For a Climber, Mastectomy Day

First and foremost, I want to thank God above for Dr. Butler and her surgical team who carried out Loraine’s mastectomy yesterday without any complications. I want to thank God also for giving my dear wife such a brave spirit while facing such a difficult diagnosis as breast cancer. Loraine is quite the trooper, but what else would you expect from a career military spouse. We all know that is the toughest job in the armed forces.

Next, I want to express our sincere gratitude to all the love and support both of us have received. There was plenty of family and friends who came to the hospital for her procedure yesterday, and too many prayers and well wishes by phone calls and social media to adequately address. We love you all!

It would be a humongous understatement if I were to say the last few days have been quite taxing on the nerves. Hell, the last couple months since Loraine’s breast cancer diagnosis have been full of soul eating stress, worrying about the known and unknown factors that come with cancer of any type.  This is her third time and third type of cancer that we have faced down. The stresses that come with a cancer diagnosis when you do not yet have a game plan of exactly how it will be treated is like being on a runaway roller coaster, where the fears can make it difficult to remain focused on what is coming around the next bend, or over the next hill that might very well plunge you head on into the ground below.

Thursday of last week, as a result of a miscommunication or some other factor, we had the fear Loraine’s life saving surgery might have to be postponed for an undetermined period of time. Loraine’s initial breast reconstruction procedure was going to begin as a part of her mastectomy. The plastic surgeon was going to place tissue expander’s under her skin after the removal of her breasts as this normally would be the time to do so, while she was already opened up.

During Loraine’s consultation, neither of us can recall much of a concern being expressed by the doctor about the effect  the tissue expander placements would have on her COPD. Maybe we just missed it, I do not know. Any how, when one has COPD there is a concern that the pressure of tissue expander’s can complicate your breathing, especially once they begin inflating them with saline solution.

The plastic surgeon had sent paperwork to our family doctor to be filled out to clear her for the procedure. Again, as a result of a miscommunication, we were lead to believe her personal physician just needed to sign off on the procedure. Thursday, Loraine found out there was a complication with getting this done. She was told by a staff member that they could not fax the paperwork back to the plastic surgeon’s office. I drove down to find out what the problem was to be informed that Dr. Christiano would need to see her in order to sign off on the procedure. I was told, that all that was needed was a simple blood draw for lab work and an EKG.

Simple enough, right?

I called Loraine and told her to come straight down to Dr. Christiano’s office. The receptionist had her paperwork and said all she had to do was to come in as a walk in and they could do her blood draw and a EKG, the results would be in on time for Loraine’s surgery on Monday morning. We were led to believe that they just needed to do these basic procedures, and she would be on her merry way.

Wrong answer!

Loraine and I arrived at the doctors office and I filled her in on what needed to be done. I sat with her until just before she was called back. I had to go  on the road that night, so I went home to get some much needed sleep. No worries, she would get these last minute requirements done and all would be good. But, that is not what happened at all.

A nurse called Loraine back and from the very beginning of the visit became quite rude with her. With a nastiness to her tone of voice, she informed Loraine that what was ordered on the form was that she needed to see a cardiologist and a pulmonologist to satisfy the plastic surgeons concerns over her COPD. Loraine said that she had no idea and was only doing what the receptionist had told her was required.

How would Loraine know if she had never seen the form and the doctor had not told her? This nurse called in another nurse who was also not the least bit compassionate with her. Loraine told her that she was only doing what the receptionist had told her needed done, and the nurse replied “listening to her was your first mistake”.

At this point Loraine was distraught as there would be no way of seeing these specialists before Monday and it seemed maybe the mastectomy would have to be postponed. She looked at the second nurse feeling dejected and said “I guess my surgery has to be canceled then”. This bitch of a nurse had the audacity to thrust her forms into her face and told her “I guess you will just have to then” and then she sent her on her way home with no blood draws, no EKG nor examination by a doctor. She was sent out the door feeling as if her life had no meaning to these two miserable human beings who disguise themselves as nurse’s. There is more to this story, but I will leave it at these two were mentally abusive to my sweet wife and I am filing a formal complaint to the Kansas Board of Nurses about their abusive behavior.

Friday morning Loraine and both made calls to her nurse navigator Melissa in regards to what had occurred the day before in Dr. Christiano’s office. Loraine and I had talked it over and decided that we wanted the surgery to proceed on Monday as scheduled and she would forego the reconstruction process until a later date. Melissa did her part as liaison between Dr Butler’s office and Dr. Martin. By the afternoon, the dust had settled and surgery was still on for Monday morning at 7:00 A.M. as scheduled.

After a night of restless sleep, we got out of bed at 4:00 A.M. and prepared to head out to the hospital by 5:00 A.M. in order to be on time to check in at 6:00 A.M. We drove to the hospital mostly in silence, but did engage in a little chit chat about life in general. Once we got there, we got her checked in through the admissions desk, and at a little before 7:00 A.M. she was taken back for surgery prep. Shortly thereafter my Dad, our daughter Jennifer and son in-law Terry with our 3 grand daughters arrived as did her brother Howard and her best friend Nicole. I was taken back into the prep room  where we had a private moment together before she was wheeled into surgery. Just before she went back, Jennifer got to come back for a brief visit before surgery.

At 7:30 A.M. Loraine was wheeled into surgery, Jennifer and I returned to the waiting area where our family had occupied one corner to ourselves. We did the usual thing everyone does while waiting on a loved on who is in surgery for something potentially bad. We made small talk, laughed some and essentially avoided the elephant in the room which was the worry each and everyone of us were feeling for our sweet Loraine. Then, at 11:30 A.M. Dr. Butler called my phone from the operating room to inform me the surgery was complete, Loraine had come through it well, but it turns out that postponing the beginning of reconstruction was a good thing after all. There were no surprises in the removal of the right breast which only had a couple of benign lumps. But the cancerous breast was a different story. As Dr. Butler was removing the breast tissue, it was actually falling apart, her breast tissue was disintegrating in the surgeons hands as she was removing it. And then upon examination of the lymph nodes, one was hardened which can only mean the cancer has spread into her lymph system. Hearing this was more than my mind could absorb in the moment. It took my breath away.

How do you comprehend your loving wife’s breast was falling apart during removal?

Hearing the cancer is in her lymph nodes was also one of the things we feared the most.

As Dr. Butler was telling me all of what she had found, I had to get up and leave where the family was sitting. I had to be alone for a moment, I had to regroup, refocus, get my shit together before going back to  tell the family. Once I had told them, the flood gates of my emotions opened and I had a good cry for a moment. I had to get that out of my system before I went back to see Loraine in the recovery room. Thankfully, I did have it out of my system as when I did go back to see her, she kept apologizing  for what she was doing to me. All I could do was reassure her that I still loved her. That because she is the only girl for me, that makes her perfect in my eyes. When you have spent over half your life with a loved one, it takes more than the loss of breasts to make you not still love them. My wife is a strong woman, a resilient woman, she is a trooper at heart As she was climbing further out of the effects of anesthesia, she was starting to cut up and joke as is her nature. Because her recovery stay was going to be in the hospital maternity ward, and children under 13 are not allowed there, the nurses bent the rules a little and we had our 7 year old grand daughter Brianna brought back to the recovery room so Loraine could see her.  This was the only time Brianna was able to see her during her hospital stay.

I had prepared myself for Loraine being in a mental funk after her mastectomy. It is a huge thing for a woman to lose her breasts, a part of of her identity as a woman. But as I have said, she is a very tough woman. They say, the job of being a military spouse is the toughest job in the armed forces. I believe I was fortunate, graced by God above to to be blessed with this strong woman who weathered my military career. This same strength of character was on full display for all to see yesterday as she was recovering overnight in the hospital. She interacted with her visitors all afternoon, while also taking numerous phone calls and answering text messages of well wishes from loved one, family and friends. Her high spirits made it hard to believe she had just underwent this major surgical procedure. Even with the discomfort of having her breasts removed, she still had an appetite and had been craving spaghetti all day. I ordered spaghetti with marinara with olives and mushrooms along with a side order of fried mozzarella cheese sticks from Minski’s Pizza. Minski’s is one of the best pizzeria’s in the Kansas City area. She loved this dinner and ate almost the entire meal with the exception of a few of the cheese sticks.

Last night was a rather sleepless night for both of us, but for different reasons. I slept on a uncomfortable couch in the room beside a window where you cold feel the winter cold emanating in from without. I just had a difficult time with comfort. Loraine on the other hand kept having to get up to urinate. She had been on a IV saline drip all day and was told that if she drank enough water and urinated enough, they could remove the IV. I’m pretty sure she did not need to double down on this challenge. The night nurse removed her IV and after that, it seemed she was getting up about every 30 to 45 minutes. And then, at about 2:30 A.M., she was on a video call with our youngest daughter Molly in Munich Germany. I just rolled back over and attempted to get back to sleep.

Loraine was discharged from the hospital today at about 1:00 P.M. Dr. Butler came in to visit us this morning, and to see how Loraine was doing. While there, she examined the incisions and drain tubes she had inserted and then proceeded to tell us both what she had found. There was nothing said, that she had not told me already, but she did have the time to answer our questions. The first was to affirm that now radiation and or chemotherapy treatments are on the table. We will know the course of action for sure once the pathology reports are complete next week. My other big question was in regards to the breast tissue falling apart. We will not know for sure if this is a result of the cancer, or simply because of her age and the fact she had been a smoker for several years up until 5 years ago. Never the less, we now have a better idea of what we are facing. There is something tangible that we can now begin planning our lives around now.  While none of this is good, it is now easier and less stressful than the last month or so has been where everything was still an unknown entity in the severity of the cancer. Now at least we have a better idea.

The nurse navigator came in a little afterwards and not only went over her discharge instructions, but she taught us both how to drain her four drainage tubes and went over what to do if they get clogged due to clotting blood. It is a pretty simple procedure, you have a squeeze tube where the blood and fluid collects which has to be periodically emptied and the contents must be measured and annotated on a log sheet with the date and time of the draining. It might be a good thing I am not squeamish.

Neither Loraine or myself had ever heard of having a nurse navigator for anything. Nurse Melissa is assigned to Loraine for the duration of her journey with breast cancer. Maybe this is something only provided by the St. Luke’s medical community, I do not know. It would be a beautiful thing if every woman who has had this diagnosis had a navigator to walk her through the long process to wellness. Melissa is an angel, she has been so helpful already, and today she not only  arrived with discharge instructions, she came with a small pillow and pretty bags for Loraine to carry her drainage reservoirs in along with a pretty hand knitted lap afghan her mother had made. Melissa told us that her mother is a breast cancer survivor and that she knits these little lap afghans for every patient that Melissa has under her care. This personal touch leaves us almost speechless. It is more than obvious Melissa is a nurse for all the right reasons. The compassion from this woman is far above and beyond her job requirements and we are most fortunate to have her in this difficult journey. She has answered all of our calls in a timely manner, and has kept to everything she has told us. This kind woman is a true godsend.

We have had a great deal of stress since Loraine’s diagnosis. We have had questions that cannot be answered yet, and we are keenly aware that there are going to be more trying times that we may have little to no control over. My good friend Robert had a talk with me the other night which helped me to regain my focus on what is important and that also made me refer back to a prayer that has carried me through most of my adult life. That prayer is the Serenity Prayer, you may have seen me refer to it on other articles I have authored. This prayer is as follows:

Lord, grant me the Serenity to accept that which I cannot change.

Give me the Courage to change that which I can.

Bless me with the Wisdom to know the difference.

How to Stop Eating Sugar

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The average American eats approximately 17 teaspoons of added sugar per day. This is a tragedy because added sugars in processed foods are known to increase inflammation in the body and are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and tooth decay. This single so-called food is largely responsible for much of the sickness and misery that our society is experiencing today. Here are ways to reduce your consumption of added sugars.

1-Don’t drink your calories! So many of the drinks that most people consume in a day are full of added sugars. Liquids don’t satisfy hunger like solid foods so these empty calories are just added calories with little to no satiety factor. Instead of sugar-laden liquids drink water, flavored water, herbal or fruit teas, coffee or other unsweetened teas. Alcohol is a sugar based drink.

2-Avoid the traditional grain and dairy based desserts that are so common in the United States. They have little to no nutritional value and make you feel tired and hungry. You just want more and more when you consume these concoctions. If you want something sweet at the end of a meal opt for fruit in it’s own juice or Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and some cinnamon. I use Saigon Cinnamon for a sweeter, more pungent cinnamon taste. You can also bake apples and pears for a truly sweet treat. Skip the extra calories and add the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that you will get when you sub fruit for pastry.

3-You know, we are condiment crazy! A single Tablespoon of ketchup can contain a teaspoon of sugar! I use Heinz No Sugar Added Ketchup. It has a great taste and my son has eaten this product since it hit the shelves and he won’t eat anything else. Now, he’s 26 but ever since his first taste of this product he has insisted on this ketchup. You might say that he’s a “Ketchup Connoisseur”. The boy knows his ketchup. It’s really good. Avoid sugar-filled condiments and try herbs, mustard, vinegar, pesto and a sugar-free mayonnaise instead. Dukes Mayonnaise has always been sugar-free and it’s delicious. If you don’t see it on the shelf, you can order it online. I think that almost all Dollar General’s and Walmart’s carry it though. Barbecue sauce is sugar-filled. I use Sugar Free G Hughes brand that is available at Walmart. It comes in three varieties and they’re all good!

4-Eat full-fat foods. Low fat versions of your favorite foods abound! The problem is, almost every time that a company reduces the fat in a product, they add sugar to make the product more palatable. Sometimes the low-fat version will even have more calories. Read labels and you will find this to be true.

5-Eat whole foods that you cook at home. Whole foods are foods that have not been processed or refined. They don’t have any additives whatsoever. A lot of Americans eat a diet that consists mainly of ultra-processed foods such as cereals, pizza, pies and soft drinks. 90% of the added sugars in American’s diets come from these ultra-processed foods. You can make an Italian red sauce at home with no added sugar but if you buy it in a jar, it may contain as much as 3 teaspoons of sugar per serving. If you eat canned fruits and vegetables always read the label and seek out a product with no added sugars.

6-Be mindful of so-called “healthy snacks”. I tried to work granola into my diet for years. If I make my own, I’m okay but it is nearly impossible to find a commercial granola that doesn’t contain added sugar in some form. Dried fruit is a nutritional landmine if you’re cutting sugar out of your diet. While it may not be added sugar, it is so sweet that it will cause an insulin spike and give you terrible cravings. I sometimes make my own granola with my favorite nuts and Saigon cinnamon and raw oats. A boiled egg makes a nutritious snack that will give you a pick-me-up in the afternoon. I always keep an apple in my bag. Paired with a handful of nuts, it will get me through until dinner. If you try to eat protein bars tread cautiously! Most are full of sugar. I like One Bars, they contain only 1 gram. Be very mindful of the pitfalls of “healthy” marketing. Quite often it is an illusion.

7- Breakfast is a minefield. Prepared cereals are loaded with sugars. Pancakes, waffles and muffins are sticky sweet. Opt instead for oatmeal, Greek yogurt and eggs with the meat of your choice. You can swap all that sugar for a good dose of protein if you’re mindful.

8-Read labels and watch for these words:

High fructose corn syrup

Cane sugar or juice

Maltose

Dextrose

Invert sugar

Rice syrup

Molasses

Caramel

Always remember that if an ingredient is closer to the beginning of the ingredient list, the greater percentage there is of it in the food. Read carefully!

9-Most people are not getting enough protein. Protein helps curb food cravings and has been proven to reduce appetite and hunger. Eat protein at every meal and snack.

10-Consider trying the natural sweetener, erythritol. It’s found in “Swerve” products. They have granulated, confectioner’s and brown sugar replacements. It doesn’t create cravings and has no calories. Most of our dessert recipes use this natural sweetener.

11-Don’t buy it. How many times have you lied to yourself or others and said that you were buying that bakery sheet cake “for the kids”? Don’t believe for a minute that anyone except you believes that. The “kids” don’t need it either. Leave the desserts in the store.

12- Catch some zzz’s. Sleep deprivation causes cravings. A tired brain craves energy and sugar is a source of concentrated energy.

13-Read about “glycation”, the way that sugar damages your skin. That in itself should be enough to make you stop.

Abandoning sugar was one of the best things that I have done for my health. I rarely go to the doctor and take absolutely no medication. I lift heavy weights and work full-time at a very stressful job. I am a nurse and it’s a demanding field. I don’t ever remember missing work due to sickness. While I make my health my number 1 priority in every way, abandoning sugar has made a difference in my life. If you have considered cutting it out of your diet, talk to your doctor and get started today. You’ll be glad that you did!

(1) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/14-ways-to-eat-less-sugar

Obesity in America

Finding balance in our lives.

It seems that in western society today, those of us who live healthy lives by eating nutritionally sound meals and who exercise on a regular basis are becoming a minority within our population. Everywhere you cast a glance, you will see full parking lots at restaurants, and long lines in fast food drive through’s. When we enter any type of store, whether it is our normal grocery store or a convenience store, we are bombarded by the sights of sugar and fat laden treats on every aisle or end cap. Our shopping experience has become a healthy and fit individuals nightmare while morphing into a fat person’s nirvana.

Being overweight nowadays has become the norm, rather than the exception. It is not uncommon to meet people who take great pride in their sedentary and gluttonous lifestyles. Yet, these same individuals will sing the sad song once their lifestyles have trashed their health and sense of well being. And then, there is the greatest of ironies where the individual with health problems as a result of laziness coupled with an unhealthy diet wants a doctor to just give them medicines to “fix” them while refusing to be compliant with the  doctors orders. I once knew someone who refused to quit smoking despite being on oxygen just because “no doctor was going to dictate how they live their life”. For a large percentage of obese people, cakes and cookies have the same effect in regards to this kind of convoluted thinking as the smoker on oxygen who refuses to quit.

If you are a thinking person, you really have to ask why the hell in America, with all of our prosperity, with all the amenities that life has to offer us here, why in the world has the health status in our population been declining over the last few decades. How in the world did we lose our collective minds when it comes to healthy living? Why have our public schools quit teaching health and biology? Why are so many of our population entirely ignorant of the value of consuming healthy diets? In the last forty years, rates for overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions, and now, in the richest country on the planet, we lead the world in the incidence of cardiovascular disease. According to data from the the most recent National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey, nearly two thirds of adults in America are over weight with a BMI of 25 or over, and over 30% of adults are obese with a BMI of 30 or greater. The incidence of this epidemic has spanned all racial and ethnic groups, all genders and age groups.

I find it sad that all these fat adults are also raising fat children. (I do not care if that pisses you off) The prevalence of fat children is growing by leaps and bounds, the US military is now having trouble recruiting 18 year old’s because they are too damned fat for military standards to even ship off to basic training. These children and young people are also suffering from ailments that used to be reserved for older adults whose lifestyles have caught up with them. Now we have children under 13 who have developed type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, respiratory problems along with psychological disorders such as depression. (1)  Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that in 2011 the average American consumed nearly one ton of food. That’s 1,996 pounds of food a year, and at least 1 in 4 people eat some type of fast food every day.

What are we doing about the obesity problem?

Well, we are not doing enough, and we are not taking the correct approach to obesity among our adults or children. As a society it might appear we are doing a lot to try to make an impact on the obesity epidemic, especially when you see all the bogus weight loss ads on all forms of media where they tell you that with their program or procedure, you can lose 30 pounds a month.  You have weight loss programs such as WW (formerly Weight Watchers) where they tell you that you can eat anything you want so long as your track it.

What do these programs and procedures have in common?

Their research and development know that there will be some people who will have their needs met, while a great many, if not a majority, are just going to be strung along as a perpetual income stream. The people who struggle year after year will never find success with their weight loss endeavors until they come to know their true nutritional needs, and become willing to change their lifestyles.

Does anyone really believe you can still eat bon bon’s while sitting on the couch and still lose weight if only you track them? Do you believe that fit points you earn by washing dishes or running your vacuum cleaner will justify reaching for a couple cookies out of the jar?

I have a bridge if you are in the market for one.

What is the government and medical approach to obesity?

Government and the medical community have initiated three responses to the growing obesity epidemic in America. These are:

Diets, Medical Interventions, and Exercise

Diets and medical interventions are the most popular interventions by far. Once again, we are saturated by media sources that advertise fad diets and medical procedures every day of the week. Yet, most of the people (about 95%)  who go these routes fail to keep their weight off.  Even with all the fad diets;

  • About three-fourths of the population have an eating pattern that is low in vegetables, fruits, dairy, and oils.
  • Most Americans exceed the recommendations for added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.

Diets and medical interventions are not the correct choices in combating the obesity epidemic. Rather, the most effective interventions are what people ignore to their own peril. People will go on a diet, hoping to just get it over with in a hurry in order to return to what got them fat in the first place. Instead of a diet, these people would get the most benefit out of incorporating a new lifestyle that emphasizes healthy eating and exercise as a daily routine. Exercise coupled with nutritionally sound dietary habits is the best thing you can do to improve the overall quality of your health and life. Even a brisk walk for 30 minutes per day will yield great results for you.

Why are diets and medical interventions the more popular choice than exercise for controlling body fat? 

Simply put, because they do not interfere with your life as much as making time for exercise. It has become simpler to pop a damn pill and to put the burden on others for your weight gain than it is to take personal responsibility and the time to do something meaningful about it. When you follow a diet and or pop a pill, you are placing the burden on another individual to blame when you fail.

You can follow a diet and fail to lose weight or to keep it off.

How many of you have done this and then blamed the diet as not being good?

By doing this you are shifting blame from yourself and placing it onto whoever came up with the diet scheme. You did not fail, the diet failed you, right?

You can get a stomach procedure or a prescription to the newest dietary drug. You might lose weight, stall out and then regain what you lost if not more so. The failure is on you, not the procedure or drug, if you approached these interventions without taking full personal responsibility for yourself.

This over simplifies getting fit and healthy to a degree, but really, at the end of the day you must do the opposite of that which got you fat in the first place.

Develop permanent healthy nutritional habits that fulfill all of your needs.

Quit eating sugar and simple carbs other than fruits which have a fiber component that regulates how the sugar enters your blood stream.

Quit eating processed foods of convenience that contain not only added sugar’s, but also contain unhealthy fats, high sodium and chemical preservatives.

Keep your body well hydrated.

Begin an exercise program with your doctor’s approval.  Take and dedicate at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week for exercise. If you can sit in drive through lanes for 30 minutes, you can easily dedicate the same time to your physical fitness.

Set achievable long term goals, and then create several short term goals in order to more easily get you to that long term goal.

Believe in yourself, you are more capable than you believe.

 

(1) Chris Carmichael, Food for Fitness

Disordered Eating

Eating disorders are a common topic of discussion among nutrition minded people but few of us have heard the term, “Disordered Eating”. It can be a precursor to a full-blown eating disorder which can be life-threatening. If you believe that you have an eating disorder, seek professional help immediately.

In a culture that is obsessed with appearances, many of us develop quirks and strange habits and rituals centered around food. Because we are blessed with more than enough in the United States, we are possibly the most likely to develop these habits. Symptoms of Disordered Eating include, but may not be limited to, (1)

1-Self-worth being based almost exclusively on the size, weight or shape of your body. While we all want to look good, our value is not determined by our bodies. If that was the case, an “evil dictator” that looked great would be more valuable than an average- looking person who is loved and appreciated by everyone who knows them. This is ridiculous. If you believe your worth to be equal to your looks, seek help today.

2-Body dysmorphia or a discrepancy or disturbance in the way you see your body. While this is common in full-blown eating disorders it may show up before they develop. It is a warning sign that you may be susceptible to a disorder. An example is “feeling fat” even though you are not.

3-Excessive exercise can be a symptom. David and I both work out hard. We make it a priority. It is an important aspect of our lives. The difference in good, hard, regular workouts and this symptom is regular programming. If you are doing a recognized program that has been designed by a trainer, you are okay if you have cleared this with  your doctor. You know that you are in trouble when you can’t stop with that. Excessive is when you go beyond normal. My normal, two years into heavy weight training is much more than what I started with but it is still a set program. When it is done, it is done and I don’t want to do more. If you can’t stop exercising, something is wrong.

4-Anxiety about certain foods or food groups can be a symptom. David has written extensively about the danger of fad diets. Often someone says to me, “I’m doing keto and I feel terrible.” Of course you do. It’s a fad diet. We advocate eating from all food groups and merely eliminating added sugars and simple carbs from the diet. We encourage you to eat good, healthy complex carbs. We do.

5-If you have such rigid rules concerning your nutrition that you sometimes find yourself unable to eat in a variety of situations, you may have a problem. I believe that you can almost always find something to eat in most situations. It may not be a full meal but you should be able to find something to eat when you are hungry. I can go into a convenience store and buy a pack of nuts. At a social event where I may not want most of the food served, there is almost always a good protein source available. I look for meat and cheese. There’s usually fruit or vegetables available. If you find yourself at Aunt Martha’s unable to eat a bite of anything, you may have a problem. While you might want to wait until you get home for the bulk of your calories, there should be something there to eat.

A key component of disordered eating is that, as David has said, we have abandoned the way that people used to eat. There was little to no anxiety about eating when we ate a well-rounded breakfast based on protein and complex carbs, had a sane protein based lunch and a dinner that was prepared at home that consisted of a protein, a starch such as a potato, and green and/or yellow vegetables. Some people added bread and even that was not a problem because there was no dessert most nights and never in the middle of the day. Desserts were for special occasions or at the very most, the weekend. There would be just enough for the family to have a modest serving or two and when it was gone, it was gone.

We couldn’t develop disordered eating under normal circumstances eating that way. Our eating was planned. It didn’t require a lot of decision-making. A problem today is that we eat randomly. There is no set pattern and every meal, or the daily graze of eating from awakening to slumber, is a spontaneous choice. Have you ever been setting at one meal thinking about what you would eat at your next? If we plan menu’s and shop according to those menus, we don’t think that way. It eases our national obsession with food. It also saves tons of money. If you plan your menus and buy your food from those menus, you remove spontaneous purchases. Your bank account will show the difference and so will your waistline.

 I recently read a statement on a weight loss social media app that said that “I hope this is the year that I find the discipline that I’ve been lacking.” If you develop good nutritional habits, planning your meals and shopping accordingly, you will need less discipline. Yesterday I got to work and thought “Oh boy, I don’t have enough food with me.” I eat a specific number of calories to fuel my workouts and don’t go without eating. I ate the two ounces of mixed nuts that I had with me and when hunger hit, I began to plunder through my backpack. Wow! Was I ever surprised! I had gotten ready for work at light speed, throwing stuff into my bag in a hurry. As it turned out, I had a lean ground beef patty, a baked sweet potato, an apple and full-fat Greek yogurt in my bag along with those nuts. I had plenty of food because I have developed good nutritional habits. Throwing that good nutrition into my backpack was something that I did on auto-pilot. While I never eat the nutritional bombs that are frequently laying around my nurses station, without good habits if you find yourself hungry at work those Krispy Kremes might look good. Plan you meals and you will have little to no wiggle room and are less likely to develop disordered eating because you will be adhering to known rules of good nutrition.

A problem that I have noticed is that sometimes people specialize in “cheating”. They try to see just how much they can get away with. Let me ask you, who are you cheating? I know a woman whose doctor put her on a reduced calorie regimen and the first night that she didn’t have access to double dessert she ordered a pizza. Her statement to the other people in the room was “The diet backfired!” She said these words with venom. She was quite pleased that she had managed to get those extra calories of an entire large pizza with the works. This is how we are. It’s so much easier to just do the right thing where our nutrition is concerned than to straddle the fence, waiting and wanting for someone to fix us. She went to the doctor and refused his advice. After consuming copious amounts of simple carbs, getting our fix and striking back in fury at the very idea that anyone would try to tell us what to eat, we wonder why we’re not ready for swimsuit season and try to wrangle a fad diet to get what we want. We feel worthless, believe ourselves to be unattractive and try to exercise ourselves to death. This is disordered eating. It would have been so much better to just listen to our doctor and our grandmothers in the first place and just eat a sensible amount of good nutritious food and work out responsibly.

The tools to navigate good nutrition and healthy habits are at your fingertips. This website is free. Use it. Get to know it. Talk to your doctor and get an approved exercise that you can do. Discuss nutrition with your doctor and then comply with what he says. We’re always here to assist you in any way that we can. Eat healthy, be healthy. Always remember, “You are what you eat.”

(1) https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/contemporary-psychoanalysis-in-action/201402/disordered-eating-or-eating-disorder-what-s-the

Simple Truth Chorizo Review

I like chorizo, and I really wanted to like this product. In the package, it looked like it might be a delicious treat, but the reality once cooked, was this plant based chorizo was a terrible disappointment to me.

The first chorizo link I prepared with eggs for Huevos Rancheros, or chorizo and scrambled eggs. I cut the chorizo into small  bite size pieces, then lightly browned them in olive oil. Once browned I poured my chili lime seasoned eggs into the pan with the chorizo pieces and scrambled them together until the eggs were done. I topped my Huevos Rancheros with habanero hot sauce after I plated it and then sat down to enjoy a tasty Mexican breakfast.

Well, my scrambled eggs were good, but the chorizo I found to be too bland, just lacking in flavor like an unfinished product. The chorizo only kind of tasted like the actual meat product, but it had a less than desirable texture along with a blandness that could not excite the taste buds. Considering the first ingredients are Filtered Water, Vital Wheat Gluten, Expeller Pressed Safflower Oil, Wheat Protein Isolate, the weird bland texture and and taste should have only been expected.

How about this for a product website disclaimer:

Actual product packaging and materials may contain additional and/or different ingredient, nutritional, or proper usage information than the information displayed on our website. 

I tried a second link which I browned and consumed with only an Ole brand Extreme Wellness High Fiber Tortilla. This was a worse decision than the Huevos Rancheros. I actually do enjoy some plant based meat substitutes. Some are pretty damn good, but the simple truth with Simple Truth Chorizo is this product was a complete failure to me, you might like it though.

Ingredients
Filtered Water, Vital Wheat Gluten, Expeller Pressed Safflower Oil, Wheat Protein Isolate, Apple Cider Vinegar, Yeast Extract, Paprika, Spices, Cane Sugar, Onions, Cultured Sugar, Vinegar, Garlic, Garlic Powder, Paprika Extract, Spice Extract.

With the exception of the small amount of cane sugar, I find nothing inherently wrong with the ingredients, but for the fact, they did not come together well enough to create a product that actually tasted good.

At $3.99  for a package of 4 links, this product is nutritionally sound for an inexpensive meal. It is high in protein and low in carbs. However, for a little more money, next time I have chorizo, I am going to go ahead and have an actual real deal, meat product.

Cleveland Kraut, Curry Kraut Review

This is the second sauerkraut product produced by Cleveland Kraut I have tried, and I must say, I am quickly becoming a huge fan of their products. I thought their Gnar Gnar Kraut was pretty darn good, but this Curry Kraut raises the bar in delicious flavor. The guys at Cleveland Kraut state;

“At Cleveland Kraut, we take pride in producing the best tasting and crunchiest sauerkraut in the world.”

If you are going to make a bold claim to be the best tasting and crunchiest in the world, you had best be able to back it up with a superb product. Cleveland Kraut is doing so, in the products I have tried. They have knocked it clean out of the park with this one. Home Run!

The same as they accomplished with their Gnar Gnar product, this kraut is a perfect blend of spices and peppers where you can distinctly taste each savory ingredient without it overpowering another. Some might find the curry and jalapenos to be a bit warm for their palate, although I found it to be quite mild. My disclaimer: I consume an entire bottle of habanero hot sauce about every week and a half to two weeks. You might use caution when first trying this product as I have a high tolerance for hot foods.

As a bonus, this kraut is not only delicious, it is a healthy probiotic food which is important to good digestive health. Sauerkraut contains enzymes that help he body to break down food into smaller, and more easily digestible molecules which in turn helps the body to absorb more nutrients which help to keep your body working in an optimum condition.

I paired this Curry Kraut with a 4 ounce pork chop I had pan seared in a little bit of olive oil. This pairing was quite excellent, but it would be possibly better on a good brat. This satisfying meal only yielded 220 calories with 23 grams protein, 4 grams of complex carbs, and 18 grams of fat. 13.5 grams of this fat was from heart healthy olive oil.

Ingredients:

Cabbage, Jalapeno Peppers, Carrots, Kosher Salt, Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander, Mustard Seed

Nutrition: