Blog

Kicking Sugar To The Curb

Being certified Nutrition and Wellness consultants, Brenda Sue and I are often approached by folks who want to know specifics on how they should go about losing weight. One of the first things we always tell these inquiring minds is to quit eating sugar. We then encounter a wide range of reactions from people appearing a little melancholy because they need to ditch and old friend, and then there are those who get downright pissed off and refuse to accept this as the best way to permemently lose body fat.

We totally understand the emotions attached to sugar consumption. Happy childhood memories tied to sweet treats, running down the ice cream man. Grandma’s home baked chocolate chip cookies etc… Yes, we get it, we have had our own addictions to the stuff too. But, we also know that sugar is horrible for our bodies, despite the pleasures it brings us once a few sweet morsels pass though our lips. Those tasty treats made with added simple sugars are poison in your bloodstream. Like a cigarette, it is not going to kill you today with the first nibble. Nope, it is a lifetime consumption habit which will eventually creep up and bite you in the rear when you are not looking. You will be ambling through life, fat, dumb and happy and feeling good, when one day you realize that besides being over weight, your blood pressure is now high, your cholesterol and triglycerides have elevated to unhealthy levels, and your liver and kidney functions are not withn their normal ranges. And you can bet your lunch, most often these symptoms are going to be a direct result of a poor diet, high in low nutrient calories from your sugar habit.

Of course we need some sugar in our diets, only we should get them through complex carbohydrates rather than simple refined sugars. The only caveat to simple sugars is getting them through fruit where the fiber content slows the absorption of sugar into your blood stream, The fiber in fruit allows these simple sugars to be absorbed much the same as complex carbohydrates. We need a healthy amount of carbohydrates in order for our bodies, and our brains in particular, to operate properly. The problem is most people are consuming far too many carbs and sugar, and they are not even aware of the problem. It truly is absurd when you see adults drinking several servings of sugar laden soda pop every day of their lives while also eating lots of sweet treats while remaining blissfully unaware of the damage they are doing within their bodies.

In the world of today, with all of the convenience foods available, it becomes difficult for some to avoid added sugars. I get this, but I also know for certainty, it is not impossible to avoid added sugar. I live my life totally free of added sugars and keep my carbohydrate intake low too. Know that when we are talking about added sugars, we are not only referring to instances where you might eat cookies or stir a few spoons of sugar into a glass of tea. No, we are also talking about processed foods where simple sugars have been added for taste. We tell people to not only quit sugar but to also quit consuming processed foods as so many are full of empty calories derived from sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, agave syrup, and date syrup to name a few. Yes, all of this garbage is bad for you and there is really no good reason to ever consume any of it.

Reasons to quit sugar:

  1. You will immediately begin to burn body fat. The reality is once you quit sugar and processed foods, you will have a difficult time eating enough healthy, whole foods in order to meet the calories your body requires based on your basal metabolic rate. With sugary foods, exceeding your needs is quite simple. You can exceed your daily caloric needs in only one trip through a fast food restaurant drive through. Because your body will not have any of this excess sugar to use for energy, it will grab onto and burn your stored fat. Weight loss truly is a matter of calories consumed verses calories burned, unless you have a health condition such as hypothyroidism where your thyroid does not properly produce hormones. There are a few other medical reasons why some can not lose weight efficiently, but even with these problems, it is not always impossible to do so when you eat healthy foods.
  2. Your hunger cravings will go away. Yes, you will still get hungry, but those awful cravings that are sometimes referred to as being “hangry” will no longer be there to ruin your day. If you consume complex carbohydrates and plenty of fiber, your body will receive a steady dose of energy and your fuel tank will never be empty enough to make you insane with cravings. Even after fasting for lets say 16 hours, you will not feel so ravenous that you could clean out the entire pantry in one sitting.
  3. You will feel far more energetic. Your need for naps might all but disappear once you quit sugar. You will find you need fewer cups of coffee or energy drinks to get through the day. By only consuming complex carbohydrates, you wll keep your body and brain more fully fueled all day long. You will notice a huge decline in getting mental fog and malaise in general. By making wise food choices, you will feel like a new person with all of your new found energy.
  4. Your big old round tummy is going to shrink. You will notice your belly becoming flatter almost right away as simple sugars not only cause you to create body fat, they also cause you to retain water because of inflammation throughout your body. Your belly also begins to slim because your gut’s unhealthy microbes will have less sugar to munch on themselves. Unhealthy gut microbes eating the sugars you eat, cause your belly to bloat which makes it appear even larger than it really needs to. In recent years, there has been an increase in “bad” belly biome bacteria called Firmicutes. This has resulted in a quite noticeable difference in the appearance of Americans from leaner years of the past to the fat years of the 2000’s.
  5. Your risk of type 2 diabetes is going to be greatly reduced. Eating too many simple sugars can wreak havok in your system. This can happen in the short and long term. The more simple refined sugars you consume, the more insulin your pancreas produces, which will eventually lead to insulin resistance, weight gain, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. This is not rocket science, your body will be many times healthier by quitting sugar.
  6. Your muscles will become stronger. As you age, it becomes even more imperative to quit sugar as it has been linked to a condition called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is simply age related loss of muscle mass. This happens because added sugar blocks the body’s ability to synthesize protein into muscle. By quitting sugar, you can keep your muscles younger and stronger, that same lean muscle mass will also help to keep your metabolism revved up in order to more efficiently burn body fat.
  7. Your mental outlook is going to improve by quitting sugar. If you do not like looking like a jelly donut, if this gets you down, you are bound to have an increased level of self esteem and confidence once you have quit sugar and have an improved physical appearance.

Be sure to read the labels of foods you buy in order to avoid added sugars, Remember this, if you are regularly consuming foods with added sugar, you have given up all control over how much sugar you consume.

Make the wise choice today. Take complete control of your life and live to your fullest and healthiest. Be the best you that you can be each day.

You can do it, if only you first try…

Advertisements

How To Navigate Davids Way Blog

Beginning

David began this blog last May and there have been many changes since then. We frequently tell you how to use certain functions of the blog but it bears repeating for our new Followers and possibly some of you who haven’t quite gotten the feel of it yet.

Before we begin the tour of the “Menu” button, I want you to understand that you can go to the “Search” box at the end of any article and search for anything on your mind:

You can enter “Brownies”, “Strength Training”, “Stress”… whatever word comes to mind and if that word is anywhere in an article on the blog, those articles will pop up. There’s more than one brownie recipe, by the way… 🙂

This is the “Menu” button on the Home Page. Just tap or click that to open up to this:

Notice the first entry, “Calorie Counter Pro”:

 

Enter your information to receive a download, or possibly an email, or both to give you the number of calories that you need to lose, or gain, 1-2#/week. I strongly encourage you to go for 1#/week. This is a lifestyle. There is no hurry. If you go for 1# the program will be easier to assimilate.

At the end of the “Calorie Counter Pro” you will find a chart that tells you how many calories you burn for specific activities. This list is expansive and and includes “Gym Activities”, “Outdoor Activities”, “Home and Daily Life Activities” and “Home Repair”. David worked a long time to give you a tool to estimate your calorie burn. Take advantage of this resource. Sometimes we struggle with our weight because we over- estimate the calories that we burn.

Next, let’s look at the “Forum” tab:

This is where you can start a discussion or contribute to a discussion. Keep it on the topic of health and wellness and keep it family friendly. David’s Way is a safe place for everyone. Just tap or click the highlighted “First Forum” phrase under “Example Category”.

After you tap or click “First Forum”, here’s what you see:

Here you can tap or click any of the topics and comment or you can tap or click the “New Topic” button at the top right corner and start a discussion of your own.

We also have the “Contact” function where you can contact us directly:

We will reply, most likely both of us. You will have the unique advantage of both a male and female perspective and we are both Certified Nutrition/Wellness Consultants.

If you tap the “Home” button you will find our purpose for bring here. It is our Mission Statement. You will also be able to view our Certification.

If you tap “Blog” you will open up to the most recent blog post, skipping the “Home” page.

There’s a comprehensive “Calories and Macronutrients” chart coming! It will include hundreds of common foods. This chart will be a continual work in progress as more foods are added including many restaurant foods.

Soon, we will begin online consultation.

I hope this helps you navigate David’s Way. We put our hearts into the pages of this blog in the hope of changing the world to be a healthier place. Too many people die at their own hands by the choices that they make every day. These choices can be changed. It’s up to us, you and I, as individuals and as a health oriented group of thinkers who continually search for ways to better our lives. Join us. You will be glad you did. ;-*

 

 

 

 

 

Diabetes, Obesity and Life Choices

In America, in this modern world where we have all the information in the world contained within the phone held in our hand, we as a nation have become nutritionally ignorant. It is now the norm for American citizens to be overweight and almost all adults will eventually have to take prescribed medications for heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, or blood pressure. Today, the number of obese Americans actually outnumber those who smoke, use illegal drugs, or suffer from other ailments.

Here is a hard truth for you, obesity is a personal choice made by the individual. We choose what we consume. We choose to eat high carbohydrate foods full of sugar and preservatives. We choose fast foods of convenience rather than preparing a healthy meal at home. We choose to mindlessly eat in front of the television over sitting as a family at the dining room table. The choices we make with food creates diseases and fuels out of control medical costs. This is a scientific fact that can not be argued with any intelligence. Are you aware that even just being five extra pounds of body fat on a normal size body frame can lead to type 2 diabetes? Sadly, diabetes is now beginning to explode worldwide as populations in all corners of the globe are now being exposed to processed foods in the worlds food supply,

Around the world, most physicians are attempting to solve obesity related ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood pressure with medications and invasive medical procedures. The absurdity of this is, these maladies come from the choices we make with food. It is a fact that people who choose to eat healthy and exercise in order to keep their body fat down to healthy levels almost never get diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or the related ailments that come from these conditions. If you make the choice to eat healthy and exercise your body, you are much more likely to live a healthy life, physically, mentally and financially. Diabetes and obesity is taking a huge financial toll on America. Our choices to eat food products that are high in calories and low in nutrition may eventually bankrupt us as a nation. The average type 2 diabetic incurs about $6,650 a year in health care expenses directly related to diabetes. More than half of Americans can expect to be diabetic or prediabetic by the year 2020 which is soon to be here. Oddly, a lot of folks, despite their poor nutrition habits and obesity are totally unaware that they are either prediabetic or have it fully.

With our poor choices of nutrition, eating what is quick, cheap and makes us feel good, we as a nation are eating ourselves into premature graves. Our lack of good nutritional habits are at the core of our health care crisis If you or someone you love is obese and or diabetic these medical complications can and should be expected if you never take the initiative to clean up your diet and to begin exercising your body:

  • Heart disease-Death from heart disease and risk for stroke is three times higher for diabetics.
  • High blood pressure-75% of diabetics have high blood pressure (130/180 or higher)
  • Blindness-Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among adults.
  • Kidney disease-Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
  • Nervous system disease-The majority of diabetics develop nervous system impairment such as reduced feeling in the feet, impaired digestion, and erectile dysfunction.
  • Amputations-Diabetes is the leading cause of limb amputations.
  • Cancer-Diabetes increases the risk of cancer, including a 30% increase in colorectal cancer.

If you are obese and are neither diabetic or prediabetic, do not get a false sense of confidence that you can continue to live with an unhealthy diet. You really are not any safer from health risks than the diabetic and here is why. If you are significantly overweight, with an excess of fifty pounds of body fat, your body is going to require huge loads of insulin from the pancreas, up to ten times more that of people of a healthy body fat percentage. Some folks have a large pancreas beta cell capacity, so they can produce insulin levels high enough to not become diabetic. These people have insulin levels high enough to be a strong predictor of heart attack risk and a shorter life span. Whether obese folks are diabetic or not, their high insulin levels are dangerous. You physician can better predict a heart attack from your insulin levels than they can from your cholesterol levels. It is not uncommon for people to end up on a gurney in a hospital emergency room fighting for their very life as a result of a heart attack when they learn their blood sugar levels are elevated. These heart attack victims never had any idea they were diabetic as their first indication came from a heart attack as a result of having high insulin levels for far too many years.

Every day you can begin the day by making the personal choice to live healthy by consuming a diet that is conducive to low body fat levels and by beginning some form of exercise with your doctor’s approval. You can make this choice. Choosing a healthy life may seem difficult at first, but it will become easier as you develop a new and improved lifestyle.

You can also wake up and make the choice to eat poorly and to not move your body except to get your butt up off the couch to waddle into the kitchen for another jelly donut. You can make the choice to live easy in the moment, but here is a dose of reality for you. This choice to live easy in the moment is going to cost you dearly later in life when you suffer the hardships which arise from unhealthy life habits.

It is your life and your choice to make in how you are going to live it. Choose your path intelligently. If you choose to take the path of least resistance, be prepared for the hardships which are sure to come. Choose wisely.

Choose Your Path

Wise Words

My Grandmother used to say, “People do what they want to do.” At first hearing, this bothered me, but over time I realized that this is true. It’s not to say that we don’t have to do things that we don’t want to do or that our days are a sequence of fun choices. It means that when we decide the events of the day, how we spend our time, in the end, we do what we want to do, with rare exception. If we have to choose between regular high carb pancakes, loaded with sugar and syrup for breakfast, or a wiser choice, steak and eggs, in the end we will choose what we want. We will choose lethargy or energy. We need to consider our choices.

Feeling It

Decision making is based partially on emotion. (1) Without emotion, we could not make a decision. We have to “feel” it. The amygdala, (the seat of our most primitive emotions) and the orbitofrontal cortex are critical to decision making. This enables us to make decisions based on previous experiences. Without this emotional element we would not be able to apply lessons learned to the present. How did that “Super Sized Death By Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae” make you feel the last time you ate it? Did you learn anything?

Energy Required

Decision making has been shown to exhaust us mentally. The University of Minnesota did a study that demonstrated that after making decisions, participants performed at a lower level in arithmetic and other college class material. Making a quality decision uses energy and sometimes we want to take the “easy” way out and just go with the flow but if we do that too often, then our lives are formed by random chance and not by our heart’s desire. Choose what you want and make the decisions to get you there.

Social Influence

We are influenced by what we believe to be social norms because we are using those beliefs as an anchor. It’s been noted that when we believe that a lower performance level is the social norm, we will “dumb down” our decision to fit that belief. Take care to associate with people who have the lives and standards that you want in your life because odds are, you will make decisions to be like them.

Be Careful of the Groups

Group decision making is inferior to individual decision making. In a group, the most social individual will usually exert the most influence. This is not necessarily the same as the one with the best information. Over time, the quality information of the individual thinkers will give way to the collective group “think tank”, which means that the people who are the most conformist in the group will give the group direction. Think for yourself. You have to live with your decisions.

Decide Quickly

Taking too much time to make a decision decreases the confidence of that decision. As confidence decreases, we are more likely to make a poor decision. You know what to do to be healthy. Make that decision. Run with it. Don’t ponder it. As Nike says, “Just Do It.”

Now, do you really want to be healthy? Make the decision. Implement the plan and live it. You will be so glad that you did.

(1) https://www.medicaldaily.com/science-decision-making-5-surprising-ways-we-make-life-choices-337546

Turkey Chili

This delicious turkey chili recipe is quite simple to prepare, yet tastes like it might have been crafted by a gourmet cook. You can mix and match the flavors of this chili by using black beans instead of pinto beans or ground beef, or even ground pork instead of ground turkey. That is the beauty of cooking, with a little imagination you can make any recipe truly one of your own.

This recipe serves 10

279 calories

21g total carbs, 5.2g dietary fiber for 15.8 net grams of carbs

9g fat

27.9g protein

  • 2 1/2 lbs ground turkey
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) pinto beans, undrained
  • 14 oz chicken broth
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cans (4.5 oz each) diced green chile peppers, undrained
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Cook ground turkey in a skillet over medium high heat, stirring frequently until no longer pink. Drain.
  2. Mix turkey, onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, beans, garlic, broth and chile peppers in a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker. Add in remaining ingredients and stir well.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat 7 to 8 hours, or until chili is thickened and bubbling. Chili will hold on low heat setting for up to 4 hours. If chili becomes too thick while holding, stir in up to a 1/2 cup hot water to thin.

Low Carb Sausage and Egg Breakfast Cups

Calories for TWO 108
Protein. 9.5 grams
Carbohydrates. 0.5 grams
Fat 11 grams

1# ground sausage, any type

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

1/4 t. garlic powder

1/4 t. Onion powder

1/4 t. Paprika

1/4 t. Dried parsley

6 eggs

Mix sausage, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and dried parsley in a bowl until well combined. Put cupcake liners into muffin wells and start to form shells with the sausage mix. Cover the sides and leave room in the middle for the eggs.In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, salt, and pepper. Pour egg mixture into the middle of each cup. Top with shredded cheese, tomatoes, spinach or toppings of your choice. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes…Enjoy! ;-*

Nutrition, Putting Together The Piece’s

So, today is the big day, the one where you decided enough is enough and you are finally going to do something about your obesity. But with all the competing diet plans available, you are having a difficult time making up your mind which one is going to suit your personal needs best.

Decisions, decisions…perusing the internet to find the best program is enough to overload the mind.

Overwhelming to the point you might just decide to remain fat.

Weight Watchers, Keto, Whole 30, Cabbage Soup, Jenny Craig, Nutri System, Vegetarian and Veganism, Pineapple and Cotton Balls,

and on and on…

Of course I would like for you to follow my methodology, but no matter which direction you choose to lose weight, it is imperative that your choice is variable enough to provide you with all the macronutrients, vitamins and minerals your body requires for good health. You also must remain vigilant to consume enough calories in order to not lose too much lean muscle as you are cutting unhealhty body fat. Herein lies the problem with many weight loss programs, you may very well find yourself with too large a caloric deficit with foods that do not provide all of your nutritional needs.

Too often, people cut their calories far too drastically when they decide to lose weight. Calories burned verses calories consumed, right? The answer is both yes and no in this regard. While it is a given that in order to lose weight you must reduce your calorie consumption in order to do so, far too many reduce their daily caloric intake to unhealthy levels. Caloric levels that really should only be done in extreme circumstances and only under a doctors supervision. When you cut your calories too far, you will first lose a lot of water weight before losing fat along with much needed lean muscle mass. As you lose muscle mass, your metabolism is going to slow down. It is important that you not cut calories too far, and that you consume enough protein in order to maintain your lean muscle. If you lose muscle along with your body fat, and then regain those lost pounds but only through fat, you have a new problem. That problem is that, even if your body weight is back to where it was before you lost weight, your body fat percentage is now going to be higher than it was before. Each time you repeat this cycle, your metabolism is going to slow down as your body fat percentages rises. You might get to your goal weight and maintain it, but if you become what is referred to as “skinny fat’ your slower metabolism is going to make it quite easy for the weight to return. Skinny fat is no more healthy or attractive than just being obese fat. You have to choose to lose weight for your healthy body fat percentage and not just to achieve a random number you would like to see on your bathroom scale. You know this number that you want to see when you step on the bathroom scale…despite being over 35 years old, you want to weigh what you did as a junior highschool cheerleader or some other random idea of perfection.

Other problems associated with consuming too few calories:

  • Loss of nutrients. On a diet too low in calories, there is a good chance that you will not be consuming enough variety of foods in order to recieve enough nutrients for good health. While supplementation may be of limited benefit, you are better off increasing your food intake to get these nutrients naturally.
  • Gallstones can be a side effect of a diet too low in calories. When you lose weight too quickly, your liver excretes extra cholesterol which leads to too much cholesterol in the bile, which can lead to gallstones.
  • Nausea can become an issue because you are not receiving enough nutrients, and very little by way of carbohydrates.
  • Fatigue becomes a problem as your blood sugar drops which causes your energy levels to plummet. Your body and brain requires calories to function properly. If you cut your calories too low, it can become difficult to maintain clear mental focus.
  • Headaches are an issue when your blood sugar levels drop and creates a deficit of glucose in your bloodstream.
  • Low calorie diets can cause constipation if you are not consuming enough fiber.
  • Menstrual cycles can be affected by drastic loss of weight. A low calorie diet can wreak havoc with your hormonal balance.

Now, to address other health and nutrition issues that arise from some of these fad diets besides what can come from too low of a calorie intake. Here is a dilemma and scenario that can be found on any given day on any given social media sight that is related to weight loss, this scenario is quite prevalent on Weight Watcher’s social media Connect.; Joey Bagofdonuts has been living on pizza, fast food, soda pop and beer for a number of years and makes an intelligent decision that he needs to get his act together, clean up his diet and lose weight. Joey is 70 to 100 pounds overweight, has type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and as a result of his obesity, suffers metabolic syndrome.

Mr Bagofdonuts is no dummy, he has done fairly well for himself despite letting his health suffer through unhealthy dietary habits. He thinks back on words from his grandma about eating his veggies. He knows from classes back in his school days that our bodies need the nutrients from fruits and vegetables, and he is correct in this. Joey decides correctly that his weight and health problems are a direct result of too many cheeseburgers, fries and milk shakes at his local McGreasyburger along with all of those high sodium content meats and cheeses he has had piled atop his weekly pizza’s. After studying different weight loss programs, Joey decides to make a 180 degree change in his life for the better and chooses to become a Vegan. Afterall, what could be healthier than living on fruits and vegetables, they are good for you with all of their vitamins and minerals and very low fat and cholesterol contents. I am not going to knock the Vegan way of eating, but if you ever decide to take this route, you had damn well better understand your nutritional needs and how to make sure they are all fulfilled. Understanding nutrition as a Vegan or vegetarian becomes even more critical if you are going to make your children take on this dietary lifestyle too. If you do not know nutrition, you and your children will only lose some pounds at best. At worst, you can cause yourself serious health issues that may or may not present immediately. You could cause yourself neurological problems and or pernicious anemia through this lifestyle.(1)

You must consume protein in enough variety in order to ensure that you take in all 9 essential amino acids in order for your body to maintain and support its cells and tissues. Your body does not store these essential amino acids which is why you require them in your daily diet. If essential amino acids are missing from your foods, your body’s first response is to break down muscle tissue to access these missing amino’s in order to use them elsewhere in your body. Muscle wasting is the first symptom of an amino deficiency followed by a decreased immune response, weakness and fatigue, changes to your hair and skin followed by even a mental degradation. (2)

Vitamin B12 deficiency can come from a lack of animal products in your diet. There are no plant resources for this vitamin. You will need to take a B12 supplement in order to avoid a deficiency which can cause the neurological problems along with pernicious anemia. (1)

While it is true that vegetarians get the same amount of iron as meat eaters, the iron in meat is more readily absorbed over those in plants, the non-heme variety of iron. Absorption of non-heme iron is enanced by Vitamin C and other acids found in fruits and vegetables. However, it can be inhibited by the phytic acid in whole grains, lentils, seeds and nuts. (1)

You need Omega 3 fatty acids. Diets which are low in fish and eggs are low in EPA and DHA. Or body’s can convert ALA in plant foods to EPA and DHA, but not efficiently. You can get DHA from algae supplements which increase blood levels of DHA as well as EPA through a process called retroversion. DHA fortified breakfast bars and soy milks are available to help with this.Dietary guidelines call for 1.10 grams per day of ALA for women, but for those who consume little to no EPA should get more than that. Good ALA sources include flaxseed, walnuts, canola oils, and soy. (1)

Note about soy and quinoa; These are the only plant sources that are a complete protein which provides you with the full amino acid profile required for good health.

Here are some great resources if you are, or are considering vegetarian or veganism;

American Dietetic Association (www.eatright.org)

Vegetarian Resource (www.vrg.org)

Vegetarian Society of The United Kingdom (www.vegsoc.org)

Rapid weight loss is not good, and is rarely permanent. A healthy weight loss rate is only 1 to 2 pounds per week maximum. One pound of fat is 3500 calories. If you want to lose one pound of fat per week, then you simply reduce your calories by 500 per day to equal 3500 per week. Bear in mind that you did not become overweight in a short amount of time, getting back to a healthy weight may take a while if you do so in a healthy and sustainable manner.

(1) www.health.harvard.edu.

(2) www.healthyeating.sfgate.com

Defy The Odds

Even if you had a rocky beginning,

You can still grow tall.

Even if your path is hard,

You can tackle it with your all.

Even if there are days that are less than fun,

You can persevere and rise to the sun.

 

Nature has a way of illustrating life lessons simply by doing. The tree pictured here never considered the difficulty that it was faced with in it’s quest for life. It did all the right things. It grew. When it hit a rock, it just grew in another direction, never giving any consideration to giving up. It didn’t find the support it needed on this side, so it developed a massive root system on the other side. It knew exactly what it had to do to live a healthy life. It had to have sun so it worked hard to develop into a strong, healthy structure that would take it to everything that it needs for it’s best life. It never wavered just because it’s path was not easy and now, standing tall, it has become everything a tree should be. It gives shade and produces those wonderful phytochemicals that are known to be medicinal when we walk under trees. It has not only provided life for itself by “trusting the process” (David), it provides healing to those around it.

If you have ever felt like you didn’t get a fair shake at life, a rocky beginning, a difficult path, take a lesson from this tree. We have all experienced setbacks and tragedies. We have all faced problems that seemed unmovable. We have all wanted to give up. This experience is common to mankind. It’s what we do with it that counts.

Will you stop short of your destiny and die in the ground, cold and alone? Or will you push hard? Will you decide that it’s just too hard, that it’s easier to wither on the vine than to develop into the majestic being that every one of us is meant to be or will you reach for the sun? Will you exchange your life force for the temporary comfort of ease or will you just keep going in the hard, dark times in order to become a brilliant example of what a person can be and nurture yourself and those around you? You have the key to life in you. It’s your decisions. There are grand, sweeping tragedies that befall us that we don’t seem to have any control over. I’m not talking about those things. They are few, but real and oh, so sad, but most of our life is determined by our decisions. We create ourselves. Push. Stretch. Reach. Fall down and cry, but get up. All that matters is that you keep getting up. Fulfill your potential and never look back. Those rocks don’t mean a thing, except that they made you stronger.

Healthy Life for the Long Haul

The Beginning

There is an exhilaration in beginning a health initiative. We feel like we have attained our goal because we have decided to go for the goal. We tend to buy all of the books and equipment, join all the right support groups and buy the right work-out clothes, and let’s not forget the shoes. Then we discover that in order to truly arrive at our goal, we must be in it for the long haul.

Motive

Our goal is a lifetime of health and vitality, a long term goal, so our initiative must also be long term. This is something that we will do from now on. That’s why it’s important to discover what really works and find a way for it to become our lifestyle. It’s important to find a way to make healthy changes pleasant because we will naturally want to incorporate them into our lives if they are. Quite often, our motivation for the changes is enough to create the drive to stick with them because anything that’s motivating creates pleasure and lights up the dopamine circuit in our brain. Consider your motives. They are very important. How do they make you feel, energized or drained? If you are energized by your motives, your success will come easier. That’s why we can’t be bullied or coerced into weight loss or working out. The bully behavior drains us and creates stress, the opposite of what we want.

Obstacles

When our motivation is right and the prefrontal cortex of our brain is lit up with dopamine, we will automatically remember that feeling on tough days. When difficulties arise that could derail us, we will find it easier to stay on track by pushing harder to get that feeling again. (1) That’s not to say that some days won’t be extremely difficult or that we will never get off track. It’s saying that in the long run, we will naturally gravitate back to that set point of pleasure that we know is there. Regardless of the choices that we are confronted with, we will always know what will provide that feeling of success that comes from staying committed to our decision to be healthy.

Excellence

Howard Gardner wrote a book called “Good Work” that discusses the excellence of work that combines our best talents, energies and passions to perform work that is aligned with a sense of purpose, meaning and our direction in life. (1) This is a great description of a commitment to our health. When we pursue it with everything in us, it becomes an act of excellence. As we delve deeper into the healthy lifestyle, we are continually rewarded with the benefits of a healthy body which becomes it’s own reward.

What Creates Motivation?

David McClelland, a major theorist of motivation has proposed three main motivators for people. (1)

1- The need for power, one type being a heartless, selfish need but the other being a desire to help people. Setting a healthy example and spreading this lifestyle to help people live a healthy life is very rewarding.

2-The need to affiliate; taking pleasure in being with people and working towards a common goal. The healthy lifestyle provides a unique experience in this respect because together we are raging against the onslaught of a very unhealthy culture in most cases. We have a common cause.

3-The need for achievement, reaching toward a meaningful goal. Nothing gives us the feeling of achievement as much as successfully achieving our health goals. With optimum health, we are unstoppable.

Your Best Self

It’s necessary to stop short of perfectionism because it will take the joy out of everything. As David says, “Be the best that YOU can be. Don’t compare yourself to others.” If we fall into the trap of perfectionism, all we will do is work towards goals. We will never feel that we have attained them and always feel like we’re falling short. By giving our healthy lifestyle our best efforts and reveling in the results, whatever they are, we will create a life of joy.

Don’t Quit

When the internet was young, there was a young techie who really didn’t get much attention. He was devoted to continually improving his performance and even mastered a special math to develop his product. There was another very successful and popular business that seemed to be the up and coming thing but this young techie went his own way, determined to develop his unique product. People thought that his risk was huge, but he had confidence that he was doing what he should do even though it was not like anybody else. The company was called “Google” and the techie was Sergei Brin.

Living Positive

It is now Spring and the earth is once again coming back to life. New Years resolutions have been made and many of these have already been forgotten. Be your own best friend and fulfill those promises you made to yourself. Bring about changes to live a healthier life, find something beautiful about every day, the power is within you.

If you want to make positive changes in your life:

Don’t sit on the couch and wait for it. Go out. Make a change.

Smile more. Be excited. Do new things.

Throw away what you have been cluttering.

Do not follow negative people on social media.

Go to bed early, get up early.

Be fierce. Do not gossip. Show more gratitude.

Do things that challenge you.

Be brave

Author Unknown

It is a new season and on behalf of Brenda Sue and myself, I want to thank each and every one of our readers from around the world for your kind support. We have now been read in 65 countries in just under one year. Friends, we want to be the best all round source of nutrition and fitness blog you can find, and have many projects in work to get us there.

We have a search function where you can search out topics with key nutrition or fitness words.

We have a calorie calculator where you can enter your personal information and learn exactly how many calories per day you need to achieve your weight management goals.

We have a new forum we would love to see grow. You can jump into a current topic or create a topic of your own. All that we ask is it remain respectful to all and please avoid political or religious topics. Not that we are not interested in either, it is just that they can become too divisive. Lets find common ground no matter our ages, genders, religions, political affiliations, or nationalities. We truly welcome all no matter who you are.

We have a chart where you can get calories burned for different exercises and activities. This chart is in work still with vast improvements coming, yet is still good for getting an estimate of how many calories you might burn for multiple activities.

I am in work on a calorie chart where you will be able to look up the calories of foods along with their macronutrients. The chart will be up soon and will contain well over 500 food and drink items. This chart will be added to on a consistent basis to eventually include the nutrition information even for popular restaurant menu items.

We work very hard to bring you the best information and try to address every aspect of good nutrition and fitness. If there is a topic we have not covered yet, and you would like to see, then by all means, contact us through email. The link to do this is in our main menu.

Again, we deeply appreciate all of our readers. It is humbling to have so many loyal followers, we aim to please.

David