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Category: Health

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

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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

This Is The Time

 

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As a nurse, I constantly witness profound complacency where people’s health is concerned. Regardless of their health problems, regardless of what their blood labs are telling them, they continue on their merry way into the abyss. I believe that they think that they will just “enjoy” their lives until they get sick and then the doctor can fix them. Sometimes, I believe they think that they will continue on with their bad habits until they get sick and then THEY will fix it. The problem with both of these ideas is simply that we truly are wondrously made. We’re tough. If we abuse our bodies to the point of illness, it may be that NOBODY can fix it. Did you know that there is only X amount of insulin that will work for you once you develop diabetes? It’s true. You cannot “just take a little more” indefinitely. It will quit working and when it does, you die. While this is over-simplified, it’s true. Obesity places a massive burden on the circulatory system. While choosing to lose weight at any time is good, heart disease may develop under the radar and go unnoticed until you develop serious complications and wake up in the ER. A stroke brought about by high blood pressure because you haven’t managed your weight and stress properly can kill you quickly, way before you can “fix it”. Complacency kills. If you want to be healthy, get up and do something about it today.

It is no longer rare for Type 2 diabetes to develop in the teen years and younger, now it is actually common for it to develop between 19 and 40 years of age. Children are developing Type 2 diabetes at an alarming rate. I have witnessed a phenomenon among our young people. There are many who seem to be rebelling against anything healthy. I believe that there has been some neglect in our society in teaching health to our young. When I was a child we had a course named “Health”. It was a part of our curriculum that started in grammar school and ran through junior high. It was a mandatory. Nowadays, there is an elective called “Health” that is usually taken for one year. The course that we had was not sex education. It was a course that taught the basics about staying healthy. It taught us to eat well-balanced meals, sleep eight hours per night and get some exercise. It taught us to bathe and brush our teeth and other basic life skills. Why did this course become an elective? I believe that we are seeing the result of this in our young people today. Health has become an elective, a mere suggestion.

Complacency is psychological inertia, you know, “a body at rest (or in motion) tends to remain at rest (or in motion). A more secular definition is “a tendency to do nothing”. The problem is, when we just go along with the natural tendency to do what is the easiest, we deteriorate. Breaking out of inertia requires energy and most of us avoid that. Our bodies are finely tuned machines that accomplish profound biological processes at incredible speeds to keep us alive and we must treat them like the high-performance machines that they are or they will be scrapped. There are ways to break this cycle.

1-Accept that today is a new beginning. Do not wallow in past failures. They are irrelevant. The only difference in a success and a failure is that the success got up and started over one more time.

2- Embrace the importance of being healthy. This is your life that we’re talking about here. It’s not an elective or a suggestion. Without good health you will lose your life much sooner and the quality of your life will be poor. Choose to enjoy a more satisfying life longer. It is almost always a choice.

3-Make an unbreakable commitment to yourself. It is easier to comply with your commitment 100% of the time than 98% of the time. If we allow small deviations in our health program they will grow. If you decide to avoid sugar, avoid sugar. If you decide to work out, do it. Don’t look for excuses to “cheat”. Do you really want to “cheat” on yourself? Make health your first priority.

4-Understand that time is limited. We have a limited amount and you will eventually run out of time. “Strike while the iron is hot.” is good advice and the iron is hot today.

5-BE CONSISTENT. While I have struggled with being fit and healthy most of my life, when I began living David’s Way, I began to understand the power of consistency. There will be events that alter our activities but act immediately to continue the consistency of your program. If you are stuck in traffic so long that you miss your workout today then make sure that you don’t miss it tomorrow. If you work out 4 days per week then there are three other days that you can get that workout in if you want to do it. Do it. Strive to comply, not to avoid the mandates of your program.

I challenge you today, this first day of the New Year to commit to your health. Go all in and just see what you can accomplish in 2020. You just might be amazed.

 

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

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Sometimes when we think that we have made a mess of our lives we think that there’s nothing that we can do to fix it. There’s an old saying, ” You’ve made your bed, now lay in it.” It’s the cruelest advice. It’s absurd. If you’ve made your bed in an uncomfortable fashion, rip those covers off and start from scratch. You may even need to just throw those covers away and get brand new ones. You may need a brand new bed. You may need to move that bed into a brand new house. You may not need covers at all. Whatever you do, DON’T LAY IN IT! The choice is yours. Create a lifestyle of health and fitness and begin today.

If we have been overweight for a long time, fighting that battle year in and year out, it’s easy to say, “I’m just tired of the struggle, tired of dieting, to Hell with it all!” and let nature take it’s course. Oh, believe me, it will. Even if you have never had a weight problem in your life, sooner or later, most likely, you will. Some of the most extreme cases of middle-age weight gain that I have seen have been in people who never had a weight problem in their youth. Since they never dealt with monitoring their food intake or ever considered how much they exercised, as mid-life approached their waistline began to expand and they had no tools to fight back. What we often miss in this dilemma is that there is a fight, meaning that we have options. Obesity and poor health are not a normal part of aging. They are a normal part of negligence and abuse of the body. You can turn this around today if you so choose.

Notice the “D” word, dieting. DIET is the four letter “D” word in my world. Dieting is horrible. It is an forced state of deprivation that is usually intended to result in a fast weight loss. There’s so much wrong with this. Nothing right, but SO MUCH wrong. For starters, it’s forced. Nobody wants to be miserable and hungry so to begin a program where that is the norm is just absurd. It will always be forced. We rebel against force. It’s what we do as humans. We resist. Don’t DIET. Develop a healthy relationship with food by eliminating simple carbohydrates, especially added sugars, that are calorie laden and offer little to no nutrition. When you eat these foods, you are “wasting” your calories. You are also setting yourself up for extreme hunger because the simple carbs are quickly turned into sugar in your body and then you get an insulin dump and then your blood sugar drops and you’re hungry all over again. Ever notice how that 400 calorie piece of cake that covers a dessert plate at 10AM doesn’t keep you from starving before lunch? It caused you to dump a boatload of insulin and now you need more food to regulate that insulin dump. You would have been so much better off to have eaten an apple and a couple of string cheese sticks for half the calories, some protein and some fiber that would keep you satisfied until lunchtime. When you get ready for work today or tomorrow begin to implement this strategy. Take this matter into your hands today and change it.

You don’t have to be at the mercy of the “Food Fairies” that gift you with enough sugar and calories to take down a Brahma bull. If that trash food is bothering you at work, do what I do, throw it in the trash. I do one more call to see if anyone wants something and then it goes into the trash. I get tired of my work space being taken over by freakin’ doughnuts. I have a high stress job that requires accuracy. I will not fight for space with food poisons. A well-meaning, lovely lady blessed us with several pizzas recently. They were right beside my computer for hours and the smell actually began to nauseate me. I alerted my staff that I was moving them to another location. I had graciously thanked the kind lady who donated them to us. She truly meant well, but then the ball was in my court to deal with them. You can protect your rights and your health without being offensive to others. You have the right to refuse food and to remove it from your environment. Do not be bullied by group-think. Your health matters. You are a person too. You have rights. I must add here that that is the first time in my life that the smell of pizza bothered me, but it did. If people are offended because you are protecting your health, that is their problem, not yours. You will be strong and healthy when they are broken down with old people issues. Today is the time to decide to stand up for yourself.

Oh yes, then there’s the issue of exercise! OMG, I have taken more verbal abuse over this one issue than anything else, and that’s saying a lot. I lived in an abusive situation for a long time before I changed my entire life for the sake of self-preservation. You need to realize that here at David’s Way, we live what we teach. We teach making your health your number one priority. That includes removing negativism from your life, or as David says, “Make your world small.” Remove negative input and superfluous people and events that don’t move you closer to your goals. Before I made radical changes that made my physical and mental health my number one priority, I was constantly ridiculed by more than one person concerning exercise. On the one hand, they would agree that I needed to exercise but then they would try to pick and choose how and when that happened. Let me tell you, as we age there is no wiggle room here. We have to make health and fitness our main focus or it either simply won’t get done or will be done with a half-hearted effort. I lift heavy and it’s barely enough to give me ongoing improvements in my health and appearance. I suppose that some would say that constant degradation in both is inevitable and that may be true to a small degree but believe me, almost all of the effects of aging on our appearance and our health is a result of our choices. In almost all cases, you don’t have to look like Hell or be sick all the time. There are terminal illnesses that can come to us all that affect everything, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about that mindset that says, “Well, you know, I’m not as young as I used to be…” and using that as an excuse to neglect and abuse ourselves quite literally to death and look terrible doing it. When those days come, and they come to us all, then it’s time to double-up on self-care. You’d be surprised at how much control you can exert over aging with a whole lot of hard work. Again, begin today. The sooner you start, the better.

While I understand that heavy lifting is not for everybody, it’s my drug of choice. It has benefited me more than anything else in my life. David recently wrote that we need to choose an activity that we enjoy to insure that we will continue with it. That is so true. Strength training is very hard and demanding in all areas of my life. It is the focus of my life. It is the center of everything. I arrange my life around it as much as possible. This is necessary because of the demanding nature of this form of physical fitness. Unless you are ready to focus that intently on your exercise, it may not be for you. Find something that you can and will do. While I am, necessarily, a fanatic where this is concerned, you may want something that you can work into your daily schedule with ease. Lifting requires great attention to detail in all areas of my life. That, in itself, is one reason that I love it. You may like something that just fits in seamlessly with your daily activities. Whatever you do, discuss your options with your doctor and find a suitable form of exercise. Until you can discuss this with your doctor, begin studying various forms of exercise and how you could integrate them into your life. Would you need to go to classes? Would you join a gym or buy equipment for home? Maybe you could just find free videos on YouTube for your activity. Think about these things and when you see your doctor for his approval, you will have something to discuss. How much money can you spend to be fit? You don’t have to spend a cent to go for a brisk walk or work out along with a YouTube video. You can still buy cheap workout DVD’s and exercise bands for lighter strength training. Commit today to be healthier this time next year.

While we spend a great deal of time talking about what we CAN do today to begin to improve our health and appearance, this article would be incomplete without saying that if you smoke, drink alcohol in excess, do drugs to get high or spend too much unprotected time in the sun you are creating a near impossible environment to improve your health and/or your appearance. I must also reiterate, the same goes for sugar. It creates inflammation in your body and inflammation is credited with being the source of so many health problems. Glucose and sucrose are a part of the process of glycation in which sugar attaches to proteins and fats in our bodies. This process is associated with many diseases and aging. If you do one thing today to begin to improve your health, begin to get these habits under control.

And that is the crux of the matter, begin today. Today truly is the first day of the rest of your life. Your lifestyle will decide what that life will be like. While we live what we teach, we are always learning, practicing, researching and implementing everything that we teach because we know that the quality of our lives is mostly in our hands. We never tell you to do anything that we don’t do. We are our own lab rats. Our methodology is tested on us and it’s always free. Before making ANY dietary or exercise changes always consult your physician. We are Certified Nutritional and Wellness Consultants. We are also certifiable health freaks and live the life. We welcome comments, and contacts through our “Contact” function on the Menu. Please go to our Forum and start a conversation. We would love that. We will always answer you. Be sure to check out the Calorie Counter Pro to determine your caloric needs. This information is free and totally private. Take advantage of all of the free articles and recipes and begin to build your new, healthy lifestyle TODAY.

 

Know Your Nutrition! Your Health Depends On It.


How exactly do you personally execute important dietary decisions once you have wisely decided to lose all of those undesirable pounds of unhealthy body fat?

How well do you understand your nutritional needs?

Do you even consider what constitutes proper nutrition when you begin the latest, trendy diet plan that promises you illusory outcomes?

Can you with a straight face, convince anyone that you can achieve a 30 pound weight loss in a month without the worry of ill effects upon your health and well being?

We  all know we are looking at a new year and decade in less than a week. All around us we can appreciate people making a resolution to begin a new diet to create a new body. But, are they cognizant of how they will initiate any nutritional plan that will result in good health and successful weight loss?

I’m going to become a Vegan!

Today I start my Keto!

I’m going to reduce my cholesterol by eliminating eggs!

PLEASE STOP!

Before you begin any paid for diet plan, before you commence taking on any changes to your dietary habits, please educate yourself before you take a swan dive off  a diving board into the deep end of the nutrition pool. You might find yourself hitting your head on the bottom.

I accept Veganism as being a healthy diet. Many thousands of people around the world are perfectly healthy living this lifestyle. However, I would ask you why you believe that Veganism is for you.

I actually had this very conversation just a few days ago with a nice young, obese man I work with. His response?

“I’m giving this a try because my girlfriend is a Vegan”

Because your girlfriend, boyfriend or any other important person in your life has adopted this lifestyle is not enough to justify you adopting it. Unless, you have a solid base of nutritional knowledge beforehand.

Veganism

It is not enough to believe that you can just eat plant based foods in order to lose weight and be healthy. A few things you must first understand:

  • You must ensure that you are consuming protein that provides you with all your essential amino acids. Just consuming protein in itself is not enough. Soy, quinoa and buckwheat are plant-based foods that contain all nine essential amino acids, making them complete protein sources, all other plant based proteins are considered to be incomplete proteins as they lack one or more essential amino acids. (1)
  • The 9 essential amino acids are: histidine, isoleutine, leucine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. These amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form your own body’s proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life. When you consume proteins, they are digested and broken down. Amino acids are what is left. Your  body uses these amino acids to create proteins to help your body:
    1. Break down food
    2. Grow
    3. Repair body tissue
    4. Perform many other body functions
  • If you decide upon becoming a Vegan, you need to concern yourself with providing your body with all of its vitamin and mineral requirements. Many assert that a whole-food, plant-based diet easily meets all your daily nutrient requirements, but this is only a partial truth. You have to have a sound knowledge of nutrition to receive all that you require for good health. Otherwise, you would never see people quitting Veganism when the lifestyle begins making them unwell. Here are 6 nutrients that you may need to supplement with while on a vegan diet:

(4) health. clevelandclinic.org

 

 

New Years Health and Fitness Tips

Thanksgiving day in America has come and passed as well as Christmas, with Hannukah sliding into home base on December 30, and then New Years Eve comes the day afterwards. New Years Day is less than week away.

We will be moving into a new decade.

Will it be the Roaring Twenties all over again?

I do not have a crystal ball to predict what the future holds for any of us, but I would bet the bank that many of you are making resolutions that with a new year, new decade, there is going to be a new you. I can predict that despite all the personal resolutions to drop weight, to be thinner, fitter and healthier, a large percentage of you will have failed and returned to your old unhealthy habits by March. There will be some who will sputter along in their attempts at being a new person until May, and then by Memorial Day weekend here in America, these good folks will throw in the towel in order to enjoy all the summer festivities with family and friends.

Most people in America think of the holiday season of over indulgence as beginning in October with Halloween, but the reality is it actually begins with Memorial Day weekend, and in the spring with Iftar celebration meals during Ramadan for our Muslim readers. So, I would ask you, is there is even an actual end to special occasions of over indulgence for there to even be a beginning?

Face it, we have become a society where over indulgence and gluttony coupled with sedentary, lazy lifestyles has become the societal norm. We can see the evidence of this everywhere. In public, maybe even within the privacy of our own homes, every direction we might cast a glance, we will see one or many with a weight problem as a direct result of over indulgence and sedentary lifestyles with not a care in the world about how this kind of life is affecting their health and well being. That is, until their health begins  to cause them issues and hard earned money for medical treatments.

If you want to begin the new year on a track towards developing a healthy and fit body here are a few tips to consider:

EXERCISE

  • First thing, especially if you are not already in good physical condition is visit your doctor and get cleared before beginning any new physical fitness regimen.
    1. You want to ensure your heart is up to the task.
    2. You might need to have a few limitations to consider in the early weeks and months in order to avoid injury from weak muscles and connective tissues.
    3. You do not want to aggravate any existing conditions you might actually already know about. For instance, your knees may not be capable of withstanding a brisk 30 minute walk for three to four times per week. If this would be the case, you might find yourself better served by performing your exercises in a pool where there is very little to no impact on your joints.
    4. If you have COPD, make sure your doctor knows if you intend to perform exercises that raise your heart rate which will make breathing more difficult, possibly dangerous for you.
  • Pick an exercise you think you will actually enjoy. Or at least be open minded to see if you will enjoy an activity before becoming too invested into it.
    1. If you do not enjoy an exercise, it is not realistic to believe you will have any kind of longevity with it.
    2. Meaningful exercise that is truly beneficial to your body can turn into hard work, which means you need to like what you are doing even more so when the workout gets tough.
    3. Be open to trying new things, but do not invest in expensive memberships, fitness trackers or specialty clothing until you are sure that you will enjoy that which you are spending your hard earned money on. Every year, commercial gyms increase their memberships in January and those gyms which are super crowded through early March are usually ghost towns by early April. If you want to join a gym, see if you can find one with a month to month, or drop in fee instead of getting rooked into a one or two year contract that you will not be able to get out of once you have signed on the dotted line.
    4. Treadmills and other home fitness equipment can be great to have, and expensive as well. Before you invest $1000 into a  brand new treadmill or elliptical, see if you can find a used one online for less than half the cost of brand new. Many people will buy fitness equipment with the best of intentions in January, and by April, they will be using that new treadmill as a place to hang laundry over being something where they can walk, or jog or run even when the outside weather does not permit.
  • If you have never been one to exercise, you should consider finding an established program that will help you in becoming proficient at your endeavor of choice.
    1. If you are interested in running, you should check out the Couch to 5K app which will have you begin you with an easy walk and slowly build you up to a 5K (3 mile) jog or run. If you go at it hard with zero experience, you are likely to become sidelined from injury such as shin splints or foot problems, or you might just find yourself too burned out from pushing your body too hard before it is ready.
    2. If you have decided that you want to begin resistance training with weights, I will tell you that you will be doing yourself a disservice if you just jump into it with little to no knowledge. You do not know what it is that you do not know when it comes to strength training if you have never been involved. There is much more to strength training than just picking up weights and setting them down. You must know techniques and proper lifting forms to avoid injury. You must learn how to breath during a lift. You must learn how to valsalva in order to keep a tight core for most lifts. You need to get on an established training program that is tried and true if you want to find success. If you are a newbie to strength training, you do not know proper programming, I promise this. Proper programming is of extreme importance as it ensures that you do not end up with injuries  or a disproportional body from strength and muscle imbalances. A good program will include working the entire body. A good program will incorporate a pulling movement to mirror every pushing movement. I have written several articles here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness you can refer to in regards to strength training, including a couple programs.

NUTRITION

Everyone has their own unique reason to want to lose weight, and the first and foremost way to get to a healthy body fat percentage is through good nutritional habits. You cannot out exercise a poor diet. Even if you do manage to get away with it for a short time, you will soon find the bad nutrition catching up to you and the pounds will be quickly returning to your  body. Never forget the truth in that 6 pack abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym.

  • Make a true commitment to yourself that you are going to clean up your nutritional habits, and then by god, stick to it no matter who or what circumstance in your life attempts to derail you.
    1. Your family and friends will attempt to derail you with all types of sweet treats and other poor food choices during special occasions. Most of these people are usually well meaning, but seriously, if you are carb addicted, you cannot give in and make exceptions. Every time you do, it becomes easier and easier until you find that you have regained all the weight you might have already lost. You have to be prepared to stick to your guns. One way you can do this is to bake one or two of our sugar free dessert recipes for a gathering of loved ones. This way you can still have a treat with them, and possibly get them on board with healthier eating too.
    2. Understand that if you are carb addicted, this addiction is no different than alcohol or drug addiction. It is something that you will carry with you the rest of your life. You can have the most will power in the world, but if you find yourself feeding the addiction, you are bound to find yourself going off the rails. Finding yourself with cravings for foods that are high in simple carbs and added sugar has nothing to do with will power, it is truly a chemical biological response in your body that you have little control over. The only control you have is the same as an alcoholic has over alcohol, you can not take that first drink or bite.
    3. Life can throw bad circumstances our way which can knock us clean off of our health initiative, but only “IF” we “ALLOW” it to. I have had people just assume that since I carry very little body fat, it must be easy for me. To lay this thought to rest, I have had a weight problem in the past. I know from personal experience what you are going through if you are overweight or obese. I have fought that demon and still do along with others each and every day of the week. I am retired from the military and suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), this alone can be enough to derail me, but only “IF” I “ALLOW” it. Today, I had to have my precious and loving Basset Hound, Abbie, euthanized at 14 years old. She was suffering from kidney failure. I cried before and afterwards and while a slice of sugary chocolate cake or cookies might have made me feel good in the moment, I did not give in to temptations as this would have left me with the same regret should I have given in to having an alcoholic drink. On top of this, I am a care taker for my life long friend, who is also my brother in law that is suffering from liver cancer, Hepatitis C and cirrhosis of the liver while also being morbidly obese. We have our tough moments in life, but never the less, it serves no one any good to deviate from healthy eating. Actually, Howard has lost well over 100 pounds since moving in with me and despite his illness, his quality of life has vastly improved with healthy eating and weight loss. Now, to add insult to injury, my dear wife of almost 34 years has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be undergoing a double mastectomy on January 6th, just a little over a week away. Is my life easy or charmed? You decide what you might think, but no matter what life throws my way, I am fully committed to my own health initiative and will not deviate fro my healthy eating practices
  • Forget all the fad diets and gimmicks that promise quick weight loss. Forget programs that take your money and blow smoke up your rear while telling you that you can eat anything you want as long as your track it.
    1. Fads and gimmicks will help you to lose weight, but you will regain it just about as soon as you leave the program, and possibly as quickly as you lost it. Fads and gimmicks do not work.
    2. Programs that take your money while telling you that you can still eat anything you want will work for some people and greatly fail others, while still keeping them on as a perpetual income stream. They will make great promises as long as you keep paying your dues. Never underestimate how devious some of these corporations can be, no matter who the smiling face might be that represents them. One major weight loss program has an individual as the face of their plan who is still over weight or obese, that should tell you something about them. Remember these large business have people who work research and development for them and it would be very naive to think they do not know what they are doing when they present a plan that is vague enough to help some while keeping half of their membership struggling to lose or keep their weight off.
    3. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, I have, and always will pledge to keep all of our articles and website free to our readers. I will never charge you a penny to access all of our almost 700 articles and recipes in order to help you to achieve a healthier and more fit body. Again, we will never charge you for access, we have other means of revenue and more in the works which will also never make it difficult to navigate our articles such as what you might find on other sites. Our mission is to help you, this is a labor of love to help our fellow human kind.
  • Commit yourself to following our plan at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. At David’s Way, we take a holistic, whole body approach to weight loss and management. David and Brenda are both AFPA certified Nutritional/Wellness Consultants who emphasize living a healthy, nutritionally sound and sustainable lifestyle. Since it’s a lifestyle and not a diet, there is no endpoint. We promote healthy eating and exercise for a healthy body and sound mind.David’s Way is a healthy nutrition and active lifestyle based on years of personal experience and scientific research. Our methodology involves the consumption of a high protein, low carbohydrate, nutritionally sound and diabetic friendly diet. Our numerous dessert recipes are all sugar free and can be enjoyed by anyone without having the concerns of blood sugar or insulin spikes. Nor will our desserts cause you any cravings such as you would get from treats made with sugar.At David’s Way we don’t tell you what to eat so much as we tell you what not to eat. This is no weight loss gimmick, this simple plan is how our mothers, grandmothers and generations past used to feed us. It is simply a matter of using portion control when consuming healthy, whole foods, while avoiding foods that are not nutritionally sound. In other words, do not consume anything that does not provide you a nutritional benefit.

The new year will be upon us in just a few more days. Make a true commitment to your well being and then stick to it through thick and thin, you will never regret skipping a slice of cake with family or friends, but you will regret every day of life when you find you have made enough exceptions to regain any or all of the weight you might have lost already. Stand strong, and have courage in your convictions. People have no respect for weak people, but they do respect strengths. This is just human nature. You can go weak and wobbly and never help yourself or others in being healthy and fit. Or you can stand strong in your resolve and actually influence and help others in achieving what you have. When life gets tough, as it will for all of us, refer to the Serenity Prayer. The principles of this prayer are a truth for anyone of any religion, and even for those without. I live my life by this principle which is:

10 Ways To Get Over The Holidays

I must admit, in times past I had plenty to recover from after the Winter holidays. In recent years, I have changed a whole lot. It’s much easier to maintain balance now that I avoid over -indulgence during this time. If you have overdone it a bit, here’s some tips to help you get back on track.

1-Throw out the leftovers. Even if you took food home from someone else’s house, get rid of it. That rich, overly seasoned, sugary stuff will only serve to postpone your recovery and folks, Christmas is over. Be done with it.

2-Get moving. If the weather permits, walk outside underneath trees. That type of walking has been proven to raise the levels of GABA in your brain. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter. Right now you need a boost! If you can’t walk outside, then find a way to exercise indoors. Join a gym, buy a workout DVD, do a YouTube workout, even dancing to your favorite tunes will get your blood flowing and improve your mood, digestion and sleep. I have invested in weightlifting equipment for my home and never have an excuse to slack.

3-Get control of your finances now! The holidays tend to take a toll on us financially. Spend time now organizing your finances and begin to repair the damage. You will feel better immediately as soon as you have a recovery plan.The stress of the financial difficulty caused by Christmas is very real and psychologically damaging. Get control.

4-Quit celebrating already! I remember when I began celebrating in September and continued until Spring. That’s devastating on all fronts. It will destroy any efforts you have made to improve your health with healthy eating and exercise. A constant party doesn’t allow for either. When it’s over, stop.

5-Dismiss any negative input from negative “friends” or family during the festivities. There are some people who never have anything good to say. The holidays are no different. Consider the source and move on. After all, if some people had anything good to say you would wonder what they wanted from you, right? Those people live to manipulate others. Take their power from them. Dismiss their negativism as soon as it arises. Don’t even respond and don’t ponder their input. It’s meaningless.

6-Meal plan and grocery shop for healthy meals. Make menus in detail including a grocery list. That way you will always have what you need to eat healthy. Make your choices convenient and affordable so that your plans will actually be implemented.

7-Consider the stress in your life and make plans to reduce it. Most people are maxed out on stress right now so the sources of your stress may be glaringly obvious right now. Make a plan to reduce stress in your life. You will immediately feel a measure of control, even before implementing that plan.

8-Examine your daily habits. Do your daily habits move you closer to your goals? If not, change them.

9-Get some light. There are light boxes made for this time of year and they are good but any light will help your state of mind. Morning light is best but even turning the lights on in the house during the day can contribute to a better state of mind. Catch some rays!

10-Decide right now to make your health your #1 priority. Go into the New Year with a new incentive of this being your healthiest year yet! When health is your focus, recovery will come naturally.

Focus all of your efforts on getting healthy and this time next year you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how you feel and how much better your life will be in every way.

Achieve Your Goals By Going All In

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There is a discrepancy  sometimes between  what people say and what people do. David has a saying, ” A lot of people want to look like a body builder but they don’t  want to do what a bodybuilder does.” If we really want to be successful we will commit fully. Until we fully commit we will never reach our goals.

A zealous person is described  as someone who is enthusiastic or passionate about something. The word describes keenness, eagerness, passion and an extreme commitment to work. Success in any lifelong pursuit such as extreme health and fitness for life requires this kind of commitment.

When we are totally committed to a project we can do the hardest work with a smile. We are working on our own goals. Nobody is making us commit. Why would we do any less than going all in?  Regardless of what we say that we want, unless we do what it takes to get to our goals, our words are meaningless. When I began lifting I secured equipment and changed my life to accommodate my commitment. While it’s  necessary to work at my places of employment, I do nothing else except lift. It is my life. I don’t feel sad or angry when I  forego social invitations  to work out. I chose this path.

When we go all in we will reap the rewards of our commitment. Even the most difficult  tasks will succumb to true dedication. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed but it can be transferred. When we expend our energy on a project the project will display the energy and attention that we put into it. If we are vigilant in our dedication our goals will be realized.

One way to measure your commitment to any given project is to look at where you spend your money. Do you waste money eating at expensive restaurants, buying those desserts as big as  your  head? Seriously? Invest in your goals. Don’t  work against them. Do you buy expensive processed food items when you’re in the grocery store? Why would you do that if you say that you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy? Shop the periphery of the store and leave the high calorie, high carb, high sodium items that contain sugar and various food additives on the shelf. One way that we work against ourselves financially is to buy clothes that accommodate an expanding waistline and then run out and buy again when even those become too small. This is the season of sweatpants. They can accommodate a multitude of sins. Get some tight leggings to work out and quit increasing the size of your sweatpants to allow for Swiss Rolls. Again, that kind of behaviour is working directly against  your goals.

A common way that we fall short is doing the bare necessities in any program or project. When I  worked for a major weight loss company I  witnessed a specific negative behavior every time that I attended a meeting of the members. They would chronically complain that they had only eaten the amount of food that the program allowed but had not lost weight, or even gained, but as the conversations continued, they would reveal that they had manipulated the program in every way possible in order to eat as much as possible throughout the week. This was not only a lack of commitment but a direct form of self-sabotage. After that, it was easier to just quit “because it doesn’t work.” They were setting the stage for failure rather than success.

True zeal for anything is manifested by action. Don’t kid yourself. Unless you are utilizing all of your skills and mental capacity towards a goal, you don’t really want it at all. Get committed and go all in.

When you are truly zealous for something, it will be contagious. People around  you will want to know your secret. You will be successful and success draws people to you. Passion is inspirational and people need inspiration.

By pursuing your goals with eagerness, you will become a master of the process. As you become more and more proficient at your task, your goals will come  into sharper focus and you will achieve them when you’re not expecting that kind of success, because you will be wrapped up in what you do best, pursuing your goals. Get zealous and achieve success.

Get Some Sleep

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While we all hate a sleepless night, we are not always aware of the serious health issues that can be associated with  insomnia. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes  and depression are just a few of the problems that are linked to sleepless nights.

 The Women’s Health  Initiative Observational Study has shown a link between a higher risk of insomnia and a diet rich in refined carbohydrates. It is unclear whether eating refined carbs led to insomnia or if insomnia caused a craving for them. The link merely shows that people with insomnia were more likely to consume refined carbohydrates. At David’s  Way  we always advise  you to avoid simple, refined carbohydrates.

What we do know is that when we eat refined carbohydrates the blood sugar rises quickly and we release insulin which drops our blood sugar. As a result of the drop in blood sugar we may release cortisol and/or adrenaline which are hormones that can interfere with restful  sleep.

The sugars found in fruits and vegetables do not present  a problem because the fiber found in plants prevents the fast absorption of the sugars so there is no spike in blood sugar levels and therefore, no subsequent hormone release. A banana is a sweet treat that contains potassium  and magnesium which are natural muscle relaxants. They also contain L-tryptophan which is used to make serotonin and melatonin, all of which are helpful for restful sleep. Oats, cherries and milk also support good sleep. Low-fat proteins that are rich in vitamin B like fish, poultry and eggs help to regulate melatonin. A healthy diet like we advocate here at David’s  Way is your best sleep supporting nutrition.

While nutrition is important in managing your sleep, so is your body fat. Too much fat around your midsection can contribute to acid reflux, sleep apnea and overall restlessness. Get to a healthy body fat percentage and reap the benefits of more restful nights. This website is free. We have the Calorie Counter Pro that is completely  private and will tell you the number of calories that you need to achieve your weight management  goals. We have over 600 articles that will give you information about all things weight related along with hundreds of healthy recipes including your favorite desserts made over to be sugar-free and usually providing a healthy dose of protein.

While none of these methods are a “cure” for insomnia, all of these methods will help you rest. Sleep is important to your overall health and wellbeing. See your M.D. to treat insomnia when it is chronic because the long-term effects of chronic  insomnia include but are not limited to anxiety, fatigue, impaired memory, diabetes, heart disease and chronic pain. In your  quest for better health make certain that you find a way to catch some zzz’s.