Category: Diabetes

State of Mind

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Do you have a running reel of negative thoughts  and possible catastrophic outcomes playing constantly  in  your  head? So many  people  do. When we allow negative thoughts to loop continually we are causing a constant release of cortisol, our major stress hormone to be released. The health implications of this are huge. High cortisol levels cause inflammation which lies at the base of almost all major health problems, including heart disease and even some cancers. Skin problems, gastrointestinal issues and depression are often exacerbated by this one habit that is within our control.

People who display optimism tend to have better immune function which affects all disease processes. Learn to control those inner voices of doom to improve your overall health and enjoy your life so much more.

It’s  necessary  to assess your thoughts. If a large majority  of  your  thoughts tend to be negative then you are probably catastrophizing. Do you focus only on the negative? Do you ignore the possible positive outcomes in a given situation? If so, then it’s necessary  to take action to think in more positive  ways.

Humor is a powerful tool in learning  to  lighten up. I refuse to listen to or watch anything that makes me feel bad. Life can be difficult on the best days so why add negative input from negative people who are bent on creating drama? Avoid those people and control your environment to remove negative input from real life people and media. Seek out funny and enlightening media when you are surfing the net or watching T.V. Leave the sad, violent and scary stuff alone. It won’t do anything good.

Get some exercise, with your doctor’s permission. Vigorous exercise can produce endorphins which not only make you feel  better  in the moment but have a positive impact on the brain that makes you feel more able to cope in the long run. You will develop a better body in the process and that always helps our state of mind.

Negative thoughts can lead to binge eating. Binge eating will almost always  keep you from your weight management goals.

Eat a well balanced, healthy diet with adequate amounts of healthy fats such as those found in salmon or walnuts. Avoid sugar because it is a source of empty, excess calories. Sugar will cause you to crave more sugar and eventually forego healthy foods for junk. Your brain has to have proper nutrition to perform optimally. As you eat more and more sugar, the pounds will pile on which will most likely add to your anxiety and depression. Just say “No!”

If your negative thinking is chronic and debilitating you might consider professional counseling. A licensed  therapist can guide you into a better way of thinking that can benefit both body and mind.

Surround  yourself  with positive people and create a life that you love. With time and deliberation and sometimes professional help, you can pull out of the habit of negativity. Your happiness is worth the work.

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Hyperinsulinemia and Your Heart

In the same light as our children can drive us crazy with less than intelligent life decisions and defiance, I bet our doctors must go stark raving mad with many of their patients. Think about this; every doctors office across this vast country gets inundated every day with waiting rooms packed full of patients who are ill with self induced maladies that can be prevented through proper nutrition and a little bit of regular exercise.

Joey Bagofdonuts visits his physician’s office on a regular basis with obesity related health issues, and no matter how much his doctor tries to explain how a healthier lifestyle will help Mr. Bagofdonuts, poor Joey continues on with his poor lifestyle choices, hoping his doctor will always be able to fix his health mistakes for him with medicines. Mr. Bagofdonuts, despite being an adult, is little different than a petulant child who always demands that his mother pick up his broken pieces when the game goes bad for him. Mommy then rewards Little Joey with a sweet treat instead of holding him accountable and he has learned nothing, he will go on making poor choices regarding his health. As long as there is a pill to make him feel better, Joey will never be accountable to himself. Folks, if your doctor informs you with information to straighten out your health, it is incumbent that you take the advice to heart instead of being like that petulant child. Medicines and medical procedures are not sweet treats to make you feel good in the moment only to go on about your normal business. No, they are about getting you better so you can go on with a healthier life.once you get better. As what happens to millions of adults every day, Mr. Bagofdonuts eventually ends up with life threatening heart issues or any of many other ailments tied to poor nutrition. It is a damn shame that with all the information in the world available to us in the palm of our hands, as a nation we are the fattest and least healthy of any of our preceding generations. And this, all despite our advances in medical technology.

What is Hyperinsulinemia?

Hyperinsulinemia, is a condition tied to obesity in which there are excess levels of insulin  circulating in the blood relative to the level of glucose. While it is often mistaken for diabetes, hyperinsulinemia can result from a variety of metabolic diseases and conditions. Hyperinsulinemia is also associated with hypertension, glucose intolerance and dyslipidemia. Collectively, these conditions are   known as Metabolic Syndrome. Treatment is typically achieved via diet and exercise, if only the patient will actually do it. Metformin, a diabetes drug, may be used to reduce insulin  levels in some obese patients (typically where obesity is present). However, a healthy diet that is low in simple sugars and processed carbohydrates, high in fiber, and protein is often recommended. Again, as with exercise, this treatment is only good if the patient is compliant.

Hyperinsulinemia and Heart Disease

There are two different diseases which get called “heart disease”. One is Coronary Artery Disease which involves damage to your arteries which lead out of the chambers of your heart, and that feed the muscle of the walls of your heart. The other condition is Coronary Heart Disease which involves damage to the heart itself. It is also known as Ischemic Heart Disease.

Most of the time, Coronary Artery Disease will occur before Coronary Heart disease. The good news is that Coronary Artery Disease can be halted and reversed before your heart itself becomes diseased.

Coronary Artery Disease 

From Mayoclinic.org

Coronary artery disease develops when the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients (coronary arteries) become damaged or diseased. Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque) in your arteries and inflammation are usually to blame for coronary artery disease.

When plaque builds up, it narrows your coronary arteries, decreasing blood flow to your heart. Eventually, the decreased blood flow may cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, or other coronary artery disease signs and symptoms. A complete blockage can cause a heart attack.

Because coronary artery disease often develops over decades, you might not notice a problem until you have a significant blockage or a heart attack. 

There are methods you can do for yourself to prevent yourself from getting Coronary Artery Disease in the first place. Each of these methods are in your hands at zero cost if only you choose to make the commitment to yourself:

Quit smoking.

Eat healthy foods.

Exercise regularly.

Lose excess weight.

Reduce stress.

If you need to, but choose not to make healthy lifestyle decisions, Coronary Artery Disease will involve three critical changes.

“Change 1” will be the thickening and narrowing of your arteries. Arteriosclerosis will begin when fatty streaks begin to appear on the walls of your arteries. As the artery walls thicken, the inside diameter of your arteries will become reduced which will have a direct impact on the flow of your blood. This thickening of your arteries is a result of an accumulation of cholesterol and other fats that form plaque.

If you believe that because you are not diabetic, therefore you have no worries about insulin, guess again.

Insulin signals the arterial walls to absorb cholesterol from your blood. When you eat a bunch of sugar laden crap that spikes your insulin and keeps it high all day, every day, you suffer great risk of heart disease and or heart attack. When your blood sugar and insulin levels are out of whack, your body has a more difficult time in healing itself. Sometimes, arteries narrow as a result of your body’s attempt to repair tiny blood vessel injuries. Sometimes, small spontaneous hemorrhages can occur as a result of high insulin. As a result, small fibrous plaques may begin to form. If these become calcified, you then have Hardening of the Arteries, or Arteriosclerosis. To compound this problem, insulin will stimulate cell growth. When your insulin levels are high, the walls of your blood vessels are continually bathed with this excess, the resultant cell growth reduces the inside diameter of your blood vessels where your blood flows through your body. Think of the difference in how well a skinny straw works as opposed to a big straw when trying to drink a thick milkshake. Do you want this happening inside of your blood vessels?

“Change 2” happens when your liver produces more cholesterol as a result of high levels of insulin. Many people do not realize his, but 75% of the cholesterol in your blood is produced by your liver (endogenous cholesterol) and only 25% comes from the foods in your diet (exogenous cholesterol). The type produced by your own liver is much more dangerous to your health than the cholesterol you pick up from eating eggs and such. As insulin prompts your liver to produce an excess of cholesterol extra material for plaque formation within your blood vessels is provided. As this cholesterol produced plaque grows, your arteries continue to become more and more choked off.

“Change 3” The third change which occurs from hyperinsulinemia, or high levels of insulin production, is your body reduces its ability to destroy a cement like substance called fibrin which holds the arterial plaque together in much the same way Portland Cement bonds sand and gravel together to create concrete. When you exercise and consume a healthy diet, your body naturally destroys fibrin. With little to no fibrin, your blood will flow freely throughout your body.

When you eat a nutritionally poor diet and are sedentary, the high levels of insulin present in your body will help create greater levels of fibrin. The result is you will have an increased risk now of your blood forming a clot that will not be able to pass through your narrowed and plaque choked blood vessels. As blood flow becomes reduced to your heart, it will not receive the nourishment and oxygen it requires in order to thrive. At this point, you have now entered into Coronary Heart Disease. Sadly you could have prevented this from ever occurring in the first place if you had only made smarter decisions regarding your dietary habits and made it a point to exercise at least a little bit on a regular basis. Once you have reached this “point of no return” the damage is done and no one is going to be able to pick up the broken pieces for you.

Face it, when we eat a poor diet of calorie dense, low nutrition foods every day, we are doing ourselves harm. Indirectly, we are also causing harm to all of our loved ones too. When we choose to be lazy and to eat foods that are laden with added sugar, simple carbohydrates, preservatives, high levels of sodium and unhealthy fats, we are living in the moment like a child who cannot see past the end of their nose, much less twenty to thirty years into their future, if even that long. When see and hear commercials for this gluttonous lifestyle where portions are constantly growing with our mid sections, we never see the end results often until it is far too late. You can prevent the occurrence of Coronary Artery Disease and even reverse the effects through making a personal choice to be healthy. Once this disease has progressed to Coronary Heart Disease, you are living on borrowed time, where a heart attack can  be likely to occur at an given time. We all know that when a heart attack happens, their will be no need for seeing into tomorrow. There will no longer be a need for medicines or medical procedures. While your family is feeling the pain of grieving and making your funeral plans, you will never have a bad day again to worry about.

Make wise decisions with your health and turn your ship around before it is too late.

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Keep Yourself In Balance

As so many are now days, there is a strong possibility that you are addicted to carbohydrates. You may or may not even know this, but either way, there are a few things you really need to understand about your blood sugar levels and how it can be directly affected by the kinds of food you consume each and every day, and how often during each day you might eat them. You might even think this does not apply to you since you eat a wide variety of foods during the course of your day, but have you ever spent any time reading food labels to know that your variety is indeed a variety? There is a strong possibility that all you consume has the same base ingredients of sugar, sodium, unhealthy fats and preservatives.

Every day we do different acts which really require little to no thought. We brush our teeth, shower, dress ourselves and eat our meals while never considering all the combinations of simple thoughts and motor skills which go into these daily tasks. We often just go through our days on auto-pilot and hope that we can make it through to sundown without any calamities. We go through our day without ever thinking about our vital life functions including our control and regulation of our blood sugar. We have numerous basic functions of life that are all on automatic. That is, until we make poor life choices and thereby throw a wrench into the cogs of the precious life we have been blessed with. Then we are seeking medical attention for medicines and treatments which could have been avoided simply through better life choices. You are responsible for your health, your doctor is not.

When life is grand, and we do not have a care in the world, our body still needs to be properly taken care of through good nutrition and exercise in order to keep all of our working parts in fine order. The most basic elements of day to day living depend on this. There are actions happening in our body’s that require no conscious thought, such as what happens when we eat. As we chew our food, saliva is released to help break it down into simple absorbable elements. When we eat sugar laden foods or any type of high carbohydrate foods that tastes sweet our body releases insulin into the blood stream in anticipation of the coming food energy. This energy is broken down into simple sugar (glucose) which is then absorbed into our blood. The more sugary the foods, the more rapidly the sugar is absorbed into our blood. Our blood sugar, insulin and glucagon must be kept in balance, but unfortunately, too many of us never even attempt to maintain any semblance of balance. For this, we have the current obesity epidemic. When you do not maintain a balance with these basic elements, as your blood sugar continues to rise, you will feel weaker, hungrier, moodier, and less motivated unless the motivation involves eating more crap food. This is why we say to only eat complex carbs and zero sugar. Complex carbohydrates (starches and soluble fiber) take longer to be broken down into sugar in your body. The fiber element acts as a braking mechanism to keep your blood sugar and insulin under control.

When you consume a high carbohydrate diet, especially one of simple carbs, your insulin helps to move the blood sugar to different parts of your body, where it is used or stored away. As our blood sugar rises, our insulin opens our individual cells up in order for the blood sugar to bring them energy for growth, repair, and to allow them to accomplish the work they are designed for such as the contraction of our muscles. Our insulin then signals our liver and muscles to store away a small portion of the remaining blood sugar for future use. This remaining blood sugar is converted to first, blood fat, and then it is stored into our body as the fat in our fat cells. Because of the lack of balance which comes from undisciplined eating, we are a now a nation predominately populated by over weight or obese individuals. We must keep our body in balance in order to function as healthy beings. You might believe your gut is posing no problems for you, but aesthetics aside, you and I both know this is a bullshit way of thinking.

You should know there are functions within your body that take place without your control, except for you being able to control what it is you put into your mouth. You have control over the balancing act that must be maintained.

When your blood sugar levels begin to drop over time or from activity, your liver makes a small reserve available for your body’s use. As the liver’s stores begin to be depleted, rising levels of the hormone glucagon begin to signal fat cells to open and contribute to your energy needs. This action is what burns off your body fat. If your blood sugar level seems to never drop because of the sweet treats you eat continuously during the day, your glucagon never gets the opportunity to open your fat cells for energy, therefore you will continue to remain obese. It matters not who or what you are, this is very basic human biology that you cannot ignore without health consequences at some point in your life. Sadly, these consequences that used to only be seen in adults, such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are now being seen in children.

When you eat an excess of simple carbs and sugar laden foods you will continuously have high insulin levels which lead to intense cravings for more sweet foods. The more you give in to this, the more imbalanced your body will be. If you continue to give in to the cravings, you will likely find yourself with type 2 diabetes.

While we recommend you to still consume complex carbohydrates, we are adamant that you should quit eating sugar and simple carbs all together. The only caveat to this is fruit. Fruit is a simple carb, but as there is a fiber component to it, fruit does not pose the same problems as simple carbs without fiber. Know that as with any type addiction, an addiction to carbohydrates will take about ten days, give or take a few, to get past. Once you get past the cravings which come from simple carbohydrates, it becomes much easier to control your appetite. If you maintain a diet during weight loss that is higher in protein while still consuming complex carbohydrate foods, you will find yourself staying satiated much longer through out the day than you would when eating sugary foods. While you will still get hungry, the hunger will be more of a mild annoyance than a bothersome craving.

Suffering obesity and all the ailments which accompany it are a matter of your personal life choices. You, and you alone are responsible to maintain the balance that your body requires for optimal health. It is not anyone else’s fault when you contract type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or metabolic syndrome. It is all on you and the responsibility to get well if you have fallen to these conditions are not your doctors responsibility to repair. It will only be your own blood on your own hands when your health goes south on you.

Live well, keep yourself in balance.

The “Generational Curse”, What Is It?

The What?

I first heard that phrase about 20 years ago and had absolutely no idea about what it was supposed to be. Turns out that there were people around me who believed that bad traits passed from one generation to another by some mystical means other than just genetics. True, there are some tendencies that are familial and some outright inherited maladies, but they are few and far between. Almost all of the negative health and life issues that we have are a direct result of the choices that we make, not genetics, and certainly not some mystical, spiritual curse. Believing this falsehood is simply an excuse to under achieve and fail at life. Believing this is an excuse to abandon all effort to be responsible for the health choices that you make. Mom became diabetic at age 40? If that’s the case, it’s Mom’s choices that caused it. Make different choices. I had an Aunt who died a terrible death from throat cancer. I loved her. She was my favorite Aunt. She smoked, a  lot, and never quit. Do her children have a similar risk? Possibly, they also smoke and the genetics are secondary compared to that decision.

Is It Learned?

There is a state of mind called “Learned Helplessness” that is believed to occur when someone is exposed to traumatic events that they cannot control. Over time, the individual “learns” that he cannot control events around himself and simply doesn’t try. Feeling that we can’t control traumatic events leads to loss of motivation to the extent that even when we are presented with the opportunity to change the course of our lives, we may not take advantage of the opportunity. This “loser” state of mind cripples the individual in decision making because he feels that his decisions won’t make a difference. Feeling helpless in the face of trauma and unable or unwilling to change the course of action by deciding to take control, leads to depression in most people with learned helplessness. This is a deadly personality trait when we are faced with decisions concerning our health.

                                                                               Is It A Decision?

In the original experiments on this topic, it was discovered that dogs who did not try to avoid negative stimuli had not, however, learned helplessness. They had not learned control. (1) The difference is profound. In order to “learn” helplessness, or the lack of control, we must first decide to take control and then be unable to do so. If an individual is afraid of failure simply because that’s all they have ever seen or been exposed to, then they have not made a decision to break that consecutive chain of failure, dysfunction and sickness that may have existed in their family for generations. They have not learned helplessness, they simply have not learned control. Therein is the problem.

Lovely Ladies

I remember when I actually believed that “skinny” girls were just genetically gifted. Never mind that my Mother, who was 5’7″ and about 110 pounds, ate very little and almost never sat down. For some strange reason, I ignored the obvious. Truth be known, it was easier to believe that she had great genes, that were somehow vastly different from mine, than to see the truth of the matter. While I would binge on brownies at every chance, she might eat one, maybe not even one. While I preferred the life of a sloth, she was a busy bee. I have mentioned “Janice” a few times. She was a lovely girl, close to my age in my 20’s who had a rock star body. While I struggled to fit into a size 12 or 14, Janice was a lithe size 5 or 7. Guess what. I finally ask her what she ate. She showed me a tray of freshly cut vegetables in her fridge and she told me that she ate those veggies all the time and seldom got hungry between meals. I was at her house for meals. They were healthy meals of grilled lean meats and veggies, fruit for dessert and no munchies at the parties unless you wanted the fresh veggies. She did not deviate and was not swayed by the negative comments of those around her concerning her diet.  She was in control. So was my Mom. Both Janice and my Mom had obese Mothers. They had made a conscious choice to take control, to do better than their upbringing. Genetics be damned.

Your Choice

What would your life be like if you decide, right now, to take control over the things that you have refused to exercise control over until this moment in time? Would you be different tomorrow? What about this time next year? Would you still eat the same things, smoke, drink alcohol and hang out with the same people? Remember, if someone doesn’t encourage you to be healthy, they are not your friend and do not have your best interest at heart. I challenge you. Exercise your ability to create your life and take control today. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

(1) medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325355.php

Childhood Obesity, Do Something About It!

All who have followed this blog know that I am not even remotely apologetic in my attitude regarding our responsibility to ensuring our children do not become obese. Whether they realize it or not, our children look towards us to lead them down the path towards a well nurtured and healthy life. When we allow our children to eat themselves into obesity while living a sedentary life sitting in front of a television, this is negligence at best, abuse at the worse. You, the parent and responsible adult in their life, must be the example your children want to emulate in life. If you are fit and healthy, your children are more likely to be fit and healthy. If you are obese, lazy and out of shape, do I need to say more?

Did that last line offend you? You might check your parenting if it did.

How big a problem is childhood obesity?

From the (CDC) Center for DIsease Control and Prevention

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States putting children and adolescents at risk for poor health. Obesity prevalence among children and adolescents is still too high.

For children and adolescents aged 2-19 years:

  • The prevalence of obesity was 18.5% and affected about 13.7 million children and adolescents.
  • Obesity prevalence was 13.9% among 2- to 5-year-olds, 18.4% among 6- to 11-year-olds, and 20.6% among 12- to 19-year-olds. Childhood obesity is also more common among certain populations.
  • Hispanics (25.8%) and non-Hispanic blacks (22.0%) had higher obesity prevalence than non-Hispanic whites (14.1%).
  • Non-Hispanic Asians (11.0%) had lower obesity prevalence than non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics.

Nearly one in five American children have a problem with being either obese or overweight. This number is far too high!

Complications your obese child will face in life!

From Mayo Clinic:

Childhood obesity can have complications for your child’s physical, social and emotional well-being.

Physical complications

  • Type 2 diabetes. This chronic condition affects the way your child’s body uses sugar (glucose). Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Metabolic syndrome. This cluster of conditions can put your child at risk of heart disease, diabetes or other health problems. Conditions include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol and excess abdominal fat.
  • High cholesterol and high blood pressure. A poor diet can cause your child to develop one or both of these conditions. These factors can contribute to the buildup of plaques in the arteries, which can cause arteries to narrow and harden, possibly leading to a heart attack or stroke later in life.
  • Asthma. Children who are overweight or obese might be more likely to have asthma.
  • Sleep disorders. Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder in which a child’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This disorder, which usually causes no symptoms, causes fatty deposits to build up in the liver. NAFLD can lead to scarring and liver damage.
  • Bone fractures. Obese children are more likely to break bones than are children of normal weight.

Social and emotional complications

  • Low self-esteem and being bullied. Children often tease or bully their overweight peers, who suffer a loss of self-esteem and an increased risk of depression as a result.
  • Behavior and learning problems. Overweight children tend to have more anxiety and poorer social skills than normal-weight children do. These problems might lead children who are overweight either to act out and disrupt their classrooms or to withdraw socially.
  • Depression. Low self-esteem can create overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, which can lead to depression in some children who are overweight.

Now that you have read that troubling list of complications your innocent child will encounter through a life of obesity, look upon that sweet child and think about your role in preventing them from experiencing an unnecessary struggle. You know you do not want their lives to be cut short because of obesity. I cannot imagine anyone wants a bad life for their child, but if you allow them to be sedentary and feed them an unhealthy diet, you are responsible for their future misery.

You are the responsible party for your child’s health and well being!

Many factors — usually working in combination — increase your child’s risk of becoming overweight. From Mayo Clinic

  • Diet. Regularly eating high-calorie foods, such as fast foods, baked goods and vending machine snacks, can cause your child to gain weight. Candy and desserts also can cause weight gain, and more and more evidence points to sugary drinks, including fruit juices, as culprits in obesity in some people.
  • Lack of exercise. Children who don’t exercise much are more likely to gain weight because they don’t burn as many calories. Too much time spent in sedentary activities, such as watching television or playing video games, also contributes to the problem.
  • Family factors. If your child comes from a family of overweight people, he or she may be more likely to put on weight. This is especially true in an environment where high-calorie foods are always available and physical activity isn’t encouraged.
  • Psychological factors. Personal, parental and family stress can increase a child’s risk of obesity. Some children overeat to cope with problems or to deal with emotions, such as stress, or to fight boredom. Their parents might have similar tendencies.

Diet and family factors. You are the responsible adult who does the grocery shopping. You control what your children consume every day at home. You have a choice when you go to your local grocery store to either fill your cart with healthy food choices to feed your children, or you can load that cart with highly processed sugar and unhealthy fat laden junk foods. You are the one who allows them to sit on their butts in front of a television or other electronic device all day while getting very little to no exercise at all. You are the one who should see a problem when your child becomes over weight and you are the one who must do something about it. Your child did not ask to be brought into the world. No, it was your choice to bring them into the world, therefore it will always be your responsibility to take proper care to ensure your child is healthy and well, even if it is an inconvenience to the manner in which you might want to live your life.

Whether your child is at risk of becoming overweight or is currently at a healthy weight, you can take measures to get or keep things on the right track.

  • Limit your child’s consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages or avoid them all together. There is no reason for your child to drink sugar sweetened drinks every day. Many children grow up drinking soda pops all day instead of water. I have a nephew who grew up like this and he now requires dialysis for kidney failure because of this foolishness. His kidneys are shot because he grew up drinking Coke all day, every day. His mother is responsible for this as she let this habit begin in his early childhood.
  • Provide plenty of fruits and vegetables. Some children are going to be picky eaters. Lord knows I was picky as a child, yet my mother never gave up. What ever you do, you must ensure that your child is getting enough their needed macro-nutrients, vitamins and minerals in order to live a healthy life. You know there is nothing nutritional about feeding your children sugar sweetened cereals and pop tarts. You know that soda pop and cookies are not nutritionally sound. You should know that while macaroni and cheese with hot dogs might be alright to serve your child occasionally for lunch, it is not nutritionally sound to feed them like this every day.
  • Eat meals as a family as often as possible. One of the healthiest things you can do as a family is to have dinner together at the dining room or kitchen table away from all other distractions such as television and other electronic devices. This is a great time to talk to your children and learn what is going on in their young lives. Your children need this kind of emotional support from you. You need this time to know what is happening in their young minds. You cannot get this when you allow them to play video games all day as an escape. If you are not interacting with your child, you might find yourself totally blindsided by their suicide one day.
  • Children and teens who are depressed have a higher risk of suicide. Symptoms of depression sometimes are obvious, such as appearing sad, hopeless, bored, overwhelmed, anxious, or irritable all the time. But some kids are good at hiding their feelings or don’t know how to share them. Since as many as 1 in every 5 teens experience depression at some point during adolescence, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all children over age 12 be screened for depression at their yearly checkups.
  • In addition to depression, mood disorders, eating disorders and other psychiatric conditions can increase the risk of suicide with your child. A sedentary lifestyle combined with obesity and poor nutritional habits greatly affects your child’s mood and how they view their own self worth. As a parent, you are responsible to help them sort all of this out before they decide to just end their own life before it has even begun.
  • Limit eating out, especially at fast-food restaurants, and when you do eat out, teach your child how to make healthier choices. Go to our Recipe Category for an abundance of healthy recipes that are easy on a family budget, and that are also as healthy as they are easy to prepare. Fast food drive through’s might be alright on occasion as a treat, but it truly is cheaper and quicker to feed your family nutritious meals at home.
  • Adjust portion sizes appropriately for age. You know, if your child is 5, they do not need a portion your 15 year old will want to consume. If you have teens in the house, you can still control the portion sizes by the amount of food that you prepare. Even if they raise hell with you, you are the parent. Stand your ground and manage your home instead of letting your child rule it as is so common now days.
  • Limit TV and other “screen time” to less than 2 hours a day for children older than 2, and don’t allow television for children younger than 2. If your child is not old enough to work a part time job to buy a television or electronic device for themselves, you have the control. You do not need to buy them their own television so they can sit and lounge about in front of it anytime they please. You set the rules of the house!
  • Be sure your child gets enough sleep.

Get your child outside and teach them to use their imagination!

I am a firm believer that one of the best things a parent can do for their child is to get them outside and teach them about nature. Take them out on a good hiking trail and have some fun with them by exercising your imagination as well.

Explore a trail and turn it into a great adventure they will want to do again. A make shift bridge could be crossing a roaring river. The woods could be anywhere in the world you want it to be. You can teach your children about the different plants and animal life you might encounter such as deer, raccoons and opossums. Those animal tracks you in the mud might be from a large wild cat you are trying to avoid. They can be anything you want them to be.

You could pack healthy snacks for your hike along with a pair of binoculars for bird watching. You can lay out your food and enjoy your snack while sitting on a large rock and observing the “dangers” or adventures you might encounter over the next hill. Let your imagination run wild with your child’s while out on a hiking trail. You can teach your child about edible plants you might find while pointing out those that are highly toxic such as Death Caps and any that are red on the cap. You never know where a wicked witch or evil troll might be lurking out in those woods when you use your imagination with the children.


There are many lessons of life you can impart onto your child while out in the woods. You can speak of the hard lessons of life we must all come to learn at some point which will only serve to make them be well adjusted adults. And you can, and must, also teach them to seek out the beauty that is the gift of life. Every where we may venture, there can be found something of beauty to behold. Get your children excited about life and all that it has to offer. Get them excited about outdoors activities that capture the imagination. As a parent, you are responsible for giving your child as great a life as you possibly can.

Let’s keep our children healthy, it is not an impossible task if only you will.

Why Do I Even Care About Your Obesity? Our Children and Our Future as a Nation

Why in the hell do I care about you?

Why do I give a damn about helping you to manage your weight through good lifestyle habits of proper nutrition and physical fitness?

Because obesity is a human tragedy unfolding before our very eyes.

Every year, the percentage of people who are overweight, obese, or morbidly obese continues to unnecessarily rise. Every year our expenses for medical care continue to rise as well. We can sit around and bitch about Big Pharma, Big Medicine, Big Insurance and the government all day long. Yet, none of this bitching ever addresses our own personal responsibilities towards our health care expenses. If you are broke from health care expenses, you had better take a deep look inward towards how you live your life. If you have a gluttonous appetite and do no exercise, you are solely responsible for your health problems short of a few maladies.

Our lack of control over our own damn appetites is killing us.

Our lack of self control and discipline causes our obesity which is directly responsible for causing inflammation in our bodies, type 2 diabetes, heart problems, fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, cancers and more. Every bit of this is preventable if we gain control over our appetites and move our asses with exercise. Movement that gets the blood flow going with an increased heart rate. Movement that burns off your glycogen stores and then fat. Movement that does not accomplish glycogen and fat burning is better than nothing at all, yet is damn near useless in helping you to live a healthier life. Counting actions such as running your vacuum cleaner as exercise is not going to win you any prizes, it will not even get you into second or third place. Nope, this kind of movement only means that you are just one step ahead of the total couch potatoe. Maybe not even that much.

Your life will always become the business of someone else when you are careless with it.

You might think your life style is no business to anyone else, but what happens when you need extended care from family, friends or health care professionals. Can you say it is still not their business how you live? If you believe you can, you are some kind of selfish. Your actions will always impact others in your life. Even when we step up to care for our loved ones with no complaints, and provide care for you out of pure selfless love, your lifestyle descisions can and will affect others. This is a truth in life you can not avoid. Even if you decide to live as a hermit and die unattended and alone in your home, someone will have to live with the mental impact of delivering your corpse to the morgue. Hopefully, you have not decomposed too far when they arrive to retrieve your body.

Obesity is dooming our children to a life of illness.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970’s. Nearly one in five school age children and young people (6 to 19 years old) in the United States are obese. This is unsatisfactory and unnecessary as obesity is preventable. Parents, if you are allowing your child to become obese, you are doing them no favors in life.

About 25% of children in the United States aged 2 to 8 years have a chronic health condition according to CDC. They have chronic health conditions such as obesity, asthma, behavior/learning problems, and other health conditions that can all be traced back to unhealthy and improper nutrition and lack of physical activity.

Parents, you owe your children guidance in living healthy. While they can recieve nutritious meals in school, you have a responsibility to feed them healthy foods at home. Get rid of the Pop Tarts and sugary cereals that you are feeding them for breakfast. And for heavens sake, quit feeding them from fast food drive throughs simply because you are too lazy to prepare a porper meal for them at home.

If you have the time and money to feed your kids from a fast food drive through, then you have the time and money to feed them a healthy home cooked meal. Using the reasoning that you are too tired to feed them healthy is a lame ass excuse that comes from laziness on your part. Your children deserve better out of you.

From US Library of Health and Medicine, Nation Insitute for Health:

Psychological disorders such as depression occur with increased frequency in obese children. Over weight children, followed up for 40 and 55 years were more likely to have cardiovascular and digestive diseases as compared to those who were lean.

Let this sink in to your thoughts for a few minutes. If you do not do anything to contribute to your childs good health, if you let them eat crap foods and not exercise, you are directly responsible as a parent for their current and future health problems. If reading this causes you to be angry, I really do not care because the anger can only come from you not accepting your parental responsibilites to your children. Being as your children did not ask you to bring them into the world, you must place their well being first and foremost over everything else in life.

Ponder this young lady’s sad story I found on a weight loss forum:

I am currently 348 lbs. I am 23 years old.

I have major health problems associated with my weight. I have major heart issues, my heart rate gets up into the 200’s with me just standing up. I have type 2 diabetes, I have chronic pain in my bones and muscles. I have been obese since I was a kid.

I suffered from depression and anxiety growing up. I was bullied a lot. I had suicidal thoughts when I was just 8 years old. Food was, and still is a gateway to ease the pain.

I have two beautiful children. But, I am unable to care for them on my own. I can’t enjoy my life. My days are mostly sitting around watching everyone else live. I am unable to exercise due to my heart rate. But, I was told that if I lose 45 lbs, they will do a pacemaker. I’ve seen multiple heart doctors. And all have suggested weight loss surgery.

This is a truly sad story, and it is not unusual in it’s very nature when you follow any type of weight loss/management social media forums. Read this young lady’s story again and consider how many lives are being affected here. Seriously consider what lifestyle actions could have been taken to prevent this unfolding tragedy. If you are a loving parent of a child who suffers from obesity, please love them enough so this does not become their sad life story too.

You’re Pre-Diabetic, Now What?

All across America people are eating more and more sugar laden meals while also getting significantly more lazy. The end result is we have a majority of our citizens who are either over weight at a minimum, or straight up obese. Many of these people will visit their physician who might order a blood glucose screening, and then find themselves receiving a diagnosis of being prediabetic. If this scenario applies to you, you are being given a stern warning that you had better get your act together in regards to your dietary habits and sedentary lifestyle. Having a diagnosis of prediabetes is akin to full blown type 2 diabetes giving you a shot across the bow to warn that you need to cease and desist in your current lifestyle. You had better get it together like right now as prediabetes can be reversed through proper diet and exercise. This is your chance to defend yourself against type 2 diabetes, do not be a fool and just give in to getting it. If you think life might be tough by turning prediabetes around, you are only setting yourself up to learn some hard life lessons if you let the shit go.

You can control it, you are not helpless.

What is prediabetes?

Being prediabetic means that your dietary habits have resulted in your blood sugar levels becoming higher than normal, yet not high enough to be type 2 diabetes. If you do not change your ways, without serious dietary changes, at this point you are quite likely to progress to type 2 diabetes. Listen up, if your ass has been diagnosed as being prediabetic, the long term damage from diabetes to your heart, blood vessels, and kidneys may already be starting.

Damage to your heart, blood vessels and kidneys is nothing to take lightly. Of course, there are many who will not take this seriously until the problems have begun to make their lives difficult. And then, when the proverbial crap hits the fan, they will expect their doctor to just fix them with a medication or something. If you are this individual who would rather have a doctor prescribe you a medication over just unfucking yourself, you are a fool.

If, however, you are half way intelligent you will understand that type 2 diabetes does not have to be inevitable and you will make the personal choice to do something about your diagnosis of being prediabetic by beginning to eat a healthy diet and incorporating physical fitness activities into your daily routine. By doing these simple lifestyle changes and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage, you can bring your blood sugar levels back to a normal level. You have a choice between eating healthy and exercising, or you can continue on your merry way with an obese body while cramming cookies and cake down your gullet and washing it all down with sugary soft drinks. This may appear to be an extreme way of putting it, but I am intentionally not sparing your feelings simply because I want you to fix yourself before it gets worse, If my words make you a bit uncomfortable or irritated, you will remember them far longer than if I was sugar coating them for you.

Sadly, children are being affected by prediabetes and full blown type 2 diabetes the same as adults. If you give a damn about the children in your life, then be the role model they require in order to live a healthy life. Make the choice that your unhealthy dietary habits are not more important to you than helping your children. If you have brought children into this world, you damn sure owe it to them to ensure they grow up healthy and fit. Anything less is a serious shortcoming on your part as a parent and is no better than anything else which can be considered child neglect. Children can have their blood sugar levels brought back down in the same way as adults, with a little exercise and a healthy diet.

Prediabetes generally has no signs or symptoms.

You may not have any symtoms at all that you are prediabetic other than the fact you are over weight and out of shape. One possible sign that you might be at risk of type 2 diabetes is darkened skin at the neck, armpits, elbows, knees and knuckles.

If you have moved from being prediabetic to full blown type 2 diabetes, here are signs and symptoms that you have done so:

  • You will experience increased thirst.
  • You will need to urinate more frequently than normal.
  • You will feel fatigued.
  • Blurred vision will also become a problem.

If you begin experiencing these symptoms, get your tail end to your doctor and ask for a blood glucose screening, especially if you already have any of the risk factors.

Causes

While family history and genetics do play an important role in people developing prediabetes, factors that are also important are being lazy and or inactive and excess body fat, with an emphasis on belly fat. People with prediabetes no longer process blood sugar (glucose) as they should when healthy. As a result, sugar accumulates in the blood stream instead of doing it’s normal job of fueling the cells that make up muscle and other tissues, The majority of the glucose in your body comes from the foods that you consume. When food is digested, sugar enters your bloodstream. Getting this sugar from your bloodstream into your cells requires insulin which comes from your pancreas.

Every time that you eat, your pancreas secretes insulin into your bloodstream. As insulin enters your bloodstream, it causes sugar to enter your cells, thereby lowering your blood sugar. As your blood sugar levels drop, the pancreas backs off on secreting insulin. This is how it is supposed to be, however, when you are prediabetic this process begins to malfunction. Instead of fueling your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream. High blood sugar occurs when your pancreas does not produce enough insulin or your cells become resistant to insulin, or both conditions.

The same factors that increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases your risk of prediabetes.

  • Weight. If you are carrying too much body fat, know that this is your primary risk factor for developing prediabetes. The more fatty tissue you have, especially inside and between the muscle and skin around your gut, the more resistant your cells become to insulin.
  • Waist size. If you are big around the waist, it is an indication that you are insulin resistant. The risk of insulin resistance goes up fo men with waists larger than 40 inches and for women with waists larger than 35 inches.
  • Dietary patterns. Eating processed foods and meats, eating foods with added sugars and drinking sugar sweetened beverages places you at higher risk for prediabetes.
  • Inactivity. The less you move your body the greater your risk of prediabetes. Get your ass and move it with a purpose. Make that purpose be one of improving your life. Physical activity not only helps you to drop body fat, it uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.
  • Age. Although diabetes can develop at any age, you are at a higher risk after the age of 45. Of course this could largely be because folks over 45 tend to exercise less lose muscle mass and gain weight as they age. Do not let age be a lame excuse for not being physically active. Get up and move your body damn it. Even if you have to begin a little at a time, just do it as a part of your daily routine, You can build up to longer durations of activity over time.
  • Family history. If you have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes, your risk of prediabetes is increased. Type 2 diabetes runs on both my paternal and maternal sides of my family, which means I am at a higher risk, yet I refuse to live my life in a manner in which I make myself susceptible.
  • Race. It is unclear why, but Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders are more likely to develop prediabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes. If you develop gestational diabetes while pregnat, you and your child are at a higher risk of developing prediabetes. Knowing this, you owe it to your child to ensure they grow up eating healthy and getting plenty of physical exercise in their lives. Also, if you gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds, you are also at risk for prediabetes.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome. This common condition increases womens risks of prediabetes.
  • Sleep. People with sleep apnea have an increased risk of insulin resistance. People who work changing shifts or night shifts which can cause sleep pattern interuptions, also may have an increased risk of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Other conditions associated with prediabetes include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Low levels of high densiy lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or, the good kind.
  • High levels of triglycerides which is atype of fat in your blood.

When these conditions occur with obesity, the are associated with insulin resistance. The combination of three or more of these conditions is often referred to as metabolic syndrome.

The most serious consequences of prediabetes is progression to type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can lead to:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Blindness
  • Amputations

Research has indicated that prediabetes is often associated with unrecognized heart attacks and can damage your kidneys, even if you have not progressed to type 2 diabetes.

By making a personal choice to get physically active, and to get healthier by losing bady fat, you can keep yourself from ever becoming prediabetic even if diabetes runs in your family. Eat a good healthy diet, move your body, lose weight and control your blood pressure and cholesterol. All of this can be done by making a personal choice to do so and then making it happen through dietary changes and exercise. You do not need medications to rid yourself of prediabetes or the risk of acquiring it. Nope, all that is required is a commitment on your part. Just do it. Get it done today. Follow us at David’s Way, we have almost 500 nutrition and fitness articles with tons of healthy recipes to help you along your way. Any topic you are interested in, can be entered into our blog search bar and everywhere we have written on it wil come up for your reading pleasure.

Develop Healthy Habits for a Healthy Life

What is the importance of creating healthy habits for a healthy lifestyle? This question seems simple enough to answer, yet there are far too many who have not established healthy habits in their lives and seem to have little if any grasp of doing so. This is evident by our rapidly expanding obesity problems where often if there is any sort of habits, they are usually the default of getting through the day in the easiest manner possible. The habit of going the route with the least resistance in life, is usually not going to be the healthy way.

Habit

A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. The American Journal of Psychology defines a habit from the standpoint of psychology as a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing or feelin through previous repetition or experience. Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it, because a person does not need to engage in self analysis when undertaking routine tasks.

At David’s Way, we strongly encourage you to develop healthy habits in regards to your nutrition and physical fitness.

Track the calories and macro-nutrients of everything that you consume on a daily basis. By developing this habit, over time when you have found yourself in a situation where you can not look up your calories and macro’s, you will have enough nutrional information stored in your memory that you can keep yourself on a healthy track of not over eating.

Measure and weigh your foods in order to know exactly how much you are consuming. Combining this habit with tracking, will allow you to look at a plate of food while out with family and friends and then being able to get an accurate enough estimation of how much you are about to eat. By weighing, you will etch into your mind how much of different foods are considered your normal serving size. For instance, if you weigh meats, you will automatically know that 3 ounces is typically about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. One tablespoon of a spreadable condiment or peanut butter is roughly the size of your thumb, etc… When you develop the habit of tracking and weighing, it just becomes a thing you automatically do whether out with friends or in the privacy of your own home.

Read ingredient labels on the foods you buy and especially the labels on foods you have never tried before. It takes little of your time to take a quick look to see the caloric and macro-nutrient information. Take a quick read of the ingredients to identify if there is any added sugars as so many foods of today have a lot of hidden sugars in them. Remember that almost every ingredient that ends with “ose” such as fructose, sucrose and glucose are all sugars. This is important information when you have decided to kick sugar out of your diet.

Get in the habit of pre-planning your meals. And use that meal plan as your shopping list when you go to your local grocer. Make it a habit to stick to your planned meals and do not buy junk foods that are not on the list. Of course, the junk foods should actually remain on the grocery stores shelves instead of in your kitchen pantry.

Make it a habit that when you prepare a meal, that you clean up behind yourself as you go in order to not have a sink full of dishes to deal with later. The time added to meal prep when you clean behind yourself is minimal as you can easily rince a dish and place it in a dish washer as you brown a piece of meat on the stove. You can scrub a good amount of dishes by hand if you are waiting on a pot of water to boil. When you clean behind yourself, you will find it easier to properly prepare your next healthy meal when your sink is not already full of dirty dishes.

Make it a habit to be able to tell people “No” when you need to. Even well meaning people will sabotage your weight loss or weight management efforts. They will offer up some tasty sweet treat that is irresistable while knowing that you are trying to be healthy. If the consumption of simple carbs do not drive your appetite into overdrive with cravings, then you might enjoy that small slice of cake if you can afford the calories. However, if you have never had much if any control over your appetite because of simple sugars in the past, then you really need to be able to say “no thank you” often enough that people will quit asking you to enjoy sweet treats with them. If you are addicted to simple carbs, then turning down a treat from a well meaning friend is no different than an alcoholic turning down a beer while in a social situation. After all, we are talking about your personal health. These well intentioned family and friends are not likely to step up to the plate and pay your bills when your nutritionally related health issues are keeping you from working. Nope, a lot of these folks will actually go from being kind to talking about what a fat pig you are if you get to the point where your obesity has become too much for being able to support yourself. Face it, it can be a cruel world we inhabit.

Developing healthy habits is paramount to living a healthy lifestyle. Healthy habits become what you automatically do each day with little to no thought. As with training we went through in the military, practicing real world situations where you respond while under a great deal of duress, just become automatic actions, or habits to get you through the training evolution. You perfect actions and movements so that when serious combat breaks out, the manner in which you respond is carried out with little forethought as you have these scenarios already ingrained into your mind. When you develop healthy habits in your home in regards to your nutrition, it is easier to remain on track when a tragic circumstance happens in your life. Once healthy eating habits become your lifestyle, it becomes easier by leaps and bounds to get through tough times when your body is healthier and not craving sugar which has a negative impact on your body chemistry and how you feel. When you develop healthy habits that allow you to live a healthier life, you then have an increased capacity to care for others in your life who may require your assistance. You never know when your little ballerina may break her leg. Your senior father has developed dementia and your mother is having a hip replacement. By never knowing for certaint what kinds pitfalls you might experience in life, your best course of action is to prepare yourself through healthy habits for a healthy life.

Metabolic Syndrome, The Hard Truth

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

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

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

Metabolic Syndrome

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(1) www.MayoClinic.org

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…