Category: Nutrition

Lessons of the Iron

When I first got my inspiration to write about continuing to push through a weight loss plateau, I wondered if that was enough to write about and then I realized, that’s only one lesson of the Iron. The weight loss plateau is only one of thousands of difficulties that the Iron helps me to overcome. When I first began my journey with the Iron, my first question was, “How long will this take?” My wise trainer hesitated and kindly responded, “The rest of your life.” Thank you, David, that truth has sustained me and caused me to push when it’s hard, damn hard.

The weight loss plateau responds to the same tactics that the Front Squat responds to, diligence to pursue the goal regardless of everything else. It doesn’t matter if I feel like it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hard thing to do. The Goal is everything. The Goal is all. The method that I use to get there doesn’t have to be pretty or comfortable. The truth is, lofty goals are hard fought and harder won. How many people find a hard fight fun or comfortable? Very few, I would imagine, but we all want to win. We all want what we want. Those of us who are willing to persevere when it’s hard are the ones who will be victorious.

When I first began lifting I had some pretty quick “Newbie Gains”. It’s encouraging and it makes you feel like a “Lifter”, but when the progress slows and you’re struggling and fighting for every quarter pound gain, you will know whether or not you really are a Lifter. I found myself doing what a lot of folks do. stopping short on my squat. I was fighting the weight all the way to the floor, trying to control the descent. All that got me was an uncommitted squat, you know, the kind where you look at your video and think, “Wow, I should be lower.” We do that in everything. We take on a difficult task and do it pretty well but don’t go all in. You can do that but you will never get what you came for, in the squat or on the job or on a weight loss program or a relationship or anything else. It’s all or nothing if you want all it’s got to offer. I have learned to give it up to gravity, drop like a rock, don’t fight the process and then…all I have to do is get up. It works for everything, go all in and get what you came for and be strengthened. You will get up stronger.

I know people who hack around, doing all kinds of random resistance training and say that they lift but really don’t have the strength or the appearance of a lifter. Again, they are not committed to pushing and pressing through hard times. When it gets really hard, they do something else. Sometimes they will quit squatting or deadlifting and do the newest, dumbest, trendiest thing that they saw on YouTube or at their gym. God, if I see one more video of a trainer having someone squat on a ball while struggling to hold onto a barbell I think I’ll scream. The first thing that you need to understand is respect for the weight, it is relentless. Don’t do stupid stuff. Have an established program and stick with it through the hard times.At David’s Way we promote the idea, “Live to lift another day.” While lifting can be done safely, it requires forethought and diligence to safety and form. While our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made, they are not indestructible. Respect the Iron. Speaking of form…

The day that I finally gave it up to gravity on my Front Squat and let it drop me was one of the happiest days of my life. Believe me, that’s saying a lot. I am 63 and live a full life. I grew up during the pursuit of happiness of the hippie era. I was a little young for some of it but that just made me more determined to experience my share of the good times and I did. I have traveled a bit, I have a son, I work three jobs, I write, I enjoy my dogs and am always up for a laugh. The day that I squatted below parallel on my front squat was still one of the best days of my life. Conquering that fear of descent changed my entire life. I knew that if I could trust myself to handle that weight, I could trust myself to handle anything. It was hard. I have learned to embrace hard things. The Iron has taught me that. Almost every worthy pursuit in life is hard. If we only do easy things, we won’t reach our full potential. The Iron makes me grow, muscle hypertrophy and mind hypertrophy. You gotta love it.

Living David’s Way, eating a low carb, (NOT keto), high protein, nutritionally dense diet and working out hard requires me to eat ENOUGH. Yes, now I am always concerned about eating enough. I have been a size 22. I have been 60 pounds overweight at my heaviest. I always had to worry about eating too much because I ate sugar and other simple carbs that contained too many calories and provided little to no nutrition. I was always hungry and craving something else. I was never satisfied. Now my biggest nutritional concern is making sure to get in all my calories before the day is over. I cannot lift if I don’t eat enough calories. Every bite that I eat is nutritionally dense and I have no cravings and rarely get hungry. I see food as fuel that is created to make me healthy and strong and by eating nutritionally dense foods, it does. I am finally free of the perpetual sadness that a “Dieter” lives with, I am not deprived. I am nourished.

There are many situations that we face in life where we can’t see the end of the journey. In order to reach our destination, it’s mandatory that we just trust the process. We get on the interstate and trust those road signs that tell us how far it is to our destination. We can’t see the destination, but we know it’s there. We trust the interstate system. The journey of The Iron is the same. I know that my destination is there. I know the shape and appearance of the body that I am furiously pursuing. I know the perfect form and ease of motion that awaits me. I know the strength and confidence that this journey brings. I just have to trust the process. The Iron has made good on every promise. It will continue to deliver as long as I trust it. My confidence and self-esteem is formidable. The Iron has made it so. I have made changes in my life that some people find astounding since I began this journey. Instead of “winding down”, I am “winding up”.

I almost never go to the doctor because I don’t remember the last time that I was sick. I take absolutely no medications. The financial impact of this alone is staggering. Good nutrition and The Iron is my first medical insurance. I don’t remember the last time that I needed the other kind. I spend my money on things that I want, not things that I have to have to stay alive. Neither of my parents had good health. My dad developed cardiac issues early in life and my mother was always sick. My good health is not genetic. It is choice.

Our choices are the most powerful tool that we have to create a healthy life. Every moment of every day we make choices. What would happen if you always made the choice for health? I challenge you, try it and see. Before beginning any weight management or exercise program, always have your doctor’s permission.

I love this hex bar for deadlifting. I use this one right now. https://amzn.to/2r2umcZ

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The Clean 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

The Downside to Keto

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

From Healthline.com

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

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

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

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

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

How do I plateau on Keto?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keto is unnecessarily too restrictive.

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

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

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

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

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

What happens when I quit Keto?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Stay Healthy and Fit This Winter!

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I’m always shocked when I  hear someone say that they stay sick all Winter! Why? There are steps that you can take to help yourself  stay healthy this Winter.

Cold temperatures  tend to make us crave carbohydrates due to low light levels affecting our serotonin  levels. Carbohydrates naturally  boost serotonin so when it’s  depleted, strong carb cravings set in, especially if we’re hungry and run down. To offset some of these cravings, eat a good high protein breakfast and have healthy snacks available throughout the day. Cravings are much less intense when we are satiated.

Make sure to get some Omega-3 Fatty Acids in your diet. They tend to help reduce joint pain and stiffness associated with cold weather. If you have less pain you are more likely to continue working out and be more fit. Omega-3’s are also known to help with depression which is more common during Winter months. Depression  can curtail your work out which is a shame because working out is known to decrease depression in some people. That is not to say that any of these will prevent or cure major depression. That is a subject to be taken up with your doctor, but these habits can help with simple Winter doldrums.

Mushrooms and spices help boost immunity. Try different  varieties of mushrooms in recipes and reap the benefits of naturally-occurring antibiotic-like substances found in all types of mushrooms. Liven up your regular  recipes with garlic, ginger, cilantro and other tasty spices that can help you sail through Winter with better health. Eat green and orange veggies to help ensure that you’re  getting  a good variety of nutrients.

Stick to your regular  workout schedule. Don’t  let Holidays and family and friends hinder you. Exercise helps balance your hormones and helps keep your body running more smoothly during stressful times. You might want to investigate ways to work out  at home so that the cold weather doesn’t  keep you from working out. There are videos and all kinds of home gym equipment that can help you keep your fitness commitment.

Get your vehicle inspected for safety and winterize your ride. Don’t  get caught out in freezing  weather in a stalled out car. Your life may depend on the safety of your vehicle during cold Winter months.

Be safe about your decorations during the Holidays. Open flames of candles cause many house fires every year. Decorations with lights get very hot if they are left on. Be sure to unplug all Holiday decorations when they are left unattended. Be sure to mind your fireplace and keep it safe. Keep your chimney clean because creosote fires are common in the Winter and they will burn your house to the ground. Make sure that you have CO detectors  and smoke detectors  installed and working with good hot batteries. Never just remove a battery to make the unit quit beeping.

Install handrails and use ice melt on your frozen sidewalks and other walkways. If you fall you may not only stop your fitness  program, you may be in the hospital until Spring!

Wash your hands frequently  and keep them away from your face. Transferring a microbe to your eyes while shopping could give you a preventable upper respiratory infection. Use some common sense.

Get your rest. Sleep helps support your immune system. During the Holidays stress can take an extra toll on your overall health. Replenish with quality rest. If you are a strength trainer, rest is always imperative.

Always stay hydrated. Staying hydrated helps flush trouble making bacteria out of your body.

With minimal effort you can navigate this time of year safely and in good health. Take care of yourself and enjoy this Season with no down time and great the Spring with an increased level of health and fitness.

 

 

Winter Skin Care

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Winter comes with unique challenges for our skin. The low humidity and indoor heat combine to create challenges where skin care is concerned. Nutrition  aimed at giving us healthy skin can make a difference  in these cool, arid conditions.

1-Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel  and herring are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids which help to maintain skin health. They help keep the skin thicker, more supple and moisturized. Omega-3’s also decrease  inflammation which can cause redness and acne. There is some evidence that they also help protect the skin from UV light and help with psoriasis.

Fish is also a source of good protein which helps increase the strength and integrity  of the skin. The zinc in fish helps with production  of new skin cells and overall skin health.

2-Avocados are also a source of healthy fat that is essential to keep skin flexible and moisturized. This fat is also thought to help with protection  from UV light which can cause wrinkles and other forms of sun damage. Avocados are also a good source of vitamin  E which helps protect  the skin from oxidative  damage.

Vitamin E is believed  to be more effective  when combined with vitamin C and 1 avocado contains about 20% of the RDI for vitamin E and 34% of the RDI for vitamin  C.

3-Walnuts are a good source of essential fatty acids which your body cannot make itself. They are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. While omega-6 is thought to produce inflammation, since the ratio of these fats in walnuts is good, walnuts are thought to fight the inflammatory response. Walnuts also contain significant zinc and small amounts  of vitamin  E, vitamin C and selenium.

4-Sunflower seeds  are an excellent source of vitamin E and selenium, zinc and protein. Nuts and seeds are good sources of good-for-your-skin nutrition.

5-Sweet potatoes are an excellent  source of beta-carotene which acts as a natural  sunblock. This is not to say that you can leave off the chemical sunblock but beta-carotene definitely helps it do it’s  job. This may help prevent wrinkles, cell death and sunburn. The beta-carotene also gives your skin a warm glow which adds to a healthy skin appearance.

6-Red and yellow bell peppers have huge amounts  of vitamin  A and are a great source of vitamin C which creates collagen in the skin to help it stay firm and strong. This can help decrease wrinkles and dry skin as we age.

7-Broccoli is a good source  of vitamins A and C and beta-carotene and sulforaphane. Sulphoraphane is a powerful protector from the sun. Winter sun can be intense when it is reflected off of snow and we tend to use less protection in the cold so nutrition  that assists in protection is an excellent  idea for Winter months.

8-Tomatoes contain all of the major carotenoids and vitamin  C along with lutein and lycopene. Lutein and lycopene also help to protect  your skin from the sun. Pair carotenoid foods with a fat like olive oil to boost absorption  of carotenoids.

9-Soy contains isoflavones which have been shown to improve skin elasticity and moisture and help protect from the sun. Since soy has estrogen-like properties it’s  better suited to women’s  needs.

10-Dark cocoa has been shown to decrease scaliness and roughness of the skin after 6-12 weeks of consumption. While we don’t  advocate eating chocolate with sugar in it, we have chocolate recipes that do not contain sugar. Just search for Lava Cake or Brownies on our Home Page!

11-Green tea has been shown to decrease roughness and improve skin thickness and elasticity. A cup of hot tea on a cold Winter day can do more than warm you.

Use a serum for more supple skin on your face and neck and moisturize with a rich body moisturizer immediately  after bathing and again 12 hours later. This will help to keep your skin soft and supple through the dry Winter months. Never go to bed with make-up on your face because it’s  drying and promotes wrinkles. The already dry Winter air will compound this effect so take it off, Ladies!

You are not destined to rough, red scaly Winter skin. With a little foresight and planning you can emerge in the Spring soft and supple.

The Role of Nutrition in Cancer Treatment

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Wisdom

You have heard it said that you are what you eat. While this is a definitive Truth, there is nowhere that this is more important than during cancer treatment. Proper nutrition can have great benefits for those engaged in the fight of their life with cancer.

Stay Strong

Muscle atrophy and malnutrition are common among people who have cancer. Lack of physical activity over an extended period of time along with a decreased appetite causes muscle loss. Plenty of lean protein in the diet will help to prevent this debilitating condition. Without adequate muscle, the patient is at an increased risk for falls and a farther downward spiral of appetite and nutrition because muscle increases your metabolism which drives your appetite. Stay healthier by nourishing your muscles.

The Perfect Storm

It is necessary to restrict added sugar in the diet because added sugar causes inflammation in the body which causes changes in DNA and can lead to cancer development. The excess calories from sugar are used to rapidly create more cells and every time we make a new cell there is a chance for the DNA code to be faulty. Sugar also increases fat cells and when those fat cells are stored as visceral fat which surrounds our vital organs, our hormone levels are affected in a way that influences when cells divide and die. Visceral fat also exists in a low oxygen state due to it’s compact storage deep within the body. Cancer thrives in a low oxygen state so the extra visceral fat gained by the excess calories from sugar greatly increases the risk of cancer development and proliferation. Obesity is a known contributor to cancer risk.

Incriminating Evidence

At David’s Way we encourage a low carbohydrate diet with no added sugar or simple carbs which break down into sugar. A study of tumor growth in glucose based diets as opposed to a low carb, or ketogenic diet, revealed that tumor growth INCREASED by 32% in people on the glucose based diet but DECREASED by 24% in those on the ketogenic diet. While one study is not definitive, the results cannot be ignored. (1)

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats along with the lean protein may also decrease the chances of forming new cancer cells due to the phytonutrients and fatty acids abundant in these foods. Fatty acids are also believed to help preserve muscle mass and function in cancer patients during treatment. Processed meats, all refined carbs, salt and alcohol may increase your risk of cancer. At David’s Way we promote these healthy foods and avoid the cancer causing foods that are believed to increase the risk of the development and proliferation of cancer cells. Visit often and read our articles and use our recipes. We’re here to answer your questions and encourage you on your journey to better health.

(1) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cancer-and-diet#bottom-line

Morning Star Veggie Corn Dog Review

As I have previously stated on a couple of other veggie meat substitute reviews, I am truly a carnivore who loves meat. That being said, I do actually like some of the meat substitutes I have tried, and will sometimes buy them when I might be in the mood for something a little different. Morning Star’s southwest chili black bean burgers make a really good sandwich when you pan sear them in a little olive oil. But now, on with the Morning Star corn dog review.

When you remove the frozen corn dogs from their package, they look just like any other corn dog you might have ever eaten. The instructions say to leave frozen until you either microwave or bake them in your oven. I liked them baked slightly better than I did microwaving them simply because the breading browned better in the oven, thus imparting a little better taste than the microwaved corn dogs.

Once cooked, I cut the end off of the first one to see what it looked like before biting into it. I was surprised to find the hot dog looked and smelled about like any other hot dog on the market. Upon my first bite, I thought it tasted decent enough, the texture was good and I thought I would enjoy them. However, as I ate the corn dog, the taste became less desirable to me. I finished it, and since I had a second corn dog cooked, I thought I would eat it with ketchup and mustard. The condiments helped some, but when I was done, I chucked the two remaining frozen corn dogs I had in the trash.

While the initial flavor was almost appealing, it became less so the more I ate. However, I will say they are far superior to Jenny O turkey hot dogs in flavor, so be warned to never throw your hard earned money away on their products. Yuck…

As with any beef hot dog, the veggie corn dogs will leave an after taste in your mouth. The problem with Morning Star veggie corn dogs is that after taste kind of resembles a beef hot dog that might have been exposed to some kind of mild chemical. You might have a different experience, but this was mine. If you like beef hot dogs and want a low fat, low calorie dog, then try Hebrew Nationals fat free all beef hot dog. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you might want to skip the veggie version of corn dogs. There are better things to eat, and these are really no more healthy for you than an all meat hot dog. They are all heavily processed food products.

Nutrition

4800 mg of sodium

24 grams carbs

less than 1 gram fiber

7 grams of sugar

only 6 grams of protein

Ingredients

Ingredients: WATER, WHEAT FLOUR, SUGAR, WHEAT GLUTEN, YELLOW CORN MEAL, YELLOW CORN FLOUR, CORN OIL. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF SALT, DEXTROSE, LEAVENING (SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, SODIUM BICARBONATE), METHYLCELLULOSE, BROWN SUGAR (SUGAR, MOLASSES), SPICES, YEAST EXTRACT, ONION POWDER, PEA PROTEIN ISOLATE, NATURAL FLAVORS, CARRAGEENAN, GARLIC POWDER, XANTHAN GUM, RED BEET JUICE CONCENTRATE (COLOR), PAPRIKA EXTRACT (COLOR), PAPRIKA (COLOR), DRIED YEAST.

Pyrophosphate is the first member of an entire series of polyphosphates. The term pyrophosphate is also the name of esters formed by the condensation of a phosphorylated biological compound with inorganic phosphate, as for dimethylallyl pyrophosphate.

I’m not sure I want to eat what ever pyrophosphate might be.

What the world is this all about?

Methylcellulose is a bulk-forming laxative that increases the amount of water in your stools to help make them softer and easier to pass. Methylcellulose is used to treat constipation and to help maintain regular bowel movements.

It does not get any better.

Carrageenan is an additive used to thicken, emulsify, and preserve foods and drinks. It’s a natural ingredient that comes from red seaweed (also called Irish moss). … Some evidence suggests that carrageenan triggers inflammation, gastrointestinal ulcerations, and that it damages your digestive system.

Beware!

Just because a food item is labeled and produced as being vegan and or vegetarian friendly does not necessarily mean it is a healthy alternative. Some vegan foods are just as processed and full of bad stuff as any processed dish containing meats. If you are concerned about eating healthy, simply quit eating all food sources with added sugars and simple carbs, and be sure that you are preparing only whole foods for yourself and your family.  How ever you manage your dietary habits, ensure that you do so by being fully informed and never just take it for granted that a label is designed with full honesty in regards to the contents.

Birch Benders Keto Pancake and Waffle Mix Review

For a long time I envied everyone making Kodiak Cakes, (David…), a low carb-high protein pancake. The variety that Walmart sells contains gluten and I avoid gluten. One day in Walmart, still checking to see if they might be stocking the gluten free variety, I happened upon Birch Benders Keto Pancake and Waffle Mix. I just had to give it a try because it’s also gluten free. There are other varieties of Birch Benders, but I eat a low carb diet and the Keto variety is the only one that I use. Let me clarify here, I don’t do Keto. I eat low carb but not Keto. This mix is low in carbohydrates so it fits nicely into my menus.

Birch Benders Keto has 160 calories, 9 grams of protein and 5 grams of net carbs per 2 4-inch pancakes. Due to the almond flour and coconut in the mix, there is a slightly chewy texture to the cakes, which I like. It keeps them from having that “simple carb” feel. Paired with Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free Pancake Syrup, they are a sweet delight. This syrup is superior to other sugar free syrups because it has a true maple flavor. The pancakes have a mild, buttery taste and I like to cook them in coconut oil which smokes easily so you have to brown them slowly to a rich golden brown for the best flavor and texture. Cooking them slowly gets them plenty done inside and builds a slightly crunchy crust.

When you cut into the cake, the crust will crunch a bit if you built that crust right. Awaiting inside is a fluffy, slightly creamy, almost sweet, textured center. Cooking in coconut oil enhances their “melt in your mouth” quality. When you add the maple syrup on top paired with either bacon, yes real bacon, or maybe turkey sausage if you don’t eat pork, and eggs they will satisfy any type of craving that you might have. While sugar based syrups and refined grain pancakes give you terrible cravings, this sugar free syrup and almond based pancake mix does not. I was a little anxious that I might start craving sugar after eating this scrumptious meal but they give you no cravings whatsoever.

The only drawback to these wonderful cakes is that two are hardly enough! Although these are a healthy treat, you still need to count your calories. Since there are 160 calories in two, plus the calories in the syrup, bacon or sausage and eggs, proceed with caution! You will definitely be wanting more. 😋

“ONE” Protein Bar Review

 

screenshot_20190830-2121545481196932818643225.pngAlthough we at David’s Way always encourage you to eat whole, unprocessed foods, we are realists. There are times when convenience is paramount and a quick, healthy snack can really help see us through until our next meal. Quite often we go for a protein bar. They’re everywhere but they are not created equally. Some are horrific masses of vitamin flavored, syrupy sweet, mealy textured substitutes for food. Some, however, can give you a protein boost and tie you over for a while with pleasure. For me, the ONE bars are an acceptable choice.

ONE bars come in many flavors and to be fair to the product, I will review them separately. I have not tried all of them so this review is limited, but as I sample them I will write about the new flavors that I try.

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“Almond Bliss” is the first ONE bar that I tried. I’ve got to tell you that at first, I totally agreed with the name. It was pure bliss. If you like an Almond Joy candy bar, this protein bar is for you. It’s tastes a lot like an Almond Joy. It’s chewy and chocolatey and smells wonderful. You can buy a box of 12 from one1brands.com for $23.76 or a box of 4 at Walmart for $7.12. They will cost you about $2.31 for a single in most places. Like I said, at first I thought that I had found a treasure. While they are really good, I tired of them pretty quickly as I tried other flavors. Although this is a good bar with 20 grams of protein and just 1 gram of sugar, all of the bars seemed to taste a little alike and the Almond Bliss lost it’s edge. It’s loaded with almonds and coconut and did fill me up for about two hours. Overall, it’s good in a pinch. Eating them too often can become a habit and they don’t seem as good after a while. Reaching for any processed food habitually will eventually encourage you to overeat because they are processed, or the equivalent of partially digested. I choose to eat protein bars infrequently and fill up on whole foods to keep myself full and satisfied. This bar has 230 calories.

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Ahhh…”Birthday Cake”… I thought that I had found Nirvana with this one. It’s a true Birthday Cake flavor and at first bite, it melts in your mouth. While the “Almond Bliss” remained good for me for the duration of the bar, this one did not. I have tried more than one of these over the course of a year or so and every one that I have tried has had a slightly mealy texture and seemed almost too sweet. They are so sweet that the sweetness becomes the “flavor”. The creamy, dreamy vanilla smoothness of the traditional birthday cake flavor gets lost in an overabundance of a sugary onslaught of white “frosting” and sprinkles. This one was irksome about halfway through. The price is the same as the Almond Bliss and again, it has 20 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar. Walmart carries these single or in the box. You can have a taste of birthday cake for 210 calories.

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I really liked this bar and have bought it more than once. It’s a bit sweeter than I like almost immediately but the slight tartness of the blueberry flavor balances the sweetness nicely. Before I finish one of these however, it still seems too sweet. The novelty of the “Bluberry Cobbler” flavor is pleasant but after buying a few of these, I don’t buy them very often at all anymore. It has a good chewy texture and the coating is creamy and sweet. If you miss blueberry cobbler, you will be charmed by this bar at first. It has 20 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar for 220 calories. You can buy these at Walmart.

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I liked this bar with coffee. The only place that I’ve ever found these is at GNC. It does have that “sameness” that all of these ONE bars have and it is very sweet. The main sweetener in these bars, Maltitol, can cause GI upset for some people, so don’t overdo it. Although I liked this one the best, the sweetness was a bit overpowering. The bitterness of the coffee took some of the edge off of the sweetness and left the cinnamon taste behind. It’s a novel flavor and is very interesting at first. I would not recommend buying a box of any of these bars until you try a couple of singles. The slightly warm cinnamon flavor is crowded by the sugary aftertaste. Like the others, it has 20 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar.

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Now… this “Peanut Butter Pie” offering is not too sweet. If you like a really sweet bar, you may not like it. For longevity, I do. Although this bar has that same “whey” taste that all of these bars have, since it’s only slightly sweet, it’s pretty good to the end of the bar. It has a nice, chewy texture and is satisfying because it has that protein punch of 20 grams with only 1 gram of sugar for 220 calories. The peanut butter flavor is authentic and not overpowered by too much sweetener. I have bought these several times.

I have tried other flavors and I will review them in the weeks to come. If I buy a protein bar, this is the ONE that I seek. They are not always easy to find but are far superior to some of those convenience store sugar and calorie bombs. Some of the so-called “protein bars” are merely candy bars with protein added. If you need a quick snack, you may want to try ONE the next time you’re late for a meal. It may help you avoid binging with the 20 grams of protein, while keeping your caloric intake low and avoiding most sugar. Never allow yourself to get and stay too hungry for too long. At David’s Way, we know that the best way to avoid empty calories is to fill up on good ones, full of nutrition. These bars can help with that on occasion.

Boca Crumbles Review

Friends, as a bonafide, meat loving carnivore, I must say there are a few vegetarian/vegan friendly foods on the market I enjoy for a variety of reasons. The first thing I want to know is if the product tastes good. If it is a vegetarian product, I do not care if it really tastes like the meat it is supposed to be replacing. I just want to know if it tastes good.

Next, I want to know if the product is any healthier than the actual meat product it is replacing. For example, I have tried Morning Star Vegetarian Corn Dogs, and while I found them to taste real similar to actual corn dogs, I did not find them to be any healthier once I looked at the ingredients.

The next thing I want to know about the product is if they are handy to use in place of cooking actual meat.

I have found Boca Crumbles to satisfy all that I look for in a vegetarian meat substitute. Boca Crumbles represent ground beef quite well, and can be used in any dish in which you might use ground beef without anyone knowing the difference. The crumbles look and taste like ground beef and are a delicious addition to chili, spaghetti sauce, beans, and even Sloppy Joe sandwiches. I personally really enjoy mixing them with pinto beans, salsa, chili lime seasoning and habanero hot sauce for a hearty and satisfying meal. If you or a family member has health issues where you are not allowed to consume beef any longer, you will find Boca Crumbles to be a worthy substitute.

Nutritional Information

60 calories per half cup serving

Calories from fat 0

Cholesterol 0 grams

Sodium 210 mg

Total Carbohydrate 5 grams

Dietary Fiber 3 grams

Sugars 1 gram

Protein 11 grams

Vitamins A and C 0%

Calcium 6%

Iron 8%

Figures based on 2000 calorie per day diet.

Ingredients

Water, Soy protein concentrate, Contains less than 2% natural flavor (non-meat contains gluten) Malt extract (contains gluten) Salt, Yeast extract, Caramel color, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, spices (contains celery) Glutamic acid, Contains soy