Category: Nutrition

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. 😋

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“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

Why Sit-ups Enlarge Your Gut

Do you ever wonder why you do hundreds of sit-ups every week and your gut gets bigger? Do you ever wonder why, despite all of this abdominal work that you’re doing that instead of a six-pack you have a dunlap? It’s your diet.

Everyone has heard that abs are made in the kitchen. No truer words have ever been spoken. If you have a layer of fat on your belly, regardless of how much ab work you do, you will not see your abdominal muscles. It’s mandatory to shed that fat pad if you want to look ripped.

I’ve often heard it said that someone wants to “get some abs”. Guess what, you have them. We all have abdominal muscles or we couldn’t stand upright. The trick is to uncover them. Good strength training will make them look better but you will never see the fruit of your labor unless you shed the fat.

When you do a high number of ab exercises you will get hypertrophic growth of those muscles. This occurs when inflammation from the exercises causes the body to retain sarcoplasmic fluid in response to the microtears to the muscle tissue caused by exercise. If you have a layer of fat on your abdomen, then the retained fluid, also known as “a pump” will just cause your gut to protrude all the more. If you lose the fat, then when you get that “pump” in your abs, you will have a visible six-pack.

At David’s Way we promote a high protein, low carb diet. We do not promote keto. For most people that is too restrictive and if they lose fat that way, they will usually rebound and overeat and gain the fat back rather quickly. We also advise to aim for about 1 pound per week loss. You can download the Calorie Counter Pro and enter your information for a customized calorie count for your personal needs. This is private, only you can see this information. It is also a free service. Everything on this blog is free to you because we want to improve the health of humanity worldwide.

When you begin to lose that fat pad, you will see your hard earned abs emerge. They are waiting.

Hormones and Nutrition

Our Bodies Social Media

Our endocrine system is an amazing messenger that keeps everything up and running with chemical fuels that are more powerful than we can imagine. They regulate our metabolism, energy levels, growth rates, reproductive health and our responses to everything around us. Nutrition plays a role in regulating our hormones, so for optimum health we need to be aware of how some foods can affect this network of “instant messaging” that runs throughout our bodies.

Necessary Nutrient

I frequently hear people say that they have trouble getting enough protein. They tend to fill up on carbohydrate laden foods and as a result, are never satisfied and tend to overeat. Adequate protein is necessary for hormone production. There are 20 amino acids, the building blocks of protein, that are necessary for human life. We can produce 11 of those inside our bodies but must get the rest through what we eat. In order to insure adequate protein intake we need to get about 0.6-0.8 grams per pound of body weight. If you are a weight trainer, you need more, about 0.8-1.2 grams per pound of body weight to insure the strength and muscle gains that you need and want. Some protein will build hormones and some will build enzymes that act as chemical catalysts and other protein will become muscle cells. Eating protein at every meal will reduce your level of ghrelin, a hormone that makes you hungry. Experts recommend getting a minimum of 20-30 grams of protein at every meal. (1)

Eat to Stop Eating

Eating anti-inflammatory foods will increase how well you respond to leptin, the appetite suppressor hormone. Fatty fish, nuts and leafy greens are good anti-inflammatory foods that can improve your sensitivity to leptin and help you stop eating sooner.

Decreased Thyroid Function?

Thyroid hormones determine the speed of your metabolism. Eggs, cranberries, milk, lima beans, potatoes, ocean seafood, dried plums or prunes and yogurt are all good sources of iodine which is necessary for good thyroid function. Always consult your doctor for dietary guidance if you have known thyroid problems and especially if you take medications for thyroid function. These drugs are powerful and the thyroid is a very powerful part of your endocrine system.

A Disturbing Trend

I am becoming increasingly aware of an ever increasing number of young women with PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome. PCOS is an insulin resistant condition that may be affected by diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. At David’s Way we always advise you to avoid these foods. Sugar has no known benefits, promotes insulin resistance and packs on the pounds that add additional insult to your endocrine system. Even simple carbohydrates that do not contain sugar may increase your chances of insulin resistance. I have known of young ladies who want children to be told that PCOS would impact their fertility and yet still, they would not make these necessary dietary changes for their health. There are some studies that show a relationship between PCOS and increased risk of endometrial and breast cancer and cardiovascular problems. (1) Sugar and simple carbs cannot possibly be worth the risks involved in eating them.

Good Fat

Medium Chain Triglycerides are good fats that may decrease insulin resistance. So often people avoid fat, thinking that all fat is bad. We are supposed to eat some good fat. These powerhouses are found in palm and coconut oil.

Always avoid transfats. There is nothing good about them. They are found in baked goods, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, fast food, vegetable shortenings, coffee creamers, canned biscuits and canned frostings along with other sources. Read Nutrition Facts on your food purchases and avoid these troublemakers.

Monounsaturated fats found in olive oil and nuts are believed to increase insulin sensitivity. I have coconut oil every day in my protein shake and am not hungry for hours afterwards. The healthy fat and protein punch is satisfying and supports muscle development and maintenance for my heavy lifting sessions. I use the liquid oil and it mixes right into my shake easily and gives it a velvety texture.

Naturally Balance Your Female Hormones

These tips that help balance other hormones will help balance your female hormones. Eat good whole foods and avoid sugar and simple carbs and you will immediately notice a difference in the way you feel, especially if you normally eat foods containing empty calories.

Be Proactive

We have so much control over our health including our hormones. We can never have good hormone levels if we don’t give our bodies what they need to make them. When we eat empty calories, foods devoid of nutrition, we set ourselves up for disaster. Take control and reap the benefits of good nutrition today.

(1) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/balance-hormones#section1

Eating Out Successfully

The Best Intentions
How many times have you started out for the evening with the intention of staying on your program only to succumb to the party atmosphere in the restaurant and order too much food? Almost everyone has dealt with this. It’s not just you. Why do we allow other people to make or break our health for us? Those choices that you make on the spur of the moment in social situations are critical..
Why?
In 15 studies that were reviewed in 2013 it was indicated that we tend to behave in the manner that we believe to be acceptable or normal. If we associate with unhealthy people who possess unhealthy habits, we will pick up those poor habits. Strangely enough, the behavior continues when we are alone, not only with those people. While we are not going to abandon Aunt Sally whose trying to push her latest bakery concoction on us, we can avoid some people and situations that are bad for us. I once had a “frienemy” who openly stated that she could not tolerate me being smaller than her and left home-baked goodies on my doorstep frequently. I did gain weight, but when I realized what was happening, I lost the weight along with about 250 pounds of ugly fat, the “frienemy”.
Feel-Good Neuros
Many of foods that we tend to binge on are high carbohydrate and tend to boost our serotonin which is a party neurotransmitter. Many anti-depressants build serotonin, so when we binge on these foods, we are self-medicating.
Sugar lights up dopamine receptors all over the brain so when we have finished the high carb pizza and pasta and go for the chocolate cake that was meant for the table to share… we are boosting serotonin and dopamine. These foods are activating the same circuits as cocaine. They are addictive, and we crave them almost all the time if we make a habit of eating them. When one rush wears off, we will look for the hit again. When we continue this behavior, our health will suffer from excess carbohydrate, sodium, sugar and overall caloric intake.
1- How to Navigate Social Situations
When we eat out, we need to set the pace of the evening. Don’t let others who have bad habits take control. It’s all about choices. Make good ones.
1- PLAN I found out years ago that I could make much better choices if I was not blind-sided by the Menu. Nowadays it’s easier than ever to Google a restaurant and peruse the Menu beforehand. You will not be affected by the choices of those around you. Decide what you will order and as soon as the waiter shows up at your table, tell him that you know what you want and order. You have set the mood for the meal uninfluenced by the poor choices of those around you.

2- ORDER BETTER While you may not be able to prevent the bread basket or the tortilla chips from coming to the table, you can order your own healthy appetizer. Order some fresh veggies, such as celery sticks to go with a healthy dip choice. While others are stuffing their faces with high-carb bread and tortilla chips, you can be filling up on healthy foods.
3-AVOID cream based soups, creamy dressings, au gratin, crispy, battered, golden (it usually means fried), tempura, smothered, fritters, crunchy and en croute. En croute is wrapped in pastry!
4- TAKE CONTROL When you order, tell the waiter to bring half of your entree to the table and put half of it in a go-box or just order off of the appetizer menu if you can order small quantities.
5-SNACK The absolute worst thing that you can do is go all day without eating so that you can eat a lot when you go out. I have known many people who do this. This applies to eating with relatives at their homes or yours. Always eat well during the day and have a healthy snack before you go.
6-AVOID “ALL YOU CAN EAT” This is a no-brainer. You know better.
7- DON’T DRINK YOUR CALORIES Drink water. Avoid alcohol if at all possible. If you are determined to drink alcohol, order small without added sugar based mixers. Don’t drink “sweet tea”. I’m from the South and I witness this abomination frequently. Just don’t.
8- FOCUS If you have a favorite dish that you just can’t do without, have it. Have ONLY that, no bread basket, no tortilla chips, no alcohol, no dessert. Get what you came for, eat it and enjoy. Just because you are not eating at home, you don’t have a license to eat everything in the house. Get one thing that you love and focus on that.
Recovery
So, what do you do if you go overboard despite your best intentions? Remember, it’s one meal. Take it in stride and go on. Before you go to bed , be sure to hydrate with water. Be as active as you possibly can be for the rest of the day and the next day. Avoid anymore excess carbs and sugar and excess sodium. In a day or so, you can mitigate the effects of one meal if you get back on your program quickly
Consider Your Associates
While we are not likely to ditch family, there are some people in our lives that are toxic. Surround yourself with health-minded individuals who will inspire you and help you live a healthy lifestyle. Check in with us at David’s Way frequently. We post almost daily and have great tools here to help you along your way. If you have not downloaded the Calorie Counter, do so today. We are always available to answer questions and encourage comments. We will both get back to you and you have the unique advantage of a male and a female perspective here at David’s Way.

Loaded Gun, Ready Triggers

Even if you do not believe in God, you can still enrich your life through the principles of the Serenity prayer. Sadly, a lot people only think of the Serenity Prayer as something said by recovering alcoholics and junkies in their recovery meetings, or when trying to remain clean and sober. I personally try to use this principle in all that I encounter in life. Including control over my appetite and emotions. Like many people in western society, I too have had my own past issues with maintaining a healthy body fat percentage and control over food cravings. I know that Brenda Sue has too. All that we address in our writing has come about from our own unique life experiences, we are not types who will go on and on about what needs to be done about weight management while having never experienced what you are going through too.

Choices!

Friends, if you have been following me long enough, you know that I always place an emphasis on personal responsibility and choosing to do what is right for your health and wellness. When you take personal responsibility for yourself, you quickly learn there are some things you can change for your benefit, and there are some that you cannot. This is a simple fact of life for every single one of us. None of us are special in this regard, some of us just learn to navigate our way around obstacles in life. How this applies to weight management is the mistake many of you make in trying to lose weight is repeatedly attempt to change the things in which you cannot change, and you fail to change those things in which you can. In private communications with our clients, Brenda Sue and I see this insanity just about daily.

Loaded Guns

The big mistake that most people make in trying lose weight is they try to use will power over their cravings. You are not a special snowflake, and the failure of will power is not unique to you alone! If you think will power alone is enough to get through cravings that keep you obese, you are most certainly going to fail!

When in weight loss mode, most people believe they need to learn to overcome their weaknesses by strengthening their will power. While I agree people need to work on strengthening their will power, this in itself is not enough to over ride your cravings for food, nor does your will power do anything about decreasing your body’s ability to store fat. Intense and recurring carbohydrate cravings, as well as the body’s heightened ability to store fat, come from a physical cause.

Cravings and fat storage come from a physical cause!

This physical cause is a direct result of an excess of insulin in your body. Therefore, will power does not come into play in decreasing your cravings for high carbohydrate foods, loaded with bad fats and sodium. Will power does not change the physical workings of your body. While you may over ride your cravings for a short period, if you do not do anything about controlling insulin production in your body, your will power is bound to fail you. Your will power is no where near as strong as the powerful effects insulin has in your system.

Commonly, when people fail at their diets and weight loss because they thought it was a matter of willpower and self control over all else, they are only partially correct. Instead of evaluating why they failed and what they could have done in order instead, they will place the blame on their lack of willpower, or accept blame from others, and then they will simply give up.

An evaluation of self is in fact needed to understand why we fail at weight loss and successful management, but the evaluation must come from a base of knowledge. Without a good understanding of the reason why you fail at weight loss you are bound to begin the cycle of yo-yo dieting all over again. At David’s Way, we have placed a great amount of time into the study of why 98% of people fail at diets, and it is always obvious their futile battles are lost because they either lack the knowledge of how their body works, or they refuse to acknowledge their need to come at weight management from a better, more informed perspective.

Ready Triggers

You must accept what you can and cannot do about your body and the manner in which it handles your intake of food. Know that you are not helpless in this struggle!

Those of us who are addicted to carbohydrates are little different than alcoholics. We cannot change our body’s predisposition to release too much insulin. You might think of your predisposition as a loaded gun that comes literally from the genes you inherited from your parents. However, this genetic message is only a predisposition, or a loaded weapon just waiting on you to be the one who pulls the trigger.  It will not go off unless, or until you personally pull the trigger for it to do so. This is something you indeed have control over. While you are predisposed to release too much insulin, you can control that in which you eat. You can make the choice to quit eating added sugars entirely in order to not pull the trigger on your cravings. You can prevent your blood sugar and insulin spikes by not eating sugar. If you are carbohydrate addicted, you  have to change the way you eat. It may be difficult for the first couple of weeks, but it is not impossible. You have to take the same approach to your carbohydrate addiction the same as one who quits drinking, the same as one who quits smoking. You just have to quit, and not believe that you can ever have control over the substance you never had control over in the first place.

Get your finger off the trigger, damn it!

The biggest way you can derail yourself is by frequently consuming carbohydrate rich foods. Specifically, simple carbs! You have to understand that if you are predisposed to carb addiction, this is for life, just the same as alcoholism.

If you are born with this unfortunate predisposition, the more often you eat carbohydrate rich foods such as starches, snack foods, or sweets (including fruit juices) the more intense your insulin response will be. When you eat carbohydrate rich foods all day as many people with weight issues are prone to do, the high level of insulin will only serve to make you crave more and  more of them. This is a physical response, and is not one of a weak willed individual.

As you continue to eat these carbohydrate rich foods on a frequent basis, your muscles and organs will start to become insulin resistant. This is simple biology, you cannot change this. As you become insulin resistant, both the insulin and the blood sugar it escorts, will be steered away from the muscles and organs that require them, and will subsequently be stored away in your body fat.

In the first stages of insulin resistance, your body’s tendency is going to be weight gain. However, over time, even your fat cells will become insulin resistant which means the insulin and blood sugar remain trapped in your blood stream which will eventually lead to type 2 diabetes if you do not already have it. When you continue to eat carbohydrate rich foods, you are causing your body harm as this vicious cycle will continue repeating itself.

In many people who have been over weight or obese their entire lives, or those who find triggers such as pregnancy, stress, stopping smoking, and medications, will make them crave simple carbohydrates and gain weight easily. For others, we will see that although they might have been a normal weight in their younger years, the simple act of growing older changes their metabolism, which causes their bodies to become more insulin resistant. The damage that can occur from insulin and blood sugar being channeled into fat cells can be greatly mitigated by a low carb, high protein diet combined with vigorous exercise as we promote at David’s Way.

As a carbohydrate addiction progresses, the body releases more and more insulin in a valiant attempt to push through the resistance and force the insulin and blood sugar into the muscles and organs where they are much needed. When you continue to consume added sugar and excess carbohydrates, this extra insulin will lead to more severe carbohydrate cravings, or that feeling of being “hangry”. This is why we say to stop eating added sugars in all foods and to only eat whole foods that you have to prepare yourself. You cannot prevent your body from trying to protect itself from too many “insulin insults”, you cannot stop your body from becoming insulin resistant when you continue to eat too many carbs. This is why your willpower means little if you do not approach healthy eating with the right mindset and armed with knowledge.

Lets take an intelligent approach to our dietary habits.

Of course we still need carbohydrates in our daily diets, especially complex carbs that come from many vegetable sources and even simple carbs from whole fruits. The important point to remember is that when we do consume our carbohydrates, we do not use added sugars, and that we maintain a correct balance of protein and fiber in order to not set off and insulin imbalance which will set off our cravings for more carbs. You can maintain your blood sugar and insulin levels simply by enjoying well balanced meals that provide all the macro and micro-nutrients your body requires for good health. You have to know that all carbohydrate rich foods, including starches, snack foods, and sweet treats and drinks, and even some starchy vegetables when eaten frequently and without balance, can trigger your genetic loaded gun that makes it difficult for you to remain slim and healthy.

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Cancer Fighters

Phytochemicals are the compounds found in plants that have potential to help prevent chronic diseases like cancer. They can potentially strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, prevent DNA damage and help DNA repair, slow cancer cell growth, regulate hormones and prevent damaged cells from reproducing. (1) The American Cancer Society recommends eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables. If you eat a lot of fruits and veggies you are eating a lot of phytochemicals.

Carotenoids

Beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin are all carotenoids. They inhibit cancer growth, improve immunity, support vision and improve your skin. Broccoli, carrots, cooked tomatoes, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, winter squash, apricots, cantaloupe, oranges and watermelon are all good sources of carotenoids. It’s not just carrots anymore!

Polyphenols

These compounds can prevent the formation of cancer and also prevent inflammation. They are found in green tea, grapes, berries, citrus fruits, apples, whole grains and peanuts. These foods contain ellagic acid and resveratrol. Although wine is a source of resveratrol, we don’t recommend wine because of the huge number of calories and large amounts of sugars that you can drink if you have the habit of drinking wine. There is always a potential for addiction to alcohol and with these factors in mind, you have to consider long and hard if you want to drink wine or just eat good whole, healthy fruits and vegetables for your resveratrol fix.

Flavonoids

Apples, onions, soybeans, coffee, tea and citrus fruits are sources of flavonoids. They are known to inhibit tumor growth, reduce inflammation and boost immunity. They contain anthocyanins, quercitin and catechins. I had a Great Aunt who always ate the white, fibrous covering on citrus fruits that’s just underneath the peeling. She said it was for the quercitin. She lived to be almost 100 in good health almost every day of her life.

Isoflavones

These powerhouse compounds inhibit tumor growth and limit the production of cancer-related hormones. They’re found in soybeans and other soy products. I eat a lot of soy. It helps me retain some curves while I cut body fat.

Indoles and Glucosinolates

These chemicals can help lower your cancer risk by preventing tumor growth and decreasing production of cancer-causing hormones. They are found in broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprounts. I have read great reports on cauliflower for years. Nowadays it is being used for everything from pizza crust to mashed “potatoes”. Give this cancer fighter a try. It has a mild flavor and is quite versatile in recipes.

Inositol

There are different types of inositols and phytic acid is available in bran from corn, oats, rice, rye and wheat. Nuts and soybeans are also good sources of phytic acid. It prevents damage to cells so that when they replicate they reproduce a healthy cell.

Phytochemicals are found in all plant foods, not just fruits and vegetables. It’s best to get your phytos from whole foods instead of supplements. The best way to insure that you are getting enough is to always have a colorful plate. Like Mom said, “Eat your vegetables…(fruits and grains.)

(1) https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/phytochemicals-and-cancer-what-you-should-know.h10-1591413.html

Hungry All the Time?

Stealthy Invader

The first day that I began eating David’s Way, I quit being hungry all the time. Although I wasn’t eating large amounts of sugar , I had not totally removed it from my diet. As soon as I began David’s Way I examined everything that I ate for hidden sugar. Sometimes the sources will surprise you. It works it’s way into almost everything unless we diligently seek it out like a phantom in the night.

Return of Hunger

Several months ago I began a job where I am blessed to have free meals. I carefully avoided all sweet foods and anything that seemed like it might possibly contain any trace of sugar. Soon after beginning this job, however, I began to feel hunger like I had not felt it in a long time. I was mystified. I ate good whole foods and avoided processed foods which are a huge source of sugar. Still, the hunger haunted me.

Revelation

When I considered the menu tonight, I realized that every item on the menu contained added sugar. I had asked for the coleslaw recipe and guess what, hidden sugar. The succulent roasted pork tenderloin was slathered in sweet barbecue sauce. The beans served on the side contained a significant amount of sugar because other employees were talking about how sweet they were. And then, of course, there was cake, which I never eat. Suddenly I realized that many of the seemingly harmless foods that I had been so thrilled to have free were the culprit in my around-the-clock hunger that was coming and going at random, waking me up at night and causing me to examine my diet in intricate detail.

Cultural

There are cultures that put sugar in almost everything. I worked in a private home providing nursing care many years ago and because I was there so much, I became great friends with the cooks. Although their food was incredibly delicious, both of those sweet women literally put sugar into everything they cooked if there was any way possible. The colorful potato salad with finely diced carrots, celery, onions and bell pepper was doused liberally with sugar. So were the green beans,yes, green beans! So were the pinto beans and fried potatoes… Everyone in the house was either overweight or obese and I could not keep my weight under control unless I carried all of my food and ate none of theirs. The added sugar kept me hungry around the clock, just like the hunger that I have been experiencing on occasion since coming to work at my present place of employment.

How?

When we eat sugar, our body responds by secreting insulin to help metabolize it. When the offending molecule is dismantled there is still enough insulin in our bloodstream to be actively seeking a sugar molecule so the natural response of our body is to secrete ghrelin which makes us hungry so that we can balance the insulin. As this cycle continues, we eat at times that we shouldn’t and in larger amounts. Unless we realize what is happening by meticulously tracking every bite of food that we eat, weight gain is soon to follow. I am actively “cutting” right now, trying to get my 18% body fat to about 14%, and I have been struggling to cut without excessive hunger. The hidden sugars in some of the home cooked meals that I have been eating have made my cut more difficult than it had to be. Although this cycle of eating sugar and getting hungry is a bit more complex than I have stated here, this is the gist of it. Eating sugar makes you hungry. You don’t have to be eating desserts and sugary snacks for this effect. Examine your food. Don’t be lazy and just assume that those green beans or that cornbread does not contain sugar. They just may.

Product Review, Beyond Meat

I consider myself to be nothing even close to being a vegetarian or vegan. I am a carnivore at heart, yet I do often enjoy vegan friendly foods such as vege-burgers. Not that I expect them to actually taste like a ground beef hamburger, I just happen to enjoy them because many of them are pleasing to my palate. If I am in the mood for a sandwich that is a little different, a Morning Star Southwest Black Bean Burger can hardly be beat as an alternative to ground beef. I have been seeing advertisements for a few months for Beyond Meat’s products and became intrigued with their Beyond Burger. I had no idea they also produced a vegan friendly hot Italian Sausage and Brats until I found their Beyond Burger in my local Dillon’s grocery store. I have now eaten the burgers and Italian sausages and once I try the Brats, I will do a review on them as well.

Beyond Burger

The picture on the left is from an advertisement for Beyond Burger, the picture on the right is one I snapped of the actual product. As you can see, the advertised picture appears to resemble ground beef patties much better than how the product actually appears. This reminded me of days gone by where hamburgers advertised for sell at movie concession stands appeared significantly better than the limp patty and soggy bun you actually received if you bought one. Curiosity still had me so I made my purchase despite the deception of the pictures I had seen in a multitude of adds.

What is a Beyond Burger?

From Beyond Meats website:

The Beyond Burger is the world’s first plant based burger that looks, cooks and satisfies like beef. It has all the juicy, meaty deliciousness of a traditional burger, but comes with the upside of a plant based meal. The Beyond Burger packs 20g of plant based protein and has no GMOs, soy or gluten.

Can this be true? And what is in them?

This might be spooky as the vegan meat substitute is advertised to even bleed out the same as a ground beef hamburger when you cook it. I’m not sure I get why a vegan friendly burger that seeps blood would ever appeal to a vegan though. But, here are the ingredients and nutritional values for a burger:

Pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, water, yeast extract, maltodextrin, natural flavors, gum arabic, sunflower oil, salt, succinic acid, acetic acid, non-GMO modified food starch, cellulose from bamboo, methylcellulose, potato starch, beet juice extract (for color)

Nutrition Values:

270 calories per burger

20g fat 5g sat)

380mg sodium

5g Carbohydrates

3g Fiber

0g Sugar

20g Protein

Just because of the difference of appearance between the advertisement and actual product, I was skeptical about if I would enjoy these burgers. I opened the package and instead of being red in color, the burgers were more of a brown color with specks of solid coconut oil interspersed to resemble beef fat. Instead of resembling beef patties, my initial impression from sight and smell was the patties appeared and smelled more akin to something resembling canned dog food, only not as strong in smell.

However, at $6.00 US and given the fact I have lived on worse food concoctions within military MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat), I was going to cook them and at least taste them despite the fact I damn near chucked them into my kitchen trash can. I sprayed a little olive oil into a non-stick skillet over medium heat and began browning them. This is the point where my mind began wondering if they might actually be good after all. The coconut oil specks began to dissolve, and low and behold, there appeared a liquid that resembled blood seeping from the burgers. As they browned, that vague smell of canned dog food was replaced by an odor that more closely resembled that of frying beef. My brother in law who lives with us, came into the kitchen and thought from the smell that I had changed my mind and was actually cooking beef. The trial is beginning to look up now.

Once I had browned the burgers on both sides (about 3 minutes per side) I served them up to my brother in law and myself. I had told Howard that if they were no good to not feel bad about chucking it into the trash if he did not care to finish his burger. (He is kind of picky and had turned his nose up about vege-burgers)

Howard had his on bread with ketchup and mustard, mine was on a low carbohydrate, high fiber tortilla with Heinz 57 sauce. I was pleasantly surprised by the first bite. The burger had a taste and texture remarkably like actual lean ground beef. The taste was such that I believe you could feed someone one of these burgers and they would never realize it was entirely vegetarian, it was that realistic. The burgers browned nicely and looked just like ground beef once cooked.

Will I try them again? Yes, the package in the picture is my second purchase. At first, Howard only said they were alright in a non-committed way. About an hour later, he fessed up that he also thought they were pretty darn good too.

Beyond Sausage, Hot Itallian

From Beyond Meat web site: The worlds first plant based sausage that looks, sizzles and satisfies like pork. Nope, I’m going to disagree, but it is not all bad.

Beyond Sausage Ingredients:

water, pea protein isolate, refined coconut oil, Sunflower oil, natural flavors, Contains 2% or less of: Rice protein, Faba Bean protein, potato starch, salt, fruit juice for color, vegetable juice for color, apple fiber, methlycellulose, citrus extract, calcium alginate casing

Nutrition

190 calories

12g fat

500mg sodium

230 mg potassium

5g total carbohydrate

3g fiber

16g protein

Well, I actually enjoyed the hot Italian sausages, yet I did not think they even remotely resembled a pork sausage during the cooking process. I sprayed a skillet with olive oil and began browning them all around. Being as there was no casing from an animal source, they did not brown the same as a sausage made from meat. In fact, they left the vege-casing material a little bit stuck in my frying pan. While their smell during cooking was pleasing to me, I never smelled anything resembling pork. There was a smell of spice and something else I could not describe as anything I ever cooked, yet it was certainly not a bad odor.

Once I had my sausage fully cooked, I was ready to taste it. I sliced into it with a knife and I was not disappointed to not see a bunch of fat pour out. It was almost like they were made with lean meat in the same way as the burger. The sausage was firm and not greasy at all. The taste was good, however, I thought it tasted much closer to that of a very mild Mexican Chorizo than Italian sausage. They are advertised as being hot, yet I did not think they were the least bit spicy. But be warned, I also go through a bottle of habanero pepper hot sauce about every two weeks.

While I did not find them to taste much like pork, I thoroughly enjoyed the Italian sausage as a sandwich. At $6.00 US for 4 links, I enjoyed them enough to try them again and look forward to trying Beyond Meat’s Brat product in the near future. I will do a review on them too.

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