Category: Nutrition

Eat Your Oats!

Monday morning during our drive to Loraine’s surgical oncologist visit, we were discussing nutrition when she asked me the difference between steel cut oats and rolled oats. This was a good question and a topic I thought would be good to share with others.

I love oatmeal and usually have it at least three to four times per week for breakfast. I know a lot of people might think it too bland for their taste, to which I would have to inquire just how many ways have they ever tried preparing oatmeal. You see, oatmeal is a very versatile cereal grain that provides many health benefits to our bodies. Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They’re a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits that include weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.

(A point to remember for the gluten intolerant folks, while oats are naturally gluten free, they can contain some traces of gluten due to cross pollination with wheat, barley or rye in some fields. Check to ensure your packaging states gluten free if you are intolerant.)

Another great aspect of oats is they are an inexpensive food choice, costing only about thirteen cents per half cup serving of dry oats before cooking. I always kind of chuckle when I hear people say it is too expensive to buy healthy food choices when there are plenty of options that will not break the bank. Seriously, one has to ask themselves, is it not cheaper to make good nutritional choices that help to keep medical expenses down? Or do you find it less expensive to treat your body like a garbage disposal by consuming calorie dense foods that provide little to no nutritional benefit. Face it, many if not most common ailments that are not from a virus or bacteria are all related to poor food choices. Quality nutrition is the key to good health, the point is not  arguable at any level.

Steel Cut or Rolled Oats, Which are Best?

There is a fine line of difference in which oats are best for you. There is little difference in the nutritional values of steel cut or rolled oats. Which oats are best for you is a matter of personal preference more than anything, but lets go over the differences between the different choices:

Steel Cut

Steel-cut, rolled and quick oats all start out as oat groats. The oat groats are then processed in different ways to create either steel-cut, rolled or quick oats, all of which have distinct characteristics.

Steel-Cut Oats, are also known as Irish oatmeal. Steel-cut oats are most closely related to the original, unprocessed oat groat. The groats are chopped into pieces with large steel blades.

Steel cut oats have a coarser, chewier texture and nuttier flavor than rolled or quick oats.They also take longer to prepare, with average cooking times varying 15–30 minutes. To reduce cooking time, you can soak steel-cut oats beforehand.

Rolled Oats

Rolled oats, or old-fashioned oats, are oat groats that have gone through a steaming and flattening process. They have a milder flavor and softer texture and take much less time to make than steel-cut oats, as they have been partially cooked. You can prepare a bowl of rolled oats takes 2–5 minutes.

Rolled oats can also be added to goods like cookies, cakes, muffins and bread.

Quick Oats

Quick oats or quick-cooking oats are rolled oats that go through further processing to decrease cooking time. They’re partially cooked by steaming and then rolled even thinner than old-fashioned oats. They cook within a few minutes, have a mild flavor and soft, mushy texture.

Quick oats are not the same as instant, packaged oats that sometimes contain other ingredients like skim milk powder, sugar and flavoring.

 Oats are a well-balanced, nutrient dense cereal grain, no matter the type you prefer. They are an excellent source of complex carbs and fiber, including the powerful fiber beta-glucan, and contain more protein and fat than most other grains.

Oats are loaded with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds. Half a cup (78 grams) of dry oats contains:

Manganese: 191% of the RDI

Phosphorus: 41% of the RDI

Magnesium: 34% of the RDI

Copper: 24% of the RDI

Iron: 20% of the RDI

Zinc: 20% of the RDI

Folate: 11% of the RDI

Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 39% of the RDI

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 10% of the RDI

Smaller amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B3 (niacin)

This all comes with 51 grams of complex carbs, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and 8 grams of fiber, while only consisting of 303 calories. This means that oats are among the most nutrient dense foods you can eat.

The chart below compares the nutritional differences between 2 ounces (56 grams) of rolled, steel-cut and quick oats. As you can plainly see, there is an insignificant difference in the nutritional values between the different styles of oats.

For good health, incorporate oats into your day. They do not have to be just for breakfast, there are many savory oat recipes to be found on the internet to enjoy at any time of the day. Get creative and try something new with the  heart healthy grain. Your body will love you for it.

Your “Diet” Will Always Fail You

New Years Eve has come and passed, as have a good many resolutions to become a new person by losing weight and getting healthier in the new decade. These personal resolutions that were so heartfelt on New Years Eve, will by and large be empty promises by the time the 2020 swim suit season begins appearing in all the department stores. Possibly even quicker…

How do we know with absolute certainty how fast people with good intent jump off the weight loss wagon? We know this through personal experience of having had our own individual weight problems. We know this because of Brenda Sue’s past employment with one of the largest, if not the largest, weight loss companies in America. We know this because we have readers who privately confide these struggles with us through our  web site contact email.

How many of you might have tried a quick weight loss diet plan beginning New Years Day to find that you have already derailed your diet train right off the side of a mountain?

Have you tried a magical 7 day diet plan to only find yourself feeling even more hopeless when it did not work for you as you frivolously believed it would?

Years ago, in the “Old West” days in America, we had unscrupulous men traveling around the country with horse drawn wagons, selling miracle cures at every town where they were still unknown. These “Snake Oil” salesmen would often get run out of town when the local towns people figured out they were crooks cheating them out of their hard earned money. It would be nice to know these types have disappeared in the dustbin of history, but they have not. The “Snake Oil” salesmen are still among us. You can not turn to any type of media, whether television, radio, internet among thousands of other types of media, without seeing the evidence that these crooked bastards are still here. Except now, they have perfected their craft to be even more deceptive in their scandalous ways. There is an old saying that I think also can be applied to people who are desperate to lose weight as well. The saying is “a fool and his money are soon parted”.

There are a great many weight loss plans or schemes floating around, some good and some not so good. It is down right foolish, or naive to believe a good many of them will give you lasting results. Simply put, it is foolhardy if you have a weight issue to believe that you can just go on a diet and hurry through to get it over with in order to return to your old ways. And, this is the main problem with going on a diet instead of adopting the mindset to entirely change your thinking in regards to losing and managing your weight. You have to get “dieting” out of your mind and instead get your mind wrapped around the fact you have to reverse course and adopt an entirely new lifestyle of healthy eating if you want your weight loss to be permanent.

Not all calories are created equal!

At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we tell people through our numerous articles, and through personal consultation that it is paramount to track their calories consumed each and every day. If you do not track what you consume, it is far too easy to find yourself stuck at a  weight loss plateau, or even gaining weight. You have to keep yourself accountable to yourself. You have to make personal accountability of your nutritional habits a lifestyle if you want to keep your weight off for good. If you find yourself eating only 500 calories per day over what your body requires for maintenance, you will find yourself gaining a pound of fat back each week. You have to be at a caloric deficit in order to lose weight, and then you have to  remain disciplined with your nutrition for the rest of your life. This is true for damn near every one barring there are not any legitimate health issues that will keep you from losing. But, know this, these type of health circumstances are not the norm. It is not likely there is anything wrong with your body that you cannot lose weight for good. You are not a special snowflake where the rules of nutrition do not apply. This is a painful truth for many. It is not your body that will not shed the pounds, rather it is your thinking that keeps you heavy. I tell you this not to be insulting, but to help you. This would not be my 700th article if I intended to be hurtful to anyone.

There are many ways you can track your calories. We provide a calorie and macro-nutrient chart on our website to assist with this, you just have to do a little of your own math. You can read labels, and you can find caloric information on many internet sources. One day, I will incorporate an app that will track all of your calories and macro-nutrients right here on my website.

But, you need to know that simply tracking calories is not enough because not all calories are equal in their benefit to your well being and health. It would be misleading to say that a calorie is a calorie no matter where it came from. For instance, a package of sugar laden Strawberry Poptarts and 8 ounces of skim milk is 483 calories with 90g carbs (76g of simple carbs), 10.2g of fat and only 12.3g of protein. This package of Poptarts has only 2g of fiber and 32g of sugar. There is absolutely no nutritional value to any variety of Poptarts which are so very popular across all of America.

Now, for roughly the same amount of calories you could have 2 boiled eggs, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 turkey sausage patty, and a cup of skim milk for 466 calories, 41.2g of complex carbs, 18.7g fat, 34.9g protein, 4.2g fiber and only 2g of natural sugar. This breakfast can be made ahead and warmed in a microwave in about the same time it takes to stick your Poptarts into a toaster. This breakfast will provide you with plenty of protein and fats to keep you satiated longer along with complex carbs to fuel your body longer than simple carbs from sugar will. Calories are not equal.

As you can see, some foods bring you benefit while others bring you nothing but immediate satisfaction of hunger or a craving. Some foods give you absolutely zero nutritional benefit, it is only wise to give these up in their entirety as they only serve to pollute your body and contribute to the onset of disease. Wholesome foods bring you vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, along with trace elements that keep your body healthy. These nutritional properties are not found in refined sugar, and not in sufficient quantities in most foods that are heavily laden with sugar.

Food quality directly influences the balance of nutrients verses pollutants that it provides!

Good peanut butter can be a nutritious source of protein, unsaturated fat, phytochemicals, and vitamins. Yet, cheap peanut butter of low quality will only provide you with a lot of refined sugar and harmful transfats. It pays dividends with your health to buy quality foods. The expense of healthy choices will offset the expense you would otherwise incur through costly doctors visits and medications. Being as many ailments are a direct result of dietary habits, most are actually preventable if you eat healthy and exercise some. You do not need to buy only the expensive organic foods, just use common sense when you shop. Read labels and you will find many medium priced options that offer a good compromise between optimal heath benefits and living on a budget.

 

High Fat Verses Low to Zero Fat

In the past few decades, there have been many high-profile claims made in academic literature and other media sources that allege the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960’s to downplay the link between sugar and heart disease. With this downplay of sugar being a culprit, the emphasis was instead directed towards the dangers of dietary fat in our diets.

There are some who stick by the veracity of this claim, while there are other well respected sources who have debunked this rumor as a myth that never occurred. Legend has it,  documents unearthed in historical archives regarding the sugar industry funding of Harvard nutrition scientists in the 1960’s, were identified as “smoking gun” evidence the sugar industry successfully meddled in science and “derailed” the course of governmental dietary policy. Essentially, it is claimed the sugar industry wanted the focus of obesity problems taken off their industry and placed more squarely on the risks of fats such as in butter and beef instead. Allegedly, this shift of focus was also to largely ward off new taxes that were going to be implemented by the government onto sugar sweetened foods and drinks as they were being identified as a part of our society’s early problems with obesity.

Is this conspiracy story about the sugar industry shifting focus to the health issues from fat true? I do not know, I can neither prove nor disprove the veracity of the claims against it. Are there really people in the sugar industry this diabolical? I am normally not one who buys into conspiracies. However, there does seem to be a correlation between the low to no fat craze and our rising obesity epidemic.

However, thinking people know that correlation does always mean causation.

Yet when it comes to thinking people, it seems we have far too many in our midst who have lost their collective minds when it comes to their nutritional habits. Look around you. Everywhere you go, you are now  in the minority if you are fit and trim. Sixty eight percent of our population in America are out of good physical condition by being overweight or obese. Twenty five percent of our population are prediabetic.  This is a sad state of affairs that needs to make a turn around before it gets worse.

Over the last few decades we have watched as our grocery store shelves filled up with many low fat or zero fat goodies for us to eat. We have low fat cookies, cakes, ice cream, yogurts and on and on and on. Low to no fat food items as far as the eye can see.  There has been a monumental push to get fat out of diets, yet people are fatter in America than ever. Even the government has been pushing this foolish idea of eliminating fats from our diets.  Because a diet low in fat has been deemed to be healthy, government policies have affected nutrition programs in schools, hospitals and the military. Yet, we keep getting fatter.

The American Dietetic Association replaced the four basic food groups with the food pyramid in the effort to reduce the consumption of fats. Their intentions were good, but intentions without good results mean jack squat nothing. There has been a tremendous amount of time and resources expended to get people to reduce their fat intake, yet the incidence of obesity and cardiovascular disease is not subsiding in the least. In fact, it is getting worse every damn day. Is it possible all the researchers missed some critical element to this problem?

Maybe not entirely.

There is nothing wrong about researchers and the government trying to get us as a nation to reduce our fat intake as there are many unhealthy fats in far too many foods available to us in this modern world we live in.

There has been a serious misinterpretation of the message to eat low fat.

It has been assumed by a vast swath of our population that if we adopted a low fat diet in order to prevent heart disease, this allowed us to eat as much as we wanted of foods that are low or zero fat. The food industry ran with this assumption and loaded our grocery store shelves full of low to zero fat options, yet people never considered the fact these products began having extra sugar added to them in order to improve the taste lost by fat removal. It has become the norm that instead of eating only a couple cookies they would eat an entire package of them.

What’s the harm? They are fat free!

News Flash!

Fat free is not calorie free!

You cannot just switch to a low fat food and eat with abandon to your hearts content. You still have to use common sense with your dietary habits, or your are doomed to a lifetime of obesity. In the past, I have seen on Weight Watchers social media where people will manipulate their diets to accommodate treats for every day consumption. They will justify their snacking because low or zero fat foods are low to zero points on the Weight Watchers program. This program takes the emphasis away from accountability to calories consumed, therefore a good many are always either struggling to lose weight or failing to lose altogether. At the end of the day, your weight loss or management depends on not consuming more calories than you expend each day. And this is regardless of the fat content or lack thereof.

Look, if you want to eat low fat or zero fat foods, then go right ahead and make yourself happy. But know that this is not helping your health in the least if you are not going to be personally accountable to yourself by managing your dietary habits. If you eat more calories than you burn off, especially if you are sedentary, you are going to be fat, It really is that plain and simple. You really cannot even intelligently argue the point.

The abundance and availability of low fat and zero fat foods has resulted in a fatter society not a thinner or fitter one. Eat healthy fats, your body needs them to better absorb nutrients that keep you healthy. Not only this, but full fat foods taste better and are usually more satiating than their low fat counterparts. Use your head and think about what you are doing the next time you are making food choices. Ask yourself if the choices you are making will actually improve your health or not. You owe this to yourself, you deserve to treat yourself better.

 

Functional Foods

Functional foods.

This is a catch phrase that appears to be gaining in popularity now.

Is not all food functional? Would the function of a powder sugar donut not be to satisfy a craving?

Just what in the world is considered a functional food today anyhow?

A functional food is a food claimed to have an additional function (often one related to health-promotion or disease prevention) by adding new ingredients or more of existing ingredients. The term may also apply to traits purposely bred into existing edible plants, such as purple or gold potatoes having enriched anthocyanin or carotenoid contents, respectively. Functional foods may be “designed to have physiological benefits and/or reduce the risk of chronic disease beyond basic nutritional functions, and may be similar in appearance to conventional food and consumed as part of a regular diet”. (1)

The term “functional food” kind of grates on my nerves. Listen, let’s be real for a moment. All food that provides you a nutritional benefit is functional to your good health. Now days, there already seems to be too many with a lack of understanding as to what comprises good nutrition, and then someone creates a term that further exasperates this confusion. If our schools still taught nutrition and health, these kinds of fancy terms along with a lack of nutritional knowledge would be much more rare than they are today. I find it sad we have people here in America that do not understand, and some who do not care, it is bad for their health to live on cookies, cakes, potato chips and soda pop. That is until their weight has become out of their control or has caused them health issues. related to their dietary habits. This is when they begin looking for the latest trends, fads if you will, in losing weight.

I’m going to be a Vegan!

I’m going to start my Keto tomorrow!

Or, one I saw recently:

I’m going to try Keto Vegetarianism…

People who become desperate to lose weight will very often begin looking for the newest fads to get their weight down. Or conversely, they may begin researching how to best lose weight and fall for the plans that sound the most scholarly, hence the term “functional food”. By consuming “functional foods”, I must be going about weight loss or management in the most efficient manner, right?

No, not necessarily.

At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we promote keeping  your stress down by “making your world small”. I strongly believe in the KISS principle;

Keep It Simple Stupid

I do not condone fad diets, nor do I advocate weight loss plans that allow you to keep doing that which got you fat in the first place. And I find it not in the least helpful when people present plans to the average individual where their terms are getting a little too technical sounding, such as “functional food”.

Without rehashing David’s Way Plan/Methodology in the entirety, I will sum it up in a nutshell. (You can click on the link for my plan in it’s full glory.)

My methodology is simple.

I will not tell you what to eat, though I do tell you to quit eating all sugar, simple carbs, and processed foods that contain simple sugars, unhealthy fats, high sodium and preservatives.

While I am not going to make your food choices for you, I will say to shop around the perimeter of your grocery store and only buy whole foods which you have to prepare yourself.

Meats and fish

Vegetables of all types

Fruits

Dairy

I instruct to only consume the amount of calories your body needs in order to lose weight in a healthy manner at 1 pound per week, or to maintain your weight. You can find your caloric needs on our Calorie Counter Pro. You will find that when you only consume healthy foods, it can be quite difficult to actually eat enough calories to maintain your weight. Be accountable to yourself in what you eat every day. Make nutritional accountability your permanent lifestyle, not a temporary diet.

With each meal, ensure you get a good mix of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Protein repairs and rebuilds all of our cellular structure. Complex carbohydrates fuel our bodies. Healthy fats help your body absorb important nutrients and produce essential hormones too.

I personally go for 1 gram of protein for each pound of body weight. I have a target range of 100 to 150 net grams of complex carbohydrates with a minimum of 30 grams per day of fiber which offsets your total carb intake. (155g carbs – 30g fiber =125g net carbs) And the rest of my caloric intake is made up of healthy omega 3 fatty acid rich fats for 2200 calories per day.

If you get a good mix of these macro-nutrients with each meal and watch your calories, the macro-nutrient math will take care of itself.

My methodology is nothing new. It is how my generation grew up eating before our nation’s obesity epidemic came into being.  We had 3 nutritious meals per day with minimal snacking in between. When dinner was over in the evening, the kitchen was closed until breakfast time the following morning. Today, we often hear about another catch phrase, “Intermittent Fasting”, but it too is not new. When dinner was over and you did not eat until breakfast, that is “Intermittent Fasting”. I actually like “IF” on the 16:8 protocol and advocate it for those who are on weight loss mode. It is effective, but does not need the special name. You can just make this a part of your  new lifestyle without feeling as if you are doing something new and special.

“Functional Foods” is only a marketing tool. Do not get caught up in trying to only  consume foods with this label. As long as you make the smart choice to practice sound dietary habits where you eat foods that provide you with all your nutrients and macro-nutrient needs, your health and weight will take care of itself, unless you have let your health deteriorate too far. Even then, sound nutrition can still improve your quality of life. This is something junk foods will never accomplish for you.

 

 

(1) Wikipedia

How to Stop Eating Sugar

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The average American eats approximately 17 teaspoons of added sugar per day. This is a tragedy because added sugars in processed foods are known to increase inflammation in the body and are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and tooth decay. This single so-called food is largely responsible for much of the sickness and misery that our society is experiencing today. Here are ways to reduce your consumption of added sugars.

1-Don’t drink your calories! So many of the drinks that most people consume in a day are full of added sugars. Liquids don’t satisfy hunger like solid foods so these empty calories are just added calories with little to no satiety factor. Instead of sugar-laden liquids drink water, flavored water, herbal or fruit teas, coffee or other unsweetened teas. Alcohol is a sugar based drink.

2-Avoid the traditional grain and dairy based desserts that are so common in the United States. They have little to no nutritional value and make you feel tired and hungry. You just want more and more when you consume these concoctions. If you want something sweet at the end of a meal opt for fruit in it’s own juice or Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and some cinnamon. I use Saigon Cinnamon for a sweeter, more pungent cinnamon taste. You can also bake apples and pears for a truly sweet treat. Skip the extra calories and add the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that you will get when you sub fruit for pastry.

3-You know, we are condiment crazy! A single Tablespoon of ketchup can contain a teaspoon of sugar! I use Heinz No Sugar Added Ketchup. It has a great taste and my son has eaten this product since it hit the shelves and he won’t eat anything else. Now, he’s 26 but ever since his first taste of this product he has insisted on this ketchup. You might say that he’s a “Ketchup Connoisseur”. The boy knows his ketchup. It’s really good. Avoid sugar-filled condiments and try herbs, mustard, vinegar, pesto and a sugar-free mayonnaise instead. Dukes Mayonnaise has always been sugar-free and it’s delicious. If you don’t see it on the shelf, you can order it online. I think that almost all Dollar General’s and Walmart’s carry it though. Barbecue sauce is sugar-filled. I use Sugar Free G Hughes brand that is available at Walmart. It comes in three varieties and they’re all good!

4-Eat full-fat foods. Low fat versions of your favorite foods abound! The problem is, almost every time that a company reduces the fat in a product, they add sugar to make the product more palatable. Sometimes the low-fat version will even have more calories. Read labels and you will find this to be true.

5-Eat whole foods that you cook at home. Whole foods are foods that have not been processed or refined. They don’t have any additives whatsoever. A lot of Americans eat a diet that consists mainly of ultra-processed foods such as cereals, pizza, pies and soft drinks. 90% of the added sugars in American’s diets come from these ultra-processed foods. You can make an Italian red sauce at home with no added sugar but if you buy it in a jar, it may contain as much as 3 teaspoons of sugar per serving. If you eat canned fruits and vegetables always read the label and seek out a product with no added sugars.

6-Be mindful of so-called “healthy snacks”. I tried to work granola into my diet for years. If I make my own, I’m okay but it is nearly impossible to find a commercial granola that doesn’t contain added sugar in some form. Dried fruit is a nutritional landmine if you’re cutting sugar out of your diet. While it may not be added sugar, it is so sweet that it will cause an insulin spike and give you terrible cravings. I sometimes make my own granola with my favorite nuts and Saigon cinnamon and raw oats. A boiled egg makes a nutritious snack that will give you a pick-me-up in the afternoon. I always keep an apple in my bag. Paired with a handful of nuts, it will get me through until dinner. If you try to eat protein bars tread cautiously! Most are full of sugar. I like One Bars, they contain only 1 gram. Be very mindful of the pitfalls of “healthy” marketing. Quite often it is an illusion.

7- Breakfast is a minefield. Prepared cereals are loaded with sugars. Pancakes, waffles and muffins are sticky sweet. Opt instead for oatmeal, Greek yogurt and eggs with the meat of your choice. You can swap all that sugar for a good dose of protein if you’re mindful.

8-Read labels and watch for these words:

High fructose corn syrup

Cane sugar or juice

Maltose

Dextrose

Invert sugar

Rice syrup

Molasses

Caramel

Always remember that if an ingredient is closer to the beginning of the ingredient list, the greater percentage there is of it in the food. Read carefully!

9-Most people are not getting enough protein. Protein helps curb food cravings and has been proven to reduce appetite and hunger. Eat protein at every meal and snack.

10-Consider trying the natural sweetener, erythritol. It’s found in “Swerve” products. They have granulated, confectioner’s and brown sugar replacements. It doesn’t create cravings and has no calories. Most of our dessert recipes use this natural sweetener.

11-Don’t buy it. How many times have you lied to yourself or others and said that you were buying that bakery sheet cake “for the kids”? Don’t believe for a minute that anyone except you believes that. The “kids” don’t need it either. Leave the desserts in the store.

12- Catch some zzz’s. Sleep deprivation causes cravings. A tired brain craves energy and sugar is a source of concentrated energy.

13-Read about “glycation”, the way that sugar damages your skin. That in itself should be enough to make you stop.

Abandoning sugar was one of the best things that I have done for my health. I rarely go to the doctor and take absolutely no medication. I lift heavy weights and work full-time at a very stressful job. I am a nurse and it’s a demanding field. I don’t ever remember missing work due to sickness. While I make my health my number 1 priority in every way, abandoning sugar has made a difference in my life. If you have considered cutting it out of your diet, talk to your doctor and get started today. You’ll be glad that you did!

(1) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/14-ways-to-eat-less-sugar

Eat to Live

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Whether you are a caregiver to a senior citizen or you are living your golden years yourself, you need to be aware of the changing nutritional needs of our bodies as we age.

While we may need fewer calories, we need better, more nutrient dense foods. We still need the same amount of protein, vitamins and minerals. In special circumstances, we may need more. The skin doesn’t process sunlight as well as it did in past years to provide us with adequate vitamin D. Since vitamin D helps us absorb calcium, when our vitamin D levels are low, we will also be low on calcium. Calcium is then leached from the bones to provide us with the calcium that we need for other functions and bones become brittle. Neuromuscular dysfunction can also set in and falls can be eminent. Falls cause 11,000 deaths per year. It is possible that senior citizens may need vitamin D supplementation. (1) See your M.D. to determine if supplementation is necessary. Fatty fish, vitamin D fortified foods such as milk, some orange juice and some cereals, beef liver, cheese and egg yolks are dietary sources of this necessary vitamin.

Vitamin B-12 is supplied by the process of the stomach acid breaking B-12 down in our stomachs. After age 50, the stomach acid may be decreased and we may be deficient in B-12. B-12 helps keep our nerve and blood cells healthy and helps to synthesize DNA. It helps prevent megaloblastic anemia that causes exhaustion. Supplementation may be necessary. Your physician can make this determination. Good food sources are clams, beef liver, fortified yeast, wild rainbow trout and cooked sockeye salmon and fortified cereals. Synthetic supplemental vitamin B-12 and foods fortified with synthetic vitamin B-12 contain B-12 in a free form that doesn’t have to be broken down in the stomach like the B-12 in foods.

I am a heavy weight trainer. My first objective is strength and health and then I go after the look. I have discovered that I have to make every calorie count. There is no room in my diet for empty calories. I need a lot of protein and a significant number of calories each day. I limit my carbohydrates but absolutely do not advocate keto. In order to get the total package of strength, health and a lean, muscular physique, I have to seek out nutrient dense foods. Although I eat significant calories, I do control my calories. I count every single one. I “spend” those calories wisely, packing as much protein and fiber into each meal as I possibly can. The result is that I’m rarely hungry and in less than two years I have more than quadrupled my deadlift. As we age there is less wiggle room in our diet. If we are serious about fitness, we must eat like it. Decide what kind of life you want and make it happen. Most of your future will be decided by how you eat. If you remain strong, healthy and vital there is no limit to what you can do. If your health fails due to poor nutrition, your life will be centered around sickness and your activities will be limited.

Most adults over 50 need a little extra fiber to maintain bowel health. Fiber also helps prevent Type 2 diabetes and lowers your risk for heart disease. Whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, peas and fruits and veggies can supply all of your fiber needs.

Avoid transfats and eat saturated fat sparingly to help avoid heart disease. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil and fatty fish are your best choices for healthy fats. There is evidence that fatty fish will improve brain health which can possibly combat the onset of various brain disorders that are more common in senior citizens.

Carbohydrates are an excellent fuel source for our brain as long as they are complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates tend to have a negative effect on our brains. High intake of simple carbohydrates have been linked to mental decline in seniors.

Along with a healthy diet, exercise is critical for maintaining a healthy mind and body as we age. Consult your M.D. for a program that is suited to your needs. A good exercise regimen coupled with a healthy diet can extend your years and give you quality of life in those years. The decision is yours to make. Do you want to become dependent on others or do you want to remain independent and able to enjoy life to it’s fullest? Sometimes it takes a lifetime to work into doing the things that we’ve always wanted to do. At 62 I went ziplining for the first time. I had wanted to do that for years. Since I eat David’s Way and work out, it was a wonderful experience to finally create that moment in time to fly through the air, jumping off of a tower 200 feet into thin air.

Get healthy and truly live until you die. Make a bucket list and start checking things off. Fun is waiting.

https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/nutritional-needs-change-as-you-age

Deceptive “Healthy” Foods

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On a recent trip to a major grocery chain I was taken aback by the massive amounts of sugar laden trash food laying in wait for the unsuspecting shopper. From the moment that I walked under those massive, roaring fans at the entrance until the time I escaped the sugary onslaught, walking under those fans to exit this minefield, my senses were bombarded with “visions of sugarplums”. Promises of recreating the magic of a childhood Christmas hovered around each toxic offering, laden with artificial colorings and extra coarse sugar sprinkled on top. Is there any wonder that depression and exhaustion are at an all-time high during this holiday season?

The absurdity of the irony involved in this yearly ritual of stuffing ourselves with sugar became crystal clear. While all of these beautifully crafted foods promote a season of Peace, the contribution to ill health that these foods make is anything except Peaceful. When will Americans wake up to the wiles of the food industry?

Surviving this season with your health initiative intact doesn’t take willpower. That is a common fallacy. It takes a decision to do everything within your power to be healthy. It takes an commitment to yourself. Once that decision is made and you have committed to be the best that you can be, the difficulty of “eating right” is removed. There is no struggle. You simply choose wisely every time that you eat.

A problem for some, however, is the marketing that is designed to deceive you. There are many foods that are promoted and packaged as “healthy” that are anything except good for you.

Most yogurt is a good example of deceptive marketing. Full-fat, plain Greek yogurt has no added sugars. There is 7 grams of naturally occurring milk sugar in this yogurt. That is not a problem. With 23 grams of protein per cup, the 7 grams of naturally occurring sugar is insignificant. When you compare this healthy option to a mere 6 ounces of Yoplait Original Strawberry Yogurt with only 6 grams of protein and 19 grams of sugar, most of which are added cane sugar, you have a good example of the concept, “Things are not always  as they seem.” After all, yogurt is marketed as a “healthy” food.

Do you like granola? I remember when it got popular as a “health food”. Most people could not wrap their brains around the fact that there is nothing healthy about otherwise healthy foods that are smothered in sugar and produced in a package with earthy, healthy-looking pictures and warm colors deliberately designed to present a healthy image. While a lot of the ingredients in granola are healthy, the candies and syrups that are added to some granola recipes are not. Choose wisely, or better yet, make your own granola. I just mix nuts, oats and Maple Farms Sugar-free Pancake Syrup and Saigon cinnamon when I want a granola fix. If I want cereal, it’s wonderful with milk. I use soy milk because I eat soy products for the phytoestrogens.

One of the most deceptive food products available is the plethora of protein bars available in almost every convenience store, grocery store and pharmacy. While I do have a One bar occasionally, I steer clear of almost every other protein bar. One bars have one gram of sugar however, the PowerBar ProteinPlus Chocolate Brownie bar has 27 grams of sugar from a variety of sweeteners. A regular size Snickers candy bar only has 26.

Energy drinks are a common source of sugar in many diets. Rockstar Xdurance has 17 teaspoons of sugar which is 69 grams. There is no place in a health conscious diet for anything with that much added sugar, yet the phrase “energy drink” sounds like a healthy option over a carbonated cola. A regular canned Coke has 39 grams. While I don’t advocate drinking carbonated drinks, if I had to choose between those two options, I would choose the Coke. The word “energy” does not change the impact of 69 grams of sugar on your blood sugar and the cascade of biochemical reactions that occur when we pour that much sugar into our body at one time.

Breakfast cereals can be an abomination. Most people mistakenly believe that cereals are a better breakfast option than eggs. Cocoa Krispies have 16 grams of sugar and only 1.3 grams of protein per cup. If you want cereal, I strongly encourage you to eat oats which have 0 grams of added sugars and 5 grams of protein. Eat eggs, they really are a near perfect food.

If you are craving a dessert, please go to the search function on this website and enter the name of what you are craving. You very well may find a sugar-free version of your favorite dessert. Avoid the aisles of sugar filled options in your grocery store. Many of our dessert recipes are made with ingredients that also contain significant protein. Kill two birds with one stone and satisfy your sweet tooth and snatch a protein fix at the same time.

With just a little forethought and planning you can emerge from this Winter feasting season with a slim waistline. Read our articles and get informed. Go to the forum and start a discussion about food and recipes with like-minded people. We always answer questions  and comments that you post or email. Be proactive and enjoy a lifetime of good health.

Feeling Weak, It’s Your Diet

Do you often feel weak, your energy levels are in the dumps?

How many cups of coffee do you require in order to get your day started?

After lunch, does your mind wonder around aimlessly? Do you have trouble concentrating? Would you rather not socialize in the evenings?

Have you ever felt faint while exercising vigorously, or get a stitch in your side?

Do you make lame ass excuses about why the hell you feel this way? Maybe it’s because you are too busy or you were born this way…

Let’s consider what is most likely occuring in your body, Feeling tired and fatigued can be the result of a variety of issues, ranging from stress, lack of sleep, or maybe your ass got too drunk last night. It is also possible that you may have a serious condition such as heart disease, depression or anemia. However, the reality is, your diet of sugar laden, highly processed foods may be, or likely is the culprit. Lagging energy levels create a situation that will get you all hemmed up when you are too tired to eat proper foods. Our modern society finds it easier to fill up on cheap and convenient garbage snack foods, which in turn only serve to further contribute to your increasing fatigue. It is a vicious cycle that you can and should break. No matter what your “hangry” mind may tell you, this is not an insurmountable task. Quit making excuses for yourself.

If you are feeling tired and weak most of the time, you need to check how you are fueling your body. You would never intentionally fill your car with bad gas, why would you do this to your body? Your body is a complicated machine that requires quality fuel to operate in a superior manner. A huge mistake that many people make is they will either eat nothing in the morning, or they will have a small breakfast which may or may not be nutritious. Then they will begin craving sweet treats by the middle of the day, and then end up snarfing down anything in sight. Do you recognize this trait in yourself? Do you fuel your body with bad gas sporadically and then wonder why you do not feel good?

In order to operate well, your body needs a steady flow of good nutrition, a healthy mix of protein, fats and complex carbohydrates. Anything less than proper fueling is going to trash your energy levels, especially if you are not in the habit of eating healthy. Our bodies require complex carbohydrates and protein for optimal performance. Our blood sugar levels will begin getting low within four hours after we have last eaten. Therefore frequent small meals are going to be better for you than two or three large meals in order to maintain a constant energy supply. Greek yogurt, a piece of fruit and or a handfull of nuts make for a perfect between meal snack in order to maintain consistent energy levels during the day. Where as cookies, chips and cakes are going to only cause your butt to want to drag when you snack on them instead. I will say again, you need healthy foods in order to keep your energy levels up. When you consume carbs, you want them to be complex carbohydrates from whole grains and starchy vegetables. Whole grain breads, rice, pasta, beans and yams are excellent sources of complex carbs as well as great sources of fiber in order to keep from having your blood stream getting a huge sugar dump. These foods are digested gradually because of their fiber content, which allows you to maintain an even blood sugar level during the day which will provide a constant fuel supply for the body and brain.

When it comes to healthy weight loss, a lack of knowledge is what hurts folks the most. People hang on to the latest trends and fad quick weight loss diets which only serve to cause them fatigue and poor moods. Cutting your calories too far will only cause you to feel drained which can and will interfere with your daly routines such as work, exercising or even just being able to enjoy life. Even if you are just trying to maintain your body weight, it is wise to figure your daily caloric needs based on your basal metabolic rate. And once you know how many calories you need each day, then make it a point to eat every bit of them with a combination of protein, carbs and fats. Yes, fats are required for proper digestion and absorption of key nutrients to fuel your body.

Too many people on diets are running essentially on fumes and will not only lose fat, but they will also lose much needed and valuable lean muscle mass. The problem with this lies in that if or when you put weight back on, even if you return to your previous weight, your body fat percentage will be higher than before your weight loss. The goal should always be a healthy body fat percentage over a random sale number!

When you decide to lose weight, you should only want your body to lose body fat and not muscle. Quit obsessing on the number on your scale and concentrate on your body fat percentage instead. The more lean muscle mass your body maintains, the higher your metabolism will be. This is a simple irrefutable fact. More muscle means more fat burning when you are working towards a healthier body. A higher metabolism also means more energy for enjoying your life. Being physically fit and healthy needs to be your life style and not a temporary diet. Weight management is not something you do for a short period in order to satisfy your mind with a random number you have decided you want to see on your bathroom scale. The approach you want to take is to eat healthy foods with zero refined sugars or anything processed, and then exercise like you mean it. Raise your heart rate! Also, if you are a Weight Watcher, quit adding up Fit Points for cleaning your house and other easy activities you might have been doing before you decided to lose weight. Remember, if that activity did not enable you to lose fat off your waist and thighs before, it is not going to now. Fit Points not truly earned through an elevated heart rate are worthless as you are likely going to eat more calories than you are burning. Get your heart rate elevated on a regular basis through true vigorous exercise, as this will help boost your energy levels while decreasing fatigue related moods such as depression and despondency.

How do we maintain a desirable weight and stay energized? Simply eat regular, cook light, and mix fiber rich complex carbohydrates with your protein. In order to remain better satiated, divide your caloric needs to 45 to 50% protein, 30 to 35% complex carbs and 15 to 25% fats. Remember, liquid saturated fats from olive and coconut oils, avocado’s and nuts are healthy for you to consume. Fats are good for you. Refined sugars and processed foods that are quick and easy are are usually going to be the source of your fat and fatigue problems.

How to Prevent Regaining Lost Weight

There is a sad truth that 97% of dieters regain lost weight plus additional pounds within three years. Statistics vary based on the length of time that a group of people are studied but when they are followed for three years the regain rate is 97%.

I worked for a major weight loss company before coming to David’s Way and a common topic of discussion among employees was the disturbing trend that we witnessed frequently among members who had lost a significant amount of weight, usually at about 100 pounds, who began to recklessly indulge in the same way that had caused them to be morbidly obese. Before they knew what was happening, they were getting dangerously close to the original weight that had caused them to seek help to lose weight in the first place. These people talked about how they felt like they deserved “a break” for all of their hard work, a reward. The problem was that whenever they started eating like they had in the past, they couldn’t or wouldn’t stop. Large quantities of added sugar were always a part of their debauchery and it caused them to have terrible cravings for more. They seemed helpless in the onslaught. The problem was that they had never committed to a new lifestyle, they were conducting themselves as if they were on a “diet”, something temporary. Weight management is a permanent issue. It cannot be addressed through temporary means. Here at David’s Way, we give you the tools to address this issue for the rest of your life at no cost. This website will always be free.

I have been much heavier than I am now and so has David. I know what it’s like to sit in a dark kitchen at 3AM eating peanut butter straight out of the jar until I almost choke to death. I know what it’s like to do this without being hungry. I know what it’s like to cry because I can’t understand why “I’m doing this to myself…”.

I also know what it’s like to finally decide what I want the most, trash food in massive quantities or health, strength and feeling good about my appearance. The night that I made that decision for the last time was overwhelmingly emotional. I cried like a baby because I had just become accountable to myself for my health and well-being for the rest of my life. I knew that it all depended on the choices that I made. Shortly afterward I was blessed to find David’s Way. It has fixed the problem of craving and yo yo dieting for me. I stay full of wholesome, nutritional foods and never have cravings or angst about what I eat. I am never deprived. My only struggle is making sure that I eat enough. I want you to understand, my weight struggle began at the age of four years and continued my entire life until I found David’s Way at the age of sixty. That is why I write on this website. It’s the only thing that has ever worked for me.

Here is a list of tips that will help you maintain your weight loss or keep pushing whenever you plateau.

1- Commit to a lifestyle. Again, you cannot fix a permanent issue with temporary methods. Read our Home Page. It will educate you on David’s Way.

2- “Make your world small.” Cut out the dead wood that causes you to lose your focus on good health. People that hinder your progress need to be removed from your life. If there are some people who cannot be removed then avoid them as much as possible and never listen to their negative input. Continuing to associate with people who are not supportive of your health initiative will cause you to crash and burn.

3- Drop the habits that got you unhealthy. You may say that this is easier said than done. Oh, believe me, I know all about that. Yes, it is hard but not nearly as hard as dying younger than necessary and being sick until you do. I have watched close family members die at their own hand from bad habits. It was not fun or pretty and it was much harder than eating healthy. I have had some really bad habits in my life and I have thought that I could not live without them. The truth of the matter was, I could not live WITH them. The power of a simple decision to commit to health is immeasurable. It’s within your power and ability to make that decision. It all depends on what you want more, the trash food or life.

4-Get active, with your doctor’s permission. As we lose pounds it takes fewer calories to live. Getting a little exercise will boost your calorie burn and make it easier to shed pounds and maintain a loss. Research indicates that 300 minutes of exercise per week is a good goal to lose weight and maintain that loss. (1) The Mayo Clinic advises both strength training and aerobic activity. I’ve got to tell you, the way that I strength train, it becomes aerobic. I also hike and walk but my strength training works me hard.

5- Don’t get discouraged. David has a saying, “Trust the process.” Honestly, we all want instant results but take a long serious look at yourself, your overall health and physical condition. How long did it take to get there? In most cases, it’s been years of neglect and abuse that has brought about the current state of affairs. You cannot fix this quickly. Commit for the long haul knowing that there will be good days and hard days. Sometimes the scale will go up and sometimes it will come down. The day to day fluctuations are not significant. It’s the long term effect that matters. When I first began this program I was soft and overweight. That is not the case now but it’s about two years and a whole lot of weight lifting and meal planning later and I’m still not”there” yet. I will never “get there”. This is the rest of my life and my health and appearance will benefit indefinitely from good nutrition and good workouts.

6- Reassess your habits. Sometimes we get careless. It can be brought about by over confidence or just being busy but it will always show. When you have attained a measure of success and feel good about your progress, make sure to tighten up! We tend to do the opposite and when we do, the pounds will creep back on quickly. Don’t think for a minute that you can go back to binge eating and get away with it. Not only will you feel bad almost immediately, you will most likely spin out of control. Constantly analyze and reorganize your strategy for being in control of your health. Read our articles and try the recipes. Stay focused. Keep your eyes on the prize!

7- As you lose pounds reassess your caloric needs. You can use the Calorie Counter Pro found on our menu to do this and keep your calories at a level that will allow you to continue to lose weight. If you see the scale going up, quickly reassess and adjust.

8- Find a source of positive input concerning your goals. Just as negative input can hinder you, positive interactions with like minded people can encourage you to be healthy. Notice the people in your environment who are interested in being healthy and gravitate towards them. Read this website. We have over 600 articles and recipes to help you on your journey.

9- Realize that you are the most influential person in your life. Sometimes we give our power away to those who do not have our best interest at heart. Be the Master of your fate. It’s all up to you.

10- Don’t Quit. Regardless of what life throws at you or how discouraged you may get, always remember that “Can’t never could do anything.” If you quit fighting for your health, you will certainly lose it. Get in the battle for the long term benefits of healthy choices and a healthy lifestyle. Create the life that you desire. You have everything that you need, your ability to make a decision. Use it.

(1) https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-20057916