Category: Uncategorized

The Impossible Burger Review

Not long ago, my younger sister suggested I do a review on Burger King’s vegetarian Impossible Whopper. I normally never eat fast foods and would have no reason to enter a fast food restaurant unless I was on the go and would not be able to eat for several hours. But, it is always good to know where one can go and still have a healthier choice of foods than the typical burger and fry meals served at almost all fast food establishments.I have not had a reason, nor opportunity since her suggestion to review the Impossible Whopper, but last Saturday I was excited to see my local Dillons grocery store is now selling the Impossible Burger. I bought a package for a review and found myself quite pleased with the product.

As you can see, the Impossible Burger almost looks like actual meat, and, I noticed this product did not have the faint smell of dog food as a couple other veggie burgers I have tried.

Hmm, vegetarian burgers that bleed as you cook them… This blood is what gives the Impossible Burger it’s meaty flavor. However, it is not truly blood of course. What this blood is, is Soy leghemoglobin which is short for legume hemoglobin — the hemoglobin found in soy, a leguminous plant. Leghemoglobin is a protein found in plants that carries heme, an iron-containing molecule that is essential for life. Heme is found in every living being — both plants and animals. (Heme in animals is carried by “hemoglobin” and “myoglobin” among other proteins.)

Out of all the fake meats I have sampled for reviews, the Impossible Burger truly is more meat like than I ever thought possible. In fact, I believe that once the burgers are dressed on a bun, most people would never know the difference between these and actual ground beef. The taste and texture are similar enough to the real thing that if someone said something about the taste, it could be played off on how you had seasoned the burgers before cooking. I’m not suggesting you fib about these burgers, I am just trying to illustrate a point to how much they do in fact resemble actual ground beef burgers. I will say, this carnivore likes these veggie burgers and will buy them for a little something different in the future.

Nutrition:

 From Impossible Burger Website:

Impossible Burger is made from proteins, flavors, fats, and binders. The key difference from your average beef burger? Our ingredients are derived from plants. Here’s an overview:

  • Protein from soy and potatoes
  • Flavor from heme (the molecule that makes meat taste, well, meaty)
  • Fat from coconut and sunflower oils make it sizzle on the griddle
  • Binders, methylcellulose and food starch, hold it together so you can make anything you want — meatballs, kebabs, patties, and more.

Want the details?  Here’s the ingredient list:

Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% Or Less Of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant), Soy Protein Isolate, Vitamins and Minerals (Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12).

The Impossible Burger comes in at 240 calories which is about 49 calories less than an equivalent 4 oz 80/20 ground beef patty. Nutritionally, these burgers have somewhat of an edge over their meat counter parts since they also contain 3 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein which is the same as ground beef. Impossible Burgers contain soy protein concentrate, which is a good source of fiber, as well as folate, copper, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, phosphorus, and iron, but most importantly, it’s the only commonly consumed plant protein that’s comparable in quality to animal protein. Soy protein carries a full complement of all nine essential amino acids which our bodies can only receive from the foods we consume.

Protein quality is typically defined in terms of protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS), which is a measure of its essential amino acid composition and digestibility.  Higher PDCAAS means higher quality, with 1.00 being the highest score possible. Soy protein concentrate has a published PDCAAS of 0.95. For reference, conventional ground beef from cows has a published PDCAAS of 0.92. Soy protein’s high PDCAAS means you get plenty of nutritional bang for your buck with the Impossible Burger– a 4oz. serving has 31% of the daily value (DV) for protein. Comparing the DVs for different proteins is a better way of comparing two products than grams of protein alone. Two foods may have the same amount of protein per serving, but very different DVs because of differences in their PDCAAS.

The Impossible Burgers are going to cost you about $7.00 US for a package of 2 burgers. While this is more expensive than ground beef, it is still less expensive than going out to buy a hamburger anywhere you could go anyhow. Sometimes you just have to ask yourself how much is too much for healthy foods, and why? You could spend this much or more on a single serving of ice cream at your local Dairy Queen.

My bottom line is that while I do enjoy these vegetarian products, I am not going to give up my meats anytime soon. I enjoy a good steak on occasion and there is no good reason for me to not indulge in this delicious source of protein. Going vegetarian or vegan is a personal choice, but one thing I can promise you is – if you go vegetarian or vegan, this in itself does not in any way mean that you are also going to lose any weight. I have encountered several overweight and obese vegans over the years. No matter what you choose to eat, you must make wise decisions in the foods you consume. Moderation is still key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight no matter what you are eating on a daily basis.

Foods That Help Blood Sugar

Are you prone to getting headaches on a regular basis?

Do you go through life feeling feeling sluggish and fatigued all the time?

If so,  these symptoms can be easily blamed on the day to day stress of work and raising a family, but there may be another cause to your daily misery. It is quite easy to place the blame for how you feel on outside stressors, but maybe you should take a look at yourself and what you feed your body with. If you fuel your body with bad fuel, it is going to be just like your car when it is fueled with bad gas. It is going to be under powered and it will run badly. Even if you are not diabetic, choosing poor foods to fuel your body is going to make you feel rundown over time. Hyperglycemia can, and does affect people who are not yet diabetic. When you begin your day with donuts and sugary coffee drinks, and then continue to snack on high carbohydrate foods during the day, you are setting yourself up to feeling like dirt after the initial feel good sensation that comes from the consumption of simple carbs.

When you give up eating high carb, low nutrition foods there will always be people who insist you should lighten up and enjoy life by having a slice of cake. These family and friends may have good intentions, but there is a  simple fact that escapes them. Maybe it is a concept they either can’t or possibly refuse to understand – for those of us who do not eat sugar filled foods, we actually do enjoy a better quality of life without sugar. If consuming something makes you feel bad, why the hell would you accept it in the first place. It’s like purposely hitting your own thumb with a hammer, it is not going to feel good and you did it to yourself!

There are lots of folks running around with their glucose levels spiking, and they don’t even know it.  These spikes are a problem because high blood sugar levels, especially when prolonged, can contribute to cardiovascular disease risk and a person’s tendencies to develop insulin resistance, which is a common precursor to diabetes. Often people who are prediabetic have no idea they’re prediabetic. In fact, this is the case about 90 percent of the time. It’s a big deal, as about 70 percent of people who are prediabetic will eventually develop the disease. Some doctors won’t tell you how important your blood glucose control is as a non-diabetic. I will.

The reason your doctor may fail to tell you this is mainly because it is generally thought that until a diagnosis of diabetes is made, you are assumed to be metabolically competent. And of course, many, if not most people will not pay heed until they feel they have to anyhow.

But that is not always the case.

In actual fact, this is the reason why a lot of prediabetes cases are missed. Prediabetes is the abnormal metabolic stage before type 2 diabetes actually bites.

Before the prediabetes stage, you also develop insulin resistance which is largely silent as well. Doctors don’t always pay enough attention to metabolic health in a run-of-the-mill consultation even if the consultation is for a wellness overview. The reality is, if you eat poorly and especially if you have a weight problem, you do not need a doctor to tell you this, deep down you know why you feel bad. It is up to you to make the personal choice to make yourself feel better, and here are some foods that will help you to get there:

Fatty fish is one of the healthiest foods on the planet.

Salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies and mackerel are great sources of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which have major benefits for heart health. Getting enough of these fats on a regular basis is especially important for those who have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. DHA and EPA protect the cells that line your blood vessels, reduce markers of inflammation and improve the way your arteries function after eating. A number of observational studies suggest that people who eat fatty fish regularly have a lower risk of heart failure and are less likely to die from heart disease.

Leafy green vegetables are extremely nutritious and low in calories.

They’re also very low in digestible carbs, which raise your blood sugar levels. Spinach, kale and other leafy greens are good sources of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C.

In one study, increasing vitamin C intake reduced inflammatory markers and fasting blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.

In addition, leafy greens are good sources of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.

These antioxidants protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts, which are common diabetes complication.

Eggs provide amazing health benefits.

In fact, they’re one of the best foods for keeping you full for hours. Regular egg consumption may also reduce your heart disease risk in several ways. Eggs decrease inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, increase your “good” HDL cholesterol levels and modify the size and shape of your “bad” LDL cholesterol. In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who consumed 2 eggs daily as part of a high-protein diet had improvements in cholesterol and blood sugar levels. In addition, eggs are one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that protect the eyes from disease.

Just be sure to eat whole eggs. The benefits of eggs are primarily due to nutrients found in the yolk rather than the white.

Oatmeal is a popular breakfast food made from oat groats, which are oat kernels with the husks removed.

Oatmeal is said to have a low glycemic index, which can help maintain blood sugar levels. Moreover, it can also reduce the amount of insulin a patient needs. Oat’s are a good source of long-term energy, and helps in regulating digestion, which is one of the most important factors in keeping blood sugar in check. They are also helpful in weight management, thanks to the presence of fiber, which is digested slowly, leaving you feeling fuller for longer, further preventing you from overeating.

Chia seeds are a wonderful food for people watching their blood sugar.

They’re extremely high in fiber, yet low in digestible carbs.In fact, 11 of the 12 grams of carbs in a 28-gram (1-oz) serving of chia seeds are fiber, which doesn’t raise blood sugar. The viscous fiber in chia seeds can actually lower your blood sugar levels by slowing down the rate at which food moves through your gut and is absorbed. Chia seeds may help you achieve a healthy weight because fiber reduces hunger and makes you feel full. In addition, fiber can decrease the amount of calories you absorb from other foods eaten at the same meal. Additionally, chia seeds have been shown to reduce blood pressure and inflammatory markers.

Greek yogurt is a great dairy choice.

It’s been shown to improve blood sugar control and reduce heart disease risk, perhaps partly due to the probiotics it contains. Studies have found that yogurt and other dairy foods may lead to weight loss and improved body composition in people with type 2 diabetes.It’s believed that dairy’s high calcium and conjugated linolic acid (CLA) content may play a role.

What’s more, Greek yogurt contains only 6–8 grams of carbs per serving, which is lower than conventional yogurt. It’s also higher in protein, which promotes weight loss by reducing appetite and decreasing calorie intake.

Nuts are delicious and nutritious.

All types of nuts contain fiber and are low in digestible carbs, although some have more than others. Here are the amounts of digestible carbs per 1-oz (28-gram) serving of nuts:

  • Almonds: 2.6 grams
  • Brazil nuts: 1.4 grams
  • Cashews: 7.7 grams
  • Hazelnuts: 2 grams
  • Macadamia: 1.5 grams
  • Pecans: 1.2 grams
  • Pistachios: 5 grams
  • Walnuts: 2 grams

Research on a variety of different nuts has shown that regular consumption may reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar, HbA1c and LDL levels.

Flaxseeds are an incredibly healthy food.

A portion of their insoluble fiber is made up of lignans, which can decrease heart disease risk and improve blood sugar control. In one study, people with type 2 diabetes who took flaxseed lignans for 12 weeks had a significant improvement in hemoglobin A1c. Flaxseeds are very high in viscous fiber, which improves gut health, insulin sensitivity and feelings of fullness.

Your body can’t absorb whole flaxseeds, so purchase ground seeds or grind them yourself. It’s also important to keep flaxseeds tightly covered in the refrigerator to prevent them from going rancid.

Strawberries are one of the most nutritious fruits you can eat.

They’re high in antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which give them their red color. Anthocyanins have been shown to reduce cholesterol and insulin levels after a meal. They also improve blood sugar and heart disease risk factors in type 2 diabetes. A one-cup serving of strawberries contains 49 calories and 11 grams of carbs, three of which are fiber. This serving also provides more than 100% of the RDI for vitamin C, which provides additional anti-inflammatory benefits for heart health.

Garlic is a delicious herb with impressive health benefits.

Several studies have shown it can reduce inflammation, blood sugar and LDL cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. It may also be very effective at reducing blood pressure.In one study, people with uncontrolled high blood pressure who took aged garlic for 12 weeks averaged a 10-point decrease in blood pressure.

One clove of raw garlic contains only 4 calories and 1 gram of carbs.

Squash is one of the healthiest vegetables around.

Winter varieties have a hard shell and include acorn, pumpkin and butternut. Summer squash has a soft peel that can be eaten. The most common types are zucchini and Italian squash. Like most vegetables, squash contains beneficial antioxidants. Many types of winter squash are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.

Diabetes is currently the seventh leading cause of death in the United States—and studies show that deaths related to diabetes may be under-reported! Today, 1 in 10 U.S. adults has diabetes, and if trends continue, 1 in 5 will have it by 2025.

An additional 88 million U.S. adults – 1 in 3 – have prediabetes, which means their blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. Without intervention, many people with prediabetes could develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.

 

Tips to Help Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Catch Some ZZZ’s

Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can contribute to other serious health problems including daytime fatigue, high blood pressure, heart problems, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, liver problems and complications with medications and surgery. If you snore loudly, are ever aware of cessation of respiration while you are trying to sleep, gasp for air, wake with a dry mouth or morning headache, have difficulty staying asleep, have excessive daytime sleepiness or attention problems or are irritable for no apparent reason you may have sleep apnea. It’s very important to see your doctor and discuss these symptoms. You can read about the different types in my article Sleep Apnea . There are some things that you can do that may help with this disorder but always seek medical attention if you suspect that you may have this dangerous disorder. The following tips may help you if you have Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

1-Shed the Extra Pounds

Everyone with sleep apnea is not overweight but if you are, losing weight may make the condition more manageable. In one study, a large number of people with type 2 diabetes were noted to end the study with no symptoms of sleep apnea at all after having lost an average of nearly 24 pounds. (1)

2-Stop Smoking and Drinking Alcohol

Smoking can cause irritation and swelling in the airway and aggravate snoring and pauses in breathing. Alcohol relaxes the muscle in the back of the throat and that can cause a breathing obstruction.

3-Eat Healthy

There is some research that indicates that sleep apnea causes us to crave carbs due to a lack of sleep. When we don’t sleep well, we have changes in the hormones that control our appetite and feeling of fullness. If you allow these cravings to steer you off course in your nutrition and gain weight, the excess weight can complicate the sleep apnea.

4-Control Your Allergies

Uncontrolled allergic symptoms can cause the throat to swell and stuff up your nose. When you have less space to breath, it becomes harder. This can make sleep apnea worse. Talk to your doctor and see if a saline nasal spray or a nettie pot used before bed might be a good idea.

5-Find Your Best Sleeping Position

Most people with sleep apnea have more trouble breathing when they are laying on their backs. Try putting two tennis balls into a tube sock and pinning it in the back of your pajamas to help you stay off of your back throughout the night.

Central Sleep Apnea

These methods will not help you if you have Central Sleep Apnea. Your doctor can advise you on this entirely. It is caused by problems that are more complex than Obstructive Sleep Apnea and a CPAP machine or other more sophisticated medical interventions may be necessary. The CPAP machine can be used to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea as well. Regardless of the type of sleep apnea that you may have , medical intervention is necessary to avoid dangerous complications of this common medical problem.

(1) https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea/sleep-apnea-self-care

 

 

Low Carb Crack Slaw

 

Nutritional Info

Servings 4

Calories 272

Net Carbs 4.1 grams

Fat 17 grams

Protein 24 grams

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef

4 cloves garlic minced

2 Tablespoons sesame seed  oil

6 cups coleslaw mix

1-2 Tablespoons sriracha

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 pack Splenda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

2-3 Tablespoons green onion chopped

Instructions

Brown the beef and drain.

Push beef to side and add sesame oil and garlic and fry for 2-3 minutes and mix into beef.

Add coleslaw mix and drizzle with sriracha,vinegar, soy sauce and sprinkle with Splenda, salt and pepper and fry another 5 minutes til cabbage is to your liking.

Waist Trimming Belts Waste Your Money!

I swear, I have come to believe these waist trimming belts were invented by vampires for vampires, they just will not die a natural death and go away permanently. I’m actually not sure when these stupid things were invented, but I can remember seeing them all over the place as early as the 1980’s.

There are two types of people these belts are marketed for:

Competitive bodybuilders and the hopelessly gullible.

Which one are you?

Being real here, if you are a competitive bodybuilder, then these belts will come in handy when you are leaning out just before a competition. However, most of you reading this are not competitive bodybuilders and have zero reason to waste your money on these useless belts, which at best, only give a slight and very temporary improvement in your appearance. And then, only if you are just a few pounds overweight.

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!

This old adage definitely applies to trimmer belts, which are worn around the midsection to allegedly melt away belly fat. Unfortunately, wearing something around any area of the body won’t help you lose weight. They do not work even when combined with topical products such as these pictured below:

 For lack of a better term, these waist trimmer belts are basically elastic corsets, which have been around for at least five centuries. For daily wear, or prior to your workouts, you wrap it snugly around your waist in order to trap in heat. Theoretically, the increase of your body temperature allegedly leads to better weight-loss results, according to the manufacturers. The problem is, these manufacturers are full of crap.

From an actual marketing ad:

  • DOUBLE ADJUSTED COMPRESSION STRAPS: Dual adjustable closure provide a big size range(L 34-38inch/ XL 40-48inch) and the strong stickiness can effectively prevent waist trimmer move and slip down from your waist. Strengthen and Tighten Abdominal Muscles. Greatly burns your fat and accelerates your metabolism.
Water weight loss is NOT the same thing as fat loss. Heat, aka feeling overly warm because you’re wearing a rubber corset doesn’t help you increase your metabolic rate or burn more calories. In fact, becoming overheated while exercising is not healthy for you, I don’t recommend it. You’ll lose your excess stored fat if you consume fewer calories each day than you burn each day, consistently
  • WIDENING DESIGN & POSTURE IMPROVING: Wider than generic waist trainer, more coverage area concerned about obese people.
If you are obese, your first concern needs to be in adopting a wholesome and healthy diet that is free of added sugars and processed foods.
  • Lumbar Supports help to keep the lower back supported during exercise and workouts and helps to improve posture.
The best way to improve your posture is to strengthen your back!
  • FAT BURNING: Fat burning heat will accelerate weight loss, by increasing circulation in abdominal area and by stimulating toxins loss during fitness activity, for burning more calories. Fat burning effect is remarkable with exercise. Ideal for walking, jogging, cycling, aerobics, weightlifting and much more. Wear while exercising or working.
Loss of body fat is going to come first and foremost through consuming fewer calories than you expend! If you have a concern about toxins in your body, you can simply begin not placing them into your body in the first place. You have the control over what goes into your stomach.
  • NEOPRENE MATERIAL: Burn more calories with a Neoprene Material which effectively insulates and raises the temperature of the abdominal core thereby increasing the heart rate, which in turn results in more calories burned; the most visible effect of this is increased sweat around the waist.
This type of marketing makes me feel like I have lost brain cells and IQ points simply by reading it.

Again, the only people who might have some benefit from wearing these waist trimming belts are competitive bodybuilders. If you are plus sized, please save your money and work towards repairing your health and body size through proper nutrition by following David’s Way to Health and Fitness. We will never charge you a penny to access our website in order to learn everything you need to know about nutrition and fitness.

No matter what any of these shysters might tell you about their product, any difference you see on the scale is going to be the result of a loss in water weight only. These devices will keep body heat in, however, this increase in temperature does nothing to encourage the burning of calories or fat. All that you are going to accomplish by wearing these trimmer belts will be you will just perspire more. This perspiration only results in  you losing fluids, and nothing more. Once you drink something after your workout, the scale will likely return to your original weight. The net effect is little different than stepping onto your bathroom scale after you have voided your bladder. As soon as you have a couple cups of coffee, or drink of your choice, those lost pounds are right back on you. Loss of water weight means nothing in health or weight loss!

These belts provide an illusion of weight loss at best!

After wearing one of these glorified girdles, you might notice that you’ve lost an inch or two. This illusion of weight loss is false in every sense of the word. Like body wraps, the compression of the trimmer belt can sometimes provide a smaller waistline, but this is always only a temporary result. Given only a short period of time, your body is going to return to its normal shape and size. You’re not actually losing real inches. To lose weight in a healthy and meaningful way, you need to  worry less about losing weight, and place your focus on actually losing body fat! These trimmer belts do not do that.

Waist slimming belts are simply not going to provide a dramatic or long-term effect on your figure. The healthiest and most effective way to lose weight and keep it off is through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

If overused or cinched too tightly, waist trimming belts can even cause health problems.

  • They can reduce your lung capacity by 30 to 60 percent. It can be uncomfortable and sap your energy. Cinch it tight enough and you might even pass out. Wearing them can even lead to inflammation or a buildup of fluid in the lungs. Over time, breathing problems can affect your lymphatic system, which helps to rid your body of toxins.
  • When you wear a waist trimming belt, you’re not only squeezing skin and fat, you’re crushing your insides, too. Parts of your digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach, and intestines, can be affected. Pressure can force acid from your stomach back up into your esophagus, giving you a bad case of heartburn. If you have gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), wearing a waist trimming belt may make matters worse.
  • When you squeeze your midsection, it forces internal organs like the liver and kidneys into unnatural positions. Overcrowding your organs can affect blood flow and change how organs function. In time, this can lead to permanent organ damage, reduced muscle strength, and even rib fractures.

Remember there are no shortcuts to a healthy and slim body. A healthy body and successful weight loss is the combination of a nutritious diet and regular workout.

Waist training belts are nothing more than a scam of the billion-dollar fitness industry. It seems easy not to move an inch and just lose weight, which is why people are easily fooled by these stupid market gimmicks.

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Cookies

Soft and Gooey Inside/Crunchy Outside

Nutritional Info

Serving 1 cookie

Calories 100

Net Carbs 2 grams

Fat 9 grams

Protein 3 grams

Ingredients

1 teaspoon gelatin

1 1/2 cups almond flour

1/5 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon smokey paprika

4 Tablespoons refined coconut oil (melted)

4 ounces cream cheese

3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons Brown Swerve

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg (room temperature)

1/8 cup almond milk

4 ounces Sugar-Free Hershey’s Special Dark Miniatures, chopped

1 1/2 cups toasted and salted pumpkin seeds

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Mix flour, gelatin, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and paprika together and set aside.

Add cream cheese to stand mixer and beat on medium speed. Add Swerve and oil and mix til creamy.

Add egg and vanilla and beat til combined and gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir milk into dough til mixed.

Fold in chocolate and seeds.

Scoop dough onto cookie sheet with Tablespoon to measure and bake 10-12 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool completely on cookie sheet.

Greek Yogurt For a Flat Tummy

I used to hate the taste of yogurt. My mind was made up that there was no way there would ever be any type or flavor I could find that I might enjoy. I could not see myself getting past that yucky tang that comes with the taste of yogurt, that taste of sour milk repulsed me. I foolishly believed all yogurts were made equal, equally yucky that is…

But, I was totally wrong in my belief!

Today, plain, full fat Greek Yogurt is something I eat each and every day. 

About five or six years ago, my youngest daughter Molly told me how much better Greek yogurt tasted than regular yogurt. She talked me into trying Oiko’s brand Key Lime flavored Greek yogurt and I became hooked that day. Except there was one problem…

All key lime flavored Greek yogurts I could ever find were low fat versions, and after a while, I began tasting that tangy sour milk taste coming through. I tried other flavors of Greek yogurts but could not find any that had a flavor I could enjoy, and I was really burnt out on the key lime after about a year of eating it. This was all when I was eating an excessive amount of calories to fuel my power lifting regimen and did not care about sugar content which all the Greek yogurts in my local stores have as an ingredient.

Once I cut sugar entirely out of my diet, there seemed to be nothing I could eat in the way of Greek yogurts anymore. That is until my wonderful co-author Brenda Sue suggested I give plain, full fat Greek yogurt a try. I got to say, at first this sounded horrible to me. I could not see myself eating any plain Greek yogurt, but then she turned me on to several different ways to flavor it my own way, and best of all, do it without any added sugar at all.

Let me tell you, plain, full fat Greek yogurt is a creamy and versatile treat. I use sugar free Crystal Light to flavor it anyway I want. I also use powdered peanut butter, Saigon cinnamon, nuts and seeds to add further dimensions of texture and flavor to it as well. I love this stuff, and eat it every day now.

And best of all, this treat is about as healthy and good for cutting body fat as they come.

Greek yogurt makers add an extra step to their process so that excess water, lactose, and minerals drain out. What’s left is a creamy, rich yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt is a nutrient-packed snack that has many health benefits. A cup of it can help you meet the recommended dietary guideline of three daily servings of dairy products. People who have lactose intolerance may also find Greek yogurt easier to digest because of the bacterial breakdown of the milk’s sugars. An average serving, depending on the brand, can have 12 to 17.3 grams of protein!

Yogurt has a much higher amount of protein than milk.

Your body uses protein to build:

bones

muscles

cartilage

skin

hair

blood

Protein is also one of the three nutrients that provide energy. It also transfers substances, such as oxygen, across cell membranes. Getting the right amount of protein for yourself is important for your immune system, nerves, and fluid balance.

You’ll need more protein to maintain muscle mass as you age. For the average adult , 65 years old or older, the amount of protein needed increases to between 1 and 1.2 grams per kilogram a day, according to the Mayo Clinic. For those who are active in sports or weight training, you will need up to 1 to 1.2 grams per pound of body weight.

Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, especially if you need to avoid meat. If you enjoy chia seeds, add 2 tablespoons of them for a protein and fiber boost. Probiotics keep you regular and happy

Greek yogurt is packed with probiotics.

Many people find that dairy is positively correlated with inflammatory responses or processes, however, that’s not the case not when it comes to Greek yogurt. Research has actually been shown to prove that Greek yogurt that contains probiotic strains of Lactobacillus actually promotes the formation of a desirable anti-inflammatory environment in the blood system. The effects of probiotics may be a consequence of the body working against potentially pathogenic/pro-inflammatory endogenous microbiota in the digestive system. A healthy tummy means a healthy body in a lot more ways than one.

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that help boost your immune system and decreases stomach issues, such as diarrhea and pain.

These healthy bacteria normally live in your intestines,  having good microorganisms in your intestines helps keep you healthy. Without a healthy balance of good bacteria from probiotics, too much bad bacteria can build up and cause damage to our immune systems.

And just as stress and emotions can trigger stomach issues, your gut can send signals the other way around, too. One study found that probiotics could also affect the brain,  and that probiotic supplements can reduce an individuals tendency for distress and thoughts about sadness, including thoughts about hurting others or themselves.

Calcium is key to keeping healthy

Another benefit of Greek yogurt is that it’s high in calcium. Calcium is key to building strong muscles and helping your vital organs function. Your body also doesn’t produce calcium on its own. Without enough calcium, children may not grow as tall as possible and adults can be at risk for osteoporosis.

A serving of Greek yogurt has 18.7 percent of your daily value for calcium.

Greek yogurt is an excellent option for older adults who want to maintain their bone health. It’s also ideal because it’s convenient and easy to eat, especially for those who have trouble chewing.

Greek yogurt is a great source of  vitamin B-12

Your body needs vitamin B-12 for red blood cells to form, brain functions, and DNA synthesis. Many might choose to supplement vitamin B-12 into their diet, but Greek yogurt offers a powerful, natural alternative. One serving of Greek yogurt can have up to 21.3 percent of your daily value. People who are vegetarian usually lack vitamin B-12 because the vitamin is naturally found in animal products, such as fish, meat, and eggs. Greek yogurt is an excellent, meat-free way to add more to your diet.

Potassium balances out sodium

One serving of Greek yogurt can have up to 6.8 percent of your daily potassium intake value.

Potassium helps lower blood pressure and balance out the sodium levels in your body. If you have high sodium levels or a diet high in sodium, you may want to eat foods high in potassium so that your body can pass the excess sodium when you go to the bathroom.

Keeping your waist in check

Greek yogurt is also an excellent source of iodine. Your body doesn’t naturally make iodine, so it’s important to get enough through the foods you eat. Iodine is important for proper thyroid function, and the thyroid is essential for healthy metabolism.

People today tend to be iodine deficient, which can cause serious problems, including rapid fluctuations in weight. For people with weight problems, increasing iodine levels in their diet increases the thyroid’s activity and, in turn, increases their metabolism promoting weight loss.

Another major benefit of Greek yogurt is the fact that it’s easy to prepare and relatively portable. It’s one of the fastest ways to add more protein to your diet without having to spend hours preparing and cooking protein dishes. Adding a few servings of Greek yogurt to your smoothies instantly gives them a huge protein boost. There are probably thousands of smoothie recipes that utilize Greek yogurt and most of them take just minutes to prepare, making Greek yogurt one of the best weight loss foods in terms of convenience. That makes a major difference because a lot of packaged foods and processed foods become popular because they are simply convenient. If you can come up with several recipes that are easy to make and don’t take a lot of time to prepare then you’ll be less likely to want to snack on junk foods between meals.

It’s Fun at 21

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The Common Fallacy

I have always heard “You can get away with that, (being overweight or obese) when you’re young, but you’d better lose that weight before you get older, because it will hurt you then.” I had accepted that as the truth. I was inspired to do some reading on this subject yesterday and the hard science that I uncovered was stunning. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

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Cultural Creation

I remember when obesity was unusual. Once in a while, we might see someone who weighed 300 pounds or more, but it was rare. While there is a large movement for acceptance of obesity as a lifestyle choice, it’s still unhealthy. Regardless of your level of confidence, obesity will still take it’s toll on you in many ways. The list of physical ill effects of carrying too much fat on your frame is endless. The term “medicalizing obesity” is absurd. It is a medical problem. You can read David’s article Medicalizing Obesity to get a better understanding of the effects of obesity on your body. Some people think that if they don’t believe something, it’s not true. That is the untruth. Truth will stand when the world’s on fire. It does not require that you believe it. It just is. If you say that you don’t believe that obesity hurts you, it doesn’t change the fact that it does. The “self-lovely” movement has destroyed the health of thousands. While it builds the self-esteem of some, it is simultaneously destroying their health. I have been obese. I chose a different path. No amount of false ego-boosting could ever build true confidence. True confidence comes from putting in the work to be the best that you can be. With the ever loosening standards of health, morality, beauty and good taste, a wave of obesity related health problems has pounded the youth of America. Health problems that once plagued only the elderly are now common among the very young. Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and gall bladder and liver disease run rampant in our young adults with fatty liver disease becoming commonplace. Fatty liver disease leads to cirrhosis of the liver and death is the only outcome without a liver transplant. All too often, death is the result in people who have lived half of their lives or less. We have allowed a culture of immediate gratification, on all fronts, to kill our children and grandchildren.  The idea that we should be able to live anyway that we like has carried over into the world of health with young people making statements like “I enjoy my UNHEALTHY lifestyle.” and “I don’t do healthy.” Seriously? I suppose that if you don’t “Do Healthy” then you are “Doing UNHEALTHY” whether you intend to or not. You will not be neutral. You will be either healthy or unhealthy and in almost every case that decision is made consciously with every bite that you put into your mouth.

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The Science

According to a 2014 paper in The Journals of Gerontology, a STRONGER association between obesity and various serious health problems exists in the YOUNG (18-40 years) than in the old (65-75) and very old. (1) In a paper published by the U.S. government, the statement is made that “the effect of obesity on mortality is about twice as strong for persons younger than 50 years of age.” (2) While these papers do discuss the effects of obesity in various age groups, it is clear that young people are at a greater risk. We have all heard of the young person who “suddenly dropped dead”. I am guessing that while the death was sudden, the lifestyle that may have contributed to this early demise was not. Quite often, the same personality traits that contribute to an individual being overweight or obese will cause other addictive behaviors. This is a deadly combination. I know of obese young women who died from a combination of drugs and alcohol. With or without these additional addictive behaviors, the fact still remains that obesity in youth appears to be more dangerous than in middle life (40-65) or later. This flies in the face of what most people believe to be true. You are NOT healthy or safe if you are obese at any age, especially if you are in the 18-40 year range. Your youth will not protect you and may possibly increase your chances of death from obesity related medical conditions.

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Ways to Win This War

In a lot of the World, especially the U.S., it seems like there is a war being waged against humans and especially the young. The enemies are: marketing, availability, peer pressure and the all too common fat acceptance movement. You have to chose whether you will win or lose this war. Winning means a lifetime of good health and longevity, full of activity and energy. Losing means sickness, immobility and death. The decision is yours alone. The war will be decided by the daily choices that you make about nutrition. Exercise is wonderful. I spend many hours working out every week, but as David says, “You can’t outrun a bad diet.”

1-Stop drinking your calories in sugar-laden sweetened beverages. You might read Meigan Loses 50 Pounds! Meigan is a young woman who just turned 21, who has followed David’s Way for about 6 months and lost 50 pounds. The first step in her progress was to stop drinking sugar-sweetened tea. Abandoning sweet tea made it easier to give up other foods with added sugar.

2-Quit eating added sugar altogether. You can read https://davidsway.blog/2020/03/28/junkies-addicted-to-that-sugar/ for some of David’s wisdom on this subject.

3- Get Active! With your doctor’s permission and advice, find a way to get some exercise. You will burn a few extra calories, increase your lean muscle mass and speed up your progress with exercise suited to your needs.

4-Make your calories count! Avoid foods devoid of nutrition. Choose whole foods and avoid processed foods that don’t stave hunger off very long.

5-Count your calories! You can go to the Calorie Counter Pro to determine how many calories that you need to lose, or gain, 1-2 pounds per week or to maintain your current weight.

6-Avoid fad diets. You can read How Long Will It Take to Lose Weight? for information about the problems with fast weight loss.

7-DON’T SKIP MEALS!!! You will get ravenous and eat everything in sight and feel justified doing it…BAD IDEA!

8-Stay Hydrated. Read David’s article How Much Water Do I Need? for good tips on the importance of hydration.

9-Reduce Stress. At David’s Way we teach “Make Your World Small”-(David Yochim) Stress can change your hormone levels and cause hunger and cravings. It increases cortisol production which promotes belly fat. Find a way to stress less.

10-Set realistic goals. When we first begin a weight loss program, we always want to “get there” in a hurry. The main reason for that is so we can go back to our old ways of eating, and living, which will cause the weight to come right back. Set your goal to be a lifetime of healthy choices that will get you to your optimum goal of being the best that you can be for the rest of your life. If you begin to practice good self-care now, that may be a very long time.

(1)https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/article/69/1/87/546788

(2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3375953/

 

 

G. Hughes Barbecue Sauce Review

 

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Oh, Yeah…

In my journey towards health and wellness that has spanned many years and many methods, before finding David’s Way, there have been a few things that I missed giving up. Good barbecue sauce was always one of them. I tried to make it without sugar many times but could never come up with a recipe that I liked. I don’t know what kind of magic G. Hughes has stumbled upon, but it’s powerful! They have managed to produce more than one variety of SUGAR FREE BBQ SAUCE that is wonderful.

Perfect Balance

I have enjoyed every variety of G. Hughes BBQ SAUCE that I have tried, but when I found the Sweet & Spicy flavor, I knew that I had found “The One”. All of them are thick and rich, but this one seemed a little thicker with just enough of a heat bite to notice. It’s obviously sweet, but it has equal tangy, spicy notes to perfectly balance the sweetness. The result is a decadent sauce that builds nicely as you cook, especially if you know how to cook it on in layers of sticky, finger-lickin’ good sauciness. It made both pork chops and chicken rock. Barbecue is back on the menu!

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Nutrition

With only 10 calories per 2 Tablespoon serving, you can have all you want. There is no added sugar or fat. There is 200 mg. of sodium in a serving, which is 9% of all that you should have in a day, so if sodium is a concern for you that might be a limitation, but that is true for most barbecue sauces. I eat very little sodium otherwise, so the sodium is not a problem for me.

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$Price$ and Availability

I buy this amazing, sugar free sauce at my local Walmart for a mere $3.26 per bottle. The only snafu is that occasionally, they don’t have my favorite, the Sweet and Spicy. I’m pretty sure it’s because it’s so good. Sometimes every variety is sold out, so if you like this sauce and want to be sure that you don’t have to order it from Amazon and pay too much for it, you might want to keep more than one on hand. It also comes in Mesquite, Maple Brown, Hickory and Carolina Style Sweet Heat and Original. Even if they’re sold out of your favorite, you can’t go wrong with G.Hughes!

Fat Loss Versus Weight Loss

One of the things we see as a huge problem in the weight loss industry is the focus is almost always placed exclusively  on weight loss alone. You can join one of the largest weight loss groups in the country, pay your monthly fees and still not find true success in achieving a healthy body, specifically because they only concentrate on helping you in getting to a goal weight instead of a goal body fat percentage. At David’s Way to Health and Fitness, we want you to concentrate on achieving a healthy body fat level over reaching a random weight. You might reach your goal weight when following any of the popular programs, yet still have an entirely too high percentage of body fat. What you weigh is meaningless when you are what we refer to as being “skinny fat”. Being skinny fat is when by outward appearances you are at an ideal body weight, yet you are still soft and pudgy from still carrying too much fat. In fact, being skinny fat is worse than just being obese simply because most skinny fat people do not recognize they have a problem.  After all, if you are over the age of thirty and weigh what you did as a senior in high school, all is well, right?

Not necessarily!

Here in lies a humongous problem, nutrition is similar to religion in that it is visceral. People can get too caught up in what feels good over using intelligence and common sense. It feels good to lose weight, and many take it as a matter of faith that a pound lost is a pound lost, while not caring where the pound lost came from. They do not care, or do not understand, there is a huge difference in a pound of water being lost over a pound of actual fat being lost. All they want to see is the number on their scale dropping which makes them feel good. These people will always find themselves let down when that pound of water weight is replaced as soon as they begin consuming and retaining fluids. Water weight loss is meaningless when it comes to what is important. What is important is losing your body fat to a healthy level for your body.

To get at a healthy level of body fat and remain there, we need to first understand something. Obesity is not just a matter of simple weight gain.

Obesity is an accumulation of excess body fat!

If you want your weight loss to mean anything, then you must understand that your priority must be focused on achieving a healthy level of body fat over a random weight number that just “seems” to be right. Some of the major weight loss groups will help you to get to a weight that places you in a healthy range within the Body Mass Index scale, yet you might still be “skinny fat” and unhealthy. To be healthy, you have to concentrate on losing body fat, not just weight.

Through interactions with our own followers at David’s Way to Health and Fitness, and through the study of several weight loss programs, it is astounding that there are so many people who have little grasp of what makes up their weight and what to do about it. Your body weight is comprised of more than one factor; water content, fat content, muscle content and your structural components  such as bones, tendons and ligaments. If you want to simplify this, look at your body as two parts, pure body fat and lean body mass for the rest.

If you are trying to figure out your ideal weight, quit looking for a mystical number you believe is going to make you look and feel good about yourself. Concentrate on getting to and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage. You can refer to our Pictorial Body Fat Estimator  here to see where you need to be. Fifteen percent is a good goal for men, while twenty two percent is a good percentage for women.

In today’s America, the average man has 23% or higher levels of body fat, while the average woman’s body fat is 32% or higher. This means the average male is 53% fatter than he should be while the average woman is 50% fatter than what is healthy. Somewhere along the way, we Americans have become some of the fattest people on the face of the earth.  And why would this be?

This is simply because too many people, including so-called experts, have no true understanding of the relationship between diet and fat loss!