Category: Uncategorized

Protein Packed Blueberry Muffin

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Serves 12

Calories 190

Net Carbs 5 grams

Protein 12 grams

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup finely ground almond flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsweetened protein powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup granular Swerve

1/4 cup melted butter

3 large eggs (room temperature)

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup unsweetened yogurt or sour cream

2 teaspoons lemon zest or 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Cinnamon/Swerve blend, optional for sprinkling on top

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease 12 wells of a standard muffin pan, or line with muffin papers.

Stir together dry ingredients and set aside.

Whisk together melted butter, Swerve, eggs, almond milk, yogurt, lemon zest or extract and vanilla.

Stir dry mixture into wet ingredients. A few lumps will remain.

Fold in berries.

Fill muffin cups until almost full and sprinkle with cinnamon Swerve, if desired.

Bake for 22-24  minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes before transferring to a rack.

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Beyond Sausage Review

As a bonafide carnivore I love my meats, yet being of a healthy mind and a health and fitness author, I like to explore alternative products for both myself and you, the reader. I give my honest opinion of what I think of different products, however, each of us have individual tastes. Just because I may or may not like a product I have reviewed, it does not mean you will come to the same conclusions regarding tastes, smells and textures.

After a week on the road, I really wanted a good breakfast this morning. Beyond Meats plant based sausage Beyond Sausage Brat Original filled this need for me.

Coming out of it’s packaging, I thought these Brats appeared more like an actual meat product, than the burgers and the Hot Italian Sausages. This was just a very minor detail for me though. What I wanted to know was how they were going to cook, and then of course, how satisfying they would be. And of course, they had to be nutritionally sound.

I browned them in a cast iron skillet with a little extra virgin olive oil over a low medium heat. It did not take long before my kitchen was filled with the good smell of sausage being cooked. The sausages browned very nicely in the olive oil, the casings seemed to be a bit better than I remember the casings from the Beyond Meat Italian sausage product. The Brat casing seemed to be pretty similar to any other sausage casing, yet the product is 100% plant based.

Once cooked, I scrambled a few eggs and plated it for myself and my brother in law who was having breakfast with me. Howard is one who might normally turn his nose up to any type of vegetarian or vegan friendly product, and I did not mention that was what he was being fed.

I cut into my Brat and thought it appeared almost realistically meat like in appearance. Truth be told, if I did not know what it was, I probably would not have seen any difference. I bit into my first bite and was instantly impressed with the taste and texture. The only issue with the flavor was I thought it had more of a breakfast sausage sage taste than that of actual meat  Brat’s. For me, this was not a bad thing, if it had been a breakfast sausage, the seasoning would be perfect for my taste. I enjoy sage, but it does not take much to be too much for me.

The texture was very much like a good meat Brat, yet there was a very slight chewiness to it. This was a non-issue for me. I also liked that the Brats were not greasy at all. The moisture content was satisfactory, yet I believe they might become a little too dry if overly cooked.

I asked my brother in law how he liked the Brats and he said he thought they were quite good. He was silent for a second and then asked me if they were the plant based product I bought last week at the store. I said  they were, and he replied that he liked them pretty good and would not mind having them again. I have two remaining that I believe I am going to cook on my grill over charcoal later this weekend.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 cooked link

Calories: 190, 110 from fat

Total fat: 12 grams

Saturated fat: 5 grams

Trans fat: 0 grams

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 500 mg

Potassium: 230 mg

Total carbohydrate: 5 grams

Dietary fiber: 3 grams

Sugar: 0 grams

Protein: 16 grams

(based on 2000 calorie per day diet)

Vitamin A: 0%

Vitamin C: 0%

Calcium: 6%

Iron: 22%

Ingredients:

Water, Pea Protein isolate, Refined coconut oil, Sunflower oil,Natural flavor, Contains: 2% or less of: Rice protein, Faba Bean protein, potato starch, salt, fruit juice (for color), apple fiber, methylcellulose, citrus extract (to protect quality) Calcium Alginate casing

Overall, I find these Brats to be a good nutritionally sound meat alternative that can be found in Kroger grocery stores and their subsidiaries. They can also be bought online from several sources, and are now being served at some restaurants. You might find them a little expensive at $8.99 for a package of 4 links. However, when considering food costs, even if your groceries might cost a little more to eat healthy choices, this expense will be offset by not having unnecessary visits to your physician for any health issues which are a direct result of poor nutritional dietary habits. You can pay a little more in the store for quality foods, or you can had your hard earned money over to your doctor and your pharmacist later when you are suffering from heart issues, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and a whole host of other health problems related to your nutrition or lack there of. The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

David’s Way

At David’s Way, we take a holistic, whole body approach to weight loss and management. David and Brenda are both AFPA certified Nutritional/Wellness Consultants who emphasize living a healthy, nutritionally sound and sustainable lifestyle. Since it’s a lifestyle and not a diet, there is no endpoint. We promote healthy eating and exercise for a healthy body and sound mind.

David’s Way is a healthy nutrition and active lifestyle based on years of personal experience and scientific research. Our methodology involves the consumption of a high protein, low carbohydrate, nutritionally sound and diabetic friendly diet. Our numerous dessert recipes are all sugar free and can be enjoyed by anyone without having the concerns of blood sugar or insulin spikes. Nor will our desserts cause you any cravings such as you would get from treats made with sugar.

At David’s Way we don’t tell you what to eat so much as we tell you what not to eat. This is no weight loss gimmick, this simple plan is how our mothers, grandmothers and generations past used to feed us. It is simply a matter of using portion control when consuming healthy, whole foods, while avoiding foods that are not nutritionally sound. In other words, do not consume anything that does not provide you a nutritional benefit.

We advocate Intermittent Fasting on the 16:8 protocol. While there is a lot of information which can be found all over the internet regarding Intermittent Fasting as if it is a new found weight loss gimmick, it is really nothing new. Intermittent Fasting used to be the norm in America even though it did not have a name. For example, when I was a child we used to get up in the morning and have breakfast, lunch and then dinner. Once the dinner dishes were cleaned up and put away, we did not eat again until the next morning’s breakfast. If your mother caught you eating after the dinner dishes had been put away, you might get a little reprimanding for not eating either all of your dinner, or not enough. Intermittent Fasting was just a normal part of American life before this era of our obesity epidemic.

At David’s Way, we advise you to maintain a regular exercise regimen, and to count and track your calories and macro-nutrients in order to ensure you are eating enough, and also that you are not eating too little which is detrimental to your metabolism. For your personal caloric needs, simply go to our menu and click on Calorie Counter Pro and enter your information and get a customized calorie count to suit your individual needs. Your personal information is only visible to you, as we respect and follow all HIPPA privacy laws. We advise entering your information to lose one pound per week in order to ensure that you have plenty to eat and still manage to lose body fat in a healthy manner and comfortably.

At David’s Way our first and foremost intention is to help people live a nutritionally sound lifestyle in order to improve or maintain your health. The vast amount of content on this blog will always be free to you. We promise to never treat you as a perpetual stream of income as some other weight loss businesses are prone to do. Lastly, as a method of lowering the stress of weight loss,and or management, we encourage our followers to focus on achieving a healthy body fat percentage over trying to achieve a specific or random number on the scales. We welcome all questions and comments and can be reached by e-mail through the Contact tab on our blog menu. We promise you will hear personally from either one or both of us.

David’s Way

  • Do not consume sugar or simple carbs such as refined sugar, pasta and breads made of refined white flour. Avoid sugar sweetened drinks and alcoholic beverages as they are loaded in simple carbohydrates.
    1. Foods containing added sugar and simple carbohydrates will spike your blood sugar and insulin which will drive your cravings for more. If you have not had control over sugar and simple carbohydrates in the past, it is unlikely you will keep them under control in the future if you have been prone to binge eating. If you are addicted to simple carbs you will almost certainly have the same issues as an alcoholic who thinks he can enjoy just one drink. This might work occasionally, but will usually derail the individual entirely.
    2. The only caveat to not consuming simple carbs is fruit. The fiber in fruit acts to buffer the simple carbohydrates in them from just dumping into your blood stream like happens when you eat sugar and other simple carbohydrates.
    3. In our recipe category, we have subcategories with plenty of sugar fee dessert recipes that are delicious, and can be eaten by anyone including diabetics, while not having to concern yourself with the health issues and cravings which come from sugar.
  •  No processed foods as they are almost always high in sugar, sodium, unhealthy fats and          preservatives.
    1. While there are some processed foods that are nutritionally sound, most are not. If you are going to consume processed foods because of the convenience factor, be sure to read the label first. For example, if you purchase a sauce, read the label to identify whether the product contains added sugar, unhealthy fats, high amounts of sodium and any other ingredients which you might have to do a Google search of in order to even know what it might be.
  • Simply put, we encourage you to eat whole foods such as meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits and dairy products that are easily prepared at home. Skip restaurants and fast food’s unless you know that you are able to make healthy choices from their menu.
      1. An example of a healthy choice in a restaurant would be meat and vegetable fajitas in a Mexican restaurant. You could enjoy this while skipping the flour tortilla’s and the corn tortilla’s and salsa that is usually served. Have a unsweetened drink with your meal instead of a soda pop or alcoholic beverage.
  • Be sure to track how many calories a day you consume and do not exceed the amount your body requires. Just as important, you want to ensure you are not under eating.
    1. If you find yourself going over on one day, simply eat lighter the next day and do not stress over it. One day is not going to derail your weight loss, especially if you are eating healthy, whole foods only. You can do an average of your daily caloric intake for the week, and if your average does not exceed what it would be if your calories were spot on each day, there is no need for worry about weight gain.
    2. If you have an exercise regimen, you will especially want to track your caloric intake in order to ensure you are consuming enough calories to fuel your physical activities. Too large a caloric deficit will cause you to lose lean muscle mass along with body fat. This will only serve to slow down your metabolism.
  • Be sure during your weight loss mode to eat a diet that is high in protein and lower in carbs, Do not skip out on healthy fats either as they are essential for good health and proper absorption of nutrients from the foods you eat.
    1. A diet that is higher in protein and which includes healthy fats will keep you satiated between meals far better than a diet that is higher in carbohydrates than protein.
    2. During your weight loss, try to consume no less than 35% and up to 50% of your calories from a variety of protein sources. Meats, seafood, dairy, eggs and even protein shakes that do not contain sugar. Once you are maintaining your weight, try to eat at least 35% of your calories from protein sources. Track your macro-nutrients!
    3. If you have a vigorous exercise regimen such as strength training and or running, be sure to eat from .8 grams to 1 gram per pound of body weight if you are female. And 1 gram to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight if you are male. Protein is a must in order to maintain, build and repair your lean muscle tissue which gets broken down during vigorous exercise.
  • Be accountable to yourself! Besides tracking your calories and macro-nutrients, weigh yourself no more than once per week, and aim for only a 1 pound per week weight loss, and no more than 2 pounds per week.
    1. Be consistent in your weigh in. Do it on the same day each week, at the same time of day and in the same clothing or lack there of. We recommend weighing yourself before you even get dressed, and before you have anything to eat and drink.
  • Practice Intermittent Fasting on the 16:8 protocol. This means to fast for 16 hours and then eat all of your allotted calories for the day during your 8 hour eating window.
    1. You can build yourself up to 16:8 by first starting with 12:12 then 14:10 before going 16:8. By consuming enough protein along with healthy fats, you will find this much easier than you might think. With the elimination of added sugar and simple carbohydrates, you will feel hungry, but the hunger will not be unbearable as when you are craving simple carbs.
  • David’s Way is NOT Keto. Keto only allows you to consume about 50 grams of carbs per day. We advocate you target 100 to 150 grams of complex carbohydrates per day, with 125 grams as a target number. 16:8 Intermittent Fasting while on high protein and low carb will drive you into ketosis for weight loss. But again, we are not a Keto plan.
  • Aim for a healthy body fat percentage as an ultimate goal over a specific number on the scale. Everyone has fluctuations in their body weight from day to day, and from morning to night. These fluctuations are from water weight. If you are aiming for a healthy body fat over a specific number, you will find weight loss to be less stressful. Your weight can fluctuate by 5 pounds or more with no impact on your body your level of body fat.

Again, David’s Way is about living a healthy lifestyle over living on a diet. We believe it keeping it simple, thereby reducing the level of stress which can come when on a weight loss mindset. What we advocate is nothing new under the sun, this life style is just how life used to be lived before the epidemic of rampant obesity in America. It is about personal responsibility and accountability to self and loved ones as your health will always become a burden on others should you allow it to. Someone will always have to pick up the broken pieces behind you should you live a unhealthy lifestyle. Do not allow yourself to become a burden to your loved ones simply because of a lack of dietary control or discipline. You are better than this, and your loved ones deserve better.

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

Serves 30

Calories 160

Net Carbs 1 gram

Protein 3 grams

Shortbread Crust

1/4 cup coconut flour

1 3/4 cup almond flour

1/2 cup Swerve Confectioners

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter (cold) or coconut oil (solid)

2-4 Tablespoons water l

Chocolate Ganache

2 oz. Unsweetened chocolate

1/4 cup Confectioners Swerve

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon sour cream

Pecan Pie Filling

3/4 cup Brown Swerve

3 large eggs

3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

6 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 1/2 teaspoons tapioca flour

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup of toasted pecan halves

Toasted Pecans

Preheat oven to 350

Toast for 5-7 minutes until aromatic but not burned.

Remove from oven and set aside.

Shortbread

Preheat oven to 325

Excessively grease a 9×13 pan to prevent sticking.

Mix almond and coconut flours and Swerve and salt together.

Cut cold butter into small pieces and pulse in a food processor or press into dry mixture with a fork until it looks like cornmeal.

Add 2-4 Tablespoons cold water to the mixture until it begins to loosely combine.

Place in the greased dish and press in evenly.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are brown and parts of the shortbread surface are lightly brown.

Remove from oven and cool.

Chocolate Ganache

While shortbread is cooking make ganache.

Whisk chocolate, cream, Swerve and sour cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat until ganache is smooth and warm.

Set aside.

Pecan Pie Filling

While shortbread is cooling preheat oven to 350.

Whisk Brown Swerve and eggs til creamy.

Add chopped pecans, melted butter, tapioca starch and vanilla and stir to combine.

Assembly

Spread ganache over shortbread.

Sprinkle pecan halves over ganache.

Gently spread filling over ganache.

Cook at 350 for 25-30 minutes til top of bars are brown.

Cool.

Morning Star Veggie Corn Dog Review

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

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

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

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

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

Nutrition

4800 mg of sodium

24 grams carbs

less than 1 gram fiber

7 grams of sugar

only 6 grams of protein

Ingredients

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

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

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

What the world is this all about?

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

It does not get any better.

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

Beware!

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

Birch Benders Keto Pancake and Waffle Mix Review

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

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

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

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

Got the Blues?

It is Sunday after Thanksgiving and hopefully if you had company they are on their way home and have not wrecked not just your home, but your sanity as well. With it being the weekend following a major US holiday, many folks are stepping onto their bathroom scales this morning and instantly going into a depression when they see a rise in that pesky number. The melancholy can get even deeper when you have gone as far as to completely undress, evacuate your bladder and bowels, and yet still that damn number has risen. You have done everything you can do to be lighter, maybe even wondering if the number would drop if you should even go as far as cutting your hair before stepping onto the scale. Now is the time that remorse steps in and replaces that “to hell with it” attitude of throwing caution to the wind and chowing down on multile desserts on Thanksgiving Day. By god you were going to enjoy yourself, right?

If you are the type who gains weight easy and finds food to be the driving force behind your blues, there are areas where you can and should be proactive instead of reactive. Be proactive by minding your dietary habits by not eating sugar or other trigger foods and incorporating an exercise regimen into your routine. Eat whole healthy foods instead of processed garbage and or fast foods, and ensure you are taking care of all of your nutritional needs. Eat so that you get all of your vitamin and mineral requirements in the right proportions and spaced evenly through out the day to fuel your spirits in order to avoid your diet related mood swings and depression. Key points to remember are:

1. Take control of your appetite instead of letting it control you. This is not impossible if you make the choice to try. If you are a carb craver, then be proactive about it and work with instead of against your cravings. Ensure that every meal contains at least some complex carbohydrates, foods that are high in fiber which will allow a even absorption instead of a dump as you get from refined sugar. Complex carbs are needed as a healthy fuel for our bodies. You should have whole grain foods, beans, vegetables, nuts and potatoes to name a few. In addition, plan a complex carbohydrate rich snack once or twice during the day if it helps you to curb your cravings. Even better is to include protein to these snacks which will help you even further in curbing the cravings.

2. Depression and excessive consumption of sugar and caffiene do not mix. Even though a candy bar and a cup of coffee will give you a very brief emotional pick me up when you are depressed, so will cocaine. Leave that stuff alone, they all can and will destroy you. If you are fighting depression and know that you are sensitive to sugar, avoid all foods containing sugar including desserts, sugar coated cereals, candy, sugar sweetened drinks, and any other sugary snack foods. Read labels on every thing you consume, it only takes a couple seconds. You can manage that, right? Many foods you never suspect will contain added sugar, including bagels, canned and boxed fruit juices, frozen breakfast foods, and yogurt. Eliminate coffee and other caffienated drinks, or at least greatly reduce them to one or two per day. Bear in mind, it is going to take you about two to three weeks before your mind clears and you notice an improvement in your mood after quitting sugar and caffiene. You can do this if you wrap your mind around the fact it will help your depression and you make the choice to do so and then follow through with your descision. Do not let others influence what you know to be right for yourself, ever.

3. Eat more fish. At least three times per week, eat fish or other seafood instead of red meat or chicken. If you think you tire of seafood easily, then get creative in the use of seasonings and cooking methods. Sear in olive oil, bake, broil, poach or even bbq. There are to many varieties of sea food and different manners of preparation to use boredom as an excuse to not consume sea foods and or fish. Fish are too great a source of vitamins, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids to be ignored.

4.Avoid alcohol or drink in moderation if you feel you must.

5. Pay attention to the amount of vitamins B6, B12, and Folic acid you consume. If you are falling short in these vitamins, then get proactive and correct the situation. Include folic acid rich foods into your meal plans. You can once again get creative and fix a spinach omelette for breakfast, and later in the day have steamed collard greens and mashed potatoes or a good salad using romaine lettuce with your lunch or dinner. To maximize your intake of folic acid and B Vitamins, purchace freash vegetables, refrigerate immediately, and use within two days of purchace. Avoid over cooking dark green leafy foods, and always heat them in minimal amounts of water. Add that cooking water to your soups and or stews. Finally, make sure you are eating Vitamin B12 rich foods such as red meat, chicken, fish and milk.

6. Keep a log of what you consume, track every damn bite and nibble. Then review this log periodically, especially if you are struglling with your moods and weight. Check for changes in your eating patterns in order that you can take corrective action. Are you dieting, frequently skipping breakfast, induldging in snacks during the day and evening, eating more sweets than healthy foods. Are you sabotaging yourself with bad dietary habits?Is it possible you have any intolerance to certain foods, allergies or aversions? Any of this can alter brain chemistry and thereby contribute to your depression or mood swings.

Incorporate regular exercise into your life!

Like it or not, but people who exercise regular will always feel better physically and mentally than the couch potatoes of the world. Have you ever heard anyone say that exercise brought them depression? Not if they are serious about it will you hear this. Fact, vigorous exercise has been proven effective in reducing and even curing depression in the young and old, men and women, people with mild to severe depression, recovering alcoholics, people battling life threatening conditions such as cncer and prople recovering from eating disorders. Exercise combined with a nutritious diet will work wonders on your mood.

When you get regular exercise, your body releases chemicals including epinephrine and norepinephrine, which boost your level of alertness. By going out for a good run or having good strength training session, your level of serotonin begins to rise which boosts your mood in a manner similar to that of Prozak. Is not a natural method better than taking a chemical altering drug? I believe so. Exercise destresses the body by lowering blood levels of stress hormones such as cortisol which places you in a fight or flight mode. Elevated cortisol is associated with depression and weight gain. Regular exercise induces weight loss and improves your hormone levels and thus your mood.

When expanding on the amount of exercise you perform, the progressive overload, as your body becomse accustomed, will help you to react less intensely to stress which will also help you in building a better coping mechanism for depression. The rise in body temperature during exericise also provides a tranquilizing effect, you will feel good, kind of like how you feel when soaking in a hot tub of water. Making time for exercise will give your mind a break from the drudgery of life, an escape from work, or an unhappy relationship. It gives you a time out from life’s worries and unhappy emotions.

Taking it up a notch.

If you get serious about running, or even strength training, at some point you will experience a runners high. Runners high if you do not know, is a feelng of euphoria following or during any intense exercise. This euphoria is induced by a release of endorphins which are the body’s natural morphine like chemicals that help increase your tolerance to pain, and generate feelings of euphoria and satisfaction. Exercise raises your blood levels of endorphins by up to ten fold.

Vigorous exercise is a great anti-depressant. Some people want to categorize the mood effects from exercise as biochemical or psychological, but the reality is it is proably more a combination of the two. Regular intense exercise has been found to be more effective in treating depression tha any psychotherapy or drugs. The level, intensity or even type of exercise does not matter so much as ong as something is physical is incorporated into your life. Walking, running, swimming and weight training will alleviate depression and improve your mood, especially when combined with a healthy diet with no sugar. But know this, exercise is only good for your depression and mood if you stick to it. If you do not, you can expect for your mental state to once again decline within 48 hours.

This article is not intended in any way to keep you from seeking professional help. If your condition is bad enough that you have resorted to professional help, then please, by all means, discuss your diet and exericse habits with your care giver.

Stress!

It’s that time of year that is ever so happy for some, while for others it is a time of great stress. Yesterday was Thanksgiving where hopefully most folks were able to enjoy a blessed day with their families. Yet we know that for a great many, these so called special days drive us to the brink mentally, and Thanksgiving is only the beginning. We barely get a breather and now we need to complete our Christmas shopping, the wrapping of gifts, wondering how we are going to pay for them all and hoping we do not gain too much weight again this year. In the military we used to say that you just had to “Learn to embrace the suck and drive on.” This does not work so well in the civilian world, and it damn sure does not work for those who have never had to push through no matter how hard life might be in the moment. Truth be told, learning to embrace the suck and drive on for us military veterans is not the exact answer either as many of us suffer from post Traumatic Stress once our careers are over. In fact, for many of us retired veterans, at a time when of our lives when we have dropped our heavy ruck from our backs, there is still a heavy mental one which remains in our minds only to weigh us down with stress.

Lets talk about stress, have you ever:

  • Caught a cold right after a big event?
  • Craved candy bars when pressured to meet a deadline at work?
  • Found yourself unable to think of a name, find the right word, or remember where you left your car keys when you are under stress?
  • Lost your appetite when troubled or anxious?
  • Gained or lost weight when a relationship ended?

If so, then you have experienced what science is only just beginning to understand; stress, diet, mood and immunity are interconnected. What you consume, how well you cope when life has dealt you a bad hand, how clearly your mind can process information, your moods, and your risk of major degenerative diseases are all interconnected. Some of this is obviously beyond your control, yet what you put into your own mouth, foods that can affect these issues for good or bad, are under your control. No one is being force fed against their will.

While some want to believe that others are lucky to live charmed lives, here is a news flash; To be alive is to be under stress. No matter who you are. Some of us can be triggered by the honking of a horn in traffic, getting a late notice for a bill in the mail, or we can have a positive stress come our way on occasion. Positive stresses such as getting a new job or promotion, falling in love with someone, or the beginning of a new life after leaving an abusive relationship. Stress can prompt us to reach our goals in life, to be better people, to expand our personal horizons to new heights. Stress can even be fun, such as when riding a roller coaster or watching a scary movie. But usually, the stress we recognize the most comes as anger, worries, jealousies and fears. This kind of stress is really a distress and can rob us of health and mental wellness.

Stress can be a primal response to a danger, a survival of the fittest basic instinct going back to the beginning of tie. Stress to a caveman meant his ass was about to get killed by another caveman or a wild animal. Way back then, danger meant you had better be taking care of your business in a hurry if you did not want to meet your maker. As Darwin might have put it, those who responded quickly lived. Those who didn’t, well too bad for you.

Even back in cave man days, danger meant your nerves would be triggeed and your glands would secrete stress hormones such as cortisol. Pupils dilated, vision improved, all in an effort to identify your dangers. Muscles tensed, preparing the body for fight or flight. Within a split second, you go from being peaceful to ready for combat. Lock, load and fire at will.

Today in our modern world, depsite our housing, clothing technology etc. we are not so far removed physically from our early ancestors. Now instead of being worried about warring tribes and wild animals in the night, we are threatened with tight schedules, over extended lifestyles, and in many cases, over crowding. Our most identifiable stress comes from within as anger, unrealistic expectations, fear and loathing. As with our ancestors, our hearts still beat faster, blood pressure climbs while our blood vessels constrict and stress hormones flood our systems in repsonse to real or percieved dangers. The difference today is that instead of dealing with our stress head on, we are more prone to wallow in self pity and not do anything constructive to fix our situations. Our stress hormones linger in the blood stream, blood cholesterol and sugar rises, and nerve chemicals over flow. It is this stressful stew pot that is linked to the loss of brain power and suppresse ability to fend off infection and numerous diseases, from peptic ulcers, asthma, and colds to cardiovascular disease. Possibly even cancer.

I am no doctor, if you suffer from stress related ailments, you had best see your physician and be prepared to make life style changes for the better. As a nutritional consultant I will tell you how stress and nutrition affect your health and wellness. Stress and nutrition are closely intertwined. When you are deficient nutritionally, you are causing a stress on your body If you do not care enough about yourself to eat nutrionally dense foods within your daily caloric needs, you are personally responsible for your personal stresses which come as a result of malnutrtion. If you live on fast foods, chips, cookies and cakes, you are likely malnourished even if, no, specifically if you are obese. Suboptimal amounts of one or more nutrients place a strain on your body’s metabolic processes which depend on proper nutrition. You are responsible, no one else.

You can not control the jerk blowing his horn in traffic, but you can control what you feed yourself. Even slight deficiencies of iron can reduce the oxygen supply to the tissues and brain. Oxygen deprived tissues will leave you feelig tired, irritable, and uable to concentrate. Likewise, an inadequate intake of B Vitamins places stress on the cell’s ability to convert carbohydrates and fats ito energy. Suboptimal amounts of antioxidants like Vitamin C weaken the body’s antioxidant defenses, exposing the tissues to damage and disease. Bottom line, how well your body is nourished will dictate how it reacts to stress. The better you are nourished, the better you will handle what life throws your way. No matter how you feel right now, this is truthfully under your control.

I am not saying getting your nutrition in order while stressed is easy. Stress affects nutriental needs by reducing absorption, increasing excretion, altering how the body uses the nutrients, or even increasing the daily requirements for certain nutrients. This problem becomes compounded as when folks are stressed, their eating habits are usually at their worse for proper nutrition. Folks who typically diet tend to overeat all the wrong foods when stressed, and even those of us who eat good most all the time can go to crap when times are tough. This is why David’s Way is about “LIFESTYLE” and not a diet. Friends, you are most vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies when stressed than at any other time. Hell that could just about go without being said it is so blatantly obvious. Your nutritional deficiencies only serve to make the problem worse before they even begin.

Any type of stress, physical stress from disease or surgery or emotonal stress from losing a loved one to death or divorce, stress from our career choices upset our nutritional balance which in turn makes life worse. If you have a short term temporary stress, you will fare better if your dietary habits already have your body well nourished. You will have less anxiety and your stress is less likely to affect your health and wellness. If you are marginally nourished prior to life handing you a crap sandwich, and if the situation lasts quite some time, you will over tax your body’s ability to handle this high stress period with your poor nutritional status, and your overall health will pay the heavy price.

You have a responsibility to yourself and your loved ones to live well and healthy. Life is never just about the individual as your actions will sooner or later affect those around you. Your family may suffer from your loss of income, someone will have to plan your funeral and manage your estate when you are gone. It is never just about you. Your personal choices in how you conduct yourself, how well you care for your body affects others whether you like it or not. It is a personal choice you make when you wallow in self pity and binge eat your despair away, only to have it return with a vengeance when you step on the scale and see the number has risen. Make the descision today to begin living healthier, to eat nutritious foods instead of sugar laden junk. Make the descicion to learn how to deal with your stress head on and how to create plans how to over come it. Make a descision today to begin a vigorous exercise regimen which will not only improve your body physically, you will find that your mind will improve by leaps and bounds too.

Make a choice to follow us at Davd’s Way. We provide you with nutrition and fitness articles based on science and personal experience. We intersperse healthy recipes within our articles. We promote a high protein, low carbohydrate diet where complex carbs are still highly encouraged while simple refined sugars are strongly encouraged to be avoided at all costs. We want you to eat healthy nutritious foods and that you actually eat enough to meet your daily caloric needs. With your physicians approval of course, we encourage you to adopt a serious exercise regiment that raises your heart rate for a minimum of 30 minutes to preferrably an hour, at least three sessions per week. We want you to lose body fat, while only concentrating on getting to a healthy body fat percentage over stressing over achieving a specific number on your scale. We want and encourage you to make a choice to live a healthier life, the choice is yours to make. No excuses…

Why Did I Eat All That?

screenshot_20181123-135527~26519449188728309686..jpgHow many of us have shoved that last bite into our mouth and instantly felt sick? Maybe physically sick but always heartsick, wondering why we do this to ourselves, realizing that the food that we felt so compelled to eat as fast as possible, was not even that good…so, why, why, WHY?!?! did we eat it?

Duh?

I have always thought that the most obvious answer is usually the answer but usually and always are not the same.  I do believe that most of the time we just like to eat and that’s normal.  We love the taste and texture of the food so we just keep eating.  But, there’s something else going on when we just have to have something…anything…and plenty of it…and we can’t stop.  Maybe the food is not our first choice or it’s stale or just poor quality, but…we eat it anyway.

Epiphany

I had the frozen bread experience where I was determined to eat frozen bread and stopped in tears.  I’ve never had a serious problem with binge eating since.  That day, I made up my mind that eating was a problem for me and I had to treat it as a fueling experience and nothing else. I believe that most of the emotional value that I placed on food ceased to exist that day.  It was a survival skill.  I had to learn it. Refusing to eat sugar cemented this as a lifelong personality trait.  Without the sugar, I don’t have cravings to deal with.

Why

We beat ourselves up without considering some of the reasons that we do the things that we do.  There are reasons.  We still make the choice about what we put into our mouth but there are factors that influence us and there are methods to stop the binge eating before it begins.

1- Mindless Eating-It can begin as mindless eating [1], like eating while we’re actually cooking a meal.  We think that we can’t wait for the food to get ready so we may open a bag of chips or cookies to tide us over until supper and the next thing we know, the chips are gone, we feel a little sick and we don’t want the good food that we just prepared.  Sound familiar?  In this case, before beginning food prep, have a nutritious, hearty snack and then proceed with food prep.  If you have to hide in a closet to get that snack in, do it!  For years I was in a domestic situation where my every move was monitored and if I had been observed eating before beginning food prep, there would have been an argument.  I had to get creative.  Find a way.

2-Habit-Sometimes compulsive eating can be part of the “eat, repent, repeat” cycle where we binge, swear we’re going to stop, (and we do until we want to again), and repeat.  It’s an emotional roller coaster full of negative self talk.  This comes from having the mindset that if we punish ourselves enough that it will somehow rectify the over eating.  It won’t.  The calories are already in.  All the repenting in the world won’t change that.  So, don’t even think that if you criticize yourself enough then those calories will somehow magically disappear.  Just stop it.  That’s the only thing that will make them null and void.

3-Self-Medication-Sometimes, we want a quick fix for negative feelings.  Most of the time when we binge, we binge on carbohydrates.  Simple carbohydrates, and salt, provoke a quick release of serotonin.  Serotonin is such a natural anti-depressant that a large percentage of drugs made for depression work by preventing the breakdown, or re-uptake, of serotonin and thereby allow it to build up in the brain.  Is it any wonder that when we are struggling with depression and anxiety that we self medicate with carbohydrates?  The problem is, these foods pack on the pounds and we’re left with the fat and the depression that accompanies it and the cycle becomes increasingly vicious. dragging us farther and farther into the abyss of compulsive, uncontrolled binge eating and depression. Too much sodium can negatively impact some people’s blood pressure and it will always cause fluid retention that can aggravate heart problems, breathing difficulties and make the pain of arthritis worse due to the excess weight in the body.  Binge eating is much more than a cosmetic concern.  It’s dangerous.  It can contribute to the onset of diabetes and liver problems.  Learning coping mechanisms to stop it is necessary.  Eggs and cottage cheese and avocados are examples of foods that help build serotonin naturally.

The Methods

1-Seek Professional Help-Due to the possibility of significant self injury with compulsive eating I must first advise you to seek professional help.  This blog is not, nor will it ever be, a substitute for your medical doctor.  Gastric rupture and other life threatening conditions can result from eating too much.  Take it seriously. Go to the doctor.

2-Do Not Label Yourself -This habit does not make you good or bad.  It’s just behavior.  There are reasons.  Labeling will only increase your bad neurotransmitters and make you more likely to binge.  You cannot possibly be good or bad based on the amount of food that you eat.

3-Change Your Environment-If certain locations such as a specific chair at night seem to call for food, change where you sit.  Destroy those associations.  Build new habits.  Find a location and read this blog or watch t.v. The critical issue is, change the environment.

4-Find A Way To Satisfy Cravings-David made the “Sugar Free Sugar Cookies” recently and they went over quite well with his family.  Everyone loved them and had a bit of trouble accepting that they are sugar free.  The good thing is, they will satisfy a craving but not cause one.  They are sugar free.  Sugar causes cravings.  I put Crystal Light into Plain (NOT VANILLA), Fat Free Greek Yogurt and it tastes like a serious dessert, a sundae.  Pepperoncini and crunchy baby dills will satisfy a salty, crunchy craving.  Trick your brain and stop.

5-Eat Enough Wholesome Foods!!! Here at David’s Way we make sure that we eat all of our calories.  When we avoid sugar and eat all of the food that we are supposed to have in good whole foods, we absolutely do not have cravings.  It works.

6-Avoid Sugar…oh, yeah, I just said that…there’s a reason that I said it again.  It lights up your brain the same as cocaine.  It makes you want to eat it again and again…Just Don’t. We have a sugar free recipe for almost anything you want. If you want something that we don’t have, comment.  We will get you one.

This Season, with all of the emotions and feasting and bustle are a disaster for a compulsive eater if we don’t exert control.  There’s always an excuse available for wrecking our health initiative.  There are no reasons, however, only excuses.  Make a decision.  Let this be your winning Season and get a head start on those skimpy summer clothes.  Before you know it, it will be swimsuit season.  Let’s go for it, full speed ahead!  ;-*

[1] https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/eating-disorders/binge-eating-disorder/features/compulsive-overeating-and-how-to-stop-it#1

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving

On this Thanksgiving Day, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude and thankfulness to our faithful readers around the world. May each and every one of you have a blessed day.

I also want to convey how thankful I am for my lovely co-author Brenda Sue for dedicating her efforts and time with her tremendous contributions to my blog. I am blessed that you came on board with me, that together we can help others around the world in living more fit and healthier lives.

Much love to all,

David