Category: Uncategorized

Hydration in the Summertime

 

woman drinking water
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Do you only think about hydration when you are feeling parched in the summertime heat? Or, is hydration  something you consciously think of as a part of your healthy lifestyle?

Either way, you should know that how well you hydrate your body is as important as the foods you eat. Your body contains something akin to primordial life, in that half of our body weight is made up of a briny fluid that gives us life. This briny fluid bathes, cushions, and lubricates cells, tissues and organs. It is what gives our cells their shape, and provides their substance. It forms the internal watery highway that transports nutrients, wastes, hormones, and other substances throughout the body. Your hydration is kind of important to your health and wellness.

Hydration Equals Life!

Early on in our school years, we learn the importance of hydrating our bodies. We learn that if we become too dehydrated, that we will die. Just staving off dehydration is not enough, you need to take in enough water to carry out a variety of metabolic tasks in your body such as making enough urine to carry away toxic by-products of digestion and metabolism. Good hydration also maintains proper blood volume, prevents body salts from becoming too concentrated, and replenishes whatever water we lose through the course of the day.

How Much Water Do We Need?

The average person requires about a milliliter of fluid for every calorie they burn. This equals approximately eight 8 ounce glasses of water for a 2000 calorie a day diet for maintenance of weight. However, the amount of water you need is also individual to your needs. Those needs are largely dependent on your diet, environment, and your activity level.

  1. Diet. If you are one who eats lots of fruits and vegetables, which contain a good amount of water, you might not need to drink as much water as someone who does not eat these foods.
  2. Environment/Weather. When the temperatures are comfortable, we might only lose about 4 pints of water in a day. We lose this water through our skin when we perspire, through the moist air we exhale, and of course through our urine output. Of course, when we are uncomfortably hot, we lose a lot more water. Conversely, we also lose a lot of water during the cold months of winter when the relative humidity drops and the dry air draws water from us.
  3. Activity. And of course, the more we move our bodies, the more water we lose from it. As your muscles burn glucose, they generate heat. This extra heat must be dealt with or we risk cooking the temperature sensitive proteins that make you be you. Sweating is our natural cooling mechanism that lowers the extra heat we generate when we are moving our bodies. As it forms on your skin and evaporates, it carries heat away.

When we are very active with a workout, or just work in general, we can lose up to a quart of fluid per hour. Because we do not always realize when we are becoming dehydrated, we should drink when we are thirsty. Drink before we become thirsty. And drink enough to keep your urine consistently clear or yellow rather than bright or dark yellow.

Our thirst is not always a good guide to rely on to gauge our level of hydration. By the time we feel thirsty, we might already be dehydrated. This is a problem when we are working or playing hard in the summertime heat. We often do not realize that our hydration is running on empty. The older we get, the bigger problem this becomes as older folks do often become dehydrated while never realizing it.

The Consequences of Dehydration

The consequences of becoming dehydrated range from life threatening to mildly irritating. Extreme dehydration can be deadly, and occurs mostly in children and older people during very hot weather. This is also a problem with endurance athletes. Minor dehydration can simply make us grumpy and tired. It also can make it hard to concentrate. And lastly, chronic dehydration can be a cause of constipation, and may lead to kidney stones and bladder cancer. The bottom line is it is imperative that we always keep our bodies well hydrated for a plethora of reasons.

Heat Cramps, Exhaustion and Stroke

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Sun Protection from Nutrition

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash sun

Oh, the Pain!

Some of my earliest memories revolve around the beach, Panama City Beach in Florida! I loved that place as a young child although I knew that a trip to the beach would likely result in an excruciating  sunburn. My mother would slather me with sunscreen to no avail. Within the week that we were there, a searing burn was almost inevitable. Sunscreens were not as good as they are now and now we know that we must use them profusely and reapply often. Then, we would put it on and stay out until mid-day and go inside until mid-afternoon when the sun’s rays were not as intense. Without fail, that morning coat would fail us at some point. I believe that we might have stayed out just a few minutes too long. That’s all it took in the glaring summer sun on those stark white beaches. Inevitably, I would get cooked. Severe sunburns before the age of 18 are associated with an increased risk of the deadly melanoma skin cancer. (1) We need to do everything in our power to protect ourselves and those that we love when we are soaking up the sunny days of summer.

Secret Weapon

We all know to apply sunscreen frequently but nutrition is an often overlooked weapon in the skin care arsenal. The right nutrients can make a huge difference in your skin’s ability to fend off sunburn. Poor nutrition ages us in many ways and lowered sun protection is just one.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Watermelon

Watermelon is high in lycopene which actually absorbs UVA and UVB radiation. It’s necessary to eat watermelon every day for a few weeks to make the skin photoprotective. Even then, still use sunscreen, hats and protective clothing.

Photo by rajat sarki on Unsplash

Green Tea

Green tea is truly a powerful gift from nature. Some studies show that it has the ability to protect us from tumors caused by too much sun. It contains a powerful flavanol called EGCG that is believed to reduce skin damage caused by UVA light. As it reduces this destruction of the skin , it protects the all-important collagen that prevents sagging and wrinkling of the skin. Although I have never cared for the taste of this stuff, I chug it down like medicine.

Photo by Adolfo Félix on Unsplash

Carrots and Greens

Both carrots and leafy greens are rich in beta carotene which can provide sun protection after eating them regularly for 10 weeks. (2) Along with beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin are also skin miracle workers. They are known to protect us against sun damage and even skin cancer. Mom was right when she said “Eat your spinach. It’s good for you!”

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Cauliflower

This pale, bland food is a nutritional powerhouse! Most of the time the colorful pigments in foods are a sure signal to us that they are nutritionally dense. In this case however this white vegetable packs the potent amino acid histidine which causes the body to produce urocanic acid which absorbs UV radiation. Eat up!

 

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Blueberries

In order to keep the body’s biological clock in good working order, eat at regular mealtimes. Deviations in the times that we eat can disrupt chemical cycles that help to protect our skin. While some fruits and vegetables do actually create chemicals that absorb the harmful rays, there are others that help to prevent wrinkles and fight inflammation in the skin.

Blueberries are chock full of antioxidants that fight free radicals that can damage skin. The vitamin C in blueberries helps to build and protect your collagen which is the framework for your skin. Healthy collagen means smooth skin. Blueberries are also good for memory and low in calories so find ways to incorporate these sweet treats into your everyday menus.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Nuts and Seeds

I use a product called Trilogy seeds that contain hemp, chia and flax seeds. They are full of omega-3 essential fatty acids that we have to get from our diet. They strengthen our skin’s structure and fight inflammation. By fighting inflammation they naturally decrease the damage done by the sun. Fish and eggs are also good sources of these miracle-working fats in our diet. Walnuts are a tasty source of omega-3’s and nothing is much better than a handful of walnuts in our morning oats. Start your day off right with these superfoods. I add seeds and nuts to my  oats every morning.

Photo by Mustafa akın on Unsplash

We always think of skincare as something that we do on the outside. Many of the products that we use for that are insanely expensive. Start on the inside and build a cheap arsenal to fight the signs of aging and damage from the sun. When others your age are mourning their lost youth, you’ll be glad you did.

Winter Skin Care

 

(1)   How Sun Burns & Overexposure to Sun Causes Skin Cancer (webmd.com)

(2) 6 Foods That’ll Repair and Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage (healthline.com)

Cycling Benefits

Photo by Jeromey Balderrama on Unsplash cycling

Inspiration from Cycling!

A few years ago I knew a man who went to his doctor frequently for help with his varicose veins. The doctor prescribed him some custom-made support hose and told him to start riding a bike for long distances. He told him to wear the support hose while he rode. I thought this was odd. I couldn’t imagine wearing support hose while riding a bike but agreed that he should do exactly what his doctor said. We were casual acquaintances and I didn’t see this fellow for quite a while. Years later I asked him how that advice worked for him and he said that he didn’t have any trouble with his legs anymore, that the veins were barely visible and didn’t hurt at all. I was amazed!

More recently I met a woman in her sixties who had a lot of stress in her life. As she took steps to alleviate some of this killer stress, she began riding for long distances. Within about a year, this woman appeared to lose about 20 years! She trimmed down and instead of stress and worry lines, she developed a permanent, peaceful smile. Now she travels across country to ride in major events and loves her life.

As a child I rode long distances simply for fun. The freedom of the wind in my hair and the quiet countryside where I rode was exhilarating. I had a stressful childhood and was always trying to lose weight. My bicycle was my ticket to peace and helped me keep the ever-creeping scale in it’s rightful place for a few years.

Photo by Simon Connellan on Unsplash

Cycling Health Benefits

Cycling is low impact which makes it ideal for some people who avoid high impact exercise. It’s an aerobic activity so your heart and lungs get an excellent workout! All of the major skeletal muscles are engaged during cycling and the calf of the leg is utilized to return blood to your heart efficiently during a ride. The calf muscles are called the second heart because they are so important in circulating the blood back to the heart from your lower extremities. Read about them in the article, Sexy Strong Legs to better understand the importance of keeping your calf muscles healthy.

Cycling is known to increase stamina and overall strength and can be performed at the level you choose. There’s no one-size-fits-all to reap the benefits of cycling. It’s versatile and will provide benefits regardless of the intensity that you ride. Always consult your doctor for guidelines about how hard you should exercise and before beginning any exercise or weight loss program.

Joint mobility is improved by regular cycling and bones are strengthened. Aerobic activities burn body fat and a 14-15.9 mile per hour ride will torch up to 372 calories in an hour for a 155 pound person. (1) There is even evidence that suggests that colon and breast cancer risks may be reduced by regular cycling. (2) Since a lack of physical activity is thought to play a part in the development of Type 2 Diabetes, cycling may reduce your risk of developing that dreadful disease by as much as 40%.

Photo by Anwaar Ali on Unsplash

Safety First!

There’s nothing as frustrating or as dangerous as rounding a curve on a mountain road and suddenly realizing that there are bicycles EVERYWHERE! I don’t know how I have missed hitting a cyclist that was riding close to the center line, more than once. Use some common sense. It doesn’t matter what your rights are if you have put yourself in danger!

Ride in lanes and on tracks that are specially designated to cyclists. Follow all traffic laws including signaling before a turn. Be especially careful at busy intersections and always wear a good helmet and other protective gear as you see fit. The reason that cyclists wear those tight clothes is safety! Loose clothing caught in chains or spokes can be deadly. Wear reflective gear at night and always have your bike lit. Use sunscreen, hats and good UV-resistant sunglasses. You can even buy clothing with UV protection built right in to help. Clothing is not a replacement for sunscreen. Use both. If you have any condition that is worsened by cycling then by all means, don’t do it. If you really get hooked on cycling then when the weather is bad you can ride a stationary bike indoors. You can read my review of the Xterra Dual Action Bike to get an idea about a good mid-price bike that exercises your entire body. Always have plenty of water for hydration or if you like, you might try an electrolyte replacement drink, especially for long distances or in hot weather. Rediscover your inner child and get lean and healthy while you’re doing it.

Happy Trails!

How Many Calories Do You Burn Biking? (healthline.com)

Cycling – health benefits – Better Health Channel

Pull-Up Persistence Pays Off

 

one of Brenda Sue’s first pull-ups without resistance bands

Lifelong Pull-up Dream Fulfilled!

ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR MEDICAL DOCTOR BEFORE BEGINNING ANY EXERCISE OR WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM!

All the way through Junior High and High School we had those damnable physical fitness tests EVERY YEAR. I did okay on everything except pull-ups. Running was not my best event but I could not do a single pull-up. When I would grasp the bar, it seemed that there was some sort of magic that was supposed to transpire that just did not happen for me. There seemed to be NO WAY to get my body UP THERE. To make matters worse, my best friend, a girl that grew up on a farm, could do them easily. I felt terrible. I was always pushed to excel in everything in school so I was not accustomed to failure.

Pull-ups were my waterloo in P.E. I could shoot the basketball, hit the softball, even run the bases pretty well but those pull-ups evaded me. I was a good enough guard in basketball that I made enemies. No one could get a basket if I guarded them. I was obnoxious. As a result of being unable to do a pull-up, I began to think of myself as non-athletic. My self-esteem plummeted. If I could not pass the basic physical fitness test standards set by the government then I couldn’t possibly be strong. Thoughts like that tormented me for years. I felt like a second class citizen.

After high school I went to college and P.E. was not required. I avoided it except for one semester, I took a purely running class and got in with some seriously athletic runners. It seemed that I barely survived that class intact. I thought I would die but at least I didn’t have to do a pull-up!

Do You Have A Pull-Up File?

As my life unfolded, pull-ups got filed away under “Can’t Do It” and I just forgot about them altogether for the most part. I absolutely cannot bear failure and it was always there looming in the background every time I saw someone doing them online or went to the gym. The significance of that exercise was profound. It seemed to be the great divider of the athletic and the rest of us. Every time I watched someone do them I was mesmerized.

About three and a half years ago I asked David to teach me how to do pull-ups. He told me to get some resistance bands and a pull-up station for my doorway and begin. At first I bought one band but pretty soon found out that was not enough. I wound up with three good bands that I used for three years. Shortly after beginning this quest, I began serious weight training.

I had been a stay-at-home mom for over 20 years and had recently began working for a major weight loss company that involved a lot of travel. Although I had been doing HIIT training and walking and some resistance training on a pulley system, I was missing workouts to travel and getting weak. The strength training came just in time. My sad little 35 pound squat began to climb and the 100# deadlift that I feared soon became a thing of the past. The Newbie Gains were good to me but… I still could not do an unassisted pull-up!

Strength Gains for Pull-ups

About three years into the weight training, David put me on the Doug Hepburn Powerlifting Program. In some ways, I thought I had died and gone to Hell. It was tough. The workouts in Hepburn are long and arduous. The psychological component of subjecting yourself to the intensity of that workout are significant. I was both proud and mortified at times. Although there are some harder programs, Hepburn is respectable in any arena. I worked that for about 6 months and David moved me into Bodybuilding. The weights are lighter in Bodybuilding but you do more reps so your workload is still pretty intense. It has to be intense to build muscle. I feared that I would lose some of my hard-earned gains but I trusted that David knew what he was doing.

Along with my regular lifts, I have accessory exercises that are meant to give me a balanced physique. Unless you make sure that every muscle is worked, you can wind up looking disproportionate. We have all seen the “Don’t Skip Leg Day” memes of the guys with massive biceps and no quads. The accessories help to round things out nicely. I thought that I could feel myself getting stronger in some ways. It seemed that some of my smaller muscles were working in a different way. I doubt that is the case because in Hepburn, they ALL work. It seems that I was feeling the hypertrophy that Bodybuilding gives us. I felt a new strength that seemed to emanate into my core from my sternum to my lower abdomen.

You Don’t Know Your Own Strength

I was still using all three resistance bands! A pull-up was something that I could not do! Only “those” people, you know, the genetic freaks that were born ripped and lean could do those things. There were months that I never even thought about taking bands off when I approached my pull-up station.

Then…last week after my Over Head Press, (that seemed very difficult when I began the workout), I was feeling strong. The endorphins were working. About midway of the Press workout, I began to feel like a weightlifter. When I went to my pull-up station, I got my bands and started to put my foot into them and stopped. I had played around with different numbers of bands recently but had not pulled all the way up successfully with less than two bands.

Something clicked in my head and I tossed them to the floor, grabbed the handles of the station, took some deep breaths, made my body as tight as I could get it, engaged my lats and PULLED…and I looked over the top of the bar! I almost cried! This was a dream come true that was 50 years in the making. Think about that…50 years. Your new workout hasn’t made you look like an IG model in 6 weeks? Please…

 

Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi on Unsplash persistence

Pull Up and Get Going!

You will never get where you want to go until you begin your journey! There have been many times that I simply didn’t start a project because I dreaded the task. As a result, I would wallow in the misery of knowing that although I was not happy, I was not doing anything to change my situation. The snails in the picture above have a long, dangerous task ahead of them but they were not content where they were, so they got started. They would move slowly, climbing over rocks and hot pavement. They would run the risk of certain death as they ventured out into unknown territory. The journey would be hard and exhausting but as long as they kept moving, they would make it to their goal. I ask you, are you content where you find yourself today?

It is almost impossible to convey the feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment that being able to do pull-ups has given me. I will be turning 65 this summer. Don’t tell me that you can’t build muscle or improve your life or your body at any time that you choose. Regardless of any “scientific data” or examples that you present, I will present you with my pull-ups and my deadlift. It all depends on what you want and how badly you want it.

I encounter people young enough to be my grandchildren every day that don’t believe that they are capable of getting strong and healthy. I have heard many women say things like “Oh, you know, I’m 50, (or 40, or even 30). So what? As the years pass, it simply means that we have to work harder. A young girl asked me incredulously, “You track every bite that you eat?!? That seems HARD!” My response was, “Not nearly as hard as being sick and in the doctor’s office all the time. THAT’S hard.”

I challenge you today. Choose your hard.

ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR MEDICAL DOCTOR BEFORE BEGINNING ANY EXERCISE OR WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM!

Why Diets Fail You!

character on broken scale
Freepik.com

It is obvious that most people do not grasp why diets fail them when you see all of the obesity in todays modern world. The majority of western society now has a terrible obesity problem which is only getting worse and worse every year.

The food industry as a whole have flavor scientists whose sole function is to find ways to make foods more and more palatable. These people work for restaurants,  junk food producers, and even grocery stores now. The entire food industry has an emphasis on making foods as tasty as they can, while ignoring how nutritious they are. It is hard enough to lose weight when we are addicted to carbs, but when we are also hooked on great flavors, the job gets even tougher.

Your task should be on educating yourself about nutrition in order to make healthy choices for yourself, and understand that some foods you really need to just give up. If you do not understand this point, you are doomed to fail. It may not happen right away, but you will revert back to obesity over time if you do not heed this warning. You should also know that organizations that charge you a fee to lose weight on their program, and who also allow you to continue eating poor food choices, do not have your best interest in mind. These businesses only care about taking your money which you naively hand over in the hope of losing weight for good. Would it not be reasonable to expect an absolute majority of people paying for commercial weight loss programs should be successful at weight loss and management?

Frustrated dieter
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The Reason Diets Fail Us

We become fat not only because we eat too many calories for our needs, but also because simple carbohydrates and sugar make us so.

Protein does not make us fat, and fats are not the evil culprits as some people might want to believe. For instance, how many people have you personally known who went onto a low fat diet, only to fail miserably. The problem with low fat diets is that they are usually relatively high in carbohydrates. The simple truth is, we lose weight and keep it off when we restrict our intake of carbohydrates.

When we get serious about losing weight whether through diet and/or exercise, we almost always make changes to what and how much we eat. Whether you realize it or not, your weight loss comes from a reduction in your carbohydrate intake. simply because they are the easiest to eliminate. We stop drinking beer, and quit eating sweet treats to cut our caloric intake, but these calories are carbohydrates that are exceptionally fattening.

When we stop drinking sugar sweetened drinks and fruit juices, we replace them with other drinks that do not contain sugars. When we do this, we are not only eliminating calories, we are also eliminating fructose which is specifically responsible for making those soft drinks and juices sweet. When we quit eating sweet treats, we might think we are eliminating fats that get a bad rap. However, once again, we are eliminating simple carbohydrates with an emphasis again on fructose. Fructose comprises half of the make up of refined sugar. Diets fail us when we do not cut out sugar and simple carbs.

When we go onto a calorie restricted diet, we are cutting the total number of carbohydrates we are consuming too. That is just simple math. If we cut our calories by half, we also have cut our carbohydrates by about half. Because carbohydrates usually comprise the largest portion of our nutritional habits, that is where we will see the greatest reduction of macro-nutrients.  Again, this is simple arithmetic.

When we diet, we are cutting our intake of fattening simple carbohydrates from our diet. This is the reason you lose weight. You have cut your intake of calories and carbs which cause you to lose water weight along with body fat. Every gram of carbohydrate you consume causes you to retain three grams of water, which is the only reason we lose weight so quickly in the first ten days or so.

When you begin eating low fat foods, you are not helping yourself in the least. The reason is, food producers will remove fat in order to remove some of the calories, but then they add sugar into the product in order to make it more palatable. For instance, when fat is removed from yogurt, it is usually replaced with high fructose corn syrup which is only going to sabotage your efforts! You might innocently believe that your low fat treat is a heart healthy snack, but the reality is it is only going to make you fatter because of the added carbohydrates and fructose.

Our diets fail us because they restrict foods that are not the culprits that make us fat. Protein builds muscle and tissue repair and replacement. Fats help our hormonal balance and assist with uptake of vitamins and minerals. Those carbohydrates and sugars that you are still eating are what spikes your blood sugar and insulin. Your diet will only last as long as you can stand being in a state of semi-starvation. And that is not going to be too long when you keep consuming simple carbs and sugar.

 Diets fail us when we do not make changes that work towards our goals. When we reduce our consumption of protein and fats, we starve our bodies of energy and protein required to rebuild tissues. The resultant hunger which will always accompany this only brings about a failure to succeed at weight loss and management.

Common Sense Eating

 

Free2BFit David’s Way to Health and Fitness

Welcome to David’s Way!

We believe that everyone has the right to be healthy regardless of their financial status. Everything here on the website is free. You should never have to pay for the simple truth about how to lose weight. It’s not rocket science. While many entities make a lot of money dispensing information concerning weight loss, the way to lose weight is so simple that we believe that it’s an unalienable right to have free access to these basic truths. The truth should not be available only to those who can afford it. We’re here to help you manage your weight and live a healthy and full life through good nutritional practices and physical fitness. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR MEDICAL DOCTOR BEFORE BEGINNING ANY WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM. We do not offer any medical advice or treatment of any kind. We DO NOT offer any advice concerning medical diets.

Two Good Greek Yogurt Review

“Two” Good to Be True?!?

I have eaten Greek yogurt for many years. At one time, I ate the non-fat variety because I thought that was the best thing that I could do to manage my weight. A popular weight loss group advocated eating fat-free and told their members that they didn’t even have to count those calories. It must have been the ideal, right?

New Two Good Item

Soon after coming to David’s Way to Health and Fitness, David tried the full fat version of Greek yogurt and liked it much better. After giving it a try, I abandoned the fat free stuff for the full flavor profile of full fat yogurt. The watery sour taste that’s associated with yogurt was not a part of the flavor of the whole milk variety. Whatever flavors that you add to the full fat yogurt are all you taste. I was leery of even trying a low fat yogurt, but this is the first flavored Greek yogurt with NO ADDED SUGAR that I have ever seen so I just had to give it a try.

Not All Two Goods are Equal

The Two Good vanilla flavor definitely had the watery tart flavor that I was trying to avoid. The texture was creamy but the taste of sour milk was obvious. While vanilla is not my favorite, I thought that the vanilla would showcase the real quality of this yogurt and it did.

The Two Good strawberry was a different story. It had a sweet, creamy strawberry flavor that hid the tartness pretty well. The texture seemed creamier and it even seemed a bit thicker. At only 80 calories, 3 grams of carbs and a whopping 12 grams of protein, it’s a nutrition bargain.

While I will not abandon my whole milk yogurt for this product, I can see how some people might do that to save calories. Compared to a good whole milk product that I add in my favorite berries and other flavors, it pales in comparison, but I give Two Good yogurt a commendation for making a good, flavored, Greek yogurt with NO ADDED SUGAR! Give it a try, you just might really like it!

Visit us at http://www.facebook.com/Davidsway2hlth/ for more!

Greek Yogurt For a Flat Tummy

Health Benefits of a Grocery List

Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash

Family Tradition

Weight management and health were a central theme in my home as a child. One of the key components to keeping our weight under control was home cooking. We ate out once a week as a treat. My mother was very frugal and made a detailed grocery list so that she would have what she needed to make good, healthy meals at home. By having a core grocery list that you can build your meals around, you will always have healthy food on hand.

Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

Eggs

I eat eggs every day. Many years ago, “science” produced a study that vilified eggs as a dangerous food that would raise your cholesterol and give you a heart attack. I never quit eating eggs and every time that my cholesterol is checked, it’s in a very healthy range. Newer research says that eating an egg every day is fine. “Eggs were previously associated with heart disease risk as a result of their high cholesterol content. However, a solid body of research shows that for most people, cholesterol in food has a smaller effect on blood levels of total cholesterol and harmful LDL cholesterol than does the mix of fats in the diet.” (1) 

Eggs have been called “Nature’s Multivitamin” because they are so nutritious. They contain Vitamins B12, B2, B5, A and selenium. They are also a rich source of minerals. At only 77 calories, with 6 grams of protein they are a true superfood. Eggs are an inexpensive source of high-quality protein.

 

 

Photo by Olga Kudriavtseva on Unsplash

Oats

Nothing fills you up much better than oats, partially because they are about 11% fiber. They are one of the most nutritionally dense foods in the world and are quite inexpensive. They contain beta glucans that lower bad cholesterol. Combine the fiber and cholesterol-lowering components and the 11-17% protein that is higher than other grains for a true superfood. The health benefits of oats are incredible when you consider how cheap and common this food is.

Photo by Alice Esmeralda on Unsplash

Sweet Potatoes for Health

Growing up in the South, my introduction to sweet potatoes was sugar-coated, sticky and sickeningly sweet. I couldn’t stand them. As an adult, I have learned to love them for their complex carbs and naturally sweet flavor. They power me through work-outs like nothing else!  Packed with Vitamin A that is good for vision and antioxidants that may fight cancer, you can’t go wrong with these. They are a standard in my pursuit of health.

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Meat, Fish and Poultry

I eat about 8 ounces of meat, fish and poultry every day. Combined with eggs, soy and other protein sources, I get a significant amount of high quality protein in my diet. Beef is high in glutathione, the “Master Antioxidant”, and minerals, including iron. It’s known to improve muscle mass and since I am a strength trainer, beef is a regular part of my menus for muscle health. I add in fish and poultry for low calorie protein options, but my favorite is beef.

Photo by Prachi Palwe on Unsplash

Greek Yogurt for Metabolic Health

One of my favorite things is Full-fat, plain, Greek yogurt with partially thawed, frozen raspberries. This makes a delectable dessert or snack. Add your 0 calorie sweetener of choice or maybe some Raspberry Crystal Light Water Enhancer to the mix for a truly sweet treat. Greek yogurt is high in calcium and protein that keep your metabolism stoked.

Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

Pumpkin Seeds

These little powerhouses are wonderful eaten alone or in oats or yogurt. I only buy the shelled ones, no husks for me! They are high in antioxidants and magnesium to name just two of their benefits. The magnesium is good for heart health and the antioxidants may help reduce your chance of cancer.

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Health Benefits of Romaine Lettuce

The standard Iceberg Lettuce salad is devoid of significant nutrition. Romaine lettuce is full of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and folate. Folate converts carbs into energy which is very important for a strength trainer. Romaine helps me get the most out of the carbohydrates that I eat.

The Money Myth

Something that I want you to note about these foods is that all of them, except the meat, are inexpensive. Beans are a very healthy food that I don’t eat very often. They are also cheap. The myth that healthy food is expensive is a lie. You can buy some specialty items that are expensive but it’s not necessary. Regardless of what you buy, it’s always cheaper to eat at home.

Photo by hao ji on Unsplash

Practical Application for Health

While these foods are the core of my menus, I add in other foods for variety. You have to build your grocery list around foods that you will eat. There’s no need in buying sweet potatoes if you won’t eat them.

People ask me what I eat. You can see here that I eat relatively plain food. I do add in protein shakes and sometimes a protein cookie. None of my foods contain any added sugars and I prefer the lowest amount of processing possible in my nutrition. I may have a tortilla to carry my protein with me to work. By tracking every bite that goes into my mouth, I know exactly what I can eat at any time to reach my nutrition and fitness goals.

Cabot Greek Yogurt Whole Milk Plain Yogurt Review

 

Eggs | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

 

 

Summer Body

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Body Image In Summer

The very sound of the phrase, “Summer Fun” brings back salty memories of carefree childhood summer vacations at Panama City Beach, Florida. It was a magical time and place. Before the age of 4 years when my mom told me I was fat, it was nirvana. After that, everything changed. I began to plan my vacation centered around the way that I looked in a swimsuit at the age of 4. The real kicker was that I was not fat. I’m sure that my mother could be diagnosed as anorexic today. She was beautiful but obsessed with body image, hers and mine.

Downward Spiral

Summer fun can bring many obstacles to your weight loss program. If you have struggled to feel comfortable in a swimsuit, but did not achieve all of the goals that you set, you may approach the beach with dread. The stress of feeling self-conscious nearly naked can set you up for disaster. As cortisol levels rise from stress, insulin dumps into your bloodstream and you get hungry. The freshly churned ice cream doesn’t help, so you just keep eating. Of course, someone brings an alcohol based, fruity drink into the mix and the situation deteriorates even farther. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and by the time you get home you’re bloated, miserable and depressed. That’s just Saturday. Sunday’s coming, and then the rude awakening of Monday morning when your clothes are just too tight.

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Take Control This Summer!

As the summer progresses, odds are that the swimsuit will disappear and jeans and t-shirts will take it’s place. While others are splashing in the surf, you are sweltering on the beach. Summer can be navigated to help you with your weight loss program. The key is to treat summer just like every other season. Count your calories, exercise (with your doctor’s permission), rest and make your world small. David’s Way works year round.

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Summer Food

My best weight and fitness levels seem to be achieved easier when I start the day with a protein shake. I have my own formula which works well for me. Since I am a strength trainer, my shake might not be exactly what you want or need. The only criteria for a good protein shake is 0 grams added sugars and good protein sources.

Whatever milk you use is a source of protein. Add a no sugar added protein powder, 0 calorie sweetener and maybe some powdered peanut powder if you like. If you choose to have a protein shake, remember, THEY ARE NOT SUBSTITUTES FOR WHOLE FOODS. They are only meant to supplement a healthy diet. I also have oats and eggs most days. A cold shake on a hot summer morning is uber-refreshing! Protein gets your metabolism revved to burn hot all day. I like to add oats for healthy, complex carbs and eggs. Eggs are a staple in my diet.

Danger!

Mid-morning can be a treacherous time at work. Quite often there are doughnuts, cupcakes and all kinds of abominations waiting to ambush you. Carry unsweetened, Greek yogurt with your choice of sugar-free add-ins. Crystal Lite, Tang Liquid Drink Mix and Lemonade Mio are some of my favorites. You can add raspberries to the yogurt that has Raspberry-Lemonade Crystal Light and have a scrumptious dessert that is better than the toxic pastries and baked goods around you. Cheese sticks, turkey sticks, nuts and apples also make excellent mid-morning choices whether you are home, traveling or working.

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Brown Bag It

Lunch can be a wrap made in a high-fiber, low carb tortilla such as Ole Extreme Wellness Tortillas, brought from home. Stuff it with lean protein of your choice and veggies. If you like mayo, choose a sugar-free variety. I particularly like Duke’s. It has never had sugar so it is an original recipe, not a “diet mayo”. Canned red beans with browned ground beef seasoned with sugar-free catsup and Brown Swerve is a quick alternative to a wrap or a sandwich. Both of these can be easily prepared at home and carried anywhere. One of the best sugar-free catsups that I have found is Heinz. It is reasonably priced, some are not.

Be Choosy

If you are at a cook-out at lunch time, stick with the burgers, with or without the bun. You can choose to eat a bun, but  stop at one. If you are still hungry, opt for another hamburger patty with toppings, just no bun. Coleslaw that is dressed with vinegar and a 0 calorie sweetener instead of mayo is a good side.

Forego the chips unless you carry some home made chips. The recipe is here. I suggest that you try this recipe ahead of time and learn how to use your microwave to do it. David’s oven crisps them up nicely in 4 minutes. Mine is different. I cook them about 2 1/2 minutes and move them around on the plate and then cook them in 30 second intervals until they are perfect. Seasoned with the popcorn salt of your choice, they are a really good kettle chip type potato chip.

ALWAYS skip the alcohol. It’s just liquid sugar that has little to no nutritive value. No, you won’t get enough resveratrol in wine to warrant the excess calories and cravings that come with it. If you want resveratrol, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.

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Quick and Easy

Quick summer dinners are best. Nobody wants to spend a long time in the kitchen when it’s hot. Quickly prepared food is best whether you are at home alone or at a party. Grilled foods are a summer delight! We grilled meats when I was growing up but nothing else. Nowadays your entire meal can be cooked on the grill. Meats, poultry, seafood, fruits and veggies can be served up quickly from the grill without heating up your house.

Move It!

Exercise is mandatory for good health. I was an avid swimmer for years. Five to seven days were spent in the pool every week. In the Winter, it was difficult. Summer time was wonderful, however! The cool water of the pool was pure joy! You can go to a local YMCA for affordable swimming year round. Sometimes people say that it’s too expensive to join a gym. If you want to swim year round, you almost have to.

The YMCA is affordable, but not cheap. When you consider that they have the great pools along with everything that all other gyms have, it’s a bargain. The expense of not getting good exercise is much greater than any amount that you spend to work out. Inactivity results in dysfunction and ultimately sickness. You decide what your health is worth.

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ZZZ’s

Get your rest this summer! Endless parties and trips that are centered around food are landmines for your weight management program. If you don’t get enough rest, your cortisol levels will soar and you will be ravenously hungry. Good sleep helps to regulate all of your hormones including those that are involved in fat storage. Sometimes it’s best to say “No.” to some invitations if they will keep you from getting the rest that you need. Summer is filled with parties, family reunions, church socials, weddings and more. So, pick and choose the events that are really important and stay home otherwise. Then, not only will you get some rest, you will be able to control your meals better. Your waistline will thank you.

Diet Soda Causes Weight Gain?

diet soda and hot dog

Diet soda causes weight gain is an absurd statement I have heard several times over the years. Of course, the individuals who have stated this to me preceded by telling me they might as well drink regular soda instead. This line of thought is not well thought out, but maybe it should be addressed anyhow.

Could there be a glimmer of truth about this?

Is it possible that diet soda causes weight gain?

research laboratory

Where did this information even come from? Research from George Washington University is one place that has promulgated this theory. Their research does suggest that artificial sweeteners may actually increase a person’s risk of becoming obese.  Studies  of artificial sweeteners reveal that they could increase the chance of us accumulating fat in our bodies. But this is in a “dose-dependent” fashion. In other words, you have to eat a very large quantity of artificial sweeteners to increase your body fat.

What is the basis of this theory?

It is factual that weight management is a matter of calories consumed versus calories burned. So how exactly could a zero calorie sweetener in a diet soda cause you to gain weight?

 Sweet substances bind to sensors in our mouth called “sweet-taste receptors.” These receptors send a message to our brain to tell us that we are eating something sweet. In the last decade, these sensors have been found in other parts of our body, such as the bladder, the lungs and even in bones. This has raised questions about what effect sweeteners, and these sweet taste receptors, could be having inside our bodies.

 Results of research presented recently at the 100th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago, addressed the effect that artificial sweeteners have on the cells that make up our fat stores. These cells have a glucose transporter (a protein that helps glucose get into a cell) called GLUT4 on their surface. When we eat more sugar, the cells take up more glucose, accumulate more fat and become larger.

 Studies have found that the artificial sweetener sucralose increases GLUT4 in these cells and promotes the accumulation of fat. These changes are associated with an increased risk of becoming obese. But what you need to know is that only a small number of obese people who consume artificial sweeteners have been involved with this research.

Artificial Sweeteners Effect on Insulin and Blood Sugar

Now for the rest of the story.

This same research displayed that when consumed in low quantities, artificial sweeteners have been shown to aid weight loss. They have also been shown to improve metabolic conditions. There is little support for the notion that no-calorie sweeteners stimulate appetite or contribute to obesity.

Still think diet soda causes weight gain?

People who regularly consume diet drinks are more likely to have poor diet quality and eat fewer fruits and vegetables than those who don’t drink them. It is common that people switch to diet soda when they begin gaining weight without addressing other aspects of their diet that are causing the weight gain.

Weight management will always be about calories consumed versus calories burned. With zero calories, it is a bit absurd to believe diet soda causes weight gain.

You can’t believe everything you read. All the news stories and blog postings on this topic cite the same few studies: research in rats conducted by two investigators at Purdue University and two studies that followed soda drinkers over time.

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