Challenge: Drink One Gallon Of Water Per Day For A Month!

WS_FEMAIL_WATER_2.jpgEarlier this morning, I came across an article about a woman who drank a gallon of water per day for an entire month. Not only did she lose weight and an inch from her waistline, but she transformed the way she looked and felt. Blotches disappeared, and her skin became more radiant and less wrinkled. She found it easier to concentrate. By week four, she says she looked ten years younger.

All from a gallon of water per day.

To be honest, the article and the accompany picture sets off my bullshit-ometer. In the before and after photo, for example, you can see a shift from overhead lighting to front facing, more flattering lighting. And perhaps other variables (like diet or exercise) may have been involved.

If it seems too good to be true, it often is. And the dramatic claims made by the woman in this article seem (forgive the pun) hard to swallow. And even if she experienced these benefits for herself, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all of us will enjoy the same results.

Of course, water does have many amazing benefits. And the truth is, according to the Mayo Clinic, men should aim for 13 cups of water a day. That’s a mere three cups shy of a gallon. Even with a goal of 13 cups per day, most of us fall short of the mark.

So let’s take this woman up on her challenge. I invite you to join me in this experiment. For the next 30 days, let’s commit to one gallon of water per day. To make this easy, I’ve purchased a gallon water jug from the market. Each day, I’ll refill it with water. By the time I go to bed, I’ll make sure the jug is empty. If you work during the day, you can do half a jug at home and half a jug at work. And in a month’s time, I’ll update you on my experience.

If you’re up for the challenge, let me know in the comments below!

P.S. For scientifically-based tips to increase energy and improve your appearance through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter!

My Parents Buy Unhealthy Food – Help!

Dear Davey,

I live at home and I eat what my parents eat. Though I want to live a healthy lifestyle, my parents fill our kitchen with junk food and candy. Because I’m eating so much crap, I’m even getting a belly. How can I convince my parents to buy healthier food?

From,
Katelyn

junk-food-2Hey Katelyn,

As someone who lived at home for eighteen years, I understand your situation completely. When you’re young, you don’t necessarily have the resources to procure your own meals. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have influence or a voice.

This much I know: One of the most important roles that any family can fulfill is support.

Sit down with your family and have a judgment-free conversation. Start with those areas of agreement. For one, your family wants you to live a long, healthy and productive life. That’s a great starting place.

Then, connect the dots. By consuming unhealthy foods, you’re increasing your risk for obesity, a shorter lifespan, heart disease and so much more. Through a healthy diet, on the other hand, you’ll be able to lose weight, enjoy more energy and even have higher self esteem. Parents can be stubborn, so explain to them why eating healthy is so important to you.

Next, present a game plan. The reality is, most people don’t understand nutrition. Many people mistakenly believe that “reduced fat” or “gluten free” foods are healthier options. That’s not necessarily the case. In other words, don’t assume that your family is informed and educated about nutrition. Take initiative by giving your family a list of foods that you’d love to have. This list may include things like fresh or frozen vegetables, unsweetened almond milk, fruits, whole wheat bread, brown rice, beans, chicken, fish, dry roasted unsalted nuts, seeds, peanut butter and so on. It’s a common misconception that healthy foods are overly expensive; be mindful of price when selecting your food choices.

Some of the responsibility falls on you. It may mean accompanying your parents to the grocery store and helping them select foods you want to eat. And just because there is unhealthy food in the house, it doesn’t mean that you need to eat it.

The reality is, diet is a personal decision and your family may not be interested in eating healthier. If your family is cooking something unhealthy, opt for a leaner variation or find an alternative. And simply by keeping healthier foods in the house, you’ll have more options when someone opens a bag of potato chips. Maybe you’ll even be able to inspire change in your family through the example you set.

Love,
Davey

P.S. For help losing weight through nutrition, exercise and an improved relationship with your body, download Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program.

10 Healthy Things To Buy At The Grocery Store.

3555420148_4422399631From good to bad, grocery stores have it all. With thousands and thousands of products, it’s not always easy to determine which foods support a healthy lifestyle.

As a quick shortcut, here are 10 healthy grocery store items that are always on my Davey Wavey shopping list – and why I love them.

  1. Peanut butter. But first, check the ingredients. Real peanut butter has only one ingredient: peanuts. If there is added sugar or oils, don’t be fooled. Peanut butter is great for snacking; the rich, creamy texture is satisfying and helps curb hunger.
  2. Unsweetened almond milk. Did you know that a regular cup of milk has the equivalent of three teaspoons of sugar? Most people don’t. With even more calcium, no sugar and a dramatic reduction in calories, almond milk isn’t just an alternative; it’s a milk replacement.
  3. Chicken. It’s not fancy, but it’s lean, versatile and packed with protein. You can add it to a salad, eat it as a main dish or slice it for a sandwich.
  4. Microgreens. With 4 – 6x the nutrients of their full grown counterparts, microgreens are baby greens picked shortly after germination. They’re flavorful, tender and tasty. I usually opt for baby arugula, sprouts, spinach and kale.
  5. Avocado. Rich in essential fats, avocado is a versatile ingredient that adds life to almost any dish. I use it as a healthy condiment alternative on chicken or turkey burgers, in whole wheat quesadillas or mixed into salads. In many recipes, you can actually substitute butter with avocado.
  6. Apples. Cheap and convenient, apples are nutritionally rich and contain lots of fiber. For me, apples are a great way to snack or to curb hunger before going out to eat. The fiber makes apples slow to digest, which is especially helpful for individuals looking to lose weight.
  7. Berries. Though they can be pricey, berries are a great alternative for traditional desserts and ice cream. A handful or two of raspberries will satisfy even the sweetest sweet tooth.
  8. Frozen veggies. It’s a popular myth that vegetables lose nutrients when they’re frozen. In actuality, vegetables are flash frozen at their peak; in many instances, they’re more nutritionally dense than fresh vegetables which slowly travel from farm to table. While french fries or mac and cheese are tempting side dishes, vegetables are always a wise substitution. Moreover, there are so many ways to cook them. Whether you steam, saute or bake your veggies, it’s an easy way to eat smarter. Plus, frozen vegetables last a long time in your freezer – so they’re super convenient.
  9. Eggs. What’s so special about eggs? They’re a cheap and widely available source of protein. Though high in dietary cholesterol, moderate egg consumption will do little to raise actual blood cholesterol levels. I use boiled eggs on my salad, or enjoy a few scrambled eggs for breakfast. Eggs, wheat toast and fruit salad can be a fun dinner, too.
  10. Bananas. My life wouldn’t be complete without bananas; I use bananas for just about everything. With only 100 calories, a banana is a fast, quality source of carbohydrates. As such, I eat a banana before the gym each morning. The carbs give me the energy to power through my workout. I also add frozen bananas to almond milk to create a rich smoothie. For dessert, I blend bananas with quick oats and raisins to create healthy cookies.

What healthy foods are must-haves for your grocery list? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. To dramatically improve the way you look and feel through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. Use discount code “youtube” to save 25% at checkout!

Get The Awesome & Free Davey Wavey Fitness iPhone App!

It’s here! I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my brand new Davey Wavey Fitness iPhone app. Get yours FREE in the iTunes store today!

There’s a lot to love about my new app, including an interactive forum, healthy recipes, fitness and nutrition blog posts and subscription access to more than $400 worth of Davey Wavey Fitness instructional videos, exclusive content and programming.

It’s easy. Awesome. And free.

daveywaveyapp

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Download the Davey Wavey Fitness iPhone app from the iTunes store today!

Love,
Davey

You’re Worried About Ebola & ISIS – But Still Not Motivated To Workout?

o-EBOLA-facebookThere are a lot of pressing issues in today’s world – and it’s easy to get caught up in the media hype. If you turn on the television, it seems like the end of the world is near. Between the latest reports from the Middle East or the tragic Ebola news from West Africa, it’s unsurprising that many people are scared. Some, even panicking.

And let’s be clear: Turmoil with ISIS in the middle east and the spread of Ebola is horrific, awful and very real. And both as a country and as individuals, we should do all that we can to ensure that all people are allowed to thrive with healthy, happy and productive lives.

But let’s also be clear: According to this article, you should fear your furniture a lot more. Every year, furniture accidents kill about the same number of Americans as terrorism (about 30 fatalities) and injured many, many more (about 40,000 emergency room injuries).

There’s something even more dangerous. Each and every day, 2,200 Americans are killed by the same culprit. That’s 800,000 Americans per year. In perspective, 4,000 people have died worldwide of Ebola. That isn’t to minimize their deaths, but rather to draw attention to the the scope of this even more rampant pandemic. This killer is heart disease. And you’re at far more risk of dying from a stroke or heart attack than ISIS, Ebola or even cancer – combined.

Americans are rushing to the stores to buy gloves and face masks – and orders for full body hazmat suits are spiking online. You can even buy one with Amazon Prime! And yet… and yet, 80% of Americans still don’t get the recommended amount of exercise each week. Exercise that helps dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease.

Let’s get something straight: We’re worrying about the wrong things. If you remove media hype and add logic, we’d be lining up outside the local gym or neighborhood park to get our bodies moving. You might die in a terrorist attack or from Ebola. But with 1 in 3 American deaths attributed to heart disease, the real killer is hiding in plain sight.

Are Watermelon Seeds Edible And Healthy?

watermelon_with_seedsWe know that watermelons provide some great nutritional and health benefits. In fact, National Geographic lists their top five reasons to chomp down on watermelon as follows:

  1. Soothes sore muscles
  2. It helps heart health
  3. Could reduce male impotence…
  4. Many vitamins and minerals; few calories
  5. Could fight cancer

But what about the seeds? Most of us are accustomed to either spitting out the seeds or removing them before consumption. Alternatively, there are many seedless watermelon options available for purchase. But by cutting the seeds out of the equation, are we selling our watermelon experience short?

Yes.

Not only are watermelon seeds edible, their packed with nutritional benefits. Loaded with heart-healthy fats, these seeds are rich in minerals including iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorous and copper. Moreover, a one ounce serving has a respectable 8 grams of protein. The only downside to watermelon seeds is that they’re relatively high in calories. But with just a slice or two of watermelon, it won’t be a problem.

I’m not sure who started the watermelon spitting rule, but now is a good time to break tradition. Next time you opt for watermelon, treat yourself to the seeds. Just make sure that you chew them to ensure nutrient absorption.

When it comes to watermelon seeds, don’t spit. Swallow.

 

 

Fast Food Chains Cut Calories From Menu Items.

surgeons-general-warning-for-fast-foodI’m not a fan of fast food. I’m a fan of good, nourishing food. And the two are rarely one in the same.

However, fast food chains could be taking a step in the direction of better nutrition. According to a new study that examined the menu items in 66 of the 100 largest U.S. restaurant chains, new menu items added in 2013 had, on average, 12% fewer calories than the previous year. It amounted to a difference of about 60 calories per food item.

Of course, whether consumers actually opt for these new options over a Big Mac is yet to be determined.

Moreover, it’s unclear whether calorie reductions were achieved through smaller portions, more nutritional ingredients or some combination of both.

Researchers speculate that restaurants are making the changes ahead of impending federal regulations that will require chains to post calorie information on the menu. Whatever the motivation, the researchers believe that reducing calories in fast food menu options may have a significant impact on calorie reduction.

P.S. If you want to dramatically improve the way you look and feel through the foods you eat, download Davey Wavey Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter.

Why Are Gay Men Skinnier?

gay guysOver the weekend, I visited a very gay gym in Palm Springs, California. Though most of the exercisers were well into their 50s, 60s and 70s, they were in better shape than most 20-year-olds. It raises the question: Why are gay men in better shape than straight men?

To answer that question, we must first examine whether or not it’s even true.

Certainly, the stereotype is that gay men are fit and muscular. But in reality, gay men come in all shapes and sizes. As a community, we’re not defined by a single body type.

However, when comparing gay men as a whole with straight men, it is statistically clear that gay men have a lower average body mass index (BMI). BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight – and, on average, gay men are thinner and a third less likely to be obese. This has been confirmed time and time again including an article in the American Journal of Public Health.

Of course, a lower BMI doesn’t necessarily mean that gay men are in better shape. It does mean that they’re skinnier. But skinny isn’t a synonym for healthy. I have many skinny friends that couldn’t run a mile.

Instead of asking why gay men are in better shape, it’s more accurate to ask why they’re skinnier. So why are gay men skinnier?

It’s a great question with no clear answer, especially given the breadth and depth of our community’s diversity. Based on my experience, here are a few possibilities:

  1. Gay culture is very body-focused. Pick up a magazine that targets straight guys. On the cover, you’d probably see a deer in cross hairs, a football player or a woman in a swimsuit. Pick up a gay magazine and it’s probably a dude in his underwear. This isn’t to say that straight men aren’t body focused, but much of that attention is directed at women – and not themselves. If a straight guy sees a bikini-clad woman on a magazine cover, his first thought is probably not that he needs to lose 25 pounds to look like her.
  2. Gay men can be overachievers. If society – or your family – treats you like you’re a second class citizen, you may feel like you need to prove your worth by becoming an overachiever. Being an overachiever isn’t just about working 70 hours a week and getting promotions. It can also translate to other areas of life, including the gym. Working out can become an obsession in the pursuit of perfection.
  3. Your body is a currency in the gay community. Some things feel beyond our control. Like getting older or how smart you are. Or even your job or how much money you make. But you do have control over your body. And in the gay world, a good body can open many doors. It can help you do and get the things you want. And it will definitely help you get laid. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but it’s a true thing.
  4. You create in yourself what you are attracted to in others. If a straight guy is attracted to large boobs, he’s probably not going to try to create large boobs in himself. But in the gay world, you have the opportunity to create in yourself what you’re attracted to in other men. If you are attracted to large pecs, you’re probably going to want large pecs on yourself. It’s a uniquely gay experience, but certainly a possible motivating factor.

At the end of the day, we don’t really know what drives gay men to be skinnier. While we can discuss gay men’s motivation until we turn blue, what’s equally important is expressing those motivations in a healthy and productive way. In a culture ripe for eating disorders and body image issues, it means building a healthier relationship with your body.

In the comments below, please share why you think gay men are skinnier. What motivates gay men? What motivates you?

P.S. If you’re looking to lose weight through nutrition, exercise and an improved relationship with your body, I recommend downloading Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program; I co-wrote the program with a psychotherapist, a nutritionist and another personal trainer. It’s the last weight loss program you’ll ever need.

These REAL Superfoods Will Shock You.

main_dandelion_thWhen you think of superfoods, do you think of… watercress?

Probably not. But maybe you should.

We hear the term superfood a lot. We generally think of superfoods as those foods with a higher density of critical nutrients like vitamins and minerals. But as it turns out, no federal agency has defined the term superfood. In other words, marketers are free to use it on product packaging at their own discretion.

Marketers have successfully positioned chia, blueberries, kale, acia berries and the like as superfoods. But are they really the most deserving of that title?

A study by William Paterson University sought to shed some light on the situation. Using a 100-point scale, researchers evaluated fruits and vegetables based on their content of 17 nutrients including fiber, zinc, folate, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K.

Their findings are quite surprising. At the top of the list was watercress, followed by Chinese cabbage, chard, beet green and spinach. Blueberries didn’t even meet the study’s criteria to qualify as a powerhouse fruit or vegetable.

Below are some of the fruits and veggies and their respective ratings.

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 4.52.26 PM

While you might not be tempted to snack on a bushel of parsley, the ratings provide an objective approach for scoring the nutrient content of fruits and vegetables. The finds can also serve as a reminder to favor science over clever marketing.

P.S. For a simple and science-based approach to healthy (but delicious!) eating, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter!

 

Is Dark Meat Unhealthy?

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 7.41.34 AMDark poultry meat gets a bad rap – but is this unhealthy reputation deserved?

First things first, dark meat cuts are the drumsticks and thighs. White meat, on the other hand, is breast meat.

There are some notable nutritional differences between the two. Dark meat certainly contains greater amounts of fat. In the case of chicken and turkey, dark meat contains 12.3 grams of fat and 10.1 grams of fat, compared to white meat with 5.7 grams of fat and 4.5 grams of fat respectively.

But this is total fat.

It’s worth noting that more than 2/3 of the fat in dark meat is heart-healthy, unsaturated fat. Moreover, fat slows down digestion and can help you feel full, longer.

hoisin-chicken-legsBut the story doesn’t end there.

Dark meat also tends to be richer in zinc, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, folate, vitamins A, K, B6 and B12, amino acids, iron, selenium phosphorus and zinc.

Though dark meat contains slightly more calories and higher levels of fat, it’s not as unhealthy as most people think. In fact, quite the opposite. With more flavor than white meat, dark meat can be a delicious and healthy part of any balanced nutrition plan.

Give dark meat a second chance.

P.S. For a simple and science-based approach to healthy (but delicious!) eating, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter!