Sources of energy and how they affect your body

This blog is mostly based off of Dr. Ben Bocchicchio’s seminar “Metabolic Makeover”


To start off with, there’s a few different sources of energy we feed our bodies for it to stay alive.

The first one is protein, which main function is to build muscle. In other words, protein is our friend. Protein comes from anything that walks, swims, or flies and a serving is considered 3 oz. which is about equal to the size of a deck of cards. Protein can also come from eggs or eggbeaters, cheese, nuts and peanut butter (watch for added sugars), nutty seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame), soy and tofu, and 1/4 cup beans (frijoles, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, etc). Any of these things I just listed are a great snack if you get the munchies since protein takes longer for your body to digest. So stock up on your meats and cheeses to start off your healthy food stock.

Second comes fats. I know what you’re thinking- Ew gross fats aw disgusting!! Well quit it. Your body needs fats- end of story. The healthy oils in the fat category consist of olive oil, canola oil, high-oleic safflower, and other high- monosaturated fatty acids. Walnuts, nuts, and avocado are also amazing sources of fat which have other nutrients in them as well. Corn, soybean, sunflower, cottonseed, and peanut oils should be avoided. Just to give you an idea of how much fat you should intake on a typical day-

  • 2 tsp oil for cooking or dressings
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 oz cream
  • 2 oz cheese
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 2-3 servings of meat, poultry, fish, or shellfish
  • 10 olives of 1/2 Hass avocado
  • and 2oz nuts or seeds

That shouldn’t be so bad, right?

The next thing is carbohydrates. This is the category you should be “ew-ing” and “gross-ing” because carbs increase insulin which stores carbs (energy) as fat. Your body only needs a small amount of carbs/glucose for energy to function so the excessive intake of carbohydrates in the U.S. has been blamed for one of the reasons for the huge obesity pandemic. Sugars- natural, refined and possibly artificial sweeteners are considered carbs and affect the blood sugar and insulin level the same. Starch is considered “other carbs” which are chains of sugar. When chemically broken down in the body to utilize as energy, there is no difference between sugar and starch. The sources of carbohydrates include-

  • grains- rice, whole grain breads and noodles
  • root vegetables- potatoes, beets, and carrots
  • fruits- some more than others. Take a look at my previous blog “Fruit, Fruit, Fruit” to see more in depth. Berries are always the best fruit when it comes to carb intake.
  • liquid milk- yep, believe it. Check out the nutrition label on your milk, it’s loaded with sugar. It doesn’t matter if it’s skim, whole, or anywhere in between- All of it is the same for sugar.

Now that you know what carbs are, it’s time to discuss how they affect your body. Insulin is the fat storing hormone and is made when you eat carbohydrates which are then broken down into glucose when stored. Insulin is produced to “open” the gate to the fat cell allowing the cell to store glucose as fat. High levels of insulin prevent the use of stored fat. Here’s how it works (in a nut shell)-

  • You eat carbohydrates.
  • The sugar moves from the stomach into the bloodstream.
  • Insulin (from beta cells) moves blood sugar into cells.
  • If there is Insulin Resistance, you require large amounts of insulin to move the blood sugar into cells. Insulin Resistance keeps fuel out of many cells making them hungry, which then causes low blood sugar which  makes the brain hungry. It’s a vicious circle.

One thing we forget when it comes to our diet is fiber. Adults need 20 grams per day and children under the age of 10 need 10 grams. The reason I am throwing fiber in the picture is because fiber “cancels out” carbohydrates. If you take a look at a nutrition label, take the total grams of carbs minus the grams of fiber and that is considered your net carbs, which is what you consider the total amount of carbohydrates your body is consuming. So Total carbs (grams) – Fiber (grams) = NET CARBS.

The main carbs you should be getting is from vegetables- lettuce, greens, spinach, cabbage, zucchini, broccoli, peppers, chilies, cauliflower, edemame, and many others (not including the root vegetables). It’s difficult to eat low carb in today’s society, but it’s not impossible! There’s always low carb options, you just need to keep your eyes open.


Don’t let a 9-5 desk job bring you down

how sitting wrecks your bodyClick here for a great challenge!!

9-5 sitting at a desk? Let’s be real here… there’s plenty of time for physical activity- you have an hour for lunch break, the frequent trip to the restroom, water cooler, printer, etc. A desk job doesn’t have to consist of zero activity all day every day. After work, many people have other things to do besides going to the gym or just working out in general, pick the kids up, make supper, run errands, all the fun stuff. Even if you don’t think you possibly have time to work out in your 8 hour work day, there’s so many things you can be doing to add physical activity to this not-so-physical desk job. Along with getting in more physical activity, endorphins get released which makes you in a better mood and more awake. It’s a win-win! Here’s a few different things that can be done:

1. Take a break- no, this does NOT mean Facebook or Youtube. Get up and walk around the building every half hour or even every hour. It gets the blood pumping and muscles moving.

2. The stairs are your friend, not your enemy- it might not be fun at all to start off, but it’ll get easier the more you do it.

3. Switch up your desk chair- get an Exercise Ball chair. You can find them numerous places on the internet. They encourage a slight bouncing movement which keep your legs and your core busy and eases stress. Plus, if you had one, you would be like the kid with the bounciest bed… and who wouldn’t want that? 🙂

4. Get some small weights to keep at your desk. While you’re talking on the phone or even just thinking to yourself, do some arm curls or even (yes, look silly) squats.

5. You can even stretch! Flexibility is the most ignored aspect of being fit so stop ignoring it and switch in flexibility with your walks on your breaks.

Staying fit isn’t all about being physically active. Whether your goal is weight loss or just weight management, your lifestyle diet should be a major priority. Yes, it can be difficult to have a desk job and to eat healthy. But it can be done, and here’s how:

1. Keep a water bottle or jug at your desk. You may have that caffeinated beverage to help you stay awake or some sort of soda just because it tastes so good, right? Dehydration is a huge problem that occurs way too much in desk job individuals. If you replace your general soda or beverage with water, you will stay hydrated and won’t be taking in extra calories and sugar. A personal recommendation is the MIO water flavors. They’re so delicious and carb-free!

2. I know candy jars are the spice to life, but they’re also full of sugar and unneeded carbohydrates. Replace your Snickers or M&M’s with some almonds or peanuts. They have the salty and delicious taste without the huge amount sugar. They have more protein which takes more effort (calories) for the body to process and fiber which may slightly block caloric absorption and you keep feeling full so you won’t need more than a handful or two to make it till lunch or dinner. Another personal suggestion is almonds and cheese together, I just can’t get enough.

3. Pack your own lunch- get that perfectly sized Tupperware bowl that holds just the right amount of salad or make a sandwich with a side of veggies. Don’t have the time in the morning? Lame excuse people! Get everything ready and packed up the night before so you can just grab and go. It’s even possible to make a huge batch of eggs or chicken on Sunday night and put in separate containers so you have everything ready for the rest of the week.

4. Eat a good breakfast. Your breakfast should include protein (eggs), complex carbohydrates (vegetables), and dairy (cheese) to make sure you get all of the nutrients needed. By eating a good breakfast before work, you are kick-starting your metabolism so you burn calories efficiently during the day. Again, not having time is no excuse. Take the advise of getting it ready the night before or get some protein shakes and some cheese and celery to have. Eat an awesome breakfast and you can kiss those awful mid-morning tummy growls goodbye!

Having a desk job and staying fit is not an easy task. Just remember to drink lots of water and always pick the far way to walk or to go walk outside instead of checking Facebook on your 5 minute break. You can do it!!