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Sugar, Your Body’s Fuel Source

Health Educator and SmartFem Expert Jerny Rieves talks about Sugar, our diets, and understanding the Glycemic Index.

Sugar Fuel Source-jerny reives-health-dietSugar, it’s not evil.  It’s not your enemy or your best friend either.  It is the most readily available fuel source for your body, easy to take in and easy to burn.  Throughout history it has kept the human race from starving to death.  It provides us with serotonin regulation, anaerobic power, and is the number one source of fuel for our body’s muscles after intense exercise. The brain can’t function without it. So where’s the problem?

Like everything else in the average American diet, we tend to consume too much and consume the lowest quality, cheapest forms of sugar we can.  Too much sugar replaces our fiber, our protein, and our essential fats.  We think because it’s fat free that it can’t make us fat but, to the contrary, like most of what we consume, a little goes a long way.

Simple sugar is broken down swiftly and if left unchecked, the blood sugar spike would kill us.  Fortunately we have a protective organ known as the pancreas.  All day long this poor, over worked, tiny part of our body manages the delicate balance and keeps us from going blind and getting gangrene.   Food with a high glycemic index trigger an immediate release of insulin which binds the sugar and discards it.  Anything not used for energy is stored in the muscles.  If the muscles don’t need it, such as when the body hasn’t exercised, it gets stored as fat.  Yes, FAT.  processed foods and high glycemic indexIf you are in the habit of eating high glycemic foods at night before sleeping you will get a double whammy and guaranteed storage of that fat where you don’t want it.

Diabetes is on the rise and it can kill you.  If you are interested in safeguarding your health, losing some weight, and feeling better, start by managing your body’s fuel source and avoiding high glycemic index meals and snacks by following these rules.

  1. Eating protein and fiber at each meal.  That way, if you have some crackers or dessert, it won’t be broken down so fast!
  2. Snacks should also be high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats.  Avocado, a small amount of cheese, a handful of nuts, cottage cheese, or veggies with hummus will satisfy you longer and contribute to a higher energy level.  You won’t feel as compelled to overeat at your next meal and you won’t crave sugar so much.
  3. Exercise regularly and eat your high glycemic foods immediately after exercising along with some protein to rebuild and refuel your muscles.
  4. Ask yourself, did nature make it or a machine?  Processed foods have little to no health benefits and as a general rule, if you had to open a package to eat it, it’s going straight to the parts of your body you don’t want it to…picture it that way!

Ok troops, start preparing in advance by getting rid of all the junk in your pantries.  Your kids don’t need it either so do not fall into the trap of keeping treats around for them (If it isn’t always around, it becomes a “treat” again).  Microwave popcorn is a death wish so throw it out!  So get your healthy options in the fridge and ready to go.

Jerny Rieves, cscs, pes, ces, health education - health educator - ScottsdaleIf you’re not sure what glycemic index is or what foods are high, you can refer to websites that list glycemic index.  Lots of websites are devoted to assigning glycemic index ratings to foods you eat so take a closer look at your diet and remember, the lower the number the better.  Sugar is not the enemy, you simply need to understand your body’s fuel source and how it consumes and stores its energy.

Visit Jerny Rieves’ website, MindBody Unlimited, for more nutrition information.

The Truth About Belly Fat: Metabolic Syndrome – What you really need to know

metabolic syndrome-article-Jerny Rieves-health education-health educator-personal trainer-scottsdale-phoenix-personal trainer in scottsdale-fitness scottsdale-fitness coach-cscs-pes-cesOne in three people in the United States is battling metabolic syndrome (syndrome X).  It is costing this country over 1/7 of the Gross Domestic Product, or a trillion dollars annually.  Not a million, not a billion, a trillion!

What is metabolic syndrome?  It is a cluster of individual, but related symptoms that point to a breakdown of the body’s ability to function at a healthy level.  You are on the fast track to heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and even sudden death.  At best, it makes you look paunchy, tired and old.  At worst, it kills you.

You have metabolic syndrome if you have three or more of the following:

  • A disproportionate waist to hip ratio, or an abdominal girth of 35 inches or more (taken at the belly button)
  • High trigyceride levels (175 mg/dL or more)
  • Low HDL levels (below 40)  This is the “good cholesterol.”
  • High LDL levels (above 100)  This is the “bad” cholesterol.
  • Resting blood pressure of 130/85 or higher in consecutive readings.
  • Fasting blood sugar of 100 mg/dL or higher

Syndrome X is a purely preventable disease.  Getting your blood checked annually and knowing your genetic history for heart disease and stroke is a beginning.  Making the appropriate lifestyle changes with a healthy diet of whole foods and daily exercise will reverse these symptoms. Medications are the last resort if all else fails.

BEWARE of supplements that promise to burn belly fat.  They don’t work and they are full of chemicals and caffeine.  They do more damage than good in the long run. There is NO magic pill!

Should you be worried about metabolic syndrome, “belly fat”? A resounding YES!  It isn’t just ugly, it is deadly.  Consult with a qualified and experienced health and fitness professional to set you up on a strategic and customized exercise and nutrition plan.

Jerny Rieves, cscs, pes, ces, health education - health educator - ScottsdaleThank you, SmartFem, for reaching intelligent women who need solid medical information!  Never has it been more important for women to take care of themselves.  We are responsible for the care of so many others, sometimes we need to remember that taking care of ourselves makes it all possible.


Health Educator and Coach, Jerny Rieves, CSCS, PES, CES – MindBody Unlimited

February 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Health, Latest SmartFem Recommended

Health Educator, Personal Trainer, and Coach in Scottsdale, Phoenix, AZ

MindBody Unlimited – Unleash the Power of You!  Health Educator and Health Coach, Scottsdale

Jerny Rieves, cscs, pes, ces, health education - health educator - ScottsdalePersonal Trainer, Health Coach, Health Educator



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Jerny Rieves-Health Educator-Health Coach-nutrition-Scottsdale-customized dietsProper Nutrition has never been more important!  There is a multitude of conflicting information that leaves the general population and most athletes overwhelmed with the decision of what to eat and when. 

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Jerny Rieves-Health Educator-Health Coach-nutrition-ScottsdaleAfter an initial consultation, your program will be designed and customized just for you.  No more guessing what you should eat and when.  No more spending hundreds of dollars on supplements and gimmicks you don’t need!
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MindBody Unlimited – Unleash the Power of You!  Health Educator and Health Coach, Scottsdale, AZ.  Personal Trainer and Health Coach in Phoenix, AZ