Understanding Nutrition

July 24, 2012 by Mark Cuatt



 It is important for the body to maintain optimal blood glucose levels. As I have indicated, this is 80- 120 ml/dl of blood. If blood glucose level falls low you may become lethargic, irritable, extremely hungry and unable to think clearly. If glucose level rises to high, you may become very sleepy. Either instance is dangerous, and can cause severe consequences.

The body normally regulates your blood sugar levels by releasing two hormones secreted by the pancreas.  Insulin is secreted when blood sugar concentrations get to high, and Glucagon is secreted when blood sugar levels get too low. (Remember). Diabetes and Hypoglycemia are two conditions where glucose regulation is hindered.

Although our body regulates these responses, it is important for us to eat properly to maintain optimal blood sugar levels, and all body responses. Every cell in our body depends on glucose for fuel, especially the brain and nervous system, which I will discuss later.

So what can you do to maintain optimum levels? First, eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. You should be eating approximately every 2½ hours. Second, when you do eat, make sure the meal or snack consists of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. Fats slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.  Protein triggers the release of many important substances including glucagon, which hinders the effect of insulin. By adhering to these practices, you prevent fluctuations of blood sugar level and help prevent surges of glucose in the blood .You will also feel much better both physically and mentally.

There are times when an athlete may want a surge of blood sugar to get nutrients into the cells quickly. The prime opportunity for this is directly after exercise when the “window of opportunity’ is the best. More glucose and nutrients will replenish deleted

stores used during exercise. The longer you wait after exercise the less amount is restored. How does this translate into something useful? Well, the more glycogen and amino acids that are replenished quickly, the better your recovery and preparation for the next bout of exercise. You will notice increased strength and more energy.

The glycemic effect of food is in relation to our blood sugar and insulin response. It is the effect of how fast and how high blood sugar concentrations rise, and how quickly our body lowers the levels back to normal.

Some carbohydrate foods are rated very high on the Glycemic index. This is another reason why carbohydrate foods often targeted for propaganda and fad diet claims. On the contrary to many fad diets that advocate you should not consume carbohydrates or carbohydrates eliciting a high glycemic index rating, most of these provide an excellent source of nutrients, and are healthy for you.

It is believed that these carbohydrates provoke hunger, food cravings, and cause too much of a release of insulin which claim to promote fat storage. By following special eating patterns, and consuming lower carbohydrates they claim you will lose weight, and fool the body into producing the right amounts of insulin.

Generally, it is wise to choose foods with a low glycemic rating if they are going to be consumed alone, to achieve sustained energy. However, as I have stated earlier, the overall glycemic response of a food is influenced by other foods eaten at the meal.  Keep in mind, people take a little bit of validity, and manipulate others into believing.




The glycemic index is a physiological based method used to classify foods according to their response to raising blood glucose.



  • The index compares how rapidly carbohydrates are converted to blood sugar compared to glucose, which is 100 %.


  • The lower the rating, the less of a glycemic response.



  • The glycemic response of a food is not dependent upon the sugar content or the content of simple versus complex carbohydrate. Carrots eaten alone will increase insulin more than a candy bar with nuts.

 At present, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has not endorsed the glycemic index for patients with diabetes. The ADA recommends that people with diabetes moderate their carbohydrate intake to keep their blood sugar low, eat less fat, more fiber, and fewer calories to lose weight, rather than attempt to follow a glycemic correct diet. Weight loss alone can bring blood sugar down to healthy levels in type II diabetes.

                                  Glycemic Index Of Common Foods


100 %                         80-99%                       70-79%                       60-69%

Glucose                       Maltose                    Bread                         Brown Rice

                                    Parsnips                       Millet                          Bananas

                                    Carrots                        Potato                         Raisins

                                    Potato Chips               White Rice                  Mars Bars

                                    Corn Flakes                                                     White bread



50-59%                       40-49%                       30-39%                       20-29%

Sucrose                     Oranges                       Apples                       Fructose

White spaghetti           Peas                             Ice Cream                 Kidney Beans

All Bran                      Navy Beans                 Most Meats                 Lentils

Yams                           Oats                           Most cheese               

Corn                                                                Yogurt



Soy Beans


Adapted from Source: Jenkins, D.J.A., Lente carbohydrate: A newer approach to the dietary management of diabetes. Diabetes Care, 5:634, 1982: as adapted by ISSA Performance Nutrition: The complete guide, 1997.

Be the first to strive.

July 13, 2012 by Liz

When we think about leadership, many things come to mind. Here at Club Fit Briarcliff we look at General Manager, Mark Cuatt as an incredible example. Not for the reasons you might at first think. Not because he has the title of GM, not because he works out, not because he is an expert when it comes to nutrition or fitness and not because he dictates the rules. More so because he embodies the TRUE virtues of leadership in that he understands how important people are. Not just when you walk through the door as a member, but everyone. He prides himself on respecting others and caring genuinely about every person who crosses his path. You have to have heart in order to be a great leader, in order to have passion, in order to be able to inspire others to be their best and achieve their goals. This sort of strength is what helps others understand the importance of caring about themselves. Mark is a forward thinking man and a person of action. He blazes a trail and raises the bar every day to push us all to be the best we can be. He is in fact, the first to strive. At Club Fit, we are proud to call him family.

“Running a marathon will not be the hardest thing I will ever do”

July 3, 2012 by Liz

Jessica Katzowitz is a massage therapist at Club Fit Briarcliff. Her and her husband, Eric, have dedicated their lives to fitness and health. Both are avid cyclists and runners. Bottom line is, they eat right, exercise and are health conscious individuals. That’s just one of the reasons it was so unreal when Eric was diagnosed with cancer. You’re whole outlook on life changes when something like this happens and for Jess, it inspired her to turn her marathon running into fundraising efforts that are near and dear to her heart. The type of cancer Eric was recently diagnosed with is Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.

Here is some information from Jess herself about this type of cancer:
“CLL is a blood cancer that is not curable and is typically only treated when certain symptoms worsen. If you are not feeling too sick and your lymph nodes and spleen aren’t that swollen and you are not running fevers and you are not anemic they don’t treat you.

So, you can be walking around with CLL and still be sick but not sick enough for treatment. The treatment is chemotherapy and the doctors don’t want to make you sicker than need be or compromise your already weakened immune system. What? My husband has cancer, but you are not treating it? This was the prognosis, no treatment right now and maybe not for 3 to 5 years. This has got to be the most mind boggling concept to deal with.”

“Eric and I live with his cancer every day. Some days he feels good and other days he is so tired and aches down to his bones. There is no treatment for these symptoms. Perhaps if there was more research into CLL there would be a “feel good” treatment for the wait and watch period.”

It is quite clear that running a marathon will certainly not be the hardest thing she has to do. It is people like Jess that are strong enough to make a difference. Even when the chips are down, seeing the light can inspire us to incite positive change. Thanks for your support and for listening!