Carbs Part II

So now this is the part where everyone goes “what about fruit?” and “I thought whole grains were good”

There is a very scientific reason why whole grains and fruit are so good for you, even with a high carbohydrate content.  Its called FIBER!!!  So if we want to go chronologically, and you eat a candy bar, it has 25g (or so) of sugar and you now know exactly what happens to that.  And it happens in the liver.  And because 25g of sugar is a LOT of sugar to be circulating in your bloodstream (after being exported from the liver as glycogen to be used by various organs **sidenote** sugar and carbs are the most effective way to feed your brain because fats and amino acids cannot pass through the blood-brain barrier), your body has conveniently created a pancreas.  If you aren’t a science person, you never think about your pancreas, but its kind of the real MVP of the body because it keeps you from dying or going into a coma from high blood sugar every time you eat.  It releases insulin, which was super awesome for our cavemen ancestors because when they got a meal, insulin made sure that what they ate got stored to be used in a famine.  Nowadays, insulin just insures that any and all stuff we eat, gets stored as fat.

So why is fiber so great?  well it SLOOOOWWWS the digestion of your food (it also cleans out your colon which is chalk-full of all the toxins we eat, so make all the poop jokes you want about fiber, but fiber is a friend AND a food!!)  So when your digestion slows down, it keeps your blood sugar from spiking, keeping insulin from triggering the storage of all the sugars you eat.

Great anatomy/biochemistry lesson right?

Now for a bit of botany and a word on whole grains like brown rice.  The endosperm layer of rice is the white part. It is full of Cs Hs and Os!  Very carby in the endosperm.  So if that’s all you eat (AKA white rice, refined flour etc.), enjoy your sugar-turned-fat.  BUT when rice has the bran and germ layer coupled with that endosperm, it is FULL of fiber which is exactly what we just talked about.  So yeah, whole grains are SUPER good, but you still can’t over-eat them because unused glycogen still gets stored as fat.  And those lucky charms with whole grains?  Yeah, it makes no difference- because the sugar in that cereal STILL sends your blood sugar sky-high, and you secrete insulin and store the sugar as fat.

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Don’t let that word scare you.  “Macro” means big, so we aren’t on a molecular level, we are on a big molecular level?  Does that make you feel a bit better?  Maybe, it does, I don’t know.

There are four classes of macromolecules: carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids.  Nucleic acids are like DNA and RNA and so for obvious reasons, they can be ignored when talking about diet.  We cannot metabolize these for energy and so for our intents and purposes, we can ignore them.

Carbohydrates are NOT just bread and potatoes.  They are anything that is made up of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen in a C:2H:O ratio.  C6H12O6 is glucose, the form your body prefers its sugar in.

Proteins are chains of amino acids.  If you get an electron micrograph of one, they look like a 2-year old’s drawing (aka a bunch of squiggles).  This is due to the amino acids in the chains interacting with one another.

Lipids.  Everyone’s favorite.  Anything that is soluble in a nonpolar solvent is a lipid.  So basically, anything that you need to use soap to wash off?  Lipid.  Lipids are great for you if you do it right.  But more on that later.

These are the things that animals are meant to eat.

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Remember when I said that it wasn’t just bread and potatoes?

It’s not- but that’s what the FDA wants you to think it is and that’s what they show it being on their stupid myPyramid.  Carbohydrates are sugars.  Notice how sugar wasn’t a macromolecule?  That’s because its a carb.

Now let’s go back in time to when we were cavemen.  Cavemen used to gorge themselves when they could because they didn’t know when their next meal was coming.  So the things that they would’ve eaten the most were fruits and veggies, or primitive farmers would’ve had wheat and rice and stuff, which are full of carbs.

Now I chose to start with carbs because when you eat, your body starts with carbs too.  So say you just ate, and your body is going to start using the carbs you at and start putting the carbs away in your liver as what is called glycogen.  Glycogen is used up right away.  If you don’t overeat your carbs, you eat it, store it as glycogen (which basically just makes it easier for your body to metabolize) and you convert the glycogen to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which your cells use to… idk like LIVE.  That’s why carbs in moderation ARE FINE because you take it in, store it and use it and it leaves no trace.

Problems come in when we eat two bagels (hey I like bagels as much as the next guy, but the carb level in them is off the charts) or a candy bar or really anything carby.  When you can’t use all of the glycogen right away, your body needs to put that glucose into long-term storage.  Well, how does our body store food we don’t use?????


Your body stores superfluous sugar as adipose tissue, fat, flubber, fluff, whatever you want to call it.  This particular phenomenon is why people like to say “sugar makes you fat” and nothing could be truer.

So cavemen would’ve been jacked to have enough carbs to store as fat, because fat, as we will discuss later is used when we are out of carbs.  So when cavemen ran out of carbs, or there was a famine, they could use what they had stored up, much like a camel stores up water.

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Biochemistry 101

I start Physical Therapy School next week!  WHAT???

In my time off, I have noticed that I clearly missed school and have found myself reading and watching a zillion science articles and documentaries.  I know.  I’m a nerd.  But my adventures into science have taught me that more people should be nerds.  Why?  because the world right now is revolving around science.  The cleaners you use in your house?  Chemists made those.  The makeup you put on your face?  A chemist made that (a biochemist MAY HAVE helped).  And by far the worst offender- the “food” we feed our bodies with?  Yeah you can thank someone’s PhD in chemistry for that bad boy too.

Biochemistry.  Most people don’t really like that class.  The chem majors shrug it off because compared to P Chem, its a cake walk.  The bio majors scoff at it because its “Way too chemical for us” and “I thought once I finished my year of Ochem I was excused from chemistry classes” and the worst answer “I’ll never use it anyway”.  The business and psych majors don’t take it for that reason and the nursing majors forget their intro to biochem material as soon as they have to memorize every drug ever known to mankind.

But it’s really important!  Because every time you walk into the kitchen, you have decisions to make.  And if you don’t know your biochemistry, you maybe aren’t making properly informed decisions.

So I’m taking it upon myself to inform people.  I know this is a totally different direction for this blog.  Being a nerd isn’t for everyone, I know!  So if you read this and you’re thinking I’m off my rocker, I get it.  And if you used to subscribe to this blog (does anyone subscribe to this?  I have no clue)  and you’re like “this chick is too excited about science” unsubscribe- nothing personal.  Just that carbons and hydrogens are more than letters to me.  They can just be letters to you.  That’s okay.

But if science really does get you amped (MY PEOPLE!!) stay here 🙂

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T’was an exciting day!

Okay, so it was a super good day today!  Today marks my first outdoor run of 2013!!  It was a good run, too!

Well the rest of the day was super boring, I studied biology, med term, organic chem and funn stufff of that nature.  But about halfway through the studying I needed a break!  And because there was a track meet in the gym, I  was left with the pavement as an option.  So I ran outside because it WAS above freezing today (winning!!)

And because I love leaving you with a picture, here’s a cool quote, and while I can’t get past the fact that it isn’t properly quotated, I really do love it!

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Alrighty I want people’s opinions here

As an avid gym-goer, I have a grievance to air, and I want to know if it’s legit or if I need to get over it.


Does anyone else hate hate HATE it when the person on the treadmill, bike, ellpitical (I think thats almost everything), or otherwise piece of cardiovascular endurence training equipment, next to you creeps on what you are doing???


Okay, so as a self-confessed competative person, I understand these people- they want to know how they measure up, if they need to speed up or if they are better than the skinny girl biking next to them.  Mostly, they are looking for a confidence boost.  BUT when they make their peek-age really obvious, aren’t they sort of being rude?  Doesn’t that violate some rule of gym privacy or someting?  I feel like it should.

So that is just a short rant (sorry for the rant!!) but I was curious as to what the general concensus is as to gym etiquette, so PLEASE weigh in with your opinions and tell me if I’m wrong.


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It’s Finally Friday

Here ends the most exhausting week of this semester!!!

Quick recap for everyone:

OChem test on wednesday, not just any ochem test, but the hardest one of the year (I think I did pretty well, but only time will tell) as well as having a med tem test and anatomy test the day before.  Now as if a stressful test in the middle of the week as well as having 2 less stressfu ones before it weren’t enough to keep me busy, I was told that my housing plan for next year wouldn’t work out the way I wanted, and that my future roomies and I would do well to explore other options.

Well after feeling good about a test, we also found a house for next year!!

OH MY GOODNESS.  I can’t even get over the amount of design possiblities to come!  Here is my current hope for a headboard, I think it looks so cool!!

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So that’s whats new today, hope you all like it and have a fantastic night!

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I don’t even know what to title this post

WOW!  I just went to go search something on the internet and found a news article about something totally unrelated and was so astounded, I had to tell someone, so why not you fine people?

So.  I was on yahoo, preparing to type in “fruit leather” because this post was going to contain my new recipe for it and my eyes glazed across the headline “‘World’s Fattest Man’ Loses 644 Lbs.”  Now if that doesn’t pique your curiousity, I don’t know what will.

So after reading, I just honestly couldn’t fathom losing 644 lbs.  But this guy did it!  Go him!!


In other news, I bought myself a Valentines day present, and I make a pretty good Valentine if I do say so myself!  I got two new workout shirts!!

Okay, maybe I only bought them because they were on clearence, but still, it was exciting to get a package in the mailroom, and get to wear one to the gym today.  I’ll have an easier time getting up early to go tomorrow, if I know I get to wear the other one!

So here’s my ‘single on Valentine’s day’ philosophy, I’ll share it so that anyone who may be a little annoyed about this particular event, may see it in a more positive light:

I am perfectly content to do what I want, when I want, to spend all my time in the gym, at work and doing school stuff and not having to explain to anyone why these are the priorities in my life right now and why they eat up all of my time, attention and energy for the time being.  AND it’s a fantastic excuse to have a girl’s night!!

On that note, everyone have a good one!


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I Hope You Still Feel Small When You Stand Beside the Ocean

Well I saw some of the most beautiful views of Lake Superior from the top of a ski hill!  They were so pretty that I had to share them with the world.

These are from the Lutsen Ski Resort in Minnesota

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Now if standing there looking down what is as close to a mountain as I have ever been atop, I felt TEENSY TINY and was reminded of the song “I hope you dance”  Maybe because every time I take my socks off I think of it, too so it’s on my mind a lot (“I hope you dance” is tattooed on my foot).  Just thought I’d throw that out there so that now everyone has an AWESOME song stuck in their head!!

I just wanted to share those pictures so that anyone who doesn’t live in minnesota has the urge to come now, and everyone who does can take a minute to appreciate out frozen hell of a tundra- it was 10 below when we first hit the slopes yesterday!!

And to remind everyone that life is beautiful- I mean, look at those, who wouldn’t wanna stare at that while you ski down a black diamond, and that LIFE IS GOOD!  That one’s important, don’t forget it!

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Unless you are a chem major, you don’t have a clue what C8H10N4O2 actually means.  But it is the formula for Caffeine!  My Favorite!  Well, coffee is my favorite, but finding out the chemical makeup of a molecule of coffee beam would be a pain, so I like this one better!  Before I launch into my post about C8H10N4O2, I just want to quickly explain where the letters and numbers come from because I am a nerd like that!

The name C8H10N4O2 simply means that there are 8 carbons, 10 Hydrogens, 4 Nitrogens, and 2 Oxygens in every molecure of caffiene and they are all put together like this:

Nerdy, huh?  Well since OChem has consumed my life right now, I thought maybe you’t find it a little interesting?  No? Well thats okay too!

So on the the exciting part of the post, how this is relating to my life at all, funny you should ask, here’s how it works:

C: Coffee- I have drank a lot of this week, chemistry- I have done countless hours of chem since returning, candy- which I gave up this week, Camo- which Kat wears a lot, cider vinegar- which I am attempting to try to drink a little bit of every day becasue it is really good for your tummy.  I have thus been unsuccessful because it tastes awful, cedar- the apartment that I live in.

8: the number of credits of school I am taking- minus 10, the number of days I wish there were a week, the number of degrees it feels like outside here in Duluth!

H: Hair- I straightened mine today, hamstrings- worked mine hard this morning, hangover- a movie I have never seen but don’t really find myself feeling like I missed out on, Heart- because Valentines is coming up, huskies- this cutes puppies ever, hockey- its hockey season!

10: The time of my first class tomorrow (bio lab), the number of pages of notes I have to study for my anatomy test on friday, the number of minutes that the brownies I am making the class that I TA for need to cook.

N: Nano- the small sized drink at my cute science themed coffee shop, no gluten or dairy or junk food in my diet, negative temps in duluth last week,

4: The number of liters of water I am supposed to drink every day, the time I get off of work tomorrow, number of miles I am working towards running in 25 mins.

O: old- which I am starting to feel like, since I’m almost 20, oatmeal- a food I have recently coe to enjoy, obliques- mine are sore today, Outta here- which is where I want to be when I see the thermometer every day!

2: Cups of coffee I had today, the number of times I have talked to family memebers on the phone today, the number of mangos and green peppers I got at cub today, the number of days left until the weekend!!!!!

So for all who were skeptical that this would turn out, here I turned a chem lesson into a creative post!!


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