It is so important to consume the proper balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat and water for all our systems to receive the proper nutrition to function at their best and keep us healthy and strong. Below are a few suggested ratios of the amounts we need, take a look.


USDA Recommends:
40-50% Carbohydrates
25-35% Protein
20-30% Fat

The ZONE Diet Plan Recommends:
40% Carbohydrates
30% Protein
30% Fat

The “BodyFiiT” Plan Recommends:
40% Carbohydrates (4 calories per gram)
35% Protein (4 calories per gram)
25% Fat (9 calories per gram)

As you can see both plans are within the USDA percentile range.  I sometimes choose higher carbohydrates and lower fat.  The key is not just any carbohydrate!  So many people today are tossing carbs and going for the protein, not drinking enough water and not getting the sleep they need to energize our bodies.  This is not proper nutrition!


Protein is great for developing muscle and increasing our metabolism but it has been said we can only absorb 25-40 grams of protein at a time which there seems to be many questions to this factor today.  For some too much protein in our system can infact overwork our kidneys and liver yet for others that is not a factor.  Either way an excess of unnecessary protein is basically an excess of calories and is stored as fat.  A quick personal note;  I was following suit and started enjoying high protein spinach shakes like some of my associates.  Well, as a perfect example, because my diet was nutritionally balanced already and I was consuming the appropriate amounts of protein from my meals, the delicious shakes were just added calories.  Although they contained little fat, the excess of protein was converted to fat in my system.  My body fat increased to a less desirable percentage and my energy level decreased.  Once I stopped consuming these high protein products and maintained my nutritious diet and exercise routine, the excess fat disappeared and I was back to my normal body fat and weight.  If you are one that does not have the time to prepare nutritious meals throughout the day then yes a supplemental protein drink or bar may very well be necessary.  But it is important to know how much your body needs and if we are consuming a balanced nutritional diet.


Carbohydrates are essential for all our body systems to function properly.  Our brain and central nervous system almost solely depend on glucose.  Nutrient dense carbohydrates increase micronutrient intake, have greater fiber intake, blood sugar control and are our bodies major source of energy.  Reducing our carbohydrates to low will leave you tired and hungry for simple sugar foods for that quick energy burst.  An excess of carbohydrates or highly processed/refined carbohydrates, increase our insulin levels and just like to much protein, end up as stored fat.  So don’t reduce your carbs, enrich your diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for endless energy all day!


There are many reasons why we need fat in our diets.  To manufacture and balance our hormones, for the formation of our brains and nervous systems, for our skin and hair, to deliver fat-soluble vitamins, and it is a great source of energizing fuel.  Fats are the most highly concentrated source of energy at 9 calories per gram.  So although 25% of our daily caloric intake should come from fat, it being so calorie dense, that 25% is only an average of 40-50 grams of fat a day for most women.  With this in mind it’s important we choose the fats which will provide the most nutritional value for our bodies.  Reducing saturated fats and adding unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.  It’s actually a proper balance of all fatty acids which is most beneficial, just remember; too many saturated fats in our diets has been associated with high cholesterol, heart disease, Alheimer’s disease, breast cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, stroke and prostate cancer.  So the next time you pick up that deep fried plate of eggplant parmigiano, or pork sausage sandwich, look at it closely.  What you will see is memory loss, cancer, disease and stroke.  Then think to yourself, do I really want to put this disease into my body?  I’ll guess not, so just DON’T DO IT!  Check out my recipes for rich flavorful foods that are more nutrient dense and have less saturated fat.  The baked eggplant parm I created for my brother, just remember this is not a main course and is suggested as a side dish or snack.  So if you have to have your eggplant parm, give this recipe a try and let me know if it’s just as good or better than the deep fried bad version.


So many of us do not drink enough water and don’t even realize it.  Being the slightest bit dehydrated can impede our body’s metabolism and reduce our energy level, as it is needed to provide energy by delivering oxygen.  Check out my blog on  hydration, see how much your body needs and what the effects of dehydration have on our bodies.


If you have no health issues, have been eating a nutritionally balanced diet and are consistent in a fitness routine.  Yet, you still lack energy and are craving simple carbs and caffeine, you may not be getting the sleep you need.  While there is not one set number of the required amount of sleep we need, the majority of us range between 7-9 hours per night.  Most of us know how much sleep we prefer each night but just don’t get it.  Lack of sleep not only increases our appetite leading to greater likelihood of obesity, it can also lead to other serious health consequences.  An increased risk of diabetes, heart problems, depression, substance abuse and not to mention the decreased ability to pay attention, retain new information and our reaction times slow.  Finding the time to get the sleep you need is as much a priority as good nutrition.  If you are having trouble figuring out how to get the sleep you need, make it part of your daily schedule.  Schedule a specific time to go to bed and a specific time to wake every day.  Those who keep a consistent time schedule of sleep are significantly more alert and experience less mood shifts.  Avoid stimulants hours before you retire and also try dimming the lights and reducing the noise level in your home 1-2 hours before your bedtime.  When you retire to your bed, avoid bright lights and excess noise, which means NO TELIVISION!  It may take a few restless nights to adjust to your new schedule but within two weeks your body should adjust, you should be resting soundly and you will find you wake naturally, without an alarm clock, the same time each morning.  We can’t always get the 8 hours or so of sleep we want but if you prioritize it as a schedule you will find most of the time you do.

It would take every minute of your day to calculate every bite you eat to be the perfect 40/35/25 percent ratio.  Therefore no one expects you to do that.  But it is important to be educated and understand what is in the foods we eat.  Once we have a general idea we do not need to calculate every detail.  Just knowing you’re eating a balanced plate of nutritious food is an excellent beginning. Soon you will be in tune with your body and it will tell you if your diet needs an adjustment.  Not everyone, on every single day, needs the exact 40/35/25 percent ratio.  Depending on what we do and our genetic makeup determines what our cells require to function properly.  But the differences are minimal, especially for the majority of us women who (without special needs) is on a regular fitness plan and not training for some type of competition.

I believe in eating solid foods opposed to using shakes and food bars as a meal.  Healthy solid foods are nutrient rich and many are full of fiber.  They allow our systems to engage in proper digestion and breakdown the food in our bodies (opposed to a blender), distributing the nutrients to our cells which need them.  Now that’s not to say I never have a protein shake or bar on occasion.  Not every day do I have the time to prepare a perfect meal, but I do make that a priority and do so more often than not.  It’s just as easy to toss some leftovers from dinner into a tuberware for lunch (providing you prepared a nutritious meal the night before). Opposed to throwing all those food stuffs into your blender to sip on all day.  Maybe it’s just me, but a warm healthy plate of flavorful food is more desirable to me than a one flavor liquid drink.

This is one of my favorite sites for the nutrition of hundreds of foods.  There are so many apps available today as well you can have right on your phone.

One of my favorite sites:

Check out this app for iOS as well:

Please share with us an app or website you prefer to use!