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Created by MyFitnessPal - Nutrition Facts For Foods

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fat to Fit Blog Hop Thursday: Journaling In Better Nutrition...can get tricky!

As my regular readers know, I got back to Sparking, which include using the SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker (a lovely online tool for food journaling). I have found it really useful, not just to track food, but to track holes in my nutrition, since it tells you as you enter your meals how you are stacking up not just in carbs/proteins/fats, but in assorted nutrients (and you can customize).

As a middle-aged, post-menopausal woman, I wanna know that I'm getting  enough calcium and vitamin D. And I wouldn't have realized I'm chronically deficient in zinc, folate, B-12, and potassium had I not sparked. (I can't eat shellfish/seafood, and I won't eat organ meats, and I limit my nuts/seeds for caloric reasons,  so I tend to have issues with areas where those are the major suppliers of particular nutrients.)

Thanks to Sparking that journal, I have been able to target my supplement intake to what I need, not just shove some in my mouth "just in case." I love doing the report after supper and seeing where I need to boost nutrients--and am most happy when I meet goals in most categories. But knowing where the holes are lets me know if I need a B-complex or just a B-12 dot, if I need to have more romaine or spinach, if I should add a beef dish, if I need to pop a Citrical-D max.  I do find that I have to take zinc. Period. I have almost never ever made my zinc nutrient RDA, so, yeah, I take liquid ionic zinc. It tastes truly hideous, but I do it, cause I suspect at the bottom of my chronic skin and thinning hair issues may be this chronic zinc deficiency.

Because I was low on potassium yesterday (I usually am, and most Americans usually are), I had some banana with dinner and coconut water with lunch on Wednesday. This morning, I added a banana-skim-milk-raw-cocoa-powder smoothie to breakfast to get magnesium/calcium/D/potassium (all nutrients that a lot of people fall short of, including me if I'm not careful with meal planning).

So, what is the tricky part in the subject header?

Well, no nutrition tracker that I've ever used is comprehensive for all users. If you buy stuff ready-made, you better have the ability to deconstruct that chicken salad or beef stew or whatever it is you bought to get the components (unless someone posts a generic you just go with).

Today, breakfast is a delivery meal from Diet-To-Go that I'm using to get me through the first few weeks of the Summer Slimmin' Challenge. (See badge on top of my sidebar for info).  While the Diet-To-Go site has some nutritional info, it doesn't give it for the major nutrients (just the "top label" ones, fat, sodium, carbs, protein, calories). It doesn't give me the nutrients in my Eggs Florentine with soy sausage and asparagus, which, given there's spinach, milk, and eggs in there, should be nice. I know it's high protein (44 grams) and low-carb (6, and hence me having the banana, heh, cause I didn't have toast), but not how much of vitamins, minerals, etc.

That diminishes the usefulness of my journaling (in terms of health), although I still will know the calories and major categories that most dieters care about.

Still, I want to know that I had enough folate or B-12 or magnesium. It matters to me.

So, the convenience of diet delivery meals makes for inconvenient food tracking. Hey, Diet-to-Go! Make it easy for Sparkers who use your food. Give us the lowdown. BETTER YET: Contact SparkPeople, you Diet-To-Go administrators,  and give them your meal titles/info and side dishes and the comprehensive nutrient breakdown, so that these can be added to the food database there. Who knows? You might get a lot more subscribers through that huge online community (of millions of fatfighters!)

Anyway, visit other blogging fatfighters/health-seekers in the Fat to Fit Blog Hop:

Go ye and hydrate, move, laugh, and lose!
Happy fatfighting this Thursday!


fatgirl_vs_world said...

Do you get your blood levels tested semi-regularly? Most basic blood tests don't test for vitamin D or iron unless there's suspiscion of a deficiency....

Once Upon A Dieter said...

I get my blood tested every 3 to 6 months for metabolic and CMP. :) But I may want to ask, after I've lost mroe weight, for a nutritional check.

Weijourn said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. I don't think that anything different happened to set off the binge. I've never thought of 'mouth desire' before. My food tends to be bland because I prefer it that way and I try not to add salt to things because there is enough salt in processed foods but maybe I have to spice it up a bit!

Actually it was cheddar that I ate. I seldom buy it as it is expensive here (in the Europian country where I live) and not even sold everywhere and only full fat but when I saw it I wanted it. Maybe not enough calcium in my diet?

I'll have to remember to stop and figure out what my mouth wants the next time it happens. A banana-skim-milk-cocoa-powder smoothie might do the trick! I have no idea what my vitamin and mineral levels are. It's not something that people talk about here. Have a nice weeekend.

Once Upon A Dieter said...

Weirjourn, herbs can make a mouth happy. :) I am a big fan of oregano, basil, thyme, curry mix, cumin for soups, sage for some pasta and meats, and of course, garlic and onions. I grew up eating very savory foods (Cuban food has as a basis the 'sofrito' which is basically olive oil sauteed tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers that you add to soups and stews and casseroles and stewed meats.) And Cheddar is my number one fave cheese. The sharper the better. Mmmmm.

The Better Idiot said...

Lucky you, I'm still at work and there's no AC for a while yet, so I'm sitting in the warm trying not to fall asleep. I have pictures up on facebook if you're interested, if you friend me you'll have access

Anonymous said...

Hi there...look forward to getting your posts via RSS!
Someone recommended Calorie King...but I'd love to find a good tracker for the iPhone...unfortunately none are great with Aussie products! :(

I found you via Fat2Fit...Hope you enjoy http://jadedgymjunkie.blogspot.com

J.V. x

Lanine said...

New Follower from Fat to Fit

If you get a chance come by a see my blog.

Christina said...

Food journaling is new to me. Thanks for the information and resources.