Posts tagged: nutrition
…you don’t even feel the desire to eat candy or crappy food anymore because you know it’ll make you run like shit.
this is fucking crazy talk.
Turtle Bars; only 180 calories per bar! (gluten free)
(click on picture for recipe)
That looks friggin delicious.
My run was postponed from last night.
Dad had what could have been heart-related issues, went to the hospital, so we didn’t get home until late. Ate some feelings at Chili’s last night. T’was delicious.
Dad ended up being okay, but stayed overnight for observation. I’ll be running and lifting today.
America (pronounced ah-mur-uh-ka). Today is the day we celebrate the Native Americans teaching the Pilgrims from the Mayflower how to keep from dying, so that in over the next few hundred years we could systematically murder them.
But I digress.
I do love Thanksgiving despite our country’s history. For me, as I assume most Americans, it’s become less about some religious dissenters meeting some savages and more about family. The holiday really does make me feel thankful for all I have. There are the standard things that I’m tankful for—family, a good career, my health, the fact that my dad didn’t die of a heart attack—but I think the thing I am most grateful for this year is my new-found desire to make myself better.
I think we all (or at least a majority of us) are constantly trying to be the best we can be. But the truth is that you cannot just try, you have to do. Yoda really did have it right…
And I am no different. Until very recently, I wanted to be better but didn’t want to make the commitment to be better. And then a couple of weeks ago I got really hungover, followed by two days of sickness, and a terrible week of exercise and eating. For some reason, that week of shitty care of my health was the catalyst I needed.
Over the last two weeks, I feel like I’m stopped trying and started doing. I’m focusing not just on how many calories I’m eating, but also what I’m eating (if I eat 1800 calories in donuts, is that really helping me?). Vegetables are becoming more important to me (I’m very thankful for vegetables because I just don’t enjoy fruit). I haven’t missed a workout in the last two weeks. In my entire life, I don’t think I can say that when I’ve been running and lifting. On top of all that, you tumblr folks are making me feel extremely motivated. My exercise life is making me feel like a better, stronger person.
I’m going to be a better me. And I’m thankful I’m not trying, but doing it.
The title of this post is a link to some great advice about not starving yourself post-Thanksgiving. Runners world always brings the truth.
Here’s an enlightening quote from the article that applies to more than just Thanksgiving:
“And as often happens after a dessert bender, you may find yourself hankering for even more sugar the day after. That’s because digesting loads of sugary carbs triggers a tidal wave of serotonin (the so-called feel-good hormone). When those serotonin levels dip, your body craves more sugar to keep the good times rolling.”
I used to use the Livestrong iPhone app to track my caloric intake for the day. I found the app buggy and clunky with a depressing interface. Worst part? I paid money for it to disappoint me.
Then my sister-in-law pointed my wife and I to Lose It!
Look and Feel
The first thing I noticed about the app was how welcoming and serene the interface seemed to feel. Where Livestrong tended to feel like a drill sergeant, Lose It! feels like a friend.
Little details are what produce this feeling. One such detail is the food icons. They are done artistically very well and are vast in selection. While there are foods with no relatable icon, they are few and far between. In fact, all the artwork for the site, even the site-only ads, are aesthetically pleasing. You get the feeling they were trying to make you feel like you were somewhere safe and everything was going to be ok.
The Game System
The app, as well the website, has your typical Boy Scout achievement-based hook. Sign in for the first time, get a badge. Workout three times in a week for two weeks, get a badge. And so forth.
One thing I like about the website version is that it flat out tells you the date when, if you follow their caloric advice, you should meet your goal. As you update your weight you’re told if your goal is moving up, down, or remaining the same. And this provides a nice little competition with yourself, should you choose to pay it any mind. It’s a game for me to try to push the date closer and closer to now.
The Entry System
The nutrition entry system at first was decent at best, but in a recent app update they really hit it out of the park. What made it originally very nice was the ability to enter foods to your own private database. Any foods you created you could also suggest to the Lose It! team (as well as any corrections on foods already in the public database). The database was ok at best. There were things I find to be common missing, like certain candy brands, for instance. Additionally measurement conversions, something that is still lacking, are very rigged and don’t allow for much leeway. If I want anything under an 1/8 of any measurement, I’m basically screwed.
Then, in the last two updates, the Lose It! team provided its members with bar code scanning and the app’s nutrition system became an out-of-the-park home run. I can take every commercial food I have (from a can of candy bar to a carton of eggs) and get accurate nutritional information back just by using my iPhone’s camera. I know other apps have this feature, but this is the first one that seemed to do it well. What makes it work better than I’ve seen is the extensive food database they have aligned to the bar codes.
The exercise system uses virtually the same input method as the nutrition, which I find to be an issue. It is a little too rigged in how it allows you to enter calories. If I want to add an exercise and have tracked my own calories, I have to create a brand new exercise. This means that, since each run does not burn congruent calories, I now have 30 entries that say “Easy Run”, “Running”, or “Long Run”.
I think the best bet would be to not assume that X-minutes = Y-calories is an accurate formula. If I run 30 minutes and burn 400 calories, it doesn’t mean that, next time, if I run 35 minutes, I’m going to burn 466 calories. Instead let there be a catch-all custom method that groups exercises by name and allows free input of time and calories burned.
The Social Network
Everything these days has to have built-in social networking or it’s not a website. Well, I’ve been out of the social networking game (meaning Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and haven’t played with it much. From using it with my wife, I can see that you can see your friends last recorded meal or exercise, when they track their weight, and if they get badges. You can also talk to each other. It’s nothing revolutionary and doesn’t particular pique my interest.
One aspect that I like from this arena, though, is recipe sharing. If I or my wife put in one of the many (and I mean many) recipes we have, it’s very simple for one of us to share that recipe with the other. It’s a simple button click and then the other person accepts and adds to their database.
I like Lose It! a lot. It’s become my primary mode of tracking calories and I’ve earned my fair share of badges. If you’re looking for a comprehensive and free iPhone app for your tracking, I suggest giving the Lose It! app/website a try.
I don’t have any sort of rating system, but let’s say I’d give it “Two Snaps”.
FYI to all you girls on the Internet who think being a size 2 is the most important thing in the world. Stop starving yourself because most men want a woman that doesn’t feel like an Aushweitz victim in their arms.
I don’t even like blondes like Marilyn Monroe, but she had a good body. Cut the crap and forget being a rail.