Food,  Health,  Ramblings,  Recipes

I’ve Got My Eye on the Prize

I mentioned in a recent post that I wanted to become more informed about nutrition. I didn’t want to simply follow whatever random information people were pushing. I wanted to know what we needed, why, and how to best obtain those things. I mentioned looking into classes and books, and I finally settled on Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies by Frances Sizer, Ellie Whitney. There is a newer version available (January 1, 2019) but it’s twice the price, though it doubtfully offers twice the information or any groundbreaking difference in nutritional facts.

The second book I’ll be reading is Nutrition: An Applied Approach by Janice J. Thompson, Melinda Manore. I can only devote so much time these days to the note-taking of a course book. I have so much stuff going on all the time. I wrote a long while ago “…usually when I say, “I’ve been so busy,” it means I’ve been binge-watching Grace and Frankie, avoiding anything that might require me to put on pants, and staring off into space while I contemplate what the color blue might taste like,” but that is far from true these days. I’m actually busy, and it’s nice.

In the meantime, as I slowpoke my way through the nutrition book, I’m using Cronometer to help balance my diet. I already kept a log of my food, and while it was detailed to a point (oatmeal [rolled oats, blueberries, banana, coconut flakes, honey, almond milk]), I didn’t calculate nutrition. I used it to see if we were having too much of one thing, if I was skipping too many meals, or having too many peanut M&Ms (my vice). Cronometer clearly points out how much those peanut M&Ms are unbalancing my fat intake, and it’s visually obvious when the little red bar starts to creep towards max before the other bars that something needs to give. I don’t want to give up everything I enjoy, but I can’t have peanut M&Ms and coffee with the best creamer in the house, if I want to maintain a healthy balance. That is something that should be fairly obvious even without the help of a food tracker, but it applies to other aspects of nutrition as well: vitamins, carbohydrates, sodium, protein, et cetera. I don’t know why, but seeing the percentages rise with every food you add, seeing exactly what they’re putting into your body, at least for me, drives me to do better.

One of the places I was severely lacking was calcium. There was one day I only hit 14%, including what I got from a calcium supplement, which is not acceptable. While lactose and I don’t really get along, we decided to add milk back into our diets to make up for the calcium shortage until we get better at consuming more dark, leafy greens. Here’s what we’ve been using as our “shot” of calcium for the day:

Blueberry Chia Pudding

This is what I tossed together. I originally used 2% milk, because that’s what we had, but 1% and skim milk have more calcium (at least in our brand [Organic Valley]) and obviously, less fat, so I’d recommend one of those. If you like whole milk, use whole milk. If you’d like to use almond milk, go for it. If you hate blueberries and want to use peas, I’m not going to stand in your way. It’s your pudding, do with it as you’d like.

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • sprinkling of cinnamon
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 1/3-1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together in a 2-cup capacity container.
  2. Refrigerate overnight.

On top of tracking my food, it links with my Fitbit app and takes into account my activity. If you want motivation to exercise, watch the Cronometer energy (calories) bar hit 104%. Personally, I can’t leave it like that. I have to go run from the zombies for another twenty minutes or so to knock it back down.

Speaking of zombies, I ended up purchasing a membership ($24.99 per year) to Zombies, Run! because I had reached the end of the free missions and either had to wait for the next one to be released for me, or pay. Honestly, there’s no going back once you start. I couldn’t imagine exercising without gathering supplies for my base and running from the undead.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some underwear and batteries to collect. Wish me luck.

Title From:
Eye On It
by TobyMac