Thursday, 3 SEP 2015 :: Keeping track of your food choices.

I just finished creating a new (easily printed) file of my latest effort to keep track of what I eat.  You can see it below.

I recycle a lot of my one-sided pages by folding and tearing them into quarter-page size, then using the blank side as scratch paper.  That is why I made this file as a quarter-page.  I can fold and tear it into four weekly records per single sheet of copy paper.  It seems to be a better solution for me when I need to keep track of things throughout the day.

To explain my format ::

The numbers on the left are MY GOALS for daily servings.  These particular numbers are what I am trying to stick to.  Some days I eat more than these limits, and some days I don't even reach these amounts.  They are enough to stay healthy and to help me lose weight.

The food groups I chose for my recordkeeping form are the ones that I want to follow.  I don't have a dairy section because I have discovered that the healthy dairy items actually double as proteins.  I will put milk into the liquids section, and try to have at least one glass of it a day.  I have discovered that calcium, which is why we drink milk as a food group, is also a nutrient in other foods.  I am working toward consuming more of these other foods for my calcium needs.  This calcium question is included in materials about vegan diets, and some vegetarian literature.

I also put my food groups in the order of their importance to me.  First, I am trying to eat more FRUITS and VEGGIES, then I am learning how to eat better WHOLE GRAINS for their fiber content, and then I want to track the amount of PROTEIN foods I eat.  I have mentioned before that drinking water is a challenge for me, so I am currently focusing on consuming at least six (6) cups of various LIQUIDS... including soup broths and juices.

The OTHER category is my way of keeping track of the fats I use, like butter, oil for frying and salad dressings, mayonnaise, and other fatty foods.  I have discovered some dairy foods that I love and eat often are considered fat portions instead of dairy.  These would be cream cheese and sour cream.  In recording some meals or food items, I am using the slash ( / ) character to help me associate the food group item with what it was in... like butter on toast, cheese with rice, and using oil for my fried veggies and rice.

FOOD RECORD - filled in
I am more familiar with my food portions now, so I am just recording the actual food name, like brown rice, toast, chicken, beans, etc.  My primary emphasis right now is to figure out portions and groups to make sure I get a varied diet that covers my body's basic needs.  The serving numbers for me are for a weight-loss diet.  Your goal numbers might be different.

I had just a little extra space in my design so I added extra lines for veggies, fruits, and proteins.  It allows me to record them better.  I want to eat more fruit, and veggies usually have less calories.  I added a line under proteins because I tend to eat too many foods that are considered proteins. 

Proteins are a sticky issue with me.  I can't commit to being vegan or vegetarian, but I know they are healthier for the body.  I am committed to eating more fruits and veggies and reducing my meat consumption.  From what I have read over the years, it seems that meats are harder for the body to digest, so moderation is the key to enjoying the foods I don't want to give up.

In browsing through my new cookbooks from the thrift store, I read that pork loin is equal to lean (skinless) chicken breast in the health and protein discussion.  The health numbers cited were very nearly the same for both meats, and both meats were the lowest numbers on the list.  The sidebar item I remember was also showing that meats are better as your protein source than cheese and, sometimes, beans.  I always thought the opposite was true, so I would eat cheese thinking it was healthier.

I don't recall ever having a pork loin in my childhood, and they only recently made it into my grocery cart because of a meat sale.  I had no idea what they were or how to make them.  They are very good.  Since reading this cookbook information I am going to look for them (on sale) more often.  :-)  For me, the main issue is now portion control.  A single pork loin (as I know them) will make many meals.  (A pound of meat is divided into four (4) servings of 4 ounces each, BEFORE cooking.) That means it is a good value even though the (sale) price may seem large.

I hope you liked seeing my form for tracking my food choices.  I made it with the intention of uploading it here.  I am getting better at finding ways to share information with readers.  I hope to create more items to share as I learn about blogging.

Enjoy your weekend.  I am hoping to enjoy mine, too.  :-)

In Christ,