Also, remember that you're talking about a computer program, not a human. When you start adding special conditions to a computer, it gets stupider and stupider with each new variable. It chooses out of broad categories, and it has to have lots of options or it repeats the same things over and over. If you told it no dairy, no gluten, and no eggs, it would start giving you bizarre combinations like chicken breast, peanut butter, and beets for every meal.
And if you have serious allergies, you should NEVER trust a computer meal plan unless it's specifically designed for allergies (in which case there's no way it'll be free.) Any meal-plan program I've ever seen can only check the names of foods, not the ingredients list. If you tell it "no eggs," it won't tell you to have scrambled eggs for breakfast, but it's not going to know that mayonnaise and meatballs are also no-nos. Gluten is an even bigger issue, because there are many, many foods that are gluten-free when they're made by company A in place X, but not in place Y, while company B might make it gluten-free in place Y but not in place X. It would probably end up just tacking the words "gluten-free" onto everything in a regular meal plan, and not knowing that "gluten-free whole-wheat roll" is a stupid thing to say.
Fitness Minutes: (120)
6/24/13 6:57 P
You can definitely still create your own meal plans and enter them in the tracker ahead of time. That's what I've done from day one, because I try to eat as little processed food as possible, and I don't like a lot of the common foods that are good for you, like eggs and beans. I also eat tiny breakfasts and big lunches and dinners since that's what I do best with. It's a bit more work on your end, but you can actually eat things you like and can have. And, I know for me at least, I create plans I actually get excited about eating, which is huge. If you don't like your food, you're less likely to stick to a healthy plan. I plan a week ahead of time too, and it doesn't actually take that much time because I don't do it everyday, I sit down and do it for the entire week, before grocery shopping. It's saved me a lot of money at the grocery store because everything I buy is "scheduled" to be eaten that week... less food waste.
I am not sure what meal plans you are using??? I checked my meal plans for today and only have 3 foods that are manufacured: Greek Yogurt, cheese, and a dinner roll. Of course, you could make all these in your kitchen as well.
Can you share more.
Fitness Minutes: (5,707)
27 6/24/13 6:44 P
Thanks for mentioning that, LILLIPUTIANNA. I wanted to mention it, but for some reason my posts are often misconstrued and I get attacked, so I hesitate to post sometimes.
But I think, as you mentioned you do as well, that there are lots of us using SparkPeople who feel the same about this subject.
(Hopefully, I won't get attacked for agreeing with you!)
6/11/13 10:21 P
Yep. Lots of us here have the same complaint. I do all my own meal plans...which aren't really plans. It's more of a record of what I ate.
The fact that Spark People can't put together meal plans that DON'T include pre-made, manufactured, factory foods is very disappointing. I think there are lots of us out there who would really enjoy using a meal plan that was better suited to our needs...and less about selling crap we can buy at Walmart.
This options you asked about are not offered due to safety concerns for our members. We have 12 million members from around the world. Food companies use different ingredient formulas in different areas of the US as well as around the world. To assume that one food is "egg free" in Indiana does not assure it is egg free in Arizona.
It would probably be best to design your own meal plans based on your diet restrictions and the foods in your geographic area.
Becky SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Fitness Minutes: (15,545)
9,713 6/11/13 7:30 P
Unfortunately, SP doesn't have that options with its diet program. It offers the presets only. However, you can turn off the meal plans completely, and just use the tracker and the calorie ranges, and design your own meals.
How do I update my food allergies in the program that I would use to track my daily food intake if I cannot get rid of all the suggested foods that I don't/can't eat (gluten, dairy and eggs)? This is very frustrating.
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