HOUNDLOVER1   17,700
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Tracking food for one day! Surprise!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I tracked my food yesterday in part to try out this feature on Spark and in part because I wanted to see how many carbs I eat when I don't eat beans or grains.
The first suprise was that spark recommends 1600-1950 calories for me. That is about 500 calories less than I eat on days when I don't exercise in maintenance mode. On days when I run and/or crosstrain I eat around 3000 calories, sometimes more.
The carb recommendation was 208-301 grams, my carbs yesterday were 110 grams so this was not surprising since I was trying to eat lower carb.
The fat recommendation was 41-72 grams which seemed extremely low to me compared to the carb recommendation. My fat intake was 151 grams and that was with only 3 meals without dessert. A typical day for me would be more like 200 grams.
The protein recommendation was 65 grams and I had to add a piece of cheese to meet that requirement. I usually get a significant amount of protein from a combination of beans and grains and I can see how not eating a lot of those and reducing the carbs that way will also lower my protein intake. This would require me to eat more of more expensive sources of protein. In the long run I would not want to do this.
I may keep track of my eating tomorrow eating mostly grains and beans with some veggies and dairy added just to see how that changes my balance of macronutrients.
Overall I can already say that I would hate tracking food every day. There are several reasons. It takes much more time to record food combinations I have not eaten before but I believe in trying new foods all the time and making up new recipes all the time, in fact I hardly ever use the same recipe twice. Anything that is made from scratch (and usually healthier) is more work to track than packaged foods. Instead of spending the time recording foods I would rather have more time to exercise knowing that will make me much happier.
Having said all this, while I'm experimenting with changes in my diet tracking is very interesting to see the proportions of macronutrients and it's worth the extra time.

Today I was playing taxi driver for my daughter most of the day and ate only lunch at home. Everything I ate was fairly healthy but impossible to track.
Breakfast was a vegetarian crustless quiche with some breadcrumbs in it, snack was a handful or two of walnuts and raisins, lunch was a whole-grain melted cheese sandwich, afternoon snack I can't even remember and dinner a home-made lentil stew with carrots and beef. I think I feel like a good serving of ice cream for dessert with a few berries added. I definitely was hungry for some carbs by lunch time today, not sure if that was just habit or because I ended up having some bread in my breakfast.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEC2DEC 1/23/2012 2:41PM

    I think your numbers sound GREAT. Yes, they're way off Spark's recommendations, but Spark recommends sooo many carbs, and that means you get fewer calories. Shudder!

You're also right that you need to eat high fat. If carbs go low, then fat has to go high. Protein does NOT need to skyrocket.

I think you're doing GREAT!

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KKINNEA 1/18/2012 3:23PM

    I have another related problem for tracking - I like to eat out at restaurants and very few post their calorie and macro breakdowns. There is one that does so but is truly the exception!

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HOUNDLOVER1 1/18/2012 11:37AM

    My next blog, Wednesday, Jan 18, I will be tracking a more typical day, eating what my body feels like and what's affordable.
Thank you everyone for your feedback. emoticon

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KRISZTA11 1/18/2012 7:22AM

    It's amazing how many calories one needs to maintain weight while running, isn't it?
I'm interested what your normal nutrition day looks like in terms of carbs-fat-protein.

I'm eating above the SP recommendations too, but only 100-200 calories plus, and I still see new minimums sometimes. Usually I'm at the high end of carbs and at the low end of fat and proteins.

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TAMPATINK67 1/18/2012 7:14AM

    When you read the Spark Diet summary you realize it is closer to the MyPlate recommendations. So In addition to utilizing Spark to count the estimated calories I do eat in my more Paleo diet. I also like that I can track nutrients to know when I need to supplement with additional food swaps due to say low potassium intake. Finally, I find the daily report helpful: being in weight loss mode and not eating many starchy veggies, I still find my daily nutritional report (run after all food has been entered for the day, still shows a nice balance of 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 of overall calories from fat, carbs, and protein - and I'm okay with that mix!

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ORGANIC811LFRV 1/18/2012 5:33AM

    Thank goodness being a raw vegan and drinking green smoothies I don't have to track. The trackers are off in their recommendations anyway for vegie and fruit eaters.

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SEDGEY 1/18/2012 12:18AM

    Tracking can be challenging, but it's doable especially if you have the SP app on your phone. I will sometimes just approximate it by selecting a restaurant/packaged dish that is equivalent. I know it's not exact, but it should get me in the ballpark.

I also use food groupings a lot. I'll eat nearly the same thing every morning so I've input that and a few variations into my groupings and can edit from there. Once you've saved your usual food items into the favorites, it also goes a lot faster. A trick I just discovered is that you can pick several items from your favorites and then add them. I did them one at a time for a long time.

Since I've been eating primally, I don't worry about the calories and just make sure to track the carbs and make sure I get enough fat and protein.

Hang in there! :)

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Running in the snow and some diet experiments

Monday, January 16, 2012

I decided to skip my long run this past weekend since my muscles were still a little sore even today. We did finally get some snow so I had a chance to try out my gaiters. I also used my winter spikes on the packed snow.
I'm glad I'm running by time and heart rate because that way I could judge my effort rather than distance or speed. I ran for about 70 minutes at a heart rate of 130 and went about 4.5 miles. The snow and wind definitely slowed me down but I know I got a good workout in.
I experimented with eating no grain today. There are some elements of the paleo diet that appeal to me but also some aspects of a raw vegan diet I like. Unfortunately both are fairly expensive when used by themselves and when using organic ingredients. So I think I may have to rely on grains and legumes for a significant part of my diet in the long run. I may try to eat grain-free for up to a week but add a lot more veggie servings and see if it makes any difference in how I feel and in my energy level.
I almost forgot the most important part of my diet experiment. I realized that a very important part of eating and feeling satisfied is to actually taste the food and chew it well. This makes the food we eat much more digestible as well. So I decided to take time to eat and not get distracted by other things. I spent 30 minutes eating my breakfast and another 30 minutes eating my lunch and dinner without the distraction of either the computer or TV. I found that I was not hungry for 4 hours after both of those meals. I ended up having dinner at 5 pm and don' t feel the need for dessert or any after-dinner snacks. This experiment is worth continuing. Although it may not always be possible to spend 30 minutes on each meal it does save time not to have to eat snacks and it is also easier not to have to think about food as often.
After watching the Dr. Oz show today where there was a discussion about whether food can be addictive I am even more convinced that the emotional satisfaction that comes from eating is necessary to avoid cravings.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISZTA11 1/17/2012 11:24AM

    I couldn't live without grains for one day...
But I changed from bread to healthy grains : )
The slow eating experience is very interesting, I'll try that at dinner, that's the problem meal for me!

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OUTDOORSY_DAD 1/17/2012 9:37AM

    Great post. I have stopped eating bread and have substituted it for oatcakes and boy what a difference it makes. After a couple of days i felt fantastic and didn't feel my bloated self. Another benefit of cutting out the bread is the fact that i have cut out the spread as well. A bit of a two for one deal : ).

I just got "Wheat Belly" of amazon but haven't started to read it yet. Looks quite an interesting read though.

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60SIXTY 1/17/2012 8:09AM

    Keep going.
I would have trouble eating that slow unless I had several guests at the table.
DH is usually done eating before I sit down.

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SNOWFILLY 1/17/2012 8:08AM

    Very interesting!! Thank you for sharing.

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A different RICE method and a little riding adventure

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I felt fine this morning. We took the dogs for a walk in a muddy field that was just above freezing. I tried to clean the mud off my boots by sliding them along the ground sideways. Within a few seconds of that I realized that a muscle in my butt hurt, not severely but enough to make me walk with a limp. I think it's one of the smaller muscles in there, possibly quadratus femoris, or maybe more than one muscle. In any case I used my own version of the well-known RICE method:
R un anyhow (at least for a little while and strangely enough only walking hurt)
I gnore the pain the rest of the day
C omplain to husband about it
E at a lot to make me feel better

Strangely enough, none of it really helped. emoticon emoticon
The unexpected help came when riding my horse bareback for half an hour, the walking and trotting motion was the best rhythmic massage with built-in heating pad one could ask for and helped relax all the muscles in that area. emoticon
And then we had an exciting moment: Two labrador retriever charged at my horse right after we passed them. Blue Eagle decided not to take a chance with these obvious predators and took off at a gallop, fortunately in a straight line so I did not lose my seat. Once we were about 100 feet away I had managed to bring her to a stop and then made her turn around and look at the monsters who were now retreating. Next time I'll ride around that corner I'll be in my Western saddle where I'll have a little more security and then my little cow pony will get to chase dogs rather than cows. emoticon

Depending on how I feel tomorrow I may wait with my long run until Sunday or Monday. I suspect that both ice skating and running yesterday was a little much and the real cause for the muscle soreness. I may have to cut down on the intensity with the ice skating a little until after my half-marathon.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NDTEACHER1 1/16/2012 9:12PM

    Glad you hung on tight and went for a ride. The RICE idea sounds good to me.

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HOUNDLOVER1 1/14/2012 8:41PM

    Ha,ha, I couldn't control it either, a 1000 lb animal that's scared will do what it wants to do so I just went along for the ride until she was less worried. I was thinking afterwards that if the dogs had charged from in front she might have reared and tried to strike and I could have really been in trouble. But then I think they have a pretty good feel for what their riders can handle and usually avoid getting us into trouble if they can if we've built a relationship with them. emoticon

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DEC2DEC 1/14/2012 5:21PM

    I love your version of RICE!

Your experience with the dogs is one of my worst nightmares. I'm afraid I would panic and not be able to control the bolt.

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NORAB52GOOD 1/14/2012 9:49AM

    I like your version of RICE even if it didn't work! emoticon

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SNOWFILLY 1/14/2012 7:39AM

    Good Riding!!! Especially bareback!!! Glad your butt feels better.
Like the RICE method. LOL

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HOUNDLOVER1 1/14/2012 1:32AM

    My half-marathon is only in early March so I'm not in any hurry. I learned from last year when I almost ran out of time. emoticon

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MARTHASPARKS 1/14/2012 12:57AM

    You are really active and pushing yourself. Maybe waiting until Sunday for the long run is a good idea. When is your half marathon?

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Running and ice skating in freezing weather

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I felt better today, not 100% but close. We had bright sunshine but under 30 degrees most of the day. I walked dogs in the morning for about an hour.
We went ice skating for about an hour after that and then I went for a 4 mile run. My heart rate monitor malfunctioned for the first mile or so, I probably didn't moisten the strap enough. After that it stayed around 132.
I went for 4 miles in 57 minutes, average speed was 4.2 mph, not great but I think it was a little harder to run because of the cold. The last mile I was a little uncomfortable inhaling cold air running into the wind. I'm glad I'm back on track.
Overall a lot of exercise in one day.
I'm planning on a trail ride tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAPAMIKIE 1/15/2012 3:16AM

    I was also out for a frosty run, and am coming back from illness over the holidays. We have snow and -19C - 26C with wind chill. I am still not 100% either, but I therefore take it a bit easy. Hope we are both fully recovered soon.

Good running and be careful out there.


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SAFETYSUE 1/14/2012 12:00AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OUTDOORSY_DAD 1/13/2012 10:35AM

    Its quite strange that you posted this. We went down to the freezing level last night and boy did i really struggle with my breathing this morning. For some reason it felt like i couldn't catch breath. Thankfully it passed after the first 1/2 mile.

Good job keeping the workouts going in the cold snap.

emoticon emoticon

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KRISZTA11 1/13/2012 4:58AM

    A wonderful active day!
Good for you : )

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MOTIVATED@LAST 1/13/2012 12:30AM

    Well done on not letting cold weather interfere with your workouts!

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Tired, not feeling great, very short run

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I think it was probably starting on the day of my last long run. Not sleeping well did finally affect my immune system, nothing major, I can't even call it a cold, just a mild sinus headache for the last two days. But I notice these little things now. My running is always a little slower than expected at the usual heartrate and my muscles feel a little sore. We had a low-pressure weather front coming in and maybe I'm getting sensitive to that as well.
I had weaned myself off of coffee completely and not missed it but the last 2 days I needed a cup midday to be able to function, especially driving. I've been taking elderberry for the last two days and tonight I feel better. It really seems to help my immune system a lot.
Yesterday I spent a good hour ice skating and then walked the dogs.
Today I ran only two miles on the treadmill, average pulse 134, average 4.1 mph. The gym was packed and I really couldn't have stayed on the treadmill longer anyhow.
I'm planning on going to bed early again, hopefully the dogs will all sleep through the night tonight. I'm taking greater care to prevent light, even from our alarm clocks, to shine in my eyes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KKINNEA 1/10/2012 10:21PM

    Hope you're feeling better soon. I agree that the muscles seem to fire a lot slower when colds are hanging around.

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HICKOK-HALEY 1/10/2012 9:56PM

    Our weather temps have been warm during the day, but 30's at night so. I also have been battling a sinus headache. I hope your aches and pains go away soon!

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