As a SP member progresses on his/her journey, many needs and goals change as others are attained and become healthy habits in an evolving lifestyle.
At this point I am beyond my first and most significant goal:
Nutritional Density is no longer a goal; it is found in my every meal!
How kewl is that?!?
Weight has been and continues to be... a secondary issue for me during my years here.
I came here to use the tracker so that I would eat ENOUGH.
Odd thing for someone overweight, but that's how this weird journey of mine is.
But I was ill at the time I joined, considered malnurished by my docs and dietician according to the lab results they had in their files. Yup, overweight but... no one was concerned about the weight because it just was not a priority. I am proud to say that being overweight is now more noticeable to them than my lab results..which now are pretty good, in fact. Actually, my doctor informed me several times during the past three years that my one kidney functions better than her TWO kidneys! She leads a very healthy lifestyle, so this is big.
My dietician sent me to this site in March, 2007 to use the nutrition tracker. When I brought in the printout sheet showing SP's recommendations, she added nutrients to track then tweaked SP's recommended values to match my needs; back home, I input the numbers to personalize my nutritional summaries of percentages in those reports.
For 5 years I posted every morsel or drop of intake into the SP nutrition tracker and then printed and studied (!) the summary and feedback reports. These plus summaries of the daily nutritional breakdown of approxiately 8-10 nutrients also were usefully shared with my RD (dietician), who in turn compared what I ate with results of my lab tests. Doing this was downright time-consuming ....... and absolutely! positively! undeniably!! worth the time-consuming effort!
The key to going from comments of 'malnutrition' to summation of labwork results as having become 'healthy' in the summary progress reports my RD sent to my doctor was:
Whether a person is overweight, underweight, or "just right" (as Goldilocks would say), balance is crucial. Balance of what we eat is not the sum of calories we eat; instead, nutritional balance is achieved when we gain the necessary amount/percentage of vitamins, minerals, etc. that exist WITHIN the foods and calories we consume.
As of over a year ago, I no longer count the exact caloric value of my foods every day. Some people should continue doing it, especially if they have a tendency toward binging or craving foods. In my case, the focus on tracking increased my 'natural' food-aversion tendencies. Under the watchful eye of my RD who monitored weight and lab results, I switched last year to using the bikini-plate model of planning meals. The types of food I eat are what I now prefer: basic, mostly straight out of the produce and dairy sections with a sprinkling of 'pre-packaged' items (dry or canned beans, broths, frozen fruits, etc).
My granddaughter thinks the contents of my refrigerator look 'boring', but... hey, she's a teenager, soo...!! lol Yet. She likes the meals I make when she visits. She didn't mind at all that instead of mashed potatoes a plate with pork tenderloin had a small pile of mixed grains (bulghar, brown rice, quinoa, and barley with herbs...no salt) last week. I make it in batches, plain, then refrigerate the grain mixture and take only one serving per meal for days. I've even mixed 1/4 cup of it with 1/4 cup vanilla fatfree yogurt and 1/2 cup of fruit as a breakfast, so this is handy stuff...and healthy.
Some might say that I've 'achieved' a goal by switching from a general concept of healthy eating to a specific one that changed the way my pantry is filled. But the fact is that I feel I'm just beginning to explore and experiment within that goal!
So I keep improving, 'discovering' healthy and truly tasty options!
Anyone who is just in the beginning stages of exploring SP's vast tools and articles may find the concept of certain changes daunting. As we study the articles and consider the value of what using SP's tools, strong changes occur in our mindsets. The change is low, which is why I strongly support 'streaking' on difficult habits. Then one day we 'suddenly' realize "wow... !!!" It is absolutely energizing!!
The fact is that the discoveries at the end are worth jumpting every hurdle. And hurdle one just may be not how much one eats... but may be WHAT one eats.
Some healthy foods in a slideshow:
A great article listing foods according to nutritional density:
"Food All Stars - Ranking the Most Nutritious Foods"
..... By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian
Go for it: