eat, move, think, feel


food diary

Food Bloggers at Work!

A little excessive

Originally uploaded by pkingDesign

Ha ha. Pretty soon this will be me.

OKAY! Now it IS ME! I’m officially a food blogger who totes camera to every meal!! Follow it here…..

Tracking In Pictures

It’s been great having Mary from A Merry Life here for the past few days. Not only is she great company, she’s a great blogger and I’ve been very interested (okay, Fascinated. Okay, OBSESSED!) with her particular type of food blogging. She remarked recently that she wasn’t into Weight Watchers because she couldn’t see keeping track of points and stuff, and that made me laugh because she is MUCH more disciplined about tracking her food than most WW members I know (including myself): she takes pictures of every single food she eats. I knew she did this, because I follow her blog, but I was really interested and fascinated in the whole process. So the first meal we ate together, I was like, “Are you going to take a picture now? Are you? Are you??”

In the morning, I set out a whole bunch of breakfast ingredients and then waited for Mary to choose, prepare and then photograph her breakfast. What would she pick? How would she photograph it? Now we’ve shared quite a number of meals together and I think her process is a great one. And I totally recommend it for anyone who wants to be accountable, who doesn’t maybe want to count or write things down.

Because I’ve noticed that these are the things that are necessary to do this kind of food-diary-via-photos:

  1. You have to be honest. There it is, the amount, the real stuff, whatever it is.
  2. It’s an amazing way of being accountable.
  3. It’s an art form. I love watching the way Mary arranges the elements just so on her plate.
  4. I think it has to REALLY curb compulsive eating. I mean you have to really be deliberate, and make that decision. I AM GOING TO EAT THIS.
  5. For people who photograph then BLOG their food, 100x the accountability!

So I’ve been just really fascinated and impressed and just really interested in this whole aspect of food tracking. I like it. I love taking picture and I love food (duh) and I think tracking is important. Do I have the discipline to do this? Would I really take a photograph of a big huge spoon of peanut butter before I eat it? Hmmm. Something to think about for sure.

At any rate, I am having a great time with Mary. We’ve been exploring a lot of places around San Francisco, and I’ve been introducing her to new adventures in food. She’s had her first taste of Indian food, and her first rabbit-shaped shrimp dumpling. I am not sure if we can cram it all in but I’m hoping to introduce her to Ethiopian and Burmese and Moroccan food while she is here.

We’re getting in tons of activity too (thank GOODNESS). Today we hiked at least 5 miles in and around Muir Woods. We did a 5k with a bunch of WW folks on Friday. Tomorrow I think I hit the gym.

rabbit-shaped shrimp dumpling in Chinatown
communing w nature in the redwoods

Ignorance is Not Necessarily Bliss

First of all, I want to thank EVERYone for the wonderful words of support in my time of distress earlier this week. I can’t tell you how supported I felt, and how very moved. Thank you. Newsflash from the offspring is that the fever has broken, and doctor has cleared her to return to classes. Which is a great relief. Yay!

I went to my awesome trainer this morning and was flooded with beautiful lifesaving endorphins. It felt so so good. I’m back, people!!!

I wanted to write a bit about food logs, tracking etc. I heard someone say this week that they do not keep food diaries because it would make them too “obsessive.” I hear that. I think that some people could get carried away. I am not one of those kind of people. I am the kind of person who is more likely to say, “Oh, it’s fine! It’s not that much! It’s healthy!” and think I am doing JUST FINE and then be all baffled because I am not losing weight. Or gaining, in fact. My natural state is to be the Queen of Denial.

A few eye opening things this week. One, I was teaching late. There happens to be a California Pizza Kitchen right next to the building where I teach. I got out of class around 9:45 and was hungry. I just wanted something “small.” I was wavering between a salad and a cup of soup. Well, guess what? This incredible CPK has their nutritional info in a little bound book, right next to their wine list! Which is kinda of shocking because really, if people KNEW, would they eat anything at all?!? Well, I took a browse though that and my eyes just about popped out of my head.

MOST of the salads were well over 1,000 calories. Each. Now I know, or I’ve heard, that these restaurant salads are often 10x worse than many entrees, but still: I was like, WHOA. Are you serious?? Grilled Vegetable Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast: 1044 calories. (doesn’t that sound HEALTHY?!?) BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad: 1257 calories. Cobb Salad: 1070 calories. Caesar Salad with chicken breast: 787. “Thai Crunch Salad” : 1155. (beware the crunch!) ┬áMiso Salad: 1146.

I got a cup of “creamless” asparagus soup: 106 calories. Very very good!! And it was excellent. And very filling. I threw on a bunch of buttered croutons (what the hey!) for another couple hundred cals, probably. Living it up! It was the perfect late-night dinnersnack.

And to think I’d been believing that a salad or a soup would be sorta equivalent. Um. Not. I think that soup is almost always the better option. The largest-serving (bowl) of the highest calorie soup (Chicken Tortilla soup) is only 541 calories, which is miles less than any salad on the menu. And the pizza.

The thing is, most of the pizzas are between 1200-1500 calories. But I often don’t eat a whole pizza at CPK. I might eat a slice or two, which would be 300-400 cals. Which is not bad. In the past, though, I might choose the Caesar Chicken SANDWICH because in some universe, a “sandwich” is better than “pizza.” But that SANDWICH is 1051 calories! And you can bet I’d eat the whole thing.

Just sayin’. It is a good thing to be aware of what one is eating. Not to be obsessive, but to be aware.

In my WW meetings we have a little tradition called the Group Tracker. It is a 3-month food journal that is being passed around the meeting. Members volunteer to take it for a week, track their food and then report back and pass it to someone else. We’ve been doing it for a month now at two different meetings. Which is 8 people. And guess what? Every single person has lost between 2.5-3.5 lbs WITHOUT FAIL the week they have the tracker. Is that amazing? We call it the Magic Tracker. But that is what being Aware, and accountable, can do.

I’ll be honest. I do not write down every single morsel, every single day. But I do try my best to be honest (with myself) and aware of what I am putting in my mouth. And when I bother to really check it out, and get a reality check, I am often very, very surprised.

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