So, I am actually here for a college course, part of my course is to track my diet. I didn't think I ate badly so I figured it would be a breeze. I am 1 week in and *shocked* at how my diet yo-yo's from day to day. Some days I don't even hit 1000 calories and even though I am eating healthy things I am not getting my RDA of vitamin and minerals. I eat a lot of fruit and veg, I don't eat processed foods, I cook all my meat and it's organic and pre measure into 8oz servings. My diet for the past few days has looked like this
Bowl of cereal serving size 3/4 cup
1 cup of almond milk
Snacks until lunch:
3 portions of fruit that I snack on (usually an apple, orange, pear, grapefruit, grapes or a pear)
Usually I have a cup of organic trail mix or some other snack like sunflower seeds, almonds - never salted always raw (I have Meniere's so I have to watch my salt intake)
Lunch vaires this past week I've had:
Salad made of raw spinach, avocado, chicken (I cooked at home) no dressing (I am not keen on dressing, not anything to do with diet!)
Homemade turkey chili with beans and tomato
Whole wheat sandwich with
I usually try to eat a snack in the afternoon usually raw carrots or an apple with peanut butter, something along those lines.
For dinner this week I have had
Beef stew with vegetables (all organic, all home made)
Whole grain organic pasta with home made pesto sauce.
Tuna sandwich on wheat with raw spinach
I have been logging my food every day and my results are shocking. Can anyone help me try to figure out how to stabilize my diet? Thank you :)
These are my nutritional charts for the past few days. As you can see, I am missing quite a few nutrients. I am not really sure what to do. I have quite a few calories to work with.
Do you measure all your food or do you just 'eyeball it'? Perhaps you could adjust your portion size up - gradually, and watch the scale to see if you're gaining (in which case, cut back!) If your goal is to get all the recommended daily allowances in 1000 calories, that may be unrealistic. Or, instead of increasing portion sizes (which means increasing calories), bring other foods into your diet that are rich in vitamins and minerals you need.
Even eating 2000 calories, it's not so easy to get all the RDA in foods. Varying your diet tends to average things out so that you get enough, though.
I measure all my food. I am not trying to eat only 1000 calories, I just realized that I don't even it hit some days. I'm not trying to lose weight. As I stated in my original post, I am trying to increase my nutrients. I am not getting the RDA and it varies every day. I would like to eat around 1500-1800 calories a day. I understand that it is hard but I am floundering around here trying to figure out what I could do to increase my nutrients, looking at the charts is simply depressing! Increasing my portions isn't going increase the nutrients, if it doesn't contain vitamin D eating double the portion isn't going to help me.
Sardines, with their oil, are an example of a food that is fairly rich in Vitamin D. But to get the calories, you need to include the oil. Also, if you enjoy cereals, most cereals in that section of the supermarket are going to be fortified. If you want to have your food be organic, it's worth looking for cereals like that in the 'Whole Foods and Organic' section of the supermarket.
Most people (Americans) don't get enough vitamin D. However, you get vitamin D when you spend time exposing your skin to sunlight, so that will not show up in your food diary. I mentioned to my doctor that it took me two years of taking a daily vitamin D supplement in pill form to get my measured vitamin D level to the normal range it is today. Measuring Vitamin D is now part of the regular chem analysis they do for the annual physical in my doc's practice. His answer was that all vitamins are different that way. Take into account - I spend hardly any time in the sunshine.
I don't like sardines much but if you take a canfull, oil and all, and smoosh it into some cream cheese and onion, it makes a good caloric spread for some whole wheat crackers or bread. This focuses the issue on just plain cooking - which is one reason amazon is loaded with cook books....
Cooking - what a useful skill that is!
It's easy to find rich sources of various vitamins and minerals in foods, googling 'food source vitamin E,' for example. That would give you a list of foods with the most of that vitamin (almonds and sunflower seeds are at the top of the list). But what you eat every day because it is - 1) your individual taste and 2)what's available and 3) what you can afford and 4) you know how to cook it - is so individual, you really have to figure out menus that satisfy you and aren't from just a narrow range of foods! Variety really helps because no one natural food fills the bill for everything, although the egg DOES come close.
What if you don't like sardines - see what I mean? What if you only eat egg whites to avoid more cholesterol?
I cautioned against more calories (when you increase portion size) because that IS the way to gain weight but it's a particularly delicious method when you consider food choices. Most people don't want to have to deal with the issue of being overweight even if they got there by eating massive amounts of 'good' foods.
There are supplemental liquid drinks or bars in the supermarket to help people who are dieting or who for some reason have food issues but these aren't the whole foods you tend to use.
Also, 1000 calories may be fine for you if you are in good health and it is appropriate for your height. Your doctor would probably have commented on your need for calories if you seem to be heading in an unhealthy direction. You're checking your food intake for a college course so I guess that this is going to be a learning experience anyway and your instructor will be giving great feedback when you hand in your food logs!
Adding fats to foods really piles on calories (a gram of fat is more than twice the calories of a gram of carbohydrate or protein). That's a way to add calories without getting the vitamins and minerals you're talking about!
Taking a daily vitamin supplement that is pretty conservative (not mega-doses of vitamins) is one way people who diet try to address the vitamin/calorie tug-of-war. Especially when dieting, as organized weight loss groups demonstrate when they advise members who are consistently cutting calories.
If you glance at the outlines of your 'thumbnail' graphs you've shown, you can see that the peaks and valleys do vary - doesn't that seem like a good thing? That makes me think that your diet could average out to be pretty good, especially given your sample menu filled with whole foods. Speaking solely as a person who's always dieting. Pure amateur.
I don't know if anybody can pack a regular diet so that every day it varies AND gives you all the nutrients you need within the confines of a constant limit of calories. Years ago, I attended a talk given at my work place. The topic was, 'Yes, you CAN get all your nutrition with food and just 1500 calories.' It was a masterpiece of juggling and figuring and measuring, but the nutritionist (my workplace did research, so she was pretty good) considered it an entire project worth an hour of talk. I went to the talk out of curiosity, but there are many times I wish I could hear that presentation again!
I'm not actually that bothered about the calories. I mentioned it because I have calories to work with 500-800 on some days and I am not getting the nutrients. I am not getting the RDA of all the nutrients even though I am eating health items. I am looking for advice on how to pack these nutrients into these excess calories. I don't want to take a multi vitamin, or drink any special drinks, etc. I pretty much eat anything, there isn't much I don't like or want to eat. It needs to be organic and it needs to be healthy. I will freely admit I am an amateur, I am not really sure what you mean by that, that is why I am asking an advice. The reason I provided the pictures is because I wanted to show just how much my diet varies. My goal for my class is to find a way to stabilize my diet with healthy organic items.
It's quite a task! And making it all-organic adds to the challenge. But today of all times, with google and all the information available, it's a better time than ever to be able to plan meals that you know are going to be nutritious. When I said 'amateur,' I meant that I'M not a professional in a medical field.
I know some doctors refer patients to a professional for help planning meals when there is diabetes or some other metabolic challenge. Have you thought of checking in with your doctor and seeing if that kind of consultation is available to you?
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