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The Daily Plate, Day 3

Posted by tinako on June 14, 2010

This is my last day on assignment to use the MyPlate tool at livestrong.com.

Breakfast this morning was the same, Whole Wheat Raisin Toast and grapefruit juice.  This time I entered my own bread recipe instead of just using whatever was already on the site, and mine has more calories.

One thing that is hard to get used to, in three days anyway, is having to measure the total amount that a recipe makes.  So, having to count the number of slices of bread I will cut, or measure out the pasta sauce before I pour some on the pasta.  I was proud to have measured my own serving, but kept forgetting to measure the total until the dish was half consumed.

Lunch was complicated.  I went to a semi-potluck luncheon and brought Tabouleh to pass.  I cut the oil and salt in half.  It was still pretty good, fresh, the taste of the wheat really coming through.  I didn’t want to make a fuss, so I just picked items I could be sure of without asking anyone, and my plate was full.  I had the tabouleh, a big helping of raw veggies, and then there was a pita/hummus/fava bean/kalamata olive/artichoke heart plate to which I joyfully helped myself.  The hummus tasted suspiciously dairy-like – I thought I would be safe with that, but who knows?  When I entered this stuff into MyPlate, cholesterol popped up via the pita bread, so I guess people put who-knows-what in that.  I never entered in the two fava beans or tablespoon of hummus I ate.  I also had seven blue corn tortillas.  I though that was a ridiculously small amount to take, but it turned out to be a full calorific serving.  I passed on dessert; there was pie that might have been safe, but I knew I’d be having dessert after dinner.

I had a pinch of raisins and some strawberries midafternoon.

Warm Lentil Salad

For dinner I made Pita Bread and had Warm Lentil Salad in it.  Also we had broccoli.

And then that leftover Coconut Chocolate Chip Cake.  This time I entered it in as a recipe and it came out with different calories than on day 1.

Here is the readout: MyPlate3

I like this site pretty well, but despite the ease in entering things, it is also easy to make big mistakes if you are not very careful, mostly having to do with how people have entered the items you choose to eat.  Someone entered an item as “cinnamon” and it turned out to be a cinnamon muffin.  I didn’t pick it up until I saw cholesterol in my final reading.  Something went wrong with the sugar entry I chose for the cake and it made it look like a slice had a tenth of a gram of sugar (there are 4g/t).  I don’t think so.  Again, I didn’t notice it until I was perusing the final analysis.    I chose a different entry and it came out better.

I have a series of red numbers at the bottom today.  Most of them are only over by a tiny bit, but sugar was way over.  I took a look and they think I should only have 37 g, but 37 g today came from fruit, and I don’t think I consumed an unreasonable amount of that.  Oh, I just realized that the reason I never noticed this on the previous days is that the “grapefruit juice” entry I selected before showed 0 g sugar.  You have to be careful – this stuff is user-defined and I am finding a lot of incorrect/misleading entries.

Back to the day’s summary, what’s up with criticizing me for getting more fiber?  Fiber has between 0-4 calories per gram and is good for the body – they should be setting a minimum, not a target maximum with red marks for going over.  Also, I think it would be more helpful if the weekly and monthly percents were prorated so I could see how I was doing based on the number of days I had been entering info, instead of showing me what percent of the monthly sugar allowance was left – what do I do with that information?

Did I mention I discovered you can pay a fee and they will show you other nutrients?  If I was trying to lose weight and was going to put the time into this site, I would spring for that for six months to see how I was doing.

So it was interesting, I learned a lot, and could probably learn a lot more, but I am glad to be done measuring.  I think a lot of what I was learning is exactly the sort of thing that people learn at Weight Watchers or by reading diet books.  Like, that nuts have a lot of calories, but oil is just insane.  I am rethinking my beloved Focaccia.

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