Health class summary: I ♥

My final discussion board for my Health and Wellness class. We had to post a summation of the “experience activity” that we chose to do as our project. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had bought a bicycle so I could get some exercise since I’m woefully negligent in that regard. I’ve had two responders to my post so far, both finding my comments amusing and that they may also try the website I used. Here’s my summation; perhaps it will inspire you, dear reader, to use it as well:

Summary: For my assignment, I used to track everything I ate as well as any exercise I got. I really enjoyed the interactive spreadsheet style software program (I ♥ spreadsheets) because it showed me through graphs, pie charts and uber details everything from calorie intake to expenditure and most importantly nutrition. If you don’t find the specific food you are looking for, you can easily create your own “custom foods.” Some of mine included my box of Triscuit garlic & rosemary crackers and my new gummy vitamins (see below). You simply enter the information off of the nutrition label on the box. If anyone wants to give it a try, I heartily recommend the site. One thing to keep in mind when you enter your actitivities is that the clock shown is for 24 hours; don’t forget to include the number of hours you SLEEP! Yes, you do burn calories while sleeping. I also used the “track weight” feature just to see since weighing myself isn’t something I usually do. I paid attention during the course of the experiment and found I held steady.

My discoveries: (1) For the past two decades, I was merrily eating whole grains, leafy green vegetables, organic eggs from my hens, almonds, legumes, tuna and salmon, trimming the excess fat off of my steak and chicken and limiting my pig intake to the occasional roast or super thick chop –  with the occasional Rice Krispy treat or brownie, but all the time still quite proud of my healthy eating habits and believing that my diet was nutritionally sound. I’m blessed to have had 40 years of very fast metabolism and was certain that using this online tool was going to act as a pat on my back telling me how totally responsible an eater I am, perhaps with a slight chiding as to the lack of strenuous exercise I have been guilty of over the past few years.

Well, sometime back in my twenties I developed a lactose intolerance that  made me have to switch over to soy milk. I saw “calcium added” on the front of the soy milk carton and presumed it the nutritional equivalent to my beloved whole milk and didn’t give further thought to calcium deficiency and bone density issues that one faces as we age. What I observed from the nutrition graphs generated by my input was that I was getting some calcium, but alarmingly, virtually NO Vitamin D. For anyone who doesn’t know, Vitamin D is mandatory in order for the body to convert said calcium into a usable form that the body can use instead of just letting it pass on through. Once I discovered this nutritional shortage, I immediately went out and bought vitamins off the shelf at Food Lion (I ♥ chewable vitamins) that combine the calcium with Vitamin D and also I researched and found liquid D3 to add as a supplement (ordered it online – tastes like cherry KoolAid – a tablespoon is the dose – I use it to flavor my bottled water).

My discoveries: (2) I need more exercise. Maintaining weight on a relatively thin, but squishy body is still indicative of being out of shape regardless if the scale doesn’t change from day to day. I bought a bicycle a few weeks ago to go with this assignment. No gears. Old-fashioned kind like the one I learned how to ride on back in the early 70s. I’m not Lance Armstrong and he’ll get no competition from me, but at least I get my office-chair shaped backside out several times a week (not when it’s cold; I hate it when it’s cold out).

Going forward: I have continued tracking my food and exercise since I began the experiment and am carefully monitoring my nutritional intake for balance. definitely appeals to the control freak/geek in me (did I mention I ♥ spreadsheets?). Before typing this post, I consumed and then entered my newest “custom food” item: chocolate chip mint ice cream……okay, okay, hush. BlueBunny ice cream seems to be lactose free, that’s all I can say because it’s the only brand that doesn’t bother me. I also bike for two or three miles in the evening. When it’s not cold or rainy out. As long as my calorie intake remains well below my total expended calories, I’m good.

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