A few weeks back I wrote about the great soy fiasco here and here. Not much new to report other than all issues caused by the soy have reversed themselves or have greatly improved. Still have some thyroid issues to deal with but I am hopeful that will be fixed soon too. When I posted about what I experienced I mentioned a web site that I have fallen in love with… SparkPeople. It is 100% free and 100% awesome.
I found it initially via Facebook and immediately became hooked. I have heard lots of people refer to it as a weight loss resource like Weight Watchers, which it is… but I would personally classify it as a community for health enthusiasts or those that want to be. There are literally thousands of people there to lose weight but there are just as many there to track other goals related to health and fitness, aka their marathon training, weight training, and/or the nutrition in the foods they eat. I love it because it allows me to input each and everything I eat and every exercise that I do and let me compartmentalize and see how nutrient dense and healthy my diet is. That became important to me when I went vegetarian because so often you get questions about how you get x,y, or z without meat and this site helps you track that info yourself so you armed and ready.
You track the big three of course… fats, protein, and carbs. But those are less important to me as the vitamins and minerals you can also track. My carbs to protein ratio is not fascinating to me but my intake of iron, folate, B vitamins, and calcium is. You can track just about everything you could ever want and it gets organized into neato little pie graphs and charts at the end of each day. It totally takes the guesswork out the equation. You know what you are eating and what you are getting out of it each day. And yes, it gives calorie info for everything automatically so if you want to lose weight the system helps with that too. It was by using this record of my meals that I was able to see what had changed in my diet and caused the problems with my thyroid and hormones.
Most of what you see above was already in the system and I only had to search for it to add it to my menu for the day. It already had info for the grass fed yogurt from Whole Foods and the Trader Joe’s Greens Powder. Other things I have to add when I cannot find them or I use a substitute. I didn’t have the Sun Warrior Activated Barely today I had a the Sun Warrior Raw Ormus SuperGreens but that wasn’t in their search database and I didn’t have the packaging on me to enter it manually. So yes, that is a cheat but usually I am pretty spot on. I don’t think I have the Ancient Harvest brand Quinoa either but I figured there wasn’t likely to be a lot of variation so I just used that data rather than manually enter my brand.. which was just organic bulk quinoa from the market. After looking at this I see something I forgot to add… doh! I had chia seeds for lunch too.
I like how there are water intake and a fruit/veggies toggle buttons. It is nice to press those toggle buttons and see your numbers for the day go up, up, up. Drinking water is sometimes a struggle for me and this feature helps.
The photo above shows the nutrition section but there is also another section for Fitness. You look up any activity you did from a 30 minute yoga class to 30 minutes of heavy cleaning and it calculates calories burned and adds those minutes to your fitness totals. There are even virtual trophies for fitness minutes that you can earn each month. You can set up goals like mine, which is to walk/run 5 miles a week and swim twice. The weight training section allows you add any weight lifting exercises you do whether it be via circuit training machines or free weights and it keeps them in memory so that you can check them off when you complete them on future days and weeks.
And as if all that wasn’t amazing enough it really is a community with forums that are general and specific to your region. You can join fitness teams in your city and even look for a fitness buddy. You can also set up your own personal Sparkpage and blog.
This site has become so valuable to me I just had to share. Enjoy!