As most of you who have been following me for any length of time know, I get GI issues when I run. Randomly. I haven’t entirely been able to pinpoint what triggers it. I think dairy may be a factor (if I have milk or ice cream the night before a hard workout, I get GI issues). But sometimes dairy doesn’t seem to trigger it. Jen suggested that I keep a food diary for awhile to try to figure out the cause (dairy? wheat? fatty foods?).
So this week I started tracking what I eat on Livestrong.com – on their MyPlate app. Very cool app! Very easy to input the foods you eat, water you drink, fitness you do. It initially asks you your age and goal (lose a pound a week? maintain? gain?). And then it computes, each time you enter a food, where you are in terms of your calorie intake for the day to meet your goal. It has very pretty graphs that show the breakdown of what you eat in terms of carbs, protien and fat. You just click a button to add a glass of water to track how much water you drink each day. I figured this would be a good way to track what I eat and try to correlate it to any issues that develop.
Well, after 4 days of doing this, I haven’t figured out what causes the issues yet (they haven’t happened yet), but here is what I’ve learned:
- I don’t drink as much water as I thought I was drinking
- I set it for trying to maintain my weight, so my calorie goal for each day is 2185 calories.
- I don’t eat nearly enough calories on the days I run (yesterday for example, I ate 2795 calories, but I burned 1254 on my 10 mile run, so I still needed to eat another 630 calories to maintain my weight)
- I’ve also learned that I have NO CLUE about how much calories/sodium/etc. is in some of my “regulars”. For example, the sandwhich and chips I get about 3 times a week from Jimmy John’s? I would have guessed it was about 650 calories total. Nope! It’s nearly 1000 calories. And loaded with sodium.
- I eat more sugar than apparently your “supposed” to. No surprise there.
Tracking this stuff is a complete PITA. And, frankly, I don’t want to know. I like eating 6 delicious pilsbury chocolate chip cookies at one sitting. I don’t care if they are 170 calories each. I’m lucky and don’t need to worry about my weight and how many calories I put in my mouth. But now when I input 6 cookies and it kicks out the number of calories I just consumed as being 1020 for a snack, well then I start to get a little irritated (at the My Plate app, not at the cookies!). I also don’t like having another “thing” to track. I already have enough stuff that I do on the computer each morning (check the weather; enter my garmin data on runningahead.com; check google reader; read the obituaries; check FB; check twitter; check email; check KR; update blog). I have too much to do to worry about inputting every morsel of food that I put in my mouth into a database!
So, as much as I like the pretty graphs on My Plate, I’m calling it quits. I’ll loosely keep track of what I eat the old fashioned way – with a pen, in a notebook – and I’ll see if I can spot a pattern. But I’m done with My Plate!