Nutrition Software - Post your tips here

cheval

Cathlete
I thought it might be a great idea to post tips and work-arounds in one thread so that we can have a central place to find tips. I'd like to see the thread with lots of tips. Maybe try to make sure there is at least one tip in each post so that this becomes a nice repository. I'm interested in other tips people have.

I'll start off with a couple of my tips in following posts.

April
 

cheval

Cathlete
Create Custom Food from Recipe

If you put in the individual ingredients as a recipe, then you end up having all the ingredients added to your mealplan instead of a single line item.

I don't like that, generally, for true recipes, so I create a custom food from a single serving of the recipe.

  • Create a recipe by adding the ingredients to a recipe
  • Add a single serving to an empty mealplan (no other foods on that day)
  • Open a new window of my web browser. (referred to as Browser 2)
  • In browser 2, navigate to create a new custom food.
  • In browser 1 that has the mealplan with the single serving of the recipe, hover over each of the letter grades for the nutrient values. You'll get the value and the % of recommendation. Use this information to fill in the custom food fields in browser 2.
  • Save the custom food in brower 2.
  • Now I just add the custom food to my mealplans
  • Recipe can be deleted
This process allows me to get and use the nutritional value of a recipe without cluttering my mealplan with individual ingredients.

April
 

cheval

Cathlete
Use Recipes as groupings of food oft eaten

Create a recipe with all the parts of a meal that you eat a lot.

This is a very typical lunch for me.

4 oz baby carrots
1 oz hummus
20 grams natural peanut butter
1 slice 12-grain bread
8 oz natural applesauce

I create a recipe with those items and then when I add the recipe to my mealplan, I have 5 line items that I can tweak if I eat a little more or less of each thing.

As Nancy noted in another thread, recipes can't be added to your favorites. So it's not quite as useful as it could be.

April
 

cheval

Cathlete
Login Procedure

I still seem to have some issues logging into the forum and the nutrition software at the same time using FireFox. I found it irritating to log out and clear my cookies all the time, so I came up with the following solution.

I use FireFox for the forums and Internet Explorer for the Nutrition software. It works great and I never have to log out of the forums. I have a password program that automatically fills in my username and password, so in minimal clicks, I'm in the Workout Manager and/or the Nutrition Software without having to log out of the forums.

April
 

DeanaMax

Cathlete
I still seem to have some issues logging into the forum and the nutrition software at the same time using FireFox. I found it irritating to log out and clear my cookies all the time, so I came up with the following solution.

I use FireFox for the forums and Internet Explorer for the Nutrition software. It works great and I never have to log out of the forums. I have a password program that automatically fills in my username and password, so in minimal clicks, I'm in the Workout Manager and/or the Nutrition Software without having to log out of the forums.

April

oh clever! great idea. thanks for sharing
 

NancyAZ

Cathlete
Create a recipe with all the parts of a meal that you eat a lot.

This is a very typical lunch for me.

4 oz baby carrots
1 oz hummus
20 grams natural peanut butter
1 slice 12-grain bread
8 oz natural applesauce

I create a recipe with those items and then when I add the recipe to my mealplan, I have 5 line items that I can tweak if I eat a little more or less of each thing.

As Nancy noted in another thread, recipes can't be added to your favorites. So it's not quite as useful as it could be.

April
I'm doing this also, creating recipes for a lunch salad I eat quite often, as well as a dinner salad. In this case, I am leaving it as a recipe and won't try to create it as a custom food so that I can add and subtract as I need to for that day. For example, I have snap peas listed in the recipe, but I don't always have them. When I add the recipe to my day, I can delete that particular ingredient.
 

dannygirl1

New Member
potassium

Has anyone notced the RDA for potassium is too high? It says 4700 mg but from other websites I checked it appears to be more like 3500 mg/day.
 

NancyAZ

Cathlete
Has anyone notced the RDA for potassium is too high? It says 4700 mg but from other websites I checked it appears to be more like 3500 mg/day.

I hadn't looked it up yet, but I was really surprised to see that I'm getting Fs in that every day and thought I did well with potassium. If the RDA is wrong, that would sure make a difference.

Another thing I'm finding is that some of the calorie counts are really high. For example, I was surprised to see that Egg Beaters are not listed. They do list something like "Egg Beaters, scrambled eggs from frozen" -- don't quote me on the verbiage. Although I don't use frozen I put that into my meal plan and was shocked to see the calorie count -- way high. I ended up having to create a custom food for liquid Egg Beaters.

I found the same with generic hash browns and a chicken breast, of all things. I couldn't believe you can't just select a plain ole chicken breast -- another custom food! And I'm going by the package NI info, not just my wishful thinking on these things. I think the hash browns in the program came out to 300+ calories, while in actuality they are 70.
 

cheval

Cathlete
Custom Foods based on Database foods

Along the lines of what Nancy said... I have a lot of custom foods because I can't find "pure" foods or the counts seem a bit off. But many nutrition labels don't have all the vitamin and extra nutrients. Lots of time potassium is left off a label and only A, Calcium, C, and Iron are given. So I create custom foods based on database foods.


  • Search for a food you want. We'll use wheat germ as an example. Click on Wheat Germ, plain.
  • Click on the Custom Food tab.
  • Then choose the amount you want to base your custom food on. I like to consult the jar of wheat germ for serving size in grams. In this case, it's 13 grams.
  • Click Create Custom Food.
  • Replace all information in the Food with values from the jar, leave the filled in values that are not present on the jar.
Still not ideal, but a closer match to reality, I think.

I've also found that sodium counts differ a lot from the package. As in the database shows way higher sodium than the package.

April
 

NancyAZ

Cathlete
This is a great tip about tweaking the database entry into the custom food so that you get all of the nutrients listed. That could very well be why I'm so low on the potassium because, as you say, it's often not on the food labels (and funny you should use the wheat germ example, because I have it with meals every day). And the whole sodium thing makes more sense now, too. I really didn't think I was getting that much sodium in my diet -- but maybe I was just clueless!

It's a good thing you're so inventive and are around to help the rest of us. Thanks!
 

cheval

Cathlete
Happy to help, Nancy. I just find things that work for me and pass them on. :)

Another tip along the lines of custom foods from the database. Sometimes I'll go looking for a food and I can only find the food "cooked with no specification to..."

Like oatmeal. I have some instant oatmeal packets. One is Golden Brown Sugar. The packet is 46 grams and calls for 1/2 cup of water. I convert 1/2 cup to ounces (4) and then to grams (113). I add the weight of the water to the weight of the oatmeal (159) and use 159 grams as my serving size of database food to base my custom food off of so I'm getting more accurate calorie counts from the database.

Sometimes if you look at the drop-down choices, you can find what you're looking for as a dry (example: Pasta, Spaghetti, 2 oz dry yields 140 grams), but not always, so I use the previous example to find good foods to based my custom foods on.

BTW, DH and I did a test and found that, sure enough, 2 oz of dry pasta weighs 140 grams after cooking and draining. :)

April
 

cheval

Cathlete
Vitamins

I have found that as I'm making food better choices, I'm either just taking 1/2 pill or none at all. I take my vitamins at night, so I already know if I got all the nutrients from my food.

I add my multi-vitamin, calcium and vitamin c as different custom foods.

Go one step further like Nancy and add daily vitamins to a recipe and then the recipe to the snacks section of favorites to add all to a mealplan in one fell swoop.

April
 

cheval

Cathlete
Remembering Mealplans

I figure as I get some good mealplans, I'll want to reuse them periodically. Right now, it's hard to do that. If the Find a Mealplan allowed me to search my own mealplans, that would be perfect, but right now, it only searches the global mealplans.

So I came up with the following system to catalog my mealplans.

  • Create a mealplan I'm happy with
  • Take a screenshot of the mealplan page. (I use ScreenHunter Free, but there are lots of good screen capture programs out there.)
  • Drag the screenshot file into a directory called mealplans where all my other screenshots are.
  • Rename the screenshot file in the following manner: 3.92gpa_1623cal.jpg This means the meal has a 3.92 GPA and is 1623 calories.
  • Now when looking for a mealplan, I can go into my mealplans directory and look at the screenshots for good mealplans. When I find one I want, I can see the date I originally ate that plan and go back to copy and paste or simply recreate the mealplan using the screenshot as a guide.
I don't do this with all my mealplans. Just the ones that balance and I end up sticking to really well.

April
 

NancyAZ

Cathlete
I figure as I get some good mealplans, I'll want to reuse them periodically. Right now, it's hard to do that. If the Find a Mealplan allowed me to search my own mealplans, that would be perfect, but right now, it only searches the global mealplans.

So I came up with the following system to catalog my mealplans.

  • Create a mealplan I'm happy with
  • Take a screenshot of the mealplan page. (I use ScreenHunter Free, but there are lots of good screen capture programs out there.)
  • Drag the screenshot file into a directory called mealplans where all my other screenshots are.
  • Rename the screenshot file in the following manner: 3.92gpa_1623cal.jpg This means the meal has a 3.92 GPA and is 1623 calories.
  • Now when looking for a mealplan, I can go into my mealplans directory and look at the screenshots for good mealplans. When I find one I want, I can see the date I originally ate that plan and go back to copy and paste or simply recreate the mealplan using the screenshot as a guide.
I don't do this with all my mealplans. Just the ones that balance and I end up sticking to really well.

April

I haven't gotten organized enough yet or even delved into the option of looking at other people's plans. And I'm not really doing a plan, just tracking my food each day at this point, but keeping an eye on values so that I know whether I need to add something. Your work-around is a great idea. I'm printing this little tip, too!

I had subscribed to just a month of the service, beginning August 1st. I'm thinking that with all of the front-end work that needs to be done, even if at the end of the month I'm not sure whether I want to continue I will likely do at least a second month just so I can see what it's like to have it much more of an automatic system, rather than having to spend so much time creating recipes and custom foods. My inclination so far is that I will probably keep it, but, again, I want to see whether it just feeds my need obsessive love of lists or is truly helpful :rolleyes:
 

AbPursuit

Active Member
How I'm querying protein, carb, fat ratios?

What I've been doing to accomplish this is put in my ratio choices under "find a mealplan". For example, I query it to High Protein, Low Carb, Low Fat. Then I choose a mealplan and change according to my food likes/dislikes.

Is there a way to accomplish this when setting up your profile for your height, weight, activity level? Am I missing a step? I would like to "set" my ratio preferences so I can create my own meal plans and be able to track what I prefer to eat and it let me know if I'm staying within these ranges. Is the way I'm doing this the only way to work around?

Thanks in advance for anyone's help....;).

Gwen
aka AbPursuit
 

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