Keeping a Visual Food Diary

 

Food Diary

Can I just gush a little bit about how excited I am that I discovered the app Two Grand?  No, they aren’t paying me to endorse it!

When I first started following a primal/paleo diet about 4 years ago, one of the ways I kept myself on track was by blogging about everything I ate.  No, I didn’t publish lengthy blog posts on a daily basis, but I did keep a private blog as a sort of food diary. It helped. A ton. I lost about 12 pounds in a month, gained a ton of energy, got rid of debilitating headaches, and got pregnant after 6 years of infertility.  I was finally happy with my body and happy to finally be expecting.

If you’ve ever been pregnant, you’ll know that not much can stand in the way of certain cravings.  During my pregnancy, I maintained my healthier eating habits for the most part, but succumbed to occasional cheats, mostly in the form of ice cream and french fries.  I managed to gain only about 25 pounds and take it off rather quickly, weighing less after about 4 months post-partum than I did before I got preggo.

Unfortunately, I guess I’ve never been fully “on track” since those food diary days.  I am definitely an all-or-nothing type of person.  A small bite of cake at a party can quickly turn into a slippery slope of daily bad choices.  Over the years, I have gone through phases of strict adhesion to the Primal lifestyle mixed with days and sometimes weeks of reckless abandon (c’mon, I was on vacation!)  But lately, I have been really kicking myself in the butt for not having a little more self-discipline, especially at night when I usually sit down with a glass of wine and some kind of snack after my cherub falls asleep. Oh yeah, we’re trying to have another baby too, so that’s really my biggest motivation for wanting to get back on track and get my hormones in check.

Yesterday, I started searching for a food diary app so that I could record what I’m eating a little more conveniently without having to fire up the laptop or actually enter it into a blog post format.  Most of the apps out there involve calorie-counting and some sort of database where you can search for every manufactured food under the sun.  I don’t count calories.  Ugh.  I also cook a lot, so entering in the individual ingredients for every recipe and then trying to figure out a portion size is just way too much work.  I was about to give up and then I noticed Two Grand.

This is basically the Instagram of food diaries.  You just take a picture of everything you eat.  Put a caption on it if you want to, then share it with your followers.  That’s it.  You can also follow other members who have similar eating habits or similar weight loss goals or who are at the target goal you would like to reach.  This way you can get ideas for meals or snacks from people who are similar to you.  Once you’ve added some photos, you can see your entire day at once and you can record other data like your mood, health status, etc.  You can also track your water intake and exercise.  All without counting a single calorie.  Hallelujah.

I am really excited to get started with this and I hope it will be helpful.  Do you find it helpful to keep a food diary to meet your health goals?  Would you consider trying this app?  If you do, you can follow me @AScenicDetour

the best way to cook spaghetti squash

Whether you are following a low carb diet or just trying to get more veggies in your life, spaghetti squash is a great substitute for pasta.  I tried to make it when we first went grain-free, as a substitute for my old, classic favorite (spaghetti), and I hated it.  I was so disappointed because I wanted to like it.  I love spaghetti and I knew I was going to miss it.  Spaghetti squash was my answer and it completely let me down.

A few weeks ago, we were buying produce at an Amish farm nearby.  I spotted the spaghetti squash and decided to give it another try.  I was worried about the best way to cook it and questioned a few of my coworkers on the best method.  I settled on baking it and it turned out so, so good.  We devoured it with meat sauce and grated parmesan.  I have no idea what happened the first time I made it.  I can’t remember how I cooked it, but it was watery and had a weird taste.  This time, it was perfect.

To bake the squash, cut it in half lengthwise (be careful with that knife!) and scoop out the seeds and pulp.

Now place the halves cut side down on a baking sheet like this:

DSC_0385

Place them in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the squash.  When it’s done, use a fork to gently scrape out the flesh.  It should come out in strands that look very similar to spaghetti.

DSC_0386

 

And that’s it…easy peasy!  Just use it as a substitute for spaghetti and you won’t need a nap 20 minutes after eating.