Tracking my Food Intake, One Girl Scout Cookie at a Time


Every Monday morning when I (once again) get serious about eating healthy and losing weight, I turn to a free, addictive, iPhone application called My Fitness Pal.  With it you can log the caloric content of every damn little thing you stick in your mouth.  It will even provide you with statistics on how many saturated fats you binged on while eating those Girl Scout cookies, how many sugars you let slip past your lips with that left over holiday candy, and how much vitamin C you’ve stored up in preparation for the seasonal cold that’s aimed in your direction.  In fact, I bet if you search the database you could even find out how many carbs you ingested when you licked that stamp. 

You can also log your activities, including how long you were involved in them.  I assume that this is so that you can figure out how far you’d have to run to cancel out the glass of pinot noir you plan to have afterwards.  Their list of activities includes my yoga and jogging but I can also choose from belly dancing and archery (which they interestingly clarify as “non-hunting”) as well as ice fishing and lawn darts.  I doubt I’ll be participating in those last four any time soon but it’s nice to know that if I decide to go all Hunger Games and take up the bow and arrow, I’ll be able to track the calories.

The way this application works is that you look up the food in the extensive database and it will pull up not just the calories but the fat, protein, carbs, vitamins, fiber, etc.  I recently learned that you can also scan the barcode on many food products and it will automatically pull up all of this information!  I was so excited to show this to Doc B that I gave her an animated “look at this!” demo using the barcode on a can of tuna fish.  In typical Doc B incredulous fashion, here was the response:  “great, let’s start eating all pre-packaged meals.”

Thank goodness for those flavorful, organic, often home grown or at least locally grown, meals that Doc B prepares for us.  Just for fun, I may staple a few barcodes to the top of the parsnips we’re growing in the front yard.


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