Day 13, Why You Need to Record Your Food

“The Diary tab is where you log all your daily items you wish to track. You can also view a detailed summary of the micro and macronutrients you have logged.
Your diary will display:
  • Entry type
  • Description of Entry
  • Amount of entered entry
  • Unit type
Calories (this column is configurable for gold users to show preferred nutrient value)”


I reached my lowest weight since Day One.  I lost 1.4 kilos in 12 days–more than three pounds.  Last nights fast was again a little challenging.  However, I finished my work on yesterday’s blog entry and even read this journey’s previous entries from Day One thru September 18th.  This morning, with a little more rest, I feel okay.  It helped that I slept until past 5:00 AM, which is my goal.
How are you today?  Have you been losing weight?  I hope you have if you need to.  Has this blog breathed new life into you?  My graph shows that the ride is not all downhill.  It goes up and down.  For me, that is normal.  On September 24th, my weight went back up, and I had to talk myself into sticking with my process.

Motivation Myth

The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden introduced me to the concept that keeping your eye on the process is more crucial than remembering the goal.  I focused on my food diary and intermittent fasting, and things turned around again.  Even though the results so far look promising, they are less consequential than developing the habits that support them.


I am checking  9:00 AM appears to be the best time for my morning walk to the library and park.  I can finish breakfast by then and go.  Today, I believe I will start with a prayer.


Dear Lord,
The sun has not risen yet, but soon will.  If all goes well, I may reach my goal weight before Day 110.  I want to continue blogging and stabilize my weight loss.  That is almost as hard as losing and requires essentially the same process.  Showing my readers that could be valuable to them.
I am so grateful that I turned the corner with my depression and weight.  The treatment for depression is not only a regimen of pills and counseling.  It also involves finding creativity, purpose, and meaningful work.  It requires loving, connected relationships.  As humans, we need those things for sound physical and mental health.  So often, the mentally ill are sidelined to leisure pursuits that mean nothing to anyone.  They are cut off from others, perhaps having no one but their counselors to talk to if they are lucky enough to afford counsel.
Fortunately, life is starting to have meaning.  It goes beyond losing weight.  I am finding joyful vibrancy.  Last night, I read part of Joy on Demand by Chade-Meng Tan.
Rather than being an M.D. or Ph.D., he is a software engineer at Google, so I can relate to his type of work.  He has practiced and studied meditation on the side and has helped his co-workers achieve more happiness, creativity, and productivity.  Google realizes that happy employees make more money for the company.  Chade-Meng says that success does not make you joyful, but rather happiness can make you more successful.
Lord, I want to return to my day.  The best way to start it is with some guided meditation.  I often use Stuart Kaplan’s Finding Your Purpose in Insight Timer.
Help me to say things that are empowering to my readers today.
I got up, made the bed, dressed in a gray pair of Levis that did not fit me a few days ago, and listened to the morning news.  I listened to 8 Tips to Overcome Depression by Andrea Wachter on Insight Timer.  She did not mention meaningful work, except to assume that you already have a job.  However, she touched on relationships and overcoming isolation.  And she said not to believe your depression when it tells you to isolate or avoid self-care.
Now I have finished Finding Your Purpose.  I broke in the middle to get my husband’s breakfast.   It is now time to get my own, more than 18 hours from the start of my fast yesterday afternoon.
Joy Fast
18 hours 15 minutes
Sep 25, 2020 2:33 PM
Sep 26, 2020 8:48 AM
No comments.
I called it Joy Fast. Not every moment was pure joy, but it feels joyful to accomplish it.  I had energy!  I did not have to go to bed until bedtime, and I woke up at about five.  Once the body switches into fat-burning mode, it has an almost endless supply of fuel onboard.  Fasting helps switch the body into its fat-burning metabolism.  You may have noticed that fasting gets easier once you pass the first three or four hours, before which you are still depending on your sugar metabolism.   If you graze all day and possibly all night, too, you never make this switch.  The body is designed by the Universe to go for periods without food.  Take advantage of what nature has to offer you instead of letting it work against you.
I walked to the park and library, taking back a book.  I stopped at the dry cleaners and picked up a blazer jacket waiting for me during my return.  As I returned to our building, a neighbor remarked, “gorgeous jacket.”  I forgot the DVD from yesterday that did not work on my computer.  However, I have some more time to take it back–no problem at all.

Achieve 50 kg Mindmap

To continue my morning, I will look at my Achieve 50 kg mindmap.  It has sprawled past the bounds of the computer screen.  However, you can move the map around.  It is intended to be read like a clock, starting at about 1:00 PM.
Step one is to weigh daily. Some nutritionists and even our scales’ manufacturer state that you should use the scale no more than once a week.  I believe you need feedback more often than that.  However, if you get emotionally upset over your readings, you may not want to weigh as often.  If you cannot eliminate, you can forget that day’s weighing.
Step two is to check blood pressure and record it in Cronometer.  You only need to do this if blood pressure is a concern for you.  It seems to be a notable concern for my doctor, who checks it every time I visit.  I have not been checking it every day.  However, it is not bad to do so as my blood pressure goes up and down with my electrolyte balance.  If you are bothering to improve your diet, you may want to track your blood pressure.
Step three is exercise. Exercise is highly individual and is best tailored to your fitness level.  I have included four exercises prescribed by my chiropractor.  There are probably thousands of exercise routines on the Web, each one offering different benefits.  Beware.  The experts’ exercise routines may not suit you very well and could even be dangerous.  People that are highly trained in a specific yoga pose, for instance, may make it look easy, but in fact, it certainly is not.  I damaged my knees doing yoga poses years ago and required physical therapy to regain their function.  Look for something you find doable or are willing to spend the time training for.  The best exercise for you is the one you will do.
Walking is a free exercise for nearly everyone.  However, it does not offer the flexibility training that yoga does or the strength building that weight training provides.  In my youth, swimming was my favorite exercise.  All around, it probably is the best exercise.  I have tried to coax myself back into swimming several times.  However, the chlorine interacts with my medicine, causing eczema.  I have also had trouble maintaining my body temperature in the pool.  Both of these challenges are probably related to my medications.  Nevertheless, I still hope to swim again in the future when I work around those roadblocks and find the time away from my husband to go.  In the meantime, I am enjoying my walks outside, where I can get enough sunlight to affect my mood.
Step four is to keep a complete Cronometer record daily. This may seem like a drag, but the activity can actually become enjoyable.  I have shared my Cronometer food diary with you each day to show what I am doing and encourage you to keep a food diary of your own.  Doing this increases dramatically your chances of reaching your ideal weight.
I have found a food diary indispensable in keeping off my weight since I weighed almost 150 pounds in 1996.  When I lost some weight earlier than that, I used a hand-written food diary.  That was before there was useful food diary software for the computer.  I signed up at Weight Loss Clinic, now no longer in existence, which helped me lose over thirty pounds.
In the 1990s, I lost weight on my own, without professional assistance with the help of a food diary.  However, I had already had some experience losing weight.  If you are starting out, you may need help from a health coach or an organization like Weight Watchers.  You may think you can do it on your own, but losing weight is a lot more challenging than you probably think.  Many people go down five pounds, up five pounds in an endless cycle.  All professional sportspeople use coaches; you need them too.
If you want the whole enchilada, you can get certified as a health coach.  I did that at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York.  While doing my online course, I reduced from 119 to 113 pounds, which was my goal.  Now I can help others, but I cannot forget the Weight Loss Clinic.  I saw an exacting counselor and got weighed every day.  It might take that.  Do not let anyone fool you; changing your body mass takes more than popular magazines would have you believe.
Even though the Institute of Integrative Nutrition was informative and inspiring, they did not emphasize keeping an electronic food diary to control the composition and amount of food consumed.  Therefore, many of its graduates were actually overweight.  They learned how to prepare and eat more wholesome food, but not how to combine it into the body sculpting they may have desired.  On top of that, the Institute did not teach intermittent fasting.  I learned that from a famous health blogger, Dr. Joseph Mercola.  Beware, the answers are not all in one place.  They may not all be in this blog, either.  Commit to lifelong learning and practicing until you have a system that works for you.
Systems like NutriSystem can help you lose weight because they do the measuring and combining for you.  However, beware.  Can you afford to eat that way, and can you stand the food forever?  You may get bored.  One of our IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) values is to eat local food.  NutriSystem will not allow you to do that.  I believe that eating real food is the best way, even if you have to measure it yourself.
Get a digital kitchen scale, which is absolutely priceless in supporting weight loss goals. Use it all the time.  I once used ounces, but now I usually use grams, which are smaller units, allowing a more granular measurement.  You can even buy a scale that measures to the nearest tenth of a gram, like the one I got at King Arthur Baking.  It is especially helpful for measuring salt and spices.  My tiny scale will not handle a whole plate of food, so I use my larger scale most of the time.
It may seem obsessive to do all of this, but who is telling you it is obsessive?  Probably overweight and obese people, who may still think it is easy to lose weight.  They have done it, right?  And then they gained the weight back.  Or perhaps they never reached their ideal weight at all.  They just lost a few pounds.  Most people are not willing to put in the hard work required.  However, if you are still reading this, you probably are eager.  You are fed up with your extra weight.  You want it gone forever.
Step five is to modify behavior. You can make a list of what your behavior modification coach has counseled you to do and track your actions.  Some of them are so unconscious they are impossible to track.  Do not stress if you cannot get yourself to consistently do every behavior.  The most effective behavior modification is to eat mindfully.
For a humorous look into what mindless eating is, read Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by researcher Brian Wansink, Ph.D.  Brian is funny.  You will enjoy reading that book.  My take from the book?  Since we do a poor job of controlling how much we eat, we need to measure and record our food.  We must set limits somehow.  The limit of the plate is one possible alternative.  Take note of the U.S. Government’s MyPlate.
Historically, food was limited automatically.  It was so hard to obtain most of the time, you did not overeat.  Times have changed.  Food is everywhere all the time.  Most of us can afford more food than is healthy for us, especially lower quality food.
Consider buying more high-quality food, even if it is more expensive, and see if that helps.  It has helped me.  One food I decided to eat despite its expense is macadamias.  The cost kept me from consuming too many of them.
Step six is to create new recipes. If you can follow a recipe, more power to you.  There are millions of recipes to choose from.  However, at some point, you may want to modify a recipe or create your own.  These are good skills to have.  You never have to eat the same thing twice.  Most recipes can be changed quite a lot.  Leave out ingredients you do not have.  Add a few in for extra flavor.  But have an idea of what is essential.  As Anne of Green Gables said, “Flour is so essential to cakes!”
Step seven is to prepare food. So far, on this diet, I have not prepared ahead that much.  However, it is useful to do.  One of my favorite recipes is nut bread, a recipe I modified from The Dental Diet by Steven Lin, D.D.S.
High in fiber, very low in sugar, this recipe supports oral health.

Nut Bread

3 1/4 cups
1/4 cup
1/4 cup
1/4 cup
2 cups
organic chia seeds
5 large
large, omega-3 pasture-raised eggs  (if you can get them, otherwise just large eggs)
1/4 cup
extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon
sea salt
1.        Preheat oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.        Chop nuts and seeds or place them in a blender, a part of them at a time, and pulse lightly.  Put in a mixing bowl.
3.        Mix eggs, oil, and salt in a separate mixing bowl.  Combine with nuts and seeds.
4.        Oil a loaf pan (at least 4″ X 8″) and spread the batter evenly in the pan.
5.        Bake for 60 minutes until the bread is firm.  Let it cool, then slice.
This nut bread can help you lose weight if you measure each portion and record it in a food diary.
Step eight is to groom. This includes brushing, flossing, dressing, showering, skin care, etc.
Step nine is to relax and de-stress. The suggestions in this section come from Stress-Proof by Mithu Storoni.  Have I integrated all of them into my life?  Not yet.  Little by little, by repeatedly checking this page, I get them implemented.
Step ten is to take food supplements and medicines. Here I list what I am taking.  Are they right for you?  Possibly.  Research anything you have a question about.  This blog does not prescribe or diagnose medical problems.  You need your medical team to do that for you.  If this outline gives you helpful clues, that is fantastic.  I discuss what I take in my FREE ebook, Joyful Vibrance:  Transform Your Body Image, Energy, and Mood!


While describing my Achieve 50 kg mindmap, I fixed a lunch of cashews and a vegetable salad.  It looks like the ones I have already made, but check the onions and green peppers in the food diary below.  This one is a bit different.


My mid-back started hurting from sitting for so long.  My husband rubbed it for me, and it is feeling much better.
What will my afternoon look like?  I have not yet scored my JV Life Tracker (Vibrancy) for yesterday.  I prefer to do it in the morning when I can still remember what happened yesterday.  However, I do not want to miss a day of scoring.  Let me get that done.


There.  Here is my trend for now.  For the last 10 days, I have scored more than 200 points.  Unless I take on a project even more crucial than what I am doing, my scores will probably not soar much higher.  However, I have been doing exceptionally well for quite some time.  I am thinking of giving my app development a score of 20 points per hour.  (My blog is worth 10 points per hour plus extra credit for specific actions.)  That may help spur me into getting my app re-published.  However, I have to balance it with the work on my blog.  I do not want to upset one project by diving into another.  There is only so much time in a day.


I feel like I want an early afternoon nap.  I could force myself to get a series of activities done, or I can sleep.  I know.  I can do a self-hypnotic mp3.  That leaves me feeling as rested as a nap would.  I do not know if it helps me lose weight, but it decreases stress.  That is a big deal, as you noticed from my mindmap.  Any weight loss undertaking is doomed to failure if your stress level is too high.
I finished my nap, had a few foods and supplements, and started my 16.5-hour fast for tomorrow.  Again, I called it Commitment Fast.
Seconds ago, I scratched my husband’s back with a back scratcher.  I think using a tool will save my manicure.

Food Diary

Fiber is low, and fructose went slightly over 15 grams, but overall, I had a nutritious day.


Dear Lord,
My weight is 1.7 kg less than it was this time last year before I reached 51.65 kg in December.  I may achieve my goal of 50 kg before the end of the year.
However, the weight loss itself is not as consequential as establishing healthy habits that support it.  Otherwise, it will not be sustainable.
I played a self-hypnosis mp3 on my Android this afternoon and took a nap.  That relaxed and set me up for a productive evening.
Please help my readers to understand the material in this entry about Achieve 50 kg.  They need to map their own program.  However, I have provided an example.  Hopefully, it is replete with useful ideas.
I feel an increase in my health and well-being since starting this.  This is Day 13, meaning that I have 97 more days to go.  Please, help me continue.
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.  If you wish to download a FREE copy of my ebook (with no need to enter your name or email), click on the book below.  Please continue this journey with me by clicking on the arrows at the right of the page.
This article, with its diet diary, shows what worked for me.  I do not claim that it will work for you.  Consult a licensed medical provider to determine your diet and medical care.  These blog entries do not diagnose or treat any disease.  If I provide any clues for you or your provider, I will be happy.

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