Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Today's Special: Plate o' Shrimp

...or, "Why Did Every News Web Site Have an Article About Food Diaries?"

In the movie Repo Man, the character Miller expounds upon synchronicity with his "Plate O' Shrimp" theory: "Suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconsciousness."

So the "cosmic unconsciousness" served up Food Diaries today. SF Gate and Yahoo News carried a nearly identical article about the effectiveness of food diaries. (The SF Gate article gave it an unintentionally amusing local touch, citing the example of a "Mr. Tacotaco" and his success with a food diary.)

Funny, my diabetes educator nutritionist just mentioned this to me the other day as a way to help my newly-developing good eating habits stick. I've been keeping a food diary for a couple of weeks now--mainly to track how closely I'm sticking to my food plan--and it's pretty effective. I've lost 17 pounds in the last couple of months by exercising more, cutting sugar and most refined foods, not eating the kids' leftovers, watching portion sizes, and eating more fruits & vegetables. (Yep, all the common sense stuff I should have been doing! ;-) I have a LONG way to go, but I feel a lot better already. I've found that weighing and measuring portions helps tremendously. It's too easy to overestimate a portion.

Another trick, if I'm somewhere where I can't easily measure, is the "Rate Your Plate" method of putting stuff on your plate: half of the plate gets a non-starchy vegetable, one quarter gets a protein serving, and one quarter gets a carb (bread/pasta/rice/starchy vegetable--in my case, whole grain bread or crackers or a starchy vegetable, I've been a little reluctant to let pasta and rice back on my plate). Sometimes I just fill it with more non-starchy vegetables, depending on what's available.

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