Thursday, February 15, 2018

A couple of charts added

Enjoy visualizing health data

I have been doing a bit of  "intermittent fasting," basically compressing the window of time in which I eat. There is some cool science on this, might share in a future post. Here's the chart:

Keeping track of fasts

Also, a chart showing lean mass and fat mass over time. I like this one:

Watching changes in weight and body composition

I am continuing a ketogenic diet and an exercise routine.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The more things change, the more they stay the same

From June 2014 

(I'd lost 50 lbs. Gained a lot back and now am re-losing) 

 What I know: 

  1. Tracking/Self-monitoring is important. I log what I eat (not precisely measured these days). I weigh everyday and take my blood pressure everyday. I track sleep, steps, activity. I limit sodium. 
  2. Exercise is important for health and well being. I have increased my walking. Doing some bicycling (a major accomplishment). Trying to get some high intensity intervals on exercise bike a couple of times per week. Trying to keep doing my physical therapy exercises for lower extremities and balance.Strength training is mostly on the "to do list" except for squats. 
  3. Paying attention to what I eat seems to help. Limiting carbs by omitting grains, added sugar, starchy veggies and high glycemic index fruits seems to help my weight loss and cravings. Filling up on green leaves and non-starchy veggies keeps the hunger down, keeps me regular, and just feels good. I add some protein powder to my breakfast smoothie and try for 20-30 grams per meal or snack. 
  4. Accountability helps keep me on track. I use MFP, FitBit and Facebook friends for support and accountability. I track my stats at: 

 What I Don't Know/Wish I Knew: 

  1. The limits of Calories In/Calories Out. Clearly calorie reduction results in weight loss, at least in short run, for most people. With effort, weight loss can be maintained, for some or most people. Yet, according to studies, very few people manage to keep the weight down over the long haul. What factors help with maintenance? Monitoring, accountability? 
  2. Does what we eat matter? Pay attention to macros? What mix? I suspect, given my fat distribution and high blood pressure, I fit the metabolic syndrome/insulin resistance profile. Limiting carbs has worked for me in terms of weight loss and lowering blood pressure. What effects do carbs, particular carbs, generally have metabolically and what are the individual differences? What mechanisms are involved? 

 Just what's on my mind this morning. All the best for your health and well-being!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Back to Data, Tracking Health

I'm a believer in "if you don't track it, you can't control it." Some time ago I managed to pretty much automate the collection, charting, and publishing of my health and fitness data. Then the connection between Fitbit and Google Sheets broke. So much for automation of pulling the data from my Fitbit to a platform where I could easily chart and track.

Then, I discovered An IFTTT applet let me, once again, automate the pulling of my Fitbit data to Google Sheets. I track my activity (steps, time active, calorie expenditure), my body measurements (weight, BMI), other health data (blood pressure, blood lipids) and healthy habits (not smoking and limiting alcohol).

Other options are available including various time frames (all, year, 6 months, 3 months, 4 weeks, 2 weeks). TrendWeight pulls the data collected by my Fitbit Aria scale and can show plots of lean mass, fat mass and fat% in addition to weight.

An example from TrendWeight showing 3 months of my weight.

MyFitnessPal has a nice weight loss tracker (customizable).

I have also managed to set up some tracking and graphing via Google Sheets.

Here's my scorecard for steps and active minutes:

And a graph of my active time:

Here's my scorecard for Blood Pressure and Healthy Habits:

And a nice chart of my average blood pressures over time:

It's been fun and motivating to get back to using some data to get fit and healthy!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Kimchee Smashed Faux Potatoes

This Thanksgiving, I'm planning on a lower carb version of a recipe we first heard about on NPR. We loved it. I used the Cauliflower based recipe for mock mashed potatoes as a base.

Kimchi Smashed Faux Potatoes

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1/2 pound carrots
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups kimchi
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives

  • Instructions
  • 1. Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower very dry between several layers of paper towels.
  • 2. Boil carrots, onions and garlic in chicken broth and milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain well.
  • 3. In a large mixing bowl, add butter, cream, cream cheese, Parmesian and vegetable mixture to cauliflower. Smash well. Can use immersion blender or blender.
  • 4. Drain and dice kimchi
  • 5. Add kimchi to cauliflower-vegetable mixture and mix well.
  • 6. Garnish with chives, and serve hot with pats of butter

  • Yield: 8-10 portions
    variation: could add or substitute pumpkin or winter squash for carrots

    adapted from:

  • I calculated the nutrition values from the Recipe Tool on My Fitness Pal.
    Nutrition Facts
    Servings 12.0
    Amount Per Serving
    calories 211
    % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 16 g 25 %
  • Saturated Fat 10 g 51 %
  • Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
  • Trans Fat 0 g
  • Cholesterol 53 mg 18 %
  • Sodium 445 mg 19 %
  • Potassium 239 mg 7 %
  • Total Carbohydrate 11 g 4 %
  • Dietary Fiber 1 g 6 %
  • Sugars 2 g
  • Protein 6 g 12 %
  • Vitamin A 58 %
  • Vitamin C 37 %
  • Calcium 17 %
  • Iron 4 %

  • * The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.