Category Archives: diet
Talking 20 is a young biotechnology start-up in California that aims at making low-cost, at home blood tests that could be used to track twenty essential amino acids (hence the name). In October 2012, I responded to their call for support on Twitter and purchased “T20 Starter Pack” home kit for ten dollars. I paid 12 dollars (2 dollars to cover shipping), and a couple of weeks later received the kit, which I mailed back to them in December. After waiting patiently for ten months, I can finally share with you what I learned from my blood test. Drumroll, please…
My Quantified Summer lifestream is now up! I plan to update it every 7-10 days. Check it out here or by clicking MY LIFESTREAM on the main menu of my blog.
Just last month I shared with you my vision of the perfect tool for tracking diet. Turns out, Chef Sleeve’s team has the same idea, and they are now trying to raise funds to build a smart digital food scale connected to iPad. Check out their awesome Kickstarter campaign and join me in supporting this great project. I personally just pledged $79 for a promise to receive the scale before it is available to general public (at projected price of $99). The estimated shipping date is November 2013. Watch the video pitch after the jump.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared some lessons that I learned while tracking my diet for over six months. One of the conclusions was that tracking diet is one of the most cumbersome aspects of self-quantification/self-experimentation, mainly due to the lack of passive measurement tools and often overwhelming amount of nutritional information to collect and deal with. That naturally let me to the question: how can we make the diet tracking process easier? What would the perfect tool for tracking diet look like? The longer I am pondering this problem, the more I realize that we are talking not about a single stand-alone gadget or app, but rather a small ecosystem that includes digital scale, mobile phone and content. Let me now elaborate.
The March is almost over, so I thought it is a good time to tell what kind of things I am have been tracking and what self-experiments I have been conducting this month. As usual, at the end of the month I will export data from my rTracker log , analyze it and will share any interesting insights and findings with you.
I must admit that of all my self-tracking efforts that I took on in the past six months, tracking diet turned out to be THE most cumbersome so far. Of course, I am not giving up, and will continue testing and experimenting, until I find the most efficient tools and methods for quantifying diet and its effects on my everyday life. In the meantime, I would like to share some observations and lessons that I learned during the past six months, including what worked and did not work for me, and some interesting insights about my diet and eating habits.
If you have not noticed yet, the “modus operandi” for this blog and my self-tracking efforts is a bit different this year. The month of January was spent collecting data, testing apps and services, and blogging about various QS issues, and month of February was dedicated to analyzing collected data, reviewing tools, and sharing insights and recommendations. So I thought it would be helpful if I summarized briefly what I learned during the last two month, in one post.
One of the diet-related tools that I tested in January was 80 Bites app. Dubbed as a “pedometer for your mouth”, this simple app let’s you track how many “mouthfuls” (“bites”) of food you take during the day, and how much time, on average, you spend chewing the food between the bites. The premise behind the app is that eighty “bites” a day is usually enough to feel full and satisfied, and limiting your food intake on the long run can help you to shrink your stomach and eat less. I am not sure about the latter, but using this app for several weeks definitely helped me learn to eat my meals more mindfully. I also discovered something new and interesting about my eating habits from the data that I collected.
After reading about importance of maintaining body’s pH balance, I embarked on a self-tracking experiment in January, with the objective to see how often my pH balance changes on a daily basis and whether my diet has any effect on it. To do so, I measured my PH every morning and evening using litmus testing strips (I used Phinex diagnostic pH test strips). The strips proved to be a convenient and reliable way to track pH level on a daily basis, but I did not learn much from tracking it.
When you, like me, are on a 6-7 meals a day diet plan, the main challenge is to make sure that you are not getting hungry too soon between the meals, but feel hungry enough when the time comes for your next meal. That means carefully controlling the portions and ingredients that go into your food. Could quantification and self-tracking help in this case? This month, I started experimenting with “satiety” of food and ways to measure and predict it. In this post, I will discuss the properties of foods that are predictive of satiety and hungriness, including one particularly interesting diet metric: “fullness factor”.