Thursday, January 28, 2010

The other half of "Kale and Hearty"

I was going to post a recipe review, with pictures even, but my camera's batteries are so dead that it will not even turn on so that I can do a download. The batteries are currently charging, and that post will have to wait for a more auspicious day.

Going beyond vegetables, Kale and Hearty is also about wellness. Good health embodies many aspects of daily living. I'd like to offer two items for this evening, one for you and one for me.

I admit it: I'm a calorie counter. Back in my senior year of high school, I would keep a food diary of everything I ate, calculating the calories and grams of fat. Being a scientist, I like to take the scientific approach to questions like "what is a reasonable diet on which I lose weight in a healthy fashion but still get enough to eat?" So I discovered for myself that I do quite nicely on about 1900 calories a day and normal exercise levels. That keeps me at 145 lbs (healthy for my 5' 7" height). If I gain weight for whatever reason, I can drop down to 1700-1800 calories and increase my exercise. This was highly beneficial to me in college. While all around me fellow freshmen were gaining weight, I was staying stable and actually toning up, because we had a nice fitness facility in the gym.

Back then, I kept track in a little steno notebook. Nowadays, it's all about logging things on the computer. I use FitDay, the first one I found, and the only online log I've tried. I like the way it shows me various nutrition charts, so I can see how I'm doing on all my vitamins and minerals in addition to calories, fat, protein, and fiber. You can also chart your physical activities, moods, and make journal entries. There's also CalorieKing, Calorie Counter, and many others to be found online, all generally free (with advertising).

I recommend that everyone, whether you're trying to gain weight, lose weight or just stay healthy, keep a food diary at least for a couple weeks, so you can see what you're really eating, and what an average day's nutrition is really like. Having the numbers in front of me really does help me make the healthiest food choices. Plus, there's nothing like being a hundred calories short and the end of the day so that there's room for a piece of dark chocolate.

Now, as for my current overall health, I've been noticing that my face has been breaking out in a different way over the past several weeks. The best complexion I've ever had was while I was on a hard-core vegan diet. I am tempted to do an elimination diet to determine if there's something in particular that makes me break out, but that would require me to be incredibly mindful of my diet, perhaps more attention than I'd like to pay to it. For starters, then, I've switched facial washes. My "Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash" is probably too harsh and drying, so while at Whole Foods the other evening, I picked up "Alba Sea Lettuce Cleansing Milk", which is for dry, delicate skin. My skin is not in the least bit dry, but is delicate, and after just two days of use, I can already see a difference. I'm glowing a bit, which is very nice to see. :)

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