Food Log Assignment

(Photo credit:
(Photo credit:

If you saw my Facebook post the other day, you know about my current assignment in nutrition class. If not, no worries…you’re about to get all the details. Just so you understand the assignment in its entirety, here it is, exactly as given:

Food Log Assignment

You need to keep a food & beverage log/diary for 3 days. Log EVERY item you eat/drink.

  • Include at least 1 day that you would consider to be your “typical” diet/daily consumption
  • Include at least 1 day that you would consider to be “atypical” or maybe your “weekend” diet/consumption
  • The 3rd day is your choice

Enter your entire 3 day food log/diary in an ANY electronic tracking system of your choice –, NutriCalc Software (from HPE 295),, or any other system…Explore!

By the way… start to play with various apps – free & paid – to see what’s out there. Your clients & athletes will use these and you need to know which ones are available and good.

Print out your Log & bring it with you to class on 2/28 – you will be trading with another student.

Included in your log should be at least the following:

  • Quantity/Serving per item to best of your ability (this will give you an idea of how hard this is for your clients J)
  • Total Calories consumed each day
  • Macronutrient Information – daily, not per meal/food
    • Grams of Carbohydrate
    • Grams of Protein
    • Grams of Fat
  • Micronutrient Information – daily, not per meal/food
    • Vitamin A, D, E, K
    • Vitamin C, Thiamin B1, Riboflavin B2, Niacin B3, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12
    • Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium (or NaCl), Potassium
    • Iron, Zinc, Chromium, Fluoride, Copper, Manganese, Iodine, Selenium
    • Omega 6 & 3 (if possible)

There it is folks. What do you think? For one, I’ll just say that those electronic food logging systems are annoying and more stressful than writing down what I’m eating. Not only that, but it doesn’t allow me to emphasize the quality of the foods I’m eating, although I was able to find grass-fed ground beef. I tried to find the least bad food logging system possible and was fortunate to find a paleo one called, PaleoTrack. It’s way better than the other options out there and isn’t focused around the SAD. It’s still annoying though, and I hate estimating how much I’m eating. I never worry about calories and quantities, and always just eat until I feel satisfied. Thankfully, it’s only for three days. Food logging short-term isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s long-term food logging that I really don’t like. I believe it creates an unhealthy relationship with food, causes a lot of stress and makes eating seem unnatural. Short-term for analyzing someone’s diet, whatever, fine. But, I still don’t like the electronic logging systems.

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how a fellow classmate consults me on my diet. I can see the issue of too much fat and not enough carbs coming up, but it partly depends who I get paired with. I think the majority of students in my class would go that route though. Regardless, it’ll give me a chance to do a little educating and even if they don’t buy what I say, hopefully it will at least make him or her curious enough to some research of their own. It’ll be entertaining to say the least, and what’s really fun is that I get to consult them too. Dun dun dun!


16 thoughts on “Food Log Assignment

  1. Megan February 21, 2013 / 11:21 am

    I completely agree with the unnatural relationship with food. Any one who has ever been on a diet knows how counting calories is a double edge sword. I personally don’t do it any more / would ever again but I do sometimes use a recipe calculator for one pot wonders sometimes. It has been a while but I used to do it when I was baking.

  2. Michelle February 21, 2013 / 12:22 pm

    I have to count carbs because of type 1 diabetes and insulin-dosing requirements. I wish I could just eat until I’m full/not hungry, but that leaves me guessing on how much insulin to take. That being said… Hands down, I like FatSecret. It’s worth checking out.

    • paleoinpdx February 21, 2013 / 1:52 pm

      Thanks for commenting, Michelle. I understand that for someone like you, food logging regularly is helpful. Like I said, I’m not against it if it works for someone and isn’t creating an unhealthy relationship for them with food. Most people use it to diet though. In the sense of analyzing someone’s diet to help them make changes, it can also be helpful (short-term though). I’ll look at the site you recommend, but I’ve already started using PaleoTrack for my assignment, so plan to stick with that. I logged yesterday and today, so I only have one more day! Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. Alisa February 21, 2013 / 1:03 pm

    I’ve used the livestrong dailyplate app and find it is nice b/c you can input your own “meals” by creating a meal. However, I only use the app occasionally just to “check in” on how I’m doing. It is totally annoying to track all the time and only facilitates in developing an unhealthy relationship with food—completely agree.

    I am curious to see what your fellow classmates say b/c I did a quick log on my blog not too long ago when I started adding in a little bit more fat into my diet and I got a commenter telling me I was going to die from not eating typical carbs and introducing higher fat. You gotta find what works for you, is what I always come back to. I know most paleo’s don’t consume dairy but I do have dairy, limited quantities but someone scoled me for adding a splash of heavy cream in my coffee in the morning…I asked what they were drinking…happened to be a carmel latte. I did the comparison on sugar and fat for them and turns out my “splash of heavy cream” had about the same amount of fat as their latte and my drink did not contain ANY sugar or otherwise gross processed sweetener.

    Sorry to rant. =) It just bugs me that anyone not eating the “norm” is considered unhealthy. Especially being an athlete I feel like I constantly get the don’t you “carbo-load” question? Nope, sure don’t and don’t feel like I need to.

    For me, discovering the addition of fat into my diet has been so incredibly liberating. I’m more full and less bloated, it’s awesome. AND, I feel like I eat MORE vegetables than when I was trying to eat a “normal” diet. AND, I’ve had bloodwork done and I’m in the optimal range for everything.

    Again, sorry for the rant but this topic frustrates me. Please do let us know what your classmates say!

    • paleoinpdx February 21, 2013 / 2:00 pm

      Ah, my fellow, “Lisa with an A,” thanks for your input! No need to apologize about your rant…I like it! PaleoTrack allows you to input your own meals as well and you can even create custom foods, as long as you have the nutrition facts. For example, macadamia nut oil wasn’t listed in the database, so I created it. I made macadamia nut oil mayo the other day and used it in chicken salad. It’s handy that it allows you to do so, but is still a pain in the butt.

      It’ll be super interesting to see what my classmates say, especially because I eat A LOT of fat and a good chunk comes from saturated fats. In fact, according to my food log yesterday, over half over my daily calories came from fat, then protein, then carbs. I rely big time on fat for fuel. It’s been really liberating for me with the addition of more fat in my diet as well. For so many years, I ate low-fat this and fat-free that, but fat is so satiating. I am grateful for it!

      Shame on that commenter for pulling a “paleo police” act on you. People are so quick to bash one another. It’s ridiculous, and paleo is not a one size fits all! I eat some dairy too, but very limited. I only eat butter/ghee and homemade yogurt (which I make with whole milk or half and half).

      This topic frustrates me too, so I am with you 100%. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts 😉

      • Alisa February 25, 2013 / 12:36 pm

        Yes, one size does not fit all, it rarely does in any circumstance and especially not with DIET.

        Curious about your response.

        Also, homemade yogurt, do post this recipe sometime, that sounds deilcious.

      • paleoinpdx February 25, 2013 / 3:03 pm

        Yes, I’ll do a homemade yogurt post one of these days!

  4. Cinnamoneats February 25, 2013 / 8:03 am

    I just had a chance to read through this properly! Anyway sounds and looks like an interesting assignment. Looking forward to how it all pans out 🙂

  5. Cinnamoneats February 25, 2013 / 8:05 am

    Ohhh also Whole9 recently did a post re the whole food tracking thing… Did you see that on their website?

    • paleoinpdx February 25, 2013 / 8:52 am

      Yep, I did see that and really like their perspective on self food logging. I remember reading about it in their book too. When needing to analyze someone’s diet though, a short-term food log is helpful, but I’d never ask a client to count calories or worry about macros, and of course, it wouldn’t be long-term (3-5 days at most).

  6. Lemons 'n Lyme February 26, 2013 / 4:35 pm

    I have to do this for my nutrition class later this semester. I don’t think we share with a partner but we have all these questions to analyze how adequate our diet is based on MyPlate requirements. Oh can’t wait for my professors response! *sarcasm*!!!

    • paleoinpdx February 27, 2013 / 9:04 am

      Too bad you have to use the MyPlate tracking system. That one will tell you all the diseases you’re at risk for based on your diet, which is exactly why I chose not to use it, although it would’ve made things that much more entertaining! PaleoTrack congratulates you for being sugar-free, legume-free, grain-free, etc. It’s the least bad and best of the logging apps, in my opinion.

      • Lemons 'n Lyme February 27, 2013 / 6:48 pm

        Yeah, it’s going to be annoying. Although, my professor did mention paleo today and he isn’t super apposed to low carb diets- he thinks they can be very beneficial. He thinks paleo has some good aspects and what not but doesn’t agree with everything. That was nice to hear from a nutrition professor! haha

      • paleoinpdx February 27, 2013 / 7:49 pm

        That is nice to hear…and rare from a nutrition teacher!

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