Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Latest Crazy Undertaking in the Life of Beth

OK, so it's not totally crazy. For example, it's not as crazy as making your life a Choose Your Own Adventure where your blog readers get to vote on things you do in life so that you end up showing up to a blogging conference in a dragon costume, like so:


So, I'm not that crazy. The crazy undertaking of which I speak is that, starting tomorrow, I am following the Food Guide. For a month. And recording everything I eat. Danielle and another friend of ours, Sheila, who is also in the Dietetics program, have decided to do this since, as dietitians, they will be telling people to follow the Food Guide, so they really should see what it is like to do it themselves. And I, as usual, am tagging along for the ride. I even made my own personalized Food Guide (.pdf), using some of my favourite foods as examples (you can play along at home and make your own personalized Food Guide by going to the Health Canada site). As a female, age 19-30*, I am allowed the following number of servings in a day:


And "Food Guide Servings" are a heck of a lot smaller than what you or I usually think of as a serving. For example, one English muffin = 2 servings. 50g (or 1.5 oz) of cheese (that's a piece of cheese about the size of your thumb) = 1 serving. And 6 spears of asparagus = 1 serving**. And for you meat eaters, 1/2 cup of meat = 1 serving - that's just 125 mL or 2.5 oz of beef!

The plan is to record everything we eat and try to actually consume the recommended number of servings. Now, the amount of food that the Food Guide allows us looks like it is going to be a fair bit less than what we usually eat - not overly surprising, seeing as how the Food Guide is meant for the "average Canadian" and I'm pretty sure that training for a half marathon is slighty more activity than the "average Canadian" gets... not to mention the fact that, compared to Danielle & Sheila (who regularly run half marathons, are training for a triathalon, are hardcore utli players and bike to school every day) I look like a sedentary couch potato. So, we've decided that if we do, indeed, end up eating more servings than the Food Guide recommends, we'll try to make those from the Fruit & Veg group. Danielle & I made up booklets in which to easily record all this and I dug through my many boxes of dishes to find my extra sets of measuring cups, as I think we'll be doing a lot of measuring to figure out how many servings of things we'll be getting. As well, I'm sure that we'll be consuming things not included in the Food Guide***, and those things will be recorded and duly noted as well. The point is not necessarily to follow the Guide rigidly (as it is a guide, not a hard and fast program - and we nutritional scientists are fond of saying "things are OK in moderation!"), but to get a sense of how easy or difficult it is to follow the Guide.

As I'm sure you are all *dying* to know how this goes, I'll be sure to keep you posted.

*I better enjoy this year, as next year I enter the 31-50 age range (omg, how depressing is that!) and I'm only allowed 7 servings of Fruit & Veg and 6 servings of Grain Products! That's TWO less servings of food every single day! =(

*um, wtf? Who the hell only eats 6 spears of asparagus???

*** coffee, Diet Pepsi, sweet sweet alcohol, I'm looking in your direction

3 comments:

Duane said...

Good luck.. I hope you guys are using the modified food guide (the one that Harvard recommends), and not the old crappy Canada Food Guide from a few years ago... (did they finally update it?)

Beth said...

Thanks!

And, yes, they actually did finally get the update done, which was the impetus for this whole idea. And the old Food Guide really wasn't that bad... they just hadn't done the research support it until now.

Courtney-O said...

You're braver than I,
Beth. I'm on a diet of Girl Scout cookies at the moment.

Very yummy . . . not so nutritious.