For the Record(s)

One of the assignments in my nutrition MOOC involved keeping a food diary for a day and making nutritional observations. The assignment effectively reinforced the course concepts. A bonus in this international class, is seeing what people in various countries eat, say, for breakfast. Pumpkin – really? (Yep. Bangladesh.)

People with diabetes are often asked to provide our medical teams with detailed logs about our food intake, exercise and blood sugars. It’s not uncommon for my endocrinologist to request 1-2 weeks of data in order to see patterns and trends and better understand how my diet and exercise might be affecting my blood sugar. As valuable as I know the results are, the process of calculating and recording the data is monumentally tedious. (Thankfully it’s a little less cumbersome since the advent of nutrient-tracking apps like MyPlate Calorie Tracker, MyFitnessPal.)

For the Coursera assignments, my classmates and I use SuperTracker, the USDA’s free, online tracking tool designed to help people meet their exercise and nutrition goals. Unlike many other apps in the food diary space, SuperTracker includes the option to track micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals). I haven’t ever paid attention to micro-nutrients, so I was surprised to discover that on a typical day my calcium intake falls far below the recommended levels for women in my age group.

I researched how to work calcium into my diet. I knew about some of these calcium power-houses, but some (figs?!) were new to me.

2 TBL blackstrap molasses
400 mg
2 cups low-fat yogurt
320 mg
1 cup milk
305 mg
1 cup broccoli
180 mg
½ cup navy beans
178 mg
2 TBL sesame seeds
175 mg
1 cup arugula
125 mg
1 hard boiled egg
25 mg
½ celery
24 mg
¼ cup chick peas
20 mg
1 dried fig
14 mg

Since our garden is teeming with greens, I’ll begin with a calcium-rich salad.
#28 on Bittman’s seasonal salads fits the bill.

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