Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Checking up on our diet

Three blog post ago, I talked about Madeleine's toys (click here for that blog post). In that post, I mentioned all the different photo ideas that I wanted to copy with our own family. One of these ideas is about what a family eats in a week. This is by the same photographer that photographed Material World.

In this book, he takes photos of what a week's worth of groceries look like around the world.

The author, Faith D'Aluisio, actually gives a lot more information then just the photos. She included recipes, nutrition facts, and a breakdown of food groups and costs. I found it completely fascinating, and of course wanted to copy it. So for the last week we have been carefully tracking what we eat. 

We put a piece of paper on the fridge and we were pretty careful not to cheat. (As you can see, there is plenty of not healthy food on there.) We're planning on doing it for a few more weeks to get more accurate average before we take a photo. But tonight, I entered everything into my fitness to see how healthy our week of food was. Here is the summary

 Calories  - 41,014 (2,343 a day per person)
Carbs - 3,765 (215)
Fat - 2,050 (117)
Protein - 1,589 (91)
Sodium -45,293(2,588)
Sugar -1,262 (73)
I found the nutrition facts really interesting. We are on average (divide everything by 2.5 people and 7 days) getting 2,343 calories a day, which I think is pretty good! We are a little low on carbs and a little over on sugar and fat to have a completely balanced lifestyle. To be honest, I'm pleasantly surprised by that. I would have thought we were more unhealthy than that, since I don't track food as well as I think I should. Matt gets a lot of junk food at work (pizza and chinese food), and we eat out as a family once a week. It's nice to know that those luxuries aren't making our lives too unhealthy.

There, of course, are some errors with these numbers. One of the more difficult things to account for is that I wrote down what I used when I was cooking from scratch. The thing is, while I did carefully write down the recipes, some of those meals are still uneaten in the fridge. So we still have the food count for this week, even though half of it is sitting in the fridge. Another is how much of a person does Madeleine count for. Toddlers are supposed to average 1,000 calories a day. I think she eats more than that but her eating habits like most toddlers is sporadic at best. And the last thing is I didn't use all the same brands that we actually eat. I tried, but I failed in a few instances.

To many of you, this might seem pretty strange project, but I like being able to check to see where I am on my goals. This little project helps me to see if we are getting closer to eating a balanced diet. I can also see where our money is going, and if we are getting closer to eating mostly whole foods. (I think as we are making more money the less whole foods we are eating. Hmm.) I also noticed that we are eating more protein now that the weather is getting colder. In the summer, we eat a lot less meat, especially red meat.

Would you ever do a project like this? How do you track how healthy your family is eating?

(By the way, here is a link if you want to know everything we ate.)


  1. Fantastic project! Once I tracked for a week what I ate, but not the groceries or what my spouse had. This would be an eye-opening exercise.

    1. I'm hoping to do it twice a year. I think it would be interesting to see how our diet changes with the seasons. Also, I'm hoping that it helps me realize just how much food we need for a week, so I don't over buy at the grocery store.