Saturday, 28 July 2012

And then there were none...

Photo by Maggie Q. Magniloquent, Some Rights Reserved
Another day, another piece of workout equipment gone... 

I posted adds on Kijiji last week offering the rowing machine and the recumbent bike for sale.  Last weekend, the rowing machine was snatched up (after generating lots of interest), and this morning, the recumbent bike was sold.  I was actually a bit surprised that the recumbent bike went given that it is more than 10 years old, and the manufacturer no longer sells replacement parts for it.  However, it's the right price and the right piece of equipment for some, and those are the people who expressed an interest in the bike. 

I'm actually a little sad to see the bike go, because it was the foundational piece of equipment in my basement when I last worked out in 1999-2000 to get in shape.  Sure, the bike wasn't the fanciest thing, nor was it the most modern, but it was a lot like me - - good at brute force. 

In other news, now that I am officially "pre-diabetic" [editorial comment: "bleh"], I need to become much more aware of how many carbs I ingest every day, because the carbs have a direct impact on my blood sugar.  I have already been tracking my food for about a week or so (albeit with a bit of a bobble with 3 missing days because MyFitnessPal deleted my account), so I was able to look back and see how my carbs have been recently. 

According to the Canadian Diabetic Association, you should eat some level of carbs every day.  How much?  The actual amount will depend on your gender, amount of exercise each day, and whether you are trying to lose weight or maintain weight.  Which is a complicated way of saying "it depends".  From what I can see, as a pre-diabetic woman trying to lose weight who exercises 6 times a week, I should try and ingest no more than 200g - 250g of carbs per day - - around 60g at each meal, and 5g for each snack. 

This is where preparing your own food is a real asset.  A lot of prepared foods have high levels of carbs and sodium, which are both things you should monitor and control as a pre-diabetic.  Cooking from scratch makes hitting carb targets easier.  

The MyFitnessPal app has the most user-friendly and useful food diary that I have seen thus far.  I particularly like that I can add recipes and get calorie (and carb) counts.  Entering data is quick and easy, and the snapshot view gives you a lot of data at a glance.  But it's really a fitness and health app, rather than a diabetes app, so there's no tracker for blood sugar, which is a shame. 

I have a couple of glucose tracking apps that I am trying out.  The first is the Glucose Companion, which tracks - shockingly - blood glucose.  I like that it has a very easy interface to enter blood glucose levels and weight levels, and it provides both tabular views and graphical views.  The app also has a snapshot view that provides you with minimum, maximum and average figures. 

This is, as you would think, a very diabetes-focused app, so there's nowhere to enter food.  But weight and blood sugar are two out of three important metrics for me moving forward, so I think I will keep using this app for a while.

The other app I am trying is giving me really mixed feelings.  It's the Carb Master app for iPad, and it has a lot of attractive features.  It has a food diary that tracks carbs, among other nutrients, and also has a tracker for blood sugar and a tracker for insulin.  Another diabetes-centric app, this one also has both tabular and graphical views.  On the surface it is very pretty to look at.

My hesitation about this app is that the food diary is clunky.  Very clunky.  To select foods manually, one must drill down through multiple menus (e.g. dairy, cheese, goat cheese).  I tried searching using the search window and the app had a significant lag, making searching extremely cumbersome.  Adding recipes is an available function, but it is dependent on searching to add foods (which takes what feels like forever), and when the foods are found, some of them have a serving size listed as "one serving", making it impossible to truly customize the ingredients - how much is "one serving"?  1 cup? 100g?  Who knows?  MyFitnessPal permits you to add all the ingredients and the number of people served by the recipe, so the app will automatically calculate the appropriate calories and carbs per serving.  Carb Master does not appear to have this same functionality, or if it does, I have not been able to find it (which is much the same thing, if you think about it). 

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