Thursday, November 5, 2015

Good Nutrition and a Food Diary

Dinner and Lunch Salads

As one of the comments on yesterday's Grocery budget post noted, good nutrition will definitely be important, especially when I'm undergoing chemotherapy.  The person commenting was concerned my grocery budget might not be enough to make sure my nutrition needs would be met.  As I stated in my response to the comment, my primary care physician and the oncology nurse both recommended high protein meal replacement drinks when I am on chemo, partly because I will probably not have much of an appetite, and I have stocked up on some of them, already, and I will get more as I go along.

I also mentioned that daughter (who is studying nutrition as part of her epidemiology studies and works part-time at a nutrition policy research center) has suggested I keep a food diary, so that's something I will be doing, as part of making sure I have adequate nutrition.

I have never been very good about menu planning, but I can keep track of what I ate each day.  It might not be very precise, as I don't really measure my food.  

Yesterday, I had a cup of coffee (with milk) and a banana for breakfast; the last piece of pizza for lunch; and a scrambled egg with a slice of toast for dinner, followed by a slice of toast with butter and my homemade strawberry jam for dessert.  Sadly lacking in vegetables!  

Today, I had a cup of coffee (with milk) and a bowl of cereal (without milk) for breakfast; a glass (6 oz.) of orange juice at mid-morning; and for lunch, I had rice and Thai chicken with vegetables, with a piece of cornbread for dessert.  I had 2 ginger cookies at tea time (but didn't drink any tea).  And for dinner, I had salad.  

Pictured above is tonight's dinner and tomorrow's lunch: salad, made with approx. 1/3 of the head of lettuce, cut up; 1/3 cucumber, sliced and cut up; 2 carrots, grated; 1 apple, peeled and cut up; and a handful of cashew nuts; with French dressing.

Tomorrow, I might have a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast (or reheat the 2 pieces of French toast I have in the fridge), the salad for lunch, some grapes for a snack, and I'll decide on dinner after I come home from work.  There's rice, chicken curry and broccoli in the fridge that I could have for dinner, or, if I want something else, I could cook one of the frozen fish fillets and have that, instead. 


Today, I woke up with the intention of going to the office, but felt very tired.  So, called in and stayed home, instead.  I am thinking that the increased antibiotic dosage is to blame for the tiredness.  I had a relaxed day at home and took a nap in the afternoon.  

I didn't spend any money today.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Being able to call in and take a day off, if needed
- An afternoon nap
- Aunt and friend calling to check on me
- Sunshine and a warmer day than yesterday
- Video chatting with daughter

Have you kept a food diary?  How do you ensure you have good nutrition?


  1. I suggest you keep amounts also in your food diary and take it to a nutritionist/dietician after about 2-4 weeks for an evaluation. or use one of the many online sites. Google "food diary websites". They will do the calculations for you. Have you had your vitamin levels checked like Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D for starters? I had a severe B12 deficiency two years ago because I was eating much like you are: not enough meat and vegetables. The effects can be serious and non-reversible.

    1. Good points! I shall track the amounts, too, to see, although I already know I eat too many carbs!

      I did have a Vitamin D deficiency a while back and my dr. at the time prescribed a supplement for it. Current primary care dr. does regular blood tests for various things but I don't know if she checks my vitamin levels; I've an appt. with her, next week; I shall ask her. Thank you for bringing it up.

  2. I'm glad you were able to relax at home.

    I've never kept a food diary and as for good nutrition, that doesn't always happen. I try harder with my son though, but he just hasn't been eating much of anything the past few days.

    1. Perhaps he's teething? It's good that you are trying to get him to eat nutritiously. Introduce a variety of foods to him so he becomes familiar with the tastes and texture.

  3. I hope you start to feel more energetic. You did well to stay home and take it easy. Antibiotics do seem to drain people's energy.

    I write down what we had for supper, but not the other meals. I know that if I don't write down our supper record, we might just have the same thing too often! (Senior mind). When I look back I sometimes think, "Oh, we haven't had that for a while" so I then have an idea. I make a salad almost every day to go with our supper, I think we eat quite a lot at that meal. We often have meatless meals, like cashew stirfry, perogi, omelet.

    I am thinking that it might be well to record all meals, especially as we often eat the same thing every day for breakfast - cereal with milk, a cut up apple, OJ, and for DH some toast and honey as well. I'm not at my brightest in the morning. I vary mine with toast instead of cereal sometimes, or even a toasted English muffin with cream cheese and jam. DH saw this and wanted to try, so now he has another option! Frozen waffles please him too. When DS and family come, we have pancakes and bacon or scrambled eggs and bacon.

    1. I'm feeling much better, today, Bushlady; thank you. Went to work and was fine.

      Daughter and I are fine with eating the same thing several days in a row. But I try to have a couple of options available, if we want something else.

      I generally like to have a cooked breakfast during the weekends (it becomes brunch, actually), but, very often, on working days, I'll eat part of my lunch for breakfast! I'll make 2 sandwiches, for example, and eat one for breakfast and one for lunch.

  4. Hi, Bless! Just a thought, but a tasty option for you for getting in your daily requirement of fruits and veggies might be to make them in the form of smoothies. For those days when you might not feel like eating a heavier meal, a smoothie would provide you with tons of nutrition and hydration. You could customize them as you like with those fruits and veggies that do appeal to you. Blenders are reasonably priced (due to their popularity, I'm guessing). Just a suggestion!

    1. Carolyn, smoothies are a great suggestion! We make them occasionally, but not regularly, and mine tend to be more fruits than vegetables. But, I could change that and include veggies, too. I do have a blender, already, so, just a matter of doing it.


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