Category Archives: Fitness

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Point This Magical Scanner At Your Food And It Will Count The Calories

From a mindful eating stand point, I think counting calories is as outdated and boring as BMI. Nonetheless, data is data. And data is king (or queen). Real information in real time at your fingertips would be fantastic.

So will this make you toss away that Moleskin or delete that food logging app that you call your best friend next to DailyMile and Smart Coach?

Would you want one of these? I probably would.

Today there are wearable trackers available for just about every move you make and step you take. Almost. If there’s a missing link, it’s the ability to track all the food that enters a person’s mouth. Dieters are stuck tediously logging their eating habits.

TellSpec, a device that’s quickly raising money on Indiegogo, claims to be that missing link and more. With a wave of the hand, the device can reportedly calculate all the calories, ingredients, chemicals, and allergens in any given piece of food.

Remember Jack Andraka, the then 15 year old who built a very low cost pancreatic cancer sensor and lately (at 16!) a handheld raman spectrometer?

This new food scanner, being built by Isabel Hoffman and Stephen Watson, uses the same technology.

Raman spectrometers, which essentially shoot lasers at objects and evaluate their chemical composition, used to be big, bulky instruments that sat in laboratories. These days, it’s entirely possible to make a handheld version. Hoffman’s question was whether it could do what she was looking for.

Imagine that. The 21st century behavior of compulsively taking food photos will have an actual purpose beyond Facebook feed noise and free advertisements for restaurants.

What is Wild Kitchen?

“Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food.”
Hippocrates, c. 460 BC – c. 370 BC

My own health took a dramatic turn for the better when I ate more intelligently. My labs are good. I am plenty of pounds lighter. I have much more energy and vitality even as the years press on—I went from a non-runner to slow runner, I improved my swim in terms of endurance, distance, and technique (also helped along by a tri coach), I enjoy biking more and doing more distance than ever before.

So far, I have completed a half marathon (Austin Half), gazillion 5Ks, and two seasons of duathlons and short distance triathlons—I plan to keep going and increase distances at some point. This year, I also completed my first full marathon (Cincinnati Flying Pig), first 50K trail ultra (Another Dam 50K), and first Olympic distance tri (Tri Indy). I still have quite a way to go. And I am enjoying every bit of my journey.

wildkitchen

Kitchen creations are part of this journey. I’d like to share some of them here. I lean towards low glycemic, mostly plant-based, occasional pescatarian, and rarely omni dishes. I like to keep the food I prepare in its most original form as possible. I like knowing where my ingredients come from.

My principle is we should feel free and wild (if I may) in our own kitchens. There are recipes that must be respected like family traditions and there are recipes who’s role is to inspire and get us excited—energized while creating them and made healthier after enjoying them.

When the recipe book says “cashews” with “powdered onions” and when you open the pantry you only see walnuts and garlic powder, be unafraid and be creative with what you have.

This is what Wild Kitchen is about.

In this section of my blog, I’m sharing our young family’s kitchen experiments that will someday, hopefully, become our own traditions. It’s my way of documenting our favorite meals, juices, and smoothies.

Gerry experiments in the kitchen too—his specialties are soups, smoothies, and vegetable sautés. From time to time, he will share his concoctions here.

Enjoy and stay healthy!

p.s. Remember, it’s your kitchen. No worries. Be free.