Having been inspired by Joshua's post, I recently started using Crono-o-Meter to log my meals so I can get a better idea of what I'm actually taking in. I know it's not 100% accurate and the USDA database is pretty generic anyhow, but I try to include conservative amounts of what I eat. Also, I actually find the simple honesty of numbers a bit refreshing, even though the RDA's don't exactly apply to a Paleo diet. It is just for reference, and I try not to obsess over it to the point of inconvenience. I eat what I want for the most part.
I am definitely interested in the science behind nutrition and have been reading everything I can find. I particularly enjoy the writings of Kurt Harris, Stephen Guyenet and Chris Masterjohn. I've also read Robb's book and am almost done with Mark's, for reference more than anything. I'm thinking about reading PHD next.
So far, I am still a bit gray on how all the different vitamins and minerals are absorbed and/or concentrated in the body and how this relates to getting enough of each. Travis had answered a question somewhere in which he suggested eating foods in certain combinations that made more sense with respect to nutrient intake. I wish I could find the exact post, but his advice was similar to another common suggestion of adding a drop of K2 to your cod liver oil a la Weston Price in order to maximize the synergistic effect of all three working together.
Overall, I know I'm eating a bit better/cleaner than the foods reflected in the summary. I almost always eat at home now, as I finally prefer my own cooking to most everything I would go out to eat. The only meal I ate out this week was sushi/sashimi, in which case I just do fish and rice without all the extra sauces. I had wanted to eat some wild caught fish and oysters this week, but it just didn't happen. I mostly ended up eating beef (grass-fed steak, chuck/stew, ground, liver, bone broth), some pork (1 chop and bacon), 1 meal of chicken wings, and a dozen or so eggs for the week in addition to the sushi. I ate bananas, oranges, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, spaghetti squash, rice, potatoes, carrots, dark chocolate, hard cheeses, heavy cream and Kerrygold butter.
For now, I'm mostly curious about supplementing with K2 and how it will fit in with my A/D balance, my calcium/phosphorus/magnesium balance (bone broth intake is not included in the calculations), my zinc/copper ratio (especially on days I eat liver) and wondering about my B1, E, and potassium intake. If anyone has thoughts or suggestions concerning these or anything else, I'm open to hearing them!
February 13, 2012 to February 19, 2012
Daily Averages over 7 days
Report generated by CRON-o-Meter v0.9.9
GENERAL (62%) (macros currently set to 60% fat, 20% protein, 20% carbs)
Energy | 1808.4 kcal - 69%
Protein | 91.3 g - 70%
Carbs | 107.7 g - 64%
Fiber | 17.4 g - 46%
Fat | 116.2 g - 67%
Water | 1998.4 g - 54%
Vitamin A | 9056.4 IU- 302%
Folate | 286.0 µg - 71%
B1 (Thiamine) | 1.0 mg - 81%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 1.9 mg - 143%
B3 (Niacin) | 23.5 mg - 147%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 6.0 mg - 120%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.5 mg - 192%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 16.3 µg - 681%
Vitamin C | 362.1 mg - 402%
Vitamin D | 1140.0 IU - 570%
Vitamin E | 7.5 mg - 50%
Vitamin K | 38.6 µg - 32%
Choline | 494.2 mg - 90%
Calcium | 554.0 mg - 55%
Copper | 2.6 mg - 287%
Iron | 19.1 mg - 239%
Magnesium | 326.1 mg - 78%
Manganese | 2.1 mg - 89%
Phosphorus | 1163.5 mg - 166%
Potassium | 2666.4 mg - 57%
Selenium | 110.5 µg - 201%
Sodium | 2100.8 mg - 140%
Zinc | 15.8 mg - 144%
Saturated | 57.2 g - 286%
Omega-3 | 2.7 g - 168%
Omega-6 | 7.3 g - 43%
Cholesterol | 631.8 mg - 211%
I am definitely a fan of getting as much nutrition from actual food as possible, but practicality is always a factor. The only supplements I take so far are 1000iu of D3 per day, 500mg of C every other day, 1 tsp of cod liver oil on the days I eat chicken or pork, and Natural Calm MG which I just started taking last week (the summary above only includes three 1/2 tsp servings).
Here are my thoughts on where I am so far:
With the RDA's set to standard,macros set to 60/20/20 (as a general guideline for now), my height (5'11") weight (202 lbs.) age (32) and activity level set to 'sendentary', the stats suggest I should average right at 2600 calories per day. This includes 174g fat, 139g protein, 169g carbs. It looks like I'm hitting about 2/3 of everything here, but I'm more than satisfied with what I eat volume-wise. I'm thinking about nudging the carbs down a bit as I go, but for now I'm comfortable losing 1-2 pounds per week until I get closer to my optimal weight range (probably in the 160's or 170's). My plan has been to change only diet for the first six months as a way of demonstrating just how influential diet alone can be on overall health. I will also get blood tests at the 6-month mark, including an NMR profile. I wish I had these done in the beginning, but I know my last basic panel from a few years ago showed 140 total cholesterol (28 HDL 87 LDL) and trigs were 180. Yikes.
Obvious deficiency here is K. I don't eat a lot of vegetables, but that would be K1 anyway. I do eat pastured eggs and butter which aren't reflected in the USDA database, so I may be getting a bit more. Still though, after reading up on K2 I'm considering supplementing with the LEF Super K Complex to start with and possibly switching to the drops or butter oil down the road. Otherwise, I feel pretty good about my A/D intake for now. Obviously getting lots of B12 from meat/fish, a decent amount choline, etc. but I'm wondering a bit about the B1 in relation to the rest of the B's? What about my E intake? I'm also curious if I should bump the C to every day?
I make bone broth once a week, which is pretty much the only food I wasn't able to include in my intakes. The beef broth options in the USDA database show 0% calcium, but I like to think my Beef Jello has a bit more than that! I don't know exactly how much, but I'm also thinking about making some calcium citrate with the eggshells I've recently been tucking away in the freezer. The summary as-is shows roughly a 1:2 calcium:phosporus ratio, so I'm thinking it's somewhere between 1:2 and 1:1 in reality. Is this in the realm of okay and how should it fit in with MG intake? I'll be slowly upping the MG from 1/2 teaspoon to 1-2 tsps a day for a bit to see how I do with it. Should I take the Natural Calm with a small cup of bone broth?
The other question I have is about copper/zinc ratio. Liver is rather high in copper compared to zinc, and I understand a good ratio is somewhere around 10:1 zinc:copper. On the day I ate liver, my zinc intake was 2.9 mg and copper was 8.2 mg. The rest of the days were all balanced much closer to the 10:1, with the liver day averaged into what the report shows. I'm wondering if I should consider a zinc supplement for a few days to charge up my stores and then just take it on the days I eat liver to help keep the balance? I'm also considering its effect on my hair and skin.
Also...any thoughts on my potassium intake? Too low or no big deal?
I'm not surprised and am completely okay with the saturated fat and cholesterol totals. I am also excited about the omega 6/3 ratio, even though the USDA database numbers seem to reflect CAFO everything. I eat grass-fed beef, pastured eggs/butter, etc. so I'm thinking these numbers are probably better than shown.