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Frank Dennis 12-05-2008 12:21 PM

Refinement of a Nutritional Tool
To any and all,

I have a spreadsheet, in Excel '97/'03 format and composed in OpenOffice Calc 2.4, which I created to help me manage my diet. It has a list of items, which are based upon arbitrarily determined quantities which I thought would make good portions for meals. These are then copied and pasted into menu plans for each day of the week. The total mass, in grams, of each ingredient is calculated, percentage of calories determined (my target was 40 carb / 30 protein / 30 fat, which I'd read in several articles was an optimum target but hadn't actually known about the Zone diet, per se). The sheet then compiles on another page your shopping list for the week, with cost-per-gram, or cost-per-item (such as eggs), determined by sampling at local markets.

A useful tool, to be sure. I'd link it here for you all to check out, however it's 3MB and exceeds attachment limits.

So, here's the thing; now that I've found CF and am attempting to convert my diet completely to the Zone model (and using paleo-compatible ingredients only, as well, if I can afford it), there are some mods which need to be made, and all the ways in which I can see to make them will take essentially re-working over 80% of the several-hundred formulae in the spreadsheet, which is a prospect I don't relish since because of their complexity and multiple-cell references they're not cut-and-paste friendly.

If anyone is interested in having this tool and helping me refine it, a fresh pair of eyes might see a simple way to accomodate the need to convert ingredient quantities to allow for a "number-of-blocks" multiplier and still let the various formulae work (if you know anything about excel, you'll understand what I mean when you see the sheet).

This has been a really useful tool up until now; once I decided on the kinds of things I'd be eating, I didn't have to think about my grocery shopping at all, and could always hit my budget within pennies without ever going over. The fact that I had my diet slightly wrong is my own fault, if this can be adapted easily I expect many people might also find it extremely useful, if they find assembling their weekly shopping a chore.

So, if you're game to help, or you just want a copy for yourself, send me a PM and I'll get it emailed to you. It occurs to me, of course, that I could just post it to mediafire or something, but there aren't too many public storage and filesharing sites which I'd trust unless I had really, really good anti-malware (which I do, but that's not necessarily true of everyone on here).

If the consensus becomes that y'all would prefer it to be posted somewhere, I'll be happy to oblige!

Frank D.

Brandon Petersen 12-06-2008 07:09 PM

Re: Refinement of a Nutritional Tool
an Excel file that is 3mb in size? WoW!

I am sure someone on here can help you get that uploaded.

Frank Dennis 12-07-2008 02:21 PM

Re: Refinement of a Nutritional Tool
So, I got the issues with adapting the spreadsheet for a Zone diet resolved, it's now structurally set up to track a 5 meal per day, one week Zone menu plan and compile your shopping list for you.

Obviously, you'd need to determine what the prices are for each item at your local market.

Currently, there is space for 73 ingredients. This can be expanded, but unless you're an excel whiz you'll probably need some help with adding the additional lines. Not because I don't think you know how to add rows, but because the formulae still aren't copy-and-paste friendly.

I'm still compiling nutrition data for the new Zone and Paleo friendly items, so that page is still mostly blank. I should have that done in a couple of days.

I do have some questions, now that I'm doing the math, about quantities of paleo-friendly vegetables which one is apparently required to eat to create a 4 block meal... I mean, 2 carb blocks worth of spinach is 1.2 kilos. Does anyone seriously eat like this?

I'd love some advice on this issue; I posted about it yesterday on my other thread in this section, but no one has replied so far.

In the meantime, if anyone wants a copy of this, let me know. If any mods read this and want to up the posting attachment size limit so I can just stick it on here, that'd be great too. :)


James Compora 12-07-2008 09:29 PM

Re: Refinement of a Nutritional Tool
will want this when finished with paleo part :)

Jakub Kruhlik 12-07-2008 10:45 PM

Re: Refinement of a Nutritional Tool
I def. will want a copy of the finished result!!!!!!!

Frank Dennis 12-08-2008 09:31 AM

Re: Refinement of a Nutritional Tool
OK, it's done!

The spreadsheet is fully configured and populated, with 73 tasty and healthy ingredients, only four of which are not paleo-diet friendly. I had to put those on there because, sadly, a fully paleo diet is not in the cards, or more specifically, the bank account. I needed the cheap calories of oatmeal, black beans, and milk to bring the cost down to "remotely affordable if I never buy another book or album." However, these horribly Neolithic foods are noted on the nutritional info page as being post-Stone Age.

Of course, while the theory is pretty sound, who knows exactly what early man ate? I'm sure the diet flucuated quite a bit... after the Mt. Toba super-volcano blew 78,000 years ago, devestated the climate and advanced glaciation by a couple milennia, wiping out 90% of our species, I'm sure all kinds of things were on the menu of cavemen which hadn't been before including, probably, each other.

Anyway, You'll have to gather the price-per-unit (usually per gram) from your local markets. I've left the calculation matrix columns unhidden on Sunday's menu so you can see how they work, and Sunday has a sample menu compiled.

It's still too big to post, and I haven't had any clearance from the admins to post a larger-than-limit file, so if anyone wants a copy of this, send me a PM and I'll email it to you.

Hope you all find it useful!


James Compora 12-08-2008 12:17 PM

Re: Refinement of a Nutritional Tool
you have a PM

Samantha Aurelio 12-08-2008 12:24 PM

Re: Refinement of a Nutritional Tool
You have 2 PMs.

Frank Dennis 12-09-2008 05:59 AM

Re: Refinement of a Nutritional Tool
OK, So last night I was speaking with my trainer at the Affiliate where I've been going, and I showed him this spreadsheet. He thought it was great, but said that the carb quantities looked to high.

I explained to him how I got them, doing calculations to determine the quantities necessary to ensure 7 grams of protein per block, 9 grams of usable carbs per block, and 1.5 grams of fat per block. I also explained that I was trying to eliminate the vague measurement of cups and replace it with a specific one.

He said that was great, but that the Zone blocks as listed would work OK, and I'd get better results if I just bit the bullet and accepted vague. LOL He doesn't know me very well yet.

Still, these workouts feel great, I feel great, and I'll do my best to follow advice. Over the next couple days, as I measure my carbs, I'll use the volume based measurements as they are in the Meal Planner in the CFJ, and then take those quantities as grams, and update this spreadsheet. If anyone who's gotten this sheet, or anyone who would like a copy from this point on, is interested, I'd love to know what measurements *you* are using for your carb blocks. Please drop me a line or post it here, and we can get this thing optimized!


Tirzah Harper 12-09-2008 07:48 AM

Re: Refinement of a Nutritional Tool
This spreadsheet sounds awesome. I just wish I was techie enough to offer to help. PM coming your way.

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