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Kaylor: Try keeping a food diary

By Staff | Jan 16, 2015

Sometimes we can lose track of what we eat during the day. Try keeping a food diary for a few days. Simply write down the times you ate, jot down some notes about how you were feeling and what you ate. You can become more aware of your food choices, and you can use the information to improve your diet and, potentially, your health.

What suggestions would you have?

What food groups were missing?

Did the person have 4 cups of fruits and vegetables and 3 cups of milk?

Did the person limit his or her “discretionary calories” to a couple of small treats?

Here are a few suggestions:

Don’t skip breakfast. Grab a banana and a container of yogurt on the way out the door.

People who skip breakfast more than make up for the calories.

Mind your portion sizes. Say “no” to super-sizing, and choose a salad and milk as the “side

dishes” with a fast-food meal.

Avoid eating in front of the TV. If you do, don’t eat from the box or bag.

Make snacks count. Instead of cookies and chips for snacks, have a serving of trail mix with nuts or seeds, dried fruit and whole grains. Or have carrot sticks, a mozzarella cheese stick and a few whole-grain crackers.

If you’re feeling tired, try taking a brisk walk.

If you’re feeling bored, instead of eating, try doing something with your hands, such as playing cards or doing a craft.

Question: I keep hearing about BMI when people talk about weight. What is that? By the way, I’m 5 feet, 10 inches tall and I weigh 200 pounds. I have gained 15 pounds in the last 20 years.

Answer: BMI refers to body mass index, and it is a ratio of your weight to your height. Many health experts use BMI to determine a person’s weight status. You either can use a calculator to find out your BMI or go online. (Just search for BMI calculator on the Internet.)

(Weight in pounds x 703)


(Height in inches x height in inches)

Using your weight (200 pounds) and height in inches (5 feet 10 inches, or 70 inches), we would calculate as follows:

(200 x 703)

—— = 28.7

(70 x 70)

Here is what BMI scores mean:

Below 18.5 = Underweight

18.5 24.9 = Normal weight

25 29.9 = Overweight

30 and above = Obese

Your BMI is 28.7, so you would be considered “overweight.” Be sure to discuss your weight with your health-care provider. Even losing 5 percent of body weight (in your case, 10 pounds) is linked with health benefits.


1 (15.5-oz.) can chickpeas

4 Tbsp. tahini*

c. lemon juice

3 cloves crushed garlic

1 tsp. salt

Optional spices (cumin, cayenne pepper, hot sauce)

* Note: Tahini is available in grocery stores, often in the specialty food section.

Puree peas in blender or food processor (or mash thoroughly by hand). Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. The final product should be thick and smooth. Serve with vegetables, such as carrots, celery or chunks of red or green pepper, or with whole-grain crackers or pita bread.

Makes 12 servings. Each serving has 70 calories, 3 grams (g) of fat, 0.4 g of saturated fat, 3 g of protein, 10 g of carbohydrate,2 g of fiber, 160 milligrams (mg) of sodium, 0.7 mg of iron and 29.3 micrograms of folate.

From NDSU Extension Service Food Wise Julie Garden-Robinson, Food & Nutrition Specialist

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