Nutrition &

Helping middle-aged men who want to get serious about their health


Question & Response

Q: How did you come up with the idea for a resource calculator?
R: wLness Nutrition started out as me using spreadsheets to eat healthier. One day, my sister told me it would be great as an app. Since apps aren’t cheap, I decided to create a completely javascript-driven version of the spreadsheets. The collection of spreadsheets is called The Wellness System and is available here.
Q: What do the green and red squares mean?
R: There are four metrics as part of the calculators, F, P, W, E, and each can be either green or red depending on its value and its threshold. F is the fiber value (Cal/gf) (like fiber density) whose threshold is 50 so below 50 is high fiber value/green and 50 is low fiber value/red. P is the protein value (Cal/gp) (like protein density) whose threshold is 30 so below 30 is high protein value/green and above 30 is low protein value/red. W is the nutritional value (Cal/g) (like nutritional density) whose threshold is 80 so below 80 is high nutritional value/green and above 80 is low nutritional value/red. Lastly is E, the energy value (Cal/gm) (like energy density) whose threshold is 1 so below 1 is high energy value/green and above 1 is low energy value/red. You can read more about metrics and the math behind them in detail here.
Q: Is there a way to save your work and come back to it later?
R: Because the calculators are client-side applications, they aren’t stored in a database where they can be revived. However, there are some ways to keep track of your work: 1) print it out on paper, 2) print it as a PDF, 3) take a screen cap 4) or leave the tab open in the browser until it’s done.
Q: Is this kinda like a recipe?
R: Sorta. A recipe has 3 parts: a list of ingredients, a set of directions, and an execution or the actual meal. The calculators are like a list of ingredients that leave you left to figure out how to combine, cook, and eat them.
Q: How do you create a resource list for multiple people?
R: This can be a bit tricky. Lets say you have a family of 4, Dad, Mom, and 2 kids. If you have the time, you can do each person since they will have different Caloric Ranges. If you don’t have time, you can estimate: do Dad’s first, then modify each resource by 3. This estimates that 3 times his portions will be enough for the other three. Once you’ve done it once or twice you will figure out which scalar to use.
Q: How come I keep adding resources and the resuLts bar won’t turn green?
R: You might need to focus on modifying certain resources. Most people when they first start using the calculators try to add everything. You can create a great resource list out of 3 or 4 resources (sometimes even 1). It’s a matter of how well your resources “play together”. For example, meat and veggies play together nicely. The protein and energy from the meat fills the energy void in the vegetables and the nutrition in the veggies fills the nutrition void in the meat. Peanuts and Macadamia Nuts do not play together nicely because they serve a similar function.
Q: I’m a grazer. Can I still use the calculators?
R: Absolutely! You can plan your daily graze in advance or you can do it as you go along. As you see what you’re consuming, you’ll notice that some resources need to be added, modified, or removed.
Q: Are these calculators suitable for children?
R: These calculators are designed for adults. Check with your family doctor if you want to include your children.
Q: Have these calculators been verified by medical science?
R: These calculators are simply numbers. There is no bias or opinion involved. That being said, a resource calculator does not take the place of medical advice. You should always consult a physician before making any major lifestyle changes.
Q: Do these calculators get easier to use if you use them a lot?
R: Yes. You will figure out what works for you. To simplify my diet, I fast for breakfast with the occasional coffee, lunch is usually roasted Brussels Sprouts with bacon bits, and for dinner I get a variety of veggies, fruits, and lean meats.
Q: Which calculator is best for beginners?
R: Alpha is best for beginning because you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for, but it doesn’t tell you anything about the nature of how the resources are being sorted.
Q: Do you provide any information on how to cook the resources?
R: There is no information on combining or cooking the resources. When it comes to cooking, less is more. For example, make a ragu, meat, tomato sauce, spinach, garlic, and artichokes. You could also make soups as a vehicle for your resources. You will find the resources and resource combinations that work best for you.
Q: Can you copy a recipe into a resource list to see the nutritional result?
R: Yes. Use the Alpha Calculator to find ingredients faster.
Q: Some of my favorite resources aren’t listed anywhere. Can you add them?
R: Yes. Send me your list of resources you want added and if I am able, I will add them: wlness.org@gmail.com
Q: Which calculators are suitable for what tasks?
R: Smart is sorted by nutritional value, Energy is sorted by energy value, Adaptive is sorted by all metrics depending on how the user chooses (F, P, W, E). All the calculators that have a sort by one or more of the metrics (F, P, W, E) are most healthy at the top and least healthy at the bottom. Alpha is sorted by alphabetical order. Alpha is best for mobile phone since you can’t keyboard jump on a select box on a phone.
Q: Do I have to convert everything into the metric system?
R: The wLness calculators are completely in the metric system. I’ve found that the numbers make more sense especially for comparison.
Q: What if I’m using my cell phone and I want to print my work?
R: Most cell phones today have a print page button that will convert your browser window into a PDF file.
Q: How can I be sure that something will taste good, especially with the Adaptive Calculator?
R: You may have to try a few different ingredients until you find the ones that play well together. I’ve found that tomato sauce plays well with most anything, and blackberries are my favorite dessert.
Q: Can I use these calculators for tracking my resources?
R: Yes! All you have to do, and this is for grazers too, put your daily range where it says Caloric Range instead of your meal's range. Then just enter each resource and amount as the day progresses, and by the end of the day, you will know how you measure up. I would use the Alpha to make tracking easier.