It’s all in the detail

I know I said I wouldn’t want to swamp the blog with diet stuff but can you bear with the enthusiasm for a short while, please?

This fasting diet is essentially a good old calorie-counting diet and it’s all in the detail. I am not a detail-oriented person, not by any stretch! Anything that might help me keep to the straight and narrow will be warmly welcomed. I can not, will not, reduce myself to ready-mades and pre-packaged foods or, worst of all, diet foods.

Ugh.

So I set about looking for some of those kitchen scales that tell you the calorie counts in your ingredients. It seemed to be a good idea. After all, my kitchen scales are on their way out anyway and new ones will be needed soon.

What I found however is that all the scales on the market are lacking somewhat.

  • Nutritional scales appear in general (and please tell me if you have found this to be different) to be of lesser quality per £ than ordinary scales
  • The pre-programmed foods are normally identified only by codes, for which a book is needed to look up the input values
  • The pre-programmed foods are largely branded convenience foods…
  • … and mostly US brands that do not apply here

Now, it seems to me that calorie counting is easy if you don’t cook. Buying convenience foods provides you with a full analysis – do read it, it’s often a horrible eye-opener – and all that the calorie counter needs to do is to a small arithmetic operation on the overall package calorie count unless adhering to the recommended portion size, where the accurate count is often already provided.

The need for the nutritional scales in a proper cooking kitchen is because spuds don’t come with a calorie-counted label. It’s all very well learning how many cals are in 100g of potato… but how big is that spud that you just lobbed into your stew?

What I want is to be able to prep my raw ingredients, add them to a scale that will weigh e.g. “potatoes” and come up with the calorie count for that actual pile of chopped potatoes. Yes? Seems easy, doesn’t it?  Mostly the nutritional scales have basic ingredients as far as I can tell but anything more esoteric requires programming by hand which requires a manual lookup elsewhere for the values.

That’s a basic but it seems to me that such a scale should be able to sum all the ingredients in a meal and offer up a final figure.

Enter Situ.

In my internet travels around the Nutritional Scale market yesterday, I stumbled across a Kickstarter page for Situ and Situ looked as though it will be exactly what is needed. Where do I sign up? I’ll put my money behind that development!

Well, as with all the clever Kickstarter ideas that I fall across, it was already fully funded. In fact the Kickstarter backers’ products are going out this month. It should be hitting the market before too long and a web site/shop is already up – if not actually running.

Let me tell you about Situ. It’s a set of Bluetooth scales with app for iPad or Android.

Chew on that!

Now, don’t be misled by that accent – Michael Grothaus, the developer of this product, lives in the UK. The unit works in both Metric and Imperial units and I am confident that it will meet the needs of the UK cook and calorie counter.

You might say “well, it’s just a fancy scale, what’s the point?” and I will reply that, in addition to the simplified use and the drag and drop interface, there is dietary tracking.

I’ve signed up to the mailing list for notification of product release and I hope to have my own Situ as soon as I can. I don’t doubt that it’s going to be expensive but I’ve put my foot down and staked my claim on the housekeeping budget. Mr L agrees and expects it to come in at something over £70. That’s something that I failed to find in my research. So, rather more expensive than the Nutritional Scales that I found at Amazon yesterday but offering more bangs per (British) buck, I reckon.

Can’t wait to get my hands on one.

I’ll be needing a screen protector for the tablet… I’m a messy cook.

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