By Bruce Mylrea
At OneDayToWellness.org, we are passionate and committed to providing simple, useful, evidence based tools to improve nutrition and health. When attempting to change behavior as it relates to food and nutrition, one of the most effective tools has proven to be the traditional food log – “If you bite it, you write it”. This technique has proven to be useful in assisting some individuals to become more aware of how much, and what they are eating. However, food logging can be difficult, awkward, and very time consuming for most people, and is usually never fully employed or dropped early on in a individual’s journey to improved nutrition. One of our key tenants in our One Day To Wellness certification is “simple, simple, simple”. If it is not easy to incorporate into your busy life, chances are it won’t be used at all or not for very long.
Our good friend Dr. Michael Greger and his team at Nutritionfacts.org, have developed a free app for your smart phone that eliminates the time-consuming hassle of the food log – The Daily Dozen. Based on years of accumulated un-biased scientific research, Dr. Greger and his research team have created a list of foods he recommends eating every day to optimize your long-term health and longevity. The foods, along with suggested quantities and personal favorites, are incorporated into this simple app that acts more like a reverse food plan. As you consume the foods throughout the day, you simply check off the box for each on the app. The goal is to consume the correct quantity of each of these foods until you have checked off all boxes. For example, Dr. Greger recommends at least one serving of cruciferous veggies and at least two servings of other greens per day. Serving sizes for greens are a half cup cooked, or full cup raw. In addition, each food category has a link to a short video highlighting the research that backs up the suggested food.
The Daily Dozen app provides the individual empowerment and motivation to consume the foods scientifically proven to be the most beneficial to our health. It’s the most effective nutritional behavioral change tool I have come across, and it’s FREE!
The app is designed for people who are in the process of transitioning to a more scientifically evidence based diet. Instead of dreading filling out a food log, the individual is now encouraged and motivated to make sure they consume all the foods (and beverages) listed in the app. Once the behavior has become internalized and habitual, you won’t need the app anymore because it’s done its job.
Finally, you can feel confident that Dr. Greger is providing you with the best possible information to date on the most important foods to include in your diet because Nutritionfacts.org is a strictly non-commercial, science based public service organization. That means they are not attempting to sell or market anything other than evidence-based nutritional information.
What’s the downside of downloading the app and giving it a try? None! Only an upside of improved health for you and your family.