Eat Smart Nutrition Scale
I feel pulled in a couple different directions with this post.
Disclaimer: I don't intend for this blog to become some commercialized dumping ground for marketers to flood my e-mail box with requests for posts and product reviews. Because I experienced such strong feelings of conflict through this experience, I don't plan on doing this again.
With that being said, Mr. Geronimo, the man behind the product, approached me in such a genuine and unassuming way that I decided to explore the possibility further. We exchanged a few e-mails and he sent me a review model of his product. We decided on a review model, which I am sending back after trying, so that it does not appear he "purchased" a favorable review by giving me a scale. I'll end up buying one when it's all said and done.
Another concern that I had with doing a review is that I don't have any experience with other scales on the market that have a food database feature. How can I possibly review a product when I don't have any exposure to the competition? Well, I'm not going to. What I can do is run the scale through some of my daily routine. Ready?
I'm not - let's do some more background.
One of the first questions I asked Mr. Geronimo was what makes his Eat Smart Nutrition Scale unique? What sets it apart from the competition?
1) It was designed by nutrition and medical professionals, and from the very beginning the design and functionality were done specifically for people with various conditions (diabetes, hypertension, etc.) for whom there is great importance in tracking specific nutrient intake.
2) The internal database of foods. To piggy back on that point, the manual talks about the specific foods that were selected because nutritional information is not readily available, such as fresh fruits & vegetables, meats, fish, etc. (there are usually no food labels on these items).
3) With each scale comes a booklet titled "A Practical Approach To Healthy Eating", which is a nicely put together and goes into general information on generally healthy eating, cardiovascular health, diabetes (both type 1 and type 2!), osteoporosis, and weight management. I found the section on diabetes to be well done and it was refreshing to see such a brief summary of diabetes touch on the important points of the dietary aspect of managing our condition.
4) (MY FAVORITE FEATURE) A Nutrition Facts Calculator mode of operation. This computes nutrients of a weighed portion using the Nutrition Facts label. In this mode, the scale does the math for me. It is great, and I'll talk a bit more about it.
Ok, enough background. On with the review!
Looking at the damaged edge of the box and the delicate glass tray of the scale, I was hoping that it made it through the postal system in one piece. Which it did. Whew!
In the last few weeks I have used the scale for a couple of different things, none of which used the food database in the scale's memory. I have "unique" eating habits. I pretty much don't eat anything in the list (that doesn't already have a label). Shame on me and my less than ideal eating habits.
I really enjoyed the "Nutrition Facts Calculator" mode on the scale. It is fantastic. It is one of those simple math things that I just don't like to do in my head. I typically get around this dislike for math by measuring everything out to the serving size(s) listed on the nutrition facts label. I have to match how much I want to eat to the serving sizes on the label, just to keep the math simple.
Pasta noodles and minute rice are my most frequently used examples of this. With the pasta noodles I weight out servings in two ounce increments (dry, uncooked noodles). With the minute rice I measure out servings in half cup increments. Another good example would be cereal, but I am usually too lazy to do that kind of thing when I eat cereal.
With the nutrition facts calculator, I weigh how much I want to eat, and the scale does the math for me. Fantastic! I no longer struggle with whether I have exact serving sizes or not. I tell the scale how much one serving weighs (in grams), then how many nutrients per serving I want to know. In my case I wanted to know the grams of carbohydrates. You can only do one nutrient per calculation, so if I needed to know the calories as well I would have to punch more buttons on the scale.
So, when I'm hungry for some minute rice, I pull out the scale, tare out the bowl I'm using, pour in my rice, and presto! I have an exact carb count for my rice. And I didn't have to do any math in my head. I love it.
The other thing I often use my food scale for is preparing some of the foods I bring to work for lunches (14 chips anyone?).
In the pictures below I've told the scale that one serving of pita chips (whole grain!) is 28 grams, and that each serving is 17 grams of carbohydrate. In this picture you can see that I have 30 grams of pita chips, and the scale calculates that those extra 2 grams (weight) equals one more gram (nutrient) of carbohydrate.
Some time later...
As I was weighing and bagging, I did find that there is about a two second delay between placing the food on the scale and getting the calculation. It takes some getting used to, but was not a major distraction.
To wrap up, I enjoyed using the scale and am a bit sorry that I have to send it back. I will end up buying one, mostly for the nutrition facts calculator feature (which is not found on any competitor scales). There are a couple really nice videos on the website that give an introduction and demo of the scale. If you are interested I encourage you to take a look at them. Here are some more photos of the packaging and books.