Food. It’s a wonderful social glue that binds people and cultures together in common practices of preparation, presentation, and consumption. It also happens to be a behavior perfectly positioned for self-tracking. Have I ate too much? Did I get enough vitamins? Am I drinking enough water? Am I drinking too much beer? These introspections can go on almost indefinitely. It should come as no surprise that food tracking is somewhat of a hot topic in the Quantified Self community. We’ve seen many different presentations about how to use simple tools or apps for food tracking over the years. One of the reoccurring themes in many of the experiences we’ve learned about is the simple power of tracking food with pictures.
Ellis Bartholomeus is a game and design consultant who became interested in tracking her food consumption after her friends asked her about he eating patterns. Being the curious type she embarked on a self-tracking project that involved taking a picture of everything she ate and drank. She’s detailed some of her findings in this wonderful blog post. We’re excited to learn more about this ongoing project at our upcoming QS Europe Conference where Ellis will be taking part in our Show & Tell presentations track. Until then, here’s a peek into her what is sure to be an interesting talk.
Ellis began by taking a picture of her food and also informing her friends through Facebook of her intentions. The social pact and the positive reactions of her friends helped to give her that extra motivations boost to keep the poject going. She also mentioned that the simple act of taking a picture provided here with that little extra push to pay attention to her food preparation and not miss too many meals during her busy schedule.
Interestingly, Ellis mentions that the act of photographing her food led her to be more mindful and thoughtful not just about her meals, but also about her day-to-day experiences:
It became a great way to remember how I spent my days, where I was, with whom, very clear reference these pictures, work like very clear anchors in my memory, very joyful to browse through the month foodwise since dinner, breakfast is so often a social occassion, and I was reminded on great conversations and situation while looking at the picture.
We are really excited to have Ellis presenting as part of our Show & Tell track. Make sure to check out our previous conference preview posts as well to get a taste of our amazing community of speakers.
The Quantified Self European Conference will be held in Amsterdam on May 11th & 12th. Registration is now open. As with all our conferences our speakers are members of the community. We hope to see you there!