I’ve spent some time thinking about myfitnesspal this week, deciding if I should use it for the health tracking and visualization project. What I found is that there is an API for which you can register, and there’s also this Python library. In the end I decided not to use it, mainly for two reasons:
- I don’t like investing too much into one service/company with my data. Not so much because of security reasons, but rather I don’t want to one day lose it when the API changes, or when the company stops existing.
- MFP tracks a lot of things I don’t care about at this moment (calories, nutrients composition). I want to keep it simple and customized.
Keeping things really simple allowed me to actually start coding something. I figured out a system and a format I’m gonna be using to track stuff. It has three levels:
- small physical notebook, in which I’m writing stuff that I eat throughout the day. This is crucial because for the initial note keeping there needs to be absolutely no format, just write it down somehow
- google sheet which is basically just a transcription of the physical notebook
- google sheet where meals are “tokenized” into ingredients
I finally started coding this week. I loaded the ingredient tokens and generated a list of all things (ingredients) I usually eat (and tracked so far):
Just for a start, I rendered them all at random locations on the screen:
I also started to build a yearly view (so far all the months have 31 days). The idea is to select a certain ingredient (or an ingredient group later) and highlight in the yearly view where it has been tracked:
So far I’m using openFrameworks because it’s a familiar environment for me (and I want to learn it more). I can totally see that it might be useful to do this project in a web environment later but for now that would mean learning way too much new stuff.