When I was seeking help for my unexpected and frightening diagnosis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, I dove into whatever information I could find!
I ended up buying a guide, which definitely helped put me back on the road to health … though, like a lot of people, I stumbled, took a couple steps back, got lazy with tracking results on a notebook I kept, and sometimes cheated.
Luckily, through my aching and drive to get healthy so I could watch my kids graduate, I beat NAFLD – today I’m a healthy guy in his 50s with a wife, two fantastic grown children and an active lifestyle. I’ve made it my goal to share what I did then – and what you can do now – to achieve a healthy liver and life.
But let me tell you, folks. If only I’d had a tool specifically for fatty liver patients to track my results, I certainly wouldn’t have been stumbling like I had been!
A New Health Tracker Specifically For Fatty Liver Sufferers
I found out that Dorothy Spencer, RN and author of The Liver Diet Guide, was working on a special health tracker, called Livertracker.com (note, if you click the link, you will receive a quarterly discount … more on that below).
I was immediately interested and signed up so I could do my own “walk-through” and see how the program is day-to-day.
I was very pleasantly surprised! It has a wealth of information for fatty liver sufferers, recipes, exercise trackers and a 12 week class to improve your health. So I dug deeper …
Liver Tracker – What is It?
Liver Tracker is more than just a health tracker – think of it as a wellness coach, a 12-step program and a liver-friendly recipe book. There are many health trackers out there, but nothing designed by nurses and dietitians specifically for liver patients.
When I was struggling with finding just the right health balance, correcting my NAFLD condition and losing a few pounds, I never really did find that “one resource” where I could note exactly what was going on with my life and my liver. In retrospect, a one-stop shop (so to speak) would have been tremendous for me. It certainly would have saved me a lot of time and motivated me on those days where I slid backward in my health goals.
Here’s what the site offers:
A 12-Week Master Class
I had to put this first because it blew me away. This is an incredible guide and wealth of information. Week by week, you’ll learn more and more about your health (and how to work the site itself – actually, Class 1 is about that specifically, so you know what the heck you’re doing).
By breaking things down week by week, you’re given bite-size pieces of information that are easy to read, follow and incorporate into your daily life.
- Welcome to Livertracker (a guide to features)
- How to Form Long-Lasting Habits
- Dieting for liver health
- Meal Logging
- Exercise and test results
- Liver diet hacks, tips and tricks
- Integrating nutrition, diet and exercise into your lifestyle
Reading through them, I found a wealth of tips, 30 minute challenges, goal settings, videos, cooking classes and exercises … I found myself going “Yup! I should have done that!” quite a bit … they definitely would have helped me when I was struggling.
I recommend reading each class week by week, as they build on one another. Bottom line: they’re all useful. One or two got slightly redundant, so take what you need from these informative classes and incorporate them into your journey back to health.
Daily Liver Nutrition Goals Dashboard
This is the first thing you see when you login, and will be particularly useful if you’ve received dietary instructions and restrictions from your doctor. Even without this guidance, the Daily Liver Nutrition Goals tracker is a fantastic way to keep track of your meal intake.
It tracks and sums up:
- Weight goal progress
- Daily calorie limit
- Health logs
This kicks things up a notch from the standard “carbs, calories and protein” offered by many nutrition tracker sites and keeps you accountable and on top of exactly what you have consumed during the day, as well the progress of your goals.
How does it track your nutrition? Simply select one of the recipes in the guide, enter the number of servings (usually 1), and the program will automatically log it for you. Done!
One thing I’d like to see is a way to add (or create) my own recipes … but I stopped counting after 200 recipes, so it sounds like there’s quite a few! You can also filter by meal type, and vegetarian-only dishes, high protein, high fiber, and low fat recipes.
Once you find a recipe, simply select it. You have the option to print it, and I tried this for dinner last night … I did substitute the spice, but it was delicious!
Once you finish a meal, log into the “Food” tab on the main dashboard, search for the recipe you made, type in the number of servings, and click “Log Now” … your dashboard will update your daily nutritional values.
Track Your Weight
There is also a way to track your weight, either in pounds or kilos, so you can watch your progress over time. I’m a BIG believer in weighing myself weekly – mostly because everybody’s weight fluctuates all the time. It can be disheartening to not see a loss one week, or even to see a slight bump-up. I was nearly derailed many times by the gut-punch of having stayed exactly on-plan but not seeing a loss.
On the other hand, a program that allows you to track regularly will show you your general trend. Is it down, up or flat (basically)? If over time you’re seeing a downward trend, you’re doing things right. I really appreciate this feature on the site.
You also have your own quick online journal, almost like a personal Twitter. Were you bloated today? Sluggish? Unusually full of energy? Did you work out? Did you eat a lot of sodium?
Health Notes allow you to put your observations of seemingly random information in so you can look back later and try to spot trends. If you discover, for example, that every time you’ve been bloated, you ate cheese that day, well…the answer is obvious…no cheese, or reduce your cheese, or try lactose-free. (That’s just an example…I actually love cheese and eat it in moderation according to my daily planning and my goals.)
If you don’t know “where something fits” or if you have the suspicion that today was “off” (or more exceptionally “on”) for a given reason, Health Notes is where to jot down your thoughts so you can go back over things later and look for clues to your health.
I’d like to see more listings of specific types of exercise. With that said, I was able to enter equivalents to the various types of exercise I get and workouts I do.
Having a exercise tab keeps a person accountable. When I know I’m going to look back later and see whether I was motivated or lazy, I’m more likely to get off the couch and go for it.
For the record, I did keep a log of my exercise when I was working on defeating my NAFLD. I actually kept it on an Excel spreadsheet. However, I had no clue how many calories I was burning, so I just logged in the amount of time.
With Liver Tracker, you simply choose the type of exercise and the amount of time, and the program gives you an approximate calorie burn. Then click “Log Now” to add it to your tracker. Done!
Symptoms and Test Results
Now here are two things I hadn’t thought of tracking myself when I was working on my liver health. I can definitely see how these two tabs could be a help when seeing your doctor. Your symptoms may seem random (with NAFLD, they often do). Or they may mean nothing at all. Only your doctor can tell you.
Keep track of these symptoms and show your doctor! She needs to know exactly what you’re experiencing, or she can’t help you. I quickly learned to not be embarrassed and rather, to “tell all” at the doctor’s office. The trade off of not doing so – possibly not getting healthy – just wasn’t worth it.
As for test results, this too could be extremely motivating, OR a warning sign. Both are useful during your health journey.
Should You Try It?
It’s pretty obvious that I like (really like!) this program. Should you try it? Honestly, what do you have to lose (except perhaps excess weight, and excess fat in your liver)? If you’re like me and are motivated and enlightened by keeping track of your daily and long-term goals, and you’re working on defeating NAFLD, yes, I’d recommend it.
I did find a couple bugs, but nothing major … for instance, make sure you type in “1” serving, or it will go in increments of 0.1 serving. There’s also a couple features still being worked on, such as seeing graphs of your weight progress and a personalized health timeline.
I contacted Dorothy Spencer and told her about this blog, and if I could help out my readers with a discount. She agreed!
She usually charges $47 per 3 months for this program, but is offering you an exclusive discount through the link below … you can get it for $37 per 3 months instead – but only for a limited number of people at a time … check to see if the discount is still available …
Even though I am no longer a patient, I’m using it now, mainly for the wealth of recipes. Plus, I get a kick out of tracking my results 🙂
Please comment below if you’ve tried it, and what your results were. Did it help you? I’d love to know what you think!
To your health,