These are projects posted by the students of Dr. Gove Allen at Brigham Young University. These students have taken one semester-long course on VBA and generally have had no prior programming experience

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Nutritious Meal Planner - Dain Berrett

Nutritious Meal Planner

Dain Berrett

Executive Summary


In January of this year I decided to make a major lifestyle change in regards to my health and nutrition. I researched several fitness plans and settled on the Body for Life approach, mostly due to its practical nature and rounded approach to wellness. Body for Life emphasizes 6 days of exercise a week, alternating between strength training and aerobics. Because you are expected to gain muscle quickly, excellent nutrition is key. The program recommends 6 meals a day, each of which includes one portion each of protein and carbs. Additionally, two meals a day (at minimum) require vegetables. The acceptable proteins, carbs, and vegetables are limited to a certain lean, non-processed list.

For the first 10 weeks of the program things were going great and I was both losing fat and gaining muscle. I was enjoying the meals a lot at first, but was finding that I rarely had time to really plan them out. I kept on resorting to eating the same meals again and again and getting tired of them. Additionally, without knowing exactly what meals to plan for during the week, grocery shopping on Saturday was difficult for my wife and I. These difficulties were threatening my success in the program, and I knew I had to find a way to automate creating my meal plan each week from a pool of acceptable proteins, carbs, and vegetables.


My spreadsheet does this very thing, generating 6 meals for each day of the week and only drawing from a set list of Body for Life foods. Further, I have built in many of my own preferences to the logic in the macro. For example, the first meal of each day always includes eggs (I love eggs in the morning). The third and sixth meals are protein shakes (I love mixing these throughout the day). The other meals can come from any mix of the food groups. This meal generator will ensure that I stay on track with the program and continue to enjoy a diversity of foods. With one click I can generate meals for a week, and with another click I can print it off to hang on my fridge for reference.


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