ifood™ Quickstart Tutorial


  • The ifood™ Nutrition Monitor is organized in tabs.
  • You enter and edit personal data on the Personal Data tab
  • You build your own food database by adding food items and combining them into courses and meals on the Foods tab
  • Selecting food from your personal food database, you record and monitor your daily food consumption on the Consumption tab
  • You monitor your long-term food intake and calories breakdown on the History tab
  • If you want to comment your daily food consumption you can create separate journal items using the built-in itext™ plugin.

Step by Step

  1. The ifood™ plugin requires the iwrite.4.life journal system, which you need to download and install before you can use the plugin.
  2. If you haven't installed ifood yet please do so now. Download the  ifood plugin, extract the contents of the zipped file and double-click the extracted setup.exe file. You should also download and install the setup package for the USDA food database (free). Although you will not need it for this tutorial you may want to use it later to select food from it instead of adding it manually.
  3. Start iwrite.4.life and open or create a journal that you want to use as your food diary.
  4. Create new item dialogCreate a new journal item by pressing Ctrl+N. On the right side of the Create New Item dialog choose ifood Nutrition Monitor from the Item Type box (Select values from the left side of the dialog to your liking).  Press Enter or click OK.
  5. Empty ifood itemAn ifood journal item will be created but you cannot yet record any consumption because your personal food database is still empty.
  6. Foods tabTo enter food into your personal foods database click the Foods tab.
  7. Add food item manuallyThe Food Items, Courses, and Meals columns are all empty. To add your first food item click on Food Items and select Add Manually... from the Add Food Item menu.
  8. Create food item dialogCreate food item dialog filled inThe fields marked bright red on this dialog are required fields. It is recommended that you also fill in the remaining fields or you will not be able to analyze the breakdown of food components or correctly add up the calories you consume.
  9. Meal type dialogClick OK and select as which kind of meal the new food item will typically be served (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack). This may be helpful once your personal food database grows to a substantial size. You can then find what you'r looking for by only displaying food of a certain category, e.g., breakfasts only. Since we created an entry for a PowerBar we'll check just snack.
  10. Food editor with first food item createdYou should now see the food item you just created in the Food Items column of the Food Editor. Right-click the new entry (or click the column header) to see which actions are available. To actually add this food item to a consumption you have to move back to the Consumption tab but let's first enter some personal data.
  11. Personal data tab with some fields filled inClick the Personal Data tab. There's some data that you'll typically only add once (data in the Personal Data section) and some that you will enter every day (like weight and data in the Heart Rate Monitor section). For the purpose of this QuickStart tutorial it will suffice to fill in the fields that have bold labels marked with an asterisk. Those values are necessary to calculate your daily calorie requirements. Note that in the above screenshot no weight has yet been entered and, therefore, the BMI (Body Mass Index) and BMR (Base Metabolic Rate) values in the lower right-hand section cannot yet be calculated correctly. Pause the mouse pointer over a field to see an explanation.
  12. Search for food by using the full-text search boxNow click the Consumption tab. If you've followed the above example you can enter "power" (or just "pow" will do) in the search box to find the new food item. A food item is selectedAlternatively, you can select Snack from the Time box below Browse Food since we've classified the PowerBar as a snack. Finally, you could also select Food Item from the Type box to switch to a display of only food items (as opposed to courses or meals).
    The selected food's composition and the total calories of a typical serving are displayed as a pie chart next to the Search Food area.
  13. Double-click the calendar to create a consumption or add to an existing oneWith the food item selected double-click a time slot on the calendar column to add the food item to it as a consumption. If a consumption is already selected on the calendar you could also add more food to it by clicking the Add to Consumption button.
  14. A consumption was created from a food selectionNow that you have actually created a food consumption (as opposed to just selected a food) its calories and composition are displayed in the monitoring and editing area on the right side of the screen. Note that so far the current food selection on the left side of the screen and the selected consumption show identical values. That's because you just consumed one serving of a PowerBar. However, if you keep adding more foods to a selected consumption, it's total calories and composition will change and this will be reflected in the pie chart on the right.
    You can change the number of servings and/or the serving size in the data grid below the pie chart. The total calories are automatically updated by multiplying servings and serving size.
    You can also delete consumptions or components of consumptions from the data grid.
  15. Click day chart button to show a chart of your daily food consumptionClick the Day Chart button to display a diagram of your daily consumption in place of the data grid. To switch back to the data grid view click the same button again (when the day chart is displayed it is labeled Edit Consumption).
  16. A day chart with one consumptionNot surprisingly, since you've only added a single consumption so far, the Day Chart will only show one consumption. As you keep adding consumptions during the day, a "stair" of consumptions will develop leading up to the green line representing your Base Metabolic Rate (BMR). A day chart with two consumptionsIt will probably eventually cross that line ad approach the yellow line labeled PAL (Physical Activity Level). If you enter additional calories consumed by exercising (on the Personal Data tab) there will also be a red line higher up still. Crossing this line (or the yellow line in the absence of exercising) indicates a surplus of calories consumed.