Thursday, August 11, 2011

Well it's Official...

If you haven't seen this movie...we can no longer be friends. 

So this morning I decided to bite the bullet and register for the college algebra class I've been dreading preparing for by going to a tutor to refill my brain with all the math I've forgotten over the past ten years... I think it was a coping mechanism.  Math was not my favorite subject, I did well enough in it, but just because I tolerated it didn't mean I liked it.

No seriously though, I am kind of having fun with math... so let's make this post all about math!  Math has a lot to do with nutrition.  I use it every day to measure portions and calculate calories.

So lets say we have a turkey sandwhich that is 3" wide and 4" tall, if we cut it on a diagonal what is the hypotenuse of our sandwhich.

Well... assuming our bread forms a perfect right triangle.. which maybe it does that is yet to be known... we can use the Pythagorean theorem!

Pythagoras was a pretty smart dude, he figured out in a right-angled triangle the area of the square on the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares of the other two sides...huh... ?


^^ This is our half of a turkey sandwich^^

So... if we have 3^2 + 4^2 = c^2

so, 9 + 16 = 25

take the square root of 25 you get 5, so c=5

So the theorem works: 3^2 +4^2 = 5^2

And that means our bread was baked in a tin that made it a perfect 90 degree angle!
(because of course all bread is baked like that in real life :))

Honestly, the Pythagorean theorem probably has nothing to do with my day to day applications of weighing and measuring my food, but it's fun! And it makes me feel smart.

But... lets say you're on a diet and one of your meals requires exactly 25.88g of protein.  The suggested serving is 100g of a can of tuna.

So based off of my meal plan 100g of canned tuna = 25.88g of protein.  But you go in the cabinet and you're out of tuna... so what else can you replace your 25.88g of lean protein with??

How about chicken breast?

Hrm, according to calorie king 100g of chicken breast is 31g of protein. 

But you should only have 25.88g of protein in this meal.

How much chicken can you have?

Guess what, I have no freakin clue! This is why I'm going to a tutor.  I'm not math saavy enough, but if you play around on calorie king long enough and plug in the numbers you can have 83g of chicken breast. There's got to be a way to figure this out other than clicking till you get the right number!!?!

... wait a light bulb went off... 

last night I was retaught to cross multiply when trying to find the length of a sides of similar triangles...and I was taught to set up my formula to solve for the angle not given... that the similar side of each triangle determines your numerator and denominator (ie side a of triangle 1 is similar to side g of triangle 2 so a/g etc. side b of triangle 1 is similar to side x of triangle 2 so b/x... I was given the values of a, b, & g so I had to solve for x )... anyway, before I go off on too much of a tangent...

(I just did a happy dance and I'm not even kidding!)

 We know based off a 100g portion of chicken we get 31g of protein so 31g/100g
we have to have 25.88g of protein but what is our portion??... that is "X"

31g/100g = 25.88g / x

Protein servings / portion size

Cross multiply you get 31x = 2588
Divide each side by 31...
31 is eliminated from one side of the equation leaving x by itself

x= 83.48g of chicken!!

I can't believe I just figured that out... that means I'm actually retaining this knowledge.

Algebra CAN be applied to weighing and portioning out your food.

Alright I'm done geeking out.

School officially starts August 29th, this is the first step towards becoming a registered dietitian. I'm only taking one class because it's all I can afford to do right now and it's all I have time for as well.  If i can survive this then maybe I can survive biology, and microbiology... and then organic chemistry...ugh what am I getting myself into.

No comments: