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RE: [IP] palm pilot...worth the expense?

My family gave me a Handspring Prism (the color model) for Christmas. It
runs the Palm OS. My main reason for wanting one was to be able to keep a
portable carb database with me at all times.  I don't want to lug around a
book to have carb information, and the book I have that fits in my purse
does not have adequate information. 

I decided to download the BalanceLog software from HealtheTech.com. It
allows me to track all my food (complete with nutritional information) and
exercise. I considered getting the software for entering and recording bg
levels, etc., but I realized that my One Touch Profile meter already does
that. My endo always downloads my meter, and I don't keep any other log
book.  The BalanceLog includes a huge database of foods, including many
chain restaurants. You have the option of adding new foods to the database
and programming your own menus. For instance, if you always eat the same
thing for breakfast, why not set up a breakfast menu and enter all the
foods at once.

The software sets up nutrition and exercise targets based on whether you
want to gain, lose, or maintain your current weight.  You can enter a diet
plan such as the ADA diet, Heart Association diet, or a customized diet. I
customized my goals to mimic the Zone diet.  I can choose to view my daily
nutrition sorted by calories, carbs, protein, fat (eek!), or a variety of
other nutrients, like sodium or iron.

I have only been using it a few days, but so far, I find the food and
exercise databases to be great. For what it's worth, I am more conscious
now of my need to exercise (it tells me if I haven't), and I've been doing
better about exercising -- my number one shortcoming in managing my health.
Too soon to say if I'll continue. Afterall, I'm still in "New Year
Resolution" mode. Ask me again in March <vbg>.

However, this software is not targeted specifically for managing diabetes
like the Animas software. I can't input my carb to insulin ratio and have
it tell me how much insulin to give. Yet, the Handspring does have a
built-in calculator, so I can figure it out quickly enough.

This software does not require a color device. But if you want to play any
games on your PDA, color is very nice. :-) My husband tells me he decided
to go with the Handspring over the Palm because the Handspring has a
brighter display, with more contrast. Easier on the eyes.

Other things I've found my PDA useful for: a portable schedule and address
book (lighter weight than a day-planner), an e-book reader, a gaming device
(tons of freeware games are available for Palm OS), and I can download my
email to it.  I also like the built-in calculator -- one less thing to cart

BalanceLog costs $49. PDAs range in price. The color model I have cost $299
at CompUSA. If you get a monochrome version, be sure to get one with at
least 8 MB of memory. 

Mary Jean
Happily pumping for 5 years
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