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                                 Frequently Asked Questions                            

     Everything You Need To Know About CookBookPlus

CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 and Microsoft Access Runtime

CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 has been packaged to run using the Microsoft Access Runtime files.   This version installs and runs on Windows 7, 8, and 10.  The Runtime files are installed as part of the setup.

       Some Key Features And Functions In CookBookPlus Desktop 2016

      For What It's Worth

Q: What do CookBookPlus and a bicycle have in common?

A: They are both easier to use in real life than to describe in writing. Have you ever read a good book on how to ride a bicycle?? I bet not. And I also bet you learned to ride a bicycle very quickly when someone taught you how!! Please, watch the CookBookPlus Instructional Videos.

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Q: Besides a PC, what else do I need ?

A: Desire and commitment; we will supply the solution for achieving your nutritional goals.  CookBookPlus is the perfect tool for helping you achieve goals related to personal wellness, diet, fitness, nutrition, weight loss, and overall health.

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Q: What is the minimum recommend PC for CookBookPlus Desktop 2016?

A: Windows 7 PC With All Applicable Updates Installed Per Windows Update Or Microsoft Update
Sound System And Video Card To Play Instructional Video Clips
Monitor Resolution Set To 1280 x 1024, A 17” Or Larger Size Monitor Is Recommended

CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 is a Microsoft Access 2016 application, designed to operate with the Access 2016 Runtime system. Installing CookBookPlus Desktop 2016  will automatically install the Access 2016 Runtime files on your PC. The install may also update certain Windows files. Re-Boots are sometimes required during installation.

You can use Window’s “Add Remove Programs” to uninstall CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 and the Access 2016 Runtime files.

CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 requires 15 MB of hard drive; Access 2016 Runtime takes another 35 MB. We suggest that you have at least 200 MB free before installing to allow room for extracting the files and for various temp install files.

CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 is a color-keyed visual program; so we recommend a 17” flat panel or 19” monitor. You can, of course, use a 15” screen, but you may have to scroll in some screens depending on the screen resolution supported by your monitor. You will have the best user experience using a screen resolution of 1280 x 1024.

Q: How long does installation take?

A: That depends on your particular system. Typically, it takes less than 5 minutes even if Access Runtime needs to be installed.

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Q: Do I have to register my copy of CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 after installing it.?

A: You do not have to register yourself as a user after installing CookBookPlus Desktop 2016. However, we hope that you will voluntarily provide us with a user profile so we can communicate if necessary. Just email us your contact information. We will not bury you with emails! But we will use the profile to inform you of upgrades, bug fixes, etc.

However, you must “Activate” CookBookPlus Desktop 2016.

You must activate (1) within 5 days of initial install; and/or (2) before you view (i.e. look at) more than 100 individual recipe or meal records; and/or (3) you accumulate more than 10 recipes and/or 30 meals (Sampler Demo), Or 30 recipes and/or 120 meals (Trial Demo Or Full Version). If you do not activate CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 within these parameters, the software will go into reduced function mode until activation is accomplished!

CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 activation is very simple, and only takes a few seconds. You will be prompted to do so each time you run the software until you have activated it. The process consists of sending us (either via a link to our web site, or via email) your CD Key "Request" (a simple cut/paste, just be sure to send us the entire request string).  After we receive your request, we will generate your activation key code, and email it back to you as a text string in the subject field of an email.   When you receive the email, just paste the entire subject line of our email back into the activation form that displays when you run CookBookPlus Desktop 2016. Then, simply hit the “Enter” key on your keyboard to complete the process. Also, you do not need to hand-type in each character of the “Activation Key”. Our easy-enter form automatically parses out our response text string; this greatly eliminates data entry errors.

CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 activation does not utilize any information related to your computer’s hardware profile, nor is any such information transmitted to us. But you will need to activate CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 after each install (including re-installs on the same computer).

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Q: Do you have a demo version?

A: Yes. We have a free demo version; it is identical to our full version except that:

Sampler Demo: Will Time Out After About 15 Days
                           Only Accumulates 10 Recipes
                           Only Accumulates 30 Meals (All Users)
                           Can Only Run The Sampler Demo 50 Times

See Download Demo

And For The Demo Version ...
You Need To Log On As The User “Bob” To View Example Meals, Exercises, And Related Reports
All Data Entered Using The Demo Versions Cab Be Retained If You Upgrade To The Full Version.

And, when you decide to purchase the full version, the existing Demo installation can easily be upgraded.  So there is no need to uninstall the Demo.

Simply mail us a check and we will email you an attached file that will convert your existing demo into the full version. This process will require that you activate the software again.

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Q: Can I download the demo to try it out?

A: Yes. You can download our Sampler Demo here.

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Q: Are the demo versions free?

A: The downloadable Sampler Demo is free.   You can use this page to download a demo.

      You can also "test drive" our online demo of CookBookPlus On The Web; see this page.

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Q: What do the CD demo versions cost?

A: The downloadable demo is free.  See this page for general pricing.

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Q: What does the full version cost?

A: See this page.

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Q: Can I purchase CookBookPlus online?

A: No!  We prefer that you first try our free demo version.  Then, if you like the program, you can simply mail us a check and we will email you an attached small file that will convert your existing demo into the full version. This process will require that you activate the software again.  See this page.

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Q: How can I preview your program without buying something?

A: Yes

Download the Sampler Demo

Try the Online Demo

Watch the Instructional Videos for our desktop version.

Watch the Instructional Videos for our web version.

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Q: So what can I do with the demo version?

A: Everything that you can do with the full version except that the program will time out after a while.

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Q: Is 15 days enough time to evaluate the program?

A: More than enough. Most prospective users need only run the program one or twice to decide to buy!

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Q: If I use the demo to enter recipes, meals, and exercises, do I have to start over and reenter my data when I upgrade to the full version?

A: No. Data entered using the CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 demo can still be used after installing the CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 full version.  And just to be safe, remember to use the Demo program's backup utility first!

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Q: How good is your User Manual ?

A: THERE IS NO MANUAL (not even a .pdf version). Everything you need to know is in the videos.

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Q: Why no manual?

A: Most users will not read them. Period. For most, a user manual is a “feel good” possession; always kept in a convenient place, but never touched. Just use CookBookPlus Desktop 2016; you’ll feel good.

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Q: Do you provide any examples with the software?

A: Yes. CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 (both CD & download versions) contains 6 example recipes, 24 example meals (8 days worth), and 2 months of logged exercises (approximately 20 per month).

The recipes are viewable by all users at all times. However, you have to log on as the user “Bob” to see the example meals & exercises.

The meal & exercise examples supplied with CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 represent the most recent set actually logged by the user “Bob” immediately preceding the production of the copy of CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 in your possession. Therefore, they are “current date” sensitive. Bear in mind that certain charts and nutrition reports in CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 are created using a default date range that is the preceding 31 days (from the current date). If you have had your copy of CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 longer than either 31 days (regarding the example meals) or 60 days (regarding the example exercises), certain of the charts and nutrition reports will indicate that there is no data for the user “Bob” UNLESS YOU FIRST CHANGE THE SPECIFIED DATE RANGE to include the period of time that YOUR examples were produced!

The Demo versions of CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 contain restrictions on how many recipes and meals can be accumulated in your data file. If you need more room for you personal recipes and logged meals in order to keep using a CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 Demo, feel free to delete the example recipe and meal records.

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Q: What if I get the program but won’t watch the videos?

A: You’ll probably get along just fine, but your learning curve will be longer.

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Q: Once I know how to use the program, how much time each day should I allow to enter my meals?

A: Maybe 5 minutes.

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Q: Why did you create CookBookPlus?

A: One day I was playing with my daughter out in the yard, and noticed that I was huffing and puffing. It suddenly occurred to me that I was much too young to be acting like an old man. So I decided then and there to get back into shape. Since I had always liked bike riding, I got out my old Schwinn bicycle, put air into the tires, and hit the road. I also committed to lose 50 pounds (and keep it off); and I gave myself 5 years to achieve these goals.

In the process of getting back into form, I got very interested in nutrition (I’m also a pretty good cook). But, I quickly got tired of manually calculating calories (from can labels and books), so I wrote an application in Excel that allowed me to create recipes and track my meals, and to calculate the calories automatically. The Excel app actually worked pretty well. However, Excel is not a great database, and I eventually rewrote the program to run under an old DOS program called “Q&A”. The “Q&A” version worked really great, but “Q&A” was not very user friendly to develop in (way too tedious).

During this period, I also was developing a fairly serious business application for managing any company’s basic sales processes (customers, orders, quotes, etc.). I successfully used that application to automate the sales departments of several successful businesses. That application (at one time, also a “Q&A” app), was eventually rewritten in Access 95, and continued to evolve substantially. Based upon my experiences in further developing that application (called “Sales Manager”), I decided to convert my Q&A cookbook, meal, and exercise code into Access.

Finally, my Mother asked me to help her get a PC so she could type out her favorite family recipes and produce a cookbook to give out to family members as gifts. With enough reason at hand, I sat down and rewrote the geneses of CookBookPlus. First in Access 95, then Access 97, then Access 2000, then Access 2002, and finally Access 2016.

By the way, I actually got back into pretty decent shape within 5 months, and I lost the weight (actually 55 pounds) in only 18 months!! And, I’ve been able to easily keep it off!! Dieting alone has never worked for me. I like to eat really good food. But exercising AND watching what I eat (mostly by lowering the % calories from fat in my meals and recipes) really does the trick for me.

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Q: What is the USDA Food Values Database?

A: The USDA analyzes food items to determine their nutritional content (calories from fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, etc). The results of these analyses are compiled in a public domain database called the USDA Nutrient Database For Standard Reference, Release (#).  The USDA is constantly updating this database. However, please note that CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 contains Release 13; CookBookPlus On The Web contains Release 15. We have not found the minor differences between our "included" releases and the current USDA version to be material.  However, both versions of CookBookPlus provide methods for accessing the USDA web site for researching their most current database.

The USDA Food Values Database is used by, among others, the food industry to compute the nutritional values that you see on food packaging, like the labels you see on cans of food. The version of the database in CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 contain over 6,000 separate food items. You will find many different analysis for the same food item by different measures (by the ounce, by the cup, for 6 each, etc). However, all food items were essentially analyzed by weight. The weight of a food item contained, say, in one measure (like the Cup), was then used to produce the results for the (Cup) measure value shown in the database.

The USDA Food Values database is a wealth of information on food item nutrition. In CookBookPlus, we only use the grams and calories from fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. But the USDA Database also contains details, for most items, on vitamins, minerals, refuse, water, etc.

See Nutrient Data Laboratory Website for more details.

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Q: What is the difference between CookBookPlus’s recipe and meal “Food Item Ingredients”, and the USDA Database?

A: The USDA Food Values Database is used as background reference material in CookBookPlus, but only to retrieve data on the grams and calories for fats, carbohydrates, and proteins for selected food items. On the other hand, the CookBookPlus “Food Item Ingredients” are used to enter individual recipe or meal line items (such as Carrots Diced, Ground Chuck Broiled, etc) when creating a recipe or meal. The “Food Item Ingredients” in CookBookPlus are explicitly pared with a given Measure (like by the Cup) so the program can accurately keep track of nutritional details and at the same time, automatically enforce data entry discipline on the user. The approach taken in CookBookPlus allows for free form, on the fly, creation of any Food Item Ingredient pared with any Measure, by any user, at any time. The User can choose to track, or disregard, nutritional data, at will.

If the User creates a new “Food Item Ingredient”, he can hand enter the nutritional data by copying it off a food item package, he can look it up in a reference book, or he can research it in the USDA Database. If the USDA Database is used, single, “mouse click” posting of the nutritional values to the CookBookPlus “Food Item Ingredient”, in a variety of common Measures, is easily accomplished.

CookBookPlus ships with hundreds of commonly used, every day “Foof Item Ingredients”, and most of these have nutritional data attached. Note, however, that these “Food Item Ingredients” are the ones actually used by the Author over several years, as the program was developed and tested. They are unlikely to meet the needs of all users. For one reason, there are almost no ‘fast food” items; the Author almost never eats fast foods. You’ll have to enter "Food Item Ingredients" for the ones you tend to buy. Secondly, the Author almost never uses prepared food items (such as TV dinners, etc.). However, this is not a problem; the ability top quickly add new "Food Item Ingredients" is a key feature of CookBookPlus. Third, many of the included brand name "Food Item Ingredients" are local to Maryland.; a User in California will need to add "Food Item Ingredients" for different local brands.

By keeping the “Food Item Ingredient” list in each User’s copy of CookBookPlus small, personalized, and relevant, data entry is fast and easy. Yes, we could automatically include all 6,210 USDA items in our “Food Items Ingredients” list, but do you want to always have to search such a big list to locate the one you want?? Also, you will find that you never use most items listed in the USDA Database anyway.

By the way, the “Food Item Ingredients” shipped with CookBookPlus have been either...

  • Derived From Labels On Food Items As The Food Item Was Purchased Or Consumed, or..
  • Derived From The Included USDA Food Values Database, or..
  • Derived From Open Market Published Sources (Reference Books And Materials), or..
  • Derived From Underlying Recipes Or Meals (From Which The Ingredient Was Created).

In CookBookPlus, you can...

  • Add, Modify, Customize, Or Delete "Food Item Ingredients" As Desired
  • Any Given "Food Item Ingredient" Can Be Paired With Any Number Of Measure Values
  • Special Non-Food "Food Item Ingredients" Are Used As Recipe Ingredient Section Headers In Recipes Or Meals, and as a “blank” line item ingredient to separate sections in a recipe or meal.
  • Deleting Any "Food Item Ingredient" That Was Used In Any Recipe Or Meal Will Delete All Instances Where It Was Used (so please delete Ingredients with caution!)

One final comment about the “Food Item Ingredients” in CookBookPlus...

  • They are provided for the User’s convenience only.
  • The Author Makes No Warranty Regarding The Accuracy Of Any Listed Nutritional Information
  • The User Is Solely Responsible For The Accuracy And Appropriateness Of Any Nutritional Data Used In CookBookPlus, And
  • The User Is Responsible For The Correctness Of Any Reports And Charts Produced!

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Q: Can others in my family use CookBookPlus for nutritional guidance and exercise tracking?

A: Absolutely. CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 lets you sign on as a named “User”. You will only see meals, exercises, exercise reports, and daily calorie reports for yourself. But of course, you can share everyone’s recipes.   In CookBookPlus Desktop 2016: user accounts can be (optionally) password protected; and there is a special "Admin" user that can control which recipes are viewable by all users.

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Q: CookBookPlus looks like it does a lot; but is it complex to use and difficult to learn?

A: Not at all. CookBookPlus is very intuitive and user friendly. Recipes and meals are entered just like you would if you were to write them on a piece of paper. Most data entry is accomplished using three, easy to use forms (one for recipes or meals, one type for ingredients, and one type for logging exercises; and all CookBookPlus reports and charts are produced by making one or two clicks of the mouse. A complete set of informative and self guiding instructional videos are included on the CD to make learning the system fast and fun.   These videos are also available online.

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Q: All right. But do I have to record everything I eat to benefit from CookBookPlus’s nutritional management capability?

A: Certainly not. Most people are creatures of habit; and they tend to eat the same things in similar quantities over time. However, when first starting to use CookBookPlus, you will gain a better understanding of you actual current eating habits, if you can record almost everything you eat for two thirds of the days during the month. This is really a lot easier than it sounds. CookBookPlus’s user friendly interface and integrated forms set makes data entry a snap. Once you are familiar with the system, recording your daily meals and snacks should only take you about five minutes a day! You should really try to do this for at least the first two months, as this will give you an excellent base line against which to gage your future progress. After the first two months, recording everything you eat, let’s say, every other day, will probably be sufficient for most people. Remember, CookBookPlus’s nutritional calculations take into consideration the fact that people almost always eat every day, but only exercise occasionally.

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Q: OK, so what about logging my exercise workouts; do I have to log every workout I do?

A: Unfortunately, yes. This is because people rarely exercise on each and every day of their lives, and some people only exercise a few times a month, if at all. Therefore, it is important to track and understand all the actual exercise benefits that you do realize. CookBookPlus’s Exercise Snapshot Report and Calories Consumed Charts takes this into account when calculating your net nutritional outcome! The program assumes that you eat every day; so it calculates and averages your food intake over a specified period of time. And the program also assumes that you do not exercise every day, so it averages, on a daily basis, the actual workouts you do record. The “calories in” and “calories burned” values are then dramatically presented in summary reports and graphs, thus maximizing your nutritional feedback effect!

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Q: Yes, that makes sense. But what’s the big deal about your “Healthy Factor Feedback” icons?

A: The problem with trying to track your nutritional intake is that it has always been very tedious to do, and the process tries to bury you in a sea of numbers. Also, the process is manually time consuming, and intellectually uninspiring! How much fun have you really had in reading the nutritional labels on cans, or in trying to count portions and calories? Few people have the discipline or patience to put up with the effort over time. CookBookPlus almost fully automates the process, and the “Healthy Factor Feedback” icons present you a single point of focus to work with. Please keep in mind that managing nutritional intake to achieve a desired physiological outcome is really simple to accomplish: if you want to loose weight and get in shape, then you must do two things; you need to eat fewer calories than you consume, and you need to exercise to get into, and stay, in shape!

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Q: No surprise there. So how does CookBookPlus help me manage my nutritional intake?

A: That’s easy. CookBookPlus makes it easy to create, modify, and use recipes that achieve a desired nutritional balance. The Healthy Factor Feedback icon on each recipe you enter, graphically and dramatically indicates, in real time as ingredients are entered or changed, the percent of calories derived from fat. This is perhaps the single most influencing fact affecting your total caloric intake. Remember, each gram of protein or carbohydrate contributes only four calories to your diet, but each gram of fat contributes nine calories! It is a well accepted premise that the most desired nutritional target is to realize approximately 30%-35% of your calories from fat, with maybe 40-50 % from carbohydrates, and the balance (15%-25%) from protein. Of course, if you are very physically active, you may need to increase the % from fat and reduce the % from carbohydrates in order to sustain your energy levels. You may well find that when you first start using CookBookPlus, your fat intake may be approaching 50%!! Ah, the typical American diet.

By the way, your stomach likes to control food consumption by bulk quantity feel; and it really does a poor job of tracking calories as you eat them (although your body will give you reasonable feedback after digestion). You tend to feel equally full after eating a cup of ice cream as you do after eating a cup of fresh fruit salad. But, the former probably packs 300 calories (mostly derived from fats), where the latter only 150 calories (almost all derived from carbohydrates). Simply develop and change your recipes until you get the desired Healthy Factor Feedback icon.

And, this same logic holds true for meals you enter into CookBookPlus; just work to get the desired icon result!

Use The CookBookPlus Daily Calories Snapshot reports and the Nutrition History reports and charts to see the real time consequences of you eating and exercise habits.  Pay particular attention to your "net daily calories" and where it stands compared to you target daily BMR.   If your "net" calories are greater than your BMR, you will probably tend to gain weight over time!  If you want to loose some weight, simply manage your food intake and exercise efforts to bring your "net" calories below your BMR.  This will tend to cause you to loose weight over time.  And keep an eye on the estimated weight gain or loss values in these reports; these will give you the appropriate "heads up".   If using CookBookPlus Desktop 2016, the Nutrition History Chart-Report will also show you "trend lines" for both your "net daily calories" and "exercise calories".   These can be real "eye openers".

And Please keep the following in mind: You target daily BMR is a function of age, weight, gender, and overall life style.  An overweight person will have a higher BMR, so changing eating habits to bring net daily calories in line with (current) BMR will not result in weight loss.  Weight will just tend to remain constant.  To loose 1 pound, you must reduce your "net" calories by 3,500.  Just do the math and set your goals (over time) accordingly.

Finally, incorporate regular exercise or other strenuous physical activity into your daily schedule.  Burning off calories by being physically active is the best way to improve your personal wellness, regardless of your eating preferences.  Everyone can do this if they have the desire and commitment!

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Q: Makes sense. What are the important fundamentals in personal nutritional management and dietary balance?

A: You really are what you eat and what you do! Eat a lot and do nothing; and you will surely gain weight. But dieting alone rarely works long term. It goes against human instincts, and basically requires too much tortuous will power. Besides, you cannot win a race on an empty stomach. Living, playing, thinking, all take energy. Why fight city hall? Everyone has what is called a basil metabolic rate; that’s the rate you burn calories based upon your sex, weight, and age, by just being alive. By the way, women have metabolic rates that are almost 15% more efficient than men’s, so it is fundamentally harder for women to loose weight than for men! Sorry. For a 200 pound, middle aged male, this rate is approximately 2,000 calories daily. In addition to your basil metabolic rate, you need to allow for effort expended living a normal life (working, moving around, housework). Again, a 200 pound male might burn another 1,500 calories a day if mentally or physically active in a job. Finally, any recreational exercise will consume additional calories.

There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. If you are 20 pounds overweight, you have to consume (burn off) 70,000 calories over what you eat during any given period of time in order to really loose the 20 pounds. If you ate 500 fewer calories a day than your body demanded, it would take 140 days, with no break, to burn off the 20 extra pounds!!! Are you willing to give up 1 & ½ cups ice cream (or its equivalent) every day for more then 3 months just to shed pounds??

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Q: Well, I get the idea. If I can supply some personal discipline, how should I actually use CookBookPlus?

A: Very simply. Use CookBookPlus to develop low fat recipes, and use it to understand, track, and manage your average daily calorie intake. Strive for the lowest % of calories derived from fats; just target a range that works for you. Remember, low fat recipes always result in low fat portions, no matter how big the portion you eat. By developing lower fat recipes and meals, you will naturally begin to realize a more healthy diet. By tracking and understanding how many calories you are consuming, you will gain insight regarding your real need to manage how much you consume and how much exercise you should aim to do regularly. Most of the time, making simple modifications to the foods you consume can make a big difference. Cutting back on mayonnaise on sandwiches, and the use of lots of fats in recipes or meals (butter, oils, creams) can have a dramatic effect on whether a recipe or meal is healthy for you to eat (Lean Machine or Wide Waist icons), or may simply contain too many calories from fats (Big Belly or Fat So icons).

Next, please start to exercise, and log the workouts in CookBookPlus. Find an activity that you like to do, and then do it regularly, with enthusiasm! Make it an important part of your life. I have found that biking is the easiest high intensity aerobic exercise there is. But running, swimming, and rollerblading are also great. All of these enjoyable activities can burn off a lot of calories in a short period of time. Even walking, golf, gardening, and vigorous house work can help. For example, I like to ride my bike 30 miles a day, at a very fast pace (17 mph). These workouts burn off approximately 1,500 calories each, enough to offset almost ½ pound of extra fat a day. Bring on the ice cream!!

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Q: How precise do I have to be when entering my daily meal items?

A: Do the best you can regarding accuracy, but don’t sweat the details. It is better to make a best estimate guess of quantities you consumed than to leave an item out entirely. And, it is better to err on the side of overstating how much you eat, than to understate. This is particularly true of high fat items, like salad dressings, oils, butter, or creams. Remember, you want to develop a “Qualitative” view, over time, of you eating habits. The actual “Quantities” will not be so important, especially if you exercise to burn off some of what you eat! Just manage your "Net Daily Calories".

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Q: What if I’m in a hurry to log a meal, but cannot find an existing ingredient to enter that is exactly like the one I need?

A: No big deal. Just select any other similar ingredient that closely approximates the item you did consume. This often happens to me for dessert items. Say I ate a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert, but the closest pie in my existing ingredients list is peach. I would simply select the peach item; the actual nutritional difference between the two pie types will probably not be material on a single meal basis. You do need to be reasonably accurate regarding the net effect of the quantity consumed. If I ate half the strawberry rhubarb pie, I’d need to reflect this in the amount of peach pie logged! Just do a little mental math. Of course, if I made a habit of eating strawberry rhubarb pie regularly, I’d eventually create such an ingredient for my regular use. I also do this a lot for bread items; different brands do have slightly different nutritional content per slice. Again, for one or two meal records, the difference doesn’t matter.

By the way, after you use CookBookPlus for a while, you will find that you get real good at knowing your food items and their basic nutritional contributions. And, you will also get good at estimating ingredient quantities that you use. When I first started using CookBookPlus, I was very concerned about how much of an item I actually used, so I started weighing my meats and luncheon cuts, and carefully measured out things like butter, cream, and other items by the cup, etc. What a pain!! However, I found that I quickly got to the point where I could guess very accurately, by feel alone, the weight, say, of 3 slices of luncheon ham, or cheese. But, using a small scale or measuring cup will help you develop these skills. Finally, although good nutritionally for you, most non-starch vegetables contribute very little, calorie wise, to your diet, unless you eat them by the ton. I’ll often not even bother to log these types of items.

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Q: What are some the key features and functions in CookBookPlus Desktop 2016?

A: Here is a partial listing:

    Security And Privacy

  • User accounts can be optionally password protected.  You can apply a personal password, or subsequently "default value" your password, at any time.  As you add new user accounts, their password is defaulted to "password"; this eliminates the need to enter any password when accessing the CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 forms and functions.  If a user chooses to subsequently set their own password, they must enter the password before they can gain access to the program's forms and functions.  Passwords, as well as other "user profile" data is controlled using a "User Account" form.   A "user" can only access their own (private) profile.  "Logging On" is generally "behind the scene" for any user with the default "password" password.  Log On status is indicated by a new check box on the Main Menu.  Any user can un-check the box to log off at any time.
  • There is a "Admin" system user account for managing other users, their profiles, and their records.  The Admin User account is also used for performing the CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 utility function "Backup And Compact Database".   The "Admin" user account is, of course, password protected; and it cannot be deleted.  Only the "Admin" user can delete other user accounts.
  • CookBookPlus 2008 Desktop is licensed by the "client" as well as by the number of "enabled user accounts" on each client.   Each "client" ships with a minimum of 5 enabled user accounts.   Additional user accounts can be optionally purchased at any time.   Note: a client's "Admin" user account does not count as one of these license user accounts.   User accounts are "recoverable":  if you run out of available user accounts, you can either purchase more users, or delete an existing user.
  • The CookBookPlusData2005.mdb backend database file is password protected (locked down), and can only be accessed using the CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 Client.
  • The above listed CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 "security" enhancements allow for both "private" and "public" records.  Generally, any records created by a user are "private", and cannot be viewed by any other user (except the "Admin User").  The "Admin" user can optionally make any record "public".  If a record is designated "public", it can then be viewed by all other users.  This goes for Recipes, Quantities, Measures, Food categories, and Food Item Ingredients.  This allows recipes to be shared among users.  Non "Admin" users are restricted in what they can do with a "public" record; even the ones they create.

    Records Management

  • You can manage Quantities, Measures, and Food Categories items from both a new "Manage Records" Menu as well as from the Main Form.
  • You can add, update, and delete these items using enhanced forms.  These forms are also synchronized to the currently viewed Main Form's record (if open).
  •  All user accounts are assigned minimum default entries for "Exercise Locations" and "Exercise Types".  You can add, delete, or modify entries for these records directly from the enhanced "User Settings Menu", or from command buttons located on the "Log Exercise" forms.

    Nutrition History Reporting

  • There is a stunning "Nutrition History Chart-Report Combo" that provides an "all inclusive" revealing insight into your "net" nutritional outcome.   You can produce the chart for any time period.  The report covers total calories, exercise calories, net daily calories, and target daily BMR calories.  It includes trend lines for net daily calories and exercise calories.  It also presents a period average for calories over or under target BMR, your period exercise calories averages, and an estimate of period weight gain or lose.  Your current BMI is also indicated.  This report "tells it all".
  • The "chart" and "report" components can also be produced as separate stand alone views.
  • The chart report for "Total Calories and % Fat Calories" also contains trend lines.

    Advanced Searching Functions

  • You can search both "Food Item Ingredients" and the "USDA Food Values Ingredients Database" using a key word search string.  These searches will present the results in new forms that will allow you to select an item for additional action.  For "Food Item Ingredients", a selected item can be automatically be inserted in the currently viewed Recipe or Meal as a new "line item ingredient".  For USDA items, a selection will quickly locate the USDA item for additional action.

    Advanced Program Behavior

  • Program behavior while entering new values "on the fly" for Quantities, Measures, and Food Categories (while working in the Main Form) has been further enhanced and is more intuitive than ever.
  • The Main Form, as well as all forms for working with Quantities, Measures, Food Categories, and Food Item Ingredients, will "morph" their functionality as a function of a viewed record's owner and its "public" status.
  • The Main Form includes a "record status notification" immediately below the "Preparations" text field box; it appears only when viewing a "public" record, and only when viewing a recipe record that you did not create.  You will be advised that "Edits" are not allowed.  You are also denied access to the "Update Ingredient" (made from the Recipe) function command button.

    Filtered "Print All Recipes" and "Table Of Contents" Functions

  • Printing all your recipes and creating an updated Table Of Contents will only include your personal Recipe records and any designated "public" Recipe records.
  • The header and footer text used on the Recipes and Table Of Contents reports are user defined per customizable fields in each User's profile.

    System Utilities

  • The "Backup And Compact Database" function has been further simplified.
  • For CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 users that also use our CookBookPlus On The Web internet based application, there is an "import from web" function that allows them to email their daily web meal records to themselves, in the form of an XML data attachment.  The XML data can then be easily imported into the user's desktop database files.  This sophisticated import utility will first verify that the records to be imported do not already exist (so no duplicates), and that all related required records (Quantities, Measures, Food Categories, and Food Item Ingredients) also exists in the desktop database.  If these related records do not exist, the import function can create them.  Then, the "records to be imported", are imported one at a time for optimum user feedback.  Importing a day's meals takes less than 1 minute!  Sure beats hand entering the data a second time.

    Program Installation

  • We use a single "setup.exe" to install the CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 program client, the backend database file, and the Access 2016 Runtime files.  Both the client and the backend database are installed at C:\CookBookPlus2008.   The Runtime files are installed at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12.
  • Our "Instructional Videos" are packaged into "Flash Theaters"; they play inside a browser (Internet Explorer 6+).

    CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 Compatibility With Previous Versions Of CookBookPlus Desktop

  • The "look, feel, and functionality" of CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 will be very familiar to any 2002 or 2005 user upgrading to 2008.  We have made every effort possible to keep these products as similar as the advancing technology would allow.  You will also find that CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 and CookBookPlus On The Web offer almost identical functionality!
  • CookBookPlus Desktop 2016 uses the same backend database file structure used in the 2005 version, so users upgrading to 2008 can take advantage of their existing data.  But the 2008 data file is different from the 2002 data file structure, so it is not possible to use a 2002 data file with a 2008 client.  Contact for information about having your 2002 data file converted to 2005 format.


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