“The best way to know if what you are consuming is triggering a reaction in you (either positive or negative) is to keep a food journal or log.”
What happens to you after you eat a meal or snack or drink a cup of coffee? Do you feel energized or foggy? Do you get a sudden urge to run to the bathroom? Or are you ready to curl up and take a nap? If any of the above happens, are you quick to blame it on your environment, or chock it up to being a mom, and tired is simply the name of the game?
What if the food you are eating and/or drinking is actually the culprit to how you are feeling?
The best way to know if what you are consuming is triggering a reaction in you (either positive or negative) is to keep a food journal or log. You can even post it to the notes section of your phone or tablet, if you don’t want to carry around a notebook and pen. This may sound a bit cumbersome, but it is hugely helpful and not all that time consuming. The insight you will get from these mere minutes will be the doorway to see if you are feeding or poisoning yourself. I’d say a few minutes would be worth that. Wouldn’t you?
What should you write down? Here is a list of what you should include in your daily food journal:
- Time of day
- What you ate and/or drank (It is super important to list everything. Yes, everything! Nobody has to see this but you, so no fibbing, and also no judging.)
- What are you doing at the time of eating? Driving, watching TV, feeding the baby, doing laundry, etc.
- How do you feel? Are you bored, sad, happy, starving, bloated, gassy, tired, etc.? So, this is a two-part question — how do you feel emotionally and how do you feel in your body. (This question should be answered within one hour of consumption. You may notice a reaction right away, or it may take a bit of time for you to notice anything.)
To be sure nothing is forgotten, be sure to log your food and feelings immediately post consumption. The other important thing to note is that every morsel you put into your mouth needs to be logged. If you had a lick of your child’s ice cream, or mindlessly snuck in a few Cheerio’s while feeding your kiddo, then be sure to put it in your daily log. You may be going about your day feeling fine and thinking that what you are eating isn’t affecting you, but those nibbles here and there could be the culprit to your sudden urge to find the nearest bathroom.
If after one week, you see a pattern of certain foods or drinks that are making you feel crappy, then it’s time to consider an elimination diet. Stay tuned for future tips on how to successfully complete an elimination diet.
Remember, it is all about honesty. The only person you need to be honest with here is yourself. This is for your eyes only. Also, this doesn’t need to be a lifelong practice. Try it for one week. The information you gather in these seven days will set you up for lifelong success in knowing if food is working for you or against you. Knowledge that is certainly worth having!