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We’re finally rounding a corner here with this Series. This is my last and final post about how to food journal. If you’re just joining this party make sure you check out Parts 1-3 before you go on to the resulting fun!
Now that we’ve handled the necessities let’s get going to the meat of Part 4! All the information I’ve provided about food journals really doesn’t do you any good unless you are able to stick with the process. If you’ve read each part in the series you may be a little overwhelmed by now. Don’t be! These are my six tips for making food journals easier to maintain:
Create a Routine
Routines are what makes my world go round. The second I break a routine I’m like a lost puppy. Perfect example I take my probiotic after breakfast every day. If one day I forget, I’ll be lucky if I remember at all for a week. It’s the same exact way with my food journal. If I miss logging one of my meals it’s a good bet that I will forget the rest of the day too.
In order to stick to my routine for my food journal I do my best to log right after every meal or symptom. It will become second nature to you after a week or two. I also try to keep my journal in plain sight this helps me to remember if I ever do forget!
Take Pictures of your Meals
In the instances where you can’t log right after a meal turn to technology! Take a picture of your food. Then when you get a second to log in your journal all you’ll have to do is look at the image and it will hopefully jog your memory about what ingredients were in your meal. Yum tuna cakes!
Bonus! Who doesn’t love to Instagram your delicious looking meals? If you use the hashtag #ocdkitchenrecipes you could get regrammed by me!
Create shorthand you understand
Take a moment to travel back in time to your high school or college years. Taking notes in class was much easier when you had a set short hand set up right? Maybe “and” was a “+” or “biology” was “bio” anything to save yourself those letters. Think of your food journal the same way. If you notice you write down an ingredient often it may be good to come up with an abbreviation that works for you. One of mine that I use is “coco flour” for “coconut flour”. Anything that speeds up the process will keep you more in tune with your journal.
Lump ingredients together to shorten writing time
When I make dinner I almost always keep a serving of leftovers for lunch the next day. Dinner usually contains the most ingredients for me and it can get tedious to write the same thing over and over again. Instead I write the ingredients once, group them together with a bracket, and give them a title. Then I can reference that title again when I eat the leftovers the next day. Check out this scan from my food journal below that shows this idea.
Don’t stop even if you start to feel better
Writing in your food journal is easy when you don’t feel your best. It’s a motivator to figure out what is happening. It’s harder to keep up with as your symptoms start to get better. When you have days or maybe weeks without any symptoms you may think that the journal is unnecessary. I’m definitely guilty of this. I was lucky enough to go over a month without any symptoms. I had gotten a little too relaxed about my food journal and then one day my symptoms came at me out of no where. Since I hadn’t been keeping a very detailed journal I was at a loss as to what the problem could have been. Take it from me, try to stick with your journal as long as you can. Keep it going at least throughout your elimination and reintroduction phases no matter how long it takes.
Do what works for you!
This is quite possibly the most important tip I can give you. I may be cheating by including it here because I’ve been saying it throughout the series. If the way you try to keep a food journal doesn’t suit you it will be really hard to stick with it. You have to make sure the way you decide to keep your journal, whether that be pen and paper or in an app, is easy and attainable for you. If I’ve given you a suggestion here remember that’s all it is, a suggestion. If it doesn’t work for you that’s totally okay. Figure out what works for you and stick with it!
That’s it ladies and gentleman! All I have to say about food journals in a four part series. I’m sure many of you are glad that’s over. Please give food journals a chance. I promise you it will be one of the most influential tools in your elimination diet arsenal. You won’t be sorry.
Ready to give a food journal a try? Still have questions? Ask them below in the comments section! Don’t forget to follow my social channels and subscribe to get exclusive subscriber content just for you!