3 Reasons To Keep A Food Diary / Health Journal

Food DiaryI wish I could say that I am diligent about keeping track of what I eat in a colorful little food diary that I carry around with me everywhere. But I do no such thing. Every so often I think about how it could be useful to keep a diary for a month at the very least, but, let’s be honest, it sounds like a lot of work.

Am I the only one that thinks this? I hope not. I don’t want to find out that not only am I a bad journalist, but I am lazy and whiny, too.

I think part of the reason I don’t keep a food dairy is because I enjoy food so much that I don’t want to find out, for instance, that the delicious, buttery Parrano cheese from Trader Joe’s is possibly the cause of an increase in inflammation. I don’t want to feel compelled to change my eating habits based on my findings. Have I mentioned that I’m stubborn, too?

But a recent post by healthy eating blogger, Ali Hale, got me thinking. What if I sucked it up and kept a food/health diary? Without a doubt, I know I’d learn a thing or two that might actually help me manage my RA better. It also just might help me achieve a healthier state — RA or no RA. Literally as I am writing this post, I have decided that I’m going to give this a two week try. If my scribbling goes well, I’ll go the whole month.

Here are my three reasons why I think keeping a food/health diary would be beneficial:

  1. I’ll find out if I am truly eating a balanced diet
  2. I may find certain foods appear to give me more (or less) energy
  3. I may find a particular food seems to aggravate my arthritis

Okay, so let’s think about how to go about this. In addition to meals and snacks, here are the other items I will record:

  • # of glasses of water, juice, coffee, etc.
  • Hours of sleep from the previous night
  • Level of inflammation on a scale of one to ten (with ten meaning my hands look like the Pillsbury Doughboy’s)
  • Level of perceived energy for the day on a scale of one to ten
  • Indicate the days I took my Enbrel Shot
  • Indicate the days I forgot to take my other regular meds

Seems like a lot of items, but I want to do this right so I can get a full picture. And now that I’m committed, nothing can stop me! I hope. I created a nifty little excel sheet that I will fill in. If you want to download the template, click here. Alright, I’m on my way! Who’s with me?

In the meantime, check out Ali Hales’ 5 Reasons to Write Down Everything You Eat for a Week [via Lifehacker]

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