Welcome back! Today, Dayna will address creating a food journal. Below are the first two articles. If you haven’t read them, you may want to start at the beginning.
I moan every time the doctor says, “keep a food journal of…” Whether it’s blood pressure,
exercise or diet, the journal thing seems like a cumbersome waste of time. I believe,
however, that you will find it to be a blessing if you persevere (Galatians 6:9).
Keeping a food diary of what you eat, and the symptoms you experience can help you
understand what is happening in your body. Maybe you have pain one day and diarrhea the next. Joints, muscles, daily migraines, and more, can often be traced back to the foods we eat.
At first, I just wanted a “magic pill” to fix my problem, but the more I learned about the medicines we take, the more concerned I became about the long-term effects of those medications, and their side effects. Eating a healthier diet seemed like a better way to fix my problems.
Whether you are trying to identify the offenders, or are starting an elimination diet (or both), a food diary is an important part of the process. Our brains can’t possibly remember everything we ate, and how long after eating that item, we experienced a problem, but if we write it down, we have it before us and can decode the sequence of intake and pain, and begin to see if there is a connection.
- Some symptoms come hours after eating a food, while others begin WHILE eating the food.
- You may not have just one offending food. You may be eating several, so eliminating one food may not eliminate your problem.
- A food allergy and food intolerance are two different things. One works with the histamine response of the body (and often shows up in food allergy tests) while others cause a different metabolic process completely.
- An inflammatory food is yet another category of potential offenders.
- Some foods may be ok in small doses, but eating daily or several times a day may cause real issues.
Begin Your Food Journal / Diary
To begin your food journal, use a small dedicated notebook, small enough to fit into your
purse or pocket. Food diary phone apps are also available. Be sure you choose one
with space for all the needed information.
Be sure to include a category for the date, time, foods eaten and symptoms
experienced. Under “foods eaten,” remember to list ingredients in certain foods, such in as meatloaf or chocolate cake. Sometimes offenders are hidden in seemingly innocuous foods.
Mark the date and time of each meal and symptom. Write your food on one
line, and your symptom on another line. Remember that your symptom may not be from the
veggie you ate at lunch, but may instead be from the bread you ate at breakfast.
Finally, go through and circle, highlight, or underline foods consumed a few hours
before a symptom occurred. Highlight or circle any foods which you suspect. Remember
that large amounts of an item can be a problem, while the same substance eaten in
moderation might not bother you.
You may need to keep a food diary for a month or more. In my next installment, I will
talk more about elimination diets and various foods often not tolerated in a body which
has been weakened.
I pray God gives you strength as you follow this journey. Ask Him to give you
that wisdom from above, which He promised to give generously, if we ask in faith,
believing in his promises. (James 1:5-6)
Note: This information is not to be construed as medical advice, but is just from the
viewpoint and studies of a mother of eight, with chronic pain.
Part 4: Coming Soon
PARENTS: Check out Dayna’s Picture Book
Thank you Dayna!
I’m one of those that do not enjoy journaling of any kind. So, I need every help and tip I can find.
Readers, come back next week when Dayna’s talks about
Dayna Ault has eight children who were inspirations for her first two children’s books, the latest, Who Made This Mess?, released in October 2022.
She worked as a freelancer and journalist and published The Missouri Autism Report Magazine (2010-2017) while homeschooling her children.
Dayna has served as an alderman in her small Missouri town, serves as a deaconess in her church, and enjoys teaching Sunday School. She is a member of several organizations including the Springfield Writer’s Guild, (SWG) the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), BookCamp (Chad Allen), and Children’s Book Insiders (CBI). She organizes and runs Kidlit Connect, an online critique group for children’s writers.
Dayna has one son at home, now in college, one very understanding husband, 16 grandchildren, an American Eskimo, and a fluffy, puffy gray cat.