Hey there! Are you ready to start listening to your body?
I’m giving you the best first step to learn what your body is trying to tell you!
And the best part? It’s easy and takes less than 10 minutes a day!
Here’s what you need:
Your favourite writing utensil (your fancy pen, a sharpie, a broken purple crayon, basically anything that writes clearly)
That’s it! So simple, right?!?!
Welcome to food journaling!
What do you do with your notebook and writing utensil?
Don’t worry; I’m giving you ALL the details you need to include in your entries and make them your own!
AND I have MORE because you’re going to need to know what to do with all those journal entries after you’ve written them down. So I’ve included:
What to look for in your journal to pinpoint your body’s signals of distress
Allergies vs. Intolerance
Strategies for comfortable eating
What is food Journaling, and How Do You Do It?
If you have stubborn gut symptoms, keeping a food journal is a great tool to help you figure out which foods disagree with you.
Remember when you were a kid and had one of those plastic-covered diaries? You know the one with the lock and set of two little metal keys? Each day you’d keep it close, add your super top secret notes and the dreams of your crush that week, oh, memories.
A food journal is similar. Write in it daily, and most importantly, be honest! You want to keep it with you wherever you go.
Inside, you keep track of the food and drinks you consume each day. Do this for 2-4 weeks. This simple task tells you a lot of information:
Your eating habits
How much or how little you eat in a day
Solid documentation to review with your healthcare professional
Patterns of discomfort or symptoms after certain foods
What Else Do You Include in a Food Journal?
You can be as detailed as you like. The more details, the better.
Here are some things you may want to include in your jour journal:
What exactly are you eating? Try to list all ingredients, and don’t forget condiments!
What time are you eating?
How much of each food are you eating? Try to include measurements or exact amounts as best you can.
How do you feel after you’ve eaten? (Bloated, gassy, moody, etc.)
Have you had a bowel movement? How would you describe it? Yep, you want to add that too!
Do you have any gut symptoms between meals and snacks?
You will better understand what your body says by including the details above.
Recognizing Your Body’s Distress Signals
After journaling for a couple of weeks, you will have a solid foundation of notes to pick up patterns in your body. Here is where you will look to see what symptoms come up when you eat certain foods. For example, maybe each time you’ve eaten grains, you are rushing to the bathroom with a bout of diarrhea. Or perhaps you get gassy and bloated after eating a meal with certain vegetables.
Connecting your symptoms to specific foods helps you understand what your body says after consuming them.
At this point, you can try eliminating food you think is causing you upset. Keep journaling to record how you feel without a particular food or what symptoms have changed. Continuing this process will help you or your healthcare practitioner get to the root of your gut symptoms.
Allergies vs Intollerance
You may already know you have an allergy to a specific food. Allergy symptoms range from mild to severe and may include:
Hives or rash (itchy skin)
Stomach pain and cramping
Inflammation or swelling of airways to lungs
Shortness of breath
Food intolerance symptoms may have become a part of your regular life. Let me be frank, these symptoms aren’t normal, and you don’t have to live with them! You experience them so often that you begin to accept them as usual.
Food intolerance symptoms may include:
Skin Irritations or acne
Nervousness or irritability
Listening to Your Body So You Can Eat Comfortably
Fad foods and traditional restricted diet plans tell you what foods are “good” or “bad.” But your body knows better! Listening to your body becomes much easier once you start getting rid of the foods that cause you upset. You can now begin eating what feels best for you.
Intuitive eating takes the ideas of “good” and “bad” foods and throws them out the window! No, it doesn’t mean you eat whatever you want. All you must do is eat what feels right for your body to eat intuitively. The main idea is to focus on foods that make you feel good and work with your body for optimal health.
Listen to your body and tap into its ability to tell you when you are satisfied or hungry.
Quick Tips on Intuitive Eating
Make food choices that feel good
Eat when you are hungry
Be mindful of when you are full or satisfied
Be cautious with diets and restricted foods unless told by a healthcare professional
Be careful of emotional eating. Unfortunately, eating doesn’t fix the problem
Mindful Eating is about being aware and includes many of the ideas of Intuitive eating.
After getting to know your body better and listening to its cues, you can mindfully eat by:
Selecting and preparing foods you are aware of have positive and nurturing elements for your body’s health
Using all of your body’s senses when selecting and preparing food
Using a no-judgment approach to foods you like or dislike
Listening to your body’s cues for when to start or stop eating
Your Body Knows What to Eat
Your body is an impressive and beautiful gift. So unique that it will tell you what it needs when listening.
So get started! Food Journaling is the best tool to begin your journey of listening to and getting to know your body!
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