The First Steps: Food Journaling

The first step on any health journey is to know clearly where you are in the present moment. You cannot know where you are going with out knowing where you have come from. For me this means journaling. Years ago when I wrote my book on wellness for beginners I never thought I would be heading back to that book to remind myself of my own journey to start again. Life changes and here we go again!

Journaling, with out making any changes is always the place to start. This goes for any kind of behavior change you are trying to make. For myself, I am focusing on food but I have a long way to go to come back into health and I expect you will be hearing more journaling from me after this portion of my journey.

So start with what you are eating or doing right now. Take a week or two to really see how you are responding to your own actions. There is a full journal on our website linked above (scroll down to find it) that can help you through many areas of wellness to find your balance again. I wanted to update and have a fun new chart for my own food journey this time. Here, you can enjoy it as well.

At first it might seam like these columns are too much to track but they can all be necessary in practicing observing your own body. If you are not yet practiced at self observation you might want to take more than two weeks on this practice.

It is important to write down the time because, yes, in a few hours you might forget. Write down everything you eat! EVERYTHING! I generally say you should include drinks as well. I did not include water on here but I usually like to track how much water I am drinking as well. You can add that to your daily notes. Tracking drinks can be important for looking at sugar and caffeine and how those are affecting you. The same thing goes for condiments. I think most people don’t need to worry about herbs but you might want to note what salts or oils you use depending on you.

Here is my example day for you:

It is clearly not perfect and don’t expect yours to be perfect as well. This is all a learning experience and getting the most out of it is our goal but we cannot expect to get everything. I do want to note one thing on my chart for you. At 7:30pm you can see that I have two numbers I put in the last columns; 3 and 5. For me, I wanted a quick numerical method of quantifying my mental awareness. That is what I am currently focusing on and you can read a little about it here. You might want to do this with pain or anything else you are trying to track compared to your foods.

So especially with being at home more this might be a great time to start to look at where you currently are with your own wellness practices. There is a blank chart here for you as well as a full journal to help you would through many wellness practices available right on our website. Simply scroll down to download it. You can also find the full book: A Beginner’s Guide to Wellness on Amazon to help you go through these challenging activities one step at a time to create a whole well you!

Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. For more learning opportunities or to speak one-on-one with Jillian visit The Dancing

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