Top 10 Tips to Keeping a Food and Nutritional Journal for Total Wellness
By Dr. Mary Starr Carter
Now that the celebrations are over, lots of us have eaten quite a bit more than usual in special family meals with cookies, pudding and pies. While we put away our Christmas decorations…the last thing we may want to know is to start a food and nutritional journal.
We may find ourselves drifting through life year after year with no personal agenda when it comes to food and nutrition. It seems like there is no sense of direction about food until we hear of some crisis… health related.
“I eat good.” “My diet is healthy” ” We don’t eat out at all.” These are some common things I hear when working with Health Coaching clients and then I have them keep a Food diary and we enter into a tracking system that tells us how much real nutrition they are getting every day…
The result of 90% of clients is a wake up call to see how they are really eating. Most people don’t realize that even when we are eating healthy we may not be getting enough nutrition. We have had pregnant moms and entire families think that they were eating only healthy foods to do this tracking and then realize they were still lacking some key nutrition.
It’s easy to forget about ourselves, particularly, giving attention to our food and nutritional intake. However, the new year can be a time to take a look deeply and time to bring out a “compass”…a flow chart, a cheat sheet, a journal…whatever we call it…let’s take control of our total wellness by keeping a food and nutritional journal this new year.
Here are 10 tips to help you jumpstart with a journal:
1. Start small. Remember the question how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It is the same for starting a food journal. You start by taking small steps… you learn about food and nutrition while you journal. Write down what you eat for breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner. If you want an easier plan go to www.myfitnesspal.com this easy to use Free App can help you see exactly where you are in just a week. Use it for a month and things could really change for you.
2. Know your portions. We tend to eat bigger portions than we need. We can start by making our serving a little smaller each day. Instead of a baseball size meal, change it to a tennis ball size and eventually to a golf ball size. To assist with the visual serving size, get three of these balls and let them remind you of your portions.
3. Commit to reading and motivating yourself. Reading inspirational books like biographies and motivational books can help re-access our lives and change our outlook. Books are able to open doors for us to a world outside our own. For example, reading a book about Helen Keller who was blind and deaf. Her stories will inspire us to look beyond obstacles and limitations.
4. Plan your meal. A week with planned meals can help save money, time and help us eat healthier. If you plan your meal for the week, you will know exactly what you are having for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is no second-guessing; you know how to balance your meal with proteins, carb, vegetables and fruits.
5. Create balance. Have time for work, play and enjoy your meal. Time for quietness just by yourself or just meditate and journaling. A food and nutritional journal can be combined with your journey about your life. This includes writing your thoughts for the day along with the food you enjoy.
6. Drink tea. A food journal does include your beverage and water intake. Drinking tea is a way to relax. Young Living has created a wonderful tea called Slique that has anti-oxidant value of green tea and lots of other goodies to help weight management. Have a cup before your meal each day. The English enjoy their afternoon teatime for a reason. This could be a well planned day for relaxation and satisfying your appetite.
7. Set free. Holding grudges and unforgiveness can obstruct our growth. To achieve total wellness, we need to forgive. Forgive ourselves, our loved ones and set our spirit free. Forgiveness Oil by Young Living helps while you are taking steps to forgive yourself and others who have hurt you. There is nothing more freeing than to power forgiveness.
8. Don’t stay idle. Idleness may lead to boredom and lack of purpose that eventually leads us to nowhere. It can be a time-waster and energy sucker. When we make an effort to build relationship with people, take time to exercise and journal, we place our energy on achieving something that will give us a sense of purpose.
9. Have a routine. Remember when our kids were babies? We set them up with a routine for nap, feeding and bathing. A routine helps children know what to expect at a certain time. Likewise, as adults with routines, we are able to expect ourselves to perform certain task. Setting up a daily routine requires a to-do-list. A to-do-list will help us track our time and also help us to have discipline to track our food and nutrition.
10. Get the journal and start writing. The journal can be any writing material that suits you. It may even be an excel sheet on your laptop. The key is to get going. Write down what you had for the day, why you eat it and how you feel and what are you going to improve or eliminate. Oftentimes, with an accountability partner we can create and stay with a new habit.
These are 10 tips to help you start a food and nutrition journal for 2017. Remember to add nutritional supplement to your diet from Young Living Essential Oil. What better way to start creating a healthier you now?
Let us know how we can assist you. Please leave your comment below.
Dr. Mary Starr Carter is known as the Total Wellness Doc. She has been training individuals about Natural Health Solutions for over 18 years. She is trained as a Chiropractor and has studied under the world’s foremost leaders in natural medicine. She is a mother and a wife and has helped thousands of her clients using simple wholistic approaches to health and wellness.
We publish newsletters and blogposts twice a week for our readers for general education purposes only. We cover topics that are related to achieving and maintaining total wellness which includes our emotional, physical, spiritual and financial health.