My Food JournalI found it helpful to write down what I eat each day especially since I'm very new to a Protective Diet. I find that it makes me more accountable for what I'm putting in my mouth. I bought myself a spiral fat book on February 6th to keep right in my purse. Each day has a dedicated page.
I make three columns on each sheet
- was it PD
- count of vegetables/fruit
- Frozen berries 1
- Cooked apples 1
- Paczki (bad) NO
- Mixed vegetables 1
- Spinach/Romaine Salad with Veg 2
- Sloppy Jerries 1
- Whole wheat P.D. Burger Bun
Paczki'sI come from a Polish heritage and Fat Tuesday is the day for Paczki's. This is a pastry similar to a doughnut that my grandma would spend hours making and then cooked them in oil. The traditional reason for making pączki was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, because their consumption was forbidden by Catholic fasting practices during Lent. My non-polish mother tried to learn how to make them from my grandmother, but they were a lot of work. It was a special treasure if grandma sent some to us that day.
A co-worker/friend brings them into work each year for our entire team. In my head a little voice said "it is something I indulge in only once a year". On one hand, I almost felt like I was letting down my deceased Polish grandma looking down at me from heaven and my co-worker if I didn't eat it. On the other hand, I was letting down my body if I did eat it. It was a strange mental struggle. Yes, I joined in on that Fat Tuesday celebration and yes I wrote it down in my food journal. I did select and eat one Paczki that morning from the deli box, although I felt horribly guilty afterward. Now that I look at that page, I feel bad that I wasn't strong enough to just say "No thank you".
Focusing on the goodOn the other hand, when I look at my journal page, I can see a rough number of fruits and vegetables that I consumed on that Tuesday. In previous years in winter, the number of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed would have been maybe zero or one. When you are consuming meat, cheese, and dairy your grocery bill is expensive$$ and you don't have money left over for the fresh fruits and vegetables section. I avoided that section like a plague. If I bought anything during the winter it might have been a tomato, iceburg lettuce, a bag of oranges or a couple apples. Since last May, I always have spinach, kale, romaine/mixed greens and other colors in my fridge. I calculated that I probably ate 6 that day which is just amazing to me. It is definitely cheaper to buy these fresh items in the summer, plus they taste better in the summer, but it's now a special treat for me to eat the rainbow all year.
Each day is a new food challenge so that's why I record my food journal for me. Do you use a food journal? Does it help you stay accountable?