Food journaling is very helpful to recognize which foods could be causing issues with your health. Many of us don’t realize how much the food we eat really affects us. Some of the issues we suffer we may be linked to your diet. There are ways to find out if what you are eating is causing your health issues. Keeping a food journal is the most simple way of finding our which foods you should avoid. Another way is to visit your doctor, there are test that can also help to determine food sensitivity.
Food sensitivities or food intolerances are different from food allergies. Food intolerances are when your body has a negative response to specific foods that don’t involve your immune system. Examples of food intolerances are lactose and gluten intolerance. These food sensitivities are the most common and many people have moderate reactions to these types of foods but do not have to completely avoid them like those who have food allergies to nuts or seafood.
Symptoms of food sensitivities
- acid reflux
- skin rashes
- chronic fatigue
- lack of focus or concentration
- mouth ulcers
Common Foods that cause food sensitivity symptoms
- preservatives and food additives (MSG, sulfites, artificial colors or flavors)
- acidic foods
The best way to find if your symptoms are food related is to use a food journal.
First, jot down your health issues that you currently suffer, give yourself a few days or so to write them all down. You may not be able to remember or think of them all in one sitting. For help look at the symptoms list above and see if any pertain to you, then add what ever else you can think of. Next write down the types of foods you eat regularly or every day. For example, do you have coffee or orange juice every morning, do you eat bread everyday, lactose products daily or have a love for spicy food? Many symptoms are caused by foods you eat daily or regularly.
Next, you need to keep a journal of the foods you eat for at least the next 2 weeks. Start to eliminate one food type at a time for those 2 weeks. Eliminate the most common foods that cause sensitivities like lactose and gluten first. Write down what you eliminated and how you felt; like decreased bloating, clearer skin etc…
Avoid food preservatives and artificial flavors and colors
Junk food and highly processed foods contain many artificial flavors and colors. These are chemicals that are added to our foods. You may think they are safe, but many of these additives are the cause of fatigue, headaches and many other health issues. By avoiding foods with artificial ingredients I have been able to reduce my fatigue. I suffered for years with fatigue and had many doctors visits that were not useful in determining the cause or treating it. The only cure for me so far is to eat real food with real ingredients and reduce my consumption of processed food. Every now and then I eat processed food, but I am not surprised when I feel like crap afterwards.
Also journaling about your day can be a time to focus and relax. You may find that in addition to a food journal, journaling your thoughts may help you get more organized and be more focused in your life. It has been recommended for stress relief and to aid in motivation and achieving goals.