“All disease begins in the gut.” – Hippocrates

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tracking Your Diet

Fitday is a wonderful (free!) site for tracking day, and a lot more. I love this site, and have used it myself. You can track foods, exercise, weight, moods, journal your day, and much more.
Here's another example I like:
Microsoft even has a Food Diary Template:
There are oodles of other food diary's out there. Just pick one you like and STICK WITH IT.
But here's the rub. We're not dieting to loose weight. We're not dieting to count carbs, calories, or so that we can run a better half marathon. For us, for many of us, we're dieting so that we can LIVE. That adds another level of importance, of necessity, to tracking symptoms and diet. That's why I'd really recommend Fitday, unless you really want to develop something yourself, or you like the simplicity of a paper journal.
It's important to track your diet AND your symptoms at the same time. The symptom tracker that I wrote about previously did just that; it tracked my symptoms and my daily diet. That way I could look back and see if certain foods were associated with certain symptoms. It's important to know what you've eaten, what meds you've taken, AND how you felt. That way you can tease out the factors that are irritating your system. Jini Patel Thompson, in Listen to Your Gut, has a good food diary, and I'd recommend the book. She didn't like the SCD, for all the work it created, but I won't hold that against her.
The basic information you want to collect is:
  1. Date
  2. Food's eaten and general time eaten (I separate meals. I think it's easier to remember what I ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner by meal, than to lump them together).
  3. Did you maintain the SCD today?
  4. Symptoms, Reactions, etc. I.e., you need a way to write down what your gut and the rest of your body was doing that day. I tracked, bowel movements (times/day and quality), blood and mucus in the stool, and my mental well being. But I also made room to note headaches, fever, chills, itchiness, feelings of depression, and anything else my body was doing that day.

Get started tracking today! It's worth it.
Onward to health.

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