I started a food journal recently. I’ve done a few of these over the last couple months. The first time it was just to see what I was eating so as to understand what types of proteins, carbohydrates, etc. I was ingesting. It was eye-opening because I had recently learned that carbohydrates generally break down into sugar and I was eating a LOT of sugar. It’s something really interesting to try if you haven’t already and I recommend the following resources:
- Watch the movie “Fat Head” and/or check out the blog associated with the movie
- I used the iPhone app MyFitnessPal to track my food. It has a good library of foods so you usually don’t have to customize any food entry – something always pops up, and it also synced with the food diary functionality within the Fitbit app.
Just knowing what I was eating was half the battle of making a change in what I consumed.
The new food journal is a bit different. I record the food I eat, but I focus on what I’m eating and the ingredients that make up that food, not the quantity. This has been equally eye-opening. I first got the idea for this when I heard an interview with Andrew Olson, the proponent of the One Ingredient Chef. He looked into what comprised of the food he was getting at a local sub shop, and noticed that the banana peppers weren’t just banana peppers; they actually included 10 different ingredients. The whole sub included about 100.
So when I started this journal, I was trying to figure out if there was a food or a preservative that was having a negative impact on my health. I started to wonder, what is the reason to put thiamine mononitrate, disodium phosphate, and any number of things I can’t pronounce in my food? I presume there is a reason, and it might have something to do with preserving the food. I was much happier eating something that said on the package that it was: almonds or butter (contains milk), partially because it required me to write less down when I did my journal, and secondly because I knew what I was eating. I might have to give some of these one ingredient recipes a go!
It is an interesting experiment to try – what are you eating?