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When life gets busy, as it has this October, I tend to slack on my journaling. That is when my eating plan gets derailed. I have to remind myself, “If you bite it, write it.”

Researchers believe food journals work because they make you accountable, can act as a deterrent and can provide a concrete record of your success. But honestly, I think that if you journal the right way, you can begin to understand how your body reacts to the foods you eat.

I don’t pay too much attention to calorie or carb counts or even exact amounts. I am more interested in what I ate and how I feel physically and emotionally. Here is how I “write it”:

I use a 4-column format. This way you can see the connection between what you eat and how you feel physically and emotionally.  Whenever I feel a strong emotion, I record it even if I haven’t eaten anything recently.  Here is an actual entry from my food journal the other day.

DATE/TIME    What I Ate      How I Feel Physically  How I Feel Emotionally

Oct 10 4PM          apple pie & ice cream      energized       relaxed, calm,  happy

6:30PM                                                      tired                             irritable, edgy

Yesterday evening I found myself irritable and cranky. It was a gorgeous fall day in New Hampshire, I enjoyed the day with my family, went for a jog with my sons and had plenty of rest. There was no reason to be grumpy. Yet when I recorded the way I felt and looked back at what I ate during the day, I realized it was probably the apple pie with ice cream that did me in.

Over time, I have discovered that when I am feeling tired, restless, edgy, easily frustrated, cranky and short-fused it is usually after I have eaten something with sugar and/or simple carbs like white flour. When my blood sugar is optimal and I have been eating lots of veggies and good protein, I have lots of energy and am relaxed, clear, focused and even-tempered.  When I realize that the hot-fudge sundae that is calling my name on a hot summer afternoon is ultimately going to make me feel  depressed later in the evening, I’ll think twice about indulging.  “Nothing tastes as good as feeling good feels!”

If anyone has a different food journal system please comment.  I am curious if there is any iPhone app that may be appropriate.  I just downloaded iPhone app and am curious to see if it may be suitable for my PCOS Food Journal.

Read Part 1 here…

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  1. I have started this same journal and added it to my google docs that way I can update it whenever and wherever I have internet…works great! Thanks so much for the idea.

  2. I’ve been posting my food journal on and off for years to my blog some times I post how I feel along with it most of the time its just in my offline notes.

    My main food recording though is connected though using SparkPeople their tracking system is one of the best free systems out there that I’ve found to date (though WebMDs is good its just not as easy to use for me on various levels).

  3. I was diagnosed 5 years ago after of a decade of the the doctors making me feel like it was “all in my head”. But then I went to a psych who specialized in hormones and female reproduction. After running the typical battery of tests told me I was IR with higher than normal testosterone levels.
    Today, I am reading your blog to understand why journaling and food journaling is vital to success. I also HATE journaling. While I’ve been treating my PCOS, I’ve not been managing it. This isn’t a new years resolution of any kind as I don’t think those are exactly realistic ways to move forward. But writing you today is a start of taking back my life. After the last 3 weeks of “clean” dieting which seems to be sticking with less cravings than ever before, it has been a 180 of energy and new understandings.
    Thank you so much for this website. I’ve picked up several new things through out your posts. Most books out have a lot of age on them that doesn’t really have any new research that I either didn’t already know from my own research or something my wonderful doctor hadn’t already explained. Please keep going! We need to hear about each others stories to greater understand ourselves!