Sunday, August 5, 2012

Keeping A Food Journal

I've been keeping a food journal for two weeks, which I've just turned in to my doctor, and my doctor visit was chock full of good news!  I am doing so well that I won't need medication to manage my cholesterol and blood sugar!  And, here's the shocker - I actually lost 7 pounds in two weeks!

I managed to follow her directions to eat 6 times a day.  Yes, six times a day - it's not a typo!  It was, without a doubt, the hardest part of the changes I've made.  I'm an old pro at dieting - usually what's termed 'starvation' dieting.  I'm also fantastically talented at skipping meals, sometimes for a day or more.  Eating three meals and three snacks a day made me feel, in the beginning, a bit like a cow standing at a feeding trough!
Photo via
I did miss a couple of breakfasts and a few snacks, but there are bound to be challenges to forming any new habits!  I splurged and had light cheesecake and even a handful of potato chips, but I'm told that it's okay to treat myself occasionally.

It's also going to be challenging to continue this on a food stamp budget, but not impossible.  This past month, I managed to have fresh fruits and vegetables through all but the last 2 days.  It took a lot of research, a lot of planning AND changing the way I shop and do things in the kitchen and I'll continue to 'tweak' things as I learn.

I've still been able to eat Italian and Mexican food. I can still have my occasional dessert. I AM learning which foods are a better value carbohydrate-wise and complex carbs tend to be found in healthier foods. I am NOT obsessively counting calories, just simply learning to make wiser choices for my body.
The changes nutritionally involve learning about, and trying to eat following this chart
Glycemic Index Food Pyramid
  • cutting down on white foods - white rice, white flour, white potatoes, sugar.  Notice I didn't say cutting them out - but cutting them down!
  • Using less of those yummy, calorie dense dairy foods - butter, sour cream, cheese - and using them more wisely
  • Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Balancing complex carbs with proteins
  • Using less oil - and when I do, using olive oil or cooking spray
  • Using Stevia rather than sugar substitutes (which are full of dangerous chemicals!)
  • Finding ways to add more legumes to recipes 
Here's a sample, taken directly from my food journal:
I'll be adding more sample menus, recipes, tips, etc in future posts so I hope that you'll follow along.  If you'd like to have the sample menu as a pdf file, let me know!


  1. Congratulations, Cynthia! I have heard that food journals are one of the most successful "diet" plans there is! Good luck with that and congratulations on getting off the meds!

    1. Thanks Amy! Having a journal does help and keeps me accountable as well. It makes it harder to forget meals too.
      I love your blog - I'm now following both via email and networked blogs :)

  2. Your 'diet' more like life-style eating plan is exactly the way I'm supposed to be eating! Your choices are really good and I'm totally impressed with what you are achieving. I've subscribed to your blog so I can keep up with all your hard work. I have diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure....syndrome X !!! So I really MUST do what I can to alleviate these conditions. I'm already on medications for the diabetes (have been for the past 6 years) and now blood pressure pills too so I need to get to work and get off the bp pills as soon as possible.

    1. Kat, you're such a sweetie and I'm so glad that you'll be following my blog! According to the Dr, I was well on my way to having syndrome X - I was just lucky that she agreed to give me time to make these changes before trying medications.
      I wish you luck in getting off the meds Kat!

  3. Keep it up! I struggle with keeping a food journal but find it makes me more mindful of what I'm eating. I did the six mini-meals for quite awhile and really noticed a difference in energy levels.

    Lately, I've been getting frozen veggies on sale, sometimes it ends up being cheaper than fresh, and add protein to 1-3 cups of the veggies for a quick meal.

    Congrats on great doctor's visit. Found you via SITS Sharefest.

    1. In my quest to discover what the 'C' represents, I discovered Annuary Chit - hooray!!
      Eating six times a day definitely makes a difference in energy levels, and makes it much easier to keep blood glucose levels down too.
      And frozen veggies - I'll definitely be adding them to my grocery list as growing seasons end. Flavor & nutrition-wise, they're better than hot house or imported veggies during off seasons.
      For now, while fresh veggies are abundant, I've been buying them on sale and freezing them myself - with the added bonus of being able to freeze veggie broth too!


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