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The Value of a Food Diary

I have found myself speaking with several folks lately about their diets….and realizing that what we think we are eating, what we feel we are eating, what we intend to eat, is not the same as what we are actually putting into our mouths. About 12 years ago I thought I was doing a really good job of paying attention to my diet. However, when I went to see a Naturopath about fine tuning my health, she suggested I keep a food diary, to see what actually happening….oh dear. More fried corn chips and less vegetables that I realized, just to name 2 areas that I had to address. My gall bladder was very happy with me when I made some changes….

And that is the point: we can’t really know what to do next if we don’t “objectively” look at where we are. Writing down EVERYTHING that goes in our mouth, and about how much and when often leads to a better understanding of our patterns, habits, what foods might be causing problems, macro and micronutrients that may be out of balance, etc. Let me say loud and clear: DO NOT JUDGE yourself, your choices, what you notice. This is also a spiritual exercise in gentle compassionate observation. We are witnessing ourselves nourishing ourselves, and change can occur more easily if we are amused rather than horrified.  We shall be talking about making small steps toward eating all real food without a lot of drama and lamenting poor choices in the past.

Beyond the general notion that eating well is “good for us,” I’ll be citing interesting current research, including the rather new field of epigenetics. Food (and that includes culinary herbs) really can be our medicine.

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