In addition to helping our bodies physically grow, restore, and repair, food also plays a role in how we feel. If there are times that you feel a slump or drained, it may be related to what you consumed at your previous meal. Tracking your food intake and mood after each meal will help identify patterns so that you may make more informed decisions about your consumption. Here’s how to create a Food-Mood journal to help you eat intuitively for your physical and emotional well-being.

Creating Your Food-Mood Journal

Use a journal or create a spreadsheet on your computer. Create the following columns:

  • Time of Meal/Snack. Record the time of your meal or snack.
  • Food or Drink Eaten. Be specific. For example, list lettuce type, dressing, and all toppings if you’ve eaten a salad.
  • Amount Eaten. As best as you can estimate, record the amounts of each food eaten. (“1 cup of soup, 2 slices Ezekiel bread” etc.,)
  • Fullness. Do you feel pleasantly full, stuffed, or still hungry?
  • Your Mood. Be descriptive. Are you energetic, tired, sad, or annoyed? If the feelings you initially recorded change – about 20+ minutes after your meal – record the new feelings as well. Sometimes, the full effects of the food aren’t felt immediately until digestion has started.
  • Your Body. Record how you are feeling in your body. Do you have brain fog? Is your stomach upset? Does your body feel heavy or light?
  • Your Activities. Note what you were doing when and after you ate. For instance, did you return to your desk? Go for a walk? Zone out on your phone or in front of the TV?
  • Be honest. There is no judgment in this journal. Record everything that you eat and drink. Do not use a Food-Mood journal as a source to count calories or to lose weight.

Keep track of your food and mood for at least two weeks. Fourteen days, including two weekends, should show how various foods and drinks affect your mood. If you are more motivated, keep your journal for one month (or more).

Listen to your body (and your brain).

Our body does an amazing job telling us what it needs but sometimes our brain has a mind of its own! As you review your Food-Mood journal and start recognizing certain patterns, your brain will cultivate awareness about your food choices so that you will intuitively crave more foods that make you feel good.

And just as your food choices improve, so will your physical and mental well-being.

If you want to create a well-balanced, healthier, and happier lifestyle with Erin, click here to learn more about her Lifestyle Coaching. 

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