Food Journal: Getting Detailed

Last week we started our Food Journal. We’ve been simple in our approach—let’s simply put what we’ve been eating on paper.


We mean write it down…not, like, literally putting your food on paper. There’s no way that’s sanitary.


Journaling food intake is a start, but it’s a one-dimensional process. It’s quantitative, but as we know, qualitative elements are just as important as the structured, concrete ones.


Think about goal setting activities. We, as coaches, talk with our clients about measurable outcomes. Without results, we have no business. Without measurable outcomes, there is no way to denote progress.




The numbers and the paper tell us what happened. They don’t tell us how. There’s an invisible energy that moves us toward paper and pencil progress and documentation—how we feel about something.


We set concrete goals that are driven by a powerful why.


Let’s set an arbitrary deadlift goal of 500 pounds. Backtracking, let’s say you chose to set a deadlift goal because doing that lift makes you feel strong—and you want to feel strong because feel that people rely on you. 500 pounds is simply the physical manifestation of building internal strength so that the world may rest on your shoulders.


Metaphorically and hypothetically.


We examine goals by monitoring our internal environment and putting it on paper. Our food log deserves the same attention. Because that’s what journaling and logging is really about—attention to an internal environment so that we can track and understand trends.


It Starts With Why


Next to each food choice, let’s track why we ate it. The simple, and most abundant, answer is because we were hungry. No. Fucking. Shit.


Let’s spend some time to consider why we’re making a food choice. Are you making a super shake because you’re short on time, or because you know you can pack the most nutrition in that way? Are you eating eggs because you love them or because, fuck it, I know they’re nutritious—do you have to choke them down just to get through the meal?


As you write each food in your journal, note why you ate it in an adjacent space. Really consider why you rifled that sustenance down your gullet.


How?—Before and After




How did you feel before you ate the food? We don’t mean journal your feelings because you just got done watching Forrest Gump with your significant other and feel a little verklempt!


We mean were you hungry? Did it feel like your intestines were swallowing your stomach while your esophagus desperately climbed out of your throat to avoid being gobbled? Were you satiated but decided that you needed to eat because, well, gains?


Were you bored?


Did you feel good and energized?


You know, that kind of shit.




How did you feel after you ate the food?


Did you feel like someone transplanted Superman’s testes into your ball bag and that you could take flight at will? For the ladies—did it feel like you sprouted Wonder Woman’s ovaries and you found the keys to the invisible jet?




Did you feel like sleeping for the rest of eternity? Did your energy drop to new found lows?


Well, then write that down!




It’s your show. After you get down the initial details regarding why and how, add in your own notes. Add in whatever details you find pertinent. Whatever prods you forth into greater dietary awareness.



It’s About Awareness


Our journal is about layered awareness—the concrete awareness of knowing exactly what we’ve entered into our human form and the physiological response that evoked a change in our internal environment. We already notice this stuff in the moment…but then we lose it because we don’t track trends. Let’s get this on paper and expand our awareness. In the future we’ll make better choices with less effort.