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Creating a Food and Feelings Journal

**Disclaimer: I realize that unfortunately there are people in our community who may not have the resources available to them to have access to proper nutritious and helpful foods. There are also people who, although they have the financial capacity to acquire nutritious foods, may see food in general as a stressor or a trigger for unpleasant reactions or thoughts.

Please see this series as simply a guide to be observed as just that. You are not a failure if you cannot or do not make these suggestions a part of your life.

Simply continue to do the best that you can manage every day. That is enough.

Food is not a cure for mental illnesses but it can give your body what it needs to be in the best state to help support you when you need it most.**

We have all been in a situation where we have had adverse feelings of indigestion, uncomfortable pains in uncomfortable places all after a meal. But what was it? And was it after lunch or dinner? Is it an immediate immune response or a slower digestive reaction?

It’s also harder to pinpoint what it was that could have caused it if you have little to no routine in your eating habits. (We will talk about the importance of a routine next week).

It is for these reasons and so many more why is it so very helpful to keep a Food and Feelings journal. It may sound intimidating, as though I am suggesting to add another responsibility to your life, but please only see it as a suggestion for you to try out if you find food to be a stressor for you lately. Whether that be poor digestion after meals, or even not feeling like eating at all, there is much to be learned about what’s going on inside that we can do all on our own.

Give Yourself Permission

Please know that I also understand and have personal experience with knowing what foods do not sit well with me but not being in a position to be able to make better choices. Be that financially, physically, or mentally. So please know that if you are in a similar place that you are not failing, continue to do what you can with what resources and energy you have. If one day you find yourself in the mindset and ability to check in with yourself and try altering some food habits, then that is the time to do it.

Noticing The Signs

Inflammatory responses from food can show up in many ways you may not acknowledge as food-related. Here are just a few examples:

  • Itchy skin

  • Rashes

  • Eczema

  • Psoriasis

  • Acne

  • Arthritis and joint pain

  • Short temper

  • Brain fog and fatigue

As you can see there are many possible physical and mental manifestations that can arise that are not necessarily thought of in the realm of being caused by food. (*Note: That is not to say that these examples are always caused by food, as there of course can be many causes, however simply to say that food can play a role in these symptoms for some people, and this can be discovered through keeping an honest record of your food.)

With that being said, I’ll once again use myself as an example so as to provide an example as to some things to keep in mind.

Below are images of different reactions I would have to food. Through journaling and then eliminating foods I discovered these were caused by an allergy to gluten and dairy.

I was also experiencing stomach pains nearly every day, brain fog, and overall fatigue. But I just thought this was normal and I just had to live with it, drink more water, get more sleep, and wash my face more.

Although food is not always the solution to issues such as this, I can tell you honestly that it was for me and as long as I maintain a diet that suits my needs, these problems do not return.

Starting Your Journal

You can use any planner or notebook you have that you can have with you as much as possible so that you can jot down your meals and when possible the ingredients used. For example, the picture below can be journaled quickly or detailed.


- Coffee

- Croissant

Detailed: - Coffee: Black - Croissant: Wheat flour, butter, sugar

See the difference and how that can help narrow down unwanted ill physical and mental effects?

If you can find a way to carve out some time in your day to record what you eat, how your body feels afterward, and where your mental state is, then I think you will find there are little steps you can take to improve your overall experience with food.

I have included a printable sheet to get you started if you don't have a notebook just yet or want to dip your toes in before starting a dedicated journal. There isn't much space for details, but it is a great starting tool to begin forming helpful habits.

Wishing you health and peace,


Food and Feelings Journal (Go With Goals
Download • 100KB

© 2020 Go With Goals

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