For quite some time now I have been keeping a Food Diary to help weed out my problem foods, intolerances and negative reacting combinations in addition to my known allergies. I believe that once you have food allergies/intolerances or any form of digestive trouble that seem in any way to be 'spontaneous' or 'random' by nature that a food diary is one of the best things you can do to help yourself. I have discovered some interesting and useful things about my digestion this way but although I am definitely improving, it is a slow process which requires patience and diligence.
One of the most important things to remember when keeping a food diary is that the more detail you put into the diary the clearer the picture will become. This is especially true if you are sharing your diary with a nutritionist, allergy specialist, or someone similar - What might seem like nothing to you might be the key to your troubles when viewed by an outsider.
My food diary is broken into:
- Time (every half hour from morning to night)
- Food Consumed
- Symptoms (according to the time you experience them)
- Severity of Symptoms (1 to 4)
Although you can't see it on the screen shot above, I also have a small legend on the side which lists the full ingredients of any frequently consumed foods such as my usual breakfast of 'Oat Bran' which always contains: 0.5cup oat bran, 1.5cup rice milk, a pinch of sea salt, 0.25cup frozen raspberries, 0.25cup frozen blueberries, 3heaped tsp ground flax seeds & 3heaped tsp of sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
August the 3rd was a bit of a turbulent day for me between sinus trouble, a severe headache which ebbed and flowed throughout the day and a head rush (all possibly relating to the previous day - I'm still working on it) so I thought it would be a good one to share to represent the severity ratings: 1 for mild, 2 for moderate, 3 for bad and 4 for severe.
Perhaps you find a different method better for you, if so please share your thoughts! And good luck if you are just starting out. It can seem impossible to get everything down at first but like all things, practice makes perfect.