Do You Keep a Food Journal?

I am not really giving anything up for Lent, but my husband, sister and I decided to keep a joint food journal online for the next 40 days. Why? Well, a food journal is a good idea for so many reasons, and I've been meaning to do it for a long time.

Here are the primary reasons we are keeping a food journal:

  1. To be more aware of how much we eat. This is definitely connected to the spirit of Lent: becoming freshly aware of how much we consume.
  2. To be more aware of what we eat. I am always trying to eat a more varied and balanced diet -- not out of "nutritionism" -- as Michael Pollan puts it -- but simply out of a desire to try more vegetables, cook more deeply, and stay on my toes as a cook. But I fall into ruts and this journal is already pointing that out.
  3. To find ways to eat less and to eat better. It seems that one of the best ways to help our earth is to eat a little less, and yet to enjoy our food a little more. When we look for better ingredients and do better things with them, it's very satisfying and nurturing. And yet the overeating I'm prone to (and that most Americans struggle with) is in direct opposition to to being mindful of food, and I hope this food journal helps me to eat a little less and be more aware.

We're keeping the journal online with a Google spreadsheet. It's a very helpful tool for this sort of thing.

Have you ever kept a food journal? Did it help you meet goals, or become more aware of your food? Any helpful tips for food journallers?

Related: Meal Planning Tool: Springpad

(Image: Flickr member angelamaphone licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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