A food diary is incredibly helpful when trying to figure out food allergies and sensitivities, especially in migraine or adrenal fatigue syndromes.

food diaryOften, food is a primary culprit to symptom attacks, so I’ve put together a 3-part chronicle (Part 1 can be found here) about the migraine elimination diet, which will help you narrow down your symptoms.

Most things come in three’s, and this is no different.  Properly keeping track of your diet with a food diary happens in three parts:

  1. Tracking food and drinks
  2. Analyzing the data
  3. Tracking additional details


Tracking Food and Drinks

You will want to start by setting up your diary to be simple and easy to follow.  You can download a food diary app on your phone or tablet as well.  Generally, the journal should include the following:

  • Time
  • Date
  • Place
  • Food or drink taken
  • Quantity
  • Notes


The notes section is to jot down symptoms experienced and how you felt after eating the food or drinking the beverage.

There are a few ways to create a diet journal:

  1. Handwritten in a blank notebook or daily journal
  2. Print food diary templates online
  3. Download an app for your phone or tablet that will help you track your food


Be sure to track everything, including sips of water and little snacks.  The more detailed you are, the more helpful the journal will be.  You may even consider breaking the food down into ingredients if there are a lot of complicated items on the list.  You can separate journals to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, or you can come up with an entirely new design!

Remember to write down accurate quantities.  For example, don’t write a “cup of milk” if it was really 12 ounces.  You may also want to consider tracking:

  • Calories
  • Fat grams
  • Carbohydrates
  • Sugars
  • Fiber
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium


Analyze the Data

Review your food diary once a week, on the same day every week.  Look for meal patterns, like having the same breakfast every day or always eating more carbs at night than during the day.  Focus on comparing habits on weekdays with habits on weekends.

Emotional connection to food plays a significant role in how much you eat and how often.  Be sure to keep track of your emotional and mental states before and after eating.

Ask yourself the following question while analyzing the data:

  • Is there a pattern to the food I eat and certain moods I feel?
  • Which foods and meals are more satisfying?
  • Am I overeating? If so, are there certain circumstances that cause it?
  • How many snacks do I have on a normal day?
  • Are the snacks healthy, or are they less healthy and more convenient?
  • Am I hungrier or satisfied after snacks?
  • How often do I eat out at restaurants?
  • What kinds of foods do I generally order at restaurants?


Highlight or circle anything abnormal, such has feeling depressed or congested for a few hours after a specific food or drink.

Track Additional Details

Our body is a unique organism that is always working with internal and external environments to create a suitable living space.  Sometimes, symptoms are caused by a combination of foods, activities, and daily encounters.  Therefore, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the following:

  • Physical activity levels, including type of activity, length of time, and how exercise affects your appetite.
  • Nutritional information like vitamins, minerals, and protein.
  • Your goals and progress, which will help keep you motivated. Write your primary goal on the cover or at the top of every page in your journal.  This will bring a smile to your face as you work through your migraine elimination diet.
  • It may be helpful to track how much you spend on food every week. Include groceries and restaurant or café tabs.


Overall, there are three main parts to creating a detailed food journal that will help you and your doctors better understand any food allergies and sensitivities that could be contributing to your migraine symptoms.  The migraine elimination diet is 33 days long, so when creating your journal, it may be helpful to set up your format first, and then create reminders for what and how to record your intake.  At the end of the 33 days, you will have a clear view of how food and activity are impacting your life, mood, and symptoms.

Source:  http://www.wikihow.com/Keep-a-Food-Diary

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