Monday, August 19, 2013

Food Journal Tips & Trail Running LOVE!

One thing I started to do when I started my health journey was keep a journal of my workouts and daily eats. I am a visual learner, and this allowed me to see foods I was eating too much of and also things I wasn't eating enough of, like protein or healthy fats, for example. I feel like I have gotten a little too off track this month with my work outs especially, so I brought back the journal to keep myself in check. 

Here are some tips if you are interested in keeping a journal for yourself:

- Buy a cute journal! Instead of going for something boring and bland, find a cute one that you will actually enjoy filling the pages of. I found my gold owl journal from Chapters for $6.50, and there are tons of other designs to pick from as well.
- Use good quality pens: I use thin Sharpie markers (I purchased a pack of 8 or something like that from Walmart that come in different colours) to write in my journal. This allows me to see everything clearly, so if I need to flip back for reference I will be able to read it properly. I find that ball point pens can cut out and dry up quickly, making things hard to read after a while, so a good pen is key.
- Note your portion sizes: If you are concerned about your portions of certain foods make a note of how much you ate. For instance, I will say a "handful" of THIS or a 1/4 cup of THAT, but for things like oatmeal which I have 1/2 dry cup of daily, I don't write my portion down. I do this because I already know how much I eat since I measure it out every morning.
- Keep track of snacks: Although snacks are small meals here and there throughout your day, it's important to log those too. A good rule of thumb is: If you bite it, write it! That way you can visually see, "Oh wow. I had Jelly Bellies, bon bons and some licorice last night when I was already full after dinner!?" <--- Me yesterday, but I failed to write it even though I bited (bit, I'm not totally immune to grammar rules) it.
- Don't become obsessed: It is easy to look at a food journal and think, wow this person is crazy over what they eat. However, keep in mind your activity level and needs of your body. The point of a food journal can be different for everyone, but one collective goal of a food journal is to keep yourself balanced and on track. Don't think that because Suzy needs 1700 calories in a day means Sally needs that same amount too. Perhaps Suzy isn't as active as Sally, or her height and BMI is different. All of these things need to be factored in. Bottom line: Use your food & workout journal as a positive thing and not a comparison tool.
- Be consistent: They say it takes 21 days to build a habit, so consistency is key. If you are diligent about writing in your food journal you can reap the benefits of noticing healthier habits and watching your workouts improve. Plus, you can keep track of personal records in the gym, goals, etc, and feel good about all of your accomplishments!

Do you keep a food journal? What are your tips for keeping a journal?

On Saturday after work, instead of going to the gym to get our sweat on, Sarah & I hit the trail and went for a run.

There's Sarah lookin' like a rockstar, although I may have caught her at a tough moment considering she looks unhappy with me. Whoops. Love you!

And here's my crazy pumpkin head and squinty eyes lovin' it out on the trail.

A run. A glorious 3.1mile (5km) trail run. We went up and down some hills, lots of slopes and straight stretches, and it was just FUN. I forgot how much FUN running can be when you just stop and enjoy it. The best thing about it is that I only walked the .1 of that 3.1, otherwise ran the rest of it with little to no back pain. The pinching is a lot more dull and goes away once my body starts moving. I'm wondering if it's the softer surface of the trail that is making my back feel better, or maybe my stress level and fatigue has dropped drastically since the pain first started on Wednesday, or maybe I'm sleeping better. Whatever it is, I'm not going to question it and jinx myself, because I WANT this fun running feeling again! I feel more ME when I run, so here's to getting back to that!

I took a goofy little video on our run, so click the play button above and enjoy!

I hope you all had some fantastic workouts this weekend that have left you motivated and inspired to keep up the AWESOME WORK! Have a great day! :)

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