You already know that Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones is a favorite book of mine. In it she speaks of filling spiral binders with her words consistently – one notebook per month. She writes that her efforts to get her thoughts on to paper actually translate to greater mental health for herself. I began blogging as a way to get myself to write more consistently and while it has done that, I also find myself spending an inordinate amount of time reading other blogs, commenting and analyzing traffic stats.
My friend Preston, a personal trainer, recently suggested that I begin writing something else down on a consistent basis. He recommends that I start keeping a food journal. All I have to do is write down what I eat all day long and add a few other ancillary comments about how I’m feeling after each meal or snack. That’s simple enough since I’m a healthy eater and of course I’m easily drawn in because it sets up a structured framework for me to operate within.
Or is it? Suddenly I’m realizing that the prescription to keep a food journal isn’t so much about what I do eat. Rather, it’s become an early warning sign for me about things that I think I’m going to eat. Do I really have to list one cracker with St. Andres full fat cheese? Is it worth noting that I stole two krinkle cut kettle chips off of my son’s plate? Somewhat abruptly I find myself shirking the idea of that aioli slathered on my fish taco because I have to write it down and even worse, Preston is going to read it. I have visions of the incredulous look on his face as he turns from the food journal to me and says, “Really? You want to maintain optimal health and you ate that?”
I think it’s working as intended. Writing down my food choices is bringing a greater awareness to every bite and how it will contribute to my health goals.
What should you be keeping track of that will raise your awareness and perhaps even alter your behavior for the better?
- 2 eggs (room temperature and separated)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 and 1/3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup salsa
- kernels slices from two ears of corn on the cob
- 1/2 cup ground beef cooked with taco seasoning or 1/2 cup black beans warmed with taco seasoning
- 4 Tbs butter
Beat egg white in a small bowl until stiff and set aside. Mix dry ingredients together and set aside. Combine egg yolk, milk, salsa, meat or beans and butter. Add to dry ingredients, mixing until just blended. Fold in beaten egg white until just mixed. Do not overbeat batter. These are a wonderful change of pace waffle that are only limited by creativity and what’s in the fridge. I served them topped with grated cheese. We find that they are a great way to use up leftovers. And, they’d probably freeze well except that I don’t have any left. Ok, I’m off to write it down.