Food Journal Reflection

10 Jul

Remember the food journal we had to keep? Well, I did it, even though I was not excited about it. I knew it was a good exercise and completely saw the point, I just hate focusing on what I eat.

I didn’t learn a lot. I could stand to eat more vegetables, but we all do. When I have to be somewhere in the morning I can’t eat before I go, so I generally grab something – yogurt, a cornbread muffin, etc, to go with. When I’m not heading out the door I try to make a veggie omelet or fritatta. I drink a lot of coffee. I should drink more water. I should get more exercise and more sleep.

To make matters worse, I got sick in the middle of my journal-keeping, so there are about three days of “chicken soup, tea, water, ginger ale, water, tea, chicken broth, 2 hour nap,” etc… Not exactly demonstrative of my actual life.

In the long run, though, I feel like I am a healthy eater. I don’t eat processed food – because for the most part, I can’t. I don’t eat white bread and pasta – because I can’t. I cook a lot because I love it and because I have to. I eat more vegetables than the average American – according to many studies people eat three or less servings of fruit or veg a day. I eat whole grains like quinoa and brown rice. I don’t drink soda.

After the first week, one thing was apparent – I wasn’t getting much exercise. I have gone from: walking to  work (45 minutes each way); standing, walking, and lifting books and boxes for 8 hours while at work; then walking home, to: walking about 5 minutes; catching a bus; sitting on a bus; sitting in a classroom; sitting on a bus; walking home; sitting and doing homework. Suddenly I am VERY sedentary. Not good for my body or my psyche.

So I resolved to eat more vegetables and get more exercise. I signed up for Hot Yoga with a friend and have actually gone! Three times! Hot Yoga is HARD. But awesome. I got up early enough to make myself a spinach scramble… but then I felt sick because I don’t like eating that early – so I’m going to have to come up with some better way to transport a healthy breakfast to school with me.

I could have gotten more exercise if I wasn’t sick, and today I started a running program that I hope to continue… forever, I guess. I got my bike from my parents house and have started tuning it so I can ride with my manfriend. Am I doing all of this because of my food and activity log? I don’t know. I was already planning on running. Manfriend loves to bike so I already wanted to get started doing that. But maybe this activity brought it to the front of my mind. Maybe it gave me the little push I needed to really get going.

I think having students keep food an activity logs could be a great teaching tool – you don’t have to tell them what they are eating is good or bad, but you can teach them what foods are healthy (and why!) and let them draw their own conclusions about their diets. You can incorporate math and science by counting calories, discovering portion size, and even cooking. A nutrition unit could include creating a school or class garden (another passion of mine). There are a lot of really cool things you could do with a food and activity journal, depending on age.



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