General chatter - Cool tool for food journaling away from home.

03-16-2010, 04:16 AM
I used to keep my food and exercise journal in a standard sized 3 ring binder, but I thought I'd use it more if I reduced it's size to a Day Planner size to fit 8.5 x 5.5 " paper. It helped, but I still wasn't taking it everywhere. Sometimes I'd remember to take it to restaurants, but more often I forgot, or left it at home because it was too inconvenient to take.

So, I'm trying something new. I shrunk down my exchange plan checklist (I used a spreadsheet program to make a little chart with boxes for each of my exchange servings under each category - protein, dairy, starch/misc carb, fruit, veggie, dairy, fat. The whole chart is about 2" square. I printed out a bunch of the charts (several to a page), then cut the charts into pages to assemble little booklets, with cardstock covers (using a tiny hole punch to punch holes in the paper and cardstock and stitched the pages together). When you open each the booklet, the food checklist chart is on the left hand page, and the right hand page is blank to write on.

If I write small, I should be able to log all my food for the day. Each bookletis about 2"x3" and contains pages for 28 days.

Then I used some plastic canvas and a nice sueded cotton/acrylic yarn to crochet a little "wallet" to hold the little booklet.

My plan is to keep the little journal with me, so I never have an excuse not to write down what I eat, before I eat it (even at home, I would make and eat lunch and then go record it, now I'll have the log always immediately handy). It'll also be less conspicuous in restaurants.

I have a short mechanical pencil to use with it. I thought about buying some micropens I saw at the OfficeMax, but I figured that a pencil was safer if the jeans ended up in the wash with the booklet and writing instrument in the pocket (hubby and I are both notorious for forgetting stuff in pockets).

It won't replace my my Day Planner, because I'll still want to food journal on a larger page when I have the time, because I also log things like how hungry I am, and also keep a symptom log in there. Also, I keep a lot of other neat motivational stuff in it besides the food journal, like my exercise chart and my weight loss chart (each pound lost is a square on a chart that gets a sticker. Initially I was giving myself a small reward for each 5 lbs, but then I got out of the habit.

It's going to be really nice for visiting my folks. I feel really self-conscious bringing the binder to the dinner table, but a little notebook doesn't seem so bad.

03-16-2010, 03:25 PM
Very creative. I found a food journal for my iPhone, which I never remember to use, lol!!

03-16-2010, 04:58 PM
I use electronic resources for food journaling even less often than written. I think because I was food journaling on paper for decades before computers were common (I'm not ancient, only about to turn 44, but I've been dieting and food journaling since I was 8 years old). I'm just more comfortable with paper.

I've got most foods memorized for my exchange plan though, so it's not even like I need a pocket exchange calculator (but I may buy the pocket-size of my exchange book, "Exchanges for All Occasions." There's also a Diabetes Associated Pocket Guide. I'll buy whichever is smallest (and most likely to actually fit in a real pocket).