keeping track

I am convinced, one of the best aids to aiming for wellness is ‘keeping track’.  This includes keeping a record of my weight and daily exercise.  It also includes making a list of what I have eaten during the day.

At the present time, I am using the food and exercise records in the MyFitnessPal‘  app on my Ipad (

In the past, I have used other ways of keeping track of my daily eating.  I thought I’d share a few of these.  Perhaps one will work for you!

For almost a year, I kept track using index cards.  On one side, I fixed a label printed from my computer.  On the other side, I recorded my food choices for each meal.


For a pdf file of the labels I used, click here: dietlabels

For a while, I used a small booklet of ‘strips’ showing the various food groups and checkboxes to keep track.  I used my own ‘diet’ of 5 servings of vegetables, 5 of fruit, three of meat and fish, 3 of milk and milk products, 5 of grains, 3 of fat and 8 of water.  To make the booklet, I cut strips from a printed sheet (see the pdf file below) and stapled them together.

a booklet of strips for keeping track of the day’s food groups

For a pdf file of the strips, click here: food journal

Sometimes, just to bring myself under control, I have taken a rather manic approach to food and activity journaling.  For example, here is a week-end journal I used for a while a few years ago.

a sheet to help keep track of eating on the weekend

Have fun using any of these food diary ideas, or invent one of your own.  Keeping track works!!!!

Best always, Alexandra 

what did I eat?


evening eating – results of a month’s monitoring

From November 27, 2013 to December 27, 2013, I kept track of my evening eating (see the tab ‘evening eating’, above).  Evening eating has been a problem for me for years.  After a good supper, I frequently begin a frenzy of trips to the refrigerator, to see what might be good to eat.

As a result of keeping track earlier this month (, I know that I can help my evening eating by:

  1. keeping track of my eating for the day
  2. planning to eat a snack from a food group where I did not eat enough (example: milk)
  3. keeping occupied during the evening with a diversionary activity (example: knitting, drawing, reading)

This approach seemed to work for me during the month.  I did not have any evenings where I lost control, although I did eat more than my planned snack on a couple of evenings.  Also, I knitted most evenings and finished a multi-coloured cowl I can wear on my winter walks outside.

the cowl I knit during the evenings in December
the cowl I knit during the evenings in December

I am going to continue to record my evening eating strategies in MyFitnessPal‘  (  I’ll be sure and show you the results of my next ‘diversionary activity’ project!!!!

Best always, Alexandra 

Alexandra reading, not eating
Alexandra reading, not eating

increasing fruit and vegetables in my diet – results

After five days of tracking my intake of fruits and vegetables, I have discovered getting enough servings in these two food groups can be hard!

I did a few things to increase the availability of fruit and vegetables in our home.  First, I went grocery shopping for vegetables since we never seem to have enough choices.  I bought carrots, kale, snow peas and broccoli.  Then, I filled a fruit bowl in the living room so I would see apples and bananas when I felt the urge to eat.


Most days, I ate enough fruit and vegetables but it was a challenge.

Foods from these groups make great snack foods!

It is a novelty for me to have to eat something.  Usually I am trying to avoid eating.

Last night, we tried kale chips for the first time. My husband was not a fan, but I thought they were crispy and flavorful!

Best always, Alexandra


evening eating – my results

Two days ago I set a very short-term goal:

Goal #5: In two days (on November 25) I would like to be able to say that I have been more mindful about my evening eating, deciding beforehand what snack I will eat and finding other ways to occupy myself.

This is the notebook page where I kept a record of how I approached this goal:


You will notice the stickers I’ve added to the page.  Perhaps this is childish, but I respond very well to rewards, even something as simple as a sticker.  Stickers are generally inexpensive and they decorate my otherwise boring spiral notebook.

This may seem a lot of work for two evenings of being in control of my after-supper eating.  But I hope to learn from this and continue to work on this bad habit of excessive eating during the evening hours.

From now on, I am going to plan my snack, based on the food groups I have remaining at the end of the day.  Usually these are fruit, vegetable and milk food groups.  By choosing to eat from one or two of these groups, I put myself in control and I round out the nutrients I need.

I am also going to keep a book and my knitting nearby so when I feel the urge to eat, I will divert my attention with another enjoyable activity.

Alexandra reading, not eating
Alexandra reading, not eating

In my wanderings around the Internet, I found an excellent discussion about eating mindfully in the evening hours at

Stay tuned.  Tomorrow I will be choosing a new short-term goal.

Best always, Alexandra