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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

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I think a food log is a good tool, both for personal investigation and to take to those doubting doctors. I kept one (sort of) for a brief period of time when doing my elimination diet tests of different foods. But I found it cumbersome to do, and abandoned it after some time.

Several people on this forum have mentioned that they have kept a food log long term, and I always wonder how they manage to do it. So I thought I'd ask. How do people keep food logs? What do you use to keep it in? Is it a little notebook that you carry around with you? Scraps of paper? Electronic? Do you use a particular format to make it easy on yourself - like columns for food and columns for reactions, or just free-format?

I'm curious because mine becomes very jumbled and disorganized after some time, and I'd like to know how others are successful at doing this.

Thanks in advance if you're willing to share.

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I keep one and have found it very helpful. I keep mine on Excel in a simple spreadsheet formula. (I'd be happy to send it to you if you PM me your email).

Basically it runs by day with a column for bkfst, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack, "results" (I keep track of any symptoms I may have), exercise and a misc. column to track weight, stress, other issues.

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Meg,

I just use a semi free format. I got a spiral bound notebook and a multi colored pen.

In black in the left hand column before the red line I wrote the date and the number of days I had been on the diet. Next to it on the right, I just wrote the time and what exactly I ate. And repeat that throught the day. Leaving two lines in between days for comments.

Then, I go back an circle any suspicious foods with red as well as write in red what reaction I had. That way I could easily go back and scan for offensive foods.

My doc had given me form to copy, but I would have used a piece of paper every day.

Ex.

Sunday 4/16/06 11:20am, Buckwheat, craisins, FLax oil, hemp seeds, red lentil srouts, NEXT TIME, food eaten, etc.

Monday 4/17/06 Time, food eaten, etc.

Hope this helps ... Marcia

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I've been keeping one because I'm still undiagnosed and don't know what the long-term effect of the diet will be at this point. I use a spiral notebook and write down the time, then the food, or the time, then the "outgo" (along with characteristics of it, though that's in a code so that nobody who grabbed the notebook by accident would be too grossed out reading it).

If it's an "outgo" entry I put a dot on that line, and count the dots after a day has ended and put that number on the line with the date. If I notice anything else out of the ordinary, like the rash on my elbow flaring up or being particularly exhausted, I put that on a line in brackets.

A typical food entry might look like:

4:30 p.m. -- Diet Pepsi Lime, shrimp with cocktail sauce, mixed nuts

A typical "outgo" entry might look like:

* 6:30 p.m. -- D/LS fl/s med

A typical other symptom entry might look like:

[feeling slow to react all morning, went away after nap]

Of course, I work from home/parent from home so I have the luxury of having the notebook nearby most of the time, but when I'm out I just make a mental note for later. So far, based on my food log, it looks like I definitely have a reaction to something, and it appears to be gluten though I'm not sure, and I need to see what's in the Albertson's shrimp cocktail sauce because I felt AWFUL after I ate that! :)

Good luck!

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Good for you keeping the log! I am going to get back on it for my rosacea to try to identify triggers. Mine was in a small notebook I kept in my purse--I found it best for myself, to write in each meal or symptom right after it happened. I logged in all foods, snacks etc I ate., any symptoms I had, even small things like 'burning eyes, stomache cramp, head ache' etc. I also wrote down every time I went to the bathroom and if there were any issues related to that. And I kept it all in chronological order throughout the day. Oh, at one point in time I also wrote down "products" I used too. And always meds or supplements/vitamins if you vary them from one day to another.

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I also used an Excel spreadsheet that I created with room for each meal, snacks, drinks, and symptoms for a week at at time (did the diary for over a month and doing another one now for my youngest son). Having room to write my symptoms down really helped narrow down all the different foods (like I would run a fever and get foggy - for days - every time I had something with yeast). I then reviewed all my original symptoms and realized that my joint pain had disappeared while I was elimintating the foods which I had thought to be arthritis since my 20's.

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Thanks everybody for the suggestions. I keep vacillating between the spreadsheet and the small notebook. Each has benefits and drawbacks and I can't decide which I would use more. Probably the notebook, since I'm back and forth to work, but I could also just keep emailing a spreadsheet (which is much more organized and has neater handwriting :))... If I do the spiral notebook, I think I'll have to get a bigger one than the tiny little one I've been using.

Anyway - liked hearing the different methods people use, cause I always pick up ideas. Somebody always comes up with something I hadn't thought of .

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Thanks everybody for the suggestions. I keep vacillating between the spreadsheet and the small notebook. Each has benefits and drawbacks and I can't decide which I would use more. Probably the notebook, since I'm back and forth to work, but I could also just keep emailing a spreadsheet (which is much more organized and has neater handwriting :))... If I do the spiral notebook, I think I'll have to get a bigger one than the tiny little one I've been using.

Anyway - liked hearing the different methods people use, cause I always pick up ideas. Somebody always comes up with something I hadn't thought of .

You could get a jump drive and save it to there instead of emailing it back and forth.

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I have been keeping a food & body journal of my journey with celiac disease.

It started back over a year ago when I was going for radiation on my thyroid. I wanted to know what was making me sick(er). I bought a thick spiral bound notebook. It never leaves the kitchen or dinningroom, I keep it on the counter where I have some space. The begining of the journal I left several pages blank. I went back later and added the symbols I used to highlight things. Like I made a few stars, boxes, hearts, and etc in one color and next to it I wrote what it means and so forth. Follow me? I start with the date and time. I use a black pen to write with I leave it in the book as a book mark, and I also use colored pens from time to time to bring attention to certain things I have entered to take note of later.

I write everything that goes in my mouth, on my body, what comes out and how. REALLY IMPORTANT > I feel it is most imortant to keep tract of your stool formation - it will tell you a lot; like if it formed, loose, floats, smells, explosed when flushed, steatorrhea diarrhea, the color, undigested food particles or etc. Plus I add in what I'm doing for exersize that day and s-t-r-e-s-s factors.

Every morning when I wake up I write the date and time. I will share with you yesterday.

4/25/06 --

11:30 a.m. - Normal looking formed stool.

12:00 p.m. - 75 mcg levothyroxine T-4 compound RX

12:30 p.m. - Coffee black brewed with anise stars (for flavoring) w/sugar and two bananas.

12:45 p.m. - Chicken celery soup (fresh made with chopped celery chicken and a few tabelspoons of lemon juice no major seasoning)

3 p.m. - Baked chicken thighs with thyme and baked carrots with basil and olive oil.

4:30 p.m. - Coffee same as above a small piece of dark cocolate (free of dairy and soy.)

6:00 p.m. - Gatorade and a banana

7:00 p.m. - T-bone steak rare. Mushroom sauted in olive oil w/fresh parsley, basil, tarragon a few drops of sweet balsamic vinagar. Baked zucchinni with Italian seasoning in olive oil. Steamed asparagus. Dinner was really yummy!

7:30 p.m. - PROBIOTIC COMPLEX

8:45 p.m. - Walked the dog 3 miles -- feel really good.

10:00 p.m. - Fresh cut watermelon.

10:15 p.m. My left palm hurts the vein is bulging out and hurts a lot. (I wonder if the watermellon has too much potasium? This hasn't hurted in a few weeks since I changed my medication.)

11:00 p.m. - Feel like I'm getting a headache!

11:05 p.m. - Took 8 oz. of Pedilyte

11:30 p.m. - Headache feeling went away.

No stress today!

2:30 a.m Fell asleep. Slept well. No night sweats. Slept through the night very well.

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