Importance of a Dietary Journal

By Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Over two thousand years ago Hippocrates stated, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Combine exercise and nutrition to achieve your health and fitness goals. Live a healthier, fitter, more functional life by developing nutritional strategies that work for you. Maintaining a dietary journal, or nutritional notebook, is the simplest path to determining what foods work best for you and what foods don’t work for you.

Keep track of the foods you eat, the amount of each food, the time you consumed it, how it was prepared, the spices added, the origin of the food and how you felt afterwards. Be as comprehensive as possible. The more information the better.

Recording these details takes a short amount of time and provides valuable information. This important feedback is vital in building your personalized nutritional strategies. Guidelines apply for everyone’s general nutritional needs, but specific nutritional needs are as individual as our fingerprints.

What works for one person doesn’t work for everyone. That is why the dietary journal is essential. The specific feedback from your recorded information is the blueprint for your nutritional strategies.

For example, if you are sleepy after eating lunch then look at the foods you ate. One or more of those foods or a combination of the foods you consumed needs to be analyzed further. Execute a test trial with the suspected food or food combination. If it makes you sleepy again then eliminate if from your diet.

Utilizing the dietary journal is the simplest and most cost effective tool to determine what foods to include and what foods to eliminate or reduce in your personal nutritional strategies.

Food allergies, food intolerances and pro-inflammatory foods are easy to detect with a dietary journal.

The foods we consume are the body’s best tool to decrease harmful inflammation. Inflammation is a defense mechanism the body uses to fight invasion and injury. Excessive systemic inflammation creates a negative effect.

Combat systemic inflammation by eating anti-inflammatory foods. The body releases anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory chemicals in response to the foods we eat. Foods that increase inflammation often cause symptoms such as pain, achiness and stiffness.

Common pro-inflammatory foods include saturated fats, processed foods and hydrogenated fats. If you notice a pro-inflammatory reaction after a meal, analyze the consumed foods further. If need be, eliminate the suspected foods from your diet.

Food intolerance, also known as non-allergic food hypersensitivity, occurs when the body is unable to break down, digest or absorb a specific food. A well-known food intolerance is lactose intolerance. Symptoms of pain, bloating and gas occur when a lactose intolerance individual consumes dairy.

Recording how you feel after consuming dairy helps you conclude if you are lactose intolerant. If this is the case, eliminate or reduce the amount of dairy in your diet. You also have the option of ingesting lactaid pills before eating.  The lactaid pills contain a digestive enzyme that breaks down the lactose into easily digestible particles.

Food allergies are foods which elicit an immune response. Common food allergies include shell fish, nuts and dairy. Most serious food allergies are easily detectable, but lower level food allergies are best detected by utilizing a dietary journal then being tested for the suspected foods.

Many time food additives elicit the immune reaction. Additives are put into foods for flavor, color, storage and preservation. Read labels carefully and note the additive in your dietary journal.

All food allergies must be taken seriously. Less serious food allergies that continuingly elicit an immune response can lead to serious health issues.

Headaches are a common symptom elicited by foods. Migraine headaches are often triggered by chocolate, wine, cheese and specific food additives. Taking note of the foods that trigger the symptoms has helped migraine sufferers limit the frequency and intensity of their headaches

Incorporate the use of a dietary journal in your daily routine. It’s inexpensive. You can utilize a small spiral notebook. It doesn’t take long and is time well spent.

An analysis of how your body reacts to the foods you’ve eaten provides valuable information in the development of your individual nutritional strategies. Use a dietary journal to find what works best for you to eliminate symptoms and increase your health, fitness and functionality.


Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC

Dr. Donald A Ozello DC is the owner and treating doctor at Championship Chiropractic located at 2595 S. Cimarron Rd, Suite #100, Las Vegas, NV 89117.  His web address is and he can be contacted at (702) 286-9040 and

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC writes a weekly health, fitness, exercise and nutrition column for The Las Vegas Informer. His is also published in OnFitness magazine,,, and

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC is an award-winning public speaker. He has spoken to various groups on health, fitness, exercise and nutrition topics. His mission is to educate and inspire others to live healthier, fitter, more functional lives.

Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC loves to exercise. Bike riding and kettlebell training are his current favorite forms of exercises. He credits “The Godfather of Fitness” Mr. Jack LaLanne as an early influence on his life.

Before pursuing his career in Chiropractic, Dr. Donald A. Ozello DC served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Bremerton, SSN 698.

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One Response to Importance of a Dietary Journal

  1. Good article Don, Well tought out

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