Local Author Creates a Food Journal You’ll Actually Want to Use — Really! 

Eat Pretty, Live Well

Eat Pretty, Live Well

Food journal: It just doesn’t sound like something you’d really want to use, right? And as someone who’s attempted to keep a food journal a number of times in my life — like during that year I worked at a diner and ate for free (disaster) — I can safely say, it’s generally not the most fun practice. And I definitely never looked forward to writing down what I ate, or even opening it. But Jolene Hart, Philly-based certified health coach and author of the popular food-for-beauty book Eat Pretty, has created a guided food journal called Eat Pretty, Live Well, and it is basically the Liam Hemsworth of food journals: It’s lovely to look at and will make you look forward to doing things you never thought you’d have any interest in (who else watched The Hunger Games just for him?), like writing down that you tried nutritional yeast for the first time.

The journal, which hit shelves this week, is meant less as a weight-loss journal and more as a food-for-beauty journal, which I’ve noticed has actually changed the way I think about food in a big way. But more on that later. First, what the journal consists of: The first part of the journal, designed to be used with Eat Pretty as a reference, is filled with information on foods you should be eating for everything from boosting your mood (throw some rosemary into the mix!) to hydrating skin (avocado is your BFF) to preventing stress-related inflammation (broccoli!). There’s a very pretty page that breaks down how your plate should be filled, plus individual grocery lists based on what goals your zoning in on: increased energy, calm complexion, aging well, and so on. Those pages are followed by all sorts of checklists and Q&As that force you to reflect on your relationship with food, and then comes the 40-day food journal.

You can use the journal sporadically, or choose to do it straight through. And surprisingly, however you choose to use it, you probably won’t hate it — really! The journal pages contain checklists like “Beauty Nutrition Essentials I Enjoyed Today,” (think: warm lemon water, one or more servings of greens, fresh herbs and spices, probiotics and or/fermented food, and so on), and I’ve found that since I’ve been using the journal, I work all sorts of foods I wouldn’t have made an effort to eat before in because I want to check them off at the end of the day. It’s — dare I say it? — fun. The journal also serves as a constant reminder to think of food less as something that tastes good and keeps you alive and more as something that is affecting your body — and not just your waistline. The journal has made me think way more consistently about what I am getting out of food in terms of my skin, my mood, and so on. The journal portion also asks you to write a positive affirmation every day, which, while cheesy, is kind of a nice thing to do in the morning.

And, what’s cool, is that once you run out of journal pages, you can easily create your own pen-and-paper checklists based on what you found worked for you and what didn’t. So, my point: Eat Pretty, Live Well makes food journaling way more enjoyable — and more thoughtful! — than simply writing things like “ate 4 M&Ms” down in an old composition notebook you found in your garage. And that’s kind of a miracle, no? You can find it on Amazon here.

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