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Heartburn food diary made simple

Write down everything you ingest. Don't limit it to foods you think give you heartburn, or you'll never know for sure which ones don't.  © iStockphoto.com/Paul Piebinga Write down everything you ingest. Don't limit it to foods you think give you heartburn, or you'll never know for sure which ones don't. © iStockphoto.com/Paul Piebinga
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  • Raspberry Lemonade, 7/23/14

    Raspberry Lemonade, 7/23/14

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:09:04 GMT
    Michael LanariKitchen Bath Concepts4 cups fresh lemon juice3 cups sugar1 bag frozen raspberriesIce cubes, for servingSqueeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher. Mix together the sugar with 3 cups water and stir to dissolve to make a syrup. Add the syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it's sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in the fridge. (Keep in mind that the raspberries are tart, so b...More >>
    Michael LanariKitchen Bath Concepts4 cups fresh lemon juice3 cups sugar1 bag frozen raspberriesIce cubes, for servingSqueeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher. Mix together the sugar with 3 cups water and stir to dissolve to make a syrup. Add the syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it's sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in the fridge. (Keep in mind that the raspberries are tart, so b...More >>
  • Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo Cookies, 7/22/14

    Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo Cookies, 7/22/14

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:12:24 GMT
    Alan BennettYield: 32 servingsIngredients:1 1/4 Quart Oreo Pieces-small, divided6 Tbl. butter, meltedCup Original Cream Cheese, softened2 Cup sugar4 Ea. eggs1 1/4 Cup fresh blueberries1/3 Cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate, meltedDescription:Cheesecake bars made with fresh blueberries and Oreo Cookie Pieces.Preparation Steps:Combine 1 lb. of the Oreo Pieces and butter; press evenly onto bottom of 1 parchment-lined half-sheet pan. Place cream cheese and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer fitt...More >>
    Alan BennettYield: 32 servingsIngredients:1 1/4 Quart Oreo Pieces-small, divided6 Tbl. butter, meltedCup Original Cream Cheese, softened2 Cup sugar4 Ea. eggs1 1/4 Cup fresh blueberries1/3 Cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate, meltedDescription:Cheesecake bars made with fresh blueberries and Oreo Cookie Pieces.Preparation Steps:Combine 1 lb. of the Oreo Pieces and butter; press evenly onto bottom of 1 parchment-lined half-sheet pan. Place cream cheese and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer fitt...More >>
  • Melinda's chocolate peanut butter "dump" cake

    Melinda's chocolate peanut butter "dump" cake

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:20:16 GMT
    From Melinda Mayo, My Chocolate Peanut Butter "Dump" Cake was a hit this morning on Daybreak. I love to cook, but I don't bake a lot, so I bought this new cookbook with easy recipes. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 1 Pkg (about 15 oz.) chocolate fudge cake mix 1 1/4 cups water... 3 eggs 1/3 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter, *warmed divided 1 cup mini peanut butter cups *Microwave peanut butter on LOW (30%) about 2 mins until pourable 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 x 9...More >>
    From Melinda Mayo, My Chocolate Peanut Butter "Dump" Cake was a hit this morning on Daybreak. I love to cook, but I don't bake a lot, so I bought this new cookbook with easy recipes. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 1 Pkg (about 15 oz.) chocolate fudge cake mix 1 1/4 cups water... 3 eggs 1/3 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter, *warmed divided 1 cup mini peanut butter cups *Microwave peanut butter on LOW (30%) about 2 mins until pourable 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 x 9...More >>

By Susan Male-Smith
 

It's ironic -- perhaps even poetic justice -- that I used to suffer from heartburn. As a registered dietitian, I knew all the coping tips and typical trigger foods. But the truth is, not all trigger foods bother every heartburn sufferer, and I wasn't about to give up chocolate without a fight! The solution? I kept a food diary to discover my personal heartburn triggers. A food diary helped me, and it can help you too. Here's how to do it right:

1. Write down everything you ingest.
Don't limit it to foods you think give you heartburn, or you'll never know for sure which ones don't. You may also discover that foods that triggered heartburn in one situation are fine under different circumstances.

2.
Be specific about what you eat and how it was prepared. Was it fried or baked, with cheese sauce or plain, with butter or low-fat margarine, etc.

3. Don't forget beverages.
Note if it was cold or warm, carbonated or flat, caffeinated or not.

4. Don't wait until heartburn symptoms occur to write things down. By then you won't remember accurately, and your expectations may influence you.

5. Include details of your symptoms.
Write down how severe they were and how long they lasted, and include any symptoms other than heartburn (e.g., hoarseness, stomach pain, asthma).

6. Record how long it took you to eat and how much you ate.
This could prove as important as -- or more important than -- what you ate.

7. Write down your mood
at each meal. Were you stressed? Relaxed? Rushed? Mental state can be a powerful heartburn influencer.

8. Pay special attention to oft-cited heartburn trigger foods.
These include high-fat foods, peppermint, chocolate, caffeine, tomatoes, citrus, carbonated drinks and alcohol.

9. Note what you did right after you ate.
Did you lie down on the sofa to watch TV? Or did you head to the gym to work out? These might be the real culprits.

10. Keep this diary for at least three days.
You may even end up keeping it for as long as three weeks, depending on how often your heartburn happens.

11. Make a chart so you don't forget any important stuff.
Divide it into at least four columns: date and time, what you ate, circumstances, and symptoms.

12. Evaluate diary entries by looking for patterns.
Doing this might help explain your symptoms. Don't just look at the foods. Look also at how much and how fast you ate, what foods you had together, your mood, your activity afterward and even the day of the week. The results may surprise you, and they almost certainly will help you.

Susan Male-Smith is a registered dietitian and freelance nutrition and health writer. She has written for Family Circle, Redbook, Child and American Health, and she is a former editor of the Environmental Nutrition newsletter and co-author of Foods for Better Health.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.