Why you don’t have to count calories (and can still lose weight)

To me, eating real food means NOT having to count calories, fat grams, Weight Watchers points or the like. And this doesn’t mean giving up a healthy weight. Most people can still be the size they want (or even lose weight) without doing any of these unpleasant tracking activities! I am not saying that counting calories doesn’t help some with the control they’re seeking – I’m just saying a healthy weight can be maintained without this mundane task. And, in my opinion, simply eating real food is a much more sustainable way to live in the long term.
Why I don't count calories on 100 Days of #RealFood

The Reasoning Behind This Simple Philosophy

  1. It takes the fun out of eating.
    It’s hard to argue with this one. There’s no better way to strip the enjoyment out of your next meal than to count out a specific number of crackers, check the weight on your piece of salmon, or get out a food journal to make sure you don’t exceed a certain number of points.
    -
  2. We are one of the only countries who counts calories, and we are also one of the most overweight.
    In fact, according to some sources, America is actually the most obese country in the world. Yet, other countries like France – with an obesity rate three times lower than the US – hardly read nutrition labels much less scrutinize the calorie content like Americans do. Now that’s what I call food for thought!
    -
  3. Not all calories (or fat grams) are created equal.
    I wrote a post on this very topic last year that goes into more detail, but the bottom line is this – 100 calories in say a banana or broccoli or scrambled eggs is quite different than 100 calories in a highly refined “snack pack” processed in a factory somewhere. This comes down to quality versus quantity.
    -
  4. If you simply eat a variety of REAL food while being careful not to overeat (that part is important) the rest should – and will – fall into place.
    This means enjoying your meals while trusting your internal instincts. This does not mean eating until you are completely stuffed every night. Just remember it takes a little time for your food to digest so start off with smaller portions, don’t rush, and once you feel satisfied – you are good! I think it’s also helpful to know the French supposedly don’t believe in eating “seconds” and, according to Michael Pollan, the healthiest and longest-living population in the world (the people of Okinawa) practice a principle of eating until they are only 80 percent full. I think figuring out where to draw this line is easier said than done, but it’s certainly something to work towards!

Continue Reading »

Recipe: Whole-Wheat Blueberry Scones

If you’re even remotely a fan of muffins and biscuits, then you’re gonna love these Whole-Wheat Blueberry Scones. And they’re not just for breakfast. We’ve been eating these for snacks, and I’ve also been putting them in my kids’ lunches. The possibilities are endless! Plus they’re freezer friendly too, so go for it. :)

Whole-Wheat Blueberry #Scones on 100 Days of #RealFood Continue Reading »

Real Food Tips: How To Organize Your Kitchen

This is a guest post by Andrew Mellen, author of Unstuff Your Life!: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good. I met Andrew at a blogging conference and thought it would be fun to hear some of his ideas that relate to our kitchen (because we all know that’s where we spend most of our time at home!). – Lisa


Whether you love to cook or do it out of duty, a well organized kitchen will make the task easier and faster and more pleasant for everyone.

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you already know what a functional, zoned kitchen looks and feels like. If you haven’t had that experience, these tips and suggestions will bring you up to speed.

 Likewise, if you’ve ever been in a workshop, similar activities are grouped together near the machines needed for each activity.

So as pretty as you want your kitchen to be, first and foremost you need to think of it as a food shop. These tips will help you organize your kitchen like a pro.

How To Organize Your Kitchen on 100 Days of #RealFood Continue Reading »

Organic Valley Farm Tour

Organic Valley Farm Tour on 100 Days of #RealFood

We recently had the opportunity to visit a local Organic Valley Farm, and I’m excited to share all the details with you in today’s sponsored post! I’m proud to be partnering with Organic Valley this year because it’s a company that truly has its heart in the right place. And there’s no better way to see that than to spend the day with one of their very own farmers, George Teague and Family. One of the things I’ve learned is that Organic Valley is actually a farmer-owned cooperative, which means that hundreds of well-meaning families, just like the Teagues, work together to produce the certified organic dairy products that we all enjoy.

Reedy Fork Farm
(An Organic Valley Dairy Farm)

As you can see from the pics, my girls had a BLAST on our tour (they even got to pet a very loving cow!). It was clearly a worthwhile day off school. We also got to meet fellow blogger Anne with Fannetastic Food and hear about farm life and the history of the Teague’s land, which is Reedy Fork Farm just outside of Greensboro, NC. And in case you’re wondering, they do offer farm tours to the public for a fee – so give them a call if it’s something you (or your kids) would enjoy! Continue Reading »

Misleading Product Roundup IV: Don’t Be Fooled

It’s time for another “Misleading Product Roundup” recapping the food items I’ve shared with you on Facebook. I can’t stress enough how important it is to read the ingredients before buying any packaged food. It can feel tedious at first, but as you read through these examples below I think you’ll agree it’s a necessary evil! For more posts like this, be sure to check out Misleading Product Roundup III, and III.

Teriyaki Marinade

Teriyaki Marinade: Misleading Product Roundup IV on 100 Days of #RealFood

I used to love this stuff, but then I read the back to see what they really put in it. High fructose corn syrup is the 2nd ingredient on the list! Not to mention the other questionable additives I do not cook with at home (sodium benzoate anyone?).

Real Food Alternative: How about mixing a few things together at home to make your own teriyaki marinade instead?
Try ½ cup soy sauce (low sodium recommended), ½ cup water, 3 tbsp honey, and 1 tbsp peeled & minced fresh ginger. You could also add some optional canned pineapple juice if you really want to emulate the pictured bottle. Continue Reading »

My Go-To Whole Foods Shopping List (Part 1)

This post is by blog team member, Kiran. Check out our team page to learn more about her!


If you’ve read some of my past posts, you may already know I actually love grocery shopping. I know, I know. Some may think it’s strange, but as long as I have a plan and know what I need, I really enjoy it. My kids do, too, but perhaps that’s because of the snacks they get along the way.

I wrote a post last year about saving money at one of my favorite stores: Whole Foods Market. And in case you haven’t read that one, let me reiterate. I love Whole Foods Market. In a weird way. Bear with me, ya’ll; I promise I’m not too wacko. Let me also state that this post is in no way sponsored (i.e., paid for) by Whole Foods Market.

So here’s the deal with the store. You walk in and are immediately entranced with the environment. Colorful produce is so prettily displayed, and aisles and aisles of products are begging for a second glance. One could get lost in thought and walk out with grocery carts full. But alas, I don’t want you to give away your whole paycheck, as the saying goes, so I created a list of some do’s and don’ts and some of my personal faves in this Whole Foods shopping list. There’s even a printable version at the end of this post if you want to take it with you.

My Go-To Whole Foods Shopping List For Real Food Part 1 on 100 Days of #RealFood
Continue Reading »