An Interesting Window into Weight Loss and Calorie Counting

I recently shared a blog post entitled “Why you don’t have to count calories (and can still lose weight).” And while I was sure to clarify that “I am not saying 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,” I still got the expected counter argument that calorie counting is not only helpful but necessary for some, especially for those with food addictions and/or little self-control.

A Memoir About Weight Loss

So on the heels of that feedback, a new memoir recently came out called It Was Me All Along. The cover picture and title caught my attention, and then upon closer look I realized the author, Andie Mitchell, is a fellow food blogger who I heard speak at a blogging conference several years ago. Driven by my curiosity about weight loss struggles, I couldn’t wait to hear what Andie had to say about her journey to looking fit and feeling fabulous (and losing 135 pounds along the way).

An Interesting Window into Weight Loss and Calorie Counting - It Was Me All Along - Book Review on 100 Days of #RealFood
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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!

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Is Your Tea “Real?”

This is a sponsored post written by our team member Kiran. To learn more about Kiran check out our team page!

I grew up drinking tea from a very young age. My father is Indian, and it’s custom to drink “Indian tea,” as we called it, or chai to others, a few times a day.

If you can believe it, my first sip of tea was around the young age of (gasp!) 3 or 4. And through the years, I’ve enjoyed so many different types of this warm beverage. I went through a decaf phase in college, enjoyed chamomile when I had issues de-stressing and falling asleep, and always enjoyed a good cup of black tea when I needed a pick-me-up. But not once did I ever think about what was in that little mesh bag. Until this past September, that is.

Traditional Medicinals tea on 100 Days of #RealFood Continue Reading »

Recipe: Slow Cooker Sunday Roast (from the new Deliciously Organic cookbook!)

I’m so excited to tell you about my friend Carrie Vitt’s new cookbook today! Carrie’s blog, Deliciously Organic, began several years ago after she figured out she could overcome her debilitating migraines by switching to an organic diet. After experiencing the power of this change, she once again turned to real food when years later she started dealing with other unexplained health issues.

Shortly after a dental appointment gone wrong, she fell ill, lost all energy, and, worst of all, suddenly had painful hives all over her face and neck. For months she went from doctor to doctor until she eventually found one who agreed to help her figure out the root cause of her illness – instead of just treating her symptoms with prescription drugs. She was diagnosed with a thyroid autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s.


The doctor didn’t provide a very hopeful prognosis and thought she’d be on medication for the rest of her life. So Carrie decided to look elsewhere for solutions and met with a nutritionist who recommended a more holistic approach, which included a grain-free, nutrient-dense diet. She was obviously desperate at this point and willing to try almost anything! And it’s a good thing she did. Continue Reading »

Amy’s Road to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (+ Recipe)

This is a guest post by our blog team member, Amy, who recently graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition! We are super proud of her accomplishment and thought others might be interested in her story (including what she plans to do with her brand new Holistic Health Coach certification). A big congrats to Amy!

Amy’s Story

I have had a fairly contentious relationship with food for much of my life. As a child I was overweight and ate a lot of standard American junk food. As a teenager, I would often hear, “You have such a pretty face” which only left me wondering what was so bad about the rest of me. I went on a “doctor” supervised diet my sophomore year in high school which led to rapid weight loss as well as to boyfriends, which I had never really had before. And so began a 15 year struggle with various eating disorders; anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive exercise, which culminated with a stay in a treatment center when I was 28. While there, I interacted with many young girls not far from death who had so much to offer this world, but all their energy, creativity, and life-force was going toward this one thing…as was mine. At that point, I knew that I needed to heal my relationship with food so I could one day help others heal theirs.

Taylor Family on 100 Days of #RealFoodIn my thirties, I finally realized that food was not the enemy, but I was focused very much on eating no or low fat. During this time, I also became a wife and a mom. I was now feeding a family, and convenience was “king.” Then came my forties when I began to really take notice that much of what I was eating was leaving me feeling listless, foggy, bloated, and nauseous, and my younger son had also developed a problem with eczema. I realized how terribly disconnected we had become from the food that we were eating everyday. I knew it was time to transform my family’s eating habits. Continue Reading »

Kiran’s (Realistic) Quest to Cut Out Processed Foods

By blog team member, Kiran. To learn more about Kiran, check out our team page!

Before you read this, I’m asking you to do me a favor: Please don’t judge.

I started working with Lisa two years ago, but I actually have known her for years. I watched her start this blog, kept up with the original 100-Day pledge, and prior to working with her, took in little bits and pieces of her input. But to be honest, I thought that I was pretty healthy already, and I thought she may have been taking this a little further than I would (again, I’m being totally honest). Flash forward to 2012 when I started to work with her at 100 Days of Real Food.

Two Years Ago

As I mentioned, I thought my family was already eating healthy. I cooked many nights of the week, and by that I don’t mean I was just opening a bag of chicken nuggets. But like many, I was using some processed foods such as store bought white tortillas, and I certainly wasn’t shredding my own cheese. I even (gasp!) had a can or two of cream of mushroom soup in my pantry.

Kiran's (Realistic) Quest to Cut Out Processed Foods at 100 Days of #RealFood

Kiran and Her Family

After getting better acclimated to Lisa’s real food rules, I did decide to start making some changes. This didn’t happen overnight, however. Now, jump back to today, two years after not only being a solid follower but a member of the team. Continue Reading »