When I was redesigning my website, I went back and forth on whether to include nutrition information for my recipes. At first, I was hell-bent on including it, simply because I am bombarded – daily – with requests from readers asking for this information. And I, a helpful gal, always want to provide my loyal community with information they want and find useful, for living their best and healthiest lives.
But after thinking about it, long and hard, I decided against it, and I want to share why. The reason why I wanted to include it – initially – is because I know there are people that do have a healthy relationship with food; people that simply like having the information to help them achieve certain fitness goals; or people with a healthy relationship with food that simply like to know for no other reason than simply having information.
Then, there are other people, with food limitations, and who do – medically – need to lose weight, and I know that my recipes have been very helpful for helping those people live better. They have been able to include my nutritious recipes and treats into their lives, while losing weight in a healthy way. And to that I say, “you go girl!” Or boy. Or anything in between, because we do not discriminate around here. But you catch my drift.
But, what changed my mind is my own personal story. Whenever I am confronted with a tough decision related to food and the messaging I want to send out to others, I always bring it back to the days when I was struggling with food, when I was knee-deep in my eating disorder, and what I wish I heard from others during that time.
So here is why I’ve decided not to include nutrition information in my recipe posts:
The calorie, fat, and sugar information determined whether I would purchase food to eat for nourishment, or whether it would be purchased as an “off limits” food that I would binge, and then purge. Numbers – number of calories, number of fat grams, sugar grams, numbers on the scale, number of points for foods (thanks to Weight Watchers), controlled every single aspect of my life.
Because of my previous obsession with numbers, and because I am super conscious of the fact that many of my followers are still struggling with food and strive to achieve the peace with food that I have, I want them to focus on the way my foods/recipes make them feel, instead of the numbers.
Some nutrient-rich foods, like nuts and seeds, are high in calories, but they are actually good for your health. Take my Life Changing Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies, for example. They are made with two high calorie foods – almond flour and tahini – but they both have health benefits. Almond flour is an excellent source of protein, manganese, vitamin E and monounsaturated fats, low in carbohydrates, and contains fiber. And tahini is packed with antioxidants and is full of healthy fats and omega 3’s that lower cholesterol and fight inflammation.
As you can see, eating one of my cookies is a healthier alternative to eating a “low calorie” cookie made with processed ingredients.
Now again, please keep in mind that I do believe, as part of my food philosophy, that all foods are on limits. If you want to eat a processed cookie because that makes you happy and allows you to enjoy your life without restriction, then eat the damn cookie! My point is simply that calories are not the end-all, be-all when it comes to how nutritious a meal is, and that’s where nutrition information often falls short. I want people to focus on the ingredients and how food makes them feel, instead of number of calories, which don’t measure nutritiousness of foods!
These days, if you want nutritional information, it’s so easy to find it. I know so many people that swear by My Fitness Pal; again, not because they have an eating disorder, but because they simply love to know information. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I just want the people that follow me, that are the most vulnerable, to understand that life is more than numbers and that calories aren’t everything. And that in fact, unless there is a medical reason why calorie counting is essential, the real focus should be on ingredients and how food makes you feel!
Drop a comment below and let me know what you think!