Is Calorie Tracking Still Okay?

Is Calorie Tracking Still Okay?

Is Calorie Tracking Still Okay?
Author:Kristin Longacre

June 16, 2021

If you missed our post two weeks ago, we are digging into tracking your food. It can often be overwhelming and hard to figure out where to start. As I mentioned, I think food journaling is the perfect place to start for someone who is brand new to their food and really wants to get a feel for how food interacts with their body. 

Moving from there, the next detailed step would be counting calories. Let’s dig into it. 

Why Should You Track Calories? 

At the end of the day body weight is determined by calories in, calories out. Yes, I know that sounds way too easy. Truth be told it is not really that easy because HEALTH really is a lot more than that. 

Calories are here to tell you how much you eat vs. how much you are burning in energy each day. I often look at it as a step up from food journaling in terms of data. Not only are you tracking what you are eating, but you are starting to track how much you are eating. 

It’s a great starting point for someone looking to lose weight and control their portion sizes. 

Calories Sometimes Get A Bad Reputation

Calorie tracking is something that is often demonized for a variety of reasons. 

  1. Many people rely on an app to give them a target number of calories to eat per day (that sometimes is too low and dangerous).
  2. It doesn’t necessarily help you eat healthier (just less).
  3. You don’t learn much about how your body reacts to food. 

For what it’s worth, I agree that all of these are reasons to try something OTHER than tracking calories. However, I spent a better part of 6 years tracking calories and I have that tracking to credit as reasons I was able to overhaul what I ate. 

Lessons were learned and while right now I have no intention of going back to tracking calories (I like more data), I do believe that despite its bad reputation calorie tracking is not bad if done correctly. 

How Do I Calculate My Calorie Intake

This is your reminder that no adult can be healthy while eating 1200 calories a day. A toddler should be eating about 1200 calories a day. Many will tell you that 1200-1400 calories a day is the best way to lose weight, however it is not the HEALTHY or SUSTAINABLE way to lose weight. 

Now that we’ve established that, there is also no one-size-fits-all way to say how many calories a day you should eat. [Sorry]. 

Many apps will help you calculate your calories based on your goals. Please know, these are to be taken with a grain of salt. 

If the app suggests that a female goes below 1600 calories or a male goes below 1800 calories, chances are you need to re-evaluate your goals. It is healthier, and more sustainable to adjust from 2-3 pounds weight loss a week to 1 pound weight loss a week if it means properly feeding your body. 

Another factor may be exercise.  You want to make sure to account for that in your calorie intake. Do not hesitate to reach out to a health or nutrition coach if you have questions on how to figure out how much you should be eating. 

Where Do I Track My Calories?

If you look in any app store there are hundreds of apps and websites to help you track your calories. A few of the more popular ones are MyFitnessPal, LoseIt and FitBit

It really comes down to what you like and how detailed you want to get. Some apps will be loaded with food options, barcode scanners and extra data whereas other apps will be more straightforward and just give you your calories for the day. 

I would suggest downloading a couple of them and finding one that works best for you. 

Have you ever tracked your calories? What was your experience? 

ABOUT ME

Hey There, I’m Kristin! I have a strong passion for helping women make small changes in their everyday lives that add up to the healthy life they desire. Whether it’s a mom looking to find her confidence or a family who needs help making changes in the kitchen I believe every health goal can be accomplished.

Is Calorie Tracking Still Okay

Is Calorie Tracking Still Okay?

How To Use A Food Journal

How To Use A Food Journal
Author:Kristin Longacre

June 2, 2021

So you want to start tracking your food, but are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? One person on Instagram says to use macros but your friend on Facebook loves counting calories. Then there is the idea of a food journal and now you’re just not ready to do anything at all. 

Does that sound about right? 

In the days of social media it’s easy to see trends go in one direction or the other. Between macro diets, calorie counting and food journaling it is easy to get confused on what might be best for you.

All three of these options have one thing in common:  you track what you eat. Among the three there can be overlap, and various ways of eating can fit into each of them differently. 

It’s important to keep in mind that what works for one person, might not work for another. So it’s always a good idea to understand the benefits of each different type of tracking and how they will play into your overall goals. 

Over the next three weeks we are going to dig into food journaling, calorie counting and macro tracking. We will look at the pros and cons of each and how they may help you with your goals. 

We’re going to start simple with Food Journaling. 

What Is Food Journaling? 

The good news is, food journaling is as simple as it sounds.  It is writing down the different types of food you eat throughout the day. 

However, to really use it as a tool you keep track of more than just exactly what you eat. 

Food journaling helps you keep track of how your body reacts to the different foods you eat, such as how they make you feel. It’s a great way of tracking for someone who is looking to understand their body’s relationship with food or who has a history of crash-course diets. 

As a coach, I think it’s a great starting tool for someone who is new to nutrition because it is simple and only requires a piece of paper. 

The beauty of food journaling is that you can track as little or as much information as you like. 

For example if you are looking to keep track of your portion sizes, you can write them out in your journal. If you are just looking to get a better idea of what you eat throughout the day you can just write the name of the food. 

Food journaling isn’t meant to help hold you accountable to a number. This is why I like it for someone who is new to tracking. Instead of having to pay attention to all of the numbers an app might give you, it’s a way to start just looking at what you’re eating and nothing else. 

So… What do I Write? 

As I mentioned above, food journaling is for you to write as little or as much as you like about each meal. 

My basic template is: 

  • What did you eat?
  • What time did you eat?
  • How did your body feel 30 minutes after you ate it? 

These three questions will help you learn more about your body and the way it reacts to certain food. 

Some other questions that you could answer: 

Food Journal Ideas: 

  • How was the food eaten (on a plate? From the container? Standing in the kitchen?)?
  • How did you feel 30 minutes before the meal/snack?
  • What was your mood prior to eating?
  • Did the food satisfy your hunger? 
  • Did you enjoy the food? 
  • How long did it take to eat the food? 

Have you ever taken inventory of your eating habits with a food journal? What was your experience?

ABOUT ME

Hey There, I’m Kristin! I have a strong passion for helping women make small changes in their everyday lives that add up to the healthy life they desire. Whether it’s a mom looking to find her confidence or a family who needs help making changes in the kitchen I believe every health goal can be accomplished.

How To Food Journal

Introducing The Gut Check – An Introduction To Gut Health

Introducing The Gut Check – An Introduction To Gut Health

Introducing The Gut Check – An Introduction To Gut Health
Author:Kristin Longacre

April 7, 2021

When your gut isn’t happy, your body isn’t happy. Gut health is one of the most overlooked pieces of our health. All of the crash diets and medicine in the world can’t fix an inflamed gut. 

We’ve experienced it first hand in our house. The difference between an inflamed gut and a healthy gut is night and day. 

Gut health is a newer trend out there. Research for gut health really started between 2008 and 2012. At the time gluten-free was becoming a popular weight loss trend, but it also began to open the eyes of researchers as they saw what was happening to those who were healing from diseases they didn’t know they had.  

What did they discover about gut health?

  • 70% Of The Immune System Is In Your Gut
  • 95% Of Serotonin Is Made In Your Gut
  • 90% Of American’s Have Gut Issues

In 2020 we became more focused than ever on our health. A large piece of our health that continues to come up time and time again is gut health and it’s ability to help with our immune systems. 

The ability to heal your body from many ongoing problems may begin in your gut. 

Where Do You Start Learning About Your Gut Health? 

This is where the exciting news comes in. I’m officially launching my new course called The Gut Check:, An Introduction to Gut Health.”

Through The Gut Check we will talk more about what gut health means, how it affects your day-to-day life and how to start the healing process.

We Will Break Down The Basics of Gut Health

When your gut isn’t happy, your body isn’t happy. We will talk about what this means and what the signs are of poor gut health. 

You Will Gain The Knowledge Of What Questions To Ask

The biggest struggle with gut health is that many of the symptoms don’t take place in our gut. Rashes, acne, bloating, anxiety, brain fog, the list goes on.  By learning the basics of gut health, you will be armed with knowing where to start when asking questions in getting to the root of your own health problems. 

I Will Share My Framework To Heal Your Gut. 

The healing process is different for every single person. I will introduce you to my method explicitly created to heal your gut. This framework can help you come up with your individualized plan for taking your gut health into your own hands. 

Who Is This Course For? 

The Gut Check is for anyone who is interested in learning more about their gut and their own body. The two are one in the same. 

How Long Is It?

Great news! The Gut Check is five modules with videos no longer than 5 minutes in each module. There is an assignment that comes with each module to help you learn more about your body. 

It is self-paced so you can go through it as quickly or as slowly as you want. 

You will have lifetime access to The Gut Check so you can go back as often as you would like. You will also receive any updates made to the course in the future right in your course portal. 

How Do I Purchase It?

You can purchase The Gut Check by clicking on the image below!

The Gut Check - Introduction To Gut Health

ABOUT ME

Hey There, I’m Kristin! I have a strong passion for helping women make small changes in their everyday lives that add up to the healthy life they desire. Whether it’s a mom looking to find her confidence or a family who needs help making changes in the kitchen I believe every health goal can be accomplished.

Why Is Gut Health Important

Is Calorie Tracking Still Okay?

How To Shop For Gluten-Free Food

How To Shop For Gluten-Free Food

December 18, 2020

Two years ago we got the call that B had to eliminate fructose from his diet. I was given a list of things to eliminate and one of the biggest pieces was gluten. At the time he was 2 years old and no longer allowed to eat gluten, fruits, and vegetables until we got things on track with his diet.

I was completely lost.

After an hour call with a pediatric nutritionist, I thought I had at least a small grip on things. That night I went to the grocery store and walked up and down the organic aisles for an hour. I bought a whole bunch of different things and we started figuring out what works in his diet.

Now, two years later I’ve gotten the basics down of what we need to shop for. However, you never know when ingredients may change and what brands might throw a curve ball your way. I get excited at the prospect of gluten-free Oreos coming in January but also take it with a grain of salt until I see what the ingredient list is.

One of the biggest questions I get asked when I talk to someone about going gluten free is “where do I start at the grocery store?” Going gluten free can be extremely overwhelming if you think about all of the foods you need to eliminate. However, what many people don’t realize is that there are so many foods you GET to eat.

Who Should Eat Gluten-Free Food?

One of the biggest misconceptions about going gluten free is that it is for weight loss. I see where the misconception comes from. Those with a gluten sensitivity generally find that when they no longer eat gluten, weight loss happens. However, that is not the reason that someone should switch to a gluten-free diet.

Three types of people who should be eating gluten free:

  • Those with an auto-immune condition such as Celiac Disease
  • Those who are allergic to wheat
  • Those who have gluten sensitivity

If you are someone who thinks you might have a gluten sensitivity, it is good to talk to your doctor about it first prior to eliminating it. There are no medically approved ways to test for gluten sensitivity, but there are so many different symptoms that can be associated with it. The best way to find out if you are sensitive is by eliminating gluten and other certain foods.

Where To Shop For Gluten-Free Food

One of the biggest shocks with going gluten free was how much our grocery bill exploded. Gluten-free eating is NOT cheap. It took a lot of experimenting to find what we needed at the best price.

Amazon Subscribe & Save – One of the first places I turned to was Amazon. We got lucky and found a number of B’s snacks available on subscribe and save. When you add more than 5 products to your shipment each month, you get up to 15% off. This came in handy as we started sending his snacks to school. We were able to buy ahead for the month as well as some gluten-free brownie mixes.

Thrive Market – Honestly, I was hesitant. Thrive does come with a subscription fee but ultimately I did find that we were saving a few dollars by using it. Over time it adds up. They also have their own brand of food which is cheaper than most of the name brands. So far we haven’t found anything we don’t like.

Grocery Store Shop – In 2020 it is a little difficult to do but I found that by spending an hour in each of our local grocery stores I got a much better idea of the average price of things. Some stores increase the price of specialty products, whereas other stores were in line with what I was finding at Amazon & Thrive.

What To Shop For?

Now that you know why and where to buy, how about what to buy. As I mentioned, going gluten free isn’t as scary as it once seemed. There is a lot you can still eat as long as you make sure to read the ingredients.

Instead of making it more overwhelming, I’ve got good news. I finally put everything I’ve learned into a guide for you on how to get started shopping for gluten-free foods at the grocery store.

Tell me! What is your favorite way to shop gluten free?

 

ABOUT ME

Hey There, I’m Kristin! I have a strong passion for helping women make small changes in their everyday lives that add up to the healthy life they desire. Whether it’s a mom looking to find her confidence or a family who needs help making changes in the kitchen I believe every health goal can be accomplished.

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Pumpkin Recipes For The First Day of Fall

Pumpkin Recipes For The First Day of Fall

You may now proceed to drink your Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Just kidding, we need to have a quick conversation first. I know the PSL came out early (as usual) this year but I have refused to even think about Fall foods until today. While I’m not spending the day baking, I did round up a number of healthy pumpkin recipes we plan to dig into this Fall.

Happy First Day of Fall!

It’s Okay To Get On The Pumpkin Recipes Bandwagon

There, I said it. I never thought that would come out of my mouth. Truth be told, I’m not a pumpkin fan. A few weeks ago @OneUponAPumpkin shared this graphic on Instagram highlighting the benefits of pumpkin in your diet.

To break down the nutrition benefits she shared…pumpkin has:

  • Pumpkin has anti-oxidant content that helps protect from disease
  • High in vitamin C
  • Also high in potassium
  • AND high in vitamin A

Since I typically don’t just trust a single instagram post (you shouldn’t either). I dug into things further. It turns out, we really do need more pumpkin in our lives.

One cup of pumpkin not only is high in the nutrients above but also has:

  • 3 grams of fiber
  • 11% of your recommended daily B12 intake
  • 8% of your recommended daily iron intake
  • 2 grams of protein

Do you see now why I feel like I need to add more pumpkin into my life?

Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

Watch The Sugar When You Bake With Pumpkin

Now, I don’t expect you to eat a full cup of cooked pumpkin every day. However, something like pumpkin muffins can be a good source of vitamins and nutrients if baked properly.

Many pumpkin recipes I have come across are extremely high in sugar. This is where I caution the pumpkin baking.I’m sure by now you’ve seen memes or images shared around social media about the amount of sugar in a pumpkin spice latte. (Not to mention, a pumpkin spice latte doesn’t ACTUALLY contain pumpkin) Unfortunately that seems to be the case for most pumpkin recipes I come across most days.

The key to cooking with pumpkin is making sure you have REAL pumpkin to use in the recipe. Pumpkin purée is a good way to start. However, if your pumpkin purée is from a can, just make sure nothing has been added to preserve it. You can also make your own pumpkin purée at home.

Healthier Pumpkin Recipes

In order to help get more pumpkin into your diet this Fall, I rounded up a few pumpkin recipes that are made from pumpkin puree and do not have added sugar. I may even try to work my way through a few of these this Fall. As someone who doesn’t necessarily love pumpkin, these actually all sound delicious!

Do you have a go to pumpkin recipe? Where should I start?

How To Make A Green Smoothie (That Actually Tastes Good)

How To Make A Green Smoothie (That Actually Tastes Good)

For the last 6 years, smoothies have become a staple in our household. It isn’t normal if you don’t hear the blender going as everyone is getting ready to get out the door. However, over the years I’ve had to cater our smoothies to different tastes (picky), diets (low fructose) and need (filling).

One thing I noticed is that my personal green smoothie tastes were changing throughout the year. In the Summer I prefer a more tropical smoothie (vanilla with pineapple, peach, mango, etc) but in the Winter I like going down the chocolate strawberry route.

Throughout many years of testing and trying I’ve come to find that everyone just has their own preference when it comes to smoothies. So instead of sharing with you my perfect smoothie recipe, I built out a guide of all of our different ingredients for making green smoothies.

Why are there so many ingredients?

A common misconception about smoothies is that all smoothies are healthy. Wrong. Many smoothies from restaurants and fast food places (hi, dairy queen) are made with ice cream, sugar filled yogurt and flavored syrups that are basically high fructose corn syrup. In our house, most of that stuff doesn’t fly with anyone’s digestive systems.

However, green smoothies can be healthy, delicious AND filling by including the right ingredients. Let’s break down each category.

How to Make A Green Smoothie

Fruits

The cornerstone of a smoothie. No smoothie is complete without a fruit but be careful how much you add into your smoothie. We keep it to about 1 cup of fruit at the most since fruit is good but also fairly high in sugar.

Fats

I love talking to new smoothie makers about this category of smoothie ingredients. It is actually fairly important usually the most skipped category. Not only are they packed with some good vitamins and minerals, (good) fats will help fill you up and keep you full longer. If you’re going to make a smoothie for breakfast, this is key to staying full until the next meal!

Protein

Another important ingredient when it comes to staying full is protein. Not only will it help keep you full but protein is an important part of building up bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Protein powder is usually the easiest way to get it in, we love Garden of Life as its high in protein and not filled with sugar like some we’ve tried in the past!

Greens

Parents take note, this is BY FAR the easiest way to sneak spinach into your child’s diet. For a long time my kids thought it was AWESOME that their smoothies turned green. The hulk is green so it must be a good thing. Load up all of the vitamins with your favorite greens as you usually can’t taste them!

Liquids

There’s nothing I play around with more in smoothies than liquids. We’ve tried all different kinds of milk, water, yogurt, etc. Truthfully, it comes down to personal taste. My family prefers heavy on the yogurt while I prefer heavy on the almond milk. There is no wrong way to do this category.

Add-Ins

Here’s where the magic happens. This list could go on for pages and pages. There are so many other things you can mix into your smoothies. To me it all depends on the need. Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, high in fatty acids and stocked with fiber. Flax seed can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Cocoa can help mood and lessen depression symptoms.

The. list. goes. on.

What are your favorite smoothie ingredients? I can’t wait to hear about them below!