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Why Counting Calories is Not Everything When Dieting

Reader Question: I looked at the Nutritional information for Chicken piccata and the calories seem very high per serving.  It doesn’t seem too figure friendly to me.  – Barbara, Washington DC

Well, Barbara, I have to say that this is one reason why I fought to leave the nutritional information out of my new cookbook. You see, I believe in eating whole foods, NOT counting calories. When you eat real food, your body knows how to efficiently digest, absorb, and assimilate the nutrition available, and then eliminate anything extra.

I  believe healthy eating should be a lifestyle, not a “diet,” and I don’t know many people who can sustain a lifestyle over years and years that includes the arduous chores of counting calories, keeping a food journal, or tracking other arbitrary nutritional information. Where’s the pleasure in that?

Glorious One-Pot Meals Chicken Piccata recipe
Glorious One-Pot Meals Chicken Piccata recipe

I’ve found that a diet based on whole foods rather than processed foods allows the body to shed extra weight and find its natural equilibrium in a gentle, unconscious way. Of course, this is not the way you’re going to drop those 10 lbs before your reunion next month, but rather it’s a way of living and eating that builds overall health and vitality for the long run.

If you want to lower the calories in any Glorious One-Pot Meals recipe, including the Chicken Piccata, there is an easy solution: substitute water for the broth called for to hydrate the rice. The chicken broth is adding about half of the calories in the meal — along with some yummy flavor — but you’ll be just fine using plain water instead. Or, choose your broth wisely and look for organic brands that have less sodium and fewer preservatives. Everything else in that recipe is a whole food and will do good things for your body, regardless of your impression of the caloric count.  🙂

I believe food should be enjoyed and savored and appreciated, as well as being life-sustaining and healthy. People ask me all the time if I love cooking, since I wrote a cookbook. But the truth is that I love food and flavors and textures and eating delicious things with abandon; cooking, not so much. Glorious One-Pot Meals are such a great solution for me because everything in the recipes contributes to my goal of achieving robust health at a healthy weight.

5 Comments on “Why Counting Calories is Not Everything When Dieting

  1. I love your cookbook, haven’t worried about the calories because it’s just protein and great veggies, a few grains.

    But are you sure about that broth statement? Most chicken broth has about 35-40 calories a cup. It doesn’t seem that would make a big difference in these recipes.

  2. I really like reading your blogs. I also really agree with what you have to say! Something that I have found that helps me incorporate better food in my diet is looking at better ingredients all around. Coleman Natural Foods offers a wide variety of meat and poultry items that are all natural and great to feed your family. Check them out at Coleman Natural

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