Nutrition Compromises

October 17, 2013


Matt and I were having dinner recently – chicken herby breasts to be specific – and I was savoring a crispy piece of the skin. I thought about how people remove the skin to save calories and fat. I realize why people choose to remove the skin – it’s contains a high amount of fat. It’s not really good for you. But for me it’s one of life’s pleasures, and I wouldn’t want to give it up.

This got my brain cranking about other nutrition compromises you hear about. Open any women’s health magazine and you’ll find articles about how to cut 100 calories here or “10 tips for weight loss” there. While I think most of these suggestions are solid tips, if I followed all of these “rules” I would eat a very bland diet. We have to pick and choose what tips work well for us and which ones feel like deprivation. Here are my nutrition compromises.


Nutrition Tips I Just Can’t Follow

“Have your server remove the bread basket before you start a meal.”

The bread basket is one of the highlights of my meal. I’d rather have a roll (with some butter) and order a salad or share an entrée with my husband than skip the bread altogether.

“Frozen yogurt is a lighter choice than ice cream.”

Despite the “yogurt” part, frozen yogurt is not a health food. It wouldn’t surprise me if frozen yogurt had more sugar than ice cream. Plus ice cream is the more natural choice since yogurt often has processed additives to make up for it being fat free. I’d always rather have real ice cream than an icy fro-yo. Plus I tend to top yogurt with candy, so that just adds the fat back in, whereas the ice cream is rich enough by itself. Give me a small cup of Splendora’s gelato or Breyer’s Vanilla Bean any day. 

“Fat free foods will help you lose weight.”

While we’re on the topic of fat-free…this statement is just wrong. While it’s true that fat has more calories per gram than carbohydrates and protein, fat free does not mean sugar free or calorie free. Fat free also means processed most of the time, so choose real food whenever you can.

“Beer is too high in carbs. Choose wine instead.”

Life without beer!? Noooo! Matt likes to say that beer replaces the bread in a meal. So if I were having a beer maybe I would skip the bread basket after all. It’s true that beer has more calories than wine, especially if you’re like me and love the high alcohol kinds. So, I agree that wine is a better choice. But don’t be scared of beer ; ) It’s another one of those “I’ll never give this up” foods.

“To lose weight, skip the wedding cake.”

Is this even a tip? Because these words should never be spoken. Wedding = special occasion.

“Blot your pizza to remove 100 calories of grease.”

I remember when this was a popular tip back when I was in middle school. My lunch table would go through 20 napkins blotting away. Gross! If a slice of pizza is dripping with grease, sure it couldn’t hurt to dab a bit, but I am not going to dry my pizza out with a napkin before eating it to save calories. That’s kind of like telling someone to order cake but ordering them to scrape off half the icing. Just eat a small slice of pizza (or cake) and cut back in other ways.

“Never eat _____ to lose weight.”

Never say never. I truly believe that not restricting any part of your diet will lead to long term food happiness. You probably shouldn’t have a donut every morning to live your healthiest life, but have a donut once a month and savor that bad boy down to the last crumb. As much as I believe in real food, I also believe in enjoying life to the fullest 10% of the time.

“Skim milk has the least calories.”

True, but it also tastes like sour water. I much prefer 1 or 2% milk. The small amount of fat adds so much flavor, body and satiety.

“Mary reached her goal weight by eating grilled chicken and steamed broccoli with plain brown rice for dinner every night.”

How many before + after magazine stories have the above meal plan quoted? Maybe Mary is adding some herbs to her chicken and lemon and parmesan to her broccoli and they edited these facts out. Maybe I’m still scarred by some of the bland diet meal plans I tried in college, but I cannot eat the triangle of protein + steamed veggie + rice more than once in a while, and I must have some seasonings!

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Nutrition Tips I Embrace

Now that I have that off my chest, here are some nutrition and weight loss tips I find to be particularly helpful and relatively easy to incorporate as regular habits in my life.

“Water water sip sip.”

Chugging water definitely helps curb my hunger, and I definitely feel that I confuse thirst with hunger a lot of the time. Drink more water!

“Leave the cheese off of sandwiches.”

I am a cheese lover, but on sandwiches I find that the flavor gets lost. This is especially true when you have a big sandwich and a thin slice of cheese. Save your cheese for when you can really taste it – like some strong blue cheese crumbled onto your salad.

“Save alcohol for special occasions.”

Now here’s a tip I need to follow more. As much as I would love to have a glass of wine with dinner every night, cutting out weeknight drinking is an easy way to reduce your overall caloric intake. Alcohol is empty calories, and a drink a night at 150 calories or so can lead to a pound per month gained or lost, depending on what your habits are.

“Creamy pasta dishes are calorie bombs.”

This rule is an easy one for me to follow since don’t find creamy pasta dishes to be that appealing. My favorite choices at restaurants are often seafood and hearty salads (with a side of bread basket), so I have that going in my favor since they are often lighter choices.

“Fancy coffee drinks are loaded with calories and sugar.”

Another lucky me because I am one of the few out there who is not dazzled by Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Give me a plain cappuccino (made with 2% milk!) please.

“Bulk up your meals with veggies.”

This is one of my favorites, and I love the Volumetrics concept.

“Share an entrée with a friend or package up half of your meal before you start.”

Sharing food is my favorite way to taste a variety of flavors when I am out to dinner without eating thousands of calories or wasting food.

“Cooking is healthier and cheaper than take out.” (Unless you are getting plain chicken, steamed broccoli and brown rice!)

I personally think it’s easier to cook something basic at home – say whole wheat pasta with a jar of tomato sauce – than it is to find, order and pay for take out. And it’s definitely at lot lighter than rich curries or General Tso’s Chicken. Maybe it’s because we don’t live in New York City, but take out has never been a huge temptation of ours.  I can have spaghetti, a salad or a No Bull Burger on the table in 10 minutes in a pinch. One exception: ordering a pizza.

“Watch your portions.”

Portion control is the number one tip I think can make a big difference in someone’s diet. Cutting back on portions means you don’t have to change much about your habits but can make a big difference. It’s the easiest first step to making change.


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{ 145 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Charise October 17, 2013 at 9:25 am

I love your take on healthy eating and nutrition, Kath, and agree with many of the tips you follow and which you ignore. It makes for a sustainable lifestyle and a happy eater!


2 Janet October 17, 2013 at 9:31 am

Loving these posts on real food and nutrition. Would love to hear more about mindful eating and your thoughts around that as I believe it goes hand in hand with eating real food.


3 Jess October 17, 2013 at 9:35 am

This is why I appreciate your blog so much more than typical “healthy eating” blogs. We can spend our lives trying to save 100 calories here or there and feeling deprived, or we can eat what we enjoy in balance with what our bodies need. Thanks so much for sharing!


4 Carla October 17, 2013 at 9:40 am

Loved this post! Out of curiosity, do you enjoy living life to the fullest 10% or 100% of the time? 😉


5 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 9:45 am

Well if I were living life to the fullest 100% of the time I wouldn’t be very healthy 😉


6 Carla October 17, 2013 at 9:46 am

Haha OK – I THOUGHT that was what you were trying to say – it made me laugh!


7 Brittany (healthy slice of life) October 17, 2013 at 9:41 am

Great post! I share a lot of these outlooks. I never get cheese on burrito bowls because I can’t taste it. Also, I remember going through a ton of napkins bolting pizza too! Hilarious.


8 Lee October 17, 2013 at 9:49 am

Totally agree, especially on the bread basket. Fresh bread is delicious! Though I have to say, I actually prefer frozen yogurt to ice cream.


9 Amber October 17, 2013 at 9:50 am

Thank you for this! It’s so easy to get caught up in what other people are ‘doing’ and what they say is right. Some days you just have to do what you find to be right for you! And not failing because we’re constantly telling ourselves we can’t have anything fun.


10 Kim October 17, 2013 at 9:52 am

Hi Kath- I have been reading your blog for a long time now- and yet, this is my fist comment. I am finally at the point in my life where I am really ready to start losing weight- and your blog has really helped me to get to this point.
Thanks for this post- just curious, what is Volumetrics?


11 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 12:13 pm

It’s a way of eating where you consume more volume of less calorie-dense foods. Here’s some more info!


12 Parita @ myinnershakti October 17, 2013 at 10:02 am

LOVE this post! I hope you have more nutrition related posts coming. :)

I recently started leaving cheese off most things, well at least the ones where you can’t taste it. Also, another great thing I did a few years ago was give up diet soda. Sure, there are 0 calories, but the effects on my body were terrible. Water or unsweetened tea are my preferred weekday drinks now!


13 Kimberly October 17, 2013 at 10:03 am

Definitely agree that you can’t live a full life doing everything the healthy way so it’s best to pick and choose. I love skim milk, don’t drink much alcohol, and hate chicken skin, so those are easy “healthy” choices for me. But I would never skip the wedding cake or completely cut out pumpkin spice lattes!


14 Grace @ Grace Dishes October 17, 2013 at 10:03 am

I love this post. I definitely think compromises/changes have to be made if you want to see your desired goals but what everyone is willing to compromise is different! What’s important is what works for you :)

I remember a girl in HS blotting her fries which ended up squishing everything. I do blot pizza though if it’s way too greasy. Then again, nowadays I make my own so it lacks the grease that fast food has.


15 cindy October 17, 2013 at 10:06 am

Hi Kath: My comment goes back to the coffee maker post, what do you think of the smaller, mini version Kreuig for a small one person household? I know & realize there are pros and cons regarding the waste, environment issues, but I must confess one is on my wish list.


16 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 10:15 am

I dont have any experience with the small ones but I would get something that holds water so you don’t have to fill it everytime. That was another reason the drip and French press added time


17 Kimberly October 17, 2013 at 10:24 am

I know the Keurigs can be wasteful and are not the best option for everyone, but personally, I think the small ones are great for one person. I don’t want the kind with the large water container because I don’t use it that much and don’t want the water to just be sitting in there for days! I have time in the morning to just add water – not a big deal at all for me, personally. I agree with what people said yesterday too about looking out for sales on KCups/BB&B coupons and getting the reusable KCup to reduce waste and save money!


18 Natasha October 17, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Office supply companies (think Staples, Quill, etc) ate great places to purchase the k cups less expensively as well!


19 Courtney October 17, 2013 at 11:13 am

I have a small mini kreuig and must say it stinks because you can only add in 10 oz of water per drink! So the cups are small and you have to re-load water & pod for each separate time. Go big or don’t bother!


20 Julie October 17, 2013 at 10:11 am

I really enjoyed this post. I agree 100% with everything you said. Especially about portion control- I need to work on that one. I must confess I do blot a greasy looking pizza, although now I tend to make it at home, and I make healthier (heavier on the veggies) varieties.


21 BobT October 17, 2013 at 10:11 am

One of your best Kath………


22 Katherine October 17, 2013 at 10:13 am

I couldn’t agree more with this post … especially your points about bread baskets and wedding cake (clearly anti-carbohydrate diets aren’t my thing!)! :) Enjoying life, including food, is so important!


23 Elizabeth October 17, 2013 at 10:14 am

Being a nutritionist, i totally agree with every single statement. The cheese idea is something that I preach to my father all the time. He is a huge cheese lover and I try to explain to him to enjoy the cheese alone or on your salad, not on a sandwich were it gets lost. I am also a huge proponent of watching portions. When people ask me, “do I have to cut ____.” I tell them “no, just enjoy a small portion of the portion to satisfy the craving or the food you want to enjoy :) Great tips!


24 Aleesha October 17, 2013 at 10:15 am

Great post. So true!! I love hearing your common sense approach to nutrition. And also that you are a registered dietitian, I would gladly follow your advice any day over the newstand magazines out there. blah. X0X0X0.


25 Shannon October 17, 2013 at 10:18 am

Do you have any jar spaghetti sauce favorites? I recently read about how much sugar is in them and I never thought about that! Of course I could make my own sauce and possibly freeze it but any store bought brands you like?


26 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm

We have made our own, but I generally would choose one of the store brands – Whole Foods brand for example.


27 Karen October 17, 2013 at 10:31 am

Though the comprises I personally choose to make are very different from yours (as I don’t eat dairy, lean more toward savory than sweet in my cravings and alcohol of any sort doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest) the theme and basic message of this post are precisely aligned with my own practices. “Health tips” just drive me crazy, which are just noise to me as I don’t believe in conventional diets. In fact, count this as one my favorite of all time posts from you…another super-terrific entry in your real food series, Kath!


28 Terri R. October 17, 2013 at 10:36 am

Fantastic post Kath! I agree with you on everything in this post.


29 Melissa October 17, 2013 at 10:40 am

Awesome tips. I am trying to get ready to *really* start watching what I eat again. I lost my son at 18 weeks on 09/19 and I have just been in a downward curve (understandably). These tips help me remember that although my son is gone, my body is still supporting me and I need to get it ready to carry our next child, whenever God decides it’s time for me to.



30 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I’m so sorry to hear that Melissa


31 Katie October 17, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Melissa- just wanted to say I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Prayers and blessings to you as you grieve and make decisions about future children. Virtual hugs!


32 lucy October 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm

good luck melissa, sorry to hear for your loss but the future can still be bright for you, sending best wishes


33 Michele Sparrow October 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm

So sorry to hear about your loss, Melissa. May God bless you!


34 Patricia October 17, 2013 at 10:44 am

All so very well said!

a) haven’t we all known people who get or stay fat on Snackwells? Plus, they’re FrankenFood.
b) Wedding cake? If I’ve sat thru the whole ceremony (usually boring) and the whole toasting ritual (sadly, frequently boring), I am going to have a piece of cake. Dammit.
c) I dated a guy once who always blotted his food. In restaurants. Even restaurants with cloth napkins. That wasn’t the reason I broke up with him, but it didn’t help.


35 Jill October 17, 2013 at 10:46 am

I really enjoy your blog, it contains a lot of good nutrition information and common sense. We all have to find what works for us. I would never give up the bread basket or the butter dish but dessert at a restaurant rarely appeals to me unless I know it is special and fabulous. I also love beer (as well as wine) and would rather have one really good beer than multiple light beers.


36 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 12:04 pm

That’s a good one: “Choose light beer.” Heck no! Give me just one thick one and I’ll savor it.


37 Kim October 17, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Agreed! Especially now with an 18 month old, if I have the opportunity to squeeze in a drink–give me one good, hoppy beer over a light beer any day! (really enjoyed the post!)


38 Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog October 17, 2013 at 10:53 am

I couldn’t agree more with this post! One of the biggest things that always makes me sad about some conventional healthy eating advice on blogs, in magazines, etc., is the emphasis on restriction. Doesn’t work and is never going to work. For me, I’ll never cut out ice cream and beer, but like you I balance these habits out with healthy choices the majority of the time. It makes the indulgences taste even better, don’t you think?


39 Justeen October 17, 2013 at 10:58 am

Always yes to the bread basket! Although I do say no when the server asks if we’d like more bread – it’s hard though!!


40 Amy @ Long Drive Journey October 17, 2013 at 11:01 am

This is a great post, especially your tip about water. So many times during the day (between meals, NOT when it’s actually time to eat), I find that I want to snack on something. In actuality, I am usually thirsty and if I take a few swigs from my water bottle I can skip the crackers or whatever other snack I was going for. I also support drinking water with dinner. It’s a great way to get more in, and I think it helps the flavor of the food stay paramount.


41 Katie October 17, 2013 at 11:09 am

Great post Kath! Your celebration of true healthy eating and its mind AND body components is so refreshing!


42 Stephanie @cookinfanatic October 17, 2013 at 11:09 am

wonderful tips, i love this post!! definitely subscribe to many of your “embrace” items as well :)


43 Maryz October 17, 2013 at 11:14 am

I love this post and tend to follow the same rules you do. I will say I have tried many of the rules listed in the beginning or your post, only to find myself wanting more of everything. This just left me frustrated with no weight loss. Moderation is the key!


44 Tonya October 17, 2013 at 11:15 am

I agree with all of this! (Except the cheese on sandwiches part. Don’t nobody got time for dry sandwiches, Kath. lol) “Fat free” food? NO. Whenever I see such an item I let out a “pfft” and reach for the full fat version. If i want fat free food, I can find it in the produce aisle.

I know you get a lot of flack/negative feedback whenever you post things like this (or basically, ANYTHING you post. Who knew coffee makers were so controversial??) but the proof is in the pudding (or the LACK of pudding around your belly). You look healthy, you’re in great shape, and your meals look very satisfying! You can tell that you’re PASSIONATE about health and good food, not obsessed with your weight or restrictive!


45 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Thanks Tonya : )


46 Katie October 19, 2013 at 11:12 am

LOVE this comment, Tonya! Go girl!


47 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats October 17, 2013 at 11:19 am

I agree with a lot of this! Although I have to say I actually like frozen yogurt more than most ice cream… I don’t know why I just love it! Maybe because I really just love candy and I use froyo as a vehicle for candy… Anyway, I definitely need to work on watching my portions. I’m weirdly great at it when I’m eating out (whether or not I’m with other people) but when I’m at home I can go pretty overboard and end up way too full!


48 Linda October 17, 2013 at 11:19 am

I agree with every. single. word. This was a great post!


49 Emily @ Life on Food October 17, 2013 at 11:21 am

I agree with you 100% on these. The tips you give I follow pretty well but it is nice to have a reminder. My biggest hurdle is the portion control.


50 Kayla October 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

LOVE this post, and I agree with every point you made. Oh, and I’m an RD, too :-)

Yay for balanced eating and living! (and bread, and wedding cake, and vegetables…)


51 Andrea Muzzatti October 17, 2013 at 11:31 am

Love this post!! Great reminder that it’s okay to pick and choose strategies that work for you. I would also never skip the bread basket, but I do avoid beer and wine (since I don’t like the taste) and drink skim milk!


52 Suzanne @ hello, veggy! October 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

I really enjoy these posts. I hope they can reach more people and make change in their lives when it comes to food decisions!


53 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! October 17, 2013 at 11:40 am

Great post! I definitely have my own set of nutrition compromises. But of course there are some healthy eating practices that I like to practice! Definitely agree with drinking water…I need my hydration! And veggies are ALWAYS a component of my meals and snacks! Mostly because I love them! :)


54 seana October 17, 2013 at 11:46 am

Everything in moderation is my motto. I eat small dishes thoughout the day. If my husband and I go out to eat, I usually end up taking 2/3’s of my stuff home for another 2 meals (pick accordingly…everything doesn’t heat up well.).


55 Johanna B October 17, 2013 at 11:46 am

One of your all-time best posts. Way to go Kath!!


56 Laura October 17, 2013 at 11:56 am

I am a big pizza blotter-it just grosses me out to see pools of grease sitting on a pizza and I can’t enjoy biting into that. I also love skim milk-to me the other types taste to thick/rich for me. I don’t think it tastes sour at all!


57 Amelia October 17, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Love love love this post, Kath!!


58 Pam K. October 17, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Having recently undergone a kitchen renovation, for close to 3 weeks, we ate out at least once or twice a day and I felt sluggish, bloated, and tired from all the extra calories, fat, and salt. Now, that I have my kitchen back and have slowly cleaned up my diet, I feel so much better and overall happier. I think a bad diet is linked to a bad mood since I was especially stressed and kind of irritable when eating out all the time. It’s just another reason to be mindful of what we eat.


59 Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel October 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm

100% agree with all of these except the skim milk! 2% and whole milk give me the heebie jeebies…. but I was raised on skim milk and it’s all about what you’re used to! That being said, I will gladly drink a thick, creamy milkshake… so…. go figure. 😉


60 Nicole October 17, 2013 at 12:20 pm

I 100% agree with your tips. Moderation, moderation, moderation!


61 Emily October 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm

This is such an inspiring post – thanks Kath!


62 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 17, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Great post Kath! I totally agree on some of these points, particularly the bit about volumetrics! That’s exactly how I like to eat too. I’ve always had a huge appetite, both today and in the days when I weighed 70lbs more than I do now. The difference is that now I eat the right foods, many of which are far less calorie dense than my previous choices.


63 Spice Chicken October 17, 2013 at 8:00 pm

I concur! Another great thing about filling up on nutrient-dense foods full of fiber and water is that they keep the digestive system moving. This really contributes to my feeling of health and well-being.


64 Maggie October 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm

This is an excellent post! I love your blog…what sensible and sound advice to those of us who have tried every diet imaginable. In the end, your advice from this and previous entries, is the best! and might I add, other than my own child, you have about the cutest little boy ever :)


65 Elyse October 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Awesome post–love it!!!


66 Nicole October 17, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Love this! Such a healthy approach to nutrition and sensible eating! Shared on facebook.


67 Anna @ Fitness à la Anna October 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm

I totally agree about the bread basket – don’t try to take that away from me! Haha. The only thing that I still have trouble with still is portion control – I don’t have a clear concept of what proper portions are for everything. Any chance you will do a post on this soon??


68 Miss Polkadot October 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Thanks for a great and realistic view on how to live healthy but not take all the fun out of eating. All of those “Don’t eat xyz because it’ll make you fat” or “Choose the lowest-fat option at all times” advice makes me cringe. Yes, I believe in a healthy diet but also in living life joyfully – not restricted by countless rules.


69 Cait's Plate October 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm

I love, love, loved this post! I couldn’t agree more with what you said!


70 Stephanie @ My Freckled Life October 17, 2013 at 1:16 pm

What a great post! I love these ideas, and your real, honest opinions about them. I’ve always been one for “cutting up my portions first” when I go out to eat. The plate will get placed in front of me, and often I’ll draw a physical line or cut up a piece of meat with what an actual normal portion looks like. The visual helps me to not go crazy and eat everything on my massive plate!


71 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 2:55 pm

That’s a great tip – to cut your meat/fish in advance to separate out your dinner portion. I had not thought to do that on your plate, but it’s smart


72 lee October 22, 2013 at 12:15 pm

I do this at restaurants and it is so super helpful to me in eating a realistic portion size. Otherwise, I always think I’ll stop eating, but have learned through repeated mistakes that it doesn’t happen.

The other side benefit to cutting up the portions first is it means I usually have enough leftover to take for a second meal another day.


73 jillian October 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm

LOVE this post! leaving for spain today on vacation, and its perfect timing. I really admire your balance!


74 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles October 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Love all your tips! Real food in moderation with some kind of movement = a healthy lifestyle in my books! It certainly is one I can live with and maintain…which is key! :)


75 jeannine October 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Hi Kath. I love you blog. I am currently nursing my 3 month old son. I was wondering what your personal thoughts are on drinking wine/beer while nursing. There is so much conflicting information out there.


76 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Everything I read said one drink is fine, particularly after nursing or when baby is in bed for the night (if you get a night!)


77 Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food October 17, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I completely agree with all of these! The bread basket is my favorite and I never cut out specific foods (except fast food). On a side note- I was in Charlottesville for work earlier this week and I’m super jealous you get to live there. It’s so pretty!


78 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Fun! Where’d ya eat? What did you do!?


79 Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food October 18, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Not much, sadly. We had a couple events at the Boar’s Head Inn and we stayed there overnight. It was just so pretty driving through that area and the Boar’s Head property was really pretty. I only live about 2 hours away, though, so I’m think my husband and I need to take a little trip out there and hit up some good restaurants or wineries!


80 KathEats October 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm



81 [email protected] October 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Absolutely brilliant post Kath!!! Totally pinning and if you don’t mind putting something similar together with my own thoughts!


82 Jen and Emily @ Layers of Happiness October 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Just wanted to stop by and say that I got the job at GH and I heard Matt will be coming down to help us for the grand opening!! I’m so excited to finally get to meet him… I wish you were coming so I could meet you too!! But I also wanted to say that I totally agree with ya on the skip the wedding cake one… that’s the whole point of wedding!! Another rule I don’t like is the “eat multiple small meals a day to speed up your metabolism.” All that metabolism is just a bunch of nonsense because most people (myself included) just end up eating multiple regular sized meals in a day!


83 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Oh fun!!!!! Yes, I wanted to go but Matt wanted to stay longer than Mazen would have been able to handle and we didn’t want to drive two cars. But the next time I’m near Richmond I will certainly be coming by!


84 Jen October 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Wondering about your reference to Breyers ice cream. I recently read the ingredients again and it doesn’t seem all that natural anymore.


85 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm

I only give the thumbs up to the Original line – they only have milk, cream, sugar, fruit, etc. Vanilla bean is my fav. None of the candy ones or fat-free or low-carb ones are very good.


86 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs October 17, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Totally agree! Life is all about balance — there’s room for everything in the right quantities!


87 Kara October 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Great post…I think about this stuff all of the time. I often think about how bland and boring (leading to being unable to maintain that type of diet) my diet was when i tried to eat that way.


88 Maureen October 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Great post! I agree with it all and you made me rethink cheese on sandwiches. It’s so true that you rarely taste that small slice. But I do love a good blue cheese on a salad! Or cheese with wine. 😉


89 Asia October 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Thank Kathy, needed to read this today!! I was just wondering how to make a few changes in my lifestyle and your blog came to mind.


90 Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite October 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm

I LOVED your tips. I could never give up beer, either. Nor would I want to! Like you said, beer and bread are one of life’s biggest pleasures. Thanks for clearing up those silly “tips” and diet misconceptions.


91 Jeanette October 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm

I’m the one who takes their piece of cake and scrapes the frosting off. It’s totally not worth the calories to me :)


92 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Ahhh! I hope you find someone to donate that frosting to : )


93 Jeanette October 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm

LOL! There is almost always someone ready for the donation!!


94 C. October 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Love this post- lots to consider. I think this is not always “applicable” to every life stage. Example: I am 58 and I never eat doughnuts – ever- ( luv them), however never eat fried foods. I as well never eat ice cream. I believe that as the body ages so too the metabolism. — I am a runner- and avid at all exercise….. Just finished another 13.1…… I believe that my body is something I need to fuel and with good nutrition…. But I know that calories can catch -up to me if I let down my guard. However— I do luv my wine and my occasional ” wedding cake”. I guess I always think prior to eating an item: do I luv it enough to wear it? ……. This always helps me.
Love your nutrition posts…. Great reads!


95 Lauryn October 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I agree, this is one of your best posts ever!!!! Please tell me how you navigate chips at the mexican restaurants though, that is my weakness!! LOL


96 Molly A. October 17, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Great post! It was exactly what I needed to hear (as I am eyeing the Halloween candy)! Also, I agree with the sandwich/cheese philosophy….can’t taste it, so why bother with it!


97 Brittany @ The Fit Phoenician October 17, 2013 at 4:09 pm

I like these tips! I follow a lot of the same guidelines as you do. Sometimes I try to choose either wine or dessert but that rarely works 😉


98 Maggie October 17, 2013 at 4:18 pm

totally agree w/ all of this!! especially the bread basket- that’s often my fav part of the meal! and the thought of skipping wedding (or any other celebration) cake is just absurd.


99 Jeri October 17, 2013 at 4:36 pm

I’m so glad you posted this. After reading and being bombarded from friends who act like they know what works for me, this makes me feel good that the nutritional compromises that I make work for me.
But can you help me with something? What have you heard as far as gluten free and arthritis? Also would you eliminate wheat totally from your diet? Im scared if I do that I will fall off the wagon and consume too much. I don’t eat bread or wheat products everyday, but more like 3 times a week. My goal is to lose 2-5 lbs a month.

S/N: I’m back on track!!!! Lost 5.5 pounds these 4 weeks for a total of 10.4 lbs and a total of 2 inches in my waist since August.


100 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 6:38 pm

It may help. The best you can do is to eliminate one food at a time and see if your symptoms improve. If they do, then it’s up to you whether or not you want to remove the food from your diet.


101 Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac October 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Love this post!!!! I agree 100% with what you said. Also, no cheese on sandwiches is a good rule. I’ve never really thought about it and always just had cheese, but you’re right, you really can’t taste it! Might be adding this into my eat regimen!


102 Alex @ Kenzie Life October 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm

THANK YOU for writing this post! I think it’s amazing and I definitely agree that there are things I’m not willing to compromise on, or at least not all the time. I personally enjoy the taste of fro-yo more than ice cream, so I’ll have it every now and then, not because I think it contains fewer calories (because I enjoy the gummy bears and mochi and brownie bites :)) but because my taste preferences lean that way. As someone with an eating disorder history, I have to be careful that I’m making healthy choices for the right reasons, and for me the right reasons mean because I’m both a) wanting to be healthy and b) craving that particular food. Overall, I’m at a good place because I’m at a healthy weight and I’m not obsessive about my food. I enjoy exercising for pleasure, not as a punishment, and I also don’t read magazines like Shape or Self because we don’t share the same health values/ideals. This was a great post, Kath!


103 Lauren October 17, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Im with the majority here Kath this was an excellent post. Thanks for writing this.


104 Kirst October 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm

hahahaha! I had forgotten about blotting our pizza. That takes me back! What were we thinking?


105 KathEats October 17, 2013 at 7:55 pm

at Youth Group!


106 Lisa @bitesforbabies October 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm

You love the skin on chicken?! You should try porcetto!!! Yum!


107 Emily S October 17, 2013 at 7:58 pm

The cheese thing really resonated with me. So true!


108 Livi October 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm

drinking lots of water is a huge one for me– stops me from eating when I’m bored/tired/cold etc!


109 Avery Hudson October 17, 2013 at 8:21 pm

This was so great Kath. Thank you so much this is truly so helpful for me and my family in our everyday lives.


110 robin October 17, 2013 at 8:42 pm

I started watching my portions and cut out junk food and so far have lost 30 pounds this summer. Portion control is hard but wow does it work!


111 KathEats October 18, 2013 at 5:38 am

Nice job!


112 Heather McClees (@TheSoulfulSpoon) October 17, 2013 at 10:14 pm

This was a great post!:) I think we all have our own version of Nutrition Compromises, and I’m glad you shared yours!:) I’m also not a fan of the PSL either. Just don’t get it, really! I’d much rather have my own homemade coffee with cocoa and stevia with a splash of almond milk instead:)


113 Maria October 17, 2013 at 10:20 pm

I was all for keeping the wine to weekends and special occasions until the teething monster took over my child tonight and nothing could make her happy :-) I drink a lot of water and hot tea during the day and I notice this keeps meaningless snack cravings at bay. And yes, the days of blotting the square shaped pizza at lunch…along side the buttered noodles with garlic :-)


114 Julie October 17, 2013 at 10:35 pm

This is the best list! I do like bread as well but only if it’s freshly made from that restaurant. I also enjoy beer more than wine. :)


115 GiGi Eats Celebrities October 17, 2013 at 11:51 pm

You are right on the money! :) Spaghetti Squash is an absolute DREAM too – This squash is amazing spaghetti replacement, amazing actually doesn’t even cut it, PHENOMENAL – more like it! lol!


116 heather October 18, 2013 at 7:50 am

I love this post Kath. I am not just trying to be thin, I want a healthy, balanced life which includes emotional and mental health in addition to physical health.

I always laugh when I start seeing posts about how to have a low calorie, low fat Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. I get that if you are having several of those meals over and over again it is a problem, but on the actual Thanksgiving day we use all the butter, cream, sugar, and whatever else our traditional family recipes call for and enjoy everything until the last bite!


117 Barbara October 18, 2013 at 9:05 am

excellent post


118 tam October 18, 2013 at 9:34 am

Kath, I loved reading this post. I love the volumetrics concept too, and center what I eat around fruit, veggies and beans/lentils. For some reason the term portion control really depresses me.


119 Melissa October 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

Thank you – to all. I’m learning to respect my body all over again…for a whole different reason this time :)


120 Chelsea @BigBitesLittleBudget October 18, 2013 at 11:39 am

Love this advice Kath! There are so many tips and tricks for weight loss out there. It is very easy to get caught up in that and forget the habits that you have already built to keep your weight stabilized. I hate that deprivation factor of some of those tips to cut calories. They tend to make me eat more in the long run. If I focus on eating whole foods most of the time, I am much happier and in turn don’t feel the need to splurge except for those special occasions.


121 Ashley October 18, 2013 at 11:57 am

I always cook my chicken with the skin on because I think it keeps the chicken moist and tasty. However, I never eat the skin. So when you cook yours the same way…. Do you actually eat the skin? Also, is their really caloric/fat difference between skinless and and skin on if you aren’t actually eating it?



122 KathEats October 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I do, yes, although I couldn’t eat a ton of it. I would think the skinless would be less calorie/fat dense because the skin drips more into the meat, but I think your method is a great way to keep your chicken juicy and save by not eating the skin


123 Elle October 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I love this! I’m with you on everything but the cheese. :) I skip creamy/fatty spreads, so that I can enjoy some spicy pepper jack or smoked gouda on my sandwiches. Which I believe is your point. You have to figure out what are important/most rewarding indulgences for you and structure the rest of your eating accordingly. Great post!


124 Megan October 18, 2013 at 12:19 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, and I think this is the best post (to me) that you have written. Thanks so much!


125 Melissa October 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I love this post! I am a big proponent of eating healthy but still actually enjoying what you eat. For me the cheese on a sandwich thing was always the most difficult…a sandwich just isn’t a sandwich without cheese so I went the other way and started skipping the meat. I’ll take a delicious cheese and veggie stuffed sammie any day!


126 Caitlin October 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm

kath, this post is so so so awesome and i just love it. i am recovering from an eating disorder and my mind often tells me that to be okay with my lifestyle, said lifestyle has to follow ALL the nutrition rules out there. but there are just some things i don’t want to give up. and there are plenty of “rules” that i DO follow and fit well with my lifestyle! i may do a post similar to this (and link back to yours of course). i just really like your view – it’s about living a healthy life and life does not go well with deprivation.


127 Katie October 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Hi Kath – Love your blog! I often wonder when I read your posts if you ever struggle with the desire to snack all day, given that you work mostly in the home and your {very deliciously stocked!} cupboards & fridge are so easily accessible. My job allows me to work from home sometimes and I am terrible about sticking to 3 meals on these days, which its unfortunate because it almost makes me dread what should be a fun/relaxing day at home. Any tips or experiences you can share would be appreciated!


128 KathEats October 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I do sometimes – especially now that Mazen is eating more often. But food just doesn’t taste as good when I’m not hungry, so I generally find that I don’t want something alllll day.


129 sarah (the SHU box) October 18, 2013 at 7:29 pm

a belated thumbs up to this post as well :) you seem so back in your groove lately, and it’s great. :) :)


130 Candice October 19, 2013 at 8:58 am

I am a fellow RD, and questioning a lot of what I learned in school (ie that chicken skin is bad for you). Not sure if I agree with that anymore. Have you seen this article? I’m not sure that’s a compromise, but maybe even a benefit to you eating real food …


131 KathEats October 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Real food for the win


132 Sarah October 19, 2013 at 8:58 am

I love this post, and couldn’t agree more!


133 Denise October 20, 2013 at 7:34 am

My friend just told me about your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook.(also a blog) I’m glad for the two recommendations. I love when people share good blogs with each other. Denise


134 Leila Dishes October 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Oh gosh, I used to be a huge slave to these rules! For so long too! But now that I’m responsible for another being’s nutrition I’m more focused than ever on just eating balanced meals. Plus, why buy two different milks, two different yogurts, etc. I’d rather just enjoy whole over 2% any day!


135 Cassie October 21, 2013 at 8:53 pm

This is so great! My problem is I am just always hungry… then eat around things instead of giving into cravings. I follow most of your rules (but I as craving a glass of wine right now!!)


136 Alison October 22, 2013 at 2:11 am

Love this post – it just seems so realistic. Your approach to weigh loss/maintenance and healthy eating has always been very practical and honest.


137 Gauri October 22, 2013 at 7:59 am

Awesome post. Thanks kath!


138 Irene October 22, 2013 at 9:59 am

Very interesting post. You’ve got me thinking about the cheese, and adding it to things where I can’t taste it. I’ll be looking for those times and making different choices. (But – its staying on my sandwiches!) :)

I prefer skim milk, but that’s because I grew up drinking it.

And finally – just wanted to say that living through a kitchen reno is no fun, but the end result is worth it! I lived through three MONTHS of kitchen reno (we built an addition) and I was never so glad to turn on an oven in my life when it was done.

Looking forward to pictures of your re-do.


139 Neil Butterfield October 23, 2013 at 4:17 am

Great advice Kath. No one could stick to these rules permanently. It’s all about moderation.


140 Amanda October 26, 2013 at 2:38 am

I’ve read this post at least five times and I just adore it. It’s so simple but so true. There are foods I could never just live without like Ice cream and beer. I wish my friends would read this, it would open their eyes to what they’re missing. It makes me so sad when I see women restrict their diets or go on a binge because they’ve denied themselves so many things. Kudos to you Kath!


141 ashley ronald October 28, 2013 at 11:52 pm

I am definitely agree that you can’t live a full life doing everything the healthy way so it’s best to pick and choose.


142 Alicia November 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Eat the chicken skin! Whole foods are always better than partial or dismembered foods. All your ancestors until fairly/very recently ate stuff whole. That is what your genes will be expecting. We all agree you need the B vitamins and the minerals in the bran/germ of grains in order to digest the carbs in the white part of the grain. Why do people not understand that you also need the yolks of your eggs, the fat of your milk, and the skin of your chicken? Chicken skin has collagen and glycine. Read Chris Masterjohn’s stuff on it. And check out the Weston A Price Foundation (a little crazy here and there, but a good corrective to other veiw points), or the first couple sections of Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. Humans have always eaten animal fats, some cultures have eaten large amounts of it, and they were perfectly healthy. Anthropologically, it’s the sugar and flour that get humans in trouble. Look what happened to the American waistline when we all went low fat a couple decades ago…


143 Alaura November 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm

As an ex-nutrition major, this is one of the first nutrition tip posts on the internet in a very very long time that didn’t make me want to rip my hair out. I LOVE your take on all of these tips and love that you don’t shame yourself or anyone else for their food choices. I think you’re fantastic!!!


144 Lucy Evans January 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm

I love this post and wrote a similar thing on my website. Funny to compare compromises! Thanks Kath.


145 KathEats January 20, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Love your post too!


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