Will You Ever Include Nutrition Information on Your Recipes?


Why don’t you offer nutrition information on your blog recipes? Will you include nutrition stats in your next cookbook? We get asked these questions fairly regularly.

One of our top values at Thriving Home is serving the needs of our readers. I realize that nutrition stats are important to many of you for various reasons, from serious health issues to watching your weight. So, we have thought a lot about offering this additional info on each recipe.

However, at this time, we’ve chosen not to include nutrition information on our recipes for three reasons:

1) The first is that we can’t promise accurate nutrition stats.

There are three factors that account for that:

  • Many of our recipes have an approximate range for one or more ingredients. (i.e. 1-1.5 pounds chicken breasts).
  • Many of our recipes yield a range of serving sizes (i.e. Serves: 4-6).
  • The nutrition content will depend on the brands of some of the ingredients you buy (i.e. salsa, chicken broth, yogurt, etc). We cannot account for all brands.

 

2) Secondly, our definition of “healthy” isn’t built around tracking and consuming the right numbers. We also aren’t about eating low-fat foods or cutting out food groups. We’re about cooking tasty homemade food and eating it in moderation. We’re about cooking with as many unprocessed, organic and/or local ingredients as possible and including a variety of:

  • vegetables and fruit
  • whole grains
  • healthy fats (Here’s a helpful post about healthy fats.)
  • local, organic, and grass-fed meats

By simply making homemade meals for your family, you are cutting out loads of sodium, sugar, and harmful trans-fats that come from fast food and frozen pre-made store-bought foods.

3) Lastly, on a personal note, I’m not excited about offering nutrition stats because of my struggle with food in the past.

In my 20s, I used to obsess over calorie counting, and I beat myself up almost daily for messing up. My relationship with food, self-image, and exercise were unhealthy and fueled by an obsession about nutrition stats. I have pages and pages of detailed journal notes about what I ate each day and how much I exercised during those years. Crazy, right? Ironically, the more I worried about it, the more I struggled with my weight. Nutrition counting only fueled my twisted thinking and complicated relationship with food and exercise.

I know my story is not the case with some of you who ask for nutrition facts. But, I do think our nation has an unnatural obsession over calorie-counting and dieting that I personally do not think is wise. I hate the thought of someone else going through the darkness–and I really do describe that struggle in my life as darkness–that I experienced.

What am I passionate about? Helping others eat well and have a healthy relationship with food. Over the past decade, I’ve learned three things that have helped me to love food in the right way, maintain my weight, and not obsess over nutritional stats:

  1. Cooking and eating at home connects me with what goes into my food and has taught me discernment about what I put in my body.
  2. Using real food ingredients (vs. processed junk) helps me naturally feel full and satisfied more easily. I also just feel better!
  3. Enjoying all foods in moderation means I don’t have to set up rules for myself to break. I believe food is a gift from God meant to be enjoyed, but not be enslaved to.

These three tenets of my food philosophy have pulled me out of the hamster wheel of calorie counting and calorie burning that used to run my life.

Polly shares these same values, and that’s why you’ll see our Recipe Index reflect them. In fact, we love to use the phrase “real food meets reality”, when it comes to our style of cooking and eating. We try to cook at home and eat real food, but we give ourselves grace and don’t sweat the small stuff.

I hope our recipes can free you up to enjoy all food in moderation, feed yourself and your family well, and encourage a healthy relationship with food, too.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Comments

  1. Sarah says

    I agree completely with everything that you have written here. As someone who struggled her way out of an eating disorder and many subsequent years of disordered eating, I strongly believe that the best way to feed ourselves is by tuning into how our bodies feel and eating a variety of foods, not by deciding what to eat based on external factors like calorie counts and serving sizes. Trying to manage food and my body using numbers was a prison, and there are so, so many American women who are trapped in it, even if they do not have a full-blown eating disorder. I am really thankful for your approach!

    • Rachel says

      Sarah, you get it. As you know, I totally agree with you. We hope our recipes and “real food meets reality” philosophy help free people up to enjoy eating and help them eat well naturally. Thank you for taking the time to share your story and thoughts.

  2. Mandy says

    Thank you for this post. I have been one who has requested nutritional facts and realize the validity about what you are saying. It is truly a struggle to break free of these patterns. For quite awhile, I tried to juggle family and apps logging everything I ate. All the while knowing this is not freedom. Nor did I ever feel satisfied or have much success.
    Over the last month, I gave it all up. I have utilized your menu and resources to create a weekly menu. We are eating delicious, satisfying, homemade breakfasts each day. What a joy it is to watch my girls eat food, not out of a box for breakfast everyday!
    I love to cook and with the help of my two daughters, as well as my husband we are adhering to our menu plan. Our only tweak is to watch our carb intake for we love baking. I love that it is a family commitment and see that we love what we eat and how we feel. This is a wonderful life long way of life I hope to pass on. Such a pride in ourselves and our family.
    To sum it up, my husband has lost weight and I have lost ten pounds myself. Not bad at all for not counting calories etc. No notebooks or apps stealing precious time from my family and things I love to do.
    This is a shift in our lives and it tumbles into other areas as well. We have found that his is really not that hard to do. And the truth of it is, living in the chaos of the other way is harder.
    Again, my sincerest thanks for your work and honesty. It has corroborated what I have felt and always known, but could not quite get there.

    • Rachel says

      Mandy, your comment truly makes my day! That’s the same path our family started down about a decade ago now, and it’s been incredibly freeing and much healthier than the way I was living. I’m so proud of you for making these changes! They take time, you’ll have ups and downs, but I really believe this is the path to healthy, sustainable, joyful eating.