Does healthy eating = low-calorie eating?
It can… but it depends a great deal on the individual person. In many cases, I’d argue that a low-calorie diet is not ideal for optimum health (such as the case of an athlete, a growing child or teen, an underweight or healthy-weight adult, etc.).
Today’s post is going to be a little different.
It’s a topic about which I’ve been meaning to write for quite a while; ever since there was a bit of drama and confusion over it in the comment section of this post.
You see, I don’t want to send out the wrong message or give people the impression that I only eat low-calorie foods… or that anyone else should only eat low-calorie foods if he/she doesn’t medically need to do so. My website is not a “this is what I ate today” food blog, and the photos you see on this site are usually just of the recipes (as opposed to the entire meal I might’ve eaten along with the recipe. I can tell you I hardly ever eat just a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast!).
Due to the fact that healthier foods are often lower in calories, and because I know a large number of my blog’s readers are watching their weights, many of the recipes on this blog are—or can be—quite low in calories.
In the photo above: Low-Calorie Peanut Butter Ice Cream
To help the large percentage of my readership that doesn’t want the extra calories, I try to always point out when lower-calorie options exist in my recipes (such as when one can sub applesauce, how to make a recipe lower in fat, etc.).
However, the cool thing is that many of my recipes are easily adaptable to almost any diet. Perhaps I need to pay better attention to the other portion of my readers; those who do not have weight to lose?
It’s a common (and dangerous) misconception that a person who needs to gain weight or eat a high-calorie diet must consume exorbitant amounts of junk food in order to meet this goal. You can meet your nutritional needs without downing milkshakes at every meal, and you’ll probably feel much less sluggish.
Today, I thought I’d highlight a few of the tricks I use to calorically bulk up my food while still being healthy.
In the above picture: Chocolate-Strawberry Truffle Pie.
1. Focus on calorie-dense foods.
Eat these first at a meal, so you don’t feel too full before you’ve gotten in enough calories. Here are some calorie-dense, yet healthy, foods:
- all nuts and nut butters
- oils (such as olive, sesame, or coconut) in their pure form (not the hydrogenated stuff they put in packaged goods!)
- Thai coconut meat (really good in smoothies, pies, or puddings)
- dried fruit
- canned coconut milk
- giant bowls of pasta (my favorite!)
- dark chocolate (oh wait, that’s my favorite!)
Raw recipes are often calorie-dense. Here are my favorites.
2. Don’t skip the veggies
…because you’re afraid they’re too low-cal. But do be sure to not just eat them plain and steamed. Try sautéing or roasting with a generous drizzle of olive or coconut oil (so so good).
3. Bigger portions.
For example, I post oatmeal recipes that are for one serving. But when I make them for myself, I always times the recipe by 1.5. Try it sometime… you probably won’t even notice you’re taking in more calories!
4. And eating more often.
Instead of three huge meals per day, space it out with 5-6 smaller meals and snacks throughout the day, giving your stomach a chance to digest. Personally, my job as a recipe developer means I never stop snacking! Chocolate is always close to my heart greedy fingers.
5. Non-healthy treats… sometimes.
I’d say I probably eat healthy foods 80% of the time. But does that mean I’ll turn down a friend’s cookies that she veganized just for me? Or Hangawi’s incredible cheesecake in NYC? No, it does not. (I probably should get a post up about this topic, too… but not today. I think I’ve already talked your ears off enough for one day!)
Do you eat a high-calorie diet? A low-calorie diet?
Or maybe you have absolutely no idea how many calories you consume! Please take an introspective look at your life and make responsible food decisions for you. If that means eating a low-calorie diet, my recipes are here to help. But if that means not eating a low-calorie diet, please take advantage of some of the higher-calorie options listed both in this post and in my recipe posts!
For more, see the following: High Calorie Recipes.