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How to gain weight on a healthy diet

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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!)
  • avocados
  • 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.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. I love this post! I totally agree with you, I think it’s important to listen to your body and really get to know yourself as an eater. It’s so hard to do that sometimes in a world that sends so many messages about eating and how to do it the “right” way, but I love your healthy tips that can be adapted to pretty much any diet! Also, your recipes are so accomodating and friendly to anyone’s diet of choice, which really makes your blog a pleasure to read. Keep up the great work and staying true to yourself! It’s so refreshing!

  2. Welp, currently working on my food journal to keep myslef in check. This is completely interesting! :) Thanks for the info!

  3. Great post, Katie. I don’t need to lose weight, but I do watch my portions and try to balance out the calories I consume with my activity level. I really appreciate all of the options and substitutions you write about. I’m not very comfortable tweaking recipes on my own (maybe one day!) so I definitely like your suggestions. Thanks for writing such an awesome blog :)

  4. GREAT post!! I think it is a huge misconception that you need to eat nothing but terribly unhealthy food to get those extra calories. Personally. I’m more obliged to eat extra calories WHEN it’s healthy, because that food makes me feel good, and I want to keep that feeling around!

    1. Superfood Babe says:

      Same xxx

  5. Great post Katie-

    I actually don’t eat a very low calorie diet at all (I normally consume between 2500-3000 calories daily) to preform at optimum running level. I have a lot of friends that aren’t athletes and are watching their weights that enjoy making your recipes (I just get to have like 10 servings lolz!).

    Anyways-I think the blogging world makes eating low calorie foods and losing weight seem so normal when in reality, it’s not normal for most people to be eating 1400 calories or so. Anyways, great post!

  6. Mary says:

    Hi Katie!

    Thank you for the post. I am on Weight Watchers, so while it sounds weird, calories just aren’t a big deal! The formula for points incorporates fat, carbs, fiber, and protein. I love all of your recipes! Keep ’em coming! :)

    1. Chloe says:

      I’m in the same camp. I have been doing Weight Watchers for about 2 months now and I rarely if ever look at calories–and I’ve lost 12.5 pounds! I completely agree that it isn’t so much about cramming your meals into a 2,000 or 1,400 or whatever calorie limit–it’s about eating enough so that your body is properly nourished and able to accomplish what it needs to each day. I love your blog Katie! I tried your Snickerdoodle oatmeal this morning and it was awesome! Tomorrow, I’m doing Banana’s Foster oatmeal. I hope it’s just as good!

    2. Lisa says:

      Many of your recipes are wonderful for the weight watchers program and I love the hearty breakfasts. They really keep you full and are very satisfying!!

  7. i’m actually in a weight gaining program and people always say JUST EAT MORE. it’s more than that. my nutritionist however does tell me to go grab a DQ blizzard once in awhile. haha. but thanks for the tips because that is actually what i do. i typically try to just double my portions and make sure i’m adding healthy fats.

  8. Sapphire says:

    I eat a very low calorie, high protein, low carb, low fat diet. I had weight loss surgery last year and have lost 85 lbs to date. I still have 40 lbs to go to hit my goal of 145, because that’s the weight that a person my size is supposed to have (according to the docs). I’m fairly happy where I am, but I want to keep trying and getting down more and more.

    I enjoy most of your recipes, and I do have to alter a bit to keep the calories down (I use a calorie counter that I can input recipes into and it gives me the nutritional content). I actually made Hot Chocolate Fudge Babies yesterday and had one for a snack today, and it gave me protein from the walnuts and fixed my chocolate craving. I’m even getting my husband to like them and he’s vehemently not vegan *lol*. I’m wearing him down, though.

    1. Sue Breem says:

      Wow, 85 pounds is awesome. You should be so proud of yourself!
      I have a long way to go still, but Katie’s site has been so helpful to me so far. Before finding it, life was such a struggle. I hadn’t had a treat in MONTHS and was feeling so deprived :(. And now I’m still losing weight, yet I can eat some chocolate again.

      I know it sounds silly, but Katie your site really did SAVE MY LIFE!!!

      1. Sapphire says:

        Thank you, Sue. :) I was a size 22-24, and I’m down to a 12-14 now. It’s SO weird looking at myself in a mirror and seeing what I thought was the same person, then looking at pics and seeing how much different I look.

        I still eat chocolate – and it’s thanks to Katie that I found the vanilla stevia drops which really helped me SO much, so I know how you feel about the whole “Katie saved my life” thing :)

        1. Sarah the official CCK drooler-we pick Rick says:

          WOW!! GO SAPPHIRE! I bet you look beautiful! Seriously, you are an inspiration. Any tips for me ( i want to lose the final 10 pounds)? I would love to hear them and good luck with the remainder of your journey :)

          1. Sapphire says:

            Thanks, Sarah! Like I said in the first post, I had WLS back in July. I do Zumba as often as I can, switching it up with weight training and other things. I sometimes shock my system by actually OVEREATING, because if you lose a lot of weight, your body’s metabolism thinks that you’re starving, so it stores everything as fat. If you over eat once a week (not by a whole lot though), then your body’s like “wow! We’re okay!” and it kinda resets the metabolism and you keep losing. It helps to keep a food journal, and I mean it REALLY helps. Knowing your BMR (basal metabolic rate) also helps you to know how much you need each day and how much you need to take in to lose the weight. There are lots of calculators out there to help you find out what your BMR happens to be.

            I try not to drink while I eat, and if I drink something, it’s usually water about 15 minutes before a meal or an hour afterwards. I drink protein shakes, my protein is usually over 70g per day, with 100g (or less) carbs, and 30g or less fat. And I don’t stress out if I get stuck. Stress makes you release cortisol, which makes you hold onto fat.

            my email is if you want to talk or need some support or motivation :)

          2. Katherine Krug says:

            I had weight loss surgery about 3 years ago, and have lost over 200 pounds. I have also had one skin removal surgery so far, with fantastic results. I have noticed lately that my weight is creeping up again as my appetite is back in full strength following surgery at this point. This site sounds interesting in my goal of finding good ways of eating great food but keeping the calories within what my body needs to maintain my loss. I would welcome any support or weight loss buddy.

          3. Annie says:

            Wow! You’re so right…
            I used to have anorexia/orthorexia, and i had so much difficulty losing weight on a ‘healthy,’ portion-regimented diet; and yet always felt so deprived and stressed out (though I did allow myself small portions of my 2 favorite foods daily).
            I did notice that once I began healing, and started eating until I was Truly satisfied, and incorporating more energetic activity to balance out my food intake, I lost weight faster and was able to keep my weight down to a normal level (mostly w/a flat stomach) and felt much, much happier and calmer
            (made huge efforts not to stress out bc I’d learned by then that stress can sabatoge weight loss)

          4. Annie says:

            Forgot to mention that I was eating more of foods that were actually healthy for me; and trying to save the unhealthy foods for when I craved them but at the same time trying not to stress out

          5. Tanya says:

            Hi Annie, is it possible you can email me? I am so glad I read your comment today,as that is exactly the eating disorder I am currently suffering from and just didn’t know what it was, till today. Any advice/help is appreciated;

    2. Yasmeen says:

      Well done Sapphire!

      I had surgery 2 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did! I’m down 120ish pounds.

      I’m so thankful for Katie’s blog as it’s allowed me to satisfy my sweet/chocolate cravings in a healthy way. :0)

      1. Sapphire says:

        Thanks :) Congrats on your amazing loss! 120 lbs is awesome!

        1. Sarah the official CCK drooler-we pick Rick says:

          Thanks so much- super helpful! tomorrow is day 1 in the food journal :)

  9. I think it sucks (for you) that you have to even justify these reasons!! The blogging community can be so amazing, but at the same time, so hurtful! Personally, I think you do an amazing job of justifying eating, even though you don’t have to! I hope that your respect for all your readers influences more respect for you and your posts. Now, keep the goodies coming!!!!

    1. Laura says:

      Agreed. Katie, you are awesome and glowing and obviously healthy and taking care of yourself. I’ve learned that people are going to say things no matter what.

      As someone who’s almost fully recovered from an eating disorder, I can say that your blog was one of the biggest helps to me in my recovery process. Before CCK, I thought that peanut butter was a four letter word. And don’t get me started on bananas! I wouldn’t touch them! :-?. The fudge babies? Not on your life! But you taught me that there is so much more to food, and to life!, than calories. I saw Sue’s comment above about you saving her life, and I have to say I don’t find it silly at all. I think you saved mine too!

      I never comment on blogs, but I just had to tell you that.

      1. Jennifer says:

        Katie, I am so sorry that you had to read those types of comments (from the previous post)! But, I think it says a lot about your character that you not only left the posts up, but replied to (some of) them.
        Most people have a “disordered” relationship with their food; one of the biggest ways to tell that someone has a healthy relationship with their food is that they celebrate food and try new things — which is what this blog does.
        You look healthy and happy; and I wouldn’t want to receive my “healthy” recipes from someone who didn’t look that way!

      2. Kayla says:

        I’ve found this website awesome in helping me fight off my slight relapse I’ve been having for the past month or so. I’ve only been in recovery (this time) for almost 5 months with a few slight relapses.
        I only had EDOS.. restricting type and binge purge subtype. It would have been a diagnosis of anorexia had my weight not been high like it is. I’m still trying to lose weight, but healthily and Katie’s blog has been wonderful.
        I totally hear you when you’re talking about peanut butter and bananas. I used to binge on peanut butter (or Nutella) covered everything. I didn’t want either in my house. And I’m still getting over my fear of bananas (ate half of one the other day!!).

        Anyways.. Thanks Katie for helping so many people realize what health really means. You truly are awesome (how could you not be when you’re covered in chocolate. ;))!

  10. Sue Breem says:

    I am so thankful for the lower-calorie options, but I also think it is so sweet of you to think of everyone and worry about everyone. Katie, you are truly an amazing girl. And, as I wrote above, a life saver.

  11. Audrey says:

    I really appreciate that you provide lower-calorie, low-sugar, low-fat, etc. options. I’m not one of those people that needs to gain weight (quite the opposite), so those options work best for me. I think you do a great job providing lots of options and flexibility in your recipes for all your readers, so thank you!

    1. Jasmin says:

      Yes, I love the lower calorie options too! And this just shows how everyone is so different! some people need to lose weight, some need to gain… so one type of eating plan isn’t going to work for everyone! I don’t exactly count calories but I do keep them in mind, so the calorie counts on recipes help a lot also! thank you katie!

  12. Stacey says:

    Thanks so much for posting this! we are going through a heart breaking time with my 6 yr old who has a strong aversion to most foods. He has practically starved himself to skin and bones as I struggle to find high calorie foods he can tolerate. He LOVES chocolate so your recipes have literally been life saving at times. I use alot of coconut milk but am always looking to boost the calories in your recipes. Unfortunately he won’t try all that you post but I’ll take what I can get! He just started therapy and drinks boost twice daily, chocolate of course. I would love to find a home made version of this drink as the store ones have some scaring stuff in them. Thanks again!

    1. Yasmeen says:


      I’m sorry to hear about the trouble your having with your little boy. I’ve had good success adding protein powder (vanilla and unflavoured) to a lot of Katie’s and Elana’s recipes. It increases the protein content and adds calories.

      Does your son like Hot Chocolate? If so, my favourite treat is a mug full of unsweetened chocolate almond breeze with half a scoop of vanilla protein powder (mix pp into cold milk until it’s fully blended) I like to add Torani or Davinci Sugar Free sweeteners to change up the flavours and it covers the taste of the protein, but you could use the full sugar ones. Microwave until warm enough, you have to do this slowly or the protein powder will curdle.

      I’m on a lower calorie, low carb, sugar free diet so I have to modify most recipes but they generally seem to come out just fine. :0)

      1. Stacey says:

        Thank you Yasmeen. Protein powder is a great idea! I used to temper the yolk of an egg in his cocoa but he is now resisting that one!

  13. As someone who is forever trying to keep weight one, I love this post! Great tip on eating the fats first. I need to start doing that more often.

    All of your recipe adaptions are much-appreciated. :)

  14. Jenny says:

    I read the “drama” on the sugar cookie oatmeal blog…People are so obnoxious. I am an average size girl not underweight not overweight but whenever I feel like I need to lose a pound or I plan on going to the beach (lets face it i’m human) I have been try to stick around the suggested 1200 calories (almost impossible because I get light-headed doing this). BUT recently after seeing your blog, reading about how bad processed foods are, and just wanting to eat better…I had an epiphany…Its not JUST about the calories you eat but about what you eat! I have recently only been eating real raw foods like fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, organic items and of course all your deserts (and muffins) to fill my sweet tooth gap! I eat whatever I want whenever I am hungry as long as its not processed and what do you know, I lost weight and I am satisfied…especially when I make your hot chocolate cookies…my favorite. So thank you so much for giving me yummy recipes that are healthy and made with REAL foods…Yay! So you keep on blogging (because we all love it!) and don’t let rude people affect you.

    1. L. says:

      I found the exact same thing! It was only when I quit counting calories and started looking at food as nourishment rather than good and bad that I settled in at a comfortable weight (this blog really helped open my eyes!).

      I’ll have to try those hot chocolate cookies!

  15. Arielle says:

    I think that my diet is on the higher-calorie side. I noticed when I started incorporating more vegan/vegetarian foods in my diet that I ended up eating more in general, subconsciously. Even though I have gained a few pounds, I think it was much needed weight, as I am pretty tall for a girl (5’9.5) and have always been slightly under the “recommended” weight. I also definitely feel like I have more energy throughout the day :) Go high-calories foods!

  16. I totally agree that everyone has different calorie needs! I’m learning that after thinking low-cal was the way too go that I need to eat more calories and fats than I have been to sustain my new love for running and strength training. And don mt worry if people make comments saying you eat too little, honestly they are probably insecure about themselves.

  17. Christina says:

    My diet is definitely low-calorie. Personally, I try to focus on choosing foods/drinks that squash my appetite. For example, I try to drink at least two (if not more, sometimes I can’t help myself! :) ) of either green or oolong tea before a meal. Not only does it fill me up a bit, but tea is extremely refreshing and wonderful for your health.

  18. Kathy Sp says:

    I love your blog. I am new to veganism and have used SO MANY of your dessert and breakfast recipes to help me transition. I think the majority of people watch calories, whether trying to gain or lose, and hopefully know how to adjust portion size based on that. Thanks and I hope you change nothing.

  19. Katie Henderson says:

    I don’t think I belong in either category. I’ve calculated my caloric needs and try to eat based on that. I don’t really count, just kind of keep a general idea. Some meals are high calorie(preferably early in the day), some are low fat/low cal. BUT I also try to base my intake around what I do that day. If I’m off work and it’s too cold/rainy/etc to do much outside, I’ll eat a little less. If I’m going to do barn work and work out, I’ll eat a little more.

  20. Great blog! I don’t get why just because you post something, that is all you eat! On my blog I try to post 85% healthy foods, but when I post higher calorie treats, people think you eat that. yes, I’ll have a cookie or two, but I don’t eat the whole batch! Though I could! :) I love all the pointers you give, your right everyone has different calorie needs. For me to maintain my weight I stick to around 1500 – 1700 calories a day, where my friend she eats 1300, everyone is different. I eat lots of mini meals, lots of veggies and I have my 3 main meals, but there not as huge. I’ve lost a lot of weight going this route! Love the post Katie!!

  21. I try to choose the foods that I love and that are healthy!

  22. kaity says:

    i eat what my body wants some days i find myself eating in a healthy calorie range others im eating alot more, and i use most of your recipes for parties ofcoarse but also if i want a real decadent snack thats not goin to derail my eating i come to you and you always no just wat i want haha! good job for sticking up for yourself, this is your blog!

  23. Kimmy Pear says:

    I read your blog because I hate the thought of eating meat and eggs, and I just found out I’m lactose intolerant.
    I go through your recipes to find whatever sounds good for whichever meal or snack I need inspiration for. I’m so happy that you (mostly) use ingredients that I have in the house or that can easily be found in our small-town store.
    I’m trying to maintain my weight, or lose a little, depending on what the scale says each weekend.
    So, I don’t necessarily have a strict low-calorie (or high-calore diet), I’m just enjoying eating yummy food that doesn’t contain meat, eggs or dairy (and therefore, doesn’t cause me to have severe tummy pain)!
    Thank you for publishing the recipes you do because it makes my life easier!

  24. Jess says:

    In agreement with your comment in this post, I tend to move between a high and low calorie diet depending on my activity levels. I tend to fluctuate between “lazy” periods (i.e. studying for finals) and “active” periods (daily weight-lifting, martial arts, biking) and try to eat accordingly. Really I find that just eating when you’re hungry, and not eating too too much works well to keep full and not put on too many extra pounds.

    Speaking of which – you mentioned that one of your tricks to sneak in a few extra calories is to eat more frequent meals. I’d question this, not because it’s wrong, but I think this can be used either to lose or gain weight. Waiting too long between meals throws off your blood sugar and can cause people to gain weight to my knowledge, whereas frequent meals may prevent this. Conversely, eating frequent but fairly large meals – I’d guess it’s a way to sneak in a few extra calories at a time?

    I’d love to hear opinions on this!

    1. It’s funny, but they (the diet experts… I guess those would be nutritionists and diet researchers?) recommend the same thing– eating frequent small meals–for people wanting to lose OR gain weight.

    2. Danielle says:

      Frequent meals stabilizes your blood sugar and prevents people from gorging themselves at their next meal. That would help in the weight loss camp as you are keeping your metabolism going, and not making yourself feel “starving” later on. With the weight gain side of things, if you eat more often (and in larger quantities) you will consume more calories in the day. The stomach can only handle so much so it makes sense to spread out the required calories over the day. I believe there is too much focus on calories these days though. Unless you have serious weight to lose (or gain), eating healthful foods and listening to your bodies hunger cues is the way to go.

      I liked this post Katie! It is hard not to judge people’s eating habits when they are put out there in public for all to see, but some people take it too far. Food blogging is such a sensitive area and a blogger cannot possibly be responsible for how every person out there interprets your words. I’d say for the most part people come to this blog to find healthier dessert recipes (I know I do). For me, I limit sugar (not the fat) so I adjust recipes accordingly. You do a great job at providing modifications for all types of diets. Keep it up!

  25. Erica says:

    Katie, I definitely think that you should consider posting more high-cal recipes — lots of people are vegan for ethical reasons, not because they need to lose weight, thus I think you’d have a large audience for it :)

    And I think you should post up some of your favorite giant pasta bowl recipes!!

      1. The funny thing is that many of my recipes already ARE (or can be) higher-cal. I definitely need to do a post about it, though! Some of my favorite recipes on the blog are high-cal ones (a lot of the raw recipes, and the pb cookie dough cookies!).

        1. Erica says:

          I meant more like, high-calorie recipes that could constitute a meal — I know it’s primarily a dessert blog, but even stuff like oatmeal, pancakes, and shakes for a substantial breakfast :)

          Thank you for responding!

          1. Jessica says:

            I am with Erica! More substantial breakfasts! :)

          2. Misty says:

            There are lots of oatmeal, pancake, and smoothie/shake recipes on here. What’s to stop you from combining several of those to make a substantial breakfast?

  26. catie says:

    I’m so glad you posted this! While I’m actually the opposite of you and could stand to lose a few pounds, I agree that everyone needs to listen to their OWN body and know what it’s telling them! I’m a runner as well, but I never ate that well until about six months ago. I fell into the “low-fat, low-calorie is healthy for you” trap in college and now that I’m (ahem) nearing 30, my body has completely changed! We started eating “clean” and that has helped a bunch! Your website has been CRUCIAL to getting my sweet-toothed husband on board with the whole eat clean thing. THANK YOU for everything, Katie!

  27. Maggie says:

    This is a great post. As someone who likes to enjoy a treat almost everyday, I don’t always want that treat to be high calorie. You give many great ideas for both low calorie and more indulgent desserts.
    I just popped the peanut butter ice cream into the freezer in an ice cube tray. The liquid form was so tasty! I can’t wait for it to freeze up!
    Thanks for all your great recipes!

  28. I’m really not quite sure how many calories I consume in a day but I’d guess it’s between 1800-2200. I eat A LOT throughout the day. I try to incorporate lots of healthy fats, protein and fruit into my regular diet (most of the time). I have gained a few lbs here and there but I think its more due to my lack of movement and weekend splurges. I think that as long as you eat a healthy diet with minimal processed foods, calorie counting is not necessary.

  29. Jenna says:

    I am always watching my weight it seems, or trying to lose 10 lbs in between babies. So I have been keeping track of my calories off and on for several years. Right now I am trying to lose weight, but I am also breastfeeding so I can’t be too low calorie. I used to use that as an excuse to eat junk and still lose weight, but now I am doing several of the things you suggested to make sure I get enough calories and healthy fats, but not too many calories, to be able to feed my baby and still lose weight. I am not vegan, or even vegetarian, but I love that your dessert recipes are so healthy. I am trying to get my kids used to eating healthily from the beginning instead of eating all the junk that is out there.

  30. Erin says:

    yay! I’m so glad you are doing this! I feel like every diet book in the land tells you how to take in less calories, but then makes you feel terrible if 200 calories doesn’t fill you up. For the first time ever, I am eating over 1600 calories and finding that I finally have energy. THIS IS SO HELPFUL KATIE- THANK YOU SO MUCH

  31. Hi Katie:

    Thanks for this post. I don’t need to lose weight but I keep my treats as healthy as possible and as low-cal as possible so that I can get most of my calories from nutrient-dense dinners and main meals. That’s why I love your low-cal recipes! I’m sure there are people who would prefer the high-cal versions but as you said yourself, I can see pretty easily how you could adapt them to be either/or.

    Also, I’m sorry and sad that you have to endure some of the comments you get, especially those on that last post. It’s really just ridiculous, and it makes me so sad to see people who don’t even know each other just getting at each other. I think there’s a different caloric need for every individual so people just need to pay attention to their own bodies.

  32. Michaela says:

    I think I am pretty much in the middle, though there are times when I feel I do not get enough calories (e.g. when I have oatmeal in the morning and just veggies for the rest of the day) and then I just listen to my body and grab some nuts.

  33. great post! It’s a hard part of having a blog, but people will always judge by little snippets of what they see. Just because I eat healthy (And often lower calorie) foods and meals does NOT mean I’m disordered or trying to lose weight. I eat more often than most people and am maintaining my weight in a way that works for me..just like you!

  34. I don’t know what kind of caloric diet I eat but whatever it is feels right to me and contains plenty of those higher calorie foods you mentioned. I appreciate you being so open and honest with this topic, its tough to put yourself and views out there to so many people.

  35. Good post to re-address the balance as it’s so easy for things to be misunderstood. I personally have no idea how many calories i consume but work on a similar consense to you with a minimum 80-20 healthy-naughty perspective. If i’m eating a healthy vegan diet the majority of the time, with enough good fats and proteins along with all the veggies and my body ‘feels’ good in itself … well then that’s good enough for me!

  36. Veronika says:

    Great post. People should eat when hungry, but the right food, not counting calories. 😉 I eat high carb, low fat, low protein and I am too skinny for most of the people.

  37. Lauren says:

    Really good to see. I follow a low calorie diet but when I cook it’s hard to know how to bulk things up for my husband who needs a high calorie diet to gain weight. He sometimes resorts to junk food even though he would much prefer healthy, high-calorie foods. Thanks for the tips and keep them coming!

  38. I don’t count calories, but I can definitely tell when my body is asking for fewer calories after an indulgent weekend or more calories when I have more intense workouts. I love the idea of calorie-dense whole foods for times I need to get some extra fuel – bring on the pasta, olive oil and other goodies!

  39. Oh Jesus freaking tap dancing Christ! I just read all of that scuffle from last year. My question is this. Have you actually seen someone with an eating disorder who is GENUINELY smiling in all of her photos and has hair that flipping shiny????? I used to work out at a gym in my city, and there was this girl who came in every single day and did about 2 hours of cardio and then another hour of strength training. Now I’m not one to judge (or at least I TRY not to, I’m only human…), but we ALL wondered if she might have had some internal issues. Her skin was that of a vampire’s, her hair very thin and stringy, and she had very deep dark circles underneath her eyes. Then I saw her at a Wal-Mart one day, was behind her in the check-out line, and saw what she had in her basket. All fruits and veggies, which is cool…but the other miniscule amounts of food she had were fat-free yogurt, fat-free milk, and NO starches, no grains, no protein sources whatsoever. Perhaps that was not a big shopping trip but a filler, but I can tell you that she never smiled and always wore very baggy clothes, like things to cover her elbows and knees. These are tell-tale signs, although I still can’t be sure. I am looking at Katie and then remembering this other girl–absolutely no comparison. And maybe the other girl from my gym just had some tough stuff going on in her life, and that’s the only way she knew how to cope. But she definitely was NOT healthy. Katie on the other hand is bright and glowing and smiling and just REEKS of enthusiasm for life and for this blog.

    I am a ‘newbie’ on your blog, less than a month of reading and I’ve gained a MOUNTAIN of ideas for my own baking. I am a pastry chef by profession (well, currently unemployed, but I still bake and keep my own blog!) and a cake decorator of ten years, and when you are someone like me who has dealt with the non-existent metabolism that comes with a hypothyroidism auto-immune disorder it is a GOD-SEND to find inspiration for desserts that ARE low in calories and sugar but that still taste great. Sugar is NOT my friend. My body reacts so terribly to it. But I still bake super rich and sweet cakes for the few people who pop in by my blog for recipes, and I do it for others because I’m really, really good at what I do. That doesn’t mean that’s my personal lifestyle. It definitely is NOT. I bake a cake, I taste it myself, give a piece to my husband, then it gets delivered to a neighbor, take to his work, or I donate it.

    What I find astounding is that in this society we want to defend overweight women, and if you are overweight I’m NOT, repeat NOT picking at you–I completely understand…I’ve had 15 extra lbs. for several years now and although it’s not a truckload of weight, it weighs me down and makes me feel sluggish…I completely empathize with you…food/sugar cravings are nearly always emotional (and can be from unresolved things that even happened in your early childhood, your subconscious brain stores the darndest things!)–but as SOON as we see someone who is thin we want to bash her head in and accuse her throwing up her food or not eating and running 20 miles every day (and God bless you if you can that!). I have very thin girls that used to approach me at my gym all the time a few years back and say they wished they had my booty, or my hips, or my thighs (I have a small waist so I was blessed with some curves…but they can most certainly grow and get out of hand…), and it would baffle me because most women, most caucasian women at least, were striving to be thin like models or at least like fitness models, and by thin I don’t mean sickly, but just thin and fit in general.. (Now this is totally different when you start crossing cultural lines, and that was purely evident at my gym which was very multi-cultural.) So I know that skinny women have feelings and emotions, just like curvier and especially heavy women, and they do not appreciate being labeled as having a disorder when they simply find it difficult to put on weight. And I was sitting here reading these comments like ‘Oh, you are putting this out on a public forum, we have a right to our opinions…blah, blah, blah’. Please. Let me get out my violin and play you a sad song. No. You are trying to justify your rude and spiteful attitude. I said this last time. This isn’t a political debate forum. I could then understand then people getting their panties all bundled up in a tight place. This isn’t a religious views forum, it’s not a Yankees vs. Red Sox forum, or any of that. Wow. It’s a happy food blog. So if you aren’t happy, instead of bashing Katie’s head in with her own wooden spoon, why don’t you try making her deep dish cookie pie, which I proudly polished off in three days (I used healthier sweeteners!), or some of that fabulous baked oatmeal, which I like to bake off in mini fluted tube pans and eat like little cakes. They sure make ME happy.

    Katie, you do not need to justify WHY you have your blog up and or WHY you write about dessert. I can understand how people are curious about how you don’t really have a sweet tooth but write about desserts. Okay, I get that. But even I figured out that 2 days into reading your blog that you choose to leave most of the sweetener out, and then you give options for the rest of us who probably SHOULD be leaving out the sugars but we just can’t. :-) And holy cupcakes, Katie. You handle yourself so well! I would have flipped on some of those people. I’m German, I’m a Leo, I’m a hot-head, I couldn’t lie about my feelings even if I tried, AND I’m a thyroidal mess a few days out of each month. Katie, you are so gentle and sweet and full of cupcake sprinkles. The world will be a better place with more Katie’s and more chocolate!

    Now let the hate commence…hahaha.

    1. Wow, thank you, Trish! And lol about the cupcake sprinkles. Yes, I do so like those sprinkles ;).

      What upsets me is when they say “Real women have curves.” So… naturally skinny woman aren’t women? And even people with eating disorders… just because they’re suffering, that means they’re not still real women, worthy of being loved and respected? I understand the intent of the movement, but it is hurtful nonetheless! And it still focuses on an “ideal” shape for women, when really our ideal shape is that at which we (as individuals) are healthiest and happiest.

      1. Chelsea says:

        I think this is the first time I’ve commented on your blog, though I’ve been following it – and enjoying your amazing recipes – for months! So first off, thanks for creating and sharing them. My favorite is still cookie dough dip. Hmm, maybe I should start soaking a bowl of chick peas…

        Anyway, I agree with you about the “real women have curves” thing. I was anorexic as a teenager, 30-40 pounds overweight for most of my 20s, and now have a very athletic build. Not once have I ever been curvy, as I just don’t have the “right” skeletal structure.

        To answer the question at the end of this post, I eat a fairly high-calorie, 95% vegan diet. I run, hike, and do Crossfit and yoga, so I have to eat quite a lot to keep myself going. While I’d probably stick to your recipes as they are, I’m definitely interested in learning more about increasing the calories in some of them.

        Thanks again!

      2. i agree with you Katie, about the comment “real women have curves.” I suffered from an ED for 8 years. it didn’t take away my womanhood, it just took away my happiness. women, at any weight, body type, suffering from any disease, disorder, etc… are still women who deserve respect and love.
        PS: i love your blog so much! it is such an inspiration to us little bloggers. i’m looking to make your single lady funfetti cupcake this weekend and do a blog post about it soon. :)

      3. Yes, this ‘real women have curves’ movement…I completely understand where it comes from, but it has grown into something that now has women pegged against each other. And mainstream society just LOVES to do this to us. No, I do not think that runway models should be the face of what is considered to be fit and beautiful. But while I understand it’s is so very important for curvier women to love and respect their bodies, it’s also important to recognize when you might be carrying a little too much curve. As I mentioned above, I’m curvy. I look like a stretched out Jennifer Lopez at 5’9″. But trust me, that gets out of hand quickly. Real women have VAGINAS.
        I’ve got a friend who has an 18-year old daughter who is also naturally thin like you. I promise she could put down a million cheeseburgers a day, and the scale wouldn’t budge. Most of her friends are girls who have big boobs or other curves, and they always tease her about being flat or not having a butt. I’ve always told her that comments like do NOT come from women who are secure in their own skin. I don’t care…you can have the body of a goddess, the most perfect hourglass shape in the world. If you are still making petty comments like ‘real women have curves’, then you are not happy and comfortable with what you have. Yes, I’m happy that the world is recognizing that by being mean to overweight people, we are not going to convince them to lose weight. But this whole thing about bullying skinny people because you are insecure…it’s just as bad and it’s incredible that we’ve made it justifiable somehow.
        Anyway…again, awesome blog. I love it. I’m actually starting to shed some weight and my sugar cravings are actually DECREASING, and I give credit to the wonderful many options you give for each recipe. I’m having chocolate oatmeal this morning…can’t wait!!

        1. BMaff says:

          I just hae to say to Trish~You are hysterical! You made my morning with this post. I was cracking up at all the “sweet” sayings thrown in! And the thyroidal mess…I totally relate! I have Hashimoto’s Disease and a few days out of the month I totally say it like it is. I love the recipes on this blog b/c they are made with REAL food and have REAL people in mind. Whether we need to gain/lose weight is neither here nor there….we can all benefit from eating more natural food! Thanks Katie for sharing all of your wonderfully fantastic creations and ideas! You’re definitely helping people who are not creative in the kitchen find healthy ways to LIVE!

  40. Moni'sMeals says:

    Really great Katie. There will always be those readers who have inner anger/frustration/unhappiness with THEMSELVES and they want to blame someone because it is easy.

    good for you and stay just the way you are. :)

  41. Sarah says:

    Hi Katie!
    As a newbie vegan I want to say your blog has been so helpful in the transition. Your recipes are delicious, so simple, and fun! And I find that as a vegan, I don’t have to worry so much about calories. I just listen to my body and eat what I want- as long as I limit the processed stuff!
    I don’t have much to contribute to this post specifically, I just wanted to say thank you :)

  42. Thank you so much for adding hints to your recipes so that everyone can try them! We all really appreciate it! :)

  43. Laura says:

    I enjoyed this post, as it’s a common misconception that low calorie = healthy and high calorie = unhealthy. As an athlete I have to eat a high calorie diet just to maintain my weight, and I mostly do this by focusing on higher calorie, nutrient-dense foods. My favorites lately are giant smoothies with greens, fruit, and coconut milk; and big bowls of quinoa with sliced avocado.

  44. Vogelstar says:

    I’ve always been one of those people who can eat a lot of chocolate, cookies etc and still remain petite. I’ve also had to endure rude comments (or what people consider jokes) about it , such as, “where do you put all that food?”
    I get annoyed by this from time to time but I continue to listen to my own body and it’s needs and continue to supplement my vegetable stirfries with cake. This is my body and my life and I won’t change it for anyone.
    Ps, I am going to Japan in April and would love any suggestions you have about interesting eats to try.

    1. Lucky!
      I haven’t been in awhile (6 years? 7?) so I don’t know any specific restaurants… but Inari sushi is always good. And soba and miso soup… but watch out for the broth if you’re vegetarian, because Japanese broths almost always have bonito (fish). I’ve heard that they have some really good vegetarian restaurants there now, though. Look at! :)

      1. vogelstar says:

        thanks, I look forward to slurping soba noodles on the streets

      2. Anonymous says:

        Inarizushi is possibly my favorite! Udon noodles are excellent too. But Katie is right about the “dashi”, or fish broth. Actually, it’s usually in inarizushi too, as it goes into the soaking liquid for the fried tofu skins, and traditionally also into the boiling water for the sushi rice. It is AMAZINGLY hard to be strictly vegan in Japan!

        1. Anisha says:

          I was born and raised as a vegetarian (not vegan) in Japan so it’s home for me, and the food is the BEST!! April’s a great time of year to go; hopefully you’ll catch the cherry blossom season! Don’t know where in Japan you’re going but definitely try to see (or even take part in) a traditional tea ceremony–both the tea and the sweets they give with it are usually vegan! Also, try “okonomiyaki”–it’s a Japanese omelet/pizza hybrid but in many places they can make it without the egg. And agreed, inarizushi, udon, soba, all are awesome but be careful of the broth. Funny, it’s not so bad being vegetarian over there but I never realized that being vegan could be really difficult! Have an amazing time, I’m very jealous you get to go!

          1. vogelstar says:

            I can’t wait to see the cherry blossoms – minus the throngs of tourists in April. And I will certainly look out for okonomiyaki.

          2. Sakura! Oh now I am jealous too. You’re in for such a treat :).

  45. Samantha says:

    More than anything I have had to learn to listen to my eating and nutritional needs as I have aged. I have probably experienced two pretty noticeable digestive/metabolism changes that required some adjusting. It is kind of exciting actually to be that in tune and learn what I need.

    The rest is usually based on activity level and whatever else is going on at that time. To be honest stress in my life is doing far more damage. But I have a lot of years on as a vegan and consider myself a generally healthy eater.

    It has been interesting to me as I have gotten more into scanning vegan blogs and recipes blogs to see the emphasis on weight loss, but I have also learned a lot too and a little education isn’t a bad thing either because we all have very different dietary needs.

    I will say you and I are 100% aligned in the fats department. I highly value the healthy fats and find they are very important to my health and balance. I can almost always tell when my fat consumption is off.

    I did go and read some of the comments and found them interesting because having seen some truly disheartening unhealthy dieting blogs I never considered yours one of them.

    I come to this blog in large part because I truly enjoy YOU. We aren’t built the same and that is the way it is, but many of your values and your energy is what I identify with and enjoy.

    Have a great day.

  46. caterina says:

    I love this post! And your website in general :-) Please, please, publish a follow-up on ways you adapt your recipes for higher-calorie needs! I am trying really badly to gain 10-12 pounds and I find it very hard because I always feel bloated and not hungry!

  47. Jenna says:

    I think this was a great post! I think you walk a fine line between wanting to be a universally healthy blog and to show a little candor about your personal habits/passions, and speading yourself too thin trying to please everyone. But I think you do it well. I also think it would be a good idea to post how you adapt your own recipies to be nutritionally denser, or to just talk about what a variety of diets “healthy” can mean.

    Personally, I come from the healthy-and-chubby camp. I used to be self-conscious, started counting calories, and so slowly drifted into unhealthy habits that I didn’t realize it until my body made the decision for me that I needed to gain weight. I’ve since had to re-train my thinking and unravel my routines, and for me one thing that meant was consciously *not* thinking about total calories. Everyone’s different, and there is not a goal weight – or a scripted diet – for health. I really enjoy that this is something you address, is what I’m getting at =)

  48. Jennifer says:

    Ok, so my comment is totally off-topic, but I saw your recipe for peanut butter ice cream, and I’ve noticed quite a few of your other recipes call for peanut butter. My son is allergic to peanuts and I’m wondering if you (or any readers) have ever subbed a different nut butter for peanut butter in your recipes and if so, which one(s) works best and has the closest flavor match? We love almond butter, but it doesn’t taste much like peanut butter.

    1. Melissa says:

      Try soy butter! Roasted soynuts taste very peanutty! I also really love sunflower seed butter. Not peanutty, per se, but roasty and savory in the same way – definitely more so than almond butter. :)

    2. I sub almond butter in many of CCK’s recipes and it works really well! Doesn’t taste “peanuty”, but does work in every recipe I have made from this site (which is a lot!).

    3. As the other two girls said, you can almost always sub another nut butter! :)
      Which one just depends on the particular recipe.

  49. I just try to be aware of the calories I’m consuming, and the way that my body feels based on that intake.

  50. bitt says:

    I think it’s a mistake to say diets are either low calorie or high calorie, that’s too simplistic. I have eaten things that are so-called “high calorie” but lost weight. Things like coconut oil, butter, avocados, nuts, seeds. I think the type of food is often more important than the calorie amount. You will feel more satiated with certain types of foods and that makes a difference. Foods that are designed to be sweet but low calorie often having people eating more versus a food that nourishes and is higher calorie and keeps you full.

  51. Ashley F. says:

    Great post – I’m actually trying to gain a little weight right now so this came with perfect timing. I like that you are staying true to yourself while still addressing some reader concerns. There will always be people who disagree with your opinions, but don’t ever let those people change who you are.

  52. Brenda says:

    Love the topic post!

    I have BOTH problems in my immediate family. My father, and my son are both very skinny and have to eat a high calorie diet. They struggle to hit the low end of the BMI. My son is about 5’8 (at 13yrs old) and barely weighs around 100 lbs.Last year his appendix burst and he lost 10 lbs, it was awful. After he got out of the hospital I was trying everything I could think of to make him gain weight, But he really can only eat so much and it has to taste good! He eats 4 times a day, and consumes as much as an adult at each meal, but people think I starve him. Its sooo frustraiting! However my dad has the same problem and I believe its genetic. I on the other hand have the opposite problem where I put on weight easily and have to watch what I eat very carefully. I have a dense bone structure (my son has a very light one) and have genetic problems of high cholesterol and a predisposition to diabetes (my mom’s side). I struggle to stay in the high end of the BMI, keep from needing to take cholesterol medication and not be over weight. I’m 6 feet, female and weight around 190 regularly. I had a baby in the last year and have been struggling to get back to 190 (currently 205). I usually cook a low cal meal, and then I separate out my sons portion and put in olive oil, nuts, dressings of all kinds, cheese, you name it. He seems to always make room for desert, so I try and always cook desert but its hard to not have any myself. So I try and make healthy deserts so I can have a little too. My son is a child though (13 yrs old) so I try not to load him up on donuts and junk food as he gets all that from everyone else and the unhealthy eating causes behavior problems, besides the fact I think it leads to health problems later on in life. Its hard to sympathize with the other side until you’ve had to walk in their shoes. Or in my case your the mom making sure her son wears the shoes lol.


  53. I have no idea how many calories I eat. I think I’d be afraid to actually count!

  54. fitbunnie says:

    Nice post – I’d say that while healthy eating doesn’t NECESSARILY = low calorie, you are correct in the assertion that healthy eating means eating more nutrient dense foods that may or may not be low in calories. Even with healthy eating, moderation is the key. For example – nuts. a fantastic super food in every way, but if eat a ton of them, they are high in calories and can lead to excess weight gain. If thats not what you’re looking for, buyer beware :) The great thing about your recipes is that they are a perfect inspiration/starting point for people to customize to their own needs. Keep the awesome recipes coming! (

  55. I’ve never had a problem eating too little, I have the exact opposite problem, so I really dig lower calorie options as I strive to reduce my intake and still enjoy my eats. Soneti es I eat high cal, sometimes lower or I do IF. I like to change things up, so I naturally calorie cycle. It works well for me. I lost 80 lbs so far doing it this way. :)

  56. Steph says:

    I really appreciate this post, but can I ask if you typically eat overnight oats? They are higher in volume so if you need the extra calories, wouldn’t normally-cooked oatmeal better fit the bill?

    1. Hi Steph,
      I have different oatmeal recipes. Some I make the night before (for convenience and because I like the creamy texture), and some I make the day of.

  57. It’s so hard to “look on the other side of the fence” without judgement or envy. I can tell by looking at you that you’re healthy, and I’ve never questioned whether your own dietary choices are working for you. You glow! Your hair glows! And I know many people with eating disorders — they are certainly NOT running blogs like yours. Food is fear for them — not a joy or a passion. It’s a disease, not something to be desired, made tasty, or looked at as fuel. Nobody I know with an eating disorder would ever ever look at food and life the way you do. My mom has an eating disorder. I’ve struggled with one as well. I admit it. And I can tell you right now that when I am struggling, the last thing I’d be doing is loving on tasty food and expressing my love for healthy food with the world. I would be HIDING my food.

    Sidenote: what really irks me is that people think that just because someone is thin, they have an ED…OR that you HAVE to be thin to have one. People are so clueless — and ignorance hurts others.

    I LOVE your blog because it’s all about whole foods…real food…and a relationship with food that I can sustain. When I eat these whole foods, I feel my body working right…and I don’t feel that panic or disgust for the stuff I’ve put in my body. I am a LOW-calorie eater because I am losing weight the HEALTHY way now with Weight Watchers. My boyfriend, however, is a high-calorie eater because he needs to gain weight and has a thyroid issue that makes this difficult!

    I do for him a lot of what you do for yourself! Add healthy, calorie-dense things like healthy oils to his portion and just omit those from mine!

    1. Liz says:

      Yes! This was so well said! I have struggled with EDs in the past. (Ok, still do) and I have never been “underweight”. It hurts me when people go “You have an ED? But you’re not thin!”

      And yes I also agree that I have many friends thinner than me who don’t have eds. It’s NOT about a weight, it’s a state of mind, and Katie obviously has a healthy relationship with food. Plus, I can tell you that people with EDs do not look happy and vibrant. You can’t fake that! Lack of nourishment = lack of zest for life, something Katie obviously is NOT lacking ;).

      1. I’ve found that it is actually quite common for people who struggle with similar issues to mine (b/p issues) to even gain weight when going through the cycle. It makes the ED even more invisible.

        Hang in there, Liz. And I totally agree w/ you — you can’t fake happy and vibrant. You can’t fake vitality.

  58. Brooke says:

    I eat low calorie but I try not to count calories… if that makes sense. I just try to eat low calorie density, fibrous, low-sugar foods. I have polycystic ovary syndrome, which means that I gain weight really easily and have to keep my sugars low. I also eat gluten free because there is a decent amount of evidence of a correlation between PCOS and celiac, even though I’ve never been formally tested. I love your blog, for the fact that most of your recipes address all of these and for the fact you help show people any substitutions that can be made. I’m a huge believer that confidence in the kitchen goes a long way!

  59. sarah says:

    Firstly, I really enjoyed this post:). Don’t get me wrong I adoooore your recipes posts to pieces- but I actually prefer the slightly more personal posts, and this one is full of helpful info.

    Secondly, way to go for keeping your cool on the comments section of the sugar cookie oatmeal post! People can be so quick to make(misinformed) judgements , and jump down certain bloggers throats!
    I think I would have trouble dealing with that kind of nonsense with the amount of integrity you do:).

  60. Katie,
    Great blog post! I think you are right on and as a fitness and health expert for over 15 years, I totally appreciate all your recipes and blogs. I think that the trick to getting amazing results and being fit and happy is to not feel deprived but still eat healthy. I think you can eat delicious meals and snacks and desserts and never feel like you are on a diet. We should take care of ourselves and we should also do it in a way that is moderate and in a way we enjoy it. Great post!

  61. Amber says:

    I personally like your low-calorie recipes, because that means one thing… I get to eat more! Please keep the healthy dessert recipes coming. I think the only reason why people are giving you flack about posting low-calorie recipes is because you’re thin.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kate thanks for the update i have hgh cholestorol so i really appreciate your recipes! please keep posting ive noticed no posts in a while example new things or meals woudl be great please share

  63. Leanna C says:

    More than the calorie count, I’ve always enjoyed the healthy and wholesome quality of your ingredient choices and, thus, recipes. :) I am watching my calorie count right now, but it is also VERY important for to eat foods that are healthy because I know it does my body good, regardless of my weight.

    For a while I was running about 5 days a week for at least thirty minutes, as [I believe] you do. MAN was my metabolism crazy! I couldn’t eat enough to keep myself satisfied, and I would still lose weight because I got full before I consumed enough calories to make up for what I burned. I like your tips for eating more because for some people it’s really important to gain weight! And you feel a lot better doing it the healthy way than by just eating junk. As other readers have said… just look at your lovely hair and skin!

    I hope what other people say about your weight doesn’t get to you. We all have different body types. And you are just as lovely as anyone else. :)

  64. Holly says:

    Katie – Ignore the people that are overreacting all of the time. Your blog is popular for a reason, and people need to be smart enough to make their own decisions based on how many calories they need.
    I, for one, am a fairly active athlete. I play soccer in an all male-league, interval train, and weight train. Your blog is perfect for both when I need the extra calories (omg, I love adding nut butters and the coconut whipped cream to my morning oatmeal now!!).
    And. It is also wonderful for when I do not need the extra calories (I tend to overeat – activity=ravenous appetite) but would love a healthy dessert to satisfy my sweet tooth.
    Keep doing what you are doing – I’ve been stalking you for a while on here and I truly relate to you (you even love soccer too!!! <3). I love sharing your recipes with my fiance, and when he doesn't like them because they aren't sweet enough for him (my sweet tooth is a little more like yours), I gladly gobble the rest up, guilt free.

    Thank you for what you do, I'm done rambling now.

  65. Hey Katie-

    I think you are AHMAZING. Your advice is so smart and I could not agree with you more about your advice.

    When I was younger I went on every ridiculous low calorie, low fat diet imaginable including a few of my own like the 3 bagels a day diet or the 3 Snickers a day diet. I shudder to think how I ruined my health. And I never lost weight because it was all sugar.

    Since then I have always eaten fairly healthy but tried to lose weight by eating 1200 calories a day. There is no way to get proper nutrition eating that many calories. I have since bumped my calorie intake to 2500 and over the course of 8 months have only gained 1-2 lbs. But I am so much more satisfied now and my health is better. I used to shun fats but now I include a lot of my calories from coconut or flax seed oil. It was scary at first to eat that many calories but I am glad I did. I find that if I eat healthy foods that are naturally low in calories I can eat as much of them as I want and still have room for one of your delicious desserts.

    You rock!

  66. Ally says:


    Thank you. I agree with so many of the positive posts that have already been submitted to this thread. You are an inspiration and a healthy reminder for all of us. I LOVE your blog, and even after three years of reading, I still come back every day ready to read your newest post.

    Keep up the great work!

  67. Frannie says:

    I may well be your oldest follower. I don’t comment much I just read your blog, try a few recipes
    (I always look at the calorie count breakdown), I thank you for that information. And…I’ve been experimenting with my own creations and paying attention to the calories in my foods. They can add up quickly in desserts. I eat mainly a raw diet. So desserts consists of coconut oil, nuts, cacao, dates, avocado etc.
    I no longer have to lose weight…just maintain.
    I am enjoying my new slender me, I enjoy the foods I eat and I enjoy your blog.
    Thank you Katie.

  68. What a great post!! I’m sorry that you even have to address things like this on the blog but your overall message about being healthy and good to your body is just another reason I love your blog. I love your recipes because they mean it’s possible to indulge without going overboard. Which isn’t to say I don’t eat unhealthy things sometimes too. But I look at your recipes to add some sweetness to a mostly healthy lifestyle!

  69. What a great post, Katie! My family is also tiny so I understand exactly where you are coming from. I know from experience how frustrating it is to have your health or diet questioned because of your weight. While many may refer to me as skinny, I refer to myself as healthy. I eat healthy and don’t deprive myself of anything. I don’t track my calories, but know that I’m eating healthy, balanced meals and exercising (because we should, not because I need to loose weight). I also indulge when I want to. While I indulge in “regular” desserts, I love your blog because you share “healthy” desserts. I have a HUGE sweet tooth and I don’t want to even think about what it would do to my health if I ate “regular” desserts everytime my sweet tooth kicked in (multiple times, daily). Balancing “regular” and “healthy” desserts allows me to indulge without depriving myself (or my taste buds) of anything!

    I’d keep doing what you’re doing with your blog. It’s obviously working! :)

  70. “What upsets me is when they say “Real women have curves.” So… naturally skinny woman aren’t women? And even people with eating disorders… just because they’re suffering, that means they’re not still real women, worthy of being loved and respected? I understand the intent of the movement, but it is hurtful nonetheless! And it still focuses on an “ideal” shape for women, when really our ideal shape is that at which we (as individuals) are healthiest and happiest.”

    Katie, this is really beautiful and so true. I’m sorry you are constantly being attacked on here.

  71. Great post! Everyone should do what he or she needs to do in order to be healthy. I enjoy the low cal versions because you can eat more dessert more frequently if they are lower calories and made with purer ingredients :-)

  72. jenn a. says:

    I have always been small (4’11” and 120 lbs) but have always felt 120 was too much weight. summer 2010 I dropped 20lbs and felt amazing. It was my first time ever succeeding after many trialls since high school to lose weight. I used to starve and sometimes even purge.

    I think I was a bit restrictive and I also was in a very abusive controlling relationship in 2010. I am sure that helped me to lose weight because it was the only thing I had control over and it was something I was accomplishing and I felt great, I walked a lot and ate pretty healthfully though I do remember skipping lots of meals, or eating like a bird in addition to taking xanax and valium recreationally (exbf liked to pill me up)

    I’ve since gained back the weight, and it makes me severly depressed. I feel like a complete failure and I have 0 willpower. I don’t get why I can’t do it this time around. I don’t feel quite as fat as I used to feel, but idk if I’m just blinded. The other day I went to the doctor and weighed in at 120 and it nearly broke my heart. I have such a pudgy middle.

    this was probably too forward of a post/tmi, but whatever. Maybe I can get back on the wagon after getting it out and hearing other people.

    1. Sarah the official CCK drooler-we pick Rick says:

      I have been up and down so many times! There have been times i just stepped on the scale and cried. I didn’t feel fat, but my middle was still fat! Now, it is flatter! One helpful thing, juicing! Juice your favorite fruits. You may just have water weight. In that case drink a lot of water and eat fibrous foods. Celery, onions, garlic- all of these help with losing weight. I t also helps to know your target and make a gameplan! Team up with friends for support. Hope this helps!!

      1. jenn a. says:

        thanks girl, I was actually going to try juicing this week, but I am sick and it just didn;t work out.

    2. M. says:

      Losing weight doesn’t equate happiness, and gaining weight definitely doesn’t make you a failure or equate to lack of willpower. If you didn’t have willpower you wouldn’t have made it through that relationship or gone to such extremes to lose weight.

      I’m about your height and I’ve been at 120 and 100 too. I wasn’t happier at my lower weight than I was at my higher – I was probably more carefree when I weighed more because I didn’t give really give two shits at the time.

      I can understand the triumph at seeing the numbers drop but that sort of feeling will never be enough because your problems won’t disappear with your weight. It’s a band-aid for a bullet wound. I mean, it sounds like you’ve been through some really rough times.

      I don’t want to sound preachy, but please try not to beat yourself up too much. Just be kind to yourself. Maybe try not to think of losing weight, taking care of yourself by gaining help. Taking a class (zumba or gymnastics etc) where you get to meet and bounce around with new, cool people is a great way to keep active and cheer yourself up (I’ve been in severe depression too). Please don’t feel like you have to diet or restrict to feel good about yourself. Eat regular, balanced meals and trust your body – it knows what it needs to stay healthy. I promise you.

      I also promise you that life may seem completely bleak and meaningless right now, but things will get better.

  73. Sarah the official CCK drooler-we pick Rick says:

    I actually have no idea how many calories i consume. It never really struck me as important to count them. 5 years ago, my doc diagnosed me with obesity. As in I was 10 years old and 132 pounds! And short too. Throughout the years my diet has changed. Now I am at a healthy weight! I still have a little body fat I want to lose, but i’m not stressing over it. I’ve done enough stressing over my image to last a lifetime. Now i just eat healthy because it feels good. 75% of my diet is raw food. And not because I plan my day like that either. I am not a raw foodist, vegan, or even vegetarian. I like to say that i have a healthy lifestyle- i “listen” to my body. If I want something sweet, i make it something healthy and sweet. A milkshake? A healthy milkshake. Kinda like a game :) Anyway, I try to talk to a lot of my body concious friends, who go on low calorie diets. Girls my age- never deprive yourself of the nutrients you need. We are growing and we need protien, iron, magnesium etc. Instead of a diet, change your lifestyle !
    p.s.- sorry for the long comment… again

  74. Ali says:

    Such an excellent point that overweight people are not the only people who should be worried about eating healthfully. It’s that kind of thinking that causes people to fall into yo-yo dieting patterns.
    I also find it fascinating that people are so accusatory of you because you are thin. Why is there so much suspicion about thinness? Like the only people who are thin have eating disorders? Crazy! I like your recipes because they are nutrient-rich and dairy-free. Keep up the good work!

  75. Ann says:

    It’s too bad so many people are judgmental. I am very underweight due to several digestive problems which make it difficult for me to want to eat enough. I continually count calories, fats etc and track my eating with software not to “diet”, but so I know where I am deficient and how much more I need to eat at the end of the day. So, while I enjoy plenty of calorie dense foods with good fats, such as nuts, I also eat many small meals and I get more satisfaction (and nutrition) from eating a plate full of low cal veggies (which I truly love) rather than smaller portions of simple carbs like rice (which my dietician promotes). Then I snack on lots of fun yummy bites, a lot of which are your recipes (or inspired by them). Looking forward to “treats” helps stimulate my appetite. My main point is that I use the nutrition info to help me keep up–it’s not just for those watching their weight. Thanks for providing it.
    Finally, I want to say, for those of you checking out people at the gym/grocery store and making assumptions about their eating disorders, there are some of us who are struggling with health issues that are physical, not just emotional, and these judgements can be very hurtful. I still excersize daily for many reasons, such as improving my mental state and digestion, and I find myself shying away from the gym so as not to have to endure these judgements. I know I look too skinny and get tired of having to think and talk about it.
    Katie–I love your ideas and I have a bowl full of choc fudge pie filling in the fridge calling to me… 😉

    1. tara says:

      i’m REALLy struggling now because I have a lot of weight to gain ( well, about 15 lbs anyway), i’m not exercising (what a failure..i SHOULD), and have bad bad digestion…

      if anyone can email me, please do …i need specific plans :(

  76. Bjork says:

    You are wonderful just the way you are! Remember that :)

  77. Katie,

    Can’t tell you how happy I was to read this post. Due to health reasons that arose for me last march, I had no choice but to cut out all sugars and grains! Being gluten-free, almost vegan, and soy-free already, this narrowed my food options immensely and resulted in a high vegetable and VERY high fat diet (which ended up meaning higher calories, too!). Of course, it’s all very healthy fats – I eat a ton of soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds, oils, avocados, and coconut – and it usually amounts to a few hundred grams of fat per day! That also leaves me with 500-1000 more calories than I used to eat! Here is the most incredible discovery I’ve made on this diet: I’m thinner, lighter and more fit than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I’ve always been petite and thin, health conscious, and a daily exerciser and yet the moment I began this diet, stored fat quite literally melted off of me. I was never even trying to lose weight. It seemed like my body began working more efficiently than ever – actually USING everything I fuel my body with as quality energy.

    I am living proof that eating a TON of fat and calories from whole food will NOT make you fat. In fact, it will probably make you look and feel better than ever. I now become so frustrated when I see how our culture has made people so afraid of fat and calories, because most of the information we’re bombarded with regarding maintaining “good health” is actually quite wrong… and the calories and fat with which we do fuel our bodies isn’t actually real “food” at all. No wonder we have such epidemics of obesity and disease today! Our bodies are completely stumped by what to do with the strange things we put in them! Hopefully, with posts like this one and more voices like ours speaking up, we’ll be able to erase so many of these lies and myths Americans have been fed for so long.

    Thank you so much for this post and keep it up!

    Much love,

    1. Erin says:

      Desi- this is so encouraging to me. I used to eat like 1000 calories and run 10 miles every day. And I would lose about 2 pounds per week. Well of course I got injured and now that I can’t workout, I have had to look at my diet. I will do the elliptical for 30 mins a day but I chase small children all day, so I am hungry all the time. To the point where I don’t even taste the food I eat, I just jam it in my mouth. Anyway, hiking my calories has also resulted in me losing weight, and it’s easy! Your weight should be easy to maintain, not difficult!

    2. bob says:

      Hi Desi,
      I too have had too cut out all sugars and (almost) all grains (and eat them in very small amounts). I am gluten- and wheat-free, soy free and almost vegan (all except eggs) also. Your diet sounds very similar to mine! I eat lots of nuts, seeds, coconut!, and vegetables prepared with olive oil. My fat intake is around 150-200g a day (when I count it up), but my energy intake is only a bit over what is recommended for me.
      I know that even if a person doesn’t appear ‘fat’ on the outside, their internal organs can still be storing fat. Have you found anything about the long term effects of a diet like ours?

  78. Christina says:

    I love this post! As a new reader, I have been thoroughly enjoying all of your recipes and posts. I don’t eat a super low calorie diet but because of my activity level, most of my calories are focused on mini meals and I don’t have a lot to spare on nutritionally deficient desserts. Your blog has showed me that I can still have dessert and it can be healthy. Personally I don’t like a high calorie dessert anyways so I’m loving the lower calorie options and tend to go somewhere in the middle of the low and high calorie versions. I’d just say keep doin what your doing because people will always find fault with something but as long as you’re happy and healthy and encouraging that in your blog, that’s all that matters :)

  79. jenn a. says:

    also, I hope your blog will help me getting back down to where I was, I think I drank a lot of muscle milk for women, and ate a lot of almonds as well. I remember I wasn’t afraid of healthy fats, because I remember reading in order to lose weight one must take in good fats.

    I recently lost my grandfather which I think is why I have been eating as much as I have, I just find comfort in food and baking.

  80. ennaejay says:

    Everybody measures their intake/output/progress with something… Calories on a plate, the size of their clothes, the weight on the barbell, the oz or g, the number on the scale, all going up or down or staying the same. All in all, just like Garfield, when something healthy is “low-cal” I’ll probably be inclined to eat twice as much of it!

    I’ve been counting calories for years, then I switched to measuring my macros (carb/fat/protein), then I switched to eating pure and clean foods and paying attention to only eating when I’m physically hungry and stopping when that feeling is gone. That’s progress for me — to be less obsessive-compulsive about the numbers, and to measure progress by strength, attitude, endurance, and eating for fuel (which can be be out-of-this-world-yummytown!).

    I feel best about myself when I’m eating clean and lifting heavy. The rest seems to take care of itself in due course.

  81. ~Jessica~ says:

    It’s a shame that you’re having to point out the obvious with this post; that while you might provide the tools for weight loss or gain, it’s how we utilize them that matters. I feel as though you’re having to defend yourself for, allegedly, promoting an ‘unhealthy’ message, and I don’t think that’s fair – people can read things however they like, and if they aren’t in the right place psychologically than virtually anything can be construed as a negative influence.

    I gain weight very easily and thus need/rely on voluminous meals and calorie-cutting tricks – I always appreciate input on how to get the most out of my food for the fewest calories because that’s my particular body type/metabolism.

    I don’t think overweight people should be the only ones ‘allowed’ to write about calorie-saving tips, nor do I think very slender individuals such as yourself should constatntly have to justify their intentions. I highly doubt that I would be accused of trying to make people fat for posting a cake recipe, for example, or for using full fat products. Why is it okay for a person at the higher end of BMI such as myself to post a fattening recipe, but not for a slim person to post a low-calorie recipe? It’s so messed up – if people are looking to lose weight who don’t need to, there are a million other blogs out there that they can obsess over other than yours.


  82. cammy says:

    As a registered dietitian with many years experience I have learned that everybody is different when it comes to metabolism/ calorie needs and diet compostion. Even in the world of clinical nutriton there is controversy and discussion on how best to determine somebodys’s calorie needs. Diets are alot like medications- same thing does not work for everybody. I agree completely with what Katie posted on how to gain/avoid wt. Good work

  83. Great post, Katie. Just so you know – I have never thought that your posts have been anything but ideas for a healthier lifestyle, whether it be lowering the calories in a typically high-calorie low nutrition food, or by adding nutritious ingredients that would normally be skipped. I love your recipes and you! :)

  84. After recovering from my eating disorder, it took me a long time to figure out my own diet. It’s something that I still need to evaluate regularly to make sure I’m staying healthy but not worrying too much about it, either!

    I have my tips to a healthy yet REALISTIC diet on my blog at

    I’ve learned that by keeping a few of these things in mind, I can stay in amazing shape without depriving myself of anything!

  85. dara says:

    so when you eat 20% unhealthy, do you eat vegan? there are such things as unhealthy vegan food

    1. Yes :). I am a vegan first and foremost for ethical reasons, so I do always eat vegan.

  86. Amber K says:

    Since I’m trying to maintain a 100 lb weight loss I definitely appreciate seeing lower calorie options. But I realize that not everyone’s goals are the same! It’s insane that people can never just let others be. Keep just being you Katie :)

    1. Kat says:

      You sound just like me., I am also maintaining a 100lb weight loss, and I was so happy to find this blog with all the healthy low-calorie recipes.

  87. Rebecka says:

    I am SO VERY HAPPY to say that i have NO IDEA how many calories I’ve had today, nor how much I weigh. For years I was obsessively counting calories for everything I ate, always trying to keep it as low as possible (I’d have around 1500-1800 a day) even though I’ve never NEEDED to loose weight. I guess it’s some sort of passive-agressive eating disorder that stalks a lot of women, I mean it’s hard not to when every single magazine and commercial out there is somehow implying that weightloss is what women should be spending their time thinking about. So what happened? Well, I just decided to stop. It took some time before I could stop that mechanical ticking calorie-counter in my head, but now it’s rarely ever there. I’m 5.11″ and when I was on my calorie hunt I was a jean size 27″, now (about a year later) I’m a 29 or 30″. I feel happier, and I can enjoy eating what I’m in the mood for instead of what my calorie counter tells me.

    To answer your question, Katie, I have no idea wheather I’m on a low or high calorie diet. What matters to me is that it’s a diet full of whole grains, fruit, veg protein and lots of happy treats – and absolutley NO counting!

    A friend of mine had “Riots, not diets” written across her wall. I like that.

    1. ennaejay says:

      well said – enjoy your freedom and well-being :) You’ve found a happy balance, and that’s plain awesome.

  88. I dont count calories at all — I believe quality supersedes the numbers and we should all be a bit more intuitive about what we consume. However, some people need to tally the calories given their specific conditions.

  89. Sarahishealthy says:

    This post was so well-written and kind and wonderful. Oh Katie, you continue to amaze me every day.

    Also, I voted for you here:

    If anyone else sees this, go vote for Katie! It’d be awesome to get a healthy blog up there as a winner! :)

  90. Nathalie says:

    Ah.. story of my life since I got into college. When I was in high school, I was a wee bit plump at about 135-140 pounds at 5’4″. When I got into college, I did a study abroad to Japan, during which I dropped about 15 pounds, and when I got back I got much more seriously into exercise. The end result was that I was about 105-110 pounds. Then a bunch of endocrine nonsense that had me fluctuating up and down 15 pounds between 105 and 120, plus I haven’t had my period in like… lord, probably at least a year and a half now.

    How many calories I eat/should eat consumes a regrettable amount of my brain power. I run, not quite as much as you, Katie, but more than I have before. 7ish miles, 5 days a week, plus some strength training. I’ve been dropping weight as of late, too. It’s so very complicated and my endo just says, “Eat more.” Gee thanks, so helpful. Sigh. Eating breakfast is an issue. I used to eat it at my desk at work. I don’t have time to eat it at home after my run (I’m a slow runner). Then my boss was like, “You don’t see other people eating breakfast at their desks do you?” So I had to stop. That doesn’t help.

    I remember you posting once about what your general diet ends up being calorie-wise, somewhere between 2500-3000 calories a day. I will fully admit that I am scared of trying to eat that much, even though my body tells me that I need more energy (see missing period). I’m wary of gaining a lot of weight as much as the next girl. I suppose I should suck it up and just do it though. Thanks for the tips though, Katie! I need to get around to making that chocolate mousse pie.

  91. Sam says:

    I usually don’t comment on this blog (simply because I don’t have time) but I tweeted with Katie once, which was a very pleasurable cyber conversation, thanks :-)

    Anyhow, I’m going to share my impressions due to the ongoing controversial about Katie’s skinny self and I feel part of this internet community, so I give it a go…
    When I first stumbled across Katie’s blog I was very confused. I had just finally come to a point where I “dared” to become fully vegan despite the social insecurities I was facing by making this decision. I was looking for recipes I could handle and ideally convince some of my skeptical family members and some friends that vegan food could be delicious (what else can be better than desserts??!!). Seeing a vegan food blog not tightly intertwined with animal rights/ animal suffering but mentioning CALORIES was a huge gigantic puzzle to me and something I hadn’t seen before… plus, the current post was about a savory dish and Katie raved over how much she passionately loved vegetables and then I saw the chop sticks (!!) beside her plate and her extremely skinny figure in the next post. I immediately got a gut feeling and thought that this might be a meeting point for anorexics. I was interested to know if this was the case, simply because I wanted to know if the web-side was trustworthy. After all, I was looking for recipes that would later end up on my plate and my loved ones’ plates, too! So, I could easily see how one could get concerned about this issue but when I looked at the ingredients lists I was actually HAPPY to have found someone who shared the same philosophy on health-giving foods and I loved the recipe ideas Katie has created – simply to make and affordable, yet totally satisfying! Yay :-)
    I could never have the self-discipline that Katie has (e.g. lifting weights because it’s good for one’s posture – may I suggest ballet instead?! It’s a lot fun and it’s awakening every dormant muscle in your entire body, big or small!) nor do I ever endorse portion size control. I have the feeling that Katie does this only to please her readers, as she often forgets to add a calorie counter or says that it’s useless in this case… maybe she’s merely to blame for giving in to her weird readers’ demands too much, ha ha! 😉

    As a personal anecdote, I have always been “boringly” normal weight and continue to this date even though I’ve been through major dietary changes (childhood and school-eating, long-term travel-eating, only eating out- eating, processed-food eating, healthy eating, etc.) and almost always eat more than others at any given meal… but I also have my problems such as sluggishness and a mild form of acne that lasts for well over 13 years. Beside my despair of animal cruelty and the havoc that animal products cause to our system, I have secretly hoped that the complete vegan diet could make these personal worries of mine go away – but it wasn’t until my recent caffeine and sugar lent that I started to experience tangible results. I am so relieved to am finally overcoming my issues! Yes, you can call me a mostly sugar-free, mostly caffeine-free vegan but if you saw me you wouldn’t guess, I betcha!!
    This shows once again that what you put into your mouth (and a decent mental disposition) is all that matters and some people might seem extreme in the eyes of the general population. After all, the opinion of the majority determines what is “normal” (hence, a mean value), not what is actually right or best.
    When the concept of calories was created it was never meant for being applicable for an individual but for populations only. The whole concept does not work for YOU, no matter who you are!! Please read this and throw your calorie counter out the window, would you?! Forget about the calories and start caring about our planet and how to eat real foods from nature! It’ll pay off, promised!!

    Dear Katie, you got it! I enjoy the recipes in this blog and how it is so nicely written. Go Katie, go!! :)
    Best, Sam xx

    1. Sam says:

      OMG, I really should comment more to practice how to write a comment, duh!

      What I meant is:
      1) Having a first impression is just human nature but we need to follow through each case before forming an opinion! I had similar doubts to others at the very beginning but I am genuinely fond of our Katie, now that I’ve read more!! Keep shining and smiling, lady :-)

      2) Dear readers, please don’t waste your time counting calories! Get in tune with your own body and try to dissolve thinking patterns that keep you locked in. Have a little faith in yourself!

      P.S.: Yesterday, I have tried to eat my Indian curry with chop sticks and even though my mouth expected “Asian” foods at first it was quite fun!! Will continue doing that, thanks for the suggestion, Katie :-)

      Much much love, Sam xx

    2. Thank you for your honesty, Sam! I really do appreciate it when people are brave enough to leave such honest comments!

      And lol about the weight-lifting thing… I don’t even know if you can call what I do a “routine.” It’s more like lifting a few weights 2-3 times a week. If anyone’d been teased as much as I have for my skinny arms, they’d find the motivation to lift weights :-?.

      Good luck with the chopstick challenge ;).


      1. Sam says:

        Thank you so much, Katie!! You got exactly what I was trying to say, which shows you are truly open-minded! Next time I’m gonna come to the States I invite you for a big vegan milk shake and a piece of fruit-sweetened cake – standing up for what we believe in is so sexy, we’re gonna be a big hit, ha ha!! 😉

        Yes, I can easily see where your motivation is coming from: It’s a nuisance to be pointed out the same ol’ thing over and over again…
        with me, (un)fortunately, laziness successfully prevents me from doing things I don’t enjoy, argh!

        Had my salad with chopsticks, too! It’s so much fun and I can think of worse side-effects than getting inspired to make more great Asian dishes… :-)

        Have a wonderful week-end, hon xxx

  92. Emily says:

    Coming from someone who has had multiple eating disorders (me), I know that there’s no way you have one. You enjoy food in a very healthy way and I can definitely tell by your posts! From what I see, you know what’s best for you and how to take care of your body. Posts like that just seem ignorant to me because they don’t have the slightest idea of what you eat or do.
    Love your blog so much. :)
    I have a single lady cookie almost every day…with white chocolate chips and coconut. 😀

  93. libby says:

    I never thought there was anything wrong with how/what you ate…till I read that you are eating 100% baking chips. Like you mean the unsweetened ones? If so ewwwwww! If not then put this an anon :)

    1. lol yeah… they’re good! They really are!!
      Ok, I know. I’m weird.

  94. Hannah says:

    You rock. My caloric needs are extremely low, and it is frustrating because I can’t enjoy eating the foods I like, or as much as I like, often enough. It is hard to imagine the opposite situation! Good for you for understanding ALL needs!


  95. Sarah says:

    I honestly believe that you are one of the most genuine, sweetest, amazing girls. It breaks my heart to read the disrespectful comments of individuals who don’t even follow your blog…how would they know you at all just by reading that one post? And to take the time to leave a disrespectful comment like that… It’s truly sad to know that there are people in this world like that. Of course, life is not all about rainbows and butterflies, but when I read your blog posts I really feel like that. I think your blog is incredibly innovative and empowering. I look forward to reading it every morning that I check my email. I guess I just want you to know that your blog is fantastic, you are awesome, and don’t let the bumps in the road prevent you from moving ahead.

  96. Suzanne says:

    Thank you so much for this Katie! I’ve been needing some advice on how to increase my caloric intake, hopefully this does the trick! Keep on blogging!

  97. Love all the tips! I try to eat healthy but also with treats. I think I eat a mix of high and low calorie foods for a medium calorie lifestyle!

  98. Aja says:

    This is a great post, and I’m glad you wrote it. A lot of people seem to be confused about what eating healthy means. I eat a pretty low calorie diet because I am still afraid of food to an extent but I also allow myself treats.

  99. Your recipes are awesome! The best thing about this is how adaptable they are. You have readers with all kinds of diets- and this is a great resource for them. I do not eat sugar or grains personally and don’t pay attention to calories, but for those who do- you are giving them the tools they need and being a great blog-host at the same time. I don’t understand why someone would ever take time out of their day to write an obnoxious comment on a blog- why even waste the time to do so? Keep it up Katie!

  100. Heather says:

    I love how flexible your recipes are. I have successfully adapted a number of them depending on what I have on hand, because I usually start to make something before I realize I don’t have a particular ingredient! Like, I almost always use whole wheat pastry flour, sometimes I throw in hemp protein powder (my new fave addition to oatmeal), or different fruits. And I always check the calories on my packages, and divide by the number of whatever I make – I rarely get the same number of servings as posted.

  101. Erin says:

    Technically I should be eating a “high-calorie” diet, but I’m recovering from an eating disorder with basically zero help and it’s really difficult to convince myself to eat more. However, I have gone from a calorie deficit to maintenance level… so I’m proud of where I’ve gotten so far. And I love using your recipes on days I need to fit in more calories. I’m not sure I’m at the point where I could eat, say, a cookie from a package, but I have no problem whipping up a batch of “the world’s healthiest chocolate chip cookies” 😀

  102. I eat a mid-calorie diet not that I’m trying to cut up a little. I exercise a lot but my maintenance is only around I try to keep it between that and 2000 depending on the amount of exercise I did that day.

  103. Cordelia says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I’m currently gaining weight so I can be healthier (doctor’s orders) and your blog was one of the first I’ve come across when searching for new recipes. You’ve shown me that I can add higher-calorie ingredients to everyday meals (nut butters to oatmeal and cereals) without eating junk! I’m very grateful for your recipe blog because you know how difficult it can be to get in extra calories without feeling gross. I look forward to emails of your new recipes everyday :)

  104. Sadie says:

    I LOVE this post! I am underweight (but don’t want to gain too much weight) and I like that you’re addressing one of the issues I tend to struggle with. Sometimes I feel like I’m eating too many fats/calories and that I need to cut back (thanks ED :( ) so this post really hits home for me.

  105. Deven says:


    As a mom of a 5 year old on a high calorie diet, I have been hard pressed to find blogs with food options. Getting 1500 calories a day down a busy 5 year old future circus clown is a challenge to say the least.


  106. Bettina says:

    This is a great post, but it sucks that you had to write it because of those rude comments. I started a food blog recently and haven’t shared any recipes that I consider “healthy” because I realized first I need to outline what my approach to healthy eating is. After living on my own for so long (and therefore eating a lot of meals alone) I didn’t realize how much information is out there about what’s healthy or not–and now that I’m living with folks again, I know my mom looks at what I eat and deems it unhealthy while I think lots of what she eats is unhealthy!

  107. Kat says:

    I am currently maintaining my weight after loosing 100lbs over a 2.5 year span. I wish I had found your blog earlier because I would have taken advantage of all the low calorie (and Healthy) options. Now that I don’t need to lose any more weight I count calories in order to maintain and get used to it. I love that you have such healthy recipes. I am very interested in eating as healthy as I possibly can, without sacrificing yummy treats/snacks/desserts.
    I do look for lower calorie options though because if I want a snack or a dessert I want to be able to eat it as well as my regular meals and still be within my calories for the day. But That doesn’t mean I eat ONLY low calorie meals. Plus I am not very active/athletic. So I don’t need as many calories as someone who goes to the gym or goes running. In the summer I’ll be eating more because I go for long walks almost every day.

  108. ash says:

    Thanks for the post Katie. I must admit, I’d been a little skeptical of your blog/recipes/lifestyle in general, skepticism that was fuelled by random comments from other people (such as in the post that you had linked). But this post Really cleared things up for me, and I’m glad you wrote it (:

  109. k says:

    you have NO idea how perfect this post is right now-i need to gain weight (i could healthily gain 10lbs) especially for my running and overall health but i’m scared to…this is great! thank you katie :)

  110. Melissa says:

    Great post Katie! Thanks for sharing! I follow the raw 80/10/10 paradigm for personal health reasons and athletic performance and I eat about 2000 calories a day in just fruits and veggies alone. You CAN eat healthy and eat a lot. :)

    <3 Melissa

  111. Hey Katie,

    Because your recipes are often desserts, it is appreciated that they are not super high in calories. For most people, desert is a treat and an accessory to their meals, so it is probably not necessary for it so be very caloric! I love that I dont feel bad about eating your desserts. Thanks for the recipes :-)

  112. I’ve found it so interesting that over the past year we have changed our diet to a super-healthy one. I do not eat anything “lowfat”. We only eat real foods and many are actually higher in fats like nuts, grapeseed oils, etc. I’ve lost over 32 lbs without dieting and eat as much as I want because we eat better foods. It was amazing to see the difference but no more “diet” foods for me. The real thing works so much better. Love your ideas and have used several with a few adaptions (no sugars). Thanks for the inspiration.

  113. Sondra says:

    It seems sad that people think that food blog=food diary. I think what you do here on CCK is great, it encourages a healthy/vegan diet and I absolutely love that you post options for all of your recipes. (I almost always take the stevia road when presented) I have poly cystic ovarian syndrome, and have to watch my calorie intake carefully, because I gain weight easily, which causes all sorts of pain, hormone fluctuations, lethargy, mood swings- you get the picture. Its not pretty, and unfortunately I have an undeniable love of baking and chocolate. Your low calorie options have really helped me avoid some of the worse PCOS symptoms while still enjoying the foods I love best (I can bake my chocolate chip cookies and eat it too!)

    In short- Katie your wonderful, and your blog has helped me and my family in so many ways, thank you for thinking of those of us who have needs so unlike yours.

    One complaint though…. could you try making your recipes a little less addictive? My fiance hasn’t stopped asking for your flourless chocolate chips cookies since I first found the recipe 2 months ago! 😀

  114. Kim says:

    You know, Julie from PBFingers went through a similar thing on her blog:
    It makes me so sad that people won’t leave others be.

  115. Thank you for this post! I’m kind of in an akward position, though. I am fourteen years old, but have inherited an AWFUL metabolism. I am active, but put weight on very easily. But when I eat a low calorie diet, some of my bodily functions almost shut down. Any advice? Thank you so much! You are amazing!

    1. Liz says:

      Perhaps you could focus more on what nutrients you are taking in rather then your caloric intake. That will help you stay fit, but you’ll also probably be taking in more calories at the same time. Hope this helps :-)

    2. If possible, talk to a nutritionist who works with teens :).

  116. Karla says:

    I purposefully don’t count calories but aim to eat healthy foods. I try not to eat low- or no-fat versions of things because they often contain more sugar or additives to make up for lost flavor, and I think the full-fat varieties are actually healthier – I just try not to have them all the time! I’ll often play around with recipes, substituting things here and there to try to incorporate a healthier ingredient, but the main thing I try to eliminate is sugar and refined foods. I lost the weight I gained from two pregnancies just by doing things like this.

  117. Megan says:

    Hi, Katie! I love how you emphasize that everyone needs to eat what’s right for them. None of your posts are ever preachy; they’re so welcoming and make me feel good about myself! My mom always says the best way to eat is to go by how the jeans feel; I’ve found it to be really helpful because then I’m not worrying about numbers, which can be really stressful. Thanks for the post! Your blog is so reassuring!
    ~Megan :)

  118. This is a great post Katie! I have been in both camps, bit currently find myself in neither. I don’t want a calorie restrictive diet because I am breastfeeding my son and need to be eating enough good food to nourish myself and him. I also don’t want a high calorie diet because I could stand to lose some baby weight still (and my baby is 13 months old…). Something I appreciate about your blog is lower calorie options for things that are seen as “treat” foods. That is where I would prefer to cut my calories as they are what is unnecessary, but too good to struggle with giving up completely. Keep doing the great things you are doing!

  119. Liz says:

    I just want to say I LOVE your blog. I am Gluten-Free, but that doesn’t mean I’m a “foodie”–I love junk food and have been developing ways to still be able to eat things like mac-n-cheese. I run and I take care of my two boys, so I fit into the healthy category. But I do want to say how sad I think it is that you had to post this–it’s an awesome post and very true! However, why would anyone read your blog and think there was a problem simply because you posted a low calorie breakfast option?? It doesn’t add up. Anyway–I love your blog, it’s one of the few blogs I actually follow because so much of it is GF or easily converted to GF–you are doing an awesome job! Keep up the good work!

  120. Rachel M says:

    I try to follow a low-calorie diet (1500), because my body needs a little slimming down. I have a friend who loses weight when she eats less healthy, and I would gain weight. It’s all a balance of eating enough (and not too much) of HEALTHY foods. That’s what our body needs!

  121. BroccoliHut says:

    Great post! I’ll bookmark this for the when I have a client who needs to gain weight.

  122. Lisa says:

    I am desperately trying to get my GFDF three year old to gain weight. He had to have a feeding tube for eight months because we could not get him to eat more than four hundred calories a day. Thanks for the delicious recipes.

  123. Sarah says:

    thanks for this meaningful post. its hard to deal with judgments of any kind, but you handle them well!

  124. Taffy says:

    What I like most about this post? I think you’re on to something here. So many of us are on a low-cal weight loss program. I’m almost to goal and getting ready to transcend to maintenance. I’ve been one of your readers for about 3 months, and saving your recipes to use once I reach my goal. I love that you give alternative recipes that I can use to get good calorie dense foods!!! Love your Blog, Posts, Recipes and I too Love Chocolate!!!

  125. Kate says:

    This is a great post, Katie!I’ve been a long time reader, but this is my first comment:). Personally, I rotate between high and low calorie days, but I don’t plan it that way! I just eat whenever I’m hungry and keep an estimate in my head. Some days I’m hungrier than others and some days I have barely any appetite, but I think it all evens out! I’m one of those people though that just eats a ton of small things ALL day!! But it’s mostly healthy and only when I’m actually hungry. I just don’t like big meals. I’m a grazer:) I think that it’s important that people don’t compare their habits to others because everyone IS different. While my best friend may do perfectly fine with three big hearty meals a day, I prefer to have a bunch of light snacks throughout the day so it seems like I eat more, but if we were to compare torso calorie consumption, we would be around the same. And some people require a lot of calories to keep going, another person may not need so much. There’s just so many factors that go into it, it’s not practical to expect to eat the exact same way as someone else! As long as you listen to your body, you’ll be fine!:)

  126. keira says:

    I have a question for you, regarding diets. Apparently becoming vegan recently has drastically cut my calorie intake, and I’m seriously having issues being able to increase my calorie intake without feeling stuffed and disgusting afterward. Suggestions?

    Also do you think it would make me adjust to a higher calorie diet if I increase my daily intake gradually, vy like 200 more calories per day per week or something?

    1. Ilana says:

      This happened to me as well, especially when I made the conscious choice to switch to a completely whole-foods, non-processed diet. So…I just had to eat more, and more fat, and spread what i eat out throughout the day-I probably eat every two hours or so, nutrient dense and easily digestible things, and then save my larger, more fibrous meals for when I have time to sit down and eat and digest a bit after. I really don’t count calories ever but I just estimated in my head what I eat normally during a day and I’d bet I eat somewhere btwn 2500-3000 calories a day, easily.

  127. Stacy says:

    I don’t really do either. We try to eat sensible, and homemade. We don’t eat out much and I cook from scratch most of the time. I think eating smart for your needs is the best way to go about it.

  128. Jennifer says:


    This is a great post. You are so kind and patient with such ignorant people. I am so, truly sorry that you get bashed on your own blog that is filled with such passion for food and radiates of your beautiful enthusiasm. You are completely undeserving of all of it. As someone who knows more than the average person about eating disorders (studied them in school, studied them on my free time out of concern for people I care about, had friends who have had them, family members who have had them…) I know that every individual is different in how they act (my cousin pretended to love food and cook, but she never ate any of the food she cooked), every person has one thing in common: they are not as radiant. Their personality becomes dark and reserved and they don’t glow like you do. A glow comes from being healthy, and that is exactly what you are. I can’t believe people would assume that because you share a recipe that is all you eat at that meal and post a snarky comment based on pure assumption. Even if it was, that doesn’t mean you don’t eat larger meals the rest of the day. Everyone is different. Some eat large breakfasts and smaller meals and snacks throughout the day, some do the complete opposite and eat a large dinner and small breakfast. You know what works for you.
    I really get bothered when people attack others so quickly. Yes, it is in our nature to judge but words HURT. Though we can be quick to judge, we do have the ability to think before we speak, we need to enforce that ability in ourselves. As many others pointed out, an overweight person wouldn’t get attacked so quickly because it is so hurtful and rude. Well, SAME THING FOR THIN PEOPLE. I can’t stand when someone comments on a picture of a thin person and says “eat a cheeseburger.” We don’t say “eat a carrot” to someone overweight, right? We all know that just because someone is overweight doesn’t mean all they do is stuff all day, and not all thin people starve themselves.
    And if someone really does have an eating disorder, that is very personal. Putting someone on blast like that in public about such a topic is just plain disrespectful.
    Katie, I really admire you as a person for everything you put up with and the grace you exhibit when dealing with everything. Thank to you for being…well, you! I adore your blog and am a fan for life. Also, I appreciate you post the nutrition facts, because they are very helpful to some people. You are just looking out for your readers, it doesn’t necessarily pertain to you.

    Sorry for the essay, I guess I had a lot on my mind. Thank you Katie for all these great personal posts and delightful recipes! I love them.

    1. Thank you so much, Jennifer. And don’t apologize for writing an essay… I really enjoyed reading it! :)

  129. Marian says:

    Well, said Kaite! I’ve always loved your outlook on health! I’d say you were the one who started my interest in healthy vegan eating years ago! Thanks girl!

  130. Sara says:

    Hey Katie! I’ve always been impressed by the way you respond to all of those obnoxious comments about how you post low-calorie recipes, and this post was just as well-put!
    I used to count calories, but thanks to religiously following your blog ever since I discovered it and reading all of your old posts about your relationship with food and overall about your healthy lifestyle, I’ve been inspired to eat truly healthy foods instead of low-calorie foods (which can be loaded with chemicals!). About a month ago, I decided to permanently give up artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup and eat as much unprocessed food as possible, and to stop counting calories. And I’m just so much happier now! Counting calories was starting to get in the way of my life! Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for inspiring me to achieve a much healthier relationship with food. 😀

  131. michelle says:

    Katie I love your blog and always enjoy seeing your emails about your newest creations. I often comment on your recipes and love how you graciously answer?
    I’ve only been Vegan about 14 months last year I exercised a lot counted calories but this year I just spin 3 times a week nothing else so gained a few but I also stopped counting calories I eat healthy as much as I can…I have a 4yobusiness with ADD so teaching him early eating habits is important …he gets to try your recipes a lot and loves them too….
    I appreciate everything you do! !!!

  132. Maddy says:

    Thank You so much for doing a post like this! I’m 15, a vegan, and I am NOT at all eating anything remotely close to a low calorie diet, nor can I afford to. I love your recipes that are perfect for my diet, such as fudgie babies, chocolate fudge pie, etc. and it would be great to get some more baked goods that aren’t necessarily low calorie. It’s so refreshing to hear about someone who, like me, is a vegan and NOT watching their weight. I’m extremely active as well, much more so that my friends. It’s hard when I’m around friends sometimes because they’ll eat such a small lunch and I’ll have this giant meal. There are times where my insecurity gets the best of me and I do second guess myself…(am I eating too much? Is there something wrong with me?) Thank You so much for a great post, keep up your wonderful stories, recipes, and more!

  133. Diandra says:

    Since I still have got a few pounds to lose before I reach a healthy weight, I am watching my calories, but I try not to overdo it. I prefer sugar, honey, agave/maple syrup to artifical sweeteners any day, and if my fat intake is too low, my skin cracks up at the back – so no diet food for me, only healthy, well-calculated meals. (And exercise, of course.)

  134. Funny thing is when I used to watch my fat and calorie intake I couldn’t take the weight off. Now, I eat a healthier, more balanced diet (do not count fat and calories) and I have no issues with my weight!! 😉

  135. Janice says:

    I really love this topic. I used to count calories all the time, even though I knew I was eating natural and healthy nutritional foods, but still. So, after reading some of your topics, I finally decided to stop counting my calories, even though I knew I needed the calories. I stopped counting the calories and just ate what I liked and whenever was good for me, and I was able to enjoy my favorites such as putting almond butter on top of my oatmeal AND with extra nuts in for crunch ;). After being in tune with my body and my feeding my soul I was much happier and relaxed. Even my mother noticed this. I used to be controlling about what i ate and how many calories I consumed and the times I had to eat it. It was CONTROLLING MY LIFE. I was uptight and unhappy and I got sick of listening to the “rules of eating” by society. Screw you, society. Nobody tells my what to do with my body. My body creates its own rules and it knows what It needs as do my mind and soul. I want to live my life in a way that makes me happy, not by the way is right for society… I hope this made sense, I talk in circles a lot 😀

  136. Ilana says:

    Maybe it’s just my personality but I’ve never even been able to conceive of the idea of counting calories. That just seems like too much work when I want to put food in my mouth!

    It gets very frustrating when people ask me about how much I eat just because I’m thin. I eat a lot more than most people I know, and sometimes it’s really hard not to feel defensive when people accuse me of not eating when I spend half of my day fantasizing about what I’m going to eat next. It’s very indicative of the preconceived notions of health based on all the misinformation that pervades our cultural strata, but I have to hope that if we just keep on truckin and fighting the good fight for health and health knowledge, things will change.

    1. Sam says:

      Awesome comment, Ilana, I’m with you!!
      Cheers for saying that,
      Sam xx

  137. Laura says:

    Thank you so much for addressing this issue, Katie! It’s really great to have support for people like me who struggle with becoming comfortable eating higher-calorie foods. There are far too many negative messages about dieting floating around the internet, even in well-meaning places. You really are a role model for so many. 😀

  138. Lyndsay says:

    Thank you so much for this post! It came at the perfect time. I struggle to keep weight on but have recently switched to a much healthier and clean diet. I have lost a few pounds in the process as I don’t want to eat those processed foods like I did in the past. I have been searching for healthy, high calorie options. I would love to hear more!

    Thanks again!!!!!

  139. LJ Briar says:

    I’ve got a good ten pounds I’d still like to lose, but I’ve decided not to fret over them. If my body never gets smaller than it is, I’ll still be content.

    That said, I keep a vague count in my head of how many calories I consume per day, and I just try to make sure that not too too much of them are pure sugar and bad fats. It just gives me a bit of a reality check to keep myself from gorging on five full-fat, NON-healthy desserts per day, which I would totally do otherwise. Not that undereating has ever been a problem for me, but nevertheless, I’m careful to not do it. I practice dance and do a lot of strength training and cardio, so I don’t want to starve my body.

  140. Ironically, when I used to watch my fat and calorie intake I was at a point where I couldn’t drop the weight! Now, I eat a healthier, more balanced diet, DON’T count calories or fat, and I have no issues with me weight!!!!

  141. Hannah says:

    Great post, Katie! Have you heard of Maximized Living? A lot of what you posts lines up with their nutrition philosophy. It isn’t calories that cause weight gain or loss- it is what you are putting into your body that greatly influences weight. Being healthy is a lifestyle, not a causation of the amount of calories one consumes. My nutritionist says, “it isn’t fat that makes you fat, it is sugar!” GOOD fats actually help you burn fat….I love the multitude of recipes you post that incorporate so many good fats…I know that I consume more than 2,000 calories a day by eating this way, but I am the healthiest I have ever been and weigh less now after my pregnancy than I did before I got married…crazy!

    1. I haven’t heard of it, but I definitely do agree that healthy living is a lifestyle… it encompasses so much more than calories. I think stress is also one of the biggest contributers to physical health. Stressing about calories = no way to live :(.

  142. Lady Jennie says:

    Your recipes are about being healthy AND chocolate. That’s why I love you. :-)

  143. Whoa, I had to go back and look at that post and the comments. And that reminds me- I never got around to making that oatmeal AND i still have a whole box of that tea left! Score!
    I love your recipes- ALL OF THEM. I love that you have all kinds of options too!
    I eat a 1500 cal a day diet. With all my exercise, I could eat more, but I’m trying to lose about 10 lbs.

  144. Sara says:

    I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for a long time and even though I’ve come a long way I still have a hard time eating my “forbidden foods” aka cookies, brownies, pancakes, etc. Katie’s blog has really helped me see how natural and healthy these foods can be! Thank you, thank you thank you for helping get to the point where its not all about calories or good food vs bad food.

  145. K says:

    Interesting post, glad that you set the record straight. I don’t think it’s right for anyone to suggest you have an ED based on your food and appearance.

    This said, its NOT normal to make everything “healthy” which your blog does. I’d love to see recipes using butter, eggs, and real sugar. In moderation, anything is FINE. I also don’t understand why you typically post recipes with ingredients that are either 1. Not readily available unless you search for them and 2. More expensive

    Finally, I don’t think that you should use this blog to encourage people to eat dessert because eating a vegan sugar free cupcake isn’t a real dessert. Your recipes are certainly practical for people trying to lose weight (and I”m sure appreciated) but anyone who is gaining or maintaining can certainly eat a damn full-fat cupcake if she wants. Posting the calorie content on your blog also just encourages the ED readers. I understand that calorie counting can be used for weight loss, but if your readers are eating a balanced diet as you suggest, they shouldn’t need to know the nutritional content of every.single.bite. If people eat moderately and exercise/ follow a meal plan/ diet plan they don’t need to use calories.

    1. Ashley says:

      I think that it is okay that you want to see more butter, eggs, real sugar… but if that is what you are wanting it seems like you should look elsewhere. That is not what this blog is about, and the reason soooooooo many readers love it is because of that. There are PLENTY and I mean PLENTY of blogs, recipe books, etc with those kind of recipes and that is fine. But, please do not criticize Katie because her blog may not appeal to you. A LOT of readers are looking for these desserts as an alternative to higher calorie desserts in order to still enjoy some sort of sweet treat while wanting to lose or even maintain weight. If you aren’t happy with the recipes, then substitute things to your needs or look elsewhere.

    2. Hannah says:

      K –

      I totally disagree with you about sugar-free desserts not being desserts. This is an amazing website regardless of allergies or personal eating choices. Maybe for you it isn’t “normal” for desserts to be healthy, but for me, it is. Having numerous and affordable options to choose from for desserts that cater to not only my allergies, but my daughter’s as well is a huge blessing. Also, A LOT of Katie’s recipes include full-fats….not really sure if you’ve looked at the fat content in coconut oil, but it is pretty high.

      Secondly, have you researched the typical vegan, gluten-free, or sugar-free recipe? It is usually laden with expensive & hard to find ingredients. If my family can afford these recipes with my husband being in graduate school & with me only working part time, anyone who budgets accordingly should be able to as well. Also, I have most of these ingredients in my cupboard…chickpeas, oatmeal, cocoa powder, honey/agave nectar, fruit, rice crispies, peanut butter….they really aren’t that uncommon or expensive.

      Thirdly, Ashley hit it on the nail- if you want recipes that include dairy and real sugar, this isn’t the website for you. I also think it shows a lack of research on your part to insinuate that including calorie counts for recipes only encourages those struggling with an ED. Many people recovering from an ED have a caloric goal to meet every day. What a wonderful resource to have if you need to reach a certain amount of calories every day.

    3. Jenny D says:

      Definition of dessert from the dictionary:

      1. (Cookery) the sweet, usually last course of a meal
      2. (Cookery) Chiefly Brit (esp formerly) fruit, dates, nuts, etc., served at the end of a meal

      These recipes are sweet. The level of sweetness is up to you. Many of Katies recipes involve dates, nuts, raisins etc. So how can you say these are not *real* desserts or *normal*? Katie says in her recipes to use sweetener of choice. That also includes white sugar, brown, powdered, evaporated cane juice etc. I am not Vegan but I still enjoy these recipes. I have even used real egg in place of an egg substitute. Theres hardly a recipe on this blog that I don’t have an ingredient for on hand at all times.

      1. K says:

        I don’t look at this blog for my own recipes, I just try to find ones that might possibly be appealing to me/ feasible. I agree that there’s a lot of “great” options but honestly no one can tell me that it is normal to eat chickpeas in your brownies (idk if that’s on this blog but its just an example) My point is moderation- that unless you have a food allergy (whoever mentioned that, good point) there’s no reason that you need to use these recipes all the time. I’m guessing that not all blog readers do, but it seems like the creator does. Let’s face it guys, cookies made with butter taste better

        1. Hi K!

          I understand that many people prefer real eggs & butter in their desserts. But coming from an ethical perspective, many of the readers using Katie’s blog for recipes are vegans themselves (like me!). I don’t ‘fear’ the calories in butter & eggs (as they are always on par with my substitutes), but rather I choose not to participate in animal suffering. I know that’s why Katie is vegan, too. No bitter feelings toward other people’s eating habits, but many of us eat this way for different reasons. Coming to Katie’s blog for recipes means I don’t have to make substitutions :)

          1. Emma says:

            Did you even read Katie’s post? :(
            If you did, you need to go back and re-read her point #5.

          2. K says:

            Hi- I am definitely NOT criticizing people who are vegans or follow a certain diet for ethical reasons. I totally understand how you feel about animal suffering. I want to eventually give up meat all together (I don’t eat much as it is), but want to be sure that its from a healthy mindset and not just ED. Check out Farm Sanctuary’s website, its really a great place :)

          3. Misty says:

            1) One of the reasons Katie puts mainly healthy desserts on her blog is that she wants to eat dessert everyday, sometimes several times a day, and I really appreciate that these desserts are everyday desserts. She does not always post super-healthy desserts, because sometimes you do deserve a treat, and she does realize that.

            2) It’s perfectly fine that you want to eat butter, eggs, and whatnot, but you need to look elsewhere. You can’t expect to find everything you want in one blog; that’s just not realistic. Just because Katie doesn’t put many full fat/sugar recipes on her blog, doesn’t mean she doesn’t eat them; it’s just that the theme of this blog is healthy desserts.

            3) If you want “normal” desserts, you really shouldn’t be here.

            4) Some people do need to count calories, and Katie has mentioned that it is not a good idea for the average person to count calories. She does it for the people who do, to be nice.

        2. Jaime says:

          Katie is a VEGAN. That means that ethically, she does not believe in eating animal by-products, including eggs, milk, butter, etc. So obviously, if she wouldn’t eat it, why would she make it? The fact that many of the substitutions for things like eggs and butter also happen to generally be healthier for you is merely a happy coincidence. Sure, eggs can be good for you–but ground flax can replace an egg if you don’t believe in eating eggs, and that’s good for you, too. Yes, butter is delicious, but if you have an ethical reason that you do not want to eat butter, then coconut oil and the like can be delicious substitutions, and just so happen to be filled with good-for-you health benefits. As someone who struggled for years with an ED, I found the best way to combat it was by caring about my health–not my skinnyness, my health. If I strive to get enough nutrients in a day, I don’t have time to obsess over calories, and I feel AMAZING. I seldom check the nutrition facts she includes–if ever–but they were requested by other readers, so why nitpick? It doesn’t bother or “encourage” me, especially because educating oneself on health reveals that a good dose of healthy, unrefined fats and sugars actually can be GOOD for you–so I don’t finish eating and feel like throwing up. I know my body can turn that food into fuel, rather than fat. I’d agree that cookies made with butter taste better–but there are literally thousands of recipes for those. There are fewer recipes that substitute good-for-you fats! So it’s much more helpful for me to have this blog to find a good-for-you recipe that I can eat without beating myself up over it. If I want the full-fat version for a party or something, I’ve got six cookbooks in my kitchen full of those recipes!

      2. Katie says:

        Wow, I love you guys!!! I’m with you wholeheartedly- yeah for Katie and her desserts!! I can actually EAT those- I couldn’t do full-fat ones but I can so do these!!! Baby steps!

    4. Liz says:

      I just have to put this out there–knowing the calorie content of your food IS a good thing if you are at a healthy weight and trying to maintain. not all of us can simply look at our food and guesstimate, even if we do, often times what we *think* is in a serving is not what is actually there.
      also, not everything in moderation is “fine”–i don’t put amphetamines in my kids food in any amount–it’s not good for you. and for myself, i don’t eat the slightest bit of any gluten containing substance because i will be sick for days–clearly not all food choices are good for everyone.
      last, there are loads of food blogs out there–why come to this one if it doesn’t have the kind of recipes you are looking for?

  146. Ashley says:

    Katie, I LOVE your blog and have told so many people about it! I am the ultimate sweets lover, and when I found your blog I was looking for healthier alternatives. I would think that the average reader on your blog is looking to eat healthier and [yes] watch calories. Please don’t let this change the way you blog because I think most people are looking for healthier, lower calorie dessert options! Your recipes have literally kept me sane on my quest for a healthier lifestyle!! Of course people need to take their own needs into consideration and use common sense. If they need more calories, they can add certain things to increase their caloric intake in a healthy matter (by eating some of the food you suggested). I think the beautiful thing about recipes is that you can substitute things for your specific needs. :) Someone is always going to find a way to criticize something, and maybe they need to look elsewhere for a blog that better suits their needs? However, in my opinion, you have a very well rounded library of recipes for any dessert lover! Thank you for sharing them with the world & keep em’ coming!! :) :)

  147. Jenny D says:

    I think you should just keep doing what you are doing. I’m not sure why people don’t get where your blog is coming from….I got it the first look. You like desserts but want healthy tasty options but you are not into super sugary sweet. If someone were to take the time to READ your blog I feel that is very clear. I do like having the nutritional stats since I do somewhat watch my calories.
    I am guessing that many people don’t realize how much work you put into this blog and what goes into making your own recipes. You don’t just dream something up then make it and be done! There’s trials and errors and many taste testing! I love that you have so many single servings even though I am a Mother of three and run an in home daycare, I still use many of your recipes several (and I mean SEVERAL) times a week.
    I also think its very clear in your recipes about substitutions. In most you state how you use oil but a person could sub with applesauce. You plainly say 1-2T of PB or nut butter of choice. You are just always going to have people too close minded to think for themselves that if you don’t have almond milk handy, you can sub another milk/liquid.
    I hope your blog stays more towards the dessert/breakfast end. I don’t think you should have to list how many servings of something you actually eat, although I do snicker when you say how many cookies you think a recipe makes since you eat half the batter first! People have minds of their own and should adjust recipes to their needs and not sit here waiting for someone to cater specifically to their needs and tell them what to do.

    Did I mention how much I love you?

    1. Thank you so much, Jenny. Your comment really meant a lot to me. Sometimes it IS frustrating that people don’t realize how much time this takes, and they expect immediate answers to their questions… and I’m just one person trying to make & photograph (and blog about!) recipes, deal with the technical side of keeping this blog up, and respond to 100s of emails and comments and tweets from people asking specific questions about a recipe (often when the questions was already answered right above them!). I do try to post as often as I can, but you’re right: most recipes do NOT come out perfect the first time! I’d rather take my time and perfect it than post something sub-par just for the sake of posting something. You guys are worth more than that!!

  148. Renee says:

    I just read the rude exchanges of comments from last year. Made me think of that saying: “haters gonna hate”. You just can’t make everyone happy.

    What I love about your blog is that your focus seems to be on making healthy food taste delicious. I am currently trying to lose weight (a lot of it) and since I am allergic to artificial sweeteners, I really struggle finding any sweet options other than fruit. Your cookie dough dip was just what I was looking for! I portioned it out and made it last a week.

    My best friend, however, who is thin, made the same thing and hers didn’t last the day!

    I appreciate that you offer the nutritional information as it helps with portions for those of us who are looking to lose weight. Those who aren’t, simply have a healthier dessert (or breakfast) option and can eat to their hearts content.

    You certainly don’t come across as someone who has an eating disorder. In fact, to the contrary, it seems you have a very healthy relationship with food. If it were all about calories, there would be aspartame and other garbage in your recipes that have fewer calories than things like organic sugar or even agave.

    I hope you continue doing what you do and can shrug off the rude people. Thanks for all of the wonderful recipes and easy to understand nutritional info!

  149. Wonderful wonderful post Katie!
    I also am naturally thin, live an active lifestyle, and love to eat healthy foods and often deal with not so nice accusations about the caloric content of my food and reasons for my food choices. I just try to remember that 95% of the time, the reasons for those comments have NOTHING to do with me and EVERYTHING to do with the insecurities of their speaker/writer.
    P.S. I HATE that a milkshake a day is always the doctor’s advice of how to gain weight!!!!!!!! How about 1/2 a cup of peanut butter a day? Much more my style :)

    1. Ann says:

      Same here! I’ve had family members say to me, “Oh Ann, you’re so SKINNY” (in a disdainful tone of voice), as if I look gross or something. Meanwhile, I eat healthy and exercise 3 times a week (most of the time for only 30 minutes).
      As for counting calories – I don’t. The only time I’ve ever counted calories is during my twin pregnancy, to make sure I was eating enough for my babies, and when I was competing in Olympic style weight lifting. To gain muscle, you need to be in a caloric surplus.
      Keep the awesome recipes coming, Katie!

  150. gina says:

    if you’re interested in the discussion about food science/nutrition science, you may want to read the link below my comment. thanks for all you do, katie, i appreciate it.
    i love your site and what you stand for. i’m very much a fan of your recipes. i couldn’t help but comment on this post because i tend to take issue when people try to dogmatize what things are healthy and not, and what the value of a calorie is, when the reality of it is that people claim to know a lot more than they know. (yes, even scientists)! i just wanted to share some friendly perspective to talk about the other side of the coin.
    basically, i am a little concerned that we talk so much about what is healthy and what is less healthy when the truth of it is, the field of nutrition is quite on shaky grounds aside from the obvious junk food is bad, real foods are good. you might want to read this, since you do tend to discuss calories a lot. while we tend to use whole foods in our daily cooking/baking, i believe that some are better for us than others- namely, protein-containing items are ‘better’ than grains, even if they are whole, because grains/carbohydrates break down to become sugars, and to our body, it is essentially sugar. take, for instance, the single fact that many people in this country are essentially allergic to gluten-containing grains. it might be a clue as to how humans were never meant to be consuming such high amounts of grains/sugars in the first place. probably as many people have gone paleo or primal as have gone vegan- two vast extremes, and they won’t eat grains either. now, i know your views on meat for instance would differ from mine, but saying that grains and alternative sugars are a healthy foods (though, yes, they are healthIER than their alternatives, they still remain grains that lead to weight gain and obesity at extreme) has its risks, and maybe it’d be better to take the daily conversation away from just why something is healthy, or measurably healthier than something else, when we don’t really know. i’m advocating for just doing what we do, in our case, experimental baking- vegan/gluten free/paleo, what have you, point blank without having to give rhyme and reason for it. if you’re going to cook with grains, it might be better to just do it without attempting to justify it or their healthful properties, not that you exactly do this, rather than say it’s healthy when it’s actually thought not to be by many people. the purpose of my post is just to bring awareness to thinking about why we even talk about these issues in the first place, and how ridiculous it is that we put so much stress on ourselves when we know so little, really. thanks again.

    1. Thanks, Gina. I’ll have to read the link. I agree with you that so much of science–and nutrition–is subjective. For instance, I always laugh about the coffee debate. One day, it’s bad for you. The next, it wards off Alzheimer’s. Then it’s bad for pregnant women… in ten years, who knows what they’ll say!

      I think the BIGGEST thing we can do is eat what our bodies truly crave and not stress out so much. Unlike specific foods, stress HAS been proven over and over again as a huge detriment to physical health.

    2. ennaejay says:

      Gina, your comment about grains/sugars and the way our body processes them is interesting to me. The genetically modified wheat we have today is in no way beneficial to our bodies, especially when raped of the bran/germ/endosperm and produced with quick-rising yeasts. Buying organic grains, and using sprouted/soaked grains partially “digests” it, so it hits a lot lower on the GI scale than a white-flour product. Also, using natural sourdough breaks down the proteins in the grain in the same way. If this stuff interests you, you might want to pick up some of Dr. Weil’s books (he’s the dude that looks like Kris Kringle). His viewpoint is much like yours, in the sense that foods are neither “healthy” or “not healthy”, but some are definitely more beneficial to us than others, provided they are in their most natural state possible, properly prepared, and in the right balance. Cheers!

  151. Sara N. says:

    Well said Katie! Your blog is perfect the way it is and you are perfect the way you are. Sure everyone has room for improvement and to each their own. I love what you do and even though I am not vegan, I often go to your blog for healthier versions of the foods I love, not because they are lower in calories. Thanks for all that you do and keep on doing it!

  152. K says:

    One last thing and then I’ll stop- I don’t mean this as a bash against CCK but whoever reads this- think about it: IF you saw a registered dietician, would she/he tell you to eat Low- Calorie Peanut Butter Ice Cream? Maybe but I doubt it. I’m all for TRYING “healthy” dessert recipes but not relying on them instead of the real foods. This hasn’t been a problem for me, but I know quite a few people who lived off of “low calorie” and “low fat” recipes and ended up bingeing because their bodies wanted the real thing. Obviously- this is just an example but still, no one should feel confined to agave syrup instead of sugar (unless you are truly a vegan for the right reasons)

    1. observer says:

      If you’re so against the message of this blog, (which judging by all the comments you’ve left on this post, you are) then why are you here? Why don’t you just not read? Many people enjoy this blog and its content. Please don’t ruin it for those of us who enjoy eating this way and living a healthy and ethical lifestyle. Also, I’d have to disagree with you that “cookies with butter taste better.” That’s a very closeminded statement, and the very best cookies I’ve ever eaten in my life contained not a drop of butter.

      1. K says:

        You’ve got me on the “taste better.” I’ve had vegan cookies that were delicious,too. I read this blog because it interests me and I do think that Katie posts quite creative recipes. I rarely comment, but this post just bothered me for some reason. Like I said, I’m not going to keep posting comments that are negative.

      2. Katie says:

        I agree!!! Way to go, Observer!

  153. LizAshlee says:

    Great post..all about being healthy!! :)

  154. Linds says:

    Wow! It’s true! The blogging world can be so supportive and helpful one moment, and so hurtful and inconsiderate the next! I happen to love your blog, and visit almost daily. I admire your dedication to posting delicious recipes that everyone can enjoy. I’ve had my share of food/calorie obsession but you have recently been inspired by your recipes and the paleo community to focus on the nutrition of food, rather than their calories! YOU GO GIRL!

  155. Tracy says:


    What do you use one top of so many of your drinks and desserts that looks like whipped cream?

    It looks so good!

    1. Depends on the recipe. Sometimes it’s my coconut whipped cream recipe, sometimes it’s Soyatoo, and sometimes it’s homemade vegan ice cream!

  156. It’s so true that everyone is so different. You’re amazing Katie! Don’t let anyone bring you down 😉

    And please never change your blog to satisfy the nay-sayers! My boyfriend, family, & I have all happily devoured many of your recipes, including:

    Deep Dish Cookie Pie (at least 6 times)
    Cookie Dough Baked Oatmeal
    Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars
    Cookie Dough Dip
    Fudge Daddies
    Peanut Butter & Jam Blondies
    Buttery Berry Crumble Bars
    Blueberry Pancakes

    …shall I go on? lol. Everything has been amazing! *hug* xoxo

  157. Holly says:

    Well, I’m one of those that doesn’t believe in a “low calorie” diet. That being said, I’ve been about 10 pounds overweight for a LOOOoong time. I clearly haven’t adjusted the amount my body needs from the high school days. I’m trying to learn to stick even to what I need to maintain (and exercise the rest off) and it’s really hard! I will maintain, though, that I still don’t like “low calorie” foods and what I mean by that is food that has been messed with to make it low calorie. I much rather eat less of the real version.
    ….At least that’s what we’re working on. 😉

  158. CeeCee says:

    I’m 5’1 and I try eat between 1000 and 1200 calories a day. Note I say try because there are days where I go up to 1500 calories and even 2000 calories on my really bad days. I’m trying to lose weight because I’m currently 62.4kg and I want to get down to 53kg.

    I use an Excel spreadsheet to montior my daily weigh ins and calorie intake.

  159. CeeCee says:

    I’m 5’1 and I try eat between 1000 and 1200 calories a day. I say try because there are days where I go up to 1500 calories and even 2000 calories on my really bad days. I’m trying to lose weight because I’m currently 62.4kg and I want to get down to 53kg.

    I use an Excel spreadsheet to montior my daily weigh ins and calorie intake.

  160. Ceecee says:

    Sorry for double commenting. It said error so I tried to send it again.

  161. Katy says:

    Katie, I cannot express how grateful I am to you for all your work. Your Blog literally saved my life, I was borderline anorexic (i didnt think i was fat i just didnt eat much) but your site helped me to realise that little, active people (me) need plenty of food and calories and you can get them in a healthy way. I rarely used to have anything high calorie, but your blog has encouraged me to bake loads more, and therefore eat all the foods which I baked! You also taught me how important healthy fats are and now i probably eat way too many lol (my mum asked if someone had thrown the bottle of olive oil away…)
    Please keep doing all your hard work and effort because it does make a difference <3
    Thank you so much
    love katy

    1. Aww that really makes me so happy!
      And lol about the olive oil thing… There is absolutely nothing in this world as good (or maybe as good for you either!) as caramelized, roasted veggies drizzled with olive oil). I always buy the biggest container :).

  162. Chloe says:

    I know you get plenty of comments, so I thought why not add one more? lol! Anyways, as others have mentioned, I would not have survived if it wasn’t for your blog. My suggestion is that you post some high-calorie vegetable recipes because I am one who typically avoids low-cal. veggies (plus, weird looks from people thinking a thin girl can’t eat veggies just turns it off for me) to bulk up on healthy fats. I know my reason is no excuse, but that is just a recipe suggestion haha. I am a weight gainer who is gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan. I have been an avid reader for about a year, and I just HAD to thank you so much for all you have given to me to gain weight and deal with food allergies:)

    1. Aw thanks, Chloe! I will definitely try to get some savory recipes up… but I must admit I like dessert posts better. Veggies are so darn hard to photoshoot! Green ones esspecially ;).

  163. Thank you so much for posting this. I’m a recovering anorexic and it’s difficult for me to find other blogs that promote a healthy lifestyle whatever that means for the individual, not one that sends a “Do what I do because I’m a blogger and I’m thin” type message. I really appreciate you writing this. Thank you.

  164. Eliza says:

    Hi Katie!
    I’m glad to finally find a healthy food blogger who is actually trying to gain weight! I am too. You’re really encouraging and inspiring. I’m in high school, and am very active with track and cross country. It’s really hard for me to gain weight because I do not like eating big portions, I like healthy food, and I am so busy, active, and have a high metabolism. I am self-conscious about how skinny I am, and I HATE it when people tell me I’m too skinny. Why is it not okay to tease someone for being overweight, but it’s acceptable to make fun of someone for being too skinny? Anyway, I think you are a great role model and really enjoy your blog!

  165. Hi Katie- I haven’t read your blog very much but it seems interesting. Looking forward to checking out the recipes. Seems like this last post has brought a lot of discussion… I don’t have anything to add that’s not been said but as far as my current diet, I don’t count calories and follow a meal plan with exchanges.

  166. NaturalAsCanBe says:

    I love this post! I’m a fifteen-almost-sixteen-yeatr-old girl who just somewhat recently got out of treatment for an eating disorder (mostly orthorexia, but anorexia as well, and I have a ridiculous metabolism. At the treatment center, they were kind of irked by my veganism and adverseness to any foods that I considered unhealthy (anything processed, with refined sugar, etc.). I’m always looking for ways to condense healthy foods, and I’ve pretty much figured it out, but you’ve summed it up pretty nicely. (-: Love your blog, by the way; your recipes are delicious!

  167. grashopper says:

    Hi Katie!

    I wondered: could you make chocolatecoveredkatiestyle Waffles?

    A fan from Belgium.

    1. It’s definitely on my to-do list!!

      1. grashopper says:

        yay! :)

  168. Catalina Maya says:

    I must to apologize, Katie: I got tangled into the rumors that you’re anorexic and all those other conspiracies for a spell; I really regret it. It’s absurd to sit here on my computer half-way across the country while speculating about how much you eat. Who am I to say if you’re anorexic or orthorexic, just based on what you publish on this blog? I certainly haven’t met or seen you, much less known you!
    In fact, I’ve known a couple of girls who were, from what I can see, about your size growing up. They were constantly taunted and derided about their weight; ironically, I was the one standing up for them. I knew then, even as a bigger-boned child, that it was logically faulty to compare your own weight with your peers; everyone’s built differently, and there’s myriad factors that come into play.
    I shouldn’t forget my initial logic on this matter, and once again, I apologize for being so judgmental. Thank you for being so candor with your readers and yourself – it’s time that I do the same.

    1. Aw Catalina, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your honesty and kindness in leaving this comment.
      I am certainly not above making snap judgements about people… I think it’s just human nature!

  169. Great post! There have been a few times in my life where I’ve wanted to gain weight, and it wasn’t until I learned to do it by incorporating healthy foods that I managed to form good habits that kept me in a comfortable place. You’re so right—when you fill up on junk, it’s harder to work up the enthusiasm for a filling meal that’s going to give you the nutrients your body needs.

  170. Jaime says:

    I had to go back to that post to find the (very judgmental) post about your breakfast choices, and I have to say…as someone who has struggled with being on the plump-side for the majority of my life, I know FOR A FACT that when I was in college, and would run for an hour each day, do millions of sit-ups and crunches in my room, drink nothing but Diet Coke and Water (Oh, the unhealthiness!), eat nothing but salads with fat-free dressing, and have a teensy bowl of PLAIN oatmeal for breakfast, my friends would pat me on the back for being so “healthy.” If I had been naturally thin, I would have been accused of anorexia in a heartbeat. But with identical eating and exercise habits, if you add 30 pounds to the woman, everyone congratulates her on trying to improve her health. It’s wrong. And even though I *did* have some weight to lose, that was in NO way a healthy way to live!!! I got very sick (surprise, surprise!), and when I appeared on stage (I’d been trying to slim down for a starring role in a play–I was supposed to be the “pretty” girl, and felt like if I went up there at my current weight, everyone in the audience would be snickering at the idea of ME being the “pretty” one), I had to be caked in brightly-colored makeup to keep me from looking ashen and pale. I was sickly, I was weak, and I was applauded for it–because of my weight. People need to realize that healthy is healthy is healthy, no matter what someone weighs!!!!

  171. I am watching my calories from both sides. I have a few (50) pounds to lose, but I’m also nursing my (very fat, always hungry, super healthy) baby. I’ve had my calories drop too low, which caused my milk supply to drop, and then increase too much, putting me at an unhealhty weight. I’m not a big junk food eater, and I always eat “healthy” foods, but I’m learning about portions and feeding my body not only good foods, but also good amounts.
    My 5yo, however, is sometimes frighteningly thin. He was a sickly baby, had digestive problems, and just never has been much of an eater. He enjoys your recipes enormously and always eats well when I cook them. They are free of the foods that upset his tummy, so I can feel good feeding him :)
    Thank you for this post, for his sake. I always worry that I’m not nourishing him adequately. I offer him healthy, nutritious foods, but I can’t, and won’t, force him to eat. I want him to eat because he’s hungry, not because Mom says he has to. I hadn’t really thought of adding extra calories to his food (separately from the rest of us, who are normal or above average weight). Your suggestions are simple and so much better than what I’ve heard before, ( feed him ice cream, butter everything, feed him more often, give him more meat) most of which are not in keeping with our lifestyle.

  172. I have no idea how many calories I consume. I just eat. LOL! :) Your peanut butter ice cream looks amazing by the way! :)

  173. Verity says:

    Hey Katie, just wanted also to add my support – I love your recipes and my little boy loves some of them too – especially ‘chocolate on a spoon’ (your sugar free cookie dough dip!) – so hard to find healthy high calorie options that he will actually eat, but I have no qualms about giving him things made from your recipes :)

    I don’t focus on calories and I’m not super fit but I’m a healthy weight, and while I eat a moderate amount of unhealthy treats I like to have healthier options too… Everything in moderation…. And your recipes really are delicious!

  174. DK says:

    I’ve never commented here before, but my sister was raving on Facebook last week about the homemade lara bars so I had to come check out your site. After making up some raw gingerbread bones (couldn’t find my tiny gingerbread man cutter so I used the bone-shaped one instead) and a double batch of the peanut butter cookie dough cookies for lunches this week, my fiance and are hooked. We’ve both struggled with weight control and food cravings ever since we can remember and I have recently discovered that I am also gluten intolerant. I don’t even have a guess as to how much time I spent clicking around here over the weekend, but I love all of the “ball” recipes and I also totally love that you give a nutrition info breakdown for your recipes. I also love that I don’t have to go out and buy expensive special ingredients to make such delicious desserts and OHMYGOSH THE OATMEAL RECIPES! Thank you so much for doing what you do and for sharing so freely!

    */end over-appreciative fangirling moment*

    Answering your question: My diet is variable between low-calorie and high-calorie depending upon what I am craving on any given day. I don’t own a scale (bad for my mental health and triggers disordered eating for me) or depend a whole lot on calorie counting to keep track of what I consume. I’ve recently begun journeying into the world of intuitive eating after years of yoyo diets and disordered eating and I believe it is working well for me.

    I think you touch on very important and interesting points regarding health and weight in our society and I thank you for understanding that what works and is healthy for one person might not be for another and that that is OK. I have struggled with disordered eating, body image, and weight for what feels like my entire life. The healthiest I have ever been was early high school and my body was a US size 18. I was really, really dang healthy, but because my body was bigger than my schoolmates’ bodies, even though I met every other parameter of healthiness, I was pressured, teased, taunted, and shamed into thinking that I needed to lose weight both by my schoolmates as well as family members. Acting upon that shame and pressure led me to drastic measures in order to get my body to conform to what those around me deemed an acceptable size, but that wasn’t what my body was meant to look like.

    Most of the last 15 years of my life have been spent on diet after diet with my weight and health yoyo-ing back and forth. All because society at large conflates health with weight and gives individuals whose bodies are perceived to conform to this health/weight standard the idea that they are free to comment about those whose bodies do not, regardless of the actual health of either individual. And this happens also to those who appear to be ‘too small’ or ‘too thin’ to be healthy by the weight/health conflation standard. (I can’t even begin to describe how angry it makes me when I hear someone say something to the effect of “Someone go make that girl a sandwich!” when looking at an image of a thinner woman. Absolutely livid.) I am so glad to have found the Body Acceptance movement and Health At Every Size. I am sure permanent damage to my metabolism and my body has already happened, but it doesn’t have to continue and I’m learning how to be as healthy as I can be in the body/metabolism I have now.

    */steps off soapbox*

    1. Thanks for such a great comment, DK! I really wish society didn’t do this to women, pitting us against each other. I think we’d all be a lot healthier. Just look at babies… or animals! You hardly ever see a baby or animal with eating issues (unless it’s a dog who’s fed by humans).

  175. Jenny$1983 says:

    Hi Katie, I’ve been a regular reader for about a year or so. As soon as I found your blog, I read all the way back through the archives to the start because I enjoyed it so much, and I remember you having to write this kind of post before. I stopped commenting a few months ago because I thought, “She has over 100 comments to read, she really doesn’t need another one saying ‘Looks yummy Katie, thanks!'” but I felt compelled to after reading your post.

    I’ve (really) read all the comments on this post, and I’m surprised to see no one mention the word “troll” because it’s the first word that came to mind when I read the comments on the Sugar Cookie Oatmeal post. Then the words, “Don’t feed the trolls.”

    A few points:
    1) Anyone who doesn’t understand that this is a recipe blog, not a food diary, is clearly a moron … OR they are wilfully misinterpreting your blog and your intentions and taking things out of context in order to cause aggravation and upset. This is pretty much the definition of a troll.

    2) As you mention above, your foods are not particularly low in calories anyway – I should know because I’ve been counting calories for nearly a year now using MyFitnessPal and it’s changed my life: taught me so much about what foods contain and truly made me value high quality foods, having made me realize that some foods I thought were ‘healthy’ actually weren’t. I eat about 1600-1700 calories a day depending on how much exercise I do (about 40-60 mins usually, I’m doing Beachbody TurboFire at the minute) because I need to lose weight and after ten years of what I thought was “eating healthILY,” counting calories has given me an education in nutrition and finally got me progressing with my weight loss. Before calorie counting, and learning about macros as a result, I would have thought, “I’ll have this Mr Kipling Trifle Bakewell cake as a ‘treat’, it’s only small, it won’t harm my weight loss efforts,” I’ll think, “That is nutritionally void: I’ll have one of CCK’s Larabars instead! It’s about the same amount of fat only the fat is the good type, and it has fewer calories so I don’t have to compensate by eating less of my main meal in order to fit in a (real) treat.”

    3) Your recipes are also often not low in fat: your milkshakes, made with coconut milk and sometimes coconut oil are extremely high in fat! This bothered me about the TV spot about you: the presenter kept going on about ‘low fat’ and yes, perhaps your recipes are lower in calories and fat than the common alternatives made with lots of butter and sugar – which for some reason people insist on calling “the real thing” which is laughable because those things are full of artificial crap and highly processed foods whereas your recipes consist of very little refined products and plenty of whole foods – but that’s usually because it’s a CHEAP and easy way to sell products to the sugar-addicted masses. It’s unnecessary and detrimental to your health; your recipes are wholesome, taste great and are good for you. Which brings me to…

    4) The nutritional count is incidental: you kindly put it in because many people have asked you to because it’s genuinely useful information for them.

    5) You are clearly healthy. You radiate healthiness. Anyone who says or insinuates otherwise is being purposely obtuse to provoke a reaction.

    Anyway, I doubt anybody will read this, but I hope you do Katie, and I’d like to repeat something I’ve said before: thank you for your blog, and all of the effort you put into writing it to help your readers (for FREE) to live better, healthier, happier lives. You are beautiful inside and out, creative, hugely talented, and you seem genuinely lovely as a person. I’m sorry for the long comment, but I’m pretty verbose when I feel strongly about things, especially personal attacks on people who so blatantly do not deserve it!

    You have my love and support, Jenny xoxox

    1. Aw Jenny, your comment meant so much to me. You are absolutely AWESOME for taking the time to lift my spirits!

  176. Cammy says:

    I’ve always liked you and your blog, but my respect for you doubled after reading this post. I REALLY wish more food bloggers made a point of noting that calories are not necessarily the enemy, and of acknowledging that they don’t only consume the tiny and perfectly photographed foods they include in the photos. I’m in recovery from an eating disorder, and your is one of only one or two food blogs I actually let myself read, because of the healthy approach that you take.

    1. Thanks Cammy, that really means a loot to me.

      The food I photograph is definitely not all I eat… in fact, I often use sup-par trial experiments, and miniature versions, as the photographed food so I don’t get my fingers all over the food I actually plan to eat! 😉

  177. Jennifer JCD says:

    I haven’t been to your blog in a while because I haven’t been working and am not at the computer very often at home. So sorry… just trying to catch up.

    Thank you for writing this post. Whilst I’m not trying to gain or lose weight, I need a high-calorie healthy diet to support my very active lifestyle. It’s difficult for some people to understand why I need to eat so much when I am small, whilst they need to eat less because they are overweight and don’t exercise. *sigh* All your suggestions are stellar and I love your blog because you are so real about it and ‘get it’ and can explain it in a way that I can share with others to help them understand. *hugs* Thank you and keep up the wonderful blog. All your recipes are fantastic and have helped me stay healthy and strong!

    PS – Was thinking of you last weekend whilst running a half marathon (my first) in ankle-deep snow in sub-freezing temperatures. It was awful running conditions but I played some of your running games to get me through it. And then I devoured two huge servings of chocolate chip boatmeal afterwards… mmm… <3

    1. Oh my word, you are nuts! Haha I bet those boatmeals tasted absolutely amazing after being out in the harrowing running conditions!
      I couldn’t do it; my hat is off to you! 😉

  178. Casey says:

    THANK. YOU! I have had the same issue with people being concerned about my health, especially now that I’m vegan. I’ve been underweight my whole life, but people who haven’t known me that long immediately assume I must have an eating disorder. I do appreciate their concern for my health, but it can get really annoying for people to think something’s wrong with you just because you’re thin.
    I’ve been trying to add more fats and heavier foods to my diet without having to count calories, and this post is really helpful. Thank you for the advice and awesome recipes :)

  179. Kyle says:

    Hey Katie!

    I love your blog by the way :)
    I am a highschool student that has recently recovered to an eerily similar experience to your health scare in which you weren’t eating enough and had low blood pressure, etc.
    I wouldn’t really consider myself an athlete but I absolutely love the feeling of working out, weight lifting, going on hikes, so I guess I’m somewhat active. At the same time I can’t seem to maintain my weight despite my best efforts. I find it really difficult to eat large portions in one sitting yet most vegan meals seem to be pretty low calorie unless you incorporate peanut butter somehow. I also think I have a hard time getting enough protein.

    Can I ask for your advice on how you get enough protein everyday? Do you ever keep track of the amount of protein you get or calories to make sure you’re getting enough? My parents are always telling me now that I don’t eat enough and are concerned about my recent switch from vegetarian to vegan, and don’t believe it is sustainable, how do you deal with people telling you you look too skinny or aren’t healthy because you are vegan?

    Sorry if that’s too much questioning, I was hoping you might have some advice since I seem to be in a very similar situation!

    1. Camille says:

      I know I’m not who you wanted to hear from, but I think maybe I can help anyways. I also watch my protein intake because I know it is actually very good for you, and just because Americans as a group eat way too much doesn’t mean that I don’t need to worry about it!

      I eat a fair amount of tofu (if you can’t eat large portions–something I never have trouble with, hah–baked tofu is a great way to go), black beans, and lentils. Black beans are the highest protein source bean I’ve found, and are also one of the lowest in calories. Go figure! And for a long time I was suffering with my lentil-eating because I wasn’t soaking them properly prior to cooking, which makes one’s intestines erupt. I think that may be why a lot of people don’t like them. Your best bet is to soak overnight or for 24 hours, changing the water periodically (obviously don’t get up in the middle of the night, but you know what I mean). Also, I personally like lentils best when they’re cooked in veggie broth, and not for too long, either.

      My new favourite thing is chia seeds; they’re loaded with protein and fibre and you can add them to pretty much anything. They absorb water and make a sort of gel/pudding, which I’ve seen as the recommended form for adding them to various dishes.

      As far as getting your family less, for lack of a better word, irritating (the indoctrination that we need meat and dairy, especially daily, to “survive” is ridiculous!), just show them the new food “plate” from our the government itself! It clearly shows how many plants we should be eating compared to everything else. For further defense of the vegan/veggie diet, maybe check out Vegetarian Times magazine, or VegNews.

      Hope this helps, and again, sorry I’m not the wonderful Katie herself! I can only dream…

      1. Camille, you said it way better than I could’ve! Haha all I was going to say was that as long as you’re getting enough calories to meet your energy needs, it’s very difficult to not get enough protein. There’s protein in almost all foods… even things like pasta or broccoli!

        I also highly recommend a good sourcebook. I have “The Vegetarian Way” and still refer back to it every now and then if I need something :).

  180. Taylor says:

    Thanks for posting this, Katie! I’ve been slowly starting to follow some blogs around here and am beginning to build up the courage to make my own and document my ED-recovery journey/path to becoming healthy and well again.

    I’m supposed to be gaining weight, and I am most certainly a “healthy” eater (like you, I say I do the 80/20 thing), so sometimes I find that getting in the extra calories can be a challenging feat. As a matter of fact, just yesterday I was at the gym (I’ve become more focused on strength training whilst increasing my calories, as a means to hopefully become nice and strong/not totally freak out about gaining [much needed?] weight) when a trainer I know came up to me and said that I should in fact be taking in around 1,200-1,400 only…..!!!!! Needless to say I freaked out. Uh…aren’t I supposed to be gaining weight? It has been a set back, to say the least.

    So how do you deal?! While most of America is trying to LOSE weight, swimming against the current can be SO stressful/downing — I guess I just wanted to hear your thoughts? :)

    1. Seriously? That sounds like a VERY misinformed trainer. As in, dangerously misinformed. I don’t think anyone who’s working out should be taking in that little… unless, of course, it’s been approved by a doctor or nutritionist. That sounds like a recipe for disaster… your muscles would start eating themselves! Yikes!

      1. Taylor says:

        That’s what I thought! However I definitely started second guessing everything – it’s tough! Thanks so much for replying :)

        1. Chelsea says:

          Taylor, Katie’s right: no one should be taking in that little when they’re working out. From what I understand, you need at least 1,200 calories just for your body to operate in a vegetative state. If you’re moving around at all, you need more and if you’re working out, you need MUCH more.

          Gaining weight can be really scary, especially if you’ve dealt with disordered eating. It’s a process, and it has its good days and bad days. But, just know that the food you eat to gain weight is there to keep your body strong and healthy. It’s like medicine in that it will help you get better and stronger. I hope you keep on getting healthy!

  181. Jules says:

    Hey Katie, I have been meaning to comment on this post since it has been up. I just want to thank you for posting this, I think post like this is why your are such a successful blogger :] Any way I read your post about how in high school you got really skinny and lost a lot of weight and you have no idea how similar that story is to mine. I played soccer my sophomore year and ended up loosing about 40lbs. I did not try to loose weight, but when you have 8 hr practice 6 days a week what can you expect. I did not notice how many calories i was burning in till i looked in the mirror and saw, well a skeleton. Anyway I went to doctors and it was scary and everyone i went to school with thought i was dyeing or anorexic. It was a pretty low time in my life. I am better know but it is just so comforting to know other people went through the same thing and got out of it. Although it was very hard i would not change anything about the past two years of my life because I love and appreciate myself and my life even more.

    Thanks Katie you are amazing….I cant wait to see what your blog turns into. I think you will be a big cooking star someday!!!!

  182. Lia says:

    Yah….this can be a tricky topic, as you know. People are very territorial about their food consumption and habits. There can be a lot of insecurity and defensiveness behind it all too, so I’m glad you wrote this post and dealt with everything in such a way that gives mature perspective.

    I personally go between high and low depending on activity level and needs, but typically choose a higher calorie level to go with my active lifestyle. I like that you offer choices on your recipes and personal adjustments can always be made of course, like choosing lite coconut milk or full fat, or powdered sugar or sugar free.

    People will often, and reliably, project their feelings and “energies” onto you especially when you have this very popular publicly awesome setting with so many followers. Staying rooted to your truth and standing by yourself, which is exactly what you did, keeps your identity clear!

    I’m new to your blog, just found it today, and have really loved it and the recipes! I have a sweet tooth myself and so am always looking to curb it a bit with healthy desserts.

  183. Ursika says:

    Hi Katie,

    I red through your oatmeal recipes and decided to make one. It’s not common to cook oats in the country i’m coming from so I said to myself, hell yeah, let’s try once :) but with only 40g of oats I was huuungry in no time. I was wondering how can you stay full after this “one” serving, but now I know :)))
    P.S. this five minute chocolate oatmeal (60g!) with added strawberries is just amaaazing (were was I before???) :)
    Greets from the heart of the Europe

  184. Holly says:

    Hi Katie,
    So I’m mildly obsessed with your blog (ok maybe REALLY….I have so much fun with this site), and I read every post you make, so I know that you certainly do not limit yourself when it comes to portion sizes, and I know you incorporate lots of healthy fats into your diet. I’m just curious, though, (and believe me, this is completely non-judgemental or accusatory, just for the sake of knowledge) how you know if your diet is “high” calorie? Because although it’s very high in volume, you eat a lot of vegetables which are low calorie, and since you eat intuitively rather than counting calories it seems, I’m sure you stop when your body says you’ve had enough. I’m just wondering if at the end of the day that really does add up to be “high calorie” intake or just healthy and normal (not that the two can’t go together), and how would you know without counting? I’m a dancer, so I totally get the need to fuel up, and I eat considerably more than other less-active individuals, but that goes for often several hours of intense training a day, so I burn everything off instantly. I’d love to hear your feedback! I just find it intriguing because you’re so little (not to mention beautiful!), which is something that others often cut calories to achieve even if they’re active.

    Lots of love,

    p.s. I really do LOVE your blog

    1. Hi Holly,

      I think that as long as you feel good and your body is functioning properly (regular periods, shiny hair and non-brittle nails, lots of energy, etc) and your bloodwork doesn’t reveal any deficiencies, that’s how you know you’re healthy and what you’re doing is working for you! :)

  185. Anonymous says:

    i actually have a really low matabolism so i can obly eat around 1,300 calories a day, i guess its ok though cuz i have a small appetite

  186. Melissa McCown says:

    Great post!
    I think you have to find out what works for you and what your body responds to! It seems like whenever I eat low cal, I feel like I’m dieting and therefore binge and gain more weight than in the first place. Low carb works best for me, because I can load up on good calories.

    Others have great success with low calorie! I think theres a load of health info for us all to personally process for ourselves and have to just figure out what works for your body.

    But, we can all agree that 1) whole foods are best for you 2) factory farming is wrong and comes with bad consequences.

  187. Carolyn says:

    I just want to say that…YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You seem like such a wonderful, strong, happy, supportive young lady. I am 17 years old, and I struggled with anorexia for five years. Currently, I am healthy, happy, and consider myself completely recovered! But I wish I would have found your blog when I was on major weight gain…so would have rather eaten all these yummy ideas, than guzzled Boost and Ensure. But, it got me to where I am today, and I can still enjoy your treats now. I think you are a wonderful person to look up to, and I am sorry you get so much grief, when all you are trying to do is please everyone. Keep up the hard work, and never lose yourself! You seem like an incredible person!


  188. emsoccer says:

    I do a 3000 calorie a day diet, because I practice soccer for 3-4 hours a day, but im still underweight.

  189. Karly says:

    Even though this is a very old post, I just came across it and enjoyed reading it. I think you’re completely right about eating healthy. Eating healthy is better for everyone, regardless of caloric needs. I am trying to lose weight by only eating 1400 calories per day, but eating whole foods instead of processed “diet” or “light” food makes it so much easier for me. If I ate processed low-cal food, I’d be hungry all the time with no energy. For those who need to eat more, I’d imagine eating whole foods makes it much easier to eat larger portions without feeling like you have bricks in your stomach or any other negative side effects. I think many people lose sight of true health when counting calories. It’s great that a blog like yours can serve the needs of your readers so well regardless of their caloric need! :)

  190. trajayjay says:

    Thank you!

    On a forum, one of the reasons you are infamous is because it seems like you eat too many low cal foods, and your recipes are too low in calories. This post thoroughly contradicts their misconception, although they’re probably so thick headed that they will interpret this post as a cheap cover up for your supposed anorexia. Oh well, you really give no reason to have us believe that you are anorexic.

  191. Hello Katie!!
    I just wanted to thank you for this post… even though I am a bit late in the game, seeing as it was posted over a year ago! It was very helpful, and a blessing to read about the same circumstance that goes through my mind every day, by another person’s perspective..
    If you don’t mind, I do have one quick question..
    What is your opinion on eating many calories later at night (like three hours before going to sleep), for someone who has a buuusssyyy day schedule and is also trying actively to gain healthy weight?
    Thanks again for everything you do, and your great ideas<3

  192. Alice says:

    I’m on a low-calorie diet (I count calories with an app) because I want to lose some weight… But I could easily do that without calorie counting. The thing is that I want to be healthy and stay at my goal weight for a long, long time, which is not easy to achieve… I tend to eat not enough, espacially when I worked out, so that I feel tired or always hungry or just not fine, so counting calories works for me to stay on a low-but-not-to-low-calorie diet.
    I’m always pretty jealous of people who can eat as much as they want (or have to eat many healthy fats and delicious calorie-dense foods ;)), because staying at about 1400 calories per day (and having to watch it) can be ANNOYING.
    Your variable recipes are pretty awesome, because I can always modify them in a way that suits the left-over calories and my appetite.
    Oh god, I can’t believe I just wrote, like, a novel just about myself… strange thing! I’ll post the comment anyway, hope it makes somebody happy…
    Have a nice day, Katie!

    1. You made ME happy. Does that count? 😉
      Novel comments always make me happy.

      1. Alice says:

        It’s everything that counts! 😀
        And it’s also pretty cool that you read all the comments, even the novel ones O.O
        You superwoman!

  193. Britt says:

    I’ve lost 130 pounds (on WW) and watch calories, fat, carbs, protein, and fiber… I love your recipes and sometimes mess them up by trying to lower the stats by substituting fat free greek yogurt for some of the higher carb or fat items;)

    The first time I made your cookie dough dip I ran a jar over to my husband’s work and told him to try it… He loved it, shared it with coworkers, and continues to request it. Tonight I made stuffed strawberries with it!
    Thanks for being here!

  194. Em says:

    If I eat under 1500 calories a day, I end up underweight and sickly looking. It’s so confusing, as many will advise a 1200-1500 calorie diet for women. Don’t play by the rule books.. find out what your body needs to thrive and stay healthy.

  195. Morag says:

    I’m currently recovering from anorexia, and one reason I love this blog is that it has healthy recipes that are yummy as heck, yet there is no assumption that all readers are trying to lose weight. It is NOT healthy to deny your body and mind what they are craving. I learned that the hard way, and now I have to dig myself out of this hole. It’s a long and painful battle, but I’m slowly learning that food is not the enemy. (and also that almonds are delicious) :)

  196. Valentina says:

    Oh my gosh I’m so glad I’ve found your blog! I am really skinny and it feels as if EVERYONE constantly criticises me for it, but I’m finding it so hard to put on weight. It’s so nice to hear of others with similar circumstances :)

  197. Anonymous says:

    Hey Katie!
    I have been a plant-based eater for almost two years now. I usually eat meat three or four times a month, but I very rarely consume dairy. I am a very active person! I run cross country and LOVE it! That being said, I forgot to take calories into count. I lost over 10 lbs at the beginning of the season and always felt tired. I didn’t know I had lost weight until people pointed it out to me and I figured I had better check. I am 5’11 so weighing 128 lbs was bad news. I have slowly gained it back so I am now sitting well at 138. I still should gain a little as my BMI is pushing underweight. Your post is so so so true! People often fuss at me to “Just eat something!” and many people have asked my mom if I have an eating disorder. Trust me though, I eat a LOT! But your post made me realize that carrots and apples and hummus just don’t pack enough calories. I think I may eat some black magic peanut butter for breakfast from now on! 😉 Thanks so much for your post! I loved it!

    1. Katie says:

      Thank you, Anonymus!! This is ME right now.. Right down to the cross-country and pseudo “eating disorder” haha! Thank you for posting this and helping me indirectly feel connected. =)

  198. Winka says:

    i love you Katie. You are an inspiring girl… i admire that. I think it is cool you give young girls the right message, that they should listen to themselves and be happy.
    I was anorexic for 2 years. You really helped me.

    BTW you are beyoutiful

  199. Katie says:

    Hi Katie! Thank you so much for this great page!!!
    I have a question. I have always been pretty thin for my height, but recently I realized that being smaller is hurting my physical strength and sports ability. I do cross-country but have had shin splints for the past year, which my unhealthy weight has definitely contributed to.
    I am trying to gain weight now by eating good strong foods- my issue is that I feel guilty after I eat big portions or “fattening” foods, and I’m still not gaining anything!! I want to be able to feel strong, and I want to not feel bad when I eat these foods. What can I do?
    Katie, thank you for your blog and encouragement in these posts. Thank you all!!!

  200. Anamaria Lazzeretti says:

    I really needed how to loose, weight drinking something at night. That’what it says on the cover facebook. When I opened it, it gives hint on how to gain weight