For the Love of Food

by | Apr 11, 2014
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week processed food makes you lazy, some soups may extend lifespan, and the true time frame for forming habits.

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).
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For the Love of Food

by | Dec 20, 2013
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week multivitamins are under attack, the truth about gluten and Alzheimer’s disease, and why you don’t know how many calories are actually in a pound.

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

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For the Love of Food

by | Oct 4, 2013
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week thinking too hard ruins our workouts, environmental toxins threaten pregnant women and why Big Food hates Chipotle.

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

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7 Reasons Keeping a Food Journal is Better Than Counting Calories

by | Jul 15, 2013

Photo by Paul Papadimitriou

I’m often asked why I don’t put more emphasis on calories and calorie counting, particularly for people trying to lose weight. The answer is that while I think there is great value in understanding and monitoring the types and amounts of foods that you eat––especially if you’ve never paid attention––your effort is much better spent keeping a food journal than on an endless race between your mouth and the treadmill.

The idea behind calorie counting is that you write down the calories in everything you eat and make sure it stays below a certain number each day. If you want to take it even further you can monitor the calories you burn during exercise as well, and factor that into your daily allowance. In theory it helps to know your resting metabolic rate (the number of calories your body naturally burns if you sit around and do nothing all day––this is your baseline), but that involves an expensive test in which you breathe through a tube for 15 minutes. I’ve done it, it isn’t fun.

Food journaling also requires writing down everything you eat, but emphasizes portion sizes (e.g. ounces, grams, etc.) instead of calories. It can also include information like the time of day you eat, other activities related to eating (e.g. working out, watching TV, etc.), and how you feel after eating. In Foodist I recommend keeping a food journal for at least two weeks to build awareness of what, why, when and how much you eat. The ultimate goal is to help identify the habits (along with their triggers and rewards) that shape your healthstyle. You can then use this information to build on what works and learn from what doesn’t.

While I would never tell anyone to stop counting calories if it works for them, here are seven reasons I think keeping a food journal is more effective for most people.
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For The Love Of Food

by | Mar 22, 2013
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This will be the last link roundup for a few weeks, since next Friday I’ll be traveling for my wedding (eeek!) and the following week I’ll be on my honeymoon (less scary, but still – eeek!). I’ll cue up some good stuff from the archives while I’m away, and of course share some pics. Wish me luck!

This week from around the internet Rob Rhinehart decides food is overrated, being healthy is easier when you enjoy it, and how your slicing method affects onion pungency.

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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For The Love Of Food

by | Feb 15, 2013

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week vitamin C fights colds for real, working out less may be more and why you’re eating more than you realize.

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

Links of the week


What inspired you this week?

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For The Love Of Food

by | Jun 8, 2012

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week learn who really tells us how much soda we should drink, why there’s something besides fructose that makes it bad for you and the search for the ideal amount of exercise.

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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For The Love Of Food

by | Mar 23, 2012

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

Why eating vegetables is cheaper than eating at McDonald’s, there are worse things than white rice and the best reason I’ve ever heard to go to the gym.

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Digg. I also share links on Twitter (@summertomato), Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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For The Love Of Food

by | Feb 17, 2012

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week McDonald’s comes up with a game changer, Dr. Oz proves once again that he’s a scumbag, and science gives us a few more reasons to eat fish.

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Digg. I also share links on Twitter (@summertomato), Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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Why I Don’t Post Calorie Counts On My Recipes

by | Jul 27, 2011
American Cheese Facts

American Cheese Facts

Over the years I’ve had a few people ask me why I don’t include calorie counts on the recipes I share. Isn’t this website supposed to help people eat healthier and lose weight?

You can imagine their surprise when I tell them that the reason I don’t post calories is because I want to help them eat healthier and lose weight. (Zing!) And calorie counts don’t contribute to that goal.

I’m not disputing the notion that eating less promotes weight loss. I’ve tried it and it works. The problem with posting calorie counts is it doesn’t give you any information about whether or not you’re making a good food decision, which is all most of us need to worry about.

You might think that calorie counts can help dieters monitor their food intake and lose weight, but when you stop and think about what this entails it’s easy to see how ridiculous it is.

It takes extreme skill and dedication to accurately tally your calorie intake every day, if it is even possible. As we saw yesterday, calorie counts at restaurants can be off by over a hundred calories, and packaged foods are legally allowed to be 20% higher than their labels claims. You may have better luck with home cooked meals, but it requires the detailed weighing, researching and recording of every ingredient you use.

And toward what goal?

Very few people have been tested and know their resting metabolic rate (how many calories you burn while doing nothing). To balance your energy expenditure you’d also need to account for your physical activity each day (dream on if you think the machines at the gym, or even your heart rate monitor, are giving you accurate calorie expenditures).

Theoretically you could just set a very low calorie goal and hope for the best, but that is essentially a semi-starvation diet and if that’s all you want to achieve then why bother counting?

If you really want to know if a recipe (or packaged food, for that matter) is healthy, skip the calorie counts and look at the ingredients. Do they consist of natural foods that grow from the earth or have they been processed beyond recognition?

Make better food decisions based on quality, unprocessed ingredients and you will be healthier and likely lose weight. Your food will be more satisfying (you’ll naturally eat less), you’ll have more energy (exercise is easier) and you’ll look better (positive reinforcement). If you’re already making excellent food decisions and still need to lose more weight, eating less using mindful eating and other tricks is very effective. Counting calories isn’t necessary.

In other words, I don’t post calorie counts because they distract you from what actually matters: eating real food.

All ingredients are proudly displayed on Summer Tomato recipes.

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