Behind The Butter

Listen Up!

Okay girls…I don’t know if you are will like what I’m about to say (or type, for that matter): After careful thought, I have decided to do away with mentioning the calories of everything I eat on this blog. Now, before you swear at the computer and delete this site from your favorite list, let me explain my motives.

1. I want this blog to move away from the “diet blog” category and move into the “healthy lifestyle” category. I don’t think counting calories is what we need to be doing in this day and age. I think instead we need to be focusing on eating nutritional meals that give our bodies energy and life. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains…..the things that sustain us and nourish us.
2. It’s just plain hard on me! I love this blog so much but its difficult for me to compute every calorie of what I eat to show you guys. I also find it restricting for myself because to do this, I was planning out my meals ahead of time and computing the calories…but then what if I didn’t feel like eating that anymore and didn’t have enough time to sit down and do the math? I would feel bad.

3. In the words of the author of the bestselling book “Skinny Bitch”—-“Counting calories is so 1989

I think you all have the idea now of how many calories my meals usually are. In general my breakfasts are anywhere from 350-480. Morning snack is usually about 120. Lunch is around 400. Afternoon snack is 150-220. Dinner is usually 450-500 and dessert is anywhere from 150-300 depending on the intensity of my sweet tooth! You won’t see me ever cook any “1000 calorie” meals and if you ever have a question, PLEASE feel free to ask me and I will do my best to do some quick math and let you know. I hope this is okay with you all…I know a lot of you were adamant about losing the calorie count but I feel strongly that really shouldn’t be the focus here. There are plenty of outstanding calorie counting blogs out there as well as weight loss and diet blogs you can refer to for all your calorie-counting needs!

Thank you for your understanding! ๐Ÿ™‚

oh and ps- I conveniently failed to mention calories for my last 2 meals and not one person has commented on the fact! No one seemed to even notice…..hmmm…..

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  • Laura
    February 7, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Jenna, we’ll love your blog no matter what!

  • Arika
    February 7, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    I think this is your best idea yet! People get to focused on that number. I like the eat and be joyous attitude you have, and calorie counting just ditracts. I am all for this new change! Good decision!

  • Allison
    February 7, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    I think that is so fantastic. Kudos to you, and if anything we Definitely don’t want to be stuck in 1989!

  • JenP
    February 7, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Bravo, Jenna. I’ve been striving to get away from the calorie counting mindset myself and your atittude is to be emulated. (Your recipes look delicious, too–I’m going to try the caramelized tofu this weekend!)

  • Marisa
    February 7, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I noticed, I just figured that it was a petty mistake and did not feel like adding negativity to the blog by focusing on shortcomings. Does anyone know of any other ‘outstanding calorie counting’ blogs that focus on a healthy lifestyle besides Kath? I think that an important part of a healthy lifestyle does involve keeping calories in mind, and I would be interested in reading other blogs that utilise a similar principle. However, you are not off my favorites list! Although I do not think that anyone ever saw this as a ‘diet blog,’ so that irrelevant in your list of motives. Thank you for any other blogs that you could point me to which will be interesting and relevant to the way which I chose a healthy lifestyle!

  • Kay
    February 7, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    For free shipping at Amazon, I always order over $25 at a time and the shipping is free. Like the “Skinny Bitch” book, it is one of their eligible items. It is standard shipping but I still get them usually within a week.

    (I copied their policy):

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  • Laura
    February 7, 2008 at 9:30 pm


    I love the idea of not including calories! Good for you =) You are such an inspiration to me (I am trying to break the habit myself).

  • Kay
    February 7, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    I think I am going to order some books and the flaxseed from them (amazon)!!

  • JJ
    February 7, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Jenna and all,

    This is the only blog in my life I’ve ever posted to – and I’ve grown so fond of it. I think this is a brilliant decision, and can’t say enough good things about your outlook on life, your emphasis on how important it is to keep our “insides” healthy in all ways, and to let go and enjoy a little. I wish I had had this kind of knowledge when I was a younger woman. I’m not in your demographic gals (well, the majority of you), but let me leave you with this: As a mother of twins who works part-time in the corporate world and part-time in the arts, exercises regularly, and runs around with my kids, I can assure you that when your lives begin to include these other elements (and they may already – I’m not presuming anything!), listening to your body intuitively is the very best way to keep your energy, your mental and physical health and your sense of joie de vive. You’ve no time to count calories, just to be sure you’ve got energy and that you feel like a hot mamma inside and out! Remember also that many of you are in the heart of your childbearing years (biologically speaking), and you are meant to not be super skinny in these years – it’s not what nature wants. Believe me, when you get older, you’ll long for some of the curves that go by way of gravity, nursing, and just having your body age a bit -enjoy those beautiful, feminine curves while you’ve got them!

  • Tina
    February 7, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    I totally agree! Counting calories is soo 1989! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love your blog with or without calorie counts!

  • VeggieGirl
    February 7, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    HOORAY, JENNA!!! Awesome decision, for sure!!

  • Danielle
    February 7, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Wow, Jenna, I really do love you! and this blog ๐Ÿ™‚ That is a wonderful proposal and I’m glad you let us in on the reasoning. I couldn’t agree more with your decision. I am trying to follow your example in my own life, some intuitive eating is just what I need! Thanks for everything!

  • Mel
    February 7, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Jenna- I absolutely LOVE your blog!! It’s so refreshing to read someone’s mindset that isn’t completely one sided when it comes to food. I read your post from the other day where you challened people to go a day w/o measuring portions or counting calories, and I did it…i was scared, but wow! Honestly, I feel much better this way. I know I’m not eating ridiculous amounts- I’ms till eating the same things, but I’m not scrutinizing my every bite. I’ve been doing that for years. I definetely share your passion for food and cooking- I love how you spend hours reading cookbooks at the bookstore, cuz I do too ๐Ÿ™‚ How did you end up at Le Cordon Bleu? I can’t imagine anything more amazing than studying food and cooking in Paris.
    Thank you for your blog and all that you do! You’ve really inspired me; and I’m definetely going to try that olive oil cake soon!!

  • arimcg
    February 7, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    I think it’s a great idea. In my experience, once you start counting calories, it’s almost impossible to stop. I would never advise anyone to do it. Even though I only “counted calories” for a couple of months, I still find it hard to not keep a running total in my head. It’s annoying – I’d rather just EAT.

  • Cara
    February 7, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Hey Jenna!! Your blog is great and inspiring, whether you count calories or not. But… since you did say you were willing to still answer any calorie related questions, could you indulge me for a minute? hehe

    My friend makes homemade hummus, and she also gives me some and I love using it on sandwiches as a protein source. I usually use about 2 tbsp, and Iโ€™ve checked the nutritional info on the hummus tubs in the store and they say anywhere from 50-70 calories per 2 tbsp.
    This probably sounds kind of stupid, but if you use basically the same ingredients when making it yourself (chickpeas, tahini etc) is there any reason not to use that calorie count for it? My friend makes it and Iโ€™m not sure the exact amount of chickpeas/tahini she uses but it comes out the same consistency as store-bought kind.

    Sorry for the long ramble but Iโ€™d love your thoughts on this since I’ve noticed you eat hummus =] Thanks

  • CKMeg
    February 7, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    No worries! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am a calorie counter, but one day aspire to NOT be! I just bought Fage yogurt for the first time…I don’t know why…but I’m kind of nervous to try it!

  • TC
    February 7, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Yay! I’m so happy you’ve decided to do this–very intuitive eating of you!

  • jenna
    February 7, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Hi Cara! Def. I would go for the higher amount (70 cal) though because you probably add more tahini at home. Maybe not….but its only a 20 cal difference ! I always think of hummus as 70 cal/2 tbsp though, regardless ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Beth
    February 7, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    I think this is a good idea because everyone’s caloric needs are SOOOO different. It bothers me on these blogs when people ask you (or whoever) if what they’re eating is the right amount, or if their portions are correct, or whatever. Hopefully this will inspire people to find out what works for them (by seeing a nutritionist or doing other self-research) so they get an idea of what’s required by their bodies.

    I’m just here for your great recipes! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mel H
    February 7, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Aww there’s another Mel on the blog now!! I’ll change my name to Mel H to make it easier!! Mel is such a great name! haha! Jenna- you are doing awesome. I hate counting exact makes me feel like i eat way too much (hey I have a big appetite) ! haha!
    Mel H

  • Sydnie
    February 7, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Kudos Jenna! As a mother of a 6-month-old and working from home, I hardly find the time to count my calories. I do, however, apply your eating style to my own life and it plays a major role in what I choose to eat each day. It’s a relief to me, for I don’t have to beat myself up for not counting out each thing I eat anymore. Yay! Plus, I can’t even imagine how you find the time to do everything that you do in your life. I’m relieved to see that only the calorie counts are going, instead of the whole blog because of how time consuming it is. What a great example you set in this busy world, that even a busy gal like you can find the time to eat healthy and stay active! Keep up the great work Jenna!

  • Heather(II)
    February 7, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Wooo hoo! Like arimcg I am trying to STOP this (in my opinion) bad habit. I am not trying to lose weight, and so I don’t find it necessary for me. To be honest, on other blogs I often look for the calories before reading the entry of looking at the pictures, but on your blog I barely glanced at them anyway. I think it shows your blog is so much more than calories, it is about healthy living.

  • Tina O.
    February 7, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    I don’t think looking at someone else’s calorie count has any effect on me one way or the other. I do keep in mind how much I am eating throughout the day, but I think its more portion control. I am currently in the process of losing a little weight, and in the beginning, I logged everything just to get an idea of how much I was eating. It really helped! But now, I am in the home stretch and I don’t need it anymore.
    On another note, thanks for the answer to my questions about the certification program. I have decided to go ahead with it and I am so excited! Thanks again.

  • Bev
    February 7, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    That’s it… I want to more of your heallty lifestyle and of course your delish recipes . Yea :0 )

  • Andrenna
    February 8, 2008 at 12:08 am

    I noticed, but I had a feeling you were up to something! I was one of the girls who wanted to keep them around, but I definitely agree with your reasoning. Plus, after a couple of times of seeing 300, 400, and 500 calorie meals, I got the idea! Especially because, as you said yesterday, calories don’t always equate to fullness, or even health. Plus, I am definitely for the healthy lifestyle approach, versus dieting for life approach.

  • Erica
    February 8, 2008 at 12:16 am

    I accept your decision to stop listing calories, but are you still going to provide them for your own dinner recipes? I found those really helpful when recreating your dishes!

  • allie
    February 8, 2008 at 12:23 am

    I agree with Erica- I completely understand why you want to stop including calorie counts in your daily meals, but I’m still kinda at the “want to know” stage for myself and so for your recipes it would definitely help if you included serving sizes and calorie counts.

  • KLM
    February 8, 2008 at 12:36 am


    I’ve never commented before, but I feel like it’s time to break my silence haha. I think that not posting your calories is a fantastic idea! Counting calories is a hard habit to break, and I have been trying to stop it for a while now. I know you get this all the time, but I just wanted to tell you what an inspiration you are! Your blog and attitude about food are great and something I strive for. I am recovering from ed/de and your blog has been a huge help! I’m sure that this change will help even more! Thanks for being such a great role model!!!

  • Laura
    February 8, 2008 at 12:39 am


    Thank you for that great comment! I read it twice just to let it sink in. I’m still young and trying to ‘re-gain’ the lost years obsessing as a teenager. I think we can only improve our health and attitude by reading a great blog like this ๐Ÿ™‚

    I really appreciate your comment! Thank you!
    I think younger women can learn a lot from those more experienced in life. You know the saying….’I wish I knew then what I know now…’

  • Nadia
    February 8, 2008 at 12:41 am

    I also request for calories to be posted for your recipes ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s def. very helpful.

  • JJ
    February 8, 2008 at 1:34 am

    Thank you Laura – all the best to you! My hat is off to all the readers of this blog and to Jenna – so self-aware. And how dreadful I spelled joie de vivre incorrectly, on this blog, of all places!

  • Kath
    February 8, 2008 at 2:29 am

    I’ll still be reading!!

  • jenna
    February 8, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Thank you all for your support, as usual!! Y’all are great ๐Ÿ™‚ I WILL keep posting calories for the recipes I make and put on the recipes section. I, too, love seeing the nutritional info in cookbooks when I cook a meal. Just to know ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Erica
    February 8, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Yay, the recipe calories are all I care about! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • BP
    February 8, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Jenna- great idea!! I have been reading your blog for a couple weeks and LOVE it. Your outlook is so refreshing! When starting to adopt a healthier lifestyle, it helps to count calories for a while because it forces you to notice actually what is in the food you are eating…but with the right habits, that can go away once you have the hang of it. Your blog is such a good influence – reading it daily reminds me how fun it is to eat healthy and, most importantly, how GOOD it makes my body feel to live a healthy lifestyle. All it takes is one night of drinking too much and/or eating crap to remind me how gross that lifestyle makes me feel.

    Thanks for being such a healthy influence in my life ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Marisa
    February 8, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Well, I just wanted to thank you for taking the consideration of asking your readers what they would prefer and then completely disregarding the opinions of almost all of them. Why even ask in the first place?

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