FAQ

Here is a round-up of some questions I’ve been asked regarding the blog… if you have one that is not listed on this page, please feel free to email me!

1. What is “healthy” food?

Ask a dozen different individuals what they think “healthy” food is, and you will undoubtedly get a dozen various answers. It is a highly subjective term, and it’s okay if your definition differs from mine (in fact, it probably does).

Here’s what healthy means to me: The majority of my diet revolves around fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy, legumes/beans, and some meat. I steer clear of highly processed products and pre-made meals, preferring to cook and bake the majority of what I eat. I enjoy a wide array of foods, and do not eliminate any categories or food groups.

Things I eat/cook with often:

  • in-season produce, always organic if I eat the skin (see #5 below)
  • 100% whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, wheat berries, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat pizza dough, quinoa
  • fat free or low fat plain (no sugar added) Greek yogurt
  • reduced fat cheeses
  • unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • organic fat free and low-fat dairy milk
  • all-natural peanut and almond butter
  • homemade desserts & baked goods featuring a moderate amount of unrefined sweeteners (evaporated cane juice, Sucanat, maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup) and substitutes such as unsweetened applesauce for butter or oil
  • olive oil
  • beans

Things I eat/cook with sparingly:

  • meat (chicken once or twice a week; fish once or twice a week; pork occasionally; red meat very rarely), and when I do eat it, I serve myself small portions
  • full-fat dairy products, such as cheese, milk, yogurt, and ice cream
  • white potatoes
  • butter
  • canola oil
  • packaged products (chips, crackers, cookies, etc.)
  • fruit juice
  • Stevia

Things I do not eat/cook with:

  • hydrogenated fats
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • highly processed foods
  • white sugar
  • white flour
  • shortening
  • soda

2. Do you keep track of calories?

I personally do not, but many readers requested that I post the nutritional information for the recipes that I post on the blog, and I was happy to oblige!

3. What kind of camera do you have?

I have a Canon EOS Rebel T3i (photos prior to 1/2012 were shot with my PowerShot S5IS). I use the manual setting on my camera so that I have control over aperture, ISO, shutter speed, etc.

I consider myself a novice food photographer, and am always picking up tips from fellow bloggers.

4. What’s with the “Monday Musings” posts? And why the Instagram photos?

I wanted to share some of my day-to-day life with my readers. Most the content revolves around food, but you will also find tidbits about my personal life… I think it’s a fun way for you to find out a little bit more about me!

I don’t always have my camera on me, but what I do almost always have on hand is my iPhone. Thus the Instagram shots.

5. I noticed you often list fruit and vegetables as “preferably organic”. Why?

It is my personal preference to buy the organic versions of fruit and veggies with skin that I eat (all berries, apples, all stone fruit, pears, kiwi, grapes, lettuce and other leafy greens, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, sweet potatoes etc.) and conventional versions of produce I peel first (bananas, melons, mangos, pineapple, citrus, corn, onions, avocados etc.).

I always add in “preferable” because I know it is not within everyone’s budget to spend extra money on organic produce.

6. You seem to eat a lot of sweets. How is that healthy?

It’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth. I eat dessert every single night and don’t feel guilty in the slightest ;). I rely on certain unrefined sweeteners (evaporated cane juice, Sucanat, pure maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, Medjool dates) and fat substitutes (unsweetened applesauce, pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt) when baking in order to keep sugar and fat in check. I have also “trained” my sweet tooth to be satisfied with less-sweet treats, so I will often halve the amount of sweetener called for in baked goods and other desserts.

7. How much money do you make from the blog?

Between revenue from being a featured Foodbuzz publisher and freelance blogging/recipe development jobs, I make enough so that I was able to leave my full-time teaching position and nanny part-time, but certainly not anywhere near enough to be able to support myself (thanks John!!).

17 comments to FAQ

  • Falon

    Hi Lauren,

    I came across your blog about a year ago and I absolutely love it! I’ve recently made some changes to my diet for the better and I’ve come across agave nectar as a sweetner. I don’t see it as one of your sweetner substitutes you mention above – do you ever use it in your cooking?

    Thanks again for all your delicious recipes! The carnitas are a personal fav :)

    Falon

    • Hi Falon,

      I do occasionally use agave nectar, but not nearly as often as the sweeteners listed above (just personal preference).

      I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying my recipes!

  • Brook

    Can I add my pics of your recipes to the comments??? How do I add a profile pic so when I leave a comment it’s there? Thanks–this is my fav food blog!!!

    • Of course you may add pictures… I’d love that! In terms of the profile picture, if you have an account with WordPress or Blogger you can add a photo of yourself that will show up when you leave a comment =).

  • Jody

    I notice you do not use Stevia. I’ve only had it twice, but believe it gave me a terrible migraine. I haven’t been able to find anyone to corroborate this. Why do you avoid it?
    So happy to have found your Bolger.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Jody –

      I use Stevia on occasion – and have included it in a few recipes for the blog here and there – but tend to prefer using unrefined sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, and evaporated cane juice. I have heard that Stevia may cause headaches – though I have not personally experienced this. I don’t use Stevia often for two main reasons: a) I like the taste of other sweetener better and b) because Stevia is still so new, I am a bit apprehensive about what the long-term effects might be on someone who consumes a lot of it. I know “they” say it has no harmful lasting side-effects… but who knows if that story will change 10 or 20 years down the road? Just to stay on the safe side, I use Stevia in moderation.

      I’m glad you found my blog, as well =).

      Thanks for reading!

  • Jody

    Darn autocorrect….I meant “So happy to have found your BLOG!”

  • Amy Ferraro

    Love the blog!! Can you let me know which food processor you use/recommend? Just took a gander at the Almond Butter post and got super motivated :)

    Thanks again!

  • Hi Lauren,
    Adore your blog and beautiful pics. I share your preference for whole, less-processed foods. What do you think about using coconut oil as a replacement for baked cakes that call for canola or vegetable oil? I have tried it a couple of times but have found it a little heavy.
    Thanks so much!

  • Theresa

    I’m so happy to have found your website! I am trying to cook with less salt. It seems that the few recipes I have noticed have small amounts. Do you try to reduce as much as possible, like using sweeteners. thx

  • Wendy

    I am eager to make some of the nut butters from your recipes. Thanks so much for posting them. What would you say is the shelf life for plain homemade nut butters? And then also, does the shelf life lessen when you add in flavorings like raisins, chocolate, etc.? Just would love to know what to tell people when giving them as gifts. Thanks!

    • Hi Wendy,

      It’s tough to say for sure, as I typically polish off a batch of homemade nut butter in a week or less ;). I’d say plain will last for at least 2 weeks at room temperature, longer if refrigerated; in terms of add-ins, I doubt it would lessen the shelf life… but again, if you’re concerned you could always tell people to keep the jar in the fridge.

      Hope that helps!

      Enjoy.

  • Mollie

    Hi I’m trying to make the deep dish cookie, how much is 3:1 of 2 and 1/2 tablespoons? I dont cook alot and I dont know how to work it out

  • Melissa

    Many of your recipes look good, but there is no nutritional info. I need to know the values for sodium, fats, cholesterol, calories and sugar per serving. My husband needs to know this info due to the special diet he is on.
    Otherwise, I cannot use any of the recipes.

  • Hi

    Came across your great site and would like to ask if you would place link to my daughters site (new business) – http://Vegan-Kitchen.co.uk, Louise has just opened and looking for as much exposure as she can get.

    Hope you can help.

    Regards
    Mark James

  • Ian

    GREAT SITE!!! Can you BLOG about my product? VitargoS2 is currently used by elite NCAA swim programs (including Stanford, Florida and CAL), not to mention triathletes, marathoners, fitness/physique models, bodybuilders, basketball players and sprinters (Justin Gatlin). I am currently introducing the product to the UCLA water polo team and the swim program at Georgia. Would love to have you post about us on your facebook or elsewhere. LMK what can be done. Product is SUGAR-FREE and GLUTEN-FREE and is the world’s FASTEST MUSCLE FUEL. Thank you

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