“Quick quiz.  What do the following events have in common?  The war in Iraq.  The Exxon Valdez oil spill. The rise in America’s prison population.  The answer: They all contribute to our nation’s gross national domestic product, or what’s now referred to as gross domestic product, or GDP, and therefor all are considered “good,” at least in the dismal eyes of economics.

GDP is simply the sum of all goods and services a nation produces over a given time.  The sale of an assault rifle and the sale of an antibiotic both contribute equally to the national tally (assuming the sale prices is the same).  It’s as if we tracked our calorie intake but cared not one whit what kind of calories we consumed.  Whole grains or lard — or rat poison, for that matter.  Calories are calories.

GDP does not register, as Robert Kennedy put it, “the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, or the intelligence of our public debate.”  GDP measures everything, Kennedy concluded, “except that which makes life worthwhile.”
(page 75 of Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Bliss)

I could say the same about what calories measure.  Well, ok, lets be serious, I often do say this: I don’t care how many calories you’re consuming, that’s not what matters.  Pretty simple.  It’s about quality over quantity. 

Calories do not measure the joy our food brings us, the love put into it by the one who cooked it, or the peace it brings us to sit at a table and enjoy a meal with friends, family, or without the distraction of TV, computer, or cell phone.

Yes, calories matter, but only sort of.  Here are some quick notes of a few other things to consider besides just those pesky numbers, but which are also, well, kind of related to those pesky numbers ;-p :

1. Weight loss can be from fat, muscle or water. Many people count calories when they are trying to lose some lbs, but keep in mind that all weight loss is not neccesarily good weight loss.

2. Don’t forget to move! You still need to exercise whether you’re trying to lose weight or just be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

3. Content over count.  1500 calories of Oreos or 1500 calories of veggies, fruits, and grains do totally different things to your mind and body.  Fuel yourself with the good stuff and forget about battling with yourself because…

4. Willpower is horse$hit.  When you count calories you get into a “tit for tat” situation with yourself, or into a mindset of denial, reduction, and scarcity.  Instead, think of adding-in good things that you don’t even have to remotely worry about a calorie count on like nearly all fresh foods and whole grains which will naturally fill you up before approaching “dangerous” calorie count.


So, that’s about that. 😉  A penny for your thoughts? Leave ’em below please, and happy eating!:)



*P.S. Are you signed up for COSTA RICA yet?!  Now only 9 spots remain. Deepen your practice in paradise! 🙂 Register by FRIDAY and SAVE $100!

Morning practices will be enlivening, powerful, & dynamic and led by the lovely Lisa Schlelein Theis and tunes spun by “DJ Cosmic Professor.”

Afternoons will be filled with non-yogic adventures designed to challenge you and open your mind, body, and spirit. All meals are included and are local, organic, yummy, and healthy. Integrative nutrition counseling, as well.

Evening yoga lead by me will generally be gentle, restorative, calming. Not your typical “yoga retreat.” PURA VIDA on the west coast of Costa Rica.

Seriously great for beginner to expert yogis, wanderlusters, and adventurers. Join us at the Costa Rica Yoga Spa July 20-26th! 🙂