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Episode 242: Increase Blog Traffic in the New Year by Focusing on Weight Loss with Sara Borgstede

In episode 242, we chat with Sara Borgstede about how you can avoid a lull in traffic even if your niche is not healthy eating by placing a focus on this content now in preparation for Q1.

We cover information about you can create a plan for the slower months by using long-tail keywords around healthy eating, start sprucing up your healthy eating content now and start using it and create round ups that are applicable to your audience that is already health conscious.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.


Guest Details

Connect with The Holy Mess
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Bio Sara is a writer, speaker, and 100+ pound weight loss success story. Her website The Holy Mess reaches millions of readers. At Faithful Finish Lines Christian weight loss program, she helps women lose weight and grow in faith with an impressive 36,000+ completing free weight loss challenges under her guidance to date.

Takeaways

  • You don’t have to experience a traffic lull after the holiday traffic, even if you have previous years.
  • The number one New Year’s resolution annually is about eating healthy.
  • Fall is the perfect time to work on preparing your content for the New Year, even if you’re not a health food niche blogger.
  • If you’re not a health food blogger, you can work on SEO in regards to long tail keywords.
  • Roundups of your content or a mix of yours and some other blogs to share different healthy themes is good.
  • Work on improving some of the content that you already have to make it more weight loss friendly.
  • Consider upping how much nutritional values you give your audience or providing weight watcher’s point values.
  • Be sensitive to the readers who are on this healthy living journey with your words, how you introduce the topic and being sure to be relatable, sharing some personal ways its impacted you too.
  • When you write a post, an email or something on social media, even if you don’t have weight issues per se, be sure you give something that people can relate to and they feel like they don’t feel like they’re being preached to, they feel like we’re all in this together.
  • Mindfulness is important when you’re a food blogger and have treats and foods around all the time. You don’t have to eat it all. Freeze the food when you’re done, if you’re not serving it. Only eat what you serve and put on a plate, even cookie dough.

Resources Mentioned

Send Owl – Affiliate Sign Up

Another episode?

You can update old blog content to be strategic with your content. Victoria Kabakian shares how in episode 179.

Transcript

Click for full text.

242 Sara B

Intro: Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, where food bloggers come to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. We’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself, because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host, Megan Porta. 

Megan: Hey, food bloggers. Do you ever get caught up in the confusion about how in the world you are going to make money? Take the free quiz I’ve put together for you that is going to help you get to the bottom of this problem. Go to eatblogtalk.com/quiz to find out which stream of revenue is the next perfect one for you. Your results will be personalized based on your answers, and they will provide you with action steps, and resources that will help you launch into monetizing your blogging business in a new way. There are truly so many ways to make money as a food blogger. So don’t waste another second again, go to eatblogtalk.com/quiz and get started on your next revenue stream today.

Hey guys, just reminding you to head over to iTunes, if you haven’t already to subscribe, rate, and review Eat Blog Talk. It adds value to this podcast when you do that, and I would be so grateful for your time. It will take two minutes. Press pause, go do it and come back and keep listening. 

Hello, food bloggers. Welcome to another episode of Eat Blog Talk. Thank you so much for joining us today. I have Sara Borgstede with me from theholymess.com and we’re going to talk about how to increase blog traffic in the New Year by focusing on weight loss. Sarah is a writer, speaker and 100 plus pound weight loss success story. That’s amazing. Her website, The Holy Mess reaches millions of readers at Faithful Finished Lines Christian Weight Loss Program. She helps women lose weight and grow in faith with an impressive 36,000 plus completing free weight loss challenges under her guidance to date. That is so amazing, Sara. All of this is awesome and I’m so excited to chat with you, but first we want to hear your fun fact.

Sara: Thank you, Megan. It is such a privilege. I’m fangirling a little bit because I listen to your podcast all the time. So it’s a real treat for me to be able to be here. My fun fact is that I started martial arts when I was in my mid forties and I am now a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. 

Megan: Oh, my goodness. Okay. Never had that fun fact before. That’s super cool. Wow. 

Sara: Thank you. It’s proof that you can start something later in life and still be successful. Or even if you bumble along, I’ve had young kids as young as six or seven teaching me about how to do different things in the sport. So it’s been humbling, but great. Two of my sons, we have five children, also do Tae Kwon Do and I used to go and sit on the sidelines and frantically go through my social media on my phone until I realized that I could participate with them. So that’s what I did. 

Megan: We get so caught up in those mindsets, right? Where we think we’re too old to do something or start something. This is proof that you can do anything and you’re never too old. If you have anything on your mind that you’re thinking right now, but I couldn’t do that cause I’m too old. It’s not true. You can start anything. So Sara is giving you permission.

Sara: Absolutely, that is so true. 

Megan: Yes, so fun. I love that. I was telling you, before we started recording that I’m really excited to dive into this topic today about how to increase blog traffic in the New Year by focusing on healthy eating and weight loss, because we have never covered this. I think it’s a really important topic to cover because we all experience, I shouldn’t say all of us because I do know some bloggers who typically write and post about healthy eating and they actually get boosts in January, but a lot of people, myself included, we experience those lulls and it’s really disheartening. I expect it every year and it comes every year and I’m not surprised. Here it is again. We can actually all focus on that healthy eating side and even the weight loss in order to give ourselves a boost. So just talk us through that. That whole situation and the problem that a lot of food bloggers have about January being a big lull for bloggers and how we can utilize that time to improve. 

Sara: Definitely. Yes, as you said, most food bloggers have a great season over the holidays and then experience a lull. I am the opposite because I do almost exclusively about weight loss and healthy recipes. So January, February, even into March and April are a great time for my website. That can be true for you as well. While healthy recipes might not always be your focus, that’s totally fine. There are things that you can do to increase your traffic during that time to capture people who are interested. I do want to tell you that, unfortunately just with our food culture being what it is, our food sourcing, more and more people in the United States are overweight. It is the number one New Year’s resolution, which I know is why we all kind of joke and laugh about it, but it’s true. It’s the reality. Even people who maybe don’t need to lose weight are recognizing that they need to eat healthier. They don’t feel as good when they’re eating a lot of extra fat, sugar and salt. So all of us can see a rise in our traffic by focusing on the people that do have that as a priority in the New Year.

Megan: So what can we do now? When this episode gets published, it will probably be early October ish. What can we do at this point? Because we’ll have a few months to prepare and knowing this, like you’re right, so many people have that resolution, even if they’re not technically overweight to get healthier and eat better after a long holiday season of maybe overeating and eating bad foods. A lot of people have that as a goal to eat healthier. So we, as food bloggers, have the power there. We have important food messages to share with people. So what can we do now to prepare for that? 

Sara: Yes. Actually that fall is the perfect time, because if you wait until January, you’re a little bit behind the eight ball. When it comes to SEO or Pinterest, we need to be starting those things now. So I would definitely recommend if you’re not primarily a healthy food blogger that you go for those long tail keywords and look for some niches where your recipes might really fit in as far as weight loss. So roundups are great. If you can pull together 10 or 20 of your top recipes that are healthier or fit into one niche. So whether that’s clean eating or plant-based or vegetarian or meatless meals, low carb meals. Keto is still really popular. Although I think we’re going to start to see a decrease in that as time goes on. Maybe salads, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lighter, fresher or healthier desserts are always really popular. Healthy main dishes are really popular. Kid friendly healthier foods. People are always looking for ways to help their family to eat healthier. If you could put together a roundup of some of those recipes, send emails out to your readers, be sensitive that during that time of year, that’s what people are looking for and drive traffic back to some of that, a roundup is a great idea.

Another thing that you can do is work on improving some of the content that maybe you already have to make it a little bit more weight loss friendly. So that might be again, including some of those keywords. Maybe you have a vegetarian dish and maybe you included the word vegan or vegetarian, but did you say plant-based, did you say it’s good for weight loss?

Maybe it fits with keto or it’s gluten-free. There are some different systems that you might want to consider. Do you include the complete nutritional information? Do you have weight watchers points or could you get those? Could you include trim, healthy mama information? Again, it’s going to be a little bit specific to your website and what’s not going to be too much difficulty for you to add on, but can you be sensitive to the readers who need that and provide that information for them? 

Megan: So I was going to ask you, what if we aren’t known as a quote healthy blogger, but then you offered all of these amazing ideas, like you just went through: low carb, keto salads, whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables, healthy desserts, kid-friendly. Okay, something in there has to align with your content no matter what. I am definitely not a healthy blogger. A lot of my recipes have tons of calories and fat, but I can pick out a few things from what you just said that could align and I could definitely create a roundup. We can also take maybe some of our other favorite bloggers and include some of their content in a Roundup to round it out. What do you think about that? 

Sara: Oh, definitely. I know people do roundups in different ways. Personally. I typically will do the first three or four recipes and the roundup is my own. Then if I don’t have enough for a complete roundup, then I go to others, which I think is a great way of reaching out in the community as well. So that’s how I do it. So I’m bringing things back to my site. Maybe for someone who’s not a healthy blogger typically, maybe you pick your top five recipes that you could really go in and clean them up and make them weight loss friendly. So you do a roundup where you feature those as the top five, and then you feature other bloggers for the rest of the Roundup. I think that would work out great. 

Megan: Oh, that is a great idea. What do you think about doing challenges to start the new year? Do you ever do anything like that? Maybe inviting your email subscribers in and saying, Hey, we just experienced a lot of calories in December. Let’s do a challenge together. That might be a good idea and something I’ve never explored. What do you think of that?

Sara: I think it’s a fabulous idea because I do it all the time. Actually, I was going to talk about it at the end, but I do have an affiliate program that I run a very simple, but super popular three-day diet, which I know you think can happen in three days, but it’s just enough to give people that kickstart that they need. The challenge is free, but I have a tripwire that sells extremely well. So if anyone’s interested the affiliate program is 40%. It would work out great. I’d be glad to have you do that. I guess what I would say is if you don’t typically do that, it can be a lot to take on depending on how big you make the challenge. I think starting with revamping some of the content you already have, maybe sharing a challenge that I or someone else is doing as an affiliate might be at least a great way to get your feet wet. Just because I don’t want to see you take on too much if you don’t really have enough of an audience for it. 

Megan: That makes sense. Don’t you feel like this year is the year to focus on this content? Because we, okay I’m not going to say we all. So many of us, even the most well-intended, have added a few pounds because of the pandemic and being quarantined that we just can’t shed. I feel like this is a common theme throughout the world, really. I’ve heard people all over the world say this. So I just feel like now more than ever is the time to really dig into this. Yes, enjoy the holidays. Enjoy the parties and enjoy the food. Maybe try not to go overboard, but then after that it’s okay, we’re all just going to be ready to buckle down.

Sara: Oh yes. So listen to this statistic. I was shocked when I saw this. The average person during the time when we were in complete quarantine and really locked down, gained one and a half pounds per month. 

Megan: Oof. 

Sara: That is significant. That is huge. So I completely agree with you that coming into the new year is always the big season for this, but especially this year, and especially because things are still going, we don’t really know what is going to happen this fall and this winter. So definitely people are looking for content where they can, I mean, food tastes good. We all want to enjoy food. Of course we do. We’re food bloggers. So we don’t want to deny that, but we also want to meet people where they are, and that people are wanting to get healthier.

They do want to lose weight. I think what you just shared Megan, is really helpful. When it comes to weight loss, this is a very sensitive topic and it’s hard. It’s at times embarrassing or we’re really hard on ourselves, or we have a lot of guilt. It’s important in your approach, in how you’re writing about it. Even if you don’t have weight issues per se, that you give something that people can relate to and they feel like they don’t feel like they’re being preached to, they feel like we’re all in this together. So if you’re starting an email, even if it’s just to introduce a round up. Where you say, Hey, I can relate to this. I didn’t eat the healthiest over the quarantine, or I didn’t eat the healthiest over the holidays, but now, I want a fresh start. I want my family to eat healthier. Whatever is true for you, because you want to share what’s true, but you want to be relatable and understanding. Because for some people, this is true, it was for me when I was a hundred pounds heavier, a devastating, incredibly difficult, painful part of my life. So we just want to make sure I encourage you to be sensitive in how you’re writing about this to your readers and sharing something of yourself because all of us have had some struggle with food, at some point, in some way, in our life. So there’s something you can pull out that you can write that will be relatable and understandable to your readers. 

Megan: I think that is such a great piece of advice and something that was sitting in my head, but I didn’t think to pull it out into words. So I really appreciate that you said that because it is sensitive. I was just thinking back over the course of the past year and a half, as you were talking and all of the different people that I have encountered who’ve confessed oh, I gained 10 pounds and there’s always this sense of feeling ashamed, just in their voice and in the words that they say, and the way that they say it. Myself included if I tell someone I gained some pounds as well. You always say it apologetically oh, I can’t believe that happened. It’s always there. There’s never a time when someone’s oh, I gained 10 pounds and it’s like a badge. Oh who cares about that? No, it’s always filled with guilt and remorse and I can’t believe I let that happen to me. So to put that into words and to put it out there to your own audience, that yes, you can relate. Also to maybe address that we don’t need to feel guilty about this. We are all in the same boat. This happened collectively to all of us throughout the world and not just our country, but all across the world. So I think that is a really important message. So thank you Sara, for saying that I love that you brought that up.

Sara: I always say our weight issues are so public and yet, so private. It’s public in the sense that everyone can see your body on the outside and yet so private, there’s so much that goes on that creates the reasons why we choose the food decisions that we do. So again having that sensitivity and relating to your reader’s pain, because this is a pain point, in a way that they feel like, oh, wow. Megan’s in my corner. This blogger is in my corner. They get where I’m coming from. They’re walking along beside me with this, will bring you light years further in them, your reader, wanting to to click on your content. To relate to you to say, wow, we’re all in this together. 

Megan: It’s so important to give that message, I think, and we do have to address this too, because we are food bloggers. So we are around food all the time. So I feel like it’s even a little bit more difficult for us because we have to exercise that willpower above and beyond what a lot of other people do. They often don’t have an entire batch of cookies sitting on their counter that they have to say no to. So do you have advice for us on that topic? Because. I will tell you, it is hard for me even having been a food blogger for over a decade, I still am like, why did I just eat that entire pan of fill in the blank? I have problems with this and I would love to gain your insight, Sara, on how to not do that anymore.

Sara: Absolutely. We do have bigger challenges. I absolutely deal with this for healthier recipes. I mean, just because it’s healthier doesn’t mean that you should eat a whole pan full or I should eat a whole pan full. So mindfulness is big. Just the fact that you are mindful of it, is really important. I have a rule, if I eat sitting down. So if I am tempted to take a bite of this while I’m making it, I started this rule with cookie dough because I can eat a whole batch of cookie dough before the cookies even get into the oven. So if I’m going to eat raw cookie dough, fine. But I am going to put it on a plate. I’m going to sit my butt down and I’m going to eat it from a plate, like a civilized human being. So sitting down to eat it is huge. Sugar free or regular gum can be really helpful just because it puts some mindfulness into it. You have to spit the gum out. Okay. Now my mouth tastes minty. So while you’re cooking, those are a couple tips. Once you already have the food in your house. My freezer is my best friend. If I have it frozen, if I have it put away, that will help me not to just mindlessly eat it. I still might go in the freezer and get it. But at least it gives you those extra steps. Having food that you don’t necessarily want to nibble on, not visible, research has shown that this makes a really big difference.

So I have no food on my kitchen counters. Ever. If I do, it’s going to be fruit. It is absolutely not going to be junk food. So there will not ever be a tray of brownies just sitting on my kitchen counter, because that makes it too easy for me to go and take a bite of it. Especially when it’s broken apart because of little pieces, they don’t have any calories. So I’m going to have it packaged. I’m going to have it put away. I’ll have it put up in a high shelf in the pantry where I don’t see it or it’ll be in the freezer. But having it out of sight research has shown that it really can make a big difference. 

Megan: These are great. Oh my gosh. I love the minty gum tip because there’s nothing grosser than having a mint flavor in your mouth and then enjoying brownie. That does not work well. 

Sara: Right! Oh, one other quick tip too, since we’re just having it. When I started this, when I started working from home, because I work full time on my website, I have the kitchen open, kitchen closed times. So if you’re a person that tends to graze, this might be helpful for you. So maybe you decide I’m going to eat breakfast from seven to eight and then the kitchen is closed and then the kitchen doesn’t open again until 11 to 12. Then again from four to six or whatever, and this was really helpful for my family too, when they all came home and even school was home and work was home. `All of a sudden I’m like, why is the kitchen sink full of dishes all the time? It’s because my family was eating all the time. No, we can’t be doing this. It doesn’t matter if you have weight issues or not. You don’t need to graze the day. So having some of those boundaries for yourself is helpful and not a bad thing. 

Megan: I need to implement that in my family because I have a grazer. My 11 year old literally will eat all day long and then we get to dinner and he’s, I’m not hungry. I wonder why. You’ve been eating all day. 

Sara: It’s really tempting when those of us who are home can be healthy. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with snacking. I’m not trying to say that snacking isn’t good. But if we’re eating for entertainment, which a lot of times that’s what grazing is like, oh, I’m right in the middle of this project. Oh, maybe my stomach’s growling. Maybe I need a little snack. That’s when it’s not such a healthy behavior.

Megan: Yeah. I find myself, randomly throughout the day, just staring in my pantry, and I’m like, what am I even looking for? I catch myself and then I’m just like, okay. Back away. Then I shut the door, but isn’t that funny how we just automatically go to the fridge or the pantry and we just stare in? We’re expecting something to jump out at us.

Sara: Something new right? The thing about food and eating is that food tastes good. Food tastes good in the mouth. It tastes great. Food also changes our physical state. So you can change your emotional state, your psychological state by changing your physical state. It’s pretty quick. It’s pretty easy. We have almost limitless access to food in our culture right now. So, it works. It’s something that we can do. So there’s nothing wrong with it, but again, if we’re trying to fill an emotional need, a psychological need, fill a void, relax, sometimes using food isn’t really the best approach. For those of us with weight issues, it’s definitely having negative consequences. So that’s the time where it’s important to step in, not in a harsh or critical way of ourselves, but in a very compassionate, loving way. Sometimes I almost feel like there’s that little toddler part of me that wants to go have a snack to feel better. The adult part of me is just very lovingly, graciously saying, oh, we’ll have some food later when it’s dinner time, but right now, we’re going to go do something else. Maybe it’s to get back to work. Maybe it’s to put my feet up and read a magazine for a few minutes or, just find a way to relax because I need a break, but I really don’t need food. 

Megan: I love that. Just being really kind with yourself and recognizing that maybe you need something, but it doesn’t need to be food. But there are times though when I just really want a bite or two of ice cream and I don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with if I truly am craving that ice cream that’s in my freezer and I literally take two bites. I feel good about that. There are times when you can just satisfy that craving and then just be done, right? You don’t have to eat the whole thing. You can just take a bite or two, thoroughly enjoy it, and then put it aside. You’re like, okay, that was what I needed. 

Sara: Oh, absolutely. I love what you’re saying that you totally are mindful and present in those two bites and enjoy it. So for me, that would be the time for me to sit down. I would even take it one step further and put it in a tiny little bowl, a pretty bowl, instead of just eating it out of the ice cream cart. For me, I’ve just found that I can be more mindful when I have it on a plate in a very respectful way for my body. But it wouldn’t have to be, but there’s a big difference between mindfully enjoying two bites, savoring it, loving it. It just completely meets that need versus sort of driving by eating it and you’re almost not wanting anyone else seeing it and you’re trying to hide yourself and then you can’t really enjoy it. So mindfully enjoying it, I think it is great. Go for it. Just make sure that you’re doing it in a very present, gracious way, as opposed to a hidden one. Maybe I’ll take these few bites of Oreos in the pantry when nobody notices, maybe I don’t even notice. Then I keep going really quickly through my day.

Megan: I love your idea to just put it in a little bowl, even if it is just two small bites, because then it’s number one, it takes effort to do that. So it’s you’re going through the effort, you’re sitting down with it. You’re making it an event or like a little bit of a big deal. I love your term drive by. It’s not a drive by eating. You are sitting down, being super mindful and making it almost an occasion. I’m going to enjoy these two bites to the absolute fullest. There’s a huge difference there. Internally when you’re doing that versus the quick Oreo in the pantry and you don’t even remember eating it, what did it even taste like? I have no idea. I just ate it. That was pointless. 

Sara: Exactly. Yes. Do make it an experience. We, as food bloggers know this more than anyone else, there’s so much more to food than just the taste. There’s the experience. There’s the smell. There’s beauty. There’s the, and not every time you eat needs to be blog worthy, but honestly, sometimes I really enjoy eating something pretty and not taking a picture of it. Oh, thank goodness. I don’t have to have a beautiful picture of this. But just enjoying it and experiencing it for yourself, so that you can be fully present and enjoying it. If you’re going to splurge on all the calories or whatever the fat, enjoy it. Sit down, make it a moment and enjoy it. 

Megan: Yes. And Sarah, we can actually, everything we’re talking about right now relates to blogging and being around food a lot. But we can talk about this with our audience, right? I think that would make us so real and relatable to say to you guys, I’ve got a real problem. I have food around me all day long and it’s really hard. So I get it. Go into that thing where I know you just went through a holiday season. I’m here with you. I’m experiencing the same thing. It is hard for me. Here are my tricks. Here’s what I do. Maybe this will help you as well. 

Sara: Oh, my goodness. I would love to hear from some of you. If you have never addressed this topic with your audience and you write an email like that in January or the beginning of a blog post, you will get so many emails back from people who say, wow, I had no idea you struggled the same way I do. I feel so alone, or, oh my gosh, I do that too. Or I’ve struggled with weight my whole life. I could almost guarantee you it will resonate so strongly with your audience. 

Megan: Oh, I got goosebumps a little bit. When you were saying that, I feel like every single human, I think you said this earlier, has had, at some point, like struggles with food on some level. Whether it’s weight loss or just what we’re talking about here. So everyone has this problem. It’s a common thread throughout all humans. So to address it, I think it would be really powerful and what better time than January. So start thinking through how to do that now. 

Just to recap some things that Sara brought to the table about refreshing your content for January preparing now while it’s fall. I’m thinking about those long tail keywords. Going through some of your healthier content to give it a spruce up, a little bit. Make it updated, maybe pull some roundups together. Go to your favorite bloggers and pull some of their material together as well. I think you can really set yourself up for a nice January this year, which sounds really appealing after the holidays. There’s that slump coming. So is there anything that we’ve missed Sarah, that you feel like we should cover before we start saying goodbye? 

Sara: There’s one other thing I want to address. That is, if you are specifically talking about weight loss, not just maybe getting healthier, which I think is totally fine to do, even if it’s not your expertise. I just want to make sure that I say there’s only one way that weight loss happens as far as actually fat loss. That’s eating fewer calories than you burn. Whether you’re counting calories or not, your body is still counting calories. Everybody’s body is. So I think that a misconception that can often happen, is we might show healthier recipes because maybe they have whole ingredients. But if, for example, you’re showing a salad that has half a cup of olive oil, that’s I don’t know, off the top of my head, but probably a thousand calories, at least, for half a cup of olive oil. We just want to be mindful that people who are trying to lose weight specifically, they need to reduce their calories. So as you look at your recipe, that maybe you’re trying to spruce up, or maybe you’re trying to choose for your roundup. Keep in mind that people who need to lose weight, who need to drop fat, they need to eat meals that are lower in calories than what they’re currently eating. 

Megan: Great point. Yes. Those dressings can sneak up on you so they can be so packed with fat and calories.

Sara: Yep. Things like healthier desserts. Again, not saying that those can’t be part of your repertoire or what’s on your blog. I just want to make sure that if you’re, let’s say you’re doing a roundup that you say is, here’s 25 healthy recipes for weight loss, and they’re full of lots of olive oil or maybe a healthier dessert that’s full of, I don’t know, like avocado or something like that. Not that it couldn’t fit into a weight loss diet, but it might not, if it’s very high in calories. So we just want to be mindful of that. 

Megan: Something I’ve started doing, even on my recipes that are really calorie laden, is I’ve started putting in the recipe notes, which I put in the recipe card also. If you want to reduce calories, do this. What you’re just saying about the oil. Use a quarter of the oil recommended or I’ll go through and if they’re sour cream, I’ll say omit the sour cream. So you could do things like that too. Just give alternate recommendations. Specifically for calorie reduction cause you’re right. If you’re loaded up on a ton of calories, even though it’s a quote salad, you’re really defeating the purpose. 

Sara: Exactly. I can tell you that for myself, always eating fewer calories to maintain this weight loss that I have. If I go to a roundup that says, oh, these are lightened healthy recipes for weight loss and I go, and the recipe is 6, 7, 8, 900 calories. I just feel like I’ve been gypped or the person doesn’t really understand where I’m coming from. If you’re someone who doesn’t have any weight issues at all, and you’re thinking what would even be good? I would certainly say a meal less than 500 calories. Or a dessert that’s in the 200 to 300 calorie range would be much more reasonable for most people. Honestly, even the three to 400 calorie range for a main dish meal is what a lot of women would be looking for because they’re probably aiming to eat 1300 to 1500 calories for their entire day, which would be typical for a lot of women. 

Megan: I was just thinking about the restaurants that have the calories labeled on the menu. There are restaurants I go to where the least amount of calories listed is six to 700. I’m like, I want a light lunch. Like you were saying, something three to 400 in that range. So it’s really disheartening to see from 700 to 1200. That is way too much. So I totally understand what you’re saying here. 

Sara: If you can provide recipes for your readers, like copycat recipes or alternatives, it is very hard to get a restaurant meal that fits into a weight loss plan. It can be done. I do eat out. The women that I lead and I teach they eat out, but it is challenging. A lot of that has to do oil. Much of that has to do with cooking things in oil and butter. So if there are alternatives for your recipes where you can reduce the oil and butter, that right there can cut hundreds of calories per serving. So if you can offer those options, that’s a great idea. 

Megan: Most of the time, I don’t even notice, if I cut the oil way down, I don’t even notice it’s gone. It still tastes amazing. Even if you have a little bit of oil, you don’t need all of that oil. So just experimenting with that, just cutting it, not even in half, cutting it by a quarter or eighth. Cut it way down and you’re still going to enjoy it. 

Sara: Oh yeah. Things like baked goods. Okay. That’s going to be trickier. You’re going to have to test that. But if you’re sautéing, there’s absolute, I can’t even think of why you would need to saute in a quarter cup of olive oil. Like some recipes call for. Honestly, I don’t even use olive oil at all. Some of my recipes, I just use vegetable broth because if it’s going to go in a soup or something anyway, you’re not going to taste the difference. So really cutting that down, or at least offering that as an option to your readers will have a really big impact in a positive way. As far as reducing the calories, that’s not going to change the flavor at all. 

Megan: I totally agree. This has been so fun, Sara, thank you for being here today and just sharing all of this value. This is such an important topic and the perfect time to talk about it because January is right around the corner. Not just we are going to be thinking about this, but everyone is going to be thinking about how to be more mindful with our eating and honestly, just like losing probably a few pounds, so, super relevant. Thank you so much for everything. 

Sara: Thank you so much. I would be glad if any of your listeners have any questions, you can email me. [email protected] You can come to my website or use the contact form. You’re more than welcome to use any of my recipes in roundups. They’re definitely going to be lower calorie. They’re healthier. I included the weight watchers points. If there are any ways that I can be of assistance, I would be glad to help.

Megan: That is super generous. Thank you so much for offering that. We would love to hear Sara, do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to share?

Sara: I do have a quote. So this is from Matthew 19:26 in the Bible. It says, With man, it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. 

Megan: Love it. I have not had anyone quote the Bible. So I love that you just did that. Thank you so much for that. We will put together a show notes page for you, Sara. If anyone wants to go take a peek, you can go to eatblogtalk.com/theholymess. Also go check out Sara’s site. She invited you to send her an email, which was super generous. Is there anywhere else we can find you online? 

Sara: Yeah, you can find me on Facebook or Instagram. I’m on Pinterest, but certainly coming to my website is the place where it’s easiest to get a hold of me.

Megan: Great. Thanks again for being here and thank you so much for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you next time. 

Outro: We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk. .


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Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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