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I recently bought a plaque at a Family Fall Festival for my kitchen. It states, “In this kitchen we count memories not calories.” As soon as I saw it, I just had to have it! It describes exactly what I believe about our family kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we just eat whatever, whenever with no regard for the quality of our food – but I have been down the calorie counting road before and the memories aren’t sweet!

Did I loose weight and reach goals? YES!
Did I keep the weight off and maintain? NOPE!
Did I learn good information and make healthy changes? YES!
Did it bring about sustainable lifestyle changes? NOPE!
Did I learn how to manipulate the calorie numbers so I could still cave to my cravings and emotional food choices? YES!
Did I learn to make choices that improve the quality of my life and achieve optimal health? NOPE!

It gets worse! I brought my family along for the stressful, high-anxiety and very tense mealtime experience. Full of restrictions, “no’s”, frustrations and impositions. Failing to teach my young, impressionable children how to have a right perspective of food and nutrition or to listen to their bodies. I’m embarrassed to say I even imposed on one of them the use of a calorie-counting app and attending boring adult weight-loss classes with a bunch of middle-aged women when he was only in middle school. Talk about mom fail!!! As a result, we were missing out on the quality family time that mealtime is supposed to be. The kitchen – the heart of the home – was not a warm welcoming place. We did loose weight, but to the detriment of our mental, emotional and relational health. The changes were not sustainable and we soon gave up, and the one “positive” outcome, the weight loss, was lost as the pounds came packing back on and bringing some extra ones for the ride.


A year ago I signed up for coaching with Stephanie Wolfe from the Whole Food Health Coach and began a much better journey toward health and wellness than I had ever been on before!  Now, my family and I focus on quality over quantity when it comes to food. We know how to pair foods properly for optimal nutrition. We learned that not only what we eat is important, but how we eat is crucial. Health became a hobby and a lifestyle. And best of all, mealtime is about making memories, not counting calories!!

The positive impacts that healthy living had on my life, my family and my extended family as I shared what I was learning, led me to become a Certified Health Coach and earlier this year, I joined the Whole Food Health Coach team! I know all too well how the confusing messages, fad diets and programs and not knowing the whole story tripped up this well-intentioned, loving momma. For that reason, I am passionate about sharing what I have learned with other parents through Nutrition Classes, Raising Healthy Kids Workshops and one-on-one coaching. I truly desire to educate, inspire and collaborate with other parents to help bring health and wellness to the next generation and make our families, schools, communities and world a healthier place.

If you are tired of counting calories, following unsustainable temporary programs and living in food jail then I would love to encourage you to begin a C.L.E.A.N. Living journey for yourself and your family. Send me a message and we’ll schedule a time to talk. I have so much I’d love to share with you.

by Rachel Souza, CHC

Healthy Me. Healthy Family. Healthy World!