Young, Broke and Hungry: Balancing out those holiday cravings | Local News

A few weeks ago I was spending time with my best girl friends at one of their apartments.

The hostess had graciously baked brownies in preparation for us coming over and not one of us six girls ate a brownie.

Everyone's excuse was different, from "I don't want to spoil my dinner" to "Oh I just ate, I'm not hungry" to just getting right to the point — "I'm on a diet."

In a group of young, healthy women, why were we all so afraid to indulge in a brownie?

Over the past few months I've spent a lot of time paying more attention to the food I'm eating. I call it a diet, but really, its just me holding myself accountable for my food choices, good and bad.

I've tried the extreme diets (as we all have at some point) and finally I struck a healthy balance of eating better, but not depriving myself of the things I want. I can prune back on alcoholic drinks during the week, but on Friday night, I'll cut myself some slack. I'll do my best to meal prep but sometimes we get busy and I only have time to grab a wrap from a restaurant before heading back to work.

There is no sense in driving yourself crazy limiting what you eat. It only makes it more likely that you won't be able to make long-term changes to your diet actually stick.

Especially this time of year, with the holidays and the parties and the cold weather making us crave warm, thick stews, we need to strike a balance between eating healthy and just eating the brownie your friend made.

Don't torture yourself on Christmas Day and count calories, just enjoy yourself (and all the free food you get to eat at holiday parties.)

Instead, in the few weeks between Christmas and Thanksgiving, try and give yourself a reset. Try cutting back on soda with one of those carbonated, flavored waters everyone seems to love (I hate them) and swap a salad in for lunch during the week.

Give this kale salad a go — it has lots of protein to keep you energized and no added sugars. Or, if you hate kale and how much I use it in my recipes, opt for a spinach and arugula mix.

Detox Kale Salad

1 T. olive oil

1 T. red wine vinegar

1 T. lemon juice

1 clove minced garlic

Salt and pepper

About 1 C. roughly chopped (or torn) kale

1/4 C. cooked quinoa

1/4 C. chopped cooked chicken (optional)

Chopped onion and tomato, to your own preference

Mix the first five ingredients together in a bowl with a whisk, this is your dressing.

Then, assemble your salad with the remaining ingredients and drizzle with dressing. Toss to combine.

Email Tessa Lighty at [email protected]

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