I struggled with food for a large majority of my teenage and young adult years. At 19, I was battling recovery from an eating disorder and struggled to believe that there was a life beyond restriction. While recovery was the most difficult thing that I’ve had to face, it saved me from my darkest days. I know in today’s world, society has given us so many rules when it comes to eating. Everything that we eat has so many labels to it. “Eat carbs but not too many. Healthy fats like avocado are okay, but others are not. Chose the protein ice cream because one night of regular ice cream will push you off track.” Just like that, I fell into the trap of dieting. I think the one thing that we miss so often is the word balance. I’d say I eat relatively healthy today, but that’s because I feel my best when doing that. In addition, I do things like yoga and workouts because they provide mental clarity for me. Eating healthy and restricting are two very different things. A healthy diet is one that includes a variety of foods and listening to your hunger cues. When I was restricting, I measured every ingredient. I made sure I only had 1 cookie or 5 strawberries because I couldn’t ever allow myself to have more than 1 serving of something. Restriction for me was a mental block because I continuously punished myself to eating a certain amount of food. All the recipes that I post on my account are things that I genuinely enjoy eating. So yes, I do use things like almond flour and coconut sugar, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have cravings. I live In Los Angeles which is home to some of the best restaurants ever! My boyfriend and I consider ourselves to be “sorta foodies” or as we like to think lol! Today, I eat out and I do it often because that’s what my definition of balance is. I absolutely love burgers and am a sucker for ice cream and I get to enjoy it all whenever I want! The best part is that I don’t feel the need to burn it off or restrict the next day. Instead, I just continue to eat how I normally do! One of the main things that I’ve learned from a balanced lifestyle is that my mind isn’t always focused around food. During my eating disorder days, I constantly wondered what some of my favorite foods tasted like. Often times, I’d even try to make a healthy version of it at home to somehow kill that craving. The truth was, I just thought about it even more. I personally do not follow any sort of diet or calorie count because that led me down a path that I never want to be in again. Most of my recipes on my blog are things that I enjoy eating on the daily. And yes I eat dessert literally everyday because I always have a nightly sweet tooth! I’m at a place in my life where I don’t have to think about things, but can treat myself to them! I do know that some people use things like diets in a healthy manner and I have absolutely nothing against that. It didn’t work for me due to my eating disorder past and lifelong struggle with food. While my story to finding freedom is a bit complicated, it’s been the greatest discovery of my life! Continuing to live a healthy, balanced, and no-diet lifestyle!