It’s a balancing act!

I’m not a fan of depriving myself of things (especially food)… I once tried to go Vegan for a week and gave up with only 6 hours left (lame), when I opted to swear off sweets for Lent I inhaled a dessert that night, and the worst is when I go into a birthday party with the mindset that I will not have a piece of cake with ice cream to always end up going back for seconds!

Recently I’ve learned that telling myself NO to a certain food is just not going to work in my daily balance routine. I don’t follow rules, I’m such a rebel! šŸ˜‰ I workout 5-6 times a week and eat clean foods 90% of the time so why shouldn’t I be able to treat myself every once in a while day? For me this is what works… For you? Maybe not. You have to find your own balance.

However, there are a few foods I CANNOT buy Sam’s Club sized because I know I will be testing my will power to not polish them off in one day/sitting. (No judging šŸ™‚ ) These are my Trigger Foods in no particular order

1. Lucky Charms – When I buy these now I go for the 1 serving size. I love cereal and have/could eat an endless amount.

2. Ice Cream – Thank goodness for single serving cups of these. I’ve been known to take down a pint or two of Ben and Jerry’s when having a rough day!

3. Utz Sour Cream & Onion Rippled Chips – When I was in High School I ate an entire bag (we’re talking family sized) of these DAILY. They are just SO good.

4. Peanut Butter M&M’s – Peanut Butter + Chocolate… If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know this is my ultimate weakness

5. Iced Animal Crackers – I think it’s the sprinkles that really win my heart over

Though I’m not perfect…and never will be I’ve learned that it’s OK to have that cookie when a craving strikes. Now, instead of calling my entire day a failure after enjoying a cookie and continue to eat bad just because I’ve already “ruined my healthy eating” I stop and realize – those cookies will be there tomorrow when another craving hits.

Julia Child said it best “Everything in moderation…including moderation!”

I have two recipes for you today. One healthy dinner and of course, a dessert. Duh, Moderation šŸ™‚

Cara from Chic Meets Healthy recently posted a Turkey Meatloaf in a Pepper recipe that I’ve been wanting to try. I finally had time to make my version last night and they were TO DIE for. I’ve already polished off the leftovers for lunch!

Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf in Sliced Peppers (adapted from Chic Meets Healthy)


  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 pound 99% fat-free ground turkey
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Marinara Sauce (I used trader joe’s)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko
  • 2 egg whites
  • Olive Oil Cooking Spray
  • 2/3 cup of chopped onion
  • Worcester Pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  • Slice your peppers into thirds so they resemble rings. Use the bottom and/or tops of your peppers to chop up for your meatloaf mixture.


biggest pepper ever


  • Combine all ingredients for your meatloaf in a bowl and incorporate together.
  • Stuff your pepper rings.

  • Brown each side of the meatloaf peppers in a pan with cooking spray for 3 minutes on each side.

  • Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes

I ate two of these slices! Cara said she could only finish one – I must’ve been hungry!

Now, onto the dessert…My favorite part of the day!

We decided to make two different types of cookies today – We’re crazy like that. We used the same base for both.

My grandma’s sugar cookies (the recipe is here)

For the first ones you can just roll out the dough (from recipe above) and cut your favorite designs. We did an Easter theme – butterflies, eggs, flowers & bunnies!

For the second round we have

Peach Thumb Print Cookies drizzled with Milk Chocolate.


  • Sugar Cookie Dough (from above)
  • Peach Jam
  • Milk Chocolate (melted) – I used Ghiradelli
  • Sanding Sugar


  • Roll your dough into 3/4 inch balls.
  • Then press your thumb into each cookie.
  • Fill each center with 1/4 tsp of Peach Jam and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven.
  • Cool for 10 minutes.
  • Drizzle milk chocolate and sprinkle sanding sugar over top of cookies.

The second ones were my favorite! That actually surprises me because I am a HUGE icing fan. Do I dare say these might be my new favorite cookies!? I think my taste buds are changing…

I’m off to watch Bethenny and most likely spit out my dinner from laughing so hard. What? Not what you wanted to picture?

Enjoy your Tuesday night! I’m thinking of doing a What I ate Wednesday post tomorrow if I have time?!

QUESTIONS: What are some of your trigger foods? Have you found your balance?

34 Responses to “It’s a balancing act!”

  1. I definitely struggle with not eating the sweets, so I’m with you. I let myself indulge but I tend to stay away from foods that I know I’ll over-indulge in, namely, chocolate chip cookies. I can’t just have one of those things! Your cookies look amazing girl. With those, I don’t think I could have just one either!

  2. wanna know something weird? i can totally stop at one bite of dessert – i really, really don’t want any more. but … i cannot stop eating watermelon if it’s in front of me/in front of someone else/in the house/in the freaking NEIGHBOR’S house! and while watermelon is not a “bad” food, it is BAD if you eat a whole one in one day. which i have. more than once. i do not learn my lesson.
    my solution is to only buy the small ones or to only buy the ones that are already cut up at the store. this way i can eat the whole thing & not have to worry about the consequences the next day.
    ps – i tried going vegan over and over again & would keep binging on sushi. i finally realized that if i just ate it in moderation, i’d end up eating less fish in the long run anyway!

  3. Bread is so hard to stay away from when I have a whole loaf in the house! Garlic bread, toast, sandwiches… I am a total carb lover!

    Your meatloaf peppers look amazing!!! So glad you loved the recipe! I definitely had leftovers for my lunch for a couple days!

  4. Your balance philosophy is great! I try to indulge my sweet tooth once a day because I can’t eat clean 100% of the time. It’s for my sanity to eat a treat, today was Ben & Jerry’s free cone day, so I took advantage of that as my treat.

  5. I can eat half a jar of peanut butter before I realize it. I have to stop myself and remember that I will get a horrible horrible stomach ache if I don’t slow down hahaha! My mom’s sugar cookies (“christmas cookies”) look similar, and are my very favorite. we keep them in the freezer for some reason haha!

  6. Friend, I love this post and your stance on balance. I never restrict certain food from my diet – that is not a fun way to live.

    The peach cookies sound wonderful. šŸ™‚

  7. I want you to come bake me cookies! haha You always have the best looking desserts! šŸ™‚

  8. I have so many trigger foods… puff’n corn, salt and pepper potato chips, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, chocolate… any and all kinds. I have not been able to find a balance. I struggle everyday trying to figure out how I can balance the good and the bad.

  9. my trigger food is granola. it’s so, so bad.

    MAN, your meatloaf peppers.. what a sa-weet idea! why have I never thought of those?

    and funny story.. I’m the same way with lucky charms. and I have to have a spoonful of cereal AND marshmallows in each bite, but I still must have marshmallows left over at the end.

    hello, food OCD.

  10. Ahhh, iced animal crackers rock! Honestly, there aren’t too many food that I have in my home that will cause me to eat too much. I’m freakishly good about enjoying 1 dark chocolate or a 1 cookie, although I didn’t used to be. For me, eating restaurant desserts drive me wild! Those giant cakes taht are are big enough for 2 people, I’ll eat on my own. I’m not one for sharing dessert!

  11. Im the same as you girl. The more I tell myself NO the more my body goes YES! Ive learned that if I deny myself something I am just going to end up compensating for it. For example, I gave up chocolate before my wedding thinking it was my trigger food. Know what happened? I ate every other candy in the world that was NOT chocolate. haha didnt really learn much there! So now, I just dont even try to tell myself no. If I want it, I eat it, but in moderation!

  12. Couldn’t agree with that quote more. I TOTALLY forgot about iced animal crackers. Those things are BOMB & I might have to go buy a small bag later.
    I don’t really do well with setting rules either. It’s all about flexibility!

  13. Oh man, I definitely have a long list of trigger foods. I can’t buy cereal, ANY kind.. that stuff is just addicting! Same with cheddar & sour cream chips and anything that has chocolate in it! Especially ice-cream! Your stuffed turkey meatloaf looks AMAZING!! It’s making me hungry šŸ˜›

  14. I definitely have a love hate relationship with sweets. I know that all things in moderation won’t kill me but I definitely deprive myself of things when it’s not really a big deal. Well when it comes to fro-yo and ice cream I wouldn’t say no lol And omg yes those sugar cookies with the sprinkles are amazing! I use to eat them all the time when I was younger šŸ˜€

  15. Choc + PB = incredible. I used to LOVE brach’s choc covere dpeanuts. I still have no will power so literally have not bought them since 2008. Addicting! Currently I’m craving homemade brownies. Jessica from How Sweet Eats made a Red Velvet brownie that is sinfully delicious! LOVE IT!

  16. GAH! Just posted and it went away,.,.boo

    I’m with you on the Lucky Charms and Animal Crackers..they’re like crack.

    Also on my list would be chips/salsa and sour gummy candies.

  17. I am the SAME way- I really try not to tell myself “no” because I’m a rebel and that’ll make me want it more! Mine are all found in jars… almond butter, nutella, peanut butter. It’s hard for me to have a jar around without eating the whole thing FAST. I’m better than I used to be (i THINK) because I’ve noticed my jars lasting a bit longer lately. šŸ˜€

  18. I generally try not to buy the food that makes me weak… doritos are on of my favorites! Another would be vegan junk food that I like to buy (whipped cream, cream cheese and sour cream these are fun to have around but not needed)… that is how I balance… lol

  19. I’m with you on the ice cream! Especially if it is chocolate. I also have to remind myself when I go to a party just to have one or two small glasses of wine. It is just so good!

  20. So funny, Lucky Charms are a TOTAL trigger for me. I CANNOT stop eating I do not keep them in the house. Those & Fruit Loops- bad news. Another one, and you might think this is weird, but Saltine crackers. Yes, seriously. I will tell myself, oh I’ll only eat like 5, but I end up eating the WHOLE ENTIRE SLEEVE of crackers..and they are NOT filling what so ever, so then I procede to eat more. Yikes. Another thing I do not keep around.
    This was a really good post- I like the idea šŸ™‚

  21. I don’t have too many trigger foods – cookies used to be a problem for me but for some reason I am not able to have chips in the house anymore. I can’t have just a few – I keep going back again and again…

    Maya can’t stop eating the Lucky Charms though..makes me question the ingredients??

  22. I 100% agree about the utz, and the MUST be ripple cute. Must.
    And the peanut butter m&ms. And Ben & Jerry’s…
    At least we know if we ever had a sleepover our snacks would be covered šŸ˜‰

  23. I am totally with you on cereal and granola… i could eat it for days literally AND cookies.

    I just found your blog, I can’t wait to keep reading šŸ™‚

  24. Girl, I am the same way!! I love the Julia Child’s quote! šŸ™‚

  25. Love this post, Alyssa!! I’ve had the same experiences with food deprivation–saying something is off limits NEVER turns out well! Haha. Going cold turkey doesn’t work for me! Julia’s perspective about moderation is definitely the way to go. šŸ™‚

    My trigger foods: Reece’s peanut butter cup minis (if I buy them, I leave them in the car and take a few into my house at a time), flourless peanut butter cookies, and ice cream. The only salty food I go overboard with is nuts (especially peanuts and macadamia nuts!)

    I love the meatloaf pepper slice idea! xoxo

  26. You have me me hungry with all this delicious food!

  27. I know what you mean! No sooner do I say “no more _____” when all the sudden that’s all I want. šŸ˜‰ I had a hard time giving up sugar/caffeine when I found out about my heart condition, but I really didn’t have much a choice. For me, I eat whatever I want and just work to control portion size. šŸ™‚

  28. great post-i’m with ya sista! You gotta let yourself divulge sometimes to keep your sanity!

  29. I battle with balance every single day! I have a huge sweet tooth! I am constantly trying to balance my sweet tooth with health!

  30. I did a no chocolate/sweets week. And ate a massive cinnamon roll on the last day. Fail. šŸ˜›
    You’re right- depriving myself is always the worst thing I could do. It took a long time to learn that…

  31. Ice cream used to be a trigger food for me. I still eat more than I should at a time, but considering I used to eat entire GALLONS at a time, I’ve gotten much better šŸ™‚

  32. omg I loooove this post! You know I can totally relate…and all the sweets that you mentioned are ones that I go crazy on too. Ice cream for sure!


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