I refuse to diet. A friend told me today, “I HAVE to diet. I need to lose 10 pounds by next month because I am going on vacation.” I have been there. I completely feel the weight of that emotion and experience. Yet “HAVE” is a very powerful word and to me it looks like being trapped which does not seem like the ideal place from which to launch into action. The alternative: Live. For the love of all that is good and joyful, just live, please live. Live for those who cannot. Live for the person you dream to be. Live in honor of the little girl inside you that just wants to have fun.

Here are some simple, albeit crazy, things I do to eat the foods I love and not gain weight.

Craving: Meatball Sandwiches
Solution: I eat the meatballs by themselves, no bread, with a fork. At a glance, this might not sound good, but I assure you, afterward, the taste you were seeking will be sated, your belly will be full and you will feel well!

Craving: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Solution: I buy ONE chocolate chip cookie, vegan if possible, from ANYWHERE that you can buy just one. I break the cookie to remove the outer edges (where there are less chocolate chips) and eat the middle which should be one to two bites and in my opinion, the best part of the cookie. I do not bring cookies (plural) home and do not keep them in the house! What do I do with the outer edges that go uneaten? Throw them away, they serve no one. No offense to the baker…

Craving: Any Kind of Muffin
Solution: Along the same lines, eat the top of the muffin and throw the bottom away. I did not come up with this, but I fully support it. It is so effective you can actually buy muffin tops in some stores now! Hilarious and yet AWESOME!

Craving: Chocolate ANYTHING
Solution: One to two pieces of individually wrapped dark chocolate with a cacao or cocoa content of 72% or higher. This makes me healthy and happy!

Craving: Cheeseburgers
Solution: Eat a cheeseburger (not a turkey burger, but an ACTUAL cheeseburger – I need the iron). The trick…NO french fries, the cheeseburger is the whole meal, especially if it has lettuce and tomato, that will suffice for veggies. More veggies are great to add, but be careful not to add ones dressed up with a lot more fat or calories. I can get extra veggies in my next meal.

Craving: Potato Chips
Solution: Eat 1 single-serve bag of Quest Protein Chips (nacho cheese please). 18g protein in 140 calories, yeah baby, that is what I call a solution!

Craving: Candy bar
Solution: ONE Almond Bliss Bar…just as satisfying, 20g protein, and only 1g sugar, can you say fuel up?!

With food, fuel and life worth living,

Nikola Rosa