How Do You Balance?

via @Ali_Michael
via @erinwasson

As Sabrina Linnette Diaz of Grass Roots Juicery imparted earlier this week, a satisfying life is all about balance. Cleanse for a few days; enjoy with a Shake Shack burger. Detox; retox. For Erin Wasson it's American Spirits and plasma masks. For Ali Michael it's fries and green juice—both technically vegetables, but we'll count it for the purposes of today's discussion. So what's it for you? What's the universe's polar opposite of peanut butter cups and beer? Or the foil to too much spinach? What makes you feel naughty and indulgent once more after, say...helping a nice elderly gentleman across the street while on your morning run? Let's hear it, fellow Libras.

—Annie Kreighbaum

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Molly

    I have done a breakfast of a green juice and a donut way too many times. And then of course the after work out treat!!

    • ITG Annie

      I had toasted coconut on a donut the other day. So that's balance right there, yes? Pretty sure it was baked, too. I deserve a margarita.

      • Lauren Cunningham

        Toasted coconut.. Help! I'm in love with a donut!

  • petal

    Story of my life! Once I woke up really early on a Sunday morning, veering somewhere between abysmally hungover and still drunk, and in a hazy panic decided to remedy all the cigarettes and vodka tonics from the night before with a smoothie made of water, kale, tumeric and cinnamon. Needless to say, it did not help the hangover

    • D

      never drink kombucha while hungover. it WILL spurt out your nose.

  • Haiku Jew

    I'm a Libra, too
    and balance can be a bitch
    milk chocolate helps.

  • Courtney

    I think that might work, but at a certain level. I don't think you can get too crazy with it otherwise the bad will eventually take over.

  • Franquie

    I only bothered to comment to say this- where have you been Annie? I miss your hilarious writing! More articles by you, please.

    • ITG Annie

      I'm around!

    • JY

      I think she edits many of the pieces here. She's smart.

  • ITGFerber

    I'm pretty sure chocolate grows on trees, ergo chocolate *is* salad.

  • Lauren

    Homemade ice cream...with flax seed :)

  • TheProcrastinator

    best comment of life.

  • Dream & Scheme

    I have a major sweet tooth! I love indulging in chocolate, cookies, and cupcakes. Whenever I splurge myself, I instantly feel guilty and have an intense workout and gallons of green juice the next day. Dang you taste buds!

    • ITG Annie

      I've been making a kale and hemp milk and banana and frozen raspberry smoothies. It's nothing like chocolate or cookies or cupcakes... but it's good, so I'm just throwing it out there.

      • Dream & Scheme

        Thank you! Lately, when I've been craving sweets I'll eat some frozen banana ice cream, but this recipe sounds delicious. I'll definitely give it a try!

    • Nicole Rivera

      I hear you... I do the exactly same thing. I remember when I was living in NYC sometimes buying a delicious treat at Dominique Ansel, see the Physique57 building nearby, and immediately book a class...

  • melissa

    moderation! As long as you quit before you're 30 it doesn't matter! #indulge #moderation Celebrities show us that any transformation is possible with a diet exercise, botox...

  • Ella

    Cheap fashion & high end beauty. I will spend £50 on an eyeshadow palette, but the same on a pair of jeans? Hell no.

    • ITG Annie

      I used to be the opposite--I'd buy a few nice pieces of clothing and then buy anything pertaining to makeup/skin with a tear-off coupon at the drugstore.

  • conni boykins

    I run/ and do yoga for one week then sit on my ass for two. My diet is a steady stream of egg and spinach breakfast sandwiches, fancy salads, and entire pizzas to myself with taco bell as a side. Beacon of health.

  • Aubrey Green

    Fries on the side. Always.

  • Dru

    I occasionally do a workout and then finish up with a shawarma.

    (if it's good enough for the Avengers, it's good enough for me)

    • ITG Annie

      Shawarma candles!! They should make those.

      • Nancy

        Oh god, Ricky's sells these. They're pretty accurate, which also somehow makes them pretty foul.

  • Kylie

    definitely do not buy into the whole cleanse.. my body does not like it, so i don't like it. it's all about moderation for me! and occasionally working out. would rather focus on family/friends, work, and school... and pizza... always pizza.

  • jmiSF

    i have been seen lurking around frat parties chasing vodka shots with kombucha

    • Caroline R

      i do this with coconut water!

  • felineloulou

    last night i had a kale, scallion and onion omelette (all the veggies were from the farmer's market) with four slices of a beautiful tomato from our backyard. i celebrated with three glasses of wine.

  • Cassandra Faustini

    Extreme bicycle cycling followed by marijuana.
    I don't get hung up on food, because when you ride 60+ miles per day, you gotta get those 5000 calories from somewhere--and it ain't gonna be kale, that's for sure.

  • Eliza

    I so wish that plasma masks would counteract cigarettes, but sadly I don't think that works out--the only reason I don't chain-smoke a la Kate Moss is that it's bad for the skin (don't know what it says about me that wrinkles deter me WAY more than lung cancer).

    For me, I eat healthy all day and then go home and eat potato chips while subscribing to YouTube exercise channels (and then I pretend that their 10-minute videos erase an 800-cal family-size bag of Kettle Chips).

    • ITG Annie

      Ya I pay $18/mo for Pilates Anytime. I don't ever watch the videos or do the exercises, but I feel like it's the thought that counts.

  • ITG Annie

    Wait.. you wrapped a cookie in a piece of kale? Oh Emma Hager, you inspire me.

  • RMM

    I alternate between kale chips / green smoothies, and eating the whole pan of home-made gluten-free chocolate chip cookies… many fancy (and probably dubious) supplements / running 4K daily, and smoking a pack of cloves a day. Sadly, I enjoy all these things equally. :(

  • JY

    I run a few days a week and eat healthy. After 10 pm, though, I have a bad habit of eating junk food while watching TV. In my defense, Game of Thrones was made to be watched while eating snacks. (I haven't seen Season 4 yet. I don't have HBO.) A new solution? Smoking an American Spirit to fend off cravings. I know - it's horrible, but it works. I like the yellow ones, too. Guess who else does? Eddie Vedder. That makes it better, right?

  • Erica

    Eating kitkat minis while chugging Fiji bottled water

  • Kaori

    I eat mainly fruits and vegetables, which i like to think balances out the social drinking and stress smoking. Mmmmhmmmm...

  • Emma Hager

    I ♥ Amsterdam.

  • Katherine Li Johnson

    Tea-tox followed by Palak Paneer and fresh roti. Hahaha

  • Ria B

    I'm really enjoying reading these comments...reminds me that we are all human (I have a distorted perception of 'normal' thanks to all the inspiring health nuts I follow on Instagram)

    As for balance, I am a strong proponent of considering healthy and unhealthy elements of a meal. For example, porridge with fresh fruit for breakfast is healthy, so I'll drown it in maple syrup. Or I'll always compensate on pizza night by having a fresh, colourful salad on the side. I feel like too often I have the mindset "this is healthy" or "this is unhealthy"; there's definitely shades of grey!

  • LeeB

    Salad for lunch, Pizza for dinner. Green smoothies followed by a veggie burger. Chain smoking but religous about sunscreen. Drink a galloon of water a day, drink way too much vodka way too often. I also live entirely raw vegan some days, and some days I seriously eat three rounds of breaded and deep fried camenbert with chipotle mayonaise. Plus a bagel and cream cheese.

  • Rachel Baynard

    Juice Press (Dr. Green Juice) followed promptly by Emak and Bolio's Caramel Moose Prints ice cream. So right on so many levels.

  • Evelyn Brockmann

    I walk everywhere (only fitness in my life, apart from the tentative morning stretches of pretend Yoga) but that sadly entails that I smoke way more than I would staying on the bus.

    And breakfast has been like this everysince Uni - followed up with spending most of my money on beetroot and everything root Juices in the afternoon.

    Cercle Vicieux, enchaînement diabolique or effet boule de neige, whatever you want to call it, really.

  • Cat

    Training for a half marathon means I burn mega calories.. and I drink lots of water, and plenty of veggies and fruit during the week. But when the weekend arrives I sadly have no control. I start with the best intentions and a healthy salad, but my bf´s artisanal beer, too many doritos and sandwiches and cakes get in my way. Plus where I live we are in winter and in many birthday season. Sigh.

  • Danielle

    Balance: an all organic diet to balance out the negative effects of cigarettes and whiskey.

    My former early 20's self would swear that I was countering all of my negative habits by eating an all organic diet. Luckily I’ve kicked the nicotine thanks to a 25 day juice cleanse, drink whiskey/wine in moderation and eat a mostly fresh organic diet (organic sweet potato fries are good for me right?).

  • Eimear

    Training for a marathon, running 5 days a week. Walk to/from work every day-3 miles each way. Swim 1/2 a week, and yoga/pilates 1/2 times a week. HAVE EATEN CHOCOLATE CAKE THE PAST THREE DAYS RUNNING.

  • ChelseaChels

    Drink lemon Water in the morning.
    Drink lots of water during the day.
    Eat a baby sized Tuna Avocado sandwich for lunch.
    Pretend to do Ballet Beautiful for 10 minutes then realize I'm too sweaty and open a bottle of red wine. Re-watch House of Cards. Finish the bottle (because it will go bad).

  • Natalie Rodgers

    this is my jam right here. im all about the after yoga cigarette or my most recent development: mixing cold pressed juice from fancy juicery with white wine and sparkling water for a perfect summer bad/good girl treat!

  • octopop

    speaking of ali michael, I would absolutely die (in a positive way) if you guys did a top shelf article with her... her skin is amazing and i want to know all her secrets

  • Macey

    My latest guilt is about meat. I eat veggie all week, and then find myself buying a cheap top round steak on Friday night from the pre-cut meat section at Whole Foods and frying it up in a pan. I feel like I'm being watched.

    Or I'm perplexed: damn, I coulda sworn these flamin' hot cheetos were baby carrots.

    And I always, always smoke half a bowl before my "workout".

    But it's all pretty much the same as warding off my curling iron and silicone-based hair products, then combing peroxide through like it's conditioner and lettin' her fry.

  • Annie

    Of course you are a Libran. I should've known.

  • Andrea

    I think this is the most glorious thing I have ever read.

  • Yusra Eid

    I changed my diet except for fries. Potatoes are vegetables right?

  • lemonpie

    This is America's problem. It always has to be two extremes. It would be much healthier to eat a normal diet. This is borderline eating disorder.

  • Jennifer Blakney

    My best guy friend and I have bi-weekly "bro" nights where we watch comic book movies (to make fun of, natch), smoke weed, make a lavish meat and cheese platter paired with a box of rosemary and olive oil Triscuits. Then we top it all off by consuming a whole bottle of wine each.

    We both lift heavy 3-4x/week, so all this indulgence MUST help our gainZ.

    • ITG Annie

      Ah, the charcuterie plate. An excellent choice.

  • Julia Litz

    I work out six days a week but always have dessert (ice cream!) before bed.

  • lydia260

    Saturday morning kettlebell class at 9am. Grunt and sweat for an hour, then hit the market on the way home for fresh fruit and veggies. Wait, what's this in the marketplace? A handsome Italian man selling pizza slices? It would be rude not to! And repeat.

  • kt mo

    I run, do yoga and pilates every day, in addition to my 2-4 dance rehearsals a week. I drink over a gallon of water a day. This is so that I can eat and drink whatever the hell else I want. I don't even bother with keeping track. If it looks good to me & I can afford it, I'll take it. Boom. I am curious to know how ripped/healthy I would be if I tried harder, and morbidly curious to know what would happen if I stopped trying altogether.

  • Elspbeth Hodgins

    I swap bread for cake.

  • Allison

    I've always said I'm a green juice for breakfast, McDonalds for lunch kind of girl. My tendency for balance seems to be exacerbated during a hangover. Should I have a green juice or a burger? Soul Cycle or lie on the couch all day watching Netflix?

  • Nicole Rivera

    Haha, I similarly hate sugary drinks--I drink copious amounts of tea (unsweetened) and water (a lot of sparkling/club soda)--but it stops there. I crave sweets like cookies, pies, cakes and this is where it all goes downhill. But otherwise: moderation! I hate the idea of a juice cleanse because it just forces you to become extreme... and that never lasts. Sounds like you have a great philosophy on balance here :)

  • GiG

    #runforbrunch. Run with friends around central park, then park at a low-key place for a cocktail and some food. Doesn't get more balanced than that.

  • tistori

    Raw cauliflower with Dr. Pepper <3