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No Gain Emo Eating

I’m sad. I’m lonely. I’m not good enough. I’m going to hit that box of Girl Scout cookies.

We all feel bad sometimes, and emotional eating is a very common response. So, if you find yourself eating because you’re emotional, don’t feel bad. Everyone does at some point. It becomes a problem when you’re overdoing it or using food as a crutch to help you avoid your problems. Don’t do that. But don’t beat yourself up over having an extra serving when you’re upset. Just be sure you’re eating the right foods. Don’t worry; I’m going to tell you that emotional eating is okay as long as you’re doing it with spinach. Who wants that when they’re upset? Instead, try these healthy alternatives.

Dark chocolate – If you must have chocolate, and we all know there are times when we simply must, make it dark. It may take some getting used to, but it’s worthwhile. I used to think it was too bitter, but now I actually prefer dark over milk chocolate. Start with 45% and gradually work your way up to 70+%. Chocolate is very rich in minerals, such as iron, magnesium and manganese, and the darker the chocolate the better the nutritional profile.

Guacamole – This is one of my favorites. Because avocadoes are so rich in healthy fats, guacamole is a healthy food that feels super-indulgent. This dish is also very high in fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C. And because it’s high in fiber, you’ll probably have trouble overeating.

Grilled plantains – Grilling brings the sweetness out of this fruit, which can help satisfy your sweet tooth. This healthy snack is also an amazing source of vitamins A, C and B6.

Kale chips – Sometimes sweet or fatty just won’t do the trick. You need something crunchy with a little salt, like a potato chip. Kale chips are an awesome, and amazingly healthy, replacement. They are a little expensive to buy at the health food store, but they’re so easy to make at home. Just tear up the kale into bite-sized pieces and throw it in a bowl. Then, drizzle with oil (enough to coat the leaves, but not saturate them), sprinkle with salt and massage the ingredients into the kale. Lay them flat on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about eight to 12 minutes. Keep an eye on them, though. There’s a fine line between perfectly crispy and burnt.

Hummus and carrot sticks – Tahini, one of the main ingredient in hummus is filled with good fats, so it will satisfy your craving for something rich without clogging your arteries. Hummus is also a great source of protein and iron.

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