This time exactly a year ago, I sat on my bed thinking of a word that started with a b (I’m a sucker for a good alliteration) and wanted something that explained the point of this account. I vividly recall sitting on my bed in my old room changing my old “foodthroughla” username into balancedbryana. Prior to balancedbryana, this account was a One Direction fan account, and then a food account where I showcased all the unhealthy sugary foods I ate at restaurants in Los Angeles. I had begun cooking for myself, and thoroughly enjoyed plating food and making it pretty. I had followed @leefromamerica and @shutthekaleup on my personal account before starting this one and was heavily inspired by their stories and how much they both advocated for eating real food. My life is full of balance. When i’m home, I like to eat healthy and make my own food with minimal sodium and oils. This is because I absolutely LOVE junk food and know that when I’m out with friends, I will eat some of their food, that’s filled with refined sugar and condiments I can’t pronounce ingredients in. I went through periods of my life where I did not want to go out with friends because I knew I would be tempted to eat unhealthy and didn’t want to gain weight or ruin my “diet”. I allowed my strict mindset to close social opportunities with friends. I then struggled with eating super clean Monday-Thursday, then I’d go out with friends on the weekend, and binge Sunday nights just to restart the same cycle the following Monday. I remember stuffing lara bars down my throat even though I was so full just because I knew I would restrict on Monday. Somewhere along the way, I found what balance and a healthy lifestyle meant to me. For me, it means not restricting any food groups and listening to my body. I work out because it feels good to release endorphins and strengthen my muscles. I eat kale salads because I seriously love how green and nutritious it tastes. I eat pressed juicery freeze because I need a sugar fix, and it’s refined sugar free! I eat Chick-Fil-A because my friends are obsessed and it’s actually the best fast food ever (spicy chicken sandwich all the way). I listen to what my body wants, and some days its oatmeal for breakfast and a 12 pm workout, other days it’s pancakes and netflix! But above all else, I desired an outlet to share my faith in Jesus which was somehow granted through my food account. I’m excited for this upcoming year and the doors God will open. Happy New Year!!