In an age where perfection is sought to be the end-all-be-all, it’s incredibly refreshing to cross paths with someone who breaks through the cloud of noise with their sword of vulnerability. Instead of masking behind an aesthetically-pleasing feed or pretending to live a “struggle-free” life, this person uses their voice to share their insecurities and challenges to bring to light that “imperfections” are what makes us, well, us.
Chinae Alexander is just that person. If you don’t know her, she’s a woman who celebrates the uncomfortable and wants to make you feel good. With her 146k friends on Instagram, she connects with them with her positive affirmations, vulnerable storytelling, and badassery state of mind. So when she reached out in hopes that we could create some magic together to coincide with her new monthly newsletter, The Latest, we answered hell-fucking-yes.
For the second installment of “Ask Chinae,” we’re digging deep into the world of food. From emotional eating to food philosophies to midnight snacking, Chinae is answering it all. Scroll below to get a full scope of these topics and make sure to sign up for her newsletter to get a little more advice in your life.
“What’s your go-to pick-me-up [meal]”
When I’m feeling low energy, I never reach for carbs or sugar because while I’ll feel a momentary pep in my step…I know that house of cards will rapidly come crashing down. Instead, I’ll pick something up that’s high in protein or fat, like a couple hard boiled eggs, a string cheese, or a low-sugar protein shake. Also, I’ve been trying to drink iced green tea in the afternoon rather than a 3rd or 4th coffee….mostly because I’d like my body to function well into my 70’s. Lastly, I’ll admit, I am so, so bad at drinking plain water but it’s pretty miraculous. Have a headache? Drink some water. Feel hangry? Drink some water. Annoyed by your boyfriend? Drink some water.
“What’s your food philosophy?”
We create too many personalities and rules with food in my opinion. We demonize some, we idolize some, and some we eat with no f*ckin clue as to how they might help us…other than the fact that some girl on Instagram told us we need to be eating more fungi. My food philosophy is pretty simple: eat simply (proteins and veggies) most of the time, and then eat stuff socially that makes you happy. If you ever find yourself scarfing 20 of something down because it’s tasty…you probably should take a look at that. And the inverse, if you ever find yourself at a fabulous celebration or dinner party avoiding all the food and eating out of some God-forsaken Tupperware for other purposes besides health restriction reasons, you should probably take a look at that, too. As always, it’s never a bad idea to consult with a doctor if you ever notice your own personal food philosophy has changed, no matter the reason.
At the end of the day, I wish we all would just take a deep breath in, and balance eating stuff that makes us feel energized and stuff that is for enjoyment, without too much stress surrounding either. Lastly, I will say, if you go off the deep end and fall face first into two pizzas (or whatever your vice may be), you don’t have to spend the next week punishing yourself for it. It’s one meal in the course of a lifetime. Just get back to life as normal; I promise it will negatively affect you more if you focus on the “damage” rather than brushing it off and moving forward.
“Tips to [adjust] mindless/midnight snacking?”
This used to be something I constantly struggled with. I would eat dinner at a normal hour around 7 p.m. or so, but then when 11 p.m. would roll around, I was elbows deep in something salty and crunchy. I think the main thing that helped me was knowing that I was gonna wanna snack at 10 p.m. and being okay with that. I decided to change the rest of my day around to actually enable myself to have a snack at night and not be worried about it. That sometimes meant eating dinner later so I wouldn’t be as hungry, or only eating half of my meal and having the other half at 10 p.m. Another trick was to pre-plan your nighttime snack out beforehand…it’s kinda like the advice “don’t go to the grocery store hungry” but in the privacy of your own house. Set out the small bowl of popcorn or pre-decide that you’re going to have a scoop of ice cream. It mentally sets your brain up with equal parts freedom and boundaries.
“How do you combat emotional eating?”
I never was much of an emotional eater…I was more of a “let’s have five cocktails and go eat fast food because we are having so much fun…aren’t we having so much fun?!” type of eater. But I will give you the same advice I would give anyone else with any behavior that’s pushed by emotion: go see a therapist. I know that seems harsh and perhaps might sound like the most embarrassing thing, but so much of our physical behavior is triggered by our insides. There are no tricks or tips I can give when emotional eating is controlled by something deeper. Therapy is one of the best gifts I ever gave myself. It is FOR EVERYONE.
“How often do you eat ‘fast food'”
I eat Taco Bell once a month as an homage to my previously garbage eating habits. I even Postmate it so it feels extra luxurious. Also, anyone that says McDonald’s tastes bad, you should probably not be friends with them. I mean, McDonald’s isn’t GOOD FOR YOU, but have you ever had a hot, fresh hash brown in an airport?! Incredible.
“Must-eats in NYC?”
My classic New York meal is to go to Raoul’s alone and sit at the bar. Start with a dozen oysters, a dirty vodka martini, and order the steak to finish. You can’t go wrong.
Chinae Alexander’s The Latest is a fully editorial, monthly newsletter that brings together beauty, culture, current favorites, interviews with badass women, and more. Each issue is centered around a theme and curated with love by Chinae herself. Get all of this goodness delivered to your inbox by signing up right here.
Want to get your questions answered by Chinae? Keep your eyes peeled via our Insta @thechilltimes to see what next month’s theme is and send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM Chinae yourself. Circle back at the beginning of every month to see if your question has been answered.
Feature image via Chinae Alexander