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Finding balance between healthy eating (ugh, carrot sticks) and letting yourself indulge (yum, cake) can be tough. Doing it with three young kids and a fourth on the way? We can’t even imagine. So we tapped Hilaria Baldwin, an author, yoga instructor and member of PureWow’s Coterie, for her best tips on how to achieve and maintain that equilibrium.

RELATED: Here’s What a Yoga Instructor Eats in a Day to Look (and Feel) Incredible

sushi and soup in takeout containers
Twenty20

Don't Obsess Over “Slip-Ups”

You obviously don’t want to be eating burgers all day long, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live a little and splurge every once in a while. Baldwin told us, “I’ve gotten a lot more relaxed over the years. I used to be very (very very) nervous about putting anything in my body that wasn’t 100 percent good. And last night we ordered takeout at a friend’s house and I was like, ‘OK, I’ll eat this.’ And I noticed I didn’t feel that great afterward, because it was heavier than what I typically eat, but it’s fine. I don’t obsess about it.” In other words, one indulgent meal isn’t going to ruin your progress after months of balanced breakfast, lunches and dinners.

plate of soba noodles in peanut sauce
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Find Healthy, Go-To Meals

Prepping meals for a family of five takes time and creativity, which is why Baldwin has figured out a number of dishes that work for the whole gang—and don’t take forever to prepare. One of their favorites? Soba noodles, which she buys in bulk on Amazon and cooks in a few different ways, whether that’s tossing in some veggies and scrambling an egg into the mix, or stir-frying them with tofu, veggies and a little tamari (the Baldwins aren’t gluten-free, but Hilaria says she feels better about serving this gluten-free soy sauce alternative).

Listen to Your Body

This, according to Baldwin, is the key to being healthy. But it takes work. “It’s extremely hard to do, and I really struggled with it,” she told us. “I wrote about it in my book, about how I had an eating disorder growing up. But probably for about the last decade, I’ve been very good at listening to my body.” What does that entail? “Knowing when I’m full and what I want to eat. Realizing that if that doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world.”

white bowl full of vegan mac and cheese
The Simple Veganista

Make Comfort Food Healthier

The whole Baldwin family is dairy-free, so they find work-arounds for yummy foods like mac and cheese. Easy: Baldwin makes the family favorite with nutritional yeast and olive oil (like this recipe from The Simple Veganista). And typically carb-filled wraps? Baldwin uses spinach wraps from Whole Foods instead. “That makes the kids feel like they’re eating like their friends at school, but it makes me feel better,” she added.

Indulge (But Be Smart About It)

A life full of only veggies would be healthy, but so boring—especially if there are kids in the mix. That’s why Baldwin finds ways to incorporate treats into the family’s diet that aren’t quite as bad as the originals. “Last night, for dessert, we made ice cream,” she divulged. “I got this ice cream maker and I made a chocolate ice cream, but of course I put in spinach and almond butter and coconut milk, and bananas instead of sugar. And it ended up being pretty good.” The biggest test? Even her husband Alec Baldwin, a self-proclaimed ice cream fanatic, loved it.

Strike a Balance

According to Baldwin, “The trick is to find balance. Not overeating and not undereating, and really being present and listening to your body and not obsessing.” While finding that balance might take time and effort, “once you figure it out, it really is quite simple.” Voilà. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have some soba noodles and healthy chocolate ice cream to make.

RELATED: 6 Easy Ways to Turn Your Kids Into Mindful Eaters

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