Healthy Swaps. Make a Change Without Feeling Deprived.
I know most of you reading this may not be ready to dive into Kale, swear off meat, and become a vegan. Most of you never will be. That is fine by me but lets face it, you can't ignore the fact that you have to be more mindful of what is going into your body. For the average person who grew up eating the 'American' way over the past 20 years, the thought of making major changes to their diets can be scary and overwhelming. I believe that there are the people who like to jump in head first, and there are those who like to ease into it. That being said, there are 100 different ways that you can go about making healthier choices. The key to being successful and making changes that will stick is finding what works for you.
I am one of those people who would give the shirt off my back for someone else. The health of the people I love is extremely important to me. Although I am all gung hoe about clean eating and fitness I recognize that others (friends and family) see it more as a chore or something that is going to deprive them. The fact of the matter is that you will feel deprived if you eliminate something from your diet completely without replacing it with something else. Today I am going to provide you with some examples of my favorite "healthy swaps". Swapping unhealthy foods for foods that are better for me but serve the same purpose has been a huge factor in changing my diet permanently instead of just going on a diet. If completely revamping your diet is overwhelming for you, then choose one or two swaps and start from there. The idea is to slowly replace foods with healthier swaps. Eventually you will actually find yourself craving the foods that are better for you.
I grew up in an Italian household so I really had to find good swaps for all the pasta and bread I loved so much. One of my favorite healthy swaps is spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs instead of regular spaghetti and meatballs. Have you ever noticed how small the recommended portion size of regular pasta is? It is basically nothing. I found that replacing spaghetti with spaghetti squash allowed me to have bigger portion sizes while still satisfying my craving for Italian food.
Another swap that I use all the time is baked sweet potato fries instead of regular fried french fries. I usually sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and bake them in the oven.
One of my biggest cravings is chocolate and desserts. I needed to find swaps for these things more than anything else. Whenever I am craving chocolate I will go and make a Shakeology, usually with peanut butter. If I am more in the mood for food, I make some clean eating desserts.
Those were 3 of my favorite swaps, but I swap a lot more than just those. Below I have listed even more swaps for you to use.
- Brown rice > White rice
- Quinoa > Couscous
- Olive Oil > Butter
- Mashed Cauliflower > Mashed Potato
- Rolled Oats > Bread Crumbs
- White Skinless Meat > Dark Meat
- Bison > Beef
- Lean Ground Turkey > Ground Beef
- Coconut Milk > Cream
- Whole Wheat, Almond, or Coconut Flour > White Flour
- Unsweetened Apple Sauce > Sugar, Oil, or Butter
- Avocado Puree > Mayo, Butter
- Natural Peanut Butter > Reduced Fat Peanut Butter
- Cacao Nibs > Chocolate Chips
- Whole Wheat Bread > White Bread
- Coconut Oil > Canola Oil
- Greek Yogurt > Sour Cream, Mayo
- Non Fat Yogurt w/ Fresh Fruit > Flavored Yogurt w/ Fruit Added
- Corn Tortilla > Flour Tortilla
- Nuts > Croutons
- Dark Chocolate > Candy
- Steel Cut Oatmeal > Instant Oatmeal
- Frozen Yogurt > Ice Cream
- Americano > Latte
- Red Wine > White Wine
These are just a few of many healthy swaps that you could make. If you are interested in learning more about healthy swaps or are interested in making a change regarding health and nutrition and would like to join an upcoming challenge group, I would love to speak to you. Send me a message at Messina1892@gmail.com.