If you are watching your weight, monitoring your carbs, and doing your best to avoid processed foods, here are some healthy food swap ideas for making your life a whole lot easier.
Dump The Bun
Instead of having a sandwich with bread or a bun, use large leaf romaine lettuce as a lettuce wrap.
No More Pasta
Use spaghetti squash in place of starchy carbohydrates for pasta dishes. It’s a perfect noodle replacement, and is great in sauces when puréed. I bet no one will tell the difference.
Mums the word.
Instead of buying high calorie, high sodium, and chemically-laden salad dressings, make your own to keep in the fridge. Try this recipe:
1 part balsamic vinegar (dark or white)
1 part olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves (grated or pressed)
1/2 tsp sea salt
fresh ground pepper
When you are hungry for a quick snack, it’s easy to grab a simple carb and highly processed snack, but try keeping these raw snacks in your kitchen and office instead:
- Cut several cucumbers and carrots and put them in a container. When your hand wants to reach into the old snack-bag, overindulge on these healthy bites.
- Cut up celery in 3-4″ slices and fill with pimento cheese or natural nut butter. Top with fresh nuts or raisins.
- Instead of buying the mass-produced-processed energy bars, roll homemade granola into small snack balls; for some reason, you eat less of these, and they are much healthier.
- Keep unsweetened coconut flakes in the fridge. One or two bites will satisfy that sweet tooth.
- Keep fresh nuts in the shell; you’ll eat less of these, too, when you have to shell them.
- Fresh seeds are always a healthy snack. Eat them raw or bake them, such as pumpkin seeds.
Hunger May Be Thirst
Many times, hunger may simply be dehydration and thirst. Instead of snacking on food, pour yourself a healthy drink. Try:
- coconut water
- freshly brewed herbal teas
- water with your favorite essential oils, like wild orange or peppermint
- water with slices of fresh fruit, like strawberries or blueberries, lemons or limes
Snack With Your Eyes
Store your healthy snacks in clear or glass containers, and at eye level. This keeps them readily available when you need a little something. Put nuts, raw veggies, dried fruits, trail mix, or fresh fruits in reach for the kiddos, too. Teach your kids to eat healthy snacks when they are hungry, which is typically all of the time. Remember, healthy kids are always hungry.
Never forget to enjoy your food and healthy snacks. Have some fun snacking, especially if your blood sugar drops because you have gone too long without eating when at school or at work.
Healthy food swaps result in more energy, fewer mood swings, and you’ll look forward to eating without gaining weight.
For more healthy swaps and snack ideas, read my book The Richardson Cancer Prevention Diet. It’s loaded with healthy food tips, diet recommendations, and more!
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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. The FDA may not have evaluated some of the statements. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding supplements or making any changes to your dietary program.