I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t believe in restriction, deprivation or cutting entire food groups from your diet. That does not make for a healthy nor balanced lifestyle. But what I do believe in is finding healthier alternatives that fit into your lifestyle and align with your goals that allow you to still live life without feeling deprived or restricted in any way.
So if your like me and looking to lead a more healthier, balanced lifestyle, here are my top 6 food swaps that I have been implementing that allow me to still enjoy all the food groups and all of my favourite meals and treats – just in a healthier way.
1. Swap the carb loaded, white burger bun for a lettuce leaf. Carbs are definitely NOT the enemy, however, I’ve loved swapping my burger bun for a lettuce leaf or even a ‘bunless’ burger (burger in a bowl) lately. I find by making this swap I don’t feel bloated and sluggish after the meal. It’s a lower calorie options but I find when it comes to burgers, the patty, cheese, salad plus sides make up a substantial meal on their own and I don’t even miss the bun!
2. Swap your Pasta for Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles). Cut the pasta and get in an extra serving of veg instead by switching to Zoodles! Zucchini doesn’t have a strong flavour itself so its the perfect replacement for pasta when served with meatballs, bolognese or other homemade pasta sauces. You can either buy Zoodles at most supermarkets now or make them yourself at home using a spiralising machine.
3. Swap Ice-cream for ‘Nice-cream’. I cannot get enough of ‘Nice-cream’! If your someone whose guilty pleasure is ice-cream; you don’t have to give it up when choosing a healthier, wholefood lifestyle! Nice-cream is the perfect alternative – it not only packs an extra serving of fruit into your day, but its got half the sugar and calories when compared to regular ice-cream. Plus, virtually 0 grams of fat!
If your unfamiliar with the term – ‘nice-cream’ is simply frozen banana’s (or other fruits) blended into a soft serve consistency. Perfect on its own or you can flavour it by adding peanut butter, cacao, peppermint essence, cinnamon, other fruits, or protein powders.
4. Swap Rice for Quinoa. Quinoa can be used in any meal in place of rice. I’ve made this switch as quinoa is basically bursting with incredible health benefits! Not only does one cup of cooked quinoa contain 8g of protein, but quinoa is a complete protein (containing all nine of the essential amino acids your body needs), it is high in fibre and is high in minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc.
5. Swap Soft Drink for Kombucha. Soft drinks provide absolutely ZERO nutritional benefits to our bodies. They are empty calories, loaded with sugar and leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied due to the blood sugar spike they give you. But if your not quite ready to part with that fizzy drink just yet, try swapping it with a Kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented probiotic drink and is naturally carbonated making it a fizzy and tasty drink! It has been found to have some amazing health benefits, including improved digestion, detoxifying the liver, boosting energy and overall helping provide a healthy gut.
6. Swap store bought Salad Dressings for Homemade dressings. It should be no shock now that store bought salad dressings are packed with unnecessary added sugars. So instead, swap them for your own homemade dressings! My favourite are:
- Tahini + white wine vinegar + lemon juice + maple syrup + Dijon mustard
- Tahini + lemon juice + chilli flakes + salt
- Balsamic Vinegar + Seeded Mustard + Honey
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