If you’re just joining us, be sure to check out my previous goals from this series (see above)! Today, I’m excited to talk about different substitutions I’ve been implementing to improve the overall healthiness of our diet.
These simple food-swaps have been an awesome way to reduce our calorie intake, and feel sooo much better about what we’re eating!
So let’s jump right in, shall we? Here’s a list of substitutions that we’ve incorporated…
1. Plain Greek Yogurt – We use this instead of sour cream, because it tastes the same! Packed full of protein, probiotics, and potassium, it’s a waaay better option than fattening sour cream. And my little monkeys LOVE yogurt, so instead of flavored yogurts that are packed full of sugar, we mix honey into plain greek yogurt. That way we are in control of the sugar content. They don’t know the difference, and it’s much better for them! You can also use greek yogurt in place of oil, when baking.
2. Sweet Potatoes – baked potatoes are such a simple, fast meal. White potatoes don’t have a ton of flavor, so they end up smothered in salt and butter. Sweet potatoes are delicious enough to be eaten plain! Also… french fries are my jam. Probably my most favoritey-favorite on the face of the earth. Baked sweet potatoes make for a great substitution and are even more delicious!
3. Maple Syrup and Raw Honey – These are a great way to naturally sweeten your food, without adding processed sugar.
3. Coconut Oil – The list of benefits from coconut oil is craaaazy long (improves cholesterol, boosts immune system, regulates metabolism… just to name a few!) It makes a great substitution for butter! Also as a replacement for oil, when sauteing veggies on the stove.
4. Frozen Bananas and Greek Yogurt – Freeze the bananas and yogurt (in smaller amounts, like in an ice cube tray) and whip it up in a blender with some honey. It makes for a perfect ice cream for when you’ve gotta hankering for something sweet. Thanks to Kickboxing, Kale, and Kiddos for this little tip!
5. Hummus and Crackers – My husband’s kryptonite is chips. He could down an entire bag in one sitting (and somehow he never gains weight… not fair). We’ve made the switch from chips to crackers – Triscuits, to be exact. The only ingredients are whole grain wheat, oil, and salt. Much better than chips! Homemade hummus makes a deliiiiicious dip and is surprisingly very easy to make. Hummus also makes a great sub for mayo on sandwiches!
6. Quinoa – If you follow my blog, you know I’m a fool for quinoa. So so good. We’ve been using it instead of rice (stir fry, fried “rice”, in enchiladas, etc). Much healthier, and oh-so-delicious.
6. Chia Seeds – these little guys are full of protein, fiber, antioxidants and so much more! We mix them into our yogurt, throw them in smoothies, overnight oats, and even use them to make jam. Oh My Veggies has a super simple recipe that only calls for berries, honey, and chia seeds for a super yummy (and healthy!) jam.
7. Almond Milk – I’ll admit. I’m still trying to get used to the taste. I’m a milk girl, through and through. But when I think about all the calories I’m drinking, it sure motivates me to make the switch. Almond milk is a great alternative!
8. Lettuce Wraps – Who doesn’t love a good taco? I know I do! Try wrapping all that taco goodness in lettuce instead of tortillas. I honestly think they’re way better this way. The light crispiness of the lettuce is divine.
9. Spinach – While we’re talking about lettuce, I better mention spinach. While iceberg lettuce might make a nice crunchy salad, spinach (or other dark, leafy greens) has way more health benefits. Sophie (who is 4) tells me she thinks spinach tastes better, too 🙂
10. Oats, Oats, Oats – I had no idea we could go through so many oats! We eat them for breakfast, put them in smoothies, and bake them in bread! I also started grinding them up and using them as flour.
11. Whole Wheat – We’ve been eating whole grains as much as possible – bread, pasta, pizza dough, you name it! Just make sure the label lists “whole grain flour” as the first ingredient. If “enriched flour” is listed first, it’s not actually a whole grain food.
12. Mushrooms – With our goal of going mostly meatless, we needed a way to “beef up” our vegetarian meals. Mushrooms have a meatiness to them that makes you forget you’re only eating veggies!
13. Applesauce – Applesauce can be used as a substitute for oil, eggs, AND butter. Talk about awesome! Popsugar explains how to make the switch to applesauce – it’s super easy!
14. Homemade ANYTHING – The further along we get with our healthy goals, the more we realize you can’t really trust store-bought foods. They cram all kinds of crap in there, and the best way to avoid it is to make it yourself. We’ve made bread, muffins, hummus, granola bars, salad dressing, and granola. There are so many recipes out there, and not only are they healthier than store bought, they’re also a lot tastier!
These are just some simple, yet effective substitutions you can make to improve your diet. They’re all pretty simple, and don’t take a lot of effort. Give them a try!
Join me next week as I tackle my next goal, healthy freezer meals!