Food Swap Friday – Starches

Next week is Thanksgiving, and even with healthier options, it’s easy to intake way too many calories and grams of carbohydrates. If you aren’t someone who has to pay attention to that, cool, enjoy your meal!

Unfortunately, not everyone has that ability, and so it’s nice to have a healthier option, too. Oh, but how could one take away the mashed potatoes?! BLASPHEMY – you can’t!

But honestly, either of today’s options are better for you, with the same (if not more!) flavor and texture – so why not give it a try?

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Food Swap Friday – Walnuts for Croutons

Are you like me, and absolutely NEED that crunch and flavor of croutons on your salad? I know those little things are bad for me, but I neeeeeeed them!

Well maybe this swap will help me… Croutons are high in sodium, often coated in butter, and full of empty calories—around 10 per piece, which can tally up in a hurry. Obviously, not the best way to top your microgreens, right?

A healthier crunch alternative is walnuts, which are loaded with nutrients like omega-3s that are good for you, but will also help keep you satisfied, with the added bonus of fiber and protein!

Food Swap Friday – Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream

I am a member of the “Sour Cream Junkies” club… I LOVE the stuff. I know, not good, or good for me… today’s swap has actually become one of my favorites, because it really does offer the same taste and effect, while offering MORE protein and LESS fat than it’s counterpart of Sour cream.

Note: occasionally, I still enjoy sour cream… it’s become the exception, not the rule, and that’s okay — life IS about balance, after all!

Have you tried this swap?

Food Swap Friday – Eggs

Eggs… I love them. They are a good source of protein, filling, and versatile. But did you know that by hard boiling eggs instead of frying them, not only do you eliminate the grease, but it makes them ready to grab, too?

Hard boiled eggs are easy and will keep for a few days, making them convenient to grab as you run out the door, instead of slaving over a stove and having eggs with a side of grease!

For those of you who meal prep, this is a great, but simple step you can take to set yourself up for success!

hard-boiled-for-fried-eggs

Food Swap Friday – Spices for Salt

Any salt lovers out there? I like salt in moderation… my husband is a master at seasoning and never overdoes it, thankfully. But I don’t like overly salty  things except for the odd salt and vinegar chip craving, really. Almost everything else I can take or leave it. Of course, a little salt activates the flavor… but thats a LITTLE.

A lot is a bad thing… puts you at risk for tons of health issues, bloats you, can dull your taste buds… so what can we better season our food with? SPICES!

There is no shortage of spices you can use to create a wide, and I do mean WIDE variety of flavors. And it’s a lot healthier, too.

Do you have a favorite spice to cook with?

spices-for-salt

Food Swap Friday – Mashed Avocado for Butter

With the holidays quickly approaching, plans are being made to minimize the damage! Food swaps, fitness plans, all sorts of stuff…

Because the holiday months are some of the most challenging times for many of us, I am always looking for other ways to keep myself in check.

And this is one of them! I try to limit butter – I know it’s not the devil like its made out to be, but it’s not the healthiest choice if you can make a healthier one!

Baked goods for the holidays tend to use large amounts of added butter, which is a source of saturated fat and excess calories. Replacing just two tablespoons of butter with mashed avocado using a 1:1 ratio saves 154 calories and 14 grams of saturated fat. If you aren’t completely sold on this swap, try replacing just half of the butter in the recipe with equal parts mashed avocado. This gives your baked goods a nutritional boost!

mashed-avocado-for-butter

Food Swap Friday – Cacao Nibs for Chocolate Chips

I totally get it. I adore chocolate now, which is really funny because before my Diabetes diagnosis 6+ years ago, I hated it, and could probably count on one hand how many times I had consumed it. I remember my sister winning a 5lb Chocolate bar and being disgusted about it!

I didn’t like it then, but now I do… not ideal, but what can I do? That’s how things work… they usually become a helluva lot more appealing once they are dubbed “off limits” or “enjoy very sporadically”.

Luckily, my chocolate Shakeology does ease a lot of this, giving me the satisfaction of chocolate without as much sugar or carbs.

But sometimes, even Shakeology can’t satisfy the craving (luckily, this is a RARE occurrence or I would be in trouble!). Today’s swap enables you to get a richer, healthier form of chocolate, and in doing so, shave off 26.1 grams of carbs and add 7.8 grams of protein… I mean I am no math whiz, but those are pretty impressive numbers!

Plus, here are 5 reasons to consume cacao:

  1. Cacao contains the mood improver, anandamide – known as the bliss molecule, which creates a feeling of euphoria. Yay happiness!
  2. The antioxidant properties of cacao are also found to reduce insulin resistance and sensitivity in people with impaired glucose tolerance and smokers.
  3. Cacao helps reduce the stress hormone cortisol, and improves metabolism.
  4. Better digestion thanks to the fiber found in raw cacao, that stimulates the body’s digestive enzymes.
  5. Cacao boosts brain levels of serotonin, the feel good brain chemical. The benefits of cacao are proven to boost the brain levels of calming hormones and restore feelings of well-being.

cacao-nibs-for-chocolate-chips

Food Swap Friday – An Orange for Orange Juice

How many of you enjoy orange juice with your breakfast? And how many of you enjoy an actual orange? I know, OJ is easier, you just pour – no peeling or anything (I am aware peeling an orange is not hard, FYI!), but there is a vast difference between the two, especially in sugar count!

One 12oz glass of Orange juice has 24 grams of Sugar, which is actually TWICE AS MUCH as an actual orange! Added bonus: by eating the actual fruit, you get 3g of Fiber too!

Orange for Orange Juice

I almost never drink juice – I will occasionally have Sangria, I drink iced coffee daily, Shakeology daily, and water daily… thats it. But every once in a while a mimosa at Brunch tastes good… outside of that, I am whole fruit all the way!