Wednesday, April 16, 2014

10 'Swaps' to Make Your Meal Healthier

'The devil is in the details', so they say, and I have certainly found that to be true in my own nutrition.  By making these simple swaps in recipes, not only do I not really notice, but they make your meal or snack MUCH healthier!

1. Use an onion instead of olive oil.  Did you know what onions create their own 'oil' when you cook them?  Now, you may not want to do this all the time depending on what you're making.  But, for the most dicing half of an onion rather than adding that oil, not only completely eliminates fat from your meal, but it also gives your meal MORE flavor.  You can't lose ;)

2. Use spices instead of sugar or salt to add flavor to a recipe.  I have done this for so many different things.  From stir frys to homemade popcorn.  We as Americans have SO MUCH sugar and salt in our diet, and sometimes we're not even aware of it!  That's why making it a point to NOT add it our meals helps us out.  And, I think, adding more flavor with spices gives recipes that extra zing that you may not have noticed before!

3. Find a substitute for the egg when you're baking.  Eggs are totally replaceable in nearly all recipes.  Especially baking recipes.  I have yet to be able to tell a difference when I've substituted either a banana or applesauce for the egg.  Not only does the banana and applesauce replace the egg, it can often replace the oil too.

4. Drink sparkling water instead of soda.  Now, I'll be the first to admit, this is a tough change to make.  But, I've made it.  Sparkling water is no Pepsi, but I've found that there are some pretty tasty flavors out there, and there's just something about the carbonation that gives me the soda fix that I was craving.  And, I don't need to worry about feeling disgusting after I drink it, or chasing it with a bag of chips.  The truth is, there is just NO nutritional value in soda, and the less I drink it, the better I feel.  So, I'd rather take that, over a Pepsi any day ;)

5. Use Ezekiel Bread instead of white bread.  Ezekiel bread is amazing!  It's completely plant based, zero chemicals, and it goes GREAT with your morning breakfast.  

6. Replace your spaghetti noodles with spaghetti squash or zucchini.  I LOVE noodles.  Every year for my birthday when I was little, my restaurant of choice was Olive Garden.  However, there are some pretty awesome alternatives for noodles.  THE best ones are of course, veggies.  I recently used zucchini with homemade tomato sauce, and it was honestly, very, very good.  Spaghetti squash is also an option, there is a little more work involved, but either way, you having a meal that is totally plant based.  Which is always a good thing.

7. Eat quinoa instead of white rice.  White rice (although it's completely delicious, in my opinion!), is stripped of every single nutrient that little seed ever had.  While quinoa on the other hand, is FILLED with them.  It's a great protein source believe it or not, is gluten free, and was once referred to by the Incan culture as the 'mother grain''s good stuff.  Some people have a tough time with the taste, but this is an easy fix.  I like to add 'Better than Bouillion' vegetable base to it as it boils, and it gives it a nice flavor.  Then, when you use it as a base to your meal, it makes it even better.

8. Use an avocado on your sandwich instead of mayo.  Okay, this one should be obvious.  Mayonnaise is basically lard, that is also laced with tons of chemicals.  Avocado on the other hand has an amazing flavor, and is the healthiest good fat you could eat.  I think that about covers it :)

9. Use cashew cream instead of sourcream or cheese.  Cashew cream is VERY easy to make, is a nut, which means it's providing you with magnesium and healthy fat.  Try it out, it might taste a little different initially, but it's honestly, really good!

10. Drink Shakeology instead of having dessert!  Okay, you know I had to save the best for last, right?!  Shakeology has over 70 ingredients that do INCREDIBLE things for your body.  I consider it my multi-vitamin for the day, AND it helps me with those crazy sweet tooth cravings I get, AND it helps maintain weight loss.  It's awesome.  And if you want to know more about it, just let me know.

I hope this list helps you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.  Remember, it takes time to make these changes, so be patient, and slowly replace different foods over time.  Going all in can often cause a huge crash somewhere along the way (trust me, I know!), but just replacing things little by little helps you maintain the balance you need, and make the changes when you're ready.  Thanks for reading!


  1. Nonfat greek yogurt is also a great substitute in a lot of recipes, even for baking :)

  2. Oh, that's another good one! I've never tried it myself, but I've heard it's amazing for baking and replacing sour cream, and things like that. Thanks Em :)


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