Oh how I love this time of year!! The humidity decreases, the air is a little more crisp, and the scarves and boots begin to come out of the closet. As the season begins to change, now is the perfect opportunity to clean out your refrigerator and pantry and throw out those foods that are not serving your health goals.
You know the ones that I am talking about right? The packaged food with all those ingredients you can’t pronounce.
When I meet with women and collect information regarding current foods they are eating, I can quickly identify healthier versions that still taste great and are MUCH better for you. Here is a list of my top 10 replacements:
- Ezekiel bread swapped out for your current bread. This is such a great bread that is high in fiber and has no sugar. When swapping out, you will get more vitamins and minerals and because the higher fiber, you’ll feel satiated longer. I am gluten free and if you are as well, then I recommend Udi’s Chia Seed Bread. I love it! It is also high in fiber and delivers 6g of protein per serving!
- Brown rice in place of white. Folks, this is a no brainer. Brown rice is a whole grain that contains the bran and germ. These provide fiber and several vitamins and minerals. White rice is a refined grain that has had these nutritious parts removed. Simply replacing white rice with brown has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Regular yogurt replaced with Greek Yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt has double the protein, half the carbs and half the sodium of the regular yogurt. Just be sure to choose a type that isn’t loaded with sugar. It is also a great fat substitute when baking. If you don’t like the taste of plain Greek yogurt, mix a tbsp. of honey in with it.
- Vegetable oil replaced with coconut oil. Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) or medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). They are more easily digested by your body, so they do not get stored as fat. Virgin coconut oil is recommended for cooking because it’s chemical makeup is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage, which means it does not lose its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants slow oxidative damage in our bodies. Oxidative damage can contribute to many serious health problems.
- Spinach in place of Iceberg lettuce. It may officially be a vegetable, but Iceberg lettuce really doesn’t have much nutritional value. Spinach, however, is full of nutrients, including iron, magnesium, and vitamins A and C. Spinach also has more fiber to keep you feeling fuller longer. It’s super versatile too! I like throwing a handful into my daily smoothies.
- Swap out that breakfast muffin for oatmeal. A large muffin can have about a third of the day’s saturated fat and up to 74 grams of refined carbs. (that’s not good!) Your insulin will spike and then crash. Instead, eat a bowl of oatmeal sweetened with honey and berries. This will provide you fiber to keep you full without all the refined sugar.
- Swap ranch dressing for hummus. Do you like dipping your veggies in ranch dressing? Try hummus instead. It is made from chickpeas and provides you filling fiber where the dressing will not. My favorite is the roasted red pepper hummus!
- Skip the potato chips and eat sweet potato chips instead. You can easily bake your own but if you prefer, try Food Should Taste So Good sweet potato tortilla chips. They are non-GMO and have 3 grams of fiber per serving.
- Swap out cow’s milk for coconut, cashew, or almond milk. Trying to cut back or eliminate inflammatory dairy? There are great options these days that also taste great. Just be sure to choose the kind that doesn’t have added sugar.
- Instead of cheese and crackers, how about cheese and apple slices. You will be getting significantly more fiber and less calories by swapping the crackers for apples.
So there you have it. By making small changes you can fill your body with more nutritional value that will contribute to better health. I love hearing from you all, so please visit me on social media and drop me a note.
With love and respect,