health and nutrition

14 simple food swaps for a healthier you

I love this time of year when we are all thinking about how we can be healthier, more energetic and productive people.  Nutrition has always been a passion of mine and my friends always come to me for advice.  I’m the nutrition nut in the group.  The truth is, you don’t need a diet and you don’t need to go hungry.  The most productive line of thinking when it comes to healthy, clean eating is to change your lifestyle and that’s easy with swaps.  Make food/drink/lifestyle swaps that are better for you, but still delicious and satisfying!

Swap and Drop!

Swap eating out for eating in.  I have to start with this, because if you don’t learn to cook for yourself, most of these swaps won’t apply.  Keep eating out to a minimum and decide to fall in love with cooking at home.

Swap chilled potatoes for hot potatoes.  When starch is chilled, it becomes “resistant starch” meaning that all of those carbs in a chilled potato won’t be digested/absorbed but WILL make you feel full.  So skip the hot fries and go for the cold potato salad (just watch out for the mayo)!

Swap skipping meals for more meals.  Although you may feel like you’re doing something good, skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do.  Your metabolism screeches to a halt and you’re also more likely to binge eat later in the day.  Listen to your body – eat when you’re hungry (at least 3 times a day).

Swap energy drinks for kombucha.  Do people still drink energy drinks?  Well, they shouldn’t!  Those sugar and chemical bombs are awful for you.  If you need a healthy boost of energy, try kombucha, a fermented tea drink filled with probiotics and health benefits.

Swap iceburg for spinach.  Iceburg lettuce is great for a crunch, but it doesn’t offer much nutritionally.  Swap it out for basically anything, the greener the better!

Swap chips for air popped popcorn.  My biggest craving is usually “something salty and crunchy”.  Leave the greasy potato chips and chemical coated orange triangles behind.  3 cups of air popped popcorn is just 100 calories!

Swap the bottle for the blender.  Salad dressings are incredibly easy to make yourself.  All you really need is oil, vinegar and seasonings.  The laundry list of ingredients on the back of a salad dressing bottle is absurd!  Don’t ruin your healthy salad with an unhealthy dressing.

Swap a bagel for toast.  Bagels are my happy place, I get it, but one bagel is the caloric equivalent of 5 pieces of toast.  Bagels should not be your standard go-to breakfast.

Swap soda for sparkling water.  Soda is so 1990.  Satisfy your fizzy cravings for sparkling water in a can, one that uses only natural flavors and no added sugar.  You’ll still get your bubbly fix but without the chemicals and sugars.

Swap steak for grass-fed steak.  Grass-fed steak cuts have 92 fewer calories and up to a third less fat per serving, and the fat they do have is higher in omega-3s and more similar to that found in seafood.

Swap sour cream for Greek yogurt.  These two look and taste so similar but Greek yogurt can save you 20-plus grams of saturated fat while more than doubling your protein intake.  I also like to blend my cream cheese with Greek yogurt to lighten it!

Swap white rice for brown rice.  White rice has been stripped of its nutrition and offers you nothing but empty calories and carbs.  Choose brown rice (or drop rice altogether and grab quinoa, farro or barley instead).

Swap cream based soups for broth based soups.  You had me at “bisque” right?  Well that creamy comes from somewhere and that somewhere is heavy cream.  Opt for broth based soups like a nice ramen, chicken noodle, pho or minestrone.

Swap table salt for Himalayan Sea Salt.  Himalayan Sea Salt contains over 80 essential minerals our bodies need vs table salt, which offers nothing.

Another great swap is Trop50 juice beverage, which has 50% less sugar and calories.  My family is incapable of living without our morning OJ fix, so Trop50 is perfect for us.  Trop50 is squeezed from fresh oranges, has no artificial sweeteners and provides 100% of your daily vitamin C needs.  You might be surprised to know that it is also a good source of potassium.

Every morning, I juice something.  My juicer puts in w.o.r.k. around here!  I do love to keep staple juices like orange juice on hand to add since it takes so much produce to make your own juice.  Pretty much my standard morning order is orange – golden beet – carrot – apple juice.  Sometimes I add additional things, depending what I have on hand like fresh turmeric, lemon or grapefruit.  Right now our lemon and grapefruit trees are busting at the limbs with ripe fruit, so my juices have been very citrusy lately!

What simple swaps have you made for a healthier you this year?

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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