Monday, November 4, 2013

Healthy Substitutions-The Only "Diet" You Need

Healthy alternatives are seriously the only way I get through life on a diet. Okay that's a little dramatic, but seriously! I will never be one of those people who sacrifices all enjoyment and flavor in my diet just to be a few pounds thinner. That's not what life is about. The best part is that you don't have to lose all fun in life just because you're trying to be healthier! Nutritious alternatives can sometime be even better than the real thing! Plus you will feel so much better afterwards, so it's a win-win. Substituting healthier foods for the more fattening foods can be overwhelming at first, I know this better than anyone. But luckily I started this trick a while ago and I'm here to help you through this process!

Starch/Carbohydrate Substitutions

  • Instead of white rice, use quinoa. Commonly thought of as a grain, it is actually an edible seed that is packed with nutrients and lots of protein. It's also gluten-free! You can make it into ANYTHING!! Quinoa is one of my favorites because that it is so incredibly versatile. It's one of my staple foods, I would say I eat it 3 days out of the week.
---Brown rice is another good alternative!

  • Instead of regular pasta, always try to find WHOLE wheat pasta, or if possible, brown rice pasta. I use brown rice pasta and it's so good! No weird consistency or texture. You can't even tell that it's not regular pasta. They also make quinoa pasta, which I have not yet tried, but I'd be interested to know how it is :)

  • Bread: can't live with it, can't live without it. For starters, always choose "whole grain," as I stated earlier. A lot of companies will label their food "multigrain," to try to make consumers believe they are selecting more nutritious options. Multigrain doesn't mean much; it simply means that more than one type of grain is used. Whereas with whole grains, every part of the grain is used. Whole grains contain nutrients and fiber that are essential to the body. 

  • Potatoes: everyone loves them, I know. And myself included! I wouldn't be American if I didn't ;) Potatoes are low in cholesterol and high in potassium and vitamin C. They are a starch, yes, but not necessarily a bad one. This vegetable is packed with complex carbs, which release slowly in the body for a steady flow of energy dispersed over a long period of time. The problem with potatoes is not the potato itself- but rather the way they are both prepared and eaten. Most people either fry their potatoes or top them with butter and sour cream. Next time you eat a potato, cook it in the oven and top it with salsa and steamed broccoli. Seriously amazing.
  • Another yummy alternative is a baked sweet potato topped with cinnamon, organic honey, and shaved almonds. 

 So there's my list of substitutions! Anything else you'd like alternatives to? 
The list goes on and on so let me know if there's anything else I can add :)

A typical shopping haul. Trader Joe's saves me!