Swap This for That, Simple Ingredient Swaps to make your Kitchen Creations Healthier
It is hard to imagine a question that is harder to understand than what should I be eating now. We live in a world with a ton of options and a bunch of diet theories in fact there are over 200 different dietary theories and at the institute of integrative health and nutrition we were required to study them all. From Paleo to veganism, south beach to weight watchers the market has exploded by even having all these choices hasn’t made things easier.
The bottom line and the most radical thing you can do for health and your healthy bottom is to eat real food. It needs to be made with real ingredients and organic when possible.
Eat a good breakfast
Starting your morning off on the right food will jump start your metabolism, but beware what you choose to eat, you know you are breaking your Fast from the night so what you put in your body is very important. The proverbially Breakfast smoothies may not be all they’re cracked up to be.
Although the ingredients are healthy and delicious, two bananas, cold-pressed orange juice, strawberries, coconut water and bee pollen will add up to quite a high calorie content, although all are natural. Swap it for this 2 eggs with some sautéed veggies and either a piece of sprouted toast or a little sweet potato. You might find you will feel fuller longer and have more energy.
Knowing your Grains
Glycemic index and glycemic load offer information about how foods affect blood sugar and insulin. The lower a food’s glycemic index or glycemic load, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels. Here is a chart to some common foods. Grains should be a part of your diet but you should learn which ones are the best for you or you may be unwittingly overloading your body with the wrong things
Swap it: If a recipe you are making calls for rice, try doing half quinoa and half rice I’ve done it with excellent results.
Quinoa is high in protein but low in carbohydrates, making it a great grain alternative. Basmati is the lowest GI of the white rice range. Brown is slightly higher in GI but much higher in nutrients. So if a recipe is best with white, go for basmati; otherwise stick to brown.
We always add vegetables and beans to our rice base try adding onion, garlic, dried beans to the water with your rice and then tossing in carrot, celery, and bell peppers in the last 5 minutes then cover and steep.
Fun Swaps to try:
- Mashed Avocado for butter or oil in baking: Not all fats are bad for you, like we have discussed in the past. Plant based oils like olive, nuts and avocados are rich is monounsaturated fats which are actually good for you. They may actually help to maintain healthy cholesterol level. When subbing avocado in baking it is best to use a pretty ripe avocado that will mash easily. We also put avocado in coconut milk for a rich and delicious snack.
- Greek Yogurt for mayo or sour cream, by making this trade you are adding and extra bit of protein you find only in Greek yogurt. Have a go at adding seasonings, like garlic, chipotle peppers or dill. Add chopped cucumbers and mint to make a a healthier
- Pureed White Bean, swap for cream to thicken soups Instead of thickening soups with cream or milk, use a can of organic white bean like great northern or cannellini beans and puree in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy add them in to your soup for a wonderful creamy texture. Way less fat this way and more potassium wonderful for your cardio vascular system.
- Nuts, use nuts in salads or on yogurt instead of higher calorie granola. Walnuts and Almonds are two of the heart healthiest types you can choose, make sure you are grabbing un salted variety. Try toasting them as well and sprinkling with cinnamon and or a bit of cayenne for a kicked up salad or yogurt.
- Applesauce for oil butter or sugar. Pop 3 small apples cored but not peeled in a pan with a little water, cover and steam on low until soft. Cool slightly and add to blender. Using this in place of butter in a recipe will cut your calories by more than 1/2 and you have the added benefit of fiber in your baking. This is delicious on it’s own sprinkled with a little Saigon cinnamon the added bonus this cinnamon is insulin enhancing and anti- inflammatory.
- Zoodles or spaghetti Squash instead of pasta. Zoodles aka Zucchini noodles are terrific baked, Sautéd or Eaten Raw, it only takes only a moment to spiral up and you have the added benefits of only good carbs.
- Soda Water instead of Tonic, next time your out with friends and sipping your favorite cocktail remember tonic is high in sugar while soda has none.
Additional Swaps to consider:
Instead of: Granola
Swap this: Oatmeal
Instead of: Egg sandwich
Swap this: Scrambled eggs with veggies
Instead of: Fruit at the bottom yogurt
Swap this: Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
Instead of: Cream based soups
Swap this: Broth-based minestrone
Instead of: Standard steak
Eat this: Grass-fed steak
Instead of: Mashed potatoes
Swap this: Mashed cauliflower or at least do 50/50
Instead of: Hummus and chips
Swap this: Hummus and red pepper, or any veggies you like
Instead of: Potato chips
Swap this: Kale chips, email us if you would like a recipe
Intelligent Pantry Items:
Yerba Mate : anti oxidant, metabolism boosting tea that is loaded with amino acid, and offers stimulation without the drop you get from other caffeinated beverages.
Liquid Amino: Bragg’s formulated soy protein is from non-GMO certified soybeans and purified water.
Nutritional Yeast : Makes a healthy delicious seasoning when sprinkled on most foods, especially salads, vegetables, potatoes, rice, pasta and even popcorn, use it as a cheese substitute in sauces and dressings.
Coconut Oil : Coconut oil can be taken as a dietary supplement, used for cooking or used for skin & hair care.
Organic GF Oats: For breading as a binder, in your breakfast, terrific source of fiber.
Chia Seeds: Sprinkle into smoothies, oatmeal, granola, cereal or yogurt or use as a thickener. Chia is a vegetarian source of omega fatty acids, protein, calcium, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and soluble fiber. We use it thicken over night oats as well.
Stevia Liquid: Finally a calorie, carb free sweetener without chemicals all plant based. Non-Bitter Certified Organic A Dietary Supplement Vegetarian Product Stevia rebaudiana is a natural herb that grows in Asia and South America
Plant Based Protein: 22 grams of protein in each scoop, easy-to-digest, energy-boosting protein. Rich in omega 3-6-9 essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. A balanced, complete source of vegan protein that does not contain any artificial ingredients or preservatives.