As winter comes to an end and the time to pull the shorts and t-shirts out of storage gets closer, ‘cleaning up your diet’ and eating healthy foods becomes very important to many people for many different reasons.
The most common is of course fat loss, but there are a host of other benefits to eating good foods such as reducing inflammation and promoting overall good health.
If you’ve decided that you are ‘going to do this!’ But have no idea where to start, then this is exactly where you need to be. I have compiled a list of simple ‘swap it’ ideas to get you kick started on your journey to better health.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on my ideas and I would love to know if you have any of your own to share!
Please add your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.
Swap NOODLES for ZOODLES:
- Zucchini is a such a versatile vegetable! I bought a Baccarat Spiralizer – and love it! I use Zoodles in place of noodles and also as a little ‘mound’ to rest my ‘meat’ on.
Swap HONEY/MAPLE SYRUP for RICE MALT SYRUP:
- While still very high in carbohydrates and without a lot of nutrients, RMS is fructose-free and produced naturally. It shouldn’t have the same negative effects on liver function and metabolic health as the others and there is no formaldehyde or hidden nasties in RMS!)
Swap SUGAR for STEVIA , EURYTHRITOL or XYLITOL.
We all know that sugar is bad for us. It rots our teeth, packs on belly fat, and provides no nutrition at all. But in my opinion, sugar is responsible for things much worse. Did you know that sugar is one of the most inflammatory foods you can eat and that obesity, diabetes, and heart disease have all been linked to inflammation? This can also speed up the ageing process contributing to everything from painful joints to dry, wrinkled skin.
- Stevia is an extract of the herb Stevia rebaudiana. Stevia contains no calories, no carbs and rates zero on the glycemic index when in its pure form. It is usually 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar, which means you only need to use a tiny bit to sweeten foods. Besides not affecting blood sugar or containing carbs or calories, stevia has also been shown to benefit blood sugar and insulin levels after a meal. It also contains compounds which have been shown to reduce oxidative stress. I always use Nirvana Organics Stevia as it tastes the best! It’s top-quality so you don’t get that bitter after-taste as you do with some of the cheaper brands.
- Erythritol is typically found in fruits and vegetables and is commonly extracted from corn. And like stevia, it does not affect blood sugar and has very few calories. According to some recent studies, erythritol does not change blood sugar or insulin levels in healthy people.
- Xylitol can be extracted from any woody fibrous plant material like trees or from corn cobs. Xylitol also occurs naturally in our bodies. Because the body absorbs Xylitol more slowly than it does sugar, it does not have the same effects on your blood sugar that regular sugar does and does not lead to the same “crash” sugar causes.
Swap MARGARINE for BUTTER:
- Grass fed butter is loaded up with essential vitamins and in my eyes is classed as a super-food! Margarine is a chemical concoction, and contains trans fats that have been linked to heart disease, weight gain, premature ageing, liver and lung damage and much more.
Swap RICE for “CAULI-RICE”:
- Blitz raw cauliflower in a food processor and then fry it up in a pan with fat, salt and pepper, or steam it for about 6 minutes. YUM! Cauli-rice is a family favourite in our house.
Swap HAMBURGER BUNS for PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS:
- Homemade burgers have never been healthier, and the kids will love them. To make my mushrooms uber-tasty, I first fry up some butter and garlic, brush the mix onto the mushrooms (top and bottom), and then grill them to keep them soft and moist. There is nothing wrong with having them a little firmer to hold the inners of the burger either.
Swap CRACKERS for CRUNCHY CUCUMBERS:
- What better way to get that crunch than from a cucumber. Top with any combination of cheese, basil pesto, baby tomatoes, smoked salmon, mashed avocado or pate and enjoy the decadence. You could also make SEED CRACKERS if you have the time.
Swap TOAST for TOASTED SWEET POTATO:
- It’s not very low in carbs, but it’s much healthier than toasting bread!! Try sweet potato toast. Just toast a slice in the toaster – you might need to put in back down a few times to get it how you like. Serve with any toppings you like!
Swap COMMERCIAL ICE CREAM with HOMEMADE ICE CREAM:
- Use pure cream, eggs, vanilla, stevia or rice malt syrup and whatever flavours you like. No toxic chemicals in this scoop!
Swap TACOS for CHEESE TACOS:
- Melt cheese and fold it into the shape of a taco and fill with your favourite toppings for a delicious grain-free alternative! Recipe here: http://www.mimfit.net/cheese-tacos/
Swap MASHED POTATO with CAULIFLOWER MASH:
- Simply steam a head of cauliflower, then throw it in the food processor with butter, cream and salt. Yum!
Swap traditional PANCAKES with GRAIN FREE PANCAKES recipe here: http://www.mimfit.net/grain-free-pancakes/
Swap LASAGNE SHEETS for THINLY SLICED ZUCCHINI or KONJAC PASTA
Swap SOFT DRINK with PLAIN MINERAL WATER or with NATURAL FLAVOURINGS or KOMBUCHA
Swap BREADCRUMBS with GROUND ALMONDS/ALMOND MEAL
Swap SEED OILS with COCONUT OIL, AVOCADO OIL, MACADAMIA OIL or OLIVE OIL
Swap ICING/FROSTING with CREAM CHEESE FROSTING, BUTTER CREAM ICING or GANACHE
Swap GRANOLA/MUESLI with COCONUTTY GRANOLA
Swap TABLE SALT with PINK SALT or SEA SALT
Swap FLOUR with COCONUT FLOUR/ALMOND FLOUR/KONJAC FLOUR
Swap FLAVOURED YOGHURT with GREEK YOGHURT and BERRIES or FLAVOURED STEVIA DROPS
Swap REGULAR CREAM with PURE CREAM – NO ADDITIVES (DOUBLE OR POURING)
Swap PORRIDGE with CHIA SEED PORRIDGE
Swap EGG WHITES with WHOLE EGGS
Swap COMMERCIAL PIZZA BASE with FATHEAD PIZZA BASE/MEATZA or CAULI PIZZA
Swap BREAD ROLLS with one of the BREAD RECIPES found here: http://www.mimfit.net/categories/breads/
Always remember, as you get used to this way of eating, you won’t need to ‘replace’ things so much; the cravings will simply disappear. We don’t really miss bread anymore, or sweet snacks. Occasionally it’s nice to have, so I bake, but more often than not, it’s simply forgotten about ☺