With a few pesky medical problems, I have been on quite the health kick lately. I’ve cut out dairy and meat (for the most part!) and have upped my veggie intake ten fold. To say that these changes have left me feeling great would be an understatement! I now have more energy than ever before, I no longer fall into a midday slump, and my overall mood has improved. While I wouldn’t have made such drastic changes to my diet on my own, I’m glad that I have! And I know that because they are so extreme a lot of people would feel uneasy about replicating them.
While not everyone wants to completely overhaul their diet – I think everyone can afford to make at least a few changes in the right direction. After thinking about the changes I’ve made I wanted to share what I thought some of the easiest healthy swaps were!
Sugary breakfasts for fruity treats!
I used to live for pancakes stuffed with chocolate chips and dripping with syrup – now the idea of starting my day with that much sugar gives me a stomach ache! I never (ever!) skip breakfast, but now I opt for a fruit filled breakfast to start my day off on the right foot. My first meal will either consist of oats with frozen berries, or a few bananas chopped up with cinnamon on top! Both are super sweet and give me a healthy dose of carbs and (natural!) sugar to energize me!
Chips & Dip for Peas & Hummus.
Some chips and dips can be healthy, but many aren’t. If your used to snacking on Lay’s potato chips and cheese dip in between meals you might want to consider a healthier swap! My favorite is eating snow snap peas with hummus but think of what your favorite veggie is and go with that! If you’re looking for something a little richer, I love celery with peanut butter!
Meat for Potatoes.
In my house growing up, it wasn’t a meal unless there was meat. Getting out of that mindset was hard, but sweet potatoes have filled that void! Every shopping trip I come home with a dozen sweet potatoes and half as many bananas and that is the majority of my diet! (Still making sure to get enough protein, calcium, etc!) No matter what I’m making, I can usually find a way to incorporate sweet potatoes. I put it in my curries, my soups, and my make-shift casseroles. And if I’m feeling really lazy I’ll throw two or three in the over, pair it with a spinach salad, and call it dinner!
Sweetened Beverages for Water.
So this is actually a swap that I made in middle school and I haven’t looked back. This summer I upped my water intake to nearly two gallons a day and now I physically need that much or I feel really lazy and tired! Drinks like soda and juices are full of sugar that you just don’t need to be drinking! Whenever you’re looking at the label check how many grams of sugar there are per serving, and keep in mind that there are about 2.5 in a sugar cube. If you wouldn’t want to eat 5 sugar cubes in a sitting, you might want to reconsider downing a ton of soda!
Butter for Water
So hear me out on this one – in the past when I cooked vegetables on the stove top I would always saute them in butter or oil. In watching vegan YouTubers like Nina and Randa, I saw that a lot of them were just replacing the oil with water and the food turned out fine. I made the swap a few weeks ago and I didn’t even notice a difference! I was expecting the food to lack flavor or taste more plain but it turned out great! I’ve been trying to stick to a high carb low fat diet so it’s nice to be able to cut out needless fats where I don’t need them.
Eat healthy, feel better!
So just as a bit of a disclaimer: If my diet seems a bit extreme, that’s because it is. I definitely don’t recommend making such an extreme change to your diet so quickly unless you need to. The people I live with can attest to the fact that in the early days I was cheating a lot but I’ve gotten better, and in turn I’m feeling better! I need to continue working at eating the best I can for my body, and I plan on writing more about my diet in the future! (And I hate to use diet, the word just sounds like something high school girls use when they want to lose three pounds.) But regardless, this won’t be the last that you hear from me on the subject!
Now let me know – what are some of your favorite healthy swaps that you’ve made?