Healthy Food Swaps

Another year, another bunch of resolutions to be healthier! At this time of year, I know that many of you are researching ways in which you can make more healthful, fitness forward decisions. I’ve published several posts to help you with this: “Moderation – Balance – Lifestyle”, “Quick Health Tips”, and “8 Things Fit People Do”. Today, I publish another! This post is all about healthy food swaps; foods you can substitute in for other foods that are on the leaner side. So here we go!

Sprouted Grain Bread in place regular bread


I love bread! I love bread! I love bread! I will always love a good sourdough bread or foccacia or baguette; I will always love bread! However, for normal day-to-day bread consumption, I opt for Food for Life Sprouted Grain Bread. Sprouted Grain Bread is bread in which the grain used in the bread was sprouted which is when the grain is it at its peak of nutrition, fiber, and protein. The sprouted grains are then mashed and baked rather than pulsed down to flour. This type of bread tends to work with your body and benefits you with increased digestibility, increased absorption of minerals, increased antioxidants, and increased Vitamins A and C. So this bread is the way to go!

Sweet Potato Slices in place of regular bread


What? I know, it sounds crazy. But lightly baked sweet potato slices make a great carb substitute for bread when it comes to toast and sandwiches. Tasty on their own, sweet potatoes also provide a ton of nutrients that work with your body, provide more fiber, and less carbs than normal bread. Try it out! Learn how to here.

Cauliflower in place of rice


Cauliflower rice is very on trend right now, and for good reason. Cauliflower Rice perfectly replaces normal white rice to provide you with more fiber and nutrients and way, way less carbs. In most cases, rice is really just on the plate as a filler or as a vessel for capturing sauce from the main dish of the meal; so why not swap it out for a leaner option that you will barely notice! Trader Joe’s and Sprouts both sell cauliflower rice already prepped for you, or you can make it in the food processor yourself; learn how here.

Spaghetti Squash or Vegetable Noodles in place of pasta


I am Johnny La Pasta, and will always love and always eat real, legit, Italian pasta. However, there are those days when you’d like a big bowl of noodles without all the carbs. And so, both Spaghetti Squash and Vegetable Noodles make a great substitute as lower carb, higher nutrient options! Giada De Laurenttis has a great recipe here.

Pureed Cannellini Beans in place of butter or cream to thicken sauces and soups

Cauliflower Steak Marsala 017

I love a good, creamy sauce and velvety, smooth soup. We all do! However, in most schools of cooking, the way you make sauces and soups creamy is by adding dairy cream and/or butter, which instantly raises fat and calorie content. I’ve found that a great substitute is to whisk in pureed cannellini beans in sauces that need thickening. Amazingly, the pureed beans melt into liquidy sauces and soups and helps to bind the them till they are creamy smooth. It adds little calories and more protein; double win! See how to use these beans to thicken sauce in my recipe for Cauliflower Steak Marsala or how to use it to make soups creamy in Johnny’s Tomato Soup.

Mashed banana in place of butter on toast

Now, you have to really like bananas to use them in place of butter. Bananas will always taste like bananas. However, if creamy smooth texture is what you are looking for on your toast and you don’t mind the taste, mashing a banana onto your toast is a great option. It provides you with more nutrients and minimal fat!

Banana Nice Cream in place of regular ice cream

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream 10

If you’re craving a sweet treat but are trying to avoid added sugar and dairy fat, vegan nice cream is a great way to go. Again, you need to really like banana, but if you do, this will be so pleasing to you. Frozen bananas somehow whip into deliciously creamy ice cream treats which you can flavor however you like. I love my Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Nice Cream just as much as regular Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream and you will too!

Truvia and Stevia in place of sugar


I am sorry, but I love my coffee and my tea sweet, I do not like bitter brown water and I never will; I need some sugary goodness! Of course, sugar is sugar which I try to avoid eating/drinking too much of. When watching sugar intake, I turn to sugar substitutes; unfortunately, many of the sugar substitutes on the market are terrible for you and you are just better off with real sugar. However, Truvia and Stevia are natural sugar substitutes that provide perfect sweetness to coffee and tea for no calories and no awful chemicals. I take my coffee with a bit of coconut creamer and a couple Truvia packets and that is my joy every morning and for less calories!

Now with all of these, please bare in mind that you don’t have to forever give up real bread, real pasta, real cream, or real butter; you can have all of those foods in balanced moderation. These are just substitutes to incorporate into your diet that will help you to more quickly and easily reach your fitness goals as well as maintain them.

What are your favorite healthy food swaps? Let me know in the comments below!

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