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Sticking to your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier or lose weight doesn’t have to mean salad, salad, and more salad. A healthier new you can be as simple as swapping out one food or ingredient for another.
Here are a few simple exchanges for a healthy – and slimming – new year!
1. This Healthy Creamy Italian Dressing recipe on a baked potato instead of butter or margarine …
A dry potato is quite, well, dry. And boring. But butter loads on the fat and calories. This homemade, Creamy Italian Dressing adds creamy zing to your potato without adding pounds to your waistline.
2. Healthy Waffle/Pancake Toppings instead of pancake syrup …
Try out one of my amazing pancake and waffle toppings made from whole foods. These toppings provide you with a healthy dose of antioxidants and vitamins – and much less sugar!
3. Mashed avocado, applesauce, millet butter, or fruit puree instead of butter or margarine on your morning toast …
While the fat in butter and margarine and so-called “healthy” butter spreads are likely to end up at your waistline, the fat in avocados has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, protective against heart disease, and beneficial for weight loss – making avocado a superior choice.
Another healthy option is to use this lovely millet butter. This healthier buttery spread actually gives you some fiber (other butter spreads have ZERO fiber) and offers a healthy dose of thiamine, niacin, and magnesium.
For a quick and easy (read: no recipe needed) topping for bread, use applesauce, dried fruit puree (such as prune puree), or other fruit sauce on toast. You can eliminate up to 180 calories and 22 grams of fat by replacing the buttery spreads with a fruity one.
4. Dried fruit, fresh fruit, or frozen fruit instead of sugar on cereal …
You can also use date sugar to sweeten your cereal. Date sugar isn’t really sugar. It’s a whole, unrefined food. A very healthy alternative to sugar!
Even if you still feel like your cereal needs more sweetness, you’ll use a lot less of the refined stuff.
5. Brown rice instead of white rice …
White rice is a processed food that has had many of the original nutrients removed. Replace white rice with brown and you’ll add a significant amount of vitamin B3, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, iron, and fiber to your diet.
And check out my delicious recipes made with wholesome brown rice.
6. Frozen or fresh fruits instead of fruit juice …
Juice has just as many calories, ounce for ounce, as a soft drink. And because all, or nearly all, of the fiber has been removed from juice, this beverage tends to contribute to weight gain.
If you’re thirsty, drink water. If you want fruit, eat the whole fruit instead of juice. Fresh and frozen fruit are loaded with many nutrients, including vitamin C and fiber.
7. Healthy Mashed Potatoes instead of regular mashed potatoes …
You can find recipes for mock mashed potatoes and low-fat mashed “potatoes” (i.e. mashed cauliflower) all over the web. They say you can’t taste the difference between mashed cauliflower and mashed potatoes.
I beg to differ.
These luscious Healthy Mashed Potatoes let you have your potatoes and enjoy eating them too.
8. Non-dairy milk instead of regular milk …
Because of its connection with diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, milk is being ousted for better options, which, thankfully, are easy to find. Just about every grocery store these days carries at least one of the many varieties of non-dairy milks available. The only thing better than that is to make your own.
Check out my delicious non-dairy milk recipes.
9. Applesauce, strawberry applesauce, or this healthy fruit jam instead of jam, jelly, or preserves …
Even the healthiest commercial fruit spreads contain around 8 grams of sugar per tablespoon and are usually devoid of fiber.
On the other hand, if you have a blender you can make fruit puree from the whole fruit (thus retaining the fiber) and with minimal or no sugar. Click here for my recipe for the Best Applesauce Ever, Whole-Fruit, No-Sugar Strawberry Applesauce. Or try this homemade Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam.
10. Top veggies with a spritz of olive oil and a sprinkle of Herbamare rather than using fattening butter, margarine, or sauce …
Avoid refined fats in your diet by dressing your steamed veggies with a spritz of olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime, and a sprinkle of Herbamare. So much flavor you won’t miss the unhealthy fat!
To get a nice even spray of olive oil while using a minimal amount of oil, try this olive oil mister.
11. Homemade salad dressing instead of store-bought salad dressing …
Even the healthiest store-bought salad dressings contain ingredients that lead to weight gain and poor health. With 5 minutes and a blender, you can make your own delicious salad dressing at home with slimming and healthy ingredients.
12. Lemon juice instead of vinegar …
All vinegar is basically acetic acid, which is a waste product in the human body and an irritant to the stomach. Acetic acid has been shown to contribute to intestinal permeability, ulcers, gastritis, vitamin deficiencies, and impaired function of the adrenal glands.
13. Almonds (and other nuts) instead of potato chips …
Raw nuts are a great source of fiber and other nutrients that help with weight loss. Potato chips are a great source of refined fat that help with weight gain.
14. Brown rice pasta instead of regular pasta …
Regular white pasta is a refined carbohydrate. Whole wheat pasta is cardboard. Brown rice pasta is a delicious and healthy alternative to both, but most brown rice pastas get really mushy when cooked. I was so happy to find Tinkyada pasta – it cooks up nice and firm and tastes fabulous!
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