Have your New Year’s Resolutions included healthier eating? Do you want to eat better but don’t want to give up your comfort foods? Thinking of substitutions rather than cutting things out of your diet can make the whole process a lot more pleasant. Here are some ideas to get you started. The sky is the limit with your own creativity to add to these!
- Add vegetables to many of your foods—spinach to smoothies, green peppers to scrambled eggs, broccoli to pasta dishes, etc. You’ll get more nutrition without totally changing your menu.
- Exchange French fries for Carrot Fries. Cut carrots to the size and shape of traditional French fries. Toss with olive oil plus salt or any herbs you like. Bake them at 425° until crisp.
- Replace white rice with cauliflower “rice.” Cut a head of cauliflower into manageable pieces. Pulse in a blender or food processor. Press out moisture with paper towels. Microwave for 5-7 minutes and add seasonings to taste.
- Instead of pasta, use shredded zucchini or spaghetti squash.
- Rather than drinking a glass of fruit juice, eat the fruit instead. You will get more fiber and more nutritional value with fewer calories.
- Swap the potato chips for air-popped popcorn.
- Take fruit for a snack rather than high-calorie, high-sugar processed snacks.
- Exchange white breads for whole wheat bread. The additional fiber in the whole wheat will help you to feel more full so you’ll be less tempted to overeat. (Fiber also has zero calories!)
- Oatmeal will stick with you longer than processed cereals. Just add berries, cinnamon or nuts to add flavor.
- Replace the fancy coffee drinks with a green tea. It has no calories but will still boost your metabolism.
- Instead of a packaged salad dressing, use olive oil and a flavored vinegar.
- Exchange iceberg lettuce for romaine, spring mix, or spinach. The iceberg lettuce is almost devoid of nutrients, while the other greens are packed with good things such as folic acid and iron, not to mention more flavor.
- Replace high-sugar sodas (or even diet sodas) with lemon/lime sparking water.
We hope your New Year’s Resolutions for healthier eating are going well. If any of these ideas are helpful, we’d love to hear from you!