Last week, Katrine shared her healthy snack swaps and this week, I’m giving you more with a focus on mealtime. Sugary and/or high starch foods are ubiquitous in our culture but that doesn’t make them good choices. It may seem difficult to give up our favorite foods, but, ultimately, making changes to your diet simply means creating new habits. Healthier options are often not completely different from your regular foods—start with the below simple swaps, and before you know it, your new habits will become old habits. Day by day, you will integrate these new dietary changes into your daily experience and they will become your go-to choices.
Breakfast: Instead of granola or cereal for breakfast, try a protein smoothie.
Protein and fat are essential for energy, so make sure your morning breakfast includes both. Quick and easy to prepare, a smoothie made with either Whey Protein, or the pea-protein based Protein On-The-Go or Plant Protein + Multi will fuel your day. Include a healthy fat such as MCT oil, coconut oil, or avocado.
Lunch: Instead of sandwiches or wheat wraps, try collard green wraps.
Learn how to make lettuce wraps or collard green wraps to make your lunch portable and delicious without the wheat or carb-heavy grains. Make use of your leftovers or simple staples such as hummus or avocados as a base for your wrap and add vegetables, meat, fish and fresh herbs.
Drink: Instead of soda or fruit juice, try infused water.
Hydration is key to health but sodas, juices and diet drinks are NOT acceptable options. If you’re bored of sparkling water and lime, try buying a simple water infuser to make your own flavored water with fruit slices, herbs or veggies like cucumber for a custom flavored and refreshing drink.
Dinner: Instead of white flour pasta, try almond flour pasta, quinoa pasta or brown rice pasta.
Expensive but delicious, Capello’s almond flour pasta can be ordered online and purchased at select grocery stores. Jovial and Tinkyada are both widely available and popular brown rice-based pastas and Andean Dream is a tasty quinoa and rice blend option.
Dinner: Instead of white rice, try wild rice or quinoa (or cauliflower rice).
White rice is widely available, cooks quickly, tastes filling but quickly converts to sugar in the body so you might as well be eating candy. Wild rice and quinoa boast better nutrition and a lower glycemic index and delicious recipes abound, including coach Jenny’s favorite quinoa dish. Popular among the Paleo crowd, cauliflower rice is a grain-free option for a rice-like dish.
Side Dish: Instead of French fries, try roasted sweet potatoes or kale chips.
When you’re craving something crunchy and delicious, try kale chips or roasted sweet potatoes. There are many recipes (you will find a several on the blog) but here’s mine for kale chips: Simply massage kale leaves with olive oil or coconut oil, sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 10 – 12 minutes until crispy in a 350° oven. For sweet potatoes, peel and slice into the shape of French fries and roast in coconut oil at 400° for a delicious treat.
The ability to grab food on the go declines when you raise the requirements of what constitutes as food. It is not always easy to reject the ease and convenience of packaged food in a culture that embraces it, so plan ahead and prepare to be healthy!