We live in an ever changing and vast growing society with so many varying options at our finger tips. Every one’s motives for healthy swaps are different. It could be due to food allergies and intolerances, taste or simply just wanting to nourish your body with foods that serve you best as an individual.
I have found these few food swaps to be the greatest unlocking of a whole new world to food and nutrition. I love that manufacturers and food services are listening and becoming more aware of what people want and are giving individuals options to reach health goals. This also includes no longer missing out on foods your body struggles to digest.
This post is from my personal experience and how my body acts and reacts to certain foods groups. It doesn’t mean your body does and by no means am I saying that consuming the traditional foods is bad. I will be explaining in detail why these foods have a negative effect on my body and how I switch them out.
By making these simple swaps I am ensuring my body is still being sustained with macro and micro nutrients while still enjoying meals I know and love.
Cauliflower + Broccoli Rice
I feel like this is such a simple and well known swap to make if you aren’t wanting to consume traditional white rice. I choose to do this for all my home made meals because it genuinely makes me feel better and it’s 10 times easier for my body to digest. Rice personally makes me feel really puffy and I ALWAYS over consume it if it’s in front of me. White rice has the ability to cause a spike in your blood sugar levels, which in turn gives you energy for a short amount of time then causes your body to crash. White rice is a refined grain which means it has lost some of it’s nutrients through processing. I’m not saying white rice is bad, if you can consume it and feel energized, sustained and satiated, thats amazing!
Cauliflower and broccoli rice is not only convenient (you can get prepackaged options in just about any shop you go to now) but it is also an awesome way to get an extra serving of vegetables into your daily intake.
This one gets me a little fired up. SO many bars are labelled “healthy” these days when in reality they are full of crappy ingredients that serve no benefit to your body. Let’s take the famous quest bar for example. They are full of artificial sweeteners + preservatives and are extremely processed in general. These are unfortunately labelled as “healthy” in the fitness world but in my opinion if you can barely bite into “food” with the fear of pulling a tooth it’s probably not good for you.
I opt for minimal ingredients if I am ever wanting a protein/snack bar. I have found Paleo bars are the way to go. If you are living in Australia and the UK there is a brand called blue dinosaur and they make the yummiest bars! The cocoa mint flavour is my absolute favourite! The ingredients consist of: Coconut, cacao, coconut oil, dates and mint.
I struggled to consume dates there for a little while but I have recently introduced them back into my diet and my tummy digests them fine now!
Real ingredients equals real food. Always, always, ALWAYS look at the ingredients list on the packaged foods you are purchasing and never be fooled by labels. If you don’t know an ingredient or can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it.
These are an incredible alternative to soy sauce. I am extremely passionate about this topic and feel I need to bring more awareness and shed more light on the damaging affects of soy as a whole. Soy contains phytoestrogens and they are actually estrogen mimickers. Consuming too much soy can result in hormone imbalance because you are literally feeding your body fake hormones. Did you know that 90% of soy products are actually genetically modified. The only time soy is okay to consume is if it is organic + fermented. This is why I choose to use coconut aminos when I am cooking. Coconut aminos also come with a host of benefits for our bodies, such as: Aiding in heart health, strengthening the immune system and promotion of sound mental health. There is such a long list of why coconut amigos are SO good for our bodies.
Spaghetti Squash + Zoodles
Everyone is familiar with these incredible pasta alternatives. I personally am not a huge fan of zucchini noodles but I will eat them if that is the only option on hand. What I really love is: spaghetti squash noodles. I only recently discovered these since moving to America and I swear Gideon and I ate spag bowl every few nights for weeks after I was introduced to them. They remind me of angel hair pasta but tastier and way more beneficial for your overall health. I choose to consume vegetables as my pasta for the same reasons I choose cauliflower or broccoli rice.
This is hands down one of the most common food options that get everyone. Most sauces are filled with sugars and preservatives, which is why I try to avoid them at all costs unless I can find an option with minimal ingredients and a low sugar content. Primal Kitchen is a beautiful brand here in the States that I trust to consume. Otherwise, I make everything myself — Pesto, pasta sauce, salad dressings and seasonings. I much prefer this method because I know exactly what I am going to be consuming. I’m having fun, getting creative with my meals and I know my tummy is going to thank me for it in the long run.
If you are stuck for particular recipes and would like blog post on different sauces I make for everyday meals or how to use/cook with each of the alternative foods, let me know and I would be more than happy to show you how I get creative in the kitchen.
As always I hope you found this post informative and I hope it inspires you to try some new foods!