I often get asked, “where do I start?” You know you want to get working on a healthier lifestyle but at this point, that’s about all you know. You know fruits and veggies are good, and the rich heavy pasta you just had for dinner probably isn’t.. So now what?
- Well, first thing’s first: h20 – you’ll want to be drinking equal to half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, a 150lb person would drink at least 75 ounces of water every single day, throughout the day. Try drinking some water as soon as you get up, and before your meals especially. Realistically, you should be drinking up the beloved h20 throughout the entire day. Can’t live without your coffee or green tea? That’s ok! Just make sure to drink an extra glass of water to compensate.
- Speaking of coffee, it’s all about what you put in it.. toss out the artificial sweeteners and pick up all natural stevia. Stevia is plant deprived and is considered a 0 calorie sweetener. It can be used as a substitute in baking and pretty much anywhere your standard white sugar is called for. But don’t use too much! Truvia’s baking blend only calls for about half the amount you would use compared to baking with sugar.
- Use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream: this is a simple substitution that goes a long way. Sour cream is not exactly ideal for a healthy lifestyle so Greek yogurt can give you the desired taste without the guilt! Try substituting it in to your dips for an appetizer or on top of your tacos and chili.
- Almond milk vs regular milk: almond milk is one of the most nutritious milk substitutes available while also being free of saturated fats. It is a great source of protein and has less calories per serving than cow’s milk. Try easing into it by substituting out the milk you use in smoothies, baking, oatmeal, or even your cereal!
- Healthy fats in lieu of the bad fats: from someone who you used to despise avocado, let me tell you, it has become my best friend. Avocado can be the perfect spread for a sandwich as well as the best mix for a chicken salad. Eliminate mayonnaise from your diet and replace it with this nutrient-rich food that’s packed with good fatty acids and omega-3s. You can even throw it in smoothies for an added creamy texture without the addition of dairy!
Now for a couple fun substitutions! Normally I wouldn’t call these “substitutions” but in this case, I’ll make an exception ;)
- Spaghetti squash instead of pasta: So you’re craving carbs. Instead of reaching for that heavy pasta, try a spaghetti squash instead. Squash is a vegetable so it can easily provide your body with your recommended daily intake of vitamins A & C while eliminating the unwanted carbs. I generally try not to call spaghetti squash a substitute because people tend to have it in their minds that it will taste exactly like spaghetti. Well sorry to break the news to you, but it doesn’t. It’s just different. But different in an amazing way. So go ahead, give it a shot and let me know what you think..
- Mashed cauliflower instead of pizza crust: Of course there are “healthier” pizza crust alternatives, but once again, cauliflower crust is just different! And it’s a fantastic way to make a homemade pizza – healthier than pizza dough and low carb as well. This is one of my favorite recipes for a cauliflower crust!