Friday, September 17, 2010

Healthy Swaps

We all know that a bowl of steel cut oats is a better breakfast than a bowl of sugary cereal or a doughnut. But what if you really want the unhealthier option? Do you deprive yourself of what you are craving or give into the craving and eat something unhealthy?

Yes, if you choose the oatmeal you are making a smarter investment, however, because you didn't eat want you really wanted, this can make you feel deprived and may lead to over-eating. Diets = deprivation, but a healthy lifestyle means that nothing is technically off-limits. By removing the taboos of "carbs are evil" or "dessert is the devil, stay away," you won't feel deprived. The goal is to eat clean a majority of the time, and indulge once in a while.

So stop "dieting" and know that no food is off limits! No need to put yourself in your own little prison. Food shouldn't be a reward or a punishment. Food is a way to nourish your body, but of course your food should be tasty and enjoyable. As long as you keep your eating habits clean most of the time, then occasional indulgences will NOT hurt you. I still catch myself freaking out over sugar every once in a while, but I have to regroup and realize that 1 dessert a month [or even a week if you wanna get really wild ;)] will not make all my healthy eating go to waste. 1 cupcake cannot undo all vegetables, whole grains, fruits and healthy fats that I put into my body.
When you get a craving for something really naughty, my best advice is to make a compromise. Pick a treat that will do less damage, but still satisfy your craving. Here are some healthy swaps:

Craving a candy or chocolate bar? For example, a Snickers bar (definitely naughty!) contains artificial flavors, corn syrup and partially hydrogenated soy bean oil in addition 1 bar has 14 grams of fat, 5g of saturated fat,5mg cholesterol, 1g of fiber and 30g sugar! Instead swap a snickers for a Luna Bar (the Nutz over Chocolate flavor is the most similar to a snickers) and you will get only natural flavors, whole grains, added vitamins and minerals, 70% organic ingredients and no hydrogenated oils! You'll also consume less calories, only 6g of fat, 2g saturated fat, 0 cholesterol, more fiber and protein and 10g of sugar. Or, pick an Organic, Dark chocolate (70% cacao content or higher) or Raw chocolate. Definitely better choices!

Want Chips or Crackers? Opt for baked vegetable chips without any hydrogenated oils or Go for Mary's Gone Crackers brand of crackers which are gluten free and made with whole grains and seeds.

Ice cream? Choose Purely decadent or Luna and Larry's brands of Coconut milk ice cream which are Dairy & Lactose Free, Sweetened with Agave, Cholesterol Free, Contain no trans fats and Vegan friendly.

Too pressed for time to cook? Need a quick frozen meal? Choose Amy's brands of frozen meals. They are all natural and cater to different diet and allergy needs.

It's not about deprivation, but making smart investments and choosing the lesser of two evils!

What are you favorite naughty foods?
I have a sweet tooth so mine are chocolate, ice cream and desserts! Which I only have when I really want them.

Do you make compromises?
When I decide to indulge I find the healthiest option of what I am craving or I will bake a dessert at home so I can control the ingredients that are going into it.

Are their certain foods you try to avoid?
I definitely try and avoid sugars and processed foods. But when I do have processed or packaged foods I find ones with all natural ingredients.

1 comment:

  1. what a great post! i agree with you on so many things -- actually of it! have a great weekend :)