Eat This, Not That.
I’ve recently been loving re-creating some of my favorite foods at home with healthier and more wholesome substitutes. It’s been a fun journey exploring how to incorporate new and better ingredients into foods I love to make me feel a little bit better about eating them! There are so many healthier alternatives to some of our favorite foods nowadays that have far more benefits than it’s original. I have found options that work better with my body and don’t leave me with negative side effects like brain fog and breakouts!
My favorite swaps:
Nut milk, not milk.
I was raised on milk. Seriously I think it was the only liquid I consumed for the first 25 years of my life. I’m not a vegan, but I cold turkey cut milk out of my diet when I started having horrible skin issues. I switched to nut milk about 2 years ago and I can’t stand the taste of real milk anymore. Dairy has been linked to attributing to acne for several years. The hormones that are pumped into dairy cows can very much so effect your hormones and confuse your endocrine system playing a role in your adult acne. My favorite brands of nut milk are MALK and Elmhurst1952 or, even better, make your own at home! It’s so easy. Here is my favorite recipe for making at-home cashew milk.
Cacao, not cocoa.
Yes, they are different. Cacao is the raw form of cocoa. Cocoa packets that you buy in store for your cozy hot chocolate has a bunch of sugar and other unhealthy additives to give it a sweet flavor. Mixing raw cacao powder with some cashew milk and a bit of pure maple syrup and cinnamon can make for a delicious hot cacao, not hot cocoa. Cacao is the strongest natural anti-oxident found on the planet! So yes, it’s true that chocolate is good for you, just be sure you’re getting the right stuff. My favorite recipe for hot cacao includes cashew milk, cacao, maple syrup, maca, and cinnamon!
Natural sweeteners, not sugar.
Sugar is the anti-christ. An unhealthy amount of sugar is the root of an absurd amount of health issues ranging from leaky gut, insulin resistance, diabetes, inflammation, migraines, mood swings, and more. STOP EATING WHITE SUGAR. I cannot stress this enough. Read your labels, look at the added sugar amounts in products your buying, become aware, and educate yourself. Using natural sweeteners such as dates, pure maple syrup, honey, and stevia can add the perfect amount of sweetness to your dishes, without giving you any of the health issues or spikes and crashes that sugar can cause.
Alternative pasta, not regular pasta.
There’s no excuses anymore to be eating regular pasta. There are so many different options at health food stores that have a much higher nutritional value than regular pasta. As a matter of fact, regular pasta really has not an ounce of nutritional value. It is a refined carbohydrate which eventually breaks down into sugar in your blood – giving you the same reaction as pure. white. sugar. Pasta was and still is my absolute favorite food on the planet. I’ve always said if I had to choose my last meal it’d be spaghetti. But after doing a bit of research, going back to school, and educating myself on how pasta actually breaks down in our bodies, I’ve made a healthier switch when I choose to indulge in pasta. Spaghetti squash, zoodles, or chickpea, quinoa, and lentil pasta are all better options than the norm. Although, still not great to eat on a daily basis (spaghetti squash and zoodles are okay – eat your heart out), it is a much better option on those days when you’re looking for a spaghetti fix.
Cauliflower rice, not white rice.
Was hoping that Chipotle was going to catch onto this trend but I’m done getting my hopes up. Stir fries, burrito bowls, and curry are a staple in my house. They’re quick and easy to make in bulk for me to have leftovers for the week. Only problem is all three of these dishes are usually paired with rice. But, like pasta, white rice breaks down in your body to sugar. Over the years, I have learned to love cauliflower rice and it has become the norm for my body to have that instead of white rice. It has a very low caloric value compared to rice, meaning you can eat a lot more of it and consume less calories, and it also has more nutritional value than rice. Cauliflower is rich in fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium and Magnesium.
These are all great ideas and a great start to making some healthier and more conscious decisions in your kitchen! For these items, I’m not saying you should never have the *real* thing, but instead, see it it as a treat. Consuming the original items on a regular basis can cause health implications such as acne, leaky gut, and inflammation. Next time you go to grab something on the NOT list, reach for the THIS list instead!