If you want to eat a little healthier this fall, it might be a relief to know that a complete dietary overhaul is not required. In fact, as much as I love doling out the dietary prescriptions, my clinical experience tells me that it's the small but consistent baby steps that stick. One little change at a time allows people to focus, and not deplete their willpower in the process.
In many cases, making just a few substitutions with the foods you already enjoy, and you will be eating lower-fat foods that are both tasty and nutritious. Here are some healthy food swaps that I use in my own kitchen...
01. Use Pumpkin in Cake Mixes
One of the easiest healthy food swaps you can do with your fall baking is to use pumpkin puree in cake mixes. Now, I have to admit, pumpkin is not my personal favorite flavour profile... but I do try because it has so many good-for-you nutrients and my family likes it. Using pumpkin puree also turns your cake or cupcakes into just 2 ingredients: the cake mix of your choice and pumpkin puree. (The pumpkin replaces all the wet ingredients you would have mixed in with the cake mix, like oil and eggs.) This is often done with a spiced cake mix that goes well with pumpkin, but don’t be afraid to experiment with vanilla and chocolate cake mixes as well. I've done it, they also turn out great (and it hides the pumpkin flavor for those of us on the fence, lol).
02. Sweet Potatoes Instead of White Potatoes
This is such an easy one! Many people enjoy potatoes, especially in the fall when you want more savory hearty dishes, but they tend to be high in carbs and prepared with lots of fat, and not very nutritious. Instead of having traditional white potatoes as your side dish, try a sweet potatoes recipe. These are a superfood, so they are filled with nutrients, and are amazing to enjoy during the fall season. You can have stuffed sweet potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, or even sweet potato soup...
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03. Use Cauliflower for Low-Carb Options
If you are on a low-carb diet, then you will want to become familiar with using cauliflower. (Low-carb dieters and type II diabetics, I'm looking at you!) The bland taste and slightly rough texture of cauliflower makes it perfect as a substitute for many of the carb-rich foods you can no longer have, like white potatoes. You can use it to make mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes, make lots of types of "rice" with it, or even make cauliflower steaks. Be creative and find different ways to substitute the higher-carb ingredients with cauliflower.
04. Quinoa Instead of Rice
The last substitution you can make for a healthier superfood-rich meal is to replace your rice with quinoa. Most types of rice, including white rice and brown rice, are okay in moderation, but they lack the nutrition you need for a well-balanced meal when portion control goes out the window. Quinoa is considered a superfood, it's higher in protein per serving that even whole grain rice, so it is the perfect alternative when you want to have a rice dish. It's even prepared almost the same way as rice. You can make a harvest quinoa side dish with squash, sweet potato, and spices, which is simple to make and very good for you with all the superfoods included. Boil the squash or sweet potato right in the pot with the quinoa.
It's October and I wanted to try something new to help you improve your health this month... instead of a free download, I have a FREE training webinar planned:
It's planned for Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 7-8pm NST
I hope you will join us!
Laura Nurse, BBA, ND
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This self-assessment quiz will help you give yourself a quick, but thorough check-up on your health habits in 8 key health performance areas.