5 Easy Substitutions I made to my diet for a healthier me!
I truly believe in the saying “you are what you eat.” Mmmm… Then, I should probably be an oat, a chocolate or a leaf of spinach hahaha. Jokes aside, the food we put into our mouth has a tremendous effect on our body as well as in our mood. Everyone knows that we should eat less canned, processed foods; and instead, focus on more whole, natural foods. So, this post won’t be about that. Instead, I’m going to share with you five food products I have limited my consumption of and what I replaced them with in order to fuel my body with all the nutrients it needs!
Sub lettuce for SPINACH
Instead of making my salads with a base of lettuce, I focus more on leafy greens such as spinach. After all, Popeye can’t be wrong! A cup of spinach has lots of vitamin A, vitamin K, Folate, Potassium, Magnesium, and even Calcium! As oppose to lettuce, which is mainly just water. Don’t get me wrong, I still use lettuce for those yummy lettuce wraps, but not as my “go to” salad.
Sub cow milk for ALMOND MILK
I discovered almond milk about three years ago and, oh boy, it’s changed my life! Almond milk is very low in calories and added sugars. One cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk has 30-40 calories as oppose to 100-120 calories from cow’s milk. This might not seem like a lot, but calories add up very quickly: morning/midday/afternoon coffee + smoothies + any cooking recipes that required milk, etc.
Sub flavored whole milk yogurt for PLAIN GREEK YOGURT
I’m going to be honest, this one was tough. Plain Greek yogurt has a very particular sour flavor. When I began to eat it, I was mainly doing so because of the health benefits, not because I loved its flavor. Nonetheless, as everything in life, I taught myself to like it and now it’s one of my everyday snacks. One cup of Greek yogurt has about 15-17 grams of protein. That’s the equivalent to three eggs!!! I usually eat it with fruit or granola and lots of cinnamon. Greek yogurt is very versatile. I also use it as a sub for sour cream. You just add a pinch of salt to it and I promise you, you can’t even tell the difference.
Sub creamy dressings for VINAIGRETTE
This one is very straight forward. Creamy dressings are one of the worst things out there. I’m sorry for those ranch or caesar dressing lovers out there, please, don’t hate me 😦 but there’s not benefits to those dressings and they might be jeopardizing the hard work you put into your diet. There’s not point on eating those vegetables or salad if they are drench in creamy, fat dressings. I am a fan of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and recently I’ve been using a lot of dijon mustard as well. If you prefer creamy dressings because of texture, try making your own version using Greek yogurt or avocado as a base, and adding some spices like oregano, paprika, or black pepper.
Sub rice once or twice a week for QUINOA
Kee-noo-ah or kee-no-ah is treated as a grain but in reality is a plant related to spinach, mind blowing, I know!! It is a complete protein, which means it provides all nine essential amino acids our body needs, making it a great choice for those meatless Mondays! It’s super easy to make. You need two cups of liquid (water/broth) per one cup of quinoa. First, I toast the quinoa for a couple of minutes, then pour the liquid (you can add some seasoning in this step), bring it to boil, and simmer until the liquid has been absorb, about 15 mins.
Start by making ONE substitution. One is easy! Then, as you get motivated and see results, introduce more of the healthier, better options into your daily eating habits. After all, Rome was not build in one day!