First of all, hello again! I feel pretty horrible, that after making it a goal to post regularly in 2018, I ended up going on a two month hiatus… It’s no excuse, but I just had a lot going on in my personal and work life, and was too busy and uninspired to create any content. I’m starting to get back in the hang of things though, so stay tuned for more regular updates from here on out! 🙂
Throughout the past year, I’ve started to make healthier eating choices, both consciously and unconsciously. Giving up meat definitely has helped, and so has cooking more, as making my own food means I can adjust recipes according to my own taste. Age is probably a factor as well – I’m only 25, but I’ve already started to notice that I can’t binge eat junk foods like I did before 😦
Anyways, as I was thinking about this, I thought I could share some healthier foods that I’ve found to be decent, sometimes great, substitutes for a lot of unhealthy foods that I used to eat very often. Of course, with all of this being said, this doesn’t mean I don’t indulge every once in a while… I just do so in moderation now 🙂
- Popcorn instead of chips: Don’t judge, but before last year, I didn’t know there was such a thing as unflavored popcorn kernels. I bought a bag from Trader Joe’s one fateful day, and I have not looked back. I love unflavored popcorn kernels because you can customize the flavor. My favorite is truffle oil with pink Himalayan salt, and my boyfriend introduced me to this world via popcorn tossed in olive oil and nutritional yeast (which is also rich in vitamin B!), another yummy variation. Of course, if you’re not ready to pop your own popcorn yet, which I admit, is scary when you’re first starting out, there’s always the good-ol’ microwave popcorn. Butter popcorn is still healthier than chips for the most part (and I’m still guilty of indulging once in a while), but if you can find varieties that don’t have butter, even better!
- Flax seed instead of croutons: This one is a more recent discovery for me. My boyfriend and I decided we wanted to incorporate more seeds into our diet. If you add enough of them that they make your salad crunchy, it’s like having really crumbly croutons. Trader Joe’s has roasted flax seeds, which are especially yummy with that extra smoky flavor. The health benefits of flax seeds are amazing as well: they have tons of omega-3s and are a great source of fiber. Other seeds such as pumpkin seeds would be great crouton substitutes as well.
- Fruit instead of dessert: This is probably easier for me than a lot of people, since I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. I make sure that I’m always stocked up on fresh and frozen fruit, so I can either eat the fresh fruit as is, or blend up a smoothie. With smoothies, I also like to add chia seeds, which contain omega-3s, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and more, and some fruit juice for sweetness and ease of blending. Adding bananas and/or coconut milk also makes the smoothies thicker and creamier,
- Dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate: This one is pretty straightforward. I try to buy dark chocolate with higher percentages of cacao, avoiding milk chocolates which have higher sugar content.
- Avocado everything: Does this really need any explanation? Avocados are delicious, and luckily, I live in California, where they’re easily accessible and not too expensive. My friend recently recommended avocado with condensed milk, and I’ve had a couple of smoothies with avocado in them as well. Usually though, I use them to make guac or just eat them straight up, slightly mashed with some salt, lemon pepper, paprika, and olive oil 🙂
What are your favorite healthy food options?