Welcome to my Blog about Food and Well-being!

I am often asked to share my knowledge of food and recipes. After changing my diet four years ago from a typical "Western" diet to a mostly whole-foods and plant-based diet, I have seen incredible changes in my health and well-being. I have spent countless hours researching and love helping those who are ready to feel better. The underlying theme? YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Read on to find out more.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Healthy Alternatives to Favorites

We all probably have a few vices we struggle to give up. I don't have a sweet tooth but I can't pass up tortilla chips and guacamole...or potato chips...or Beanitos (black bean chips). I know they're not great for me, but when I am craving something, it's almost always in the form of a salty chip. While it's okay to indulge on occasion, there are some healthier modifications you can make that will likely satisfy your craving without sacrificing flavor. 

1) Just say no to sodas. I know this could be a hard one, but sodas are garbage. Full of sugar or artificial sweeteners, caramel coloring, preservatives, caffeine, sodium and empty calories, these cans of chemicals make your body acidic, eat away the enamel on your teeth, add pounds of flab to your body and make you crave more sugar. 

  • If you must start slow, try carbonated water and lots of lemons and limes, orange juice or other fresh juice. Limit yourself to one per day until you can go one per week, then no carbonation at all. Just use water with the citrus.
  • If water doesn't sound good, make a cup of iced green tea and add fresh lemonade (no Country Time, please!) or a splash of pomegranate juice. 
  • Try infusing your water with sliced cucumber and mint leaves or grapefruit juice and ginger juice (grate fresh ginger into bowl and squeeze juice into grapefruit juice). 

2) Pass up the convenience foods. Packaged foods and fast foods are quick and easy. But every time you put these foods in your body (or your kids'), you are missing the opportunity to nourish your body and opting to poison it instead. Okay, poison may be a strong word, but over time, the chemicals, additives and scary ingredients used in these foods make your insides sick. Your body craves REAL food. It would be like putting syrup in your car and expecting it to run efficiently. It may go a few blocks, but eventually, it will stop working and fall apart. Give your body what it needs and it will carry you a long way.

  • Instead of a bag of chips or pretzels, try cutting and baking fresh, organic corn tortillas sprinkled with olive oil and sea salt (add rosemary if you're feeling adventurous). 
  • Instead of a can soup, make your own by combining vegetable broth with any veggies, beans and/or grain you have on hand. Portion out servings and freeze them for later. 
  • Instead of a sandwich on store-bought bread with chips, opt for rolling sandwich ingredients in romaine lettuce or flash-steamed collard greens or kale and serve it with crunchy radishes, carrots and cucumber slices. 
  • Instead of store-bought cereals and granola, make your own (see Recipes)! It will have a ton less sugar and oil. 
  • Instead of frozen chicken tenders, roll your own organic chicken breast strips in veganaise and then seasoned, crushed, organic corn flakes. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Make a bunch and freeze strips before baking and then bake when needed.

3) Don't buy the packaged yogurts, GoGurts, puddings or Jell-O. Some of these are marketed as healthy, but read the ingredients. Once container has up to 30 grams of sugar!!! That's 7 1/2 teaspoons of sugar in a small carton of yogurt. If that doesn't get your attention, look at the food coloring and preservatives that are added. SCARY. It's a bag of candy disguised in a yogurt carton.

  • Opt for plain yogurt, preferably from a goat or sheep as this dairy is much more easily digested than cow dairy. Add you own toppings, like a drizzle real maple syrup (my favorite) or honey, whole-fruit preserves, granola or fresh fruit. 
  • Make your own chocolate pudding by blending in a blender 2 ripe avocados, 3 Tbsp cocoa powder, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla, pinch of salt, and agave to taste. Sounds crazy, but tried this with the kids and they loved it! Super creamy and chocolaty!
  • Try my Kanten recipe on the recipes page for an incredible, HEALTHY Jell-O-like snack that has no artificial colors or ground up animal bones.

There are dozens more I could go through, so tell me your cravings and I'll help you find a healthier alternative! 


Kirby said...

love the chocolate pudding idea!

Anonymous said...

Such great information. Loving your blog!