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Ways to Swap Out Unhealthy Foods for Healthy Foods

Hey y’all, so I think it’s been drilled into us enough that healthy eating is super important. The more junk food you eat, the “junkier” you feel, whereas healthier foods will give you energy and nutrients, and help keep you from getting sick. However, we all know, junk food tastes really good sometimes. We are in football season, which means football parties and football food, not to mention we have Halloween and Christmas and Thanksgiving coming up in a few months. All of these things generally mean there are some unhealthy food options in there. Luckily, there are ways to swap out unhealthy foods for healthy foods, and it won’t even be that painful!

Moderation is always what I use when it comes to healthy eating. I’m not big on dieting or diet foods, and I think the instant you cut something out of your diet completely, the more you crave it, or at least, that’s how it has always worked for me. So, rather than do that, it’s better to find a nice healthy balance. With these tips, you can hopefully do just that while enjoying everything the upcoming seasons have to offer.

  • Try non-dairy milk options instead. If you’re noticing that you are having some stomach issues after drinking milk or you just want to try to get away from dairy in general, try almond, coconut, or oat milk. I’ve had all of the above, and since I can no longer have dairy in my diet really, I’ve found that all of the above make great substitutions and in my opinion, taste better than real milk anyway.
  • Lessen the sugar in recipes. I know it may seem like it’ll be a huge deal to start changing recipes, but this is something I did last year for Christmas cookies, and they tasted the exact same, and were healthier with less sugar. Talk about a win-win!
  • Try a lean white meat instead of as much red meat. Again, this is moderation, so don’t cut it completely from your diet, but definitely try swapping it out here and there. White meat is notoriously better for you than red meat, so see how you like it. An easy way to do this is to use ground turkey instead of ground beef in recipes. This is another thing that I think tastes better, so I try to swap it out as often as I can.
  • Get your veggies in your smoothie. I used to be someone who had a strawberry banana smoothie with chocolate in it. Tastes delicious, but I definitely lost the health factor. Now, each morning I have a tropical smoothie with protein powder and some greens like spinach and/or kale. It still tastes delicious as the protein powder gives it an extra sweetness, and I can feel good each time I make one knowing I’m fueling my body rather than putting extra junk in it.
  • Try different fruits for desserts. Let me explain. So instead of a banana split with ice cream, try a banana split with yogurt. Top it with fruit and nuts and even coconut flakes. It’s much healthier, and will still get that sweet tooth satisfied. If you’re craving a different dessert, try cut up bananas with honey and some cinnamon. Again, you’ll satisfy the sweet tooth without having too much added sugar.
  • If you aren’t a huge fan of vegetables, find ways to sneak them in. One way is to have pasta filled with vegetables or even spiralized veggies instead of pasta. For example, I tried a butternut squash stuffed shell recipe this year, and it was delicious. I’ve made it several times, and absolutely love it. If you’re more daring, cook up spiralized zucchini and squash and put some tomato sauce on it. You may not even notice that you’re eating veggies instead of pasta. I can attest, it tastes delicious.
  • Eat baked chips instead of regular. This way, you’ll still get your chips, but they’re a smidge healthier when they’re baked.

I hope these tips help, and that you find something here that helps you to have some healthier options in the future. Let me know if you have any tips you’d like to share!

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Watermelon and Lime Popsicles

These watermelon and lime popsicles are the perfect summer treat. They’ll cool you down during a heat wave, while tasting delicious, and being easy to make. Check it out!

You’ll Need:

  • 8 ounces of coconut water
  • 2 cups watermelon juice
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey

How To:

  • Add all ingredients into a high speed blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for about 4 hours or until solid. Enjoy before they melt!

Easy Coffee Cake

For this easy coffee cake, you’ll need:

1 package of yellow cake mix

1 box of instant vanilla pudding (sugar free)

3/4 cup of water

3/4 cup of vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon butter extract

4 eggs

Topping:

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup chopped nuts

2 teaspoon cinnamon

 

To Prepare:

  1. Blend first 6 ingredients together. Add eggs one at a time, beating between each egg.
  2. Mix ingredients for topping in separate bowl.
  3. Pour 1/2 of batter into greased rectangular 13×9 inch pan.
  4. Add 1/2 topping, then rest of batter.
  5. Sprinkle on remaining topping evenly.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Easy Fudge

This is faster than your average fudge y’all, but tastes great!

You’ll need:

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

3 6 ounce bags of chocolate chips

1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

1 cup of walnuts

A pinch of salt

How to Prepare:

  • Melt milk, chocolate chips, and salt.
  • Remove from heat
  • Add vanilla and nuts
  • Pour in 8 inch pan lined with wax paper
  • Chill for 2 hours

 

S’mores Protein Bites

If you love s’mores but don’t want to get a frappuccino loaded with sugar, this may be the next best option. S’mores protein bites have all the taste you’ll love, but are actually healthy! Check it out.

You’ll need:

1 1/2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (I use Tone It Up, it’s plant-based and delicious)

2 large graham cracker cookies crumbled

4 tablespoons almond milk

1/2 cup mini marshmallows

1 tablespoon chocolate chips

4 tablespoons quick oats

 

Directions:

  1. Line a small dish with parchment paper
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients together
  3. Add almond milk in slowly
  4. Roll into balls
  5. Place on baking sheet
  6. Place in freezer for 10-15 minutes
  7. Store frozen and thaw for about 5 minutes before eating

 

Banana Yogurt Split

This is a super easy, and healthy, twist on an old favorite of a banana split. To make this one, you’ll need some bananas, other fruit, granola, honey or shredded chocolate, nuts, and your favorite kind of yogurt. To make this recipe vegan, try coconut or almond milk yogurt, I found a great one, it’s unsweetened and will be perfect with fruit.

Cut in the middle the length of the banana.

Set in a bowl or dish, with some space in between.

Add yogurt, fruit and granola in between the banana slices.

Add a dash of honey or shredded chocolate for a tasty topping.

And don’t forget the crushed walnuts!

Enjoy! This is perfect for a sweet summer treat, that also has a healthy twist.

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