It’s that time of year again when we want to look good for our Summer holidays but we don’t want to substitute our social lives; the sun is out and we want to enjoy it while it lasts – which we all know won’t be long!
So instead of stressing over whether we can join our friends for dinner in the sun – lets just be a little more considerate about what we’re putting in our stomachs. A few wise food choices can go a long way.
Now I’m not saying that you can’t have the ‘unhealthy’ option – just save it for the weekend maybe..!
Read on for my Top 10 Healthy Food Swaps…
Swap Spaghetti for Courgetti
Pasta is such a treat but that’s all it should be, a treat! A lot of the pasta found on our supermarket shelves is refined and very processed with little nutritional value. Why not try substituting it for a nutritious vegetable. Courgettes have a high water content, with a good amount of Vitamin C and potassium. You could even mix half courgette and half pasta for a delicious and filling post workout high carb meal.
Swap chips for sweet potato chips
Sweet potato is everywhere at the moment and it’s definitely here to stay! Unlike potatoes this veg actually counts towards your five a day and with higher levels of immune boosting vitamin C and Vitamin A its definitely one to add into your diet. But watch out, most restaurants still cook sweet potato fries in vats of seed oils, so make sure you go for baked or mash potato when eating out and don’t be afraid to ask if anything has been added.
Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate
Now we all know that milk chocolate isn’t good for us. It’s a heavily processed and sweetened version of the real deal. So if you can stomach it, then try changing your daily chocolate fix to a block of dark chocolate (at least 75%). It’s a good source of antioxidants and may even help to lower blood pressure. And the obvious one – it’s much much lower in sugar!
Swap sour cream for Greek yoghurt
Or if you’re vegan or feeling adventurous you could even try Cashew Sour Cream.
With around 23 calories & 2.4g fat per tbsp (or a lot more if you’re anything like me and a measurement is half a tub!) sour cream should definitely be reserved for special occasions. Instead go for a swirl of Greek Yoghurt (or coconut yoghurt/cashew sour cream as a dairy free alternative) in your chilli or on top of your fajita (mmmm fajitas!!!)
Swap breadcrumbs for oats
If you’re a lover of anything crumbed but are trying to lay off the stodgy carbs for a while then this ones for you. Oats are a much healthier carbohydrate than bread. They’re high in fibre and full of nutrients including iron and B vitamins. So next time you’re after a ‘chippy dinner’ on a Friday night in front of the TV, try making your own healthy version by dipping some good quality fish in egg whites before rolling in seasoned oats and baking.
Swap mash potato for cauliflower mash
Here’s another potato swap for all you carb lovers. Now I’m not saying potatoes are bad for you because they are far from it BUT if it’s late in the evening or you’re after a lighter ‘summery’ meal, try swapping mash for cauliflower. It can be used to top off a shepherds pie or on the side of your Sunday dinner, plus cauliflower is a damned good source of vitamin C.
Swap mayo for mashed avocado
Almost devoid of all nutritional benefits, shop bought mayonaise is definitely a no go if you are wanting to lose weight and stay healthy. Instead opt for mashed creamy avocado. It’s binding quality makes it a great alternative when making tuna mayo, and it can even be used to create a dip for your sweet potato fries!
Swap table Salt for himalayan pink salt
Pink salt is a pretty new addition to my store cupboard and has only started gaining popularity in the last couple of years or so.
Salt itself is essential to the body as it helps to control water balance in the body and also plays a part in controlling how your muscles and nerves work, however, traditional table salt is often so highly processed that once it’s made its way to your table most of the essential minerals have been completely removed. On the other side of the coin is himalayan pink salt. This salt may be more expensive but it tends to be far less processed; and the pink, red and white hues are actually an indication of it’s variety of minerals.
Do you have any healthy food swaps to share? As always, let me know in the comments below.
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