Want to move towards better health? I believe small changes can add up to BIG results and those small changes can happen right inside your kitchen.
Here are 6 simple kitchen "swaps" that will move you down the path to better health.
1. Old Way: Flavored Potato Chips and Dip
New Way: Plain Potato Chips (even better Vegetables) and Healthy Dip
If you look at the list of ingredients on a bag of flavored potato chips, you’ll likely see that you’re getting a whole lot more than just some added “flavor.” Here’s the ingredient list on my potato chip bag “potatoes, oil, salt”. Here’s the ingredients for flavored BBQ chips: “potatoes, vegetable oil (sunflower, corn and/or canola oil), bbq seasoning (sugar, dextrose, salt, malted barley flour, torula yeast, molasses, maltodextrin [made from corn], natural flavors [including natural smoke flavor], spices, paprika, corn starch, tomato powder, garlic powder, yeast extract, onion powder, and paprika extract).”
Who wants to be eating all of that?!? Keep it clean and stick with plain chips.
Now, a lot of people love dipping their chips in some creamy French onion dip. But look at the ingredients in this dip!?
“Water, Canola Oil, Modified Corn Starch, Onion, Sugar, Whey Protein Concentrate, Butter Oil, and Less than 2% of the Following: Hydrolyzed Corn and Wheat Gluten, Onion Powder, Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Yeast Extract, Sour Cream (Cultured Cream, Skim Milk), Skim Milk, Cream, Natural Flavor, Lactic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Acetic Acid, DATEM, Artificial Color (Including Yellow 5), Citric Acid, and Sodium Ascorbate (to Preserve Freshness).”
Here is a recipe for Healthy Dip
1 cup of plain yogurt (pick one with high protein and lower sugar - ideally protein over 20g and sugar under 10g. Organic is best), 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder, 1/2 tsp dried dill, 1/2 tsp celery salt, 1/2 tsp dried tarragon and add a splash of hot sauce if you are a spice lover.
And potato chips aren’t the only thing that you can use in this dip. Better yet, try this dip with Jicama or cucumbers and snack totally guilt free.
2. Old Way: 2 tbsp. Canola or Vegetable Oil (as required by many recipes)
New Way: 2 tbsp. vegetable broth
This is super simple - when sautéing vegetables or meat use vegetable broth instead of oil. Not only is it a healthier option, I think it also makes the food taste better. Another healthy swap would be to switch the type of oil you are using. When sautéing at a high heat it is best to use an oil that can handle the heat. My favorites are avocado oil and coconut oil.
3. Old Way: 8 oz glass of juice
New Way: 2 oz. of 100% juice and sparkling (or tap) water
Many of the juices on the grocery store shelves are loaded with sugar. First off, I suggest only buying 100% real juice, but even drinking straight up 100% juice can be tough on our body. Our body can process the natural sugars that are in fruit and vegetables but when we drink juice, it’s a lot of sugar coming in quickly.
On average, it takes 4 oranges to make an 8oz of juice. We most likely wouldn’t sit and eat 4 oranges in just a few minutes but that’s what we’re doing when we drink a glass of juice. I suggest diluting your juice (and your kids’ juice) with sparkling water. You still have a bit of the sweetness from the juice but using 2 oz of juice and 6 oz of water is much healthier (plus, the sparkling water addition really does make it so tasty and refreshing)
4. Old Way: Ham and cheese sandwich
New Way: Open-faced turkey and avocado sandwich
For many years, we were told on the food pyramid that we should eat mainly grains, which includes bread, pasta, rice. We’ve now learned that our bodies don’t need so many of the starch-heavy carbohydrates that are in grains. Studies have shown that eating more carbohydrates than we need can lead to brain fog, forgetfulness, fatigue, and feeling bloated. Switching from 2 slices of bread on your sandwich to only one cuts your carbs in half. Turkey is lower in cholesterol and sodium compared to ham (and still tastes just as good) And instead of cheese and mayo, use avocado and mustard for even more health benefits.
5. Old Way: Pancakes with syrup
New Way: Banana Pancakes with strawberry “syrup”
When we eat pancakes the batter typically includes white flour, sugar, milk, eggs and we cook them up in butter. I suggest giving this a try - 1 mashed banana and 3 eggs. Mix will. Melt coconut oil in a pan and cook the pancakes. I’m telling you, these pancakes are super delicious, and you can even add some blueberries and walnuts into the mix for some added yummies. Our strawberry syrup is SO tasty and so much healthier than the normal syrup we buy in the store that’s full of sugar. To do this, I put 1 cup sliced strawberries in a pan and add 1 tsp vanilla. Cook until strawberries are soft and juicy. Pour over pancakes and enjoy.
6. Old Way: Soy sauce
New Way: Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
Soy sauce is super common in any kind of Asian cooking, and we love to enjoy it with sushi. And while soy sauce is natural for the most part, it’s absolutely FULL of sodium, and consuming too much sodium has been linked to things like high blood pressure and heart disease so we want to try limit our intake as much as we can. And that’s where these Liquid Aminos come in. The name is weird, but I’m telling you, these Liquid Aminos are a fabulous, natural alternative to soy sauce and taste essentially the same! If you’re still skeptical, just try dipping your sushi into some Liquid Aminos sometime and taste it for yourself.
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Michelle is the founder of Faithful Workouts and The Fresh Table. She began her fitness career in 1984 and still loves to help people break free from fitness frustration and move towards a life that's full of physical and spiritual health. Michelle is married to Jeff and they have three children PLUS two lovable dogs and an ornery cat.