I adore food. I mean seriously unapologetically love it. What do I love most? I don’t know. Eating it. Cooking it. Saving money on it. Buying it. Organizing it…you see my point. I may be a hopeless case. That being said, I have come up with a 80:20 rule that I try to live by. Eighty percent of the time (mostly at home), I eat and prepare whole, lower fat/sugar, low calorie meals. This percentage may differ around holidays, vacations, life events, hormones or just because it’s Saturday night. The other twenty percent of the time, I just let myself indulge.
Sometimes on the blog, you may read about my eighty or sometimes my twenty, you just never know what you are going to get. That’s what makes things fun. There are many simple food swaps that you can make today that will guide your family to better eating and better health. Here are my top ten.
Replace White Rice
White rice is delicious, right? But, eating it all the time can be detrimental to your family’s health. Substitute white rice with brown rice or quinoa for a healthy boost. You’ll get more fiber and vitamins without a lot of added effort.
There are several types of milk out there and they all don’t come from a cow. Try adding milk alternatives like soy, coconut and almond varieties to your breakfast routine. Check the label for hidden sugar content though. You may even like the switch.
Sweeten the Deal
There are so many ways to add sweetness to food that don’t involve white sugar. I’m not talking about sugar substitutes either. I’m talking about using maple syrup, honey or even fruit to sweeten your morning breakfast instead. Try skipping the sweetener in your cup of tea. I do this all the time. Skipping the sugar on my 2-3 cup a day tea habit allows me to splurge on a sweet dessert on occasion guilt free!
Do the Yogurt Shuffle
Most people love to snack on yogurt. It’s a quick and easy snack to grab “on the go”. But shuffling your favorite “yo” with another may be a good idea if the yogurt is filled with lots of sugar. Greek variety yogurt tend to be lower in sugar, higher in protein and better for you. So shuffle out the old and in with the new.
Be the Bread Winner
White bread is filled with empty calories and is notorious for spiking blood sugar. Use whole grain bread like rye, oat bran and spelt instead. Devour white bread as an occasional treat. Be the bread winner!
Achieve Butter Balance
Use a butter substitute in most of your family’s cooking. I like Smart Balance. Notice I said most. Sometimes a gal just needs a little butter in her life.
Color Your Spuds
When buying fruits and veggies, the general rule is the deeper the color is, the better it is for you. So it should be no surprise that sweet potatoes are a healthier option than white potatoes. Hint: They taste even better baked.
Transform Breakfast in an Instant
Swapping instant oatmeal for whole grain oats can be a “game changer”. You lose unwanted sugar and calories in an instant by making this simple switch. Top your whole grain oats with desired fruit and toppings and you have the “Breakfast of Champions”.
Don’t Chicken Out
I sure do love fried chicken. It’s hard to avoid having some especially when I am dining on Southern cuisine. That being the case, let fried chicken be a welcome treat not a staple in your diet. Preparing baked chicken or a crispy oven variety at home will save lots of unwanted calories.
When it is all said and done…food is intriguing, food is compelling and food is delicious! Use these simple food swaps to add nutrition and health to your family’s diet and you will be enjoying it together for a very long time.
I think I’m craving pizza…
What are some simple food swaps that you make at home?