Swap It Out: Healthy Meal Changes

Making major changes to our eat habits can be hard. More importantly, big changes can be difficult to maintain too. So how should we make changes that will actually stick? The answer is as simple as making small food swaps at each meal. Changing out one food, food group or just choosing a whole food rather than processed can make all the difference. Easing ourselves into a new style of eating means we have a better chance of sticking with it in the long term. Here’s some of our favorite swaps for every meal:

Breakfast

Swap a Muffin for Oats

By choosing whole oats, you’re cutting out not only calories but sugar too. Steel Cut oatmeal or overnight oat recipes can make a convenient and heart healthy change.  The fiber filled oats can lower LDL cholesterol and antioxidants reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Swap Dairy Milk for Unsweetened Plant Milk

Whether it’s almond, rice or coconut milk, making the change from cow milk can make a big difference. While cow’s milk is higher in protein, plant milks are lower in carbohydrates, sugars, fat and calories. Not to mention full of plant enzymes and nutrients.

Swap White for Wheat

If you’re choosing toast for breakfast, look for bread that is made with whole grains and has at least 4 grams of fiber per slice. The fiber will fill you up and the grains will nourish your body.

Swap OJ for Green

Ok, we know we’re biased, but we think green juice is the perfect way to start your day! Packed with plant enzymes, vitamins and nutrients, it will give your body the jump start that it needs in the morning in a way that no other juice can.

Lunch

Swap Fried for Grilled

We know, the fried stuff sure tastes good. But losing that fatty breading not only will save you calories, it will keep your heart healthier and leave you feeling full without being overstuffed. Not to mention your digestive system in a happier state.

Swap Meat for Fish

Trading out animal protein for fish protein increases the healthy fats your body needs and lowers the unhealthy fat in your meal. All while keeping the protein high.

Swap Iceberg for Spinach

While we love that Iceberg lettuce is packed full of water, it’s also missing a lot of nutrients. By substituting with spinach, you’ll add not only a healthy dose of B vitamins for energy and healthy skin, but calcium, vitamin C and protein too.

Dinner

Swap Potatoes for Grains

Changing out starchy potatoes for grains like Quinoa or Farro will not only reduce calories and fat, but add in omega-3 fatty acids and 9 amino acids – making it a complete protein.

Swap Pasta for Spaghetti Squash

This versatile gourd can disguise it’s self as almost anything! High in folic acid and potassium, it has a fraction of the calories and carbohydrates of pasta.  Halve, bake, and shred to create delicious alternative that goes great with marinara sauce, Mexican seasonings or even seafood.

Swap Ice Cream for Nice Cream

No, that’s not a typo! Nice cream is typically made from frozen bananas (but other fruits can be used too) and combined with coco powder, berries and or coconut to create a creamy alternative to traditional ice cream. Loaded with vitamins and lacking in dairy, your body will thank you and your taste buds will too.