You ever have one of those really good grocery-store days? You walk in feeling so focused and on it? You pick up all the pretty and fresh produce, and have a game plan for meal prepping and all the ways you'll keep your nutrition A1 for the week?
That health ambition can quickly deflate when you get home and realize you still have some of those sneaky snacks that get too tempting and make it hard to - as Auntie Tabita Brown says - stay focused.
So let's talk about prepping that pantry with some easy staples and swaps to ensure that you make the best choices more than you don't.
And just so it's said -- there aren't any inherently “bad” foods or foods that are on a 'never' list. This post is more about helping you make simple alternative swaps for a more nutrient forward life.
...or as we like to call them - the razzle dazzle of food groups. This is one of the easiest places to make swaps as many of our favorite spreads, sauces and oils are full of unhealthy sugars and fats. Here's a few updates we might make:
Choose healthier cooking oils
Hydrogenated processed oils are really unhealthy and are found in so many different food products. Instead of cooking or baking with canola, vegetable, or shortening, use more natural high-quality cold-pressed oils. These oils have more nutrients and give you more polyunsaturated, and monosaturated fats.
Swap mayo for avocado mayo or hummus
Unlike traditional mayo, avocado mayo doesn’t contain highly processed oils, modified corn or potato starch, or sugars.
Make homemade jams and jellies
Most big brands are full of sugars. An easy swap is to start making your own using fresh fruit and healthy sweeteners. You'll never go back to store bought!
Use natural sweeteners rather than ultra-refined sugars
Using sweeteners like 100% pure maple syrup, unsweetened applesauce, honey, date syrup or agave have so many great nutritional benefits. They are lower on the glycemic index and don’t spike your blood sugar as much as refined sugar does.
Instead of table salt, use real salt
Real salt has minerals that table salt doesn’t have. Look for sea salt, pink salt, or Himalayan salt.
Make salad dressing from scratch
Store-bought dressings can also be super processed, using oils and stabilizers. Making your own salad dressing is so quick and easy. AND, you can customize the flavor just as you want it!
...these are the riders, the things we should always keep on hand to bring meals together and
Swap white rice for brown rice or quinoa
Brown rice and wild rice have lots nutrients and protein than white rice. It’s an easy switch that will be lots more beneficial for your body.
Use wheat flour instead of white flour
Wheat flour is more nutritious than white flour and keeps you full longer since it has a higher level of fiber. Most white flour is bleached and stripped of all the nutritious grain parts like the bran and germ which has a good source of fiber, protein, and a variety of vitamins.
Swap your pasta with wheat pasta & chickpea pasta
Chickpea pasta is great if you are gluten intolerant or wanting more protein in your diet.
Make Your Own Nut Butter
Making nut butter is so simple and way better for you. Controlling the ingredients is the best way to monitor how you're taking in the healthy fats from various nuts.
Swap cereal for oatmeal or granola
Many popular cereals contain the same amount of sugar as candy. A healthier option is homemade granola using simple ingredients and healthy fats.
Who doesn't love a little snack during the day (or, late in the midnight hour? hey - we're not judging). Healthy snacks are a part of keeping your energy and metabolism regulated, but it's key to making the best possible choices.
Make potato chips or even better, veggie chips
We all know that chips aren't the move for an everyday thing, but making your own is a much better option. Kale chips are a vibe too!
Stop drinking soda
This one is just what it is. Soda is chemical and sugar laden and really isn't additive to your body in any way. If you need fizz, give sparkling water a try.
These are just a few of our quick faves and swaps to keep you making the good choices that will keep your body and mind strong, healthy and happy!