Healthy Food Substitutions: Summer Edition

You know I’ve talked about making healthy transitions to your life before.  This isn’t an all or nothing endevour.  Cold turkey rarely is successful.  And, hey, if it works for you, you’re a rock star so rock on!  But for most of us the way to successful change is a slow and gradual process that our body and mind won’t revolt against.  If I came into your kitchen and threw out 95% of your food and replaced it with items that you have never used before, you would likely have a meltdown or a tantrum.  Am I right?  I prefer the soft gradual way to change through gradual substitutions.

I believe I gave you some good healthy substitutions a few months ago, but I’m back with a few more to implement this summer.  Remember that our ultimate goal is to eat only real whole nutrient dense foods and eliminate all processed foods from our diet.  So let’s get started.

1. Swap out Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip for Avocado.  The ingredients in Miracle Whip are water, soybean oil, vinegar, [high fructose corn syrup] sugar, modified corn starch, eggs and a proprietary blend of “flavors.”  Just a side note, most of these ingredients are genetically modified as well.  On the other hand, Avocados contain…Avocados!  They are filled with healthy fats, fiber and nutrition to fuel your body.  I personally spread or cube avocado’s on a lot of dishes, especially in the summer.  I tend to sprinkle it with pink salt and pepper to add a flavor punch as well.

2. Swap out Potatoes for Garnet Yams or Sweet Potatoes.  They pack a nutritious punch and are loaded with fiber.  They help maintain blood sugar and contain lots of beta-carotene.  They will digest much slower than plain white potatoes, so you will be full longer and again will help maintain a steady blood sugar level, aka, no cravings or fat storing.

3. Swap out Pasta or Rice for Quinoa. Quinoa is actually a seed and considered a complete protein and it’s loaded with fiber and nutrition.  It’s great hot or cold.  I like to make cold quinoa salads in the summer.  They are light and refreshing. You can find a recipe here on the blog.

4. Swap out Canola Oil for Coconut oil or Butter.  Canola oil is a pro-inflammatory oil. It doesn’t survive well under heat. Coconut Oil on the other hand has a very high smoking point and does well under heat so it’s great for cooking.  However, it also feeds the body energy, it’s loved by the thyroid and contains immune protective properties.  Butter, provided that it is pasture raised, is high in CLA which helps the body with lean muscle and does well under higher heat cooking.  Canola oil is a highly processed oil and is mostly genetically modified unless organic and this is what we want to move away from in our transition.

5. Swap out Soda with Fruit Water or Green Tea.  In the summer, I especially like water with fresh lemon.  I’m not talking the squeeze lemon juice that’s processed, I’m talking fresh lemon slices.  It’s oh so refreshing on a hot day. Also, in the summer, it’s fun to add other fresh fruit to your water to add flavor and nutrients.  Try cucumber, strawberry, blackberry, kiwi, or watermelon…whatever your taste buds like.  And you know I love my green tea.  Just see my post in the April 2014 blog for all the reasons to love green tea.

6. Swap out Skim Milk for Raw Whole Milk.  Skim milk is basically sugar water.  The real milk is processed down to create skim or non-fat milk. This processing is what we are trying to eliminate.  You need that fat to slow the absorption of the natural sugars in milk as well as to absorb the fat soluble vitamins in the milk. The best bet is to find a coop or farmer to get fresh raw milk from although this depends on where you live.  Another choice would be to use a milk replacement like almond milk or hemp milk.  If you don’t like milk substitutes then buy organic pasture raised whole milk by Organic Valley. This is so important as in the summer more people drink smoothies or make cold creamy desserts.

7. Swap out Iceberg Lettuce for a Spring Mix.  Salads are great for the summer.  Throw some protein on top and your set.  I prefer you buy a spring mix that contains a variety of lettuces including baby spinach, baby kale and maybe some arugula.  Some Spring Mixes also come with herbs included which spice up the flavor.  Just add fresh fruit, veggies and nuts and you’re ready to go.  Just a quick tip, a lot of times I will slice up juicy fruit like oranges or grapefruit for my salad and then I don’t even need dressing! You’ll never miss it.

8. Swap out Candy for Fruit.  Summer is the perfect time to get in the habit of eating fruit. There is so much to choose from this time of year.  When it’s 95 degrees out, there’s nothing better than some watermelon or a handful of grapes or juicy berries.  This is the best time to create this go to habit.

Now, if you have any healthy swaps you want to share for the summer just leave a comment.


This entry was written by Dr. Shelly Masters , posted on Tuesday June 17 2014at 11:06 am , filed under Health News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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