Do you want to feel lighter, leaner, more energetic and just healthier overall? There’s no need for an overhaul – in many cases, a few tweaks here and there can make all the difference. Let’s go back to basics and talk about easy-peasy food swaps.
Potato and leek soup
When the temperature dips, it’s only natural to turn to warming foods, like soup. We’re all for that – just steer clear of potato-based soups. Sure, potatoes on their own are a good source of fibre and vitamin C, but potato soups are usually made with a cream base, meaning they’re high in saturated fat and sodium. So, the next time you feel like a moreish winter meal, reach for tomato soup. We love Amy’s Kitchen Chunky Tomato Soup. It still has that creamy texture, but its ingredient label reads like a shopping list for the markets: organic vine-ripened tomatoes, onions, salt and cracked pepper. The best part? It clocks in at just 54 calories per 100g!
Sometimes, you just need to have toast. Or a sandwich. Go for it! But use avocado as a spread instead of the processed yellow stuff. Margarine boasts trans fats and it doesn’t really do anything for you nutrition-wise. On the other hand, avocados are free from cholesterol and sodium, but packed with heart-healthy monosaturated fats – aka the good kind. They’re also high in potassium and vitamins C, K, E and B6. Impressive, right? For added flavour, add a pinch of sea salt or a squeeze of lemon and you’re golden.
If you’re at home right now, go to your pantry and throw out any commercial cereals. Great, you’ve just slashed your sugar intake! To kick-start your day, make yourself a bowl of oats. They’re high in protein, soluble fibre, calcium and potassium, which work to reduce blood pressure, boost heart health and improve muscle recovery, which comes in handy after tough workouts. With a low-GI, oats will also help to keep your energy levels high and stable. And speaking from a foodie standpoint, they’re very versatile. Serve with your milk of choice (we like almond), as well as fresh fruit – such as blueberries – and cinnamon.
Processed salad dressings
Extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Those bottles on the supermarket shelves are full of flavour, but they’re also packed with artificial colours, sodium and sugar that’ll make your innocent salad about as healthy as a hamburger. Sorry! When it comes to salad, skip the store-bought dressings and opt for a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It’s a simple blend that’ll enhance the veggies and protein in your salad, while giving you a hit of nutrients at the same time. For a tangier taste, switch out the balsamic for apple cider vinegar. Bonus: it’s great for digestion.
Kale is a nutritional superstar, and we could talk about it all day long. But here’s what you need to know: the green, leafy vegetable is high in fibre, vitamins A and C, calcium, folate and magnesium. In plain English, it makes digestion, elimination and recovery much smoother. On the flipside, chips (i.e. crisps) are deep-fried, baked and injected with artificial flavours. No, thanks! So, for the same crunchy texture sans grease, make yourself some kale chips. Simply tear the kale into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil and a little sea salt, and pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Craving sour cream? No problem! With almost the exact same taste and texture, a dollop of Greek yoghurt will do the trick. The latter is low in fat and sugar, and packed with lean protein, calcium and probiotics to keep your body healthy and strong. Plus, it’s creaminess makes it perfect to use in dips, sauces, wraps and even baking. We’ll wait for our invite…
Do you have any healthy food swaps to add to the list?