Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Switch-up

I am a seriously picky eater, which often makes healthy eating difficult for me. Over time I have been making substitutions and forcing myself to eat things that I don't really like in order to eat a healthier, more balanced diet. I have found that small substitutions can really make a big difference, so I am going to share a few examples of easy and yummy substitution ideas.

1. I love burritos. There are a few tricks that I have found really help make one of my favorite meals a win-win situation. I first decided that I would start buying the smaller tortillas. This first step is built in portion control. Just don't justify over-eating by saying that you can have more because of the smaller portion...that's the point. I also switched out flour for whole wheat. Swap your fatty beef for lean beef, ground turkey breast (check the package because it might have the skin ground in, which adds lots of fat), or chicken breast. Swap those refried beans for black beans (I throw mine in the food processor with some salsa!) because refried beans have tons of fat, while black beans are full of protein and fiber! And the last swap that you may not have thought of is brown rice with some lime juice instead of Spanish or Mexican style white rice. Don't forget to use low fat or fat free options when grabbing the sour cream and cheese.

2. Sandwiches just aren't the same without mayo. Which is probably a good thing considering it is almost pure fat, even if it is delicious. There are so many other things to throw on sandwiches,  wraps, or burgers that are healthier. Mustard is always a good choice since it is almost calorie free, but if your looking to mix things up, then try a little guacamole on your turkey with Swiss. Making chicken or tuna salad? Mix some Greek yogurt with a little Dijon mustard.

3. Chocolate milk, hold the syrup. I hate drinking milk, but there are times when I just really want a  big glass of ice cold chocolate milk. Even though we buy either almond or skim milk, it turns into a not-so-good treat when you dump a ton of sugary syrup in there to make it chocolaty. What's a better swap? I have recently started making my own chocolate milk by mixing unsweetened cocoa powder, a dash of salt, and a little Splenda into my milk. I know what you're thinking...gross. It isn't! It is possibly better than Hershey's Syrup, and I live in Pennsylvania! That would be considered slanderous here if I weren't using Hershey's Cocoa Powder, although any brand will work just fine. And a tip to mixing it all in, is to put the dry ingredients into the bottom of the cup, then add just a little hot tap water and stir it together before adding the cold milk.

My next switch-up is going to be the cauliflower pizza crust I keeping seeing all over the place. I bet it is going to be super yummy! Maybe I will even let you know how it goes. Let me know what other great switch-up ideas you have!

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