Favorite Healthy Swaps

My pantry staples have shifted through the years. From unhealthy (our pantry growing up wasn't the healthiest...love you mom!), to all fat free/light foods (yuck!), to a pantry that isn't 100% clean (John can't live without gummy bears) but mainly focuses on whole foods and clean eating. 

I decided to put together a post with my favorite healthy swaps. Disclaimer: this does not mean that I never eat foods that I have replaced with healthier alternatives, it just means that for the most part, these swaps have become our new normal here at home and work for our family (I have linked some of our favorite specific products as well!).

1. Mayo for hummus. As a sandwich spread, as our go to dip and as an addition to sauces that I want to make creamy (try adding it to marinara and using it for your spaghetti - YUM!). We love hummus! 

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2. Flour tortillas for corn tortillas. I love both and in my opinion, there are some Mexican dishes that NEED to be served on a flour tortilla, however, we tend to use mostly corn at home. Corn tortillas are higher in fiber and magnesium and much lower in sodium. 

 

3. Soda for sparkling water with lime. Our fridge ALWAYS has some sort of sparkling water in it. Both John and I love it. Sometimes I love adding lemon or lime but these Spindrift ones are SUPER refreshing and delicious on their own. Ditch all the sodas and lame sugary drinks, they don't quench your thirst and they don't feed you any nutritional calories. 

Photo by Spindrift.

Photo by Spindrift.

 

4. Sour cream for greek yogurt. Add some spices to plan greek yogurt and you would never guess that it's not sour cream. I have succesfuly deceived a few people by serving them a dollop of my spiced yogurt on top of a dish such a turkey chili. They couldn't even tell the difference. Or maybe they could but they were too polite to say anything. Either way, works for me! I also like adding it to my chicken and tuna salads. 

 

5. Candy for dried fruit or frozen fruit. For these suggestions, make sure that the brand you buy doesn't add any sugar to the dried fruit. Fruit is already sweet enough, no need to cheapen it by adding sugars. Read the label! At home, we love having mangoes at hand. 

 

6. Cocktails for wine or a beer. Like I've said multiple times before. I don't eat perfectly healthy and I don't "abide" by clean eating rules 100% - that would make me go crazy and I am done with my eating disorder days. I do however, have some generals rules for our eating at home - one of them is trying to eat food that contains a small and clean ingredient list. For the most part with cocktails, you never really know how many ingredients or what ingredients are going in them. John and I normally drink beer and wine at home and during our restaurant outings. Cocktails are usually a special treat. I make sure to not miss out one one if I am visiting a particular bar that is known for their craft cocktails or a place that states that they care about the ingredients going into their cocktails (anyone tried the "Excited" drink at Cafe Gratitude? SO GOOD!). 

 

7. Chips for rice crackers or raw veggies. We're big on the crunch around here. Every meal needs to have a crunch factor which for a long time meant that we had chips around the house all.the.time. We've been trying out a handful of different healthy alternatives to substitute chips and our favorites have ended up being rice cracker, nut thins and raw veggies.

Photo by Cooking Classy.

Photo by Cooking Classy.

 

8. White grains for whole grains. Whole grains are better for you, period. They haven't been stripped from all of their nutrients. Leave your white rice for sushi nights!

 

9. Cereal for rolled oats. Who doesn't love cereal? I mean, I'm pretty sure we all grew up eating it for breakfast #givemeallthefrootloops. Unfortunately, cereal is one of those foods that is nutritionally void. When you have cereal you end up feeling hungry shortly after, has anyone experienced this? John and I run to the breakfast bar every time we stay at a hotel that includes continental breakfast since that title in itself almost always guarantees... CEREAL BOXES! Ha! At home though, we stick to rolled oats. We make granola, overnight oats or we add it into our smoothie. Filling and nutritious! 

Photo by Brooke Mclay.

Photo by Brooke Mclay.

 

10. Coffee creamer for vanilla almond milk + honey. I don't know about you guys but coffee MUST taste like a treat to me. I used to love putting creamer and sugar in my coffee, that until I realized how much more of a crash I got midday when I added these ingredients to my daily dose of caffeine. Nowadays, I heat up some nut milk, dissolve a teaspoon of honey in it and have that become my creamer. 

That's a wrap, friends! What are your favorite healthy swaps? Share below!