I was reading a womanâ€™s-magazine-who-shall-not-be-named last night, and I realized so many articles about food and exercise basically contain tips on how to restrict. How to eat less of this or do less of that. I hope my blog illustrates that healthy living is about changing something small or even ADDING something to your life more than itâ€™s about taking anything away.
Here are seven of my favorite healthy swaps or additions. Small changes can add up to something amazing!
HTP ADD: Add chia seeds or ground flax seeds to cereal, yogurt, smoothies, or even savory dinners. Chia and flax seeds are a great (vegetarian) source of Omega 3â€™s, which have numerous health benefits. I love adding one tablespoon of chia or flax seeds to my meals because it also an easy way to add a little fiber (which helps you stay fuller, longer). Iâ€™m particularly loving chia seeds right now, which have a neutral taste, because you donâ€™t have to grind them to get the benefits, as you do for flax. My favorite way to eat ground flax? Flax-encrusted sweet potato balls!
HTP SWAP: Instead of drinking coffee with a flavored creamer, try using good old organic half-and-half instead. Need a reason why? Check out this ingredient list (for regular Coffee Mate): WATER, SOYMILK (WATER, SOY POWDER), PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEED OIL, SUGAR, AND LESS THAN 2% OF DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, SODIUM TRIPOLYPHOSPHATE, SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, POLYSORBATE 50, GELLAN GUM, SODIUM CITRATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BETA-CAROTENE COLOR. I see lots of artificial things that I cannot pronounce, as well as trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils). The ingredients in organic half-and-half? ORGANIC MILK, ORGANIC CREAM. I can live with that!
HTP ADD: Make an effort to stay hydrated. Youâ€™ll see the difference in your hair and skin, and your digestive system will work better, too. I try to chug a glass of room temperature water every morning before I drink my coffee.
HTP SWAP: Buy higher-quality organic condiments. Yes, organic condiments are pretty expensive â€“ but not by much (only a buck or so). But by buying organic condiments, youâ€™ll avoid many artificial flavorings and colorings, trans fat, and HFCS. My favorite condiments include Anneâ€™s Organic Ketchup and Anneâ€™s Organic BBQ Sauce.
HTP SWAP: Instead of a 2:00 PM coffee fix, try going for a walk instead. When I worked in an office, I would often take a 5 or 10 minute break to go for a quick walk outside (or in the winter, I just walked around the building). I still try to move in the middle of the afternoon, when Iâ€™m most likely to feel a slump. Walking will wake you up as effectively as coffee, and you wonâ€™t crash at 4 as a result.
HTP ADD: When making pasta, start your plate with a bed of raw spinach. Then, add the pasta, sauce, and toppings. The hot ingredients will wilt the spinach, and youâ€™ll get an extra dose of vitamins and fiber with your meal. (This is also a great trick if youâ€™re in college and are eating from the cafeteria.)
HTP SWAP: Instead of white rice, try quinoa. Advantages to quinoa? It cooks in just five minutes and itâ€™s a good source of protein. Quinoa is also a great breakfast grain, as illustrated in these recipes!
What are you favorite swaps or additions? Do you get tired of certain magazines suggesting you need to restrict to be healthy?