To help you eat healthier, every Sunday morning I will be posting a Swapportunity—swapping out an unhealthy food for a healthier one. If you have missed any of these healthy swaps, you can find the past four weeks below!
Swap out artificial sweeteners for raw organic honey. Get rid of artificial sweeteners and don’t be afraid of a little natural sugar. Try raw organic honey. It’s not processed. It’s high in antioxidants, and a dollop goes a long way. Raw organic honey is not just your honey bear from the grocery store. Raw honey is the concentrated nectar of flowers that comes straight from the extractor; it is the only unheated, pure, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey. An alkaline-forming food, this type of honey contains ingredients similar to those found in fruits, which become alkaline in the digestive system. It doesn’t ferment in the stomach and it can be used to counteract acid indigestion. When mixed with ginger and lemon juices, it also relieves nausea and supplies energy. Raw honey is the healthiest choice amongst the various forms of honey as it has the most nutritional value and contains amylase, an enzyme concentrated in flower pollen which helps predigest starchy foods like breads. Use a little in your tea, coffee, yogurt or toast and skip the fake stuff. Skip the presweetened drinks too!
Swap out mayo for a ripe avocado. When you swap out mayo for a ripe avocado spread on your sandwich, you are avoiding cholesterol and saturated fat and increasing your intake of healthy fat, fiber and potassium. Two tablespoons of mayonnaise has 115 calories and a quarter cup of avocado has 80 calories. And avocados are thought to help prevent certain cancers and enhance heart health.
Swap out those croutons and wontons for nuts: Try almonds or walnuts. Nuts add crunch along with lots of nutrients, and are great on salads. While homemade croutons can be healthy, most people buy the packaged kinds, loaded with unhealthy fat, fried and doused with preservatives. Nuts are rich in protein, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. To give you a better idea of the nutritional benefits of nuts … Almonds contain the most fiber -about 3 g per ounce- of all nuts and are richest in vitamin E as well as packed with phyto-chemicals that help protect against diseases and cancer. Walnuts help decrease bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. They are the richest in omega-3 fatty acids which fight inflammation. So skip those croutons and wontons and swap for healthy nuts on your salad instead!
Swap out ranch dressing for hummus for a healthier dip. Ranch dressingis the most popular dressing in the United States. Invented in the 1050’s at the Hidden Valley Ranch, it’s full of sodium, fat and chemicals (for the non-refrigerated versions!). It’s become the curtain that veggies hide behind. We douse our veggies so we can’t taste them and dunk our chicken nuggets and fries in ranch. The problem is we are consuming too much of it and not developing a taste for the veggies … only for the ranch. How about swapping out for a healthier alternative?
Try homemade hummus for dipping your veggies!! Here is my daughters’ recipe and we make a batch at our house every single week!
1 can of Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) – drained and rinsed
1/2 c Tahini
2 cloves Garlic (1 tsp of minced garlic)
1/2 tsp of Sea Salt
1/2 tsp of Cumin
4 tblsp of Olive Oil
Juice of 2 Lemons
Toss all ingredients into a food processor and blend to your preferred consistency. Garnish with paprika to taste. Stores in your fridge for a week!
The healthy fat and low levels of saturated fat make hummus a good choice for snacking or as a side dish. The fiber from the chickpeas helps you stay full, as well as aids in your digestion. Hummus has no sugar and relatively little sodium- another nutritional bonus!