We all dream of living a life where we can eat anything and everything we desire without it affecting our health. All these shake and unrealistic weight loss diets are popping up left, right and centre with more and more people buying into ‘Quick Fix’ diets. The reality is, you CAN eat food AND still be healthy. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be restricted and your meals certainly don’t have to resemble a Rabbits dinner. There are simple and quick ways to nourish your body and lower your calorie intake without compromising on taste.
A lot of our habits with food are in our mind set towards food. We think we need heavy, starchy meals in order to feel full. As much as carbohydrates are a vital part of our day to day nutrients, there are so many ways to eat them without having the heavy stuff! Complex carbohydrates and food containing high levels of refined sugar, salt and sodium often leave us feeling weak and bloated.
Here are a few tips on healthy food swaps you can make with your day to day meals.
- Spaghetti Vs Courghetti – What’s not to about love spaghetti/pasta/lasagne? It is delicious and great to have… In moderation. Studies have found when making the swap from spaghetti to courghetti, that it wasn’t actually the spaghetti people were craving. It was the feeling of having spaghetti alongside the popular dishes, such as bolognaise. Try swapping your pasta/spaghetti for spiralized courgette or butternut squash the next time you are having a craving for Italian food, and swap your lasagne sheets for sliced aubergine or courgette. It is much lower in calories and higher in Fibre. Upping your fibre is great for fat loss and vegetables are naturally much lower in carbohydrates.
- White Rice Vs Cauliflower Rice – OK, you’re avoiding white rice in favour of brown, but are you ready for the next level? Try riced cauliflower or broccoli instead. This trend has gained widespread popularity, with major brands and supermarkets selling their own version.When grated finely into rice like texture, these healthy vegetables take on the delightful, fluffy texture of rice and provide a neutral flavour profile that supports any dish you’d usually make with rice. If you’re counting calories, the count on a cup of cauliflower rice is a slim 25, while a cup of cooked brown rice has 218 calories. This clever swap is a great way to include more veggies in your diet while continuing to make the dishes you love. Give it a go!
- Crisps and dip Vs Sliced Vegetables and homemade dips – Snacks! We all love snacking, but let’s face it once those Pringles have been popped, there is definitely no stopping! When you’re craving a salty, fatty snack like crisps and dip, reach for hummus and veggies instead. Veggies provide the crunch you need without the high calories, sodium and fat of fried crisps. Creamy dips with fatty bases find a satisfying replacement in rich, creamy hummus. The chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, in hummus are full of health benefits, and research has shown they support heart health, liver function, low cholesterol and more. Start by making your own dips, hummus is quick and easy to make!
- Shop Bought Granola Bars Vs Homemade Granola Bars – If you’re on-the-go, there’s a good chance granola bars seriously simplify your life. (Hellooo, easy breakfast.) Thing is, shop-bought bars that look healthy are often loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and lacking in nutrients. Avoid the excess, refined sugar and empty calories with homemade granola bars where YOU control the ingredients. On the run? Wrap individual bars with parchment paper and tie them with string for easy portability. No time to waste on baking? If you are local to Marbella, our fellow Costa Spiner is the creator of all things sweet but healthy! Check her page, Balanced Bites Marbella on Instagram and Facebook for all things homemade, healthy and designed to give you the right balance of nutrients. Don’t give in to the sugary, quick fixes! They will always leave you feeling drained, and are, in all honesty just no good for you.
- Coffee Vs Herbal Tea – How often do you hear yourself saying, “I can’t live without coffee!” Monday mornings may call for a LARGE coffee—with a double shot of espresso. By 11 a.m., you get the jitters. By 2 p.m., you need another cup, and so the dependence on coffee carries on through the week. One unfortunate side effect of coffee is the crash, which can keep you from getting much done around the 2 p.m. slump. So, what can you do? Try Chai or green tea. Replacing your usual coffee with tea may give you a boost without the crash. Chai, has enough caffeine to keep you alert while boasting a long list of health benefits to kick start your day. Green tea is also packed with a list of health benefits. Yes, if you drink a cup of green tea every day, you are receiving a relatively small dose of caffeine compared to coffee, but Green Tea is said to help prevent cancer, lower your cholesterol and help aid weight loss. Try first by lowering your coffee intake and replacing it with a tea. We are not saying you have to go cold turkey with coffee, but reducing it could be very beneficial to you in the long term! And you never know, this small step could lead to you giving it up completely!
We hope these simple swaps have been helpful to you! Be sure to contact us at CostaSpine should you require any further help on becoming the healthiest version of you.Ask our expert Justine who is the owner of Balanced Bites for any other healthy alternatives.
Yours in Healthcare