At the store this week, the friendly grocer told me her gym is already quieting down again - isn't that crazy? We're not even a month in, are we quitting already?!
While discouraging, this news wasn't all that surprising. Big diet and exercise goals are hard to maintain. (Which is why we Ditch the Detox).
Small changes, on the other hand, are much more sustainable, and make a bigger impact than you may think.
Here are the top 5 simple swaps I recommend to every client new to this business of healthy, plant loaded eating.
1. Replace low fat/fat free with FULL FAT (and also - eat more fat)
The 80s really messed up our view of dietary fat, and it wasn't a hard message to engrain in our brains because it seems so straight forward - eat less fat to lose fat, right?
WRONG. So wrong in fact, that by taking all the fat out of products and injecting these products with sugar, obesity rates and preventable diseases simultaneously sky rocketed.
Fat, does not make you fat, it keeps you full, satisfied, slim, glowing and healthy.
THROW OUT: low fat dairy, low fat yogurt, low fat snacks, low fat salad dressings - anything and everything low fat - especially processed/packaged low fat snack food (yuk!).
ADD IN: full fat, plain yogurt (love sigi's brand - it's also packed with protein), homemade vinaigrette made with olive or avocado oil, real, grass-fed butter, nuts/seeds, avocado, olives, wild caught fish, chia seeds, ground flax, hemp seeds.
2. Replace whole wheat or white pasta with soba, quinoa, or bean noodles.
For those of us who haven't sworn off carbohydrates and still love a good bowl of noodles, simply up-grading the noodle quality can take you from bloated and heavy to nourished and energized. Buckwheat, quinoa and bean noodles offer more nutrients and protein than the wheat varieties, giving your body usable calories that are less likely to be stored as fat.
3. Replace coffee creamer with coconut milk powder, coconut oil, or butter.
That morning cup of Jo is a real deal breaker for a lot of folks, but you can be healthy and energized and drink coffee.
A quick way to make your coffee better serve you is to swap out what you stir in.
Stirring or blending in a good source of fat will help prevent the caffeine crash that inevitably comes as well as the afternoon fog.
Here's a few awesome blends:
- 1 cup coffee, 1 Tbs. coconut oil - blend and enjoy (great for beginners)
- 1 cup coffee, 1 Tbs. grass fed butter (great for beginners)
- 1 cup coffee, 1 Tbs. coconut oil, 1/2 t. vanilla, 1 Tbs. hemp protein powder - blend and enjoyyyee
- 1 cup coffee, 1 Tbs. almond butter, 1/2 t. vanilla
- 1 cup coffee, 1 pinch cinnamon, 1 pinch ginger, 1 Tbs. coconut oil, 1 Tbs. hemp protein powder
4. Replace processed snack foods with protein and fat packed snacks
Snacking is a good thing - even at night it's ok! In fact, having a protein rich snack before bed could actually help you sleep better. Good snacks keep your blood sugar stable and your energy level.
The key is snacking on yummy, nutrient dense goodies. So dump the chips, crackers, cookies, and processed low fat crap, and try these instead:
- Raw nuts/seeds: almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds etc.
- Smoothies: Green Smoothie, Citrus Smoothie,
- Apple slices dipped in almond or peanut butter
- Celery and almond or peanut butter
- Chia pudding
- Strawberries and coconut whip cream
- Nutty Date Power Balls
5. Replace juice, pop, gatorade, etc., with water, tea, or sparkling water.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The more water you drink, the better you will feel.
There's the obvious reason too - these beverages contain sugar, and sugar makes us fat and sick. The quicker we can get these beverages out of our diets, the better. And the best way to do it is to slowly crowd it out.
Start adding in more water, herbal teas, and when you need a fiz, sparkling water and it will start to crowd out the bad bevys. Your bladder can only handle so much, you know? :)
What other swaps have you made to your diet? I'd love to hear!