Oh my goodness friends here again for the SECOND part of this TWO-PART series focusing on simple swaps to help make the things we consume each and every day nutritious. The first part of this series focused on simple DRINK swaps for the busy mom on the go to drink in order to boost productivity and energy and part two is going to focus all the attention on simple FOOD swaps to help nourish our bodies. My incredible best friend and amazing individual, Marian Mitchell is here with me once again to share ways to help make sure what we are EATING is in fact nutritious.
These healthy eating tips will do wonders on your productivity, as well as boost energy, to help you be more successful in both HOME and BUSINESS. These healthy eating habits will help you as a busy individual and mom feel more ALIVE during the day, to feel more AWAKE when you sit down at your work block, and to feel more ENERGETIC when you are present and interactive with your kids. Instead of going for the crummy snack or the sugary drink, what can you go for instead, what are these simple swaps that you can rely on to nourish your body and thrive?! So excited to share with you our most favorite simple swaps to live a healthier and more nourished life.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
Simple Swaps for Healthy Eating
So excited to share with you all the simple things that you can do right now to make your life a whole lot easier and healthier. My friend, Marian Mitchell, an integrative health coach with Road to Living Whole, specializes in therapeutic diets, working with people with autoimmune diseases or GI distress, as well as a passion for the simple stuff, things that can be done right now to make things easy, healthy and all in a realistic way.
We are going to share our favorite SIMPLE SWAPS for food, as well as the reasons why you should begin looking at making these swaps in your life. These healthy eating tips hopefully will shed some light on easy ways you can start implementing better and healthier food choices for you and your family. We are going to look at five different groupings starting with meats, followed by veggies, then snacks, sweets, and finally, sauces, those sneaky little sauces. You ready to learn simple and easy swaps to start making to nourish your body and thrive? Let’s dive on in!
Healthy eating habits will help you as a busy individual and mom feel more ALIVE during the day, to feel more AWAKE when you sit down at your work block, and to feel more ENERGETIC when you are present and interactive with your kids from getting there it’s your response to it.
Healthy Eating Tips & Simple Swaps for Meat
- Invest in pasture-raised animals. Beefs, cows, chickens, animals that are raised outside in love. They are slaughtered humanely. Raised well. High in omega-3s and they taste incredible.
- Purchase your eggs from local chickens. Another easy switch is to purchase your eggs from local chickens. Or if you are purchasing your eggs from the grocery store, make the simple swap and purchase cage-free eggs.
- Bone broth. So many great benefits to incorporating bone broth into your healthy eating habits. It can be super easy to make yourself OR easily purchasable from the store. My favorite two store bought brands are Epic and Bonafide.
- Shop at Costco. Costco has amazing organic meat. I can buy in bulk and freeze it and it is only slightly more than traditional meat at your local grocer. Costco makes it super easy to shop organically as all their organic meats and produce have a GREEN label on them. This is such great swap as it allows you to buy the high-quality meat, more economically.
- Look at the labels. When you are shopping for your family, look at the labels, see what is actually inside the food that you are feeding your family. Example – store bought chicken nuggets. When you look at the label on most store-bought chicken nuggets, the chicken is actually made from processed ground up meat, as opposed to the real meat. So it’s a great idea to get in the habit of looking at the labels on the food you purchase and buying the ones made with real food and real meat!
- Stop putting emphasis on feeding your family meat. Meat is important, meat is good, yes. But, you can absolutely eat a plate of vegetables and call it a day. You don’t have to load your plate with meat. Instead of a slap of ribs, maybe just two ribs. We are meat eaters, but you don’t have to fill your plates with only meat, add in more vegetables. This has been a nutritious swap that has worked really well for me!
Oh goodness, people LOVE to HATE vegetables and it makes sense why. People grow up with mushy, frozen vegetables and when you do that it makes the required 9 servings of vegetables almost impossible. But it doesn’t have to be. Start by simply adding in more vegetables. This can help SO many things. Adding in veggies can lower your blood pressure, reduces the risk for heart disease, stroke, and cancer, reduces the risk for eye problems, colon disease and all of these things just by adding in vegetables.
The problem though – people struggle with how to make vegetables taste good and what exactly to eat. When you go into the grocery store and walk through the vegetable section, you really want to eat from the rainbow. Plus, pretty food is more edible. Another really important thing to remember when you eat vegetables, you want to pair a vegetable with a really good healthy fat. This makes it taste even better and retain all the nutritional value even more. This helps get the nutrients in.
Examples – add butter to your broccoli. Cook your vegetables in olive oil and salt. These things help make the vegetables taste better. You can also ferment your veggies. This helps release the Vitamin C and makes it even MORE nutritious – a win, win! So how do you do this. Veggies are so good for you, yet so many people are simply not getting enough. These six healthy tips will help make sure you and your family are getting the right amount of veggies to nourish your bodies and fully thrive!
Healthy Eating Tips & Simple Swaps for Veggies
- Roast your veggies. This makes them taste like candy – SO good. Plus, your kids will LOVE roasted vegetables. Roasting veggies caramelizes them and gives them that nice little crunch that makes them so appealing, and so tasty!
- Add greens to your smoothies. This is a super easy and simple swap to help get in your daily veggie intake. Spinach is our favorite around our house.
- Pickles. Yes, pickles. We get the fermented pickles. A great healthy choice that is absolutely delicious, tasty and can help get more vegetables in your life.
- Dehydrated vegetables. This swap is SO simple. If you are throwing grain-based chips to your kids as a snack, you can swap that out with dehydrated carrot chips, pea chips. Things that still have the salt, and the fried crunch to them, but something that can easily be switched to increase your veggies.
- Cold vegetables. I love green beans. A lightly steamed broccoli is SO good. Adding a cold vegetable to your meal plate is delicious and easy.
- The way that you cook your vegetables. Roasting veggies is huge in our house. But the way that you cook your vegetables matters! Swap the way that you are cooking things with a cast-iron skillet or a roasting pan. I love to use coconut oil or avocado oil, with a heavy hand of salt, tossed with olive oil and an everyday seasoning, and it is through HOW I cook them that makes my family devour them. And guys – they taste GOOD!
Snacks. A lot of times people snack in the afternoon and at night when our energy is crashing. Snacking isn’t a bad thing. But what people choose to snack is what can cause people to gain weight. Usually, people choose items that are highly processed and made to make you addicted to them. This causes real food to taste more bland. For snacking – it is so important to incorporate REAL foods. And for snacking, I think it is SO important to never eat a carb alone. Pair a carb with a protein. With crackers, add some almond butter. If you love chocolate, pair it with a full-fat yogurt. Bulk up your snacks to feel full. Why are you snacking, is it because you need more water?
Healthy Eating Tips & Simple Swaps for Snacks
- Fruit with almond butter. So delicious and so good. Pairing your fruits and veggies with a nut butter – delicious.
- Leftover smoothie in a popsicle mold. Whenever I have any leftover smoothie mix, I will put in a popsicle mold and place it in the freezer and it makes for a great, easy and quick snack for later. And it’s absolutely delicious. I love popsicles and this is a great swap to satisfy my craving.
- Date truffles – Another divine snack swap. These are dates that have been soaked in hot water, add in crushed nuts, seeds, with a little bit of a protein powder. Blended together and then rolled up into little balls and you have yourself a divine treat.
- Choosing the right bars. Goodness it is difficult to find the right kind of bar for our kids that isn’t basically a candy bar. Frankie was introduced to a Z bar at her Montessori school, and of course, loved it! So, when I was at Costco, I picked up a box and looked at the nutritional value versus the one that I prefer to get. So my favorite kind of swap is too simply look at the bars that you are buying. I LOVE a Perfect Bar – which does have whey protein in it – but it is an amazing snack and we are loving it. They have teeny tiny ones that are GREAT for the kiddos. We are constantly looking for a bar that we can grab on the go that has good fats and protein. My tip – When you are looking at the bars at the grocery store – look at the protein and the sugar contents, I try to get those two numbers as close together as possible OR to get more protein than sugar if possible. Pay attention to the ingredients to know what it is that is going into your mouth and your bodies!
- Pork rinds. Pork rinds are an amazing snack swap. They need to have a really high quality oil in them. I personally love the Bonafide pork rinds – SO good! This instantly gets rid of my craving for fast food. Every single time. I don’t know why this makes me feel like I am eating fried chicken, but it does and it works. This has been a beautiful snack replacement for me. It is very, very clean, I don’t eat a ton but it has been a great replacement. This is exactly what I want you to look at. What have YOU been putting into your mouth for the snack portion of your day that has not been nourishing to you and what can you easily swap it with.
- Homemade protein balls. These have been game changer for me and have actually reduced the number of bars we have been eating as a family. You can make them homemade or can get the pre-made mix that we get at Costco or Sprouts. Check out Marian’s website for fantastic recipes especially if you have specific food allergies or dietary restrictions.
Sweets! I have a sweet tooth and so many people I know have sweet teeth. So many great swaps for sweets to allow you to continue to utilize healthy eating, but not at the expense of your sweet tooth. So here is the most important thing don’t ever take away or replace. If you really want to eat “the thing” then just eat the thing so that you aren’t eating everything else in replace of the thing and then eating the actual thing. For those with a sweet tooth, it’s not just going to go away, instead we need to focus on finding the most nutrient dense version possible. That being said, here are our favorite swaps for satisfying our sweet tooth without forfeiting nutrition or nourishment.
Healthy Eating Tips & Simple Swaps for Sweets
- Chocolate hummus. I love chocolate hummus. There are some great brands out there, where the ingredients are super clean and the sugar is the last ingredient. We get strawberries in season and devour chocolate hummus with the berries. So, so delicious, we use it in place of Nutella, super high in protein, rich in nutrients, and B vitamins – a GREAT swap.
- Coconut flour. I also love to bake with coconut flour – high in fiber and it fills you up. So many recipes over on the Road to Living Whole that uses coconut flour.
- Avocado chocolate pudding. So, SO amazing! An incredible blender creation that is super healthy, yet sweet tooth satisfying. All you need are 2 avocados, 1/3 of a cup of cocoa powder, 1/4 of a cup of maple syrup, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, sea salt, blend it in a food processor and it is delicious. If it turns out to be a little bitter for you then add more vanilla extract and sea salt, but guys SO good! You can also add peanut butter, almond butter and/or spinach to it to make it an even more nutrient packed treat.
- Dark chocolate. I love chocolate SO much. So my swap – slowly but surely get yourself off milk chocolate and get yourself on the highest content of dark chocolate that you can get. It might be a little bitter at first, but hang in there! Focus on high quality, fair trade, super dark chocolate with sea salt and nuts. This is a game changer. My favorites are 74% or 82% cacao with some nuts and salt and boom it is delicious, paired with a cup of medicinal tea and I am in heaven!
- Ice Cream – I shouldn’t even mention this one, but I am going to do so anyways. I have a favorite ice cream that I love, it still has all the sugar, but it is a little cleaner and it is a cashew- based ice cream. It has some cashews in it, some caramel in it, and it is SO good. I love it so very much. So instead of getting the sugar with the adding coloring, and the fake sugars, look through the different options and look through the different labels to help find the right foods that can provide you nourishment to help make you feel more alive during the day and more productive! Also, If you love a good sundae, my favorite thing to do is to heat up coconut oil to where it is liquid and pour it on top of your ice cream to create a harden shell – there is no sugar in it, yet it tastes amazing and satisfies all the things.
- Frozen banana treats. We love to use frozen bananas and high quality dark chocolate and nuts, we place it all in a silicone tray and freeze it. This is a fantastic treat that can easily be popped out of the freezer and satisfy all the sweet needs.
Finally, last, but not least, sauces. Food has to taste good. It is supposed to taste good. Sometimes when people make the decision to start eating healthier, they take away the flavor. But that is the wrong way to do it. Food is meant to taste GOOD. Your typical sauces that come to mind, your A1, ketchup, those sauces are filled with a bunch of not-so good things in them. Look at the ingredients, you want to make sure your sauces are as clean as possible. A lot of times they add MSG, a flavor enhancer, to A LOT of sauces. It is a toxin that overexcites the cells that has also been linked to mental disorders, obesity, headaches, fatigue, depression and so many more things that can be detrimental to your health. These sauces are also full of so many inflammatory oils, full of too many Omega-6s that can cause a lot of inflammation and gut issues, as well as mood disorders.
We want to make sure we know what we are putting in our bodies and that we are getting the healthiest version possible. When we miss out on herbs and spices it is a missed opportunity. With herbs and spices, not only are we getting a ton of flavor, but we are getting a ton of antioxidants. So it is so important to learn how to use herbs and spices to help make your food taste better. You start cooking in these healthy oils, olive oil, avocado oil. Salt your food. Sprinkle some salt on your foods. There is a BIG difference between eating all the sodium rich processed food than salting your nutrient-dense, fresh food. But you don’t have to do everything yourself. Here are our favorite swaps to easily switch out and make healthier food choices when it comes to your sauces.
Healthy Eating Tips & Simple Swaps for Sauces
- Primal Kitchen’s Dressings and Marinades – I love, LOVE Primal Kitchen’s dressings and marinades. They are super good and super, super clean. Love them all. The flavor is SO good. I especially love a good Chimichurri sauce.
- A good chimichurri sauce. Instead of using A1, I will get a good chimichurri sauce, parsley, oregano, red peppers, olive oil, vinegar, and salt. You can also buy it pre-made.
- New Primal Noble Buffalo Sauce– this is INCREDIBLE. An amazing sauce for pretty much everything that is clean, healthy, and SO tasty. We use this on basically everything. It is incredible.
- Organic ketchup. When you purchase regular ketchup, you are purchasing a sauce with large volumes of high fructose corn syrup. It is the number 2 ingredient in regular store-bought ketchup and when you purchase organic ketchup that isn’t even an ingredient in there. So pay attention to the labels of the foods that you are using. And if you can’t make that switch completely, then slowly switch out the ketchups over time and change that expectation within your home over time.
- Avocado Oil or Olive Oil. I always am pouring avocado oil, or olive oil, paired with the everyday seasoning by Trader Joe’s and grind it on pretty much everything to make our food taste good. It may be an acquired taste to transition to as you embark on this nutritional journey.
- Using salsa. Using salsa can be an incredible alternative. We love the Trader Joe’s salsa verde, putting a scoop of this on the side of a plate is a great alternative to other not-so-great sauces out there. This adds extra flavor to your meal without the added calories and not-the-best ingredients.
So many good things between these drink swaps and food swaps. Hopefully you can find something that you can utilize to help focus on incorporating healthier eating tips for you and your family. Making these swaps can be so hard, but it is all a process and starting with one small switch is a great place to begin. Simple swaps and easy recipes are the best foot in the door to greater wellness, health, and overall nourishment to your body. Don’t try to do too much at once, instead a little at a time to provide your body the best kind of nourishment to maximize your productivity.
You can check out amazing recipe ideas and more healthy eating tips at Marian’s website, Road To Living Whole, and on Instagram you can find her @mairmitchell, as well as on Facebook. Go get connected as she has so much information and expertise to give. If you are trying to figure out how to add nutrients to your life but are suffering from allergies, or sensitivities, Marian can definitely help you. Check out her podcast as well. If you are looking for more information on how to find balance in your life, your home, and you career, come check out the details of The Systemize Your Life Academy. I can’t wait to see you in the FB group, and as always until next time, stay tuned for more right here on the blog.