The Healthier Alternatives To Your Favorite Foods

IMAGE SOURCE: @LIFE.OF.CHA

IMAGE SOURCE: @LIFE.OF.CHA

Our favorite foods tend to be full of unhealthy sugars, fats, and carbs, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are tons of healthier alternatives to our favorite foods that taste as good and are full of the nutrients we need. To help you lead a healthier lifestyle, we are sharing our favorite alternatives to otherwise unhealthy foods that you can implement into your every day routine!


Pasta Alternatives

Most pastas are made of starchy grains with low nutrition value, and it takes more than the recommended portion size to fill you up. So, to make sure you are eating more vitamins and minerals, we love using zoodles (zucchini noodles), spiraled beets, or spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Zucchini is full of vitamins A and C, is low in calories, and has many essential minerals. Beets are full of folate and vitamin C, and is known for its anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties. Spaghetti squash is high in Vitamins A and B-6 and is very low in carbs and calories. Click the images below for our favorite zoodle, beet spiral, and spaghetti squash recipes!


Red & Fatty Meat Alternatives

Red meats are high in iron, B-12, and protein; however, too much red meat can lead to heart disease because of it's fat high content. To help reduce the amount of red meat you consume, we have come up with three delicious alternatives! Tofu is a staple in the vegetarian world. Tofu is made of soybeans and contains all the essential amino acids you need! It soaks up the flavors of sauces extremely well and can be used in many different ways. Jackfruit is used heavily in vegan recipes and is native to India. It's texture is similar to cooked chicken, and is readily available in canned form. Fish is our favorite alternative to red meat for those of you who are not vegetarian. Fish is full of healthy fats, is tasty, and there are so many different kinds and ways to prepare it!


Sugar & Sweetener Alternatives

Refined sugars, such as sugar from cane or sugar beets, are high in calories and can become extremely addictive. Limiting the amounts of refined sugars we eat can help boost metabolism, burn more fat, and lower risk of sugar related diseases like diabetes. Our favorite alternatives to refined sugars are natural sugars such as coconut sugar, stevia, maple syrup, honey, or dates! Next time you reach for a sugar packet to put in your coffee, try adding coconut sugar or honey instead. Dates are perfect for sweetening soups and sauces, just puree a few and add to your recipe while cooking!


Rice Alternatives

Like pasta, rice is healthy when eaten in correct portion sizes, but in excess is high in calories and carbohydrates. To add more nutrition to your rice-based dishes, we want to introduce you to the growingly popular alternatives: cauliflower rice and quinoa. Cauliflower rice can be tedious to make at home, so for on the go or quick meals pick up a bag of frozen cauliflower rice at your local grocery store. Cauliflower rice is great at absorbing liquids such as curry and adds lots of nutrients to your dish like vitamin C and K, folate, and omega-3. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein and fiber. It comes in a few varieties and colors and is super easy to make. You can even make a large batch and store in the refrigerator!


Those Pesky Sweet Cravings Alternatives

Sweet cravings are wrench in anyone's healthy lifestyle. We all get them and we all cave. To help you make healthier decisions when it comes to your sweet cravings, we have a few alternatives that will kick cravings in the butt! Pickles, believe it or not, are a great craving quencher. Pickles, an other fermented foods, increase the immune system which helps regulate appetite and reduce sugar cravings. And at 5 calories per pickle, you can manage to indulge a little. Try to buy pickles with little added sugars (look near the deli refrigerators instead of down the condiment aisle). Fruit is an obvious alternative, because it is naturally sweet (think natural sugars over processed sugars), and is full of antioxidants and vitamins. If you want chocolate, try eating a few pieces of dark chocolate. Most dark chocolate bars have yummy and healthier flavor options such as orange or ginger! Got soda cravings? Try zero calorie seltzers. Seltzers satisfy your carbonation craving and come in a variety of sweet, but no sugar added, flavors.


Keep Your New Year's Resolution With This Healthy Pizza Alternative!

IMAGE SOURCE: OUR BEST BITES

IMAGE SOURCE: OUR BEST BITES

Everyone love pizza, but if you have been successfully sticking to your New Year’s resolutions it probably isn’t on the menu. Lucky for you, we have a delicious healthy alternative to that pizza you are craving! This recipe uses cauliflower as a crust and yummy veggies and low fat meat as toppings! So get cooking!


CAULIFLOWER CRUST PIZZA

FOR THE CRUST Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse the florets from 1 medium sized cauliflower in a food processor to a fine snowy powder (you should have about 2 1/2 cups). Transfer the processed cauliflower to a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Microwave until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a clean, dry kitchen towel and allow to cool.

When cool enough to handle, wrap the cauliflower in the towel and wring out as much moisture as possible, transferring to a second towel if necessary. In a large bowl, stir together the cauliflower, ¼ cup of Parmesan, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp. of salt, 1 egg, and 1 cup of mozzarella until well combined. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and press into a 10-inch round. Bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.

FOR THE SAUCE Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a saucepan. Add 1 large minced garlic clove and saute just until fragrant (about 20 seconds). Add in 3 cups of tomato puree; 1 tsp. each of dried oregano, basil, fennel seed, and sugar; ½ tsp. of dried thyme and salt; and ¼ tsp. of red pepper flakes. Bring to a low bubble, and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar.

CONSTRUCT THE PIZZA Ladle the sauce on to the hot pizza crust leaving ¼ inch of crust on the end. Layer the pizza with a blend of mozzarella, parmesan, and cheddar cheese. Use as much or as little as you like! To keep your pizza healthier, use low fat cheese.

Top the pizza off with your favorite veggies and low fat meat! We love bell peppers, onions, spinach, and ground turkey (cooked) or turkey pepperoni! Bake the pizza until the cheese is bubbly, about 8 minutes. Cut into 8 slices and enjoy!!

SOURCES Crust Recipe: Food Network; Sauce Recipe: Oatmeal with a Fork


Healthy Habits to Kick off the New Year Right

Happy New Year! We cannot believe that it’s officially 2018. To kick off the year on the right foot, we’re sharing a week of our top New Year’s resolutions. Today’s resolution: developing healthy habits!

Today, we’re channeling one of our favorite books -- The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. If you haven’t read it, you should definitely head over to Amazon and grab a copy, it will change your life! In his book, Hal discusses the six healthy habits that everyone should start their day with, he calls them the Life S.A.V.E.R.S. and they can be done in as few as six minutes every day! Building off of this, we’re sharing our top picks for healthy habits everyone should work to create in this new year!

Image Source: Lifestyle and Design Online

Image Source: Lifestyle and Design Online

Making Your Bed Every Morning

If the first thing you do each and every morning is make your bed, congratulations, you’ve already done one productive thing today! This small task can set the tone for your day and kickstart your productivity. And, it also makes your room look so much tidier!

Meditating

Did you know that some of the most successful people meditate? It’s true! Taking even just a few minutes each morning (and again before bed if you can!) to clear your mind is immensely beneficial. This helps you to regain focus and clarity in your life. Meditation is also helpful if you suffer from anxiety! For beginners, try some guided meditation through an app on your phone like Calm or Headspace to get started.

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Journaling

Journaling is a great way to collect your thoughts. Whether it’s just a review of your day, your goals, or even a list of things that you’re thankful of! Writing is so therapeutic and a great way to work through different situations. Building off of each day, it’s a great way to keep track of your progress and have something tangible you can review at the end of the year to see just how far you’ve come.

Getting Enough Sleep

In the era of the side-hustle, we tend to always be on the go and in constant motion. It’s important to take care of your body, unplug, and get enough sleep! While it may take a few extra hours out of your day, it will make the time you’re awake for more productive. And, making sure you get enough sleep helps keep your immune system strong; no one has time to be sick! Start off this new year fresh and well-rested to avoid a burnout.

Image Source: Nutritional Wellness Tips

Image Source: Nutritional Wellness Tips

Drinking Enough Water

Hydration, hydration, hydration! Did you know that you’re supposed to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day?! So, if you weigh 120 lbs, you should be drinking 60 oz of water a day. Being hydrated has so many benefits: cleansing your system and flushing out bad bacteria, keeping your skin clear, better digestion, fewer headaches, increases energy, relieves fatigue, and countless more. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated! Drink up!

Making Yourself a Priority

In the wise words of Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle, “treat yo’self!” With all of our hectic schedules and mile-long to do lists, it’s easy to push our needs to the side. Make sure to set some time aside to do something for yourself. Whether it’s buying yourself a small something or even just taking a nice relaxing bath, self-care and self-love should be a priority in the upcoming year!