Sunday, October 4, 2015

What's in Your Substitute?

So when you hear the word “healthy”, do you cringe?  Does the image of plain salads and dry chicken instantly pop into your mind?  Maybe it’s because people believe they have to give up all their favorite foods to be healthy, or at least only have one “cheat day” before going back to drinking gallons of water each day and eating tasteless vegetables.  Well not anymore!  People, let me introduce “the food substitute.”  Yes, eating your favorite foods can still be done, just with some minor changes to your recipes.  Will they taste exactly the same?  Probably not.  But would you rather forgo pizza, fries, and desserts until you just can’t take it anymore?  Or, would you rather be satisfied, eat them a few times a week, and slowly change your tastes to a more healthy version?  I vote for the later. 

Everyone likes pizza, right?  But did you know, a single slice of pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut has roughly 370 calories?!  That’s for just one slice (and who eats just one slice?!).  But, what if I said, make your own and substitute the crust for a whole wheat tortilla?  An entire pizza has only 291 calories.  You still can eat pizza, just a slightly healthier version.  To cut even more calories, try using turkey pepperoni (and do I dare even suggest going vegetarian) and 2% mozzarella cheese! 

Fries.  I understand that every now and again, you just need to have those hot, crispy, golden-to- perfection, salty fries from the infamous Golden Arches.  But, what if you crave them more than just a few times a year?  A medium fry has 340 calories, not including the sandwich and the soda/milkshake.  How about baking your fries?  Or switching it up and using a sweet potatoes?  Your new total is 102 calories per serving!

And finally, dessert.  Summer and warm weather calls for ice cream.  Who am I kidding?  Every day is a reason for ice cream.  But can our waistlines really afford this indulgence?  Hardly.  A serving of Häagen-Dazs strawberry ice cream has roughly 250 calories in half a cup.  (I think my local ice cream stand missed that serving size memo).  Alternative?  How about some homemade fresh strawberry snow cones?  You’re down to 90 calories for the same serving amount!

Is indulging in your favorite foods every now and again bad?  Definitely no.  But eating greasy, high-fat foods even a few times a week puts our health in jeopardy.  Take a few moments and see what kinds of healthy substitutes you can make to your meals each day.  This may take a while to get used to, but gradually changing your foods and choosing healthier substitutes makes for a much healthier you!  

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