Hi! Today I have a fantastic healthy food guest post from Celeste Galizia. Celeste is the creator and writer of Where Comes The Sun. She loves writing about health, self-improvement, goal setting and anything that can improve a person’s life. Her motto is: “Done is better than perfect” and her favorite things are: her blog, her dog (a Bernese) and pizza!
I guess we’ve all being on a diet at one point in our lives. Maybe you are right now.
And often it’s not just about a diet, it’s about embracing a healthier lifestyle, and make better eating choices. Because we all want to feel stronger and more energized, right?
There are infinite benefits of eating healthy and staying fit, but I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about the tough part of the process.
Because it does get hard, at some point, especially in the beginning.
Sometimes even though we keep mentally repeating the million benefits of eating healthy – and the reasons why we are doing this – all our body screams is ‘extra cheesy pizza!’
Unfortunately, it’s been proven that trying to resist urges will only make them get stronger and stronger until we end up giving up (you can read more about how you can resist and win any type of urge here at number #2)
For example, whenever I tried to be on a diet in the past, it usually went like this:
‘I am hungry’ → *Eats some veggies and salmon* → ‘I want some chips’ → ‘I can’t eat them’ (repeat x100) → *Eats chips while crying in the corner*
At some point, I even thought it was physically impossible for me to be on a diet.
Then I realized that I needed a change.
It was obvious that the situation wouldn’t have changed any soon (unless I had tied myself to a pole with chains and a sign on my chest saying ‘Feed me veggies’ – it would be a great idea for a shirt collection lol)
So I went on Pinterest and started looking for healthy recipes.
And I felt incredibly stupid: there was a world out there full of healthy, delicious foods, while I was here craving a bag of crappy chips.
And this is the GREAT. POWER. OF. ALTERNATIVES, people!
So here are 29 healthier alternatives to your favorite foods (proven to make any craving less harmful!)
1. PIZZA (5 alternatives)
I guess this is a big one for almost everybody, which is why I listed it as first.
In addition to simply using gluten-free flour (instead of regular flour), there are some (other) really interesting ingredients you can use to make a healthy crust for your pizza:
SUGGESTED RECIPE: Zucchini pizza crust by KirbieCravings
SUGGESTED RECIPE: Polenta pizza by StraightUpFood
SUGGESTED RECIPE: Ultimate Quinoa pizza crust by Simplyquinoa
Another idea is to stuff a big mushroom (or an eggplant – but you can find thousands of more ideas on the Internet. The sky is the only limit!) with your favorite pizza toppings.
1 slice of Cheese Pizza: 237 calories — other macros
1 slice of Zucchini Pizza: 170 calories — other macros
1 slice of Polenta Pizza: 45 calories!! — other macros
1 slice of Quinoa Pizza: 90 calories — other macros
2. CHIPS/FRENCH FRIES (9 alternatives)
In addition to making homemade french fries instead of buying those in bags you can get from the supermarket or Macdonalds’, here are some good potatoes substitutes when it comes to chips:
- Zucchini chips SUGGESTED RECIPE: Baked zucchini chips by AspicyPerspective
- Sweet potatoes chips SUGGESTED RECIPE: Baked sweet potato chips by AspicyPerspective
- Avocado chips (yep, this is a thing, and it tastes amazing!) SUGGESTED RECIPE: Avocado fries by Myrecipes
- Banana chips SUGGESTED RECIPE: Banana chips by Cookwithkushi
- Carrot chips SUGGESTED RECIPE: Healthy carrot fries with curry dipping sauce by Eatthegains
- Beet chips SUGGESTED RECIPE: Baked beet chips by Foodiecrush
- Asparagus chips SUGGESTED RECIPE: Crispy Parmesan roasted asparagus by Tiphero
- Pickle chips SUGGESTED RECIPE: Easy fried pickles by Mamalovesfood
- Eggplant chips SUGGESTED RECIPES: Crispy Eggplant fries with aioli by Theenedlessmeal and Vegan crunchy baked eggplant bites by Tasteslovely
Every ingredient in this list can also be baked, so choose according to your preferences.
Honestly, fried vegetables are one of my favorite snacks on Earth!
French fries (100gr): 274 calories — other macros
Zucchini chips: 120 calories — other macros
Sweet potatoes chips: 100 calories — other macros
Avocado chips: 257 calories — other macros
Banana chips: 147 calories — other macros
Carrot chips: 170 calories — other macros
Beet chips: 100 calories — other macros
Asparagus chips: 188 calories — other macros
Pickle chips: 120 calories — other macros
Eggplant chips: 250 calories — other macros
3. NACHOS (best alternative)
The absolute best thing you can do to make this meal healthy is replacing tortillas with baked potatoes.
This simple switch will allow you to get a double portion (yes, you read that correctly!) for the same amount of calories!
See with your eyes:
Regular serving of nachos (with beans, salsa, jalapenos and 100 gr of cheese) 911 calories
One serving of potato nachos (with beans, salsa, jalapenos and 50 gr of cheese) 506 calories
4. CAKES, CHOCOLATE, COOKIES – OR ANYTHING THAT CONTAINS PROCESSED SUGAR (14 alternatives)
It’s no secret that if you want to lose fat (in the fastest way possible) you need to keep your insulin levels low.
And to keep them low, the first thing you need to do is stop eating processed sugar.
If at the end of your meals you’re still craving something sweet, opt for some fruit: it will not only have that sweet taste you’re craving but will also make you feel full for longer (due to the high fiber content).
You can also pair fruit with some almond milk and make a smoothie!
It’s as easy as that!
HEALTHY INGREDIENTS (ALTERNATIVES) TO MAKE ANY RECIPE HEALTHY
Here I included a list of alternatives to the basic ingredients we use to cook our everyday meals (so that you can basically turn every recipe you find on Pinterest in a healthier one!)
- almond milk
- rice milk (my favorite! it’s so sweet!)
- lentils milk
Eggs are not unhealthy, but in case you’re opting for a more vegan diet, here is what you can use:
- unsweetened applesauce
- vegetable oil
- peanut butter
- olive oil
- coconut oil
- mashed avocados
- almond butter
- mashed avocados
- low-fat plain Greek yogurt
- olive oil
- gluten-free flour
- black beans
- unsweetened applesauce
Below you can see more details on how to use each ingredient.
SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD DO BEFORE CHANGING YOUR DIET
1. GET YOUR MIND RIGHT
The first thing I recommend you do is giving yourself a reason. Apart from the six-pack, why are you doing this? Why are you giving up your pizza?
And after you found your “why”, remind it to yourself when things get rough (better if in front of a mirror).
Choose one (and only one!) affirmation you can repeat when you feel like quitting. Mine is ‘I am eating to energize, nourish my body and make it strong’- having a reason keeps me going during the most difficult times.
Also, the fact that I am choosing to eat something make it taste better. I’m not kidding! Literally, the broccoli has never been tastier!
2. GET PREPARED (it’s gonna be hard)
A very wise man (#thanksdaddy) once told me ‘If there are no problems, it means you’re not trying hard enough’.
Use the plateaus and the bad moments to get even more motivated.
Tell yourself that if it’s tough, it means you’re working hard, and if you’re working hard, it means you care.
You’re doing something great: you are caring for yourself, your health and your general wellbeing. You are doing this to live longer and feel better, be proud of it.
It’s proven that stressing yourself out will only make the process slower and actually make you gain fat more easily. So take it easy on yourself.
As you saw, it’s really easy to replace your favorite foods with healthier – and sometimes even tastier – alternatives.
All you need is to be open-minded and use your fantasy in the kitchen!
Once you’ll have satisfied any of your cravings with better, healthier alternatives, it will get easier and easier to get in shape (and enjoy the whole process!)
And, most importantly, you will be able to make this a long-term choice (which is what you should aim for, in the end).
Believe me or not (I used to be a huge junk food lover!) once your body will get used to your new habits of working out and eating healthier, you will start craving more healthy and fresh foods!
Thank you once again to Celeste for this awesome healthy eating post! Please show your support and head over to Celeste’s blog, Where Comes the Sun for more great posts like this!
And don’t forget to save this excellent resource to your Favorite Pinterest Board!