Eat This, Not That!

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I have struggled with my weight pretty much my whole life.  The truth is, I love food.  It’s delicious.  Who doesn’t like to eat what they love?  The problem is, some of the things we love just aren’t that good for us.  There are some things we should only eat occasionally or in small amounts which is totally a buzz-kill, right?  I think so.  


So I have been on a mission to replace all of my favorite addictions with something that is similar in deliciousness but better for me.  It’s not always easy to quit something cold turkey, but in my opinion, it’s easier than making a gradual shift.  If I am going to make a switch, I want to do it like taking off a band-aid.  Quick and painless.  Well, mostly painless.  There might be a little sting.  Here are some of the things that I love (or loved in a past, unhealthier life) that I have replaced with better for me foods.

  1. Cereal with milk – I used to eat sugary cereal and milk for breakfast or as a snack after dinner.  Let me just say that when you eat cereal, you’re likely eating more than one serving in your bowl.  Try having some granola or even just oatmeal with dried fruit.  You can add almond or coconut milk instead of your regular cow milk.  Sweeten it with honey or agave if needed.
  2. Mac & Cheese / White Rice – Delicious, creamy, cheesy noodles…  Mmmm.  Sorry, I’m a jerk.  But seriously, you can make some really yummy cold pasta salads with gluten free noodles.  It’s lighter, healthier and filling!  Or if you can’t give up your mac & cheese, throw some pureed veggies into your cheese sauce.  Your kids will NEVER know.  Replace white rice with brown rice, quinoa or barley!
  3. Ice Cream – I can kill a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in one setting if I don’t stop myself.  Phish Food is what my dreams are made of.  I can get the same happiness from some yummy greek yogurt with fruit or granola though.  I really like the Mueller brand that has the yummy side of fruit as well as Noosa (mmm cherry and lemon!).  You can also sprinkle on some chia seeds or chocolate covered hemp seeds (yes, I totally bought some of these the other day) for added crunchy goodness.
  4. Soda – I used to be addicted to Dr. Pepper, but I have recovered!  I found some sparkling water that has lime/lemon/berry fruit essence.  It really curbs my carbonation craving.  Just avoid the ones with fake sweetener (aspartame)!  There are also some good sodas out there made with real sugar and not HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).  I will get myself a 6-pack of Hansen’s Cherry Vanilla Creme Soda maybe once or twice a year.  That 6 pack will last me a good month at least because I’m just not used to drinking soda anymore. 
  5. Sweet Tea – Hello.  You aren’t a real Texas if you don’t LOVE sweet tea.  I’m addicted and while I still have my regular sweet tea at family gatherings (thank you, Grandmama), I drink green tea mixed with a flavored tea (usually peach or raspberry) on a regular basis.  It helps me get in my water intake as well!
  6. French Fries – Have you tried sweet potato fries?  You can bake them to get them crispy without frying them.  DELISH!  You can also bake up some veggie “fries” like zucchini (slice in half and sprinkle with a little grated parmesan cheese before baking until browned on top).
  7. Candy – I have a major sweet tooth.  I LOVE chocolate.  I’ve started getting organic/fair trade/non-gmo/sprinkled with unicorn dust dark chocolate because not only is it better for me than milk chocolate, it’s not SO amazing that I want to eat an entire bar.  I can break off a piece and my sweet tooth is satisfied.  I also like to eat freeze dried fruit (especially pineapple!) as candy!  That stuff is YUMMY!
  8. Red Meat – Ground beef can have a lot of fat.  If it doesn’t have a lot of fat, it’s pretty pricey these days.  Ground turkey is super lean, costs less and does everything that ground beef can do!  I make turkey tacos, turkey chili and even turkey meatloaf!
  9. Chips and Dip / Condiments – Fritos and bean dip are pretty amazing, but full of salt and fat.  There are a many healthier dips including hummus, salsa, tzatziki or guacamole.  They are easy to make and pair perfectly with veggie sticks/slices (carrots, cucumbers, celery, etc) or pita chips.  If you’re super awesome and use a juicer, you can make yourself some ultra hippie pulp crackers.  You can use the dips in place of spreads on sandwiches or even in place of salad dressing.  Mayonnaise, ketchup and ranch dressing have a lot of empty calories!
  10. Butter – Now who doesn’t love delicious, artery-clogging butter?  You put it on toast, in your pasta, on your waffles and in your saute pan.  You can replace that fattening butter with coconut oil.  Coconut fats have medium chain triglycerides which lead to more efficient energy burning when broken down.  Using coconut oil can actually help you get rid of stubborn tummy fat.  

Next time you go grocery shopping, try to make sure you shop from mostly the outside edges of the store.  Fresh fruits, veggies, meats, yogurts, and cheeses are what you should be consuming more of rather than foods in boxes or cans.  If convenience is an issue, try to make out a meal plan and make up some freezer/crock pot meals of your own.  I am working on a healthy meal plan to share here on the website, but until then, find a way to be accountable for what you put in your body.  Set timers on your phone to eat an apple.  Draw little veggies in your planner and cross them off as you consume your daily servings.  Once you get into a habit of eating smart, you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing it all along!

What food/drink addictions are you proud to have given up?

Comments on this post

Not sure if it interests you any, but…

1) I’m ordering a nut milk bag to make seed milk and will eventually be making vegan cereal from a recipe I’m going to allergy-free-ify using the seed pulp… healthy cereal? ;) I’ve also found granola and whatnot, and blah. There are a lot of cereal recipes online, and they don’t have all that junk you can’t pronounce. Win-win? :)

2) Have you heard of spaghetti squash? :D I want to get some SO bad, but I don’t know where to look. Anyways, this, for some reason, reminds me of mashed potatoes… have you ever made mashed cauliflower? ;)

3) I can’t remember the EXACT measurements I used, but for banana ice cream, you need approximately 1/4 c ice, 1 large banana, 2 tsp vanilla, and dairy-free milk to make it creamy, as desired. It’s literally dairy-free ice cream, and the sugars are natural, provided the milk is unsweetened. Tastes great with Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips!

4) One of the things I want to learn to make is soda. Like, from fruits and whatnot. I think it’s possible. I could have completely allergy-free soda if I made it on my own, because it wouldn’t have preservatives/misc. crap in it that doesn’t make sense/may be a mold. OMG, what was that soda from the GFAF Expo? That, and the energy drink, was so good.

I still feel like Mike’s Apple Crisp was soda and not beer. :p

6) I love sweet potato fries. They have so much more flavor packed into them than the regular potatoes do. The only thing is, Grandmama doesn’t like sweet potatoes much. I think she said she got sick over them once? Anyways, that doesn’t mean we haven’t had them in the house—and I think she ate one sweet potato fry once, just to taste it. :p

7) I kind of like candy. Like with soda, I really want to make my own candy sans preservatives.

8) I eat chicken and like ground turkey, too. I despise red meat… I read in multiple places that red meat actually wears people down? I can’t eat it, because it always makes me so exhausted. I made really good turkey burgers once that had, like, barbecue and some other seasoning in them… they were really good! I want to try some homemade veggie burgers, though. c:

10) I found a vegan alternative to butter that I’m going to try to make allergy-free. Whilst I love drowning my baked potatoes in it, it always makes me feel instantly drained. <.>