So, you’ve decided it’s time to get in shape and start living a healthier lifestyle. Great! Now where to begin?
Exercising, drinking WuLong, and quitting soda are all fabulous starts, but what will you eat on a daily basis?
Sure, there are a bunch of diets you can try, but you want something you can stick with and will taste good too. After all, healthier food doesn’t have to taste like cardboard.
I’m always on the hunt to find some really delicious and healthy recipes to add into my daily life.
However, a lot of the recipes I stumble upon contain ingredients I don’t have on hand or the recipe doesn’t seem like something I would enjoy.
I decided then to give my old recipes a new facelift with some healthier substitutions.
Read on for some simple, yet DELICIOUS ways to add in a variety of healthy substitutes to your favorite family recipes!
AVOCADO CHICKEN SALAD
Chicken salad is ALWAYS a summer time favorite. It is easy to make, can be prepared in advance, and is used in a variety of ways (pita, wrap, stuffed in tomatoes, etc.).
However, the problem with a traditional chicken salad recipe is it’s LOADED with mayonnaise.
Did you know that 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise is 100 calories and some recipes call for at least ½ cup or more??? YUCK!! And don’t get me started on the amount of unhealthy fats and disgusting concoction of chemicals in traditional mayo.
This is a SERIOUS issue for those of us who are trying to eat healthy.
Luck for you, I have found a VERY delicious solution.
Plain Greek yogurt and a ripe avocado (or 2) mashed together and mixed with shredded chicken and spices.
When I made this for my husband, we not only didn’t have any leftovers, but we never missed the mayonnaise – it was THAT delicious!
I like to double (or triple) the recipe so I have lunch for a couple of days! It definitely doesn’t last very long though in our house. Even our 1-year-old daughter can’t seem to get enough of it!
Bring this Avocado Chicken salad to your next summer get-together as a dip for veggies or tortilla chips, or make pinwheels from a tortilla! The options are endless and everyone will LOVE the tasty, healthy, and filling snack!
Another trick…throw some chicken pieces into the crockpot with a cup of brewed WuLong Tea. Cook on high for about 4 hours (or until done) and use for your Avocado Chicken Salad. This will add in another level of healthy antioxidants and a melt-in-your-mouth flavor, kicking your salad up about 10 notches!!
Turkey Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries
Feeling like having a burger and fries? No problem!
Ground turkey and sweet potatoes are the perfect substitute!
Just make a patty with the turkey, season with your favorite spices and grill until done. Top with your favorite veggies and wrap in butter lettuce for a delicious turkey burger wrap! YUM!
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just have a french fry craving that I can’t shake. But, it’s not for the usual white potato fries….nope. It’s for sweet potato fries!
Simply cut a sweet potato into strips, lightly coat in olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder and bake until crispy (20-30 min @ 450 degrees).
Added bonus? The high levels of vitamin A and beta-carotene in sweet potatoes are excellent for skin healing since beta-carotene fights the free radicals which effect skin aging. Awesome!
Just be careful of the prepackaged sweet potato fries in the freezer section…these can contain other ingredients that you’d rather not have in your body. It may be more convenient, but remember, it’s not always the best choice. For more information on ingredients to stay away from, read about the 11 Foods That Should Be Illegal and how to Spring Clean Your Pantry – arm yourself with knowledge!
Do you love Italian food?
Is your lasagna recipe a family favorite? I know it’s a favorite in our house since my husband is Italian.
Next time your family requests this delicious, yet very high calorie dinner, try substituting your lasagna or pasta noodles with zucchini ribbons.
Thin strips or ribbons of zucchini are a great stand in for carb-packed pastas. Simply sauté the ribbons for a few minutes until soft and then layer in your baking dish. Super simple!
Another fun way to prepare zoodles, is to get yourself a spiralizer and have a blast creating ZOODLES! Eat them raw or lightly steamed for a low-carb, nutritious substitute for high calorie pasta.
It’s a Friday night and the ‘old’ you would pick up your phone and call in a pizza for dinner.
Easy peasy and delicious: not to mention high in calories.
Want to know a healthier alternative?
Cauliflower pizza crust. It may sound strange, but it’s delicious and easy to make!
Knowing what’s in your food and preparing it yourself is KEY to staying healthy.
Delicious & Nutritious Snacks
It’s easy to think of healthier versions for your main meals, but what about that candy craving you just can’t kick?
Frozen fruit in cucumber water is the perfect substitute!
Just get an ice cube tray, cube some watermelon, let freeze, then dip in cucumber water or use them as ice cubes and enjoy. Once these treats are ready, you will be devouring them like a bag of skittles. It’s fun to try different variations to find just what you like. Plus, on a hot day these snacks are SO refreshing!
Another snack idea is fruit leather. Gone are the sugar-laden fruit roll-ups or fruit snacks found at the grocery. It’s time to make your own – and it’s SO easy!
Currently it’s mango season where I live and we have an ABUNDANCE on our trees out back. Aside from giving the mangoes away, I’ve had to become pretty creative with ways to use up this amazing fruit that is at my fingertips!
You can make fruit leather with any fruit (except maybe watermelon and grapes – they’re too wet). Grab your favorite fruit, blend it up and bake for a few hours and voila, you have a delicious snack that is free of preservatives, added sugar and toxic chemicals.
Desserts are hard to stay away from when you’re trying to eat healthier.
While it won’t hurt to have a treat once in a while, substituting healthier ingredients in your recipes can help keep you on track.
Like what, you ask?
When you are craving brownies as your once-in-a-while treat, swap out the flour for a can of black beans (drained and rinsed, of course). This is a great way to cut out the gluten and fit in an extra dose of protein. When baking, swap out 1-cup flour for 1-cup black bean puree (about a 15 oz can).
If you’re craving cookies, substituting applesauce in place of sugar can give the necessary sweetness without the extra calories and, well, sugar.
While one cup of unsweetened applesauce contains only about 100 calories, a cup of sugar can pack in more than 770 calories! YIKES!
Pro tip: you can sub sugar for applesauce in a 1:1 ratio, but for every cup of applesauce you use, reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup.
If fruit is what you like to enjoy as your dessert, make sure you check out our Smoothie Recipes With 1 Secret Ingredient. These delicious smoothies are also great when frozen and eaten as homemade sorbet! You can’t get much better than that!
By using these simple substitutions you can still enjoy your favorite family recipes with less guilt.
Eating healthy is not rocket science. It’s so simple to come up with healthy alternatives that still taste delicious!
What are some substitutions you’ve used to stay healthy and on track?
Let me know in the comments below!
Cheers to you!
Yours in Health & Happiness,
P.S. Don’t forget that you can also cook with your delicious WuLong tea on a daily basis! Find out how versatile it can be and why you should be adding it into your everyday recipes!
Make sure you have enough tea on hand to cook with, make smoothies with and to drink iced and hot this summer! Stock up now and ensure you never run out!