We all know how the holiday blame game works. We indulge in a food feast that leaves us feeling fat, sick and guilty then turn around and blame the holidays for massive weight gains (and I don’t mean muscle gains!) we are stuck struggling to burn.
Nowadays we have a ton of healthy substitutes and alternatives at our fingertips. Instead of eliminating or depriving yourself of what you enjoy eating all together, why not swap out ingredients and opt for healthier alternatives?
You’d be surprised at how minimal the difference in taste is, if any at all!
Here are a some pointers…
Pasta. If you’re making pasta, look for pasta made from brown rice, quinoa, chickpeas, beets or even red lentils. There are many different options down your health food pasta aisle you can opt for. Whole Foods has something for everyone. Click here to see the video I made around Whole Foods so you can see for yourself.
Cheese. With so many options to choose from, you can’t go wrong! I know cheese is a weakness for many, including myself but I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see the different vegan options available. It’s no longer about finding a cheese alternative, it’s about finding the brand you like most, which for me, having the smell and taste of cheddar or mozzarella cheese along with healthier ingredients is win-win! So far, I’ve tried Daiya and VioLife. I like VioLife best. Next on my list for cheese sampling is Follow Your Heart.
Oils. My advice when it comes to oils is to keep them at a minimum. Oils are high in fat and I don’t mean the healthy kind. Once extracted from the source it is highly processed and treated which in turn becomes empty calories. There is nothing healthy about oil so use it sparingly. If you want to cook with oil, be sure to use an oil that has high resistance to oxidation. Some examples are Coconut oil, Safflower and Sunflower oils.
Olive oil can be used in salad dressings, baking recipes or any recipe that requires low to medium temps. Be sure to look for extra virgin, cold or expeller pressed and unrefined oils all together. These are going to be your healthier versions.
Flour. When it comes to baking, the healthier flour alternatives are Oat, Brown Rice, Cassava and Buckwheat to give you some ideas. I prefer to use organic, sprouted flour which is by far a much healthier version of them all. These aren’t always easy to find so I typically buy these on Amazon but check with your local health food store first to see if they might have these options. Otherwise, you can find them here.
Sugar. Last but not least, if you have a sweet tooth, sugar is definitely something to consider finding an alternative to. There are several different alternative sugar options to choose from that are not going to include the highly processed toxic junk of white sugar.
My most recommended go-to source is Coconut Palm Sugar. There are other options as well such as Monkfruit and Date sugar but in my opinion, coconut sugar works great and is moderately priced above the rest. It’s similar to brown sugar in taste.
Another sugar option is using fresh medjool dates (pitted) for anything that would require using a blender. Natural sugar sources are going to be your best bet so choose wisely and remember, there is always a healthier option out there. If you have a question about something, post it in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer it. 😉
To see more suggested alternatives for making your holiday recipes guilt-free, head over to my YouTube channel and watch the video here!