Rewire the Body | Eat This Not That
So we have all heard and seen the different "eat this vs that" stuff. I know I have. And let me preface this by saying it is so great that we are trying to advance our modern food options by offering the 'healthy' version of things. But lets be honest, some of the modern substitutes for our favorite sinful foods, are absolutely horrible, both in taste and for your body. Artificial lab created chemicals is never good for your body.
Have you ever had gluten free high protein low carb chickpea pasta.... yeah, its about as bad as you can imagine. You realllly have to pair it with a meaty & strong marinara to mask the strange chickpea flavor and texture, or rich flavorful bolognese for it to be even slightly enjoyable. Which, when I did do a bolognese I will admit it was decent. BUT... I tried it with tomato soup (my weird family tradition- don't judge) and for the first time in my life, didn't finish my bowl. All I could taste was the wierd pungent flavor and the texture was so off... And I can eat pretty much anything. It was rough. So moral of the story here is that healthy food swaps are not as easy as some will lead you to believe.
The fake sugars, healthy carb substitutes, and waxy 'chocolate' alternatives are not the only option for indulgence while retaining your girlish figure. Yes, your diet should be healthy. Ideally, it should not contain high amounts of dairy, gluten, saturated fats, or refined sugars. However, I don't think replacing the "bad stuff" with tasteless and strangely textured alternatives needs to be the only option here. What I have found works best for me is this:
EAT THE chocolate.
And yes, I do mean the full fat, full calorie, full delicious chocolate. That delicious hot bowl of spaghetti, take out box of pad Thai, or plate of alfredo linguini. That decadent chocolate cake a la mode. BUT, only eat it once in a while. Nobody is going to loose weight eating daily plates of 1,800 calorie alfredo linguini (not the way I make it anyway) BUT, indulging in it every once in awhile- there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, when I eat the real thing, I end up eating far less calories than when I try to substitute that craving for something else.
Same with pizza. or Cake. Or ice cream. Whatever your 'thing' is, do it right, but don't do it often. Everything in moderation. Stick with the gluten free, dairy free, sugar free diet MOST of the time. but every so often, indulge. Check out the example from Ilona below.
This photo (and most of them below) are from a giant article written by a wonderful blogger that goes by Ilona. Go check her out.
Ilona really puts in perspective how the food swap should actually look her article titled:
"Woman Shows How Easy It Is To Lose Weight By Making 39 Genius Food Swaps"
You can view the original page source and article here.
Below I have posted her substitute photos that she posted in her above article and have (per usual) narrated each with my own personal opinions.
Ok, so this looks like your standard substitutions. Dark chocolate i happen to prefer so this wasn't difficult for me. We use coconut oil for literally everything in our house so that wasn't a sacrifice for us. And, the fact that I cannot have dairy anyway, guac works for me.
Ok so anyone who knows me will tell you- I loved my starbucks. Giving up my large sugar free caramel frappacino made with coconut milk, drizzle with caramel, and an added shot of espresso... that was one of the harder choices I have made. But it saves me 680 calories and $7 every time I make that choice. The above photo really hit home for me because of that. In last weeks article I mentioned that my downfall used to be beverages. That was definitely a challenge for me. BUT I can confidentially say, that I have been starbucks and energy drink free for over a year, and to be honest... I don't miss it! Don't get me wrong I like those things, it just doesnt bother me to not have them anymore.
I cant tell you how many times I would swing through a Starbucks or Tim Horton's on my way to work a wedding and grab one of these bad boys. And for what? Nearly a thousand empty calories and my entire daily value of refined sugars. I love bagels also and I didn't realize that an everything bagel with extra cream cheese was literally 490 calories. This was part of my calorie awareness that struck me so hard. I was investing my entire days worth of calories in a passive "snack"... not even a full meal! And not to mention between the drink and the bagel I was spending about $12 each time! It was just not a sustainable habit.
Being more calorie aware and eliminating toxic foods (gluten, dairy, sugar) has significantly helped my make those choices throughout the day.
Ok, so this goes back to my Calories article as well- the real calories in the "healthy" fast food choices I thought I was making. Guys, just because it seems healthy, that doesn't mean it is or that it has low calories. In fact, most of the time if it is from a restaurant, it is way higher in sodium, preservatives, and calories than you would expect.
Full disclosure, not a whole lot from this photo surprised me. I've known for a long time that subway wasn't the healthiest thing for you... lets be honest its a pile of dry toasted bread, slathered in cheese and processed meat, that you need 1/4 lb of mayonnaise just to swallow. Not going to lie, I did always assumed the tortilla wrap substitution was good for you though. Little did i know that the tortilla alone is nearly 400 calories. McDonalds in general is pretty much known as that "horrible fast food place", so I was actually surprised that a McDouble's protein to calorie ratio was so great (as long as you eliminate the cheese)
BUT The most eye opening thing on this list, for me, was actually the oatmeal. I'm not a huge oatmeal person, however, my son loves it so I keep it around the house. I wasn't surprised to find that the calories in McDonalds oatmeal is right around 300. But, when I looked up the sugar and calories in the instant oatmeal I had at the house, I was shocked. Don't get me wrong, there are healthy oatmeal options, just apparently not the variety I was buying and giving my son every morning. I have since switched to raw steel cut version and pumped it up with coconut milk, cinnamon, omega-3 rich kerrygold irish butter(for him- not me), coconut flakes, chopped nuts, and a dash of sugar free maple syrup. There are also the healthy instant brands I am dying to try-
I'll let you guys know how these brands work out. I am especially excited about that think thin banana bread option... I'm definitely a banana girl.
OK, so aside from your avocado oil Mayo, there is also your coconut oil mayo, plain old mustard alternative, or (my personal favorite) chipotle mayo. I love big bold flavors so for sandwhiches and tuna, my mayo alternative is chipotle avocado mayo. I love mixing it into a can of albacore tuna, slapping it on a piece of open face whole grain gluten free bread, tossing it in a pan to grill it with just a dab of coconut oil, topped with sliced avocado and roma tomato, salt pepper and lemon juice, and... yeah. Its stupid good.
We all know candy bars arnt healthy. Sub those bad boys out with dark chocolate and fruit or protein bars (in moderation- those things still have calories, fats, and refined sugars) For the salt, we use sea salt and iodized salt on a daily basis but definitely love our Himalayan pink salts or black salt for special dishes.
Anyway, you all get the jist. Everything in moderation fam. Make good food choices. & On that note, here are more "fun fast food vs home made" examples. Enjoy, and thank Ilona for the imagery!