Nutritional habits are not easy to change. In fact, change in general isn’t easy. Oftentimes, we try to change too much all at once, ultimately setting ourselves up for failure. Other times, it can be too overwhelming to change particular eating habits that have been part of our lives for decades.
However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make changes, especially when it comes to improving our health. The idea is to start small with changes that are easy to make, like swapping out current eating habits with healthier options. Swaps are easy, they don’t compromise taste, and they’re effective. Here are five easy swaps you can start making today:
Fruit instead of fruit juice: Swapping out fruit juice with fruit is a quick, easy fix that cuts down a lot of extra sugar and calories. For example, one 8-ounce glass of orange juice contains 21 grams of sugar whereas one whole orange contains 9 grams of sugar. This swap is easy because you don’t have to compromise taste for better health.
Homemade ice pops: If you have ever roamed the Popsicle aisle of the grocery store in search of a tasty treat and flipped over the package to view the nutrition label and ingredients, then you know the pickings are slim when it comes to healthy choices. However, you can still enjoy fruit ice pops if you simply make them yourself. Take your favorite juice and pick up some molds from the store. Fill one-half to three-quarters of each mold with juice and then fill the rest of the mold with water. Pop the mold in the freezer, and later you will have a low-sugar treat with no artificial ingredients.
Cook with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is not only a great protein-packed snack, but it’s also a great substitution for cooking with oil, butter, sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise and buttermilk. Go online and search for a conversion chart that will outline the amount of Greek yogurt needed to make the perfect swap when cooking. Chances are you won’t notice a difference in taste, but the health benefits will increase exponentially.
Darken up your leafy greens: While iceberg lettuce is by no means unhealthy, it certainly lacks vitamins and minerals. When it comes to lettuce and greens, the darker the better. Next time you go grocery shopping, trade in your iceberg lettuce for some dark greens like spinach or kale. By doing so, you will benefit from higher doses of vitamins A and K, calcium and iron.
Check that salad dressing: Another household staple that can turn a healthy meal into a not-so-healthy meal is salad dressing. There are a few easy ways to make salad dressing better for you. The first option is to follow a homemade recipe free from artificial ingredients. You could also substitute your current dressing with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. And possibly the easiest and most surprisingly tasty alternative is squeezing a fresh lemon or lime on top of your salad.
Jason DeHenzel has trained some of New York’s most prestigious clients, including high-profile lawyers, advertising executives, movie producers and musicians. Sophie DeHenzel is a Pn1-certified nutritionist and former downhill ski racer. The pair founded DeHenzel Training Systems, a 2015 Home-Based Business of the Year from the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. DeHenzel Training Systems develops customized fitness plans for clients of different abilities, experience and commitment. Find out more at dtsnova.com.