Substituting Snacks: Crap to Clean

Is your Potato Crisps and cans of Coca-Cola begging you to keep them each time you desperately try clear out all the junk food in the pantry? Are you struggling to let go of those yummy snacks that your taste buds love but your stomach seems to feel the opposite toward? Sometimes it's just as easy as substituting!
Now let’s get one thing out of the way here and let me be honest with you: I don’t always eat that healthy.
I eat my greens, I love my fruits, and I love creating new healthy dishes at dinner time. However, occasionally I do snack on crap, I do choose the big bowl of pasta over the scrawny salad at restaurants and I do binge on chocolate.
Don’t get me wrong, if I could create healthy dishes every night and choose expensive restaurants that make yummy wholesome foods I would. But because it isn’t always possible for me and many others out there, I try not to put too much pressure on myself when I don’t stick to the “guidelines” of a healthy eater.
Never the less, I consider myself a healthy person because I listen to my body and that is the biggest step in healthy eating.
Chances are your body is not telling you it needs chocolate, in this case your body may need the magnesium and your mind obviously goes straight for the sugary sweet addiction instead of a good source of magnesium like nuts.
Sometimes we just need that little bit of a push to not only acknowledge what our bodies needs but act on it in a healthy and positive way. This is where today’s blog can help you!
I am sure most of you have heard that a good tip to start eating healthier is to create alternatives to the bad foods. Can’t seem to stop the cravings for pasta but know it makes your stomach gurgle and feel off? Try zoodles! Can’t seem to stop those cravings for ice cream around that time of the month? Try frozen banana ice cream!
It’s 2019, we have access to every tip, trick and recipe out there by simply turning our phone on. So if it’s not necessarily healthy or if it upsets your stomach and your unsure on what to substitute it with, get googling or turn to your favourite bloggers/lifestyle YouTubers.
To help with this research, I have concocted a list of some of my personal favourite healthy alternatives to the foods we all have trouble letting go of when it comes to creating better eating habits:

Potato Crips/Chips

1. Baked vegetables. If it’s a vegetable, you can pretty much shape it into anything you want and call it, ‘Healthy pasta or chips’. Just cut up and bake potato, sweet potato, zucchini, carrot, beetroot, kale etc. With different herbs and spices of your choice and a bit of coconut or olive oil, and you are set!
2. The Lazy Gal Hack. Healthy crisps you get in packets at the shops can be a little bit of a hit and miss at times but I try to not worry too much at the moment. As long as you read the ingredients, you understand them, and you can count how many their own on your fingers, then it is safer than your average ‘unhealthy’ crisps. It honestly just depends on what you like and want! For the Aussie’s out there, I highly recommend Calbee’s Harvest Snaps (Baked Pea Crips), these are so yummy with no nasties. You can buy all sorts of vegetable crisps like this out there!
3. Popcorn. And no, I don’t mean the salty buttery stuff you zap in the microwave at sleepovers. I mean the no nasties stuff! There are so many different brands of healthy popcorn out there with low calories and no crap.

Pasta

1. Again, vegetables! For pasta though, I would spiralize it. You can get cheap spiralizing tools from shops like Target and Kmart (for the Aussies), or even online! If you do not have this, then pick up the peeler and use that. The two main vegetables I create pasta with are zucchini’s and sweet potato's.

Ice cream

1. Bananas! Even if you don’t like bananas, this ones for you. All you need is frozen bananas and a creative mind to find the best flavours you can mix with, and you have creamy flavoursome goop, just like ice cream. (Get googling with this one, there is endless recipes out there that use this frozen banana base with different flavours and techniques that will suit your craving needs!)

Lollies & Chocolate

1. Fruit & nut mix. Lollies are hard to create alternatives to because no matter what you choose to replace it with, you won’t ever really get that sugary sweet taste that lollies give you. When it comes to replacing lollies you just have to accept that it won’t be the same unfortunately. Instead of sitting around munching on lollies, a good alternative to sit and munch on is fruit and nut mix. These are full of protein and other nutrients that our body craves and the dried fruit, while high in sugar, can help us overcome that craving for lollies.
2. Cacao. Chocolate is generally easier to substitute than lollies purely for the wonderful super food Cacao. There are so many recipes out there using cacao that replace chocolatey sweets like brownies and chocolate bars. A simple recipe that I personally love is cacao, coconut oil, coconut, organic rice puffs and maple syrup. I mix these together, put the mixture into a baking pan flat and put them in the fridge till it sets, you then cut them into square bars. This is like a little healthy LCM bar!
3. Protein Balls. These can be created into many different flavours and they help you stay full! Stay updated with my blog and I will share my protein ball recipe that I swear by.

Soft Drink

1. Water with fruits of your choosing. This is honestly a life saver, not only to substitute soft drinks but to simply jazz up your water and help you drink more throughout the day! You can get so creative with this because there are so many combinations out there from lemon and blueberries to strawberry and mint. Yummmy.
2. Get cold brew tea bags. It adds fruity flavours to your cold water without you having to buy and cut up all the fruit! These are delicious and the flavours last so long.
3. Kombucha. This drink is fermented black/green tea that promotes good gut bacteria, as it is a culture of bacteria and yeast, providing a great source of probiotics. It’s so easy to find in stores and it has amazing health benefits. (The best brand is Remedy Kombucha: My personal favourite flavours are raspberry lemonade and cherry plum!)

Cake

1. Anything healthy! Cake is pretty versatile in the fact that you can pretty much add any healthy alternative ingredient you want to make it healthier. Ingredients like coconut flour, nut flour, cacao, coconut sugar, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, nut butters, etc. Just swap the ‘bad’ ingredients for healthier substitutes and your good to go.

 

Alochol

There is no alternative…. Drink up 😉 Haha no but seriously, there are ‘healthier’ alcohol mixes than others and here are a few that might tickle your fancy:

1. Red wine: Full of antioxidants and could help your heart health!

2. Champagne: Lower in calories and contains antioxidants.

3. Blood Mary

4. Vodka and soda

5. Gin

We all know alcohol is not the best liquid we could be putting in our bodies and we can’t really look out for the ingredients. The only thing we can be watch out for other than the drink itself is calories. But if you want to cut out completely then I recommend kombucha!

 

If I could share with you all my substitute recipes I would but you’d be here for a while, and let’s be honest, your much better off spending that time creating your own! With a bit of research, trial and error you can find some great alternative recipes and foods that will agree with your tummy.

Get creative and first substitute the mindset ‘I have to eat this instead’ to the mindset ‘I want to eat this instead’. Cooking and creating should be fun, just because it doesn’t have high sodium and sugar does not mean it can’t be fun anymore!

Everyone is different, and it just depends on what your body feels like and what YOU want to cut out. Some of these things may not worry you when it comes to healthy eating and that is okay. You get to choose what you want to substitute and create.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go eat some baked pea crisps with a glass of champagne!

 

Love always,

Ashlyn Ann