I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen people trying to turn their health around by going to extreme measures with masses of exercise and super limiting diets.
They start out so well with enthusiasm and amazing dedication.
But the fact is, the whole regime is usually too radical and strict. It’s too much too soon and isn’t actually sutainable. So, before you know it, they’ve flipped back into their old habits, but worse, because now they’re also disappointed in themselves for not achieving their goals.
My solution to this is – START WITH BABY STEPS!
Make regular small, achievable changes which will soon blend into massive changes that last.
5 Easy Food Swaps To Start Today
Here are 5 easy food swaps that you can easily implement to start your health kick.
You can build on these with more and more swaps, and before you know it, you won’t even want the sugar and processed foods you once craved.
1. Food Swap:
Fruit Juices and Soft Drinks
Fresh Vegetable Juices and Coconut Water
Fruit juices and soft drinks are packed with sugar. And to top it off, they also contain very few (if any) nutrients! The sugar in these drinks has a huge effect on your body as it doesn’t come with fibre to slow it’s absorption. This means it can rush into your bloodstream so fast that you’ll have a massive blood sugar spike, which will be inevitably followed by a blood sugar crash.
This will lead to sustained blood sugar imbalances, which can lead to issues such as diabletes. It will also leave you feeling tired, can make you irritable and increase cravings for more sugar – which creates an ongoing cycle.
If you start to drink fresh vegetable juices and coconut water instead of these sugary options, you’ll reduce your sugar intake and increase your nutrient intake. Your energy levels will increase, your mood will improve and your blood sugar levels will likely become more stable (providing you’re not eating lots of sugary foods).
2. Food Swap:
Canola Oil or Vegetable Oil
Virgin (Cold Pressed) Coconut Oil
Most common household cooking oils (including olive oil) are highly processed, have been heated to high temperatures (making them rancid) and are actually quite damaging to your health, especailly when used for cooking.
The only oil I cook with is virgin coconut oil and the reason for this is that it’s been through minimal processing and is also one of the few oils able to withstand high temperatures.
Coconut oil’s also packed with nutritional goodness that will provide you with numerous health benefits, such as speeding up metabolism, improving the immune system and helping to stabilise blood sugar levels.
3. Food Swap:
White bread’s made with yeast, which can be aggravating to some people. It’s also high in sugars and starches, contains gluten and contains phytic acid. Phtic acid’s an ‘anti-nutrient’ that’s hard on digestion and prevents the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.
Sourdough is prepared through a traditional method that addresses most of these issues. The starter used to make sourdough digests most of the gluten, starch and sugar present in wheat – to the point that many people who are ‘gluten intolerant’ can actually eat sourdough. Despite this, please seed medical advice before trying sourdough if you’ve been diagnosed with any kind of gluten intolerance.
The starter also breaks down the phytic acid and helps the bread to keep longer than modern white bread.
4. Food Swap:
Snacking On Chips
Snacking On Raw Nuts
Packets of chips are usually made from potatoes – which are a highly sprayed crop. They’re also fried (sometimes twice fried) in vegetable oils that are rancid and damaging to your health. On top of this, they’re smothered in artificial flavourings, additives and preservatives.
Making the switch to snacking on a mixture of raw nuts (soaked and dehydrated if possible) means that you’ll be eating good fats that build up your health. You’ll be increasing your nutrient intake and also adding to the amount of raw food you eat. I’m not saying to eat heaps of nuts every day, but replacing a packet of chips with a handful of nuts to give your body a health boost is an awesome change to make.
5. Food Swap:
Natural Sweeteners – Dates, Honey or Stevia
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll be well aware of my feelings about sugar.
Although I don’t think you should eat much sugar (in any form), if you’re not ready to give it the boot yet, then you should at least be choosing natural sweeteners over white sugar.
White sugar contains no nutritional value. In fact it actually robs your body of nutrients in order for you to digest it. It causes blood sugar fluctuations (and all the health issues that come with that), plus it’s totally addictive.
While natural sweeteners still cause blood sugar fluctuations (because they’re still sugar), they come with other nutrients that can benefit your health. They also often have fiber in them, which slows the absorption of sugar into your blood and they do have their own health benefits when consumed in small amounts.
What Are You Waiting For?
These small swaps will become massive changes.
So get started right now – there’s no time like the present to form a new habit.