I have a confession to make. I. LOVE. FOOD. I mean love doesn’t really even describe how I feel about food, like it makes me so much happier than almost everything else in the world! (I may have a problem…lol) I will eat almost anything once and I can’t even really tell you what my favorite kind of food is because I really love it all… except maybe Indian food, I haven’t quite been able to acquire that taste.
I have so many memories from college that are centered on food and sharing amazing food with all the awesome people in my life. I was never super concerned with how healthy I was being. I mean sure I went to the gym sometimes and drank detox waters and ate chia seeds but I was still eating pizza & Wendy’s & pints of ice cream at 1am.
When I moved, I really wanted to change that. I had started noticing changes in my metabolism and I wanted to try and be a responsible adult and start off my new life on a new healthier path. So I changed my diet drastically. I cut out sugar almost completely, most carbs, no bread, no starches if I could avoid them… It was really difficult and I honestly struggled. It was too much of an extreme change from my days of being a foodie. I became increasingly bored with kale & tilapia and I constantly craved sugar. Being so drastic was unrealistic so I had to find a balance between eating the food that I loved yet being healthy and conscious about what I was putting in my body.
When I started converting recipes I felt like I struck gold. Seriously! I just had to polish and hone my cooking skills a little bit but converting recipes was an easy balance for a foodie like me. I get to eat foods I like and even try new things but at the same time I swap ingredients to cut calories or add some hidden fruits & vegetables, whatever I need to do to make things just a little healthier.
Here are some examples:
– Swap sour cream for plain non-fat greek yogurt: Non-fat greek yogurt has 70% less calories than sour cream and 5 times the protein! There’s no real difference in taste although greek yogurt is a little thicker but when you’re cooking, it doesn’t make much of a difference.
– Swap mayonnaise for mashed avocado: Mashed avocado has more than 75% less calories than mayo, double the protein and 98% less sodium. If the avocado is ripe enough, you can mash it to almost the same consistency as mayonnaise (it will take some effort). I use avocados to make tuna and chicken salad and while there is some difference in coloring, I actually like it way better!
– Swap pork bacon for turkey bacon: I don’t eat pork in general for health reasons but this is a popular swap that can save some calories. Turkey bacon has 30% less calories than pork bacon and doesn’t need to be fried which will save you even more calories from avoiding oil. I’ve been eating turkey bacon for a long time and I love it.
One of the most important keys to swapping for me is seasoning. Pulverized seasonings like garlic and chili powders don’t add extra calories to your meals but you can cover up any “funny” tastes that you might experience from swapping foods. This is probably why I haven’t had any issues with swapping because I throughly season my food when I cook.
Although I make it sound easy, staying with this healthy and natural lifestyle is still a struggle for me! I always crave candy and ice cream and am constantly looking for alternatives. I just try to stick to my new food motto, CONVERT. EAT. REPEAT!
I hope to start sharing some of my converted recipes as soon as I figure out how many tablespoons “a little of this” actually is. I hope this helps some people in the same struggle as me and I would love to hear what you are doing to stay healthy as well! Connect with me however you feel comfortable and let me know!