You want me to eat what??
I’m sure my husband thought that exact question on several occasions over the last few years, but thankfully he had the good sense to keep it to himself. When we first met he was a self described junk food junkie. His diet consisted mainly of pizza, chips, soda, brownies and iceberg lettuce. After we got married, I slowly started cleaning up his diet but some things were harder to overcome. Mainly the pizza and sweets. In the last year I’ve been making slow changes to our diet and I recently noticed that I now enjoy these changes and no longer feel like it’s restrictive, I crave these foods.
1} Spaghetti Squash and Zoodles
Have you gotten on the alternative noodle train yet? My favorites right now are spaghetti squash and spirialized zucchini. For the squash, just cut it half and roast them! Then you can scrape out the threads and use them as you would regular spaghetti pasta. They are delicious with marinara sauce and a little Parmesan cheese. I use a basic spirializer to make my zoodles. I use them more for stirfry, primavera options or a cheese sauce, but MJ loves them with marinara sauce too. Now when I eat regular pasta, I feel bloated and weighed down. I’d choose these any day!
2} Drink Water
Seems obvious right? Yet so many people continue to not drink enough water each day! Not drinking enough water can wreck havoc on your system. We used to drink sugary sports drinks, soda and alcohol too. And I’m not saying we never have these things anymore, but now they are the exception instead of the standard in our day. I take water with me where ever I go and I love to spice it up with limes, mint, frozen berries and sparkling water. Check out this great article on making water fun!
3} Banana Ice Cream
We used to have two pints of ice cream in our grocery cart each week. And we’d eat them in two days time. Obviously this had a significant impact on our waistline. I didn’t give it up overnight. First I switched to frozen yogurt, and while I do still have that from time to time, I usually make Banana ice cream to satisfy my ice cream craving! It’s so easy, simple ingredients and tastes great too! My son is growing up thinking that is what ice cream is and that’s a win in my book.
4} Pizza Alternatives
This has been a hard one for us. We love our pizza like lots of people, but we were eating it twice a week and not making any attempt at making it healthy. We were ordering take out pizza once a week and making it at home once a week. At first we cut out the take out, this saved us money and the calories. Then slower we dropped the premade crust weekly pizza night and have for the most part given that up. Now when the pizza cravings hit I make this awesome Quinoa Crust Pizza or these tasty Quinoa Pizza Bites! Is it exactly the same? No, but it works. Do we occasionally still have regular pizza? YES! But it’s no longer the norm. I promise the quinoa crust is delicious and as a bonus it’s a powerhouse in the nutrition department.
5} Meatless Meals
I’ve been vegetarian for eight years now! I love it and can’t really imagine it any other way for me. It’s good for your body and great for the environment. Even just ONE meatless meal a week makes a difference. Check out the Meatless Monday Page for more information on this. Burrito Bowls are a great meatless meal! Soups, salads, stir-fry can all easily be made meatless without any crazy ingredients. You might already be eating a meatless meal and not even realizing it! There are LOTS of ideas on the internet but I love Oh She Glows and Vegetarian Times for getting ideas!
The trick is to give it enough time to learn to really enjoy these foods and substitutions so it doesn’t feel like a diet. What healthy changes have you made in your nutrition?