Hello all! Is everyone having a good week? This week has flown by for me. And I have a confession to make: my no wheat or dairy attempt lasted a day! I woke up late Monday morning—shocking—and the fastest breakfast option was to toast some Ezekiel bread and eat it on the way to work. Then I realized I was out of green tea yesterday and was in desperate need of an afternoon caffeine boost, so coffee with some milk was a must. But hey, I gave it a shot! Now I know that to stick to a diet with dairy or wheat, you definitely have to be prepared! If I would have had the time or the dairy-free and wheat-free resources maybe I would have stuck to it. I will let you know if I ever give it another shot!
Guilty as charged.
With that said, I think there is a misconception out there about a clean eating diet. Before I decided to do this and did a fair amount of research on it, I assumed it was just some crazy diet where you were deprived of the foods you love, which sounded terrible to me; that turned out not to be the case at all. Clean eating is not about depriving yourself, it is about finding delicious and healthy foods you love. It is about substituting the good for the bad, whether it is applesauce for dessert instead of a bowl of ice cream or olive oil instead of canola oil or butter. There are so many healthy and clean alternatives to unhealthy foods out there; there is no reason to ever feel deprived while eating clean.
I have already talked about clean eating substitutions when cooking, but for this post I have compiled some of my favorite clean eating food swaps.
Put out a bowl of chickpeas instead of a bowl of chips!
First up . . . the potato chip! I have always been a huge fan of the potato chip. With its satisfying crunch and salt-covered exterior, the chip has always been one my favorite snacks. I even like to put them in my sandwich for a wonderful added crunch. While those days may be over, I can still get my salty, crunchy fix. During my 30 Days of Clean Eating, I have taken to eating baked sweet potato fries, popcorn, chickpeas or my trusty almonds (of course) when I am craving something salty.
Another smart and easy clean eating swap is to eat quinoa instead of rice. Not only is quinoa one of the most protein- and fiber-rich “grains” you can eat, it is also great for when you want something crunchy and filling. It is my favorite new side dish for dinner and also an easy and transportable lunch to take to work. And even though it is often called the “super grain of the future,” quinoa isn’t a grain at all. It is actually a seed from a spinach or Swiss chard like vegetable.
Now back to my huge fail when it came to not eating dairy or wheat: my daily morning toast. I used to be a strict buttered toast girl, and I still am. But now it is almond butter instead of dairy butter. I can’t say enough about how filling and perfect a slice of whole wheat toast with almond butter in the morning is. It keeps me full for hours and can be eaten in the car, which is where I usually eat mine. Almond butter is also a great alternative to peanut butter. They are about the same calorie wise, but with almond butter you get all those “super food” health benefits you would get from eating raw almonds. Just make sure you get all-natural almond butter and not full of crazy ingredients. Make sure the ingredients list is limited to raw almonds.
I have never really been a big fan of mayonnaise, but sometimes it is nice to add a little something to your sandwich. For those times, try mashing up an avocado instead of using mayo. Avocado will add the familiar texture of mayo plus all of the great and healthy benefits that avocados bring to the table. Another cool food swap idea is to make avocado chicken salad. In place of mayo in any chicken salad recipe, use mashed avocado and Greek yogurt. Another great use for Greek yogurt is to use it instead of sour cream. It is as simple as that to eat a little cleaner in your everyday life!
So those are a few of my tips about how to easily add a little more clean eating to your lives. As always, feel free to email me with any questions recipes or advice you might have at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check back in later this week for a new post! Have a great day!
And to catch up on 30 Days of Clean Eating, here is what you have missed! How to Eat Out and Clean! Let’s Eat Clean! Get Started Eating Clean Budget Bites Pour Some Sugar On Me…Or Not Week One Progress Report Snack Attack Out with the Bad, In with the Good Week Two Progress Report Super Foods to the Rescue!