Ever played the “Would You Rather” game? I love that game for the crazy juxtaposition of various scenarios. I hate that game because I can never choose. For example:
Would you rather…have a perfectly healthy body through eating healthfully and never having to workout again OR through eating whatever the heck you want and having to workout daily?
I love to workout. And I love food. Tasty food. Sometimes not so healthy for you food. I’m a sucker for creamy, sugary desserts or crunchy, salty snacks like so many. That makes me think I would go for option 2 in the above scenario. BUT WAIT! I love fresh fruits and vegetables and the clean feeling of eating a diet full of produce. I love the energy from quality nutrition. Harumph. Yea. I couldn’t choose.
Good thing I don’t have to choose. And good thing I can incorporate ways to have those more indulgent type foods and flavors without sacrificing quality and healthy choices.
I spent years playing by the “food rules” and believing that “healthy eating” only involved eating chicken, tilapia, green beans, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. I couldn’t imagine that healthy eating could be flavorful, delicious, and FUN. Now? Now, I won’t put something in my mouth if I don’t like it and it doesn’t satisfy my body as well as my cravings and personal taste preferences. Thankfully, I have found quite a few healthful ways to nix some of my biggest cravings.
Alternatives for Sweets Cravings
Craving ice-cream? I love to go with a Greek yogurt I popped in the freezer for about 30 minutes or the infamous banana soft serve.
You can’t beat a frozen treat that is solely a frozen banana blended up in a food processor!
Craving chocolate? I grab a square of DARK chocolate and take small bites that I let melt in my mouth slowly. It helps the chocolate to last and the richer flavor satisfies way more.
A baked treat? Homemade Vitatops!
I will have to post our even more healthified adaptation of the full recipe someday soon. They are GOOD!
Flavored coffee drink? A bit of almond, coconut, or vanilla extract with some drops of NuNaturals stevia to create the perfect flavored and slightly sweet coffee drink.
Honestly, NuNaturals is my secret weapon for sweet needs. It is the ONLY sugar substitute I will use…and, goodness, do I use it. A few of those drops go into every bowl of oatmeal and cup of coffee I make. In other words, I use it pretty much daily. A bit about the company and product:
NuNaturals is an Oregon Company serving their customers for 20 years with Quality, ALL-NATURAL products. Their NuStevia products have the reputation of being the best tasting, Non-Bitter Stevia Products available. NuNaturals products always adhere to the highest standards for taste, quality, and the purity of the ingredients they use.
Truth. I adore their drops and fiber baking blend. I even stockpile it.
Onto the savory, shall we?
Alternatives for Savory Cravings
Want pizza for lunch or dinner? Why not make your own using a whole wheat pita, flatbread, or english muffin. All you need to do is top it with some basic marinara, low-fat cheese, seasonings, and vegetables of your choice. They are also GREAT for kids!
Fries? Why not make some oven roasted zucchini strips or sweet potato fries. They taste GREAT, I promise!
A big bowl of cheesy pasta or plate of a heavy casserole? I bulk up these dishes by adding lots of chopped vegetables to the mix so I need less of the heavier ingredients. I cut the cheese down by at least 1/3 of the recipe and opt for whole grain rice/pasta or quinoa to make it a healthier option. Then, I serve a smaller portion alongside a salad.
Chips and dip or chips and salsa? Raw veggies work wonders with hummus or salsa for that crunchy, snacky craving. I have cucumber or carrot slices with either salsa or hummus on a daily basis.
And, when I really need CHIPS – I can always use some Popchips because I honestly prefer them over standard chips. Popchips are air popped instead of fried or baked – giving them more flavor, much less fat, and all natural ingredients.
They are perfectly crunchy and flavorful. Plus, they have a ton of flavor options to fit any mood. I personally love the BBQ and Salt & Pepper flavors, but have my eyes peeled for the new Sweet Potato and Jalapeno flavors because they sound sooooo good!
So, see? You can eat a healthy, balanced diet without sacrificing the fun and flavor!
Now, your turn…what are your favorite alternatives and healthy treats?
Congrats to Amy W for winning the Mizuno Wave Rider 15s shoes for last week’s prize!