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8 healthy substitutions for not-so-healthy food

8 healthy substitutions for not-so-healthy food


When I started my health journey, struggled with eating things like rice, bread, as well as chips and ice cream. Now, I only eat these very sparingly as treats— I didn't quit them cold turkey. Instead, I found healthy substitutions for some of my favorite foods. They had more nutritional value and in many cases, less calories, carbs, and fat. These are just some of the healthy substitutions I recommend when first starting to change your eating habits. These small improvements alone will immensely improve your health and fitness.

Eating healthy is tough, but not impossible. Here are food swaps and healthy substitutions that you can make for a more nutritious diet // The PumpUp Blog


At first I replaced rice with quinoa. Quinoa is known as a super-grain and it has become increasingly popular in recent years. Though quinoa is an excellent alternative to rice, there are other options such as cauliflower rice. I take a couple of heads of cauliflower and grind them in a food processor until they look like rice. Then I sauté them with oil and some seasoning. Which takes me to my next replacement...

Cooking Oil

Stop using canola, corn, and cottonseed oil! Olive oil is a better choice. Coconut oil is great as well and it has about a million other uses— hair rejuvenation is just the start. Another great replacement is avocado oil.


I am a potato lover. I like them baked, fried, grilled, name it. But let's face it, white potatoes aren't the best choice. Sweet potatoes are a much better healthy substitution. They have more fiber than regular potatoes, fewer calories, more vitamin C, and provide more than enough of your daily requirement of vitamin A.  If  you're making mashed potatoes, you can also replace them with mashed cauliflower.


This one is fun because all you need is a really good sauce. I always make tomato-based sauces because they are way healthier than creamy ones like Alfredo. The pasta itself can be replaced with zucchini spaghetti, spaghetti squash, and even edamame pasta. You can make tons of veggies into spaghetti by using Veggeti which is a spiral vegetable slicer.


Water is the best replacement. Even fruit juice has tons of sugar that you don't need. This is pretty important because sugary drinks are one of the top reasons why people have a hard time losing weight, specially in their mid-section. If you like flavored drinks, try unsweetened tea!

Use sliced tomatoes as a replacement for breakfast toast // Healthy substitutions for not-so-healthy food (The PumpUp Blog)


Who doesn't love toast in the morning or sandwiches for lunch? There are many ways to make paleo or gluten-free bread. Recipes are available all over the Internet. An even better replacement for morning toast would be a side of sliced avocados, apples, tomato, or cucumber. Instead of using bread slices for sandwiches you could also use lettuce to make a wrap instead.


This is a hard one for me. I love chips. The best part is that I still eat them regularly. Kale, spinach, and sweet potato chips are all splendid replacements for regular potato chips!

Sliced avocado is another great replacement for breakfast toast or sandwich bread // Healthy substitutions for not-so-healthy food (The PumpUp Blog)

Ice Cream

If you're not on the paleo diet, frozen yogurt could be a good option as long as the sugar is kept to a minimum. I am on the paleo diet so dairy is not an option (except cheat day). Instead, I make my own ice cream by blending frozen fruits and adding things like honey and almond butter.

Exercising is a very important part of staying fit. But your diet is even more important. It's hard going from eating everything (without limitations) to eating healthy and natural food like fruits and veggies. It's specially hard to do it all at once, but with some hard work, determination, and healthy substitutions, it can be done.

This is part of a series of posts by PumpUp member @gabygetsfit. Find her on Instagram and Snapchat @gaby.fitspo

5 ways I stay healthy on vacation

5 ways I stay healthy on vacation


Who doesn't love to travel? Getting away from work, responsibilities, and reality can be a very refreshing experience. It can also be a huge setback for anybody who has been working hard to get into shape. This is because people tend to indulge while they’re on a trip. Although indulging is a great thing every so often, there are smart ways to indulge while still staying healthy. Here are some ways that I stay healthy on vacation: 5 ways I stay healthy on vacation // The PumpUp Blog

  1. I drink water. Just water. Only water. This is very important because not only is staying hydrated important for your health, but sticking to water keeps me from drinking sugary drinks like lemonade and sodas. Of course, it’s fine to have a margarita or two as a treat, but there are also better options if I want to have an alcoholic beverage. I usually opt for wine in this case but like I said, some indulging is alright from time to time.
  1. I still exercise. They may not be traditional workouts, but I’m golden as long as I get my heart rate up for at least 30 minutes each day. I do different kinds of workouts depending on what kind of vacation I'm on. One of my favorites is going for a run on the beach if I'm in a more tropical or coastal location. I also enjoy swimming in my hotel pool if one is available. Hikes are always a splendid way to do some sightseeing while doing cardio as well. At the very least, I will exercise in the hotel to stay healthy on vacation. There are many different workouts that can be done with no gym necessary: squats, planks, burpees, push-ups, sit-ups, name it.

5 ways I stay healthy on vacation // The PumpUp Blog

  1. I only allow myself one cheat meal a day at most. Usually, I would only allow myself to have a cheat meal once every few weeks. However,  vacation is a time to indulge. Indulging is good. Over-indulging is not. I usually have a big and wholesome breakfast with fresh fruits, veggies, lean meats, and other natural foods. Lunch is usually something small but equally healthy.,For dinner, I allow myself to have a meal of my choosing. If I choose to indulge, it will be a small meal, like a slice of pizza. Definitely not the entire thing.
  1. I stay as active as possible. This is beneficial for a few reasons. First of all, the more active I am, the more I get to know and experience the destination I'm at. Also, having a lot of activities to do keeps me busy. Being busy keeps me from getting bored and most people try to overcome boredom by eating junk food. Another reason why being active is ideal is the obvious fact that when people don't spend long periods of time lounging around, they burn more calories. It's simple math and science.

5 ways I stay healthy on vacation // The PumpUp Blog

  1. I don't worry. Staying healthy shouldn't just be about your body. Your mental health is extremely important too. Worrying all vacation long  and dwelling over everything will do more harm than good. If I have a few slip-ups and do some over indulging I forgive my vacationing self and move on, knowing that after I get back from vacation, my healthy habits will fall back into place.

Trying to be as healthy as possible while on a trip is ideal, but it can be tricky to pull off. It is okay to indulge. Doing it smart is the best way to keep a trip from messing with your fitness progress. Nevertheless, it is just as important to not overthink anything and have fun. You are on vacation after all.

This is part of a series of posts by PumpUp member @gabygetsfit. Find her on Instagram and Snapchat @gaby.fitspo

Why I chose fit over skinny

Why I chose fit over skinny


I used to think that to be beautiful, I had to stop eating until my ribs showed and suck it in so much that my face turned purple. Some people are blessed to be naturally thin, but unfortunately I did not receive the "thin gene." I wasn't alone either. Many of my friends have also struggled to lose weight. For years I was surrounded by the influence of fad diets, useless pills, and extreme calorie counting. One time, I spent 3 days drinking only cranberry juice.  Don't get me wrong, I did lose a lot of weight with these methods, but it usually came back. Even at my skinniest, I was still unhappy because my body was so tired of being malnourished.Why was I hurting my body when one of the biggest reasons I wanted to lose weight was to be healthier?

I thought that I would be happier if I was skinny. After years of useless and harmful diets, failing over and over again, and losing confidence, I decided that I needed to get serious. I researched a ton (and I mean a ton). Finally, I realized that the problem was my goal. Why aspire to be skinny when I can be fit instead?

Why i chose fit over skinny // The PumpUp Blog

From that point on, I began my journey towards becoming fit. Although I have come very far, I still have a long way to go. It is a constant challenge. Being fit not only makes you lose unwanted fat and makes you look better on the outside, but it also helps you become happier, healthier, and stronger on the inside. You legs might get bigger because your muscles will grow. Your shirts might start fitting a little tighter around your developing biceps. You may even gain weight eventually, since muscle weighs more than fat.  Although getting "bigger" and "heavier" are things that all girls dread, it really should not matter how big or small you are as long as you are healthy.

Right now my thighs are bigger than they have ever been, but they are also the most beautiful they have ever been. I nourish my body with healthy food: vegetables and lean protein. I eat multiple times a day and I eat a lot. I no longer ration all my meals as if I was amidst a famine. I just eat smart. I went from being an insecure girl who hurt her body trying to FIT an ideal image, to a confident woman who strengthens her body to BE FIT. That's why I chose fit over skinny.

This is part of a series of posts by PumpUp member @gabygetsfit. Find her on Instagram and Snapchat @gaby.fitspo