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8 healthy substitutions for not-so-healthy food

8 healthy substitutions for not-so-healthy food

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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

Rice

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.

Potatoes

I am a potato lover. I like them baked, fried, grilled, mashed...you 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.

Pasta

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.

Soda

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)

Bread

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.

Chips

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

This protein-packed rice salad won't disappoint

This protein-packed rice salad won't disappoint

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Sometimes, you want your salad to be more than just lettuce. When you finish a workout, there's no better recovery meal than an easy, healthy, and affordable protein-packed rice salad. PumpUp members @tysa and @tyler_bacc made a super-simple salad with ingredients that you can find in your pantry. If you've already prepared a batch rice ahead of time, this recipe will only take mere minutes to assemble. Prep the salad in the morning and make double portions as needed— you'll have this healthy meal at your disposal for the rest of the week! Maximize the fibre content of this recipe by opting for whole-grain rice. Although the recipe calls for peas and chopped carrots, feel free to incorporate any of the vegetables you have on hand. This protein-packed rice salad would be awesome with shaved & roasted brussels sprouts.

Protein-Packed Rice Salad

This protein-packed salad is the perfect post-workout meal! It's easy, healthy, and affordable. // The PumpUp Blog

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 1/2-1 cup peas
  • 1/2-1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • A can of tuna, drained

Directions:

Cook the rice and let it cool for 10 min.

While the rice is cooking, cut vegetables into small pieces and boil them. Blanch vegetables to preserve nutrients and set aside in a large bowl. Dice the hard-boiled eggs into similarly-sized cubes and toss them with the cooked vegetables. Add in the tuna and the rice. Toss salad until all ingredients are fully incorporated.

Loved learning about this protein-packed salad recipe? This was created by PumpUp members @tyler_bacc and @tysa. Let them know if you tried it in the comments below!