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paleo

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

3 important reasons why the Paleo diet was right for me

3 important reasons why the Paleo diet was right for me

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There are so many different diets to choose from.  It can be a pretty overwhelming task to adopt a diet that best fits one’s needs and makes the most sense. I did some research and I found a diet that made the most sense to me, so I went with it. It is called the Paleo diet, also known as the Paleolithic diet. Although there were many other great options like vegetarianism, veganism, and Pescatarianism, I decided this was the best fit for my lifestyle. There are three main reasons why the Paleo diet was right for me: First of all, the Paleo diet allows you to be your carnivorous self. As a meat lover, it was simply not realistic for me to eliminate meat from my life.

Many folks think that meat is bad for you. By  all means, it definitely can be. However, it can also be extremely good for you. I indulge in red meat from time to time, but mostly stick to lean protein like chicken and fish. I can certainly eat bacon on the Paleo diet, but moderation is key. A little meat accompanied by a lot of veggies is the ideal meal.

3 important reasons why the paleo diet was right for me // PumpUp Blog

Second of all, it is so easy. Contrary to popular belief, eliminating processed food from your life is not as hard as it seems. One thing I will admit to is that going to restaurants can be hard. However, the daunting task of grocery shopping becomes a breeze. Instead of making my way through seemingly endless aisles, I can now skip said aisles because they are filled with Paleo-unfriendly packaged food. Also, cooking is as simple as scrambling some eggs and ham, throwing veggies and chicken breasts on the grill, or baking some salmon. Plus, the Paleo community is so great on PumpUp that it's easy to find meal ideas.

Finally, the Paleo diet is pretty much how humans were meant to eat in the first place. For example, cats and dogs in the wild would definitely not be eating the processed dried foods that we usually feed them. Instead, they would most likely hunt for their meals.

There are those who argue that although animals eat the food they are meant to eat when they’re in the wild, their life expectancy drops because of it. However, animals who live in the wild are also very exposed to the elements as well as predators. That being said, blaming a lower life expectancy on natural foods is a very "wild" accusation. As someone who eats a predominantly Paleo diet, I have had people ask me things like, "Doesn't the Paleo diet lower your life expectancy?" Just think about it. The Paleo diet consists of eating NATURAL foods such as organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grass-fed or wild-caught meat and fish.  A person with the average palate craves and eats highly PROCESSED food that is often drowning in additives and preservatives. This includes pasta, donuts, soda, hot dogs, potato chips, and much more. It's easy to see which diet is the true culprit of a lower life expectancy.

3 reasons why the paleo diet was right for me // The PumpUp Blog Although Paleo is not for everyone, it is most definitely worth a try. It's an easy way to eat healthy and wholesome foods. It is important to eat foods that are as natural as possible. Even if you can't follow the Paleo diet 100%, it can at the very least serve as a superb guideline.

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

I don't fit into an 'eating clique', and I'm okay with that

I don't fit into an 'eating clique', and I'm okay with that

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I don’t know anyone who likes labels. Except maybe 50% off labels? That’s about it. What’s worse than labels? I’d have to say cliques. I have recently noticed a huge trend of people labelling and judging different eating cliques.

eating cliques mean girls

You’ve got your macro-counters, calorie-counters, clean eaters, vegans, gluten-free peeps, paleo dieters and so on.

My friend Tianna recently asked me what I do. What style am I? It took me a minute to even realize what she was asking. And it took me even longer to give her an answer.

I don’t fit into any of these categories. Sometimes I go without meat for a day or two because I want to but I’m no vegetarian. I look at the nutrition information on everything I eat but I don’t count calories or macros. Sometimes my food is gluten free, but I’m not anti-gluten!

I like to eat according to my body’s current state in combination with my current goals. Most recently I have been trying to add more greens into my nutrition. This means trying new green juices and the random vegetables the cafeteria puts out. I have also been trying to consume more protein to increase my muscle mass. I eat a ton of eggs, protein shakes, chicken, turkey and beans.

So I don’t fit into any of the categories above, but I do feel comfortable and confident with my current eating regimen.

I am so happy that people feel comfortable enough to say, “Hey, I’m going to become a vegetarian!” or “I think that gluten upsets my body, I should look into going gluten free.”

All that I am advocating for is that everyone do their own thing! Just because someone isn’t doing what you are doing that doesn’t mean either of you are “wrong” in some way. Food is good, nutrition is important and we are all working toward the goal of living a healthier happier lifestyle.

This is a post by PumpUp member Emily DiNuzzo. Follow her on PumpUp @emilyrosedinuzzo. Check out her content portfolio and blog for more of her musings!

Ferrero Rocher Energy Balls

Ferrero Rocher Energy Balls

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If you don't like Ferrero chocolates you're probably lying to yourself.  So guess what: I came up with a recipe that will satisfy your chocolate cravings and is, better yet, filled with fibre, protein AND healthy fat. My 'Ferrero Rocher' energy balls will surely will keep you full and energized until your next meal!
These babies are raw, vegan, paleo, gluten-free and nutrient dense, so you can allow yourself to indulge without guilt! You can have them as your post-workout snack, or just whenever you feel like having a treat... Or you can eat them as a topping for your banana icecream, like I did! Either way, you'll absolutely LOVE them.
 Ferrero Rocher Energy Balls

Directions

For the filling
  • 1 cup dried dates, soaked
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup almond flour (ground almonds)
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter (I used peanut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
In a food processor combine all ingredients until nicely blended, consistency should be soft and sticky.
Grab your mixture and start shaping it into balls in the size of your choice, I recommend making the diameter of the balls a little over an inch. Once you're done shaping them, set aside.
For the chocolate coating
  • Melted coconut oil
  • Cacao powder
  • Desiccated coconut (optional)
Eyeball all of the ingredients taking into consideration the amount you'll need to coat the balls and your desired chocolate taste.
Mix the coconut oil, cacao powder and desiccated coconut together.
Dip the ferrero rocher energy balls into the chocolate goodness, get them out and place them in a plate covered with parchment paper before putting them in the freezer. You can dip them as many times as you desire to make the coating thicker, place them back in the freezer for a minute or until the coating has set before dipping again.
Once your happy with the thickness of the chocolate coating the ferrero rocher energy balls are ready to be enjoyed!
This is a post by PumpUp member mariajumps. Keep her pumped on the PumpUp app here!

Shakshuka : Baked Eggs with Tomato and Chili

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Tomato Eggs with Chili

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 red chili
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 eggs
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (about 320F). Scald the tomatoes for 30 seconds with hot water so that they can be peeled, pitted and cut into small pieces.
  2. Peel and dice garlic and onion. Clean chili and bell pepper, remove pits and dice them as well.
  3. Heat some olive oil in a pan. Roast onions then add bell pepper, chili, garlic and tomatoes and let everything cook for about 12 minutes until the mixture’s consistency gets thicker. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Put tomato mixture into ramekins. With a spoon press down the middle of the tomato mixture in order to create a hole. Fill the hole with the egg.  
  5. Put everything in the oven and monitor it until the egg whites  are set and are not clear anymore.
This is a post by PumpUp member @kieferjasmin. Follow her on YouTube: Jasmin Kiefer and on Instagram @jasmin1693.