They say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. And this maxim is so true, especially with lifelong journeys such as healthy eating. So what does it look like to take that “one step”?
Perhaps it’s keeping a water bottle in your purse, filled with lemon water to keep you hydrated and refreshed throughout your day.
Maybe it’s looking into the wildly popular Instant Pot and seeing if it could help streamline preparation of homemade meals for your busy week.
Perhaps you’ve wanted to try the accountability, community, and positive results of joining Weight Watchers. If that’s you, give yourself a $10 gift card when you sign up through my referral link.
Smart Junk Food Replacements
And perhaps another big step in your health journey is deciding to tackle one stumbling block of a food after another. It’s a win-win when we seek out replacements for poor quality, high calorie foods with high quality, high nutrient foods instead. One by one, when we upgrade our go-to foods in this way, our whole diet improves in an incremental yet powerful way.
Here are some ideas about how to make this happen and experience success on Weight Watchers or any diet!
Sugar is the bane of all our good eating intentions, is it not? High in calories and disastrous to our dental health, immunity, and mental acuity, sugar is easily at the top of the list to replace. Some excellent sweet replacements to use in moderation:
- Raw Honey, high in probiotics, helpful to digestion, and can help alleviate allergies if bought locally.
- Maple syrup, high in calcium, potassium, and iron.
- Blackstrap molasses, nutrient rich in iron, calcium, Vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium.
- Rapadura, or unrefined raw sugar cane, contains potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus.
- Stevia and Lo Han Guo, both plant extracts with no sugar content.
Chocolate is just too good to give up completely, in my opinion! And really, it’s unnecessary to do this, as there are so many healthy options to enjoy the rich, irreplaceable taste of chocolate. New treats to try as healthy replacements:
- Carob. A versatile chocolate replacement high in calcium and other vitamins and minerals, carob is a worthy addition to a healthy Weight Watchers diet.
- Cacao. Nibs are fun and satisfying. Try nibs as a snack, sprinkled on oatmeal, or integrated into trail mix. Or grind with coffee beans before brewing! Cacao powder is a seamless substitute for the more processed cocoa powder.
- Dark chocolate, a few squares here and there. In general, the less sugar and more cocoa in a product, the better.
- Homemade hot chocolate. Here’s a recipe for a healthy, ready-to-go mix. And here is my favorite, made by mixing the following:
- 1 Tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- pinch of sea salt
- tiny pinch of cayenne
- 12 oz hot water
- 4 oz raw cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
You may already be cutting down your coffee intake, switching to decaf, or opting for cream but no sugar. These are all good steps, but did you know that there are a couple healthy replacements for your morning joe available as well?
- Dandelion coffee, sold by Dandy Blend in an easy-to-use instant powder. Consisting of dandelion root, chicory, barley, rye, and sugar cane, this beverage is sugar-free, gluten-free, and beautifully silky and rich.
- Red Rooibos tea, a caffeine free option that is richer like black tea and is terrific with honey and milk. Lots of benefits, too!
- Club soda or seltzer water, with the addition of a splash of juice, can easily replace soda and other carbonated beverages. You can also make your own carbonated water with a Soda Stream. Avoid tonic water, whether regular or diet, as it contains either high fructose corn syrup or harmful artificial sweeteners.
- Kombucha, bubbly and refreshing, is also a fantastic substitute for soda. A wonderful addition to your repertoire of beverages. Kombucha provides probiotics and a satisfyingly crisp, carbonated taste that’s in our genes to crave.
- Cense, Weight Watchers’ recently debuted light wine, is a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, with a removable label if you’d like to be discreet while bringing it to a party.
- Clean cocktails, utilizing fruit juice such as cranberry juice, seltzer water, etc.
Chips and French Fries
If reaching for a bag of salty, fatty potato chips or a sleeve of French fries is a vice you’d like to change, a fantastic replacement is homemade chips using virtually any veggie.
Think about it – chips are simple. Usually consisting of thinly sliced potatoes, oil, and salt at its most basic, the chip can be easily transformed into a health food by changing up the veggies and using healthy fats rather than canola, soybean, or vegetable oils.
Tantalizing recipes gathered at SheKnows gives us over a dozen options, including beets, carrots, zucchini, eggplant, sweet potatoes, and more. Time to maximize those Zero Point vegetables on the new Freestyle program!