5 Healthy Swaps for Your Favorite Foods

Being faced with making healthy decisions every day can be overwhelming, especially when you’re easily tempted by cravings. While I definitely believe that there is a time and place to indulge in some not-so-healthy foods, sometimes it only takes indulging one time to lose a little bit of self control, especially when you’re trying to stick to a healthier diet (I say this with experience!).

If you’re seeing a habit of craving certain foods over and over again, you may want to consult with your doctor to see if there is an underlying problem within your body. Otherwise, there are many options for substituting some of your favorite foods when the cravings hit.

 

1. If you’re craving bread or pasta:

If you’re craving carbs, it could be a sign that your mind and body are stressed out. When stressed, your body’s cortisol levels increase, causing your blood sugar levels to spike. This  causes insulin to be released, so it can bring your blood sugar levels down. This process can confuse your body into thinking it needs more energy (which is when those hard-to-ignore carb cravings kick in).

When you’re craving starchy carbohydrates like bread or pasta, there are plenty of better-for-you substitutes you can rely on, like spiralized vegetables and cauliflower based meals. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re craving pasta and bread, don’t feel bad about treating yourself! However, if you’re trying to avoid those cravings and want to grab something healthier, most grocery stores carry packaged fresh veggie noodle brands (like Veggie Noodle Co.) which makes healthy dinners quickly accessible if you didn’t have time to plan.

 

Sweet Potato “Noodle” Pad Thai

 

Mushroom Risotto with Cauliflower Rice

Source: PaleoHacks

 

Honey and Garlic Chicken Stir Fry with Cauliflower Egg Fried Rice

 

Zucchini Pasta with Homemade Pesto

 

Kale and Lentil Broth Bowls

 

2. If you’re craving something sweet:

There are many reasons we crave sugar, besides the fact that sweets just taste good. While treating yourself every once and while is fine, the problem is usually when we over-indulge by intaking too much sugar, which is very easy to do when we consume processed foods.

When you do want to indulge, naturally sweetened fresh fruit is a great option, though you can combine fruit with yogurt or dark chocolate to make a delicious treat that will satisfy your cravings.

 

Red, White, and Blue Berry Almond Frozen Yogurt Bites

 

Chocolate Nice Cream

Source: Parsley Vegan

 

No-Bake Peanut Butter and Jelly Energy Bites

 

Fresh Mango, Raspberry and Strawberry Honey Ricotta Frozen Pops

 

Mint and Melon Kabobs

 

3. If you’re craving salty snack foods:

Some people have a weakness for sweets, while others crave saltier foods to indulge in. Just like sugar, salt is a natural craving humans have, and salt plays an important part in our biochemistry (sodium is a major mineral found in our plasma, the fluid in our blood and in the fluids of our body’s cells – without enough salt, these fluids would lose water, which will cause dehydration and low blood pressure).

When we ingest too much sodium, our bodies become unbalanced. While there are many ways to curve your salt habit while cooking (like adding more herbs or a spritz of citrus to your meals for more flavor) there are also some healthier substitutions for snacking when your craving won’t quit. As with all recipes, be mindful of the salt measurements and feel free to lower the salt intake if you’re medically required to. Also, remember to check the labels on store-bought snacks.

 

Chia, Quinoa and Banana Granola Bars

 

Sunshine Trail Mix

Source: A Clean Bake

 

Banana Chocolate Chip and Date Muffins

Source: Elemental Custard

 

Crispy Roasted Edamame

 

Melon Caprese Skewers

 

4. If you’re craving fast food:

We’ve all been there (in fact, I was there just a few nights ago!). Sometimes, we just crave fast food. We know it’s bad for us, but sometimes that burger with all ‘the fixings’ just sounds so appetizing.

When we crave fast foods, it usually means we’re stressed, low on sleep, or in desperate need of energy (on the flip side, you could also be feeling great and just want to treat yourself). Either way, we all know fast food isn’t the healthiest choice – but if you’ve got time on your hands and you’re craving a meal that is similar to one you’d find in a drive-thru, there are healthier options for you to try, like these recipes.

 

Avocado, Tomato and Chicken Sandwich

Source: Eating Well

 

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Coconut Oil-Sriracha Aioli

 

Ground Turkey Taco Bowls with Cauliflower Spanish Rice

 

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger

 

Spiced Salmon Burgers

 

5. Substitutes for drinks containing alcohol:

If you drink alcohol and enjoy it, but want to keep your cocktails or drinks on the healthier side, I suggest these tips and recipes:

• Avoid drinks made with high-calorie creamy and sugary mixers (stick to homemade mixers)
• Avoid cocktails with extra calories (like ice cream)
• If you’re a beer drinker, drink lighter beers
• Keep your drinks clean and simple with a base of liquor, club soda and a spritz of citrus on the rocks
• Stick to champagnes (think Prosecco or Cava – champagnes have fewer calories than beer or wine).

 

The Boozy Green Elixir

 

Raspberry Chamomile Coconut Cream Soda

 

Gazpacho Bloody Mary

Source: Pickled Plum

 

Gin, Elderflower and Prosecco Cocktail

 

Orange Red Wine Spritzer

 

Sources: Lifetime Weightloss; WebMD; Harvard Health Publications; Mind Body Green; Men’s Fitness; Eat This, Not That!.

  • Beautiful home and blog!

    Ashley
    http://allthatglitters.co.nr

  • Mary Beth Mulholland

    my two favorite blogs (The CHICago Life & theeverygirl) combined! love this home feature 🙂

  • This might just be my favorite apartment feature yet on The Everygirl. We share very similar taste in home decor and she is as cute as can be!

  • Guest

    I love it your home! Super stylish!

  • Dondalyn Breaux

    I love your home! It’s super stylish!

  • Josie

    Whoa, I love her blog and she and I have so many parallels. Both University of Michigan alums, both went to law school (but i graduated in may), and both blog. Only difference is that her home is a million times more chic than mine. Total inspiration! I absolutely love this feature.

  • Veronica Jancuk

    Gorgeous home! Any tips on where the banana leaf wallpaper might be from? Looking to install it in a hallway!

    http://www.pittsburghsmokeandmirrors.blogspot.com

  • Trish

    What is the Paint color?

  • So so so love her apartment!!!

  • Sadaf Alam

    So how does one afford to have a law school loan, afford a condo in Chicago and have such a stylish lifestyle? Just wondering!

  • That wallpaper! Those sequin pants!

  • Brittany

    Where did you get that hand sculpture making a peace sign?? I need one of those!

  • whypoli

    What a cool girl! I would have loved to hang out with her when I was in Chicago last weekend. There are a lot of quaint residential areas there, and EVERYONE hangs out on saturday with their coffees dogs and kids, its the cutest thing. Chicago is a dog loving town.

  • Okay, this girl is speaking my language! Black + White + Gold +Touches of Green is my perfect interior formula. And that banana leaf wallpaper???? She killed it! I’m not going to deny my jealousy! Oh, if I could invest in a rental! I did use similar fabric for my patio, had to get a fix! Great feature! XO

  • Great seeing another piece of Amelia’s life–she has amazing taste. I need those pants in my life like yesterday.

  • Mara

    I want EVERYTHING in this home. I wish you listed where to buy all these amazing finds!!

  • Amanda Risius

    Gorgeous!!! Absolutely love the palm print in the bathroom and touch of tropical throughout the home. So inspired to incorporate palm print into my home.

    hammerandheels.blogspot.com

  • perfect home.

  • Delaney

    This house tour is beautiful and one of my favorites on this site. That being said, I don’t see how a 24-year old afford a condo like this in an expensive part of Chicago? A little confusing and misleading.

  • Lauren

    LOVE this!

  • Wow, obsessed with that wallpaper! I’ve been trying for ages to convince my husband we should wallpaper our guest bath. This one reminds me of the Beverly Hills Hotel – super chic.

    http://www.mulesandmanolos.com

  • Gorgeous home!! I love the banana leaf wallpaper and the quirky touches like the fireplace hearth piece. I will say I’d love to see more
    Variety of style and decor represented in your home tours. It seems its often the same thing: a gallery wall, a bar cart, a fiddle leaf plant in the corner, etc. there are so many different types of spaces and decor, that if you’re going to represent “the every girl” you should strive to go for different looks! Just a thought. Nonetheless, her space is beautiful and you can tell she put a lot of work in to it.

  • WOW! This home is pretty much my idea of a perfect apartment!! Such a great sense of style! I Need to check out her blog immediately. 🙂

  • Cait

    I am dying to know where I can get bull horns like the ones photographed on top of the white suitcase with the roses. Anyone have ideas?? I’ve been searching for ages!

  • Such a beautiful space! I have to know how she manages those white couches with 2 black labs! We have one and a linen couch that do not go so well together!

  • Wow…what inspiration for decor. I love the way she integrates all different colors and patterns throughout her space without it being too overwhelming.

  • Ally

    Great Inspiration!!! Amazing Interview, full of fantastic advice and insight.

  • KatiaB

    Yes, she isn’t exactly the everygirl, beautiful inspiration but might make 20 something’s out there feel inadequate.

  • Stephanie

    Great great space. Truly beautiful, she has incredibly taste!
    But..I will agree with what a few other readers said…this felt a little bit misleading and not like the typical representation of The Everygirl. In fact, I finished this article feeling a little inadequate as a 28 year old student living in a one bedroom rental. I too would like to also see a bit more variety in terms of home tour styles. But again, I really love the Everygirl! This one was just kind of a miss for me 🙁

  • love the wallpaper what a beautiful space!

  • Jessica

    Is it just me, or do these all look the same? Take one fiddle leaf fig, one dipytique candle, a handful of swirly pink paper straws, a gallery wall, some chevron, and a shitload of shiny gold things (don’t forget the $100 gold shears!). And poof! Every everygirl apartment ever.

    • Amelia

      Haha, I love it! You definitely have a point. But girl, don’t you dare spend $100 on scissors! I got mine here… http://www.amazon.com/CHINA-MADE-107713-GD-Fatima-Scissors/dp/B00870XTRQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394054000&sr=8-1&keywords=gold+scissors

  • Christy B

    Love the black desk. Where is it from?

  • Oh my gosh this post is amazing! I always always crave salty snack foods, I’m definitely going to be making those muffins! Also those frozen pops look delicious! Love this post <3 xxx

  • Maria McCoy

    I needed this list so badly. Can we talk about how good those burgers look in the post thumbnail? @[email protected]

  • I love this! This is exactly the motivation I needed for a health kick! Ha ha!

    I hope you have a lovely Thursday,
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.co.uk

  • Köstlichkeiten, die man so auch in den Restaurants von Graz findet: https://www.info-graz.at/restaurants-szene/