Honey instead of Sugar
We all know sugar is not our friend. It’s been linked to heart disease, high cholesterol and countless other ailments affecting us daily. Honey is a natural sweetener, so most people flock to it as a replacement for sugar. Agave, on the other hand, is the vegan alternative to honey and often seen as the healthier alternative to both. But while agave has less sugar and calories, it doesn’t compare to the wide range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants provided by honey. It’s actually quite empty in that department! Sugar actually works as a barrier to minerals, blocking your body from receiving them properly. So which one wins? Honey! The key is to buy the raw kind for the full, unfiltered, nutritional benefits and to use it in small doses since it is high in calories with almost 64 per serving.
Quinoa instead of White Rice
Most of us eat rice on a daily basis so it’s important to understand what we’re consuming. White rice is actually brown rice. Brown rice is the original grain and through much processing, the bran covering the rice is removed to increase shelf life, to allow for faster cooking times and to help the grain grow thicker and fluffier (less they have to put in the sack). Not to mention, the grain is then bleached over in order for it to be white. The downside to all of this processing, aside from the obvious, is that the nutritional value is also stripped away.
One cup of brown rice has up to 5 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber, while white rice has less than 1 gram per cup of each. Quinoa, on the other hand, is a seed that can be prepared similarly to the rice grain. One cup has 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, so its nutritional value pretty much speaks for itself! It also cooks in 15–20 min while brown rice can take 45 min to an hour. I’ve completely swapped my rice for quinoa and can totally tell the difference in my energy levels.
Free Range Meat & Poultry instead of Non-Free Range Meat & Poultry
The next time you’re shopping for your packages of meat and chicken, make sure to look for labels that say “free range” or “USDA Organic”. What does “Free Range” mean? It means the animals were unfenced and allowed to roam freely while also being fed natural foods outdoors. Why is this important? Many times, farmers are forced by larger corporations to sell high volumes of packaged meat/poultry in short periods of time. In order to make their deadlines, they often keep hundreds of animals cooped up, malnourished, pumped with antibiotics (to prevent the spread of illness) and growth hormones (so we can get larger pieces for cheap). Luckily, companies are now being forced to label their packages in order for us to be aware of their farming practices. “Free Range” and “USDA Organic” labels ensure you’re receiving chemical-free, ethically handled packages of meat and poultry. For a better understanding of what’s going on in the Food Industry, I suggest watching the documentaries, Food Matters and Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. Everyone I know who has watched has made a complete turn around, health-wise. Life changing information!
Ladies, do you do any healthy food swaps? Please share!