Small changes really do make a big impact to your diet! Swapping some of the current items you purchase for better alternatives can decrease your sugar & fat intakes and improve your diet without making much of an effort and hardly noticing the difference!
Be sure to always read the labels of every packaged product you buy! Companies love to sneak in the bad stuff that you wouldn’t even think would be there!
– Always buy lean meats. Chicken and turkey are great options and when purchasing mince it’s important to buy lean also.
– Swap your fullfat milk for nut milks, such as unsweetened almond (my personal choice), oat milk or rice milk. I’d probably recommend rice milk as an initial alternative as it’s quite sweet.
– Swap white sugar or a natural sweetener such as stevia or natvia. Other great sweetener alternatives you can find in your supermarket are rice malt syrup, honey & coconut sugar (health stores). When it comes to baking bananas & dates make great sugar alternatives.
– Buy greek yoghurt. Most flavoured yoghurts are full of sugar even though they claim to be a “healthy” snack.. they’re really not. If you are a yoghurt fan, opt for greek yoghurt as it’s better for you & high in protein. A dairy-free, vegan alternative is coconut yoghurt.
– Store bought muesli, granola & muesli bars are another culprit that claim to be a healthy choice when they’re actually packed with sugar & oils. It’s super easy to make your own & it’s also alot cheaper! (I have some muesli & granola recipes on my blog)
– Peanut Butter. Unless you have a nut allergy, peanut butter is amazing! It gets used so much in a healthy diet for the healthy fats & the fact is tastes amazing. Be sure to purchase pure nut butters with just nuts as the ingredients. Not one’s packed with extra sugar, oil & salt! Trust me, it tastes amazing with out all the added nasties!
– Bread & Flour. Stay away from white breads and flours. They are not your friend! Opt for wholemeal (or gluten free if you are sensitive to wheat). A bread & gluten free alternative to toast that’s great for brekky or a snack is also corn or rice thins! Try adding avo & tomato for a savory option or peanut butter & banana for a sweet treat – get creative!
– Oil. Stay away from canola & vegetable oil (vegetables don’t contain oil.. interesting!) Healthier options are coconut, which is the best option (good for baking, eating raw, skin & haircare & for cooking as it high a high smoke point), olive oil (dressings, low heat cooking), macadamia oil (baking).
– Salt & Pepper. I always use ground black pepper and pink himalayan salt (it has a ton more benefits then white salt! Don’t use table salt. Ground salt & pepper tastes better also.
-Rolled oats. These will be your best friend! They’re cheap, great for breakfast, to make the muesli & muesli bars that were mentioned earlier and you can ground them in a food processor to make oat flour which is great in baking (You’ll notice I use it a ton because it’s so cheap!) Homebrand is fine, oats are oats – Don’t let the fancy packaging and slogans fool you.
– Tinned Tomatoes. Always good in curries & pasta. Just check the label there’s nothing added. Coles have bargain 80c tins! Tomato paste is great too, just make sure it’s pure tomato paste. I use it as a sauce/ketchup replacement to dip oven baked chips in for example.
– Canned Chickpeas, Lentils & Beans.:A super cheap source of protein, fibre & iron. Used in main meals such as curries, mexican, vegetarian bolognese ect., even in baking (hellooo chickpea blondies & blackbean brownies!) Chickpeas are great oven roasted as a snack too! Just be sure to rinse canned legumes before use.
– Fruit. Don’t listen to the old “fruit contains too much sugar”, fruit is filled with nourishing vitamins & minerals. Do not be afraid of fruit!
– Vegetables & leafy greens. Vegetables is where the goodness is at, eat as many as you wish!
– Cinnamon. A staple spice! I use it daily whether it’s in smoothies, oatmeal or when baking! It’s amazing and adds a natural sweetness and health benefits. It regulates blood sugar, contains, fibre, calcium, iron & manganese.
– Rice. Brown rice or white rice, it doesn’t really matter. Brown has a few more health benefits than white and it’s a wholegrain. White is great for people with digestive problems as Brown rice can be difficult to digest.
– Nuts & Seeds. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pepita seeds.. the list goes on! Buy whichever you like, natural of course (salted or flavoured). They’re great as a snack, in mueslis & bars, baking, oatmeal & smoothie add-ins & toppings.
– Dried Herbs & ground spices. Always needed to flavour meals & add nutrition!
– Frozen vegetables. These are good for people who are time-poor. Prepped ready to chuck into stir fries, meal preps and for dinner sides when in a hurry. My personal favorites are peas & corn, perfect quick veggie hit!
These are optional as they are quite pricey, but my personal must haves are:
– Cacao powder. My favourite. You can make soooo many healthy chocolate treats with this. Smoothies that taste like chocolate thick shakes, chocolate icecream (frozen bananas + cacao) which you can top with a “ice magic” hardening chocolate shell (1 tsp coconut oil + 1/2 tsp cacao powder), then of course in baking, bliss balls & other raw treats. Chocolate with health benefits!? It’s worth the investment in my books.
– Chia seeds. Teeny seeds packed with protein, omega 3’s & fibre. Add it to anything! Add to oatmeal, smoothies, baking & even top savory dishes wish them! They’re tastless. You can also make a vegan egg replacement with them (1tbsp chia seeds + 3tbsp water, soak) & chia pudding as they get a gel coating when left whole in liquid.
– Maca powder. It balances hormones, can improve mental health & can increase your libido. I add 1/2 tsp to my smoothie or oatmeal daily.