woman_pulling_out_hair[1]Yes, it’s true. You can get healthy without going on a strict diet plan or running 5 miles per day. And the best part is, you don’t need to feel deprived.  How do you do it?

Taking away the “unhealthy” food like sweets and chips from your daily routine can easily lead to deprivation and binging. Instead, “crowd out” those unhealthy sweets and treats by try adding in the healthier foods like fresh vegetables & whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa or barley. You will find that incorporating whole foods that contain more fiber and nutrients than processed foods, will keep you satisfied longer and help you avoid snacking on things that will add on weight.

Sound to simple to be true? Give it a try with these great swap-out ideas:

  1.  Having salad for lunch?  Sprinkle on some ground flax seed, combine with some leftover brown rice and add in colorful veggies.  Make it even better by using mixed greens in place of just lettuce.
  2. Need to get rid of the leftovers in the fridge?  Make a “leftover soup,” using up your veggies and combining with a whole grain like barley, brown rice or quinoa.  
  3. Is your bread too white?  Swap out white bread with whole grain breads. Make sure the first ingredient is “whole grain.” One of my favorite brands is Ezekiel.  
  4. Got into a sandwich rut? Your body LOVES diversity, so pump up those turkey & cheese sandwiches with fresh veggies.  Use hummus or avocado as a spread instead of mayo.  Better yet, try incorporating different sandwich ideas into your weekly routine by putting stir-fry leftovers in a wrap, making a roasted vegetable sandwich, or spreading pesto on a pita and filling it with your favorite toppings.  
  5. Not hydrated enough? Replace one of your afternoon drinks with water. Crowding out coffee, soda and other sugary drinks can help you get control of your weight and your blood sugar. Staying hydrated is important for a healthy immune system, weight loss, and overall well-being. 

If you have any other “swap out” or “crowd out” ideas, leave your comment below.