10 Healthy Alternatives for Natural Weight Loss

swap store produce for farmers markets

10 Healthy Alternatives for Natural Weight Loss

Here are my top 10 healthy alternatives to common foods.Whether you’re looking to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle Keep in mind, you don’t have to replace everything all at once. You can even create a swap out list along side your grocery list and work the replacements into your meals over time.

Healthy Alternatives are not a compromise, they are a path to effortless weight loss


not a healthy alternatives datepaste - healthy alternatives

Replace sugar with Stevia raw honey or date paste

 

Stevia is all natural and has zero calories, carbs or sugar. Raw Honey has other health benefits, which include anti-microbial, heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory effects. It does break down in your body the same as sugar so while it has nutritional benefits, treat it as sugar. Date paste is an easy sugar alternative loaded with calcium, iron, magnesium and fiber.

 


soda - replace for healthier eating as healthy alternatives soda watersoda - healthy alternatives Skip the soda and drink sparking water or Kombucha

There is nothing “good’ about soda pop and a healthy alternative is a vital change. Sparkling water will provide the fizz you may need without all the chemicals and sugars. Kombucha is a fermented beverage loaded with probiotics which are good for digestion and intestinal health.

 

 


milk as healthy alternatives milk almonds healthy alternatives Replace milk with almond milk

Unless you’re drinking Kelfir or milk from grass fed cows, skip the milk, period. Of course there is plenty of research around whether we should even be drinking it at all (not Paleo is only one), but that’s for another time.  Almond or other nut milks contain calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium. zinc,B-6, folate, riboflavin and others.

 


mustard healthy alternatives mustard for mayo as healthy alternatives Use mustard instead of mayo

If you cant live without the mayo, at least try veganaise, they are less likely to contain GMO related fats and other chemicals. Read the labels! Outside of the caloric benefit of mustard over mayo, it’s healthy. It contains antioxidants along with turmeric (anti-inflammatory). Mustard seed has also been classified as a super food due to it’s nutrient dense anti cancer fighting benefits.

 


salad dressing store as healthy alternatives salad dressing as healthy alternatives Replace store bought salad dressing for homemade vinaigrette

Store bought dressings are laden with GMO fats and other chemicals that have zero benefits to our health. With homemade dressings you have control over the ingredients. Use good fats, like olive oil, almond oil or grapeseed oil.  You can even use just a good extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

 


market store as healthy alternatives market farmer as healthy alternatives Shop local farmer’s market for fresh in season produce instead of large grocery store chains

In season produce has more nutrients due to a shorter “shelf” life. When in season produce isn’t available, the next best option is frozen. It goes from farm to freezer keeping its nutrients.

 

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salt-shaker-as healthy alternatives salt-pink as healthy alternatives Replace your table salt with Himalayan salt

The processing of table salt has removed all of it’s minerals. Himalayan rock salt contains over 80 minerals.  Some of the benefits include balancing PH, increasing hydration, balance electrolytes, lower blood pressure and improve circulation.

 


peanutbutter as healthy alternatives peanutbutter almond as healthy alternatives Replace processed peanut butter with almond butter

Peanuts are actually legumes and are not Paleo. That could be enough but I’ll continue.  Peanuts contain high levels of Omega 6 which can lead to inflammation. They contain aflatoxin with is actually a natural mold that is the source of people’s peanut allergies. These aflatoxins are also a potent carcinogen so replacing peanut butter with alternative nut butter will help cut down on your toxic load exposure from the environment.  Almond butter is a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant along with trace minerals and is more nutritionally dense then peanut butter.

Healthy alternatives are not a compromise, they're a new experience.... Click To Tweet

oil vegetable as healthy alternatives?oil coconut as healthy alternatives Swap your vegetable oil for coconut oil

There has been enough press around the hazards of GMO foods/oils.  Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides that metabolize differently and has proven to increase energy, reduce candida (yeast), improve brain health, reduce hunger  help with may brain disorders. There are about 100 more benefits of using coconut oil, but bottom line, it’s definitely earns it’s role as a superfood.

 


croutons as healthy alternatives croutons sliced almonds as healthy alternatives Use almonds instead of croutons on salads

Croutons are high in sodium ,carbohydrates and do not offer much nutritional value.  Almonds are loaded with vitamin E, fiber, protein, healthy fats, manganese, magnesium, cooper, B12, phosphorus and loaded with antioxidants. It can also help with weight loss. Almonds contain many nutrients that are hard for the body to breakdown. Therefore, 10-15% of the calories can’t be absorbed.

 

 

Check out more delicious and healthy recipes here

Who Else Wants To Eat Chocolate and Lose Weight?

Seriously, eat chocolate and lose weight?

eat chocolate and lose weight
Get Your Daily Recommended Dose

There is scientific evidence to prove the statement ‘eat chocolate and lose weight’. Now before you rush to the cupboard or the store, there are a few clarifying facts you should know. This isn’t a bait and switch, you just need to ensure you have the right recipe to achieve the maximum benefits from this glorious antioxidant rich food. Yes, I classify it as a food. First, it’s not just ANY chocolate. Dark chocolate (look for 65-70% cocao) has proven health benefits. Cocao, has one of the highest levels of antioxidants loaded with flavonoids. It actually contains 5X more flavonoids then an apple! It enhances metabolism through the effect it has on the absorption and digestion of fats and carbohydrates making you feel fuller faster. In addition, it will lesson your cravings for sweet, salty, fatty foods. As if that wasn’t enough, and for most people, you may want to stop right here, but I insist you must read on.  A word of caution before we proceed. Cocao is the hero here. It does have a bitter taste, so the butter and sugar often added to cocao to sweeten the flavor is what you need to watch out for. You still need to practice moderation. Suggested dosage, don’t you just love that term, is 7 ounces of dark chocolate a week or one once per day.

 

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So, what do you look for?

According to the University of Michigan School of Integrative Nutrition you can eat chocolate and lose weight – who by the way, has dark chocolate listed in their “healing foods pyramid”

Use the following guidance:

  • > 60% cocoa
  • Made from cocoa butter instead of fats such as palm and coconut oils. Although cocoa butter does contain significant amounts of saturated fat in the form of stearic acid, it has been shown to have a neutral effect on cholesterol unlike the saturated fat in both palm and coconut oils.
  • Made without the use of ‘hydrogenated’ or ‘partially hydrogenated’ oils, which are known to negatively impact cholesterol
  • Darker is better: phytochemicals, like flavonoids, contribute to pigment. More flavonoids means darker chocolate and potentially greater health benefits.
  • Chocolate is only as good as its ingredients; look for dark chocolate made from organic or fairly traded cocoa beans (Find a list of fair trade certified chocolate producers at: http://www.transfairusa.org/)

Also, worthy to note that milk acts as an inhibitor. In multiple studies, caseins (the protein found in milk) binds to polyphenals negating the positive antioxidant effects. Apparently the same is true for other antioxidant rich items such as tea and blueberries. Use dairy free milk alternatives instead such as almond milk, hemp, or coconut milk.

Another word of caution, cocao is high in oxalates. People who experience kidney issues and are susceptible to kidney stones should avoid oxalate producing foods. Cocao does contain caffeine and although research is inconclusive, it has been linked as a trigger for migraines in some people. Eating chocolate and losing weight may not be possible for those who should suffer from the issues mentioned and it is best to seek medical advice if you are unsure.

The  Mayans considered it a cure-all

Reduce stress: A finnish study showed that women who ate chocolate during pregnancies, experienced less stress and their babies were happier and smiled more. Keep in mind this is because stress itself can leave an imprint on the fetus, although I suggest you do your own research and may want to continue to have your daily dosage to relieve stress over the next 18 years. Just a thought. Chocolate was also found in a Swiss study to reduce stress hormone levels in subjects who were very anxious.

Helps control insulin levels: An Italian study: “Flavonoids increase nitric oxide production,” says lead researcher Claudio Ferri, M.D., a professor at the University of L’Aquila in Italy. “And that helps control insulin sensitivity.” Again, before taking any supplements (I’m referring to the chocolate here) please consult with your health care professional.

Improved alertness and brain activity: Researches at Oxford University, Norway and the University of Nottingham found that drinking cocoa rich in flavanols boosts blood flow to key parts of the brain for 2 to 3 hours. Next time you have a big test, presentation or an interview don’t forget your dose of dark chocolate. Make it peppermint dark chocolate and you’ll get a double bonus.

Sun protection: Yes, I didn’t see this one coming. According to London researchers chocolate flavanols’ sun-protecting capabilities. Subjects who ate chocolate with high levels of flavanols took twice as long for their skin to develop the reddening effect that indicates the beginning of a burn. So in addition what we’ve learned in the article on sunscreen, you can prepare for your next sunny holiday by adding dark chocolate to the list.

Cough suppressant: One study found that chocolate quieted coughs almost as well as codeine without the side effects of feeling sleepy and foggy. This may be due to theobromine, found in chocolate which may suppress the vagus nerve in the brain. Chocolate vs codeine, natural remedies are not only healthier, they can be tastier too.

Don’t forget your daily dose

So, there you have it. A metabolism booster so you can eat chocolate and lose weight and so much more. It’s no wonder this rich and creamy commodity has been coveted by people for thousands of the years. The Aztecs even used it as money. Just be sure to watch out for added sugars and take note of the list above of what to look out for when reading labels. I typically reserve my dose for the weekends for items like chocolate chip vegan cookiesguilt free chocolate mousse or to add to our Paleo Thai pancakes. Enjoy!

Sources:

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/chocolate-facts?

http://www.med.umich.edu/umim/food-pyramid/dark_chocolate.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/025670_tea_milk_polyphenols.html