September 12, 2020
Have you struggled to make changes and sticking to them. Could working on your wellness goals be as simple as finding a better-for-you swap to make each Saturday? And imagine if you carry it forward throughout the week or month to create a new habit! Some ingredient swaps may seem like they’re a trend or bandwagon type of change, and sometimes that is why we don’t stick with them. The next “latest and greatest” diet trend comes along to push the last one to the wayside.
If you’re trying to make lasting changes, focus on small swaps as a starting point. Going for a change to your grains? Here are some ideas:
- Transition to brown rice by mixing half white and half brown at first to get used to any differences in flavor or texture. Then make the full switch to brown rice.
- Transition to whole grain pasta by mixing regular and whole grain pasta. This one isn’t quite as simple because they sometimes cook up at different rates.
- Swap quinoa or riced cauliflower for rice in any stir fry or bowl meals.
Here are a few other ideas for swaps that you might not notice. Often, you’ll find that the swapped item offers and enhanced flavor or texture to the item.
- Swap plain Greek yogurt for sour cream.
- Use applesauce in place of oil in some types of baked goods.
- Mash up avocado and then use it in place of mayonnaise.
- Swap any brand of plant-based meat alternative (burger, sausage, ground meat, etc.) for ground beef.
- Blend diced, cooked mushrooms for half the ground meat in a recipe.
- Choose roasted chickpeas or popcorn in place of chips for a snack.
- For the kiddos… try Perdue® Chicken Plus to add some extra veggies for picky eaters.
There are many ways to make small swaps that have big impact. And, if you repeat them often it’ll start a new habit that can offer significant nutritional benefits. Use the Email a Dietitian form if you need some other ideas for simple swaps you can make any day.
September 10, 2020
Don’t forget… it’s Thankful Thursday!
2020 has dealt its fair share of blows to our world, but it’s not time to give up! Health facilities across the country are still dealing with coronavirus and difficult patient care situations. Teachers are back to virtual learning, in-person instruction (and worrying about safety while maintaining some semblance of “calming normalcy” in a classroom that is anything but normal), or a hybrid version. While both groups have trained for their respective professions, neither have trained for this extreme version. These are challenging times for all, so my request is for each of us to remain thankful and show that you are grateful for those around us serving our society.
All essential workers, law enforcement, emergency responders, and teachers need to be appreciated for their efforts to keep our communities moving in the right direction. We need to use our words to give thanks and show small acts of kindness to support those going above the call to keep society in motion. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Be the change you want to see! With so much negativity happening in our world, we need to find ways to counter it. I truly believe that random acts of kindness put good karma into the universe and being the type of person you want others to be has to have a positive impact at some point. Don’t forget to instill these principles in children also. They’re the next generation who will control the success of our world!
September 8, 2020
Whether you go traditional or experiment a bit, tacos are a great option for mixing things up and boosting your plant-based eating. Swap in beans instead of meat for a protein source. Beans can be a complete protein source when paired with corn. Vary your choice of tortilla (flour or corn) and choose between hard or soft shell options. Add some extra veggie servings with what you use to fill the taco or by swapping for a lettuce wrap. If you’ve got the time and like to experiment, you can make cauliflower tortillas to save some carbohydrates.
And, whether you’re going meatless or not, you can choose lean cuts of beef, pork, or chicken, or ground versions – just be sure to choose those labeled “lean” or minimum of 90%. A fish taco is another great way to include one of your 2 recommended servings per week of fish or seafood for their Omega-3 fat benefits. Who knew a taco could boost your brain and heart just by filling it with seafood!