As I was checking Facebook the other day, I stumbled upon a very interesting article named The 8 Worst Foods To Avoid At All Costs.
As I clicked on the link, I had a pretty good feeling that most of these foods wouldn’t exist within my normal eating habits. Well, I was sort of right…
Like most people, I’m only human, and cheat days are a must for me…although I try to limit them. So, I decided to do a blog post today to show you guys that it’s ok to cheat every once in a while, but it’s also VERY smart to find substitutes to these very, nasty foods.
Donuts – So bad for you, yet taste so flippin’ good. Just the other day I ate half a donut at the office in celebration of National Donut Day. I can guarantee you that if you give me an excuse to consume a donut, you can bet your last dollar that it’s going straight to my tummy. My favorite local donut shop hands down is Meche’s Donut King.
Substitution – If you have a sweet tooth, try snacking on fruit blended Greek yogurt. Another one of my favorite sweet treats is my Chocolate Date Bites – they’re sweet, yet filled with healthy fruits and nuts.
Bagels – Just the other day I was telling Brett how much I missed having a New York Bagel right at my doorstep. Leaving Baton Rouge meant leaving so many of my favorite lunch and dinner restaurants. I would usually opt for a honey whole wheat bagel, but I’m sure even that bagel wasn’t doing much good for my body.
Substitution – I love any sort of doughy bread, but typically try to stick to whole wheat sandwich thins or tortillas at home. To totally kick the carbs to the curb, try enjoying your sandwiches wrapped within lettuce. Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches is one sandwich shop that I know of that offers an “Unwich”, which is any of their sandwiches wrapped within lettuce. Pretty neat, huh?
Sugary Cereal – I grew up on sugary cereal…my favorites being Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Frosted Flakes, Lucky Charms (especially the marshmallows) and Fruit Loops. I must admit that I have not indulged in any sugary cereals for quite some time. Woo hoo, one horrible food completely out of my diet.
Substitution – Oatmeal (Old Fashioned Oats, not the packets) is one of my favorite forms of breakfast…especially in the winter. It’s yummy and definitely holds you over until lunchtime. Other favorite breakfast items are Greek yogurt, smoothies, any form of eggs (scrambled, over-easy, boiled), Kashi Go-Lean Crunch cereal, whole wheat toast with nut butter and honey and the Veggie Frittatas pictured above.
Chips – Shoot, I just ate a small bag of chips during lunch yesterday…Oops! And please don’t even get me started on chips and salsa at Mexican Restaurants.
Substitution – I definitely eat chips in moderation, but try my best to keep them out of our house completely. If I’m eating lunch at home, I usually enjoy a sliced apple, sliced bell-pepper or baby carrots along with my main dish.
French Fries – I’m usually a sucker for loaded French fries, but only if consuming with a group of people. McDonald’s French fries also were a weakness of mine, but I have to admit, Brett and I have not been consuming any sort of fast-food chains lately.
Substitution – If French fries are an option at a restaurant, I usually opt for steamed veggies or sweet potato fries if they are offered. You must try my recipe for Sweet Potato Fries which is pictured above.
Fast-Food Burgers – Again, I’ve really been trying to steer myself clear from the fast-food industry. However, not completely yet. But I must say, Brett and I have probably cut down our fast-food eating to about once or twice a month at most.
Substitution – I’d honestly rather indulge at a local burger joint over a fast-food restaurant any day, but I know for a fact that the healthiest form of burgers are those made at home using locally bought meat. The turkey burgers pictured above is one of my favorite at-home burger recipes.
Microwave Popcorn – I couldn’t even imagine a movie theatre experience without popcorn. Luckily, due to our busy weekends, Brett and I rarely make it to the movie theatre, but it still doesn’t stop us from popping a bag during movie nights at home.
Substitution – Typically Brett and I only eat microwave popcorn during movie nights, which is a rare occurrence in our home. If you are unlike us, and pop more than one bag every two weeks, I would suggest a platter of raw veggies. Also, try dipping your veggies into hummus instead of ranch dressing.
Margarine – Let’s face it, I’m from South Louisiana…ignoring margarine or butter is almost impossible since most Cajun recipes call for this sinful ingredient. And let’s be honest, it makes any meal a million times tastier.
Substitution – I try to substitute oilive oil when butter or margarine appears in a recipe. Also, Smart Balance offers a healthier buttery spread that contains omega-3 fats.
So there you have it, my name is Celina and I am a cheater of my diet! The best advice that I can give you guys is to stay consistent. Even though I cheat here and there, I’m constantly trying to improve our meals at home for the better. My next best tip is to cook from the comfort of your home. The internet is such a powerful tool, so use it to search for healthy recipes and tips. I get some of my best recipes from my favorite, healthy food blogs and let’s not forget about Pinterest.
We are all given one body to live with, so please make sure to take care of yourself by eating foods that are both good for you and that make you feel AWESOME…but don’t be afraid to cheat, especially if red wine is involved.
Have a wonderful weekend!