Nutrition in the Margins
My wife and I generally hawk our meal choices for ourselves and our children. Especially this year, due to health issues, we have been incredibly conscious of what goes on our plate.
We have been reading and researching all things food. One of the resources we have continually turned to is the book Beyond Labels by Joel Salatin and Dr. Sina McCullough. You can also read my post on the problems with counting calories, inspired by one of the Beyond Labels chapters.
(Some of the links are affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. I can’t recommend the Beyond Labels book enough!)
That book has been slowly transforming our meal choices. However, the moments between meals or after meals… that’s what typically gets me.
Snacks. Drink choices. And desserts. I like them all… they are the trio of tantalizing temptations.
My tendency is that I lack self-control when it comes to these choices, and that’s where my calorie intake, from a nutrient density perspective, suffers the most. I’ve had to learn what substitutes to make to continue my healthy eating choices in the space that orbits around a meal.
So, if you’re like me and find yourself getting tempted in the margins between meals, here are 3 easy swaps you can make to win in the in-betweens.
3 Food Swaps to Make for Snacks, Drinks, and Desserts
#1 – Snack Swap: Organic Fruit & Organic Peanut Butter
For our weekly discipleship group, we tend to have chips and salsa on hand for a group snack. Which means large bags of chips tend to set in our pantry.
Tortilla chips… paired with salsa or queso (we live in Texas)… that is my snack downfall.
But what has been working as a substitute throughout the day is organic peanut butter with organic fruit.
The benefits of eating organic v. non-organic deserves more attention than what I can give here, but if you go the peanut butter and fruit roue, I’d recommend making sure both have that organic label.
Costco’s organic peanut butter brand has been my go-to, and it goes well with either organic apples or organic bananas. You will want to buy a peanut butter brand th at only has one or two ingredients: organic roasted peanuts, and maybe some salt.
Organic peanut butter is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Just watch out for added sugars. Combined with organic applies (and or organic bananas), the pairing is a great balance of protein, fat, carbs, and fiber.
#2 – Drink Swap: High-Quality H20
Massive amount of low-nutrient density calories are consumed through liquids everyday in America. Sodas. Energy drinks. High-sugary sweet teas. Alcoholic beverages.
One of the most basic but effective changes you can make is swapping out those beverages for water. And it will surprise you how much water you should actually be drinking. In fact, if you are like most Americans, you are probably under-consuming the water that you need every day.
While studies disagree on the percentage of Americans that are chronically dehydrated, the number that’s floating out there is 75%.
The general recommendation for daily water intake is:
- Men: 3.7 liters (~1 gallon)
- Women: 2.7 liters (~3/4 of a gallon)
#3 – Dessert Swap: Organic Unsweetened Greek Yogurt + Raw Organic Honey (and organic fruit if desired)
I do think that there is an appropriate time and place for something sweet. But unregulated and regular amounts of sugar is terrible for your body. So dessert needs boundaries.
But what if you just “absolutely need” something sweet mid-week?
For whatever reason, I find myself with this craving either Tuesday or Wednesday evenings after the kids go to bed… so here’s what I’ve turned to.
Organic unsweetened Greek yogurt (whole milk), and add your own raw organic honey. Add organic fruit if you’d like (organic berries, apples, etc…). Adding chia seed is optional too.
Greek yogurt is high in protein, is great for muscle recovery, and has probiotics/bacteria that can help with your gut health. Just purchase an unsweetened, organic variety (with whole milk), as the added sugars in most sweetened yogurts will blow your mind. By adding your own raw organic honey, you get to control how much sugar enter your body.
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