Sticking to a diet can be really hard when things like cheesecake and burgers exist. After all, who can resist bread and cheese aka the greatest invention ever. Not only is unhealthy food extremely addicting, but it's also the cheaper and easier option oftentimes. Especially for working women who don't have the time to sit down and cook or go buy groceries. I get it, drive-thrus are the bombdotcom. But what if you could make little changes to make your food healthier? Like switching up an ingredient, or DIYing your fav snacks and treats? Not only are these alternatives easier than you can possibly imagine, but they're also super delicious(and healthier, ofc)!
1. Sweeten Baked Goods With Fruit
Everyone knows white sugar is bad for you (unless you've been living under a rock, ofc). And not only that, but it's pretty sneaky too. Just take a look at your pantry. Bottled marinara sauces, our favorite cereals (personally, I'm a cocopuffs gal). Guess what? They all contain added sugar! Need I say more? In fact, high fructose and artificial sugar is such a staple in our diet, that we don't even notice when it in our "healthy" sugar alternatives. Surprise, surprise.
Your go-to sugar "alternatives" from your local health store... they aren't so alternative after all. Basically any of the blue agave nectar or stevia marketed as "healthy" actually contains extremely high levels of fructose. Avoid avoid AVOID. Instead, opt for natural sugars by picking up fruits. At least we know for sure what's in a strawberry or mango. Not only that, but use them to sweeten up your baked goods instead of using anything artificial (whether it be called "healthy" or not). They'll naturally sweeten up that chocolate cake or vanilla muffin in no time, guilt-free. Did someone say yum?
2. DIY Popcorn Seasoning
Craving chips? Specifically Salt&Vinegar Lays or Flamin' Hot Cheetos? If you love snacking but can't seem to find the perfect replacement for your OG comfort food, don't worry. Because I have the solution for you! So, everyone is already clued in that between chips and popcorn, popcorn is def the healthier option. And it's just as tasty! But if you're tired of boring old plain popcorn (no one blames you), try your hand at some DIY seasoning to totally elevate the snack. All you gotta do is mix a handful of your favorite spices from your spice rack and sprinkle them on your popcorn. And voila! Now you have your own Flamin' Hot cheetos with just a dash of paprika and cayenene pepper. Delicious!
3. Cook With Splash of Water
You've probably heard that cooking with butter and oil is unhealthy. And that's no surprise, considering the high fat content in both. But, unfortunately, when cooking up that pasta, butter and oil is a must. I mean, assuming we don't want burnt veggies. And even though it may seem unavoidable to baste that pan with butter or oil before starting a meal, I have a solution for you. Put a splash of water in the pan, and it acts just the oil and butter would, without the extra helping of high cholesterol! Now, this hack is super easy and simple, but a word of caution before you get to cooking. This trick works ONLY with low temp foods, cause the water will evaporate quickly with high temp meals like stirfry, causing the veggies to burn real quick (not ideal). Other than that, try this out at home, now and cut out that unneccessary fat. It couldn't be easier!
4. Healthy Fizzy Drinks
Oh, fizzy drinks. Like me, you too are probably obsessed with Coke, Sprite, Fanta or any other sugary soda. And who can blame us? It's soooo delicious and goes so well with pizza. But, unfortunately, sugary sodas are extremely unhealthy. They have loads of sugar and let's just say, aren't easy on our teeth (dental hygiene is IMPORTANT, people). However, I'm not one for totally cutting out cravings, but for curbing them. With a substitute. Which is to say, DIY soda! And it couldn't be easier, I'm telling you! All you have to do is take some fresh fruit juice (blend up those strawberries, you guys), add some unflavoured club soda, maybe a squeeze of lemon or mint, and you're good to go! Call over your girlfriends and blend up these drinks with a cute mini-umbrella or chopped up fruit. Mmmm! Lounging and sippin' near the pool never sounded so good!
5. Homemade Sauces and Dressings
Let's be honest. Stirfrys and salads are totally bland without some tangy delicious dressing or sauce to give it that extra kick. But, well, we've got busy schedules. We don't have time to make a super complicated sauce with fifty ingredients that you have to prepare overnight. And on that note, I completely agree. Those online homemade tomato sauce recipes and salad dressings can be too much fuss for us busy working women. However, what if you could find that same umami flavour to elevate that pasta or that quinoa salad with so just 2-3 ingredients? Here's how to do it: just grab a bowl, mix in any blend of citrus (lemon, orange, or anything you can find), a dash of healthy oil(olive or avocado is my personal favorite) and milk(coconut oil). You're good to go!