Substitutes for Unhealthy Food

It seems that part of the reason why it is difficult to take on such a big task as the lifestyle change required to lose weight is that people adopt a belief system that a certain food makes the person happy, calms a craving or satisfies a need.  Some people tell me that they crave sweets, or that they will drink a milkshake and cannot stop themselves, or that they favor crunchy and salty things, and just cannot stop crunching.  Others are just “bread people”…cannot give it up.

One way to get around this would be to be open to learning about the many new varieties of things which are available that can potentially replace those things.  There are many sweetened beverages which use sucralose (aka Splenda) or erythritol (aka Truvia) as the sweetener.  This cuts out not only 200 calories per beverage, but, it also has the potential to reduce risk of type two diabetes.  A digestive disorders specialist featured on Dr. Oz comments that more than two sodas per WEEK has been shown to increase the rate of pancreatic cancer by 80 per cent!!

Green tea is a good choice, as it has been shown to increase the metabolism and also has an antioxidant, healthful effect.  I discovered hisbiscus tea quite by accident.  This delicious beverage has a gorgeous, cherry red color.  And I learned that this tea is consumed by certain island cultures…up to 26 cups per day without ill effect.  The huge bonus is that it is a natural blood pressure reducer.  (Sees Tufts University Medical School study on this).   I order the dried cut flowers in bulk from Amazon.  I brew it as you would any tea, sweeten it with Truvia, and keep it in the refrigerator.  This and green tea are the two available choices…they accompany us in a thermos every day.  They look beautful in a glass or cup.  In the summertime, I combine these half and half with Perrier or other sparkling water, and add a lemon…very refreshing.  Both can be consumed hot as well.

An acceptable substitute for store-bought or restaurant-ordered pizza is as follows:  Take a low carb tortilla (some are six carbs, if you look for them)…Saute them in a pan seasoned with canola or other spray, until lightly toasted on each side.  Place this on a pizza sheet, and coat it with the sauce with lowest sugar or carbs that you can find, by reading the labels.  Top with shredded mozzarella, some shredded parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes.  Broil in your oven about five minutes.  This WONDERFUL. fresh pizza has a fraction of the fats, carbs, calories ofwhat you would normally order. And it costs much less and is fresher too.

As a substitute for milk, I have grown quite fond of the almond milks… the labels on these amazing beverages.  I prefer the plain, (40 calories, 1 carb)…and occasionally add a bit of liquid sweetener.  This comes in chocolate, too..quite good.

There are some commercial breads with as few as 45 calories per slice.  If you search on the internet for “one carb bread”, you will also find some very acceptable substitutes…makes for great low carb french toast, can be used in meatloaf, even sandwiches.

Tofu is another easy way to reduce carbs in your meal..or even on a salad.  Here is how we make it and it is quite flavorful.  Drain a block of firm tofu, then pat off the moisture.  Slice it and use a paper towel to take out more water.  Put some toasted sesame oil in a frypan. Drizzle low sodium soy sauce on it after it is in the pan.  Season with garlic powder.  Flip after crispy on one side.  Have this as your protein or top a salad with this tasty treat.

Read labels as you purchase from your grocery list.  Keep acceptable substitutes available at all times, and you will find it easy to stay on your plan.