What’s your relationship with your favorite foods? Mac n cheese… pizza… burgers… pasta?? Is it love/hate? Do they count as your “cheat” meals? Do you feel guilty or gross after you eat them?
As a relatively healthy person – meaning I stay active, eat high quality food, and balance the stresses in my life – I personally don’t follow an elimination diet. There aren’t any particular foods that cause distress on my body or bloating, and so I don’t feel the need to cut X, Y and Z just to “be healthy”. Instead, I focus on making the food I do eat as nutritious as possible.
Photo: Whole wheat protein pizza with LOTS of veggies
So yes, I eat mac n cheese, pizza, burgers, and pasta on a weekly basis. That being said, here are some of my favorite kitchen swaps to make food more nutritious but still taste like the real deal:
- Plain white pasta → Lentil (chickpea or red lentil) pasta, quinoa pasta, or whole wheat pasta
- White rice → Farro – it has more protein but retains the density and nuttiness of brown rice
- Burgers → Veggie patty (Boca has a great one with 17g or protein) on whole wheat buns and loaded with fresh spinach, fresh tomato, low sugar ketchup, and mustard. Usually I double stack the patty to up the protein:carbs ratio!
- Mac n cheese → I use whole wheat pasta and hide some cauliflower florets in there! Also, I reduce the amount of cheese needed to get a super creamy sauce by adding a bit of butternut squash puree!
- Pizza → Whole wheat or cauliflower crusts – YES!
- Stir-fry → For me, the best base is Explore Asian edamame pasta – so rich in nutrients and proteins
- No veggies → LOTS OF VEGGIES!! Everything you eat can easily be bulked up with mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, sweet potato, eggplant, and broccoli! Just steam, roast, or sauté a side of veggies to fill you up!
Let us know what your favorite meal swaps are – tag @AmariActive & @AbsAndAvocado and use #LiveAmari so we can see!