As I’ve talked about before, since becoming a mum I’ve started to think a lot more about what I’m putting into mine and my daughter’s bodies. I want us all to live long and healthy lives, and be healthy on the inside as well as look well on the outside.
But at the same time I want to make it as simple as possible to be healthy and for it not to take too much work, otherwise we just wouldn’t stick to it long term. I like really simple healthy ideas or food swaps, that still taste as good or better, but mean that we are putting less crap into our bodies, whilst changing very little.
So I thought I would share a few little food swaps or ideas that are really simple, but will make quite a big difference to your health.
Easy Little Food Swaps to Improve Your Health
Himalayan Pink Salt instead of Table Salt
Table Salt is clearly really bad for you, but most of us do like a bit of salt on our dinner, and in our cooking. Himalayan Pink Salt is an absolutely brilliant alternative, that is actually rather good for you. It’s full of minerals and elements that can actually improve your health, in ways such as aiding in vascular health, promoting a stable pH balance, reducing the signs of ageing (hence why I now look 24 again), and it can detoxify the body of heavy metals.
I think it tastes nicer, and of course it’s very pretty too ;) I have this one from Amazon.
Sea Salt is also a lot better than table salt, but it is unfortunately becoming more and more processed and as our seas are so polluted it is nowhere near as pure as Himalayan Pink salt, which is thought to be the purest in the world.
Himalayan pink salt also great to put in the bath to detoxify and ease aching muscles. I have regular Himalayan salt or Epsom salt baths and I love them.
Butter instead of Margarine
This may seem like a slightly weird one, as we grew up thinking margarine was better for you than real butter as it is so high in saturated fat. But actually, margarine is so processed and contains no nutrients, whereas butter is a lot more ‘real’ and pure. I really believe now, that it is less important to worry about how much fat something has (within reason of course) and more important to think about the ingredients in something, and how many additives, preservatives and how much colouring they contain, of which margarine has a lot.
Butter on the other hand, is one of the best dietary sources of Vitamin A, and also contains vitamins E, K and D and is a rich source of selenium. It also keeps you fuller for longer. Of course it’s all about moderation, and just because it is better for you doesn’t mean you should eat tons of it.
Swap diet coke for full fat coke
I know this might sound a little crazy and I can completely understand if you are on a diet or trying to cut your calories then you go for the diet version. But diet drinks contain a shitload of sweeteners, and sweeteners are so bad for your health – worse than sugar. They can interfere with your hormones and make you overeat (or drink) so you may end up clinging onto that extra weight anyway. Plus they’re bad for you in loads of other ways too. I keep trying to get my loved ones (probably annoyingly, but it’s only because I care) to stop having sweeteners in fizzy drinks and in hot drinks because they worry me that much.
Make your own chocolate
It’s not as hard as it sounds! Obviously shop-bought chocolate is not great for you – it contains lots of sugar and calories. But chocolate that you can make yourself at home is actually pretty good for you and dead easy to make (kids love helping too!). You make it with raw cacao powder, cacao butter and coconut oil, and so it’s full of antioxidants, good fats, and other health benefits.
Yes, you have to spend some money on the ingredients (I get mine all from Amazon), but once you have them they last a while. It makes a really lovely dark chocolate that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating (not that you should feel guilty anyway), and Ava absolutely loves it which makes me feel a lot better about her eating chocolate regularly.
I don’t make it all the time, and I definitely eat plenty of shop-bought chocolate too – but making it occasionally makes me happier that we’re not putting so much crap into our bodies.
Choose full fat rather than low fat
I completely get why people go for low fat options when they are trying to lose weight, but actually low fat foods are generally highly processed and pumped full of sugar so that they actually taste vaguely edible, which of course is not good for you. They often have even higher levels of sugar in them that full-fat varieties, which means extra calories.
To me it’s more important to eat unprocessed, whole foods, with lots of good fats as much as I can, rather than worrying about calories and fat content, as well as easily fitting in some healthy bits into our busy lifestyles.
Of course, as with everything it is all about moderation. I eat pastries as does my daughter, and I’m not planning on stopping anytime soon, but we don’t eat them all the time. I do think it’s a good idea though to make some of the little swaps that make very little difference to you (like butter instead of margarine, and switching the type of salt you use), apart from the positive differences to your health.
These are just a few easy changes that you can make, most of which I have done too. I know staying healthy isn’t always easy, which is why I thought I would share a few simple ideas to fit into your life!
Do you have any other suggestions for easy food swaps?
I’d love to hear them if you do!