As a chef, health coach and nutrition enthusiast, I love sharing the fun foodie things that I learn, put into practice, and tweak along the way to suite my active lifestyle.
In a world of yo-yo dieting, trendy food fads, and so many people with unhealthy relationships with food, we aim to bring lasting change to this health crisis.
Our mission is to educate you beautiful people on the importance of eating whole + real foods, through supplying our San Diego locals with delicious meals, nutrient-dense recipes, and a community of support to help guide you into balance, living well, and true thriving!
Now, here are the Top 8 Healthy Food Swaps that you need to try ASAP!
- Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Otherwise known as ACV, this powerhouse raw vinegar has a ton of probiotic + gut-friendly bacteria which helps keep your gut healthy and moving. It’s also so delicious in sauces, vinaigrettes, bone broth, soups and dips, so you can feel confident in branching out from the usual balsamic or red wine vinegar. At the very least, skip the pasteurized regular apple cider vinegar and go for the raw unpasteurized “with the Mother” kind (find it here)! Hint - it also makes a wonderful bentonite clay facial mask with a drop of tea tree essential oil (ask me more about healing essential oils!), or a hydrating facial toner! (ACV is an amazing natural ingredient for DIY fun!)
Usually that hidden ingredient in hummus, but really these luscious ground up sesame seeds should be used more often on it’s own! Spread on a piece of toast with a little drizzle of raw honey and hemp seeds, or scoop some onto a bowl of roasted sweet potatoes, a banana, + cacao nibs, or with cooked cauliflower and quinoa for a simple veggie grain bowl. It even goes well with desserts like ice cream or banana bread straight from the oven. It is loaded with calcium, iron and B vitamins, and of course healthy fats that help your body run efficiently!
- Mashed Avocado
True story - I have an avocado toast EVERY morning. Sometimes with a fried egg, sometimes with sauerkraut (my fav is smoked jalapeno) and ghee-sauteed greens, maybe a little bacon, but ALWAYS with a little sea salt and pepper, atop my favorite local organic & artisan sourdough bread from Prager Brothers. You can swap a mashed avo for mayo or condiments on sandwiches, or even for cheese (as avos are so creamy and delicious). You can blend with herbs to make a zesty sauce or dip, or smash it on toast or crostinis and top with your favorites for a morning treat or little bite. Avocados are full of fiber, potassium, healthy fats & vitamin E. Plus, I am convinced that they make your day 10x happier because they are so delicious.
- Dark Chocolate
Milk chocolate is a thing of the past. If it’s not dark chocolate (72% or higher is best), you might as well be eating a basket of Easter candy. When baking, fruit dipping, drizzling, or just eating, dark chocolate is the way to go. It contains more antioxidants and is less processed and has little to no additives since it is closest to its natural state versus milk chocolate. Alter Eco is my favorite brand. You can’t go wrong with any of their flavors and can buy it for cheaper here!
- Flaxseeds (ground flax)
Buy it already ground up and mix it with water to use as a binder (i.e. flax egg) or thickener in smoothies, or add it to baked goods, yogurt or sprinkle on ice cream for increased fiber, healthy fats (omega 3’s) and protein. These little seeds are amazing for you and it’s a great swap for things like granola or wheat germ/wheat bran.
- Dark leafy Greens
Skip the iceberg lettuce, or even super common romaine hearts, and add in a mix of kale, chard, collards into your recipes, smoothies, salads or soups! The dark leafy greens contain minerals, phytonutrients, fiber (even protein!), and full of vitamins K, E, A, C & B. You really can’t overdo the greens, so start finding ways to sneak them into more of your meals!
- Oats or Quinoa
Let’s face it, cold cereal has like ZERO nutritional benefits for us. Even though the box of cereal claims to have vitamins, minerals and nutrients, almost all are fortified with these things because they’ve lost all their original whole grain goodness as they became heavily processed cereals. Try instead overnight oats, cooked steel cut oats, or a delicious spiced quinoa porridge.
- Coconut Milk
By far my favorite swap to date! You can replace dairy milk or even nut milk (if you are allergic), with canned coconut milk. You can make coconut whipped cream - which is an all-time favorite recipe - use it to thicken soups, or replace your artificial coffee creamer or half & half with coconut milk! It’s super creamy, slightly sweet and totally delicious! I swear you won’t miss the dairy once you gone down this coconutty road. Trader Joe’s has an amazing full fat organic canned coconut milk, but you can also get this brand, here!
I’d love to know your favorite healthy swaps and how you use them! Leave a comment or share a picture on instagram/facebook with #foodmadefreshblog so I can see it!
Eat Well + Be Well,