Host and Co-Producer, “Alive & Well with Michelle Harris,”
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult and time consuming. With so many options, from quick and easy home recipes to plant-based fast food, there’s never been an easier time to make the switch!
You won’t believe it’s not meat
The American Institute for Cancer Research has found that eating over 18 ounces of red meat per week increases your risk of certain cancers. Diets low in meat, such as the Mediterranean diet, have been shown to actually reduce your risk of heart disease.
Thanks to brands like Beyond Meat, Gardein, Morningstar Farms, and Impossible Burger, we now have plenty of delicious alternatives. These high-protein, plant-based meats are easy to cook and taste like the real thing.
On the go? Try a Beyond Taco or Burrito at Del Taco, or a grilled Beyond Burger at Carl’s Jr. You won’t believe it’s not meat! Burger King is rolling out the Impossible Whopper in more locations every day.
For even more options, check out Veggie Grill, a fast-growing chain of plant-based restaurants.
Kick your sugar habit
Too many sugary treats can cause blood sugar spikes. This can make you feel hungrier when your levels become low, which leads to overeating. Diets that are high in sugar increase your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
You can still indulge in a sweet treat by making the switch to a natural sugar substitute like stevia, which comes from the leaves of the dried stevia plant. You can find stevia and stevia blends in your local supermarket and in many sugar-free treats, even chocolate!
Xylitol is another option that is virtually indistinguishable from sugar. Monk fruit is another natural sugar substitute you should check out.
Switch your snacks
When you’re in the mood for a snack, chickpeas may not be the first thing that come to mind, but they might surprise you. Chickpeas are high in fiber and protein, which will keep you feeling full.
They are easy to make, too. Just dry some canned chickpeas, toss them with olive oil, add a little salt and pepper (or your favorite spices), and bake at 400 degrees for 30 or 40 minutes. For a spicy chili-lime flavor, sprinkle some Tajin seasoning on the chickpeas and bake them full of flavor.
You can even make sweet chickpea snacks by adding cinnamon and some natural sweetener. It’s fun to try different flavors!
Switch to true whole grains
One of the easiest swaps I made is eating whole grains. They are packed with fiber, which makes you feel full, as well as B vitamins, magnesium, and other vitamins and minerals. Whole grains can also reduce your risk of heart disease.
Make the switch by choosing brown rice or whole grain rice blends. Whole grain breads are everywhere and feel hearty and filling. Be sure to choose true “whole grain” breads versus “whole wheat” breads. Ancient grains like farro and quinoa are chock full of protein, and are delicious as side dishes, bowls, or salads.
The new mashed potatoes
Right now is the time for cauliflower. It’s being used to make lower calorie pizza crust, rice, and snacks. It’s also a way to sneak more veggies into your diet. High in fiber, choline, and other nutrients, it’s great for digestive health, and helps with weight management and overall well-being.
I love to make mashed cauliflower and it’s so easy to prepare. Simply steam some cauliflower (use colored varieties to mix things up) and blend in a food processor. Add in cooked garlic, non-dairy chive cream cheese, and blend to your desired texture. It tastes delicious and your body with thank you for it!