Hey guys! Hope this post finds you well!  I know that I have been MIA for a couple of weeks.  My husband, Brandon & I received an unexpected message from our landlord explaining that he is selling our home!  (Total bummer!) Needless to say, we have been spending our time as of late, frantically searching high and low for the next place to hang our hearts.  After what seems like an eternity of scouring Craigslist & Zillow Rentals, dodging annoying scam artists, and viewing close to a billion properties, I am extremely happy to report that we have finally secured a place! Now I can get back to spending more time doing what I love, health & wellness!


So, let’s talk about ingredients! Well, actually swapping ingredients!  It’s rather comforting to think that we can make our lives a little more healthy each time we make the choice to swap out some of our favorite ingredients for healthier options.  The idea seems pretty easy, right?  I’d say so! These substitutes are all very similar to their counterparts, so the transition should be seamless. However, if you are having a bit of trouble adjusting to the switch, you can always apply the retrain-your-tastebuds technique that I wrote about recently.  With that being said, here are some healthy substitutes that you might want to check out:


  1. Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream – To me, the taste between these two is incredibly similar, so the transition is a breeze. The fat content in sour cream is significantly higher than that of Greek yogurt; and not the good kind of fat (hello, avocado!)  Both are sources of nutrients including protein and calcium, although Greek Yogurt is a much higher source of protein.  Plus, Greek yogurt contain probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that help keep our digestive system in check!  That’s a serious bonus!


  1. Soft Goat Cheese for Cream Cheese– Soft goat cheese has around one-third of the calories, double the protein and close to half of the fat than that of cream cheese (depending on the brand,) making it the healthier choice. Also, the taste is pretty similar to the beloved cream cheese! Yum!


  1. Stevia Extract for Refined Sugar– We all know that refined sugar is the devil.  It is loaded with calories, super addictive, and may be linked to deadly diseases.  Stevia extract, on the other hand, is quite the opposite.  It has NO calories, is said to suppress cravings, and is used in South America to regulate hypertension! Score!  It is also super potent, so you need very little to sweeten up anything!


  1. Maple Syrup for Agave Nectar– The jury is still out with agave.  At first, it was the greatest thing since sliced bread; then it was deemed public enemy number one due to it containing more fructose than high-fructose corn syrup (yikes!)  One of my favorite blogs, Wellness Mama, wrote this very interesting article about agave. The article provides some pretty heavy information from a very reliable, trusted source!  I stay away from agave and instead use 100% organic maple syrup. Maple syrup is boiled sap from a maple tree, and it contains minerals and antioxidants including calcium, zinc, iron, manganese and potassium.  Keep in mind that it still does contain a lot of (natural) sugar and should be used sparingly.


  1. Coconut Oil for Butter– This one is a bit of a wild card. Both coconut oil and butter are high in calories and fat (sigh.) Still, I use coconut oil in place of butter most of the time, which isn’t all that often and definitely in moderation. I use it partly because I adore the taste and partly because of all of the potential health benefits which include slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and aiding in weight loss. This article written in Medical News Today breaks coconut oil nutrition down for you.


  1. Brown Rice for White Rice – White rice is actually brown rice that has gone through a milling process that strips it of the bran, germ, most of its natural vitamins and minerals, and all of the fiber and fatty acids. In its natural state, brown rice contains manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and niacin all of which are depleted upon the conversion to white rice. (Boo!)


As with most things in life, there are always contradictory opinions. I encourage you to stay educated in the types of food that you are putting into your body and feeding your family.  I hope that I am providing you some helpful information to assist you in your health journey.


What do you think about these swaps?


Will you give them a try?


Do you have any ingredients that you sub out?


I’m always up for a new healthy secret!


Thanks for reading!


Christina XO




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