Read This If Your New Year's Resolution Begins In The Kitchen

New year, new you?

2017 has arrived and with it, the overflowing onset of new resolutions, goals, and aspirations. It's no surprise that one of the biggest expectations people have at the beginning of the year is: 'get healthy', which, we're totally onboard with when it comes from a place of self-love and compassion. Whether that means drinking more water, eating more veggies, or working to make home-cooking a habit, if your new year's resolutions begin in the kitchen (ours usually do), start with a few simple kitchen swaps. After all, small conscious changes create the basis for radical transformation (and when it comes to eating healthy, restriction isn't an option). 

Swap this, for that: 13 Healthy Food Swaps For All Your Kitchen Staples

Swap this: “I can’t have”, restriction-based, lack mentality
For this: An abundance mindset

Okay, so this isn't technically a food swap but it makes the world of a difference. Instead of focusing on what you "can't have", depriving or restricting yourself  it never works and only leaves you wanting more  focus on healthy options you can add into your day to day. Abundance only. Got it? Good. Time to eat!

SWAP THIS: CONVENTIONAL DAIRY MILK
FOR THIS: UNSWEETENED NONDAIRY MILK (ALMOND MILK, HEMP MILK, RICE MILK, ETC.)

Because cow's milk is intended for baby cow's (not humans), it's hardly surprising that most people can't digest it. Instead, switch to a plant-based nut or seed milk like hemp, almond, coconut, rice, etc. Although homemade is best (and incredibly easy to make - tutorial coming soon), if that's just not happening, look for brands without any added carrageenan. 

Swap this: Hydrogenated and polyunsaturated vegetable oils (like canola, corn, and soy oils)
For this: Unrefined, extra-virgin coconut oil

Hydrogenated and polyunsaturated vegetable oils use high heat and chemical solvent methods for extraction which damages their structure making them extremely unhealthy when ingested. Instead, opt for unrefined coconut oil which has a high smoke point making it stable for cooking and baking at high temperatures. 

SWAP THIS: STORE BOUGHT SALAD DRESSINGS
FOR THIS: HUMMUS OR AVOCADO MASHED WITH APPLE CIDER VINEGAR AND MUSTARD

Store bought salad dressings are usually loaded with chemicals and unhealthy fats earning your salad the 'worst dressed' award. Instead, make a homemade hummus with chickpeas and tahini or our go-to: avocado mashed with apple cider vinegar. 

SWAP THIS: PEANUT BUTTER
FOR THIS: NUT AND SEED BUTTERS WITH ONE INGREDIENT

Peanuts (including organic peanuts and peanut butter) are highly susceptible to salmonella contamination and mold that produces aflatoxin (a carcinogen that has been linked to liver cancer, liver congestion and growth stunts in children). Instead of peanut butter, try raw almond or sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option. Look for nut and see butters with just one ingredient to avoid unnecessary additives like sugar (food manufacturers hide it everywhere). 

SWAP THIS: TABLE SALT
FOR THIS: MINERAL RICH HIMALAYAN PINK SALT OR DRIED SEAWEED FLAKES LIKE DULSE OR KELP

Sodium (aka salt), is a vital nutrient your body needs. However, the salt that restaurants and packaged foods use (aka common table salt), is highly refined which strips it of it's natural essential minerals. Instead, opt for Himalayan pink salt. It's the purest salt on Earth and contains 80+ naturally occurring elements and minerals. If you're looking to go salt free, dulse and kelp (aka seaweed), are great replacements due to their salty taste and high nutritional content. 

SWAP THIS: DRY BREAKFAST CEREALS
FOR THIS: STEEL CUT OATS, OLD FASHIONED OATS, OAT GROATS, OR CREAM OF BUCKWHEAT

Not only are most breakfast cereals heavily processed and completely nutrient void, they're usually loaded with refined sugars, artificial colors, and preservatives like BHT. Instead, opt for any variation of at or cream of buckwheat for a nourishing start to the day. 

SWAP THIS: WHITE OR WHEAT PASTA
FOR THIS: BROWN RICE PASTA, QUINOA PASTA, MUNG BEAN PASTA, BLACK BEAN PASTA

Both white and wheat* pasta are made from grains processed to the point of no return (ie. void of all nutritional value). Instead, try mung bean pasta, black bean pasta, quinoa, brown rice pasta, etc. There are tons and tons of healthy pasta subs. You could also try veggie noodles if you're feeling adventurous. 

*Wheat pasta is just white pasta that hasn't been bleached. 

SWAP THIS: WHITE RICE
FOR THIS: BROWN RICE, QUINOA, MILLET, WILD RICE

Like white pasta (see above), white rice is stripped of nutrients leaving nothing but a refined carbohydrate that becomes sugar as soon as it enters the body. Whole grains and pseudograins make awesome alternatives. Try: quinoa, millet or wild rice. 

SWAP THIS: WHITE OR WHEAT BREAD
FOR THIS: SPROUTED GRAIN BREAD

Sprouted grain bread is made from wheat kernels that have been sprouted, ground, and baked into bread therefore retaining all of the grain's nutrients. The flour made from these grains provides more protein, vitamins and minerals than refined flours. Sprouting also neutralizes phytic acid, a substance present in grains, which inhibits absorption of nutrients. One of our favorites is Food For Life's Ezekiel 4:9 breads. (Usually found in the freezer section of the grocery store.)

SWAP THIS: WHITE SUGAR AND ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
FOR THIS: NATURAL SWEETENERS

Artificial sweeteners like saccharin (Sweet'N Low), aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), or sucralose (Splenda) should be avoided at all costs. They've all (on more than one occasion) been linked to serious health problems including cancer and infertility, and white processed sugar is no better. It's addictive, robs your system of nutrients, messes with your blood sugar levels and promotes inflammation and inflammation = disease. Instead, opt for natural sweeteners. We use and recommend any of these.

SWAP THIS: SODA (INCLUDING THE “DIET” STUFF)
FOR THIS: KOMBUCHA AND CARBONATED H2O

Sodas, both regular and diet, are among the most toxic foods out there. They're proven to cause a wide range of health disorders, from obesity and cardiovascular disease, to diabetes and cavities, to blurred vision and ADD. Needless to say, ditching soda in every form is 1000% necessary. To satisfy your need for something fizzy, opt for carbonated water or kombucha. 

SWAP THIS: CHOCOLATE
FOR THIS: RAW CACAO

Raw cacao or "healthy" chocolate (see here and here) is a superfood in every sense. It's rich in antioxidants, magnesium, iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus, and tryptophan, a powerful mood enhancer. FYI: Raw cacao is bitter. Pair it with a natural sweetener or use it in a recipe.

While this list is by no means extensive, making small subs and stocking a healthy kitchen is the first step. We highly, highly, highly encourage you to experiment when it comes to food. It's the only way you'll find what works for you and your unique makeup. When you develop a greater sense of awareness of how your body reacts towards certain foods you become more in-tune with what your body actually needs in order to thrive. 

Want more healthy eating info and high vibe nutrition knowledge? Get Nourished By Nature, our 14-day guide to living whole and eating well.

Here's to optimal health in 2017! 

PS. Are you into new year's resolutions? We'd love to know! Share in the comment section. As you know, we're big fans of resolving things (anytime of the year). 

PPS. Got good intentions but can't get your resolutions to stick? Read this and this

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