Skinny Swaps
lead-image-instagram2-3.jpg

  Gia Canali Photography

When it comes to dieting, it all comes down to making responsible and mindful food decisions. This is what I call “snacking smart.” It’s one of the easiest ways to drop some pounds but in a healthy and steady way. Not only are you changing your diet, you slowly start losing your bad habits. And trust me, some of them can die hard!

When it comes to snacks, they all have a good twin and a bad twin. It’s easy to lose track of how many calories you are eating especially if they come in bite-size form! Mini muffins, anyone? Hell no! It’s better to swap the high-calorie-fat-sugar choices for their leaner twins.

Here’s my personal chart on how I choose the angels over the devils…and how easy it really is!

  • Instead of high-calorie Brie and other high-fat cheeses, try a low-fat cheese or cheese bites like low-fat mozzarella.
  • Ditch the white, brown or cane sugar, sprinkle in a little Xylitol or Stevia sweetener.
  • Say no to carbonated sodas (ALWAYS!), sip on sparkling water with a splash of juice, sprig of mint, or citrus instead.
  • Pass on high-carb and low-fiber crackers, snack on a high-fiber snack instead. I’m OB-SESSED with GG Scandanvian Bran Crispbread with a slice of low-fat cheese on top!
  • Instead of candy and sugary snacks, munch of a real and delicious sugar snack like green apples, berries, and orange slices.
  • When at a cocktail party, try not to order a margarita or a mixed drink with sugary sodas. Order Prosecco or a wine spritzer!
  • I know brownies can be super tempting but wanna know my go-to substitute? Low-calorie hot chocolate is the perfect chocolate craving curber!
  • Let’s be honest. Buttery popcorn can make anyone feel bloated! If you are craving a popcorn snack, try Skinny Pop. It’s my favorite! Herb-sprinkled heirloom tomatoes are also a yummy savory choice.
  • When cooking, stay away from canola or vegetable oil. Substitute your recipes with extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Forget about bacon bits on your salad. I mean, you might as well not even eat a salad to begin with! Sprinkle your salad with toasted sunflower seeds or pine nuts.
  • If you’re craving ice cream, there’s a healthier option. Try some flavored or non-flavored greek yogurt with chia seeds or walnuts.
  • Pasta is definitely my weakness. But all those empty carbs in pasta? Who needs ‘em? Make your own pasta with a spiralizer and turn almost any sturdy veggie into super-nutritional noodles.
  • Bye, potatoes. There’s a new veggie chip in town. Well, maybe not new but definitely my favorite! Instead of potato chips, make your own kale chips! They are so delicious and are just as savory. Here’s a new recipe that I tried recently from a blog called Oh She Glows that you will LOVE! 

All Dressed Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • Approximately ½ a bunch of kale leaves
  • ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 5 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt or pink Himalyan sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 300F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove leaves from the stems of the kale and roughly tear it up into large pieces. Compost the stems (or freeze for smoothies). Wash and spin the leaves until thoroughly dry.
  • Add kale leaves into a large bowl. Massage in the oil until all the nooks and crannies are coated in oil. Now sprinkle on the spices/seasonings and toss to combine.
  • Spread out the kale onto the prepared baking sheet into a single layer, being sure not to overcrowd the kale.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another 12-15 minutes more until the kale begins to firm up. The kale will look shrunken, but this is normal. I bake for 25 mins. total in my oven.
  • Cool the kale on the sheet for 3 minutes before digging in! This really makes all the difference! Enjoy immediately as they lose their crispiness with time.
  • Repeat this process for the other half of the bunch.

[show_lookbook_widget id="237026"]

Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.