Simple Swaps for Your Favorite Convenience Foods
When you start switching up your dietary template to include more real, whole foods, one of the categories of foods that often wants to linger around is convenience foods. They are quick, simple, and make our lives easier! However, these convenience foods are often not-so-convenient for our health as they are typically loaded with sugar, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, or gluten. Not a good combo! Today, I want to share some of my favorite swaps for traditional convenience foods, which I'll also stretch to include condiments that make our foods taste better as well.
Even the "healthier" olive oil based mayos are still loaded with inflammatory vegetable oils and sugar and/or artificial sweeteners. My favorite swap for traditional mayo is Primal Kitchen mayo. It is literally something I could eat by the spoonful if I wanted, and has all the same flavors of traditional mayo without all the added crap. It can be found online here or in stores at Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme, Natural Grocers, and Open Harvest. Or, if you are up to the task, you can make it yourself with this super simple recipe!
Have you ever checked to see how much sugar is actually in a serving of regular ketchup? It's not good. However, Primal Kitchen comes to the rescue with my newest favorite product: Primal Kitchen Ketchup. It is just like regular ketchup without the added sugar and ingredients that don't belong. It literally tastes so good, I want to use it on everything (and that's coming from someone who doesn't use many condiments to begin with). It can be found online here or in stores at Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme, Natural Grocers, and Open Harvest.
3. Granola Bars
I HATE GRANOLA BARS. There, I said it. They, along with most protein bars, have absolutely NO nutritional value to add to our health. Period. They are basically a bunch of sugar and grains lumped together with a pretty wrapper on top and called healthy. Instead of reaching for one, I'd recommend choosing a different brand such as Larabars, RXBars, Primal Kitchen, or Epic Brand. These all have much cleaner ingredient lists and always are perfect for traveling or keeping for emergencies!
4. Soda & Sugar Sweetened Beverages
Soda has zero nutritional value and depletes nutrients when we drink it. Plus, to make it worse, there are a lot of other sweetened beverages claiming to be "healthier" than soda (Gatorade, Propel, sweetened teas, etc) but are just as nutrient depleting (even if they claim to have a ton of extra nutrients added in like Vitamin Water). Replacing these options with water (yay!) with lemon or kombucha (a fermented tea beverage - GTs is my favorite brand) is always a much better option. LaCroix is another option for those looking for a bit of carbonation as well.
5. Baking Mixes
Simple Mills is my absolute favorite brand for crackers and premade baking mixes that actually taste good! They have muffins, bread, rolls, pizza crust, and more! Plus, they have frosting too if you choose to make something a little sweeter. Are these foods to be had every day? No. But are they much cleaner options to take to your next family get together? Heck yes! Even those who refuse to go gluten-free like their crackers!
That is just the start, but lucky for all of you, there are so many more convenience options out there than when I started living this lifestyle five years ago that help make eating real, whole food that much easier!