Food Swaps to keep you fit during pregnancy and after

I know I talk a lot about eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. I think it is important for everyone not just pregnant women. Being overweight or obese can cause so many physical and emotional health risks. I have compiled my list of food swaps that will not only keep you healthy during pregnancy, but are great swaps at any point in your life. I don’t consider this a diet, but more of a lifestyle change.

  1. Whenever possible you should swap out Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Butter when cooking. Example: Sauteing veggies in a pan. A light drizzle of Olive Oil will add great flavor without all of the saturated fat.
  2. Homemade Dressing for bottled dressing. Bottled dressings are loaded with fat, calories and sodium. I frequently make my own dressing with minced garlic, lemon juice, pepper & a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. I toss a light amount right with my salad and it is amazing!
  3. When baking switch out at least 1/2 of your required white flour for whole wheat flour. You will not even notice and you will be amazed at the added texture and flavor. I never cook or bake with only white flour.
  4. Whole wheat pasta for white pasta. I also like the Barilla Plus Pasta because it has more fiber & protein than regular white pasta.
  5. Brown rice for white rice
  6. Whole wheat bread for white bread
  7. Quinoa instead of pasta, rice or couscous. Quinoa is an amazing grain that is SUPER high in protein and gluten-free!
  8. Mashed/Pureed cauliflower or turnip instead of mashed potatoes. Trust me.. You will not miss the potatoes. Just steam the cauliflower until tender, toss in a food processor with milk, a little butter, salt & pepper.
  9. Kale Chips or popcorn instead of fried potato chips. If you are a crunchy, salty food craver like me than you have to try this swap. I never eat fried potato chips anymore. If I really want a carb than I go for one of the 100-calorie pack popcorn bags, but I also make Kale Chips a lot too. Clean a head of Kale and dry thoroughly. Tear leaves from the stems and break into pieces. Lay the pieces on a baking sheet and lightly spray with an olive oil spray and toss with salt. Bake at 275 degrees for 15-20 minutes. YUM. You can also experiment with different flavors like adding garlic powder or a dry BBQ seasoning.
  10. Baked sweet potato fries instead of deep fried french fries. Cut 2 sweet potatoes into spears or wedges. Spray with an olive oil spray and toss with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, turn over and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. YUM!!!
  11. Skim milk for any other % of milk. (This one is easy and it shouldn’t be too hard!)
  12. Unsweetened applesauce for sugar or butter/oil in baking recipes. This really does work! Just substitute the amount of applesauce for butter or oil required. You can use the applesauce to sweeten lots of recipes that require sugar.
  13. Ripe bananas for oil in baking. (Same as above and its yummy)
  14. Evaporated skim milk can be swapped for heavy cream!
  15. Ground chicken or turkey instead of ground beef. Same goes for sausage. I always go for turkey or chicken sausage instead of pork. **Note.. Ground turkey is VERY moist compared to beef. You may need to drain some liquid off.
  16. My all time favorite… Banana Ice Cream..Cut up ripe bananas and freeze until solid. Blend until smooth in a food processor. This tastes exactly like ice cream, but its just banana! Gluten and dairy free! You can also add a bit of peanut butter if you want!
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