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Whole Food Swaps by Rachel Schwartzman | #WellBeingWednesday

Healthy Food

It’s the time of resolutions. The motivation to eat healthy, exercise and be your best is high this time of year. It’s such a wonderful thing to feel inspired and set your intentions for the upcoming year. One of my goals as a naturopathic doctor, is to bring healthy food to family tables and help reduce unhealthier choices.

Here are a few easy healthy food swaps for the often conventionally used products that can help to kick start your 2015.

1 Buy whole grains. If you are used to buying white food items, try swapping them for vitamin and fiber rich whole grain options. Try multigrain, spelt or flax breads, whole wheat or brown rice pasta, quinoa or brown rice, and whole grain or gluten free crackers. Make this your goal for one week and see how you feel.

2. Take a look at your cereals and analyze the sugar content on the side panel. You’d be surprised at how much sugar a serving of cereal can have, even the “healthier” choices from the natural food sections. Opt for homemade oatmeal or making your own granola. If you really want to pick up a boxed cereal, try to get one that has less than 5 grams of sugar per serving.

3. There are so many options for packaged kid snacks when walking thru the aisles of the grocery store. A lot of these are filled with additives, preservatives or food colouring. Make sure you read the labels, and avoid these items. Pick up the healthier alternatives from the health food store or try making your own cookies and muffins. Other easy snack options are; cut up fruit, “ants on a log” with nut butters or cream cheese and dried cranberries or raisins, unsweetened applesauce, real cheese and crackers, air popped popcorn, or veggie spears with dips.

4. If you are a nut butter eating family, opt for the natural ones. The conventional brands often add hydrogenated oils, sugars, and preservatives. When you read the labels it should read; almond or peanuts, and nothing else.

5. Swap your soda pops for water or herbal teas. Pop can have up to 8 tsp of sugar and caffeine depending on the kind. Choosing a diet pop to avoid the sugar is not a better choice. Aspartame can affect your nervous system causing headaches and does not allow your body to metabolize sugar properly. You can infuse water with berries, orange slices, or cucumbers. Try making an iced herbal tea sweetened with honey or maple syrup and add wedges of fresh lemon.

Rachel Schwartzman is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, Doula and Acupuncturist. She practices in Toronto and can be reached at 416-371-3422. To learn more about Dr. Rachel take a peek at www.rachelschwartzman.com

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