superfood swap

5 Healthy Superfood Swaps You Can Make

July 14, 2016

If you’re anything like me, when you hear the term “superfood” you immediately think of a woman named Opal Storm Flower, making Wheat Grass shots at the local juice bar. Superfood to me was just a fancy word that I couldn’t even afford to think about, let alone explore.

However, there is ALWAYS a loophole.  Actually, I call it a swap!  There is a way to incorporate amazing, healthy, nutrient dense foods into your everyday diet that doesn’t require a Dietetics degree or a lottery winning ticket.  It just takes a little creativity.

Whether you are just starting on your bariatric journey, or you have lost your way and found yourself at a stall, these are swaps that anyone can make for foods that often find us in trouble.  When I made the decision to change my lifestyle to better work with my new tool, I was in a head over heels love affair with high-fat, high-carb foods like bacon, mashed potatoes, pasta, cheese, heavy whipping cream and fried chicken.

It wasn’t until I had my *click* moment that made me realize the surgery won’t do the work itself, and that I had to learn about food and what it does for the body. So I made the decision to swap ONE thing at a time.

Below are some of the very first swaps I made.  Look, it doesn’t happen overnight.  Be patient with yourself.  Don’t be afraid to screw something up, hate something or fall in love with something.

5 Healthy Swaps

1. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is one of my FAVORITE swaps!  It is so incredibly versatile.  One of the first things I ever made was cauliflower mash.  Considering my life-long obsession with mashed potatoes, I have to say that this was my favorite swap.

Traditional store-bought mashed potatoes can be near 200 calories per serving, 15 grams of fat (even more if you add sour cream, cheese or butter) and 30 grams of carbs.  When you mash a head of cauliflower with almond milk, garlic, salt, pepper and a TBSP of parmesan cheese...magic happens people!  You’re looking at 100 calories per serving, 4 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbs and 4 grams of protein.

Cauliflower can be swapped for amazing other dishes; Pizza crust, rice, breadsticks, poppers/nuggets, blitz it in your next home-made soup to make it thick and creamy.  I have even made sushi with it.

2. Spaghetti Squash

Oh man, I was beyond thrilled when I found this magnificent golden-yellow treasure in the grocery store.  When you cut a spaghetti squash in half, smear the insides with delicious spices and a little olive oil, turn it upside down on a baking sheet and let it bake until it falls apart…your whole world changes.

Swap spaghetti squash with any dish you would serve with noodles or rice.  Make some ground turkey meatballs.  Scoop the innards of the spaghetti squash out, mix with ground turkey and tons of veggies and put back into the skin and re-bake for a spaghetti boat.

Traditional spaghetti/pasta can cost you 200 calories for ½ a cup of pasta and 42 grams of carbs.  Spaghetti squash is giving you a killer deal at 31 calories per cup with 5 grams of carbs (2 of them being dietary fiber).

3. Chips

Sometimes, you HAVE to have a crunchy snack fix.  I don’t know why or where it comes from, but it must be catered to.  Potato chips, pretzels, and crackers are quick and easy to grab and go.  The salty, crunchy texture is just like a symphony in your mouth, BUT this symphony can hit a sour note when trying to change your lifestyle.  I decided to swap my crunchy snacks for Kale Chips.

Kale Chips can be homemade or even store-bought now.   You can still buy them like you buy potato chips.  (They think of everything).   Kale chips are only about 50 calories per serving (a serving being a cup) where potato chips can be 160 calories for SIX CHIPS!

I think we can all agree this is a no-brainer?  Crunch on my friends!

4. Eggs for Bread (you read that right)

One of the hardest things to cut out of my life and break up with for good was bread.  It had to go.  Never fear, here to save the day is Mr. Egg.  Eggs are so incredibly versatile.  You can bake them, scramble them, fry them, poach, sunny-side up, over easy. Do I sound like Bubba Gump yet?  But more fantastic than any of the above-mentioned methods, when genius and health-conscious foodies combine creative energies you get…EGG BREAD

Separate six eggs (whites in a large, cold bowl and yolks in a separate small bowl)

Whip the whites until stiff peaks and set aside.  Add a touch of honey and vanilla extract and a pinch of cinnamon to the yolks, stir and add to the whites.  Add a scoop of protein powder (cinnamon or vanilla are perfect for this) to the egg whites.  Fold all until combined.  Pour mixture into a greased bread pan and bake at 350 for 15 minutes until golden brown on top.  Take it out and let it sit until room temperature.  Slice and enjoy!

5. Spices for Sauces

Look, I get it. Exploring new foods can be overwhelming.   Things like ketchup, barbecue sauce, soy sauce, steak sauce, mayonnaise, ranch Dressing.  These were just a few of my favorite things  I used these to cover up the flavor of what I thought was bland, salt-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, taste-free type “healthy” foods.

Then I discovered the incredible power of spices! There are so many combinations and options for spices.  Use lemon-pepper on fish, rosemary and garlic on chicken or ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric on turkey.  Sauces and condiments can add up faster than we imagine.  Think about it; cream to your coffee (100 calories), ketchup to your breakfast (40 calories), mayonnaise to your lunch (100 calories), ranch to your dinner (145 calories) see where I’m going here?  More than just the calories are the added ingredients and fillers that our body just doesn’t need.  Try swapping the sauces for spices.  Get creative!

lyss remaly


Lyss Remaly had WLS in 2010 after her highest weight of 350lbs. She revised from Lap-Band to a Duodenal Switch. After changing her habits, she became certified as a personal trainer and behavior change specialist to help others do the same. Lyss is a Bariatric Lifestyle Coach, Certified Personal Trainer and a competitive Natural Bodybuilder. Catch up with Lyss at FitnFabulyss

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