When Fall comes around the casseroles, creamy soups, and heartier foods start coming out of our ovens and crockpots. Colder weather seems to entice us to want food that warms us from the inside out, and a Caprese salad doesn’t seem to do the trick. With these comfort foods comes higher calories and less healthy ingredients. It’s easy to let go of healthy eating by thinking one or two of these meals won’t hurt us. But if you’re someone like me, one or two meals turns into every day, and suddenly, its December and you haven’t eaten a healthy meal in weeks. I’ve figured out a few ways to still enjoy these filling and delicious meals but with a few healthier substitutions.
Substitute Greek Yogurt – I almost always replace sour cream with Greek yogurt, which gives you an extra kick of protein and probiotics for your gut health. One of my favorite recipes is a poppy seed chicken recipe, that calls for sour cream. So I like to use Greek yogurt instead to lighten up the recipe a little bit!
Roasted Potatoes – Potatoes are a staple of Fall meals whether you’re eating French fries or having mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. I’m not going to tell you to replace sweet potatoes for potatoes because it’s just not the same. Sweet potatoes are delicious but in my opinion, cannot be substituted for the potato. Roasted potatoes in olive oil offer you the delicious sensation of eating potatoes but without all the butter and excess oil that comes from French fries or mashed potatoes.
Water – Make sure to keep drinking water because that will not only keep you hydrated but may also make you feel full. Often when we think we’re hungry, we’re simply thirsty. Try grabbing a glass of water before a snack to see if that will satisfy you.
Substitute Grapeseed Oil or Olive Oil – Olive oil has long been a great substitute for butter in cooking because of its heart-healthy components. However, olive oil doesn’t have a very good tolerance for heat so grapeseed oil can be a better alternative for cooking because it won’t smoke as much as olive oil. You don’t have to remove butter from your diet completely, but if you’re looking to cook something a little healthier, these are great options!
There are plenty of options and recipes out there that can help you to eat healthy but hearty during the colder months. You may just need to think outside of the box or be open to trying something new. You may be surprised at how filling a pan of roasted vegetables can be, or just a simple meal of a protein, whole grain, and vegetable. Life is all about balance, and no matter how it looks to you, it will work. If you want to try replacing one unhealthy meal with a healthy one each week, you will see how that impacts your life, great! What matters the most is that you’re doing what’s right for you and that you’re trying to feel your best.