healthy diet hacks

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With the holidays well and truly behind us, it’s time to get our health back on track. While we have no regrets about eating that second, third or fifth slice of pumpkin pie and endless servings of mac and cheese, life is all about balance, so it’s time for some healthy switch-ups. And even though we’re ready to hop back on the health wagon, we don’t want to feel like we’re always missing out on all of life’s deliciousness. So, to you help you avoid food fomo, we spoke to celebrity nutritionist Dr. Oz Garcia who coaches goddesses, Gwyneth Paltrow and Naomi Campbell. He shared six healthy diet hacks that’ll help you stay on track, without feeling like you always have to say no!

1. Start the morning out with a high fat/ nutrient dense breakfast.

“One of the mistakes people make when dieting is starting the day with a non-fat cereal with skim milk or fat-free yogurt with fruit. These types of breakfasts will only hold you over for a short period of time and having you crave a mid-morning snack. Instead, a high fat, low carb breakfast will keep you satiated for hours and take away cravings during the day. A smoothie with flax, chia or MCT oil, two eggs with avocado or full-fat Greek yogurt with a tbsp of almond butter are all great options and will promote weight loss if you eat less during the day as a result of this kind of nutritious breakfast.”

2. Get on the cauliflower hype

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“This just may be my favorite out of the healthy food swaps: cauliflower recipes are probably the best thing that happened to people on a low-carb or grain-free diet. It makes a delicious pizza crust, can be used in the place of rice, and can even fatten up your smoothies. Personally, I’m too lazy to make my own rice or pizza crust, but due to its popularity, Trader Joes now has a cauliflower pizza crust, and, you can even buy a pre-made frozen cauliflower pizza pie in some health stores. The rice is also sold pre-made so you don’t have to slave in the kitchen. When making smoothies, try using a cup of cauliflower (which adds texture without a weird taste).

Cauliflower is one of the cruciferous vegetables that is great for combatting inflammation, supports digestion and detoxification and contains only a fraction of the calories and carbohydrates that are in bread or rice. Additionally, it won’t impact your blood sugar in the same way; making it a healthier option for diabetics.”

3. Add leafy greens to your smoothies

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“Smoothies can be a great way to start the morning or a calorie bomb full of sugar (even if it’s natural sugar from fruit)! I have a smoothie every morning with a high-quality protein powder, but I don’t use bananas or too much fruit. For creaminess – using a large handful of organic spinach, kale or even bok choy (yes it actually mixes well) can give your smoothie the right texture and then you’ll only need a few frozen strawberries or blueberries to provide sweetness.

Leafy greens are a healthy alternative because they contain a high water content which makes them hydrating – especially during a hot summer… They also have antioxidant properties, aid in detoxification, are full of vitamins and minerals, and are a good source of fiber (which will help to assist in elimination). Chia, Flax or Hemp seeds are another easy way to add in fiber, Omega -3s and protein while further stabilizing blood sugar to keep you full for hours.”

4. Ditch the soy sauce

“You can eat a seemingly healthy dish such as chicken and vegetables, or a tofu stir-fry, yet it often gets spoiled with sauces which contain wheat, gluten, added sugars and artificial ingredients that can cause inflammation, digestive discomfort, and weight gain. Instead, Braggs liquid aminos is one of the more natural healthy food swaps that I’ve learned to cook or marinate my foods with. If you order Asian takeout, ask for no sauce and use this instead.”

5. Spiralize

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“Anyone with inflammation, autoimmune issues, or looking to lose weight should eliminate pasta – even if it’s whole grain or gluten-free. The calories and carbohydrates are too heavy. As a substitute, spiralized zucchini noodles are one of the best healthy food swaps without having to spiralize zucchini by hand. Even though there are low-carb tofu noodles and other pasta swaps, these have more health benefits. They are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and won’t ruin your diet. Add some turkey meatballs, broccoli, and fresh tomato sauce, and you have a deliciously, healthy meal without the guilt.”

6. Make healthy dessert swaps

“Too many of my clients get into ‘diet’ desserts. This includes frozen yogurt with sugary toppings, ice cream substitutes, etc. that are very hard to portion control. Eating a huge cup of fat-free yogurt or a pint of a low-cal ice cream brand that claims to be only 300 calories is still problematic. Regardless of calories alone, who wants to eat chemicals?! It’s better to eat portioned ‘real food” with nutritional value.’

1. Baked apple

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“If you like apple pie, baked apple is a great alternative. You just have to core the apple, then place on a baking sheet. Use a little cinnamon, Stevia and sprinkle on a small amount of gluten-free granola or dark chocolate chips. One apple alone can replace a slice of cake with a quarter of the calories and artificial ingredients. Baked apple provides fiber to keep you satisfied along with healthy antioxidants and polyphenols.”

2. Yogurt with almond butter 

“Instead of an ice cream substitute or frozen yogurt, try one individual portion of unsweetened plain Greek yogurt. Pair this with 1 tsp or tbsp almond butter. You can add ½ Stevia packet and even a few dark chocolate chips (at least 70%). A snack like this is low-carb, high in protein, low in sugar, under 200 calories and full of probiotics for healthy digestion. I don’t believe that eating non-fat dairy is necessary. However, when you add on the almond butter, it adds those extra grams of fat to keep you satisfied.”

We don’t know about you guys, but we are definitely going to be trying out ALL of Dr. Garcia’s tips, stat! Let us know if you guys found this helpful in the comments below, and if you’d like to see more posts like this again.