Switch 2 Fitness

Top 5 Swaps To Improve Your Health

My Top 5 Swaps To Improve Your Health






Soft Drink

Soft drink provides ‘empty calories’, meaning it provides absolutely NO nutritional value in your diet. Gradually decreasing the amount of soft drink you consume is my top swap. Try replacing your soft drink with mineral water gradually as you may find you get headaches due to caffeine withdrawals. After a week or so, start replacing your mineral water with filtered water from home. Get into the habit of taking a water bottle with you EVERYWHERE you go and sipping on it throughout the day.

Don’t keep soft drink in the house - If you do, only buy small cans or bottles so you are not tempted to finish the bigger bottles.

If using it to mix with alcohol, fill your glass with ice first then add the soft drink.

Breakfast Cereal

Swap out your sugary cereal in the morning for a bowl of goodness that will keep you energised all morning! Try natural muesli, NOT toasted. Things to look for when choosing your muesli:

- Added sugar is NOT in the top 3 ingredients

- Try and go for 5g or more of fibre per 100g

- Around 150 cal per 30g serve (1/2 cup)

Sweeten with a teaspoon of honey and add ½ cup of Greek yoghurt.

Porridge is low in calories and sugar and high in fibre making it the perfect breakfast for the cooler months. Sweeten with a teaspoon of honey and a sliced banana and sprinkle with a few chopped almonds or stir through ½ cup roast pumpkin, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a few chopped pecans.

Table Spread/Margarine

In the 1900’s chemist discovered how to harden liquid oils and vegetable oils (hydrogenated). Margarine is a manufactured by-product. Vegetable oils are extracted from corn, cotton seed, soybeans, safflower seeds… the oils are then exposed to heat, chemicals, hydrogenation, bleaches, emulsifiers and additives. Hydrogenation turns some of the vegetable oil into trans fat. Butter is made from churning the fatty part of cow’s milk until it turns into the final product… butter. That’s it! Associated with heart disease poly unsaturated fat is unstable in the body.

Try these alternatives for spreading on bread, toast or crackers:

- Avocado

- Olive oil + garlic

- Ricotta cheese

- Hommus

- Nut spreads

White Sliced Bread

If your family are freaked out by the thought of ‘brown bread’, introduce it slowly. Don’t go all out and go from fluffy white sliced bread to whole grain sourdough in one day! Start by getting a wholemeal bread that doesn’t have any seeds and isn’t too dark. Maybe even try using one slice of wholemeal and one slice of white bread when you make sandwiches until they get the hang of it! Once they have stopped making a fuss about that change, you know you’re good to go for the next stage… Try for something a little darker or get one with some grains.

Sourdough is my bread of choice…

Apart from it tasting amazing… as the name suggests, sourdough is fermented. The fermentation process in sourdough increases the beneficial bacteria in the bread. The bacteria helps ‘pre-digest’ the starches in the grain, making it easier for the body to digest and absorb minerals.

You want to choose bread with as few ingredients as possible; really a loaf of bread should just be flour, water, salt and yeast.

A lot of rolls and breads from the supermarket have added oil, sugars and preservatives to help with their shelf life.

Next time you buy bread, compare the size of the slices…some are much larger and denser which means they will have far more calories.


Yoghurt has many health benefits. However a lot of the flavoured yoghurts contain fruit juice concentrate sweeteners, corn syrup and artificial flavours and sweeteners. Ditching the yoghurts with the ‘fake-fruit’ on the bottom and opting for a natural yoghurt that you can sweeten with fresh fruit gives you all the flavour without the extra sugar and calories.

Natural Greek yoghurt is strained an extra time and removes some of the milk, sugar, lactose, making it a good option for people with lactose intolerance. It also creates a much thicker and creamier style of yoghurt and pumps up the protein content and reduces the carbohydrates, making it a great option for weight management.

Try using it instead of sour cream on your nachos, as a base for savoury dips, add it to smoothies, as a dessert with fresh fruit, and as a base for creamy salad dressings.

Porridge Smoothie

Serves 1

Blitz until smooth

Classic Bircher Muesli

Serves 2

Combine oats, apple and cinnamon. Soak overnight.

Serve with greek yoghurt (or coconut cream).

TIP - swap out apple for grated pear. Finish it off with 1 tbsp chopped pecans.

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