The best place to start in cooking and baking more healthfully is to find substitutions for the sweeteners you commonly use. Using a sweetener that you enjoy (and that works well in the type of recipe you are making) is key to changing from sugar (or other high-glycemic sweeteners) to a low-sugar/no-sugar lifestyle.
The basis of any healthy eating plan (in my humble opinion) is finding substitutions for the foods you used to enjoy. I know there are plenty of people out there who say “just say no” to baked goods and other treats. Just give up all of those snacks. Turn your back on everything you used to enjoy. Your health is more important than your taste buds.
However, I believe there are few people whom this truly works for. We are made to celebrate with food. Gathering around the table for a feast is an integral part of family living. Enjoying movies and a snack with friends is important to most of us. Sitting around the game table with homemade goodies is foundational to raising teenagers! 🙂
To just say that we are not going to enjoy those feasts, snacks, and goodies seems unrealistic to me. (And not really doable—I’ve already tried that throughout my forty years of “dieting”!)
So….the key is to substitute healthier options for those. And if you like the taste of your substitutions, that’s even better!
As I have learned to make more healthful baked goods and treats, I find myself eating sugar less and less. I can say no to the donuts when we are moving a grown child (again…..when you have seven kids and they become college age and young adults, you move kids A LOT!) because I have banana muffins in my lunch bag. And while they aren’t cream-filled long Johns, they are yummy enough to pass up the donuts (most of the time!). I can say no to most candy because I have peanut butter bars in my purse—and they will substitute just fine.
In this post, I thought I would leave you with some of my favorite substitutions. These will save you from succumbing to the many unhealthy choices that are out there every day. Soon you will not have that afternoon carb slump. Your cravings will be more under control as you exercise the muscle of self control more and more. (This muscle does get stronger!) Your blood sugar will stay more balanced—which will also help with the cravings. Your fatigue will start to dissipate, and your energy will increase. And you will actually enjoy eating the sugar-free treats that you learn how to make.
So make a couple of these soon and freeze them. Put them in your purse or lunch bag. You will be able to say no to so many things when you are armed and ready for “battle”! 🙂
1. My favorite at home dessert that I eat every week, Cherry/Berry Delight! I use this base for fruit dip, fruit dressing (with yogurt mixed in), peanut butter whip, and much more. Yum!
3. My favorite nut hands down—and they taste like a real mall creation—Crock Pot Cinnamon Pecans
4. Grab from the freezer—the best “Skinny Chocolate” or “Fat Bomb” in my opinion. Does not taste sugar-free: Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar
5. When you want a Scotcharoo, try this! They are my favorite substitution hands down!
P.S. What is a favorite of yours that you would like to see “healthified”?
Check out these posts as well!
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