It can be so difficult to make healthy food choices when we have junk food all around us. One of the complicating factors is not knowing a healthy alternative to the junk food you crave.
Today we’re going to discuss replacements of four common junk foods, so you’ll have bone-friendly, healthy foods handy when the junk food craving strikes. And there’s an added bonus to finding alternatives to these unhealthy foods: it’s not only good for your bones, but it’s also good for your overall health! You’ll look and feel a lot better when you are not feeding your body junk. It’s easier than you think!
Replacement #1: Fast-Food Sandwiches
If you occasionally get tempted to stop at the drive-through to avoid cooking meals, don’t worry. There’s an effortless way to avoid doing this. The key here is ease: one of the things that make these sandwiches so tempting is that they’re so easy to get. So you need something super-simple to turn to!
Replace fast-food sandwiches with easy-to-prepare, alkalizing stir-fry dishes rich in vegetables. If you are familiar with the Save Our Bones Recipe Sampler, that’s included with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, then chances are you’ve already prepared the delicious Oriental Stir Fry recipe.
Here are some other stir-fry ideas to try:
Combine your favorite alkalizing vegetables (there are many to choose from!) and add a lean protein, such as chicken, beef, or fish. You can toss on some nuts or seeds for added crunch and nutrition, such as sesame seeds, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, and so forth. Estimate the 80/20 ratio as you toss all these healthful ingredients into a large pan and sauté them with a few teaspoons of olive oil, which also promotes bone health.
Replacement #2: Frozen “TV” Dinners
Replace these processed, pre-packaged dinners – often served in plastic that may contain BPA – are full of chemical additives, excessive salt, and unhealthy ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and sugar with healthy, home-cooked meals. This does not mean you have to prepare a huge, multi-course dinner instead; you can replace frozen dinners with simple, delectable recipes like the Fettuccini Riviera or the Spinach Croquettes, both of which are featured in the Save Our Bones Recipe Sampler. Or whip up the Save Our Bones version of pizza!
To make this even more convenient, stock up on fresh or frozen veggies that you can keep on hand for these recipes. You can also freeze your own vegetables if you find fresh veggies a better option. Here are some alkalizing veggies that do well frozen or fresh:
It’s a good idea to keep lots of alkalizing salad greens on hand, too. Keeping basics on hand is key to making these replacements effective.
And remember, you can make some simple meals ahead and freeze them in individual portions in freezer-safe glass containers for extra convenience!
Replacement #3: Sports Drinks
If you drink sports drinks, replace them with refreshing and bone-healthy herbal teas. Commercial sports drinks are loaded with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, and other toxic chemicals. Instead, go for bone-healthy lemonade or tasty herbal teas.
All herbs are alkalizing, so you can prepare delicious hot or iced herbal teas that are good for your bones. Here are some ideas:
- Chamomile tea – in addition to having stress-relieving, sleep-promoting effects, chamomile tea helps build your bones. It is especially good when mixed with some unsweetened apple juice.
- Peppermint, spearmint, or any other mint tea is wonderful hot or iced.
- Lemon balm is very easy to grow (in fact, you’ll need to grow it in a container if you decide to grow it yourself, as it tends to take over!), and it makes a healthful, lemony tea that is great hot or iced.
- Lemon grass and Lemon verbena also make lovely, lemony teas.
- Bee Balm or Bergamot is an easy-to-grow herb in the mint family that blooms beautifully, and the leaves and stems make a refreshing tea that tastes like Earl Grey tea.
Remember to sweeten these teas with raw honey, or a little bit of stevia, and not with sugar!
Replacement #4: Candy and Commercial Snacks
Holidays and special occasions seem to bring out the candy-monster in many of us. Replace those sugar-heavy treats with fresh fruits and nuts. Choose fruits that are alkalizing and easy to eat out-of-hand, such as apples, red grapes, apricots, blackberries, cherries, pears, berries, and tangerines. Walnuts and almonds are a bone-healthy option for an easy and crunchy treat.
But when you really crave sweets (and who doesn’t now and then?), you can make some yummy, sweet indulgences right in your own home. Here is one of my favorite sweet treats that's also really easy to make:
“Undercover” Chocolate Fudge
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup almond butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably organic and raw
1/2 cup fresh spinach (yes, you read that right!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon stevia, (you can adjust sweetness to taste)
1. In a food processor or blender, blend all ingredients until smooth.
2. Pour into a freezer-safe dish and freeze for at least 5 hours.
3. Sprinkle with shredded coconut, slivered almonds, or your favorite topping.
Enjoy this treat and if you'd like more bone-healthy desserts, check out Bone Appetit, the Save Institute's recipe book. With over 200 delectable recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, you'll love Country Peach Cake, Nutty Brownie Cake, Raisin Oatmeal Muffins, and many, many more treats!