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Outsmart your appetite by going for foods with similar textures.
We've all experienced food cravings. And while it's extremely common to crave flavors like salty or sweet, some people tend to enjoy the TEXTURE of certain foods just as much as the flavor itself. When you really think about it, there's something truly magical about the way cold, creamy ice cream melts on your tongue or how a crunchy chip breaks apart as you chew it.
As emotional eaters, it's easy to gravitate toward staple snacks with certain textures, such as chips, pretzels or ice cream. The problem is, they're often heavily processed and loaded with refined carbs, saturated (unhealthy) fats, sodium and sugar.
Good news! For all of our fellow texture-loving ladies out there, these genius swaps will satisfy your cravings with more nutritious, real-food options.
Satisfy Your Junk Food Cravings with These Healthy Options
Rather than this
Craving something crunchy? Trade in high sodium, carb-loaded snacks such as pretzels, crackers or chips for these simple, yet healthy alternatives.
- Sliced bell peppers
- Baby carrots
- Whole-grain rice cakes with a teaspoon of honey or nut butter slathered on top (brand favorite: Lundberg Family Farms Organic Thin Stackers)
- Get a recipe: 10 Ways to Make Rice Cakes Taste Delicious
- Homemade plain popcorn with spices like Old Bay or cinnamon (just don't be tempted to load it with butter; instead, use an olive oil spray mist on your popcorn
- 1-2 tablespoons of almonds: SO NUTRITIOUS but also high in (healthy) fats, so stick to no more than 1-2 tablespoons
- Roasted chickpeas: The benefit of this DIY snack is that it has protein and fiber (both satisfy hunger) and you can play around with the flavors by tossing them in olive oil and any spice blend you're jonesing for. You'll get the same satisfying crunch, plus a hint of salt.
- Get a recipe: Drain a can of chickpeas, pat to dry, toss with one tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper (or whatever seasoning you'd like to try), then bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.
- Get a recipe: Follow the recipe above, but swap the salt and pepper with cinnamon and chili powder.
Rather than this
If you have an urge for something creamy (hello, ice cream craving), opt for something without all the saturated fat, added sugar and heavily processed ingredients.
- Yogurt bark: Garnished with healthy toppings like fresh fruit, unsweetened coconut, nuts or cacao nibs for a slightly sweet + creamy, crunchy finish
- Get a recipe: Frozen Yogurt Bark (Easy Snack + Healthy Dessert)
- Chocolate hummus dip and fruit
- Frozen banana "nice" cream
- Homemade “nice” cream pops: Simply pour your “nice” cream (blended bananas + milk) into ice pop molds and freeze. Get creative and flavor them any way you want—cinnamon, fresh black cherries, vanilla extract.
- Banana popsicles
- Get a recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Pops
- Plain Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of honey drizzled on top, garnished with a tablespoon of pistachios (chill in the freezer for 15 minutes to make it extra creamy)
Rather than this
It's no secret that an overabundance of sugar, especially artificial sweeteners, can negatively affect your health. Swap soda, sweet tea and lemonade with these refreshing drinks.
- Infuse your water with fresh fruit, cucumber or mint leaves.
- Pro tip: For maximum flavor allow your fruit-flavored water to infuse for at least 12 hours, if not overnight. Homemade infused water should last for about a week in the fridge (you may want to remove the fruit after 48 hours). In a hurry? Muddle your fruit and add water for a quick infused drink.
- For a bubbly drink: Add 1-2 tablespoons of cold-pressed cranberry juice in club soda (or water). It has a slightly tangy/sweet effervescence that helps derail your desire to snack on junk.
- What to look for: Make sure you snag cold-pressed cranberry juice, not to be confused with cranberry cocktail juice. Lakewood is our favorite brand, made with ONLY 100% cold-pressed juice, and can be found in almost any grocery store.
- For a bubbly drink: Muddle fresh fruit in club soda or sparking water (just steer clear of sugar-laden tonic water!).
- For a hot drink: Make a cup of green tea, add a splash of milk and a teaspoon of honey. It tastes just like chai tea, but better!
Rather than this
As we all know, chips can be difficult to pass up. If you want to satisfy your crispy cravings, try this refreshing twist!
- Apples! Now, not all apples qualify here. You'll have to reach for varieties that provide that refreshing crunch, such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Honey Crisp, Fuji and Gala.
- Skip past Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Cortland, which are softer.
- Pro tip: For extra satisfaction, bite into your apple, rather than cutting it into slices.
- Get a recipe: Looking for something both crisp AND creamy? These Apple Slices Topped with Creamy Nut Butter and Nibs will do just the trick! The topping combinations are endless.
The same goes for meal time.
When preparing meals, you can easily swap out unhealthy ingredients for healthier ones with a similar texture. For example:
- Rather than heavily processed croutons on your salad, top it with a few chopped nuts and broccoli slaw (don't knock it until you've tried it!) for the same crunchy texture.
- When you make smoothies, trade in the sugary, prepackaged granola topping for 1-2 tablespoons of chopped almonds and cacao nibs.
Same texture, equally as satisfying, HALF the calories and much healthier ingredients! Try it!
Let's conquer our junk food cravings and make healthier choices — together!
Cheers to a healthy lifestyle and living FULLforLife!
xo, Pam & Kalie
P.S. Is "getting my eating under control" on your to-do list every week? Have you attempted to change your eating habits only to end up depressed, defeated and having your weight yo-yo? Then Break Free from Emotional Eating is a great next step.