You’re probably trying to eat more healthfully this month (I know I am) whether to lose weight gained over the holidays or just to kick off 2015 on a healthy note. Since diets just make us feel deprived, I think it’s better to focus on smart food swaps rather than on eating less. Here are a few ways to replace less-healthy eats with better ones that are just as (or almost as) delicious:

Sip kombucha instead of soda: Studies show that sugary soda is a major culprit in weight gain and is bad for our bones too (and diet soda is also a health “don’t”). Instead, try kombucha, which is naturally fizzy and has a fraction of the calories of soda. I know that kombucha sounds oh-so-LA but it’s really delicious once you acquire a taste for it, and is packed with probiotics and B vitamins.

Snack on seaweed instead of chips: When you crave a salty, slightly greasy snack, reach for a packet of roasted seaweed. Seaweed is packed with healthy vitamins and minerals, and the seaweed snack packs you find in stores are only lightly oiled and salted—enough to satisfy your cravings in a far healthier way than noshing on chips.

Use coconut oil instead of canola: For years we were told to eat unsaturated fats like canola oil, now health experts say that the saturated fat in coconut oil is good for us, and that vegetable oils are the enemy. Yes, it’s confusing, but coconut oil tastes delicious and stands up to high heat cooking, while canola oil and many other oils break down at high heats and form unhealthy compounds. The fats in coconut oil, medium-chain fatty acids, are said to promote heart health, weight loss and mental function.

Have banana ice “cream” for dessert: Frozen bananas whipped up in the blender or food processor develop a deliciously creamy consistency that’s very ice cream-like, without the fat or most of the calories. In fact you’ll save so many calories with this dessert that you could add a few dribbles of chocolate sauce or Nutella on top of it!

Wishing you a healthy 2015!

 

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