When making a lifestyle transition, nutrition is often the first thing to get tweaked. Many people start out on an elimination diet like The 30 Clean to see which foods make them feel the most vibrant and alive. While an elimination diet may feel extreme, especially when you find foods which truly inflame your system, it doesn’t mean you have to live a life of deprivation. While not all of the food groups mentioned below may be inflammatory for you, it still may be fun to experiment with some of the delicious, healthy alternatives that you can swap!
First up… Dairy!
YOGURT SWAPS: (Best to choose unsweetened/plain and then add flavor yourself)
- Homemade alternative milk yogurts: Minimalist Baker or Eat Beautiful
- Store-bought coconut yogurt: We like Coconut Cult or Forager
- Lavva yogurt (made from pili nuts, plantains, coconut, and cassava).
- Kefir: Can be made from cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or coconut and is an excellent source of probiotics.
- Goat milk yogurt: Some people find goat milk products easier to digest than cow’s milk.
*If you’re going to have the real deal, choose organic, grass-fed, full fat yogurt.
- Grass-fed ghee: Fourth & Heart is a high-quality brand with a few different flavor options
- Grass-fed butter: Vital Farms or Kerrygold
*When baking, palm shortening can be a great healthy alternative
We love making nut milk at home to substitute for cow’s milk. There is really nothing more delicious. Plus, it is super easy. However, if you aren’t up to the task you can find any alternative listed below at your local health food grocer. Be sure it has no added sugars!
- Nut and seed milks: Almond, cashew, hazelnut, hemp, sunflower
- Coconut milk: Can is best
- Goat’s milk
*If you’re going to have the real deal, choose organic from grass-fed cows and maybe even look into raw milk.
ICE CREAM SWAPS:
- ”Nice cream” can be made with coconut milk and/or frozen bananas and then you can add toppings like almond butter, cocoa powder, cacao nibs, berries, vanilla extract, etc.
- Store-bought options made from coconut milk/almond milk/cashew milk. However these frequently are high in sugar and not always a natural sugar like honey or maple. Be sure to check ingredients with these.
- Acai bowls
*If you’re going to have the real deal, look for organic, grass-fed with minimal ingredients!
Next up… Breads, pastas and cakes, oh my!
While it’s nice to have options like the ones below for sandwiches or a fun Italian dinner, ultimately, you want to continue to focus on fueling yourself with the most nutrient-dense foods possible. Always keep that in mind when you’re going for carbs that aren’t fruits or veggies!
- Spaghetti squash
- Spiralized veggie noodles (ie: zucchini, sweet potato, butternut squash)
- Lentil pasta, chickpea pasta, quinoa pasta.
- Cauliflower pizza crust
- Sweet potato crust
- Mung bean & lentil flat bread
- Alternative flour-based crust
Swap regular flour for almond, coconut, tapioca, oat. Nut butters are a great binder. This Apple Cinnamon Muffin from PaleOMG is a community favorite!
This is a T30C health advisor favorite – Paleo Birthday Cake!
- Sprouted bread: Most contain gluten but are typically easier to digest so may work for some people.
- Sourdough bread: Same thing goes for high-quality (you can read more here!)
It’s hard to find a decent gluten-free, store-bought bread that actually tastes good and doesn’t contain a whole bunch of additives (if you know of one, please share!). You can experiment with homemade paleo-style bread like THIS one from Elana’s Pantry. Cloud bread is another healthy alternative you may enjoy!
- Try making homemade versions using cauliflower or arrowroot.
- Store-bought brands are becoming more popular. Our current favorite is Siete brand tortillas. They can be found at health food stores and they’re excellent.
Next up… Sugar!
Here is a list of some things that can be used in place of refined sugar:
- Raw honey
- Maple syrup
- Stevia (green leaf) – Read about the possible harm in sugar substitutes.
For baking- if none of the above will work, something like coconut sugar can be used but you should always try to use less-refined options whenever possible!
Keep in mind that quantity & quality matter! You want your taste buds to enjoy the natural flavors of food, so use sweeteners sparingly! You never want to feel deprived, but you also want to honor your body and the commitment you’ve made to your health.
If you have some favorite healthy alternatives that you want to share, send your suggestions to us at [email protected]! Or just tag us and your favorite product on social media!