Have you ever gone on a trip and found out you’ve been UPGRADED? Maybe it’s for a flight, car rental, or even your hotel room. Everything feels like a treat … better seats, better ride, better sleep.
Well … that’s what your body feels like when you UPGRADE your food choices. When you STOP feeding it ultra-processed food and START giving it food that’s flooded with benefits (more fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc.), your body feels like it got an upgrade!
Basically, it’s all about SWAPPING out things that block you from your results … and replacing them with foods that move you closer to your goals!
Here are just a few examples of upgrade swaps to try:
- Chips → Nuts
Why upgrade? Potato chips contain very little in the way of positive benefits for your results or your health. They’re high in sodium, usually contain unhealthy fats, and their refined carbs can send your blood sugar up. Meanwhile, nuts contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, and micronutrients your body needs.
Fun fact: people who regularly eat nuts are 14% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease and 20% percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease!
TIP: Portion control is everything. One serving of nuts equals about 1 oz., or about ¼ cup (38 grams). Savor each and every bite!
- Cookies/Cakes/etc. → Dark chocolate
Why upgrade? You’re swapping out all the unhealthy refined ingredients (sugar, white flour, unhealthy fats) … and you’re replacing it with an ingredient that actually helps you! The cocoa in chocolate contains flavanols, which (among other things) can help lower your blood pressure and improve how your blood vessels function.
Again, it’s all about moderation – 1 ounce (30 grams) equals 1 serving.
- Soda → Herbal Tea
Why upgrade? Most of us already get way too much added sugar. The American Heart Associates suggests that women get no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar (24 grams) a day, and men, 9 teaspoons (36 grams).
But … get this!!!
A single 12-oz serving of soda contains 7-10 teaspoons of sugar. GROSS. Not only that, but studies link diet soda to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
Herbal teas are a MUCH better choice. Some (like chamomile) can help you relax, others (like peppermint) can energize you, and some just plain taste great!
- Steak → Salmon
Why upgrade? You’re swapping out saturated fats for healthier fats that protect your health. Steaks, burgers, and hot dogs are all high in saturated fat that can raise your level of LDL (“lousy”) cholesterol that’s linked with heart disease.
Fatty fish like salmon and albacore tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which most of us don’t eat enough of. These healthy fats lower how much fat is in your blood and cut back on plaque buildup in your arteries.
- Pasta/Rice/Potatoes → Veggies … Especially Green Veggies!
Why upgrade? For starters, most of us don’t eat nearly enough veggies. If your diet is heavy on starchy carbs (like pasta, rice, or potatoes), one of the easiest ways to get more is to swap out a serving (or 2!) for vegetables.
Starchy carbs contain a lot of calories for how many nutrients they contain. Plus, they can raise your blood sugar. By swapping in veggies, you can boost your micronutrient intake AND reduce inflammation that contributes to disease.
As you can see, upgrading your food choices has nothing to do with deprivation. It’s all about foods that taste great … and have great benefits.
Small changes really can make a big difference in your results, and in your life.
A few years ago I remember seeing a chart of “burpee equivalents” for food. Do you remember it? A cookie = 141 burpees, a small meatball sub = 402 burpees, a Big Mac = 506 burpees…
Do you love “hacks” when it comes to fitness and health? I know I do! Well, these fruits and veggies below can help power up your workouts and recovery in a big way …And I bet the next time you see them in the grocery store, you’ll look at them in a whole new light!
Shocking stat! Only 1 out of every 10 people eat enough of this food group … Even though these foods help keep your heart healthy … your skin glowing … your energy high … your hormones balanced … and your tummy happy.
Raise your hand if you love a “how am I doing?” quiz. (I know I love them!) I’ve got a little fitness & health self-audit for you today to help keep you on track with your healthy habits. This can be a good self-check to see if you need to double down on your healthy habits after the past few months.