Healthier Options for the Foods You Love

Healthier Options for the Foods You Love

Feb 01, 2023Margaret Barrow

February is the unofficial month of love and whether you are celebrating with family, friends, or your very own Valentine you may be enjoying all of the favorite foods you love. Unfortunately, some of the foods we love are not the best for our health and wellness.

You can still enjoy these foods, as you very well should, in moderation of course. However, if you are searching for some more mindful options, take a look at some favorite foods and how you can give them a healthier spin.

#1 Alcohol

Many of us enjoy cocktails out with coworkers for happy hour after work or perhaps we like to pour a glass of wine after dinner or a long day. Although alcohol is enjoyable, it can contribute to weight gain and even disrupt our sleep. (Ever notice how you are more prone to snacking when drinking? Exactly!)

Instead of guzzling down extra calories, consider swapping out your evening alcohol for a mocktail instead. There are so many delicious and fun recipes online, plus many bars and restaurants are now beginning to offer a variety of mocktails on their menus. You can also always order your favorite cocktails and mixed drinks without any alcohol too. Going alcohol-free has honestly never been so easy. Photo credit: Lilechka75

#2 Burritos and Tacos

If you love Taco Tuesdays, (because let’s be real, who doesn’t) channel the flavors south of the border with something different like homemade burrito bowls or taco bowls. Ditch the drive-thru burritos and tacos and instead use your culinary creativity to whip up burrito bowls or taco bowls. Skip the hard or soft shells and take all of your favorite burrito and taco ingredients and place them in a bowl for a handheld dinner without the mess. Pile it high with fresh vegetables like avocado slices, black olives, chopped lettuce leaves, and diced tomatoes. Photo credit: bhofack2

#3 Chocolate

If you are a chocolate connoisseur, try dark chocolate, which is naturally full of antioxidants. The higher percentage of chocolate the better, but beware, a higher percentage means it will taste slightly bitter, especially if you are used to chocolate varieties like milk chocolate or white chocolate. To sweeten things up a bit, pair dark chocolate pieces with fruit slices like bananas or berries. You can also dip some chocolate squares in toppings like honey, peanut butter, or another nut or seed better with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Yum! Photo credit: Liudmila Chernetska

#4 Nachos

Nachos are a fun food that goes great for larger gatherings and groups, but unfortunately, nachos are covered in dense dairy products like cheese and sour cream. Instead, opt for a bowl of lightly salted tortilla chips with a side of fresh dips like handcrafted guacamole or homemade fresh salsa made with garden fresh herbs and ingredients straight from your very own backyard garden. Photo credit: OlgaMiltsova

#5 Pizza

Pizza is a popular food that many of us enjoy, but pizza is covered in greasy cheese and other toppings. Instead of ordering pizza for takeout, consider making homemade flatbread in your very own kitchen. That way you can control how many ingredients you use to make up your very own personalized pizza pie. Do yourself a favor and throw in some extra veggies for some pizza toppings, which is a delicious and easy way to include more vegetables in your daily meals. Photo credit: MurzikNata

#6 Plant-Based Burgers

Plant-based hamburgers are absolutely delicious and are a staple at almost any summer backyard BBQ and cookout. Although you may enjoy a traditional plant-based burger made from black beans, portobello mushroom burgers, or vegetable burgers, try something new like a burger made from seitan or tofu. Photo credit: count_kert

#7 Plant-Based Wings

Plant-based wings made from vegetables like cauliflower or seitan can be air fried, transforming them into a crispy, irresistible, and light wing. You can even skip the air frying and try them grilled (aka naked) and take the dipping sauces on the sides. Plus, you can enjoy more than one sauce this way. Why commit to one sauce when you can dip and try a few fun finger-licking flavors? Photo credit: Nebasin

The foods you love are not foods you need to avoid. Instead, consider transforming them into healthier options with a little culinary creativity and ingenuity. Your stomach, tastebuds, and waistline will thank you.

- Stay Healthy and Happy

Need some new recipe ideas to help you make your favorite foods into healthier options? Check out @Mbveganvegetarianshare or join our CEO live @itsnolasnacks as she shares recipes via video each month on It’s Nola Reels. Do not worry, even if you are not vegan, you will still enjoy these dishes.

Tag us so we can see all of your favorite foods with a more mindful twist.

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