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Do you count your calories? Losing weight doesn’t have to be about severely restricting calories, carbs, fat or even the times you eat. I am going to give you some great alternatives to “less healthy” foods that will be super simple, delicious and help you cut out fat and calories without sacrificing the taste of your favorite foods. A very simple way to cut back without restricting all your favorite things is to use healthier foods, mainly veggies, to substitute for the heavier fatty and carb laden foods that may have gotten you in trouble to begin with. Here are some favorites:

1. CAULIFLOWER – This amazing vegetable is packed with nutrients! I use it as a substitute for mashed potatoes, tabbouleh, tater tots, pizza crust, rice in a stir fry and much more! 1 Cup has just 29 calories compared to 248 calories for a cup of rice. It has just 2g carbs vs 48g of carbs in rice and potatoes. It tastes amazing!

2. SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND ZUCCHINI – These two veggies can be used in place of noodles. Spaghetti squash (looks like a yellow football) is great for Bolognese or healthier lasagna. Change it up by doing a southwest or Mediterranean flavor It’s all delicious!

3. CUCUMBER – Cut a long seedless cucumber into thin angled slices shaped like a baguette and use it as a base for bruschetta. YUM! Almost no calories in cucumber vs. 100 in each slice of Italian bread!

4. KALE CHIPS give you the same crunch as potato chips but kale is one of the most nutrient dense veggies available. Use nutritional yeast to get a parmesan flavor or just sea salt.

5. NUTRITIONAL YEAST adds cheesy flavor and protein without the saturated fat.

6. GREEK YOGURT can substitute for heavy cream, mayonaise or sour cream.

7. Use ALMOND MILK or OAT MILK instead of regular cow’s milk. Cow’s milk isn’t good for anyone. You get all the antibiotics and hormones the cow got! NO THANK YOU!

8. APPLESAUCE can replace the fat in baked goods.

9. COCONUT OR ALMOND FLOUR are great substitutions for regular flour adding fiber and protein and it’s gluten free.

These are just suggestions. Every little step you take to make small sustainable dietary changes will help set you on a much healthier course for the future and help you reach your wellness and weight loss goals.

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