Healthier Food Options

One of the biggest questions I get – aside from “where do you get your protein?” is “What foods can I have, just fruits and vegetables?!?”

First off, the answer to the first one I love to give is “I get MY protein where YOUR protein gets ITS protein.”  In other words, cows and chickens aren’t carnivorous – they eat grass and grains.  Yet look how muscular they are.  People are often surprised just how much protein exists in plants, beans and legumes.  Often times as much as if not more than what you’d find in meat.

I digress.  People then assume to be healthier, eating gluten-free, sugar-free, avoiding processed foods means that they have to eat “diet” foods or only fruits and vegetables.  Let me first clarify, gluten-free and/or sugar-free is NOT the same thing as diet.  Things that are gluten-free do not taste like things that typically are marketed as diet foods.  They taste THE SAME as regular foods – they just don’t have gluten as a binding agent.  That’s all.

Now, I’ve been on a plant-based diet for over 4 years, and have avoided processed foods for around 7 years.  In these past couple of years, I’ve found a LOT of great options that will help people ease into a plant-based diet.  These are what I like to refer to as “analogs.”  Similar to products you may already eat or drink now (yes, even some processed), but are much healthier.

If you are afraid to jump into a more plant-based, vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you can at least try to transition into using these products (or similar) first.

I will be listing brands only to give ideas of what people may currently be having, and things I have found that taste closest to the regular options.  You may find other brands you like better, but these will give you a place to start.

Food/DrinkCategory Regular versions Healthier versions
Bread Mrs. Baird’s Ezekial 4:9
Breakfast bar Most brands NuGo Smart Carb(recommend Peanut Butter Crunch)
Breakfast sausage Jimmy Dean’s Applegate
Cereal Most brands Erewhon, Perky’s, Nature’s Path
Milk/creamers Any dairy So Delicious Coconut milk; Almond milk;
Silk soy milk;
Rice Dream rice milk(most come in creamers as well)
Waffles Eggo Van’s brand (wheat, gluten, dairy & egg free)
Chips Doritos, Tostitos, Cheetos Terra chips;
Food Should Taste Good brand tortilla chips;
Beanitos brand chips;
Michael Season’s brand cheddar cheese puffs
Sodas Dr. Pepper
Fruit flavored sodas
Dr. Zevia
Cascade Ice (recommend Black Currant)
Energy drink/electrolytes Vitamin Water Gatorade/Powerade Vitamin Water Zero;
ONE coconut water
Beer Most brands Redbridge, Bard’s, Green’s
Hot dogs Oscar Meyer Boarshead(gluten & sugar free)
Pizza Most brands Amy’s, Glutino
French fries Most brands Alexia, OreIda—both have sweet potato fries
Shredded cheese Dairy-based Rice or soy based “cheddar” or “mozzarella” cheeses
Ice cream Most brands Coconut BlissSO DeliciousNada Moo
Chocolate Candy bars Chocoperfection
Sugar Any brand Truvia (stevia)Xylosweet (xylitol)
Condiments Heinz ketchupSalsaSalad dressingPancake syrup Organicville ketchupAmy’s organic salsaOrganicville salad dressingsMaple Grove Farms salad dressing;Maple Grove FarmsVermont pancake syrup
Soy sauce Kikkoman San-J,Coconut Secret

2 responses to “Healthier Food Options

  1. Pingback: Healthier Versions of Common Foods – New “Analogs” page | autoimmunephoenix

  2. Thank you so much for creating this blog! I was recently diagnosed with MCTD which took me completely by surprise. My Rheumie diagnosed me but did very little to explain the it to me. She told me they would treat the symptoms and since mine are mild that I would just see her in 6 months. I started doing my own research on the web and became very discouraged and always ending up in tears. I made an appointment with my Naturopath and we currently are trying to find out what is causing the autoimmune disease. I am a true believer that diet is a big player on health and you are proof. So many western medicine doctors do not look into what is causing the disease. They strictly treat the symptoms. I have been gluten free for 1 year now but fear that I may need to follow a more antiinflammatory diet thus cutting out sugar. Do you have any tips on how to start cutting out sugar? Do you still eat fruit and just cut out processed sugar and products? What do you do when you go out to eat?

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