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OrangeforOJ

Seven Days of Swaps

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I’m a big fan of the “Eat This, Not That” guides. Making smart swaps that are satisfying and lower in calories, fat, sodium, etc. is one of the fun parts of this whole get-healthy thing. I always feel like I’ve beat the system, won against the house, gotten one over on the man.

It’s a good feeling.

So how do we do this? Time to go bargain hunting on the healthy side of the street.

Day 1: Starbucks Lane

Let’s start with something easy. Swap out your caramel macchiato (and props to you if you speak Starbucks!) for:

Drip Coffee + GOOD cinnamon + Toriani Sugar Free Classic Hazelnut + Splenda + Fat Free Milk: 1PP

Instead of… Caramel Machiatto: 5PP

Day 2: Pizza Hill

Everybody loves pizza, right? But it is pricey on the points. I’m always looking for the most volume I can get for my points, since I only get 26PP per day. Here’s my pizza swap:

Pizza Roll or flat pizza (same ingredients): 6PP for big slice.

Damascus Roll Ups or low calorie lavash bread are key to making this work. If you choose to do a standard “flat” pizza vs. a roll, just heat up your pizza stone in the oven (400 degrees), toss a Roll Up bread on it. Flip it over in 4 to 5 minutes so that the bread gets kind of crispy, like a crust. Then add your toppings, being sure to use fat free mozzarella cheese. That saves you a ton of points. ½ cup of fat free mozzarella (shredded) is only 2 points. That’s A LOT of cheese!

Instead of… Restaurant Pizza: 7PP or more per slice, depending on how big the slices are. Personal pizzas run from 12PP or more, depending on the toppings.

Day 3: Dining Out on the Boulevard

Be aggressive. YOU pick where everyone’s going to meet up for dinner, and choose a nice Chinese restaurant. Once you’re there, make this swap:

Steamed shrimp and vegetables, Egg Drop Soup, ½ cup brown rice = 7PP

Instead of… General Tso’s Chicken, White Rice, Wonton Soup, Chinese Noodles, Egg Roll = 32PP

Day 4: Dead End – Lost In My Freezer

The days I’ve no idea what I’m having for dinner are probably the days I’m really in trouble. That’s why I stock my freezer with a few fail-safe items.

  • Salmon Burger + Light Hamburger Roll + Carrot Chips + Hidden Valley Dill Dip made with Greek Yogurt = 7PP

Instead of…

  • Frozen lasagna + leftover French bread loaf + a few stray leaves of lettuce that I don’t eat = 15PP

Day 5: Loaded Potato Drive

There are a couple of different ways to do this. A loaded baked potato… loaded in the right way… can be extremely satisfying and very points friendly. Plus, it’s a great pick-up on the go item, if needed.

  • Loaded Potato Option #1 – 6 oz baked potato + Green Giant Veggie Steamers Broccoli and Cheese (whole thing): 7PP
  • Loaded Potato Option #2 – 6 oz baked potato + Chili: 7 to 10PP
  • Loaded Potato Option #3 – 6 oz baked potato + steamed broccoli + sprinkle of cheddar cheese: 6 to 7PP, depending on the size of your sprinkle

Instead of… 6 oz potato + 2 TBSP Sour Cream + 1 TBSP Butter + Broccoli in Cheese Whiz Sauce: 15PP, give or take

Day 6: Chippy Street

If you haven’t checked out the Microwave Chip Maker, you need one of these. With it, you can make…

• Corn Chips, Buffalo Seasoning: 2PP per serving (16 chips)

• Pita Chips, Sea Salt and Vinegar: 3PP per serving (12 chips)

• Veggie Chips, Any Type, 0 Cal Seasoning: 0PP per serving

Instead of… White corn chips in a bag, e.g., Tostitos, at 4PP (9 chips).

Day 7: Weekend Breakfast Circle

Weekend breakfast is one of those meals that can be great or can go wrong in a hurry. Try these simple swaps:

2 pancakes, 2 TBSP Syrup, 2 egg substitute scrambled: 11PP (this combo is available at IHOP)

Instead of… Belgian waffle, 2 TBSP Syrup, 2 eggs scrambled with cheese, bacon: 23PP (based on Denny’s Belgian Waffle Slam)

Hold the orange juice. Opt for water or coffee. OJ is 3PP for a cup, and most restaurants serve a glass that is 2 to 3 times that big.

It’s a Puzzle, Not a Problem

One of the great things about learning to eat healthy is the challenge to find reasonable swaps for foods that we love. Figuring out great nutritional deals to swap in for old favorites is really fun bargain hunting. I get what I want at half the cost. Score!

I’ve also found it’s important to indulge a craving once in a while. For me, that means really checking out what I’m craving and why, and considering whether a swap will calm the craving. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s great to have options. As we all know, small steps strung together pave the path to big rewards.

So take a stroll down swap street and see what looks good to you. In the meantime, wishing you a most awesomelicious day!

~Kimi

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