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
Drip Coffee + GOOD cinnamon + Toriani Sugar Free Classic Hazelnut + Splenda + Fat Free Milk: 1PP
Instead of… Caramel Machiatto: 5PP
Day 2: Pizza Hill
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
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
- Salmon Burger + Light Hamburger Roll + Carrot Chips + Hidden Valley Dill Dip made with Greek Yogurt = 7PP
- 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
• 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
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!