At PFC, our approach to nutrition and diet is actually to leave the “diets” behind. We teach the 80/20 rule. This means 80% of your calories are coming from nutrient dense sources. The other 20% you can be a little more lenient with, and enjoy, an occasional indulgence. We want you to be able to enjoy the foods you love, but also learn how to swap out certain ingredients to make these foods fit into your 80% portion.
Our Chefs have mastered the art of creating delicious and seemingly indulgent dishes that are actually full of healthy ingredients! You probably didn’t know you could enjoy dishes like fettuccini Alfredo, pancakes, muffins, meatballs, and tuna melts at fitness camp right? However, with a few healthy swaps, these dishes can be part of your every day healthy lifestyle, at fitness camp and beyond!
Today we are sharing some of Chef Keiffer’s favorite healthy swaps he uses in the PFC kitchen. You can use these easy swaps in a wide variety of your favorite meals, improving the ratio of carbs, fats, and protein; and creating the proper portion and calorie control for maintaining a healthy weight.
1) Creamed Cauliflower in place of your heavy creams
This is a crowd pleaser in Chef’s “healthified” artichoke dip, Alfredo sauce, creamy soups and sauces. Although it sounds exotic, you simply steam the cauliflower, blend it until smooth, season to taste, and add it in to your creamy recipe!
2) Monk Fruit or Stevia in place of sugar
These are low calorie, natural substitutes for sugar that won’t spike your blood sugar. These sweeteners can be used in baked goods, salad dressings, steel cut oats, and anytime a recipe calls for a sweetener.
3) Flax meal as a binder in place of bread crumbs
This is a healthy swap chef uses in meat balls or patties. Flax meal not only helps bind the meat together, but also adds in healthy omega 3 fatty acids that are a super boost to your health.
4) Plain Greek Yogurt in place of mayonnaise or sour cream
This is an awesome way to make a high protein tuna salad. Try 3 parts yogurt to 1 part avocado mayo with your tuna salad mixture. Greek yogurt has the delicious creamy texture, is high in protein, low in sugar, and lower in fat than cream and mayonnaise.
5) Mix in some Veggies
When it comes to veggies, the more the merrier! Rather than having a whole cup of grains as a base to your meal (pasta, rice, quinoa, etc), try a 1/2 cup of the grains with 1/2 cup of veggies mixed in to bulk it up. That way you can feel full and satisfied with the same volume of food, but you’re cutting down the calories and fixing the carb-protein-fat ratio of the meal to be better proportioned for a balanced meal. Here are some simple ideas: Mix in some sautéed zucchini & yellow squash with your pasta noodles; Chopped Bell Peppers and Mushrooms with brown rice; roasted broccoli and cauliflower with your quinoa. Don’t forget the protein!
Making healthy choices doesn’t have to mean missing out on some of your favorite meals. It takes knowledge about healthy options, practicing making healthy swaps, and using a healthy dose of moderation. Remember, we want this to be a lifestyle, not a miserable diet that you can’t wait to end. Over time, these simple practices will turn into habits and your healthy lifestyle will be easier to maintain.