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Sometimes you may crave something greasy, chippy, bready, crunchy, or salty.  Unfortunately, many of the go-to solutions for these cravings are unhealthy or processed, and very often filled with harmful saturated fats, sugars, and chemicals.  A lot of these foods may be labeled “fat free, reduced fat, light, sugar free, or no sugar added.”  However, even if the labels read beautifully to you, many of these unnatural foods will expand and bloat your waistline instead of slimming it down, and damage your skin rather than making it smooth and vibrant.

Bottom line: if you’re trying to maintain a truly consistent healthy lifestyle, you simply can’t eat those foods all the time.  Do you have a cheat day?  Munch on one of your fav indulgences then – you know I’m in support of that (Just check out FSS Do’s and Don’ts of Healthy Eating).  However, if you’re striving to maintain or change your overall, long term lifestyle, you’re not going to achieve the body, skin, level of energy, or positive mental and physical balance if you keep these unhealthy, unnatural foods surrounding your life, and as the base for your Fit Soul and Spice Lifestyle Pyramid.

Fear not, I’m here with some solutions!

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Today, I’m going to provide you all with a list of some natural healthy alternative snacks I keep on hand for those times I’m craving that buttered bagel, bowl of pasta, or dish of mashed potatoes.  I promise, they’re just as, if not more flavorful, delicious, and satisfying than those potato chips, white breads, or buttery side dishes.  In fact, even on my cheat day now, I prefer these snacks over other, unnatural options.  The way these foods digest and break down in my body feels more balancing and peaceful.  I prefer their flavors, too!  The most important part is that they are natural, and as I savor these snacks, they offer health benefits as well.

DITCH THIS for THAT

POTATO CHIPS for KALE CHIPS

Check out my recipe for Crispy Clean Kale Chips.  It’s a natural snack that is crispy, crunchy, and salty, but also provides your body with calcium, protein, iron, fiber, and vitamins.  They’re low carb and low fat.

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MASHED POTATOES for CAULIFLOWER MASH

Cut up of a head of cauliflower and boil it in a large pot until it’s soft.  Drain the water out, and add to the pot a little bit of coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper, and a little bit of creamy almond milk or soy milk.  Just mash away to the consistency you’re satisfied with.  In minutes you can swap starchy, carb packed mashed potatoes for a low carb, low cal, high fiber, nutrient packed side dish that is filling, creamy, and delicious.

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PASTA for SHIRATAKI NOODLES

What a godsend these babies are.  I swear by shirataki noodles.  They’re actually tofu in the shape of noodles, and an ENTIRE bag of them is only 40 calories and 6g of carbs.  There’s also zero sugar, and they contain a substantial amount of fiber, making you feel fuller faster.  Literally, I’m obsessed – and that’s coming from a girl who grew up eating a big, hardy Italian Sunday dinner and savory pasta dishes throughout each week growing up.  I wish I’d known about these earlier!  They come in a water filled bag.  Yes, it smells a little funky when you first strain them, but it’s short lived.  Simply pour the water out and strain the noodles in a colander with fairly warm water.  Don’t worry, the fishy smell dissipates very quickly.  Mix these with fresh mushrooms, chopped onion, soy cheese, some garlic and evoo, shrimp or chicken, or one of Fit Soul and Spice’s healthy alternative sauces.  Want more tips on working with this miracle noodle?  Email me! fitsoulandspice@gmail.com 🙂

shirataki

PACKAGED CROUTONS OR CRACKERS for RAW NUTS

As stated on Fit Soul and Spice via INSTAGRAM yesterday.  Try picking on a small handful of raw nuts, or adding raw almonds or walnuts to your salad for crunch instead of processed croutons, which often contain unhealthy carbs, empty calories, sodium, chemicals, and hydrogenated oils.  Raw nuts contain a wonderful flavor, healthy fats, fiber, plant sterols, vitamins, minerals, and decrease the risk of serious chronic disease.  Why not add a crunchier, more filling alternative to your salads that ALSO benefits your body, mind, and soul?

raw nuts

CANNED ONION DIP OR PACKAGED GUACAMOLE for HOMEMADE GUACAMOLE

Check out Fit Soul and Spice’s Holy Guacamole recipe, and chances are you’ll never look back again at that processed can of onion dip or guacamole you spent more money on anyway at the supermarket.  The ingredients are affordable, easy to combine, and made completely with clean, natural foods.  Fit Soul and Spice’s homemade guacamole recipe tastes fresh, flavorful, and delicious on sliced vegetables, FSS kale chips, or on Fit Soul and Spice’s gluten free, vegan flatbread.  It’s rich in fiber, low carb, low sugar, and packed with vitamins and nutrients.

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ICE CREAM for FROZEN BANANAS

I received a Yonana machine for Christmas and it’s been so fun!!  However, if you don’t have one, no big deal!  You can simply take frozen bananas (take peels off before freezing in an airtight container), allow them to thaw for about 5-7 minutes, and throw them in the blender or food processor.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, a dash of cinnamon, a few stevia drops, and some cacao nibs or dark chocolate chunks (if desired), and you’ll think you’re indulging in a huge bowl of creamy, sweet, delectable chocolate chip ice cream.  So easy, so clean!  More affordable, too!  Dessert is served 🙂

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COOKIES for COCONUT MEAT

NOT the sugary, syrupy, packaged coconut shreds you buy for baking.  I’m talking about the off the tree, chopped up, and served coconut meat.  Coconut meat is creamy, crunchy, and sweet.  When I’m craving a crunchy sweet treat like cookies or candy, I grab a piece of coconut meat (now a staple in my fridge) and I munch on that instead.  It is not the lowest calorie or leanest fruit, but it is natural, clean, and contains healthy fats.  It will break down healthily in your body, which impacts positive long term lifestyle results.  A tough fruit, coconut meat takes longer to eat than other optional fruits, making it enjoyable to savor and mentally comforting to the sweet treat craving.  The most important part is that coconut meat is a natural, clean food, which is better than any packaged or processed cookie you’ll eat, which is made with refined sugars and hydrogenated oils.

**If you’re looking to stay very lean and low cal, shoot more for fruits like strawberries, blueberries, or apples for munching.  I mention coconut because it has that tough, sweet crunch people often crave when they want cookies, cakes, and candies.**

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If you’re working to change or alter your lifestyle, try some of these little tricks next time your carb cravings strike.  It’s only natural, and we’re only human, so don’t be too hard on yourself.  Baby steps.  The point is, you’re making a positive change for your body, mind and soul.  And just wait — you’ll see as time goes on how much more you begin craving healthy, natural foods over the things you used to enjoy. NOM 🙂

Be natural.  Be the change you wish to see in yourself. Much love 🙂

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