Drop the Pounds and Enjoy Eating Too with Recipe Substitutions

To achieve health goals without a complete disruption of eating habits and rituals, many health-conscious people look toward the strategy of dietary substitutions, a seemingly infinite variety of small tweaks, recipe swap outs, and taste tricks designed to provide maximum health benefit with minimum sacrifice. Within families and relationships, one person’s decision to change can quickly become everyone’s burden. Effective substitution can help keep the peace, in addition to its dietary and health benefits. After a typical adjustment period, many people report that their tastes change for the better and they become less dependent on the easy gratification of salty and sweet foods.

How Close is Close Enough

If the goal of substitution is undetectable changes in the final product, a great deal of experimentation is required. Realistically-managed expectations will serve you well. In terms of mouthfeel and taste, meat substitutions tend to be among the more discrete secret agents. It is amazing what they can do with poultry these days, though red meat purists will always find reasons to grouse. Turkey bacon and sausage and ground meats tend to perform well in terms of appearance, texture, and the all-important gratification factor. Be observant of cooking temperatures and times of course as different meats behave differently.

Making Sweets Safe for the Dieter

Sometimes, effective substitutions come from surprising directions or radical experimentation. Only recently have we begun to hear of black beans as a substitute for flours, but in certain contexts— brownies, most notably—the results can be spectacular, even game-changing. Similarly, unsweetened applesauce is proving itself in healthy kitchens everywhere not only as a multi-purpose sweetener but as an able oil and butter impersonator. Ask not whether its consistency and flavor accent are identical; ask whether they are agreeable.

Replacing Fats

Fat substitutes, as we know, are where the rubber meets the road. Avocado can be a textural wunderkind with a beneficial fat profile. Mashed bananas bring the sweet and the fats in voluptuous, mouth-pleasing ways. Again, keep in mind that foods taste like themselves. Do not expect miracles. Expect adventures.

Seeds and nuts are stars in this area as well—chia or flax as an egg substitute, almond and other nuts for flour, etc.—though they often require specific preparation techniques like soaking and grinding, and they will behave quite differently in the act of cooking as well. Put your white lab coat on.

Turn and Face the Changes

So maybe part of the point with food substitutions is fooling yourself (and others) into believing you’re still eating in unhealthy and diet-defying ways. But it shouldn’t stop there. The problem with much fast- and junk-food is its over-reliance on a few basic taste and textural satisfactions—namely sweet, salt, cream, and crunch. Food substitutions can “do” those things, often acceptably, sometimes admirably.

But why should the process end there? Healthy food substitution can affect a gradual transition to a more lively and diverse palate. In time you come to appreciate the infinite subtleties of spice over the blunt gratifications of salt. In place of the expectation of knockout sweetness, you find you prefer the distinctive flavors of the different fruits and sweet spices. It’s all about the path to a new you that stays on speaking terms with the old you.

The Magic Key to Weight Loss Motivation

Do you have difficulties staying with a diet? What if you had a magic key that unlocked the secrets of healthy weight loss so you could look in the mirror and suddenly be amazed at how great you look?

What if I told you that there is a magic key and it is within your reach? The key to weight loss is called “motivation”.

It’s a magic key in the sense that, when you are highly motivated, the door is open, the path is clear, and what seemed difficult before is now something you know you can and will do.

So how do we get motivated for weight loss? After all, motivation seems like a mystery to many: something that others seem to have but that can be elusive when you really need it. But it doesn’t have to be elusive or mysterious. You just have to know how. This blog post is intended to erase the mystery and give you the power to decide how motivated you want to be to lose weight, the ability to create that motivation for yourself, and the confidence to apply it to a weight loss plan that works.

We’ve all had times we’ve been motivated.

Can you remember such a time in your own life? It doesn’t matter what you were motivated about, just remember a time when you felt really motivated to do something meaningful to you.  Can you imagine how things would be different if you could use that level of motivation to make the improvements in eating habits and lifestyle you are choosing to make now? You can.

Let’s make motivation simple by considering two main parts: The feeling of motivation itself, and what you use that motivation to do. It’s important to choose the right doors to open with your key.

It can be tricky to set goals for weight loss, which is one reason that some people gain back the weight they’ve lost. Part of it is setting the right kind of goals, goals that open the door to success. Having the right kind of weight loss goals continually builds confidence in your ability to make the desired changes in your body.

When you first begin, weight loss is rapid and having an experience of success gets you over the hump of establishing new habits and makes you feel great about what you are doing.  As you get past the initial stages of rapid weight loss, you should focus your motivation on other types of goal, such as the development of healthier eating habits and living a healthy, active lifestyle.

Before you know it, you can transition to an identity of a “new you” who naturally lives a healthy life and has a healthy weight. Given that we live in a society that pulls us away from good health in so many ways, having support and coaching to help develop motivation and goals for healthy living can ensure you’ll open the door to a meaningful, enjoyable future.

Eating Healthy Without Breaking the Bank

You have found your motivation (or maybe it has found you) and made the decision to lose weight and begin a healthier lifestyle. Congratulations are in order. That enthusiasm is the first step to success. Your second and biggest challenge is to eat well. It is widely believed that nutrition is the single biggest factor in any successful and sustainable weight management plan. 

If you’ve made the commitment, you will find the time to eat well, and it will quickly become routine, efficient, and rewarding. But what about the expense? A satisfying, nutritious, and low-calorie diet can seem like a luxury not available on every budget. Healthy eating, however, does not have to break the bank. Here are some of the tips to use to keep your fridge full of tasty, wholesome foods while staying within budget.


There are many reasons why buying frozen vegetables is a great idea. First, vegetables in the freezer section are flash frozen at their peak ripeness. Your favorite veggies will still be yummy even when they are out of season. Second, frozen vegetables have a last longer. You no longer have to worry about your fresh vegetables spoiling before you get to cook them. Waste is expensive. Third, frozen is a great way to ensure you are getting your USDA daily-recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Finally, frozen vegetables typically cost less than fresh vegetables. ADDED BONUS: When you buy frozen, most of the prep work has already been done for you. 


Grocery stores often put huge markdowns on meat when it is reaching its sell-by date. Don’t let a sell-by date scare you off. This simply means that the meat will maintain its freshness at the recommended refrigerator temperature for 1-3 days past this date. With the discount, you can stock up on great cuts of meat at a fraction of the price and freeze it until you are ready to use it. For added convenience, portion out your meat before freezing it for easier meal planning.


Many generic store brands are just as high-quality as their name brand counterparts, and they cost less. Often, we are simply paying more for branding and advertising. Next time you are at the grocery store, compare the labels on your favorite brands with the store brand. You will often find that there isn’t much difference. You may discover that you do actually prefer the name brand and it is worth the cost to you; but on your quest to stay within budget, at least give the generic store brands a try. 


You are now on what may seem to be a restrictive menu, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the food you do eat. Herbs and other seasonings are key to enlivening your palate and keeping your menu exciting. Why buy an entire bunch of fresh dill for the quarter teaspoon required by a recipe, only to watch the remaining dill go bad before you use it again? A package of dried herbs may cost a little more than the fresh bunch when you compare dollar for dollar on a single shopping trip, but dried herbs have a longer shelf life when stored properly and have more concentrated flavors (so you use less per recipe). You can save money by spending a little bit more upfront because you won’t be throwing away the leftovers. 


Planning out your meals for the week ahead of time is another key to economic dieting success. To help save money and time, make a list of all the ingredients you are going to need. Check your freezer, pantry, and fridge to see what you already have. Mark those items off the list. What is left is your shopping list. Knowing what you need before you walk into the store will help you save in a couple of ways. First, you won’t be spending money on unnecessary items that you already have. Secondly, you will avoid the common pitfall of buying more than you need. If you are like me, you only have so much storage space for food. For those trying to lose weight, well-planned shopping trips are an essential way to stay focused, to stay on plan, and to avoid temptation. 

More on Fat Burning Without a Gym - 5 Ways to Get Intense Cardio Without the Gym

Do you need to take your calorie burning to the next level but aren’t making it to the gym in spite of your best intentions? It’s a dilemma! Fortunately, there are some great solutions at hand I’ll share here.

Maybe you have increased your activity with NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), but realize that what you doing isn’t intense enough for best metabolism and energy boosting benefits cardio benefits.

But, sure, there are plenty of obstacles to getting to the gym! Limited hours, long wait times for machines during peak times, and travel time put regular gym workout seemingly out of reach for many.

Fortunately, though, there are ways to get intense aerobic activity without a trip to a fitness center.

Here are some things to keep in mind before you start with more intense activity:

  • Consult with your physician before beginning any intense exercise program.
  • Think about your fitness goals: strength building, aerobic fitness, flexibility, weight loss.
  • Review your schedule. Where can you carve out some time for a workout every day? You may need to vary the time of day your workout will be, as well as how long your workouts will be depending on how your day flows.
  • Your workouts throughout the week should vary in intensity from light to moderate, to heavy. It is important to allow your muscles to rest.
  • Your activities can vary according to your interests.

With this information in mind, here are some ways to incorporate some more intense physical activity into your life:

  • Professionals who come to you. Engaging the services of a personal trainer can be invaluable to keeping you on track, adjusting your workouts based on items you already have at home, and ensure that you are using proper form to avoid injury.
  • Online and/or video fitness classes. The video or DVD workouts have been around for a while. But if you want a little bit more variety or a class that is updated regularly, check online. Many fitness instructors offer online versions of a variety of classes. They are often not relegated to yoga, tai chi, or dance. 
  • Fitness trails at local parks. In an effort to increase community health, many municipalities have not only increased the number of walking, running, and biking trails. They have incorporated permanent fitness equipment with instructions on basic physical activities.
  • Adult sports leagues and training groups. Want to train for a race like a triathlon? There’s a group for that. Still want to play soccer or basketball or tennis or revisit elementary school with kickball? There’s a league for that.
  • Fitness Apps. You want to train for a 5K, or a 10K, or a marathon? There’s an app for that. You want 7 minute workout with a series of activities that you can repeat a few times if you have the time? There’s an app for that. You want a series of exercises targeting a certain area of your body, that may increase in number of repetitions? There’s an app for that. Need a reminder to drink more water? There’s an app for that. There are many applications available that can provide you instruction on activities to fit into your day.

Fitting an intense workout into your day can be a challenge. Luckily there are many options available that do not require you to go to the gym. Just do it!