Whether in the middle of the day or the middle of the night, junk food cravings can strike with a vengeance. But this is a new year, and you’ve got new tricks up your sleeve for overcoming the call of unhealthy snacks.
Below we’ve rounded up healthy alternatives to junk food, so when your cravings come, you’ll be ready.
Salty and Sour
Never bring a carrot to a chip fight. If you’ve built up a habit of reaching for chips or other similar options, going for something new and healthy may be a bit challenging in the beginning.
Before grabbing any ol’ snack, get to the bottom of what your craving is telling you. Are you thirsty, hungry, angry, or just bored? For example, craving salt could indicate that you’re dehydrated since your body uses sodium to regulate hydration levels in the body. Dealing with the underlying cause can help you curb your craving and give your body what it needs to flourish.
When you can’t kick the taste for salt, try these yummy options:
- Salted nuts like cashew or macadamia
- Baked Oatmeal with Cardamom, Pistachio & Rose - Satisfy your need for crunch and something satisfying with this easy, unique combination.
Sweet, Sugary Bliss
We all have a sweet tooth. One problem with fast snacks, though, is that you aren’t in control of the ingredients. Packaged products have added sugars and components that are great for shelf life but not great for your health.
Strike back with these healthy alternatives to fulfill even the most potent sweet tooth:
- Homemade yogurt - Enjoy this treat with fresh berries and nuts so you are in complete control of the ingredients.
- Vanilla Pudding Cups with Fresh Strawberries or Strawberries & Milk Pops - All indulgence, no added guilt.
- Healthy summer berry smoothie bowl or Ginger orange smoothie bowl - Packed with fiber and micronutrients, you can’t go wrong with a smoothie bowl. However, avoid the fast-food version packed with sugar and unhealthy ingredients.
- Low Sugar Café Borgia - Fresh Orange zest and dark chocolate chips bring a new take to your morning latte.
Warm and Savory
These savory recipes are great for those non-specific cravings that pop up. Instead of mindless eating and empty calories, reach for these easy-to-make basics. With a few healthy swaps, you’ll be looking at your old go-to's like “new lifestyle, who ‘dis?”
- Mushroom wild rice soup - Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner this soup is warm, filling, and hits the right spot every time.
- Breakfast Tacos with Sweet Potatoes, Black Beans and Chili Lime Cream Sauce - Reach for these when you’re craving food truck staples. You can even stand up and eat them.
- Braised white beans with kale on toast - Raw kale is pretty hard to eat if you're unaccustomed to this bitter leafy green. However, cooking kale can remove the bitter taste and is incredibly good for you.
- Roasted broccoli and cauliflower steaks with tahini - The tahini shines through in the lemon garlic sauce, making you feel like this meal is more indulgent than it truly is.
Living a healthier lifestyle means creating routines that make healthy choices easier. For example, removing unhealthy items from your grocery list decreases the chances you have to snack on junk food. Likewise, building dedicated time into your day for exercise decreases the likelihood that you’ll skip it. Then all it boils down to is finding exercises you will actually enjoy to maintain the habit. So keep your healthy recipes handy, clean out the temptation in those cupboards, and find a2 Milk™ at a grocer near you.