Overhauling your diet all at once can be a beneficial way for some of us to jump right into Mediterranean Living: like ripping off a band-aid! It’s challenging for a few days or weeks, but once the new habits stick, your whole way of eating has changed– for the better. For others of us, easing into the lifestyle with lots of smaller changes can be a manageable way to move towards healthier living.
For people who want to start getting healthier without a complete overhaul, making simple food swaps can be a excellent way. This is also a great way to ease your family or partner into a new way of eating without causing panic.
Think about meals that you, your family, or the other people you routinely eat with, currently enjoy on a frequently basis. Now, trying making substitutions for the less healthy items. Take a look at our list below and pick a few to try. By making some of these easy swaps, you are taking steps to make your diet healthier. It may take some thought at first, but after a while, these types of switches will become automatic. As your new routines become habit, you can add in some additional swaps… and so on!
Let us know in the comments which ones you’ve tried.
1. White Rice
2. Red Meat (beef)
3. Canned soup
4. Mayonnaise and Ranch dressing
6. Soda or Coke
7. Ketchup or BBQ sauce
8. Fruit Juice
9. Applesauce with added sugar
10. Peanut butter with sugar
1. Brown rice or Quinoa
2. Chicken, lentils, beans, or veggies
3. Homemade broth
4. Mashed avocado and hummus
5. Olive oil
6. Sparkling water or water with lemon
7. Salsa or low-sodium hot sauce
8. Whole fruit
9. Applesauce with apples & water only
10. Peanut butter made from 100% peanuts
1. Hotdog on white bun
2. Pork stir fry with white rice
3. Lunch meat sandwich with mayo on white bread
4. Beef stew
5. Spaghetti with meatballs
6. Beef tacos
7. Steak on the grill
8. PBJ: peanut butter and jelly on white bread
9. Fried chicken nuggets with a side of fries
10. Salad with bacon, croutons, and ranch dressing
11. General Tso’s Chicken
12. Frozen pepperoni pizza or delivery pizza
1. Veggie burger on whole wheat
2. Stir fried veggies or shrimp over brown rice
3. Veggies and hummus on whole grain or whole wheat
4. Minestrone or veggie stew
5. Lentil or whole wheat pasta, with veggies
6. Broiled or baked fish tacos
7. Salmon and veggie skewers on the grill
8. PBJ: 100% peanuts peanut butter with sliced (or mashed) berries on whole wheat
9. Baked chicken cut into strips, with crispy baked zucchini “fries” or roasted carrots
10. Salad with chopped veggies & fruit, nuts or seeds, dressed with olive oil & vinegar
11. Sauteed chicken & veggies, homemade sauce
12. Make your own, using whole wheat or cauliflower crust. Top with pineapple! We’d love to hear about how you are starting or continuing a Mediterranean Lifestyle! Are you making lots of changes all at once, or a few at a time? What has been your favorite food swap? Tell us in the comments!
Hi, I’m Ashley! I’m a Mom of 3 little people, a Mediterranean Diet enthusiast, and a business expert. Any day of the week, you will find me in the kitchen cooking up festive new recipes using Mediterranean Diet principles. I love breakfast for dinner, long days at the beach, the perfect glass of wine, and spontaneous adventures. Originally from Atlanta, I now fondly call Virginia my home.