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  • Lindsey Van Wagner

Simple Swaps

I think that one of the hardest things about making healthy changes is trying to alter too many things all at once. Most of us are creatures of habit and we like our routines - they provide comfort.

So why not start small with some simple swaps, while still reaping the benefits of your favorite foods? These photos showcase a few of my creations.

For example, you're at that family party and you can't get enough of your aunt's special dip. After you've doused a few chips in it, take some carrots or cucumber slices from the vegetable platter and see how they mix in.


(I love dipping carrots in spicy hummus!)


This is a plate I put together on Easter a few years back...

Make your food fun. Make it colorful. My mom used to say, while we were getting things ready for holiday parties, "It's all about the presentation, Lindsey."


I have found that food is mostly about how we cook it, dress it, and prepare it. I stopped eating meat because I didn't like it, but I didn't stop loving the way meat was grilled, spiced, the condiments we add, etc.

So I still cook on an open fire when I go camping - to get that charred, smoky taste. And who says you can't season vegetables with a good dry rub intended for ribs, or dip those babies in some BBQ sauce? Make your own rules.


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What about a good home-cooked Italian meal? Dig in to this zucchini (and yellow squash) pasta with a creamy avocado pesto and a side of roasted tomatoes. For me it is all about the sauces: Zucchini - with its texture being similar to spaghetti - is a great vehicle for this yumness (and afterward I don't feel like I want to die, in an effort to be released of my overstuffed food coma).


Finally... Burgers. I stay away from gluten so I tend to get creative with my bun situation. Sweet potato rounds are an excellent starchy option and they taste great. One day I was in the mood for something lighter so I used a bell pepper! I sautéed the leftover pieces of the pepper to make "fries." This meal really puts the "veg" in veggie burgers...

So, start where you are. Do what you can with what you have. Pay attention to how you feel as a result of putting a healthy spin on some of your favorite treats and snacks.


Scrumptious wishes to you,


Linz

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