I understand the need to not feel like you’re depriving yourself. Not only is it intimidating to think you have to cut out your favorite treats, but it’s just plain not fun. However, if you think about how much your quality of life will improve if you can lessen the inflammation in your body, it is totally worth it!
Not only can inflammation cause uncomfortable symptoms like joint pain and intestinal problems, but if it is allowed to go on unchecked, it can create chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, or worse. Even low-grade inflammation can have no obvious symptoms! (Source) I don’t want that for you. I want you to be able to enjoy your life and live it to the fullest.
Thankfully there are ways you can have your treats without the negative effects of inflammation-causing ingredients. All we have to do is get creative and do a little extra research.
Enjoy Biodynamic wines from Dry Farms Wine instead of glyphosate-laden wine
Attention: Wine Lovers!!
Glyphosate is the most commonly used herbicide worldwide. This is concerning since, in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Most wines are sourced globally from small biodynamic wineries and Dry Farms Wine tests each wine to make sure they are all glyphosate free. Their wines are lower in sugar and alcohol as well! That means no hangover! Yeah! Read more about why they only use international vendors.
If you do choose to drink alcohol, they are your safest bet for doing so safely while minimizing inflammation!
Stevia-sweetened chocolate instead of sugar-sweetened chocolate can be amazing!
I LOVE Chocolate!
I think it’s widely accepted at this point that added sugar is the cause of a lot of diseases, especially in the United States. Many studies have found a link between sugar and chronic inflammatory diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and rheumatoid arthritis. (Source)
It’s simply not worth the danger it causes! My hands tend to ache the morning after I consume too much sugar so for me, it’s just not worth it!
With no calories and a low glycemic index, stevia is a much better choice than processed sugar.
I personally love Lily’s Stevia-Sweetened Chocolate and Phi Kind’s Truffles. Phi Kind even incorporates inflammation-fighting ingredients like coconut oil, inulin, turmeric, and MCT oil into some of their products! Win-win. And they are DELICIOUS!
Gluten-free flour instead of wheat flour
Gluten, a protein found in grains, has been found to increase intestinal permeability (leaky gut) and create chronic inflammation in the body—which, as we have seen, in turn, can result in various diseases. (Source)
A relatively simple switch so you don’t have to give up your favorite baked goods entirely is to opt for gluten-free flour. When you are choosing a gluten-free product, make sure that the company does its due diligence in truly keeping their products gluten-free.
I love using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour as an alternative. They have a dedicated gluten-free facility and test each batch to ensure no cross-contamination has occurred! Julian Bakery also has hundreds of yummy gluten-free products to choose from.
An interesting observation in my own health is that I tend to have a reaction to products containing gluten that are made in the US. I do not, however, react to organic, non-GMO wheat flour imported from Italy. That says a lot about how denatured our food has become here in the United States.
Use vegetables creatively instead of grain products
For all the same reasons above, PLUS the added benefits of getting anti-inflammatory and micronutrient dense veggies in your diet!
Some of my favorite swaps are lettuce wraps for tortillas (butter lettuce holds up nicely), cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice, and zucchini noodles instead of wheat noodles.
Some supermarkets even offer pre-riced cauliflower and pre-spiralized zucchini. This takes even less work off your plate (pun intended), making this swap as easy as buying a box of traditional spaghetti noodles! No excuses here. 🙂
Nut cheese instead of dairy cheese
Hear me out before you roll your eyes! Not only is the protein casein found in most dairy known to be highly inflammatory (source), but it’s often full of hormones and antibiotics.
However I know that cheese is a much-loved food item for a lot of people, so I’m offering up a solution: nut cheese! You can find dairy-free cheese at the grocery store, but be on the lookout for additives.
To be extra safe, make your own nut cheese at home! This recipe for sliceable cashew cheese looks delicious. If you give it a try, let me know how it turned out.
Coconut milk yogurt instead of dairy yogurt
Another food swap you can use to reduce your exposure to inflammation-causing compounds is yogurt. Like cheese, there are several recipes out there for creating your own coconut milk yogurt, as well as pre-made options online or in the store.
If you go for a store-bought coconut milk yogurt, get the unsweetened variety to avoid the added sugars that sweetened versions come laden with.
I hope this food swaps help you begin to make some healthy lifestyle changes! Drop me a line or let me know what you think of these food hacks! Enjoy!