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Fab Fit Food Swaps: Eat Cleaner Today!

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eat cleaner with fab fit food swaps iStockphoto/Thinkstock

With time flying by, it's already July, and summer time is in full swing!

Although most of us have been thinking about working on our beach bodies for the last couple of months, others are more prone to procrastination.

Two important things to remember:

1) There’s no time like the present.

2) A majority of health, weight-loss and fitness goals are reached in the kitchen through healthy food choices.

That’s why Felicia Stoler, registered dietitian and author, recommends eating preventively by checking labels and making healthy and informed food swaps.

Stoler explains, “Whenever food manufacturers remove key ingredients such as fats, salt or sugar, they usually replace them with something else to preserve the product’s taste, shelf life or consistency. For example, the amount of fat may go down but sugar content goes up. That’s why label reading is important.”

Some simple food swaps:

Instead of: High calorie energy bars can often be high in sugars and fats.

Consider: Looking for a bar higher in protein and fiber that will help maintain a more steady blood sugar, keep you full and satiated, and help repair those muscles you’re working so hard in the gym!

Instead of: Nutrient enriched waters can be really good at hiding sugar and calories. Check the labels on your nutrient-enriched water to discover how much sugar is in just one serving size.

Consider: DIY water or fresh juice. Felicia Stoler suggested, “Make your version by spiking club soda with fresh juice. Or have a glass of Minute Maid® Premium HeartWise® orange juice with CoroWise® plant sterols. This is the first orange juice clinically proven to reduce cholesterol.”

Try diluting your sugary drink with water, I promise, there will still be enough sugar!

Instead of: "Multi-grain" or "7-grain" breads can contain white flour but simply add some grains for labeling claims.

Consider: 100% whole grain breads. There’s no tricky label reading involved when you’re getting a product that is straight-forward.

Swapping food goes beyond snacks and everyday food choices.

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EmpowHER Guest

Rather than "eating preventively by checking labels", what if we ate intuitively to nourish our body with what it needs? This idea of working for a "beach body" to earn a simple pleasure, such as having fun on the sand, perpetuates society's thinness as beauty ideal, and allows a unhealthy relationship with food, body, and soul to creep in.

Here are some simple tips for ditching the dieting mentality, and living your life.

Instead of: checking content on labels..
Consider: listening to your bodies internal cues. Are you hungry? Are you full? Are you tired? Do you feel like being outside or inside? Do you feel like being alone or spending time with friends? Do you want a cheeseburger or trail mix?

Instead of: comparing yourself to photo shopped and airbrushed models (or even the person standing next to you)
Consider: appreciating your body for its uniqueness. I am perfectly imperfect. My pinky toe is so little, there is no nail available for painting. This is weird and silly. It's me. If accepting your body is difficult for you to do (is it is a struggle for many), consider all of the wonderful things that you have in your life that you love. Muster up a few things that you feel grateful for. I'm grateful for: my sense of humor, passion for clothing and design, my ability to connect with children, being in love, having a car, cheese, clean sheets, vanilla chai latte, loyal and wonderful friends, a family that would do anything for me, pedicures, sisters, busy weekends, beach days.

Instead of: procrastinating on living your life, while waiting until you have that "beach body"
Consider: living your life now. Go soak up some sunshine, let the warm sand sift between your toes, take in a breath of warm salty air, walk along the water's edge with a friend, pack a picnic lunch.

Why? Because it's summer, and going to the beach is fun--for everyBODY.

"To be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting."
~ E. E. Cummings

July 5, 2012 - 4:14pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Well said!

July 6, 2012 - 5:42pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.