Getting healthy can feel like a constant uphill battle, such as fighting the urge to sleep instead of working out, or saying no to that cookie craving.  Sometimes, however, little changes can improve your sense of confidence and get you feeling good that lead you to saying – I can do this!  So here are some quick ideas:

1. Substitute baked purple potatoes instead of toast for breakfast.  Purple indicates high levels of proanthocyanidins, which are powerful antioxidants.  Purple potatoes also have been shown to lower blood pressure.  Roast at 350 for 1 hour the night before and all you have to do is peel and eat for breakfast.  My children devoured theirs with some goat yogurt and honey.

2. Try organic goji berries instead of raisins in your oatmeal.  In traditional Chinese medicine Goji berries strengthen the “yin” and benefit the eyes.  Try it in steel cut oatmeal with some cinnamon, salt and a bit of honey.

3. Swap out green tea or matcha green tea for coffee.

4. Add in a greens drink to your breakfast routine.  Let’s face it – taking out the juicer is a tough sell on a busy morning.  I am always thinking about how to pH balance and alkalinize my meal.  So while fresh juices and real greens are always best, on a busy day, add in a powdered greens drink to your usual breakfast routine.  My favorite is Vitamineral Greens Powder (unsweetened) or Greens First (if you like Stevia).  These are available at our office.

5. Instead of rice, potatoes or your usual starchy side dish, substitute with a colorful carb vegetable.  Try beets, roasted eggplant, squash or braised cabbage.   These low glycemic nutrient dense carbohydrates can easily make your plate more colorful and interesting.  These carbohydrate rich vegetables are more nutrient dense than your usual rice or white potato side.

6. Instead of ice cream, try blended frozen bananas.  Keep peeled frozen bananas in the freezer and blend with good quality blender or hand blender to make soft serve ice cream.  Add in unsweetened cocoa powder for a chocolate flavor.  My children didn’t even know it wasn’t ice cream.  (Thanks to Eat Simply for this tip

7. Add chia seeds to your smoothies.  Most people make some version of a protein smoothie.  To your usual mix, add in some powerful chia seeds, which have omega oils, and is a vegetarian source of protein.

8. Swap proportions.  Instead of a large steak and a vegetable side dish, swap the proportions so that you have a vegetable meal and a steak side dish.

9. Stop eating when you are 80% full.   In Japan they call this hara hachi bu.  The Okinawans in Japan have a longer than average life span.  In fact, almost 29% of Okinawans live to be 100, four times the average in western countries.

What are your favorite no brainer health substitutes or quick tips?  Leave a comment below.