Healthy Replacements for Junk Foods

healthy trail mix This month, I have focused on cutting out some processed foods in my 30 Day Eat Less Processed Foods Challenge.

I didn’t set any “rules” for myself, but just tried to find some healthier alternatives to some of the more processed foods I was eating at times.

For example, I know that in the afternoons I tend to crave something crunchy or sweet, and I found this trail mix (pictured above) in the bulk bin at a local health food store.  It has everything from pumpkin seeds to dried cranberries to dark chocolate chips.

One warning about trail mix is that you are much better off if you pre-portion it, because it is calorie dense!

Here’s some replacement ideas for junk foods…

Instead of potato chips…try pickles (or other pickled vegetables such as pickled okra!)

Instead of peanut butter crackers…try celery with peanut butter.

Instead of packaged chocolate chip cookies…try homemade granola bars.

Instead of a candy bar…try a small piece of dark chocolate.

Instead of nachos….try pita chips and hummus.

Instead of a Slim Jim…try beef jerky.

Instead of ice cream…try greek yogurt with honey.

One way to cut out processed foods at dinner is to keep it simple.  The more you focus your meals around the vegetables, the healthier you will probably be.

If you need some new ideas for simple dinners, check out pesto pasta recipe, sweet potato salad recipe or the cranberry bbq chicken!

What are YOUR favorite healthy replacements for junk foods?  {Leave a comment below!}

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