10 Healthy Food Swaps for Vibrant Energy, Clear Skin & Better Gut Health

In this episode, I’m sharing the 10 food swaps you can make for clear skin, better gut health, and vibrant energy (and how to do it WITHOUT GUILT!!). We’re going to drop the “shoulds” and shame so we can learn how to nourish our body from a place of love. Because you are worthy of nourishment.

As a holistic nutrition coach, I want you to know that you are worthy of feeling nourished and energized through the foods you eat. So we’re going to talk about 10 food swaps you can make today to help you feel good in your body, have sustained energy all day long, and have clearer skin and better gut health (without all the guilt).

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Swap #1. Soda for Olipop!

Swap #1 for vibrant energy, clear skin, and better gut health: Swap your sodas for an Olipop or Poppi. I’m all for having a fun drink but let’s pour into our bodies with the stuff that actually makes it feel good. And I know soda tastes good. I gave up soda a while ago and to be honest, it’s something I still crave almost everyday. So I’ve learned for myself that it’s not enough just to cut something out. I need to replace it with something that feels fun and special without it being something that takes away from my wellbeing. Soda is packed with sugar, this we know, and also dyes to get it that perfect caramel color, and other addictive ingredients that keep us hooked. And I want you to feel empowered with your food choices, and not like you’re saying yes to something because someone in a laboratory intentionally created that food or drink to be addictive. We deserve better!!

Swap #2. Seed oils for Organic, Cold Pressed Oils

Swap #2: Seed oils (aka vegetable oils like canola oil, corn, soybean, grape seed, sunflower, and peanut oils – things like that) for organic, cold pressed, single-origin Extra Virgin Olive Oil, grass fed butter, coconut oil, and ghee. Here’s why: Seed oils are usually bleached and deodorized through a chemical process to give it that yellow-ish color you see on shelves. It’s what’s called a “shelf stable” oil so it lasts a long time, which you can see why someone would want to create that because it lasts longer. But y’all seed oils were once used as engine lubricant. And seed oils in our body can cause the leakage of potassium, which is an essential mineral that every tissue in your body needs to function. Plus, it causes energy to leak from your mitochondria, which is the only thing we remembered from Biology class right, the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell!! So energy is leaking from your cells and you work so hard and do so much in life – you need energy. Seed oils in our body cause inflammation and cellular death because seed oils are very susceptible to oxidation which produces toxic byproducts which, not to be dramatic, but we don’t want that. Seed oils accumulate in our body because our body has a hard time breaking them down and they can stay stored as fat in our bodies for YEARS – like decades. So if you get nothing else from this episode, eliminate seed oils from your diet. If you have a question, ask it in the comments because I want you to know I’m in your corner and your health depends on it okay!!

Swap #3. Swap table salt for unrefined, mineral-rich salt.

Swap #3: Swap table salt (which is just the regular white, iodized salt) for an unrefined, mineral-rich salt. Look, we have been sold a lie that salt is bad for us. Salt is actually necessary. Salt is what brings out the flavors in our food and salt contains trace minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and copper. Those minerals help transmit messages between cells and help with our fluid and fat balance throughout our body especially in our brain, muscles, and cells. I love using Redmond’s real salt. It tastes so good and I feel so proud of myself knowing that I’m giving my body the trace minerals it needs to thrive. PS: A bag of Redmond’s salt costs about $8 at a store like Whole Foods and it lasts us about 3-6 months, depending on what meals we make!

Swap #4. Swap high sugar juices & smoothies for real, whole fruits.

Swap #4 for vibrant energy, clean skin, and better gut health: Swap your high sugar juices & smoothies for whole fruits. Not only will the whole fruits contain less sugar but when we eat whole fruits, we’re getting more minerals and fiber and a higher nutritional density. And a lot of times you’ll hear people recommend cutting out fruit because fruit contains sugar. I’m not a big fan of that because with real, whole fruits that sugar is going to be absorbed at a much slower rate into your bloodstream compared to the juiced version. That juiced version has all the sugar without the fiber and minerals and it’s going to get absorbed very quickly into your bloodstream and you’ll see a spike in your blood sugar levels which can then cause that spike and then the inevitable crash, which you totally feel energetically. Eating real, whole foods just wins every time.

Swap #5. Swap highly processed dairy for organic dairy.

Swap #5: Swap highly processed cheese for high quality organic cheese – and raw if possible – if that’s what feels good in your body. Conventional dairy products can be loaded with hormones, preservatives, chemical dyes even to color the cheese, and chemicals we can’t even pronounce. That’s why we recommend organic dairy products. Because with organic farming, animals are not treated with hormones and aren’t fed meals that contain pesticides like roundup. A lot of times when it comes to dairy, it’s often recommended to cut dairy out completely to help with acne. In my own cystic acne skin journey, I did that for years and was completely dairy free for about 3 years and did almond, cashew, and oat milks instead of dairy products and what I found for myself is that my skin actually does better when I have real milk dairy products. I love raw milk, half and half in my coffee, and raw cheese and just look for the highest quality organic products I can find. You can even do a search in your local area for an organic farm near you. There are places where you can pick up milks, yogurts, and cheese directly from the farmer! And if you don’t have a farm near you, I bet there’s a local farmer’s market that sells the most delicious dairy products.

Swap #6. Swap packaged baked goods for homemade versions.

Swap #6: Swap packaged baked goods for homemade versions. The reason for this being: you know what’s in everything you make at home. Cook with real ingredients. One ingredient foods. Like what’s in sugar? Sugar. What’s in flour? Flour. When you cook at home, you’re able to keep preservatives, soy additives, and other icky ingredients out of your foods. And if anything, read the ingredients on the back of whatever you’re wanting to buy from the store. You’d be surprised how many ingredients are in packaged baked goods at grocery stores and even the boxed mixes for cupcakes, muffins, breads, and cookies. Moral of the story – I want you to feel empowered to know what’s in your food. You deserve to know what’s going into your body because it impacts how you feel and how you show up in the world. The food you eat is either helping you feel your best, or keeping you feeling low energy, overwhelmed, and achy. And you have the power to choose what’s on your plate.

Swap #7. Swap corn for organic, non-GMO corn.

Swap #7: Swap corn for organic, non-GMO corn. Corn is one of those things that isn’t digested very well in our bodies. Some nutrition experts recommend cutting it out altogether. But here’s the thing. I’m from Texas. I’m obsessed with chips and guac and love making homemade popcorn at the end of a work day. So yeah I eat corn and that’s what I love about Food Freedom is that you’re giving yourself the permission and freedom to lean into the foods that feel best for you and it’s so much more than just WHAT you eat but it’s also important to lean into the foods that bring you joy and help you celebrate life with the people you love. But if you do eat corn, say YES to the highest quality you can find and make sure you read the ingredients of things on popcorn and tortilla chips because often they contain a lot of vegetable oils that are as good for our bodies, like we talked about with Swap #2. I like to buy organic popcorn kernels and make popcorn at home using my redmond’s salt, some freshly ground pepper, and melted organic grass fed butter. It’s just literally so good that I can never go back to the microwave popped popcorn.

Swap #8. Swap sugar filled chocolate for organic dark chocolate.

Swap #8: Swap sugar filled chocolate for organic dark chocolate. Hu chocolate is a fav of mine and it’s so decadent and rich and has really clean ingredients and a variety of flavors. There’s just no going back for me to chocolates that are made with all these extra random ingredients. Dark chocolate has health benefits. It contains magnesium, which might be the reason you crave it more when you’re on your period and it gives us a sugar boost which your body needs because that’s how it produces energy and has some good fats in there too.

Swap #9. Swap conventional meats for organic, grass fed, nitrate-free meats.

Swap #9 for vibrant energy, clear skin, and better gut health: And maybe one that is a bit controversial! Swap conventional meats for organic, grass fed, nitrate-free meats. We love buying all of our meat from Butcher Box. We get a box delivered to us once a month and it’s enough meat for us to last a full month. It’s just that good and so convenient to have it delivered to our home every single month. But meat is packed with so many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs to thrive. Every body is different and when it’s all said and done, you know what’s best for your body. So if you prefer a fully plant based diet, lean into what’s best for you, whether that’s physically, emotionally, spiritually – you name it. The power is in your hands, feel free to experience and discover what works best for you, and own it.

Swap #10. Swap tap water for filtered water.

Lastly, swap #10: And honestly one of the most important swaps you could ever make for your wellbeing. Swap tap water for the highest quality filtered water you can afford. Even when our cities say tap water is clean, the concern is the pipes leading to our home are often old and can leak heavy metals like lead and mercury into our water and also PFAs, BPA, pesticides like roundup, and bacteria, which then gets absorbed into your body. YUCK. Heavy metals are a big disrupter to our health and something we want to be mindful of because they sneak into our foods and water. That’s why eating real, whole, nourishing foods is so important. Fruits and veggies have the ability to bind to toxins and remove heavy metals and other toxins that may have found their way into our body. Getting a filter under your sink and even your shower head will greatly impact your overall wellbeing and I definitely recommend drinking the highest quality filtered water you can afford.

With that friend, I’m wrapping this up. Make sure you subscribe to The Fit Flamingo Podcast because we’ll be sharing more Food Freedom tips here at The Fit Flamingo. But for now, I’m signing off and sending you so much love. You are enough and I hope you feel empowered to make a few swaps that will help you feel energized, empowered, vibrant, and free.

YouTube: @thefitflamingo
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