We're not sure why the world has to taunt us with National Junk Food Day in the middle of bikini season. Whether you have a sweet tooth or crave savory snacks, you might have trouble keeping up with your healthy diet if everyone around you is chowing down on treats. Don’t deprive yourself. If you don’t give into your cravings, you might just find yourself binging on a pint of Ben and Jerry’s come sundown. Find out how to trade in your junk food for healthy snacks to stay mindful of your eating even on this indulgent day.
What Are You Craving?
Chips – If you know that something crunchy and salty will satisfy your urge to snack, swap the potato chips for something more nutritious. Kale chips are low in calories and easy to make at home. Even if you don’t really like the green leafy veggie, you’ll probably like it when it’s cooked up into a crispy, dippable chip. Check out this recipe to make kale chips that taste like Doritos.
If you really can’t go for greens on junk food day, try making roasted chick peas. Even easier: buy crunchy chick pea snacks at your local health-food store or high-end grocery store.
French Fries – Sometimes it seems as though French fries could solve every one of your problems doesn’t it? If you don’t want to run out for fast food, make your own oven-baked fries from a fresh potato. A quick internet search for “healthy oven French fries” will provide you with all the recipes you could ever need.
Mac and Cheese – This really isn’t the worst thing to crave. If you make it from scratch, you get all the protein from the cheese and none of the artificial stuff. Add in some pureed butternut squash or sweet potato and some nutritional yeast for added nutrients. Then you can ditch the guilt.
Chocolate – Raw cacao is a nutritional superfood. If you’re craving chocolate, whip up a smoothie with almond milk, banana, peanut butter powder and a scoop of raw cacao. This will curb your chocolate cravings (and it’s great for ice cream cravings too).
If you're looking for something that's a little more like a candy bar, try these coconut oil chocolates.
Ice Cream – Speaking of ice cream, if you’re jonesing for something cold and creamy, try making a smoothie. If that’s not cutting it, freeze banana slices or mango chunks. Put them in your high-powered blender until it turns into something that resembles soft-serve ice cream. You won’t miss the Ben and Jerry’s.
Cravings don’t always have to result in a junk food overload. You can still satisfy your urge to indulge by choosing healthy snacks as alternatives. When you load your body up with what it needs, you'll feel better, which ultimately was what you were going for with the junk food anyway, right? It's a win-win.