Purge vs. Purchase: Six Simple Summer Swaps for Better Health
Updated: Jun 22
By Alexis Fernandez
You’ve heard the saying: food is medicine. So much of wellness starts in our kitchens with the foods we put in our bodies. It isn’t always easy to prioritize nutrition over convenience or flavor. Luckily, there are some easy ways you can upgrade your diet that don’t sacrifice either. The changing seasons are always a great time to switch up our habits. The change doesn’t have to be overwhelming – here are six simple swaps that will leave you feeling ready for all your summer adventures.
Love cold, creamy treats? Swap ice cream and sugary popsicles for easy homemade sorbets and frozen fruits – all you need is a blender, frozen fruit, and your favorite milk alternative.
Frozen bananas and mangoes are a great base for a thick, creamy consistency. Add liquid in small increments to ensure your frozen treat stays thick. If you want to cut out the milk entirely, there is a product called “Yonanas” which allows you to turn frozen fruit directly into soft serve.
Both of these yummy treats are low in fat and have no added sugars, making them perfect substitutes for ice cream lovers! These will leave you a believer that fruit for dessert isn’t just for fitness bloggers.
Kids love to eat sugary popsicles? Frozen fruits are sweet and packed with vitamins. We recommend freezing most fruits in a single layer on a pan before transferring them to ziplock bags to prevent them from freezing together.
Here are our personal favorites:
Oranges – peel, split into quarters, and freeze
Bananas – peel, cut in half, and stick in a popsicle stick! Spread on some peanut butter for an extra luscious treat
Grapes – easy as throwing a bag of washed grapes into your freezer! They make delicious ice cubes as well.
Mango – chop into hearty chunks when very ripe
Looking for an ideal dairy alternative? Oat milk is our favorite!
Around 65% percent of humans have a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy, and most of us could benefit from reducing the amount of dairy in our diets. We’ve found oat milk – naturally free of dairy, lactose, soy, and nuts – is our favorite alternative. It has more protein and fiber than most other milk alternatives; and it's thicker, mild, and, slightly sweet flavor complements cereals and smoothies alike.
It is naturally higher in carbohydrates than other milk alternatives, and some brands have added seed oils which can cause inflammation. Many grains (oats included) are commonly sprayed with glyphosate – a pesticide which has now been labeled by WHO as a carcinogen. The solution? Read your labels! The ingredients you are looking for are oats and water. Choose milk made from organic oats to avoid the use of pesticides and stick to unsweetened oat milk to avoid added sugars. Oatly! for example, has been given the Glyphosate Residue Free certification by The Detox Project but its important to choose their “fat free” option which is free of seed oils.
Not all cooking oils are equal – try avocado oil for health and flavor
What type of cooking oil are you using in the kitchen? Vegetable oils are often made from genetically modified seeds, extracted via the use of chemicals such as bleach and hexane, and easily oxidize when heated which can trigger inflammation when consumed. Olive oil tends to be the cooking oil of choice for many people looking for a better alternative, but the smoking point of olive oil is only 331 degrees. Once an oil is heated beyond its smoking point some of its beneficial nutrients are destroyed and harmful free radicals are created. To give you an idea, the medium temperature on a stove ranges between 300-400 degrees and vegetables roast best in the 375-425 degree range. The solution? Swap your vegetable or olive oil for avocado oil when cooking. Avocado oil has little to no flavor and its smoking point is 520 degrees, even higher than most vegetable oils.
Swap your salt!
Use sea salt over table salt. Salt is an essential nutrient responsible for an endless amount of cellular processes in our bodies. Its important to incorporate a healthy amount of salt into our diets but not all salts are made the same! The most common salt is refined table salt which has been processed and ground to be free of most impurities and trace minerals. Those minerals that have been removed from table salt are also essential in our nutrition and they haven’t been removed from sea salt- making it a great way to supplement trace minerals like potassium, iron, and zinc. When swapping table salt for sea salt its important to note that most table salts have iodine added to them. Iodine deficiency is one of the main causes for hypothyroidism so making a note of eating iodine rich foods such as dairy, eggs, and seaweed is important.
Swap your traditional pasta for a bean alternative
Who doesn’t love a big bowl of delicious pasta? Pasta makes for a quick filling meal any day of the week but its loaded with refined carbohydrates, gluten, and is low in fiber. Try swapping your traditional pasta for a bean alternative. Brands like “Banza” make pasta out of chickpeas which look just like traditional pasta, are mild in flavor, have 2x the protein, 3x the fiber, and 30% fewer net carbs. Trader Joes also carries lentil and black bean pastas which are mild in flavor but if you have picky eaters they won’t be fooled by the swap.