January 21, 2012 is World Swap Day. Originally started as a way to reinvent shopping, it’s a movement that’s gaining national attention and seeing activity across the country. World Swap Day encourages all to share goods, food, clothes, toys, or many other items verses buying them new. Swapping will turn any unused items into things you actually need. Therefore, you don’t spend money and you don’t compile unused stuff around your house.
In celebration of World Swap Day, why not do some personal swapping for your health. Big results have come from small changes. For example, swapping fries for a medium baked potato saves you over 250 calories in your lunch and you avoid all unhealthy oils. Swapping is easy, and good for everybody.
Check out 10 easy swaps you can do to celebrate World Swap Day, and your health.
1. Swap your morning bacon for some baked prosciutto. Prosciutto is much more flavorful than bacon so you’ll need less and it contains much less fat.
2. Swap cartoons for a fun activity. Instead of loafing around watching Saturday morning cartoons, get moving. If you have a Wii or Kinect, play a game on your feet as a family. If you have a gym membership, go goof off in the pool together. Or simply bundle up and take a January walk together. All of these things will be fun and much healthier than plopping in front of SpongeBob.
3. Swap a soda for a water with lemon. Even if it’s just one soda, your body will thank you.
4. Swap a starch for a fresh vegetable. When preparing or ordering your sides, give up a starch for a nutrient rich vegetable. A favorite is swapping potatoes for steamed and mashed cauliflower!
5. Swap a sugary yogurt for a Greek yogurt. Those deceiving cups labeled yogurt can be loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup, totally negating all the benefits of yogurt. Opt for a Greek yogurt. It is delicious and loaded with double the protein of a typical yogurt.
6. Swap beef for turkey. Any recipe that calls for ground beef can easily be switched to ground turkey. There’s less fat and calories in turkey and the flavor is fantastic.
7. Swap meat for meatless. Get on board the Meatless Monday train, or make any day of the week meatless. This encourages more vegetables, more fiber, and as a result, more nutrients in your recipes. There are tons of delicious and nutritious meatless meals – many so good you won’t even notice the meat is missing.
8. Swap a drive-thru for the table. Even for the busy family, sitting down to eat isn’t impossible. Check out crock-pot meals that simmer and cook all day while you work and then they’re ready to serve when you walk in the door. If you must eat out, try to stick to a place that doesn’t have a drive-thru. Chances are if you have to sit, the food is healthier. Think Chipotle or Panera as examples.
9. Swap the drive for a walk. There has to be at least one destination you can ditch the car for. Even if it’s to the mailbox, it’s a start. Think, instead of driving for your mid-day coffee break, maybe you could walk. Just one walk could add tons of benefits to your day. Exercise and vitamin D from the sun are vital to your health.
10. Swap your “usual” for something new. Whether it’s ordering a new menu item, using a new recipe, or picking out new produce, try something new. Never tried blood oranges? Give them a shot. Do you always have cereal for breakfast? Try an egg white omelet. Have fun with it. Let the kids pick out a new vegetable. Change is good.