By: Bea Racoma
Make healthy living work for you with these simple ingredient switches.

For the busy professional, making do with heavy, often fatty meals is one of the easiest go-to strategies to keep your stomach full. But being full doesn’t equate to being healthy. So, if you’re looking to change your lifestyle for the best, there’s no better time to do it than now!

Living healthy doesn’t mean living monotonously. If you don’t know where to begin, these five key switches will kickstart your journey towards improving your nutrition.

1. Colored rice instead of white rice

While white rice is a main ingredient for many beloved Filipino dishes, it’s also a huge calorie carrier that contributes heavily to weight gain. You don’t have to get rid of white rice entirely, but if you’re an almost daily rice eater, swap that every now and then with one of the colored rice varieties, like brown or red, for a much lighter yet equally filling and nutrient-packed meal. For a local superfood option, check out adlai, a delicious fiber-filled and gluten-free grain that’s grown in the Cordilleras and Mindanao.

2. Vegetable chips instead of potato chips

The addictive quality of packaged chips makes it a constant presence in Netflix binge-watching, but let’s be real — junk food does nothing for your overall health. So, the next time you‘ve got cravings, go for veggie chips! Pre-packaged kale chips are readily available in supermarkets and pop-up stores. Since these can get expensive, get the most affordable vegetables from your nearest palengke or grocery store, and make your own veggie chips. You can slice some carrots, zucchini, and kamote, and pop them in the oven for a quick bake. The naturally flavorful, much healthier crisp will make saying goodbye to potato chips a breeze.

3. Coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour

If you’re into creating baked goods, make your treats healthier with coconut flour. Airier and fiber-filled than the regular wheat varieties, coconut flour is also gluten-free. Its unprocessed and nutritious properties may aid in proper digestion, maintain normal blood sugar levels, and keep your heart healthy and happy. Since the Philippines is the second-largest producer of coconuts in the world, it’s easy to find this kind of flour in the country.

4. Egg whites instead of whole eggs

Did you know that yolks contain almost all the calories and cholesterol in an egg? While whole eggs are packed with benefits, if you’re watching your weight or have cholesterol problems, the numbers add up considerably when you eat them often. So, set aside those yolks, and consume only the fluffy whites for a low calorie, high protein meal. Your meals — and stomach — will feel much lighter afterwards. Worried about wasting egg yolks? Just use them as ingredients for sauces, pancakes, or pudding.

5. Almond milk instead of cow’s milk

If you thought almonds were only for snacking, think again! These fatty nuts can be turned into wonderfully healthy and delicious milk, making it one of the most popular alternatives to cow’s milk. It’s dairy-free and low in calorie content and will taste great when paired with your favorite cereal. This option is also ideal for vegans and/or lactose intolerant. Be sure to get the raw, unsweetened kind to avoid unnecessary sugar intake. A huge bonus: this is a DIY option that you can do at home. Soak cups of almonds for a few hours, rinse to remove the skin, blend with water, and strain with cheesecloth. You’ll have fresh almond milk in no time.

These are just a few cost-effective and commonly found ingredient substitutes you can get today to take care of yourself better. After all, good health is the foundation for your pursuit of the beautiful life that you dream of having. So, make the switch to a fitter lifestyle, and create yours now!


The COHO Living Team.