Easy Switching

Thank you to all of you who commented yesterday!  It's definitely great to know that so many of you have made the switch to a more natural diet and are happy about that choice.  I know for us it will be a slow process.  First of all, I am not going to completely waste large amounts of food; I just plan on not replacing them when they run out.  Second, I need to find more recipes to make with fresher foods, like rice, to avoid using a premixed seasoning packet.  Third, I want to try and figure out what is feasible to make on my own, like salad dressing, or bread or crackers.  (Anyone ever make their own crackers?)  Over the winter I'd like to read about canning and preserving.  It's actually something I've wanted to try but haven't even attempted it.  For now I'm trying to make some quick and easy switches.

The butter product was the first and quickest to be replaced after the diacetyl article.  I've been using Smart Balance Organic for awhile.  Touted as having beneficial properties for your heart and being better than butter, it seemed like a good option, and the organic version actually melted and tasted like butter.  But then I looked at the label, and I wasn't overly happy with what I saw, and since we couldn't figure out if the "natural flavor" in the Smart Balance was diacetyl, we decided it had to go.  In its place, Kate's butter, which is actually about half the price of the Smart Balance, and comes in salted and unsalted.  I got both, and the ingredient list is a lot better.

Honestly, for the amount of butter we use, I'm not too worried about it being terribly bad for us.  I most often cook with olive oil, but it's nice to have butter to put on bread or a little pat on veggies, and I keep sticks in the freezer for baking.

Another one to go: fake maple syrup.  I have both real and fake in the fridge: real was a gift, fake was my own thrifty purchase.  But after checking out the back, I think I'll be ok with paying $10 a bottle for the real stuff (and again, for as much as we use it).

Overall I just don't think you can go wrong with trying to get something as close to natural as possible.  Maybe not having preservatives will encourage us to eat our fresh foods so they don't go bad.  Snacks are going to be the hardest thing for me because I love a good prepackaged snack.  I'm sure that I'll be able to find some good healthier alternatives, though.  For the popcorn lovers who were hugely disappointed with the whole buttered-popcorn problem, there is this fabulous alternative:

We usually pop our own for a treat, but for an easy snack on the go, this tastes so good, and look at that awesome ingredient list.  Find it at skinnypop.com.

Snacks are going to be my biggest downfall.  What healthy snacks do you go for, packaged or fresh?  What other easy product swaps can I make?  And seriously, has anyone ever made crackers?


  1. Hey! I've never made my own crackers, but let me know how it goes if you try it! Also, for snacking, I've totally changed my whole view on that. Now I eat almonds and fruit (like dried cranberries or fresh strawberries) for a snack. I also like popcorn, I guess I'm going to have to start popping my own more, which I love anyway. For that you should try popping it in coconut oil - it's like kettle corn! YUM!

  2. Yay, bravo to you:) Butter impostors, bread, and cereal are know to be among the trickiest to figure out what's in them/ what's healthy/ what to buy. I agree with you- with the amount of butter that people who tend to eat on the healthier side eat, it's really not that big of a deal to eat real butter. Not sure what kind of rice recipes you are looking for, but if it's just a side dish and needs a little doctoring, I usually add a bit of butter or olive oil, salt, and a good bit of fresh or dry herbs, and a squeeze of lemon or lime depending on what we're eating.

  3. Good for you! I have recently cut out all gluten and artificial sweetners. It has made a worls of difference!

  4. I'm a snacker, too. In fact, I saw all of those cracker recipes you pinned and I'm curious to see how they turn out!

    My new go-to is veggies and Trader Joe's hummus (which contains only "normal" ingredients). I'm trying to be better about replacing carbs, but they're just so tasty I can't resist. Might have to try that SkinnyPop.