Bad News: we don’t live in a world where everything laid on our market shelves or pictured in menus is good for us. In fact… the most of the food that companies shove right under our nose… is the WORST food for us to eat. It’s the cheapest, highest processed, most lectin-rich stuff out there!
The real bummer, of course, is that those foods – the ones that are the worst for us – are often really tempting. And there are even foods we’re told are good for us, but they simply aren’t.
But don’t worry… I’m not here to tell you to give your favorite foods cold turkey. Instead, I’ve got a list of great substitutions up my sleeve. You may not even miss your ‘favorite’ foods once you’re in the habit of substituting great new faves.
After all, a lot of common “healthy” foods are easy to swap out … and I’ve got some substitutions that are absolutely delicious. Watch the video I created on the topic or simply keep reading:
Peanut butter happened to be one of my personal favorites before I got on the right path with my diet. So let’s start there.
Now, you may love peanut butter. And you might think it’s healthy. But as far as I’m concerned, you can call it lectin butter, because it’s made with one of the absolute worst ingredients for your health – peanuts!
But peanut butter is easy to ditch. There are a slew of healthier, lectin-free alternatives on the grocery store shelves.
Try swapping out peanut butter for –
Tahini (which is basically sesame seed butter)
Caution: Just make sure to avoid cashew or sunflower seed butter … they’re both lectin bombs!
Hot Tip: If you want your almond or walnut butter to taste a little “peanuttier” – just whisk in a couple drops of coconut aminos to boost the savory flavor.
So yummy. You won’t even remember peanut butter once you’ve switched.
Now, you’ve heard me mention this before, but … I was a huge Diet Coke addict!
It wasn’t easy for me to give this up, but I assure you, my health changed drastically – for the better – once I did.
Now, I’m not going to tell you how terrible diet soda is for your health – at this point, you already know. But if you want a refresher, there are a few videos on my YouTube channel you should check out by clicking here.
Maybe you saw the one where I share my favorite soda “hack” – If not, click here to see my balsamic “soda” video. It’s a great alternative, but it’s not the only one.
Hot Tip: If you’re looking for something a little sweet and fruity, you can make your own infused water – or you can doctor up an infused sparkling water, if you find yourself craving bubbles. I use lemon and orange slices, and sometimes even delicious, fresh berries.
For an extra special treat, you can look for sodas that are sweetened only with Stevia. They shouldn’t be an everyday thing, but if you’ve got a craving you just can’t beat – and you’ve tried EVERYTHING else – it might help.
Rice and Pasta
This is usually the one that makes people cry. When they ask me, “Dr. Gundry, do I have to?” I give them the tough love. I say, “You’ve got to. It’s really for the best.” But, before the tears start to fall, I try to tell carb lovers the good news …
There are about a million substitutes for both rice and pasta …
And in so many cases, the swaps are more flavorful than the originals.
You already know about one of my favorites substitutions – miracle noodles. And you can find miracle rice, too. But, just what is it exactly?
Well, the Chinese and Japanese have used shirataki – the main component of miracle noodles and miracle rice – for over 2000 years, and it’s insanely low in calories. And, much like actual rice or pasta, it takes on the flavors of the dishes you’re making. In fact, I’ve just concocted a new dessert using miracle rice. You can find the recipe on my YouTube page.
But, even if miracle noodles aren’t your thing, rest assured – they’re not your only option.
The following substitutions are delicious, and they’re all Plant Paradox-friendly –
Sorghum (not the sweetener, but the grain)
Cauliflower rice is super popular right now. You can find it fresh or frozen in most major supermarkets – even Costco has it in their produce section!
You can make “noodles” out of vegetables by spiralizing them or cutting them into thin strips. Try this idea with –
You might even be able to find some pre-noodled produce at your local health food store. Also, Cappello’s pastas (made with almond flour) and Miracle Noodle (made of a Japanese root veggie) are great!
Now, this is a toughy, I know, mostly because yogurt is a healthy person’s go-to creamy treat. But I’m sorry to say that even Greek yogurt is out of the question. You see, the cow’s milk yogurt sold in this country has A1 Casein – a harmful protein that can seriously damage your gut.
So, what if you’re one of those people who needs yogurt for breakfast? What can you do?
Well, I’ve got the trick for you.
Go to the regular old yogurt section in your grocery store, and look for goat’s milk yogurt, sheep’s milk yogurt, buffalo’s milk yogurt, or, if you’re in the mood for a vegan option, almond or coconut yogurt. The coconut yogurt is so tasty – and it’s creamier than cow milk yogurt, no question.
I promise, you won’t have trouble finding these yogurt subs. They’re pretty widely available, and they’re delicious, too!
Last, but certainly not least –
This one usually crops up when I’m talking with a vegetarian who’s about to embark on the Plant Paradox plan. You see, vegetarians are used to getting most of their protein from beans. So, it really throws them for a loop when I tell them that.
Beans are incredibly lectin-heavy. Now, it is possible to reduce the lectins by pressure cooking … so if you’ve got a pressure cooker, put it to use.
If not, look for Eden brand canned beans – they come in non-BPA lined cans, and they’re pressure cooked ahead of time.
But, if you’re looking for a completely non-bean alternative, look no further than pine nuts.
I used to think the only way to use pine nuts was as a topping or tossed in a salad, but did you know …
If you soak them in liquid (like water or chicken stock), they get a texture similar to beans? In fact, pine nuts cooked into a traditional chili have almost the same texture as beans. It’s uncanny.
So, there you have it – five of my favorite, Plant Paradox-friendly substitutions. But, let’s play a little game: Tell me what favorite foods you think you can’t do without, and I’ll do my best to find substitutions for you.
Just do me a favor and leave a comment below, and let me know if you’re having trouble finding a swap out for your favorite food. It could make it into my next video or blog post!