7 Healthy Swaps for Your New Year's Resolution

Ditch unhealthy habits with these 7 easy swaps for a healthier lifestyle. Achieve your New Year's resolutions with these simple tips.

Most Americans make New Year's resolutions related to fitness, health, and wellness, but not even 8% of those who set resolutions stick to them every year. So, what's the problem? Unfortunately, most people set goals that are unrealistic or unattainable. If you want to stick to your health and wellness resolution, the key is to make several easy and small changes rather than committing to a single significant shift that is difficult to reach. 

The good news is that for every sweet and salty treat we like to nibble on, there are great-tasting and healthy alternatives to enjoy. Whether you make these changes by swapping out your typical beverage for healthier drink options or by making alternative, more nutrient-rich snack choices when you can, staying on track with your resolution will be easier than ever with a little planning ahead. Let’s look at some healthy swaps that can make your New Year’s resolutions blossom like daffodils on a warm spring day.

Swap #1: Frozen Yogurt Instead of Ice Cream

Ice cream is a cold delight that is hard to pass up. As a treat, it’s delicious and might even remind you of a favorite childhood moment; but swapping out this dairy and sugar-filled magic may be on your short list when it comes to moving toward better health. Fortunately, frozen yogurt offers you a similar experience with more nutritional benefits.

In fact, it's not uncommon for popular ice cream brands to be three times higher in calories and contain five times more fat than their frozen yogurt counterparts. On the other hand, frozen yogurt has good bacteria, five or more grams of protein, and vitamins and minerals like calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium—more if you count those only present in trace amounts. 

When it comes to flavor, the variety you can find in frozen yogurt is comparable to most traditional ice creams you'll find. Of course, the beneficial ingredients depend on which frozen yogurt you choose, so keep an eye on the nutritional labels to select the best option. 

Swap #2: Sweet Fruits Instead of Candies

When that sweet tooth kicks in and you start craving those delectable sweet treats, it can be challenging to turn to healthier options. After all, who can resist a good piece of chocolate? However, when you stock up on your favorite fresh fruit, you can help curb that craving with a naturally sweet alternative. Some of our favorite sweet treat fruits include:

  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Passion Fruit
  • Mangos
  • Watermelon
  • Pears
  • Pomegranate

Some fruits taste sweet but contain less sugar, including strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, oranges, peaches, apples, kiwis, plums, and grapefruit. These are delicious, natural options if you’re looking to swap out sweet treat sugars in your diet for nature’s candy.

Swap #3: Natural Energy Boosters Instead of Artificial Energy Drinks

Did you know that an incredible 3 in 5 Americans are more exhausted than ever? Life is busier, sleep is harder to come by, and it’s getting harder and harder to stay ahead of the game. It's at these times that New Year's resolutions often take a back seat because we’re just looking for that quick energy boost to make it through the day. 

Many people don't know that natural energy boosters and drinks can lift your spirits and energy without the side effects of the most popular energy drinks. For instance, many popular energy drink brands boost your energy with high amounts of sugar and caffeine. When you experience that 'crash' energy drinkers often talk about, you're experiencing that drop in caffeine and sugar when your levels balance out. 

Natural energy boosters and drinks, on the other hand, don't do the same. Kombucha, for instance, has the caffeine to send you some energy when needed but not so much that you crash later. 

Of course, raw, natural kombucha is also made up of a multitude of other gut-healthy ingredients like probiotics and antioxidants — which can make anyone feel like they’re knocking it out of the park with their health goals! Other options to consider include green tea, smoothies and green juices, yerba mate, coconut water, and acai berry. 

Related: 9 Surprising Health Benefits of Kombucha

Swap #4: Zucchini Noodles Instead of Dough Noodles

Pasta is a significant part of most diets in America. A global survey by Oxfam International reported pasta ranking as one of the top three favorite foods alongside rice and meat. Although pasta is a versatile, yummy meal option in moderation, there’s a good chance your body will thank you for making a healthy swap when you have the opportunity. 

To make this swap, simply substitute your usual wheat-based pasta for zucchini noodles. This way, you get more veggies (which means higher nutritional content!) in your serving while receiving up to 200+ fewer calories. What's more, it's an excellent trade-off for those on any restricted diet, offering a similar texture so you can experience all the meals you love. 

After all, the key to any successful resolution is to love what you eat. Zucchini noodles allow you to indulge in your family's favorite pasta dishes while keeping nutrition top of mind. It’s a win-win! Remember, small changes can add up to big ones over time!

Swap #5: Quinoa Instead of White Rice

Rice is one of the three most popular American foods, and for a good reason. It’s delicious, versatile, and works for a multitude of meal types. While rice can be a great option in moderation, it often lacks some of the nutrients your body can benefit from on the regular, and thus earns a spot on our swap list.

When you consider swapping rice, think Quinoa. Quinoa is fiber-rich and protein-rich, offering you up to five grams more fiber and nearly twice as much protein than rice. Aside from the health advantages, the richness of fiber and protein can also help you fill up quicker and stay full longer. 

Now, what do you do about the variety of rice versus quinoa? You can likely name at least five different types of rice without stopping to think about it (and there are many, many more than that). If you're a person that enjoys changing up your meal flavors, don't worry. Quinoa also has dozens of types to choose from. There are 120 known varieties; white and yellow quinoa are mild, while red and black are your most robust flavor choices.

Swap #6: Popcorn Instead of Chips

Potato chips are one of the most challenging habits to kick when you make a New Year's resolution to integrate healthier food choices into your life. The crunch factor of chips or snacks like crackers and pretzels makes them an irresistible snack between meals, late at night, and even alongside a sandwich at lunch. 

The problem is that chips are also high in oil and saturated fats.  And when you resolve to do better in the next year, chips may just have to go—but what's left to enjoy when you simply cannot go without that crunch? Popcorn!

Popcorn can be a great healthy alternative to those crunchy snacks you thought you couldn't do without. Not only is it whole-grain, but it's also high in fiber. And thanks to its low-calorie content, it's a healthy snack you could enjoy every day without the drawbacks of high fat or other unhealthy elements. If you really want to level up on your healthy lifestyle, pick up kernels and an air popper to avoid oils. 

Related: 10 Creative Ways to Enjoy Your Kombucha Drink

Swap #7: Kombucha Instead of Sugary Drinks

Whether it's juice, soda, or sports drinks, most Americans consume sugary drinks daily. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 63% of U.S. adults reported drinking sugary beverages at least once daily (some said more!). While it’s certainly ok to enjoy these drinks on occasion, they’re full of sugar and other artificial ingredients and are linked to weight gain and health issues.

Experts recommend swapping those sugar-sweetened drinks for something much more beneficial, such as healthy, probiotic and antioxidant-rich kombucha. It not only begins its process with just three ingredients—tea, cane sugar, and beneficial bacteria and yeast—but the fermentation process can help suppress harmful bacteria growth and improve your immune system. 

Life’s a Journey: Enjoy the Moments

We all want to live life to the fullest and enjoy the moments. Whether that means indulging in that sweet treat you’ve been craving or enjoying the healthy swap you planned for, a long-term healthy diet is good for your gut and good for your health. Some simple swaps can equal big health benefits over time and are a delicious way to reach those goals in 2023.We here at Brew Dr are proud of our raw, natural kombucha. It's packed with beneficial nutrients and healthy bacteria without added sugars and artificial ingredients. Today is a great time to check out our deliciously refreshing kombucha options and find your favorite brew to kickstart your journey.

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