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4 Healthy Substitute Ingredients to Try in 2017

4 Healthy Substitute Ingredients to Try in 2017

This 2017 you should expand your culinary horizons to improve your health. According to the National Institutes of Health, people cook far less now than they did in 1965. Instead, everyone’s eating out, which researchers say is less healthy and contributes to the rise in food-related illnesses plaguing America. Learning to cook with different ingredients boosts your culinary versatility, which makes you more likely to cook rather than order delivery.

Here are a few healthy substitute ingredients you can use:

1. Vegetable Stock

If you’ve run out of meat stock for your soups or stews, you can use vegetable stock without losing any or little flavor. You can buy ready-made vegetable stock at the grocery, or make your own. Finely-cut mushrooms and kelp can taste almost like ground beef in dishes. You can add Korean fermented soybean paste to give it an umami flavor.

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If you want a traditional vegetable stock, chop carrots, bay leaf, leeks, onions, celery, thyme, and peppercorn in one-inch pieces to create a crunchy texture. Fry in a pot for 5 to 10 minutes with frequent stirring, then add water and salt and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain out the vegetables.

These two vegetable stocks work great for ranch style beans instead of using meat stock. If you’re making ranch style beans, you can also substitute pinto beans for kidney beans or red beans, which both have similar taste.

Even if you have meat stock on hand, it’s best if you use vegetable stock. Meat has been linked to an increasing your risk for cancer and can be high in bad cholesterol. Vegetables are antioxidant-rich, which helps combat cancer, and they’re generally very low in bad cholesterol.

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2. Apple Cider Vinegar

If you planned on making a lemon-spritzed meal but forgot to buy lemons (happens to all of us), then you can substitute with apple cider vinegar. Dishes like lemon chicken, halibut prepared with lemon, risotto, and many others, will all taste similar or even better if you substitute lemon with apple cider vinegar (ACV). ACV has a much stronger sour flavor than lemon’s milder sting, but that’s nothing diluting ACV with water can’t fix.

Although lemon is very healthy, ACV can carry more health benefits than lemon. ACV has been found to suppress your appetite, which can lead to weight loss. It’s been found to lower your blood sugar levels after eating, and researchers have said this makes it a viable glucose management treatment for diabetics. It’s also good for your skin and can alleviate heartburn.

3. Cabbage Buns

You’re throwing a barbecue party or you’re hankering for a burger so you light up the grill and start flipping some patties – but you find you don’t have any hamburger buns! That’s okay if you have cabbage in stock. Cabbage leaves are a surprisingly great substitute for buns. Cabbage has a firm texture, not unlike taco shells or wraps, which makes it similar to a bun.

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First you remove and discard the outer leaves, leaving the inner leaves for you to use as your sandwich bread. Thoroughly wash the raw inner leaves and then place your beef patty, cheese, and other toppings onto one leaf and cover with another! Raw cabbage leaves are nice and crispy, which makes them an excellent substitute for taco shells. They can also be used as wraps.

Cabbage buns are way healthier than bread-based buns. They have close to zero calories, while a typical hamburger bun has over 100 calories.

Cabbage is rich in B vitamins and vitamin C, which both promote the growth of a healthier beard. Doctors also found that taking vitamin C also helps you recover after surgery, which means eating food wrapped in cabbage buns after an operation can heal you. Unfortunately, your regular hamburger bun doesn’t really have any significant amounts of vitamins and minerals – it mostly has salt, fat, and carbs.

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For health reasons, you should really make cabbage buns your permanent bun choice. But if you really can’t have your burger without an actual bun, you can use your cabbage leaves to make runzas. Bierocks (also known as runzas) are baked buns stuffed with shredded cabbage, onions, peppers, and even ground beef. You make dough with a little flour and eggs and stuff it with these ingredients and bake in the oven.

4. Canned Salmon

On the other hand, if you’re hankering for a burger but don’t have any beef patties to grill, you can use canned salmon. Here’s how:

  1. Open up two cans and drain the salmon with a strainer.
  2. Remove any bones.
  3. Finely cut two red onions and 1 large sweet pepper.
  4. Beat two eggs in a bowl and mix in the salmon, onions, pepper, and half a cup of bread crumbs.
  5. Coat your hands with flour and take a bit of the mixture and ball it with your hands.
  6. Flatten the mixture into your desired patty size and bread them with the leftover crumbs.
  7. You’re ready to make some burgers!

Salmon patties should be your permanent replacement for beef patties. Again, beef causes cancer, but salmon is filled with cancer-fighting antioxidants. Salmon’s famous antioxidant, astaxanthin, is so powerful it has been found to act as an internal sunscreen that protects your skin from the sun’s UV rays if you ingest it within 24 hours of sun exposure. Beef can’t do that! And unlike beef’s heart-clogging bad fats, salmon’s healthy omega-3 fatty acids nourish your brain and protect your heart.

2017 is here and it’s time to level up your cooking skills. Try making these healthy substitutions to your dishes once in a while and you’ll be eating healthier. It will also make your meals more fun and give your routine foods a little bit of an edge.

Featured photo credit: zoli2003 via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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