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10 Healthy Alternative Recipes for Popular Comfort Foods

Comfort Food!

It's no secret that our emotions play a huge role in our food choices. Many of us turn to old favorites, like mac and cheese or brownies, when we’re feeling anxious, sad, lonely, or bored. Food can provide comfort and distraction in the moment, but ultimately can leave us feeling disappointed that we “caved” or “overindulged” in something that we shouldn’t have. Then begins the spiral of guilt and desire to overcompensate for our sins! This familiar pattern that many of us fall into is a product of our diet-obsessed culture. This kind of mindset can wreak havoc on our emotional wellbeing and make it more difficult to implement sustainable healthy habits that actually lead to long-term health, not just a quick diet fix.

At Wellory, we invite you to take a step back from the All-Or-Nothing mindset, that feeling that you’re either 100% eating healthy and successful or 100% a failure! Just because you had cookies today, doesn’t mean that you can’t love veggies tomorrow! Consistency, not perfection, is the key to solidifying the habits you want. To make a habit stick, there also needs to be some sort of enjoyment from performing that habit. For example, think about the foods you turn to when you’re stressed. Can you identify triggers in your life that lead to feeling stressed? What are the kinds of foods that you unconsciously reach for? Are there other things or foods you can eat to find stress relief? How can you make those healthier choices easier AND enjoyable?

Comfort food does not necessarily equal junk food.

Comfort food can be anything that results in a pleasant emotional state. By building simple habits, like swapping out store bought muffins for a homemade version, can still provide that pleasant emotional state AND provide long-term energy and sustenance for your day. Choosing whole-food and minimally refined versions of your favorite comfort foods can feel like a small change in your eating behavior, but over time can produce big health goal results!

Health is a lifelong journey, and we believe enjoying food is key to enjoying that journey. Our Wellorists are experts in helping you find foods you love, while also feeling good, nourished, and guilt-free! Whether you’re craving sweet or savory, these wholesome recipes are sure to satisfy!

  1. Vegan Mac and Cheese

This creamy “cheese” sauce is made from wholesome cashews, spices, and turmeric for that classic chaddar color. No weird franken-foods here! Paired with a protein pasta and sauteed broccoli and you have a balanced, plant-based twist on your childhood favorite dish.

  1. No Bake Brownies

If you love fudgy, rich brownies, you are going to love this simple, no-bake recipe! Made with high protein almond butter, antioxidant-rich cocoa, and sweetened with natural maple syrup, these brownies are a wholesome, tasty treat you can feel good indulging in.

  1. Healthy Blueberry Banana Muffins

Love a sweet breakfast on the go, but don’t like the sugar crash after? Store bought baked goods are often loaded with highly refined oils and sugars, which can have negative effects on energy and weight loss goals. Try these muffins for a high-fiber, plant-based breakfast that is naturally sweetened with bananas and applesauce. Make a batch on the weekend so you’re prepared for the busy work week ahead!

  1. Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

For a lighter version of classic mashed potatoes, try substituting cooked and blended cauliflower for an incredibly creamy side dish! Cauliflower is an excellent source of fiber and nutrients like Vitamin K, which plays an important role in bone health.

  1. Gluten Free Mushroom Gravy

Of course, you’re going to want some gravy with your mashed cauliflower! Many pre-packaged gravy mixes are loaded with artificial flavoring, MSG, and even sugar. Try this simple at-home recipe that is super savory, vegan, and gluten free!

  1. Cinnamon Sweet Potato Chips

Looking for a crunchy snack that satisfies both sweet and salty? Look no further than these super simple sweet potato chips! Cinnamon has a host of health benefits, including balancing insulin and blood sugar levels (no wonder it’s found in many sweet, baked goods!). You’ll also get lots of great fiber and antioxidants from the sweet potatoes.

  1. Buckwheat Banana Bread

Sweetened with only bananas, this bread is sure to be a hit! Despite the name, buckwheat is actually gluten-free grain. It is also high in quality plant-protein (containing all eight essential amino acids) and fiber, making this banana bread a very filling and nutrient-rich baked goodie.

  1. Salmon Burgers

Switch up burger night with the goodness of omega-3 rich salmon! Cold-water fish like salmon provide quality protein and anti-inflammatory fatty acids to support heart health. Choose wild-caught salmon whenever possible - it is higher in nutrients and tastes better than their farmed counterparts, and is among the best seafood options due to generally low heavy metal content.

  1. Breakfast Burrito

Skip the greasy drive-through and create your own bomb breakfast burrito! Loaded with protein from eggs and black beans and nutrient-rich spinach, it’s sure to be lasting fuel for your morning. These can be made in batches and frozen for easy, convenient breakfast on-the-go or at the office.

  1. Naan Breakfast Pizza

We’ve all been there, microwaving leftover pizza and calling it breakfast. What if you could get the satisfaction of cheesy bread in the morning and feel great about it, too? Introducing - breakfast pizza! Built atop high-fiber whole wheat naan, this pizza is loaded with quality protein from eggs and mozzarella to keep you full and energized all morning long. Cherry tomatoes, mushroom, and basil add freshness, antioxidants, and incredible flavor. Go ahead, enjoy pizza for breakfast!

Browse all of our recipes on our blog and take advantage of these healthy alternatives to live a more balanced, happy life. Want feedback on your meals and recipe suggestions catered to you? Take our quiz and match with a Wellory nutritionist to start building healthy habits today.

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