The Skinny: To the left. To the left.

Now that swimsuit season is over you can start getting ready for sweater season by stuffing your faces again.

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Wishful thinking right? Quite the contrary actually. Most people who haven’t realized that lifestyle changes are what keep you slim and fit will be freeing up the machines at the gym until about January so you’ll have plenty of time to get in those workouts. Keep up a healthy eating routine, save for a cheat meal here and there, and you’ll be flaunting bikinis in November. (It’s an exaggeration, please don’t be that girl).

Anyways, I’m definitely planning on indulging in a skinny PSL or two and going H.A.M. on pumpkin pie when the time calls for it, BUT on days when I’m not all out cheating, these healthier alternatives come in handy when baking. It’s definitely NOT clean eating, more so suggestions that keep your waistline and cravings in check…

1. Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream when you’re whipping up a spinach dip or French onion dip. This swap will make any chip dip healthier, and plain, nonfat Greek yogurt is a much better source of protein. And really, those chips should be veggies but just call me Judge Judy.

2.Use olive oil instead of butter when you’re cooking anything on the stovetop, like sautéed veggies or scrambled eggs. Unlike it’s evil twin butter, olive oil doesn’t have cholesterol. It actually lowers high levels. Score. Just be sure to use extra virgin olive oil and keep it at a minimum. Just because it’s healthier doesn’t mean you should swim in the sh*t.

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3. Use a banana instead of an egg when you’re making a Sunday morning pancakes or a birthday cake. Say whaaaat?! The banana will give provide sweetness and moisture, and it’s a great way to make your goods vegan-friendly. You can also use applesauce instead of a banana (as my Mom usually does) because I don’t bake. HA. HA.

4.Use 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of water instead of an egg to add moisture to muffins or baked goods. Similar to using a banana or applesauce, chia seeds are a low-fat, high fiber alternative that will make your recipe vegan friendly. I throw those little suckers into my smoothie every morning. They’re good on top of oatmeal too.

5. Use spaghetti squash instead of pasta when you’re craving carbs. Spaghetti squash is a vegetable, so one serving can provide your body with the recommended daily intake of potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. So they say. Whole-wheat pasta is a great way to satisfy your comfort food craving if you need it, but if you’re wanting to ditch the carbs (and a few pounds) go for the squash. Gluten Free fad and everything. Not hating, actually a legit member of that cult myself.

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6. Use date sugar instead of Splenda and other artificial sweeteners to make your recipes 100% more natural. Most artificial sweeteners get their sweet taste from the chemical aspartame which should be avoided because it leads to really freaky diseases and such. On the other hand, date sugar is simply ground up dates, and it is not processed or refined. This works, trust me. It’s ab-so-f*cking-lutely delicious because I’ve thrown dates into my smoothies and that sh*t tastes like a fast food milkshake. NOT.

7. Use almond milk instead of cow’s milk for your cereal, oatmeal and coffee. No saturated fats, less calories and has more protein. I used to drink milk like it was going out of style until a year or so ago when I started using almond milk instead. Dropped lbs and my milk mustache.

8. Use mashed cauliflower instead of pizza crust next time. Healthier and way low carb. (I’ll post a recipe soon). Too lazy to do it at this exact moment but I thought I’d share the tip anyway.

9. Use 1 cup of soy milk + 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar instead of 1 cup of buttermilk if you’re trying to make vegan versions of recipes that call for buttermilk, pancakes for example. Paula Deen is in tears right now but she’s also jealous of your waistline.

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10. Use avocado instead of mayonnaise for a sandwich spread. Omega 3’s and good fat. No comparison.

Enjoy…and make me a sandwich.

(On Udi’s of course)

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