When I started my weight loss journey, I didn’t go cold turkey on the junk foods I loved. I felt that wasn’t a sustainable way to eat. I wanted to gradually shift to healthier alternatives. As a newbie to healthy eating, I had very little idea on how to eat healthy while also keeping it interesting and enjoying what I was eating. Hence why I wanted to create this healthy swaps series! In this post, I wanted to dive into pasta alternatives since pastas had been such a large part of my diet.
These helped me out a lot in the beginning when I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I bought a spiralizer from Target for around $10. I spiralized zucchini and occasionally carrots. My go-to was to mix this with pesto and mushrooms. This was a great way for me to get more veggies in. It also helped me get used to the taste of vegetables. Although zucchini has a very mild flavor if any flavor at all, the fun texture allowed me to eat more veggies. I will say though that if you are really craving pasta, sometimes this doesn’t satisfy that craving.
Brown Rice Pasta
When buying brown rice pasta I try to find ones where the only ingredient is brown rice and sometimes water. Trader Joe’s has good fusilli pasta and Aldi has good penne. This is a great alternative because it is made out of a whole food instead of wheat and other unnecessary ingredients. There is little to no taste difference between brown rice pasta and regular pasta so this is a good option for non adventurous eaters. They also have edamame pasta and black bean pastas out there, but I find the brown rice ones to taste the closest to actual pasta. However, these pastas are calorically dense like regular pasta. If you are aiming for weight loss, portion control is key here.
This is the holy grail of noodle substitutes. I’m not kidding when I say this will change your life. The whole 1 lb bag is under 20 calories (you heard me right) and they have the same texture of noodles! The ingredients are also great; it’s literally just kelp. You just have to know how to make them. You must mix baking soda and lemon on the noodles until they become soft and then rinse once they are the texture of your liking. So what’s the catch? For one, they can be kind of pricey. These bags never last me long partly because I love noodles and am obsessed and don’t feel bad for eating the whole thing when they are so low calorie. The next issue is where the heck to find them. I’ve only found them so far at whole foods in the produce section in the fridge kind of near the vegan cheeses. However, you can order them on Amazon! You just have to be patient enough to wait at least two days if you have Prime or plan ahead.
I have tried many, many pasta alternatives so there are many more I could talk about here. Many of the ones I tried either weren’t good or didn’t have the best ingredients. However, these are my favorite and the ones I find myself continually buying. Next week, I will be talking about my favorite ice cream swaps! Leave me a comment or DM me on instagram if there is something else you would like me to do a healthy swaps for!