I was over at my parents' house the other day and we were watching a show called "Cook Your A** Off" on Upwave from HLN. It was a competition where three chefs tried to make healthier choices for people with certain cravings or lifestyle challenges. One episode was particularly irksome. It included a round where they were supposed to offer substitutes for cheesy fries. Two of them at least tried to do potato dishes, though they weren't really all that close in my mind. The third chef was trying too hard to just make a very healthy dish and presented a tuna wrap plate.
The problem is....if I'm in the mood for cheesy fries, a tuna wrap just isn't going to cut it. It's all about the similar tastes, textures and experience eating it. If you really want to help me eat healthier, ease me into it. Offer some choices that are similar, but healthier. For the fry challenge, Dad and I both thought it could work if you made some sort of baked or roasted fries that were drizzled with olive oil and some Parmesan.
I had the same problem with an article about "22 Smart Sugar Swaps" from Prevention Magazine. Some were just fine, like eating Polaner All Fruit with Fiber Strawberry Jam instead of Smuckers. The one that made me shake my head, though, was the one where they told me kettle corn instead of gummy worms. Again, these are incredibly different eating experiences and don't translate well in my mind. Something like 100% fruit leather would be closer, I think.
I may be heading back to Weight Watchers soon. I do like that no food is off limit...it's learning all about moderation, planning, and healthy substitutes in some places. I will be making changes to my diet so it will be more nutritious...but I will be doing it in a way that makes more sense than food swaps that can seem arbitrary.
What are some reasonable food swaps you've made where you didn't miss the old food?