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Healthy alternatives for cooking basics

Going to the grocery store can feel more like a case of playing a detective than getting real food.

Labels are there to trick us into thinking that we are buying and eating something healthy, when in fact, unless you know how to interpret the actual ingredients on the back, you could be getting tricked into buying something that is not as healthy as you think.

Fortunately, Erika Schlick, Health Coach, Blogger and Cookbook Author, is here to make your life a little easier with some easy and healthy swaps that are vetted, healthy for you, and taste great!

Fats & Oils

What you cook your food with is just as important as what you are eating. Industrial seed oils like canola, soy, corn oil have made it far and wide into our food supply and are very inflammatory.

For cooking, I recommend using avocado oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter or ghee.

For salads and seasoning I like to use a really high quality organic extra virgin olive oil like Kasandrinos and what I love about them is they have mini to-go packs that you can take to restaurants with you and always use a clean oil on your salad and food.

Non- Dairy Milk

There are so many nondairy milk alternatives on the market now but so many of them are filled with gums and Carrageenan it can cause a lot of health and digestive issues. I like to use only milks without gums and fillers.

For nut milks I recommend Malk and Elmhurst and for coconut milk I use ArroyD.

Also, coffee creamers can be a place where these sub-optimal ingredients Are also hidden as well as sugar.

Nut Pods are a great alternative and have no sugar and are made with almond and coconut milk.

Condiments & Pantry

Condiments are another sneaky place where toxic seed oils like to hide and trick you.

Mayo: Mayo is one of the sneakiest ones where you really need to read the ingredient list. I can’t tell you how many times a mayo says it’s made with avocado or olive oil only to read the back and see Canola and soy oil listed first. You really want to port for one that is 100% avocado oil or olive oil like Primal Kitchen or Sir Kensington’s or you can make your own which I have a recipe for in my cookbook Wandering Palate.

Pasta Sauce: Spaghetti sauce can be filled with sugar so I recommend finding a clean one like Otomot foods that are packed with veggies and olive oil.

Nut Butters: Nut butters are another sneaky place where they unnecessarily add industrial seed oils so look for brands that are oil-free like Base Camp or opt to make your own in your Vitamix.

Bone Broth: Bone broth is another staple in my diet and I try to get it in my food as much as possible. Anytime a recipe calls for veggie broth I always swap out for bone broth to get the gut-healing benefits from all the collagen and gelatin. Osso good makes a great bone broth and soups as well and Epic makes a shelf-stable jar of chicken broth.

Easy Meals

Let’s face it. Sometimes we need a quick and easy weekday lunch or dinner but most premade foods are not the healthiest. Fortunately, that is changing and here are a few healthy and clean options to make your life easy!

Pizza: Cali’flour foods (use code TRAILTOHEALTH for 10% off) has cauliflower pizzas with super clean ingredients and they just released some pre-made lasagnas and enchiladas that look so good!

Burgers: Sometimes you want a burger and it doesn’t get much easier than these Teton Waters Ranch burgers that are grass-fed and so tender and juicy. You can cook these up on the grill or in a skillet and have them ready to eat in no time with no cleanup or pressing burgers.

Pasta: Pasta is another super easy weekday meal but if you are trying to cut back on carbs I’ve got the best option for you. Cappellos makes a grain-free pasta from almond flour and it is so so good!

Pre-Made Meals: Last but not least If you are looking for an easy meal kit or premade meal service Balanced Bites has you covered with a variety of pre-made paleo meals you just need to heat up or you can check out Green Chef which is 100% certified gluten-free and comes with everything you need to make your meal.


Now I wouldn’t leave you hanging without any healthy snacks to add in so here are some snack swaps.

Siete Chips: Corn chips are not the healthiest between the corn which is often GMO and industrial seed oils but lucky for you Siete has grain-free chips that will turn your guac and chips into a healthy and guilt-free snack.

Smart Sweets: Let’s face it we all need a little candy here and there so Smart Sweets (use code TRAILTOHEALTH for free shipping on your order of $30+) have taken it to a new level with their kick sugar campaign and made it easy to have a guilt-free bite of candy.

Where do you get all this?

If you need a place to order all your healthy swaps Thrive Market makes it easy to ship it all to your door or you can order direct with the links above and you can find most of this in your local markets as well.

Erika Schlick is the author of Wandering Palate, a collection of 28 days of travel inspired healthy Paleo meals that help keep her in remission from Lyme disease and multiple autoimmune conditions. The book is a collection of recipes that helped her heal and now she is joining us from her home in Los Angeles to show us how we should be cooking to stay safe and healthy at home.

Wandering Palate has several healthy recipes to make while you have some extra time at home and are looking for simple and healthy meals to prepare.

Wandering Palate is currently shipping and available on:
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