9 Smart Swaps to Start the New Year Off Right

If you’re already striving to live a balanced life (like so many in our ZENB community!), you’re less likely to get swept up in the New Year’s Resolutions frenzy that takes hold of society each year. Healthy habits cultivated over time are a more sustainable (and sane) way to achieve your wellness goals than drastic and unrealistic expectations set on January 1.

That said, after the excess of the holidays, many of us are looking for ways to simplify and realign our routines. Taking stock of your daily habits that could use a little polishing is a profound way to make small and lasting changes, and the beginning of a new calendar year is a natural time to reset.

If your 2023 plans include mindful shifts to your eating habits, like trying more plant-based foods or cutting out gluten, here are 9 easy and smart swaps that can help you stick to the plan!

Gluten-Free

Swap All-Purpose Flour for Almond Flour

For those avoiding gluten, the world of flour alternatives has expanded tremendously over the past few years. But of all the substitutes, one of our top choices is almond flour, which you can use as a 1-for-1 swap with white all-purpose flour. It works perfectly in homemade pancakes, waffles, breads, muffins, and more!

*Pro tip: Almond flour is different from almond meal, which has a coarser texture and nuttier flavor. Almond meal cannot necessarily be used as a 1-for-1 swap for white all-purpose flour.

Swap Crackers For Veggies

Feeling snacky? Skip the crackers and chop up some fresh veg instead. Crudité can be enjoyed with any kind of dip, from black bean hummus to guacamole to vegan ranch. Missing that cracker-y crunch? Try ZENB Pasta Chips!

For more advice on healthy snacking, check out our blog post: 4 Easy Snacks to Fuel Your Hustle.

Swap Conventional Pasta for Plant-Powered Pasta

There are many options for pastas that do not necessarily use traditional wheat. One of them is ZENB 100% yellow pea pasta, which harnesses the epic power of plants! Our nutrient-dense pasta comes in a variety of shapes; boast a beautiful texture and flavor like traditional pasta; and is great in recipes. Even if you’re not going completely gluten-free, ZENB Pasta is a delicious way to put elevated, balanced meals on the table.

Plant-Based

Swap Conventional Dairy and Meat for Plant-Based Dairy and Meat

Maybe you’re aiming for one plant-based meal each day. Or perhaps this is the year you go fully vegan. Either way, cutting out animal products can be a steep hill to climb. Luckily, there are so many amazing plant-based alternatives, so hit up your local health food market and start exploring. Plant-based brands have come a long way, and there are some stellar swaps to be found, like vegan breakfast sausages, cashew-based feta cheese, and even plant-based chicken nuggets!

Swap Egg for Flax Egg

Plant-based baking is a breeze when you know how to make flax eggs! To make one “egg,” combine 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal with 2.5 tablespoons of water. Allow the mixture to thicken for a few minutes. Then, add it to the recipe when the egg is called for; it will help bind the batter similar to a chicken egg! Flax eggs work best in quick breads, pancakes, muffins, brownies, and cookies.

Swap Meat Sauce for Veggie-Packed Sauce

You won’t even miss the meat in pasta sauce when you swap in a flavor- and vegetable-packed sauce, like ZENB Gourmet Pasta Sauces. These savory sauces use the whole plant, so that each bite is bursting with veggie goodness.

Beverages

Swap Nightcap for Hot Tea

Winding down from a busy day with a pour of nice bourbon or amaro can be a pleasant ritual. But sipping alcohol isn’t the only way to relax. A cup of warming tea is a lovely swap if you’re cutting back on booze. Many bedtime tea blends contain herbs and plants, like chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm, which can help soothe you right before bedtime.

Swap Coffee for Chaga

Trying to kick caffeine? Chaga is an adaptogenic mushroom that has an earthy, chocolatey flavor. It doesn’t contain caffeine, but has other properties that can help rev up your energy. There are a number of chaga-based coffee alternative products, or you can make your own tea with ground chaga steeped in hot water.

Swap Sparkling Wine for Kombucha

If you love a fizzy brunch or happy hour bevvie, but you are chilling on the booze, try kombucha! This fermented tea beverage is amazing for gut health and natural energy, with a tangy flavor and lively carbonation. Many restaurants offer kombucha on draft, and you can buy it in bottles and cans at most grocery stores, too.


For more wellness info and kitchen advice, explore the articles on the ZENB Blog, and check out our amazing recipe collection. And follow along on ZENB’s Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!


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