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How to Create Healthy Versions of Fast Food Favorites

By Ashley Delmar 

Healthy eating can be challenging for most people, but it doesn't necessarily mean swapping out cookies for salads. There are tons of healthy versions of fast food favorites out there that can make the transition into healthy eating easier. Whether you crave salty or sweet, there's a recipe out there to turn virtually any junk food into a diet-approved meal.

Nice Cream 

If you've never heard of this vegan junk food staple, consider this the perfect time to get yourself acquainted. Nice cream is a low calorie, dairy-free ice cream alternative that can be made from your favorite fruits. Making nice cream couldn't be easier, just pop some frozen fruit slices, a milk alternative, and sugar into your food processor or blender and mix until the nice cream resembles thick custard. To opt for an even healthier nice cream, switch the sugar in this recipe out for Splenda or a natural white sugar alternative like coconut sugar. To get a taste of classic nice cream flavor complete with flavor options, this recipe by Minimalist Baker is a great jumping-off point. 

Coconut Oil French Fries 

Who doesn't crave a fresh batch of french fries every now and then? Coconut oil French fries are a guilt-free way to indulge your cravings without throwing off your diet. Simply coat your homemade french fries in coconut oil before baking and add salt and pepper to taste. The coconut oil gives the fries a deliciously rich taste without the unsaturated fats found in traditional cooking oils. According to registered dietician Lily Nichols, cooking with vegetable oils causes the creation of free radicals, molecules linked to inflammation in the body. Since coconut oil swaps out unsaturated fats more easily digested forms of fat, using coconut oil in lieu of vegetable oil is a healthier option. 

Protein Bombs

Once only found in chic coffee bars and fitness clubs, protein bombs are an excellent healthy alternative for those times you find yourself craving a sweet treat. These low sugar, protein-rich snacks can be made with a variety of ingredients, meaning they can be modified to quell any sugary craving. Even though protein bombs may seem difficult to bake given their high-end roots, you don't need to be the next Gordon Ramsay to make them. Just pop your chosen ingredients in a food processor blender, add some dates, or maple syrup for moisture, and viola. No oven required. If you need some protein bomb inspiration, these lemon cake energy balls from chief Linley Richter look divine. 

If your meal plan prohibits certain food like gluten or certain animal products, you can still make alternative versions for your favorite foods with a bit of creativity. A quick google search will yield plenty of results tailor-made to a variety of dietary requirements. Eating healthy should be fun, not restrictive and these recipes are great examples of the joy of healthy eating. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Suwanee, Ga. 

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