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Last updated on January 23rd, 2019 at 10:36 am
The fall air is crisp these day in Northern California. Despite our recent October heat wave, and drought causing lack of rain. The fog and early sunsets make even your fitness dreamer, me, crave a big plate of pasta.
You’ve heard it from every corner of your fitness dream path: Avoid all white food. Especially heavily processed white foods.
I can’t disagree with this in principle. Most all white foods like breads, pasta, and white potatoes, lack the healthy fiber or vitamins that their colorful versions contain.
It took time realized that it wasn’t the pasta I was craving. The sauce is what makes it for me. Like the attempt to recreate my step mothers awesome tomato sauce recipe tonight.
When I was in process of dropping the pounds, and since trying to keep those pounds off, I avoid pasta. It’s one of my trigger foods and will usually lead to more white processed food craving.
I still want that thick sauce with it’s rich tomato flavor and savory meat, now I have options.
Healthy alternatives to pasta you can try with your favorite sauce.
More than a side dish, shredding your zucchini with a peeler can replace your spaghetti perfectly. Packed with fiber, they can help lower your cholesterol and keeps any “pasta” dish light.
2. Spaghetti Squash
‘Spaghetti squash’ looks like noodles on the inside, which is where it gets its name. This vegetable is high in vitamins A, C and magnesium to protect from some forms of heart disease. I love keeping a stash of winter squash around because squash will keep for a few months without taking up refrigerator space.
3. Soba Noodles
Buckwheat noodles originally from Japan, Soba noodles are high in protein. They can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Shiratake is sometimes called the miracle noodle and comes from a root plant grown in Asia. These are a great choice for fiber and they claim to contain no carbs. I’m tracking these down soon to give them a try.
5. Steamed Spinach
This dark, leafy vegetable in the form of Steamed spinach is my favorite healthy alternatives to pasta. The big leaf will grab onto any sauce you pour over it. Spinach in all forms offers a wallop of vitamins including folate, B-6, K, C, A, E and antioxidant carotenoids. At our last family pasta feed, I had this out as an option and we ran out of it first!
6. Brown Rice Pasta
This healthier twist on flour based pastas offer protein and magnesium. It’s also another way for my gluten-free friends and family to enjoy a more noodle-like consistency.
7. Sweet Potato
Why bake your potatoes when you can create comforting healthy alternatives to pasta instead? Instead of baking your potatoes, steam or cook chunks to use in place of your pasta. This is one of my go-to pasta options if I’m going with a creamy or spicy sauce, like roasted red pepper.
What’s your favorite fall dish?
That’s kind of a trick question. What I really would love to know is if you’ve figured out a way to incorporate your favorite fall recipes into your healthy lifestyle.
Even if you haven’t, we can figure it out together. Comment here with your ideas!
Go get your fit on – Heather
Heather Montgomery is a fitness writer, triathlete, and serial entrepreneur who is devoted to sharing what she has learned about becoming a triathlete after age 40. She uses her Metabolic Training Certification to help other women struggling to get fit in mid-life. She lives and trains in Santa Rosa, California, the new home of the Ironman triathlon. You can find her biking the Sonoma County wine trails.
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