Healthy Food Swaps for the New Year
How Good Health and Gourmet Popcorn Make You Happy
It’s perfectly normal and ok to indulge over the holidays to help you de-stress with friends and family. Usually, most of us are horrified by the extra kilos gained and we’re desperate to get back to a healthy routine and feel good about ourselves.
The mind is a tricky little thing though and once it’s had a taste of sugars, carbs, and other fun stuff, it doesn’t want to give up. That’s why you have to make healthy food seem playful and interesting so you can distract yourself from all the unhealthy temptations.
As luck would have it, eating bulk popcorn can feel exciting, while staying healthy:
- Sounds and smells of bulk popcorn popping
- Gourmet Popcorn boosts your serotonin
- Variety and appreciation of new foods
Gourmet Popcorn and The Senses
Of course, everyone has a different definition of happiness, including psychologists across the world. Nevertheless, most agree that our constant ruminating and worrying makes us miserable. That’s why gourmet popcorn is so awesome.
Do you remember that buzz of delight you get when you hear the corn popping? Then that roasted smell makes your mouth salivate as you wonder what you’re going to put on top of your gourmet popcorn. Even just watching those little kernels turn into puffs of air is an exhilarating transformation.
With all your senses alive, you’ve essentially paused the mind’s chatter, even if only for a moment. It’s a relief.
Clearly, we need food to survive but it also has so many benefits to our moods and mental health. So, for example, serotonin is one of those happy hormones that manage our mood, sleep, and general wellbeing. Moreover, it’s often linked with lower levels of anxiety and depression.
Amazingly, gourmet popcorn helps you produce more of this wonderful hormone. On top of that, popcorn is low in calories, assuming you don’t smother it in caramel or salt. As a low energy density food, popcorn is also great to keep your hunger at bay.
Variety and Appreciation
Our minds crave novelty. That’s why eating healthy foods can quickly become a bore if you don’t spice things up, quite literally. Psychologists call this hedonic adaptation where you basically lose interest after a certain time no matter how amazing it originally was.
One way to get around this is to get creative with your healthy foods, including bulk popcorn. For instance, you can add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, or even pickles and jalapeños to your popcorn. What about fruit bits, cinnamon, or some coconut oil? Use something different every day and you’ll keep appreciating your gourmet popcorn.
The more we find ways to appreciate something that we already have, the more likely we’ll hold on to the happiness it provides us. So, hold on to your happiness-boosting popcorn by appreciating just how versatile it is and get creative with your toppings.
How to Create New Habits
Let’s not forget that we’re human and setting new habits is hard. That’s why it’s worth looking into how to even start with these 3 simple steps:
- Start simple
- Connect with an existing habit
- Reward yourself
This sounds obvious but many people fail with their resolutions because they’re aiming too high. That’s why using bulk popcorn as a snack is a good start because it feels more accessible than just starving yourself of anything fun.
Connect with Habits
Our days are full of habits so that we can be more efficient. The best way to bring in a new habit is to connect it to an existing one already in your routine. So, for example, is your banana-covered popcorn going to come with breakfast or when you come home from work? Alternatively, is it a reward for some evening downtime?
People often forget small celebrations when trying to start new habits. One idea is to go for a walk or a job and use your gourmet popcorn as a reward afterward. Use a fun topping of course but try to limit something too sugary. Then, you’ve combined rewards with healthiness.
Healthy Food Swaps for Your New Year’s Resolution
Buying bulk popcorn is so easy these days by going online. There are other healthy foods that you can investigate too:
- Chips to gourmet popcorn
- Milk chocolate to dark
- Mayonnaise for hummus
- Light greens for dark
- Jello for popcorn
- Plain yogurt instead of flavored
- Natural sugar rather than refined sugars
- Whole kernel bulk popcorn and not microwaveable
- Pasta for veggie noodles
- Nuts not croutons
Chips to gourmet popcorn
Chips are much more calorific than popcorn. Furthermore, you can more easily control your salt intake if you buy plain bulk popcorn and season it yourself. Make sure you choose air-popped and not oil popped popcorn to limit the fat content.
Milk chocolate to dark
If you’re an avid chocolate fan, try to favor dark chocolate. That’s because it has less sugar than milk chocolate while giving you more of its beneficial antioxidants and minerals. Don’t forget that it also makes a stunning sauce for any bulk popcorn.
Mayonnaise for hummus
One tablespoon of mayonnaise gives you 90 calories versus 35 in hummus which also has healthier fats. Of course, mayonnaise isn’t necessarily bad for you in small quantities. Nevertheless, if you’re trying to cut down on calories then chickpeas, which is what hummus is made from, are healthier for you.
Light greens for dark
Not all greens are created equal. If you’re already eating greens then you might want to consider swapping your lettuce for spinach, for instance. That way, you’ll also get more vitamins, including A, K, and C. You can also get creative by mixing different types of salad leaves to give various flavors.
Jello for popcorn
Kids, and perhaps some adults too, love jello because of its high sugar content. You can still keep kids happy by making popcorn and special toppings with them. This makes for healthier snacks while still having a lively afternoon in the kitchen.
Plain yogurt instead of flavored
Again, flavored yogurt has extra sugar added in. If you think plain yogurt is just too plain, you can also add some honey, some nuts, or fruit. Moreover, making your own is more creative and will make yogurt more appealing in the long run.
Natural sugar rather than refined sugars
Most of us know this by instinct but it’s easy to run out of ideas. Cinnamon, honey, and even maple syrup can be healthier than butter and white sugar. Another option is to cook with naturally sweet vegetables such as beetroot, sweet potatoes, turnips, and parsnips.
Pasta for veggie noodles
If you love your pasta, try to choose wholegrain rather than white pasta that’s full of refined carbs and barely any nutrients left. The advantage of whole grain pasta is that you get a load of protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Why not also try vegetable pasta? These days you can buy almost any pasta made from vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, squash and many more.
Whole kernel bulk popcorn and not microwaveable
Microwaveable popcorn tends to come with extra butter, oils, and salts. Instead, air-popped kernels have fewer calories and are simply the original corn that’s good for you. If you don’t want to cook yourself, you can order natural bulk popcorn and add your own topping at home.
Nuts or popcorn, not croutons
Bread is another of those carbs that is better eaten in whole grain format. Croutons are delicious but eating too many in salads as well as soups isn’t the healthiest approach. On the flip side, nuts add great taste along with many good nutrients, healthy fats and protein. They can even help you lose weight because the fiber and proteins they provide keep hunger away for longer.
Get Buying your Bulk Popcorn and Start Your New Habit Now
It’s natural to want to go back to a healthy routine after Christmas and New Year. The best way to do that is with small steps and achievable goals. You should then add any new habits to your existing habits to make life easier for yourself. That includes swapping unhealthy foods for healthy ones such as nuts, veggie noodles, natural sugars and spices like cinnamon.
Don’t forget that gourmet popcorn is a great source of nutrients and mood-enhancing serotonin. Keep your toppings light but fun with anything from vinegar, lime, or honey and even perhaps a little bit of dark chocolate sauce. Healthy resolutions shouldn’t be boring or painful, especially if you want to keep them. So, get creative with your bulk popcorn and enjoy getting healthy again.