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Eat This, NOT That

Eat This, NOT That

Most of my clients just want to be given a menu and told what to eat. If you do a nutrition program with me, we dive into the root cause of your issues, educate and develop realistic strategies. But for this article, I’m  keeping it simple with food and beverages to avoid and healthy substitutes.

Eat this: Zucchini noodles

Not this: Pasta (enriched white flour)

Betsy’s notes:  Using a spiralizer and making your own “zoodles” is easy! The best part is that you don’t need to cook them. If not a fan of zucchini noodles, some honorable mentions are bean, quinoa and rice pastas.

Eat this:  Healthy oils (olive oil for dressings, coconut oil for cooking)

Not this: Vegetable/soybean oil

Betsy’s notes: Soybean oil and vegetable oil are usually the same thing. They are cheap oils that become toxic when heated. Hydrogenated oil is the worst. My two favorite oils are olive and coconut. Olive oil is a healthy monounsaturated oil that should be kept at room temperature (in dressings). When cooking, it is best to use a stable saturated fat, like organic refined (unscented) coconut oil.   

Eat this: Homemade vinaigrette 

Not this: Creamy and most store-bought dressings  

Betsy’s notes: Most store-bought dressings are filled with sugar, preservatives, bad oils and fats. Once you learn how easy it is to make a clean vinaigrette, you’ll never look back. Check out my simple recipe.

  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup vinegar (I prefer balsamic)
  • 1 squirt of dijon mustard
  • 1 squirt of honey or agave
  • Salt and pepper as desired

Eat this: Homemade low-sugar smoothie

Not this: Store-bought or restaurant smoothies 

Betsy’s notes: Most smoothies from a store or restaurant contain 50-100+ grams of sugar! The only alternative is to make your own balanced smoothie. Overall, it’s helpful to have a quality protein powder that tastes good. Make sure not to add too much fruit and no juice needed. Here is my favorite recipe: chocolate PB green smoothie.

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (stay away from soy protein)
  • ½ banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • Large handful of greens
  • 1 cup water or unsweetened almond milk
  • Ice as desired

Drink this: Skinny margarita

Not this: Sweet alcoholic drinks, like margarita or rum & coke 

Betsy’s notes: If you are going to enjoy a cocktail, try to minimize the excess sugar and chemicals. Drinking cleaner is less toxic and will prevent a hangover. In general, pick a low-sugar liquor like vodka, tequila or gin. Mix with seltzer and only a splash of juice or fruit wedge for a touch of sweetness. Here is a tasty skinny margarita recipe:

  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 cup seltzer
  • 4 fresh squeezed lime wedges
  • Splash of natural limeade

Eat this: Kind Bars (with 5 grams sugar) + Raw Rev Glo Bars

Not this: Store-bought granola bars 

Betsy’s notes: I’ve spent endless hours researching this topic. Bottom line is that most store-bought bars (granola and protein bars) are unhealthy. They are filled with sugar or artificial sweeteners, crappy protein sources and too many preservatives. My top two favorites are Kind Bars (Nut + Spice line) with 5 grams or less of sugar and Raw Rev Glo bars (available online).  Both are healthy options made with real ingredients and low in sugar. 


Betsy Markle is a registered dietitian, holistic nutritionist, certified personal trainer and yoga instructor. Also known as “The Realistic Nutritionist,” Betsy is best at simplifying the confusing world of nutrition and wellness. Visit to checkout her simple recipes, online programs and personalized packages. She can be reached at or 805-252-3656.


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